Freestyle Option and Choice Fartleks

Ryan Woodruff, Lynchburg YMCA

SCY. We use the term “fartlek” to mean a continuous swim where we are changing speeds or instructions. In this set, we alternated a fartlek with a brief freestyle set. Swimmers were on either the more “distance-y” left side (milers) or the more middle distance-oriented right side. We came together for the 150s FPA (fastest possible average) at the end.

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Kick, Fartlek, and Descend

Ryan Woodruff

Head Coach

Lynchburg YMCA

Kick Set (last 25 of every repeat is MAX UW- at least 12.5 yards)

Slower kickers should drill or swim the first part of each repeat to keep up

No kicking with board, no br kick

Options: face down fly, face down flutter, side fly, side flutter. Snorkel is o.k.

4 x 25 @ :30

3 x 50 @:55

2 x 75 @1:20

1 x 100 @1:45

100 smooth swim @1:30

4 x 100 intervals same as above

3 x 75

2 x 50

1 x 25 all out all UW kick

100 smooth swim @1:30

Wrench Bang Fartlek Set

6 rounds (4:30 per round)

2 x {Round 1 – free, Round 2- No free, Round 3- weakest stroke}

:30 scull

WRENCH BANG

1:00 drill (athlete’s choice of stroke)

WRENCH BANG

1:30  smooth swim with CRAZY FAST turns & underwaters

WRENCH BANG

Sprint between 25 and 50 yards (do one great turn and one great finish)

Start next round all together

Main Set

20 x 150 free

(paddles and/or buoy optional on all descending parts)

1 @1:35/1:40/1:45

5 descend @ 1:45/1:50/1:55

1 @1:35/1:40/1:45

4 descend @ 1:45/1:50/1:55

1 @1:35/1:40/1:45

3 descend @ 1:45/1:50/1:55

1 @1:35/1:40/1:45

2 descend @ 1:45/1:50/1:55

1 @1:35/1:40/1:45

1  @ 1:45/1:50/1:55

Editor’s Note: This set was originally published to the blog in July 2016

Sprint/Fartlek/Sprint

Ryan Woodruff
Head Coach
Lynchburg YMCA

40 x 50 all choice (but no breast) @ 1:00
#1 – Sprint no breath until you MUST take a breath, then build to a perfect finish
#2 – 40 meters drill then 10m no breath sprint to finish
#3 – max underwater kick and then minimum cycle count
#4 – fast for time

Fins, Paddles & Snorkels
6 x 5:00 Fartlek @ 6:00 (use whistle or wrench bang on side of the pool, they can stop in the middle of the pool for the 1:00 rest and start from there on the next one)
Continuously repeating: 25 flutter kick on side/ 25 swim.  Descend the 25 swim 1 to ? (however many they do).  Descend using the power of the legs!
Diving well set (10-12m width)
20 x 50 (2 widths) @ :30
1st width fast underwater kick followed by open turn

2nd width sprint free no breath (at least 4 dolphin kicks off the wall)

I.M. Fartleking

Ryan Woodruff
Head Coach
Lynchburg YMCA

Fartlek = continuous swim. Start off with the fly instructions, then when wrench bangs on side of pool, sprint fly into turn and sprint 25 back. Then follow back instructions. Repeat for Bk-Br and Br-Fr transitions.

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Dryland Descend Fartlek Set

Ryan Woodruff
Head Coach
Lynchburg YMCA

3 x 9:00 continuous @ 10:30
   50 freestyle smooth breathing every 3
   10 squats
   50 freestyle from dive @ ~P200 +2
   5 push-ups
  50 freestyle from dive all out
  3 in & outs (climb out of pool, hop back in)
Do as many rounds as possible in 9:00

2nd 9:00 – swimmers do br or fly
3rd 9:00 – swimmers do backstroke

Kick, Fartlek, and Descend

Ryan Woodruff
Head Coach
Lynchburg YMCA

Kick Set (last 25 of every repeat is MAX UW- at least 12.5 yards)
Slower kickers should drill or swim the first part of each repeat to keep up
No kicking with board, no br kick
Options: face down fly, face down flutter, side fly, side flutter. Snorkel is o.k.
4 x 25 @ :30
3 x 50 @:55
2 x 75 @1:20
1 x 100 @1:45
100 smooth swim @1:30
4 x 100 intervals same as above
3 x 75
2 x 50
1 x 25 all out all UW kick
100 smooth swim @1:30

Wrench Bang Fartlek Set
6 rounds (4:30 per round)
    2 x {Round 1 – free, Round 2- No free, Round 3- weakest stroke}
:30 scull
WRENCH BANG
1:00 drill (athlete’s choice of stroke)
WRENCH BANG
1:30  smooth swim with CRAZY FAST turns & underwaters
WRENCH BANG
Sprint between 25 and 50 yards (do one great turn and one great finish)
Start next round all together
Main Set
20 x 150 free
(paddles and/or buoy optional on all descending parts)
1 @1:35/1:40/1:45
5 descend @ 1:45/1:50/1:55
1 @1:35/1:40/1:45
4 descend @ 1:45/1:50/1:55
1 @1:35/1:40/1:45
3 descend @ 1:45/1:50/1:55
1 @1:35/1:40/1:45
2 descend @ 1:45/1:50/1:55
1 @1:35/1:40/1:45
1  @ 1:45/1:50/1:55

Fartlek Fun. Is that redundant?

Ryan Woodruff
Head Coach
Lynchburg YMCA

This is 8:00 of continuous swimming with 1:00 rest.  Each time there are slightly different instructions.  “Deep” refers to deep practice, where I ask our swimmers to focus on one technical element and try to improve it.  On #4, they swim continuous backstroke until they hear me bang the wrench on the side of the pool. When they hear the bangs, they sprint br 2 walls (25-50m) and then return to swimming steady backstroke.