200 Free Prep and Fast Stroke

Brad Herndon, Greensboro Community YMCA

This set worked real well for some fast 200 free and 100 Stroke times this weekend, takes 44 minutes, 11 mins a round, they did this 2 weeks out and were right on their 200 FR and 100 stroke goal times:

3 x 175 FR @ 2:20 (hold goal 200 Fr time)
1 x 75 Stroke Fast @ 1:00
1 x 50 Stroke Fast @ 1:00
1 x 25 Stroke Fast @ 1:00
1 x 25 EZ @ 1:00 (start early after the 25 stroke fast)

Stroke = Swimmer chooses OR some did IMO by Round, but 4th Round = Fly-Back-Breast on the 75, then drop down by choice to finish with 25 of your best stroke (other than fr)

The One Where Coach Couldn’t Speak

Ryan Woodruff, Lynchburg YMCA

Right now on Saturday mornings we have just a 1 hour practice. Due to having to yell over a lot of noise at practice two days ago, my voice was almost totally gone for this one. The kids did a good job with minimal instructions and encouragement from me.

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IM/Free Ascend/Descend Set with Cornell University

Jake Lichter, Assistant Men’s Swim Coach, Cornell University

This was a great workout because our guys attacked the first 200 like it was the only one. We had a hand full of swimmers go sub 2:00 with the fastest guy going 1:55.8. It was a challenge for them to maintain the effort as they Ascended because we limited by how much they could slow down. By the time they got to #8 & #9 they were able to recover enough to be able to give a best effort on the final 200 free with most guys under 1:50 and a 1:43.4 as the fastest. OTB = Off the blocks

15:00 Dynamic Dryland


400 Fr-IM
4 x 100 IMO Drill on 1:30
8 x 50 on :50

16 x 25 IMO Dec 1-4 on :30

20 x 50 kick on 1:00
4 hard 4 ez
3 harder 3 ez
2 harder 2 ez
1 hardest 1 ez

6 x 75 on 1:10

10 x 200 on 3:00
Odd: IM Ascend 1-5
#1: OTB For Time #2: No more than 10 seconds Slower #3: No more than 5 seconds slower
Even: Free Descend 1-5
#10: OTB for Time
200 loosen

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Free the Flyers

Ryan Woodruff, Lynchburg YMCA

Yesterday’s post was a fly set for our true Flyers. Today’s set was for the portion of our group that is primarily distance-free focused whom I also wanted to challenge with some fly.

This set was for SCM, and we had a “roll the dice” component just like the Flyers. In the case of the distance group, we rolled two dice and added the numbers rolled together to determine how many 50s we would do at the end of the set. The 50s were fly/free by 25 and hitting P1000 turned out to be a tough yet appropriate challenge.

Age Group Speed with Coach Gordon Brown

Coach Gordon Brown, Head Age Group Coach, Regional YMCA of Western Connecticut

This is another one for my 10-13 year-old swimmers that go 6-days a week for 1-hour & 45-minutes. I included a description of what we talked about prior to each set.


CTAG 100119 workout for Swimming Wizard


Big focus on the first IM & UW FL kick set is replicating the feeling of a 200 IM with 25’s of race plan swims mixed with 25’s UW FL K. We talked about some of the key transitions in the IM before we began the set.

For example, we begin with a 25 UW simulating what they will do off their start and how they should focus on holding their rhythm in butterfly to finish the 50. When they get into backstroke, they need to establish their tempo and make sure they have a great wall leading into breaststroke. This is why we started with BK swim into UW kick. We talked about breaststroke being the make or break part of an IM. Having a strong build to the BR leg of the race really sets up a big finish in free. Starting with UW kick into BR sprint w/flutter kick allows them to really turn on the hand speed. Lastly, we finish with Free sprint establishing tempo right off the wall and finish with UW kick to ensure we have a great last wall. We did this all with fins.

They looked great and were putting down some good speed with the swims and improved their UW 25’s as the set went on.

We finished up the day with a Max VO2 set they will do about every 3 weeks. This was their first attempt at this set this season so they knew they were establishing their baseline times. Since we have a distance meet on Friday and a Long Axis Pentathlon on Saturday we wanted to focus on FR and BK. Everything in the set is all out effort and we mix in a kick distance that rotates by round. To keep it entertaining, I gave them some goal times that allowed them to earn “medals”. As the distance gets longer it is more difficult to earn Gold.

They really enjoyed the “medal” aspect of the set and were definitely going after it!

Free and Stroke with the YBCC Phoenix

Chris Brookover, YBCC Phoenix

10 pounds of stuff in a 5-pound bag.

Fall 2018 Warm Up

1 x 400 @ 6:00  Loosen

4 x 50 @ :45 Drill w/ Forearm Fulcrums

4 x 100 @ 1:30 Descend 1 – 4



1 x 600 @ 8:00

1 x 500 @ 6:30

1 x 50 EZ Back @  2:30

1 x 400 @ 5:00

1 x 300 @ 3:40

1 x 50 EZ Back @  2:20

1 x 200 @ 2:25

1 x 100 @ 1:10


1 x 600 @ 8:15

1 x 500 @ 6:45

1 x 50 EZ Back @  2:30

1 x 400 @ 5:15

1 x 300 @ 3:50

1 x 50 EZ Back @  1:55

1 x 200 @ 2:30


1 x 600 @ 8:30

1 x 500 @ 7:00

1 x 50 EZ Back @  2:30

1 x 400 @ 5:30

1 x 300 @ 4:00

1 x 50 EZ Back @  2:30

1 x 200 @ 2:35



3 x 200 @ 3:20 Kicking W/ Fins

3 X

6 x 25 @ :25

Rest :30


3 x 200 @ 3:30 Kicking W/ Fins

3 X

5 x 25 @ :30

Rest :30

Stroke – Perfect Technique – Intervals not that hard – thus you can think.


6 x 100 @ 2:00 W/ Fins & Fulcrums

6 x 100 @ 1:45 Back Swim – Build Each – Best Average

6 x 50 @ 1:15 Cup Head Drill Back Stroke

6 x 50 @ :50 Back Swim [2nd 25 Faster / Minumum 5 Kicks off wall]

6 x 25 @ :50 Spin Drill Backstroke

2 X

6 x 25 @ :45 Back Swim – All Out Sprint

Rest :30


6 x 100 @ 2:00 Breast 4 Kick / 1 Pull – Double Pull Outs

5 x 100 @ 2:00 Breast Swim – Build Each – Best Average

6 x 50 @ 1:10 Free Kick no Board – Triple Pull Outs

6 x 50 @ :55 Breast Swim [2nd 25 Faster / Minumum 5 Kicks off wall]

6 x 25 @ :50 Spin Drill Breaststroke – [Breast Pull / Free Kick – Not Swim]

2 X

6 x 25 @ :45 Breast Swim – All Out Sprint


6 x 100 @ 1:45 – Fly Kick On Back w/ Fins

8 x 25 @ :40 Swim Fly [Boys 6 Kicks 5 Strokes, Girls 6 Kicks 7 Strokes]

Rest :40

8 x 25 @ :40 Swim Fly [Boys 5 Kicks 6 Strokes, Girls 5 Kicks 8 Strokes]

6 x 100 @ 2:00 – Fly Kick Underwater – Streamline Position

8 x 25 @ :45 Swim Fly Fast – Horsehoe Finish

1 x 100 @ 3:00 EZ Free

8 x 25 @ :50 Swim Fly Fast

Swim Down

4 x 75 @ 1:30

3 x 50 @ 1:00

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Challenging Set for 400 IMers

Ryan Woodruff
Head Coach
Lynchburg YMCA

This IM Set can get quite challenging in a hurry. The set is somewhat tame at the start, but switching out the Free in the later rounds adds an interesting wrinkle

                1 x 300  25 IMO/50 Free                 @ 4:20
                1 x 200 25 IMO/25 Free                  @ 3:00
3x            1 x 100 IM FAST                             @ 1:40
                1 x 200 25 IMO/25 Free                  @ 3:00  (go faster than 1st 200)
                1 x 300  25 IMO/50 Free                 @ 4:20  (go faster than 1st 300)

  • 1st round performed as written
  • Intervals should be easy enough so that 1st round is not tight.
  • 2nd round: Free parts are now backstroke.
  • 3rd round: Free parts are now breaststroke.
  • These changing strokes on the 2nd and 3rd rounds make the set dramatically harder. 
  • You may want to add :20-:30 extra rest between rounds if swimmers are not strong 400 IMers.

Deceptively Hard Set with Coach Brad Robbins

Brad Robbins
Tigard Tualatin Swim Club
Here was one we did recently that started deceptively easy, but had them working super hard by the end. 
Goal was to be their best 200 time + 5 sec or faster. Bonus points for being under their best time.


Did you like this set? Try this IM Transitions Set and this Early Season Spice with Just a Touch of Fly also from Coach Robbins.

Free/Kick/IM/Underwater with Coach Brad Herndon

Brad Herndon
Head Coach
GCY Makos

GCY Makos National Team 1/3/2018

Warm-Up (24 min, 1500):
500-400- 300-200- 100
Swim – Kick w/ Fins – FR Pull – IM – Drill w/ snorkel

Pre-Set (22 min, 1200):
8 x 50 Free Kick Only @:55 (Board)
   :40 sec transition
8 x 50 FR Pull Only @:50 (Buoy, paddles, snorkel)
   :20 sec transition
8 x 50 FR Swim Only @:45 (Continuous Boil Kick)

Main Set 1 (44 min, 2400):
Underwater focus, pop up “between the 15m marks” every length!
3 x 50’s Kick @ 1:00 (no board, max out underwaters)
      First – Fly/Back on back, Second – Back/Breast on back, Third- Breast/free
      on stomach (MAX underwaters on fly, back, and free kicks)
3 x 50’s Swim @ :55
      First – Fly/Back, Second – Back/Breast, Third – Breast/Free
      Execute turns efficiently , max underwaters
3 x 100 IM’s @ 1:45
     All 3 = Max Underwaters Descend, 3 rd is all out still with max underwaters!

Main Set 2 (18 min, 1200):
8 x 150’s @ 2:15 with fins
1-4 Freestyle w/ paddles and short fins, DESCEND!
5-8 Back, long fins, no paddles, focus is on underwaters popping up between
the yellow, still descend time! ALWAYS max out last 25 underwater effort!

Cool Down (2 min, 100):
EZ choice 100 minimum

TOTAL = 6500

Set for a Big Combined Group

Todd Kramer
Assistant Coach
Columbia Swim Club

Here is a workout we did last week that ended up being fairly successful. This season, on Fridays we have to swim our Senior 2, 3, and 4 groups together due to limited pool hours. Swimmers range from 13 years old to 18, and in ability from just below Sectionals to OT qualifiers.

Our main set was this:
10×100 kick @ :10 rest. We gave each swimmer their total time for all 10x100s, they needed to subtract 90 seconds for the rest plus however far back in the lane the went. Kick must be the same for the entire set. 
1×500 kick – Goal was to beat their time for the 10x100s(with the math) divided by two
200 ez swim
10×100 free @ :10 rest – Same deal as above
1×500 free – Beat the time from the 10x100s(with the math) divided by two. 

I wasn’t sure how successful we would be on this set, but the overwhelming majority beat their goal time on the kick by a few seconds and those that missed were within five seconds or so. On the swim we were a little bit less successful, a little less than half beat their time, but again those that missed were within about five seconds or so. As a whole we were very happy with the efforts. We felt that the overwhelming majority of the swimmers did not take the easy way out and give less than their best on the 100s, so they set the bar high on their 500s. Overall it was a great practice and a good way to involve swimmers of different ability levels training together at the same time. 

Sprint Free Tournament

Ryan Woodruff
Head Coach
Lynchburg YMCA

For the last 15 minutes of our practice, we only have 2 lanes for the 20 swimmers in our National group.  Today we had a fun “Sprint Free Tournament” in that time. Every swimmer must know his or her best 50 free time to the tenth of a second. Here’s how it works:

1. Coach selects a swimmer (or youngest can go first). This swimmer chooses a teammate to race in a 50 free.
2. The race is handicapped, meaning that if swimmer A’s best time is 24.0 and swimmer B’s best time is 25.2, swimmer A must swim a time at least 1.2 seconds faster than swimmer B to “win” the race.
3. The head to head race commences.  The winner advances to the next round. The loser is out.
4. Repeats steps 1 – 4 until all swimmers have competed once.  Continue until only 1 swimmer remains as the champ. Be sure to keep an eye on each competitor getting amounts of rest between swims to keep it fair.

Works best with 8, 16, or 32 swimmers, but can be done with any number. Enjoy!