The Guessing Game

Ryan Woodruff, Lynchburg YMCA

We played the guessing game the other day at practice. One of my favorite conclusions to practice. On this particular day, had three athletes training long after others who were tapering were out. We did 5 x 100 before achieving the necessary 6 points for the group. One athlete guessed her time exactly to the tenth of a second. Original idea from Gregg Troy.

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Long Axis Day

Ryan Woodruff, Lynchburg YMCA

This practice was devoted entirely to long axis strokes – back and free.

The blue set in the middle was a technical progression. The 25 was scull, the 50 was 25 scull/25 kick and rotate, and keep adding a skill or drill up to 150. On the way back down to 25, subtract the skill/Drill from the front end to finish with a 25 Swim.

“People paddle” = free with underwater recovery, like advanced doggie paddle

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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!

500 Race Pace Challenge Set

Ryan Woodruff, Lynchburg YMCA

500 Free Race Pace Challenge Set. Intervals were for SCM for swimmers whose best times are sub-5:00. 50s were do-able, 100s were challenging, and the 150 turned out to be a very tough swim at this point in the season.

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Freestyle Race Pace Spectrum

Ryan Woodruff, Lynchburg YMCA

This set allowed us to hit race over a range of distances from 100 to 500 pace. It seemed a good challenge — doable and not super-hard.


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