Sprint Set for Meters

Ryan Woodruff, Lynchburg YMCA

This set can be done in a SCM or LCM pool. All 35, 65, and 95s are done from a start and times to the head crossing the line.

Athletes are instructed to go all out on the 35. The goal for the 65 equals 2 x 35m time. The goal for the 95 equals the 35m time + the 65m time.

4x

35m sprint, 100 ez @4:00

65m sprint, 100 ez @4:00

95m sprint, 100 ez @5:00

We did the set 4x through to allow our IMers to go 1x each stroke.

Challenge Kick Set

Ryan Woodruff, Lynchburg YMCA

This set is a spin-off from the 15-minute Kick for Distance Test Set from yesterday.

Use the distances achieved in that set (1/3 of total distance achieved in that set) to set a goal for this one:

3x

(5:00 kick for distance + 200 ez free) @9:00

Divide the swimmers into two teams — the team that successfully achieves their 5:00 goal the most times wins (think of a good reward for winning).

The Cookie Set

Ryan Woodruff
Head Coach
Lynchburg YMCA

We did this set yesterday.  Our goal today was to get in some quality fast swims of all strokes. We train primarily in a SCM pool, so it is sometimes a challenge to relate training times to SCY race times.  Today’s set was an attempt to do that and it worked very well.

7 x 85m from a start @ 7:00
– timed to head crossing the line.

– first four swims had to be of athlete’s best 100 yard event
– last three were choice
– we left one lane open for warm-down between swims
– Goal: Beat your best 100 yard time. In order to meet this goal, athletes had to swim at around 93% of race pace, as 85m is about 93 yards.  I estimated that this would be a difficult challenge for seven consecutive swims that began after we had already been practicing for an hour.

We had 19 people at practice, which meant there were 133 total swims.  As a group incentive, I promised the swimmers that if they beat their best times in at least 80 of the 133 swims, my wife would bake them cookies for after our Christmas Eve morning practice this Saturday.

They started out a bit behind pace to make the 80 mark on the first round, but came on strong in rounds 2 through 4 to achieve the group incentive with 1 round to go.

Fire up the oven, honey!

Group Goal 75s

Ryan Woodruff
Head Coach
Lynchburg YMCA

This was a good motivating set for our group at the end of an arduous practice.

? x (75 at P200 +25 ez) @ 2:30

75s are timed to the feet.  We used our pace cards to determine Goal and Best Time 75 pace for 200 events.  If swimmer achieved Goal 75 time, he scored 2 points for the team.  If he achieved Best Time pace, he scored only 1 point for the team.  Instructions were that we would do as many rounds as it took for the team to score 120 points (15 swimmers).  We finished in six rounds.

175s for IM Success

Ryan Woodruff
Head Coach
Lynchburg YMCA

We did this challenging set yesterday, and our swimmers really did well.  I liked how not only did they swim fast, but their confidence seemed to rise when they were done.  Success leads to more success!

4 x 175 Free (Goal: Beat best time for 200)
Intervals set for about 15 seconds rest if athlete succeeds in going his or her best time
500 Free EZ, one paddle and one fin (opposite limbs)

3 x 175 Breast (Goal: Beat best time for 200)
Intervals set for about 20 seconds rest if athlete succeeds in going his or her best time
500 Free EZ, one paddle and one fin (opposite limbs)

2 x 175 Back (Goal: Beat best time for 200)
Intervals set for about 20 seconds rest if athlete succeeds in going his or her best time
500 Free EZ, one paddle and one fin (opposite limbs)

1 x 175 Fly All out (Goal: Beat best time for 200)

500 Free EZ, one paddle and one fin (opposite limbs)

Broken 175s for Kicking Prowess

Ryan Woodruff

Lynchburg YMCA

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This set is designed to encourage swimmers to practice strong kicking through the middle and end of 200 events. Time the total round (50+75+50), with the goal being to beat one’s lifetime best 200 time. Typically, breaststrokers and flyers will have the easiest time achieving this goal.

6x through @ 4:00:

50 fast swim
:10 rest
75 fast kick with a board
:10 rest
50 fast swim

Challenge 175s

Ryan Woodruff
Head Coach
Lynchburg YMCA

We performed this set in a SCM pool.  Most swimmers found the goal time on #1 only moderately challenging and found the goal time on #3 extremely challenging, and a few succeeded in making all three multiple times.  The 3 x 50 served as a sort of “pre-set” and the 400 was meant as a mindful recovery swim.  Swimmers could do the 175s any stroke or as IM (200 IM minus a 25 free) and were free to change strokes by round.  Interval on the 175s was determined by taking a swimmer’s best 200 LCM time, adding 20 seconds, and rounding up to the nearest interval.

Editor’s Note: The Swimming Wizard’s goal is to publish at least one set, practice, or idea EVERY DAY for all of 2016! To keep it interesting, we need your help! Click here to help us achieve that goal by submitting one of your sets!

The 400 Challenge from Lukas Mundelsee, Germany

Lukas Mundelsee
SG Schwimmen Muenster
Germany

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The "Approaching 200" Challenge Set

Ryan Woodruff
Head Coach
Lynchburg YMCA
 
The purpose of this set is to challenge swimmers by having them swim at paces and for distances that gradually approach 200 race pace.  When we did the set, we started with 175s all freestyle, and then progressed to the 180s and beyond done as athlete’s choice of stroke.  Swimmers were timed to a hand touch on the 175s, and then were timed to their head breaking the line. We used a cone on the side of the pool and multiple cones on the bottom of the pool to mark the required distance.  Our swimmers were very successful making the goal time (lifetime best time) all the way through the 190 yards and several were successful at the 195y distance.

Baltimore IMs

Ryan Woodruff
Head Coach
Lynchburg YMCA

We have had a similar set posted on this blog before.  The concept here is that swimmers should be able to perform the last 150 of a 200 IM race at practice.  It is a challenging goal, but one that our swimmers achieved approximately 60% of the time during the workout today. I added in the freestyle to include a little technique work and some active recovery.

Goal-Based 100s set

Ryan Woodruff
 
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We did this set in SCY based on athletes’ best times. We did 300 yards easy between rounds as recovery and the set was presented 1 part at a time. The first 10 the goal was to be within 10 seconds of a lifetime best, on the second round 9, etc. These were the goal times for the lane leaders. Athletes not going first in the lane were expected to be a second faster due to the drafting effects. Last 4 fastest possible average with fins. We got some outstanding results with this set!

The Sprinter’s Paradise Pyramid

Ryan Woodruff
 

Like the Pyramid of Pain, but a more appealing set with a more appealing name.  Swimmer must have 15m and 25 goal times before beginning the set.  Everyone begins with Step 1: Dive 25, try to beat 100 pace
If a swimmer succeeds, he or she moves down and to the left in the chart.  Fail- move down and to the right. Three rounds, 200 ez after each round. It sounds easy, but you will quickly find out who has real front-end speed and who doesn’t.

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The Pyramid of Pain

Ryan Woodruff
 

This set provides some incentives for fast swimming.  The picture below explains the process of the Pyramid.  All swimmers begin with a 200 for time with the goal of being within 6 seconds of lifetime best (girls) or 8 seconds (boys).  100 easy for all, and then those that failed will do a broken 200 (75-50-50-25 @:10 rest) while those that succeeded in reaching the goal will do a broken 100 (50-50@:10rest).  The goal on the broken 200 is a lifetime best.  The goal on the broken 100 is within 2 seconds of lifetime best.  The second swim is followed by another 100 easy, and based on a swimmer’s success or failure he then completes either a broken 200 (75-50-50-25@:20 rest), a broken   100 (50-50@:10 rest), or an all-out dive 50.  The goals are a lifetime best, a best +3 or faster, and the starting 50 split for a lifetime best 100, respectively.  Success or failure on the 3rd swim leads to 10 push-ups or a “Hooray!”

We performed two rounds and saw many season-best practice swims.
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"VO 2sdays" with Rochester Aquatic Club

John Bradley
Senior Coach
Rochester Swim Club Orcas
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We did this set the other day – my kids call our Tuesday VO2 Max practices “VO Tuesdays.”

Main Set – SCY

3 X 100 @ 1:40 – 50 FL/50 BA – Hold under 1:05 – Correct Kick/Stroke Counts – All From Dive
1 X 300 @ 4:30 – Cruise
1 X 50 All Out Flutter Kick @ 1:30

3 X 100 @ 1:40 – 50 BA//50 BR – Hold under 1:10 – Correct Kick/Stroke Counts – All From Push
1 X 300 @ 4:30 – Cruise
1 X 50 All Out Flutter Kick @ 1:30

3 X 100 @ 1:40 – 50 BR/50 FR – Hold under 1:05 – Correct Kick/Stroke Counts – All From Push
1 X 300 @ 4:30 – Cruise
1 X 50 All Out Flutter Kick @ 1:30

The “Hold Under” intervals are set up for sub 2:06 IM’ers and can be modified in any direction for suit ability level.

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Broken 200s Workout

Ryan Woodruff
Head Coach
Lynchburg YMCA
Pre-Set:
12 x 50 @ 1:00
Sprint 2,4,6,8,10,12 cycles on #1-6 and repeat

Main Set – 1 hour set
4 x 200 free @ 3:00 w/fins and paddles
1:00 rest
Broken 200 choice (50, 100, 50) w/:10 rest at break points
2:00 rest
4 x 200 @ 3:00 w/fins and paddles
1:00 rest
Broken 200 (50, 100, 50) w/:20 rest at break points
2:00 rest
4 x 200 @ 3:00 w/fins and paddles
1:00 rest
Broken 200 (50, 100, 50) w/:30 rest at break points
5:00 rest to swim easy
200 for time…goal is to beat first broken 200 w/:10 rest
100 easy swim

Kick Set – 20 min – no kickboards
4x:
4:00 kick for distance, descend rounds 1-4
1:00 rest

Ron "Stix" Ballatore Tribute Workout

Everyone who met Coach Ballatore will not soon forget him. Read more on his bio and his passing Here.

“Stix” knew how to get guys to go fast. Here is a set that he loved to do at the end of practice. We did it frequently when I had the honor of having him on deck while I was in Gainesville.   It is a good, challenging, team-building set to finish a workout.

Divide your group up into teams of four or five swimmers, and put a swimmer from each team in each lane. All swimmers on a given team will swim a no-breath 25 simultaneously. Before they start, the coach assigns one swimmer from the team a goal time for the no-breath 25. If that swimmer completes the 25 without taking a breath and beats the goal time, he earns a point for his team.  Then the next team takes its turn.  Each team is done (and gets out and goes home) when they score a pre-determined number of points.  Swimmers get fired up for their teammates and for their own 25s.  The coach can control the intensity by adjusting the 25 goal times.

Thanks, Stix.  You will be missed.

Pick Your Kick Distance

Ryan Woodruff

Ryan.d.woodruff@gmail.com
30 x (50 or 75 or 100 yards kick)
#1-10 @ 1:30
1:00 rest
#11-20 @1:20
1:00 rest
#21-30 @1:10
The goal of course is to cover the most distance possible. For added motivation, we split up into teams and devised a points system; team with the most total points wins.
Successfully complete 100 yards = +2 points
Successfully complete 75 yards = +1 point
Only completed 50 yards= -1 point

Today’s Kick Set

Ryan Woodruff
Head Coach, Parkland Aquatic Club
ryan.d.woodruff@gmail.com

This set uses performances from our 15-minute Kick Test Set to set goal distances for each swimmer. Total distance from that set divided by 10 gives the goal for each 1:30 segment below.

4 x 1:30 kick for distance @ 2:00Link200 easy swim
3 x 3:00 kick for distance @ 4:00
200 easy swim
2 x 4:30 kick for distance @ 6:00
200 easy swim

Kick Set from Gwinnett

Lucas Ferreira
Head Age Group Coach
Gwinnett Aquatics
lucas@gwinnettaquatics.com

Here’s a set we had our top Age Group (11-14) do:
Notes: We train SCM, so the intervals were appropriate for that. For SCY, intervals should be about 10sec faster per 100. ‘The’ main set would be the 12×100 kick, but I coach by the motto ‘every set is a main set’. Thus I have included the lead up to the set, since that was all thought of ways to make sure they would be ready to go.
6×100 @ 2:00 w/ wall kick
75 FR B3 / 25 Rev. IMO, double UW!
– Key thing here is to make sure they are going twice as far (for us, double pull-outs on Br, 6 to 8 kicks on Fl and Bk)! I also asked them to keep their heads down most of the time for the wall kick, and build it until their send-off.
4:00 wall kick (30 EZ / 30 FAST / 35/25 / 40/20 / 45/15) – Goal was to make sure their legs were ready up to hit the set right.
Finally… Kicking FAST:
12×100 Kick @ 2:20
75 FAST (alt FR/IMO, no FR) / 25 EZ Fr
– Goal for the 75 was to beat their best 100 LCM time for that stroke (if training SCY, I would use best SCY times).
– We had the kids write their 75 times down on acrylic boards with wax pencils (that always helps keeping them honest on the effort). Had a couple kids hit their goals on all 12, everyone hit it on at least 6 (the BR was actually very easy).

Beat Your Best With Fins

Ryan Woodruff

LCM – We performed this set 3x through. The goal for each swim with fins & paddles is to beat your lifetime best 100m time. This set works for any stroke, and it may work best for some butterflyers to do it without paddles.

100 with fins & paddles + 100 ez swim @ 3:00
100 with fins & paddles + 200 ez swim @ 4:30
100 with fins & paddles + 300 ez swim @ 6:00

Blast From the Past #2

Chris Webb, SwimMAC Carolina

This post is the second of two submissions by Coach Webb detailing workouts from past stops in his coaching career (Click here for #1).  This set originally was a creation of Chris Plumb of the Carmel Swim Club from 2008.

15×200 on 3:00-3:30 choice
If the swimmer is within 10 of their best time they skip two 200’s. If they are within 15 of their best they skip one. 16+ they skip none. So the set could be 5×200’s on 9:00 or it could be a whole lot of painful 200’s 16 over your best. This set rewards performance.

Coneheads

Ryan Woodruff

Head Coach
Lynchburg YMCA

This set challenges the athlete to swim at speeds approaching race pace over an increasing distance. Use cones or markers on the side of the pool so that both coach and athlete know the finish line. Time stops when the athlete’s head passes the cone. The goal on each swim is to beat your lifetime best 200m time.

Swim #1 – 175m
Swim #2 – 180m
Swim #3 – 185m
Swim #4 – 190m
Swim #5 – 195m and finish to the wall to get your 200 time.

Time Flies Swimming Freestyle

Ryan Woodruff, North Carolina Aquatic Club
ncacheadcoach@gmail.com

SCY

This set uses your per 100-yd pace from a timed 3,000 yard swim (P3k).
Or you can use P500+5 per 100 as an approximation. All paces are per 100.

First column of intervals is for paces 1:05 or faster (32:59 or faster 3k)
Second column of intervals is for paces 1:06-1:11 (33:00 – 35:59).
Third column of intervals if for paces 1:12 or slower (36:00+)

600 swim or pull at P3k+4 @ 7:00 7:20 8:00
1 x 300 at P3k+1 @ 3:40 3:50 4:00
2 x 200 at P3k-1 @ 2:30 2:35 2:40
3 x 100 at P3k-3 @ 1:20 1:20 1:30
6 x 25 ez no free @ :30

600 swim or pull at P3k+4 @ 7:00 7:20 8:00
2 x 300 at P3k+2 @ 3:40 3:50 4:00
2 x 200 at P3k-1 @ 2:30 2:35 2:40
2 x 100 at P3k-4 @ 1:20 1:20 1:30
6 x 25 ez no free @ :30

600 swim or pull at P3k+4 @ 7:00 7:20 8:00
3 x 300 at P3k+3 @ 3:40 3:50 4:00
2 x 200 at P3k-1 @ 2:30 2:35 2:40
1 x 100 at P3k-5 @ 1:20 1:20 1:30
6 x 25 ez no free @ :30

The American Standard

Chris Webb, SwimMAC Carolina
cwebb@swimmaccarolina.org

1×100 fly on 3:00
1×100 bk on 3:00
1×100 br on 3:00
1×100 fr on 3:00
1×200 IM on 6:00
1×200 fly on 6:00
1×200 bk on 6:00
1×200 br on 6:00
1×200 fr on 6:00
1×400 IM

All 100's must be within 10 seconds for boys and 8 seconds for girls of the American record,all 200 must be within 20 seconds for boys and 16 seconds for girls, and the 400 IM  I like to use 30.  All  the seconds you accumulate over the records add up for a total score.

 The lowest total boy's and girl's score set the “standard”.  Set whatever time standard or “seconds over the record” that fits your group's ability. 

On a swim by swim basis for every second a swimmer misses the 10 or 8 over standard the swimmer will owe 2 burpees at the end of the entire set.

 This set helps familiarize swimmers with the fastest times in every event. 

  Do this set once per cycle and compare times. Have title belts/ and or plaques with a ceremony for the top girl and boy that rewards their well rounded IM racing focus.