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)

IM Set with the Blazers

Coach Alex Morris, Kansas City Blazers, Shawnee Mission North

This is the second of a couple of sets (see the first one here) that went really well for us over the last week or so. We are still not back to full training capacity yet.

4 rounds:

  • 3×50 build @ :50 – IM order by round
  • 125 “IM” (50 fly/25 bk/25 br/25 Fr) @ 1:50
  • 2×75 @ 1:10 – 1 50 bk/25 br, 1 25 bk/50 br (work the 25, 50 is smooth)
  • 100 free @ 1:20
  • 6×25 @ :40 sprint kick

IM Warmup

Ryan Woodruff, Lynchburg YMCA

In the past, we have often done a “standard warmup” 90+% of all practices. We have a good routine and it has served us well.

As we come back from the pandemic, I am no longer doing standard warmup (for now).We have shorter practices and I don’t want us to fall into any routine — I want to keep everyone on their toes. Here was our warmup preparing for today’s IM set.

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IM’ers Delight

Ryan Woodruff, Lynchburg YMCA

SCY. Every good IMer needs to be a breaststroker. This set worked a little of both. We started from the shallow end of our SCY pool, so the 200 breast included 20 eggbeater kicks in a vertical streamlined position in the middle of each 50 where we would have deep water.

This set was first published to this blog in May 2020.

Pound that IM and Free

Ryan Woodruff, Lynchburg YMCA

SCM. This set worked well for us, meaning we got some excellent efforts and good times at the end of the set.

The instructions matched the intervals – the IM swims descend to an all-out 400 IM. The freestyles start off with a very strong 400 free and ascend to a smooth 100.

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The I.M. Merry-Go-Round

Ryan Woodruff, Lynchburg YMCA

SCM. We did this IM Set recently. At the conclusion of the set I asked each swimmer two give me two scores on a scale of 1-10. The first score was for how challenging the set was (lowest score was an 8), the second was for how well they thought they did (lowest score was a 7).

Note the stroke instructions on the right were different for each of the four parts on each round. On the 16×25 of the fly round, the EZ 25 was permitted to be freestyle, but on all other rounds all 25s were of the specific stroke.

Total distance: 4,000m

Total time: 1 hour, 20 minutes

Q: Why is it called the “I.M. Merry-Go-Round”?

A: Because it looks fun, but after an hour you can’t wait for it to stop!

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IM Day with All-Star Aquatics

Chris Schlegel, Head Age Group Coach, All Star Aquatics

“Another practice pre-IMX meet. Definitely challenged the top end today. Pre-Set was working UWD focusing on the power & speed you need to breakout properly. Most did 6-8 UWD focusing on the last 2-4 faster & harder in both directions.”

2020.01.27 schlegel 12020.01.27 schlegel 22020.01.27 schlegel 3

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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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Swimming is the #FunnestSport, Particularly when Shared

Ryan Woodruff, Lynchburg YMCA

Morgan Cordle, 757 Swim

Jonathan Kaplan, Chris Bushelman, Jessica Laird, and Steve Medei, SwimRVA

This past Saturday, we brought our three teams together in Richmond, VA for a combined long course practice. We had three groups (Sprint, IM/Stroke, and Distance).


Chris Bushelman led the warmup, which allowed everyone to make a new friend and get to know each other:


Coach Morgan Cordle led the IM/Stroke Group:


Coach Jonathan Kaplan led the Sprint Group:


Initial Speed for 50 free

4 x HVOs

4 x Dive 30m sprint w specific breath placement

*count breaths to come on bottom

*150 easy after each and rest 1:30-2:00


Sustained Speed for 50 free

(Cone at approx 20m)

With fins, Swim medium tempo no breath to the cone, take a breath, and then sprint 10 cycles no breath, take a breath then finish to the wall. 150 easy after each and rest 1:30-2:00


100 Finish Speed and Tempo

3 rounds of Countdown Sprints w/Fins

followed by 4 x 25 breath restrictions (breath count goes lower each round)

For an explanation of countdown sprints, check out this article from SwimSwam featuring Coach Jonathan


Coach Ryan Woodruff led the distance group:

After the workout, we had breakfast together at the pool and had some time for socializing.

Thank you SwimRVA for hosting us all! This was a great idea.

IM 6-4-2

Ryan Woodruff, Lynchburg YMCA


1 x 600 IM/Bk/IM/Br/IM/Fr by 100 @8:30

1 x 400 free steady w snorkels, optional paddles @5:30

1 x 400 IM/Bk/IM/Br by 100 @5:40

1 x 400 Free same as above

1 x 200 IM @2:50 Goal is to be within :30 of best SCY time )swimming in SCM)

1 x 400 free same as above