Off the Blocks with Columbia Swim Club

Coach Todd Kramer, Columbia Swim Club

Here is our main set from last Friday 11/23. We were six days out from our mid season rest meet. We wanted to do some quality swimming after hitting them with some high intensity/short rest sets the previous couple of days. We did the OTB (off the blocks) in three heats, so swimmers ended up having about a 1:3 work to rest ratio on those. The kick intervals gave them a bit more than a 1:1 work to rest ratio. The drill/swim was recovery with a strong focus on the little details. The goal of the set was to do some high quality fast swimming followed by working the legs with the idea of helping to develop good kicking late in their races. In hindsight I would have given the kids more specific time targets on the OTB (which was choice based on their best events). A couple of kids had to be given time targets to refocus, but once we got into the workout I think it went very well.


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. 

"Empty the Gas Tank" Freestyle Set with Coach Todd Kramer

Todd Kramer
Assistant Coach
Columbia Swim Club

Here is a set that we did at the Columbia Swim Club earlier this week. Our hours have been limited this week at our pool, so we had to swim our Senior 2, 3, and 4 groups together. Swimmers are 13-18, ranging from just below the Sectional level to OT qualifiers. This was done LCM. We just wanted to get a tough freestyle set in designed to push their limits, physically and mentally. ‘Empty the gas tank’ is just a phrase to remind them to not ‘save up’ for later in practice. We wanted them to push the fast parts of practice to their limits from the beginning of practice.

Here is the set(intervals listed are interval groups)
3×150 Free – add on fast 50 from back to front(the rest is ‘fast enough’) @ 2:00/2:10/2:15
3×150 Free – all fast @ 1:55/2:05/2:10
1×100 Free – Empty the gas tank @ 2:00

5×250 Free – add on fast 50 from back to front @ 3:20/3:30/3:40
5×250 Free – all fast @ 3:10/3:20/3:30
1×200 Free – Empty the gas tank @ 3:30
2×350 Free – #1 change gears each 50 #2 all fast @ 4:30/4:45/5:00
1×300 Free – Empty the gas tank