I know we aren’t very far into the year, but this one was REALLY good.
Swimmers partnered up. The 25s and 50s were fast off the blocks for time. Half of our group swam while the other half videoed them using their phones (“peer coaching”). Swimmers gave each other feedback. I was impressed with the quality of the feedback and the amount of teaching/learning that was happening. And we swam fast too!
Swimmer A would do all three of the 25s before swimmer B did the 25s. This allows for shorter time between performance, feedback, and repetition. Coach feedback was used to supplement and guide swimmer-provided feedback.
Problem: Schedules and pool availability meant we had a crowded pool and only 5 lanes.
Solution: The Speed Machine
SCY with starting blocks at one end
Swimmers start in lane 1 and progress to lane 5. All swims timed by coach to a hand finish.
We did 8 rounds @7:00. Swimmers stick with a single stroke for each round.
Lane 1: 1 x Dive 25 fast, climb out and walk back around to lane 2 @1:30
Lane 2: 1 x Dive 25 fast, finish, get time, and then duck under the lane line to lane 3 @:40
Lane 3: 1 x 50 fast from push, get time, duck under lane line to lane 4 @:50
Lane 4: 1 x 50 fast from push, get time, duck under lane line to lane 5 @:50
Lane 5: 50 easy and then climb out and walk back around to lane 2 to begin the next round.
We went in a generally fastest-to-slowest order and swimmers went :10 apart. This setup allowed for excellent racing opportunities. Swimmers always had a swimmer faster or slower than them in the next lane to race.
Golf= add time (in seconds) + cycles (per 50). Bring this score down. OTB = off the blocks, fast. All choice, but do the Golf and OTB the same stroke for each part. Context: we are less than 48 hours after our first SCY meet of the season, where we swam a very full order of events in short sessions. We had a medium-difficulty practice yesterday. We were on fire with this today.
We did this set using a few 50m lanes and a 12m diving well. The diving well has a chain link fence about 12 feet from the dive of the pool that is perfect for anchoring stretch cords. For the buckets/Sox station, we used hockey pucks on the bottom to indicate the distances.
We have days where the whole group does one workout. Other times, we split by strokes. On this day, we split along distance lines. Part of the group worked around their distance race pace, while the other group did a small number of intense 50s from a dive. The sprinters also watched their 50s back on video and did some active recovery during the 6:00 interval. This workout was in LCM.
In the pre-set, we used an approximately 10-foot long rope (with a loop in each end) to have a swimmer stand on deck and pull a teammate into a fast turn (imagine a fighter jet on an aircraft carrier accelerating from zero to takeoff) and then sprinting through the breakout and one cycle. P100 = 100m race pace. OTB = off the blocks, FAST!!! EZ = Easy speed. We did this set in a 25m pool.
This set was a pretty good one for us tonight. Swimmers who were diligent with their efforts got some very good results, particularly at the end. All of the 50s were swimmer’s choice of stroke, but the instructions were to stick with the same stroke for three 50s in a row. We did this set in a 25m pool. The 50s on :40 definitely made them feel the squeeze of fatigue, but they were able to give it a little extra juice when the interval opened up at the end.
We did this set this week and got some tremendous results. Swimmers got to choose their strokes by round. The 2 x 25s with the bucket seemed to help awaken their speed for the following 100. We did this in a SCM pool.
We started this set with about 40 minutes left in practice:
We started doing 50s fast from a dive. I wasn’t sure how many we would do. Just when I thought their enthusiasm (and speed) was starting to wane, I challenged an individual to hit a faster time to end the round for the group and start the 200 easy.
It worked better than I could have hoped. On each round, we had at least one swimmer expand their perception of their capability and get to be the hero for their teammates.
Each round of this set, we swapped in a mystery set that the swimmers did not know ahead of time as the “unique challenge” in brackets.
The last challenge was “Save your partner”. Each swimmer had to swim a 100 off the blocks under a certain coach-determined time. Fail to make the time and your partner has to do it too. It was a somewhat clumsy attempt to get some peer-pressure motivation going.
The rest of the set worked well, with some of the unique challenges being a bit off-the-wall.
We did these sets in a SCM pool. The cords provided some resisted power and assisted speed. The bucket set (we use 1-gallon buckets) was a fun competitive challenge and got the juices flowing for the group before we went into the broken 100s.
I have posted several “Hour of Power” type workouts on this blog over the years. Each one has been slightly different to work for the swimmers in my group that year, where we are in the season, and what course we were swimming (we train in SCM and SCY). Today’s version is one that I was particularly happy with for our squad for this year.
We used AquaVolo’s DragSox and simple 1-gallon buckets to pull behind us.