Quality Pyramid

Ryan Woodruff, Lynchburg YMCA

We did this set off the blocks, and several of our swimmers said they liked it despite the fact that it turned out to be much harder than they expected. SCM.

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Vert Kick and then Beat Your Best

Ryan Woodruff, Lynchburg YMCA

On the 175s, the goal is to beat your best 200 time (should get them at least :20 rest on those).

This turned out to be a good set for us, though we ended up needing to make some modifications at the end due to time constraints.

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Fasts 75s + 150 Challenge

Ryan Woodruff, Lynchburg YMCA


3x (75 fast from dive+75 ez)@2:30

1x (150 fast + 150 ez) @6:00

The goal on the 75s was just to be fast, execute excellent turns, and hold good technique.

For the 150s, we set a specific time goal based on the 75s.

For Free and Back, that goal was 2 x (best 75 time) + 6 seconds

For Breast and Fly, that goal was 2 x (best 75 time) + 10 seconds.

With those goals, we were able to get a pretty high level of effort with a high success rate.

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Meat Grinders

Coach Ethan Leach

This set is called “Meat Grinders.” It says to do 2 rounds, but it was built to be stopped around halfway through the first round and started over, pushing the swimmers to their limit.

2 x [8 x 50 ALL OUT SPRINT, from the block, last person touch]
FL down, IMO back
(example: #1 FL/FL, #2 FL/BK, #3 FL/BR…)
Really emphasize the fact that the entire set is ALL OUT, so that when they start to slack off you threaten them with starting over again.

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Racing for Points and Prizes with WEST Express and Coach Heidi Miler

Heidi Miler, West Express Swim Team

We did this Saturday to simulate some racing as we have a big meet in two weeks and many of our kids haven’t swam a meet yet coming out of HS season.

I think it went well as it raised the racing level more than we normally see doing “regular off the block sprints”


Saturday, January 5, 2019

Sprints off blocks – simulate racing with Winter Classic Meet in two weeks

1000 Meet warm up

6 x 50 @ 50 – build through a fast turn

300 kick build by 100

6 x 50  @ 50 – build to a fast finish

300 pull

1200/ 2200

2 x 100  @ 1:40 – 50 drill/50 free – technique focus

4 x 25 @ 30   Sprint free

100 easy

2 x 100 @ 1:50 – Non free 50 drill/50 – technique focus

4 x 25 @ 30 Sprint non free

200 easy


Point System:

Winner of each heat gets 10 points, 2nd place 5

Best time 20 points

Best time –within 1 second 10 points

Best time within 2 seconds 5 points

Best time within 3 seconds 3 points

We set up in heats of similar speed – did each of these swims on approx. 5 min with some easy swimming and point calculating in between swims

All Swims AFAP

2 x 100 Free

1 x 100 Non Free (did not score this for heat winners with too many different strokes going on)

1 x 100 IM

At end choose between 2 x 100 broken swims or 1 x 200/500 broken swim

Cool Down

Highest point scorer won a won a TYR Prize (t-shirt, goggles etc)

I printed out a sheet with each swimmers best time sheet and attached it to the table – in between rounds the swimmers calculated their points


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KC Blazer Technique Quality and 200 Race Endurance

Coach Alex Morris, KC Blazers

Here is a set we used with our National group to reinforce technique quality and race endurance on 200s of stroke. The 25s and 75s should be primary stroke (Or 3 rounds prime, 2 rounds of a secondary stroke). The swimmers chose their intervals on the 75s based on the stroke they were doing and ability, then the rest interval at the end of each round designed to bring the whole group back together to start the next round

5 rounds:
4×25 on :30, 1 form/DPS, 1 build, 1 hold, 1 fast
4×75 hold form and stroke count @ :55/1:00/1:05
50 sprint kick @ :50 (body line kick w/snorkel)
3×50 choice ez @ :50
About 20-60sec Rest to regroup before starting next round

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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.


Full Workout with Stations and Quality Set

Ryan Woodruff, Lynchburg YMCA

Most of the time on this blog, I publish single sets that we do within a larger workout. Today, I am publishing the entire workout how I have it written out for my group. You may need to zoom in a bit to see it well.

I usually start with a quote — sometimes we discuss it, sometimes we just get right in. Today we did our “Standard Warmup,” which we probably do for 80% of our practices. Our standard warmup is:

400 smooth swim choice @:20 rest

4 x 150 choice kick/drill/build by 50 @:20 rest

4 x 50 choice sprint any 20 of the 50 @:20 rest

Total: 1200m, ~18-20 min

For this workout, we combined 3 power stations with a set of 6 x 50 off the blocks. We did it three times through, meaning each swimmer did each station once and the 6x 50s set three times. It was a good day for us — team energy and spirits were high, performances were good, and we spent time during our subsequent dryland discussing the previous weekend’s meet.

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Quality Night

Ryan Woodruff, Lynchburg YMCA

We split the group in two for this workout, and both sets went well. The mid/sprint set allowed enough time for some real technical focus. The distance set kept our guys “in the groove” for some very good 100s.

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Team Challenge 50s

Ryan Woodruff, Lynchburg YMCA

Our swimmers had been asking for a set where there was some sort of group incentive or group goal. I was happy to oblige with the set below (SCM).

The idea is this: we are doing 50s off the blocks until we score 400 points. Swimmers would score 1 point for the team if they beat their 1st 50 time for their best 200. 2 points were scored if they beat their 1st 50 time for their best 100. If they were able to beat the 1st 50 time for their GOAL time, they scored 3 points for the group.

Time goals were derived from the pace cards available on our Tools for Coaches page.

At random times in the set, we would do a 100 instead of a 50 with the stated goals.

As we started the set, I was concerned that it might take us a LONG time to get to the 400 goal. We got to 100 points relative ease, then to 200 it took a bit longer. As fatigue began to build (even with an ez 100 thrown in), the points started coming a bit more slowly, though the team stayed positive and supportive. After about 50 minutes and just shy of 300 points, I offered “get out swims” to 3 swimmers. We ended up with some phenomenal get-out swim 100s, and concluded the set. If I would do this set again, I might structure the points system slightly differently, but I was still pleased with the effort and the results we got.

200 Race Pace Stroke Set

Alex Morris, Kansas City Blazers

Looking to build speed on the stroke 50s throughout the set, work on closing speed in a 200 race

2 rounds, can change stroke between rounds

100 free @ 1:45

2×50 stroke @ :50 – 200RP +1

100 Free @ 1:45

4×50 @ 1:00 – @ 200RP

100 free @ 1:45

6×50 @ 1:10 – 200RP -1

300 ez – 50 kick/50 scull/50 drill

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Excellent Fast 100s

Ryan Woodruff, Lynchburg YMCA

2 x through:

6 x 100 all out from start

2 @ 5:00 (with a 100 ez)

2 @ 4:00 (with a 50 ez)

2 @ 3:00

200 easy swim

Swimmers had two options for strokes. They could either pick a stroke and stick with it for one round (6x100s). Alternatively, they could choose the “IM option,” doing all four strokes in IM order but tripling up on their best individual stroke.

This was a great set for us, with excellent esprit de corps and some pretty good results for early in the season.


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Quality 75s!

Ryan Woodruff, Lynchburg YMCA

This was a good challenging set for us in our first SCY practice of the new season (We have been LCM for the first 3.5 weeks).

We did the odd 75s from a dive and the even ones from a push… the goal was to keep the even ones within the amount of time listed for each stroke relative to the odds.

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Big Set with Quality 100s

Ryan Woodruff, Lynchburg YMCA

LCM. The intervals for the longer swims were pretty loose on this set, and we got some good results out of the dive 100s, particularly for early in the season. On the black sets, swimmers could pick the freestyle or FRIM (IM with free instead of fly) track. On the purple 100s, the instructions were to pick one stroke and stick with it or go in IM order.