200 Race Pace Set with Coach Sinclair

Josh Sinclair

Working at an all boys school with some talented boys aged 10-14.  This is a 200 LC pace set I did with them that had them blowing… but they loved it.  Had a good teaching element to it as well in how to attack their 200.  I jokingly nicknamed this the ride the unicorn set as I challenged the squad to try and get 50’s 2-4 to be as close in time as possible to the 1st 50.

Decoding the set

TS = team swim

MPT = mid pool turn

DK = dolphin kicks

DS = dive start

FS = float start

PS = push start

DPS = distance per stroke

F.A.T = for a time

PBB = pull buoy + band

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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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Build-up 100s

Ryan Woodruff, Lynchburg YMCA


We did this quality set interspersed with some stretch cord work today.

The goal on the 35 and 65 was to get a total time faster than your best 100.

Goal on the 85 was to beat best 100 time by 4 seconds.

Goal on the 100 was simply AS FAST AS POSSIBLE.

I really liked how it demanded flat-out speed early on and then encouraged them to hold it for longer.

400 Free Race Prep Set with Coach Westerberg

Gordy Westerberg, Clovis Swim Club

3 Rounds

50 chute for feel

50 from dive on :50

3×100 at 400 pace on interval ~25 seconds rest

50 push all out


Goal of this set was to work on the middle 300 of a 400. I wanted them to go fast on the dive, not reckless, so they start the 3x100s with an elevated HR. Then apply pressure on all 3 100s. Once they are really tired, then sprint that last 50.

Results? They were way too conservative on round 1 in the dive and first 2 100s. Round 2 was better and then round 3 is where they should’ve been.

Quality Set for 3rd 50s

Ryan Woodruff, Lynchburg YMCA

The purpose of this set was to work on the 3rd 50 of our 200 events. The shorter interval on the 2nd 50 makes that 3rd one a bit tougher, so the goal was to keep #3 equal to number 1 and 2. Then bring #4 home even faster. The first three were done to a “foot touch” and the last one to a hand finish.

Race Pace and Technique Set with Video

Ryan Woodruff, Lynchburg YMCA

We use 5 lanes of our 6-lane pool during practice. We did the following circuit that used an underwater camera hooked up to a time-delayed DVR and TV. The camera was positioned to gets “head-on” look at the swimmer coming down the lane. We looked at the video immediately after each swimmer finished the 25 in lane 6. This allowed us to make some technical adjustments while still performing a challenging set. Swimmers left the wall :15 apart so that the camera could adequately film each one.

Extend the Sprint!

Ryan Woodruff, Lynchburg YMCA

The idea behind this SCM set was to challenge our swimmers to maintain “top” speed over progressively longer distances. It turned out to be a very difficult set, but one that went well.

We used our pace cards to set objectives for the 15m sprints, and then the instructions from there were to go “all out” on the 35s.

From there, we set goals for the 55s and so on.

For example:

15m time = 6.6

35m time = 18.2 (difference = 11.6)

55m goal = 18.2 + 11.6 = 29.8

75m goal = 29.8 + 11.6 = 40.4

95m goal = 40.4 + 11.6 = 52.0

This gets difficult quickly! As an alternative to the math above, you can re-calculate the goal after the 55s and the 75s.

One thing I would change would be to give a little more active recovery between swims. We just didn’t have the lane space/time to make this happen.

Flying Snakes!

Ryan Woodruff, Lynchburg YMCA

I have posted here before how we sometimes use “Snakes” (swim one direction in each lane, sidewinding your way down the pool) as a means for training fly in narrow lanes. This set took it a step further with the final 25.

I timed each individual on the final 25. Their goal was to score points by achieving their individual race pace but also by kicking underwater to one of two orange hockey pucks placed on the bottom at about 8 and 12m off the Wall. This dual incentive led to some individual experimentation with more underwater kicks than they are normally comfortable with.


When swimmers finished the final 25 of each snake, they added the points to a tally counter on a nearby iPad. This helped us keep an accurate tally without me doing extra work. We ended up requiring 6 rounds to achieve our 300 point goal.

Race Pace Workout #57 with Cardinal and Gold Aquatics

Patrick Marshall
Head Swim Coach
Cardinal and Gold Aquatics
We did this today after a 30 minute dryland circuit and about 2000 yards of warmup, drill work, and speed work. I like to do sets like this where we can have our sprinters and distance groups do similar workouts; makes them feel good to be all together!
Stroke:                                                          Distance
8x25s @ 100P           :40                              12x25s @ 200P    :25
100 active recovery   1:50                             100 AR
4x50s @ 200P           1:05                             5x50s @ 500P     :55
100 AR                                                           100 AR
2x75s @ 200P +2      1:30                             2x75s @ 200P+2  1:30
100 AR                                                           100 AR
100 FTB Round 1                                           100 FTB round 1
50 FTB Round 2                                              50 FTBN round 2

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!

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The ? Set

Ryan Woodruff
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? x 50 @ :50
Using a dry-erase board, give the swimmers a different set of instructions for every 50, erasing the old instructions and writing the new one while they swim. Mix it up, changing speeds, strokes, drills, breathing patterns, etc. Don’t let the swimmers know what is coming beyond the next 50. All swims are choice unless the stroke is specified. Here’s an example:
#1- P200+5
#2- P200+3
#3- P200+1
#4- P200-1
#5- EZ free B3
#6- Free B5
#7- Free B7
#8- At count
#9- Race!
#10- At cycle count -1
#11- 25 underwater dolphin kick/ 25 sprint
#12- 25 sprint/25 underwater dolphin kick
#13- 25 race/25 ez kick
#14- Fly B 1 up/1 down
#15- Fly B 1 up/2 down
#16- Fly B 1 up/3 down
#17- Fast fly
#18- EZ breaststroke
#19- Race!
#20- At cycle count -2
#21- 12.5 fast/12.5 ez of same stroke as #20
#22- At cycle count
#23- Breast with dolphin kick
#24- Backstroke 12.5 spin drill/12.5 swim
#25- P1650

The set could go on for as long as you like. The changing up speeds and instructions every 50 keeps the swimmers alert and the set fresh and interesting. What other interesting instructions can you come up with?

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Cougar Aquatic Club Workout

Pat Collins

Cougar Aquatic Team

Here’s a set I did with our Senior 1 (National) Group. I thought it went real well, kids loved it, but were dead tired.

The entire pre-set was done on simply 15 secs rest after the leader of each lane would touch. Distance per stroke / cruising speed was expected.
Main Set: Our fastest two lanes did the first two 250s on 3:00 and then the four on 2:50. We have a black line across the middle of our pool at the 12.5 where we expect each swimmer to kick to minimum. The five 250s with no fins were then also done on 3:00, expecting near race-pace on them.

WARM UP (1800)
600 free long/loose
400 Rev. IM d/k/s
16x25s kick on side on :30, :35, :40
6x50s descend w/fins on :40, :45
100 EZ
PRE-SET (1000) 15 secs rest in between each
Technique – DPS
150 – 100 fly/50 bk
150 – 100 bk/50 br
150 – 100 br/50 fr
150 – ALL FREE
400 IM – DPS – perf tech
MAIN SET (3300) varying intervals
2x250s fr/bk w/ fins working UWK
4x250s fr/bk w/ fins working UWK
5x250s free – no fins
50 EZ @ 1:30
500 free for time
300 EZ
TOTAL: 6400