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!

!function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);;js.src=”//”;fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,”script”,”twitter-wjs”);

  !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);;js.src=”//”;fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,”script”,”twitter-wjs”);//, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); = id; js.src = “//”; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs); }(document, ‘script’, ‘popuri-jssdk’));

The ? Set

Ryan Woodruff
!function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);;js.src=”//”;fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,”script”,”twitter-wjs”);


? 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?

  !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);;js.src=”//”;fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,”script”,”twitter-wjs”);

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

Tempo and Cycle Count Set

Ryan Woodruff
Head Coach
Lynchburg YMCA

Today’s set utilizes the cycle count and tempo you can find with the Find Your Sweet Spot set. You’ll need a Tempo Trainer. This set can be performed any stroke.

1 x 200 build each 50 up to your tempo @ :20 rest
1 x 150 25 at tempo, 25 ez swim or drill @ :20 rest
1 x 100 25 ez, 50 at tempo, 25 ez @ :20 rest
1 x 50 at tempo and cycle count @ :20 rest
1 x 300 swim ez at cycle count @ :30 rest

Leadoff Pace

Ryan Woodruff, North Carolina Aquatic Club

“How fast should I swim at the beginning of my race?” It is a question often heard on the pool deck at meets. Don’t wait to decide this at the meet! Use the LCM Goal Pace Spreadsheet to figure out how fast you need to be in the first 50 or 100 to reach your goal time. Here is a set to get in that early-race-speed groove:

1 x 50 from a dive at P200 or P400
150 ez, perfect technique choice at race cycle count

For milers, I would suggest:

1 x 100 from a dive at P100 (get 50 split)
100 ez, perfect technique at race cycle count

Twenty Ways to Do 20 x 25 – #18

Chris Plumb, Carmel Swim Club

#18 – P100 All the Way

Set the Tempo Trainer for your 100 pace using this chart.

Take as much rest as needed to make the pace. Beat your 100 pace to your feet every time.

Other Swimming Wizard Tempo Trainer Posts:
Aerobic Tempo Set
Sub-Threshold Tempo Set
The Whatchamacallit
Twenty Ways to Do 20 x 25 #9
Find Your Threshold Tempo

The Near-Race-Pace Set

Ryan Woodruff, North Carolina Aquatic Club

This set is designed for the swimmers to achieve near-race-pace speeds and progress in intensity through the set.

4 x 175 @ 3:30 Beat your best 200 time
400 ez swim
6 x 90 (float the last 10)@ 3:00 Beat your best 100 time
400 ez swim
8 x 50 @ 2:30 Be within 2.0 sec of your best 50 free time or within 1.0 of your dive P100 time (see the Race Pace Calculator to determine this time).

Done correctly, the athlete will be swimming at 88% of 200 race pace on the 175s, at 90% of 100 race pace on the 90s, and at least 90% OF 100 race pace on the 50s.