Freestyle T-30 Substitute

Ryan Woodruff, Lynchburg YMCA


At the beginning of my career (20+ years ago), I would have my team do a T-30 test multiple times per season. Since that time, I have gradually moved away from long steady paced swims such as that. The set below is the kind of thing I am more likely to do now. Each of the timed sets is “As Many Rounds As Possible” (AMRAP) with a set distance and rest to repeat. The amount of rest scales down with the distances, which allows for a pretty direct comparison of pace as the times decrease. We recorded each swimmer’s distances (to the nearest meter) on a dry erase board for all to see. As the time was cut in half, swimmers were urged to exceed 1/2 of their previous distance on the next swim. The 5:00 swims in between allowed for recovery and emphasis on technical reminders. Overall, it was a successful set with high levels of effort and engagement!

The Freestyle Squeeze

Ryan Woodruff, Lynchburg YMCA

SCM. This set really brought on the burn. FPA = Fastest Possible Average. JMI = Just make it. Initially, the 7 x 50 were not written on the board and then were added during the 2nd 200 scull/swim by 25. This added a surprise challenge that they excelled at.

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Lactate Threshold Set with Coach Andy Copley

Andy Copley, Malibu Canyon Aquatics

Lactate Threshold Set working on 2nd 50 of goal 100 with a little bit of underwater dolphin kick worked in…
GEAR: Fins; Tempo Trainer
7×50 w/fins @ 2nd 50 goal pace                    1:00
8×25 no fins, 12subkk @ .45 tempo               :25
6×50 w/fins @ 2nd 50 goal pace                     :55
10×25 no fins, 14subkk @ .45 tempo              :30
5×50 w/fins @ 2nd 50 goal pace                     :50
12×25 no fins, 16subkk @ .45 tempo              :35
4×50 w/fins @ 2nd 50 goal pace                      :45

I do variations of this set a few times each season with different strokes, going off the blocks, etc… it has been one of my most effective sets for a couple of years now as the kids love it and I always get a huge effort out of everybody.

Threshold and Lactate Set with Coach Phil Kraus

Phil Kraus
Head Coach/CEO
Greater Pensacola Aquatic Club

Here is a set I did this AM with my 2 highest groups.  We are getting back into the swing of things after a long 5 week of gearing up for fast meets (HS District, Regional & State and our Prelim/Final meet – THE Gravy Bowl) and then the holiday.  My intention was to work their endurance a bit while asking them for a few Quality swims.  They did a great job and were a bit wrecked after workout.  This was after 50 minutes of weights first starting at 5 AM.  We have to go AM each day and must be done by 7:30 AM.
Warm Up – 750 yards ~ 20 min
400 Swim on 6:00 with Square Turns (touch turns but they have to get tot he correct side) all with Breaststroke pullout
7 x 50 IM Transition Series –  Focus on Turns – Evens are fast
     #1 Fly Drill/Swim   #2 Fly/BK Swim   #3 BK D/S   #4 BK/BR Swim   #5 BR D/S   #6 BR/FR Swim   #7 FR D/S
Main Set – Threshold and Lactate Production – 3500 yards ~ 65 min
5 rounds
2 x 200 Freestyle @ Threshold but loosely based on their Cruise interval before they tapered)
     #1 Breathing Pattern 3 – Goal get between :05 & :10 rest
     #2 Neg Split – Goal get between :10 & :15 rest
          Group A = 2:25   Group B = 2:35    Group C 2:25 (doing 175’s)
6 x 50 on 1:00 – Same Stroke by round on #2 & #3
     #1 Smooth – Choice of stroke
     #2 25 Skill/25 Swim No Free – Skill is anything to improve, drill, BP, Kick, Underwaters, etc
     #3 All Out No Free
Warm Down – 250 yards ~ 5 min
Total 4500 yards ~ 90 min