Cardinal and Gold 200 Race Pace Set

This set got great reviews at practice and awesome efforts. Intervals should be kept so that the set stays Aerobic, but enough rest to really get moving fast.
Please share if you like!

3x175s DESC 1-3 to best 200 best time      stroke or FR
1×125 EZ swim
4x50s @ 200 pace                                    all FR
100 EZ swim
3x175s DESC 1-3 to best 200 best time      FR or IM
1×125 EZ swim
4x50s @ 200 pace                                     stroke or IMO
100 EZ swim
3x175s DESC 1-3 to best 200 best time, all better than Round 1   stroke or FR
1×125 EZ swim
4x50s @ 200 pace                                      all FR
100 EZ swim

Patrick Marshall
Head Swim Coach
Cardinal and Gold Aquatics


Masters Swim Workout

Submitted by reader Greg Friedlander

20 minute warm up (1000 yards crawl-timed not counting laps, but it’s about the same thing, add or subtract a couple of minutes as required)
5x(200im, 100kick, 100crawl,100kick)
200 yard warm down
I do the 100’s with flippers just to get through it quicker.


Note that each of the 5 sets is 500 yards so you can trip down to 3000, 25000, etc just by cutting out a set. (add back in the warm down for extra 200))


19.5 Ways to Get Better Even When Practice Is Cancelled

Ryan Woodruff

You have worked hard this season and don’t want your well-earned improvement to go to waste.  What can you do to get  better even though the pool is closed? 

1. Swim in front of a mirror.  Just stand there and swim slowly toward the ceiling. Pay attention to how your stroke looks.  Don’t forget to take an imaginary breath.
2. Take a nap. A little extra rest would do you some good.
3. Watch swimming videos on YouTube.  Type in Michael Phelps, Missy Franklin, or 2008 men’s 4×100 freestyle relay.  Beware of goosebumps.
4. Stretch.  From your head to your toes.
5. Drink some water.  Getting hydrated will help you at your next practice.
6. Write down your goals or take a second look at goals you have already set.  Are you on track? Do you have long-term and short-term goals?
7. Do some ab work.  Think of your favorite ab exercises.  Don’t do those.  Do the exercises that you struggle with.
8. Do some push-ups.  Start with the most you can do in 30 seconds.  Take a minute rest. Repeat several times.
9. Meditate. Just find a quiet place to sit, relax, and breathe deeply.
10. Visualize yourself performing well.  Play a movie of it in your mind with as many specific details as possible.
11. Memorize your best times.  For an extra challenge, do it all the way to the hundredth of a second for both SCY and LCM.
12. Figure out splits for your goal times, especially IMs.  Write them down in a place where you can find them later.
13. Make up a new team cheer.  Silly or serious is perfectly okay.
14. Come up with a mantra or positive affirmation to repeat to yourself behind the blocks. Example: “I am strong and fast, ready to have a blast.” Rhyming is encouraged.
15. Make a team poster for the next meet.
16. Find your national rank in your best event on  Make a goal to move up a certain number of spots.
17. Stretch again, this time focusing on your ankles.  Sit on your knees with the tops of your feet against the floor.
18. Do yoga.  Google “basic yoga poses” for examples.
19. Call or text a teammate and remind them about this list.
19.5 Bake your coach some cookies.  Because cookies make coaches happy.

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Training with the Hawks and @ErinQuinn11

Erin Quinn
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Our Hawks Team of 125 has to contend with 10 hours in a 6-lane pool that we rent out from a college.

With that constraint, we turn and obstacle into a challenge.

For instance—A crowded Monday night, and I propose a “Swim Up the Ladder” set for our Golds/Senior group.

Here’s the workout for anyone who has crowded lanes, a ton of potential and not as much time as they’d prefer!

1200 Warm-Up (Swim, Kick, Drill)
4×25 Catch-Quick Freestyle Drill
4×25 Over-the-barrel Freestyle drill
4×25 Straight-arm finishes flags-to-wall free.
6×25 free sprints with only one breath :20 seconds
6×50 FR (1-3) on :35 (4-6) on :30
3×100 FR on 1:05
100 EZ

2×25 active-balance backstroke drill
6×25 Spin-Drill (odds) Streamline BD Kick evens
6×50 BK (1-3) :40 (4-6) :35
3x100BK on 1:10

4×75 Breaststroke Drill— Fast Hands/UnderWater/Scull/Streamline Kick
6×50 BreastStroke (1-3) :45 (4-6) :40
3×100 Breast on 1:30

2×25 one-arm fly.
2×25 3,3,3 Fly
6×25 Fly Sprints on :40 sec only one breath
2x100FLY from the blocks in heats.


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Hawks Swimming Beast Mode ON

Erin Quinn
Hawks Swimming
Plate, NY
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After returning from a 3-day District Championship Meet, swimmers were given a recovery practice Monday. Today, Tuesday 7/23 it was Beast-Mode On as we have less than one-half weeks to Speedoes and 2 weeks until Eastern Zones. Before the taper begins, I wanted one last, hard practice. Let’s just say there wasn’t much talking. There was a lot of heavy-breathing and mumbling. I was proud of how hard they worked. #HAWKSNATION 

1300 meter warm-up
200IM kick
200BK (100 one-arm 100 whole stroke)
100 skull no kick
100 three strokes of breast under water, 2 above
4×50 Breast stroke (1 pullout, 2 pullouts, 3 pullouts 4 pullouts)
4×50 five strokes of Butterfly no breath, 10 strokes of free–repeat

400IM under 6 minutes
150 cool-down
3x100FR on 1:20
3x100BK on 1:30
400IM faster than first
150 cool-down
3×100 Breast on 1:45
3x100IM on 1:30
400IM all out
200 cool down

Total Meters: 4200

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We Thrived in this Workout(LCM)

Ryan Woodruff

We have limited long course practice time until school gets out, so we tend to make the most out of the time we get in LCM.  Here is what we did today.

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Standard Warmup
4 x 400 w Tempo trainers @ 1:00 rest
#1 4 cycles swim at tempo/10 cycles smooth swim or drill
#2 6/8
#3 8/6
#4 10/4

300 easy swim

Main set:  prime strokes as listed above
2 x 50 @ 1:10 fast
1x 50 fast + 1 x 50 easy @3:00
400 sloppy recovery
4 x 400 @ 1:00 rest with tempo trainers
1 each stroke in reverse IM order
:30 smooth/:10 underwater dolphin or pullouts/:20/:10/:10/:10
3 x 75 fast kick for time + 25 easy @ 2:30
100 easy swim @ 2:00
Warm down

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Mix-It-Up Monday with @ErinQuinn11

Erin Quinn
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Mix-It-Up #Monday should have been titled #MoshPitMonday! Pool Jam-Packed with #Hawks Dreaming Big Working #Harder 🙂

The CrossSwim Set

Ryan Woodruff

Inspired by CrossFit, we gave the following swim/dryland hybrid set a go tonight.  One time through the whole thing as fast as possible.  No rest. X = 1/2 of athlete’s pre-determined pullup max (minimum 3)

500 freestyle
X Pullups
30 squats (butt down to a bench)
400 freestyle
X Pullups
30 squats
300 freestyle
X Pullups
30 squats (butt down to a bench)
200 freestyle
X Pullups
30 squats
100 freestyle
X Pullups
30 squats
3 x 50 free fastest possible average @ 1:00 (begin on the first multiple of 5 or 10 after you finish the previous 30 squats)

Fastest time by anyone in our group: 21:55

Endurance with Speed Set

Jack Roney

YOTA Swimming (Raleigh, NC)

A great set to work some aerobic endurance while keeping the R&S (Racing and Speed) a significant factor.

8×75 on :50 (Adjust Interval so that swimmer averages no more than :05 sec rest – “:00-:05 sec. rest”)

4×25 (1-Easy / 3-ALL OUT) on 1:00

6×150 on 1:40 (Adjusted Interval – :05-:10 sec. rest)

6×25 (2x — 1-Easy / 2-ALL OUT) on 1:00

4×300 on 3:20 (Adjusted Interval – :10-:15 sec. rest)

8×25 (4x — 1-Easy / 1-ALL OUT) on 1:00

The 75s/150s/300s are created to represent a group of swimmers training at a sustained 1:06 Base Interval. This 1:06 was projected to give the swimmers between :00 and :05 sec. rest on the 75s:05-:10 sec. rest on the 150s – and :10-:15 sec. rest on the 300s.

After the 75s / 150s / 300s the swimmers did an easy 25 on 1:00 – then went into 3 / 2 / or 1 FAST 25 depending on where in the set they were. As the set advanced on, the amount of FAST 25s decreases, to where they are alternating Easy/FAST for the last set of 25s on 1:00 (Essentially — 4×25 FAST on 2:00)

The swimmers did a decent warm-up and prep. set beforehand. My aim was to make sure they were not tired before the set, but also were not rested and full of energy before we began. This way they would demonstrate great technique/quality swimming while making sure their body is working hard!

Variety Kick Set

Ryan Woodruff

The following kick set is good for overall lower body fitness while giving the athletes a specific goal to shoot for on the :50 kick for distance. Their individual goal distances were determined using the 15-minute kick test set.


200 kick @ 3:40

20 blastoffs @ :40

:50 kick for distance @1:30

200 kick @ 3:40
20 blastoffs @ :40

2 x :50 kick for distance @1:30

200 kick @ 3:40
20 blastoffs:40

3 x :50 kick for distance @1:30

200 kick @ 3:40
20 blastoffs:40

4 x :50 kick for distance @1:30

Exam Week at Carthage

Greg Earhart
Head Coach
Carthage College

Last week was finals week so we open up the pool and the guys train around their exam schedule.  I generally make the practices simpler (i.e. less thinking and stress) and give them a couple of options – more aerobic or challenging – depending on their own personal stress level.

I tried to inject a little fun into last week’s and I’ve attached what I came up with.

Two Grand Tempo

Brent Nichols
I wanted to share a workout using the Temp Trainer.  Following Coach Ryan Woodruff’s idea on how to determine “sweet spot”,, I came up with this set to help me work on speed without losing control.
300 Warm up consisting of:
25 Fist swim
25 open hand
25 1 finger
25 open hand
25 2 finger
25 open hand
25 3 finger
25 open hand
100 easy swim for stroke count
All three sets using TT at 1.05:
Set #1 400
4 x 25 + 3 x 50 + 2 x 75 + 1 x 100 1.05
20 second rests
Recovery swim
Set #2 400
4 x 25 + 3 x 50 + 2 x 75 + 1 x 100@1.05
15 second rests
Recovery swim
Set #3 400
4 x 25 + 3 x 50 + 2 x 75 + 1 x 100@1.05
10 second rests
Recovery swim
Warm down 300 yards easy swim
2100 total yards

Set #2 From Down Under

Clare Labowitch, Darwin Swimming Club
Northern Territory, Australia

We are in an endurance phase at the moment the what follows is the second of two Wednesday morning aerobic endurance sets which the swimmers handled particularly well.

Warm Up
4 x100 as 50 reverse IM order, 50 free on 1.35
4 250 as 200 free D1-4 to 85% + 50 form 20 sec RI
8 x 50 choice on 65 as 35 drill, 15 race finish
Kick Swim Drill
4 x 200 as 100 6 kick switch with one stroke to change + 100 slow arms fast kick on 3.20
Main – A1-A2
8 x 200 free as
 #1          200PB +35
#2-3       200PB +30
#4-5       200PB +25
#6-7       200PB +20
#8           take 2-3 secs off last swim
4 [ 4 x 50 as
Round 1- form on 50
Round 2- 25 form, 25 free on 45
Round 3- free on 40
Round 4 –choice on 35 – (one swimmer chose to do this round in fly)

200 easy backstroke and out

I.M. Transitions

Ryan Woodruff, North Carolina Aquatic Club

The purpose of this set is to improve the swimmer’s ability to swim quality backstroke, breaststroke, and freestyle while dealing with the residual fatigue from butterfly, backstroke, and breaststroke, respectively. After each initial swim, the :05 rest allows the swimmer just enough time to catch a breath or two so as to allow for high-quality technique on the subsequent 100 yard swim. Descend the three 100s back (and breast, and free). Descend the three 200 IMs. Lay it all on the line for the broken 400 IM, being sure to swim each stroke completely (don’t glide into the end of each 100).

100 Fly (:05 rest) + 100 Back @ 2:40
150 Fly (:05 rest) + 100 Back @ 3:20
200 Fly (:05 rest) + 100 Back @ 4:00

200 IM @ 3:00

100 Back (:05 rest) + 100 Breast @ 2:50
150 Back (:05 rest) + 100 Breast @ 3:30
200 Back (:05 rest) + 100 Breast @ 4:10

200 IM @ 3:00

100 Breast (:05 rest) + 100 Free @ 2:40
150 Breast (:05 rest) + 100 Free @ 3:20
200 Breast (:05 rest) + 100 Free @ 4:00

200 IM @ 3:00

100 ez @ 2:00

Broken 400 IM (:10 rest every 100)

200 Goal Busters

Ryan Woodruff, North Carolina Aquatic Club

Want to swim a great 200 yard race? Try this set to test your speed and build your confidence for your race!

30 x 50 @ 1:00 at P200, all from a push

The goal is to hit P200 every time. Create a goal pace card using this excel spreadsheet. Count how many you make. For an extra challenge, do the 1st 10 @ 1:00, the next 10 @ :50, and the last 10 @ :45 or :40. For competition within the group, have each time made count as a point in the 1st 10, 2 points in the second 10, and 3 points in the final 10. Person with the most points wins, and gets to do the least warm down, pick teams for water polo, or some other motivating reward.

So You Think You’re Pretty Fly?!

Ryan Woodruff, North Carolina Aquatic Club

“And all the girlies say I’m pretty fly for a white guy.” -The Offspring

Just a little set to make your butterfly feel gnarly.

9x through:

300 fly @ 4:30/4:15/4:00 by round
100 no fly ez @ 1:30

Round 1 – the 300 is 3 cycles fly off each wall, then kick the rest of the 25
Round 2 – the 300 is 5 cycles fly off each wall, then drill the rest of the 25
Round 3 – all swim fly, flip the turns to put a little extra zip in your fly