Weekly Swim Session Plan 12 December 2017

Download and print this session plan here: session plan 149

This week, we work on techniques to link together the two key attributes of efficient swimming – good body alignment and an effective catch.  We work specifically on keeping a long body position while setting up the catch, prior to engaging the pull.

Warm Up:

2 x 100m, the first easy, the second, steady.

Technical set:

200m as wide-arm catch-up

200m Slow arm recovery

200m Quick catch

Main set:

6 – 12 x 200m with focus on an effective, high-elbow catch, while maintaining a balanced, streamlined body position.

Warm down:

100m – 200m     Easy to very easy

Total Volume:

2100m – 3400m

Coaching Points:

Think in terms of setting up the catch, before engaging the pull. Using catch-up as base will allow time to form the catch while recovering the other arm.  This develops into super-slow recovery drill, before quickening the whole process using quick catch drill.  Remember quick catch is about snapping the leading arm into the catch position, not snatching the pull phase of the stroke.

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Weekly Swim Session Plan 5 December 2017

Download and print this session plan here: session plan 148

This week we use our volume set to move closer to continuous swimming by using very short rest periods between efforts.  The aim is to swim consistently at race pace (or below race-pace, depending upon your planned race distance)

Warm Up:

2 x 100m, the first easy, the second, steady.

Technical set:

200m as skate to halfway, swim to wall (alternate left and right arm lead)

Main set:

8 – 14 x 200m with focus on consistency of stroke rate and stroke length to produce consistent split times throughout the set. Rest breaks are 10 seconds for novices, 5 seconds for advanced swimmers.

Warm down:

100m – 200m     Easy to very easy

Total Volume:

2100m – 3400m

Coaching Points:

If you feel anxiety rising as training progresses, focus on a smooth exhale and reduce stroke rate by 2-3 strokes per minute. Allow yourself to actively recover, rather than taking extended rest breaks.

The example video gives some indication of skating drill, though it is not particularly well executed.  Always keep the leading hand in front of the shoulder (not in front of the head), trailing hand should always straight down into the front pocket (not on the side or rear of the swimmer).

Weekly swim session plan 28 November 2017

Download and print this session plan here: session plan 147

We continue our technical focus on the front end of the stroke:

Warm Up:

2 x 100m, the first easy, the second, steady.

Technical set:

200m as doggy paddle to halfway, swim to wall

200m as 1-finger drill going up the pool, swim with a full-hand catch, coming back

200m as quick catch drill

Main set:

3 – 6 x 400m with focus on an effective, high-elbow catch, while maintaining a balanced, streamlined body position.

Warm down:

100m – 200m     Easy to very easy

Total Volume:

1700m – 2600m

Coaching Points:

Keeping a focus on the front-end of your stroke will pay dividends throughout your swim, whether training, or racing.

Weekly Swim Session Plan 21 November 2017

Download and print this session plan here: session plan 146

Today’s volume set is a simple pyramid with constant rest periods, placing additional stress on the swimmer during longer reps.

Warm Up:

2 x 100m, the first easy, the second, steady.

Technical set:

200m as ‘Quick Catch’ drill

Main set:

All reps at threshold, all rests between reps 30 seconds:

300m

400m or 500m

600m or 1000m

400m or 500m

300m

Warm down:

100m – 200m     Easy to very easy

Total Volume:

2500m – 3200m

Coaching Points:

Quick catch drill focuses on minimizing the time between ‘reach’ and ‘catch’ (removing the dead spot at the front of the stroke. This drill does not require the swimmer to quickly snatch the pull phase of the stroke.

Weekly Swim Session Plan 14 November 2017

Download and print this session plan here: session plan 145

Today, our technical focus is on the front end and of the stroke. Having been working with balance and streamlining, creating more propulsion is the way we will develop a faster, more effective swim stroke,

Warm Up:

2 x 100m, the first easy, the second, steady.

Technical set:

200m as Sculling to halfway, swim to wall

200m as 1-finger drill going up the pool, swim with a full-hand catch, coming back

200m as Head-up life saver for 4 strokes, swim head down for 4 strokes

Main set:

4 – 8 x 200m with focus on an effective, high-elbow catch, while maintaining a balanced, streamlined body position.

Warm down:

100m – 200m     Easy to very easy

Total Volume:

1700m – 2600m

Coaching Points:

These drills require good proprioception to me most effective.  Think about achieving an ‘early vertical forearm’ (EVF) so that the catch occurs well in front of the head.  This will have the effect of lengthening the pull to create a more propulsive swim stroke.

Weekly Swim Session Plan 6 November 2017

Download and print this session plan here: session plan 144

In this week’s volume session, we build on last week’s balance technique session, to focus on rhythm by using balance, symmetry and cadence through endurance reps.  In open water, it’s important to swim straight – a balanced stroke and the body’s natural proprioception will help you do this – in addition of course, to regular sighting.

Warm Up:

2 x 100m, the first easy, the second, steady.

Technical set:

200m easy, feeling the rhythm of your hand entry – is it even on both sides? Is the breathing stroke longer?

200m breathing to the left side going up the pool, breathing to the right-side swimming back.  Is your stroke rhythm still balanced? Aim to balance it on both sides, whether breathing, or not.

Main set:

3 – 7 x 400m with 1 minute rest in between. Focus on keeping a balanced, rhythmic stroke throughout.

Warm down:

100m – 200m     Easy to very easy

Total Volume:

1900m – 3600m

Coaching Points:

Hearing and feeling the hand entry, feeling and seeing your body roll and sensing the timing of your overall swim stroke is proprioception – your body’s awareness of its own movements.

Linking proprioception to the rhythm of your stroke will also help you to regulate your breathing and be more aware of your Rate of Perceived Exertion (RPE). It will help to benchmark your training and race day performance, by tuning up, or down your stroke rate and exertion, depending upon the demands of the situation.

Weekly Swim Session 31 October 2017

Download and print this session plan here: session plan 143

In this week’s technique session, we focus on balance and body alignment.  Low resistance comes from achieving a small frontal profile to the water.  Visualize slipping through the smallest hole in the water that you can.

Warm Up:

2 x 100m, the first easy, the second, steady.

Technical set:

200m easy, focusing on attaining a long, streamlined position on the push-off from each wall.

200m Skating drill to halfway, swim to wall, (alternate left and right-hand lead)

200m slow-arm finger-trail drill, ensuring good core engagement and balanced body roll during each swim stroke-stroke

Main set:

6-10 X 200m easy pace, maintaining good posture and balanced body roll throughout.

Warm down:

100m – 200m     Easy to very easy

Total Volume:

1500m – 3000m

Coaching Points:

A balanced body position is perhaps the most fundamental difference between good swimmers and those that struggle in the water.

Keep hand entries in front of the shoulder (no narrower, or wider)

Ensure that you achieve a good body roll but stop the roll crisply at 45 degrees of rotation. A good indication that you may be over rotating is if you can see the pool roof as you breathe, or the recovering elbow arcs over your back during recovery. These attributes will throw you off-balance and cause a high-resistance body position in the water, slowing your swim.