Weekly swim session plan 26 July 2016

This week’s session is aimed at those who may have raced or have done several hard back-to-back training swims.  Keep this one in the locker for whenever you need it.  The mix of technique and light volume are aimed at regaining control over fatigued muscles and keeping HR in check.

Warm-up

300m as 100m very easy, 100m easy, 100 steady

 Technical Set

100m steady swimming, with focus on long, relaxed exhale between breaths.

100m as skating drill to halfway, swim to wall

100m as sculling to halfway, swim to wall

Main set:

4 – 6 x 200m as 100 pull buoy, 100 freestyle, (30 sec rest after each 200m rep.) holding good posture throughout

Warm down:

200m – 400m Easy, down to very easy focussing on relaxed exhalation.

Total distance (average) 1600-2200m

Coaching Points:

For relaxed breathing, try extending your breath intervals (4 strokes if unilateral, 5 strokes if bi-lateral)

Maintain a strong balanced core throughout

Sculling isn’t stunted breaststroke! See link – Sculling Drill

Remember that when swimming with a pull buoy, there is no kick!

A pull buoy will tend to make you swim ‘flat’ so remember to engage the core and glutes to drive through the stroke and cause the buoy to rotate.

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Use alcohol in preparation for your A race

We’re are at the peak of race season for the Northern hemisphere, so most of my athletes are getting close to their A race.

In this short blog, I’ll be promoting the use of alcohol in the lead-in to your ‘A’ race.

Now that I have your attention, I’d like to further explain that I’m not suggesting a dram of whiskey to calm the nerves, I’m talking about frequent and liberal use of alcohol hand gel to protect yourself from infection.

I work in a large office with hundreds of people sharing the environment every day. Access is mostly by elevator, or flights of stairs where constant use of the handrail is compulsory to comply with the company stair code, in addition to internal door closers necessitating the use of push plates and grab handles.  All that adds up to a festival of viral and biological cross-infection – not what you need leading into a race!

Without fail, every time I contact one of these common-to-all surfaces, I cleanse my hands with alcohol gel. Right now I hear ever cough and sneeze across the open office and note the areas and people to avoid. Over the top? Maybe. Particularly seeing that my own A race isn’t for months.

Be fit and healthy on the start line and directly improve your chances of achieving your race day goals!

Paul

GI Tri Coach

Weekly swim session plan 19 July 2016

This week’s session is borrowed from a coaching friend of mine. It’s simple but effective.  Build on last week’s high tempo session, to take yourself into the red zone and discover untapped top-end swim speed.

Warm-up

400m as 100m easy, 100m steady, 100 race pace, 100 VO2 max (above threshold) focus on exhalation into the water, building from relaxed to strong as the pace increases

 Technical Set

Not used

Main set:

6 x 100m flat out, as fast as you can possibly go, all the way to the wall, off 5 minutes.

Warm down:

200m – 400m Easy, down to very easy focussing on relaxed exhalation.

Total distance (average) 1200-1400m

Coaching Points:

Work hard toward the end of the warm up to ensure your heart rate is elevated and ready to take on the sprint-based main set.

Be ready to go when 5 minutes are up – the faster you swim, the longer the rest period.

Weekly Swim Session Plan 12 July 2016

This week we have a technique session that helps raise your stroke rate – a skill essential in open water, particularly during chop or sea swell.

Warm-up

200m as 50m easy, 100m steady, 50 race pace focus on relaxed exhalation into the water, even as the pace increases

Technical Set

100m head-up ‘life saver’ freestyle (4 strokes head-up, 4 stroked head down).

100m long doggy paddle up the pool, swim back

100m 6-3-6 up the pool, swim back

100m high tempo (upward of 80 strokes / minute)

Main set:

8 – 14 x 100m @CSS pace + 2 seconds taking 15S rest

Warm down:

200m – 400m Easy, down to very easy focussing on relaxed exhalation.

Total distance (average) 1600-2400m

Coaching Points:

In ‘head up’ aim to create an ‘early vertical forearm’ where the elbow is still near the water surface and bent, so that the forearm and hand form a paddle to propel yourself forward.

In long dog, finish the stroke as the elbow breaks the surface, then spear the hand forward to the same depth and alignment you’d like to achieve during freestyle (shoulder width and rotated shoulder depth).

High tempo – keep your elbows high in the water, elbows bent so the hand doesn’t pull too deeply.  Gradually increase the speed of core rotations and allow the pulls and recoveries to respond to the increased tempo.

Weekly swim session plan 5 July 16

This week have a technique session that helps solve the bad habit of letting wetsuit covered legs drag limply behind the swimmer in open water.  It promotes a stable core and effective kick that will help transform your open water freestyle.

Warm-up

2 – 5 minutes sink-down drill (if required)

200m as 50m easy, 100m steady, 50 race pace focus on relaxed exhalation into the water, even as the pace increases

Technical Set

100m kick with board going up, swim back with compact rhythmic kick

100m kick without board going up, swim back with compact rhythmic kick

100m skating drill, switching from left side, to right side halfway up the pool, swim back with compact rhythmic kick

100m 6-3-6 going up, swim with compact rhythmic kick on the way back

2 x 2 minutes vertical kicking

Main set:

4 – 6 x 200m @CSS pace + 4 seconds taking 20S rest

Warm down:

200m – 400m Easy, down to very easy focussing on relaxed exhalation.

Total distance (average) 1600-2000m

Coaching Points:

Kick from the hip, not the knee.

Keep toes pointed and rotated inward

Remember that the kick during freestyle isn’t directly up and down but 4 o’clock, 8 o’clock!