Weekly Swim Session Plan 30 August 2016

This week’s session is inspired by and is an introduction step toward Swim Smooth’s Pink Mist and Red Mist sessions.  We’ll build on speed and technique sessions over the last few weeks, to combine in a sustained endurance effort.

Warm-up

300m as 100m easy, 100m steady, 100 race pace

Technical Set

Not used

Main set:

300m steady (timed), holding good form throughout. 1 min rest

then:

2 – 4 x 300m (timed) aim to better the previous repetition by 2 seconds.

Warm down:

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

Total distance (average) 1400-2200m

Coaching Points:

Don’t go out too hard

Aim for consistency and good form throughout

 

Weekly Swim Session Plan 23 August 2016

Session Introduction

Inspired by the amazing swimmers in the Olympic aquatics centre in Rio?  This session looks at body position, catch, stroke length and stroke frequency, as contributors to a Phelps-like swim.

Warm-up

200m as 100m easy, 100m steady

 Technical Set

100m as skating drill (L/R) to halfway, swim to wall

100m as doggy paddle to half way, swim to wall (with pull buoy)

200m as High stroke rate going out, stroke count coming back.

Main set:

50m

100m

200m

400m (novices or slower swimmers can modify to 200 or skip this rep)

200m

100m

50m

Warm down:

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

Total distance (average) 1500-2100m

Coaching Points:

Keep elbows wide of the bodyline during recovery and pull phases of the stroke

Spear and rotate at the front of every stroke, into the skating position

Break at the wrist to form an effective pull paddle

Elbow at 90° as the hand passes under the shoulder

High elbow / relatively shallow hand pull

Weekly Swim Session Plan 16 August 2016

This week’s session aims to help maintain race fitness, while re-focusing swim technique for those coming to the end of their race season.  Good body alignment, engaged core, effective core rotation for improved balance and stroke control.

Warm-up

300m as 100m easy, 100m steady, 100 race pace

 Technical Set

100m as skating drill (L/R) to halfway, swim to wall

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

100m as finger trail up the pool, swim back

Main set:

8 – 12 x 100m as all at race pace (30 seconds rest)

Warm down:

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

Total distance (average) 1600-2200m

Coaching Points:

Use recent race experiences to approximate race pace per 100m (or CSS test if you have one)

Be disciplined with rest period

Use finger trail as a measure of controlled core rotation (rather than its traditional high elbow recovery purpose)

 

Weekly Swim Session Plan 9 August 2016

This week’s session aims to help maintain race fitness for those at the peak of the race season, as well as practicing the technique of gradually regaining control of a high heart rate resulting from a sprint start – Control under race conditions.

Warm-up

300m as 100m easy, 100m steady, 100 race pace

 Technical Set

100m as long doggy paddle halfway, swim to wall

100m as head-up life-saver to halfway, swim to wall

Main set:

8 – 12 x 100m as 25m HARD 75m race pace (1 minute rest)

Warm down:

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

Total distance (average) 1500-2100m

Coaching Points:

Use recent race experiences to approximate race pace per 100m (or CSS test if you have one)

Be disciplined with rest period

Use forceful exhalations into the water to control breathing and in turn, heart rate.

Everything stops for tea

 

Readers who know me personally, will be familiar with my love for rediscovering old fashioned methods in training and nutrition.  Examples might be the recent resurgence in bodyweight exercises, which has been used in military training for more than a century.  In nutrition (in the UK at least) there’s an old saying of “go to work on an egg” which certainly precedes my lifetime and supports the recent moves away from high carb, cereal based breakfasts, toward natural wholefoods and a paleo way of eating.

But neither of those are today’s topic.  I’m going to draw on a frequently used saying of my grandmother’s, which is supported anecdotally by one of the greatest cyclists of all time and is something that I recently put into practice.

When I was a boy, particularly during summer months when I might have been outside for hours running around, I’d come indoors looking for a drink.   As I guzzled down two pints of water, my grandmother might say to me that she always found that a cup of tea would quench her thirst better than water.  When you’re young, you might feel that all you’ve come to know supersedes all that has gone before and the idea that a hot drink would outstrip cool water sounded ridiculous.  I didn’t bother to enquire further.

Recently, in a discussion with an athlete about hydration, I recollected the ‘old wife’s tale’ of tea being more thirst quenching than water.  Not a week after that, while watching the Tour de France, on Euro Sport, Sean Kelly commented on one of the riders taking a drink from his bottle and suggested that it would be a carbohydrate and electrolyte combination (no surprise there) but followed up that in the old days, riders would rely on cold tea! I sat up straight to listen further but Sean didn’t elaborate.  More discussion with the same athlete followed.  Could tea be used effectively during a ride to hydrate effectively?  The short answer is yes, of course it can, given its 99% water but what might it be like compared to what we’ve become used to?

Usually on a short ride, I’ll take plain water.  On longer ‘two bottle’ rides, I’ll use an electrolyte like High Five Zero, or Nuun.  So last weekend, with a recovery ride in mind after a completing a long distance triathlon the weekend before, I decided to try tea.  Making a standard half pint mug, I prepared a cup of tea to the strength I’d normally drink it (pretty strong, Yorkshire tea) but omitting the usual splash of milk. Adding the tea to a 750ml drinks bottle, I topped up the bottle with cold water and for good measure added the smallest squeeze of juice from an orange.  I’d have used lemon but didn’t have one on hand.

Making up a bottle of Zero and taking it along with my warm bottle of tea, I headed out on the bike, drinking the cold electrolyte first and only switching bottles to the tea once I’d run out of zero.

With some trepidation, I went to take a drink from my second and only remaining bottle. Considering the colour and temperature of the bottle when I’d slipped it into the bottle holder, you might understand my hesitancy. Thankfully, the bottle had cooled while I rode, so I took a slug in the hope that all would be well and I could ride the last 20 miles home without dehydrating.

In short, it was the best thing I’ve ever had to drink while sitting on a bike. Now cool and refreshing with just the slightest hint of citrus, it was much subtler than any of the pre-mixed drinks I’d used before.

So, that’s it, I’m a convert.  When riding from home, its diluted tea in the bottle for me from now on.  Turns out (yet again) that my grandmother knew a thing or two, as does Sean Kelly of course.

When you’re next going out for a ride, take the time to prepare cold tea with a dash of fresh juice.  For certain it won’t be what’s offered by the race organiser of your next ‘A’ race but the touch of nostalgia while thinking of those early racers drinking the same thing as they pushed themselves to the limit, makes the drink and the ride all the more enjoyable.

Paul

GI Tri Coach

 

 

 

Weekly Swim Session Plan 2 Aug 16

This week’s session aims to help maintain race fitness for those at the peak of the race season

Warm-up

300m as 100m easy, 100m steady, 100 race pace

 Technical Set

100m as skating drill to halfway, swim to wall

100m as long doggy paddle halfway, swim to wall

 

Main set:

100m race pace (30 sec rest)

200m race pace (30 sec rest)

400m race pace (60 sec rest)

Option – repeat 400m race pace (60 sec rest)

200m race pace (30 sec rest)

100, race pace.

Warm down:

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

Total distance (average) 1700-2300m

Coaching Points:

Use recent race experiences to approximate race pace per 100m (or CSS test if you have one)

Be disciplined with rest period