Weekly Swim Session Plan 31 January 2017

Download and print this session plan here : session-plan-104

This week, we continue to push up volume and consider stroke efficiency as a key factor, particularly on longer distance swims.

Warm Up:

50m easy, 50m steady, 50m race pace

Technical set:

3 x 50m stroke count – try to shave off 1 or 2 strokes per length (preferably time each length)

Main set:

200m just over threshold

400m race pace

200m just over threshold

ALL MAIN SET X 2 or X 3

Warm down:

100m – 300m (4 – 12 lengths) easy cool down

Total Volume:

2000m – 3000m

Coaching Points

To reduce stroke count, stay well aligned, reach long and squeeze the lateral muscles during the ‘pull’

Demonstration Video:       Stroke Count and Timing Drill

Lengthening the stroke can be effective in finding some free speed but longer strokes, often mean lower stroke rate. Finding a combination of stroke rate and stroke count that works best for you can be a matter of trial and error but adding together the time and number of strokes per length, will give you some indication of efficiency for each combination.  Try to get the lowest combined score.

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Weekly Swim Session Plan 24 January 2017

Download and print this session plan here: session-plan-103

This week, we address consistency of pacing by swimming with the same Rate of Perceived Exertion (RPE) throughout the set but noting the effect this has on your swim times.

Warm Up:

100 – 200m (4 -8 lengths) easy freestyle

Technical set:

3 x 50m ‘Pause’ drill

Main set:

8 – 12 X 200m (all timed) 30-60 second rest between each repetition with an RPE of 7/10 (just at threshold)

Warm down:

100m – 300m (4 – 12 lengths) easy cool down

Total Volume:

1950m – 2950m

Coaching Points

Video demonstration of    Pause drill

The ‘Pause’ drill helps lengthen out the swim stroke while linking together the hand entry, core rotation and all important catch-pull phase of the stroke.

Analyse your own swim performance throughout the main set.  Did consistent RPE produce equally consistent swim times?

For less experienced swimmers, becoming tired toward the end of the session, may result in significantly slower swim times, as swim technique becomes less precise.  Should you choose to repeat this session, rather than making more effort as the session progresses, try increasing technical focus in the second half of the session, to produce more consistent swim times.

Weekly Swim Session Plan 17 January 2017

Download and print this plan here: session-plan-102

This week ramps up increasing intensity while maintaining volume, to increase overall training load.  This one starts out easy but could be one that you’ll be glad is over when you climb out of the pool.  The Increased effort toward the end of this session simulates building your swim throughout and finishing strong once you have the finish arch in sight.

Warm Up:

100 – 200m (4 -8 lengths) easy freestyle

Technical set:

3 x 50m ‘quick catch’ drill

Main set:

600m     (24 lengths of the pool)  Easy swim, focus on relaxed breathing and stable core.  1 min rest

400m     (16 length of the pool) Steady swim, focus on effective catch. 1 min rest

300m     (12 lengths of the pool) Race pace swim, focus on holding pace right to the wall. 1 min rest

200m     (8 lengths of the pool) Above threshold – 1 min rest

100m     (4 lengths of the pool) Swim test pace – best effort for distance 1 min rest

50m        (2 lengths of the pool) All-out sprint. What can you do with this swim already completed?

Warm down:

100m – 300m (4 – 12 lengths) easy cool down

Total Volume:

2000m – 2300m

Coaching Points

Quick Catch drill demo video

Really think in terms of ‘Reach-Pop-Pull’ sequence for Quick Catch, whereby the ‘pop’ is the elbow being lifted up and pushed forward to form the catch (rather than the idea of the hand dropping back to catch).

Intense swimming.  When you feel the stress of effort or breathing anxiety building, focus on the EXHALE!

Weekly Swim Session Plan 9 January 2017

Download and print this session plan from here: session-plan-101

This week continue to build from the low volume session last week, by introducing some longer reps that will require as much mental focus, as they do physical effort.

Warm Up:

100 – 200m (4 -8 lengths) easy freestyle

Technical set:

2 x 50m stroke count. How many strokes per length? Try to reduce the number of strokes.

Main set:

100m     (4 lengths of the pool) Relaxed

200m     (8 lengths of the pool) Easy

400m     (16 lengths of the pool) Steady

600m     (24 lengths of the pool) Just off race pace (Slower paced swimmers can skip this peak volume, or modify it to 400m)

400m     Threshold

200m     Swim this hard

100m     Give it all you have left!

Warm down:

100m – 300m (4 – 12 lengths) easy cool down

Total Volume:

2300m – 2700m

Coaching Points

Stroke count – focus on good body alignment, effective catch and squeeze the pull with just a little more power.

Longer reps – focus on good strong exhalation to keep breathing and perceived fatigue under control

Pacing – All based on individual perception – you’ll get out of this session as much as you put in.

Weekly swim session plan 3 January 2017

You can download and print this session plan from here: session-plan-100

This week we begin to build from low volume, with moderate to high intensity, aiming to maintain consistent race pace.  We’ll be continuing to build more volume over the next eight weeks.  This is a session that will catch you out if you set off too fast.

Warm Up:

100 – 200m (4 -8 lengths) easy freestyle

Technical set:

3 x 50m skating drill to halfway, swim to wall

Main set:

12 – 20 x 100m off any full 30 second mark – 2:00, 2:30, 3:00

Warm down:

100m – 300m (4 – 12 lengths) easy cool down

Total Volume:

1550m – 2550m

Coaching Points

Skating drill:  maintain a long, aligned body positon (engage core and glutes) head down in neutral, trailing hand in pocket Skating drill video demonstration

Off Times – your off time is the frequency at which you push off the wall to start your next repetition. Choose on that allows you to have around 30 seconds rest after each repetition.

Pacing – swim at or just above your threshold pace (CSS -4 seconds)

New Year, New Plans

More reliable than a fistful resolutions, for the New Year, I give you new indoor training session plans!

Those who read GI Tri Coach regularly, may remember Indoor trainer sessions for the off-season where I shared some good starter sessions to keep you active indoors as you transition between the 2016 and 2017 seasons.

Hopefully you’re enjoying an active, injury free off-season and are discovering new ways, times and places to train that you’d like to carry forward into the coming season.

For athletes with mid-year Ironman races, structured training toward your ‘A’ race is only a few weeks away!

If that statement fills you with dread, fear not.  The indoor trainer provides an opportunity for specific focus and for fitness gains that are really difficult to achieve out on the road.  That’s not to say that it negates the need for road riding – far from it.  The benefits of good bike handling and the sheer joy of riding outdoors can never be under estimated.  That said, there is also a strong argument for season-long use of the indoor trainer for maximum gains.

Follow the links below, to four key session plans that you can use to supplement sessions 1-3 over the next weeks and months, as your training volume and intensity increases.

session-5-low-cadence

session-6-2-x-20-threshold

session-7-mixed-intensity-efforts

session-8-over-and-unders

A word of caution – If you haven’t yet used the earlier sessions, don’t dive straight into these longer and higher intensity sessions, instead use the link to the earlier sessions near the top of this page and start with those.

If you’ve been maintaining your indoor training, as a rough guide, aim for at least two indoor trainer sessions per week, selecting one from sessions 1-3 and one from sessions 4-8 in order to gradually increase overall training load.

After several weeks, you may choose to use two sessions from 4-8 and perhaps use sessions 1-3 during lighter training weeks.

In a few weeks time, I’ll share more sessions that will allow you to train indoors right through specific preparation and pre-competition phases of your race season.

Until then, stay focused more on the sessions and less on the TV.

Paul

GI Tri Coach