Weekly swim Session Plan 28 March 2017

Download and print this session plan here: session plan 112

Having looked at breathing last week, our technical focus this week, moves all the way back to the kick, which for many novice swimmers, can be an energy sapping stroke element and in some cases, can even slow down the swimmer.

Warm Up:

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

Technical set:

Kick against the wall – focus on good kick mechanics

2 minutes, vertical kicking – try raising the arms above the water

2 x 50m easy swim

2 x 50m kick with board

2 x 50m 6-1-6 drill

Main set:

3 – 6 X 400m tempo – work at maintaining a consistent, compact and rhythmic kick pattern

Warm down:

200m     Steady pace

100m     Easy pace

50m        Very, very easy swimming – how slow can you go while maintaining good form?

Total Volume:

2000m – 3200m

Coaching Points:

The kick should be compact and rhythmic (never larger than the torso).  Keep in mind that you should be able to maintain the pattern, size and intensity, throughout your target swim – whether that be 25m, or 3800m

6-1-6 drill with progressions

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Weekly Swim Session Plan 21 March 2017

Download and print this session plan here: session plan 111

This week, we continue to build swim volume and tackle what may be the biggest barrier to continuous swimming – breathing! We look to 1500m world record holder, Sun Yang for help. Staying relaxed throughout the swim, including knowing how to respond to a missed breath, is key to race-day swim success.

Warm Up:

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

Technical set:

50m practicing single-stroke breathing (to the left and right side consecutively)

50m Left side going up, right side coming back

50m easy swim with 3-stroke bilateral

50m easy swim with 4 or 5 stroke pattern

50m easy swim with 6 or 7 stroke pattern

Main set:

3 – 6 X 400m tempo – work at breathing to both sides as you approach the turn

Warm down:

200m     Steady pace

100m     Easy pace

50m        Very, very easy swimming – how slow can you go while maintaining good form?

Total Volume:

1950m – 3150m

Coaching Points:

Use a controlled exhalation as a tool for measuring your breathing and staying relaxed, regardless of breathing pattern.

Learn to utilize single stroke (both sides) technique for exceptional open water circumstances

Sun Yang breathing to both sides before every turn

Triathlon: Super League

 

IF to missed this weekend’s live action from Hamilton Island in Queensland Australia, you may not yet know what this is about.

Basically, Super League is the brain-child of one of the greatest triathletes of all time, Chris (Macca) McCormack.  a three-day invitation-only triathlon event, for the best triathletes in the world. The triathletes were selected from the WTS field, middle distance, long course, U23 and supplemented by a few notable wildcard entrants.

If you want to catch up with all the action, that culminated in the award of the $100,000 winner’s prize, follow the link here Super League Website

Without giving away all the results – and I do say ALL because there are numerous races over the three-days of racing characterized as the ‘Triple Mix’, ‘Equalizer’ and ‘Eliminator’, here are a few observations, topped with a dollop of subjective opinion.

Super League is triathlon, but not as you know it.

The disciplines aren’t always in the same order, there are only minutes between the end of one race and the commencement of the next, some races eliminate the athletes at the back of the field and ultimately, all that matters is that magic word, consistency, as accumulated points are what promote you up the points-based leaderboard.

My initial impression was… “I don’t like this” though that’s mainly due to me getting on a bit and not liking change.  Rest assured though, as I began to understand the format and tactics of racing, I liked it more and more and now that the first weekend is over, I have to say I’m a fan!

Super League had been billed as doing for triathlon, what 20:20 did for cricket.  That makes a lot of sense for readers in UK, India and Australia, apologies to the U.S and European readership! The intended effect was to make it shorter, faster and overall, more entertaining.

I have to say, they have entirely succeeded.

The test for me was to ask my 15-year old daughter what she thought – it was much more watchable than standard distance triathlon.

What also helps make it interesting is the quality of the commentary and pundits, fronted by Macca and Emma Frodeno (formerly Emma Snowsill and wife of Ironman World Champion Jan Frodeno), which far exceeded that offered by BBC and dare I say, even better than the online triathlon TV commentary offered by Barrie Shepley!?

What’s interesting from a performance perspective, is a little like sprint events in the WTS calendar, the results aren’t always what you’d expect. Younger athletes tend to do particularly well over shorter distances, while single discipline specialists like the best swimmer in the field, Richard Varga, had the opportunity to showcase his capability as a cyclist and runner too. World Cup series racer Kristian Blummenfelt, as the heaviest man in the field, showed that he can race shoulder to shoulder with the best in the WTS field and U23 World Champion Australian, Jake Birtwhistle indicated where the future of elite triathlon is heading.

What is clearly evident about super league is the professionalism.  Each athlete wearing personalized super league tri suits, the whole run route and finish area lined with logos and of course, the prize money. There have been big-money paying events in previous seasons but with all the athletes being contracted to super league and the size and depth of the prize money making to possible for many athletes to generate an income from the sport, super league leads the way.  This seems to be this is the first real move to make triathlon a professional sport and certainly presents the biggest injection of cash and the biggest change in direction for the sport since the return of Lance Armstrong (I’m still a huge fan) in his 2011 and 2012 Ironman campaign.

The only downside from this inaugural event was the obvious absence of a women’s field.  Fear not though, having proven that the concept works, the girls will feature in future super league events.

Super league won’t deter me from watching every stroke, pedal turn and stride of Kona and each of the WTS events, live from start to finish but I can’t wait to see the next super league!

Paul

GI Tri Coach

Weekly Swim Session Plan 14 March 2017

 

Download and print this session plan here: session plan 110

This week, we look at the propulsive phase of the stroke, by attaining a better catch and reaching a vertical forearm earlier in the swim stroke, to ease our way through the water at race pace and sub-race pace efforts.

Warm Up:

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

Technical set:

2 x 50m 1-finger drill (this is a modification of the closed-fist drill) going up the pool, swim back

2 x 50m head-up life saver going up the pool, swim back

Main set:

3 – 5 X 200m race pace – focus on good body alignment and a high-elbow catch, 30 sec rest

500m – 1500m continuous swim, easy pace, (zone 2) 1 min rest

Warm down:

200m     Steady pace

100m     Easy pace

50m        Very, very easy swimming – how slow can you go while maintaining good form?

Total Volume:

1800m – 3200m

Coaching Points:

The closed fist drill is modified by extending the index finger for a more controlled drill, with greater feedback on hand entry and direction of reach, with the same, low-resistance pull.

While swimming the race-pace efforts, shift your focus to the front of the stroke. Think of lifting the elbow upward and forward as you form the catch and commence the pull phase, before engaging the lateral muscles for a really powerful pull.

Closed Fist (1-finger) drill demo video  (extend the index finger to modify this drill)

Head-up lifesaver (Tarzan) drill

Weekly Swim Session Plan 7 March 2017

Download and print this session plan here: session plan 109

Most triathlon swims have a significant volume of continuous swimming.  This week we continue to focus on building the volume of continuous swimming, with an easy, early-season pace, supported by shorter race pace efforts.

Warm Up:

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

Technical set:

2 x 50m sculling to halfway, swim to wall

2 x 50m doggy paddle up, swim back

Main set:

200m – 400m race pace – focus on good body alignment and a high-elbow catch, 30 sec rest

400m – 1200m continuous swim, easy pace, (zone 2) 1 min rest

200m – 400m race pace – focus on good body alignment and a high-elbow catch, 30 sec rest

Warm down:

400m     Tempo pace

200m     Steady pace

100m     Easy pace

50m        Very, very easy swimming – how slow can you go while maintaining good form?

Total Volume:

1900m – 3700m

Coaching Points:

Swimming easy, isn’t swimming lazy! Maintain your focus on great technique, utilizing consistency of rhythm, stroke length and stroke rate to ease through the water. Give way to faster swimmers, be particularly courteous during easy swims – this is about more time in steady-state, accurate swimming, rather than speed.

Sculling demo video

Doggy paddle demo video