Weekly Swim Session Plan 25 September 2017

Download and print this swim session plan here: session plan 138

This week’s session begins out off-season alternating sessions of one week, technical, the next, high volume. This week encourages the swimmer to experiment with higher pace swimming during a volume set, in order to break the tendency to always fall back to ‘sweet-spot’ Z3 efforts.

Warm Up:

4 x 100m, 10 sec rest after each, gradually increasing in pace. Use an efficiency focus to swim faster.

Technical set:

4 x 50m as kick (no board) to halfway, swim to wall

Main set:

100m Z3 tempo pace 10 sec rest

200m Z3 tempo pace 20 sec rest

300m Z4 threshold pace 30 sec rest

200m or 400m Z5 VO2 (swim test pace) 2 min rest

300m or 500m Z3 threshold pace, 1 min rest

400m or 800m Z3 tempo pace, 1 min rest

Warm down:

200m     Easy to very easy

Total Volume:

1600m – 2400m

Coaching Points:

When kicking (without board) remember to engage your core and glutes, kick from the hip, with toes pointed and feet rotated slightly inward.  Maintain a ‘head down’ position taking a freestyle breath when required.

Novice swimmers, or those training for sprint distance races, use the shorter volume options.

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Weekly Swim Session 19 September 2017

Download and print this session plan here: session plan 137

 

This week’s session reverts back to more technique content, as we seek to make gains through the off season by improving alignment, balance and propulsion.

Warm Up:

200m easy pace

Technical set:

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

3 x 50m as 6-3-6 drill up the pool, regular freestyle coming back

3 x 50m as 1-finger drill up the pool, swim with full palm coming back

3 x 50m as head-up life-saver going up the pool, regular freestyle coming back

Main set:

1 – 3 X 400M (timed) – aim for consistency and compare to your previous 400m timed swims

Warm down:

200m     Very easy

Total Volume:

1600m – 2400m

Coaching Points:

Use the video links to become really familiar with how each drill is executed, for greatest impact and swim technique improvements:

Skating drill

6-3-6 drill

1-Finger drill demonstrated as closed fist drill

Head-up life-saver or Tarzan drill

All Change – Mind the Gap

I haven’t blogged in a while, well, save for the weekly session plans, as I only tend to write when I feel I have something to share, so after a hiatus of many weeks, here it is:

Last Tuesday was a sad day for me. I delivered my last session at New Chiswick Pool in West London.  It was a good session with attentive and committed swimmers as always.  Actually, they were extra attentive on that particular week, as we’d been told the pool would close early, allowing us just a half hour.  Deciding to make the best of it, they really put in the effort, red-faced and gasping after the intense sets and only just recovering after the easy ones.  It wasn’t until 35 minutes after the session start, that the pool advised us that it would stay open after all, leaving them to swim on a further 25 minutes, wringing out the last juice from whatever my presence meant for them.

We were accompanied that week by Louise, who’d watched from the viewing area for around four months, before finally deciding to make contact and come along.  I worked with Louise on her stroke and as easy as she was to coach, she made great strides in the time we had.  Oh, how I wished she had taken advantage of all four months of attendance since she first noticed our sessions as she waited for her kids to prepare for the squad session that followed us.

I had some of the regulars there, including Vicki, who’d returned having taken the Summer off, so it was good to see her before I left. Missing that week, was Sarah, who had attended almost all of the 136 session I delivered at the venue.  Lane one stalwart and the most determined swimmer I know, Gabi and her competitive buddy Monika were also there.  Noteworthy by his absence, Dan, working away in German, or Russia, or wherever last week had taken him.  Having just knocked out his first Ironman in well under 11 hours, the one thing I was certain of, is that wherever he was, he’d be doing the session in a hotel pool, or venturing out into the local community to find a public pool that was open and accessible.

After the session, we said our goodbyes. It’ true to say, that I’ll be back, at some point, perhaps for work, or just for a social visit, so I may get change to see some of them again, perhaps at Chiswick, Richmond Pools on the Park, or the lake at Shepperton?  It was with a heavy heart though when I drove away – the end of an era.

The reason for my departure isn’t anything to do with coaching but for the day job. My last working day was Friday, which was a final handover and demobilizing from my London flat.  With no time to spare, I had a presentation to give and a viva to sit, for my Level 3 British Triathlon coaching accreditation, back home to pack and now, Sunday afternoon, I’m beginning my mobilization.  No rest for the wicked!

I’m starting an international assignment of an indeterminate period, where I’ll be working for a buddy of mine out in Erbil, the capital of the Kurdistan region of northern Iraq. As I write, I’m on the train, heading for Manchester airport, then overnighting in Istanbul, before travelling  on to Erbil tomorrow.

It’s never certain how things will turn out but I’m told there are training facilities and a pool nearby.  I’m hoping to have more time to train while I’m away, to focus on a strict diet and take advantage of longer session when I’m home on leave.  Well, that’s the plan.

I intend to complete and publish the weekly training plans for those that follow them, including the Chiswick cohort and for my 1-1 athletes, Sunday morning should still see your training plans dropping into your inbox.

Once I’m there and have the lie of the land, I’ll post again and let you know what Ironman Erbil might look like!

Mind the gap.

Paul

GI Tri Coach

 

Weekly Swim Session Plan 12 September 2017

Download and print this session plan here: session plan 136

This week, we will reintroduce intensity into the session, with 50m sprint repetitions with short recoveries to push well above threshold, then an active recovery between subsets

Warm Up:

200m easy pace, 15 sec rest after each

Technical set:

4 x 50m as choice of drill to halfway, swim to wall

Main set:

3 x 50m sprint, 15 seconds rest between

200m tempo pace (zone 3) recover fully over 60 seconds.

Above x 4 – 8 repetitions

Warm down:

200m     Very easy

Total Volume:

2000m – 3400m

Coaching Points:

Choose a technical drill that works on your weakness, rather than playing to your strength.

Be disciplined with rest periods and effort levels – really sprint, using a combination of streamlining and propulsion (effective body position, catch-pull and stroke rate) to maximise speed through the water.

Trust the active recovery to help regulate your breathing. You will not be fully recovered as you push off for the active recovery.  This is a good race simulation and an opportunity to practice controlling your breathing to manage the feeling of anxiety.

Weekly Swim Session Plan 5 September 2017

Download and print this session plan here: session plan 135

This week, we move away from short reps and include a long swim interval.  It’s important to include a long swim in your routine rather than focusing purely on short faster reps, without which, continuous swims can become a daunting prospect once race season comes around

Warm Up:

2 x 200m easy pace, 15 sec rest after each

Technical set:

4 x 50m as sculling to halfway, swim to wall (use pull buoy for greatest effect)

Main set:

200m (timed)

800-1600m (zone 3)

200m (timed)

Warm down:

200m     Very easy

Total Volume:

1600m – 2400m

Coaching Points:

Use the two timed 200m reps, either side of your volume interval, to gauge how your pace holds from the beginning to the end of a longer swim.