Weekly Swim Session 30 January 2018

Download and print this session plan here: session plan 155

 

Swimming long sessions in the pool can be tiresome but that doesn’t negate the need to swim them if you’re training for anything longer than a standard distance triathlon.

Warm Up:

2 x 100m, the first easy, the second, steady.

Technical set:

200m as mixed drills (work on your perceived or coach-identified weaknesses)

Main set:

Novices or swimmers training for sprint / standard 2 x 20min continuous with 2 min rest

Established swimmers, aiming for >70.3 distance –  45 minutes continuous at A-race pace

Warm down:

100m – 200m     Easy to very easy

Total Volume:

2200m – 3700m

Coaching Points:

As your swim progresses, you may experience rising anxiety, or breathlessness. Try to focus on exhaling and allow time for your anxiety to subside, or breathing to come back under control. Consider this experience a race-day rehearsal.

Weekly Swim Session Plan 23 January 2018

Download and print this session plan here: session plan 154

In this week’s technique session, we focus on body alignment.  Low resistance comes from achieving a small frontal profile to the water and minimizing lateral movement in the water (which causes increased drag).  Visualize slipping through the smallest hole in the water that you can.

Warm Up:

2 x 100m, the first easy, the second, steady.

Technical set:

200m Skating drill to halfway, swim to wall, (alternate left and right-hand lead)

200m Wide-arm catch-up (keep the leading hand directly in front of the shoulder until the recovering arm enters the water, before catching and pulling).

200m slow-arm finger-trail drill, ensuring good core engagement and balanced body roll during each swim stroke-stroke

Main set:

6-10 X 200m easy pace, maintaining long body position, good posture and balanced body roll throughout.

Warm down:

100m – 200m     Easy to very easy

Total Volume:

1500m – 3000m

Coaching Points:

Don’t be tempted to start pulling too early on ‘catch-up’ – that’s just ‘swimming’

Try to maximize the distance from finger tips of your leading hand, to the tips of your pointed toes.

Use imagery to imagine yourself slipping through a tiny hole, or letter box in the water. Stay straight and narrow!

Weekly Swim Session Plan 16 January 2018

Download and print this session plan here: session plan 153

Today’s volume set is an inverted pyramid with constant rest periods, using higher intensity on shorter reps to stress the swimmer, then active recovery during steadier, longer reps in the latter part of the session.

Warm Up:

2 x 100m, the first easy, the second, steady.

Technical set:

100m as kick (without board) up the pool, swim back

Main set:

All rests between reps 30 seconds:

500m or 800m easy

300m or 600m threshold

200m or 400m best sustainable pace for the distance

300m or 600m threshold

500m or 800m easy

Warm down:

100m – 200m     Easy to very easy

Total Volume:

2200m – 3700m

Coaching Points:

When swimming under stress, focus on exhaling and lengthening out the stroke. Breath holding can be a disaster. Ease your way into recovery through the longer reps, with steady swimming, your HR will fall gradually into ‘sweet spot’

Weekly Swim Session Plan 9 January 2018

Download and print this session plan here: session plan 152

Neglecting the front end of your stroke is possibly the biggest give-away a swimmer can make.  Forming an effective catch is key to setting up a propulsive pull-phase. This week we brush up on forming a high-elbow catch.

Warm Up:

2 x 100m, the first easy, the second, steady.

Technical set:

200m as doggy paddle to halfway, swim to wall

200m as 1-finger drill going up the pool, swim with a full-hand catch, coming back

200m as quick catch drill

Main set:

6 – 12 x 200m with focus on an effective, high-elbow catch, while maintaining a balanced, streamlined body position.

Warm down:

100m – 200m     Easy to very easy

Total Volume:

2100m – 3400m

Coaching Points:

Keeping a focus on maintaining a high elbow (near the water’s surface) rather than dropping a straight arm, as many novice swimmers do.

Weekly Swim Session Plan 2 January 2018

Download and print this session plan here: session plan 151

As its January and your pool lane has four new faces in it, the guy you’ve seen only twice before and EVERY frequent swimmer, all attending at once, this week we are going to mix up a little swimming, with a lot of drilling.

Warm Up:

2 x 100m, at a relaxed pace.  Swim at the pace of the swimmer in front if you catch them up.

Technical set:

2 minutes of sink-down drill, get super-relaxed, with no tension, anxiety or frustration remaining.

Main set:

Swim freestyle for as long as you’re able, until you reach the feet of the swimmer in front.

Assess the swimmer’s pace – select a drill that you’re able to perform at their swimming pace, stay behind the swimmer for the remainder of the pool length. If you’re able to pass at the end of the pool lane, recommence swimming until you catch up with the next swimmer.

Continue this pattern until 5 minutes from the end of your swim session.

Warm down:

5 minutes sink downs, relaxing at the end of the pool, releasing any anxiety or tension, before leaving the pool.

Total Volume:

1000-2000m

Coaching Points:

Some drills are almost at swim pace – catch-up, quick catch, high swingers, others are medium pace – skating, 1-finger, 6-3-6, long doggy paddle, others are slow paced – kick without board, sculling etc.

Select an appropriate drill to remain behind the swimmer in front.

Remember, if your pool has new faces, they may not be familiar with lane etiquette – try to accommodate these new swimmers – don’t allow the new year changes to frustrate you and use the opportunity to work on technique.

Testing Resolve

It’s that time of year when people from all walks of life set themselves resolutions.

I can see you rolling your eyes. Not because of the idea itself but because the gym and the pool will be even more congested than usual by New Year Resolution attendees.  For the most part, they’ll be gone by the end of January, resigned to another year of what might have been, consoled by and adequately long list of excuses that confirm in their own mind at least, that they never stood a chance.

Given the frequency of failure, should we be even setting ourselves the goals, usually set around behavioural change?  This year, I am going to say “yes”.

It’s particularly important for me to advocate them this year, having actually made some.  I’m not going to share those goals here because perhaps like a birthday wish as you blow out the candles, a resolution shared is a resolution doomed to never come true? Finally, the reason behind all those previous failures is revealed!  For a long time, I have mainly kept my goals to myself, or perhaps shared with the occasional confident?  After all, I’d rather report back after a success that to have expectant onlookers witness me fail – and they’d have ample opportunity.

I would never advocate creating a resolution based on a lofty goal of training every single day without fail, or running personal best this year but small changes to things that you know, when you look in the mirror, you could really do better.

Take a few moments in these first days of the year, to reflect on last year.  How did it go?  What would you have liked to have done better?  What could you actually do better?  What are you prepared to recognise as the subject of your resolve?  What steps can you actually take to help yourself to improve?

If there’s anything left on your list, then great. Go for it!  If not, don’t sweat it.  Most of the rest of us will be kicking ourselves in four weeks’ time and will be wondering whether it was a good idea to make resolutions in the first place!

Paul

GI Tri Coach