Weekly Swim Session Plan 27 March 2018

Download and print this Session Plan here: session plan 163

For many triathletes stepping up in distance, the swim is the most feared of the three main disciplines, either due to cut of times, or the sheer distance in the open water.  In order to combat that, this week, we’ll swim the full distance (or just over) as a continuous swim.  While it’s not likely to be an open water swim, this is the first step toward start-line confidence.

For Ironman distance athletes, select a pool session of greater than one hour, in order to complete the distance in the time available.

Warm Up:

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

Technical set:

No technical set

Main set:

The aim here is to swim your race distance + around 10% as a continuous swim:

Sprint distance: 2 x 800m @ race pace

Standard (Olympic) distance 1700m @ race pace

Middle (70.3) distance 2200m @ race pace

Ironman 4200m @ race pace

Warm down:

100m – 200m     Easy to very easy

Total Volume:

2000m – 4600m

Coaching Points:

Set out with a relaxed stroke – race pace for longer distances certainly won’t be swimming as fast as possible!

Focus on exhale if you experience rising anxiety.  Try to hold your swim form through to the end.

Don’t focus too much on current time or distance, just touch, turn and swim!

Weekly Swim Session Plan 20 March 2018

Download and print this session plan here: session plan 162

Again this week, we are going to focus our technique through a single drill – this time, sculling.

This captures the essence of the catch and sets up the swimmer for their feel for the water – positive pressure on the palm of the hand, against which the swimmer can lever the power of the pull through the engagement of lateral and pectoral muscles.

Warm Up:

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

Technical set:

6 x 50m as doggy paddle to halfway, swim to wall – carry the attributes of your drill into your stroke

Main set:

6 – 12 x 100m using what we practiced in the drill to focus on a high elbow catch and a well aligned pull phase

Warm down:

100m – 200m     Easy to very easy

Total Volume:

1350m – 2050m

Coaching Points:

Watch the demonstration video if you are not familiar with this sculling drill.  As a golden rule, keep the elbow high, keep the wrist below the elbow and the fingertips below the wrist. Generally, fingers point downward, and palms backward.  Apply gentle pressure to the water as your hand is propelled from side, to side.  Replicate the feel of that pressure on your palm during the freestyle stroke. Remember – keep those elbows high!

Weekly Swim Session Plan 13 March 2018

Download and Print this session plan here: session plan 161

For GI Tri Coached Triathlon regulars, we performed this session on or just after 10 October 17, in session plan 140, and again in session plan 150 on 19 December 2017.  So, just a touch-turn late we again go for the 2 x T20 test this week (Session 161).  Did you keep your records from those sessions for comparison? For those that have never done this session before, the objective is to see how far you can swim in 20 minutes. You can compare one T20 to the other and your records from October and December.

Warm Up:

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

Technical set:

100m as doggy paddle to halfway, swim to wall.

Main set:

T20.1 swim test – count / measure the distance swum in 20 minutes.

2 minutes rest

T20.2 swim test – count / measure the distance swum in 20 minutes.

Warm down:

100m – 200m     Easy to very easy

Total Volume:

2000m – 3000m

Coaching Points:

This session takes time, so if your pool access is constrained to 1 hour, get in and get on it – not too much time for socialising today!

During the T20 don’t set out too hard. I’ll always pace a distance swim by feeling easy at the start, steady in the middle and hard at the end.  If you feel yourself tiring, really hone your technique focus, to maintain your swim pace.

Make a note of your performance for past / future reference.

Weekly swim session plan 6 March 2018

Download and print this session plan here: session plan 160

This week, we are going to focus our technique through a single drill – doggy paddle.  This drill combines accurate execution of the catch and pull phases of the stroke to improve feel for the water during your freestyle stroke.   Watch the video demonstration before executing this session.

Warm Up:

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

Technical set:

3 x 50m as doggy paddle 30 seconds rest after each. Break at 25m if required.

3 x 50m as doggy paddle to halfway, swim to wall – carry the attributes of your drill into your stroke

3 x 50m as doggy paddle up the pool, swim back

Main set:

6 – 12 x 100m using what we practiced in the drill to focus on a high elbow catch and well aligned pull phase

Warm down:

100m – 200m     Easy to very easy

Total Volume:

1350m – 2050m

Coaching Points:

Use this opportunity to see what your hands are doing at the front of the stroke.  Reach to the depth of the rotated shoulder (no higher). Keep the leading hand in front of the rotated shoulder (but no wider).  Form a catch by keeping fingertips down and elbow high. Pull straight back, causing the arm to bed to around 110-120 degrees under the shoulder, to avoid pulling too deep. Remember to finish off the stroke at the back and to catch at the front at the recovering hand reaches forward under the water.