The Weekly Session Plans Return!

After a hiatus of almost a year, by moderately popular demand, the weekly swim session plans are back.

Download and print this session plan here: session plan 193

We’ll focus on technique sessions to take us through to 2020.  This week, we are going to start at the very front of the stroke, hand entry, while drawing on some great advice from 6 X Ironman World Champion – The Man – Dave Scott.

Warm Up:

200m as 100 easy, 100 build

Technical set:

6 x 50m Swim with focus on the middle finger of the leading hand, pointing straight forward at the end-wall (not down, inward, or outward) Take 15 seconds of reflection and re-focus after each

6 x 50m Swim with technique paddles (if you have them) or use 1-finger drill going up the pool, full hand when swimming back. Assess whether your leading hand is straight out. 15 sec rest after each.

Main set:

4 – 6 x 200m maintain focus on hand entry alignment – re-perform drills between sets if required.

Warm down:

200m easy – feel how easily you’re moving through the water.

Total Volume:

1800 – 2200m

Coaching Points:

Enter finger-tips first and reach forward, ensuring the middle finger is pointing straight at the end wall, before forming your high-elbow catch.

Watch what Dave Scott says in this instructional video:

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Weekly Swim Session Plan 13 November 2018

Download and print this session plan here: session plan 192

This week, we are going to build on the breathing work from last week and try an objective measurement of our breathing technique and its effect on performance. Three simple timed swims, with varied technique.

Warm Up:

200m easy pace

Technical Set:

200 – 400m timed (choose distance based on experience and fitness) breathing to ‘strong’ side

1 minute rest per 100m swum

200-400m timed (choose the same distance) breathing 3-stroke bilateral pattern

1 minute rest per 100m swum

200-400m timed (choosing the same distance) breathing to ‘weak’ side.

Main Set:

6 – 10 x 100m working on the weaknesses found during the timed sessions.

Warm down:

200m easy – feel how easily you’re moving through the water.

Total Volume:

1600 – 2600m

Coaching Points:

If you are a strongly unilateral breather, work on the weaker side, either in a bi-lateral pattern, or unilaterally to the weak side.

If you are already an established bi-lateral breather, practice using all left side, then all right side unilateral breathing in a 2 and 4 stroke breathing pattern.

Having options of left side, right side or bilateral can be useful on race day depending upon prevailing wind, course layout, or positioning of a competitor.

Weekly Swim Session Plan 31 October 2018

Download and print this session plan here: session plan 190

This week, we are going to shift focus through the stroke cycle, to the finish of the stroke. We’ll support the technical set with more great advice from 6 X Ironman World Champion – The Man – Dave Scott.

Warm Up:

200m easy pace

Technical set:

4 x 50m long doggy paddle pressing back with an extended wrist at the finish of the stroke, so your palm points to the pool wall behind you.

4 x 50m easy swimming, implementing the “palm-press” finish

4 x 50m with technique paddles, or visualising the backward palm press through the finish of the stroke

Main set:

4 – 8 x 200m maintain focus on a strong finish to your stroke.

Warm down:

200m easy – feel how easily you’re moving through the water.

Total Volume:

1800 – 2600m

Coaching Points:

During doggy paddle and freestyle, pull straight through the stroke as we practiced last week but then move your focus to the heel of your hand (not your fingertips) to press through the finish of the stroke with a hyper extended wrist, before recovering under the water.

Watch what Dave Scott says in this instructional video. He makes an interesting point about the harmonious relationship between strong finish with extended wrist and preparing for setting a high elbow catch:

Weekly swim session plan 23 October 2018

Download and print this session plan here: session plan 189

This week, we are going to shift focus through the stroke cycle, to the pull phase, having set up an effective catch over the last few weeks. We’ll support the technical set with more great advice from 6 X Ironman World Champion – The Man – Dave Scott.

Warm Up:

200m easy pace

Technical set:

4 x 50m long doggy paddle going up the pool, swim back (review coaching points for hand position)

4 x 50m easy swimming, implementing the pull pathway practiced during the drill

4 x 50m with technique paddles, or 1-finger drill going up the pool, swim back

Main set:

4 – 8 x 200m maintain focus on a straight pull pathway and correct hand alignment

Warm down:

200m easy – feel how easily you’re moving through the water.

Total Volume:

1800 – 2600m

Coaching Points:

During doggy paddle and freestyle, set the catch with a high elbow, keep the hand and forearm neutral, with fingertips pointing toward the bottom of the pool.  I particularly like Dave’s paint brush analogy – check it out.

Watch what Dave Scott says in this instructional video:

Weekly Swim Session Plan 16 October 2018

Download and print this session plan here: session plan 188

After a two-week, health related hiatus, we are back to the weekly session plans!   This week, we are going to continue to focus on an effective catch, with more great advice from 6 X Ironman World Champion – The Man – Dave Scott.

Warm Up:

200m easy pace

Technical set:

4 x 50m Butterfly pull (double-arm) with under-water recovery.  Take care to maintain a high elbow

4 x 50m Alternating arm half-pull with under water recovery (short doggy-paddle drill)

4 x 50m Alternating arm pull / push full stroke, keeping the elbow high in the water on the front of the stroke

4 x 50m 1-finger drill going up the pool, full hand when swimming back. Feel the resistance when the full hand is utilised – keep the elbow high at the front end.

Main set:

4 – 8 x 200m maintain focus on setting a high-elbow catch.  Initially, your stroke may feel slow and mechanical.  Try to maintain the high elbow catch but smooth out the stroke as the set progresses.

Warm down:

200m easy – feel how easily you’re moving through the water.

Total Volume:

2000 – 2800m

Coaching Points:

High elbow catch may feel strange at first, if you’re used to dropping your arm. Stick with it, it will be transformational for your swimming.

Watch what Dave Scott says in this instructional video:

Weekly Swim Session Plan 18 September 2018

Download and print this session plan here: session plan 187

Last week, we began our off-season technique focus with hand entry and some great guidance from Dave Scott.  This week, we’ll follow the logical sequence through the stroke cycle and look at catch. Of such importance is a great catch, that we will spend more than one week, making improvements.

Warm Up:

200m easy pace

Technical set:

6 x 50m (with pull buoy) scull to halfway, swim to wall

8 x 50m ‘Quick catch’ drill, popping up the elbow and forming the catch quickly to the speed-killer for over-gliders, the dead-spot. (If you have never done quick catch drill before, follow this link, or search Dave Scott’s ‘top 3’ drills on You Tube for how to do it and the benefits it offers).

Main set:

3 – 5 x 300m occasionally bringing your focus onto the catch and ensuring that you’re attaining that quickly formed, high-elbow catch you practiced in the drills.  Do remember to ‘swim’ though and not be too mechanical and deliberate during this part of the set.

Warm down:

200m easy – feel how easily you’re moving through the water.

Total Volume:

2000 – 3600m

Coaching Points:

An effective catch sets you up for an effective pull and faster swimming.  To catch effectively after hand entry, make sure to keep the finger-tips below the wrist and the wrist below the elbow.

Let’s see what Paul Newsome says about sculling in this instructional video:

Weekly Swim Session Plan 11 September 2018

Download and print this session plan here: session plan 186

Technique focused session now to take us all the way through to 2019.  This week, we are going to start at the very front of the stroke, hand entry, while drawing on some great advice from 6 X Ironman World Champion – The Man – Dave Scott.

Warm Up:

200m easy pace

Technical set:

8 x 50m Swim with focus on the middle finger of the leading hand, pointing straight forward at the end-wall (not down, inward, or outward) Take 15 seconds of reflection and re-focus after each

8 x 50m Swim with technique paddles (if you have them) or use 1-finger drill going up the pool, full hand when swimming back. Assess whether your leading hand is straight out. 15 sec rest after each.

Main set:

4 – 8  x 200m maintain focus on hand entry alignment – re-perform drills between sets if required.

Warm down:

200m easy – feel how easily you’re moving through the water.

Total Volume:

2000 – 3600m

Coaching Points:

Enter finger-tips first and reach forward, ensuring the middle finger is pointing straight at the end wall, before forming your high-elbow catch.

Watch what Dave Scott says in this instructional video: