Weekly Swim Session Plan 11 July 2017

Download and print this session plan here: session plan 127

Continuing to work on last week’s early vertical forearm (EVF) focus, this week, we consider the effect of a more effective catch, pulling with larger muscle groups on stroke rate and ultimately, swim speed.  Recent experience with an Ironman age group athlete, suggests that moving focus onto stroke rate, can provide an immediate return in terms of swim speed.

Warm Up:

200m easy pace

Technical set:

2 x 50m 1 – finger drill (incorporating EVF)

2 x 50m head-up lifesaver (feel the EVF effect)

4 x 100m focus on increasing your stroke rate (without diminishing stroke length) Use Tempo trainer if possible and experiment with varying your stroke rate.

Main set:

4 – 8 x 100m aiming to swim with EVF as practiced in drills and sampling your stroke rate to see if you can produce faster, sustainable times by lifting your stroke rate by as little as 2-3 strokes per minute.

400m timed swim (using slightly higher stroke rate – is it improved from last week’s test, or your 400m norm?)

Warm down:

300m     Very easy

Total Volume:

1550m – 1950m

Coaching Points:

A faster stroke rate can be tiring if you change up too quickly. Make sure you maintain good form, control your breathing and reach all the way to the front of your stroke, as the use of lats and pecs, rather than rotator cuff, allow you to increase the power and speed of the pull, leading to a faster stroke rate.

Weekly Swim Session Plan 4 July 2017

Download and print this session plan here: session plan 126

Building on last week’s pacing set, this week, we seek to gain more from every stroke by walking through the basics of an effective catch and de-mystifying the illusive early vertical forearm ‘EVF’ in the freestyle stroke. American two-time Olympian, Chloe Sutton shows us how. We’re aiming for more power and distance from every stroke, resulting in faster swimming for the same perceived level of effort.

Warm Up:

200m easy pace

Technical set:

2 x 25m reps each arm – ‘Superman’ into alternating EVF

4 x 25m single arm EVF drill with kickboard supporting lead arm

4 x 25m superman catch-up with EVF pause

Main set:

4 – 8 x 100m aiming to swim with EVF as practiced in drills.

400m timed swim (using EVF technique as practiced in drills)

Warm down:

300m     Very easy

Total Volume:

1550m – 1950m

Coaching Points:

Rotating the elbow to the top, while keeping the palm facing downward is key to EVF drills and swim stroke. Keep the elbow high up – near the water surface when performing EVF drills.

Aim to use the bigger muscles of the lats, pecs, with engaged biceps and triceps to pull, rather than relying on the rotator cuff of the shoulder – pull with the hand, forearm and inside of the upper arm to create a large paddle.

The video demo below is quite long (9:20) but its well worth seeing it through to the end!

Weekly swim session plan 27 June 2017

Download and print this session plan here: session plan 125

Getting your best time in a triathlon swim is all about pace. While that might seem obvious, its setting a pace you can sustain and run into T1, bike-ready, without having gone into the red, with all the breathing difficulties and anxiety that accompany it.  Finding your pace isn’t always easy in the melee of an open water swim – in both training and racing, time and again swimmers go out too hard, and fade all the way to the finish. This week, let’s seek out that sweet spot, just over ‘easy’ pace that will see you in T1 ready for your bike leg.

Warm Up:

200m easy pace

Technical set:

4 x 50m pause drill / slow arm recovery

4 x 50m quick catch

Main set:

10 – 20 x 100m start ‘easy’ and very gradually build your pace by around 2 seconds / 100m until you feel the pace you can realistically sustain, then hold that pace for the rest of the main set.

Warm down:

300m     Very easy

Total Volume:

2100m – 2700m

Coaching Points:

When setting your pace, think about the swim distance of your ‘A’ race.  Get a sense of how you feel while you swim – ideally you feel comfortable but like you’re making good progress and keeping your technique together throughout.

Weekly Swim Session Plan 20 June 2017

Download and print the session plan here: session plan 124

With temperatures soaring and the race season in full-swing, most triathletes are swimming some open water sessions each week.  Anecdotally, not everyone has transitioned from pool to lake as well as we might hope. This week, let’s use a pool session to really nail some key attributes of open water technique.

Warm Up:

200m easy pace

Technical set:

4 x 50m sighting skills – crocodile eyes

4 x 50m high swingers

Main set:

12 – 18 x 100m with 10 seconds rest, incorporating the sighting skills from the drill, 2 per length of the pool

Warm down:

300m     Very easy

Total Volume:

2100m – 2700m

Coaching Points:

Sight straight forward on the non-breathing stroke and follow up immediately with a breath under the opposite arm. Don’t try to sight off the end of the breath as this won’t allow you time to properly view the course.  Only lift your googles out of the water – don’t sit up too high, or your hips will drop, causing drag.

 

Weekly Swim Session Plan 13 June 2017

Download and print the session plan here: session plan 123

This week we re-cap the basics of alignment, balance and catch ABC to keep us on track with great technique through the race season.

Warm Up:

200m easy pace

Technical set:

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

3 x 50m scull to halfway, swim to wall

Main set:

6 x 200m OR 300m OR 400m (depending on ability and target race) at above race pace / intensity.

Warm down:

300m     Very easy

Total Volume:

2000m – 3200m

Coaching Points:

Sprint distance athletes choose 200m, standard or middle distance choose 300m, Ironman athletes use the 400m reps.

Keep fingertips lower than your wrists during sculling (and freestyle catch) to avoid ‘braking’ the stroke

During skating seek out long straight body alignment and just enough rotation to balance. If you over rotate, you’ll feel yourself using up precious energy trying to regain your balance. If that happens, check that your trailing arm is down in your ‘front pocket’, to close down the shoulder of the recovering arm. This should help regain balance for the drill and the follow-on swim stroke.

Weekly Swim Session Plan 6 June 2017

Download and print this session plan here: session plan 122

This week we look at speed from the perspective of reducing drag and more particularly, having an effective kick, with the potential to aid propulsion, rather than hinder it.

Warm Up:

200m easy pace

Technical set:

50m kick with (or without) kick board

50m swim, focusing on engaged core, firing glutes, and kick amplitude

All X 3 – 5

Main set:

200m (8 lengths of the pool) at best pace for the distance 30 sec rest

400m (16 lengths of the pool) better than race pace 30 sec rest

600m (24 lengths of the pool) race pace 30 sec rest (Novice athletes can choose to skip this longest rep)

400m (16 lengths of the pool) better than race pace 30 sec rest

200m (8 lengths of the pool) at best pace for the distance – how does it compare to the first rep?

Warm down:

300m     Very easy

Total Volume:

2000m – 2800m

Coaching Points:

Kick from the hip, with a straight but flexible leg, toes pointed, slightly inwardly rotated.

Weekly Swim Session Plan 30 May 2017

Download a print this session plan here: session plan 121

This week we take the speed we have been building over the past few weeks and push it for longer distances, to simulate race duration efforts.

Warm Up:

200m easy pace

Technical set:

3 x 50m                  sculling to halfway, swim to wall

3 x 50m                  doggy paddle to halfway, swim to wall

Main set:

600m (24 lengths of the pool) – (novice swimmers should skip this longest rep)

500m (20 lengths of the pool)

400m (16 lengths of the pool)

300m (12 lengths of the pool)

200m (8 lengths of the pool)

100m (4 lengths of the pool)

Warm down:

300m     Very easy

Total Volume:

2300m – 2900m

Coaching Points:

Try to maintain or increase pace toward the end of the session, as if swimming toward the race finish arch.  Increased technical focus toward the end of the set should help maintain speed.