I tried our recent Drill of the Week (Backstroke – Double Arm) over the weekend and really liked the sensations that it awakened, and I wanted to let my Masters team try it today. The drill is incorporated into the first main set. It was interesting to watch the transformation. Most of the swimmers started by thrashing through the drill, but by the end of the set they were getting it. Some of the errors that they were making early on (and that the drill helped to correct) were that they were over-reaching on the recovery (the cure was to focus on entering the hands on a line directly above the shoulders) and not catching deep enough (the cure was to throw the arms back with a bit more force and and the same time to press in with the back of the head and top of the spine). I had anticipated that the drill would be an automatic cure for those swimmers who pull with a straight arm in backstroke. When I do the drill, it’s almost impossible for me to do it with a straight-arm pull. But my straight-arm backstrokers still found a way to do the Double-Arm drill with straight arms. Just shows how tough a stroke error this is to correct. But…if they really focused on this point, they could do the drill with a sort-of bent arm. That’s progress. It’s a great drill.
400 your choice on your own.
MAIN SET #1: 800
Swim four rounds of the following. Use your judgment on the sendoffs, but you should take about 15 seconds rest between 50s.
1 X 50 Double-Arm Backstroke. This is kind of like butterfly but on your back. We did this with breaststroke kick rather than flutter kick, because I think it’s easier to focus on your arms and back when you do breaststroke kick.
1 X 50 LA Combo (alternate 4 strokes Backstroke and 3 strokes Freestyle)
1 X 50, swum as 25 Free and 25 Back
1 X 50 Freestyle FAST!
MAIN SET #2: 900 + 100
Swim three rounds of the following. The 100s are your choice of stroke or IM, but you should do the same thing within each set of 3 X 100. Within each set of 3 X 100 you should count your strokes on the first 100. Then, hold that stroke count for the next 2 X 100 and DESCEND your time. Choose whatever sendoff allows you to accomplish the assignment of holding stroke count and descending time.
3 X 100 nekked
3 X 100 with paddles
3 X 100 with fins
100 EZ recovery
SPEED SET: 100
4 X 25 Freestyle @ :10 RI
This is a SPEED SET! Here’s how to set it up:
1. Start by thinking about what would be a challenging but realistic time for you in an all-out 100 Freestyle. Let’s say your goal time is 1:10 or 70 seconds.
2. Now divide your goal time by 4 (70 seconds divided by 4 = 17.5 seconds).
3. Your assignment on the set is to swim all four 25s in 17.5 seconds or better — but with only 10 seconds rest between 25s. Since 27.5 would be a tough sendoff to figure out, you could use 30 seconds as your sendoff. Someone whose goal time is 15 seconds should go on a :25 sendoff.
4. This is a short but tough set. If you use a :10 rest interval, this is a key “test set” for determining what your time might be in a race situation for the 100. I.e., if you can hold 17.5 on all four 25s, you can probably go 1:10 or a little better in a race.
5. Go! Try to make the first two 25s feel relaxed — easy speed — but still hit your pace time. The final two 25s usually feel like all-out efforts.
WARMDOWN: 100 to 200
Total Yardage: 2400