When I swim by myself, I like to do 400s, alternating two different drills or two different focus points, by 25. This gets me into a kind of zone, and I’m able to make changes in my strokes. I hardly ever give this kind of practice to my Masters group, however, because I always think they want to get a “tougher” workout. But recently I’ve been giving them “alternating” 400s and they seem to like it. Today we did some of these 400s with a backstroke focus.
400 your choice, on your own.
FLIP-TURN SET: 500
10 X 50 on approx. :20 RI, swum as 25 Free and 25 Back. Do a straight-over flip turn at the 25. If you’re accomplished at flip turns, focus on getting a tighter tuck. If you’re just learning, go straight over and try not to use your arms. We had a third lane of swimmers who have never learned the flip, so we did sommersaults in the shallow end, with elbows at sides, and progressed those to the wall and then did 4 X 50 with a flip.
BACKSTROKE SET: 1200
Wear fins for the entire set.
1 X 400, alternating 25 Single-Arm Back and 25 Freestyle. Your focus on the Single-Arm Backstroke is to enter the hand pinky first but enter it DEEP (6 to 8 inches below surface), and immediately turn the palm so that you’re grabbing water with it. Find the “ledge.”
1 X 400, alternating Quick Draw Backstroke drill and 25 Freestyle.
1 X 400, alternating 25 Backstroke Scull and 25 Backstroke. For the scull, keep your arms at your sides and scull down and up with the hands and forearms. When you swim Backstroke, try to incorporate this sculling motion into your stroke.
FINAL SCULLING SET/WARMDOWN
The breaststrokers did a 200 with pull buoy, alternating 25 face-down breaststroke scull (windshield wiper scull) and 25 breaststroke (full stroke, but with the pull buoy). The freestylers did a 200 with pull buoy, alternating 25 face-down freestyle scull (hands at hips) and 25 free.
Total Yardage: Approx. 2300