One of the things I love about breaststroke is that you can practice it in bits and pieces. It has more cool drills than the other strokes. You can practice kicking in a dozen different ways, and it’s FUN to use fins and do body dolphin. Plus, by working on breaststroke in bits and pieces, you can exaggerate a lot of the moves you’re trying to work on. There are so many breaststroke things to do that I rarely swim whole-stroke breaststroke — at least not until several weeks before a big competition. In the base-building period, I prefer to experiment with different rhythms and not get into a rut.
I did the following practice in a 20-yard pool, but you can easily adapt it to a 25-yard pool. I was keeping in mind Dave Denniston’s rules for building an interesting practice: Never do something more than twice in a row. Also, I was focusing today on getting my hands to recover just at or above the water line.
With fins. Swim 600, alternating 40 dolphin kick on your back and 40 free, focusing on stretching out.
MAIN SET: 1600 (I calculate that one of the tether units equals 200 yards)
Set up a swim tether and then swim twice through the following:
With tether, push off, do a pull-down, then take 25 breaststroke kicks in head-lead position and touching heels to hands, then go right into 25 hand-lead breaststroke kicks, then do a turn and swim back assisted by the tether. Do 15 recovery bobs and then repeat.
With a pull buoy, swim 200, alternating 20 freestyle pull and 20 whole-stroke breaststroke, focusing on above-water recovery of the hands.
With fins, swim 200, alternating 20 freestyle and 20 body-dolphin breaststroke, focusing on pulling the hips forward and an aabove-water recovery of the hands. Start each breast length with 4 body dolphins
MAIN SET #2: 800
10 X 40 breaststroke kick, with 7 Rocket Launchers before each 40.
Odds: Use a kickboard
Evens: Use a pull buoy and kick on your back
All: Take as few kicks as you can on the first 20; as many kicks as you can on the second 20.
With pull buoy, swim 200, alternating 20 freestyle pull and 20 whole-stroke breaststroke, same focus as in main set.
With fins, swim 200, alternating 20 freestyle and 20 body-dolphin breast. Start each breast length with 4 body dolphins.
Total Yardage: 3100 (equivalent)