Swimming Set of the Week – March 27, 2009

Pace work for longer races is tough sometimes… especially if you’re older and can’t do too many stroke 100s back to back.

Trying to figure out your pace for a 400 IM means swimming many 100s, and many at stroke, or… just a few at race pace.  You’ve got to keep moving so you don’t recover too much, but you also want to stay just a bit fresh because it’s tough to emulate that race situation in practice.

Here’s a quick (OK… maybe not SO quick) set that’ll help you see where you stand in your race preparation.

24 x 100 on 1:30 (yards)
The format is 2 sets of 12 x 100s, and within each set you go 1 fast (in stroke), and 2 smooth (in freestyle), with the fast 100s being race pace for a 400 IM, in IM order… as follows:
#1 – fly
#2 – free
#3 – free
#4 – back
#5 – free
#6 – free
#7 – breast
#8 – free
#9 – free
#10 – fast free
#11 – free
#12 – free

…repeat

While we went this set on the 1:30, your intervals will need to vary according to your ability and speed.  Just to give you an idea of the paces we were shooting for: The fly should’ve been right at 1:00, giving us about :30 rest until the smooth 100s.  Backstroke around 1:07, breast around 1:07, and free under 1:00.  So the goal would be to get an average of about :25 seconds rest prior to leaving on 2 smooth 100s, which could be any speed you want… so long as you make the interval.  Call it active rest.

This set is only as tough as you want to make it, and hitting your target pace times, or goal times, should be what’s committed to.  Enjoy it, and most of all… have fun.  🙂