Swimmers on the Masters team that I coach have a big triathlon this weekend (in Fairlee, VT). Thinking that they might need a bit of taper today, I gave them the following set, which isn’t too strenuous, but provides lots of opportunities to practice drafting, sighting, and bilateral breathing. Earlier in the week, we watched portions of the DVD Go Swim Triathlon Skills with Sara McLarty to introduce the skills.
DRAFTING SET: 400
2 X 200 freestyle, choice of equipment. Get a buddy or two and draft off each other. Take turns being the lead swimmer each 50. Feel the difference in effort when you draft versus when you are the lead swimmer.
MAIN SET: 1600
1 X 75 freestyle with fins. By 25, breathe Right, breathe Left, breathe bilateral.
1 X 75 of 1Left/1Right/1 whole-stroke butterfly
1 X 75 freestyle with fins. Breathe every 3…every 1. This breathing pattern is useful in open water, i.e., if you go to breathe and are greeted by a wall of water, you can quickly turn to the other side and get your air. It’s also a useful pattern in the pool, i.e., it allows you to get an extra bite of air just before heading into a flip turn.
1 X 75 backstroke
1 X 75 freestyle with no equipment. In the middle of every length, take 2 breaststroke strokes and sight on something at the end of your lane (kickboard, water bottle, etc.); otherwise, breathe as much as you want. Focus on making a smooth transition into and out of the breaststroke. In choppy conditions, sometimes you need to take a few strokes of breaststroke to locate the next buoy. Keep moving forward as you sight!
1 X 25 breaststroke with an extra kick.
1 X 75 freestyle with a pull buoy. On the middle 25, sight on every stroke cycle; otherwise, breathe as much as you want.
1 X 25 flutter kick on your back (with the pull buoy).
50 kick, 50 Anything But Freestyle (ABF), 100 choice
Pick up a copy of Sara McLarty’s video to learn how to improve all your essential tri skills!