Warning: Don’t read this set if you’re easily offended. I’m in a bad mood… sorta. 😉
Here’s a set with NO intervals, yet, if done properly is an incredibly difficult set. If not done correctly… well… it’s a complete waste of time.
The idea of swimming FAST in practice means you’re going to give yourself an opportunity to swim fast. I grew up with a Mother who was a music teacher…. oh… and a great performer. She’s actually performed 5 times in Carnegie Hall, so she knows what she’s talking about. When she taught me music, and crescendo’s, she told me that a crescendo doesn’t work if you start in the middle and try to go loud. Crescendo’s work because you start soft and the range to loud is great enough for the audience to really tell the difference. Like they’d be breathless because you were so quiet… and then got so loud, there was this relief and joy that came with that peak volumn. The same goes in this set. If you don’t really go slow, then the fast won’t be fast. If you don’t really try hard and die, then you’ll simply be swimming back and forth. BORING and senseless.
With that said… here’s the simple set.
Set 1 (this is a continuous swim, no intervals):
50 ALL OUT!
100 easy (slow.. get it… slow)
100 ALL OUT!
100 EASY (slow… understand, you’re uh… trying to save up for the next fast)
150 ALL OUT!
100 easy (see… if you’re really sold out on the fast… you’re NEEDING this 100 easy and want it to take a while)
200 ALL OUT!
100 easy (at this point, you should barely be able to move, and oh yeah… you died like a pig on that 200… nice going)
4 x 100’s smooth on a moderate interval like 1:30 yards. The breathing pattern is 3, 5, 7 freestyle. This helps maintain some control.
Do set 1 again. The trick here is that you don’t let the swimmers know they’re going to do set one twice. You have to convince them to completely and totally sell out on the first set to really make this worth while.
This should be incredibly painful, and you should be able to watch the swimmers losing control toward the end. it’s up to them to maintain as much control as possible while their bodies are shutting down.
Those who will read this and say… it’s never good to swim with sub-perfect technique. I’m sorry, you’re wrong… not open for debate and you’re probably shouldn’t be reading sets in the Gold level because you’re not getting it. At the end of a high level competitive race, you’re not feeling good, you’re in extreme pain, and your muscles are failing. If you’ve never been allowed to understand how to hold things together while everything is shutting down, then you’ll have no clue what to do. If you’ve never reached that point in a race, then you’ve not approached your potential and you’re probably scared to sell out. Sound harsh? Sorry. Truth is a harsh reality.
Quick additional point. My philosophy on many swims is this. The first 75% of the majority of competitive swim races are completed with planning, technique and training. If you’re not depending on one muscle for the last 25%, you’re not achieving the ultimate. That muscle is… HEART. You’ll know what I’m talking about if you’ve lived it. If you haven’t… give it a shot… it’s fun to be in pain. 🙂
Enjoy the set.