Sometimes you have to be brave when you’re swimming a race. Sometimes coaches have to demand that you’re brave. Either way, taking out a race FAST is a good skill to learn.
When giving this set, it’s important the swimmers don’t know the entire set. It’s human instinct to save up just a little bit if you know there’s more to come.
Main Set (short course yards):
– 6 x 50 from a dive on 2:00
– get times on every one, and all of them are as fast as you can go. Freestyle and backstroke swimmers get their time as they flip to the feet. Breaststroke and butterfliers get their time to the hands.
Get the troops moving on this. Typically a lot of yelling of encouragement, and making sure you make contact with EACH swimmer between their swims. Give them the impression you KNOW their times, and congratulate them when they go just a bit faster.
Now give them a speech about the importance of attacking the first part of a 100, and how you can’t go a fast 100 unless you go a fast 50 first.
Next part of the set:
– 6 x 100 from a dive on 4:00
– tons of rest, but there is ONE requirement… the 1st 50 of each 100 has to be as fast as the fast 50s they just completed. They MUST attack the 1st 50 like it IS a 50. Whatever happens on the 2nd 50 is whatever happens. If they die, they die. The important thing is the first 50 MUST be fast.
Give them a bit of easy swimming… then repeat with:
– 4 x 50 from a dive on 2:00 — same as above.
– 2 x 100 from a dive on 4:00.
It’s about this time that you pinpoint a couple swimmers who may not be completely buying in to the "first 50 all out" system… and explain that if they don’t get with the program… we’ll continue this set to fast 200s from the block. It’s funny how quickly they regain their composure and go out FAST!