Main Set Monday – Tempo Trainer Discovery

When teaching swimmers how to figure out their rate for freestyle, sometimes you have to put them into a state of discomfort.  Some rates are good for some, some are good for others.  Treating the entire group the same means there will always be someone who is unhappy.  Oh well. 😉

First, teach the swimmers how to use the Tempo Trainers.  It only takes a couple minutes to show them that the button on the right makes the numbers go UP, and the button on the left makes the numbers go DOWN.  Once you have that established… have the swimmers set all the Tempo Trainers to 1:00.

Since this is set for more development level swimmers, we’re using a single stroke setting (one beep on each hand hit).  If you’re working with more advanced swimmers, you’ll want to use a "stroke-cycle" setting, or 2 hand hits.  This allows for swimmers who have a loping, or more lopsided type of freestyle to play as well.

Main Set (short course yards):
 – 8 x 50 on :50 with TT set at 1:00
 – 6 x 50 on :45 with TT set at 1:05
 – 4 x 50 on :40 with TT set at 1:10

By descreasing the stroke rate, while demanding the swimmers go faster, they’re going to have to discover how to:
 – 1 – use their walls better
 – 2 – use their kick better
 – 3 – reach into extension better
 – 4 – use their catch more effectively
 – 5 – stay in a more balanced position by not breathing on every stroke
 – 6 – and more stuff to figure out how to stay on the interval.

Next phase:
 – 8 x 50 on :50 with TT set at 1:00
 – 6 x 50 on 1:00 with TT set at :95
 – 4 x 50 on 1:15 with TT set at :90

As the rest gets greater, and the rate starts to increase, the goal is to now go as fast as possible.  Intensity is key here, but the swimmers still aren’t stroking at their desired rate yet… we’re still holding on to the reins!

Final phase:
 – 8 x 25 on :30 with TT set at :85 – fast
 – 8 x 25 on :45 with TT set at :80 – odds ignore the TT, evens fast
 – 4 x 25 on :45 with TT set at :75 – FAST!
 – 4 x 25 on :45 with TT set at :70 – FAST!
 – 4 x 25 on 1:00 with TT set at :65 – FAST!
 – 4 x 25 on 1:00 with TT set at :60 – FAST!
 – 1 x 75 with TT set at :57… hold rate for as long as you can

Chances are they’ll fail during the 75, but it will show them the rate the FAST swimmers use, and what they may want to shoot for.  Somewhere in there, during this practice, the swimmers will start to discover a rate that’s right for them.  By the end of the practice, they’ll also all walk out with a beeping in their heads. 🙂