CoachCox

Weekly Swim Set: Thursday, 13th February 2014

In all three coached swim sessions this week I found myself having to explain the difference between a build set and a descending set yet again. Here’s what they mean:

Building: within each rep of the build set the swimmer should increase their speed from slow to fast. So when I give “2x 50m front crawl – building” I’m expecting the swimmer to start each 50m easy and pick up the speed to finish that 50m hard. Speed is building within each rep.

Descending: within a descending set each rep should be faster than the previous one. So when I give “3x 100m front crawl – descending” I’m expecting the first rep to be at an easy pace, the second steady and the third fast. How each individual rep is paced isn’t so important, but each one should be faster than the last. I know, it’s called a descending set yet the speed is increasing – this is what confuses most people. Speed is increasing, but this means the time taken for each rep is decreasing, you’re descending the time you take. Given swim coaches are usually watching the pool clock to time reps from our perspective the set is descending.

I doubt this will be the last time I have to explain these terms.

Tuesday, 11th February 2014 – Endurance Swim Session

Tuesday, 11th February 2014 - Endurance Swim Session

Tuesday, 11th February 2014 – Endurance Swim Session
Warm Up
300m Front crawl – easy
2x 50m As 25m front scull, 25m front crawl on 15s rest
2x 50m Front crawl – building on 15s rest
2x 50m As 25m fist drill, 25m front crawl on 15s rest
2x 50m Front crawl – building on 15s rest
3x 100m Front crawl – descending on 25s rest
1,000m
Main Set
4/5/6x 200m Front crawl – steady on 30s rest
Last rep (last 2 reps if doing 6) hard on 40s rest
4/5/6x 100m Front crawl – steady on 20s rest
Last 2 reps (last rep if doing 4) hard on 30s rest
2,200m-2,800m
Cool Down
200m Choice – easy
2,400m-3,000m

There’s a lot of variation within Tuesday’s set reflecting the broad range of abilities that come to the two sessions. Stronger swimmers get more distance and more of the higher intensity reps, while the weaker swimmers have a more manageable load and are given more opportunity to focus on improving their stroke.

Thursday, 13th February 2014 – Endurance Swim Session

Thursday, 13th February 2014 - Endurance Swim Session

Thursday, 13th February 2014 – Endurance Swim Session
Warm Up
400m Front crawl – easy
2x 50m As 25m front scull, 25m front crawl on 15s rest
2x 50m As 25m doggy paddle, 25m front crawl on 15s rest
4x 50m Front crawl – descending on 20s rest
800m
Main Set
4/5x 100m Front crawl – building on 5s rest
300m Front crawl – easy/steady (pull buoy optional) on 40s rest
2,400m-2,800m
Main Set B
2/3x 100m As 50 drill, 50 front crawl on 20s rest
2x 200m front crawl – steady on 30s rest
drills: straight arm recovery, finger drag, broken arrow
3,400m-4,300m
Alternative Main Set B
What we actually did this morning.
4x 100m Medley on 20s rest
200m front crawl – paddle and pull buoy on 30s rest
3,600m-4,000m
Cool Down
200m Choice – easy
3,600m-4,500m

Thursday has also become far more varied as we’ve restructured to allow swimmers to book in for either an hour or the full 90 minutes. Sessions will now be planned with a main set that finishes at the hour and an additional 30 minute set for those carrying on. As the only swimmer to book in for the full session today was competent in all the strokes I switched the end of the session to incorporate some medley.

Comments

  • Hi Russ I have got to say the way you explained Build Sets and Descending Set you got this spot on , I’m in the same boat I have lost count the number of times I have been asked the very same questions great swim set there