We were thinking about some simple sets, tossing around ideas...that's what we do a lot of here at Swim Coach Direct - we toss around ideas. Some are better than others, some work very well, some OK and some need a lot of refinement. This process mirrors a lot of life's general experiences.
Swim coaching is amazing in that there are so many ways to get the job done. What works for one swimmer or one coach simply won't do the trick for another. Finding the proper fit is what it is all about, seems to us anyway!
With that in mind here is a set that worked for us recently and why. Give it a try or perhaps it will spark some good ideas and cause a light to go on for you. Let us know what you think; we are all in this game together.
Learning to swim a 100 free correctly is a matter of putting together 4 laps (we're talking yards here) properly. We learn how this is done by watching the fastest swimmers in the world to see how they construct their swims. In general the delta (the difference between the first 50 and the second 50) is 1.8 seconds. The speed of the 1st 50 is no more than 1 second slower than your fastest 50 flat start time. So, if you swim a 35.0 for the 50 free when you race a 100 free you would go out in 36.0 and come home on the 2nd 50 in 37.8. This would give you a time of 1:13.8 for your 100 free.
To train for this here is a set that works well for our swimmers.
After a 30-40 minute warm-up:
Swim 4x50 at 80%. All the times are the same. The interval is such that you get about 10 seconds rest. Then swim an easy 100 recovery swim. Then swim 4x50 at 85% on the same interval. You will get a little more rest because you are swimming faster. Swim an easy 100. Then swim 4x50 at 90% on the same interval which means that you are now getting a little more rest.
Swim a couple or three hundred easy.
Now swim 2x50 on the same interval you were using above. Make certain the second 50 is faster than the first. Do this set of 2 at 80%. The times will be very close but the 2nd 50 is a tad faster than the 1st one. Swim an easy 100. Follow the progression below using the same interval all the way through to conclusion.
2x50/ 85% 2nd one faster than the 1st. Easy 100.
2x50/80% 2nd faster than the 1st. Easy 100.
2x50/90% as above. Easy 100.
2x50/80% as above. Easy 100.
2x50/95% as above. Easy 100.
Loosen well...let us know what you think. Remember the value of sharing ideas!