When we got back from Orlando in March we took stock of our swims and had to admit we really weren’t in as strong a position as we needed to be for our 500 freestyle event. Our swimmers raced with intention but didn’t have the necessary conditioning and skills, both physically and mentally to do the swim the way they wanted to.
So we made some adjustments. First we called spades spades. We didn’t sugar coat it. We simply said we need to train more specifically for that event for those who want it on their list.
So for the last 5 weeks we have done the following: every Monday we have gone 10x500 on the 5:30 or 6:00 or 6:30 or 7:00 depending on the swimmer. The first 5 are negative split and the last 5 are negative split and progressive. Every Wednesday we have gone 3 rounds of the following: 1 x 500/ 5:30 (or 6 or 6:30 or 7) and then 5x100 as fast as you can go on 2 minutes.
We did this faithfully. We didn’t have complete joy in the ranks but we didn’t care about that. We wanted our swimmers to know the event inside and out. As Dick Jochums would say, “specificity works.”
This last week on Monday we went 8 x 500 (instead of 10 – a 20% reduction), 1-4 NS and 5-8 progressive. On Wednesday we went the following set:
5x100/2 fast as possible
4x100/2 fast as possible
3x100/2 fast as possible
2x100/2 fast as possible
1x100/2 fast as possible
We had the somewhat slower swimmers go the 100 on 1:20, the 200/2:40, the 300/4, the 400 on 5:20, the 500 on 6:40...all the 100’s fast on the same 2 minute interval.
We had some very impressive swims on the 100’s fast as possible plus the 300, 400 and 500. This week at their high school meet on Friday, several of the swimmers posted lifetime bests and the rest had really solid swims.
We believe the training over the last few weeks has improved their conditioning and confidence and awareness of where they are in the event as they swim it. And those are really important qualities to have as you face your big swims…no matter the event or distance...