Where are you now?

Swim

Unless you have a thing for cold water, I’m guessing you may not be swimming open water yet?!! This month’s swim sessions are all pool based and designed to prepare you for the race season ahead.

We’ll do this by increasing your body’s tolerance to lactic acid and process it quickly by either moving with less intensity or stopping (active and static recovery)

Sessions this month’s will include:

  • A session which requires you to ‘connect’ with your body to enable you to control your pace
  • A two part series (sessions 2 and 3) designed to increase your speed by sprinting/ recovering
  • Maintenance of your endurance levels.

Swim Sessions

Purpose of this session

Session 1 – Controlling pace

Purpose of this session

  • Increase recovery capability
  • Build pace awareness
  • Build endurance
  • Coaching points
  • Mono pace warm up (set 1)

Set 3 - Use pull buoy, long stroke length maintaining minimal strokes per length

If you chose to use swim aids, stick with the same piece throughout the entire set

Adaptations

  • Start sets 4 and/or 5 at lower/higher intensity levels
  • Increase distances for a more speed endurance style session
  • Gradually increase intensity of warm up (set 1)

Impact on your training

Recovering more quickly and recognising the signs of fatigue sooner will enable you to stick to your training session plan without ‘blowing up’.

Kit needed:

  • Normal swim things
  • Pull buoy.

Swim 1a

Session 2 – Speed and recovery part 1

Purpose of this session

  • Build top end speed
  • Improve recovery capability.

Coaching points

  • Start the session by doing some slow swimming concentrating on relaxed and continuous breathing
  • Perform the recovery swims straight after the last repetition of the sprints and then take the static recovery
  • Reduce intensity slightly if you feel technique is slipping away
  • Regardless of intensity, we must never lose the sensation of water pressure on our hands and (for a short time) our forearms.

Adaptations

  • Use hand paddles to develop increased upper body strength
  • Option to have static recovery after sprints if in need of more rest
  • Could go ‘off’ a set time during the sprints (eg swim 50m sprint in 50 secs. If you went ‘off 1 minute you’d have 10 secs recovery before starting the next sprint)
  • Increase/decrease recoveries according to fitness levels.

Impact on your training

Increased cardio vascular strength (Vo2 max) will improve your tolerance to lactic acid and process it quicker. This will enable you be ready for the next set or repetition sooner.

Kit needed:

  • Watch

Swim 2a

Session 3 – Speed and recovery part 2

Purpose of this session

  • Develop high end speed
  • To use both active and static recovery methods
  • To help process lactic acid

Coaching points

  • Be strict with static recovery times
  • Aim to swim at even pace per repetition
  • Active recoveries done at very low intensity
  • Keep good stroke technique and maintain relaxed breathing pattern

Adaptations

  • Increase distance/s for the sprints and/or active recovery swims
  • Reverse the working order. Ie start with endurance swim and finish with sprints
  • Why not use alternative stroke for the active recoveries?

Impact on your training

You’ll have the capacity to hold a higher rate of intensity for increasing distances resulting in higher average speeds.

Swim 3a

Session  4

Purpose of this session

  • Maintain endurance levels
  • To promote mind and body working as a unit

Coaching points

  • Maintain composure throughout
  • Keep turns sharp and aim to surface under flag (5m)
  • When ‘sighting’ don’t lift head too high. Just glance to register a stationary object and head down again.

Adaptations

  • Can be done in open water (no swim aids) and use ‘floating’ recovery between sets
  • Good opportunity to focus on technical elements (but reduce intensity levels)
  • Ideal session to have a bike ride straight afterwards.

Impact on your training

Swim for extended periods with more efficiency and in a straight line!

Swim 4a

Reference Items

Borg Scale

BW Borg

Glossary of Training Terms

Make sense of the jargon

Read more