Archives for the month of: February, 2014

We’ve been doing some more faster-paced work over the last few weeks and we will continue the trend this week where the main set will all be faster paced 100s.  The aim of this type of set is to increase your ability to maintain a faster pace for longer.  This means you will be getting longer rests after each swim – typically 35-45 seconds between each – so if you really want to benefit from this type of set you need to make each swim hard!  You should be aiming to swim as fast as you can at a pace that you can maintain for the whole set.  That should mean that you are swimming each rep at about your anaerobic threshold.  If the lactic acid starts to build up in your arms on each swim, then you are swimming too fast.  You want to be swimming just below this level so that you are only at the point of your muscles tightening up on the last stroke of each 100.  If you have enough breath after each 100 to chat then you are swimming too slowly!

Please do make sure you monitor your times when swimming this type of set as this can provide good feedback on how efficiently you are holding your stroke together as you try and swim faster.  A couple of weeks ago one swimmer told me how they put a lot more effort into the harder swims but their times were the same as when they were trying to swim aerobically.  This type of feedback from the clock is an excellent way of measuring what actually works.  I find that focusing on pushing hard at the back end of the stroke is a good way for me to keep stroke length and efficiency when trying to swim faster.  Something different may work for you – but if you don’t take your times and try different things you will never know!

See you Saturday,


We will continue the theme from last week and continue to add some more faster-paced swims.  This week we’re going to pick up the pace by basing our main set on one of Will Clarke’s favourite sets, from his recent blog.  I think he has some good things to say about what is important when increasing your swim speed in his blog.  Two things I would pick out of particular attention:

  1. The importance of technique and especially maintaining it at the end of a long set.  This is usually where most of us find it hardest to maintain our technique and where we get the most benefit .  Every session – and set – should be a technique session no matter how hard you are working!
  2. The importance of frequency in swimming as it is very easy to lose your feel for the water.  It can be difficult to fit in multiple sessions for many of us with job and family commitments but even if you can squeeze in an extra short session you will often feel the benefit.  Even if you are staying away from home with work, with only a short hotel pool to use, you can benefit from time in the water just practising sculling or other drills to try and keep your feel of the water.  So please do take any opportunity you can.

We will continue the theme of increasing pace in future weeks and also be doing some time trials so you get a chance to see how you are all doing.  I want to do them slightly differently though, this year, and will let you know ahead of time when we are doing them as well as providing some more details.

Thanks to Will Clarke for the inspiration for this week’s session.  See you Saturday!


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