Archives for the month of: May, 2014

Most people have started the race season now so the emphasis of the Saturday Swimming sessions will now shift to maintaining your swim speed rather than the build-up in speed and intensity we have been doing over the last few months.  There won’t be much specific technique work – the race season is not a good time to start making big changes in your technique – and we will come back to that in the Autumn.  However, as always, I would like everyone to think about technique in every session to make sure you are getting the most from your swimming especially as you swim the faster sets.  Think only about little tweaks to hold into your technique, though, rather than contemplating any big changes.

With most of us aiming for our top performances in races at different times of the season it is important to make sure you are your own coach and adjust the quantity or effort of each session according to your race plan for the season.  I have written about being your own coach before and you can read some of my thoughts on this here, with points 1 and 3 being the most relevant at the moment.

One comment I would like to make is about tapering for races.  Tapering down training before a big race will usually help you get your best performance but I would suggest being wary of trying to taper for too many races in a season.  You will normally only have one or two main races in the season and it is for these races you really need to taper fully to get your best performance.  Other races, if being used as part of your build-up for the main races, should not typically require much tapering and you can pretty much train through them.  So I would suggest being beware of trap of taking it easy before too many races in the season when actually you may get more of a benefit by keeping the training level high and using a race as a high-intensity training session.  But as you are all good at being your own coach and I am sure not many of you will fall into that trap!

See you Saturday!


PS  I will be here this week but away on holiday on 31st May so will leave some sessions in the box for you to do then.  I am trying to arrange a stand-in coach but that may not be possible as the Juniors are also short of coaches next week.  So, if you are first to arrive at the pool please put the sessions out along with the lane ropes and floats.

It’s time for time trials again this Saturday to help you assess how your swimming speed is at the moment. If you did our last time trial two months ago then this is a good measure of your progress at race pace swimming compared with last time. You can look at your times from last time, and especially your splits, to see how well you paced your previous efforts here. If you didn’t do our last time trial then this is a good opportunity to give it a go and get a time for 400m to measure against.

My comments from last time about what to think about going into a time trial are still relevant and you can read them here. The most important thing to think of though for most people is not to panic, tense up and hence lose technique as well as wasting effort. Instead try and use the natural adrenaline that you will most likely have at the start to know you will go out faster than is sustainable, so relax and plan on putting in the effort on the third 100, where most people drop off in pace.

See you Saturday!


Back to normal this week with the times for the sessions with a 7-8 session and 8-9:15.  We will finish the 8-9:15 session a little earlier this week to allow the juniors to start promptly as they are doing time trials and it is only fair to give them a bit of pool time back after the extra time we have had for the last couple of weeks.

This week the main set will be anaerobic threshold 100s, so plenty of rest to allow you to swim fast.  You can re-read my post on this type of set and how to swim it here as well as some thoughts about how to try and swim fast and relaxed here.  We will be doing time trials again next week, as previously promised, so try and use this week’s session to get familiar with that fast and relaxed pace you will need to use next week.

One final reminder, especially as many of our sessions are very full at the moment, is to please remember to be considerate to the other swimmers in your lane and observe good lane etiquette.  We cannot always stick to 5s intervals between swimmers when the lanes get full but most of the other guidelines are easy to follow and allow everyone to get a good workout.  Getting the right lane order is especially important if everyone is to get the maximum benefit from faster sets and you will have plenty of time during the longer recoveries this week to adjust the lane order if required.

I will be away this week so Chrissie has kindly offered to take the session.  We have the pool for 3 hours again so we will again be running two sessions – 7 to 8:30 and 8:30 to 10.  Chrissie will be showing you all how it is done and swimming the first session but has kindly offered to coach for the second one.

The main set this week will be working on speed endurance again with a set of 100s, as we did a few weeks ago, so you may want to refresh your memory on some things to think about on this from last time.  There will also be a chance to do some work on technique – both by doing some different strokes and doing some quick catch drill.  You can read one of my previous posts on quick catch drill if you need a reminder on what this is all about.

See you in a week’s time!


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