Archives for the month of: January, 2017

We will be doing time trials again tomorrow in the usual format with a good warm-up followed by a 400m and 100m time trial.  What do you want to learn from it?

  • Do you want to learn if you can swim faster over 400m at the higher stroke rate we’ve been practicing recently?
  • Do you want to learn if you can to swim your 3rd 100m split so that it is not the slowest?
  • Do you want to learn if you can “negative split” the time trial and swim the second half faster than the first?
  • Do you want to learn if you can control your usual pre-time-trial nerves with a new mental approach?
  • Do you want to learn how your training is translating into 400m race pace times at this stage of the season?
  • Do you want to learn how to keep your good high-elbow technique when you get tired?
  • Do you want to learn how swimming a more relaxed time trial just focusing on effective stroke rate and technique affects your 400m speed?
  • Do you want to learn whether or not you can remember to keep a good kicking rhythm all the way through the 400m?
  • Or do you want to learn something completely different?

Whatever you want to learn I suggest coming along tomorrow with one primary learning goal and at most one or two secondary learning goals.  Then let me know how you got on because my goal is to get your feedback on what you learned from the time trial!

See you tomorrow,


This week it is the return of the Will Clarke set of 50s swum as a mix of fast and easy 50s with increasing amounts of rest.  The reason I really like this set is that it is a great mix of tight turnarounds near the start with a high frequency of high intensity efforts near the end when you are getting tired.  It also fits really well with our intensity build towards time trials next week.

One of the things most people find most challenging about this set is varying their pace between the fast and slower 50s at the start of the set when the turnarounds are short.  You cannot say you have really mastered this set until you are able to vary the pace when the turnarounds are short so please do try your best to do this.  Try and use a fast and  relaxed stroke rate, which we will be doing drills for before the main set, to make sure you can make the short turnarounds and still be fresh enough to push the faster efforts.  Other things to think about are:

  • Take 5s intervals between every swimmer and make sure you know your times for all the fast effort 50s
  • Try and make every fast 50 the same time – ideally 2-3 seconds faster than your 400m race pace (divide your 400m time by 8 to calculate your 400m pace for 50m, e.g. 6 mins 400m time / 8 = 45 secs per 50m so each one should be swum 42-43 secs)
  • Keep the stroke rate high and the effort low for the most relaxed but fast swimming you can

See you Saturday!


This week we will be doing some more head-up front crawl and straight-arm recovery in the warm-up to get your arms moving quickly.  Remember, short-fast strokes with a quick catch on the head-up front crawl and high-swinging arms with a fast entry on the straight-arm recovery.

The main set is 100s swum in blocks of 3, 4 or 5 off a tight turnaround but with a minute between each set.  Please try and use this set to focus on trying to find that easy-speed by getting the stroke rate high, spinning fast and relaxed.

Then, after a short recovery set, there will be a set of 150s swum just above and just below your 1500m pace.  The quick way to calculate your 150 time at your 1,500m pace is to divide your 1,500m time by 10, e.g. 25 mins for 1,500m means your time for 150 should be 2.5 mins (2 mins 30s).  If you don’t know your 1,500m time then I suggest roughly estimating it by multiplying your 400m time trial time by 4.  If you don’t know your 400m time then come along to the next time trial to find out!

See you Saturday,


The main theme for this month is all going to be about stroke rate as we build towards the next set of time trials at the end of the month (see my previous post about stroke rate).  So the aim is keeping that beautiful high-elbow pull we’ve been working on before Christmas and increasing the stroke rate to something closer to race pace.

For those of you at Tim’s session this Thursday morning we did some excellent work on this with the fast first 8 strokes of each 50 in the first set.  On Saturday we will be doing some more work on this with some head-up frontcrawl, straight-arm recovery and golf stroke.  Key things I’d like you to think about on each of these are:

  • Do short-fast strokes when doing head-up front crawl and kick your legs strongly to help keep them afloat.  A slow, long stroke is really hard with your head up.
  • On straight-arm recovery let your hands splash into the water quickly, as they will want to do if you’ve kept them straight and high during the recovery, before you do your usual high-elbow underwater pull.
  • For golf stroke remember to add your time to your stroke count for each 50 to determine your golf stroke.  Try to reduce your golf stroke by increasing your stroke rate to swim faster while keeping your stroke count pretty similar.

See you Saturday!


%d bloggers like this: