Swimmer Magazine Swim Paddle Power

Cokie Lepinski 2014 USMS Coach of the Year

Swim Paddle Power (YouTube video)

MM 1/20/14

As with any workout program, please consult with a physician before engaging in a new program and listen to your body for any signs of distress. This practice is meant to give you ideas only and should be modified to fit your needs. Neither USMS, CT LMSC, nor the publisher is responsible for any ill effects of this practice, whether used as written or modified.

500 Warm-up

4×100 Fly
100 Choice kick
4×100 Back
100 Choice kick
4×100 Breast
100 Choice kick
4×100 Free
100 Choice kick

400 IM
300 Cool down

Total 3200 yards
If 100’s stroke seem daunting, try replacing with 50’s, maybe trying 8 or 6. If you need more- try doing more 100’s, 200 kicks, or adding some drill/pull/sprint 25’s between the 400 IM and cool down.

“Building the Perfect Prerace Warm-up”

We just had our first meet of the year in Connecticut and questions came up: “What is the point of warm up?”, “How long should my warm up be?” and “What should I do in warm up?”.  Scott Bay sums it up nicely in this article written to USMS coaches.  While this article was written for coaches, there are many swimmers in Connecticut that swim coachless and this may help you think about how you are going to put together your warm-up for meets.  I have added my thoughts or clarifications in parenthesis.

Building the Perfect Prerace Warm-Up: Things to think about in your quest for the Goldilocks warm-up, Scott Bay, December 19/2013
Coaches are often asked what athletes should do for warm-up before they race at a meet.  The best warm-up should challenge and prepare your swimmers not too much, not too little, but just right.  And ultimately, the best warm-up is the one that works.  Sure, that’s a vague answer, but if we were all the same, someone would have come up with “the perfect warm-up” already.  Instead, here are some things to consider when building a prerace warm-up routine for your swimmers.
1. The athlete. There are lots of variable here, such as fitness level, age, health, and any preexisting conditions that affect performance. (I would also add health- in general and day of the meet, and also ability to recover, and how the swimmer swims best: relaxed, pumped, etc.)
2. The event. Naturally, there should be different warm-ups for different events. (Generally, shorter races need longer warms-ups as the swimmer needs to be ready from the start. Longer races can use shorter warm-ups as the swimmer can use the beginning of the race to build into a peak speed and won’t want to have done so much as to be tired before the end of the race.)
3. Fatigue. Is this the first race or the last race? What other factors can influence the energy level of the athlete? (Was the last event 2 hours ago or 15 minutes ago?)
4. Nutrition. When was the last time the athlete ate? What was it? Is the swimmer well hydrated?
5. Physical environment. Think about the air and water temperatures at the racing venue. Water space is also a consideration. If it’s cold or overly crowded, maybe a dryland warm-up is a better idea. (It is is a new pool it is a good idea to practice turns, especially if doing backstroke. Starts are also good to add in your warm up if you haven’t used the starting blocks before.)
6. Psychology. Is your athlete “in the moment” and focused on the race? This can be tricky to man
The following suggestions can also help guide you in building a good warm-up:
1. Have the swimmer complete a long, slow swim thinking about perfect stroke.
2. Incorporate kicking into the warm-up. It is amazing what it does for swim speed when done right.
3. Add in some pace work.
4. Complete some faster-than-race pace short effort swims. (Example could be to do a perfect push off and sprint a few pulls or swim a 25 build finishing in a sprint.)
5. Take the necessary time to focus on every aspect of the race that produces peak performance.
How much you put into each of the items above will vary from athlete to athlete. You might need to change it up a bit from time to time until you get it just right. (As with all aspects of swimming there is no right answer for every swimmer and finding the right answer for you will take time, practice, and patience.)

MM Workout 9/19/12

As with any workout program, please consult with a physician before engaging in a new program and listen to your body for any signs of distress.  This practice is meant to give you ideas only and should be modified to fit your needs.  Neither USMS, CT LMSC, nor the publisher is responsible for any ill effects of this practice, whether used as written or modified.

Actually this is based off of a Mike Laux practice.  Thank you, Mike. 

500 Warm up

Repeat the following 5 times: #1 is kick, #2 is pull, #3 is drill, #4 is free, #5 is fl, ba, or br
50 with :5 rest
100 with :10 rest
150 with :15 rest
optional: 200 with :20 rest
more optional: 250
1:00 rest between sets

4×50 free fast on 1:00
300 cool down

Total yards: up to 150’s is 2500, up to 200’s is 3500, and up to 250’s is 4750.

MM Workout 9/17/12

As with any workout program, please consult with a physician before engaging in a new program and listen to your body for any signs of distress.  This practice is meant to give you ideas only and should be modified to fit your needs.  Neither USMS, CT LMSC, nor the publisher is responsible for any ill effects of this practice, whether used as written or modified.

500 Choice warm up

400 Kick- all free, all with a board- if you can

2×300 Free pull- once with paddles, once with a pull buoy if you have them

3×200 Free 6 beat kick drill: 25 6 kick switch, 25 5 beat kick switch, 25 4 beat kick switch, 25 3 beat kick switch, 100 try to maintain a 6 beat kick

100 IM SPRINT!!!

4×75 Breaststroke- the goggles drill: 1 pull with your head down, 1 pull head coming out to your goggles, 1 pull with a regular breath and repeat

4×50 Free- golf drill: for each 50 add your time to your stroke count for both laps and try to descent that number.

300 Choice cool down

Total 3000 yards

MM Practice 6/25/12

As with any workout program, please consult with a physician before engaging in a new program and listen to your body for any signs of distress.  This practice is meant to give you ideas only and should be modified to fit your needs.  Neither USMS, CT LMSC, nor the publisher is responsible for any ill effects of this practice, whether used as written or modified.

500 Choice warm up

3 x 100 Fr fast on a time that gives about 15 seconds rest
200 IM medium paced- on a time that gives about 45 seconds rest
repeat this 3-6 times

4 x 100 kick, IM order

4 x 50 Choice, sprints

200 Choice, cool down

MM Practice 5/14

As with any workout program, please consult with a physician before engaging in a new program and listen to your body for any signs of distress.  This practice is meant to give you ideas only and should be modified to fit your needs.  Neither USMS, CT LMSC, nor the publisher is responsible for any ill effects of this practice, whether used as written or modified.

500 Choice warm up

50 Not Free
100 Not Free
150 Not Free
200 Not Free
500 Free
200 Not Free
150 Not Free
100 Not Free
50 Not Free

300 Choice kick
200 Choice cool down

Total: 2500 if you do the main set once, 4000 if twice, 5500 if three times

For the ambitious swimmer, try doing the main set 3 times: the first time do the Not Free as fly, the second time as back, and the third as breast.  For the less ambitious swimmer, do the main set once or twice and consider mixing up the strokes during the Not Free including doing the 100’s and/or 200’s as IM.

MM Practice 5/2

As with any workout program, please consult with a physician before engaging in a new program and listen to your body for any signs of distress.  This practice is meant to give you ideas only and should be modified to fit your needs.  Neither USMS, CT LMSC, nor the publisher is responsible for any ill effects of this practice, whether used as written or modified.

500 Free- Try breathing every 3 strokes for the whole 500

2×400 IM

3X300 Free Drills

4X200 Not Free Drills

5×100 Free Fast, good swimmers should do them on about 1:40, medium swimmers should do 2:00- adjust the time to your ability

200 Cool Down

Total 3700 yards

If you want more yards, think about adding a 500 warm up before the 500 free, longer cool down, and/or a 500 kick set after the 5×100.

If you want a shorter set, take out some of the higher multiples- do 1×400 IM instead of 2 or 2×200 Not Free Drill.  Try to keep in at least one of everything and do closer amounts to the stuff you need to work on- triathletes and open water swimmers should keep the free and do less of the IM and Not Free.

MM Practice 2/15/12

As with any workout program, please consult with a physician before engaging in a new program and listen to your body for any signs of distress.  This practice is meant to give you ideas only and should be modified to fit your needs.  Neither USMS, CT LMSC, nor the publisher is responsible for any ill effects of this practice, whether used as written or modified. 

500 Choice warm up

200 Fly kick

4×100 Fly on 2:15

200 Back kick

4×100 Back on 2:15

200 Breast kick

4×100 Breast on 2:30

200 Free kick

4×100 Free on 2:00

300 drill cool down

3200 yards, about 1 hour, 30 minutes

What did they mean?

Every coach has his/her own terms and abbreviations which can make it hard to understand a written practice.  If the coach is available, ask him/her any questions you might have.  As a coach, I might use different terms or abbreviations, I might use a drill you don’t know, or sometimes my handwriting is just horrible.  I, and most Master’s coaches, am never insulted for clarification as I know master’s swimmers have very different backgrounds when they come to my program.  I appreciate the curiosity and interested in my work.  If the coach is not available, consider emailing them or any coach or long time swimmer for their ideas on what was meant. 

One question I often get is on a common set such as 10×50 Fr on 1:00.  What this means for my practices is that the swimmer should do 50 yards Freestyle, 10 times, starting 1 minute apart.  Often this means starting on the 60 or “the top” and every 60 starting the next 50.  This is a good set because if you start on the same time, you easily compare if you go faster or slower than the one before.  Not every swimmer can  repeat 50’s on a minute, so 2 minutes could also be used for the same experience.  If you are getting good at reading the pace clock (it is a skill just like flip turns and butterfly kick that do improve with practice), then you can try other intervals like 1:30 or :50.  To repeat 50’s on :50, try the first one on the 60, the second on the 50, the third on the 40, the fourth on the 30 and so on. 

Some people have expressed that they thought on 1:00 meant taking one minute rest after you finish the 50, which also an option.  In my practices, I will note this by saying 10×50 Fr with 1:00 rest.  The advantage of practicing on an interval- leaving every 1:00 or 2:00 is that you are incouraged to swim fast so that you can have more rest.  The advantage of having swimmers rest a specific amount of time between swims is that many different abilities can swim a set and not feel pressure to keep up with or slow down for the group. 

Most important is that you do sets that you are comfortable with and can feel successful at even if you make up your own rules for them.  This will encouraged you to keep swimming.