Reply To: Help with planning my weeks

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Matt & Otter,
On the team we a value system; as what do we value in race performance and what we will never give up during the race and that’s “turn speed, underwater work and surface swimming technique” and we use this value system for our for all work done between sets. We’re always trying to reinforce the value system. We may slow down. But will never give up the “system”.

You’re right on this. Some are going to except responsibility example: they know that tempo on the last 12.5 is an issue so they will get a tempo trainer and plug in their number and others with the same problem don’t take advantage of this. When I was doing my student teaching I just didn’t understand why some didn’t want to learn and my supervising teacher told me “you can’t save them all” regardless of the effort you put in.

I don’t understand the “regardless of their times” if that means you have them keep going regardless of pace then you are running the risk of some very fatigued swimmers especially later in the week and the accumulation of that fatigue will cause problems later in the season with race performance. You are recording a lot of data! Just a suggestion here keeping track of number offered i.e. 20 x 50 offered, number made 12 and the percent of total offer to total made. We keep a running total and this can be easily done in EXCEL. What you want to know is; are they increasing the distance covered at race pace? Lower percentage done may be lower fitness level, higher number done higher fitness level. Plain and simple and it cuts down on a lot of data recording that while interesting is time consuming.

You have to read the numbers. If you see that they are struggling with the numbers made then you may need to slow the progression down and may need to repeat the same total the next time. i.e. 12 last time, average made was 4 and so next time you repeat 12 and see what happens. This especially is something you have to pay attention to with high school and college swimmers. Just due to the external stressor of school.

I’m guessing “exit conditions” are unloading/taper? This is much like the 2nd strategy of “distance is constant and speed is increasing” You could allow them to go even faster than goal speed if they can. I wouldn’t do this for more than a 2 week cycle as it can become very frustrating to the athlete. You have to be very careful that you aren’t increasing speed/intensity and distance at the same time this is what we call the “double whammy”. We have great success with the 3 day protocol 3 days out of meet 1st day 25% reduction in numbers 2nd day another 25% reduction which is a total of 50% and then the 3rd day meet warm-up. We’ve very well with this format.

The first set for us is always the “improvement” set we are looking for more made than the last time. So that requires that you to set up a sequence of work from short (25s) to long (50s/75s/100s) and then reverse long to short. So you have to rotate them throughout the cycle in that they have a chance at improving numbers when fresh (10 minutes to warm-up, drill and start set) our second and third and sometimes fourth are as follows 2nd set same number offered as last time. 3rd set came be anywhere from 50 to 70% reduction from last time offered. There are times we will try and “squeeze” two improvement sets out using the second set with an increase of plus 2 from last time.

I can’t stress enough that you have to read the numbers. They will talk to you!

This fourm has come a long way from it’s beginngs with coaches saying “well I think” to this is “what we’re seeing” and actually having data and sharing that helps move everyone forward.


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