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Friday, 24 August 2012

Focus on Focus

As an athlete at NBAC, I learned the phrase "train the stroke". "Train the stroke" means that we have to do enough of one stroke at one time, within the same set, to actually improve the stroke.

Here's an example of something like what I was doing as a swimmer at NBAC in 1992:
300 Swim
300 Drill
300 Pull

12x50 (50) IM switching

8x150 (2) -- 50 Kick, 50 Drill, 50 Swim -- 2 of each

10x300 (4)
75 Free + 50 Breast Face Kick + 50 2Kick 1Pull + 50 Dolphin Pull + 75 Breast Swim
{sometimes we would take 10 seconds rest before the 75 swim and change the 300 to 4:10}

10x200 Free Pull (220) last one fast

300 easy

There are two main reasons the set of 10x300 is so good:

1) It's 40 minutes long, which offers enough time for athletes to get something out of it aerobically.

2) It enables the athlete to get into a rhythm with the stroke due to the overall length of the set and the amount of continuous breaststroke swum within each repeat.

The distance and length of repeats of this set can be modified for less-experienced athletes, but the idea of continuous swimming within one discipline should remain. The set should be balanced by different types of training sets for each particular stroke (I try to balance aerobic sets with faster-paced active rest sets, drill sets, and kick sets).

I'm going to try the above set with my athletes and see how well they can average while holding great stroke. Look for a post in a few weeks to see how it goes!

1 comment:

  1. Good to know others have the same thoughts. I don't let my IMer's do many IM's early in the season as we are building endurance/strength/skill within each stroke first, then we put them together