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Build team camaraderie and teach pacing

Cokie Lepinski | June 15, 2012

Want to build a little team camaraderie and teach your swimmers about pacing and clock awareness? Here is a set that could help you achieve these objectives.

The idea for the main set comes from Coach Susie Powell of Swymnut Masters. I have expanded her approach to make this a full main set. This set is very easy to tailor to your swimmers and their individual needs.

The beauty of this set is that all swimmers start and end the set (and all segments) together. The swimmers can kick, drill, pull or swim any stroke or combination of strokes they desire. They can make this main set aerobic with just a little rest between, or push their anaerobic side by shortening the distance they choose to swim, but giving high effort to the swims. They can wear equipment, or not.

Team Sendoffs

A 30-minute main set that will see slower swimmers getting approximately 1500 yards and faster swimmers upwards of 2150 yards

  • 10 minutes of 2:00 swims (5 swims)
  • 9 minutes of 1:30 swims (6 swims)
  • 6 minutes of 1:00 swims (6 swims)
  • 3 minutes of :45 swims (4 swims)
  • 2 minutes of :30 swims (4 swims)

You have options to relax the set a bit by inserting rest periods of :30 to 1:00 between the timed segments (10 minutes, 9 minutes, etc.)  This helps swimmers plan their strategy for the next time block. You can also up the yardage by either extending the existing time segments (make it 12 minutes of 2-minute swims, etc.) or adding in another timed segment (perhaps a 7-minute block of 4 x 1:45 swims).

The swimmers have to determine how far they can swim in each segment that will have them finishing at a wall and allowing themselves at least some rest, even if just :05 seconds.

I love swimming this set myself and find that some days I'm working to max the yardage and other days I'm working to push the sprint side. If you've got sets to share, drop me a note, and I'll be sure and credit you with your set in a future write up.

USMS Wave Seperator

About the Author—Cokie Lepinski

Cokie Lepinski has founded and coached two Masters teams. She was named Coach of the Year by U.S. Masters Swimming in 2014, received a Dorothy Donnelly award in 2014, the USMS Kerry O’Brien award in 2010, and the Pacific Masters Coach of the Year award in 2011. Passionate about stroke technique, the USMS-certified Level 4 coach continues to coach stroke clinics and write articles for USMS.

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