3500 Funky Salad
The set (3500):
100 fr, 100 bk/br/bk/br, 100 free, 100 bk/br/bk/br
4 x 25 one armed free, R/L breath same side, breath opp. side. (other arm at side)
4 rounds of:
1 x 300 (N)
2 x 150 (N-1, same tempo)
IM Salad (supposed to be 75s, but I lost track):
300 5:18 avg SPL 16 (1:46 pace)
2x150 2:33, 2:32 avg SPL 15-16 (1:42 pace)
300 4:11 (ooops, looks like that was a 250) avg SPL 16-17 (1:40 pace)
2x150 2:23, 2:22 SPL 18ish (1:35 pace)
300 5:16 SPL 18/19 (1:45 pace)
2x150 2:20, 2:24 18/19 (1:33-1:35 pace)
300 5:21 SPL 16 (relaxed) (1:46 pace)
2x150 2:25, 2:21 SPL 19ish (1:34-1:36 pace)
Man it's been way too long since I swam, for lots of reasons. First of all there were 2 or 3 sets I wanted to have tried by today. (some 500 TT sets, some fast 50/slow 25 sets, IM salad sets). But with so many days out of the pool, I just wanted to get my feel back and make sure I could still calibrate my stroke.
I used a variation of a set that one of my athletes logged today, with some framework added to it.
However, after having planned to swim after work, packing my stuff, calling the pool to check for hours and being ecstatic that the pool was nearly empty...I opened up my bag and realized that I'd forgotten my cap, goggles and tempo trainer! ARGGGGHHHHH!
I had a spare cap and I fished through a bucket of goggles on the pool deck, and modified my set to do without the tempo trainer.
The goal was to start with a relaxed pace, get an average stroke count of "N", then swim N-1 on the subsequent shorter sets at the same tempo. Without the tempo trainer I really had to work hard to 'guess' at the proper tempo.
With each set I tried to pick up the tempo just a bit, also increasing stroke count. Trying to drop strokes yet maintain the same tempo on the 150s was quite a challenge and very tiring.
During the 3rd round, i pretty much lost count of all the strokes and just tried to keep tempo.
For the 4th round I decided to try once again a relaxed 300 holding a stroke count of 16 SPL for the duration. I have to say that this was the most satisfying of all the sets...after swimming 2300yards, to be able to stay relaxed, refocus my form and hold 16 SPL right up to the last 25 felt great.
In the end, the 150s just ended up being a faster tempo than the 300s...without the tempo trainer trying to both maintain tempo AND decrease strokes was too much to think about. Just goes to show you that even well planned sets go awry.
The really cool part about the 150s was feeling that I could hold my effort for 100s with much more ease than I felt I could previously...and then holding it for that extra 50 was noticably difficult. I really feel like I'm building speed back into my swimming in the proper way.
While I was swimming I could see other swimmers in lanes next to me and I used them all as carrots, seeing how long it would take me to catch them while maintaining my form & SPL.
My warm-up was 5 x 100 of alternating hundreds of free, then bk/br/bk/br, etc. During each free set I chose a different stroke thought...head down & relaxed, arm floating forward. The last 100 was 4 x 25 of one armed free, breathing opposite side and same side, other arm at side.
Every time I finish a warm-up with one of these sets the next few lengths of free are so smooth and effortless. I should spend more time on this focus.
During the main set, my stroke focuses alternated, and included wide(r) tracks, wide recovery, ear hops, mail slot, timing of 2BK with pull (this actually got confusing to me).
Midway through the main set I considered cutting it short...mostly out of boredom, but I HTFU'd it'd and made myself just keep going and finished the set, and I'm really glad that I did. I felt great at the end of it.
I finished with a funky IM tossed salad of this: (it was hard to keep track) fl/bk/br, bk/br/fr/fl/bk, br/fr/fl; bk/br/fr.
Suzanne Atkinson, MD
Level 3 USAT Coach
USA Paralympic Triathlon Coach
Coach of 5 time USA Triathlon Triathlete of the Year, Kirsten Sass
Steel City Endurance, LTD