Commit Swimming Set Of The Week: Backstroke Bobs

Photo Courtesy: Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports

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Welcome to Swimming World’s Set of the Week sponsored by Commit Swimming.com! This week’s set focuses on backstroke descends that use active rest in the form of streamline bobs instead of intervals.

2 Rounds:
     4 x 150 back desc 1-4 (rest = 10 streamline bobs)
     300 as 100 fast kick/50 smooth swim on regroup
     4 x 100 back desc 1-4 (rest = 5 streamline bobs)
     4 x 50 back (fast breakout/fast finish/all fast/all easy) on 1:00

There are a few reasons for the inclusion of the streamline bobs. First off, it “tricks” swimmers into getting in a longer sustained effort over the 4 x 150’s and 4 x 100’s descend. While the the streamline bobs are labeled their rest, in reality this will help keep their heart rates up between repeats and almost serves as a way to make break up what would be a 600 and 400 build.  

The bobs also will force swimmers to think about their body position in between repeats. Frame them as an opportunity for your swimmers to think about how they are coming off of the wall (we all know how important underwaters are in backstroke!) and as another opportunity to stay tight and strong off the walls.

While the set doesn’t really feature any “traditional” interval work outside of the 4 x 50’s at the end of each round, that doesn’t mean swimmers should go easy. Challenge them to make the end of each descend round fast and take extra time after the 300 kick/swim if it means your swimmers will be able to go faster each round.

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1 Comment

1 comment

  1. avatar
    Gordon Dart

    I really like this set but can you tell me what a “bob” is? Is this vertical kick?

Author: James Sica

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James Sica is the Men and Women's Assistant Coach at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He has been an assistant coach at CMU in Pittsburgh, PA (2015-2017), a volunteer assistant coach with the Harvard women’s program (2014-2015) and an assistant with the Ithaca College men's program (2012-2014).

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