Creative Ways to Shake Up Your Summer Training

IMG_0892
Photo Courtesy: Sarah Ehrmantraut

By McKenna Ehrmantraut, Swimming World College Intern. 

As the school year begins to wind down, most people are packing up to go to the beach – but not swimmers! They are getting ready for endless double practices, knee skin tan lines and nap time. While sun burns and sore muscles are inevitable, mindless and outdated sets should not be. Here are a few fun and creative ways to shake up your summer training!

Sunny Sets 

100 x 100s 

Looking for a challenging way to start off the summer? Try the classic set of 100x100s. This set may bring tears to your eyes as you fight through the intervals, but as your coach always says, it will all be worth it when you hit your goal. This set can also be modified for younger swimmers by doing 75x75s or 50x50s. The best way to make this set fly by is by doing 10 rounds of 10x100s, mixing up the sets by round.

summer training

Photo Courtesy: Travis Bender

Baskin Robbins 

This set gets its name because the total yardage adds up to 3,100, and Baskin Robbin’s has 31 ice cream flavors. While this set may seem rather daunting, distance swimmers love it! And what better reward afterward than a scoop of ice cream?

2x50s – 2x100s – 2x200s – 2x300s – 2x400s – 2x500s 

The first of each distance is sprint kicking with fins, and the second is distance per stroke freestyle.
This is all back-to-back with no interval. 

The 12 Days of Summer

On the 1st day of summer my swim coach gave to me, 1×200 free.

On the 2nd day … 2×100 butterfly and a 200 free.

On the 3rd day … 3×50 sprints, 2×100 butterfly and a 200 free.

On the 4th day … 4×100 IMs, 3×50 sprints, 2×100 butterfly and a 200 free.

On the 5th day … 5x75s drill, 4×100 IMs, 3×50 sprints, 2×100 butterfly and a 200 free.

On the 6th day … 6×25 underwaters, 5x75s drill, 4×100 IMs, 3×50 sprints, 2×100 butterfly and a 200 free.

On the 7th day … 7x50s backstroke, 6×25 underwaters, 5x75s drill, 4×100 IMs, 3×50 sprints, 2×100 butterfly and a 200 free.

On the 8th day … 8x25s breaststroke, 7x50s backstroke, 6×25 underwaters, 5x75s drill, 4×100 IMs, 3×50 sprints, 2×100 butterfly and a 200 free.

On the 9th day … 9 mid pool 25s, 8x25s breaststroke, 7x50s backstroke, 6×25 underwaters, 5x75s drill, 4×100 IMs, 3×50 sprints, 2×100 butterfly and a 200 free.

On the 10th day … 10×25 sprints, 9 mid pool 25s, 8x25s breaststroke, 7x50s backstroke, 6×25 underwaters, 5x75s drill, 4×100 IMs, 3×50 sprints, 2×100 butterfly and a 200 free.

On the 11th … 11 underwater sit-ups, 10×25 sprints, 9 mid pool 25s, 8x25s breaststroke, 7x50s backstroke, 6×25 underwaters, 5x75s drill, 4×100 IMs, 3×50 sprints, 2×100 butterfly and a 200 free.

On the 12th day of summer my swim coach gave to me, 12x50s IM order, 11 underwater sit-ups, 10×25 sprints, 9 mid pool 25s, 8x25s breaststroke, 7x50s backstroke, 6×25 underwaters, 5x75s drill, 4×100 IMs, 3×50 sprints, 2×100 butterfly and a 200 free.

Countdown to Summer 

Who has sat in a classroom watching the clock tick down the last ten seconds to summer? This set will help you count down to summer practices in the pool!

10x50s – 9x50s – 8x50s – 7x50s – 6x50s – 5x50s – 4x50s – 3x50s – 2x50s – 1×50 

These 50s can differ per round, and contain everything from 50s of freestyle
to 50s of corkscrew. Be creative! 

summer training

Photo Courtesy: Sarah Ehrmantraut

Duck Throw

For this quacky set, you’ll need a white board and a rubber duck! Draw a few squares on the white board and put a good mix of easy and hard sets into them. Then, have members of the team take turns tossing the rubber duck onto the board. Whichever square the duck lands on will be the next set the team will complete.

Radical Relays 

summer training

Photo Courtesy: Travis Bender

Watermelon Relays 

What you need: Watermelons and something to make your watermelons slippery (sunscreen or lotion work well).

How to play: Separate into teams of two and grease up one watermelon per team. At the whistle, teams must get their watermelon to the other side of the pool without their feet touching the bottom. The first team to the wall wins. Feel free to do this in rounds with the winners advancing to the next race. When a winner is declared, it’s time to slice up the watermelons and dig in!

Pack Up the Beach Bag 

What you need: A few mesh bags and a variety of summer items, such as flip-flops, sunglasses, buckets and shovels, and pool toys.

How to play: Each team (groups of 4 work best) sends half of their members to the opposite side of the pool. The first person grabs the mesh bag and swims to the other side of the pool. Once at the wall, a summer item is added to the bag. The bag is then passed to the next member of the team who swims back to the other side and adds another item, and so forth. This continues until all of the items have been collected; the first team to reach the wall with all of their items wins!

T-shirt Relays

What you need: A big T-shirt for each team.

tshirt relay

Photo Courtesy: Kristy Kinzer

How to play: Split into teams of six to ten people with half of the members on each end of the pool. The first person on the relay puts on the baggy T-shirt. At the whistle, the first swimmer of each group races to the wall, quickly exits of the pool and gives the shirt to the second leg of the relay. This continues until everyone on the team has gone and the winner has been crowned!

All commentaries are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Swimming World Magazine nor its staff. 

10 comments

  1. avatar
    Sarah

    Fun ideas for age groupers!

  2. avatar
    Travis

    Watermelon relay sounds fun! Our pool cuts up watermelons on meet days in summer, so we could save a melon and do this as a fun relay on the day after a meet 🙂

  3. avatar
    Sydni Resnick

    Wow, great ideas I want to do all those sets!

  4. avatar
    Addison

    I sang all the way. Thanks!!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.