Set Of The Week: Aerobic Stroke Endurance

Photo Courtesy: Gwangju Summer Universiade Organizing Committee

Welcome to Swimming World’s Set Of The Week! This week’s set is an aerobic IM and middle distance stroke set that focuses on pacing non-freestyle strokes. Take a look at the set and its description below:

2 Rounds:

8 x 50’s IMO second 50 faster than the first on 1:00

3 x (100 major stroke negative split R15, 100 moderate free R15)

***100 easy between rounds

The set is divided into two rounds that gives it some level of flexibility depending on the number or groups you are working with and the needs of your team. As written above, the set begins with 8 x 50’s IM order, with the second 50 faster than the first. Think of this as an easier version of a broken 400 IM, working on negative splitting each 100 of stroke. The 1:00 interval should make it reasonable for everyone to get faster on each 50.

Next is three rounds of a 100 major stroke followed by a 100 moderate freestyle. Both 100’s are on :15 seconds rest, which is to meant to have your athletes focus more on their pacing rather than the time they are going or on making an interval. The 100’s stroke are negative split, and the 100 freestyle in between each 100 of stroke should still be at a moderate pace to maintain a good aerobic level of work. The lack of intervals will also make it easier for certain main stroke groups to stay together (breaststrokers in particular).

For a non-IM group, you can change the 50’s to be stroke/free by 50 or drill/stroke by 50 if you want to focus on a particular stroke in a round. You can also have your athletes go IM order all through the set, going butterfly/backstroke/breaststroke by 100. No matter how you decide to break up the set, it is a great way to get 2,200 yards of aerobic work in that works on developing confidence in non-free stroke endurance. Happy swimming!

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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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