Set Of The Week: Distance Threshold

Photo Courtesy: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to Swimming World’s Set Of The Week! This week’s set is distance threshold set that is in many ways an opportunity for your athletes to get up and go. Take a look at the set below and the explanation that follows:

2 Rounds:

200 swim at threshold pace on 3:00

6 x 100 swims descend 1-3 to threshold, hold pace 4-6 on 1:30

200 swim loosen on 4:00

At just 2,000 yards, this set isn’t an incredible amount of yardage (although you can up it with 3 or even 4 rounds if it fits your needs), but that doesn’t mean it is not intense. A great set for your 500, 1,000, and 1,650 swimmers (and maybe that brave 200 swimmer) this set gets your athletes up and moving fast. Make sure that your athletes are fully warmed up before jumping into this set, because starting with a 200 at threshold gets your athletes right into intense swimming. After a short rest, swimmers will move into 6 x 100’s that are descend through the first three 100’s to threshold pace. Once they hit that pace on the third 100, the challenge is then to hold that pace through the last three before the 200 loosen and the second round, where they go through the whole set again.

The point of this set is to find that threshold pace and see how long you can maintain it. Rest shouldn’t be plentiful, but there is active recovery time mixed in through the first couple 100’s and at the end of each round to help your swimmer’s reset. The beauty of this set is that it is flexible; the intervals can be moved up or down depending on the needs of your swimmers and how intense you want the set to be. Additionally, you can play around with pacing each round. An example of this would be having the 200 be at mile pace, with the 100’s descend to 1,000 pace through number three and then descend to 500 pace from three to six. Regardless of your needs, what this set does well is set up high quality repeats in a relatively short window of time (with the above intervals, 2,000 yards will only take 32 minutes). With practice, the translation to their racing should be an extra gear during the middle to second half of their race, where they can hold their pace or pull ahead to finish strong. Happy swimming!

Comments Off on Set Of The Week: Distance Threshold

Author: James Sica

avatar
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).

Current Swimming World Issue


Trouble Viewing on Smart Phones, Tablets or iPads? Click Here