Set Of The Week: Variable Speed Kicking

Photo Courtesy: Rick Pelletier

Welcome to Swimming World’s Set Of The Week! This week’s set is a kick set that mixes aerobic kicking, bursts of speed, and descend work.

2 Rounds:

400 kick w/ 10 meter blast off each wall on 7:20

4 x 50 kick descend 1-4 on 1:00

Extra :30 rest between rounds

As you can see above, this is a short kick set that mixes in a lot of different elements to keep swimmers engaged. While it appears simple, having your athletes give 10 meters of fast kicking off each wall will ensure they are working their legs throughout the entire kick. If your athletes are kicking on a board this is a great way to show energy and enthusiasm on deck for those athletes who are consistently creating white water from their feet and going fast off every wall.

In the intervals given above, the 400 kick is set on a 1:50 base/100, while the 50’s are on a 2:00 base per 100. Regardless of the intervals you choose, you should make the interval base for the 400 faster than the interval base for the 50’s. While they are varying their effort within the 400, they should still be challenged to make the interval and get negligible rest. On the 50’s, make the interval more relaxed and encourage a big descend on the fourth 50. Take an extra :30 rest between rounds to regroup.

This set can also be modified to give an extra challenge. The 400 and 50’s can easily be increased for more yardage, and the bursts of speed on the longer kick can be used as fast underwaters. For younger athletes, this a great way to introduce intervals for kicking as well as more complex elements like changing speeds and descending efforts. No matter what group you use this set with, it is a simple and effective way to get high quality leg work from your athletes. Happy swimming!

Coaches and swimmers should take precautions to avoid shallow water blackouts when performing underwater drills. All training should be conducted by a certified and experienced coach. Coaches and swimmers who use these drills should do so at their own discretion. Learn more about shallow water blackouts

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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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