Swim Training Set Of The Week: 200 Stroke Set

2015 Ron Johnson Invite

This week’s Swim Training Set Of The Week offers a whopping 31 200s to work on long specialty swimming. For “fun,” prescribe this practice on the 31st of the month to end the month’s training with a bang. Here’s the set:


1 x 200 specialty #1 (desc. 1-5; 6-10) @ 3:00

1 x 200 specialty #2 (desc. 1-5; 6-10) @ 3:00

1 x 200 free hypoxic 3                        @ 3:00

After round 10: 200 specialty #1 off the block all out

The set is long and straightforward, but is a great challenge to the swimmers. The 200s specialty are all descend by round. Descend the 200s in two separate sets, rounds one through five and rounds six through ten. Rounds five and ten should be smoking fast.

Descending, obviously, is the main focus and goal of this set. If the swimmer isn’t descending, they’re missing the main purpose of the set: to get faster as they get more and more tired. The challenge of the set stretches beyond just descending, though. It’s important to maintain a solid stroke for all ten rounds. This may be tougher for butterflyers and breaststrokers than, say, backstrokers, but it’s crucial that the technique doesn’t fall apart by round ten.

All 200s are on 3:00, so the swimmers should be getting plenty of rest. This means the descends should be fast! For swimmers without a clear cut second specialty (for example, their next best stroke is a toss-up), you could let them do IM or freestyle. If they do choose to do freestyle, have them start out fast on number one, since they’ll be getting more rest. The 200 free at the end is a recovery that stresses an “every three” breathing pattern.

The set can be watered down to work on 200 training with younger age group swimmers. For 11-12s, do the set six or eight times.

After ten rounds, get up on the blocks for a 200 stroke all out. The 31st 200 is the ultimate gut check.

Interested in having your set used in Swimming World’s Training Set of the Week? Submit your set to the Swim Coaches Idea Exchange Group on Facebook or email it to edulaney@fuse.net. Be sure to include your team name and any comments or explanations for your set.


  1. Amy Foran

    Alex Timms – I would die!

  2. Nino Sieling

    Jeroen Dellebeke