Swimming World Presents “Special Sets: IM Transition Sets with Coach Ken Heis”

jake-foster-special sets - IM Transitions

Special Sets:
IM Transition Sets
with Coach Ken Heis

Ken Heis, head coach of the Mason (Ohio) Manta Rays, has a studied approach to IM training, honed by experimentation and experience. He has mentored more than 20 Olympic Trials qualifiers, 30 Ohio high school state champions, three national junior team members and numerous national Top 10 age group swimmers. At Kenyon, he was a 17-time NCAA Division III national champion and 22-time All-American.

While he earned his college props as a sprinter, he has burnished his current reputation by coaching two of the nation’s top high school IMers, national junior team members and Texas-bound Jake and Carson Foster. CollegeSwimming.com has both brothers ranked No. 1 in Ohio, with Jake No. 2 nationally and Carson tied for No. 1 for their respective classes.

Here the four-time Ohio Swimming Coach of the Year shares some sample IM transition sets.

“One of the many keys to a successful IM is good transitions. We might have a really good backstroker who struggles to take advantage of that strength because of exhaustion from the fly. Thus, they need to learn how to leverage the transition from one stroke to another.

“Early in the season, when we are stressing individual stroke, we do some transition sets. Toward the end of the season, we really hone finer transition mechanics as we do more whole IM sets,” says Heis.

“For example, we will work on finding easy speed on the fly and then work the backstroke. On backstroke, we have swimmers concentrate on arm tempo the first half of the race and then add more legs in the second. This allows swimmers to keep backstroke speed up while not expending too much energy on the legs after the fly.

Here is a sample transition set:
• 4 x 50 back/breast (descend 1-4 to 200 pace or faster on :50)
• 4 x 100 back/breast (descend 1-4 on 1:30)
• 4 x 150 back/breast (descend 1-4 on 2:10)
• 4 x 200 back/breast (descend 1-4 on 2:40)

Coach Heis
: “The goal here is to hold speed as distance gets longer and go race pace or even faster on #4 of each round.”

For more wisdom (and sample sets) from Coach Ken Heis,
check out the April 2019 issue of Swimming World Magazine, available now!

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FEATURES

016 2018 TOP 12 WORLD MASTERS SWIMMERS OF THE YEAR
by Dan D’Addona, David Rieder and Taylor Brien

022 A CUT ABOVE THE REST
by Michael Randazzo
Despite Jovan Vavic’s stunning eviction from Troy, USC and Stanford remain the teams to beat at this year’s NCAA Women’s Water Polo Championships in May. The Trojans beat the Cardinal 5-4 last year at their home pool, but Stanford will play host to the NCAA’s top teams in 2019. In the past nine years, Stanford has captured five national titles, with USC winning four—including two of the last three.

026 OPPORTUNITY KNOCKS
by Michael Randazzo
Paola Dominguez-Castro, a high school junior living in Hialeah, Fla.—and considered one of the most impressive young water polo talents in the country—has the opportunity to break free of the environment that has both sustained and developed that talent, and become an example for others who might aspire to greater success.

030 THE GREATEST SWIM IN HISTORY
by Bruce Wigo
At the 1965 AAU Short Course Nationals, a capacity crowd of 3,000 thought they had just seen “the greatest swim in history.” They cheered wildly for FIVE MINUTES after Steve Clark had broken the 46-second barrier in the 100 yard freestyle with a 45.6. After watching Caeleb Dressel’s three barrier-breaking swims at last year’s NCAAs—and believing that Dressel can swim even faster—Clark, now 75, believes “the greatest swim in history has yet to happen.”

034 NUTRITION: AROUND THE TABLE WITH MICHIGAN LAKESHORE AQUATICS
by Dan D’Addona and Dawn Weatherwax

COACHING

010 LESSONS WITH THE LEGENDS: TAMAS SZECHY
by Michael J. Stott

014 SWIMMING TECHNIQUE CONCEPTS: CONDITIONING TO OPTIMIZE TECHNIQUE (Part 1)
by Rod Havriluk

038 WHAT COACHES CAN LEARN FROM SWIMMERS (Part 2)
by Michael J. Stott
This is the second of a two-part series in which Swimming World shares epiphanies from coaches whose athletes fundamentally altered their coaching philosophy. Last month’s article dealt with the individuality of swimmers. This month, coaches discuss the importance of feedback.

040 SPECIAL SETS: IM TRANSITION SETS
by Michael J. Stott
Ken Heis, head coach of the Mason (Ohio) Manta Rays, has a studied approach to IM training, honed by experimentation and experience. Here the four-time Ohio Swimming Coach of the Year shares some sample IM transition sets.

043 Q&A WITH COACH ADAM EPSTEIN
by Michael J. Stott

044 HOW THEY TRAIN :LUKAS MACEK
by Michael J. Stott

TRAINING

013 DRYSIDE TRAINING: EXERCISE EQUIPMENT SERIES—TRX SUSPENSION STRAPS
by J.R. Rosania

JUNIOR SWIMMER

036 GOLDMINDS: LESSONS ABOUT LOSING
by Wayne Goldsmith

046 UP & COMERS: NATALIE MANNION
by Taylor Brien

COLUMNS

008 A VOICE FOR THE SPORT

009 BEYOND THE YARDS

025 MOMS AT MEETS

029 DID YOU KNOW? ISHOF/MASTERS HALL OF FAMERS

047 GUTTER TALK

048 PARTING SHOT