Virtual Swim Club

Monthly Practice Schedule For Your General Skill Improvement.

Month 3 of 6

Skills For This Month

Choosing Your Focal Points

In addition to these given below, you may view the standard TI focal points and drill outlines on the Freestyle Drill Resource page. For even more ideas you may view many others on our 101 Focal Points page.

Level 1 Skills: Front-End Alignment

Front-End Alignment

During Cycle 1 these are the different features of the front-end alignment to work on:

  • Keep the recovery motion swinging forward.
  • Keep the entry hand entering on track, in front of the shoulder.
  • Keep entry and extension path on track, in front of shoulder.
  • Bring extending hand to the target below the lowest part of your body.

During Cycle 2 these are the different features of the spine alignment to work on:

  • Keep the head-spine line straight, pointed straight ahead (as if pulled by a string) without letting any arm or leg motions pull the head-spine out of this alignment.
  • During breathing, keep your lead arm extending forward – DO NOT push downward. Do not set the catch until your head has returned to face-down position after breathing.

 

Level 2 Skills: Improve Tempo Consistency

Improve Tempo Consistency

During Cycle 1 these are the different features of improved tempo consistency to work on:

  • Start a ‘comfortable’ (easy for you) tempo (TC) for the sets which use a Tempo Trainer.
  • From tempo work in the previous month your TC may shift a bit faster. Use this faster tempo as your new TC.
  • Try different points of the stroke to sync the BEEP to: entry moment, touch the target moment (finish the extension), set the catch moment, start of hip rotation, start of toe flick, etc.
  • Keep the stroke timed to the BEEP especially when you start to feel tired – this is the key part of the training. If the tempo becomes impossible, consider adjusting your starting TC.

During Cycle 2 these are the different features of improved tempo consistency to work on:

  • To adapt to changing tempo adjust the rate of your recovery swing (a little faster or a little slower), while maintaining a steady rate of catch/pull. 
  • Avoid pausing your stroke (such as at Skate or at Entry Position) to match the tempo. Keep the movement smooth and steady, just adjust rate of movement at certain parts. 
Pool Skills: Reach The Wall

Reach The Wall

After taking a series of strokes you approach the wall – come at the wall with full speed, full momentum. You will use this momentum for a faster turn.

During Cycle 1 these are the features of reach-the-wall to work on:

  • Notice how stroke count consistency brings you to the wall on the same arm, with the last stroke at about the same point at the end of the lane.
  • If you sense the next BEEP of the Tempo Trainer will match the moment you would touch the wall, that is about ideal – but if you have to glide longer than 1.5 BEEPs to touch the wall, then you need to add a stroke to maintain your momentum.

During Cycle 2 these are the features of the reach-the-wall to work on:

  • Use the momentum of that faster approach to empower your open turn or flip turn – let the torso glide to the wall.
  • If you use a flip turn and are not used to coming to the wall so fast, practice flipping away from the wall first, to avoid smashing your feet on the wall.

Series 1 Practices

Practice 3.1 - Attention

Main Set 1

Quality Objective

To correct, improve, or strengthen a part of your stroke using the chosen focal point.

Level A

3 rounds, choose 3 focal points, one for each round, 2 cycles per round, Focus on one side of the body on each cycle

  • 1x rehearsal
  • 2x drill (for about 6 seconds)
  • 2x (drill + 6 strokes), no breathing
  • 4x (8 strokes), no breathing

10 seconds passive rest between activities

Total distance: ~200 meters

Level B

3 rounds, choose 3 focal points, one for each round, 2 cycles per round. Focus on one side of the body on each cycle

  • 1x rehearsal
  • 2x (drill + 6 strokes), no breathing
  • 2x (8 strokes), no breathing
  • 2x 25 whole stroke

10 seconds passive rest between activities

Total distance: ~400 meters

Level C

3 rounds, choose 3 focal points, one for each round, 2 cycles per round. Focus on one side of the body on each cycle

  • 1x rehearsal
  • 2x (8 strokes), no breathing
  • 2x 25 whole stroke
  • 1x 50 whole stroke

10 seconds passive rest between activities

Total distance: ~600 meters

 

Main Set 2

Quality Objective

To strengthen the pattern of control in a part of your stroke using the chosen focal point.

Level A

3 rounds, use same 3 focal points, one for each round, 1 cycle per round

  • 4x 25 whole stroke

Count strokes

15 seconds active rest with drill between repeats

Total distance: 300 meters

Level B

3 rounds, use same 3 focal points, one for each round, 1 cycle per round

  • 4x 50 whole stroke

Count strokes

15 seconds active rest with drill between repeats

Total distance: 600 meters

Level C

3 rounds, use same 3 focal points, one for each round, 1 cycle per round

  • 4x 75 whole stroke

Count strokes

15 seconds active rest with drill between repeats

Total distance: 900 meters

Practice 3.1 - Tempo

Main Set 1

Quality Objective

To remain consistent in the timing and precision of the stroke movement.

Level A

3 rounds, choose 3 focal points, one for each round, 2 cycles per round. Focus on one side on each cycle

  • 2x drill for 6 seconds
  • 2x 25 whole stroke

Set TT to Tempo-Comfortable (TC)

10 seconds passive rest between action

Total distance: 300 meters

Level B

3 rounds, choose 3 focal points, one for each round, 2 cycles per round. Focus on one side on each cycle

  • 2x drill for 6 seconds
  • (25+50) whole stroke

Set TT to Tempo-Comfortable (TC)

10 seconds passive rest between action

Total distance: 450 meters

Level C

2 rounds, choose 2 focal points, one for each round, 2 cycles per round. Focus on one side on each cycle

  • 2x drill for 6 seconds
  • (50+75) whole stroke

Set TT to Tempo-Comfortable (TC)

10 seconds passive rest between action

Total distance: 500 meters

 

Main Set 2

Quality Objective

To remain consistent in the timing in the stroke movement, even as tempo increases, and fatigue comes.

Level A

2 rounds, use 2 focal points from previous set, 2 cycles per round. Focus on one side on each cycle

  • 4x 25 whole stroke
  • Round 1: set TT to TC – 0.03 seconds
  • Round 2: set TT to TC – 0.06 seconds

20 seconds active rest between repeats

Total distance: 300 meters

Level B

3 rounds, use 3 focal points from previous set, 2 cycles per round. Focus on one side on each cycle

  • 3x 50 whole stroke
  • Round 1: set TT to TC – 0.03 seconds
  • Round 2: set TT to TC – 0.06 seconds
  • Round 3: set TT to TC – 0.09 seconds

20 seconds active rest between repeats

Total distance: 600 meters

Level C

2 rounds, use 2 focal points from previous set, 1 cycle per round

  • 3x 75 whole stroke
  • Round 1: set TT to TC – 0.03 seconds
  • Round 2: set TT to TC – 0.06 seconds

20 seconds active rest between repeats

Total distance: 900 meters

Practice 3.1 - Distance

Main Set 1

Quality Objective

To maintain consistent SPL, even as fatigue comes.

Level A

2 rounds, choose 2 focal points, one for each round, 1 cycle per round

  • 50+75+100+75+50 whole stroke

Count strokes

Maintain consistent SPL N

Use SPL N-1 if you feel ready

15 seconds active rest drill between repeats

Total distance: 700 meters

Level B

2 rounds, choose 2 focal points, one for each round, 1 cycle per round

  • 50+100+150+100+50 whole stroke

Count strokes

Maintain consistent SPL N

Use SPL N-1 if you feel ready

15 seconds active rest drill between repeats

Total distance: 900 meters

Level C

2 rounds, choose 2 focal points, one for each round, 1 cycle per round

  • 100+150+200+150 whole stroke

Count strokes

Caintain consistent SPL N

Use SPL N-1 if you feel ready

15 seconds active rest drill between repeats

Total distance: 1200 meters

 

Main Set 2

Quality Objective

To maintain SPL, with steady effort (about RPE 3) over each length.

Level A

  • 150 whole stroke, swim continuous, no rest

Level B

  • 200 whole stroke, swim continuous, no rest

Level C

  • 250 whole stroke, swim continuous, no rest
Practice 3.1 - Pace

Main Set 1

Read about a how to do a Tempo Pyramid.

Quality Objective

To reduce SPL through concentration and relaxation

Level A

1 round, Tempo Pyramid, 5 cycles of (2x 25)

  • Slow tempo by +0.04 on each cycle
  • Start at Tempo TC, finish at TC + 0.16
  • Attempt to reduce stroke count

1 round, 4 cycles of (2x 25)

  • Speed up tempo by -0.04 on each cycle
  • Start at Tempo TC + 0.12, finish at TC
  • Attempt to preserve stroke count (resist adding strokes)

10 seconds passive rest between repeats

Total distance: 450 meters

Level B

1 round, Tempo Pyramid, 6 cycles of (2x 25)

  • Slow tempo by +0.04 on each cycle
  • Start at Tempo TC, finish at TC + 0.16
  • Attempt to reduce stroke count

1 round, 5 cycles of (2x 25)

  • Speed up tempo by -0.04 on each cycle
  • Start at Tempo TC + 0.12, finish at TC
  • Attempt to preserve stroke count (resist adding strokes)

10 seconds passive rest between repeats

Total distance: 550 meters

Level C

1 round, Tempo Pyramid, 6 cycles of (1x 50)

  • Slow tempo by +0.04 on each cycle
  • Start at Tempo TC, finish at TC + 0.16
  • Attempt to reduce stroke count

1 round, 5 cycles of (1x 50)

  • Speed up tempo by -0.04 on each cycle
  • Start at Tempo TC + 0.12, finish at TC
  • Attempt to preserve stroke count (resist adding strokes)

10 seconds passive rest between repeats

Total distance: 550 meters

 

Main Set 2

Quality Objective

To hold consistent SPL, as you fatigue, by increasing concentration on form rather than by increasing effort

Level A

3 rounds, choose 3 focal points, one for each round, 1 cycle, Tempo Ladder

  • 25+50+75 whole stroke
  • Round 1: Set TT to TC + 0.04
  • Round 2: Set TT to TC + 0.08
  • Round 3: Set TT to TC + 0.12

Lower SPL by -1 on each round

15 seconds passive rest between repeats

Total distance: 450 meters

Level B

4 rounds, choose 3 focal points, one for each round, 1 cycle, Tempo Ladder

  • 50+100 whole stroke
  • Round 1: Set TT to TC + 0.04
  • Round 2: Set TT to TC + 0.08
  • Round 3: Set TT to TC + 0.12
  • Round 4: Set TT to TC + 0.16

Lower SPL by -1 on each round

15 seconds passive rest between repeats

Total distance: 600 meters

Level C

3 rounds, choose 3 focal points, one for each round, 1 cycle, Tempo Ladder

  • 100+150 whole stroke
  • Round 1: Set TT to TC + 0.04
  • Round 2: Set TT to TC + 0.08
  • Round 3: Set TT to TC + 0.12

Lower SPL by -1 on each round

15 seconds passive rest between repeats

Total distance: 750 meters

Practice 3.1 - Test Swim

Main Set

Level A, B and C
  • Select one of your favorite sets from this current practice series.
  • Select one of the most pleasing focal points.

 

Test Swim

Level A, B and C
  • Follow the instructions for an Exploratory Swim
  • If you have done this test swim previously, notice the differences between this test and the last one then consider what has caused these differences (or little difference).

Series 2 Practices

Practice 3.2 - Attention

Main Set 1

Quality Objective

To correct, improve, or strengthen a part of your stroke using the chosen focal point.

Level A

3 rounds, choose 3 focal points, one for each round, 1 cycle per round

  • 1x rehearsal
  • 2x drill (for about 6 seconds)
  • 2x (drill + 6 strokes), no breathing
  • 2x 25 whole stroke

10 seconds passive rest between activities

Total distance: ~300 meters

Level B

3 rounds, choose 3 focal points, one for each round, 1 cycle per round

  • 1x rehearsal
  • 2x (drill + 6 strokes), no breathing
  • 2x 25 whole stroke
  • 2x 50 whole stroke

10 seconds passive rest between activities

Total distance: ~450 meters

Level C

3 rounds, choose 3 focal points, one for each round, 1 cycle per round

  • 1x rehearsal
  • 2x (drill + 6 strokes), no breathing
  • 2x 50 whole stroke
  • 2x 75 whole stroke

10 seconds passive rest between activities

Total distance: ~750 meters

 

Main Set 2

Quality Objective

To strengthen the pattern of control in a part of your stroke using the chosen focal point.

Level A

3 rounds, use same 3 focal points, one for each round, 1 cycle per round

  • 4x 25 whole stroke
  • 1x 50 whole stroke

Count strokes

15 seconds active rest with drill between repeats

Total distance: 450 meters

Level B

2 rounds, use 2 focal points, one for each round, 1 cycle per round

  • 3x 50 whole stroke
  • 2x 75 whole stroke

Count strokes

15 seconds active rest with drill between repeats

Total distance: 600 meters

Level C

2 rounds, use 2 focal points, one for each round, 1 cycle per round

  • 3x 50 whole stroke
  • 2x 75 whole stroke
  • 1x 100 whole stroke

Count strokes

15 seconds active rest with drill between repeats

Total distance: 800 meters

Practice 3.2 - Tempo

Main Set 1

Quality Objective

To remain consistent in the timing and precision of the stroke movement.

Level A
  • 3 rounds
  • choose 3 focal points, one for each round
  • 2 cycles per round
  • Focus on one side of the body for each cycle
  • 2x drill for 6 seconds
  • 25 + 50 whole stroke
  • Set TT to Tempo-Comfortable (TC)
  • Adjust to new (slightly faster) TC if ready
  • 15 seconds active rest drill between action
  • total distance: 450 meters
Level B
  • 2 rounds
  • choose 3 focal points, one for each round
  • 2 cycles per round
  • Focus on one side of the body for each cycle
  • 2x drill for 6 seconds
  • 1x 100 whole stroke
  • Set TT to Tempo-Comfortable (TC)
  • Adjust to new (slightly faster) TC if ready
  • 15 seconds active rest drill between action
  • total distance: 500 meters
Level C
  • 3 rounds
  • choose 3 focal points, one for each round
  • 2 cycles per round
  • Focus on one side of the body for each cycle
  • 2x drill for 6 seconds
  • 1x 150 whole stroke
  • Set TT to Tempo-Comfortable (TC)
  • Adjust to new (slightly faster) TC if ready
  • 15 seconds active rest drill between action
  • total distance: 900 meters

 

Main Set 2

Read about how to do a Tempo Pyramid.

Quality Objective

To remain consistent in the timing in the stroke movement, even as tempo increases, and fatigue comes.

Level A
  • 1 round
  • Tempo Pyramid
  • 4 cycles of (2x 25)
  • Slow tempo by +0.03 on each cycle
  • Start at Tempo TC, finish at TC + 0.09
  • Attempt to reduce stroke count
  • 3 cycles of (2x 25)
  • Speed up tempo by -0.03 on each cycle
  • Start at Tempo TC + 0.06, finish at TC
  • Attempt to preserve stroke count (resist adding strokes)
  • 10 seconds passive rest between repeats
  • total distance: 350 meters
Level B
  • 1 round
  • Tempo Pyramid
  • 5 cycles of (2x 25)
  • Slow tempo by +0.03 on each cycle
  • Start at Tempo TC, finish at TC + 0.12
  • Attempt to reduce stroke count
  • 4 cycles of (2x 25)
  • Speed up tempo by -0.03 on each cycle
  • Start at Tempo TC + 0.09, finish at TC
  • Attempt to preserve stroke count (resist adding strokes)
  • 10 seconds passive rest between repeats
  • total distance: 450 meters
Level C
  • 1 round
  • Tempo Pyramid
  • 6 cycles of (2x 25)
  • Slow tempo by +0.03 on each cycle
  • Start at Tempo TC, finish at TC + 0.15
  • Attempt to reduce stroke count
  • 5 cycles of (2x 25)
  • Speed up tempo by -0.03 on each cycle
  • Start at Tempo TC + 0.12, finish at TC
  • Attempt to preserve stroke count (resist adding strokes)
  • 10 seconds passive rest between repeats
  • total distance: 550 meters
Practice 3.2 - Distance

Main Set 1

Quality Objective

To maintain consistent SPL, even as fatigue comes.

Level A

2 rounds, choose 2 focal points, one for each round, 2 cycles per round. Focus on one side of the body on each cycle

  • 25+50+75 whole stroke

Count strokes

Maintain consistent SPL N

Use SPL N-1 if you feel ready

15 seconds active rest drill between repeats

Total distance: 600 meters

Level B

2 rounds, Choose 2 focal points, one for each round, 2 cycles per round. Focus on one side of the body on each cycle

  • 2x 50 whole stroke
  • 1x 100 whole stroke

Count strokes

Maintain consistent SPL N

Use SPL N-1 if you feel ready

15 seconds active rest drill between repeats

Total distance: 1050 meters

Level C

2 rounds, choose 2 focal points, one for each round, 2 cycles per round. Focus on one side of the body on each cycle

  • 3x 50 whole stroke
  • 2x 100 whole stroke
  • 1x 150 whole stroke

Count strokes

Maintain consistent SPL N

Use SPL N-1 if you feel ready

15 seconds active rest drill between repeats

Total distance: 1350 meters

 

Main Set 2

Quality Objective

To maintain SPL, with steady effort (about RPE 3) over each length.

Level A

  • 100 whole stroke, continuous swim, no rest

Level B

  • 150 whole stroke, continuous swim, no rest

Level C

  • 200 whole stroke, continuous swim, no rest
Practice 3.2 - Pace

Main Set 1

Read about a how to do a Tempo Pyramid.

Quality Objective

To maintain stroke count (or resist adding a stroke until last possible moment) through concentration and relaxation, even as tempo increases.

Level A

1 round, Inverted Tempo Pyramid, 5 cycles of (2x 25)

  • Speed up tempo by -0.02 on each cycle
  • Start at Tempo TC, finish at TC – 0.08
  • Attempt to preserve stroke count (resist adding strokes)

1 round, 4 cycles of (2x 25)

  • Slow tempo by +0.02 on each cycle
  • Start at Tempo TC – 0.06, finish at TC
  • Attempt to lower stroke count (SPL)

10 seconds passive rest between repeats

Total distance: 450 meters

Level B

1 round, Inverted Tempo Pyramid, 6 cycles of (2x 25)

  • Speed up tempo by -0.02 on each cycle
  • Start at Tempo TC, finish at TC – 0.10
  • Attempt to preserve stroke count (resist adding strokes)

1 round, 5 cycles of (2x 25)

  • Slow tempo by +0.02 on each cycle
  • Start at Tempo TC – 0.08, finish at TC
  • Attempt to lower stroke count (SPL)

10 seconds passive rest between repeats

Total distance: 550 meters

Level C

1 round, Inverted Tempo Pyramid, 6 cycles of (1x 50)

  • Speed up tempo by -0.02 on each cycle
  • Start at Tempo TC, finish at TC – 0.10
  • Attempt to preserve stroke count (resist adding strokes)

1 round, 5 cycles of (1x 50)

  • Slow tempo by +0.02 on each cycle
  • Start at Tempo TC – 0.08, finish at TC
  • Attempt to lower stroke count (SPL)

10 seconds passive rest between repeats

Total distance: 550 meters

 

Main Set 2

Quality Objective

To hold consistent SPL, as you fatigue, by increasing concentration on form rather than by increasing effort

Level A

3 rounds, choose 3 focal points, one for each round, Tempo Ladder, 1 cycle per round

  • 4x 50 whole stroke
  • Round 1: Set TT to TC – 0.03
  • Round 2: Set TT to TC – 0.06
  • Round 3: Set TT to TC – 0.09

Hold consistent SPL. Resist adding a stroke.

15 seconds passive rest between repeats

Total distance: 600 meters

Level B

3 rounds, choose 3 focal points, one for each round, 1 cycle per round

  • 2x 75 whole stroke
  • 1x 100 whole stroke
  • Round 1: Set TT to TC – 0.03
  • Round 2: Set TT to TC – 0.06
  • Round 3: Set TT to TC – 0.09

Hold consistent SPL. Resist adding a stroke.

15 seconds passive rest between repeats

Total distance: 750 meters

Level C

3 rounds, choose 2 focal points, one for each round, 1 cycle per round

  • 3x 100 whole stroke
  • Round 1: Set TT to TC – 0.03
  • Round 2: Set TT to TC – 0.06
  • Round 3: Set TT to TC – 0.09

Hold consistent SPL. Resist adding a stroke.

15 seconds passive rest between repeats

Total distance: 900 meters

Practice 3.2 - Test Swim

Main Set

Level A, B and C
  • Select one of your favorite sets from this current practice series.
  • Select one of the most pleasing focal points.

Test Swim

If you have conducted this test swim last month, either use the exact same test conditions if you would like to compare results, or change on variable of the conditions to make it slightly more challenging in some way.

Level A

1 round, choose a favorite focal point, 1 cycle per round

  • 4x 100 whole stroke

Measure time

Count strokes

30 seconds passive rest between repeats

Total distance: 400 meters

Level B

1 round, choose a favorite focal point, 1 cycle per round

  • 3x 200 whole stroke

Measure time

Count strokes

30 seconds passive rest between repeats

Total distance: 600 meters

Level C

1 round, choose a favorite focal point, 1 cycle per round

  • 2x 400 whole stroke

Measure time

Count strokes

30 seconds passive rest between repeats

Total distance: 800 meters