Virtual Swim Club

Monthly Practice Schedule For Your General Skill Improvement.

Month 4 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: Rear-End Alignment

Rear-End Alignment

During Cycle 1, these are the different features of the Rear-End Alignment to work on:

  • Keep the body line long, stretched out.
  • Keep thighs straight behind torso (like standing tall), and resist bending thighs at the hips. 
  • Keep ‘Tippy Toes’ sensation of firm, stretched torso – from ribs to knees.
  • Keep legs close together, knees nearly brushing.

During Cycle 2 these are the different features of the Rear-End Alignment to work on:

  • Keep feet in counter-balanced foot position, if you have learned this (you may view the Video Tutorials on this).
    • Skate side foot is pigeon-toed, pointing at the ankle of the other foot
    • Other side foot is pointed, angled downward slightly
    • Each press of the foot is enough to lift rear and help rotate the torso
    • Permit no extra foot movement or flutter between counter-balanced foot positions
  • If you use flutter instead, flutter from the ankles, not from the knees.
    • Permit only a slight flex in the knees, but do not bend them.
    • Point big toes inward slightly, as you flutter the feet.

 

Rhythmic Breathing

During Cycles 1 and 2 these are the features of Rhythmic Breathing to work on:

  • Exhale small, steady stream of bubbles from the nose while face is underwater.
  • Let out only a partial amount during easy and moderate effort swimming.
  • Blow water from nose and mouth at last moment before touching the air.
Level 2 Skills: Adapt To Faster Tempo

Adapt to Faster Tempo

During Cycles 1 and 2 these are the different features of faster tempo adaptation to work on:

  • The first sign that you are adapting to a particular tempo is that you can maintain very good precision of movements (compared to your best at comfortable tempo) at the faster tempo.
  • The second sign that you are adapting to a particular tempo is that it no longer feels rushed – you feel enough of time to move through the cycle and notice that your movements are going where you intend them to.
  • Read
Pool Skills: Flip (tumble) Turn

Flip (Tumble) Turn

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. You may view the Flip Turn Demo on the Video Tutorials page.

During Main Set 1 these are the features of the flip (tumble) turn to work on:

  • Practice many compact flip turns in the middle of the lane (away from the wall) to be careful with your feet. Then practice turning near, but not next to the wall. Gradually flip closer and closer as you learn the precise location you should start your turn so you do not crash your feet onto the deck.
  • Just before initiating the flip, tilt head up and then drop the head down to start the torso’s downward turn.
  •  Arc your lead arm downward in the direction your head will go during the turn.

During Main Set 2 these are the features of the flip (tumble) turn to work on:

  • Like a ice-skater increases the rate of her spin by pulling the arms inward, approach the wall stretched out, then as the head dives down, pull chin and knees toward your center of mass to accelerate your spin. It will add muscle tone in your abdomen, like doing a crunch.
  • Exhale a bit more air from the nose while crunching and turning – your abdomen is being compressed anyway – to prevent water going up your nose.

Series 1 Practices

Practice 4.1 - Attention

Main Set 1

 

Level A

Swim 4 rounds of:

  • Choose one focal point per round
  • Easy drill, your choice, 2 minutes
  • Difficult drill, your choice, 2 minutes
  • 2x 25 whole stroke, slow-motion
  • 2x 25 whole stroke, moderate tempo
  • 2x 25 whole stroke, brisk tempo
  • 20 seconds passive rest between repeats
  • 40 seconds passive rest between rounds

About 600 total distance.

 

Level B

Swim 3 rounds of:

  • Choose one focal point per round
  • Easy drill, your choice, 2 minutes
  • Difficult drill, your choice, 2 minutes
  • 2x 50 whole stroke, slow-motion
  • 2x 50 whole stroke, moderate tempo
  • 2x 50 whole stroke, brisk tempo
  • 20 seconds passive rest between repeats
  • 40 seconds passive rest between rounds

About 900 total distance.

 

Level C

Swim 3 rounds of:

  • Choose one focal point per round
  • Easy drill, your choice, 2 minutes
  • Difficult drill, your choice, 2 minutes
  • 2x 75 whole stroke, slow-motion
  • 2x 75 whole stroke, moderate tempo
  • 2x 75 whole stroke, brisk tempo
  • 20 seconds passive rest between repeats
  • 40 seconds passive rest between rounds

About 1350 total distance.

 

Main Set 2

 

Level A

Swim 2 rounds of:

  • Choose one focal point per round
  • 3x 50 whole stroke
  • Choose your best SPL N
  • Hold consistent SPL N on every length
  • 20 seconds passive rest between repeats
  • 40 seconds passive rest between rounds

300 total distance.

 

Level B

Swim 2 rounds of:

  • Choose one focal point per round
  • 2x 100 whole stroke
  • Choose your best SPL N
  • Hold consistent SPL N on every length
  • 20 seconds passive rest between repeats
  • 40 seconds passive rest between rounds

400 total distance.

 

Level C

Swim 2 rounds of:

  • Choose one focal point per round
  • 2x 150 whole stroke
  • Choose your best SPL N
  • Hold consistent SPL N on every length
  • 20 seconds passive rest between repeats
  • 40 seconds passive rest between rounds

600 total distance.

Practice 4.1 - Tempo

Main Set 1

 

Level A, B and C

Tempo Pyramid

You will repeat this set twice, trying to improve your result the second time.

In each set you will swim up to 8 rounds, slowing down tempo until failure*

  • Start tempo at your comfortable tempo TC
  • Swim up to 8x (2x 25), slow down tempo by +0.05 on each round
  • Swim same number x (2x 25), speed up tempo by -0.05 on each round, until you reach the starting tempo

* Failure = when you can no longer reduce SPL even when slowing tempo then you may regard this as your Slow Tempo Threshold (TS). Stop here and start speeding up tempo on each round, until you reach the starting tempo. You will need this number TS in the next set.

Up to 1600 total distance.

 

Main Set 2

 

Level A

  • Swim 4x 50
  • Use lowest SPL x TS from previous set
  • Hold SPL x TS constant on each length

200 total distance.

 

Level B

  • Swim 3x 100
  • Use lowest SPL x TS from previous set
  • Hold SPL x TS constant on each length

300 total distance.

 

Level C

  • Swim 2x 200
  • Use lowest SPL x TS from previous set
  • Hold SPL x TS constant on each length

400 total distance.

 

Level A, B and C

Tempo Pyramid

You will repeat this set twice, trying to improve your result the second time.

In each set you will swim up to 8 rounds, slowing down tempo until failure*

  • Start tempo at your comfortable tempo TC
  • Swim up to 8x (2x 25), slow down tempo by +0.05 on each round
  • Swim same number x (2x 25), speed up tempo by -0.05 on each round, until you reach the starting tempo

* Failure = when you can no longer reduce SPL even when slowing tempo then you may regard this as your Slow Tempo Threshold (TS). Stop here and start speeding up tempo on each round, until you reach the starting tempo. You will need this number TS in the next set.

Up to 1600 total distance.

 

Main Set 3

Use the starting Tempo TS and the last (hopefully lowest) SPL N you had on the final repeat of the previous set.  Hold this SPL x Tempo combination on every length.

Level A

Swim 4x 50 whole stroke, with Tempo Trainer.

200 total distance.

Level B

Swim 3x 100  whole stroke, with Tempo Trainer.

300 total distance.

Level C

Swim 2x 200  whole stroke, with Tempo Trainer.

400 total distance.

Practice 4.1 - Distance

Main Set 1

Maintain the assigned SPL on each length.

Choose your best sustainable SPL as your starting N. 

 

Level A

Swim 3 rounds of:

  • 100 at SPL N
  • 100 at SPL N-1
  • 50 at SPL N-2
  • 20 seconds passive rest between each repeat and each round

750 total distance.

 

Level B

Swim 3 rounds of:

  • 150 at SPL N
  • 100 at SPL N-1
  • 50 at SPL N-2
  • 20 seconds passive rest between each repeat and each round

900 total distance.

 

Level C

Swim 3 rounds of:

  • 200 at SPL N
  • 150 at SPL N-1
  • 50 at SPL N-2
  • 20 seconds passive rest between each repeat and each round

1200 total distance.

 

Main Set 2

Maintain the assigned SPL on each length.

Choose your best sustainable SPL as your starting N. 

 

Level A

Swim 2 rounds of 200

 

Level B

Swim 2 rounds of 300

 

Level C

Swim 2 rounds of 400

Practice 4.1 - Pace

Main Set

You may swim up to the number of assigned rounds in this set. But it is intended that you encounter failure before you reach that number, otherwise your starting conditions were too easy.

Stop the set after 3 ‘hard’ failures. You may read more about this in Working With Neural Failure.

Failure = when you can no longer maintain your best precision (as indicated by how it feels, and by your stroke count going up) at the assigned pace combination.

You must strictly maintain the limited rest interval. The intention is to help you uncover the greater weakness in your performance system, whether that is metabolic (breathlessness and muscle fatigue) or neurologic (losing precision, motor control) at some specific distance in the set.

 

Instructions For Levels A, B and C

Maintain SPL N at beginning and resist adding a stroke until you have increased tempo by 0.06 or more. If you add a stroke before this, consider that a failure. Stop the round when you reach failure on 3 repeats.

The last tempo at which you can maintain your SPL N (or N-1 if you make it that far) is your Fast Tempo Threshold TF for the day. Remember this number.

.

Level A

Swim 2 rounds of:

  • Up to 5 tempo steps of 4x 25
  • Start at tempo TC
  • Speed up tempo by -0.02 on each step
  • 20 seconds passive rest between each repeat
  • 60 seconds active rest between each round

Up to 1000 total distance.

 

Level B

Swim 2 rounds of:

  • Up to 5 tempo steps of 3x 50
  • Start at tempo TC
  • Speed up tempo by -0.02 on each step
  • 20 seconds passive rest between each repeat
  • 60 seconds active rest between each round

Up to 1500 total distance.

 

Level C

Swim 2 rounds of:

  • Up to 5 tempo steps of 4x 50
  • Start at tempo TC
  • Speed up tempo by -0.02 on each step
  • 20 seconds passive rest between each repeat
  • 60 seconds active rest between each round

Up to 2000 total distance.

Practice 4.1 - Test Swim

Test Swim 1

You may swim up to the number of assigned rounds in this test. But it is intended that you encounter failure before you reach that number, otherwise your test conditions were too easy.

Stop the test after 3 failures. Failure = when you can no longer maintain your best precision (as indicated by how it feels, and by your stroke count going up) at the assigned tempo.

You must strictly maintain the limited rest interval. The test is to help you uncover the greater weakness in your performance system, whether that is metabolic (breathlessness and muscle fatigue) or neurologic (losing precision, motor control) at some specific distance in the test swim.

 

Level A

  • Swim up to 4 rounds of 6x 50
  • No more than 20 seconds between repeats and rounds

Hold tempo TF constant on every length.

Monitor SPL for sudden increase (a sign of failure).

Up to 1200 total distance.

 

Level B

  • Swim up to 5 rounds of 4x 75
  • No more than 20 seconds between repeats and rounds

Hold tempo TF constant on every length.

Monitor SPL for sudden increase (a sign of failure).

Up to 1500 total distance.

 

Level C

  • Swim up to 6 rounds of 3x 100
  • No more than 20 seconds between repeats and rounds

Hold tempo TF constant on every length.

Monitor SPL for sudden increase (a sign of failure).

Up to 1800 total distance.

 

Test Swim 2

On this test swim you will hold constant tempo TF and record your time splits. If your tempo remains constant but your time changes, then this means something changed in your SPL (or possibly something changed in your turn, push-off and glide).

 

Level A

  • Swim 3x 100
  • 1 minute active rest between repeats.

 

Level B

  • Swim 2x 200
  • 1 minute active rest between repeats.

 

Level C

  • Swim 2x 400
  • 1 minute active rest between repeats.

Series 2 Practices

Practice 4.2 - Attention

Main Set 1

 

Level A

Swim 2 rounds of:

  • Choose one focal point per round
  • Easy drill, your choice, 2 minutes
  • Difficult drill, your choice, 2 minutes
  • 2x 50 whole stroke, slow-motion
  • 2x 50 whole stroke, moderate tempo
  • 2x 50 whole stroke, brisk tempo
  • 20 seconds passive rest between repeats
  • 40 seconds passive rest between rounds

About 600 total distance.

 

Level B

Swim 2 rounds of:

  • Choose one focal point per round
  • Easy drill, your choice, 2 minutes
  • Difficult drill, your choice, 2 minutes
  • 2x 75 whole stroke, slow-motion
  • 2x 75 whole stroke, moderate tempo
  • 2x 75 whole stroke, brisk tempo
  • 20 seconds passive rest between repeats
  • 40 seconds passive rest between rounds

About 900 total distance.

 

Level C

Swim 2 rounds of:

  • Choose one focal point per round
  • Easy drill, your choice, 2 minutes
  • Difficult drill, your choice, 2 minutes
  • 2x 100 whole stroke, slow-motion
  • 2x 100 whole stroke, moderate tempo
  • 2x 100 whole stroke, brisk tempo
  • 20 seconds passive rest between repeats
  • 40 seconds passive rest between rounds

About 1200 total distance.

 

Main Set 2

 

Level A

Swim 2 rounds of:

  • Choose one focal point per round
  • 2x 100 whole stroke
  • Choose your best SPL N
  • Hold consistent SPL N on every length
  • 20 seconds passive rest between repeats
  • 40 seconds passive rest between rounds

400 total distance.

 

Level B

Swim 2 rounds of:

  • Choose one focal point per round
  • 2x 150 whole stroke
  • Choose your best SPL N
  • Hold consistent SPL N on every length
  • 20 seconds passive rest between repeats
  • 40 seconds passive rest between rounds

600 total distance.

 

Level C

Swim 2 rounds of:

  • Choose one focal point per round
  • 2x 200 whole stroke
  • Choose your best SPL N
  • Hold consistent SPL N on every length
  • 20 seconds passive rest between repeats
  • 40 seconds passive rest between rounds

800 total distance.

Practice 4.2 - Tempo

Main Set 1

 

Level A, B and C

Tempo Pyramid

You will repeat this set twice, trying to improve your result from the first cycle of this month, and improve on the second time.

In each set you will swim up to 8 rounds, slowing down tempo until failure*

  • Start tempo at tempo TC + 0.05
  • Swim up to 8x (2x 25), slow down tempo by +0.05 on each round
  • Swim same number x (2x 25), speed up tempo by -0.05 on each round, until you reach the starting tempo

* Failure = when you can no longer reduce SPL even when slowing tempo then you may regard this as your Slow Tempo Threshold (TS). Stop here and start speeding up tempo on each round, until you reach the starting tempo. You will need this number TS in the next set.

Up to 1600 total distance.

 

Main Set 2

 

Level A

  • Swim 4x 50
  • Use lowest SPL x TS from previous set
  • Hold SPL x TS constant on each length

200 total distance.

 

Level B

  • Swim 3x 100
  • Use lowest SPL x TS from previous set
  • Hold SPL x TS constant on each length

300 total distance.

 

Level C

  • Swim 2x 200
  • Use lowest SPL x TS from previous set
  • Hold SPL x TS constant on each length

400 total distance.

Practice 4.2 - Distance

Main Set 1

Maintain the assigned SPL on each length.

Choose your best sustainable SPL as your starting N. 

 

Level A

Swim 3 rounds of:

  • 100 at SPL N
  • 150 at SPL N-1
  • 50 at SPL N-2
  • 20 seconds passive rest between each repeat and each round

900 total distance.

 

Level B

Swim 3 rounds of:

  • 150 at SPL N
  • 200 at SPL N-1
  • 100 at SPL N-2
  • 20 seconds passive rest between each repeat and each round

1350 total distance.

 

Level C

Swim 3 rounds of:

  • 200 at SPL N
  • 250 at SPL N-1
  • 150 at SPL N-2
  • 20 seconds passive rest between each repeat and each round

1800 total distance.

 

Main Set 2

Maintain the assigned SPL on each length.

Choose your best sustainable SPL then subtract 1 as your starting N-1. 

 

Level A

Swim 2 rounds of 200

 

Level B

Swim 2 rounds of 300

 

Level C

Swim 2 rounds of 400

Practice 4.2 - Pace

Main Set

See Pace Practice 4.1 for instructions.

 

Level A

Swim 2 rounds of:

  • Up to 5 tempo steps of 4x 25
  • Start at tempo TF
  • Speed up tempo by -0.02 on each step
  • 20 seconds passive rest between each repeat
  • 60 seconds active rest between each round

Up to 1000 total distance.

 

Level B

Swim 2 rounds of:

  • Up to 5 tempo steps of 3x 50
  • Start at tempo TF
  • Speed up tempo by -0.02 on each step
  • 20 seconds passive rest between each repeat
  • 60 seconds active rest between each round

Up to 1500 total distance.

 

Level C

Swim 2 rounds of:

  • Up to 5 tempo steps of 4x 50
  • Start at tempo TF
  • Speed up tempo by -0.02 on each step
  • 20 seconds passive rest between each repeat
  • 60 seconds active rest between each round

Up to 2000 total distance.

Practice 4.2 - Test Swim

Test Swim

This is a distance-trial. Swim as much distance as you can in assigned time.

Any rest you take is counted as part of the time. At the end, of the total time, estimate how much time was spent resting.

Make sure you warm up adequately. Start the test swim more conservatively and increase effort gradually. Aim to swim farther in the second half.

.

Level A

Swim as much distance as you can in 20 minutes.

.

Level B

Swim as much distance as you can in 30 minutes.

.

Level C

Swim as much distance as you can in 40 minutes.