Virtual Swim Club

Monthly Practice Schedule For Your General Skill Improvement.

Month 6 of 6

Skills For This Month

Choosing Your Focal Points

In addition to those 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: Recovery and Breathing

Recovery

During Cycle 1 these are the different features of the Recovery to work on:

  • Elbow exits water by going wide, to the side (not up, above the body)
  • Elbow moves forward continuously – do not pause to swing forearm forward
  • Counter-balance recovery by holding lead arm on its wide track
  • Keep a relaxed, lazy (ragdoll) forearm, hand, fingers
  • Keep fingernails in contact with surface of the water
  • Drag the knuckles so that the forearm drags behind the elbow until last moment

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

  • Swing the arm like swinging a bag of fruit – keep it smooth, fast, dynamic, (not jerky, slow, robotic)

 

Rhythmic Breathing

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

  • Finish your exhale underwater so that you only need to inhale when turned to the air
  • Take a quick sip of air and return the head to face-down position immediately (do not linger)
Level 2 Skills: Improve SPL

Improve SPL

During Cycle 1 and 2 these are the different features of stroke length to work on:

  • If you are not yet able to use a personally optimal SPL, and are still working towards that, look for one or two features of your streamline you can improve to lower your current consistent SPL from N to N-1 over the course of this month
  • If you are using a personally optimal SPL, then look for ways to make your current SPL feel easier to sustain, by looking for finer ways to lower drag in brief moments of the stroke cycle.
Pool Skills: Awareness Of Other Swimmers

Awareness Of Other Swimmers

It is likely that you need to share a lane with other swimmers, from time to time.

Rather than tilting the head up to look ahead to see the swimmers around you, practice using your peripheral vision, your sense of feel, and other indirection cues that a swimmer is close by. 

Practice awareness that you are coming up on a swimmer from behind, or that a swimmer is approaching your from the opposite direction by watching with the peripheral vision, from the edges of your goggles (if your goggle design and eyesight permit).

Look for shadows on the bottom of the pool.

Watch for the density of bubbles in the water increasing as you approach from behind. 

Feel pressure waves passing you before the swimmer passes.

Feel changes in the surface turbulence as you swim behind or swim past another swimmer.

Series 1 Practices

Practice 6.1 - Attention

Main Set 1

Quality Objective

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

Level A

Swim 2 rounds of the following set. Choose 3 focal points, one focal point for each round. On each round, do 2 cycles, (one cycle for each side of the body, as it applies):

  • Drill, your choice, 1 minute
  • 4x 25 whole stroke
  • 2x 50 whole stroke

20 seconds passive rest between activities

Total distance: ~ 800 meters

Level B

2 rounds, choose 3 focal points, one focal point for each round, 2 cycles per round (one cycle for each side of the body, as it applies)

  • Drill, your choice, 1 minute
  • 3x 50 whole stroke
  • 1x 100 whole stroke

20 seconds passive rest between activities

Total distance: ~ 1000 meters

Level C

2 rounds, choose 3 focal points, one focal point for each round, 2 cycles per round (one cycle for each side of the body, as it applies)

  • Drill, your choice, 1 minute
  • 2x 100 whole stroke
  • 1x 150 whole stroke

20 seconds passive rest between activities and repeates

Total distance: ~1400

 

Main Set 2

Quality Objective

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

Level A

Swim 2 rounds of the following set. Use the same 3 focal points, one focal point for each round.

  • 3x 25
  • 2x 50
  • 1x 75

20 seconds of passive rest between activities

On Round 1 hold comfortable tempo TC + 0.10.

On Round 2 hold comfortable tempo TC.

Total distance: ~500

Level B

2 rounds, choose 3 focal points, one focal point for each round.

  • 2x 50
  • 2x 75
  • 1x 100

A20 second passive rest between activities

On Round 1 hold comfortable tempo TC + 0.10.

On Round 2 hold comfortable tempo TC.

Total distance: ~700

 

Level C

Swim 2 rounds of the following set. Use the same 3 focal points, one focal point for each round.

  • 3x 50
  • 1x 100
  • 1x 150

20 second passive rest between activities

On Round 1 hold comfortable tempo TC + 0.10.

On Round 2 hold comfortable tempo TC.

Total distance: ~800

Practice 6.1 - Tempo

Main Set 1

Quality Objective

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

Level A, B and C

Read about a how to do a 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.

Total distance: ~ 1600

 

Main Set 2

Quality Objective

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

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

  • 4x 50 whole stroke, with Tempo Trainer.

Total distance: ~200

 

Level B

  • 3x 100  whole stroke, with Tempo Trainer.

Total distance: ~300

 

Level C

  • 2x 200  whole stroke, with Tempo Trainer.

Total distance: ~400

Practice 6.1 - Distance

Main Set

Quality Objective

To maintain your current, best (consistent) SPL N that you can hold for 200 continuous swimming.

Level A

Swim 6 rounds while holding assigned SPL consistently on each length.

  • 75 at SPL N
  • 50 at SPL N-1
  • 25 at SPL N-2
  • 50 at SPL N

No rest between activities – swim continuously. Allow 30 seconds passive rest between rounds.

Total distance: ~1200

 

Level B

4 rounds while holding assigned SPL consistently on each length

  • 150 at SPL N
  • 100 at SPL N-1
  • 50 at SPL N-2
  • 100 at SPL N

No rest between activities – swim continuously. Allow 30 seconds passive rest between rounds.

Total distance: ~1600

 

Level C

4 rounds while holding assigned SPL consistently on each length.

  • 150 at SPL N
  • 150 at SPL N-1
  • 100 at SPL N-2
  • 100 at SPL N

No rest between activities – swim continuously. Allow 30 seconds passive rest between rounds.

Total distance: ~2000

Practice 6.1 - Pace

Main Set 1

Quality Objective

Referencing the previous practices, use your current, best (consistent) SPL N, and your fastest comfortable tempo TF that you can hold with consistent precision for 200.

 

Level A

 2 rounds, using SPL N and tempo TF. Hold this pace combination on every length.

  • 4x 25
  • 2x 50
  • 1x 100
  • 2x 50
  • 4x 25

20 seconds passive rest between activities and rounds

Total distance: ~1000

 

Level B

1 round, using SPL N and tempo TF. Hold this pace combination on every length.

  • 6x 50
  • 3x 100
  • 2x 150
  • 3x 100
  • 6x 50

20 seconds passive rest between activities and rounds

Total distance: ~1500

 

Level C

1 round, using SPL N and tempo TF. Hold this pace combination on every length.

  • 3x 100
  • 2x 150
  • 1x 200
  • 1x 300
  • 1x 200
  • 2x 150
  • 3x 100

20 seconds passive rest between activities and rounds

Total distance: ~1900

 

Main Set 2

Quality Objective

Referencing the previous practices, use your current, best (consistent) SPL N, and your fastest comfortable tempo TF that you can hold with consistent precision for each increased distance.

Level A

Swim 300 continuous. No rest.

Use SPL N and comfortable tempo TC.

 

Level B

Swim 400 continuous. No rest.

Use SPL N and comfortable tempo TC.

 

Level C

Swim 500 continuous. No rest.

Use SPL N and comfortable tempo TC.

Practice 6.1 - Test Swim

Main Test Swim

Level A, B, and C

Use fastest comfortable tempo TF.

Swim as far as you can, while maintain precision while holding constant tempo TF. Stop the swim when you cannot maintain the precision or the tempo and cannot regain it.

60 seconds active rest between rounds.

Swim up to 4 rounds of this test, attempting to improve the distance you can go while holding tempo and precision.

 

Series 2 Practices

Practice 6.2 - Attention

Main Set 1

Quality Objective

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

Level A

2 rounds, 2 cycles for each round, focus on one side for each cycle

  • Drill, your choice, 1 minute
  • 2x 50 whole stroke
  • 1x 100

20 seconds passive rest between activities

Total distance: ~800

 

Level B

2 rounds, 2 cycles for each round, focus on one side for each cycle

  • Drill, your choice, 1 minute
  • 2x 50 whole stroke
  • 1x 150 whole stroke

20 seconds passive rest between activities

Total distance: ~1000

 

Level C

2 rounds, 2 cycles for each round, focus on one side for each cycle

  • Drill, your choice, 1 minute
  • 3x 50 whole stroke
  • 1x 200 whole stroke

20 seconds passive rest between activities.

Total distance: ~1400 total

 

Main Set 2

Quality Objective

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

Level A

2 rounds, 1 cycle for each round

Round 1 hold comfortable tempo TC

Round 2 hold comfortable tempo TC – 0.10

  • 3x 25
  • 2x 50
  • 1x 75

Allow 20 seconds passive rest between activities.

Total distance: ~500

 

Level B

2 rounds, 1 cycle for each round

Round 1 hold comfortable tempo TC

Round 2 hold comfortable tempo TC – 0.10.

  • 2x 50
  • 2x 75
  • 1x 100

20 seconds passive rest between activities

Total distance: ~700

 

Level C

2 rounds, 1 cycle for each round

Round 1 hold comfortable tempo TC. On Round 2 hold comfortable tempo TC – 0.10.

  • 3x 50
  • 1x 100
  • 1x 150

20 seconds passive rest between activities

Total distance: ~800

Practice 6.2 - Tempo

Main Set

Quality Objective

To remain consistent in the timing and precision of the stroke movement during tempo Intervals. From the previous Tempo Practice, use tempo TS – 0.10.

Work through the repeats until you hit 3 hard failures, then stop the set. If you do not encounter 3 hard failures before you reach the end of rounds, then you need to increase the challenge next time in order to provoke more adaptation.

Level A

4 rounds

  • 8x 50 whole stroke withTempo Trainer

20 seconds passive rest between repeats

60 seconds active rest between rounds

Total distance: ~1600

 

Level B

4 rounds

  • 6x 75 whole stroke with Tempo Trainer

20 second passive rest between activities

60 seconds active rest between rounds

Total distance: ~1800

 

Level C

5 rounds

4x 100 whole stroke withTempo Trainer

20 seconds passive rest between activities

60 seconds active rest between rounds

Total distance: ~2000

Practice 6.2 - Distance

Main Set 1

Quality Objective

To maintain consistent SPL, even as fatigue comes.

Level A

3 rounds with easy SPL on first segment, then SPL N-1 on second segment

  • 25 easy + 50 at SPL N-1
  • 25 easy + 75 at SPL N-1
  • 25 easy + 100 at SPL N-1

Swim continuously, no rest between segments or activities

30 seconds passive rest between rounds

Total distance: ~900

 

Level B

4 rounds with an easy SPL on first segment, then SPL N-1 on second segment

  • 50 easy + 50 at SPL N-1
  • 50 easy + 100 at SPL N-1
  • 50 easy + 150 at SPL N-1

Swim continuously, no rest between segments or repeats

30 seconds passive rest between rounds

Total distance: ~1350

 

Level C

3 rounds with an easy SPL on first segment, then SPL N-1 on second segment

  • 50 easy + 100 at SPL N-1
  • 50 easy + 150 at SPL N-1
  • 50 easy + 200 at SPL N-1

Swim continuously, no rest between segments or activities. Allow 30 seconds passive rest between rounds.

Total distance: ~1800

 

Main Set 2

Quality Objective

To maintain consistent SPL, even as fatigue comes.

Level A

300 continuous swim

No rest

Hold SPL N on every length

 

Level B

400 continuous swim

No rest

Hold SPL N on every length.

 

Level C

500 continuous swim

No rest

Hold SPL N on every length.

Practice 6.2 - Pace

Main Set 1

Quality Objective

Referencing the previous practices, maintain your current, best (consistent) SPL N, and your fastest comfortable tempo TF that you can hold with consistent precision for 200.

Level A

2 rounds using SPL N and tempo TF – 0.03. Hold this pace combination on every length.

  • 4x 25
  • 2x 50
  • 1x 100
  • 2x 50
  • 4x 25

20 seconds passive rest between activities and rounds

Total distance: ~1000

 

Level B

1 round, using SPL N and tempo TF – 0.03. Hold this pace combination on every length.

  • 6x 50
  • 3x 100
  • 2x 150
  • 3x 100
  • 6x 50

20 seconds passive rest between activities

Total distance: ~1500

Level C

1 round, using SPL N and tempo TF – 0.03. Hold this pace combination on every length.

  • 3x 100
  • 2x 150
  • 1x 200
  • 1x 300
  • 1x 200
  • 2x 150
  • 3x 100

Allow 20 seconds passive rest between activities

Total distance: ~1900

 

Main Set 2

Quality Objective

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

Level A

300 continuous swim

No rest.

Use SPL N and comfortable tempo TC – 0.06

 

Level B

400 continuous swim

No rest.

Use SPL N and comfortable tempo TC – 0.06

 

Level C

500 continuous swim

No rest

Use SPL N and comfortable tempo TC – 0.06

Practice 6.2 - Test Swim

Main Test Swim

Repeat the previous test swim but you are aiming to improve upon your results from last time. Before encountering failure in either precision or consistent tempo, either swim farther in each repeat or swim same distance but do an additional repeat.

 

Level A, B, and C

Use fastest comfortable tempo TF.

Swim as far as you can, while maintain precision while holding constant tempo TF. Stop the swim when you cannot maintain the precision or the tempo and cannot regain it.

60 seconds active rest between rounds

Swim up to 4 rounds of this test, attempting to improve the distance you can go while holding tempo and precision.