Next week I’m taking my squad through a “hell week”. Which is one week of very, very challenging training where we increase the intensity and we increase the duration of our main sets. We also add an extra session in there. The reason that we do this is because with one week of solid training where you’re training more and you’re training harder than you normally do, you get the benefit 2-3 weeks down the track where you’re feeling fitter, you’re feeling stronger and you can race better.

So next week, I’m going to show you one of the workouts that we do in next weeks video and in Effortless Swimming Membership Program; I’m going to add all of the workouts so you can see the exact sessions that we’re doing which are going to be very challenging.

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In today’s video, I want to show you 3 different ways to do the same set. So the set we’re looking at is 12 x100 and I’m going to show you 3 different ways you can do it. This is an easy way to spice up your workouts if you’re bored with what you’re currently doing or you’re looking for a new way to train different training zones. What’s just as important as doing the sets is understanding why you’re doing them. If you know why you’re doing them, then you can train in a certain way to get the most benefit from the set.

Swimming TipsThe first way is swimming them all at aerobic pace. Your efforts going to be at about 70%. It’s going to feel like you’re training at about 70% effort and we’re looking to keep our heart rate and our times at a constant rate and at constant speed. The reason that we do this is to build up our aerobic pace. My minimum time to train an aerobic pace set is 15 minutes. I recommend you do 15 minutes or more in an aerobic pace set. You can’t do 5 minutes or 10 minutes of aerobic training and expect to increase your aerobic base. The aerobic base I’m talking about here is the base fitness that you can draw from for your longer events and also for sprinters because it is important for sprinters too. You’re looking to get 10-15 seconds rest in this set so your heart rate doesn’t drop too much.

The second way to do this set is you go 1 hard and 1 easy. With the hard ones, we are looking to go at best average speed so as fast as you can hold for the set so that you don’t drop off towards the end. With the easy ones – they are obviously recovery. You want to get more rest on this one. You want to get 30-40 seconds rest in between your hundreds. The reason that we do this is because, with the hard ones, we build up our lactic acid and in the easy ones we want to remove our lactic acid – that’s why we are doing the recovery. This is going to get you improving your ability to build lactic acid which means you can go faster and work harder.

In the third way to do the set, we would descend 1-4. We would start off easy then we would descend faster up to number 4 with the last one we are going at your maximum speed – so go as fast as you can go. Repeat that 3 times to make up 12×100’s.
In this one we would probably get around 20-30 seconds rest per hundred so that it gives you enough rest to be able to go hard at the very last one. But it also doesn’t allow you to drop your heart rate too much.

The reason I like to do descend sets sets is because it allows you to get a feel of your pacing and your effort. If you find that on your third 100 – let’s say you go 120 for your third 100 but then on your fourth one you go 118 – you are working 10% harder. Then you know that maybe 1020 is about the speed that you can maintain. Whereas if you are swimming 118’s then that’s the pace where you find yourself dropping off.

It’s a good way to get a feel of your pacing and your effort. There you have it, that’s 3 ways to do the same set. great ways to mix up your current training if you are bored with your sets or if you’d want to add a little flavor to your sets – it’s a good way to do it.

Keep an eye out on next week’s video where I am going to take you through one of our Hell Week Workouts. It’s going to be very challenging but I hope you will go through it with me and that you will be able to increase your fitness and get a feeling of what it’s like to go through Hell Week because it’s a great thing to do and also a good way to get your team together.

See you next week. Have a great week.

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Brenton and Mitch were great to work with at the clinic, Good to get video analysis to work on straight away, practice some new drills and go home knowing what you need to work on.

Alex McFadyen