Okay so I have seen really bad at updating this its been kinda hectic here for a while now but I THINK things starting to fall into place so fingers crossed I will be a let do something on here more regular like
So the joys of being a head coach are such that my time is spent finding the balance between trying to help the ‘performance’ guys in the club achieve their goals and at same time trying to make sure that the younger athletes who will be the performance swimmers of the future don’t get forgotten about. It’s a balancing act that I struggle with if I’m honest.
In a club of 200 trying to find space to prepare 2 or 3 swimmers for 1 meet while the rest of the competitive program are gearing up for a meet 3 weeks later is not easy.
Sometimes, just sometimes, it is worth the stress though.
Take this month for example…..
Swim Ireland held its 1st qualifying meet of the season. We only had 6 swimmers competing but 2 of them have this meet targeted for Irish team qualification. The rest of the club are focused on the Ulster Age Group meet at the end of the month. Finding space to give everyone the attention needed is tough so I decided to take a bit of a risk after Christmas.
Up until now I have been very much in the ‘more is more’ camp. I feel very comfortable giving 7000m sessions 8 times a week, but it is impossible to do this sort of work and fit different work into limited space for those on a different cycle plan. So……. I took a gamble and changed how I wrote my sessions. Out went the big volume (I still get over 50 done……..old habits die hard) and instead the focus shifted to Race preparation in almost every session.
Monday morning we still go big with a set of 10 x 300 and 1000 fly but after that we run 2 race pace sets a day.
The session plans are all very simple. 800 Warm up, a racing skills set (usually involving turns or underwater) then straight into Race pace. Gone are the days of 4 x 50 @60 at 200 pace. I read somewhere that it takes 20 repetitions for anatomical adaption (I may be wrong but that is my memory) so that is what we do. The rest interval us shortened as well, we now only take an interval that gives 20 sec rest.
100 race pace is done on 25s
200 and 400 race pace is done on 50s (some 75 for 200)
800 + Race pace is done as 100s
I stole an idea from USRPT that during race pace the swims must b at Race pace or not at all. So if swimmers ‘fail’ they skip a repeat and go again or go into a recovery set
It means that the sessions can be entirely individualised. So the different focus SHOULDN’T be an issue.
I was slightly stressed going into the meet just in case this gamble backfired.
To cut a long story short, I really had nothing to worry about. Between the 2 swimmers targeting this meet they qualified for both EYOF and EUROPEAN GAMES set 18 records between then (they only competed in a total of 8 events) truly awesome stuff.
Like I said……box 1 ticked……now……how will the rest do in 3 weeks time at age groups ??
Only time will tell I guess
Till next time