In this article we will address some considerations that are important for all coaches and swimmers when preparing a seasonal plan. The Faster Swimming seasonal plan is located in the Faster Swimming book and the 23 Week Training Program. If you look at the ﬁ rst column on the outline you will see everything that must be considered when preparing your daily, weekly and seasonal workouts. The outline is extremely detailed for the entire 23 week season and shows exactly when to add certain types of sets, when to omit certain sets, etc, etc. The Faster Swimming seasonal plan is coordinated with the Faster Swimming Lifting and Dryland manuals to foster optimal training.
Each item below will be talked about in future articles, and the following should give some solid food for thought. The daily and weekly workouts are designed to incorporate all outlined items for that speciﬁc week. The workouts will either alternate upper and lower body swim training by set or within each set. If you follow the exact workouts in the 23 week book they will include training sets for swimming and kicking in all strokes as well as IM. The percentage of daily swimming and kicking is incorporated into the total seasonal plan. Kicking is a larger part of the workouts in the beginning of the season and gradually tapers off. Tapering legs is the hardest part of the taper for coaches to understand. This is where the combined experiences of John and I can really help. We also believe that if you cross train with weights you must taper (but NOT STOP) that training to reach optimal performance. Coaches (Collegiate, Club and High School) all over the country stop weight lifting way too early and lose the beneﬁ ts of weights by doing so. If you were a weightlifter preparing for a competition you would not simply stop training 3 weeks out, but would taper your training to reach optimal performance. This is what we have included in our season(s), and we trust this because it works!
There are focus points and workout goals to consider listed before each week’s outline in the Faster Swimming seasonal plan. Fly kicking, breathing expectations, racing and race pace, total yardage with the % of kicking, and racing are all included, along with paddle sets, underwater kicking, turn considerations, and much, much more. The taper part of the season totals 7 weeks. Please remember that tapering is not simply resting, but resting is a part of tapering. Tapering is a detailed process and your swimmers must be in great aerobic conditioning before starting. All workouts and sets can be adjusted for any swimmer based on their abilities mentally and physically in any part of the seasonal plan. When adjusting workouts and sets remember to complete the speciﬁ c training outlined for each day and add/subtract/modify yardage and total set volume to reach your goals.
The following are some of the considerations that go into the Faster Swimming seasonal plan for each week and each workout:
Yardage is a guideline that should be adjusted based on the abilities of your training groups. We will split the practices into groups later in the program by distance, mid-distance and sprint. Variable speed swimming distances, Variable speed effort, Strokes up (Tarzan) and down (easy) Tarzan; Tarzan to easy; over speed and race pace are sets that are essential to your training routine and will be detailed in future articles. Recovery sets and recovery workouts feel like useless swimming to many coaches but are essential to strength and speed. Starts, turns, relay starts, reaction drills and ﬁ nishes are all outlined into the workouts to ensure that you remember to include and spend more time on these important aspects.
Kicking is detailed and an essential part of speed. The hardest part is coaching the swimmers to take kicking seriously. Yardage, maximum distances, variable speed distances, variable speed effort, broken sprint kicks, all-out sprint kicks and yardage of easy kicking are all spelled out.
As described above the workouts are designed alternating upper and lower body work either by set or within each set.
Weight Lifting, Dryland, heart rate sets, test sets, sprint sets and race pace distances are all fully detailed and will also be explained further in upcoming articles.