Competitive Swimmer's Training Journal

Pakewi…get the Quick videos on walls and freestyle…fantastic stuff!

it all makes more sense to me know,so thanks for clarifying.
Your training and words still deserve adequate and well thought out answers. If You hold on I will come back on these and possibly more issues,as my time permits. Please excuse lack of it presently.
I’ll be back!

Thanks, Pakewi!

Thursday, Sept. 4.

Warmup 25 yard pool
4x25 butterfly, full recovery. 14, 13, 13, 13.
4x25 backstroke, full recovery. 15, 15, 15, 15

Felt great today. More powerful and smooth.

Bench press - 2 sets warmup. 3 work sets - 2x225, 1x240, 3x225.
Plate raises - 1 set of 6x40 pounds, 4 sets of 5x45 pounds.
External rotators - 3 sets @ 30 pounds.
One-armed bentover rows (I keep my elbow high so the pull is to the upper back.) 1 set @ 45, 2 sets @ 50.

Gotta do abs - tomorrow?!

Friday, Sept 5 - rest.

In a 25 yard pool, the required splits to meet my goal in the 100 yard Individual Medley look like this
Butterfly - 13.00
Backstroke - 16.19
Breastroke - 18.3
Freestyle - 15.4

= About a 1:02.9

Mikeh,still hold on on the previously missed discussion,and field this one for me please: how do You plan to work on the splits other than the first (butterfly) one? Or better: what speed do You think You need in the three strokes Back,Breast,and Free to hit the desired splits shown above
(to be realized well after fatigue progressively set in) ? Thank You…


When I reach the appropriate split in the butterfly (14.5 from the blocks), I plan on adding the backstroke leg in the twice-weekly speed drills until I reach the desired split for 50 meters (32.5 seconds). Once that is done I’ll add breastroke until hopefully by November I’ll be nearly at 1:10.25 in practice. Then with a taper period God willing I’ll accomplish my goal.

Fatigue of course is a very real factor. But in the splits I have listed (both for yards and meters pools) fatigue is factored in.

For instance, when fresh I go about a :18.8 from a push in the 25 meter breaststroke. To fit into my split pattern I have to go an :20.5

In the 25 meter freestyle when fresh I go about a :13.0 from a push. Yet in the 100 meter I.M. I am required to go about a :17.2 to accomplish my goal time.

So you can see that fatigue is factored in. Yet it will still be a stout challenge. Truth be told I haven’t brought a 100 meter I.M. home that fast since I started sprint training. But that is partially why I am spending so much time doing intensive tempo.

30 percent of the race is walls…work on keep the lumbar curve flat off walls and see massive gains. DK on your back for Backstroke speed.

Clemson, could you go into more detail? Explain the “lumbar curve” and how it is to stay flat. Also, what is “DK”?


Saturday, Sept 6.

Intensive Tempo day. Pakewi, I took your advice and lengthened the rest intervals. As you can see, though, I probably did not lengthen them enough. Probably I need to go to 60-90 seconds rest while keeping the intensity at 80-90%.

Warmup - slow swimming, a few short sprints. 25 meter pool.

4x100 freestyles. Interval: 2:00.
1:17, 1:21, 1:24, 1:30 (argh!)
(Goal was to keep everything under 1:23. That would give me about 35-40 seconds rest. As you can see it didn’t work out well.)

3x100 I.M. Interval: 2:30.
1:30, 1:36, 1:42.

Supinated chinups - 8 sets of 3, rest 60 seconds or so. Poundage - 10 pounds, 20 pounds, 25 pounds, 30 pounds.
Dips - 5 sets of 3. Poundage - weightless, 10 pounds, 15 pounds.
Drop-and-catch bicep barbell curls. 4 sets of 6.

6x200 very slow.

The sport of swimming is so cool…it evolves still after all the years of science…DK is dolphin kick and make sure your back is straight since a great squat is useless unless the back is straight. A curve with a hard push is less then a flat back with a moderate wall.

so therefore this can be applied to sprinting as well clemson?


The push off the wall requires a straight line in the back (perhaps not natural save mobile athletes like swimmers) to be streamline. Remember that eliminating water resistance is key for sports like swimming. To do this you must play with your push off to ensure that the lumbar curve isn’t activated.

As for sprinting here is the secret to why Therapy rules…if an athlete can do enough volume of sprinting they can relax and stablize the pelvis with perfect firing patterns. This is why Ben’s core strenght was so high the ocipital-sacral pulse was the smallest and his hips were the most limber. I think Charlie can explain better. With all of the money out…why does each year at Nationals we see less massage people? Fuck it…let them get their asses kicked…we are bringing ours!

Great statements ,Clemson,I deeply agree on every single word!

Mikeh,thanks as usual for clarifying…don’t think I’m that dumb,anyway…just Italian :wink:

I appreciate Your effort to lengthen the rest intervals:if You still don’t feel comfortable with a philosophy shift,and let Your own stroke parameters dictate not only final outputs (times),but also restorative inputs (rests)-therefore setting realistic goals for both,
maybe You could start adopting Mike Bottom’s guidelines and charts of repeat distances/sets and rests for Sprint Training.

I have them from the proceedings of the ASCTA Australia 2001 Clinic,but I’m sure ASCA,or Clemson maybe could help in case You’re interested.
Otherwise email me straight away:

They should adequately fit Your individual and training goals in absence of more detailed analysis.

Monday, Sept. 8th.

25 meter pool.
4x25 butterfly all-out. Full recovery. 15, ?, 15.0, 15.2 (last two times times ht)
2x25 backstroke all out. Full recovery. 16, 16.5 (ht).

I stopped there. The butterfly was a bit disappointing, as I believed I could make significant improvement over last week. My hips, which are the engine for butterfly, are quite weak. I wonder if my intensive tempo on Saturday weakened my explosiveness any, sense the workout was more or less to failure.

Backstroke felt pretty good.

Tuesday - rest.

Wednesday, Sept. 10

25 meter pool
5x100’s freestyle tempo. 2 minutes rest between each repeat.
Times: 1:35, 1:31, 1:35, 1:35, 1:35.
1x100 I.M. tempo - 1:43.

Bench press: 1 WU set. 3x220, 2x225, 2x235 (failed 2nd rep.)
Dips: 1 WU set. 3x25 pounds, 4x30 pounds, 4x30 pounds.

Perhaps also those constantly repeated 4x25’s need a wider capacity base at this point in time. I wouldn’t be afraid to occasionally vary Speed session contents on needs of the singular stroke ( bf in this case).

It could be a number of 15m/20m (very individual),no blocks,on w/ 1’ to 3’ costant needed rests,race parameters respected or bettered in the set timeframe,maybe but not necessarily followed by the 2x25 bk as planned,to then go back to the bf25’s from blocks later in the week or even next week,and then reasonably expecting time improvements.

It gets me to think about the need for us coaches,and even more for passionate self coached Athletes, to back off expectations with some thoughtful and better off meaningful reasoning when concerning training matters,so not to chase one’s tail…

Friday, Sept. 12

Warmup (26 yard pool)
15 yard butterfly, 15 yard butterfly, 25 yd fly, 25 yd fly. Times (estimation): 8, 9, 14, 14.
15 yard free, 15 yd free, 25 free, 25 free. Times (estimation): 9, 9, 13, 13.

4 sets of external rotators - 6x25 pounds, 4x30 pounds, 4x30 pounds, 4x30.
5 sets of chin-ups (supinated) - 4x25 pounds around waist, 3x35, 3x40, 3x40, 3x45.
Speed bench, 135 pounds. 4 sets.
drop-and-catch barbell bicep curls. 3 sets at 55 pounds.

The knee was a killer today. Scar tissue adhesions formed from the surgery often come loose during the fast knee extension of the kick)swimming, and when they release the pain can be sharp and sudden. It plagued me the entire workout and slowed me down a great deal.

Since I started full-on sprinting again about two weeks (four speed workouts) ago, my sprint times are consistently 8%-10% off my absolute best. My poor condition and lack of swimming doubtless have something to do with this. But I have to blame some of it on my knee, as its current condition keeps me from having full extension, and often results in sharp pain where scar tissue is being released.

This morning, after yesterday’s speed work, my knee is stiff and swollen, and I walk with a slight limp. The knee may just not be ready for speed work yet.

I am very concerned that by continuing to sprint with “half a leg” as it were, I might be in effect “teaching” my nervous system to swim at 90% of my best, and when I am healthy may find it difficult to approach my old times.

I am seriously considering going back to slow aerobic work for awhile longer, and leaving the speed training for another several weeks down the line.

If anyone has comments or thoughts, I would be glad to hear them.

Monday, Sept. 15.

Back to slow swimming again (90% or less) until the knee reaches a point where I feel comfortable sprinting again.

25 yard pool
300 WU
(200 free, 150 I.M., 100 kick) x 2. 90-120 seconds rest between each repeat.
Set 1: 2:35, 2:24, 1:30.
Set 2: 2:35, 2:35, 1:30.
Warmdown. Felt good about doing two 2:35’s in the 200 free.

Weights (Did some leg exercises for the knee.)
2 sets - Static lunges on the left leg. Stood still with 5 pound weights in both hands.
2 sets - step ups.
2 sets - Romanian deadlifts with left leg only. 45 pound bar.
2 sets - reverse hypers, using the hip extension machine.
3 sets of calf raises, left leg only, body weight.

Ab work - Ab wheel and pikes, 4 sets.

Tuesday, Sept. 16

Left knee is stiff and sore from leg exercises yesterday. But not overly so. The left hamstring is sore!! It is amazing what two sets of Romanian deadlifts will do on the untrained leg.

Just lifted today. No swimming.

6 sets, Bench press - 1 WU. 5 sets of 3@220 pounds.
6 sets, dips - 1 WU. 5 sets of 3,4@25 pounds attached.