Happy Holidays! Tis the season for yummy food, family, and giving gifts to the special people in your life. It is also the season for some of the hardest workouts of the year. Christmas training is the main push for conditioning before beginning the preparation for the end of the short course season. My gift to you is to share a few of my favorite practices that stick out in my memory as the most challenging workouts of the year compliments of Coach Bill Rose of the Mission Viejo Nadadores.
My favorite sets are ones where you have to think a lot and do some math throughout. This always makes the sets more entertaining for me so that they go by pretty quickly. I also love to descend (get faster as you go) starting controlled and finishing in a sprint! These sets are great for distance swimmers looking to create speed while improving endurance. I am so blessed that I was able to train with such a brilliant and legendary Coach. I am a Nadador and "one of Rose's buds" forever.
1. The Fishburn
5 x 100 on 1:05
4 x 200 on 2:05
3 x 300 on 3:05
2 x 400 on 4:05
1 x 500 on 5:05
(or :10, :20, :30 etc.)
This set is structured to do SCY and it's a Coach Rose favorite! The goal of this set is to simply make the interval. It’s a lot harder as it seems because you get very little rest throughout the set. By the end, you really have to fight to make the 500!
100 200 400 800 400 200 100 (all on a 1:20 base)
This set takes some math. You start out and swim a 100 as easy as possible while still making the interval. Then you double that time as your ceiling time on the 200. Double what you go on the 200, and that’s your ceiling time for the 400, etc. On the way back down, you will divide each swim by 2 to get your ceiling time for the next one. The set gets much harder as you go up, but is still hard to keep descending on the way down. Sometimes Coach Rose would give me a ceiling time to start to make it even harder.
(Example: 100 in 1:15, you have to go faster than 2:30 on the 200. Go 2:28 on the 200, so you have to go faster than 4:56 on the 400, etc.)
3. Progressive Descend
3 x 400
3 x 300
3 x 200
3 x 100
All on a 1:20 base
You start by descending the 400’s 1 to 3. On number 3, you get your 300 time on the way out. That becomes your ceiling time for the first 300. Descend the 300’s 1 to 3, get your 200 split on the third 300. Your 200 split becomes your ceiling time for the first 200. Etc. This set is really fun and challenging. You end up swimming most of it at threshold.
4. 800 Race Predictor Set
8 Rounds of (3 x 100 aerobic, 1 x 100 FAST all on1:20)
This is a famous Coach Rose set. Add up all 8 of your fast swims for an 800 time! It can be a great 800 predictor set and switching between aerobic and threshold is really challenging.
5. Controlled Descend
10 x 100 on 1:20 descend 1-10
We would often end a hard practice with a long controlled descend like this. No matter how slow you start, the last few 100s were always sprit! This set teaches you control and time awareness while forcing you to swim at threshold at the end of the set. We would occasionally do this set with 200s or 400s for a main set as well.
Good luck to you all during this holiday training season! Be sure to end each workout with some Shoulder Stabilization Exercises to help prevent injury with the increase in volume.
Chloe Sutton - Sharing my experience of 20 years of competitive swimming including 8 years on the National Team and 2 Olympic Games.