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Workout Wednesday: Distance, Descents and Drills

young man swimming the front crawl style in a pool

Our last swimming Workout Wednesday focused on some shorter speed sets to help you get faster at any distance. This week we’re bringing you longer sets. In some, you’ll build your speed to keep your heart rate up and your mind engaged. Longer sets are also the perfect place to work on drills because when you slow down you’re able to zero in on aspects of your technique. The drill you’ll use for the drill sets is called “thumb to thigh”. Have you ever wondered what the single most effective aspect of your stroke is? It’s the pull-through. Many swimmers cut their stroke short and in doing so lose out on speed. During freestyle, it’s important to reach far enough but it’s even more important to grab enough water with your hand underwater so that you can achieve maximum forward momentum. Thumb to thigh is a great drill to work on this. As your stroking arm pulls down into the water, make sure you extend it full and touch you thumb to your lower thigh before bringing that arm out of the water. Do this for each stroke. Your stroke count to the end of the length will decrease, thus making you a more efficient stroker.

All swimming is freestyle. As always, adjust the length of the workout to fit your training needs. If you cut down the workout, drop the number of the sets instead of shortening them. It’s the distance that’s key.

Total: 4,700 m

Warmup: 300 swim choice

Main Set:

300 thumb to thigh drill @ 75% effortThinkstockPhotos-108521149

4 x 150 (100 drill/50 sprint)

50 swim easy

3 x 400 (descend speed 1-3, :30 rest between each)

50 swim easy

3 x 300 (descend speed 1-3, :30 rest between each)

100 swim easy

3 x 200 (descend speed 1-3, last one SPRINT, :30 rest between each)

100 easy swim

Cool down: 200 swim choice