— by Clint Lien
I usually save Swimopoly as a Christmas session. It’s a once or twice a year deal because it’s a bit of work for the coach. I draw a giant square – comprised of 25 smaller squares (like a chess board) on a whiteboard. Inside each of the squares is a 200 to 400 m set. Some examples include: 4 x 100 progressive (increase the effort) with 15 seconds rest, 4 x 50 kick with 10 seconds rest, or 200 fly or a 400 IM (typically challenging ones for triathletes). There are a few “Go back 3 squares” (which lands you on the 400 IM).
Related: Go until failure: Suicide 50s
Swimopoly: How it works
Each lane gets a dice to roll (best done in a swim group). The session starts with a roll of the dice and the coach counts the number of squares from the start – marks the space and the lane has to do the set. Once they finish they roll again. The first lane to get to the end of the 25 squares wins.
Related: The upside-down pyramid swim set
I’ve seen coaches who have written different sets on Popsicle sticks then start with each lane drawing a stick. They roll a dice after completing the set on the stick which advances their “piece.” The board is left blank and only used to mark progress. This makes it easier for the coach if they want to do this session with any kind of frequency.
Either way, the energy gets pretty amped up for this one!
Clint Lien is the head coach of Victoria’s Mercury Rising Triathlon www.mercuryrisingtriathlon.com