Commit Swimming provides you the platform you need to take your training to the next level. With Commit you can write, track, and analyze your workouts on any device. Commit is the #1 digital workout journal designed specifically for swimming, used by thousands of coaches and swimmers every day. The Tennessee workout discussed below was written with Commit.
Always wondered what a D1 college workout looked like? Curious what the purpose and rationale is behind each and every set? Today we take a deep dive into a University of Tennessee workout. In part 2, we dive even deeper into analysis mode with commentary from Clive Rushton.
Before we get started, I want to thank 3 people that made this article and part 2 possible. First I’d like to thank Matt Kredich and Lance Asti from the University of Tennessee for contributing this workout and providing their notes on each set. Second, I’d like to thank Clive Rushton for his incredible analysis and contribution. Everything below is written by Matt and Lance, and any deviation from their exact words was made to increase the fluidity of this article.
The Workout from Matt and Lance
This workout was done by both Sprint and Mid-Distance athletes. The distance guys probably did a broken 20k or something 🙂
The primary focus of this workout is Anaerobic Capacity. We mix in this intensive swimming with some smooth extensive swimming throughout the workout.
Part 1 – Warmup
15m Dive and Glide in the well @ 2:00
2 x 50 in 50m pool (under lane lines) Uh20 for distance…then breast 1 pull 2 kick
We begin warmup with a running dive and glide to work our posture off the start and the way we travel through the water at the very highest speed. We also did some light breath control and breaststroke under the lane lines. We are warming their bodies up but in a way that is fun and energetic. It is a great way to get them psychologically engaged in the workout right away.
2 x 25 line up on board w/ best posture @ :40
4 x 100 50 Free 3 stroke slide for distance 50 Choice Drill/Swim @ 1:40
2 x 25 line up on board w/ best posture @ :40
4 x 200 Pull o: free w/ 7 strokes (M) or 8(F) @ 3:00 e: Back/Choice by 50 @ 3:20
Now, we are beginning to add a technical element to the workout. When we “line up” on a kick board, the athletes lay on the board flat with it under their lungs. They should align their entire body in a straight line, working to get the bends out of the upper and lower back and making sure the head is in line with the spine (setting up aquatic posture). The stroke count focus on the 200’s is very challenging for most of our athletes. This is designed to stretch them and make them uncomfortable. They will have to think about every possible way to reach the stroke count goal (anchor, body shape, body tone, etc). While many will fail early on, by the end, they have reached the goal or at least gotten closer and discovered great things about the way they move through the water.
4 x 10m turns w/ kick sox @ :20 + :30 extra rest after 4
2 x 25 @ 1:00 Fast Kick w/ kick sox
2 x 50 Strong Prime or Prime/Free by 25…LEG FOCUS (no sox) 2F1 & Desc.
Time to wake up their legs… the 10m turns are simply a strong push off the wall, an underwater turn right at the first set of flags, and fast dolphin kicks back to the wall. You can’t hide from the kick sox. While we need to learn to control our legs and energy output, we also need to have the best legs in the NCAA as a weapon when it is appropriate.
4 x 25… 8 HH free or back 4 HH Fly or Breast…Should be MAX Tempo. Desc Distance 1-4 and 2nd round FARTHER than first
1 x 200 Free Pull. Breathe 2 or 3 times per 25
We call this speed drill. These are very short but very high tempo bursts. They should be getting farther with each effort but maintaining tempo. Most of the time, we come at swimming from efficiency, then add tempo. This is simply a way to have them view speed in a different way. Tempo first, then add the anchor and efficiency to the tempo. Just another challenge, especially to the ones that have a hard time getting to high tempos. This also wakes them up and sharpens them for the next set.
Part 2 – ANC1
10 x 25 Prime @ :30 Must be at T-100 Time, tempo, stroke count, Uh20
If you miss 2 in a row, you are done. Goal is to do all 10. Work with a partner to eyeball times.
6 x 150 o: Alpha Free, Desc Prime, White Free e: Kick
This is our first anaerobic capacity set for the day. It is simply 10 x 25 @ :30 at 100 Time, Tempo, Stroke Count, and Kick Count. If they “fail” at any of those elements twice in a row, they are done with the set. The rest is enough where they can swim light and fast…essentially “easy speed”. They are essentially getting a great rehearsal for their race pace swimming. They are familiarizing themselves with their event but without having to deal with a lot of lactate. This should be short enough (and with enough recovery) to prevent this from becoming a tolerance set. We don’t want them to GRIND on this set so if they do happen to fail, we just move on to the next set. This isn’t punishment, simply a way to individualize it and prevent ugly swimming. We had some that failed at 6 repeats while many of them made all 10 without any issues. We follow this set up with some very smooth swimming with a technical focus. This extensive work compliments the speed work and gives us some light, purposeful supporting volume.
Part 3 – ANC2
12 x 50 w/ paddles and fins @ 1:30. o: FAST e: Recovery
400 White…no kick off walls…balance up in a line…top arm BO
300 White…o wall, shape first, then harmonic. e: walls fast uh2o
200 White…Fastest possible rotations on wall. Hold landing position
100 White…Beautiful turns.
50’s with toys on LOTS of rest. The paddles and fins aren’t optional. Some LOVE this and thrive, others get very uncomfortable with the added equipment. For those that thrive, this is a great set to have fun going very fast. Our top men were :18 low our top women were :20 low (free). For those that struggle, this challenges them to use their body and help transfer dryland strength into the pool. We teach them to use their toys for an added anchor and to guard against getting “too physical”. Again, we follow this speed up with some smooth extensive swimming, this time with a turn focus.
A Sneak Peek into Part 2! (Clive Rushton Commentary)
For those of you that don’t know who Clive is, he is an incredible man with great experience who has brought a lot of thought leadership to the sport of swimming. He has over 50 years of experience at every level of the sport. Clive is a former Olympic swimmer and Olympic coach with an extensive background in exercise physiology and the biomechanics of swimming. He has worked with and helped develop over 200 international swimmers including world record holders and Olympic champions; his swimmers have broken national and international records and his clubs have won national team championships at the age-group and senior level. To learn more about Clive, visit here. To read some of Clive’s commentary on workouts, go to Commit’s blog and check out the “WoW” posts.
In part 2 of this “Sneak Peek into a Tennessee Workout”, we will share Clive’s analysis of the whole thing from warmup to ‘warmdown’. Stay tuned!
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About Clive Rushton
Clive has over 50 years of experience at every level of the sport. He is a former Olympic swimmer and Olympic coach with an extensive background in exercise physiology and the biomechanics of swimming. Clive has worked with and helped develop over 200 international swimmers including world record holders and Olympic champions; his swimmers have broken national and international records and his clubs have won national team championships at the age-group and senior level. To learn more about Clive, visit here. To read more of Clive’s commentary on workouts, go to Commit’s blog and check out the “WoW” posts.
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