Coach’s Intel: Petra Martin of Bowling Green University Shares a Sprint Fly/Back Set

Olivier Poirier-Leroy is a former national level swimmer based out of Victoria, BC. In feeding his passion for swimming, he has developed YourSwimBook, a powerful log book and goal setting guide made specifically for swimmers. Sign up for the YourSwimBook newsletter (free) and get weekly motivational tips by clicking here.

Today’s Coach’s Intel features Petra Martin, head coach of the women’s program at Bowling Green State University. 2013/2014 will be her fourth year as head coach, having been named Mid-American Conference Coach of the Year. The following is a recent set that was done with her sprinters that specialize in butterfly or backstroke:


200 swim with snorkel

200 kick-change body positions-side, stomach, back

100 scull with Snorkel

Work on our finishes to the wall for about 10 min (talk and do),

6×25 choice free or fly @ :35-odds are no breath, evens are 1 breath


2 x

2×50 single arm free with big paddles (hands and forearms are covered by these paddles) and a snorkel (keep the non swimming arm along your body)-focus on hip and kick engagement in your stroke and high elbow catch under @ 1:10

3×100 Free with reverse paddles (regular size paddles) @1:20, Focus on Head and body position especially when you breath and Descend these 1-3

Flyers: 12×25—1-6 are going underwater fly kick for 15 yards, fast swim fly with 1 breath after that @:30, 7-12-are 10-12 fly kicks underwater, after that swim fly and breath as you need to @:25 – try to stay as relaxed as possible

Backstrokers:  6×50 back @ 1:00–going 8 fly kicks underwater off of both walls, super fast and smooth breakout with sprint 4 strokes, after that go into air catch up backstroke (meaning arms pause/overlap for a few seconds above the chest-have to really focus on your kick to stay on top of the water)

After the 25s or the 50s they all come together for the last part of the round which is:

4×150 – free/your stroke/ free, holding it steady pace through out, going 6-8 fly kicks off of each wall @2:00

50 easy @1:15

12×100 kick @ 1:40  Descend 1-4, 5-8, 9-12  – they could change the type of kick they were doing by each segment of 4


3×100-75 swim, 25 scull – snorkel optional

Got a workout you would like to share with the swimming community? Send it on in to Olivier at [email protected]

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Petra is a brilliant coaching mind. This set is creative, and connects many aspects of a swimmer’s feel for the water: head/body position, high elbow catch, vo2 max, hypoxic/anoxic training, and speed work… all the while it’s working the legs. Well done Petra!


what effect use drills im main set and big paddles?

About Olivier Poirier-Leroy

Olivier Poirier-Leroy

Olivier Poirier-Leroy has been involved in competitive swimming for most of his life. Starting off at the age of 6 he was thrown in the water at the local pool for swim lessons and since then has never wanted to get out. A nationally top ranked age grouper as both a …

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