Coach’s Intel: Wheeler Tigersharks Head Coach Rachel King Shows How to Mix Fun with Limited Pool Space

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.

Rachel King, head coach of Hartford, CT’s Wheeler Tigersharks, shares a swim workout that reflects a common reality of many swim teams — limited pool space. Here is the workout she shared with us today:

We’re a large YMCA team but practice in a 4 lane pool. Due to limited space and time, we have short practice times and not all of our practice groups are in the water everyday. We primarily focus on technique over yards, while making it fun and worthwhile. Every practice we mix a little bit of everything and make the most of what we can!

This set starts off focusing on longer strokes and technique, then building that towards faster speeds and shorter distances. But still keeping that stroke and technique in mind.

500 Free Drill

5×100 Free @ 1:45 – 1. Kick, 2. Drill, 3. Kick, 4. Drill, 5. Kick

400 Free – focus on underwaters off turns

4×100 @ 1:40 – 1. Odd, 2. IM, 3. Odd, 4. IM

300 Free – focus on hypoxic breathing

3×100 Free @ 1:30

200 Free Fast

2×100 Odd @ 1:40

100 Free Fast

(100 Easy)

*Intervals are determined by each lane and swimmer’s ability.

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

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C Martin

What does “odd” mean?

Rachel

any stroke besides freestyle

Barb

What do you do for your 500 free drill?

Rachel

we use that as a warm up. some of our freestyle drills include: 6 kicks, fingertip, thumb to thigh, catch-up, “loaded hot dog” (all 3 drills of fingertip, thumb to thigh and catch-up combined)
for this set we would break the 500 up by 100 so they are doing different drills.

Adam

What is the method of “hypoxic breathing” and is that a technical attribute that strengthens speed or safety?

Rachel

our focus with hypoxic breathing is to primarily get our swimmers to breathe on both sides, every 3 or 5 strokes, to help even and balance their stroke out.

i know some coaches use this method to help control swimmer’s breathing, and build their lung capacity – the thought of less breaths leading to faster speed. i think it works for some and doesn’t for others.

in regards to safety, we do need to be careful in that aspect because we do not want kids hyperventilating just to hold their breath. everyone loves oxygen.
good question adam 🙂

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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