Coach’s Log: 200 I.M. Pace

  14 Garrett McCaffrey | November 15th, 2012 | Coach's Log, Featured, Training

As a coach, I always appreciate seeing other coach’s workouts and sets. I was spoiled during the floswimming years, because every week I was at a new program trying to see how things worked and I usually got to see some pretty cool sets from the coaches I was visiting. Now that I’m coaching, I refer back to those videos and use a lot of the ideas when putting together my workout. But I also enjoy when coaches post workouts online without the video. Good coaches are always looking for new ways to keep training fresh, especially for the younger generation. I’d like to create an online Coach’s Log, where new sets are posted on a regular basis and coaches from all over the world can discuss the sets in the comment section. I’ll post my own today, but hopefully we can start getting some coaches to send in some sample sets.

I like working on 200 I.M. pace sets because it mixes up the 200 pace sets that we work on at least twice a week. The goal of my 200 pace sets is to make them feel like they would in a race and still be able to hold pace. I think this set does exactly that.

Dive: 50 Fly at 200 IM pace @ 1:30

Dive: 50 Fly @ :35

50 Back at 200 IM pace @ 1:30

Dive: 75 (25 fly-50 back) @ 1:00

50 Breast at 200 IM pace @ 1:30

Dive: 100 (25 fly-25 back-50 breast) @ 1:20

50 Free with everything you have left (just like the end of a 2IM)

We did it three times through, round 2 with small fins.

It was rough. Essentially there are only 4x50s at pace but the tight interval effort before that is supposed to simulate the portion of the 200 I.M. that would precede the 50 at pace that I was looking for. The intervals might have been a little too tight but as I reminded my swimmers, “Any time you get on the wall to rest before the 50 pace is more than you’d have in the race itself. Find a way to make it.” On the first time through only a handful of my swimmers were able to make the pace. They were better with the small fins, but still struggled to hit the pace. I added 5 seconds to the tight intervals on round # 3 and it was probably the most successful round but still only a handful were able to hit the pace. I guess that’s a successful challenge set, but I don’t like to put the kids in a position to fail very often. I think when I use this type of set again I may add more rest after the pace efforts.

What do you think coaches?


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14 Comments on "Coach’s Log: 200 I.M. Pace"

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3 years 11 months ago

Great idea Garrett…I appreciate the post workout analysis and think that is the biggest key to an idea like this. It allows other coaches to apply it to their own athletes. Its more informative than just my kids swam 10x100s on 1:10 etc especially without the video component attached to a workout. If i know that your kids nailed that set and were able to get their pace times than i know to have high expectations with my own swimmers.

3 years 11 months ago

Nice….if practical try putting a old fashioned non-racing lane line (not the thick racing lane lines) across the lanes out from the turn end….it gives the kids a target for their kick outs…it also shows them they can actually “commit” to underwaters even when tired.

3 years 11 months ago

LOVE this idea Garrett, thanks for posting. If swimswam could have a section to post/upload workouts I think it would be very beneficial to all coaches & swimmers. There’s not really a “go-to” site around like floswimming was to see different workouts and what other people are doing around the country.

Would be awesome to see at least one of the workouts they’re doing at Bolles these days! Sure it could help us all!

3 years 11 months ago

Great stuff here Garrett

3 years 11 months ago

Believe it or not, US Masters Swimming is 100% behind this idea. The organization even contracts great coaches and swimmers to post workouts weekly, out to members, on their website’s discussion forum.
I’d venture to say that the High Intensity Training – by Leslie Livingston has quite changed the thinking of many swimmers and coaches training plans.

Count on Garrett to get it going on an even larger scale here!

3 years 11 months ago

Check out our YNS Sharks Facebook page for the ” Thursday am practice video”
I use it to. Get my other site coaches and swimmers excited about new ways to train !
Oh, by the way you can have a ride in the team van anytime!

3 years 11 months ago

GREAT idea. I loved floswimming and miss the “interaction” between coaches. Hopefully you can set up the coaching log soon.

Ryan Woodruff
3 years 11 months ago

Garrett – great idea to get this moving in a powerful forum like swimswam. I have a few year’s worth of workouts collected from coaches all over at Smaller scale than swimswam, but most coaches will find at least a few ideas worth trying.

3 years 11 months ago

Check out ProSwimWorkouts — the sessions are in written form, include a summary of set focus and goals. Paul Yetter contributes helpful and challenging information. Other coaches are being added on a regular basis.

3 years 11 months ago

@Jakea – thanks for the shout! Yes, please come over to our website at – we have new workouts daily.

@Garrett – we are always looking for new ways to bring workouts out to the swimming community. Please let us know if we could maybe try to work together on a few occasions.

3 years 11 months ago

This is a great set and will be fun to modify to train for the King of Events, the 400 IM.

3 years 11 months ago

It is a very good series, and everybody can get something out of it, I made it with my year group swimmers, but it is a bit much for them and swim it more than once

Japanese cowboy
3 years 10 months ago

I love the set! It shows creativity and motivates swimmers to engage in each set. As each round goes by, I may increase the send-off by 5 or 10 seconds to let bodies to accumulate more hydrogen ions in muscles. Thank you, Garrett!

3 years 10 months ago

Love the set, looks like a challenge? What level of swimmers ddi you give it to?


About Garrett McCaffrey

No one lives the sport of swimming like Garrett McCaffrey. A Division I swimmer who spent 4 years covering the sport as a journalist, now coaches club swimming and competes as a masters swimmer, Garrett truly lives the sport of swimming. After graduating from University of Missouri’s award winning journalism program …

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