Coach’s Log: 200 I.M. Pace

by Garrett McCaffrey 14

November 15th, 2012 Coach's Log, 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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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.


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.

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!

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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