FINIS Set Of The Week: Early Season Pace Work

Today’s FINIS Set of the Week comes from three-time Olympian Ross Davenport.  Davenport is a two-time Commonwealth Games champion and is one of the most decorated British national team swimmers of all time.  He currently serves as FINIS’ Western Europe Account Manager and is very active throughout the sport.  You can follow Ross on Twitter @SwimmerRoss.

This was a test set that I did over a five week period to work on endurance and pacing to get ready for the season. It was designed to work as a progression set, starting early during the practice. As you increase your conditioning and get stronger, you progress through the weeks only if you complete the set 100% from the week prior.

The idea is that you can only progress to week two if you have hit 100% of week one. You can’t progress to week three unless you have successfully completed 100% of week one and two, and so on…you get it, right?!

First things first, set your desired pace time for your 200 meter/yard race.  This the time you will be working towards.  In my example below, you’ll notice my target pace was :27 seconds, so you’ll notice the pattern in the set below.  I did this set in meters, but you can do it in either yards or meters, short course or long course!  Just adjust intervals and pace times accordingly!

Week 1

(Using your Tempo Trainer Pro in Mode 2, with the interval at :40 seconds)

10 x 50 Free

  • Hold pace under :31 seconds

100 Easy Swim with Agility paddles to work on technique

Week 2 

(Using your Tempo Trainer Pro in Mode 2, with the interval at :40 seconds)

8 x 50 Free

  • Hold pace under :30 seconds

100 Easy Swim with Agility paddles to work on technique

Week 3 

(Using your Tempo Trainer Pro in Mode 2, with the interval at :40 seconds)

6 x 50 Free

  • Hold pace under :29 seconds

100 Easy Swim with Agility paddles to work on technique

Week 4 

(Using your Tempo Trainer Pro in Mode 2, with the interval at :40 seconds)

4 x 50 Free

  • Hold pace under :28 seconds
    • (TIP: This worked out to be the pace for the last 50 of my 200 Freestyle. I would set a target of “27 low” in a race, but 4 x 50 Free on a :40 second interval holding 28 second pace swims enabled me to replicate race pace pain within a training environment.)

100 Easy Swim with Agility paddles to work on technique

Week 5 

(Using your Tempo Trainer Pro in Mode 2, with the interval at :40 seconds)

2 x 50 Free

  • Hold pace under :27 seconds
    • (TIP: This was aimed to be the second 50 pace of a 200 race. I would aim to be out in 25.1 for the 1st 50m, then 26.8  – Turning between 51.9 – 52.2 for the first 100. Then working the 3rd and 4th 50s to be both around the 27.1-27.3. Total time of 1:46.5 for 200 Freestyle!

100 Easy Swim with Agility paddles to work on technique

For more awesome workouts, visit FINIS’ Training Tips & Workouts page today!

About FINIS, Inc.

John Mix and Olympic Gold Medal swimmer Pablo Morales founded FINIS in Northern California in 1993 with a mission to simplify swimming for athletes, coaches, beginners and lifelong swimmers around the world. Today, FINIS fulfills that mission through innovation, high-quality products and a commitment to education. FINIS products are currently available in over 80 countries. With a focus on innovation and the fine details of swimming, FINIS will continue to develop products that help more people enjoy the water.

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3 Comments on "FINIS Set Of The Week: Early Season Pace Work"

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and how do the 100s of agility paddles play into the mix and what importance do they have , seems like equipment changes for such a short distance with the main purpose of that swim for loosening and recovery would simply be a time consumer

I use my agility paddles to help with technique and working on my catch, assuming that’s why they have it there?

Tim Jenkins

This kind of swimming would be 100X better if the swimmers used a Firebelly instead of a tempo trainer. Wouldnt it be worth it to get the same functions of a tempo trainer and verbally hear your 25 splits?

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