The 4K Meet Warm Up: Fike Swim Ambassadors Share Their Routines

by SwimSwam Partner Content 16

October 22nd, 2019 News, Training

Swimmers are constantly searching for the perfect meet warm-up, that balance between doing too little to be ready and doing so much we ruin our races.  For a lucky few, a 500 paired with some dryland exercises is enough.  That’s not true for most of us, though.  Have you ever had an amazing swim at the end of a hard practice at the end of a hard week?  Sometimes your body needs a long warm-up to shake out the butterflies and get the muscles ready to work hard.  Here are some meet warm-ups from our Fike Swim pros.  They’re all very different but the common thread is that none of the swimmers are wedded to exactly the same warm-up- they adjust the warm-ups based on how they feel and what their bodies tell them.  Hopefully you can find something in here that helps you SWIM DIFFERENT!

Aly Tetzloff Loves Equipment

National Teamer, LA Current swimmer, and versatile sprinter Aly Tetzloff does a warm-up that “utilizes a lot of equipment and is based a lot on how I feel.  It incorporates what we do in training and what I’m used to so I can compete at a high level.”

  • 300-400 swim
  • 300-400 kick and the last 100 some blast 25s
  • 300 with buoy and paddles
  • 10×25 on :15 rest
    • #1-4 with a kick band and snorkel, blasting the legs with the arms in  a speed position kick
    • #5-8 15m sprint
    • #9-10 scull with a snorkel working on feeling her catch
  • 2 or 3×100/75/50 (distance depends on how she feels) on 1:00/50 building the heart rate from 180 to 190 to 200
  • 4 or 8×50 drill (4×50 if she only swims one stroke that day but 8×50 if she swims two strokes)
  • 4×25 on :45 variable speed with fins
    • #1 fast/easy
    • #2 easy/fast
    • #3 easy
    • #4 fast
  • 1×50 free from a push at threshold effort (LCM :28-:29)
  • 1×50 whichever stroke she is racing that day (fly :29-:31, back :31-:32, free :27-:28)
  • 50 easy
  • 1 start race to 25
  • 100 easy

Emily Escobedo Keeps It Simple

National Teamer, NY Breakers swimmer, and elite breaststroker Emily Escobedo does a bit more of a traditional type of warm-up, but it’s “adjusted depending on how I feel- sometimes I need more sprints and less pace.  Sometimes I need more kick if my legs are very sore.  I try to get a good feel of my body and what I need and go from there.”

  • 200 pull
  • 200 kick
  • 200 IM drill/swim
  • 3×100 build choice (usually breast or IM order)
  • 4×50 (usually breast or IM order)
    • #1 drill/swim
    • #2 drill/swim
    • #3 smooth distance per stroke
    • #4 build (long)
  • 50 EZ
  • 2 or 3 50s @ 200 pace
  • 25 sprint off the blocks
  • 200 cool down

Megan Kingsley Stays Flexible

One of the things you’ll notice about the most persistent swimmer in the world (*cough* Golden Goggle Perseverance Award) is that she stays flexible in warm up, literally and figuratively.  She doesn’t stick to intervals.  Her distances vary based on how she feels and what the meet requires.  And she tries to keep those butterfly shoulders loose.

  • 400-600 choice usually 75 free/25 back or 100 free/50 back
  • 400 reverse IM order 25 kick 50 drill 25 swim
  • 200-300 kick IM order
  • 200-300 pull usually done 25 fly, 25 free, 50 back, 25 breast, 25 free, 25 fly, 25 free
    • “This depends on what my race is for the day because I like to feel power in my stroke so I try to mix it up.  I feel best when I do 25s fly at a time and also doing longer pulling backstroke because it makes my shoulders feel really good.”
  • 4×100 25 strong underwater, 50 easy drill or scull, 25 build usually IM order
  • 4×50 fast/easy
  • 2 x :30 vertical kick dolphin or breast
  • Some more pulling or kicking depending on how she feels and what kind of meet it is.
  • Pace or a start

“I will usually use fins for the first 800 or so, and I do kicking on my back or stomach, and I rarely use paddles.”

Sarah Gibson’s “Shock and Awe”

That’s the best way to describe people’s reaction when DC Trident swimmer and elite butterflier Sarah Gibson tells them her 4K warm-up, but it works for her.  Sarah knows it takes her muscles longer to get ready to race.

  • 400 swim
  • 400 kick
  • 400 drill/swim
  • 400 kick faster
  • 400 swim light aerobic

Depending on how crowded either:

  • 10×100, 5×200, 2×500, or 1000 high aerobic (ie HR 160+)
  • 300 50pace/50ez
  • 100 drill
  • 100ez

Finally, it’s push pace, starts, and warm down that total around 400.  For a taper meet the amount of high aerobic drops or goes away.

Hopefully this helps you rethink your warm-ups.  Remember, if you do the same thing over and over, you’ll get the same results, so SWIM DIFFERENT!  You can support all of our ambassadors on their journeys to Tokyo by following them on social, and you can get the latest Fike Swim news, product updates, and videos by subscribing to our newsletter and YouTube channel and liking us on Facebook.  And you can get a candid look at Fike Swim’s journey to help swimmers SWIM DIFFERENT by following them on Instagram.

About Fike Swim

“We design products exclusively for the toughest athletes in the world.  We unapologetically place swimmers on a pedestal.  The rigors they embrace on a daily basis can only be understood by another swimmer and they deserve a company focused 100% on helping them succeed.  Whether you’re just starting out or training for Tokyo, we stand behind you.”

James Fike, Founder

Fike Swim Products was born when founder James Fike put a brick on top of a kickboard and transformed just another legs-only kick set into a total body workout felt into the next day.  Since then it’s been our mission to create unique swim equipment with the single-minded goal of making you faster.  We don’t sell toys.  We create tools to help you reach your potential.

Courtesy: Fike Swim, a SwimSwam partner

In This Story

Leave a Reply

Notify of

oldest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
4 years ago

My son’s warm up which I feel is pretty standard
400 free, 10×50 drill/swim IM order, 4×100 build to all out, 200 easy, 4×25 over speed from dive, and 200 cool down. 1800 yrds. At big time events he does 400-600 before each race if there’s a warm up pool

Sir Swimsalot
4 years ago

My warmup rarely surpasses 1400. Swimming 4000 for each session in a long meet sounds exhausting!

Corn Pop
4 years ago

Ideally swimmers should develope a warm up that suits them & they actually like . When they retire this can be their fitness swim.

How good will it feel to swim it , then enjoy those few minutes & then get out . .

m d e
Reply to  Corn Pop
4 years ago

Ideally swimmers have a warm-up that best prepares them to swim fast.

Anything else is irrelevant.

Corn Pop
Reply to  m d e
4 years ago

Well to be honest the above 4 are not that fast . Some I’ve never heard of … I was just thinking not a bad session for fitness tho .

Reply to  Corn Pop
4 years ago

How fast are you Corn Pop?

Reply to  Corn Pop
4 years ago

Sarah Gibson is a 57.96 in the 100 fly.
Megan Kingsley is a 2:08.26 in 200 fly.
Emily Escobedo is 2:22.86 in 200 breaststroke.
Aly Tetzloff is 57.70 in 100 fly and 24.96 in the 50.

I think these four women are plenty fast.

Corn Pop
Reply to  N P
4 years ago

No medals in those times . Guys its 2019 .

Fike Swim
Reply to  Corn Pop
4 years ago

Aly, Emily, Megan, and Sarah are National Team-level swimmers who were selected to swim for ISL teams with the fastest swimmers in the world. If that doesn’t qualify as really fast, not sure what does. They’re awesome people chasing what can only ever be a dream for the rest of us. And now you’ve heard of them 🙂

Corn Pop
Reply to  Fike Swim
4 years ago

There are even worse swimmers in ISL because as yet it is not much of a pro league .

4 years ago

Doing a 4k warm up is absolutely ridiculous and unnecessary.

Obviously it works for her, so whatever (don’t fix what isn’t broken), but there is no way that is necessary for the desired physical adaption.

Ol' Longhorn
Reply to  Jred
4 years ago

Correct. Especially for a 100 flyer. It does note that she drops the high aerobic (1000 yards) for a taper meet, but still.

Reply to  Jred
4 years ago

I had the pleasure of training with Aly for four years. She was in a whole category of her own when it came to training and meet preparation. While 4K may seem a bit on the excessive side, she found that progression through each gear and gradually building into the warmup helped her compete at her peak performance.

m d e
Reply to  DropTheHammer
4 years ago

People used to be fed rat poison to improve performance. Bad ideas are bad ideas even if someone thinks they work.

Reply to  Jred
4 years ago

4K is definitely ridiculous, even for a 1500 swimmer. Some swimmers and coaches still live in a world where all existing science and research on how to reach peak athletic performance somehow doesn’t pertain to our chosen sport.
Also, just because a swimmer has success with a warmup doesn’t prove that it is an optimal warmup. All it proves is that they can swim a good time despite their goofy warmup. Tons of athletes succeed while eating poor diets, regularly consuming too much alcohol, not getting enough sleep, etc. None of this means that these variables shouldn’t be questioned or changed.

cynthia curran
Reply to  Jred
4 years ago

I remember as a kid popping up a few slow laps about 7 minutes before my race and swimming the fastest 100 yard fly. People are different when it comes to warm ups.