Swim Session for October Explained


Message from Head Coach Ralph Hydes

Following the recent survey some of you wanted an explanation of why we are doing the sessions that we are doing. To address this, I will explain what we are doing for the next month.

I work on a two-week rotation.  This means that we do the same session two weeks running on a Tuesday which is a slightly longer session and a different session on Thursday following the same two-week pattern.  This means that you can compare one week to the next if you attend both Tuesday and Thursday sessions.  If you do have to miss a week it gives you the opportunity to still do the session. 

Both the Tuesday and Thursday sessions are working on similar aspects to develop your fitness and speed. 

I also use a periodised and adaptive approach to the sessions that I develop.  They are not just random sessions.  Some sessions may be very similar in some months, but this is because they are building on a particular fitness element.

Throughout the winter months the emphasis is on building fitness and increasing the distances of the repetitions.  There will be some short faster work to keep the speed up and there will be drills and the dreaded Kick sets most sessions. 

This current month (October) will be working on building the distances of repetitions up to build a real base of fitness.  Having a big base means that you have a bigger engine (endurance) and can therefore cope with going faster in the spring meaning you will be faster in the race months of May, June and July.  If you are racing outside of these months just let the coach that is coaching your lane know and they will offer alternatives to some sessions to help you peak for your race.

The Tuesday session taking advantage of the longer session will be swimming the longest rep of the year!  The main set comprises of a 40-length rep.  Don’t worry if you don’t feel up for that just yet.  If you don’t feel that you are ready for this length rep you can break it down into 10 lengths at a time.  The pace is steady (80-85% effort – see pacing guide) and the coaches will instruct you on what to work on during the rep.  The session then moves on to more technique work – so that you work on your technique whilst tired.  This will have good gains in the long term. 

I would also like to mention swim equipment. I think using swim equipment is a massive benefit and encourage it and as a club we normally tell people to bring their own equipment with them. But given the current situation I am siding that we actually shouldn’t use any and here is why:

  1. It reduces incidences of cross contamination.
  2. Not everyone has the equipment which means that those that do will be faster or slower increasing the chances of bunching or catching during a length even giving ample spacing at start of each rep.
  3. Increases gathering points whilst people get equipment.
  4. Increases amount of kit at entry exit points for the middle lanes.
  5. Given different levels of fitness currently and lane restrictions swim equipment isn’t ideal for use in a group session.

Thursday sessions this month comprise of Steady state 8 length reps with short recoveries and drill work.  Once again this is working at developing your endurance too.

If you have any questions please email or message or of course as at any of the swim sessions.