Kick Set #2,395

Ryan Woodruff
Head Coach
Lynchburg YMCA

This kick set will be a bit of a challenge if done correctly.

10 x 100 kick choice, but all same stroke, descend 1-10, pay attention to clock
   #1-4 @ :10 rest
   #5-7 @ :20 rest
   #8-10 @ :30 rest

200 ez swim with fast turns and 4+ underwater kick

6 x 100 kick @ :20 rest, goal is for all 6 to be faster than #8 from the first set


A Set for the Off-Week

Ryan Woodruff
Head Coach
Lynchburg YMCA

This is a simple generic workout for our swimmers to do during their break IF they wish to swim.  Nothing too complicated, just keeping them moving and moving well.

10 x 100 @:20 rest individual warmup

3 rounds:
3 x 300 free @ 3:40 3:50 4:00
     descend 1-3 and always negative split
3 x 200        @ 2:40  2:50   3:00
      #1 - 100 fly/100 back
      #2 - 100 back/100 breast (+:10)
      #3 -  100 breast/100 free
3 x 100   FPA @2:30
      Round 1 - Free
      Round 2 - Choice (no free)
      Round 3 - Weakest stroke

200 ez warmdown with open turns


Top 10 Coach-Submitted Workouts of the Past Year

Ryan Woodruff
Head Coach
Lynchburg YMCA

I started this blog way back in 2009 with the idea that I would share some of my workouts and hopefully get others to share theirs with me.  8 year later, receiving submissions from other coaches and learning from the creativity and ingenuity of others has been the best part of the blog.

Over the past year, many coaches submitted workouts or sets to the blog, and their posts are invariably popular.

Here are 10 recent posts submitted by coaches and links to all of their Swimming Wizard submissions:

1. The Zig-Zag Ironman and more workouts with Coach Ken Thorley from Hong Kong.

2.The set they didn't hate and more with Coach Brandon Fain of New Braunfels YMCA

3. Empty the Gas Tank Freestyle Set from Coach Todd Kramer

4. Breaststroke Thoughts and more from Coach Gordy Westerberg

5. Max Effort 100s with Coach David Laudati

6. Wild and Wacky Kick Set and more from Coach Dan Mascolo

7. Coach Mathieu Leroy Loves Big IM sets and submitted a bunch more workouts.

8. Max Effort with Coach Scott Thacker, who is the head coach of the brand-new Roanoke College swim program.

9. 200 Focus with Coach Brad Herndon, who is one of our most avid supporters and has sent in many workouts.

10. The Christmas Tree Set from Coach Kevin Harrod

Do you have a set or workout that you would be willing to share with the world? Send it to us at swimmingwizard@gmail.com!


My 10 Favorite Workouts My Team Did This Year

Ryan Woodruff
Head Coach
Lynchburg YMCA

Our team is currently on a break, so I am not writing daily workouts. Many of you are probably doing the same right now, gearing up for the fall.  One of my favorite things to do at the end of the season is to look back at what worked, what didn't, what we liked, what we didn't etc.  Of course, it isn't always easy to tell what worked, but figuring out that puzzle is part of the job.

Here were my 10 favorite workouts that my team did this past year (from short course or long course season):

1. Epic Saturday (LCM). This wasn't our longest or fastest set of the year, but it was perhaps the most challenging.  Our kids totally crushed it, and many of our top performers on the set turned out to be our top performers at the end of the season.
2. 60 x 50 Friday Fly Day Set. (LCM)  I liked this set because we got a great combo of effort & technique. Fly sets might be my favorite kind to write -- just ask my swimmers.
3. The Jellylegs Set (SCM).  Need I say more?  Actually, you can see the Jellylegs Set Part Deux as well.
4. Our Distance Freestylers were about 90% successful with this set (SCY)  Simple set, but one of my favorite ways to challenge our distance kids.  Many variations can be made from this one.
5. All Aboard the IM Pain Train (SCY).  You might be getting the theme here -- many of my favorite workouts are also some of our most challenging ones.  We had a great year in part because our swimmers really embraced these challenging workouts.
6. What's Your Magic Number (Any course).  This one got a great effort and also provided great fodder for some post-practice conversation about the psychology of swimming fast.
7. Back or Breaststroke Squeeze Set (SCY). This one forced our swimmers to closely monitor their effort, the clock, and to really push themselves.
8. Power Buckets (SCM) We did more resistance training this season than in years past.  This workout is a good sample of the kind of thing we did.  I like it not for its difficulty but rather because of the level of focus we were able to achieve.
9. The Set That Might Never End (SCY).  This was a group challenge that really brought everyone together and encouraged them to strive for the good of the group.
10. The Cookie Set (SCM).  This was another group challenge set with a food incentive right around the holidays.

Did you have any workouts that you felt propelled your team to success this season?  Send the to us at swimmingwizard@gmail.com


Recommendations for Off-Season Learning

Ryan Woodruff
Head Coach
Lynchburg YMCA

My team is currently on a break as we gear up for the new season.  One of my favorite things to do during this time of year is to spend some time reading, learning, and absorbing new ideas.

Here are some of my most popular posts on what I have read and learned in the last few years:

The Best Things I Read, Listened To, and Watched to Become a Better Coach in 2016, 2015, 2013, and 2012

My List of 13 Books Every Swim Coach Should Read

Also if you are into podcasts (or even if you have never listened to one), I highly recommend that you check out a few episodes of the Rich Roll Podcast, specifically with Aaron Peirsol and Anthony Ervin

Got something else you would recommend to readers of this blog? Please share it with The Swimming Wizard on Twitter or on Facebook.

Happy learning!


6 Fun Ideas for your Swim Practice

Ryan Woodruff
Head Coach
Lynchburg YMCA

Our team is on a break right now, so I am taking a break from the workout writing.  That doesn't mean we can't still kick around some creative ideas here on the blog.

Here are 6 recent posts from our "Just for Fun" category that you might want to try:

1. Team Sprint Points Competition
2. Red Light Green Light with Coach Brad Herndon
3. Fun Sprint Set to Finish Practice
4. Dryland Pictionary
5. The Deck of Cards Practice 
6. Bottle Flippin' Relays


The Record Breaker

Ryan Woodruff
Head Coach
Lynchburg YMCA

We don't do lots of swimming with fins, but when we do, I like to make sure it is fast.

Here is one way I like to do it:

4-6 rounds of:

100 fast swim with fins, where the goal is to go your lifetime best time, or your goal time, or the team record

100 ez swim free breathing every 3

Total interval around 5 minutes

Provide an incentive for going a best time or breaking a record: maybe coach does pushups, or relays at the end, etc.  I have the breaststrokers go flutter kick with the fins on --they end up going really fast that way!


Backstroke Progression

Ryan Woodruff
Head Coach
Lynchburg YMCA

3 x 75 backstroke w/ band (around ankles) descend 1-3 @ :20 rest
3 x 75 backstroke w/ buoy and band (around ankles) descend 1-3 @:20 rest
3 x 75 backstroke w/paddles, buoy, and band (around ankles) descend 1-3 @:20 rest
3 x 25 spin drill (max hand speed, sitting up) w/band and buoy @:30 rest
1:00 rest
1 x 200 backstroke for time


The Pacer

Ryan Woodruff
Head Coach
Lynchburg YMCA

12 x 100 Free
3 tight descend to P1500 @1:20
1 ez @ 1:40
3 tight descend to P800 @1:30
1 ez @ 1:40
3 tight descend to P400 @ 1:40
1 ez @ 1:40

300 scull/swim by 25

9 x 100
2 at P1500 @1:20
1 ez @ 1:40
2 at P800 @1:30
1 ez @ 1:40
2 at P400 @1:40
1 ez @ 1:40

300 same as above

6 x 100 all @1:40
2 at P1500
2 at P800
2 at P400

300 same warm down


The Fly Back Grinder

Ryan Woodruff
Head Coach
Lynchburg YMCA

1 x 200  done as 100 fly strong/100 back get your time @ 3:30
1 x 100 ez @ 2:00
1 x 300  done as 100 fly strong/200 back get your time @5:00
1 x 100 ez @ 2:00
1 x 400  done as 100 fly strong/300 back get your time @ 6:30
1 x 300 ez swim

add up your 100-200-300 backstroke times.  Now go:

600 backstroke for time -- try to beat that total time!



Ryan Woodruff
Head Coach
Lynchburg YMCA

40 x 50 all choice (but no breast) @ 1:00
#1 - Sprint no breath until you MUST take a breath, then build to a perfect finish
#2 - 40 meters drill then 10m no breath sprint to finish
#3 - max underwater kick and then minimum cycle count
#4 - fast for time

Fins, Paddles & Snorkels
6 x 5:00 Fartlek @ 6:00 (use whistle or wrench bang on side of the pool, they can stop in the middle of the pool for the 1:00 rest and start from there on the next one)
Continuously repeating: 25 flutter kick on side/ 25 swim.  Descend the 25 swim 1 to ? (however many they do).  Descend using the power of the legs!

Diving well set (10-12m width)
20 x 50 (2 widths) @ :30
1st width fast underwater kick followed by open turn
2nd width sprint free no breath (at least 4 dolphin kicks off the wall)


Late season quality set

Ryan Woodruff
Head Coach
Lynchburg YMCA

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D Free and Backstroke

Ryan Woodruff
Head Coach
Lynchburg YMCA

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Fly Fri

Ryan Woodruff
Head Coach
Lynchburg YMCA

This was our most recent version of our Friday Fly Day Set:


30 x 50 @ 1:30
descend 1-3
After #1 of each set of 3 - 5 pushups
After #2 of each set of 3 -10 squats


Power Bag Station

Ryan Woodruff
Head Coach
Lynchburg YMCA

We did this set in our diving well which is about 12 yards across.  We used the SwimmersBest Power Bags we reviewed earlier this spring.

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Easy/Hard 50s

Ken Thorley
Sha Mei Swim Club
Hong Kong

This was a high-intensity main set that I used to do fairly regularly with the high school team.


Keepin' It Movin'

Ryan Woodruff
Head Coach
Lynchburg YMCA

This was a chunk of our practice on Monday morning after a long weekend meet.

Keepin' it moving.

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