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Workouts

A 17-week series of example workouts, written for the Team USA Women's Elite team by Tyera Eulberg.
All sets and intervals written for swimmers with fins.

Week 1 - Recovery Set

400 swim
2 x 25 under, aSap (my new acronym, which means as SLOW as possible), keep track of times. rest after each 25 the same amount of time you stayed under.
2 x 100 huho, :20 rest, cruising pace (~75%)
2 x 25 under, aSap
2 x 100 hohu, :20 rest, cruising pace (~75%)
2 x 25 under, aSap
2 x 100 ouou, :20 rest, cruising pace (~75%)
2 x 25 under, aSap
250 kick, flutter w/ kick board, cruising pace
2 x 25 under, aSap
250 kick, flutter on back, cruising pace
2 x 25 under, aSap
250 kick, dolphin w/ kick board, cruising pace
2 x 25 under, aSap
250 kick, dolphin on back, cruising pace
2 x 25 under, aSap
200 cool down

total: 2600 yards

THINGS TO THINK ABOUT

  • 100 huhos, hohus, ouous = consistency. the unders should not feel harder than the surface swims, and vice versa. you probably have a good idea what a cruising pace feels like -- for me, i feel specifically not dragging or "slow", but i could still swim "forever." if you don't know this feeling, this set is a great time to discover it. if you find yourself really panting after the unders, and having to slow down the surface swims to compensate, you are pushing the unders too hard. try to relax underwater more, and swim slower.
  • 250 kicks = smooth, even, deep kicks. on flutter, hinge at the hip. your knees should bend slightly, but a lot of the speed comes from engaging ALL your leg muscles, including guts and hip flexors. on dolphin, engage all your abs. keep your shoulders relaxed.
  • 25 unders = SLOW. these are the tests of how your heart and lungs are working in the other elements. if your times on the 25s are on the short side, you may be pushing yourself too hard on the rest of the elements. try to make the second 25 longer than the first every single time.
  • remember, this is a RECOVERY set.

Week 2

600 swim
8 x 100 + :20; 2 x huho, 2 x hohu, 2 x ouou, 2 x tofu. the second 100 of each type should be faster than the first.
100 easy
400 flutter kick w/ board, 50 hard + 50 easy
400 flutter kick on back, 50 hard + 50 easy
400 dolphin kick w/ board, 50 hard + 50 easy
400 dolphin kick on back, 50 hard + 50 easy
10 x 25 under, half easy + half sprint, alternate dolphin and flutter (actually, i went dolphin, flutter, flutter, dolphin, repeat; but that's not important)
150 cool down

total: 3500 yards

A shorter workout:

400 swim
200 huho
200 hohu
200 tofu
200 ouou
(200 fu -- can you do it?)
100 easy
12 x 50 on 1:05. 4 x huho, 4 x hohu, 4 x ou, descend each group of 4 (which means start out cruise pace and each subsequent 50 in the group of four is faster than the one before. then slow down again to start the new group of four)
3 x 100 swim + :15
200 cool down

total: 2500 yards -- if you want a longer workout, add a kick set in

Week 3

Warm up/endurance: (this means no intervals, cruise pace)
400 swim
100 huho
100 hohu
100 tofu
100 ouou

Main set:
12x75 on 1:20, first 4 hohu, then 4 huho, last 4 ouo. Descend each set of 4.

100 easy

Main set:
800 kick, 400 flutter, 400 dolphin, alternate 50 hard + 50 smooth. Choice: kick board or back.
200 cool down

THINGS TO THINK ABOUT

  • 75s = consistent speed throughout each 75. don't take it easy and then suddenly sprint at the end because you only have a few seconds to get to the wall to beat your previous 75 time. instead, swim with a little more effort throughout the whole 75.
  • kicks = on the "smooth" 50s, focus on making your kicks very deep and smooth. on the "hard" 50s, think about increasing your turnover. ideally, you want a deep kick when you kick fast as well. but it's easiest to focus on when you're going slower. choose the kick board (or on your stomach w/out a kickboard) if you would like to focus on the downstroke of your kick. choose kicking on your back if you would like to focus on strengthening the upstroke of your kick. also, dolphin on your back is a good abs workout.

Week 4

Make sure you read the notes below the set before you start.

Warmup:
300 swim
100 flutter
100 dolphin
100 huho
100 hohu
2 x 100 uouo (nice and relaxed)

Main set #1:
9 x 100 on 1:45 alternate huho/hohu

100 easy

Main set #2:
8 x 100 kick on 1:35 alternate flutter/dolphin

100 easy

Main set #3:
8 x 25 under on :35

200 cool down

total: 3200 yards

THINGS TO THINK ABOUT

  • huho/hohu set and kick set: these are sets to get your heart-rate up (as opposed to building strength).
  • as you swim each part, focus on increasing the turnover in your kick.
  • to me, there are two parts of the kick -- strength (ie. kicking deep); and speed, or turnover. for this workout, focus on speed/turnover. ideally, our kicks will be both very deep and very fast. but for now, let's focus on each aspect individually.
  • your times may be slower than when you focus on a deep kick -- don't worry! it's normal. as long as you're making the interval, forget about times. feel satisfied by your high heart rate, or fast-feeling kick instead.
  • unders: just cruise through these. you should probably be getting :20 rest or so.

Week 5

Warmup:
400 swim
100 huho
100 hohu
2 x 100 ouou (nice and relaxed)
2 x 100 bogdat

Main set #1:
8 x 50 huho on :40

100 easy

Main set #2:
8 x 50 hohu on :40

100 easy

Main set #3:
8 x 50 ou on :50

100 easy

Main set #4:
8 x 50 fu on 1:05

100 easy

Main set #5:
8 x 25 under on :25

200 cool down

total: 3400 yards

THINGS TO THINK ABOUT

  • make your intervals.
  • press yourself harder to get a little more rest on the walls.
  • try to keep your times stay the same or even descend as you go through each set.
  • really stretch out stroke/kick on your recovery 100s. workout this week is all about recovery. intervals will feel pretty short (though we'll go shorter in a few weeks). you won't have enough recovery time to all-out sprint anything.

Week 6

Warmup:
400 swim
200 huho
200 hohu
200 ouou

Main set #1:
8 x 50 alternate huho/hohu on :40

100 easy

Main set #2:
8 x 75 fu on 1:40

100 easy

Main set #3:
8 x 50 alternate hohu/huho on :40

100 easy

Main set #4:
8 x 75 broken down into 50 kick, rest 10 seconds, 25 under sprint, rest 20 seconds
kick is choice (flutter or dolphin, board or not, back or front)

200 cool down
total: 3500 yards

THINGS TO THINK ABOUT

  • make the fu's good.
  • keep your kick strong in the last set, but don't wipe yourself out before the under.

Week 7

Warmup/endurance pace:
400 swim
100 kick flutter
100 kick dolphin
100 hohu
100 huho
100 ouou
100 tofu
2 x 100 fu

2/3 game set: (keep track of 100s times)
100 tofu on 2:00
200 huho on 3:00
100 tofu on 2:00
200 hohu on 3:00
100 tofu on 2:00
200 ouou on 3:00
rest 3:00
100 fu on 2:00
200 ouou on 3:00

50 slow fu
50 easy

Kick set:
500 kick dolphin on back (75 hard, 25 easy)

2 x 100 slow ouou
200 cool down

total: 3400 yards

Week 8

The word "build" means that you start slow and every stroke/kick is faster until you are all-out sprinting by the end
the word "descend" means that each chunk (50 or 100 or whatever) is a consistent pace and faster than the one before.

**Warmup:
400 swim
200 huho
200 hohu
200 bogdat

Main set #1:
6 x 75 swim build + :10 rest

Main set #2:
8 x 25 under build + :20 rest (remember, longer rest means swim faster)

200 swim, 80%

Main set #3:
600, alternate huho/hohu by 100. descend by 100.
final 100 < 1:00

100 easy

Main set #4:
6 x 50, 37.5 yards (1.5 lengths) build swim, sprint 12.5 yards (1/2 length) under + :15 rest

Main set #5:
8 x 25 unders, sasd (new acronym, which means "strike and stay down". Sprint to the middle of the pool, angling from the surface at the wall to the floor in the middle, as you would on the strike. Then swim as slowly as you can under to complete the length) start the next 25 when fully recovered.

200 cool down.

total: 3250 yards

THINGS TO THINK ABOUT

  • make sure you are really and truly getting to 100% on your builds.
  • on the sasd's: absolutely as fast as you can sprint the strike, absolutely as slow as you can swim the rest. the most benefit comes from pushing the extremes on these.

Week 9

Warmup:
500 choice (i recommend some unders)

Main set #1:
aardvarks:
6 x 100 swim on 1:25, descend by 3's (descend the first 3 x 100, start the 4th 100 slow, and descend the second 3 x 100)

Main set #2:
6 x 75 on 1:20, 50 kick + 25 under sprint. alternate dolphin and flutter.

Main set #3:
Champaign pyramid sprint set---
4 x 25 under on :30
3 x 50 hohu on :45
2 x 75 uou on 1:20
1 x 100 bogdat on 2:00
2 x 75 uou on 1:15
3 x 50 huho on :40
4 x 25 under on :25

100 easy/full recovery

Main set #4:
4 x 50 FU (remember this means you can breathe on the wall) on 1:15, FAST.
report times.

200 cool down

total: 2950 yards

Week 10

Warmup:
100 swim
100 kick flutter
100 swim
100 kick dolphin
100 huho
100 hohu
100 tofu
100 ouou

Main set #1:
12 x 100 on 1:30
---1st 3 x 100, 25 under + 75 swim
--- 2nd 3 x 100, 25 swim + 25 under + 50 swim
--- 3rd 3 x 100, 50 swim + 25 under + 25 swim
--- 4th 3 x 100, 75 swim + 25 under

Main set #2:
4 x 100 on 2:30, all fast
---1st 100 tofu
---2nd 100, 50 over + 50 FU
---3rd 100, 25 over + 75 FU
--- 4th 100 FU

100 easy

Main set #3:
4 x 100 bubu (25 bogdat + 25 under + 25 bogdat + 25 under) on 2:00

Cool down:
3 x 100 easy

total: 3200 yards

THINGS TO THINK ABOUT

  • on changing altitude: just in case, for those of you who might be doing some moving around, like me. Many people get less out of high-altitude workouts than low-altitude ones. Shortness of breath from lack of oxygen makes it seem like you are working very hard, so many people lower the intensity of their workouts. However, your muscles and heart are not working much harder than they would at the same activity level at low altitude. So, to make high-altitude workouts as efficient as those lower -- instead of judging your effort output based on perceived intensity, judge it based on actual pace. for us, that means finishing 100s in the same time as we do at lower altitude.

  • on bubus: you can thank dave kennedy for these (stupid acronym mine, though). they are tough, but they mirror a hockey game VERY well. think about your rest on the wall like time in the sub box.

Week 11

Warmup:
400 swim
4 x 100 huho, hohu, ouou, bogdat

Main set #1:
400 kick, 25 easy/25 hard, alternate flutter/dolphin by 100s

Main set #2:
8 x 50 alt. huho/hohu, 25 easy/25 hard on :50

Main set #3:
6 x 50 bubu (25 bogdat + 25 under) on 1:00 (since these are shorter than last week, push the unders faster)

Main set #4:
Tyera's pyramid:
1 x 50 fu on 1:00
2 x 50 uo on :50
3 x 50 huho on :45
4 x 50 swim on :40
3 x 50 hohu on :45
2 x 50 ou on :50
1 x 50 fu (FAST)

Main set #5:
4 x 25 under sprint on :50

Cool down:
200 easy

total: 3000 yards

THINGS TO THINK ABOUT

  • On sprints: let me emphasize again -- use the whole interval to rest and recover. It is crucial.

Week 12

Warmup:
400 swim, 100 huho, 100 hohu, 100 ouou, 100 bogdat

Main set #1:
8 x 50 huho/hohu 25 easy + 25 hard on :50

Main set #2:
4 x 100 fast on 2:30 (tofu, oouu, ouuu, fu)

100 easy

Main set #3:
900 pyramid sprint set =
4 x 25 under on :30
3 x 50 hohu on :45
2 x 75 uou on 1:20
1 x 100 bogdat
2 x 75 uou on 1:15
3 x 50 huho on :40
4 x 25 under on :25

Main set #4:
4 x 50 bubu on 1:00

Main set #5:
8 x 25 sasd (strike and stay down) on 1:00

Cooldown:
200 swim

total: 3000 yards

Week 13

Warmup:
800 of your choice

Main set #1:
12 x 100 on 1:30
---1st 3 x 100, 25 under + 75 swim
--- 2nd 3 x 100, 25 swim + 25 under + 50 swim
--- 3rd 3 x 100, 50 swim + 25 under + 25 swim
--- 4th 3 x 100, 75 swim + 25 under

100 easy

Main set #2:
repeat the following 4x (total of 400 yards)
50 under sprint on 1:20
2 x 25 under sprint on :45

100 easy

Main set #3:
4 x 100 bubu on 2:00

Cooldown:
300 choice

total: 3300 yards

Week 14

Warmup:
200 swim
100 flutter
100 dolphin
200 swim
100 flutter
100 dolphin

Main set #1:
4 x 100 + :20, alternate uouo (asap on unders) and huho (hard on unders)

Main set #2:
4 x 50 + :15, alternate huho and hohu, each 50 = 25 easy/25 sprint

Main set #3:
4 x 50 bubu on 1:00

Main set #4:
(every one of these damn well better be as fast as you can possibly go!)
4 x 25 half-under sprint on :45
4 x 25 3/4-under sprint on :45
4 x 25 under sprint on 1:00
100 easy
4 x 25 half-under sprint on :45
4 x 25 3/4-under sprint on :45
4 x 25 under sprint on 1:00
100 easy

Main set #4:
4 x 50 bubu on 1:00

200 cooldown

total: 2800 yards

Week 15

Warmup:
200 swim, 100 kick, 100 huho, 200 swim, 100 kick, 100 huho

Main set #1:
6 x 50 on :50, 25swim + 25bogdat

100 swim

Main set #2:
6 x 50 bubu on 1:00

100 swim

Main set #3:
6 x 50 SPRINT huho/hohu on 1:30

100 swim

Main set #4:
6 x 25 under SPRINT on 1:00

100 swim

Main set #5:
6 x 25 sasd on 1:00

200 cooldown

Week 16

400 swim, 200 bogdat, 100 kelp dives
2 x 100 hohu, unders on your side, alt. flutter/dolphin (i also like to alternate which side i'm on by 50s)
2 x 100 hohu, unders upside-down, alt. flutter/dolphin
2 x 100 ouou, unders are "corkscrew" (1/4 length on front, 1/4 length on side A, 1/4 length on back, 1/4 length on side B), alt. flutter/dolphin
8 x 25 strikes (get to the center dot underwater as FAST as possible, choice to wall)
2 x 25 under aSap
8 x 25 under curl drills (2 each: (1) swim to center, regular curl, swim to opposite wall; (2) swim to center, regular curl, swim back to starting wall; (3) swim to center, reverse curl, swim to opposite wall; (4) swim to center, reverse curl, swim back to starting wall)
4 x 25 under sprint (FAST)
2 x 25 under aSap
8 x 25 strike to puck in middle, then sprint with puck to wall (FAST)
200 cool down

total: 2300 yards

This is a longer, slightly adapted version of the men's team "form drills." this key here is FORM, so focus on making rotations (from your stomach to your side, eg.) snappy and precise, quick good curls, and everything else perfect as well. All intervals are your choice -- push yourself if you want, but do the forms RIGHT and the sprints (damn well) FAST.

Week 17

Warmup:
150 swim
75 flutter
75 dolphin
150 swim
75 bogdat
75 huho

Main set:
(all SPRINT)
8 x strikes on 1:00
4 x 25 under on 2:00
2 x 50 under on 4:00 (report times)
4 x 25 under on 2:00
8 x strikes on 1:00

200 cooldown

THINGS TO THINK ABOUT

  • there's nothing else for it -- you HAVE to leave it all in the pool on this set. during the recovery, your body may fool yourself and tell you you're not working very hard. don't worry, you're getting great things out of it.
  • sprint!!!
  • also, the 50s are scary. but they're over before you know it.

Questions?

Just ask Tyera at tyera_eulberg@usauwh.com