We receive a lot of questions during swim practice about how to read the workout -- what do all these letters and numbers mean (DPS, TPR, 6-3-6), how many sets am I supposed to do, does the interval include rest, do I stop in between sets, etc. Below is my attempt to tackle some of these questions for you guys...with a few general tips at the end!
Quick Drill Review:
DPS - Distance per Stroke (take as few strokes as possible, lengthen out and finish your stroke)
TPR - Touch Pull Roll (touch both hands at top - catch/pull - roll hips & shoulders)
BA - Bow & Arrow (work on rotation and pausing on each side - like pulling a bow & arrow)
Fist - Swim with Fists (working on your catch, feel the water with forearm)
Zipper - Drag thumbs through mid-section/up your side (work on rotation and high elbows)
10-10 Side Kick (10 kicks on each side, work on keeping hips and shoulders square)
10-10 ABS - Arms by Side (same as 10-10 side but arms are by your side - more resistance)
6-3-6 - Six kicks on one side, three strokes, six kicks on the other side (kicks same as 10-10 side)
Here are some examples of workout sets:
1 x 300 Swim (100 @ 85%/100 DPS/100 @ 90%)
This set is a 300 total (1 repetition of 300). Within the 300, you are going to change it up every 100 -- but it is still a continuous 300 (no stopping after every 100).
4 x 100 Swim (10 sec. rest)
Even: Swim at 90%
This set means that you are going to do a total of four 100's. The first and third 100's will be DPS, the second and fourth will be swimming at 90% effort. You will take 10 seconds rest in between each 100 (or go on the interval set by the coach). This set is sometimes confused with doing the whole set four times through (total 16 100's) -- remember that the first number (4) shows the total number of repetitions.
4 x 100 Swim (10 sec. rest)
#1 & #3: DPS
#2 & #4: Swim at 90%
The above set could also be written like this. This will end in the same result -- swimming 4 100's with the first and third as DPS and the second and fourth swimming at 90%.
4 x 100 Swim (10 sec. rest)
Odd: (50 DPS/50 TPR)
Even: (50 Swim 90%/50 6-3-6)
To make it even more confusing, we can also structure the set with different drills or pacing within each 100. This set is the same as the above -- 4 100's with 10 sec. rest in between -- but this time you are switching it up within each 100. So you will still be doing a continuous 100, but you will be doing something different for every 50 within the 100.
6 x 100 Pull (on interval - 20 seconds rest)
This set shows a total of 6 100's pulling (buoy & paddles) on a time interval. When you receive an interval from the coach, it DOES include your rest time. If you receive a 2:00 interval on this set, that means that you will leave every time the clock hits 2:00. The coach is going to set the interval based on the estimated 100m time for the lane -- in this case would be 1:40 to allow for 20 seconds rest. If you leave when the clock hand hits 60, then you will leave on the 60 every time you start another 100. Also, if you come in on the 1:35, you will get a little more rest. If you come in on the 1:45, you will get a little less rest. You will still need to leave on the 60 (or 2:00 interval) every time. The coaches will set the intervals based on the ability of the entire lane, so everyone does not always get the same amount of rest (should be close). Also, the coaches may set a faster interval to push the lane for that set, or a slower interval when more rest is needed....trust your coaches :)
Since not everyone has the same speeds for swimming, pulling and fins, there will definitely be times when you are in a lane and need to pass or be passed. It is a good idea for everyone to learn the basics about swim etiquette so that practice can run smoothly. Here are a few tips:
*Try to pass at the wall rather than mid-lane (if you see someone approaching you from behind or consistently swimming on your feet, stop at the next wall and let them through)
*Wait 5 seconds between each swimmer in the lane when starting a set (try not to start right on someone's feet)
*As sets get longer, the likelihood of needing to pass or get passed increases. If you are one of the slower swimmers in the lane, be courteous and try to finish up when the rest of the lane finishes. Ex. If you are doing a 400 swim and the rest of your lane is finished with the set, stop with the group and make-up the missed mileage (probably 50m) at the end (if time permits).
*If you are swimming with a faster lane and have trouble keeping up on longer sets (200+), you can always modify the set so that you can stay on pace with the lane. Ex. For a set of 6x200 Swim, you might want to do 2x200, 1x150, 2x200, 1x150. This way you can still push the effort with the group, but you have some limited rest within the set. You can always make up any missed mileage at the end if time permits.
*Most importantly, be considerate of your teammates -- let people by if needed and ask to move ahead if you are swimming on someone's feet. This will help the flow of the lane so that everyone gets the best workout possible!
Misc. Notes & Tips:
*PULL always means paddles and buoy -- we will specify if you only need one or the other (ex. swim with paddles (no buoy) or buoy only (no paddles))
*Swim Interval from coaches DOES include rest
*If the workout just says KICK, you can choose between (mix & match) any of the kick drills -- 10-10 side, 10-10 ABS, 6-3-6, kick on back, kick with board
*If the workout just says DRILL, you can choose between (mix & match) any of the drills -- DPS, TPR, Bow & Arrow, Zipper, Fist
*If you are choosing your own kick or drill, try to choose something that you need to work on (rather than just doing your favorite one every time...)
And as always, feel free to ask the coach at practice if you have any additional questions not covered! See you guys at swim practice!