How to design a training plan and gives you all the advice you need to make the most of your time.
In this article I am going to talk about my idea of what training should be, and not so much about specific exercises, but about the way I organize the sessions of my triathletes and master swimmers with a view to competition with Lifeguard Training.
Why do I consider it important? First, because following a program, a sort of daily routine or guide, makes training easier. Second, because it allows you to focus on the kind of work in progress that we always talk about.
The session begins with the warm-up, because we must get the muscles ready before working at a higher intensity. Normally I suggest a distance of between 300 and 500 m in any style, or alternating periods of easy swimming with others of greater concentration in the stroke. For example, freestyle with underwater or one arm recovery. So we alternate things that swimmers tend to like, such as free swimming, with more controlled elements.
TECHNIQUE AND LEG WORK
The second part of the training usually consists of working on the technique. Here I use specific technical exercises for all styles and rowing exercises in several different positions. From my point of view, it is the best time to perfect the technique, right after the warm-up and when I can still count on everyone paying attention to the details.
In this part the swimmers perform the first leg exercises, generally with a snorkel or without a board, and what I ask them to do is pay attention to the position of the body in the water and the underwater phase.
Technique work usually ends with hypoxic exercises designed to increase lung capacity. A typical session includes 6 x 50m freestyle breathing every 3/5/7 strokes and alternating breathing every 50m.
PREVIOUS EXERCISES and MAIN ROUTINE
Then comes the main routine. Depending on the metabolic stimulus I want, I choose one or the other prior muscle activation exercises.
If the main routine is mainly aerobic (10 x 200m with 20” recovery), the previous work includes progressions or changes of rhythm (12 x 50 #4 x in progression 1-4 #4 x 25m intense + 25 slow #4x 15m breathless sprint)
If the main routine is based on aerobic strength (2 or 3 fast series of 5 x 100), the exercises will be done alternating the hypoxic stimulus (4 x 150 concentrating on the pulling phase, breathing 3/5/7 times every 50 m with a relatively short recovery) and speed work (4 x 50 in progression 1-4 with pullbuoy + intense 4×25 in the favorite style with 20” recovery every 2 or 3 series).
If the main routine is at race pace or produces lactic acid accumulation (6 x 50 at 1.20, always fast for 2 or 3 series), the exercises will be fast stimulation (head high like a water polo player + 70 m soft = 10 m underwater final with fast butterfly kick and 30” recovery).
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BACK TO THE CALM
Finally, the active cooling. I tend to prefer simple exercises with longer recovery periods, again asking swimmers for maximum control. I also propose some hypoxic exercise, although trying to dose energy, or exercises with fins so that the last kilometers are more bearable.
It goes without saying that afterward each athlete needs different solutions. Competition requires longer sessions or harder exercises, for example for leg work. For reasons of time and strength, in the case of master swimmers and triathletes, the session is shorter and easier.
This is how I like to organize training sessions. Each coach has his own style and mine has helped me improve the performance of many athletes.