Taking an off week

Like I mentioned in my last post, I hadn’t taken a week off of swimming yet, so very last minute on the way to the gym two Mondays ago I decided it was time for an “off week” at the pool. I changed up my normal routine to give myself a break from the usual grind, no worrying about speed or times just swim.  Mostly I was trying to keep a decent base so you’ll see the true distance swimmer in me came out as my sets were long, repetitive and what some may consider boring. That said, you still might see some bits and pieces you’d like to try and add to your workouts. Check out what I did:

Monday: 4000 Meters

400 WU

4×400 @6:30 IM Descend (I don’t do full fly the whole time)

4×300 @4:20 100 Moderate, 100 Strong, 100 Fast (all based on perceived effort)

4×200 @3:00 Ascend, 1st one fast->last one cool down.

Tuesday: 2500 Meters

400 WU

400 – 50fr, 25 drill, 25 swim – dr/sw in IM order

7×200 @3:00 Add IM, start with 200 free, add a length of IM in its proper position so last one is all IM, rest time “naturally” gets shorter.

300 EZ

Wednesday: 4000 Meters

8×500 @7:30 (This set screams distance swimmer….)

Odds – 100fr/100back throughout

Evens – 50 RB3, 50 RB3, 50 RB3, 50 RB4, 50 RB3, 50 RB5, 50 RB3, 50 RB6, 50 RB3, 50 RB7 (FYI: RB= restricted breathing, RB3 means breath every third stroke, RB4 means breath every 4th stroke and so on. The pattern here is alternating 50 RB3 with a 50RB 1 less breath than the prior 50)

Thursday: 2500 Meters

300 WU

4×125 @2:00 IM+ (double up fl on #1, ba on #2, br on #3 and fr on #4)

5x (150 @2:15, 100 @1:25, 50 @:40) – Here the base got harder as the distance got shorter so, 1:30 base, 1:25 base, 1:20 base, easy to adjust for a different base time, definitely my favorite set of the week.

200 EZ

Friday: 4000 Meters

200 WU


Odd distances – strong pace with interval at 1:20 base so: 1:20, 4:00 and 6:40

Even distances – 100fr/100back throughout at 1:30 base so: 3:00, 6:00, 9:00

200 EZ

Having an off week was nice because it’s a little less stressful when you’re not worried about comparing times/paces to sets from prior months of training.   It was definitely a much needed break from the normal routine I have at the pool, a good mental reboot. I’ve been feeling pretty sluggish in the pool since the season ended so throwing something completely random into the workout mix will confuse my body a bit and help me switch into a mode where my body needs to adapt again. It also gave me some time to think a little bit more about stroke technique and work on some lung capacity, both of which have plenty of room for improvement. There’s not always a ton of time for these things when you’re cranking out hard sets during the season so it’s a good time to start thinking about the little things that will help you improve in the long run.

Happy and safe training as it gets cold, dark and slick out there!

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