Friday, February 11, 2011

Drill and Build! This is a good swim workout!

I have been doing a LOT more drills this year than I have in the past two years and I think it does two things for me: Breaks up the monotony of descending swim sets, but it also is keeping my form sharp and I am noticing constant speed increases at the same effort levels.

I have always struggled with doing drills and speed sets all in one workout. Seems easy enough, but it usually wouldn't happen for me. I think I found a way the other night. Its pretty simple:
Drill 200
Swim 3 x 100 descend

So this beats a drill into you for 200 straight yards, then you hit the gas for a 3 x 100 descending set and feeling those improvements.

I also noticed something REALLY cool: Each 100 was getting faster and faster and faster while at the same effort. Either I was getting more and more warmed up or there was a snowball effect of the drills sharpening my form that I was more and more efficient. I am going with both. The first set of 100's were @ 1:30-1:31, to the last set of 100's @ 1:23-1:24. So a steady speed increase.

Here is the entire workout:
500 WU
200 Shark Drill*
3 x 100
200 one arm drill (alternate between left and right arms every 25)
3 x 100
200 finger drag / head tap (alternate every 25)
3 x 100
200 skate drill
3 x 100
200 underswitch skate drill
3 x 100 (you can use this as a cool down)
3000 yards

Hope this workout brings out some speed in you and breaks up the monotony of the pool.

*Shark Drill: Helps for rotation and following through with the catch. Stick a kickboard between your thighs like a pull buoy and swim. Work the rotation so that you can reach back and touch the top of the board to finish your pull, aka following through with it. If you aren't tapping the board, you are CHEATING! This will lengthen your stroke. GREAT DRILL!

OR you can do Big Daddy Diesel's version of the shark drill: Drop a shark in the pool and swim for your life!!!!


  1. I like my version better, makes you faster or ......

  2. I am hiring you as my swim coach, although I already have. The tips you have are awesome and each time I incorporate one I get faster in the water. Thanks again for the Shark Drill....although BDDs would work as well.

  3. I like the BDD version –

    On a side note, when swimming in the ocean always swim with a buddy and a knife. If you see a shark, stab your buddy and swim away. Works everytime.

  4. That looks like a wicked workout! Maybe I'll try a double shark drill combining both yours and BDD's versions. :)

  5. Nice workout!!
    Ha ha..Tri-James' comment cracked me up!

  6. Jon, would you come train me in the pool? i need someone to stand over me and make me do drills. i'm so disciplined with the run and bike but the swim, not so much. i put the time and effort in but avoid drill like no tomorrow and i do know better but i'm stubborn i guess. keep up the quality pool workouts!

  7. I have been doing drills a lot and it has definitely helped. I am still slow as can be but my stroke is better. AND I have gotten faster, just not like, Jon fast.

  8. LOVE your drills and motivation in the pools. Helping me BIGTIME to push harder and try to get better in the pool. Now I just need to not get stuck doing only Shark and Fist "form drills" I know me and once I get comfortable doing something .....

  9. Wow everyone seems to be hammering out some killer swim sessions! Great job, keep it up!

  10. Wow man. 1:20's that is AWESOME.

    I need to do drills.


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