Many of you with SOMA will not swim with the morning group at Superior. So It would be helpful to understand the rationale behind the workouts that Matt will be sending you. Four of us followed this format for three months this past fall and we swam well.

Primary Objectives

The training balances results against limitations.  Results are fitness, performance, and injury prevention.  Limitations include time constraints, physical capacity (including energy-we can’t all take naps in the middle of the day like Matt), and mental stress.

Training Parameters

At the most basic level, the training consists of the following:

  1. Daily Effort:  3000 yds over 60-90 minutes

    1. 3000 yards appears to be the sweet spot where we have enough time to achieve results without getting into problems with injury or time constraints.

    2. We may potentially accomplish more with longer workouts, but we will also sacrifice more in other areas of our busy lives.  Matt is currently swimming his best distance times using this format, so we may not pick up that much benefit from additional yards.

  2. Weekly Effort: 3-6 days per week

  3. Stroke Mix:  ⅓ Freestyle, ⅓ IM, ⅓ Stroke

    1. The stroke mix allows us to work differently every day to avoid injury from repetitive use.

    2. To build stroke-specific strength/endurance, stroke and freestyle workouts focus on a single stroke.  Drill, main, and kick sets on any given day should all be the same stroke.

  4. Training Cycles

    1. Each training cycle will last about 3-4 months

    2. Training intensity (not yardage) will build by weeks in approximately 4-week cycles

    3. Intensity will build over three weeks.  The fourth week will be a lighter recovery week.

Workout Format

  1. Simplicity

    1. The basic format is the same for every workout.  Monotony has not been an issue because of the variation in stroke mix and training intensities.  The primary benefits of this format are many:

      1. It easily puts everyone in the same training rhythm even if all of the training is outside of the core morning group at Superior

      2. If you’re working out alone, you’ll only need to remember the main set and kick set.   The rest of the workout is nearly the same every day.

      3. For workout groups, the consistent format is time efficient.  Only the main set and kick set require explanation.

  2. Training Zones

    1. Recovery:  <65% effort

    2. Aerobic Tempo: 65-85% effort

    3. Anaerobic/Lactic Threshold/Race Pace:  85-95% effort

    4. Sprint: 100% effort

  3. Workout Outline

    1. Warmup:  500 (Recovery)

    2. Stroke Drill:  10×50 (Low Tempo)

    3. Build Set:  8×25 build within each 25 (Tempo)

    4. Main Set:  500-2000 yds (Tempo,Race Pace, Sprint)

    5. Kick Set:  500 yds (Tempo, Sprint)

    6. Fly Set:  8×25 on 45 / 4×50 on 1:30 / 3×75 on 2:15 / 2×100 (Tempo)

    7. Warm Down:  200-500 (Recovery)

  4. Workout Schedule (Two-week rotation)
  5. Week 1

    Day 1:  Stroke sprint
    Day 2:  IM tempo or rest day
    Day 3:  Free race pace
    Day 4:  IM tempo
    Day 5:  Stroke tempo
    Day 6:  IM race pace/tempo or rest day
    Day 7:  Free tempo/lactic threshold

    Week 2

    Day 1:  Stroke race pace
    Day 2:  IM tempo or rest day
    Day 3:  Free sprint
    Day 4:  IM tempo
    Day 5:  Stroke tempo
    Day 6:  IM race pace/tempo or rest day
    Day 7:  Free tempo/lactic threshold​

  6. Adaptability

  7. With three days per week, all training zones and stroke mixes can be accomplished over three-week rotations.