Athlete Focus Level: Beginner-Intermediate
1. How often and for what duration should a fitness swimmer/competitive swimmer train weekly?
For fitness swimmers, I recommend 3 x 1 hour workouts spaced throughout the week. The maximum would be 5 workouts per week. Competitive swimmers should consider 2-3 workouts per week as a minimum, 4 optimum and 6 maximum.
2. How should swimmers monitor improvement in fitness and stroke skill?
Timed swims may be used to monitor improvements in fitness. I like to use 200m's and occasionally 400m's for this purpose. If heart rates are monitored, faster recovery times indicate fitness improvement. Improvement in stroke skill may be determined through stroke count before and after a set of drills. One of my favorite pacing swim set is 2 or 3 x (400m 30 sec rest, 4 x 100m 10 sec rest)
3. What should new swimmers/ experienced swimmers consider when setting goals?
When goal setting, new swimmers should concentrate on stroke improvement. Learn and develop all four competitive strokes. Experienced swimmers should think about fine tuning their strokes, pacing and maintaining or reducing times during workouts.
4. Do you plan a swim program for the year (September - August)? Are swimmers aware of the plan?
I divide the swim year into four periods. In the first period, an aerobic base is established. Emphasis is on endurance and skills. Intensity builds during the second period. The focus in the third perioid is on speed. The fourth is a recovery cycle at the end of a hard year of training. I encourage swimmers to discuss their yearly plans with the coaches at the start of each season.
In addition to stroke improvement, I have provided introductory lessons to many new swimmers. I prefer to work with small groups (one or two lanes for drills and one-on-one, or occasionally 2-3 in a group for stroke correction).
Ken's Coaching Background:
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