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WU - 700

200 swim

100 kick steady

4 x 50 left arm/right arm  :05 RI

4 x 50 kick as 25 splash/25 no splash :10


MS - 2100

200 paddles/pull :30 RI

150 build x 50 :30 RI

2 x 100 IM on :20 RI

2 x 75 as (drill, kick, free) :15 RI

4 x 50 kick choice :10 RI

6 x 25 sprint no breath :10 RI

2x’s thru


CD - 200


Terrier Swim Descriptions



Rest and Send Off’s

RI – Rest interval.  Amount of rest you get after each interval.

SO- Send Off.  You begin each interval in a specific time.  Rest is determined by how easy or hard you perform the interval.



S - Swim (Crawl/Free)

B - Back

F - Fly

BR – Breast

SP – Sprint 



D - Descend

B - Build 

NS – Negative Split

K – Kick

P – Pull

CU– Catch-up

FI – Fist

FT – Finger Tip

R/L – Right Arm/Left Arm

CR – Cruise Set


Open Water Drills

SI - Sighting Drill

BL - Blind Swimming


Equipment Needed

Fins, Paddles, Pool Buoy, Kick Board


Drill Definitions


Descending sets ask you to swim each repetition faster than the previous.  For example, the following set: 

6x50: Descend 1->6 (You to swim six 50's, with each one slightly faster)



Building is different from descending in that the swimmer's goal is to increase speed within the single swim distance(s). For example, the following set: 

3x100: Build 

You to swim each 100 starting easy (with perfect technique) and increasing speed within each 100 to a fast finish (maintaining perfect technique throughout). As you may have guessed, the goal in a "Build" swim is to build speed while maintaining good stroke technique. 


Negative Split 

Swimming a Negative Split means that the second half of the distance is swum at a faster pace than the first half. For example, the following set: 

1x 600: Negative Split - Swim the second 300 yards at a faster pace and time than the first 300 yards. The idea is to control your pace at the beginning so that you have the energy necessary to swim faster at the end of the swim.



Kicking without a kickboard will allow you to perform your kick in the same body position of the stroke. If you’re more comfortable kicking with a board then feel free to use it anytime. 


Kick on your side with your bottom arm (the one closer to the bottom of the pool) extended straight out of your shoulder line before your head. Keep your palm facing down and your extended hand about 8 inches under water. The top arm (the one on the surface of the water) should be relaxed at your side with your hand on your hip and out of the water. Maintain a head position as though you were swimming freestyle, with your head in line with your spine. Press your armpit toward the pool bottom to get your hip at the surface of the water. Your extended arm should feel weightless.


Catch-Up Drill

Pull with one arm at a time and touch your hands in a streamlined position out front between each alternating arm stroke. Keep your extended hands about 6 inches under the surface of the water for improved body position.  Concentrate on swimming in the front quadrant and keep a long, streamlined bodyline.  You can progress to simply exchanging hands in the "passing zone" extended in front. We call this the "Ear Catch-Up" Drill, wherein you begin your pull as your opposite arm passes by your ear near the completion of the recovery. 



Fist Swimming 

Swimming with hands completely in a fist. No "karate-chop" hands allowed! Concentrate on body position, using your forearm in the catch and optimum elbow bend through the stroke. When you return to swimming with an open palm, your hands will feel as large as kickboards! Have fun and think Distance Per Stroke! 


Fingertip Drag Drill 

This drill is swimming normal Freestyle while dragging your fingertips along the surface of the water on the recovery. Focus on a high elbow recovery, which ensures proper hand and elbow position at your hand entry. You should also check your body position during this drill, focusing on good side-to-side rotation.  An alternate version of this drill involves dragging the entire hand, wrist-deep, through the water. This helps build strength and speed of the arm recovery motion. 



The cruise interval is the time that allows you to swim 100 yards of freestyle at least ten times comfortably with a low heart rate when you have 7- 10 seconds rest between each 100 yards. For example, a 1:30 cruise swimmer is a swimmer who swims 100's comfortably in 1:20-1:23 and departs (has a send-off) on a 1:30 interval. For this swimmer, 1:30 is called the cruise send-off interval. 


Single Arm (R, L) Drill 

Single arm freestyle swimming can be done in one of two ways. 

1. With the opposite (nonworking arm) at your side.  Breathe to the side of the nonworking arm. The secret to success with this drill is to complete your breath before stroking.  Concentrate on the catch, initiating body rotation with the core body muscles. Take this drill slowly, technique is more important than speed. 

2. With the opposite (nonworking arm) extended in front.  Breathe to the side of the working arm. Focus on high elbow recovery, hand entry, and hand acceleration.


Open Water Swimming Drills 

Sighting Drill: Swim normal freestyle. On every 5th or 7th stroke, raise your head straightforward and "sight" on an object off in the distance. You can place a target object or sight something already in place, i.e. a tree. After sighting the object, lower your head back into normal position. Practice maintaining a balanced stroke rhythm and rotation, while clearly seeing the target object. 


Blind Swimming: Swim with your eyes completely closed. On every 5th or 7th stroke, raise your head straightforward and "sight” on an object off in the distance. Make sure you are maintaining a straight path down the pool.



Your swim workouts will be broken down as follows:






Depending on distance, your training will range from of 400-800 yards/meters. All your trying to do is get the body warmed up! Stop to stretch whenever you want. This is the time to adjust goggles, caps and what not. 


The drill set is an extension of warm-up. So that you may focus totally on stroke technique without concerning yourself with speed or rest. Again, stretch as necessary and pay close attention to your body position and form. Allow your heart rate to come up slowly. You should get 10-15 seconds of rest between each part of the drill set.



The main set will range in length depending on fitness and distance you are training for.  These sets are all times and make up the bulk of your swim sessions.



This will usually will be an easy swim or pull of a couple hundred yards.

Terrier Tri Freestyle Points to Remember


Three Rs.  Three keys to swimming properly are relaxation, reach and rotation.


Relax:  The first and most important step in becoming a fast swimmer is learning to relax in the water.  If you throw a non-swimmer into the deep end of a pool, that person typically trashes about and struggles.  In the process he or she, uses energy unproductively and gets tired.  Beginning swimmers fall into a similar trap.  They fail to relax in the water, and they tense muscles unnecessarily and use energy in a way that does not propel them forward.  Learning to relax in the water requires awareness of your body.  Swim slowly and pay attention to what propels your body forward efficiently.  As you learn what muscles propel you forward at different points in your stroke, you can learn to relax the parts of your body that are not being used.


Rotate:  Rotation maximizes the efficiency of the stroke and minimizes drag.  Too often, when swimmers think of rotation, they focus on their shoulders and arms.  Rotation starts with the kick.  The kick drives your hips, which drive your shoulders and finally your arms.  As the hips rotate, the arm completes its recovery, and the hand enters the water with momentum.  As you extend every stroke, your body should rotate so that it's practically on its side.  During warm-up and warm-down, exaggerate your rotation to the point where you feel like your body will tip over.  You want to be just shy of the tipping point. 


Reach:  Getting full extension on every stroke can only happen if your body is relaxed.  As explained in greater detail below, the hand should spear the water very close to full extension.  After the hand enters the water, your body continues to rotate, which enables you to reach a few more inches and to glide.  You should reach as far forward as you can without reaching across your middle line.  (See below.)  Reach is the key to maximizing the propulsion generated by each stroke. 


Arm Cycle & Kick, Together:  The main propulsive force of the freestyle stroke is the arm cycle. The kick contributes to overall speed, but the contribution should be limited for any triathlon distance swim.  During distance swims, which include any swim greater than 300 yards, a 2-beat, 3-beat or 4-beat kick is ideal because it conserves energy.  A 2-beat kick means that you do 2 kicks (one left and one right) per left/right arm cycle.  A four-beat kick means 4 kicks per arm cycle, etc.  For sprints (that take two minutes or less), a 6 or 8 beat kick is ideal.  Considering how much oxygen your legs – quadriceps in particular – burn, that intensity cannot be sustained for more than one or two minutes.  Therefore, in triathlon, the main function of the legs is to help keep the body balanced and efficient to allow the arms to do their work.  Nonetheless, sprint-work is an invaluable way to teach your body to swim faster.  Therefore, in swim practices, you should learn to adjust your kick depending on your pace.  Note: the number of kicks per stroke should always be an even number because the kick helps drive body rotation, which is obviously linked to your arm cycle


Underwater:  Start every lap with a long underwater push off.  Keep your head down to reduce drag.  Think about keeping your chin close to your chest.  Your hands should be locked over your head, one on top of the other with your elbows tight against your head behind your ears.  Kick.  As you start to slow down, start your first stroke and lift your head slightly.  This will bring you to the surface.  Timing your first stroke so that it coincides with the moment you surface takes practice, but it will come quickly.  As you feel more comfortable with your underwater push-off, try doing 2-3 dolphin kicks during your streamline.


Kick:  A kick that does not create lots of splash and is small, fast, rhythmic and fluid is the most powerful.  Kick from the hips and quads.  This keeps the legs and hips near the surface and allows the arms to pull the body through the water with less effort.  A weak kick means the legs and hips sink low in the water causing drag, thus working harder to go slower!


First Stroke:  When you start doing flip-turns, you will come off the wall with one shoulder deeper than the other.  The deeper arm takes the first stroke.  Never breathe on your first stroke.


Hands:  Keep your hands and fingers relaxed.  There should be space between your fingers!  Do to the adhesive properties of water, very little water escapes between your fingers, and you enlarge your pulling area.  Plus, it's part of learning to relax!


Reach:  Try to reach for the wall on every stroke.  This allows you to glide and will put you in a good position to catch the water as far out in front as you can.  Your stroke begins a few inches off-center.  Imagine a line that extends from head to toe and divides your body in two.  Your hands should never touch the line.  (If they touch it or cross it, you're overreaching.)  


Catch/Anchor:  Catch and anchor the water in front of you – not under you.  To do so, curl your hand down while keeping your elbow high.  As your hand curls and starts to catch the water, your elbow breaks but stays high.  Your hand should be getting closer to vertical.  


Pull:  Once you catch the water, think about using your entire arm, not just the hand. After the catch, your hand should be close to vertical for the rest of your stroke.  Your stroke will follow a gentle "S" curve that moves away from the line until your hand is even with the top of your head; then it will curve in towards the middle line and move under your body.  As you follow through, your hand moves away from the line.  To be sure that your stroke does not end too early, as a drill, brush your thumb against your thigh at the end of each stroke.  Your stroke should be one smooth movement.  Your left hand follows a gentle "S" curve, and your right hand follows a mirror image of that curve.  It can also be compared to an hour-glass or a vase.  


Recovery:  Elbow exits 1st and then the hand follows.  Keep your elbows high.  If you're swimming in rough water, straighten your arms to an extent to prevent your hands from getting caught by waves.


Entry:  Starting with a high elbow recovery, your hand should enter the water, finger-tips first, in one smooth motion.  Envision your arm spearing the water at a 30 degree angle very close to your full extension.  The spearing motion should carry momentum with it that will help you to rotate your body and fully extend.  Your hips drive your body rotation and generate power.  Your wrist should not be angled to the left or the right.  In other words, your thumb or little finger should not enter the water first.  


Head Position:  Look straight down, or look slightly up.  Just keep it relaxed and motionless, except when you breathe.  If you find that your feet are dragging, try lowering your head position.  If your head is positioned deeper, the rest of your body will rise.


Breathing:  Breathe every two or three strokes during aerobic efforts.  Exhale all of your air underwater before you turn your head to breathe.  You do not have to turn your head much to get your mouth above the waterline.  Instead of twisting your neck dramatically, let your head follow your body as it rotates.  Your forward momentum will help create the space you need to take a breath

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