Larry Davidson, President of the First American SMS, said, “The swim set today was the most open water race specific set I have ever done in practice. I was gasping for air big time, especially on the turns. It was excellent coaching to show how to effectively turn around a buoy.”

Larry was talking about the Pool Open Water (POW workouts) organized by U.S. Masters Swimming Coach of the Year Michael Collins (shown on left) at the Nova Masters Swim Team in Irvine, California.

We set up our 50-meter pool with 3 buoys, made inexpensively with rope and Hippity Hoppity Balls, in a triangle shape. Two are at the far end about 5 meters off the walls and one at the starting end about 5 meters off the wall. We alternate repeats going in the clockwise and counter-clockwise directions.”

“Our warm-up includes 3 x 1 loop with 30 seconds rest. Then we kick 1/2 way to the first buoy and swim the rest of the way to buoy #1. We swim head-up from buoy #1 to buoy #2 and then swim normal from buoy 2 to 3. We send off swimmers in 3 groups from the fastest to slowest about 10 seconds apart.”

Our main set consists of 3 x 1 lap + 2 x 2 laps + 1 x 3 laps. The 1-lappers are a mass start for time where we call out times as the swimmers touch the wall at the finish. The 2-lappers are stagger started with the slowest swimmers sent first to fastest swimmers sent last. The 3-lappers are a mass start for time where we work on rollover turns at the buoys in both directions. It is a fun practice, not too much distance, but the athletes still felt pretty worked.”

Copyright © 2010 by Steven Munatones