Workout of the Week: “Odds and Ends”, or How to Improve your concentration in one (not-so-simple?) set

The set is simple and straightforward, but the distances are unusual and rarely swum (swam?). One of the oft-neglected aspects of swimming (both racing and training) is the mental side of concentration. How many times have you switched off in practice or a race?

The key in today’s practice is to concentrate, just like you have to in a race.

swim workouts for triathletes ironman mental skills concentration practice sighting

In addition to the odd distances, there is a focus on the end of the swim leg, where you tend to sight more often as you come to shore. The drill comes in the form of increased head-up swimming as the set progresses.

No separate warm up or warm down, but there is a lot going on here, so write it down and bring it with you to the pool. Stick with it as it gets harder towards the end, and remember to count your lengths!

Here we go!

125 Swim
500 50 swim, 50 drill – focus on good technique, relaxed

175 Kick (grab kickboard after 2nd length if necessary)
450 50 swim, 50 build

225 pull  (place kickboard between your knees)
400 75 drill, 100 swim, 125 build 25’s

275 every 3rd length head up swim
350 50 drill, 50 swim, 50 build

325 last 10m of each length head up swim
300  100 swim, 100 build

375 sight every 5th stroke
250 build 50’s 1-5 steady to fast

425 long and steady stroke, every 4th length head up
200 breathe every 2, 3, 4, 5 strokes on each 50m

475 swim the last 250m faster than the first 225m
150 breathe every 4, 3, 2 on each 50

525 Descend 75’s strong to slow, sight every 5 strokes on every 3rd length
125 easy swim

Total: 5,650 m/yards

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