Moving to our last session before the ACAMIS swim meet, even though swimmers are tapering off with a decrease in volume and heavy training work, there is still a need to keep the swimmers fresh and sharp. To do this, we can focus on some mechanics that complement high end speed in order to get every bit of speed into the race. Specifically, we focus on breakout speed from both the start and turn, combing this with some 15 to 25m high speed efforts.
I particularly like the drill below, where swimmers really work on there kick before commencing that first stroke in freestyle. The key is to have swimmers ensure that they breakout before they lose speed. The fastest that swimmers move through the water in a race is when they enter the water from a dive and push off the wall from a turn. Maintaining momentum through holding speed is crucial to fast swim times.
The above freestyle breakout drill can also be performed in backstroke, though I am thinking of introducing our swimmers to the Tennessee backstroke breakout drill, shown in the video below.
With the start work, we will have swimmers sprinting for 15-25 metres. For the turn breakouts, we start swimmers 10 metres out from the wall and have them sprinting into the wall and then having them work hard for 15 metres coming out of the wall.
Have fun experimenting with these breakouts but remind swimmers that it is not enough to have a beautiful underwater dolphin kick if it loses time versus speed that is maintained on the surface of the water. Get the swimmers to determine the threshold point for where they need to hit the surface.