Professional Swim Workouts by Professional Swim Coaches
Oct 20, 2012 – T2 Aquatics

Oct 20, 2012 – T2 Aquatics

The Main Series in this workout should be viewed in two parts. Here’s my thought process with planning this type of workout:


First, I set up the Main Series, which is geared toward cycling through a set of 150s and 75s freestyle. I’d like the 150s to be fast, and the 75s to be faster.

Next, I set up the “Pre-Set”. In the case of today’s workout our preset was set up to mimic the main series. By setting the practice up this way, the athletes were able to get a sense of “how” to do the main series — enabling them to jump into the main series and perform well right away.

{I have an aversion at times to going through a set 4 or 5 times. I like 3 times, or perhaps 6 or 9 times. I’d prefer to get the athletes “on track” for success with a mini version of the same set, then set it up so they only do the set 3 times — instead of 4 or 5. I’m pretty careful about taking too much rest between sets….we may take 2 minutes or 2:30 at the most, and we’re right into it}.

We had a 15 year old boy leading the group today. On the pre set he was able to do 39s for the 75s and 26.4 to 25.9 for the 50s. On the main series he was able to do: 1:23/40.0; 1:22.5/39.2; 1:22.5/39.6.

A few of the other guys went something like this: 1:30/40-44; 128/39-42; 126-128/39-42.

As a bonus to this workout I’ve included a copy of the pace chart I handed out. I asked the athletes to attempt to hit their goal 200 pace on the 75s. I think it’s extremely valuable to not only DO the paces required in a certain swim, but to KNOW that the paces have been trained….my belief is that this knowledge of the practice/racing connection is key to reproducing the swims in a race.

500 Free-nonFree x50 + 400 Free IM + 300 Pull + 200 IM Drill + 100 Back-Breast

12×50 Kick (105) descend 1-3

1×400 {50 DBL arm Back + 50 Free PB 5th}

9×100 Pull (120, 115, 110) descend 1-3

1×100 Free IM (125)
1×75 Free* (105) *descend 1-3
1×75 Back-Breast-Free (105)
1×50 Free** (45) * *descend 1-3
4×25 (30) + Extra 10

1×200 Free IM (245)
1×150 Free* (155)*descend 1-3
1×125 Free IM (150)
1×75 Free** (105) **descend 1-3
3×50 Mix (45) + Extra 15

300 easy with underwater turns + Starts


Pace Chart

200 Goal Paces 1st 50 (dive) 1st 75 2nd 75
 1:35.5 22.5 36.5 36.5
 1:37.7 23.0 37.25 37.25
 1:39.5 23.5 38.0 38.0
 1:41.5 24.0 38.75 38.75
 1:43.5 24.5 39.5 39.5
 1:45.5 25.0 40.25 40.25
 1:47.5 25.5 41.0 41.0
 1:49.5 26.0 41.75 41.75
 1:51.5 26.5 42.5 42.5
 1:53.5 27.0 43.25 43.25
 1:55.5 27.5 44.0 44.0
 1:57.5 28.0 44.75 44.75
 1:59.5 28.5 45.5 45.5
 2:01.5 29.0 46.25 46.25
 2:03.5 29.5 47.0 47.0
 2:05.5 30.0 47.75 47.75

This free workout was provided by T2 Aquatics head coach Paul Yetter.

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Coach Yetter Answers Question on IM Training


PB means “Pull Bouy” and 5th means to “breathe every 5th”. I use “5th” quite a bit, simply to keep the athlete’s strokes looking good — they tend to get sloppy when they breathe every stroke, so I use it often on transition swims between sets. I also think they can get their freestyle timing down when they have a pattern they stick to (the head should turn for the breath when the hand enters the water, so by breathing in a certain rhythm the athletes can “plan” when the head will turn, thus the initiation of the breath will be consistently well-timed).

Free IM is a great way to train IM. Katie Hoff, for instance, did 75% of her “IM” work in practice Free IM. You have to do “Regular IM” too, but by training “Free IM” you get a few benefits:

  1. The Backstroke, Breaststroke, and Freestyle tend to be a bit better technically and in terms of velocity when Freestyle precedes them instead of Fly. Over a 30-40 minute set, this improvement can have quite a positive effect. Most of my athletes tend to be able to transfer that improvement to “IM” sets, and in competition.
  2. The amount of “tired” fly is decreased throughout the week/month/year of training. Certainly the 100 Fly on the 10th 400 IM in practice is going to be quite a bit different than the Fly used in a 400 IM race — so why train it? There are times to do it, for sure! The athlete has to be “used to it”…..but there are sometimes when the Free IM will allow the athletes to train the IM without practicing sloppy Fly.
  3. Training Free IM saves the Fly training for later in the day or week. Often I’ll do a Fly set after a Free IM set, or focus on Fly for the entire day following a Free IM day. The Fly is going to a little bit better during those times — and that “little bit” goes a long way!

Each athlete is different, and the key to coaching athletes is to figure out what type of training works for them. Some athletes need more real IM work than others! Free IM has worked for many of my athletes, and has not only benefit their IMs, but ALL of their strokes including Fly. The percentage of top-notch fly swum in practice is perhaps more important than the amount of fly (some top-notch and some sloppy) swum in practice.

About Paul Yetter

Paul Yetter became NBAC’s Head Senior Coach in November 2016. Prior to the Fall of 2016, Paul was the Head Coach of T2 Aquatics (Naples, FL 2010-2016). [Read Bio]

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Nico Messer

Our friends of the Swimming Wizard website told us about their tools for coaches section where they have excel spreadsheets to create a customized “pace card” for each of your athletes. Get them at