T2 Aquatics – Meet Warmups

One of the questions I’ve received has to do with “Meet Warmups”. Athletes at T2 Aquatics do a few different warmups when at meets, depending on their age and level of experience.

I’d like to describe two different warmups; one done by Erika Erndl and the other done by Katie Hoff.

At age 34, Erika Erndl has recently swum to lifetime best times in each of her 3 top events (58.8 100M Fly, 54.8 100M Free, and 25.3 50M Free). Erika has developed a warmup through her time swimming for the University of North Carolina, and through time swimming with her husband Kevin Erndl as her coach. I have urged her to “stick with what is working” and come up with a routine. Below is a sample of Erika’s warmup.

Katie Hoff currently does a warmup similar to the warmup she did when she set the LCM World Record in the 400 IM. The warmup listed below.

I think it’s extremely important to establish a certain warmup routine that you follow at meets. I do not like the idea of the coach “giving the warmup” to the athlete as the athlete warms up during the meet. Certainly there are times when a coach must adjust a warmup for an athlete (if they look stale or if the coach thinks a change would do the athlete good in any way) — but for the most part, having a consistent routine takes the “unknown” out of an athlete’s meet experience. The more an athlete “knows what is going to happen” , and follow through with a routine — the better an athlete can focus on the race itself.

Often during the season (not at a taper/shave meet), athletes will add a few 100s (5 to 8 100s) descend the last 3 or so. These can be done freestyle, IM, or stroke — or a mix of the three. Sometimes I encourage athletes who compete in a 7-8 day meet like the US Olympic Trials or a major international meet to come up with an alternative warmup — simply to stay fresh and not go through the same thing for a week straight. Often this alternative warmup is 3 rounds of {200 Swim + 100 Kick + 100 Drill + 100 Pull}, plus 3 to 6 100s descend, followed by 3-4 50s build.

At T2 Aquatics, we teach the athletes a routine when they are 10 or 11, and then help them refine it as they grow into top-level swimmers. This ability of an athlete to “do it yourself” is key to high-level performances!

Erika Erndl’s Meet Warmup

SCY when possible.

5 X 200s SKIPS

6 X 75s “standard issue”:
25 no breath or under water, 25 drill, 25 build swim
odds fly evens free

8 X 25s speed play
variable sprints, breakouts or builds depending on the event

1 X dive breakout

100 easy

Katie Hoff’s Meet Warmup

A mix of LCM and SCY when possible.

800 Swim — Mixed strokes
400 Kick (this could be a 200 or 300 depending on the time of season, or adjusted from prelims to finals)
200 IM Drill
200 Pull
200 IM Drill
4×50 Build (sometimes this is done as “full 50s build” and sometimes it’s done as 1/3 build, 1/3 drill, 1/3 build)

(usually for a 400 IM Katie will do 8×50, 2 of each….odds drill and evens “thirds” as described above).

Please submit questions and I will attempt to answer them. Additionally, if anyone has any specific type of workout they would like to see — let me know, and I will do my best to provide it!

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

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