60 Minute Swim Workout: IM Ladder set

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This set is demanding, And you may think why do i need to do other strokes when i only ever race Freestyle? If you incorporate other strokes into your training regime your freestyle will improve much quicker by bringing technical, strength and physiological gains to your swimming, plus it adds a bit of variation to your training. (variety is the spice of life as they say).

Including short medley sets in your training programme is beneficial in simulating racing environments where the athlete adapts to cope with unexpected demands or unfamiliar conditions. The demands of switching between butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke and freestyle in a medley set effectively lifts your anaerobic and lactate threshold. IM sets are physically demanding and utilise a greater number of muscle groups. Incorporating a short IM set, followed by a freestyle ‘race pace’ set over 85-95% of your target race distance, is an effective way of conditioning the body to deal with anaerobic discomfort.

Benefits of other strokes to improve your freestyle swimming ability:

Backstroke: Body Rotation from the hips.

Breaststroke: Optimal Catch and Pull.

Butterfly: Effective Streamlining and Kick.

Backstroke and butterfly significantly improve core muscle function, hip flexor range and streamlining in the freestyle stroke by reducing drag issues caused by a low leg position.

IM Ladder

FL = Butterfly
BK = Backstroke
BR = Breaststroke
FR = Freestyle
IM = Individual medley, the above strokes in order

Warm-up
300 swim
4×150 w/ fins (50 kick, 50 drill, 50 swim)

Main Set
12×25 on 30″ (Alternate #1: fast, #2-3: easy)
12×50 on 50–55″ as:
-#1: FL/BK
-#2: BK/BR
-#3: BR/FR
-#4: Easy FR
(Repeat the above three times, descend the stroke work by round. #4 is ALWAYS easy)

900 pull with 1 min rest
– On every 4th 25, push the effort

6×100 as:
– 2x: BK/FR on 1:40
– 2x: BR/FR on 1:50
– 2x: IM @ 80–85% on 2:00

6×50 on 1:00 (odds fast, evens easy)

Cool-down
100 kick
100 easy swim

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