Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Lisa Malick's Challenging, Flexible and Polite Workout

Today's workout was written by my good friend Lisa Malick.  She is one of the very few people I know who love water sports as much as I do!

Practically speaking, workouts that help me achieve this have three components:
    They are mentally challenging.
    There might be some degree of choice or flexibility.
    They are polite to the people in the lane with me.


Stroke main set-
5X, descend each 200:
200 BK on 3:00
6x25 BK on :25

Distance- interval drops by 10 with each set of 3 (eg 7:20, 7:10, 7:00, 6:50)
Descend 1-3 in each set
Descend 3, 6, 9, and 12
(Ok, yes, this might be a little mind-numbing, but if you are into distance, this is actually a pretty cool workout…)

Some workouts I borrow in their entirety from @swimmingwizard, such as the 12x500, and sometimes I use them as a starting point and take my knowledge of energy zones to complete a workout and make sure it is balanced.


8x200 DR/SW - K/SW 3:30 [REC/EN1]

12x25 no free improve DPS 1-4 .25 [EN2]
400 FR descend 1-4 5:20
9x50 no free improve DPS 1-3 .50
400 FR 5:20 same
6x75 no free 1:15 improve DPS each 75
400 FR 5:20 same
3x100 no free 1:30 fast turns, good DPS all
400 FR 5:20 same

20x25 always kick 12.5/12.5 easy [SP1]

300 easy [REC]

Here, I pieced together two swimmingwizard sets (the EN2 main set and SP1 set) to make a complete practice, adding an appropriate warmup for the set.

"Stay safe, keep mixing it up, and remember that extraordinary things are achieved by doing little ordinary things when no one else wants to- so keep at it!" - Lisa Hertz

Lisa Hertz is a high school English and history teacher and has coached USMS, USA, and recreational swimming.

 After her F&M college swimming career as a sprinter, she began training for open water and marathon swims.

 She is an accomplished prone paddle boarder, surf skier, and has completed the 24 Mile Tampa Bay Marathon Swim.

 The next 24 Mile Tampa Bay Marathon Swim will be held in April, 2022.  For more information, visit 


Tuesday, December 8, 2020

Swimming with a Shark

We have a new team mate in our lane, just a couple years out of college and he's a world class athlete.  He is an extremely fast swimmer, and is also a great runner and biker so he's going to try to qualify for his "Pro Card" as a triathlon professional this spring in Florida.  Like many places in 2020, our lane space and time is very limited so I wrote up this sample workout to see how we could train together without getting run over from behind every 5th lap. There are two versions of this workout, written together but separated by a slash / .  The slower interval is for mere mortals in the group, while the faster interval is meant to challenge our faster team mate.  I chose to swim the faster intervals, but had to put on fins and paddles in order to stay on track.  

scy : 60 minutes

 2/3 x 200 on 3:15/2:30 Warm up  Catch up drill every 3rd 50, because #DistanceMatters
This is actually a shortened version of the usual 800-1200 warm up.  It's nice to get 1/3 of your yardage done early in your workout. Today's warm up was designed so that everyone finished at the same time and can start the upcoming set of 25's together.

-  short break between sets... In this case, :90 allows you to start on the top of the clock -

28 x 25 on :40 - Choice: Blast, Breakouts, Dive, press outs, underwater, drill, stroke etc.  
Heard on deck:  "Choose your own adventure"  Many masters swimmers have years of experience in the water or maybe even on deck as a coach, so whatever you need to work on, do it!

- 1 minute break.  Get ready, the next set is the main set -

2/3 x  [ 6 x 100 on 1:30/1:10     Challenging Interval!   
            200 Kick on 4:00/3:00 ]
This is the main set. It's meant to be done consecutively twice or 3 times through.  In order to stay in the lane with a much faster swimmer, I had to put on paddles and fins to barely make the interval. There's no extra rest when switching from the pace intervals to kick 200's.  The 6 x 100's are quick interval, and the kick is on a more moderate pace to allow for :20+ rest to get ready for the next set of 100's.  It's meant to be a full 1600/2400 yard set.

100 Swim Down

TOTAL 2900/3700 scy
I don't like to be the one that writes the workouts, mostly because I don't want to know what's after the set I'm swimming.  From past experience, I know that I will bag the current set if I know what's next.  Most all of the workouts in this blog were written by a coach or team mate. I wrote this to accommodate our new team mate when I realized he was truly a shark swimming with us minnows!