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Monday, April 2, 2012

Monday Medley For Masters

Open water swimmers can benefit greatly from training occasionally strokes other than freestyle. The other strokes – butterfly, backstroke and breaststroke – help develop strength, balance, coordination and tactile feel for the water than enhances the abilities of triathletes and open water swimmers.

While marathon swimmers have their own specific long-distance freestyle training sets, there are occasional alternatives for other shorter-distance swimmers and triathletes.

For a triathlete preparing for a 70.3 Ironman or a shorter-distance open water swimmer, they can greatly benefit by learning and practicing the other strokes with an occasional IM (individual medley) set.

Butterfly helps develop coordination and your core. Backstroke helps strengthen your limbs as the muscles are moved in the opposite direction than freestyle. Breaststroke helps develop symmetry and balance. And an IM set not only helps break up the monotony of all-freestyle workouts, but also helps with one’s endurance and stamina. What are some IM sets that swimmers can do once they have mastered the double-arm movements of butterfly, the reverse motion of backstroke and the technical coordination demanded of breaststroke?

The Freestyle IM Set

100 + 200 + 300 + 400 on a base interval of your choice.

A 'freestyle IM' is where the stroke order is freestyle-backstroke-breaststroke-freestyle instead of the traditional swimming order of butterfly-backstroke-breaststroke-freestyle. In other words, a 100 IM followed by a 200 IM followed by a 300 IM followed by a 400 IM where no butterfly is done. Its more difficult cousin is explained below.

The Butterfly IM Set

100 + 200 + 300 + 400 on a base interval of your choice.

A 'butterfly IM' is where the stroke order is butterfly-backstroke-breaststroke-butterfly instead of the traditional swimming order of butterfly-backstroke-breaststroke-freestyle. In other words, a 100 IM followed by a 200 IM followed by a 300 IM followed by a 400 IM where no freestyle is done.

3 – 5 – 7 IM Set

21 x 100 on a base interval of your choice. But every third 100 is butterfly, every fifth 100 is backstroke and every seventh 100 is breaststroke.

1 – 2 – 3 Pyramid IM Set

1 lap butterfly + 1 lap freestyle + 1 lap backstroke + 2 laps freestyle + 1 lap breaststroke + 3 laps freestyle
1 lap freestyle + 1 lap butterfly + 1 lap freestyle + 2 laps butterfly + 1 lap freestyle + 3 laps butterfly
1 lap freestyle + 1 lap backstroke + 1 lap freestyle + 2 laps backstroke + 1 lap freestyle + 3 laps backstroke
1 lap freestyle + 1 lap breaststroke + 1 lap freestyle + 2 laps breaststroke + 1 lap freestyle + 3 laps breaststroke

Copyright © 2012 by Open Water Source

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