I’d been asked to do an “endurance” type set this evening (no, not having your face smothered in jam and stuck in a box of ants or anything like they used to do on that Japanese television show that Clive James was so enamoured of). I only had an hour each for two groups and not much information to work from in terms of times. Swimming 25s would have been tricky as the pace clock on our side of the pool is broken, so instead I opted for 50s and gave them a fairly generous time to see how they got on. They’re small groups on a Thursday, which makes them relatively easy to manage and get off the wall on time.
The first group I asked to do 25 x 50m with a 60 second time limit and 20 seconds rest. They all seemed to think that was way too easy, but didn’t really have much idea what doing twenty five of them would be like. Not before they started, at least 😀 They coped very well with a few fails between them, but I think only one swimmer managed the entire set without a single fail. Time-wise it worked out fairly neatly too. I think I could probably do a little technique work first, just reminding them of things they need to think about over a few single lengths and that would probably fit the time available very neatly, giving time for a bit of social kick as a swim down at the end.
The second group did the same set but with a 50 second time limit. They did very well, with only a single fail from one swimmer. Again, they were quite relaxed about the set when they started, but knew they’d been working hard by the end. I think I can repeat this one reducing the times for the non-failing swimmers perhaps by a couple of seconds. At the end their reaction seemed to be that “it was good, but really tough”, which I think is quite positive.
Hopefully we can do more of these, varying the distances and strokes. I’ll have to work on some way for us to do the 25s. Perhaps with an assistant doing the timing at the other end of the pool, each one of us starting the stopwatch when we set the first one off. Or the pool could just fix the pace clock 🙁