View Full Version : Favorite Set 1200-2000

January 21st, 2004, 05:50 PM
What is your favorite set 1200-2000?

Mine is 15x 100 - simple and sweet but a good measurement on how I am swimming.

I also like doing sets like 5x100, 2x250, and 1x 500

January 21st, 2004, 06:11 PM
I'm pretty simple as well. 10x200, 6x300.

Matt S
January 21st, 2004, 06:17 PM
This is not necessarily my favorite set, but it is different.

Our coach (Mike Nordman, CSP Masters) has a concept he calls the roll IM. It works like this:

4x {4x 125 IM's}
First set of 4: 50 fly, 25 back, 25 breast, 25 free
Second set: 25 fly, 50 back, 25 breast, 25 free
Third set: 25 fly, 25 back, 50 breast, 25 free
Fourth set: 25 fly, 25 back, 25 breast, 50 free

Set the interval to get about 5-10 seconds rest.
Take an extra minute between sets.

I am not a good IM swimmer, but this is more interesting than simply cranking out a long IM set.


Nancy Graham
January 21st, 2004, 07:47 PM
How much rest do you take between those sets of 100, 250, 300 and 500 laps?

January 21st, 2004, 08:04 PM
Well, Matt its probably your breaststroke that makes you a poor Imer and I guess your backstroke isn't that much better. Mine is the backstroke, I'm one of the few that swim it slower than breaststroke. As far as sets I like 10x 100's or 5x200's plus a 2 ry easy 100's or 200 in between.

Sam Perry
January 21st, 2004, 08:29 PM
Mine is a set of 18X100

3 on 1:30
3 on 1:20
3 on 1:30
3 on 1:15
3 on 1:30
3 on 1:10

Backstroke of course! Great way to get in a lot of yardage with some recovery. Great thread always looking for new ideas...

January 22nd, 2004, 08:34 AM

We did a very similar set Saturday morning and I agree it's a good one. We regrouped for about 15 seconds before the last set to make sure the strongest were in the front.

5x100 1:30
5x100 1:10
5x100 1:30
5x100 1:15
5x100 1:30
5x100 1:10

Yes it's 3000 but the constant switching of intervals makes it go by quickly. The change in rest and having to adjust speed and focus also makes it interesting.

All backstroke for me as well. Is there really any other way?

Sam Perry
January 22nd, 2004, 09:53 AM
Thanks Fritz,

have to swim on my own on Saturday. Will try it that way! Hope you are doing well...

Matt S
January 22nd, 2004, 01:22 PM

You know me only too well. My breastroke sucks, and my backstroke is worse. However, I am working on both of them, trying to get them to feel more like my fly and freestyle (respectively) in the hopes that one day I will be able to do an IM that is not an offense in the eyes of God. Please note that the word good did not make an appearance in the preceding sentences.


Phil Arcuni
January 22nd, 2004, 02:43 PM
Gosh Fritz, that's a tough backstroke set. I think the only way I could make all of the 5 on 1:10, backstroke, would be to *not* be first, and draft some. I will work on it some, however, and see . . .(the only other way to do it would be butterfly ;-)

Here is one set that we did this morning, not as long but more aerobic, also backstroke for me:

on 1:20 base:
1 x 50
2 x 75
3 x 100
4 x 125

then 1:15 base:
3 x 100
2 x 75
1 x 50

1500 total

A definite clock management challenge, especially coming down. That was followed by
4 x 75 on :65
3 x 75 on :60
2 x 75 on :55
3 x 75 on :60
4 x 75 on :65, :60, :55, :50

I did not make the last interval :(

[as far as I am concerned, this thread is a p*****g contest. Fritz and Sam are 'elite' swimmers and do 'elite' workouts]

January 22nd, 2004, 03:22 PM
Originally posted by Phil Arcuni
Gosh Fritz, that's a tough backstroke set. I think the only way I could make all of the 5 on 1:10, backstroke, would be to *not* be first, and draft some.

The only way I could make it is by dropping my 100 back repeats by more than 5 seconds!

That's a tough set. It would challenging even freestyle.

January 22nd, 2004, 03:26 PM
You guys must have very young looking organs. I had been feeling pretty good about myself until I read this thread. And Phil, your post looks like an "elite" set to me, also.

January 22nd, 2004, 04:05 PM
Phil's modest. I think he had more top 10 swims than any other 45 year old man this summer.

Originally posted by gull80
You guys must have very young looking organs. I had been feeling pretty good about myself until I read this thread. And Phil, your post looks like an "elite" set to me, also.

January 22nd, 2004, 04:42 PM
Here is a little set my coach gave me the other morning.

1x200 on 2:15
1x200 broken at 100 for 10 secs, and at 150 for 5 sec on 2:30
4x50's on 35

minute rest after 50's or 50 easy

Odd's were stroke (fly) even ones free

Have a great day,

January 22nd, 2004, 05:45 PM
As the gauntlet was clearly thrown down by others, let me just say that I do my 100's on 1:20.... In meters

But I am only 28 so that is cheating!

College we had two guys that were under 1:53 in the 200 back. I was probably a 1:44 in the 200 free (never did it tapered). Anyhow, any set over 2000 and I would get smoked by the backstrokers (in case this wasn't clear, I was doing free and they were doing back). And it would p*ss me off! The best explanation I can come up with is that doing backstroke does not cause oxygen deprivation. Any others have similar experiences (on either side of the equation)?

Anyhow, thanks for the ideas. These are some good sets.

Sam Perry
January 22nd, 2004, 06:29 PM
Calling this a p*****g match is a little extreme. Just because we are sharing sets we like to do, does not mean we are trying to outdo each other. I really don't think it matters what intervals we go on. I wish everyone had the freedom to share sets, times, etc. without others thinking it is a p*****g match. I am sure if I said I did sets on 2:00 per 100 nothing would have been said. So since "elite" swimmers should not be on here (as was implied), although I don't and never have considered myself that way, I will no longer post sets on here. I was excited to see such a great discussion of new sets to try. Thanks for ruining it.

P.S. Lefty, I think you have something there about oxygen deprivation. I definitely can keep going much longer on my back than on my stomach at a high pace I definitely think it is due to oxygen intake. But who knows??

January 22nd, 2004, 06:54 PM
Here is one of my favorites

400 swim - get time at the 300 mark
300 Swim - beat previous 300 time, get time at the 200 mark
200 swim - beat previous 200 time, get time at 100 mark
100 swim - beat time from previous 100 time
Rest 30 seconds between swims.

Rest one minute

Repeat and descend.


January 22nd, 2004, 06:55 PM
My wife claims I should swim backstroke for any long freestyle events because of the extra air you can take in. I always laughed at her, but maybe she has a point!

Of course I suck at back, so it wouldn't work, but maybe for someone that was a good backstroker it isn't a bad idea.

Phil Arcuni
January 22nd, 2004, 07:19 PM
Sam, I did not mean to offend you, and I am sorry! Note that I said that *after* I contributed to the thread with some 'humble' comments, and my final comment put me in the same category!

Your contributions are certainly appreciated by me and many other people as you can tell by the comments they have made.

I made it as a self-deprecating (sp?) joke and as an aside to the many swimmers that I know are intimidated by these sets.

January 22nd, 2004, 07:54 PM
I have a question for Fritz, Sam and/or Phil--are these intervals that you've been swimming consistently for years or did you have to work back up to this level (and if so over what time frame)? Since many of us have returned to swimming after a number of years, this would be very helpful.

And Sam, it's very motivating (to me at least) to see what Masters swimmers are capable of.

January 22nd, 2004, 08:19 PM
I've been back in for about 6 years and would say it took me several years to get where I felt comfortable working out at a pretty good pace.

Originally posted by gull80
I have a question for Fritz, Sam and/or Phil--are these intervals that you've been swimming consistently for years or did you have to work back up to this level (and if so over what time frame)? Since many of us have returned to swimming after a number of years, this would be very helpful.

Phil Arcuni
January 22nd, 2004, 09:05 PM
I got back 3.5 years ago after a 20 year break. Only recently since I have started to increase my yardage above 12,000/wk have I been able to do sets like this reliably - and I still haven't decided if my body is up for the long-term challenge.

The times I am doing, as well as the workout sets as I remember them, are very comparable to my high school situation, and only 2 - 8% worse than by best college times (though yardage is still x3 less.) Two things from that information - I was no great shakes as a younger swimmer, and there need not be a whole lot of degradation of ability by the middle forties, for any of us.

January 22nd, 2004, 09:43 PM
Well, Phil and Fitz did great taking a long break. Each person is different. I think women who return middle age are less likely to do high school or college times than men. Shane Gould swims her 200 meter free about 17 seconds slower and the 100 meter fly about 4 seconds slower. I swim more like I did at 12 or early 13 years old. I weight a lot more than I did at age 20 which may mean their is more resistant in the water when I swim . As for intervals,I'm one of those persons that swims 100's usually at 2:00 to 2:30. I did some freestyle at 1:50. I done breast in workouts about 3 times under 1:40 but I can't keep up the pace and a 1:50 interval is still to fast for it and fly and Im. Backstroke forget it.

Sam Perry
January 22nd, 2004, 10:57 PM
I took about 12 years off, and have been back in the water for about 4 years. Definitely took some time to get to a level I am comfortable with, about a year or so. Now I don't want to stop because I don't want to fall back and have to start over! With a newborn, 2, and 4 year old it can be challenging. I try to swim 3 times a week and average about 4,000 yards/meters a workout. No more time to do much more than that.

Phil, I am sorry if I overreacted to your earlier comment. I must have misunderstood what you were saying. Thanks for the clarification.

And yes it is amazing what the body can do at older ages as well as inspiring. I am only 35, when I see guys like Fritz, Scott Shake, Bill Specht, etc. it is a major encouragement and inspiration to stick with it for health, etc.

January 23rd, 2004, 10:18 AM
One of my favorites to try and attempt! Been out of swimming for about 20 years myself! 20 Years in the Army - SMOKING most of that time! (Not Smart). Been back in the water for almost a year now. LOVE IT!!!! Took most of Dec off (ALSO NOT SMART). But this is one of my favorite sets to try and accomplish.

5x200 Free Lung Busters Breathing 3/5/7/9 x 50
10x50 Kick Free
10x100 Free Lung Busters Breathing 3/5/7/9 x 25
12x25 Free (1 Breath or no breathers if you can make it)

One other that I got from another swimmer here in GA is:

Race pace set once a week or two:

4 x 25 Fly Fast - 10 sec between each
4 x 25 Back - Same
4 x 25 Breast - You guessed it-- Same
4 x 25 Free - Same

It's only 400 but if you swim it race pace and subtract the 30 sec from the end time it will give you an idea of what your time for a 100 is.

January 23rd, 2004, 10:47 AM
Another couple I like.

Start a set of 100's. The first is on 2:00 and then decrease the interval by :05 each one. Second is on 1:55, third on 1:50 and so on until you miss the interval. When you miss then cheer for the ones still going. It's amazing how quickly it will start to get harder. At the start you can work on different strokes, drills, etc. By the time you get down toward the end you'll be very well warmed up. We start at 2:00 but you can start anywhere.

20x25 underwater with zoomers as hard as you can kick. I do them on my back with dolphin kick only. Some do them on their front but still dolphin kick only. Always do them with perfect streamline. If you can't make it underwater then you are in the majority so don't fee bad. Streamline and intensity is the focus.

January 23rd, 2004, 11:15 AM
Under water kicks with zoomers is an absolute must for sprinters. You will increase your ankle strength and flexibility tremendously. Unfortunately, because I often feel a time crunch durring my workouts, I leave kicking out of the workout. I have to stop doing that! Thanks for the reminder!

January 23rd, 2004, 01:06 PM
For basic endurance, a set I like currently is 8x200 pull (pull buoy only, no paddles) on 2:45, holding 2:30. I'm able to do that comfortably now. My longterm goal is to repeat 100's on 1:10, 200's on 2:30 or better. I'm not sure how far off that is, but I'm more optimistic after reading this thread.

January 23rd, 2004, 03:31 PM

If you can repeat 100's on 1:10 then you have already accomplished doing the 200's on 2:30. You're actually doing 200's on 2:20. If you can repeat 100's on 1:10 then you might shoot for 200's on 2:15.

January 23rd, 2004, 03:37 PM
Originally posted by lefty
Under water kicks with zoomers is an absolute must for sprinters.
Gotta agree with that statement.


January 23rd, 2004, 03:48 PM

I think you misread my post. My goal is to repeat 100's on 1:10 (which I haven't done in twenty five years, although it doesn't seem that long). Currently my best interval is 1:20. I'm having trouble getting past this "plateau." Any suggestions?

January 23rd, 2004, 04:43 PM
My favorite is 15 x 100. I like to do it as
5 x 100, 4 x 100, 3 x 100, 2 x 100, 1 x 100. You can descend within each set, keeping the same interval, or lower the interval on each set, keeping your pace the same.
Betsy Durrant

January 26th, 2004, 10:30 AM
I tried a variation of that on Sunday:

400 pull
4x100 on 1:25
300 pull
3x100 on 1:20
200 pull
2x100 on 1:15
100 pull
1x100 on 1:10
(all free, 2000 yards)

The set really flew by. The intervals can be modified and the set can be extended with a 500 pull/5x100 for another 1000. It started out as basic endurance and finished at anaerobic threshold or faster.

January 27th, 2004, 02:48 PM
10 200's pull on 3:00.