Test Set --- 10 x 100 for average

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Posted Oct 17, 2008 02:05PM

The following is a practice we do twice a year, once in the fall, and again in January. For the test set, we keep records of all the times, and have an "All Time" list, which contains the best times of everyone who's ever done it. The warm up has always been the same.


1 x 300 @ 5:00
7 x 100 @ 1:30, choice warmup
6 x 50 @ 0:45, descend 1-3, 4-6

Test set:

10 x 100 @ 3:00
From a dive, all out, aiming for best possible average. Swimmers get no more than a 50 recovery after each 100.

LONG warmdown

How you go about this test set is up to you. Most people tend to go out strong on the first 4 or 5 and try and hold on as best they can. Distance swimmers are usually more consistent. If you hold back too much, the slow times affect your average. Plus, our head coach will usually make people do it over again if you are not giving your best effort - and trust me, this is not something you want to do over again. This is a rare problem though. We make a big deal about this set, and there's a lot of pride in getting the best average.

How we run it: with a 6 lane 25 yards pool, and of a team of about 45, we split it up girls/guys, with the girls going one night, and the guys going the next night. Of the girls and guys, we split them up into 2 groups of 10 - 12. We go 2 heats, the 2nd leaving about 0:10 back. One group will go while the other group records times. Then they will switch roles.

Our fastest guy average is 52.7, and our fastest girl average is 57.7. This time around, we had about 7 guys average 54's, and about 6 girls average 58's.

Posted Oct 17, 2008 08:51PM

Ahh yes, it seems every team has a set like this. We've all got various test sets that are repeated throughout the season, but there is always one that rises above the others. When I was in school it was 8 x 100 FAD (from a dive) on 8:00 (?)...though I can't say I really remember the interval, except that it was never long enough. They always make good saturday morning practices -- leave it all on the line...go rest for the next day and a half, and come back in monday morning. As a former distance swimmer, I would have preferred (most of the time) some crazy distance set like 10 x 500 over this.

Question for you: does everyone do freestyle or is there a chance to do stroke as well? Also, if I understand the logistics correctly, the set actually lasts an hour -- you do it twice, but the swimmers and timers switch after the first set?

Posted Oct 17, 2008 09:20PM

Or...there are those of us who don't have sets like this. I don't like the idea of doing the same set on a regular basis (though I'm not being critical). I find that test sets generally don't teach me anything about the swimmer that I can then use to keep them on the right track. In addition, I see many kids get to the point where they are not getting faster, or even getting slower on sets like this. It can be a real downer (especially for girls). However, I like the idea that you are adding up the average as a team because that can drive the team aspect of the set. I don't think I've seen that wrinkle before.

Posted Oct 17, 2008 11:36PM

Coach D - The first time we do it in the fall it is freestyle for everyone. The second time we do it in the winter it is "choice". Same stroke for all 10 x 100s obviously, but sometimes swimmers have to do a certain stroke. The majority of people do freestyle again though. And yes, the actually set lasts an hour, but with the warmup and everything the whole practice will last about an hour 45 minutes. And yes, Group A swims all 10 while Group B times, then Group B will swim all 10 and Group A will time.

Wonderboy - Agreed, sometimes failure to do better on benchmarks can be frustrating. This particular test set though isn't used to evaluate the swimmer, it's used more as a "guts" test if you will. We know that doing well/poor on this test does not necessarily correlate to how good a shape a swimmer is in. We can see if someone is in shape or not just by watching them at practice - we don't need a test set to tell us that. This set is mainly used to see how far you can push yourself. The overall goal, is however, to improve on your previous average.

I must admit though that during my 4 years there I never achieved that goal. My fastest average was my freshman year when I was getting a lot of distance training in. My average got slighty (tenths) slower every year, however my performance in meets improved every year. Therefore, we do not use this set to evaluate where a swimmer is at, but instead to see how hard a swimmer will push themselves.

And we actually don't get team averages. When I wrote the fastest guy average was 52.7, that meant that the fastest average we ever had from a guy was 52.7 (the record if you will). Although I do like the idea of getting a "Guys" average and a "Girls" average. I'm all about anything that can involve the team as a whole.

Posted Nov 03, 2008 10:15PM

Our team does this set as well thorughout the season though.
We start of week #1 doing 5 x 100 (3:00) All free
week #2 is 5 x 100 (3:00) stroke

each additional 2 week cycle we add 1 x 100 alternating Free and Stroke in the 2 week cycle until the swimmers are actually doing 11 or 12 of them in a row

Posted Nov 11, 2008 04:27PM

Jeff do you take the best avg time and use it as a marker for other sets? I have also seen where you do the Nx100, get the best avg, and then later (not that same day) see how many repeats on that "best avg" time you can get. The swimmers should be able to accomplish more repeats on the best avg time as the season progresses. I am not sure I explained that correctly or not, but I hope you know what i meant.

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