Ultra Short Practicalities! Session 1…

As with any type of training modality, Ultra Short is something that can fairly easily be explained and documented, but in the reality of actually performing a race pace set, questions and queries can be rife. This is often the case with ‘example’ sets: they are fine in principle, but where do you go to the next time? How is the training progressed?

In this New Year, New Series we are going to look at some specific set ideas and some progressions and regressions to assist adaptation to individual environments; all encased in week by week development schedule!!

Look out for detailed analyses of sets, progressive USRPT ideas as well as cut to the chase posts a la  here’s a set – just go and try it!

So to kick off mid January – at a time when most athletes have been back in to a training regime for a couple of weeks to shift the Xmas Inch – we are going to start with a simple Ultra Short set to blast the cobwebs fully and show your body and mind that this year you are going to swim FAST!!

Always start with a warm up – we all know this but contrary to most pool programmes however this doesn’t have to be done in the pool! Spend 15 minutes raising the body temperature (skipping, moving, jog on spot etc) and mobilising key areas (shoulders/hips) finished with something explosive to get you fully primed. One of our favourite go to warm ups is:

4 x 20 seconds high knees on the spot: 20 seconds rest between each

4 x 4-5 good quality reps each of Inch Worm; Spiderman Rotations; Reverse Lunge and Reach; Leg Cradle with Ankle Raise… {or choose some of your fave’s)

3 x (4 x Medi Ball Slam; Box Jump) {Squat Jump and Clap Press Up could work here if no equipment}

Primed and ready to go…

3 x (up to*) 10 x 12.5m max effort no breathing @ 20 (if able to go across width) or with the rest of the length easy and 5 seconds to catch your breath in a 25m pool. 1-2 minutes break between sets…

*Ultra Short offers the highest level of specificity and so work must be high quality, if before 10 reps you feel the stroke breaking down stop, take your recovery and then start again on the next set – remember you can build the amount of reps you do each time you subsequently hit the pool…

Thats it! Cool down in the pool if you like or hit the shower and stretch off… Or if you are in a structured session and still have an hour to kill – work some skills or go through some of your normal sets, just don’t pile into a big aerobic set or you’ll kill the speed and not just the time!!!

Repeat this Ultra Short session twice a week until you can hit all 3 sets of 10 and we’ll be back real soon with session 2!


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