Test Your Swim Speed With This 8×100 Set

Gauge fitness and improve power and speed.
Smart pacing is the hardest thing for most swimmers to grasp and needs to be trained. The first time you swim this test set, you may not be able to keep your pace consistent the entire time. Don’t stress! After a few times, it will feel easier as you gain strength. Being able to swim as fast on your eighth 100 as you did on your first takes power!

Test Set

400 swim, 300 kick and 200 pull
8×50 on 15 seconds rest at a build effort (starting slower and increasing speed throughout the 50 yards)

Main Set
8×100 on 3:00

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Here are some guidelines:
1. This is a Best Pace Average set, meaning you take the average of the eight swims when you are done. The slowest and the fastest swim shouldn’t differ by more than three seconds.
2. You have to take the full rest, even if you can swim 1:00 for your 100s.
3. As you start to falter, focus on your form and think less about turnover and muscling your way through the water. Good form should prevail when fatigue levels rise.
4. Make sure your turn at the wall on swim number eight is as good as it was on swim number one.
5. Push-offs count for free speed so make them count.

Doing this set at a high rate of speed and being able to pull off a solid pace hits two key skills at once. Think of these like 400s on the track, with your only goals being to swim consistent times and do so as fast as possible. Keeping these 100s within three seconds when you are mentally and physically spent takes great skill. The more experienced you are as a swimmer, the closer your times should be in relation to each other.

Getting a lot of rest on this set will allow you to go for broke and most likely you’ll swim your 100s faster than you ever have before. Not only is this a boost for your confidence; it will also teach you to swim faster.

Introduce this set into your training cycle and you’ll see an increase in speed, your sense of pacing will be fine tuned and your overall swim fitness will improve.

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