Coaches Shorthand

Every coach has a different style when it comes to writing their workout up on the boards. Some terms may vary, but the list below is a great resource of standard terminology. Don’t be intimidated by a cryptic workout, if you’re not sure about a set…ask your coach!

BK: Backstroke
B-3, -4, -5: Breathe every third, fourth, or fifth stroke, respec-
BEST AVG: Best average. The goal is to swim at the highest average speed possible, achieving the lowest average time.
BR: Breaststroke
BUILD: Get faster within the designated swim. For example, 25 build means to get faster throughout the entire 25 yards. The last 5 yards should be the fastest swimming of that particular 25.
C/D: Cool-down. Active swimming at a low intensity.
DESC: Descend the times of each swim. For example, on a set
of 4 X IOOs, each 100 is faster than the previous one.
DESC 2-2-2: Descend time or go faster each two swims. For
example, on a set of 6 x IOOs, the first two are swum at a speed,
the next two are faster, and the last two are the fastest.
DIST: Distance
DPS: Distance per stroke. Work on maximizing the distance
each arm can propel the body. Count the number of strokes
per 25.
DR: Your choice of drill. Examples include catch-up, fingertip
drag, right arm, left arm, and sculling.
EASY: Swim with ease.
FAST: As fast as you can possibly swim for a given distance. Fast
speed on a 50-yard swim will be faster than fast speed on a 200-
yard swim.
FL: Butterfly
FR: Freestyle
F-TIP: Fingertip. Swim with your fingertips dragging on the
surface of the water during the recovery phase of the stroke.
GOOD EFFORT: swim with high intensity.
H-OUT: Swim with your head out of the water.
IM: Individual Medley— butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke, and
freestyle, in that order.
K: Kick. No arms, kick only. Can be done with or without a
kickboard. If kicking without a board, try to simulate normal
swimming body position and keep arms streamlined
LT. Left
MD: Middle distance
MOD: A moderate pace or moderate effort.
N/S: Negative split. The second half of the designated swim is
faster than the first half of the swim.
PACE: The target speed that results from testing.
PACE —:O1: Swim 1 second faster than pace. For example, if
your pace was 1:10 per 100, then you would want to swim at
1:09 per 100.
PULL: Swim with a buoy. Paddles are optional.
RD: Round. One round is one time through a set that has to be
repeated. Example: RD2 is second round or second time doing
the set.
RI: Rest interval. Some swim sets will have a designated rest inter-
val, such as (:25RI), which means a 25-second rest after each swim
RT: Right
SCULL – Front: In the prone position, your arms are stretched out in
front of you. Hands scull in a figure eight to change pitches
to propel you forward. Kick is minimal, with the head down or up.
Back: In the prone position, fingertips are pointing directly behind you. Do figure eights to propel your body forward.
SI: Some workouts will have a designated swim interval, which
includes swim time and the rest time. For example, 4 x 50s
(1:00SI) represents leaving for a 50 on every 1:00.
SKP: Swim, kick, pull. For example, 200 SKP designates swim-
ming a 200, kicking a 200, and then pulling a 200.
SP: Sprint. Swim at a higher effort and speed.
ST: Stroke. A stroke other than freestyle, either butterfly, back-
stroke, or breastroke.
STDY: Steady. Swim at an even pace.
SW: Swim any stroke.
W/U: Warm-up segment, gently increasing speeds throughout.

Conquering you Kick!

For most swimmers (especially triathletes) the kick is typically the most undertrained and under-appreciated element of their stroke. However, the pace of your kick determines your baseline swimming speed and separates the truly fast swimmers from all of the rest.

What your kick should NOT do:

  • Large kick: to keep drag to a minimum, the kick should stay within the hole opened in the water by the head and trunk while moving forward. Ideally, the kick should neither break the water surface nor move below the line of the body.
  • Forcing the upbeat: In freestyle, the upbeat phase of the kick isn’t propulsive. Ideally you should relax your leg during the upbeat to save energy.

What your kick SHOULD do:

  • Provide lift to reduce drag
  • Stabilize the body and create balance for body rotation
  • Propulsion
  • Sustain constant speed (instead of slowing and re-acceleration with each phase of the pull)

Now that we’ve covered those basic rules of kicking, improving your kick is not an overnight fix. It requires months of stretching, strength training and lots of kick sets.

In the pool:

Your coach should provide you with the right kinds of kick sets in order to improve your swim, beyond just meandering down the lane on a kick board. You need specific kick sets designed to build power and speed.

At Home:

Increased ankle flexibility serves the same function as the flick of a fish’s tail to provide propulsion, and without it, even the strongest legs won’t kick fast. The extra plantar flexion of the ankle is relatively easy to get with the right dry-land exercises and stretching (see video below).

3000/6000 ePostal 2015


3000/6000 continuous yards!

Tuesday, November 10th

5:45am Warm-Up, 6AM Start time
7:30pm Warm-up, 7:45PM Start time.

Location: YMCA, 1137 S.State Street, Dover, DE 19901
Deadlines: Individual entries must be submitted by 11:59 P.M. on November 25, 2015 All entries must be submitted electronically.
Fees: $10 for each individual entry

Click Here for Complete Event Rules and Details 
(Drafting, flotation, and propulsive devices, including but not limited to pull buoys, fins, paddles, snorkels, and wet suits, are not permitted.)