Breakaway Sprints

A breakaway sprint is a speed switching activity. There are a couple ways we do these...

Breakaway to finish

This will typically be assigned as a Cruise Distance of some duration, during which you are to swim most of it at Cruise Pace and then, at some point before the end of the swim, you are to break away by switching speed to a full-out sprint and hold that sprint speed to the end of the repeat distance. These swims are usually done in sets where the breakaway distance gets longer on each one. (See: Cruise Terms)

Here's one way Coach might assign such a set:

Choose an approximate 3:00 Cruise Distance. Go three repeats.

On the 1st repeat, as you near the end of the repeat, break away as soon as you are sure you can hold a full-out sprint to the end (for some people this may be as little as 5 to 10 yards, for others it might be 25 yards or more).

On the 2nd repeat, break away 5 strokes further from the end than you did on on repeat #1.

On the 3rd one break away 5 strokes further away than on repeat #2.

Depending on his mood, Coach will allow varying amounts of rest between repeats - usually at least 1 minute and possibly up to several minutes of rest/EZ between repeats.

Mid-Swim Breakaway for specified distance (or number of strokes)

This is generally a longer swim - could be anythig between 8 and 24 minutes - where your job is to go most of the swim at a moderate pace at a specific, controlled stroke count, but at specified intervals - say, every 200 yards - break away and sprint for a specific distance (i.e. 25 yards) or a specific number of strokes (i.e. 20 strokes), and then return to the original stroke count until the next breakaway point. The whole point is to do whatever it takes to return to the original controlled stroke count immediately instead of eventually working back to it.

In some cases, instead of pre-defining breakaway intervals, Coach will stand on the side of the pool during the swim and, occasionally he'll start hollerin' and wavin' a kickboard around to signal the start of the next breakaway. When he does this, your next sprint begins with your next turn.

Index of all the workout terms, sets, concepts, etc. that have links in the workouts.

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