Catch Up Relay

A Catch Up Relay pits two roughly equal-in-speed (on average) teams against each other, each team trying to lap the other team in order to win.

We break up the workout group into two as-equally-matched-as-possible teams. Each team decides what order they want the individual swimmers to swim in (this order must be maintained throughout the event). Teams are placed in side-by-side lanes. (This description assumes we are using a short course - 25 yd or 25 mtr - pool.)

The relay is started, each swimmer swimming the designated distance (usually 2 lengths of the pool) and continues until one team laps the other team (gets two lenghs ahead of the other team such that one swimmer overtakes and passes the opposing team's swimmer and reaches the next wall still in the lead. This is only judged at a wall - if swimmer A's team is ahead and swimmer A passes swimmer B in mid-length, but swimmer B can fight back and get to the wall before swimmer A then the relay is not yet over and must continue for at least another length.

Coach assesses 5 second penalties for infractions like false starts and going out of order. Enacted by holding the next swimmer back for the penalty duration. Penalties only assessed for infractions the Coach witnesses.

Properly matched, this kind of relay can go on for a long time - 10, 20, 30 or more minutes. If the relay winds up too quickly Coach can have each team "steal" one or two members from the other team and then re-run the relay.

Following are a couple alternatives on how to organize the event:

  • Alternative #1: Have each team send half their members to the other end of the pool and each swimmer to swims only one length of the pool.
  • Alternative #2: Have the teams start at opposite ends of the pool. This means one team must only get one length ahead in order to catch up and pass the other team. This option is often combined with Alternative #1.

Following are several ways such an event might be spiced up:

  • Option #1: Coach might allow each team to have one or more swimmers wear fins.
  • Option #2: Coach might require one or more swimmers on each team to use specific strokes or drills.
  • Option #3: How about all kicking?
  • Option #4: Coach might get creative and invent other options depending on how sadistic he feels that day.

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

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