Short Sprint Circuit

A short sprint circuit is a small-group continuous sprint exercise. We typically split the team into several groups of 3-5 swimmers, giving each group its own lane (or own end of a lane).

Each group moves out a distance from the wall to establish a start/finish point. The circuit starts when Coach hollers "Go!" - the first person sprints in to the wall, turns and returns back out to the start/finish point.

Each swimmer goes in turn as the preceeding swimmer touches the wall - so as one swimmer is returning, the next is already sprinting in toward the wall.

There are a number of ways the Coach might ask this circuit to be done:

  • For the start/finish point Coach might -
    • allow each group to choose their own desired start/finish point
    • designate one common start/finish line for all groups
    • assign different start/finish points for each group
    • have a variable start/finish that he moves during the set
  • For the sprint into the wall Coach might ask for any of the following -
    • Sprint kick (maybe underwater, maybe on the surface)
    • Sprint swim (maybe a specific stroke, maybe choice)
    • Sprint scull
  • Returning back out from the wall, Coach might ask for any of the following -
    • Glide underwater
    • Glide and scull
    • Swim (maybe easy, maybe sprint, maybe a specific stroke, maybe choice)
    • Kick (maybe underwater, maybe on the surface, maybe easy, maybe sprint, maybe a specific kick, maybe choice)

Such a set will generally be for a specific duration. For instance, Coach might say "This is a 4-minute short sprint circuit. Sprint kick in and underwater glide out. Go!" This means that the swimmers in each group will, in turn, each sprint kick into the wall, turn, push and glide underwater back out to the start/finish point - all this going on for at least 4 minutes.

"At least?" you ask. Yup, could be longer. Coach reserves the right to "enhance" the set by adding minutes to the set. During the set each of the following actions will be translated as a request for such enhancement:

  • A sprint is not "sprinty" enough
  • A swimmer doesn't "attack" the wall going into the turn
  • Strokes are taken where strokes are not called for (typically during kick sprints where a swimmer takes a stroke to assist in getting a breath, and where a swimmer takes a stroke right at the wall in order to finish with one hand instead of two)
  • A swimmer's foot touches the bottom anywhere forward of the start/finish point
  • A lazy turn (all turns are to be lightning fast with explosive pushoffs - even if the rest of the return is intended as EZ)
  • Anyone asks "How much time left?" or anything to that effect
  • Failure to follow through with any other special instruction or condition Coach decides to apply to the set
  • A group stops prior to Coach calling a stop (hint: you won't know whether Coach has honored one of the preceding requests for enhancement, thus you don't really know how long the set end up being).

Other notes:

  • If a swimmer takes a break or drops out for any reason, the rest of that group simply keeps going, but now with less rest between repeats.
  • Coach sometimes calls for this to be done with fins (or fins optional).
  • Unless otherwise instructed training snorkels are OK.
  • Coach reserves the right to modify any portion of the above without prior warning.

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

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