Swimming jargon explained…
There are many terms and phrases used by coaches when they give training sets during training sessions.
Different clubs and coaches will have their own terminology, but the following list is an initial, basic explanation.
Term/Phrase & Explanation
- Anaerobic Literally ‘without oxygen’: Usually refers to sprint or speed training sets.
- Basic Speed/HVO’s/ Max Sprints – All refer to short sprint distances, usually sets of 15m/ 20m/ 25m ‘bursts’ of speed
- Best Effort – the Best Average pace for the whole training set
- F.P.P. – Fastest Possible Pace; similar to ‘Best Effort’ (above)
- HR Max Sets (Hard endurance) that raise the Heart Rate to Max or within 10 beats of Max
- VO2 – Max Maximum Oxygen Uptake. These sets are similar to HR Max sets, but with longer repetition distances (e.g. 150-300)
- Threshold – this is an often misused term; the best way of thinking about it is a set of approx 2500m or 30 min – holding the Max, but even pace for the set.
- Warm-up The process of warming up the muscles and circulation. Warm-ups will usually contain swim/ kick/ pull and have some progressively faster swimming as well as easy
- Swim down – After hard effort swimming, there may be waste products in the muscle including lactic acid. Swimming at a steady pace rather than being totally passive will result in recovery being twice as fast.
- Race Pace Split – the race into segments (e.g. 4 x 50 for a 200m) and repeat the pace of the P.B. race
- Drills – Usually when the stroke is broken into sections or adapted from the full stroke. Examples include Single arm, catch-up, double arm BC or 2 kicks 1 pull on Breaststroke
- Equipment – Swimmers at Galway SC should have a kick board, pull float, fins, paddles, finger paddles, ankle bands (depending on which squad), snorkel, drinks bottle, spare caps and goggles
- Underwater phase – So important in successful World Swimming. Good dolphin leg kick is an essential part of starts and turns on all strokes (1 dolphin kick off walls on Breaststroke).
- Starts, Turns & finishes – Often practiced on their own or as part of sets. The focus is usually for 15m (Starts), 7.5m In/ Out (Turns) and 10m (Finishes).