Category Archives for "Test Set"

6 x 100-yards on :05 rest, best effort

Test Set


Get the total time. Then subtract the rest. The rest is 5-seconds times 5-times. The rest time is 25-seconds. Then divide the swimming time by 6 and get the 100-pace, as per Kevin Kinel.

The 100-pace times is called Cruise 1 interval.

Add 5 seconds to the Cruise 1 interval to get the swimmer's Cruise 2 interval.

Add 10-seconds to the Cruise 1 interval to get the swimmer's Cruise 3 interval.

Example Swimmer

  1. Swimmer departs on the first 100 with the pace clock or stop watch at 0:00. 
  2. Swimmer does a time of 1:10 for the first 100. Clock at 1:10.
  3. Swimmer rests for 5-seconds after the first 100. Then departs on second 100. Clock at 1:15.
  4. Swimmer returns from second 100, doing a 1:15 swim. Clock at 2:30.
  5. Swimmer rests for 5-seconds after the second 100. Then departs on third 100. Clock at 2:35.
  6. Swimmer does the third 100 and swims a 1:16 time. Clock at 3:49.
  7. Swimmer rests for 5-seconds after the third 100. Then departs on fourth 100. Clock at 3:54.
  8. Swimmer does a time of 1:20 for the fourth 100. Ugh. Clock at 5:14.
  9. Swimmer rests for 5-seconds after the fourth 100 and then departs for fifth 100. Clock at 5:19.
  10. Swimmer does a time of 1:15 for the fifth 100. Clock at 6:34.
  11. Swimmer rests for 5-seconds and departs on the sixth 100. Clock at 6:39.
  12. Swimmer does a 1:10 on the sixth 100. Clock at 7:49. 

Resulting math of example swimmer

  • Total time of the set with swims and rest is 7:49. Calculation: 7:49 = 915 seconds.
  • Subtract the rest of 25 seconds gives a swim time of 7:24. Calculation 915 minus 25 = 890 seconds.
  • Divide the swim time, 7:24 by the number of 100s. Calculation: 890 divide by 6 = 148.3
  • Math to go to seconds is 7 minutes x 60 = 420 + 24 extra seconds = 444 total seconds.
  • Divide total seconds of swimming, 444, by 6 repetitions (did 6 x 100s), = 74 seconds. Calculation 74 seconds = (74-60) = 1:14.

Cruise Intervals

  • Cruise Interval #1 = 1:14 + :05 = 1:19
  • Cruise Interval #2 = 1:14 + :10 = 1:24
  • Cruise Interval #3 = 1:14 + :15 = 1:29

Real World Results

On December 12, 2019, two swimmers at The Ellis School, did the set.

Swimmer A
  • Total time: 17.31
  • Swim time: 17:06
  • Total seconds swimming is 1,026
  • Divided by 6 = 171 seconds = 2:51 average per 100
  • Cruise interval 1 = 2:56
  • Cruise interval 2 = 3:01
  • Cruse interval 3 = 3:06
Swimmer E
  • Total time: 13.51
  • Swim time: 13.26
  • Total seconds swimming is 806
  • Divided by 6 = 134.3 seconds = 2:14.3 average per 100
  • Cruise interval 1 = 2:19.3
  • Cruise interval 2 = 2:24.3
  • Cruse interval 3 = 2:29.3
Results on blackboard

Two swimmers, E of middle school, and A, a rookie HS swimmer in her first weeks on the team, did the set.  

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60-minute challenge for distance, 50 swim / 50 kick (test set)

Test Set

Test set with swimming and kicking takes one hour

Do a 50 swim and a 50 kick. Then take 15-seconds rest. 
Repeat as many as possible in the 60-minutes.
Team did it freestyle.

End of season approaches and today's top groups had a 60 minute challenge set. 100m front crawl reps (50 swim, 50 kick) 15 seconds rest between repeats. How far in the hour.New club best set of 3,282m including 1,632m of kick. Showed me those older swimmers with desire and there was a tear up the last 100m between 3 of them trying to set a new best

Author of original posting is uncertain. What is posted above was done in a meter-pool. Not sure if it was short-course or long-course.


Could do for different lengths of time. Total time could be 30-minutes rather than 60, for example.

Could do in a yards or meter pool, and short-course or long-course.

Could do for different distances instead of 50s. How about 25s or even 75s and 100s. 

Could change the rest interval as well. Rather than just 15-seconds, why not 10-seconds or 20-seconds, or 30-seconds. 

Could do with fins or without. 

Could do the swimming as pulling. 

Kickboards permitted?

What about switching strokes too. Why not do it freestyle.

INSERT the form here. RAW.

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Terry Laughlin’s two test sets on stroke efficiency with descending 100s. See his article.

Elsewhere , Test Set

See the nice article elsewhere by the Total Immersion founder, Coach Terry Laughlin. His tip is to do 50s or 100s and count the total number of strokes for the entire distance. Perhaps it is 77. Most of the time, I've always counted each length as its own result. But Terry's approach makes sense for getting one value for the entire distance, generally a 50-yard or 100-yard distance.

Summary for 50s or 100s

One version:  Maintain the same stroke count while descending the swims' final time.

Other version: Maintain the same stroke tempo with the help of a Tempo Trainer or a Marlin (both are wearable devices) and descend the swims' final time.


  • Repeats, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
  • Distances, 50-yards, 100-yards
  • Interval, 
  • Maintaining stroke count - or - Maintain tempo, and -- at what value
  • Results in total swim times

Questions to answer with data

  • How much can you descend without adding strokes? 
  • Another day, repeat the same series, but keeping Tempo constant instead. How much can you descend now?
  • Can you repeat the same results on another day but with an adjusted temp. See if a slower tempo allows a larger improvement in time.

insert form here - not done yet

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Shady Side Academy’s test set with 1 x 25 with foot touch and 50s

Test Set

Test Set Instructions:

From a dive, swim 25-yards (or meters) with a foot-touch. Swimmers do a flip turn and time stops when the feet hit the wall. The 25-swim is on a 30-second send-off. Then do 50s from a push-off.
Record all the times.
Coach determines the number of 50s, between 2-and-6. Coach determines the send-off interval, between 30-and-60 seconds. Swimmers' stroke is another factor to record.

Source: John Landreth, long-time head swim coach at Shady Side Academy.

Screen shot of alpha version for entering a swimmer's times

This is not an entry form, only an image of what happens on page 3 when it is time to enter the results of the swimmer(s). 


Buggy BETA Form:  This is not ready for prime time. All data can be lost after pressing submit. 

This is for testing concepts. All data can evaporate easily, especially after pushing the submit button. Keep a paper-back-up.

Form handles up to 12 swimmers. 

Input the results of one (1) to twelve (12) swimmers. To accommodate more than 12 swimmers, use another instance of the form, perhaps on a different mobile device.


All swimmers within the the form swim with the same interval for the 50s. The interval range for the 50s is between 30-seconds and 60-seconds. Use the slider to set the send-off interval for the 50s. To accommodate swimmers doing the 50-repeats on a different interval, use another instance of the form. Or, use the notes section to record any special circumstances. 

Set the number of repeat 50s

All participants do the opening 25-sprint from a dive and with a foot touch on a 30-second interval. Record the 25-sprint time. Following the first 25, is a quantity of 50s. The 50-repeats range from two to six repetitions. Decide upon the number of 50s: 2, 3, 4, 5, or 6. Fewer 50s might be more appropriate for the sprinters or for a less stressful day.

Two Calculations

The total time, a sum of all the swims, (25 + 50s), is calculated and displayed as each entry is made into the web form. After the final 50 time is entered, the AVERAGE time for all the 50s is calculated and displayed. The time for the 25-sprint is not used in this calculation. (Results display the sum of all the swimmer's 50s divided by the number of 50s prescribed in the set's set-up.)

The average for the 50s shows on page four of the form but does not come in the printout email. Only 0.00 was included. 

Submitted results are sent to this email address.
Used by staff / swimmers when updating coach's records. Optional.
Results get sent to this address too.
Notes: SC Yards / meters, pool location, notes
Do 1 x dive 25 @ :30 and HOW MANY 50s to follow?
45 second send-off for 50s
Slider range in seconds from 30 to 60.

Pending Elements

  • Paper form, coming soon.
  • Export of data in the file can be made to be better organized for spreadsheet archives.
  • Input of swimmers' names is another future feature.

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Tests on the bike with GCN, Global Cycling Network

Elsewhere , Test Set

An app for cycling figures out the test subject's four-dimensional-power profile. Zing!

Cycling has a large suite of tests too. Watch this ex-professional cyclist, 10-years after his retirement, cope with the test and hear of his results in an effort to regain his former self and fitness.


Would be great to have a chapter about tests that are done in other sports and what can be learned from them. Perhaps some of their wisdom and science can fit into the understanding for swimming test sets as well.

Well rounded swimmers should be able to cycle as well

Many swimmers should be able to transition to the triathlon and aqua-bike races as young adults, after their competitive swimming careers have ended. Giving the exposure to the cycling world would help keep more into sports throughout their lives, perhaps. 

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Classic Test Set: 6 x 100s on 6-minutes

Test Set

White Board and Dry-Erase Markers work wonders

The messages are clear. Get ready to race!!!! Not with one exclamation point, but four. 

Coaches and swimmers have been doing test sets for decades. The memories and results and style of operations can be simple, clear, direct and functional. Results can be transcribed, later, to a spreadsheet or database. The results can be preserved in a simple cell phone photo too, of course, as posted here. 

The image was touched up by the webmaster to conceal names. 

Document and remember

One missing element -- what stroke the swimmers within the set. Some might have been doing free, while others were doing back, breast, fly or even 100 IMs. That data is absent. The coach and swimmers would remember that within the season.

Click for a full size.

Another practice example.

Chalkboards work too. Messy. Still gives a focus and higher level of seriousness to the activity if it gets written down and recorded. Different test set, different team, and different way to remove the kids' names, by not spelling them all out at the outset. 

Chalkboard test set with three styles of kicking

Test set was three 100-yard kicks for time. One was without fins. Another was with the swimmer's own fins. A third was with a different type of fin, the PDF fins (round, short, okay for breastroke). The swimmers could kick any stroke and used a kickboard.

This simple test set was also valuable as it asked the younger swimmers to remember their times upon their arrival to the wall. The times were then shouted to the coach with the chalk and written on the board in the proper place. 

The swimmers were randomized before the test set so the order of the three different types of kick equipment were variables. So, only one-third of the group did the first kick without any fins, etc.

Insert Web Form Here

pending further development

Results will be sent to this email.

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Aquatic leadership: Assist and help to craft smart questions for the open-source swim knowledge exams

eBook , Marketing , outreach , Quiz , Test Set , Tip

Test sets don't always need to be physical feats.

Our test sets have many dimensions and being smarter, with more knowledge and of better judgement in and around the water can lead to smarter individuals and communities. 

Taking care of oneself begins with better awareness of self as well as other facts and understandings of the world. 

Early and existing water safety quizzes

All are invited to take the online, water safety tests that accompany the four levels of certification with Experience the four different quizzes, each with 25 questions. Progress from Level 1 to Level 4, gaining access to the next level after successfully passing the prior quiz. 

Another aquatic quiz experience resides within the online course at called, Get Your Feet Wet -- Swimming.  

Make Your Own Quiz

All are invited to use the following form and submit your questions so that a custom test can be made for your students and community. 


Written name goes above
Email will get occasional news from

Make up a name, such as "Coach Jane's Age Group Swim Rules Awareness Test."
Drop down menu
Type in the new topic area.

Submit your question and answers:

Subjective Evaluation

Express what you think of the question.

Is it easy or hard to answer?

Is it a high quality question?

How hard is this question? Simple is 1. Nearly impossible is 10.
Is this question something to make you proud?

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