Jack's CAS Journey

An Odyssey of the Diploma Programme

Swim Training 2020-2021

Maintaining A schedule

A recent photo of me at the pool after a training session (Credits: Phillip VanHorn)

Swimming iN Times of COVID-19

Since I began high school, swimming has been an outlet for me to relieve stress and productively spend my time; it is a space in which I can feel totally energized and inspired. I often lose myself in my training. What began as a way for me to make friends and connect with my peers in a new environment quickly became my favorite pastime, and over the course of the next three years, I have participated in multiple national and international tournaments, setting records and winning championships with my team. 

When COVID shut Sri Lanka down in March, my swim team was unable to practice. Difficulties can inspire resilience, however. My dad essentially taught himself how to be a swim coach and has spent countless hours since the start of the pandemic at the pool with me, sometimes swimming every day of the week. In the water training with my dad, I can forget about college applications, extended essays, and whether lockdown will continue. It’s not the senior year swimming experience I envisioned – it’s something even more meaningful. Spending time with my dad has been one of the greatest silver linings of the pandemic, and the connection we built would not have been possible without swimming.  

Training Style and Schedule

As I mentioned, in times when I have not had school, I swim every day of the week and lift weights five times a week. Accordingly, my schedule at such times looks like this:

  • Monday
    • Swim 2:00-4:00
    • Lift 4:30-6:00 (Chest)
  • Tuesday
    • Swim 2-4
    • Lift 4:30-6:00 (Back)
  • Wednesday
    • Swim 2-4
    • Lift 4:30-6:00 (Shoulders)
  • Thursday
    • Swim 2-4
    • Lift 4:30-6:00 (Legs)
  • Friday
    • Swim 2-4
    • Lift 4:30-6:00 (Arms)
  • Saturday
    • Swim 2-4
  • Sunday
    • Swim 2-4

However, throughout most of the year, my main priority is school, and as such, I am forced to drop four of my weekly swims (on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday). Otherwise, my schedule stays the same.

In terms of my training style, my dad and I have chosen to explore a USRPT (Ultra-Short Race Pace Training) program since March. Accordingly, my practices are usually only around 2000 meters, but the majority of that is flat-out sprint work and several of those events are for time. A typical practice might look something like this:

  • warmup
    • 100 free
    • 100 kick (alternate 25s fly, breast, breast, and free)
    • 100 drill (alternate 25s fly, fly, breast, free)
    • 100 free
  • Timed Events
    • 100 Fly all-out for time
    • 50 free all-out for time
  • Pre-main set
    • 4 x 25 all out with resistance band (bungee cord)
    • 4 x 25 all out off the blocks
  • Main Set
    • 12 x 75 on 1:15 at 90% (4 fly, 4 breast, 4 free)
    • 100 easy w/paddles and buoy
  • Post-main set
    • 100 breaststroke all-out for time
    • 100 IM all out
  • Cooldown
    • 100 kick (alternating 25s free and breast)
    • 100 freestyle w/ paddles

My ultimate goal is to swim at a collegiate level and to make this dream a reality I have taken several steps to ensure I have the data I need to adequately compare myself to the swimmers I hope to be competing against in a year. Accordingly, below is a table with my times and goal times in several events, as well as the slowest, 25th percentile, average, 75th percentile, and fastest times that I collected from university meets (at colleges I am applying to) last year.

My times, the times common in universities I am applying to, and the difference between them


Reflection on Goals

So far I have made excellent progress working towards my goals, dropping at least a second (and sometimes 3-5 seconds) from my times March in every event. I feel that, recently, I have hit a bit of a plateau because I have been able to train only twice a week since October (although, this week, I am resuming my thrice-weekly schedule) due to a high academic workload that stems from taking four higher-level classes as opposed to the standard three. Despite this, I feel that I am inching ever closer to my target times and I look forward to (hopefully) furthering my swimming career next year at whichever university I attend.

Reflection on Learning Outcomes
  • Demonstrate that challenges have been undertaken, developing new skills in the process
    • I feel that my skills have certainly developed significantly throughout the course of my training, and I feel that devising and maintaining a practice schedule during a global pandemic is a challenging thing indeed.
  • Show commitment to and perseverance in CAS experience
    • Maintaining such a rigorous schedule of physical activity while juggling schoolwork, community service, and other extracurricular activities is not easy, and I have had to demonstrate fully my commitment to swimming and my willingness to persevere in my training.

Next Post

Previous Post

Leave a Reply

© 2024 Jack’s CAS Journey

Theme by Anders Norén

Skip to toolbar