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When you first start swimming with SLM, it may sound like a foreign language when the workout is given. This is normal; even seasoned swimmers must get used to new terminology when swimming with different clubs. We advise you to study the terms noted below so that you are familiar with the way your new swim club communicates. However, don't hesitate to ask us to explain a set again if you don't understand.
Parts of the Workout 
Build: Getting progressively faster within a swim. Example: 1 x 400, build by 100's. The pace should increase after each 100, but one should not stop swimming until the 400 yards are completed.

Descend: Swim progressively faster within a set of repeats. Example: 3 x 100 Freestyle at 2:00 descend; swim times could be 1:35, 1:33, 1:28.

Drill set: Focuses on one part of a particular stroke. Most commonly meant to be done with precision, not speed.

Easy: Refers to a distance of relaxed swimming used as part of a recovery from a more intense set of swims. Sometimes referred to as active recovery.

Interval: A specific time for which to swim a specific distance and get rest before repeating. For example swim a set of 5 x 100 on an interval of 2:00. If you swim the first 100 yards in 1:45, your rest would be 15 seconds before starting the next 100 yard swim. If you swim the second 100 in 1:40, your rest would be 20 seconds before starting the next 100 yard swim. 

Kicking: Using only the legs for propulsion. Sometimes done with the use of a kickboard.

Negative split: Swim the second half of a distance faster than the first half. Example: 2 x 400 Freestyle Negative Split-the second 200 of each 400 should be swum a few seconds faster than the first, but there should not be a break between the 200s.

Main Set: That part of the workout usually 20 minutes in duration in which the heart rate is elevated.

Pace: Hold a steady speed throughout a set, often trying to match a goal race tempo. Example: 4 x 50 Breaststroke at 1:00 holding a 200 race pace. Most people can swim shorter distances at a faster average speed than they can hold for longer distances. This instruction says to swim all four 50's at the average speed one would normally do a 200.

Pulling: Using little or no kick to focus on the upper body. Sometimes using paddles and/or a pull buoy.

Rest interval: A specific and constant period one should wait between swims in a given set. Example: 6 x 75 Backstroke at RI: 15 are six 75-yards Backstroke swims with 15 seconds rest after each one.

Sculling: A relaxing motion using the hands in a back and forth motion under the water. Used to feel the water, especially for warm-ups, cool downs, and easy swims. Use a flutter, whip kick or no kick.

Sprinting: Refers to short intense swims of usually not more than 100 yards, usually Red Zone swimming.

Swim down: The concluding part of the workout in which the heart rate should be gradually lowered.

Warm-up: The beginning part of the workout. Usually builds in intensity, gearing your body and mind for more intense swimming. [Note: Coach Tom like to make us do a Serpentine: this means the fastest person on the team leads and everyone follows closely (2-3 seconds behind) beginning in the same lane. As you approach the wall move to the lane on the right and turn under the lane line so you end up in the next lane. Sometimes we have to get out of the last lane and start all over from the beginning.]

Other Swimming Terms
Backstroke start: Consists of using the starting block while in the water to begin a Backstroke event.

Breaststroke kick (whip or frog kick): Where the legs and feet come apart in a symmetrical motion keeping the feet under the water.

Catch phase: The beginning part of the stroke where the arms and hands start to propel the body.

Dive start: Using the starting blocks and diving into the water from the side of the pool as opposed to pushing off from the side while in the water.

Dolphin kick: Used in the Butterfly where the thrust of the kick comes from the hips, and the feet and legs are held together.

Flip turn: Competitive racing turn by utilizing a somersault where the feet push off from the wall.

Flutter kick: Used in both Freestyle and Backstroke where the feet and toes are pointed and kick the water in an alternating motion.

Individual Medley: Refers to an event in which the four competitive strokes are done equally in the order of Butterfly, Backstroke, Breaststroke, and Freestyle.

Open turn: Noncompetitive turn by touching the wall with one hand and pushing off with the feet.

Push off: Refers to pushing off from the wall and into the streamline position
Recovery phase: The conclusion of the stroke where the hand and arms finish pulling and set up to start the next stroke cycle.

Taper workouts: Done a few days to a few weeks prior to an important race (usually at the end of a season). Depending on your training style and plan for racing, your taper workout may be just dropping 200-300 yards off your total yards for your daily workout for a week, or it could mean gradually tapering off from 3,500 yards a day to 2,500 during the two–three week period prior to a racing period. Taper workouts will be provided to those swimmers who would like to compete. Taper workouts are not a requirement.

Transition: Generally refers to the change of strokes in the Individual Medley
BK = backstroke

BR = breastroke

EZ = easy

Fist = swim with hands closed in fists

FLY = butterfly

4 x 4 Turns = after coming out of turn, kick 4 kicks on your back, then 4 on your side, then resume normal swimming

FR = freestyle

FST = fast

IM = Individual Medley (i.e. Butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke, freestyle)

INT = interval. For example, 0.25 int means to repeat the set each25 

K = kick

LRI = long rest interval

MOD = moderate

N /S = negative split

P = pull

PP = people paddle (freestyle with head up and under water recovery)

SC = scull

Social Kick = kick moderately to loosen up, talking to people in your lane 

SPEC = your specialty

SRI = short rest interval

T umble Turn = swim under water from about the flags into the wall, kicking 
hard through the flip turn

Texas style = 25 yards fast through the turn

WU = warm up