Mel Marshall’s beastly two-hour Masters set

Like a challenge from your Masters swimming training sets? Then we have a good one for you, straight from 2014 British Swimming Coaches Association Coach of the Year Mel Marshall.

The City of Derby head coach knows what it takes to reach the top of the sport. She won six medals at the 2006 Commonwealth Games and competed at two Olympics. And last season she became the first ever female BSCA coach of the year after guiding breaststroker Adam Peaty to Commonwealth and European glory.

The Masters Hub has learned that City of Derby Masters group swum this set to the accompaniment of music that can only be described as “cheesy” and included some of Bon Jovi’s finest hits. So we’ve renamed the three main sets accordingly…

Warm Up

  • 6x150m as 2x150m (alternating between 25m front crawl, 25m backstroke), 2x150m (50m kick, 50m pull, 50m full swim), 2x150m (swimming stroke/strokes of own choice).
  • 200m kicking, using a stroke of your choice
  • 200m pulling, using a stroke of your choice.

Set 1 (aka ‘You Give Love A Bad Name’)

  • 12x25m leg burners (if you’re not feeling it in your legs, you’re not going hard enough!). Swim the first six 25m lengths without fins and the final six with fins but with a kick board held vertically. Take 15 secs rest between each 25m.
  • For the odd lengths (1,3,5 etc), swim max effort, on the even lengths (2,4,6 etc), swim max effort up to 10m then easy to the end for one length, 15m max for the next, 20m max for the next, then back to 10m max again.
  • 2x200m pull using pullbuoy and paddles. Swim the first 200m easy as a bit of a rest then the second 200m a bit harder back up to training pace but not sprinting.
  • Repeat the above but with fewer 25m so 8x25m leg burners, four without fins, four with fins and kickboard. Max effort on the odd lengths, max up to 10m, 15m and 20m on the even lengths. 15 secs rest between each 25m.
  • 2x200m pull using pullbuoy and paddles, first 200m easy, second 200m harder.

Set 2 (aka ‘Blaze Of Glory’)

  • Choose either 4x100m or 4x75m front crawl with fins on 1min30. Wait until the 1min30 is up before starting your next 100m/75m.
  • 4x50m front crawl without fins. Swim the first 50m on 40 seconds, the second 50m on 45 seconds, the third 50m on 50 seconds and the fourth 50m on 55 seconds. Wait until the number of seconds are up before starting your next 50m.
  • Repeat these two drills another three times.

Set 3 (aka ‘Livin’ On A Prayer’)

  • Choose between 400m, 300m, 200m or 100m swimming a stroke of your choice.

Swim Down

  • 200m easy kick using a stroke of your choice.

If you don’t think you have the time to complete this whole set, try cutting it in half or picking between the Main Sets.