Goldilocks - Revisiting OUR GO-TO SET

Unsure what session to swim the next time you hit the pool? Need something to push your fitness on, develop your pacing skills and provide a challenge but is "do-able" even if you are not at peak fitness?

Our Goldilocks Set is the answer - our classic CSS training set. If we are ever unsure what to swim, this is our GO TO session that always delivers.

(We've previously posted about this classic set back in 2010 and 2014 but it's well worth a revisit - it really is that good.)

Jo dons her Guru cap for a tough session: Do not fear training, fast it will make you!

The Goldilocks Set

Swim a thorough warmup of between 600 and 1000m including a few key drills for your individual stroke. Including some faster laps to progressively lift your heart rate ready for the set ahead.

Then swim the following Goldilocks set. All swims should be at the same pace - your fastest maintainable pace for the whole set. If you have a Tempo Trainer Pro and know your CSS pace then set the beeper to your CSS pace per 25m and take 1 beep recovery between each swim (or 20 seconds if you don't own a beeper). Swim the set straight through as:

4x 100m
1x 200m (Baby Bear)

4x 100m
1x 300m (Mamma Bear)

4x 100m
1x 400m (Papa Bear)

Here is what the Guru's says about this set: This is the quintessential CSS pace awareness set, showing you just how important it is to start your efforts early in the session quite conservatively in order to still be holding the exact same pace 1800 to 2100 later! The 1st block of 100s with 1 beep recovery will feel almost too easy. You’ll sail through the 200 and even the next block of 100s, but then all of a sudden Mamma Bear will slap you right in the face right around 175 and from here on in it's a case of try to recover as much as possible in the final block of 100s before completing the set with the Papa Bear (400). Get your pace wrong at the start and there is no way you will complete this session as directed – you need great control. Good luck!

To finish off, swim an easy cool down of between 400 and 600m.

A couple of quick notes:

- If you are in yard pool, simply replace meters with yards, so 100m becomes 100yds etc.

- If you don't feel able to swim a 2100m main set yet then reduce the 4x 100m to 2x 100m each time but keep the 200/300/400 in place. We encourage you to give the full set a crack as soon as possible though - training is all about a challenge right and it might not be as hard as you think. :)

Guru PRO subscribers can see this set in the Guru here (along with hundreds of other great sets to follow). Of course the Guru will also tell you exactly what number to set in your Tempo Trainer Pro and track your fitness over time, progressively adjusting the beeper pace to adjust to your fitness level.

Don't approach your key sessions with a sense of dread, look at them as an opportunity to take your swimming to the next level. As Swim Smooth Coach Lance Ogren says: Don’t fear the main set, make the main set fear you!

Done It Before?

If you have swum the Goldilock set before then why not try it in reverse? Here's the Perth squad board for the session:

Swim Smooth!


Unknown said...

Sorry for late reply. Thanks Paul. Golidilocks Set is really good. As a Taiwanese speak Chinese, using google translate to read slowly for most blogs. Swim Smooth have logs of knowledge to learn. And the first thing I need to do is to buying a FINIS Tempo Beeper.

xswim said...

Stroke tempo is very important. I always use COUNTU Tempo as my swimming metronome. Easy to use, smaller and can work as timer and lap counter also.

nanoRat said...

I LOVE Goldilocks. I use it as a pyramid. Going up to 400 then back down with the 3x100 in between for a total of 2900. I set my Tempo Trainer per lap and if I am able to keep pace through the entire set, the next time I train I set the Tempo Trainer .25 sec. faster per lap. I think it improves BOTH speed and endurance.

Stuart said...

nanoRat, that’s close to my go-to Goldilocks session. I just do a single 100 between the longer intervals. For a challenge I’ll chuck a 500 in at the summit. Think of that as the grizzly bear.

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