LHS @ Boulder and the Loveland Invite: What You Need to Know

We have our first meet of the season this week against Boulder High School at the North Boulder Rec Center.

  • Swimmers will be released from class at 1:15
  • The bus will arrive to LHS at 1:20 and depart for Boulder at 1:30
  • Warm up’s start at 3:00
  • Meet starts at 4:00
  • We’re expected to return around 6:30. Swimmers will be reminded to call/text rides 20 minutes out from LHS.
  • Swimmers will know their event lineup by Monday afternoon practice.
  • This is a JV/Varsity Meet, so some things may look different. The first heat of every event will be JV. A Swimmer must swim either JV OR Varsity.
  • Meet day attire will be decided by the Team Captains. Dress nicely on Tuesday, skirts and dresses. Show pride in being a part of your team!
  • The first Secret Sister gifts will be shared on Tuesday! This week’s theme is “Favorite Color”
  • Monday evening will be the first team dinner! Thanks to the Modlich’s for hosting! Addresses for team dinners will be shared at practice. As a reminder, please bring…
    • Freshman: Salad
    • Sophomores: Drinks
    • Juniors: Side (TBA)
    • Seniors: Dessert

The Loveland Invitational

Saturday, December 5th. 

  • All swimmers need to be at Mountain View Aquatic Center (MVAC) by 6:45AM.
  • There is no transportation provided for in-city meets.
  • Open warm up’s will start at 7:00
  • Meet will begin at 8:00

Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for students (not swimmers), programs will be available for $2 each.

We will have a team dinner before the Loveland Invite on Friday, December 4th at the Gauvin’s! Please bring your assigned food item for team dinners there as well!

We still need volunteers! 

Click here to see where we need help, we love help!

Note: Volunteers WILL NOT have to pay entrance to the meet. 

Practice Notes

This week, Tuesday morning’s practice will be required.

Friday morning’s practice might be required as well since the Loveland Invite is the following day, but this is TBD.



Wednesday’s Set – Backstroke

Finally, backstroke!

The three most common problem areas in backstroke are head position, kick, and body rotation. Head should stay in line with the body, the chin only slightly tucked. Kick should remain constant, and feet and hips should be at the surface of the water. You should rotate.

The drills in todays practice will tackle each of these issues, but continue thinking about these red flags throughout the entire workout.

Don’t get lazy with your thoughts, keep your mind on your technique.


400 Warm up

  • 150 free 50 backstroke


Kick set – fins (600/1000)

6×100 @ :10r

  • Odds 6-kick freestyle rotation drill, arms at sides
  • Evens 6-kick backstroke rotation drill, arms at sides


Drill set (400/1400) Fins

16×25 @ :30

  • 1-4 Single arm backstroke by 25, one arm at side
  • 5-8 Backstroke catch up 
  • 9-12 Double arm backstroke 
  • 13-16 6 Strokes of spin drill (high turnover) finish easy backstroke


Pull Set (400/1800) Paddles, no buoy

4×100 @ :10r

  • 75 Free/25 Back


Main set (1400/3200)

2 Rounds

200 Back @ 2:50/3:00/3:20/3:30 

  • Steady (75%)

25 Free easy @ :30

2×100 Back @ 1:25/1:30/1:40/1:45


  • Build by 25

25 Free easy @ :30

4×50 Back @ 1:00

  • FAST (90%)

50 Free Easy @ 1:00


200 easy cool down (3400)

Tuesday’s Set – Breaststroke

Today’s focus is on Breaststroke, the most technically challenging competition stroke.

To swim breaststroke quickly, you have to think about reducing the drag forces on your body. The ability to narrow your kick, get your hands over the water, and arms into a tight streamlined position can make or break your race.

This set is designed to make you think about the timing of your stroke, and about the many ways to increase the efficiency of your stroke.

400 warm up

Kick set no fins (600/1000)

2×200 free kick @:15r

2×100 Breaststroke kick, streamline on back @:10r

  • Keep knees underwater, focus on kicking feet down and around,  feeling the water with the insoles of your feet.

Drill set (400/1400)

16×25 Breaststroke @:40

  • 1-4 2 kick/1 pull – ultra-tight streamline!
  • 5-8 Slow-mo. 1 pull, 1 kick, 3 second glide in ultratight streamline
  • 9-12 Underwater pullout repeats – keep head in line with your body, spine neutral
  • 13-16 Build from steady to sprint

Pull set (600/2000)

6×100 @:10r

Breaststroke scull/Free pull by 25

Main Set (1800/3800)

3 rounds

50 Free – @ :50

50 Breast – Build by 25 @:50

100 Free – @ 1:20/1:25/1:30/1:40

100 Breast – Build by 25 @ 1:25/1:30/1:35/1:45

150 Free – @ 2:05/2:10/2:15/2:30

150 Breast – Build by 50 @ 2:10/2:15/2:20/2:35
100 Easy Cool down

Monday’s Set – Fly

Todays focus is on the stroke everyone loves to hate: Butterfly.

It’s arguably faster than freestyle, but it takes so much guts that it’s rare to see a swimmer excel at fly. You have to be strong and willing to grit this stroke out in order to see it’s full potential.

Have fun with this today, relax, focus on form and timing. You’ve got it.

400 warm up

  • Every 4th 25 choice stroke

Kick set- Fins (500/900)

10×50 @ :50

Odds – fly kick on bk

Evens – free kick with board

Drill Set (400/1300) – Fins

16×25 @ :30

  • 1-4 Right only-Left only-Front  breathe on every stroke. Keep head low when breathing forward.
  • 5-8 Dolphin kick on side, hands at sides
  • 9-12 7 Underwater Dolphin Kicks (UDK)/7 Strokes (Fly)
  • 13-16 Swim Fly: focus on kick rhythm… kick hands into water, kick hands out of water

Pull Set (600/1900) Buoy and Paddles

3×200 @ :15r

  • Breathing on 4/5 by 50
  • High elbow catch and pull

Main set (1400/3300)

Complete each set twice before moving on to the next one, adjust intervals as needed. Keep it challenging. 

  1. 300 steady free 4:00/4:15/4:45/5:00

                 3×25 fly @ :40

  1. 200 steady free 2:40/2:50/3:10/3:20

                 2×25 fly @ :40

  1. 100 easy free 1:20/1:25/1:35/1:40

                25 fly all out @ :40

100 Easy Cool Down  (3400)


Week of Thanksgiving Break

Happy Thanksgiving break!

This week we’re going onto our “No School Day Schedule” where we’ll meet at the LHS pool from 7:30-9:20 on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Thursday and Friday we will not have practice, but Saturday I’ll see you all at the weight room at 9am.

In order to get full attendance points over break, out-of-towners will have to complete three practices on their own, and a parent will have to sign a note saying that the practices were completed. If you’re heading out of town, please let me know!

Each day over break the team workout will be published right here, so check back daily if you’re away from home.

Have a save and fun break!

How to Stay Focused During Practice

This time in the season can be mentally tough.

Right now, at the beginning, sets are boring and there are an endless number of 25’s drill. Trust me when I say that dialing into your focus now can save you angst later. By REALLY tuning into your stroke, you can shave valuable seconds off of race times in the high season, and I promise, there’s a method to my coaching madness.

In the mean time, how can you make all those 25’s less dull?

I found this article on SwimSwam, and it does a really good job of outlining three ways to keep your head in the game when it’s really easy to let your mind wander. Read and learn, swimmers… Read and learn.

The Swimmers Guide to Staying Focused When it Matters

It almost always happens.

At about 8-10 minutes into my slow paced warm-up I catch my thoughts out for a walk. Thinking about something that happened the night before. Or a conversation I had with a friend. Or thinking about that car that cut me off on the way to the pool, and why-I-oughta

I’ll shake the thoughts aside and return to my workout, return to focusing on my stroke and technique. But by this point I have almost certainly lost track of where I was. Was that 3, or is this one number 3? Dangit.

It is natural for your attention to waiver when you are doing slower paced work in the pool. High intensity work requires your full attention – it’s hard to be going break-neck speed, recruiting every last muscle fiber and ounce of oxygen you can get your hands on – and not be fully mentally immersed in what you are doing.

But during the slower, warm-up/drills/warm-down/aerobic work? Yeah, it’s understandable.

For those swimmers that find their attention wavering constantly while they are swimming, here is how to snap out of the listless thoughts and direct your attention at the work at hand:

1. Have a trigger statement.

Have a cue or trigger statement prepared for the times you catch yourself mentally adrift. Something positive, short and to the point that will shake you from your daydreaming and get you paying attention. It’s go timeDominate this set. Or, keep it super simple with a guttural “Focus!”.

If you want to get a little more creative with your trigger statement, consider what type of athlete you most want to emulate, and develop a cue sentence based around that visual. Let’s say you want to be considered as a resilient, never-say-die athlete: I’m the toughest swimmer in the pool. A statement that is personal and is most relevant to you will be more effective in getting your attention lined up.

2. Bypass getting choked at yourself for daydreaming.

It’s natural that you will want to punish yourself for a lack of focus in training. Resist this urge, as pounding yourself mentally is simply another form of distraction, and more importantly, it won’t help you swim any better.

Negative self-talk feeds into negative behaviors, so the next time you catch your attention astray make the change necessary to focus and stay positive. Encouraging statements such as, “Let’s get it going!” or “Come on, let’s go!” will get you moving in the right direction much faster than hating on your inattention.

3. Create in-set goals.

Wanna stay focused on your swimming while also achieving stuff? You can do both by establishing mini-goals and objectives while you are swimming.

For example, to keep myself engaged and swimming with good technique I will count my strokes during warm-ups and warm-downs. You can do the same with stroke counts, times, number of times you kick, number of breaths, and so on.

Swimming without purpose is a guaranteed way to have your mind start to wander, and more importantly, putting that valuable training opportunity to waste. Give yourself purpose and targets to hit and you will find that you will be far more engaged in your training.


Olivier Poirier-Leroy is a former national level swimmer based out of Victoria, BC. In feeding his passion for swimming, he has developed YourSwimBook, a powerful log book and goal setting guide made specifically for swimmers. Sign up for the YourSwimBook newsletter (free) and get weekly motivational tips by clicking here.