Training guidelines

Brompton SC General Training Group Descriptions (Updated version will be available soon)

Training kit guidelines

Warm up protocol

Cool down protocol


Training should be a daily thing like eating, drinking and sleeping.

Remember: Swim, Eat, Sleep, and School. Nothing else matters! (Kidding...) 

Doing 3 or 4 sessions on the bounce then missing a week is very bad. Progress will not be made under these conditions. 3 sessions in the pool per week is the minimum. The reason our youngest group is based at three sessions a week is that 8-10 year old swimmers will also be swimming at school. Our top swimmers will swim twice a day Monday through Saturday and once on Sunday!!

Lastly remember prizes are given by Brompton for attendance.

Clock watching

The big clock is there for a reason. Learn to know the times you do for different strokes and distances.

For instance a swimmer in Academy will swim 100m Front Crawl in between 1.40 min and 2 min. 50m kicking should take most swimmers in National about 45-50 secs. So a brief look at where you started and finished on the clock will quickly tell you what time you have achieved. If the coach asks you to take 10 secs rest the big clock will tell you that.

You can even use the clock to measure how many reps have been completed. 10 x 100 on 2mins. After 18 minutes you have done 9!!!!

Pulse is easily measured using the clock. See below.

Get used to using the clock all the time.

Lane etiquette and courtesy

Read the section on lane etiquette. Know the direction of your lane, give the person in front 5 secs start, never cheat on your start time. Give way to faster swimmers, or try to go faster.

Technique versus effort

Never sacrifice on technique. When trying hard technique is often sacrificed. Don’t. Poor technique means more resistance and harder to swim fast.

Always give a training session your best. Never get out thinking it was easy as this normally means you weren't working hard enough!


We all have weaknesses. The way to improve as an athlete is to work on your weakness. It’s a concept called improvement by marginal gain. So if your leg kick is poor. That means you cannot do 50m kick in less than 60 seconds, do more kick. This applies to all areas of swimming.

How hard to try?

Your coach will always tell you how hard to try. That is usually set by the swim and rest times. So if the coach says you have 10 x 100m to do on 2mins swim and rest, don’t ask how much rest. The faster you swim the more rest you will get.

If your coach says swim slowly then do so. He or she is asking you to try to work on technical perfection, best done slowly.

If the coach says as fast as possible, you should be panting by the end.

A one length sprint should be head down and kicking as hard as possible.

A kicking training set should nearly always be done hard.

Pulse rate

Here is an article all on its own.

The Rule of thumb is that maximum heart/pulse rate is 220 minus your age.

So for the average Age Group swimmer, that means a max pulse of just over 200.

An 80% effort means a pulse rate of 160, get it?

For older swimmers the AT, the Anaerobic Threshold is at 80%. That’s when lactate starts to kick in and it hurts.

Measuring pulse could not be simpler. Put two fingers into the neck between jugular and jaw, push in to feel the pulse.

Count for 6 seconds, add a zero to the count and that’s your pulse per minute. Some people say count for 10 seconds as it’s more accurate. True, but a pain if you only have a 10 second rest and what is 6 x 28 in your head?

Training zones

Training zones are best measured by pulse rate.

In simple terms and without getting too technical about this, training zones are:

Slow - pulse about 50%. Warm up and cool down.

Medium - technique and drill work. 50 - 70%

400m pace - A pace you can maintain for 400m 70 - 80%

200m pace - A pace you can maintain for 200m 80 - 90%

Sprint - A pace you can manage for 25 to 50m only. 90 - 100%

Note: warm ups should include some fast swimming and movement. This can be no further than 10-15m but max effort.

There are warm up and cool down protocols available on this website.


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