Season Practice Plan

Coach Marie's Season Practice Plan

Season Plan Overview  

The Marin Swim League season is roughly 19 weeks long, from early March through the Championship meet ("Champs") in mid-July.  I break the season into 3 cycles based on the dual meet and Champs schedule.

Base Cycle   8 - 10 Weeks
Pre-season training:  Build a base of aerobic conditioning and stroke technique, team bonding.
  • Less experienced swimmers focus on swimming terms and jargon, lane etiquette, and the basic techniques of freestyle and backstroke.
  • More experienced swimmers focus more intensively on each stroke over 2 week blocks, followed by the Individual Medley (one lap of each stroke).
  • Body Balance
  • Streamline
  • Breathing
  • Kicking
  • Stroke Mechanics
  • Distance per Stroke (maximizing strength of pull and glide)
  • Dives and Starts (position of entry, depth, surfacing and breakout strokes)
  • Wall Touches, Turns and Strong Finishes
Core Cycle 7 Weeks
Dual meet season:  Progression to better technique, preparation for competitions.
  • Less experienced swimmers work on breaststroke and butterfly
  • More experienced swimmers focus on anaerobic conditioning and building speed
  • Anaerobic work-- limited breathing, faster pace, longer interval
  • Race specific sets-- sprints to practice for competition
  • Starts, turns, transitions, finishes
  • Pace clock use
Taper Cycle 2 Weeks
End of Season:  Prepare for Championship meet.  
  • Rest and recovery period for all experience levels to allow for fastest times to be swum at Champs.
  • Often the favorite part of the season as the 'hard work' of the Base and Core Cycles ends and the fun of shorter yardage and more racing practice takes over.
  • We hope all swimmers will continue to swim through these last two weeks, ending in participating in Champs.  Champs is a chance for each swimmer to swim their best time, regardless of their overall league standing.


  • Race pace
  • Sharpen skills in starts, turns and finishes
  • Rest (in AND out of the pool)
Coaches' Game Days 8 - 9 Times per Season
Fun-filled practices with games, races, and even dry-land activities designed to foster camaraderie, build confidence, improve general athletic skills, let loose and have fun!