Paul is away at the moment and so coach Sal and I are covering the Wednesday morning session this week. Late last week we were approached by Gary Couanis to ask whether we could put together a special set for his Birthday, which is tomorrow. We don't usually take requests for sessions, but Gary was pretty keen and Paul said it was okay so we went with it. Gary's request was for a session of 40 x 100m.
The Wednesday morning session is usually between 4500m and 5000m so fitting in 40 x 100m wasn't a problem. However, what was going to be more of a challenge was making the session interesting. No point satisfying Gary's request if everyone else is bored stiff.
Not to worry though because Coach Sal was up to the challenge, putting together a session made up of 8 x 5 x 100m on a range of different turn around times. With a bit of a warm up and a little bit extra at the end it filled criteria of being 4500m to 5000m. Nicely done.
However, given that the session going to be 40 x 100m you could forgive people for being concerned it was going to be boring and/or too easy. Remember the Wednesday morning swim is the territory of 10 x 400m or 1000m efforts and things like that, it isn't supposed to be made up of large numbers of short efforts. Plus anyone who has done large numbers of 100s can tell you, it isn't the most enthralling session. Usually after 10 to 15 x 100 your brain is keen for something else to do.
With all this in mind you could understand if people were a little hesitant about the session and pondering slightly our sanity.
However, just to prove that you shouldn't judge a book by its cover, or session until it is done, it ended up being fairly successful. I am sure there were some people in the session that weren't thrilled with it, but on the whole Sal and I noted it down as job well done.
Breaking the 40 x 100 into 8 sets of 5 kept things interesting enough. Each set was slightly different, either being quicker or using Pull Buoy and Paddles, so there was plenty of variation. As one person said, by the time you are about to get bored, you changed. It kept things pretty fresh.
On top of that, the descending times meant that by the time people reached the 7th and 8th sets it was getting pretty darn tough. Most people in the squad struggled with the last two sets, but managed to make it through, which is usually an indication that it was just the right level of tough.
I don't think anyone jumped out the pool thinking that they didn't get their money's worth with regard to interest or intensity.
Just goes to show, sometimes you don't know what a session is going to be like until you do it. Often it can be better to not over think it, turn up and just get on with it.