The Cranberry Face Kick and Swim Set

The Cranberry Face Kick and Swim 100s Set

In this holiday-themed version of my favorite type of swim set, we tackle some general conditioning work and build up a ravenous appetite for the holiday feasts.

It’s no secret that I am a huge fan of kick-swim sets. They are a super versatile way to work towards building a six-beat kick in your freestyle and connect the kick to your swimming.

This form of set is also my favorite template for general conditioning work in the water.

In this Christmas Eve edition of the kick-swim set, I did 24x100s freestyle, swim-kick, alternating three reps at a “cruise” speed, working on proper distance per stroke, with one rep fast. Six times through.

The end results include:

  • A big appetite for the competition-grade eating to come over the holiday break.
  • A face that is about as red as cranberry sauce.
  • And a slightly better and improved freestyle stroke.

Here is a more complete breakdown of how I did the set.

The Cranberry Face Kick and Swim Set

With Covid restrictions in place, my local swimming pool only allows for pre-registered, one-hour lap swims.

We have one hour from the time we walk out onto the pool deck, which means that by the time I stuff my swimmer’s earplugs into my ear, tie the drawstrings of my training suit, and dig my favorite swimming goggles into my face, it turns out to be a 52-55 minute swim practice.

My warm-up was done at home in the garage with a combination of jumping rope, planking (the ultimate swiss-army knife core exercise for swimmers), leg and arm swings, and some foam rolling to get the blood moving.

24×100 freestyle as 50 kick, 50 swim on 2:00

Done as:

  • 6x [3 cruise – 1 FAST]

Set notes:

  • On the cruise 100s, count your strokes and work towards peak distance per stroke.
  • On the fast 100s, try to maintain the intensity and RPM of your kick through the swim.
  • Bring it home fast on the second 50 on the FAST 100s. With the pre-burn in your legs, it should begin to simulate the feeling of the back-half of your 100m freestyle in competition.

Warm Down:

  • 300 mix with swim fins warm-down.
  • Buy extra eggnog on the way home and feast.

More Sets and Workouts Like This

40 Ultimate Workouts for Competitive Swimmers. Our ever-growing list of swim practices and sets for swimmers. Whatever your stroke or flavor, we got you covered with plenty of ideas from some of the best swimmers and coaches on the planet.

Set of the Day: “Building the Engine” with Roland Schoeman.  Ready to take your kick and swimming to the next level? Try this high0intensity kick-swim set that Olympic champion Roland Schoeman uses to build his swimming engine.

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Olivier Poirier-Leroy Olivier Poirier-Leroy is the founder of He is an author, former national level swimmer, two-time Olympic Trials qualifier, and swim coach.

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