Do you skip the warm-up and jump in during the preset? You know who you are. Warm-ups and presets are not the same, each serves a distinct purpose. Here is a brief explanation of the distinct purpose each serves.
Warm-up: Serves to get the muscles moving. You loosen up the muscles and get the range of motion going, especially if you swim straight out of bed at a ridiculously early morning practice. I often advise doing some gentle stretching mixed into your warm-up. Warm-ups should be slower, what strokes and drills you do are really up to the individual. What is stiff and needs to get going is different for each of us.
Preset: Presets serve to get the heart and lungs working. While warm-ups are done at a slower, relaxed pace presets should begin to approach your normal working pace. I prefer presets that include kick, drill, and swim and at least the opportunity to include all four strokes.
How much warm-up and preset yardage do you need?
It is different for every swimmer, and for each person, it can change from day-to-day or even change
based on the time of day. Here are some good rules of thumb:
● You need more warm-up when you swim early in the morning
● Older swimmers need more warm-up then younger swimmers
● Your warm-up and preset should each represent a minimum of 5% of your total yardage.