Learning Backstroke 5 Steps

TRC Main Set for Individual Medley


Gary Hall, Sr. As a world record holder in the Individual Medley, I understand the importance of training specifically for the IM.

TRC Main Set for Individual Medley

The 400 IM is arguably the most difficult event on the swimming schedule. Hence, TRC Main Set for Individual Medley was designed with transitions in mind and with much aerobic training. Today, the fast breaststrokers own the Individual Medley. However, in order to win, they cannot afford to be weak in one single stroke.

TRC Main Set for Individual Medley
This is a great Individual Medley workout that I borrowed from Head Coach Kevin Zacher from Scottsdale Aquatic Club in Arizona. I like the way he mixes and varies these subsets within the main set. It is tough, yet creative. No boredom here. Just lots of good ol’ fun, hard work geared for the IMers.

 2 Rounds:

 6 x 25 fly on 30 secs Odds kick 
Evens swim 3 x 50 fly on 50 secs descending 1-3

 Followed by

 3 x 100 50 fly/50 back on 1:35 (Hold 82 SR on back)

 Followed by

 8 x 75 back
Odds Kick on 1:20, Evens swim on 1:10 (Hold SR of 86-90)

Followed by

 3 x 100 50 back/50 breast on 1:40 use crossover turn with  full breast pullout (hold SR of 82 on back)

 Followed by 2 Rounds:

 100 breast kick on 2:00
4 x 75 breaststroke  on 1:15 Odds smooth, Evens strong

Followed by

3 x100 on 1:35 50 breast/50 free holding 86 SR on free
6 x 125 free on 1:45 100 swim at 86 SR, 25 kick.  Descend 1-3 and 4-6
1-minute break
300 IM fast from a dive.
Ages 12 and under should do exactly half of this main set.
Masters swimmers proceed at your own risk…but I recommend trying to do half of it first.
I hope you enjoyed this edition of  TRC Main Set for Individual Medley and will catch our podcast this week with Coach Zacher in Lane 3. You will learn much more about this outstanding coach. If you haven’t learned to do the crossover turn yet, follow our video series in Lanes 1, 2 and 3 on the 5 steps to learn this important swimming technique.
Gary Sr.


  1. Hello Garry.
    Unfortunately, I do not understand everything in English again, sorry.
    What you mean with: odds kicks on…evens swim on …
    What means: descending 1-3? I have to shorten the time from the first round to the third round?
    Thanks, Constanze

  2. Hello Constanze! Odds means # 1, 3, 5 etc. Evens means # 2, 4, 6 etc. Descending means number 3 is faster than number 2 which is faster than number 1. Makes sense? Rest interval is the same.

  3. Hi Gary!
    Thank you for always answering so promptly. I learn a lot from you. The BSV in Germany should have a look at your videos and aquanotes. Then the further education would be better.
    I have another question. If I swim free at SR 86, how can I then swim the lane 3 faster as the lane 2 and 1?
    6X125 free on 1:45
    100 swim at 86 SR, 25 kick
    Descend 1-3 and 4-6

  4. Hi Constanze. Not sure I understand your question, but if you can train at around 86 stroke rate in freestyle (for shoulder driven freestyle), you will be training at or near where the elite swimmers train. In our subscription service, Lane 3 offers all of our content on line. Lane 2 offers less content and Lane 1, the least amount. Hopefully, in Lane 3 you can learn more and improve your speed.

  5. Constanze, if you know someone at the BSV in Germany, we would be happy to contact them regarding our services. Perhaps you could give us a testimonial?

  6. I know the head of the sports school in Oberhachingen near Munich, about the training. I can write to her if I can pass on your mail address. I am now a week in the training camp in croatia. Then I’ll take care of it. Last week I had contact with Dirk Lange ( former national coach of Germany) I told him about you and told him that he can look after a lot of you. He probably knows you too. Surely a contact would be very good, maybe for both sides.
    I know, my english isn’t so good, sorry. I hope, I write right sentences.
    But last I have a question. If I want to prepare my swimmers, 12 years old, for the 400 individual medley with this main set. How many times a week do I train this set?
    We are just a very small club in the country. I train the children on a voluntary basis. But I have the ambition of an Olympic trainer 😉
    I write when I reach Jeanette Komma

  7. Hi Gary.
    I have just received an automatic answer mail from Jeanette Komma. She is until 04.11. on holiday. Tomorrow the fall holidays start in Bavaria . I stay tuned and get in touch
    Best regards, Constanze

  8. Hi Constanze,
    I believe that your swimmers should have done a lot of basic endurance and threshold work before they can do this IM set. Even half of the set is 3250m.