Author Archives: Brooke Bennett

Calm Your Race Day Jitters

On your marks….get set….GOOOOOO!!!

Once you hear the starter say those words followed by the sound of the buzzer, there is no turning back….you are now in the driver’s seat.

But what gets you ready for that moment to race?

For everyone it is different- Do you keep to yourself and visualize, jam out to music or just chat and goof around with those around you?

For me, it’s a little bit of all.  As I was getting ready to perform at the biggest events of my career-The 1996 and 2000 Olympic Games, I found a simple solution to my race preparation.

For you, as you figure out what your race day strategy is, remember this- the only way you get good at it, is to practice it at every meet and for every race. Then when you get up to race on the BIG stage, it will just happen automatically. It is part of your training and preparation. Prepare to win and you will.

But here are a few helpful tips to get you started- ones that I use to this day, as I dive back into the world of competitive swimming.

Control what you can within the environment- From your warm up, to getting you’re race suit on and give yourself plenty of time to speak with your coach.

As a distance swimmer, I was on the first bus to the pool for warm up. My warm up was more like a mini practice just to get the blood flowing, the stroke rate right and the heart pumping.  And then I hated being rushed…having to squeeze myself into that racing suit, yikes! I always wanted to feel it was my time clock, not that of the meet.

Music- on the playlist: The A-Team theme song, Right Now by Van Halen, Thunderstruck by AC/DC and Welcome to the Jungle by Guns -N-Roses. Those are my four songs that put me right where I need to be…

Within my power jam session, this is my moment to visualize the race. In my head, it goes the way I want it to go. Now it’s your time, leave NO chance for error on your part….a well thought out race is yours to win!!

As I worked to find my “perfect” sink to be race ready, I struggled with one thing- the tendency to over think it-BAD!!

My best memory on this- Looking into the stands at the 2000 Olympic Trials in Indianapolis and seeing my Dad (Keith Bennett) dancing as they were parading the top 8 finalist out for the 400 Free….I was in the zone, but too deep and my dad knew it…

He did everything to he could to get my attention and when I saw him, I burst out into a laugh. It was just what was needed- as if I could hear him say, “Brooke, you got this, now get out there and enjoy what you love to do…Race!!”

Expect the unexpected- A delay in the meet, a cap or suit rip or your goggles break. You have to learn to be prepared for EVERYTHING, always have extras in your bag.

But remember this-we do what we do because we enjoy it. The training is for the racing. The race is for our competitive juice to come alive-BE THE BEAST!!!

-Brooke Bennett


Workout Wednesday: Time to Work the Legs

Warm up:

400 free

8×50 kick :10seconds rest

400 free

4×100 kick :10 seconds rest

(2 minutes rest)

Slide on your FINIS Fins:

4×300 :20seconds rest

Odd: 100 kick/100 swim/100 kick

Even: 100 swim/100 kick/100 swim

(2 minutes rest)

Stroke & Kick

4×150 :10seconds rest

IM by 50’s NO FREE

(1 minute rest)

12×75 kick :15seconds rest

25-build, 25-first 12 ½ sprint, 12 ½ easy, 25- 12 ½ easy, 12 ½ sprint

200 cool down

Total= 3,900 yards


Workout Wednesday: Hypoxic Breathing

1×400 Free :30 seconds rest
1×400 IM/drill by 50′s :30 seconds rest
1×200 kick/skull by 50′s

(1 minute rest)

4×250 pulling gear and FINIS snorkel :10 seconds rest
*if you don’t have a snorkel breathe every 5th stroke

(1 minute rest)

6×100 kick with fins :15 seconds rest
8×50 with fins IM order (fly, back, breast, free x2) :10 seconds rest

(2 minutes rest)

Hypoxic set:
*at any point you feel light headed or get a headache- STOP!! Be effective an smart

1×300 (go right into 200)
Breath control by 100′s- beginners: 3,5,7
advanced: 5,7,9
1×200 choice :30 seconds rest
Breathe control by 50′s- beginners: 5,7,9
advanced:  7,9,12
200 cool down

Total= 4,000 yards


Workout Wednesday: Speed Time

After some longER workouts, let’s break it down and have some FUN with speed….

Taya Fagan Photography(c)

Get the blood flowing; warm-up

600- swim, drill, skull by 50’s

4×100 kick free/choice by 100’s :10 seconds rest


8×75       :15 seconds rest

Odd: free, drill, build by 25’s
Even: free, sprint, drill by 25’s


16 x100  :20 seconds rest

(1 minute rest after each set of 4×100)

1-4 dec. to 800 pace

5-8 dec. to 400 pace

8-12 dec. to 200 pace

13-16 dec. to FASTEST, race pace


1×400 stretch-out swim (see below)

100 IM drill, 50 swim free, 50 skull}x2


12×50    :20 seconds rest

Dec. 1-3 to RACE PACE!!

1×200 cool-down

TOTAL = 4,400 yards


Workout Wednesday: Long & Smooth

Workout Wednesday; long & smooth…nothing fast, but your chance to think breathing, tempo and perfect strokes.

100 kick
200 drill IM
300 free
100 kick
200 choice drill
300 free

800 free- paddles & buoy (snorkel optional),  :30 seconds rest
600 IM swim-by 50′s, :20 seconds rest
400 free- paddles, :30 seconds rest
200 IM swim

8×100 :15 seconds rest

Odds: first 25 under water dolphin kick, swim 75
Evens: 75 swim, last 25 under water dolphin kick
* hold that streamline underwater!!

200 EZ cool down

Total = 4,200 yards


Workout Wednesday: Blossom into a Better Swimmer

Warm-up: 1200 (repeat below twice)

400 free breathing every 3
200 drill by 50′s; finger tip drag drill- (concentrate on high elbow) & Six kick side drill- (long smooth, extenuate rotation of hips, finish pull all the way)

Kick/skull (4 rounds)

2×75 kick :10 seconds rest
2×50 skull :10 seconds rest
2×25 sprint :10 seconds rest

100 EZ swim

4×200 IM :25 seconds rest

Odd- drill (follow below)
Fly- 4 strokes right arm, 4 left arm, 4 full
Back- 2 strokes right arm, 2 left arm, 4 full (thumb exits water 1st, pinky enters 1st)
Breast- 1 pull, 2 breast kick
Free- catch up drill, with a 6 beat kick

Even- SWIM perfect stroke

100 EZ swim

8×75 :15 seconds rest
(4-free, 4-stroke)

Odd- DPS, strong swim/good stroke/DPS by 25′s
Even-strong swim, DPS,strong swim by 25′s

100 EZ swim

Total= 4,100 yards


The Balancing Act; Between Career & Training

A task that presents new challenges on a daily basis. But show it no fear, it can be done.

Whether your reaching the top of your sport, or you’re the weekend warrior, you must develop time management skills.

As a swimmer we are used to practice times remaining the same week-end and week-out; year after year.

But if your’re the fly by the seat of your pants kind person, your “balancing act” may need to find some kind of structure.

First-look at your week ahead on Saturday. I like to envision mine in my head, that way when Sunday comes I am ready to pencil things into a daily agenda.

In my field of work, as a sports broadcaster at Bright House Sports Network it changes week to week. So, first I look at my busiest days.

On my busy days, I ask myself “what kind of time I have to get in a workout?” Is it dry land or swim?

Then, I move to my days I can really grind it. If I can manage a double workout, I steal it.

At the same time you’re planning your workouts, make it a point to do the same with your food. Pre-prepped meals make it a no-brainer at the end of a long day of work and workouts.

This will also save you from making unhealthy selection. And when you’re choosing the right nutrition your body recovers faster and your sleeping habits become more efficient.

But what I find to be key in the process of balancing it all, don’t beat yourself up over a missed workout. I don’t plan my day off from a workout, I let the week and my body tells me. It could mean a 10-15 day cycle of workouts. But then I’ve also had those weeks where it seems no routine can catch a rhythm.

Use your weekends as the opportunity to make-up or squeeze in another workout.

Repeat to yourself-
Because I have a plan it makes easier to do it, don’t over think it. If I dream it, I can accomplish it!

Brooke “waterbabi” Bennett


Workout Wednesday: Mindset of a Champion

The Mindset of a Champion

100 swim, 200 IM drill, 300 pull—>300 swim, 200 stroke (no free), 100 kick

3×200 pull :25 secs rest
3×100 paddles only :15 second rest
3×100 swim dec 1-3 :10 seconds rest

100 easy swim

Fins and FINIS snorkel- (2 rounds)
3×100 swim with snorkel DPS :15 seconds rest
3×100 kick :15 seconds rest

100 easy swim

16×50 Dec 1-4 :20 seconds rest



100 easy swim

Total= 4,700 yards


Brooke Bennett


Workout Wednesday: Pot Luck

This weeks workout I’m titling it Pot Luck. It is a little bit of everything…enjoy!


200 free
100 IM/drill
50 kick
50 free
100 IM/swim
200 kick

Breath Control

9×100 :15 seconds rest, breath pattern
By 100′s- 3, 5, 7, 7, 5, 3, 3,5,7

Drills & Kick

300 free/drill 25′s :15 seconds rest} x3
100 stroke, strong } 1 minute rest at end of round

24×25 kick :10 seconds rest
1-swim easy

Main Set

4×200 :25 seconds rest
#1 sprint 1st 50
#2 sprint 2nd 50
#3 sprint 3rd 50
#4 sprint 4th 50
* swim the 150 steady, DPS


Cool down

Easy 200

Total = 4,200 yards


Workout Wednesday: Let’s Work That Upper Body

In this weeks workout we are going to really work your upper body. As we know in swimming having upper body strength is VERY important….so let’s work that upper body!!


2x:          1×200 free

1×100 drill/choice

1×50 skull (arms out in front-press the hands out just past should with apart, turn the hands back in a push hands together)


Mini set: grab a pull buoy and kickboard

8×100 IM pull  :20second rest (after the 50)

*between each 100 IM, grab your board for a 50 free kick

Main set:

4×300 pull with paddles- smooth, long and steady :20 second rest

Warm down set:

6×75 choice drill/kick/choice :15 second rest

*stroke must remain the same for whole 75

Total= 4,000 yards

Enjoy the workout!

-Brooke :)