Sharks and Minnows for Adults: A Competitive Swimming Set

Sharks and minnows is a game of tag that children occasionally play in a pool. But it can also be utilized in swimming sets for triathletes, pool swimmers and open water swimmers.

These workouts can be done in a short-course pool (25 yards or meters) or a long-course pool (50 meters) and are best done with swimmers of comparable abilities.

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Sharks and Minnows Pod Set

In a single lane with three to six swimmers, the set begins with each swimmer starting 5 seconds behind the swimmer in front of them. The swim ends when the first swimmer catches up to the last swimmer. Ideally, this swim should last between 400 and 800 yards/meters.

This can be repeated three to five times with the first swimmer trying to catch the last swimmer faster than during the first baseline swim, and the last swimmer trying to hold off the first swimmer longer than during the baseline swim. Swimmers can take 30 to 60 seconds between each swim.

There are two different versions of this.

In the first version, everyone starts at the same side of the pool, 5 seconds apart. Essentially, the first swimmer is attempting to lap the last swimmer in the shortest amount of time.  This can be done 3 to 5 times.

In the second version, the fastest person in the lane starts on the opposite end of the pool while everyone else starts on the other side. This gives the fastest person less distance to cover in order to catch up to the slowest swimmer. This can be done 3 to 5 times.

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Shark vs. Minnow Set

In a single lane with only two swimmers of different abilities, the set begins with each swimmer starting together. The swim ends when the faster swimmer catches up to the slower swimmer. Ideally, this swim should last between 200 and 400 yards or meters.

This can also be repeated 3 to 5 times with the faster swimmer trying to catch the slower swimmer sooner than during the first baseline swim, and the slower swimmer trying to hold off the faster swimmer longer than during the baseline swim.

Sharks and minnows can be an entertaining and competitive way to get in 2,000 to 4,000 yards/meters in a single pool swimming set.

More: 3,200-Meter Swimming Workout

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