Our Tip of the Week special guest this week is Fernando Canales – Head Coach of the Puerto Rico Swimming Federation and Pitchfork Aquatics, member of the FINA Coaches Committee, and holder of a most impressive CV.

Fernando was previously Head Assistant at the University of Michigan, Head Coach of the University of California-Santa Cruz and Colgate University, as well as an Assistant to the French National Team (personal coach to World and Olympic Champion Yannick Agnel during the FINA World Championships 2013), and Technical Director to the Turkish Swimming Federation (gaining its best results with 2 semi-finalists in the FINA World Championships 2015).  

With a focus on progressing athletes from Novice to National and International standard, Fernando is keen to implement new techniques for developing a strong National Team psychology.

His training tip for the week is on:

35–65-metre Long Course Speed Turns for 100-metre Races

The focus is to develop and choreograph the stroke technique/count, breathing pattern, race speed and navigational efficiency of each athlete during this crucial part of the race.

What to do

Line up at the 35-metre marker and race through the turn back to 65 metres. Practise and record 4–7 full-speed turns per session, 4 times per week.

Things to consider:

  1. This exercise is perfect for competitors of all ages and levels.
  2. Proper execution of the exercise will provide a fun, sporting environment and create a challenging race-like atmosphere to promote ultimate performance.
  3. Practise early in training sessions on Tuesdays and Thursdays when athletes are fresh and at the end of the sessions on Wednesdays and Saturdays when athletes are tired.
  4. Always adapt and be creative, paying attention to the fine details.
  5. Proper record-keeping will provide a motivational platform for continued individual improvement.
  6. Keep records for stroke count, distance and velocity under water, as well as correct navigation from A to B, with minimal to zero elliptical trajectory during the exercise.
  7. This exercise is excellent for 200+ and IM races as well; simply adjust the speed and underwater execution to create a realistic turn for each specific race.


Watch Fernando’s Tip in action!