Swim training after technique - KickRunners.com
 
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#1 of 16 Old 02-19-2008, 08:59 AM - Thead Starter
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OK, jumping the gun a little, but now is the time for planning. My form is getting better, and at some point I am going to have to start swimming with fitness in mind. I will revisit drills so as not to revert.

The question is, how does one gain fitness when one can only hold decent form for about 50m? Right now I rarely swim more than about 1100m total in any session because I quickly tire and can feel my technique go bye-bye, so I stop and get out.

Should I swim a 50, then rest for more time, and try to do bunches of those? Or should I try to go easier and go for 100m+? I worry a bit about trying to go easier, because I seem to really revert back to the bad habits when I try to go slow(er). Or maybe swim a 25 strong focusing on technique and speed, then swim the back 25 more cruising just trying to hold technique. Rest. Repeat.

Remember, my technique is delicately balanced (pun intended) at best. When I started this year with the drill work, I would generally have a 1:10-1:15 50m time. I am now swimming a couple 50s in around :55 after doing drills, but pretty quickly find myself back in the 1:10 range as my technique breaks down.

Oh yeah, my goal here is to do a 75-80 minute IM swim (with WS) and not be smoked. Anything else is just icing.

I can swim maybe 4x per week, with 2 shorter (:40 max) and 2 longer sessions, though 3x is more common.

Suggestions?

-Jim
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#2 of 16 Old 02-19-2008, 10:13 AM
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If I was you, I would just focus on the technique for the next couple of months, swimming as slow as possible. As your technique will improve, you'll also be able to add speed into the equation. After all, swimming is the most technical sport in of the triathlon.
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#3 of 16 Old 02-19-2008, 10:30 AM
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Jim-I am definitely the swim novice of the group, but I have taken a tremendous amount of time off of my splits in the last 8 weeks. From 2:25/100 to 2:05/100, which hard sets at 2:01/100.

Anyway, one of the workouts that I do is a mainset of 6x200 done as 50s w/10 sec. When I first did this I had a hard time holding pace, but now I can hold 56sec with consistency.

Hope this helpssmile.gif
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#4 of 16 Old 02-19-2008, 10:46 AM
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at some point I am going to have to start swimming with fitness in mind.

I (think) this might be wrong. From what I've read, it's always about technique, and (again from what I've read) drills should always remain part of the session - and if you're pushed for time, it's the intervals you should curtail, and keep the drills.

[I'm exactly where you are, by the sounds of it, on the times you're doing and the distances a session will comprise. My session today was 1080m, and the main set was 5*80m where the 80m bit was typically 1m:50secs]
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#5 of 16 Old 02-19-2008, 10:55 AM
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Keep up the enthusiasm and drive. smile.gif

Continue you main focus of drills for a little while longer. I would shoot for a goal of 10x50 under 1:00 with 20 sec rest. You can do this during one of your shorter workouts. Then you can bump up to 10x100 under 2:00 with 20 sec rest goal.
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#6 of 16 Old 02-19-2008, 11:26 AM
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Jim, I was in the exact same situation like you a couple of months ago. I improved my form a lot, but couldn't go long. Some wise person here advised me to start the workout with a long swim, before any drills and before I get tired... and make it longer and longer. I think my first was at 300y and I built up to 1000y last week. (well, the first time that 300y was quite hard). To make sure you keep form... every 4-5 laps try counting your strokes. I noticed that when I'm counting, I'm focusing more and the technique and swim better.
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#7 of 16 Old 02-19-2008, 12:33 PM
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In one of the chapters in "The Perfect Distance", there's a quote that says: "Fitness is what happens when we practice good technique." There's a certain truth to that statement. My coach back home in Canada always told us that we should keep our intervals short so that we would get used to swimming fast with good technique. That's not to say that you should do 20x50 and then call it a day, though. Include some longer intervals, and some shorter ones. I really used to enjoy the 25m all-out sprints we'd do at practice, but mostly because I liked to race my buddy who would always beat me!
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#8 of 16 Old 02-19-2008, 12:37 PM
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Keep your focus on obtainig proper form. If you are losing your form by swimming faster on your longer sets, then slow down. Your speed will come through increased efficiency in the water and improved physical conditioning. Also if you are fatiguing on long swims, break your swim into smaller sets of 100's and working to minimize the rest interval. Then just do a longer swim every couple weeks to gauge your progress.

That being said, to swim fast you still need to swim fast in practice. I would mix in short sets of speed repeats so that your body begins to ingrain the proper form into a stronger effort. You could include speed sets in your workout once a week. One set that I like to do when I feel things breaking down is 50 drill/sprint by 25. This is opposite of what you are doing. What I like about this is that I can attempt to incorporate the motion of the drill that I just practiced into my strong effort and get immediate feedback.... am I rotating, am I planting my arm, am I keeping my shoulder high, am I lifting my head, am I twisting...

Jon
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#9 of 16 Old 02-19-2008, 12:40 PM
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I totally agree with Garbino. A master's swim instructor even told me recently that speed comes with technique. My coach had me throw in super slow sets of concentrating on glide and the feel of the water. This helped me to concentrate on my technique as good technique was needed to achieve this feeling. Swimming slower will also help you to improve endurance and efficiency.

Good luck! Keep us posted with the progress.

Sally
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#10 of 16 Old 02-19-2008, 02:21 PM
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I'm not in agreement with everything. I do agree that there is always time for drills, but that being said if you always go slow, you will go slow. You should have days that are speed, days that are distance and days that work form. You should also have a little mixture of all of it within each workout.

rft3 has a good system. All my athletes are working the same thing. Start with a longish warm up. For you it could be 200. Your muscles area at their strongest when you start so you should be able to hold your form for most of the workout. If you find it breaking down with 50 left, then so be it. At least you now have something to work toward.

After your WU, do a set of drills. Whatever you do: Kick, one arm up, catch what ever you do, then start your main set.

A speed day would be a bunch of shorter swims like 10x50 on 30sr, alternating 1 fast 1 slow. You can even add a drill session in the middle if you think you need reinforcement in stroke technique.

A long day might include 5x150 on 30sr or 45sr depending on your ability.

Drill days are shorter days with more drills.

Whatever you do, make sure you test. You have to have a reference point to beat or meet. Testing is always hard and is always painful, but having a time and reaching for it is what "racing" is all about.

7x100
3x400

You might not be ready for those distance tests, so shorten them to 7x50 or 3x200. but do them. Time them. Make sure you descend 1-7 and 1-3. That means you get faster with each rep and try and negative split each distance.

Good luck

CS
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#11 of 16 Old 02-19-2008, 02:52 PM - Thead Starter
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Ok, some good comments there. From a bunch of you.

One clarification: I will be sticking with the drills for probably at least two more months as the main focus. I like the ideas (CS +) of mixing some things in slowly.

More to follow.

Thanks all!

Jim
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#12 of 16 Old 02-19-2008, 06:44 PM
 
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I like to push things just beyond the point where they start to fall apart and work to bring things back into focus. If you're good for a 50, do 50s for reinforcement but extend/challenge with sets of 100s. If you're good for 100, reinforce with 100s but extend with 200s.
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#13 of 16 Old 02-19-2008, 07:38 PM
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Why would you have to take out the drills later? Just do them in the warm-up?!

Shouldn't you be doing some sort of swimming while doing drills so you can incorporate the technique you are focusing on in the drills into your actual stroke? Like 25 drill, 25 swim or 75 drill 25swim? Are you going for meters and meters on end doing only drills?
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#14 of 16 Old 02-19-2008, 08:30 PM
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I am a bad swimmer. I do drills EVERY swim. Some swims are speed focused some are endurance but I do drills less or more each time; unless I am doing a TT.

This is prescribed by a swim coach. I am seeing improvement so I am going to stick with this plan.
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#15 of 16 Old 02-19-2008, 08:44 PM
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Almost any coach will start a WU with a swim and drill set, then move to the main set. It follows a logical progression. Some main sets include drills while others work on speed and/or endurance.

CS
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#16 of 16 Old 02-19-2008, 10:36 PM
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Exactly what I'm doing at CS isn't even my coachbiggrin.gif
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