>> Wednesday, December 28, 2011
I posed that question in a forum last month to see what people thought. Here's what I said:
What's the *best* swim workout to maintain Oly endurance and speed?
I know... I know... that's sort of a loaded question. I'm sure there's no ABSOLUTE BEST swim workout to be doing over the winter, but I want to get peoples' thoughts.
Also, I really hate asking this question, because it makes me sound lazy. However, my "excuse" is that in the past, I almost always swam in the morning around 6-7 am (at least that's when I had my "killer" swim workouts). Now, I have an adorable 5-month-old son at home, and I can't take him to daycare until 9:45 am, so my early morning workouts are a thing of the past. At least for a few more years.
So here's my question.........
Being I'll probably only be able to swim 3-6 times / month, what's a GOOD workout for me to be doing in the pool?
Longer endurance swims? 100 repeats? Tempo intervals? A long swim to build endurance with X many X00 repeats at the end for speed? Just trying to get a feel from the "swimmers" out there. Swimming is my weakest of the 3... I'm more of a "runner."
Thanks for your thoughts for this lazy swimmer! ;)
p.s. I'm normally a 25:00 - 28:00 Oly swimmer. (And around a 38:00 Oly runner... so the swim is where I need the help!) Thanks!!!
Here's what some people said:
20x100 at Tpace with 5s rest.
That sounded brutal. I loved a response to that from someone I know:
Are we trying to HELP Steve or DROWN him?
I mean, I'm down with either. :)
Someone else thought 5 seconds was a pointless rest:
Might as well just go ahead and go 2000 Tpace straight if you're going to just wait 5 sec at the wall.
But the first person went on to explain:
5 seconds is just enough time to catch a few breaths and "reset" your form mentally to keep it from breaking down. It's harder to maintain form during a continuous swim. BTW, before I read any other responses, I was going to suggest 20x100 at 5 seconds faster than T pace with 10-15 seconds rest. It's a little harder effort, but allows slightly longer to recover and reset.
Then I had a recommendation to do 50s from the same person who had the first suggestion:
My second recommendation is 40x50 fast with 15s rest - I like the slightly shorter interval for this one to aim to keep the whole 50 fast.
Someone finally asked what "T pace" is. I assumed it was "tempo," but I was wrong:
Maybe I swam too many hypoxics in childhood and am now stupid--what is T pace? Threshold? Triathlon (race) pace? How does one determine it for swimming? Also trying to keep up swim speed and do my swim workouts under severe time pressure--thinking of trying one of those soon!
Threshold pace; generally it is approximated with a TT swim that lasts about 20min.
Here's a suggestion someone gave to determine your T pace:
Swim a 1000 as fast as you can. Convert the time to seconds. Divide by 10 (to get your pace per 100). Convert back to mins and seconds. That's your T pace, the average pace you can maintain for a distance, in this case 100/1000. You might like to get the number for your specific race distance, but I tend to work off my 1000m time for Olys.
Another workout suggestion:
4x500 descending. A nice efficient workout for a time crunched daddy.
Yet another workout suggestion:
100m, 200, 300 etc (to 500), then reverse 500, 400, 300, 200, 100 with 20 secs reset in between each
total of 3000m
The final bit of advice came from a local speedy swimmer:
i like this. you can also do 200s with 10-15 second rest. I also like the 50s suggestion earlier in this thread. You can also do ladders, to change up the variety. 100, 200, 300, 200, 100 repeat as many times as necessary. in my opinion, with that few of swim, they have to be hard. think of when your "run coach" told you to run your long hard runs at the level you feel like puking; when you were training to break the 60 minute ten mile.
Basically you want to feel like dieing afterward.
I took these ideas to Andrea, the swim coach at the Y. Her first thoughts were that the 20 x 100 workout would be a decent "overall" winter workout. But she thought that only 5 seconds of rest was too brutal: (1) it would get pretty mentally draining to only be looking forward to 5 seconds rest, and (2) my form could suffer too much. So she thought that 20 x 100 with more like 15 seconds rest would be good.
So... your thoughts? What's the "BEST" swim workout for limited winter swimming? Comment with your thoughts. I'll be checking the comments often, and I'll be responding with my ideas. Thanks everyone!!
p.s. Related: here's a good weight room routine to add power to your swim. Make sure to check out my notes at the bottom from the first time I tried this workout. :)
p.p.s. If you missed yesterday's post, check out the cute photos from Henry's first Christmas!