Thirsty (for knowledge) Thursday: 50x50!

>> Thursday, January 15, 2015

I first posted about this workout over a year ago. In that post, I shared info from a workout on Triathlete Magazine's website where they had a 50x50 workout that looked like this:

Main Set: 50×50 (aka 10 rounds of 5×50) All on 50” or 10” rest (50” is lowest interval, take 10” if you’re touching the wall past 45”), then 30 secs rest between sets of 5.

• #1: Easy
• #2: Breathe every 3rd stroke
• #3: 25 fast/25 easy
• #4: Breathe every 5th stroke
• #5: FAST!

I bet I've done SHORTER versions of this workout about 10 times over the last year. I started with a 30x50 workout, and since then, I will commonly do a 40x50 workout. Here was my thoughts on the sets after the first time I swam this:

• #1: Easy: The first one was easy "for a 50," but the rest were EASY easy. I needed the rest!

• #2: Breathe every 3rd stroke: I do this anyway, so it was just a moderate 50 "normally."

• #3: 25 fast/25 easy: This was a fun set - I liked the quick speed with a short rest.

• #4: Breathe every 5th stroke: This SUCKED much more than I thought it was going to. I was BEGGING for the wall on each length to get an extra breath. I think it was probably good for me to break the "breathe every 3rd" norm.

• #5: FAST! Fast is always fun. Good way to end each set of 5.

Not much has changed with those thoughts. I'm getting a little more used to the hypoxic 4th interval, so that doesn't feel AS bad. But really, the last 2 of each set gets rough, and I'm ready for that 30 sec break after the 5th FAST 50.

Earlier this week, I did 50x50 for the first time! It's a workout that IS possible to get through, so TRY IT! It's broken up nicely, so it doesn't feel too bad. And it's nice to do some short, hard swims when used to longer, prolonged efforts. The first time that I did 6 sets (30x50) a year ago, I did the sets between 4:15 and 4:35, and I was happy to have averaged 41 secs for the "fast" 50s. Most recently when I did 10 sets (50x50), my sets were between 4:08 and 4:28, and my "fast" 50s averaged 37.6 secs!

Oh, and related to swimming but unrelated to all of this is this video of this 91 year old swimmer:

Direct Link:

Life goal.


Stefan,  7:19 AM, January 16, 2015  

Hi Steve

I don't understand this part: "All on 50” or 10” rest (50” is lowest interval, take 10” if you’re touching the wall past 45”)"

If I'm at the wall at 44", I wait 6" and restart?
If I'm at the wall at 46", I wait 10"?

What does the "or 10" rest" mean?


Steve Stenzel 8:04 AM, January 16, 2015  

Stefan, that's essentially right. Because most of my 50s (especially once I get going) are around 45-50 secs, I just take 10 sec rest as to not get overly confused. But what you said above *IS* what they're talking about.

And the 10" rest just means 10 seconds rest.

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