>> Monday, December 12, 2016
A few weeks ago, I retested my CSS swimming pace as I tried to commit to more swimming this winter. Essentially the idea of training with you CSS pace is that you'll be swimming just BELOW your threshold while taking SHORT breaks, and that will give you maximum gains in the pool. Normally, when I'd do interval swims, I'd rather swim HARDER and then take LONGER breaks to recover, but that's not what CSS has you do. CSS swims seemingly start easy, but then they really feel relentless by the end. (I first mentioned CSS swimming and some related workouts 2 years ago in this post.)
Even though I've known about this idea of CSS training for a few years, I rarely really USE my CSS pace. I use their WORKOUTS, but I don't really pay attention to keeping it at that pace. If I'm doing shorter intervals, I usually swim faster than my CSS pace. And if I'm doing longer intervals, I usually swim slower.
Finally yesterday, I told myself to REALLY do a CSS workout and try to hold my pace (the way it's intended to be used). I was going to do a 100, 200, 300, 400, 300, 200, 100 ladder, but that'd be a bit too far in the pool on my injured shoulder, so I just cut out the 400 in the middle. And with the CSS training in mind, I kept all my rests at just 20 seconds.
The first 100 came in just under my CSS pace of 1:30 at 1:28.6. As with all CSS workouts, I really had to hold back in the beginning. Then my 200 started with a 1:30.4, and I tried to keep that pace and ended with a 1:30.3. "OK, time to start to suffer, but let's see if you can hold these 1:30s."
In the end, here were my 100 splits for my ladder swim:
1:28.92, 1:33.33, 1:31.16
1:29.18, 1:32.46, 1:30.36
That total of 1200 yards of swimming SHOULD have taken 18:00 (1:30.0 pace), but it ACTUALLY took me 18:00.63 (1:30.05 pace). Sure, I was slower in the longer sets and faster in the shorter sets, but I'm calling this a big swimming WIN for right now!
Links: here's how I tested my CSS pace a few weeks ago, and here's my first big post about CSS swimming 2 years ago.