Reply To: Longer rest intervals

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Thanks for the feedback everybody. Doc, I did use your recommendation on factoring in the standard deviation, and I noticed something a little peculiar this summer with my swimmer. To establish a goal time I did a test set of 4×50 and 4×25 on 2 and 1 minute intervals and then added in the standard deviation to reach a goal time. I also tried to strictly follow Rushall’s advice that rest intervals never exceed 20 seconds. The combination of the 2 did not yield the results I had hoped for. I had to significantly adjust the goal time upward just so my swimmer could get enough reps to get some training. Here’s an example of training the 200 free using nx50 free.
1. Current personal best is 1:48
2. For test set goal time established at 27 low (so far so good)
3. Interval for set was :45 (:50 would have been 23 seconds rest which is above the 15-20 rest interval)
4. Eventually had to adjust the goal time to 28 mid. Swimmer was in aerobic shape, but just could not hold 27 low with the rest interval
5. Even with the 28 mid goal time, there was significant breakdown in technique by the 6th or 7th rep.
Decent results in off strokes by end of season, but no improvement in 200 free and best strokes, and I was not happy with the lack of progress in technique. This is a swimmer with significant flaw strokes, wanted to correct them, but was too physically beat up in the set to make those changes. This is why I decided to swing the pendulum in the other direction.
The funny thing is, I know that keeping the rest interval short would benefit a ton of my high school swimmers who don’t train intensely. By maintaining that short rest interval along with a goal time that holds them accountable, they work harder than they ever have, develop some aerobic capacity, and drop lots of time. Just not seeing the same results for my 4 fastest swimmers who train hard year round. I feel like I owe those 4 more than all the others combined, though. They’ve been willing to pay the price, and they deserve a program that will get them faster. Guess that’s why I’m experimenting this pre-season.
I guess I’ll get some idea of where we are in a couple of weeks with the first meet.