Reply To: Should you swim every practice till third failure?

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First welcome. I’ll give it a shot. First 30 x 25 is just a number and it’s definitely not a MUST. It’s based off really nothing more than an idea of this is what it takes and even Dr. Rushall has stated that in some of the bulletins. It’s roughly based off it takes 5 to 6 times race distance to create adaptation. In the old days coaches believed that if you could hold double the race distance you were “good to go” i.e. 30 x 100 short rest at 1500m pace, the athlete was ready. If you understand energy zones then it will make more sense i.e 4-6 x 25 on :40/:50/1:00 (Zone V), is not the same energy system as 30 x 25 on :40/:50/1:00 (Zone III ish), if you are using the same speed in both sets. If you move from 6 to 30 at 100 speed you are shifting the speed WAY to the right. It’s costing you less energy to swim at the same speed. Hope this makes sense.

Now the question is, “Do you need to do 30 x 25 in order to swim a good/great 100?” I say no. you need to make at least one shift to the right and if you get two shifts then good on you! One shift would be somewhere around 12-16, with at least 8 in a row without a miss and do it twice, then I think the athlete would have shown mastery of the speed. The athlete can do 200 at 100 speed they had better be faster for a 100.

What I have found working with club and college swimmers is always seeing the maximum number just screws them into the ground (especially college). They think that they have to complete all x of whatever is presented and they just can’t handle it mentally. Control the progression. Start with 8-10 x whatever distance and see how they do. Then move to 12-14 and again see happens and maybe you get BOLD and try 16-20 and again see what happens. If they can complete in the 60-70% range they are doing really well and at 100% you need to adjust times.

Hope this gives you some ideas.

Your English is much better than my Latvian. I can read/word recognize Lithuanian OK and speak very little Russian. Damn alphabet just screws me into the ground 🙂


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