Reply To: Swimmer Gone Rogue

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Just some background. I’m the Director of Performance for a DI program and write all the workouts for Sprint, Mid-Dist, Dist. groups and track all practice and meet performances data. We have 42 swimmers and 2 guys that had NCAA DI “A” cuts this past season.

Just some thoughts, which can actually be backed up by data. Your n x 50 on :50″ will be very close to “n x 50 on 1:00” so while you can do them. I’d ask why? Just pick one. The “n x 100 on 2:00” freestyle should line up very close to back 1/2 200 pace (look at some of your race splits and see). The same goes for your work in stroke. “n x 100 on 2:00” has a .975 correlation from training pace to race speed.

Your sequencing of work looks good. Just remember that adaptation takes place not during the stimulus (training) but at rest (sleep). I’ve found that most swimmers place sleep at the end of their list of priorities which is a very bad mistake! I’ve ask them to plan 8 hours of sleep into their day and “plug” everything else in and the results where amazing.

Timing yourself issue. Get a Tempo Trainer (Swim outlet is about the cheapest). Use setting 1 and you can plug in your exact training pace. I’d add .30, just because you have to drop under when you hear the “beep” May have to play with this. We call this “beat the beep” or “btb” You have to get there before the beep goes off again. Example: pace time for your “n x 50fr on 2:00” is 27hi (I used 27.7), then plug in 28, includes .3, for drop under. You have to be at the other end before you hear the second beep. “Beat the beep”. Ok now how do you manage the rest interval? Easy. say you are doing a set of “n x 50 on 2:00” with a pace time of 28s, then you would use 2-3 beeps rest. Which get you very close to 2:00 interval. Again, play with it. I have over 10 international swimmers that train by themselves because they don’t want to do the 10 x 400 on 5:00 BS! at their clubs. I send workouts to them each day and they all have tempo trainers (TT) and train from 100s to 1500 using them.

You want to shorten the rest? Then divide pace time in half. Your 28s become 14s and you will hear 3 beeps (start, 1/2 way and finish), have to be there before 3rd beep (finish) and rest 1 beep and go. You only got 14 seconds rest 🙂 Gets pretty damn hurtful. I can tell you this NOT one of my distance swimmers enjoy those sets. On pace with 1/2 the rest at 100/200 repeats. I think you get the idea 🙂

100s: The tempo trainer can handle 1:04 as a straight swim. But I’ll use your 1:04, that’s 32 per 50 and 16 per 25 (roughly). You could do “n x 100s on 2:00” and set TT at 32 and know that you should be roughly at the 50 by the second beep (this helps with “pacing”) and from the feedback I get from the swimmers is it’s VERY stressful. By setting it at 1/2 or 1/4 you can play with the rest interval.

Disclaimer 🙂 I don’t get a dime for selling tempo trainers. Its that it’s a really cheap way for swimmers to train themselves and still get more accurate times.

Just an FYI. There is a new device called “Firebelly” and it will actually tell you your splits, cycles and tempo (It can actually do more). Yes, it talks to you while you’re swimming. I tried it with one of my distance (500/1000/1650) guys before he left for home and he was all excited about the possibilities next season. For a college kid training on his/her own it can be expensive $229, the app is free and will download to a phone and keep record of each workout. Again a disclaimer. I don’t receive a dime from these products. I just stretch them to their MAX capabilities and according to the software guys beyond.

Just food for thought

? I child proofed my house and they still get in 🙂