Reply To: Training for longer swims 1.9km
Both Doc and Gary are right on. If you are swimming a 200 with 20sec rest then moving to a 150 with 20sec doesn’t change the pace, only your rest ratio. I’ll do 50s @200 time until failure then do 25s @200 time when I feel like I want to get more work in but need a better rest ratio.
Triathlon race pace versus 1650 for best time is important. The missing component of this conversation is that you should be working on becoming more efficient during those triathlon race pace sets. Break open the manual and really hammer the technique items to increase your distance per stroke while maintaining the Tri race pace. This is a great time to mentally focus on 1-2 technique items since you won’t really be hitting a failure point. Like Gary said, shoot for 1.5x distance and as you near the event decrease the rest to 15sec then 10sec; still locking in the pace but replicating race day conditions a little more. If you aren’t increasing your distance per stroke you’re just trying to be “in shape” for the event.
Side note concept: I run a 2 mile for time once a year. I’ll train by running 400-800 meter reps at my 2 mile pace. I’ve noticed that in the longer rep distances setting your rest at 25 or 30 seconds isn’t really that bad because the reps are ~2-4 minutes long. Your breathing will ramp back up 20-25 seconds into each rep. If I notice my breathing slows way down during the rest I’ll drop 5 seconds the next session. If your pace swim 200s are in the 2-3 minute range, 25-30 seconds of rest isn’t necessarily bad. Just decrease the rest over a few sessions if you’re consistently making your 1.5x volume.