400 free set recovery question

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  • #2228
    Avatarkevin
    Participant

    Hi all,

    I have a very specific question about a swimmer of ours.
    She focusses on the 400m free, we train in a 25 SCM pool, but our target meet was a 50 LCM pool.

    We have done 3 sets of 30×50 each week, start on 1 minute and the goal was holding 33.5 – 34.0.

    I noticed a pattern where she was able to complete this set in the beginning of the week (monday, hits all 30 reps). But then she was unable to hit sub 34.0 in the next to sets in the week. It seems as if she is unable to recover from the set. After a few days of immediate failure, she would recover and be able to complete the set again. No need to mention this is frustrating for her and I’m a puzzled on the reason for this pattern.

    She ended up going 4:43 LCM on the 400, which was not what she hoped/aimed for. (She’s also been 4:36 in October in SCM)
    She also mentions not being really exhausted after competing, she says she’s just unable to swim faster.

    I’m not really sure how to proceed. Any suggestions/thoughts?
    More 75’s? Do more volume at a relaxed tempo?

    EDIT:
    These were the split times:
    31.47
    33.96
    35.38
    36.01
    36.69
    36.77
    36.83
    36.03

    In 2012-2013 she went 4:36 in LCM (all-time best).

    #2229
    Avatardmuecke
    Participant

    To me it looks like your swimmer swam exactly what she trained for.

    According to my spreadsheet 4:43 LCM is a 4:34 SCM so your swimmer holds 33.4 over 50m and 50.7 over 75 (turns calculated w/ 1.2s and start with 1.7s).

    I would recommend to adjust to 4:27SCM (4:36LCM) and let her hold 32.5 over 50s and 49.4 over 75 (send off 55s for 50 and 1:15 for 75)

    #2230
    Avatargsbelbin
    Participant

    One question I would have is, what is she doing the rest of the time? What’s in the rest of those sessions where she does 30×50 and what does she do in other sessions? Personally I’ve found that including traditional training alongside USRPT can have a significant impact on a swimmer’s ability to hit their target times.

    Also, based on the rule of 20 seconds rest she should be going on 55 rather than 60. It may mean she doesn’t complete 30 reps but that’s the aim anyway.

    #2231
    Avatarwordofmouth
    Participant

    I think you need to give her longer swims and less rest to be successful in LCM 400. Doing 50’s you can rely on wall speed to much and with the interval being 1:00 I think she is not learning how to maintain her speed.
    I’m not saying 50’s aren’t good for the 400, but have the main staple be repeats of 75’s and even some 100’s

    #2232
    Avatarkevin
    Participant

    Hi all,

    Thanks for the responses so far. I greatly appreciate that.

    To me it looks like your swimmer swam exactly what she trained for.

    According to my spreadsheet 4:43 LCM is a 4:34 SCM so your swimmer holds 33.4 over 50m and 50.7 over 75 (turns calculated w/ 1.2s and start with 1.7s).

    I would recommend to adjust to 4:27SCM (4:36LCM) and let her hold 32.5 over 50s and 49.4 over 75 (send off 55s for 50 and 1:15 for 75)

    I think you need to give her longer swims and less rest to be successful in LCM 400. Doing 50’s you can rely on wall speed to much and with the interval being 1:00 I think she is not learning how to maintain her speed.
    I’m not saying 50’s aren’t good for the 400, but have the main staple be repeats of 75’s and even some 100’s

    Both make sense, and that was my first reaction too. More 75’s and lest rest. However, I’m bothered by the fact she can only complete one set/week and then seems tired for a few days.

    One question I would have is, what is she doing the rest of the time? What’s in the rest of those sessions where she does 30×50 and what does she do in other sessions? Personally I’ve found that including traditional training alongside USRPT can have a significant impact on a swimmer’s ability to hit their target times.

    We do pure USRPT, so just some recovery swims in between sets. Usually 3 sets/2 hrs. In her case mainly 100, 200, 400 free and 100, 200 back sets. We never do the same set on successive days. We train 6 days/week (monday->saturday, sunday off).

    Although, in the week before the meet we did more recovery meters, because the sets became so short. That might not have been a good idea.

    #2233
    Avataroldschoolc
    Participant

    I would have to agree with dmuecke in that she trained for a 4:43 400m. I would also agree with gsbelbin that sets before or after the 30 x 50, have an “energy cost” or” accumulation of fatigue” over the course of the week/season regardless of what the “bulletins” say. This whole “20 second” rule” is just a “SWAG” I have not seen anywhere on this forum or others post any race performance data to prove that it is somehow the “gospel”

    I think that Wordofmouth is correct in that longer swims maybe the answer. It’s called “speed endurance”. Using 50s to try and predict anything greater than 200 is risky at best. We use “n x 100s with :15/:20” rest for 400+ swimmers and use the average of 2, 3, & 4 100s of 400 to determine 100 paces for” n x 100 with :15/:20”. Our correlation of 100s practice speed to race performance is .987 – .95673 with an (n of 1800 splits). Data with regards to 50s and 75s to the 400+ I have none as I believe that it’s too short a distance for race performance reliability.

    Just thoughts

    Oldschool

    "Only in America. Dream in red, white and blue"

    #2234
    Avatarkevin
    Participant

    Hey oldschool, thanks for your thoughts! Would you suggest doing less reps per workout, but keep the number of 400 sets/week at 3 (to be able to put more regularity in the 400 sets).

    dmuecke (or anybody else): could you please detail how you calculate the SCM-LCM conversion, and also how you exactly you take into account the 1.2 for turns and 1.7 for the start. I don’t exactly understand how you get to the times you mention?

    #2235
    Avatardmuecke
    Participant

    The formula below helps me to plan interval training and predict race times. Keep in mind the formula below might not accurate for all distances.

    In order to plan USRPT interval training you have to take start and turns into account. Let’s say you train for 100m free and plan 25m intervals.
    Your swimmer can hold 20s for 20x25m. To make a race prediction based on interval times you would do 4*20s = 80s.
    In a 100m short course race are 3 turns hence a better calculation would be 4*20s + 3*1.2s = 83.6s.
    The start gives an extra boost which should be considered as well so the final calculation looks like 4*20s + 3*1.2s – 1.7s = 81.9s.
    Second example if your swimmer trains 50m intervals and can hold 40s then 2 turns are already included in the interval and
    you have to add 1 turn only to your 100m race prediction: 2*40s + 1.2s – 1.7s = 81.9s
    1.2s for turn and 1.7s for freestyle start might be different for your swimmer. For backstroke I calculate 1.0s for start but again it’s an individual value.

    In your case 400m/50m interval = 8*33.5s + 7*1.2s – 1.7s = 274.7s (4:34.7)

    If you train in a 25m pool but plan for 50m pool I found in the internet the conversion rate 1.035.
    So if you want to know how fast would your swimmer swim 100F in a 50m pool then calculate 81.9 * 1.035 = 84.7

    In your case 274.7 * 1.035 = 284.3s (4:44,3)

    #2236
    Avatardmuecke
    Participant

    I made a mistake in my second example


    Second example if your swimmer trains 50m intervals and can hold 40s then 2 turns are already included in the interval and
    you have to add 1 turn only to your 100m race prediction: 2*40s + 1.2s – 1.7s = 81.9s

    The correct answer is 2*40s + 1.2s – 1.7s = 79.5s

    #2237
    Gary PGary P
    Participant

    I’m finding 50’s on 20 seconds rest might bet too short a distance, or perhaps too much rest, for 400/500 training. I can do nearly thirty SCY 50’s at :34 on a :54 interval before a single fail, and made a full set of 40 the last time I attempted it. I can’t, however, come close to holding that pace in a straight 500. I’m splitting 38’s by the 250y mark, and end up swimming around a 6:10.

    I’ve recently switched to doing 75’s at :52 on a 1:12 interval (essentially the same pace), and find that much more challenging. Like “first fail at 9, fail out at 15” challenging. On the 50’s, the first 25 after 20 seconds rest felt easy, and I only had to fight degradation of my stroke mechanics for the last 15 yards or so. That 2nd turn and third 25, with no extra rest at the end to recover, makes most of a 75 feel like I’d feel mid-race in a 500.

    #2238
    Avataroldschoolc
    Participant

    Kevin,
    I’d keep the 3 x per week for sure. But what I’d do is break it up. “Specific speed over the distance”

    We have used 100s, 75s and 50s for our 400 swimmers. I cycle them by day and week.

    This sets primary distance rotation for first set in workout. It gives them an opportunity to swim each distance fresh, try and improve number of makes from last time.

    Monday 100s, Wednesday 75s and Saturday 50s
    Monday 75s, Wednesday 50s and Saturday 100s (might need to be ready that Sat. could be rough)
    Monday 50s, Wednesday100s and Saturday 75s

    Early season numbers:

    3-4 x 100, 6 x 75 and 9 x 50 and by the end of the season we should be in the 9-12 x 100, 12-16 x 75s and 16-20 x 50s. That’s the plan and you know as well as the rest of the coaches that the plan can come to a screeching halt at anytime. But that’s what we are trying to get accomplished.

    So a workout say mid-season might look like this:

    10-12 minutes warm-up

    6 x 15m turns (start from 7.5m) to a 3 hand hit breakout

    8 x 100 @ “n x 100” pace on 1:30, we’ll look for improvement here over last time

    8-10 minutes of skill or easy swimming

    10 x 50 @ “n x 50” pace on :50/1:00. If the 50s had been first it may have been 14-20 but because it’s second I try and take into account “accumulation of fatigue” and what I’m looking for here is to at least maintain numbers made and there are times some actually will improve. That’s ok.

    Again, 8-10 minutes skill or easy swimming

    12 x 25 stroke on 1:00 @ “n x 25” pace. Here we are just maintaining numbers made.

    Go home!

    I reread you original post and your girl said some interesting about not being tried but just couldn’t go any faster. She might be saying but not knowing this that it’s a “speed reserve” issue.

    My question to you is do you do any supplemental speed work? Maybe 4-6 x 25s on 1:00 at first 50 speed of 100 or 6-8 x 50s on 1:30/2:00, at second 50 of 100 to just get up and get going!

    Just thinking out loud

    Oldschool

    "Only in America. Dream in red, white and blue"

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