Taper for Distance Swimmers

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  • #1943
    billratiobillratio
    Participant

    I am probably repeating myself a lot so try not to get annoyed. I just really want my girls to finish the year well.

    I am wondering what kind of rest people have found works for distance swimmers training USRPT. I am planning to do something pretty much like the 3 day protocol that Oldschool talks about with most of my team. My only concern is how tired two of my senior girls seem. Mainly the distance swimmer. She says she usually does a long taper and it works well for her but I think her “good tapers” in the past have probably been mostly just the tech suit. 2:07.9 in the 200 free to a 2:03.1 seems like not that great of a taper when you take the suit into account.

    I’m mostly worried about her psyching herself out if I only give her one week of taper. I’m also wondering myself if she possibly does need more rest because she is swimming so poorly. The practice times have been coming down all year. She is now holding under 33 on many of her 50s and she just swam a set of 40×50 while holding an average of 33.1. She swims about 2,500 yards at 500 pace a day. Her total race pace yards are usually between 3,000-3,500 a day. Could she just be exhausted? Our girl training exclusively for the 50/100 free just swam the 200 for fun at a meet and went faster than all our 200 girls have been this year.

    She says she is tired and she is swimming slower now than she was two weeks into the season. 5:49 at the last meet and 5:47 is her best of the season. She was 5:23 two years ago at her tapered meet and 5:26 last year.

    "Most people have the will to win. Few have the will to prepare to win."

    #1946
    Avataroldschoolc
    Participant

    Billratio,
    Women! This is a rough one. The problem is women swim in two different boats. The preadolescent boat has no hips, no breasts, little to no adipose tissue and everything you throw at them works (records books are littered with them and especially in the breaststrokes). Then they start menstruation in which time you have about 1 ½ – 2 years until the dreaded second boat appears in which hips start to widening, breast start to develop and the gradual addition of adipose tissue. Not a path to elite athletic performance. It is a very frustrating situation for both coach and athlete and it’s no one’s fault, it’s just what is. It’s a biological function and happens to all women. Now not all women go thru this; some were very good at picking their parents.

    Based off her BT she would need to be 1:05.31 for her 100s and her 50 times doubled are 1:06.2, even at the 5:26, she will probably have a rough time equaling that.

    The best advice is “rest” in personal communication with Ernie Maglischo “he always started that when in doubt error on the side of rest” Maybe start four days out with a 10% to 15% reduction, then move to 25% toward 50%. PURE GUESS ON MY PART. What’s your gut tell you?

    Question: You stated that the tech suit had played a part in the improvement in performance of her 200 from 2:07.9 to 2:30.1, that’s a 3.75% improvement which is pretty good. What percent of that do you think was due to the suit?

    Oldschool

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

    #1948
    billratiobillratio
    Participant

    I know that that is the real problem. It’s just really difficult to see her work so hard and not improve.

    Yeah, I feel like just for her to feel rested emotionally and mentally she’d need more than 3 days. I think she’s mostly feeling tired because she’s pushing so hard in practice and not getting faster.

    I thought I read somewhere that the LZR elite2 could give somewhere between 2.5% and 3% improvement. So if you figure 3% brings her down to 2:04.1 then the taper would only have been 1 second. I could easily be wrong about the 2.5-3% though. Is that information available anywhere?

    "Most people have the will to win. Few have the will to prepare to win."

    #1949
    billratiobillratio
    Participant

    I have just one other question. We did a little less than normal yesterday because we have True Team Sections today. She was holding 32.5s but only for a set of 10×50 which followed 4×100. We did two rounds of it. I know holding it for only 10 is a lot different but she has clearly been getting faster throughout the season on her pace 50s. Even the 33.1s was a huge improvement from last month holding 33.5s or a little higher. She also did her 200 pace 50s while holding 31.5s-31.6s. It’s usually hard for her to just break 32.

    So my question is, even though her body has changed, would you say there is a chance of getting back down to the low 5:20s if she continues the training? I just don’t think the season has been long enough for her to fully adapt. I just want to at least be able to give her some realistic encouragement if she’s disappointed at sections.

    Her training the last two years had main sets like 1×500 @7:30, 1×400 @6:00, 1×300 @4:30… etc. Or else sets like 10×150 50RB3/50pull/50RB5. Every workout i looked at from the last two years for them seemed to have almost all training that was not race specific. I really thought USRPT would work for her even though she’s gone through some changes.

    As you said, it’s very frustrating.

    "Most people have the will to win. Few have the will to prepare to win."

    #1950
    Avataroldschoolc
    Participant

    Billratio,
    Yes it is. If you keep at this coaching thing long you’re going to have a lot more and it always seems to be the ones that just bust their butt in practice, never miss and are just flat out nice kids. At our parent meetings with the group I go over this very thing. They get it mentally, but struggle emotionally.

    I have an idea. If you have the lane space try this. It’s the 2nd strategy of the Parametric System and it might work at least for mental massage. Drop down to having her go 8 x 25 on 1:00, 8 x 50 on 50/1:00 and 5 x 100 on 1:30/2:00. You will need to time and record each repeat and figure standard deviation (Excel can do this). This is “distance constant and speed increasing” she should get faster e.g. she has been holding 33.1 on her 50s, now doing only 8 she should be able to lower that to say 32.7 (1%) or better. Same would go for the 25s. If you’ve not been doing 100s then maybe just do 3 x 100. Each time she does the sets you have to have her avg and st. dev. ready from the last test so she knows she is trying to go faster again.

    You can do the 25s and 100s at the same practice with a long recovery between or 25s and 50s. I’d stay away from 50s and 100s at the same practice. Too close in energy systems. Figure back from meet and start maybe ten days out doing 1 to 2 tests sets each practice with a technical /recovery day in between. I’d be careful of doing the sets more than twice in the ten days. They tend to start not being able to lower the avg. and that just starts another “emotional event”

    it’s worht a try and it may help with her confidence and you can build off that.

    hope this make sense

    Oldschool

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

    #1951
    Avataroldschoolc
    Participant

    Billratio,
    Sorry we must have been posting at the same time and I didn’t see our last one.

    You are on the right track. If you feel 10 x 50 works then use it. Just make sure she is going faster each time.

    Do you have her avg. speed for the 100s?

    I never say they can’t because as soon as you do that they go out and make you look like a ding bat. But the reality of the situation is that if the athlete was been off BT by more than 5%, it does make things rough.

    If she could get in the 5:30 anything or even swim a season best. I think you would positive ammo for the next meet and build on her confidence that she is headed in the right direction.

    Best to you and your swimmer.

    Oldschool

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

    #1956
    billratiobillratio
    Participant

    Thanks for all of that. I’m not sure I understand 100%… or even 80%. 🙂

    Are you recommending to add the 8×25, 8×50 and 5×100 to what we’ve been doing or replace it? Wouldn’t I still want to be getting them up to 2-3,000 yards at 500 pace? So in that case are you recommending multiple rounds? Or is this something you are just suggesting for the last 2 weeks before Sections?

    Reading it again it sounds like something you think I should do during the 10 days leading up to sections? Wouldn’t that be a huge drop to go down to only 600 yards of 500 race pace yards? I’m probably reading this all wrong and just really confused.

    Unrelated question. What type of percentage drop do you typically see with the 3 day protocol? How much does it vary based on gender, age, event, etc.?

    "Most people have the will to win. Few have the will to prepare to win."

    #1957
    Avataroldschoolc
    Participant

    Billratio,
    Sorry for the confusion was not my intent. Ok this may get lengthy. I would replace some of what I was doing for the speed.

    My thinking on the 8 x 25s was that she could be speed deprived and just to allow her to get up and go fast plus if she swims the 200 she’d need the speed. The 8 x 50, those you could use as a baseline because she has done them all season and you can evaluate them against race splits and her practice performances and same with 100s.

    Do you have her 100s avg for that 2 x (10×50 + 4×100 set)? Also do you have her race splits for the last two 500s she did? Just be interesting to see.

    You’re trying get in 2000-3000 @ 500 pace which is the 33s pace? Problem is that’s too slow to go 5:23 she would need to be in the 32.65 range for 50s and average at least 1:05.31 for 100s. So “how do you try and get there?” If you went in Monday and had her do a set of 20-30 x 50s and told her instead of 33.1, she now has to hold 32.7, and you are going to time each one. How many do you think she’d make? My guess is it won’t be 2000 – 3000. The volume alone is not the answer especially if the speed/ pace are incorrect. If the volume is important then doing it by rounds may be a way to go e.g. 3 x 10 x 50 @ 32.7 with :30 rest between rounds. Any time there is an increase in speed/pace there will be a reduction in numbers. Especially .4 in a 50 over 30 that’s 12 seconds faster for 1500. FYI My guys go nuts when time is adjusted .2/50 and usually have a fall off in numbers done in the 30-40% range for the first couple of weeks with the adjusted time.

    I thought I’d read in one of your posts that you had 2 weeks until their Championship Meet. If that’s incorrect then I apologize. If you have more than that then you are in a better situation to create adaptation (adjustment to the new speed). Yes, it is a drop but the focus would be on increasing speed.

    The 3 day protocol percent improvement ranges for 200/500 free. I don’t separate out by age or gender.
    The age range of the kids is 15 – 18 so it gives me a decent snap shot of how training is going.

    2012 – 2013 200 was 2.846 and 500 was 4.173
    2013 – 2014 200 was 4.980 and 500 was 5.275

    Your LZR elite2 question: I had a boy at the time wearing that suit and he was nowhere near a 2.5 to 3% improvement and he swam the 50/100. He was 3rd at WUG and 12th at USOT so no sea slug. We laughed when SPEEDO made that statement. At that time with those improvements the top 10 men in the world would have swam under the WR and that didn’t happen. Sure was a great marketing angle and sold a boat load of very expensive suits.

    Oldschool

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

    #1958
    billratiobillratio
    Participant

    Don’t worry about the length. I love reading your responses. As long as you don’t mind giving them. It is so helpful for me.

    I agree that she needs more speed. We’ll get to work on that. We have 4 weeks until our big meet. So I was thinking 2 more weeks to really go hard and then start cutting back more for this girl.

    Overall I need to do a much better job of recording practice data. I don’t have averages. The main numbers I have are how many they completed and what time they were holding (supposed to hold) under. So I know she was holding under 33.2 for those 10×50 on the first round for sure (I was timing many of them). The 100’s are never as pretty. She holds under 1:08 but for that set it went 1:07.1, 1:07.4, 1:07.8, then may have hit a low 1:08. It’s hard with 40 swimmers to be holding accountable. I plan on having them do more recording next year.

    I will go look for race splits. I know I have them.

    Thanks for sharing those percentages. If she could drop 5 percent and get that 2:10.5 down to a 2:04 I would be more than satisfied. If our team can achieve between to 3-5% I’ll be extremely happy.

    Do you have 100 free/stroke percentages?

    Are those numbers going from a time with just a plain lycra team suit to a tech suit?

    With the LZR I read on a Masters forum some theories that it does more for the non-elite swimmers than the elite ones. Something about the compression doing more for you if you have more to compress. It’s all speculation though.

    "Most people have the will to win. Few have the will to prepare to win."

    #1959
    billratiobillratio
    Participant

    If I made her hold 32.7 she would definitely not make all 30 but I think she could do pretty well. On 1:00 she held 31.3-31.8 (200 free pace) for 8 straight. I’m guessing she could go close to 20×50 @:50 going 32.7s. Maybe 15ish? I’ll cut back on numbers and just have her shoot for faster paces. I think she’ll be up for it.

    "Most people have the will to win. Few have the will to prepare to win."

    #1961
    Avataroldschoolc
    Participant

    Billratio,
    I’ll start with the last question first. There is truth to the “Compression Theory”. It was really hard when the suits first came out for those of us that worked on the Bill Boomer/Milt Nelms paradigm of “Posture-Line-Balance”. We’d spent all kinds of time getting kids to understand that body position and how you shaped yourself in the water played an important role in speed. Then Boom! The suit comes out and all they had to do was fork out a couple hundred bucks and didn’t have to spend any time working on or understanding “shaping” and they went fast. I could go for a very long time on this one 
    I’ve attached a chart that I used at a clinic in Fargo a few months back. It shows rates of improvement for just the short course seasons from 1990 to 2014. So it goes from the old “paper suit” era thru the “tech suit” era and now back to “tech suit” for women and jammers for men. It also goes from a time when I was a 9-11 workouts a week, lifting weights; core work, stretching, run 3 miles and dryland to none of that. You can see by the numbers it really had an impact on our performances not doing all that stuff. Just being a smart a@#.

    Recording of practice data is critical. I know that coaches have anywhere from 2 swimmers to a lane which is great to 5-6 per lane and now you are hustling. I know that Dr. Rushall says that swimmers should be accountable for their times. (You can attest to this, 33.1 and 32.7 is a big difference and has a possible huge impact on the swimmer’s performance) What if your job depended on that 500? Is Dr. Rushall going to come and speak to her parents if the wheels come off the wagon? Not a chance. It can allow you to make adjustments earlier and maybe avoid some but not all unpleasant situations. Even if you just pick a couple of swimmers to track that’s a start and then work from there.

    I can’t emphasis this enough. Coaches have to keep their race splits!! and use them to compare to practice times. This may be the most important information you have. “Training must relate to performance and performance must relate to training”. I use little memo books the ones that are 3 x 5 inch and 60 sheets, (picked that one up from Bob Gillette, coach of Misty Hyman, 2000 Olympic Goal Medalist 200 fly) easy to keep in your pocket. I have 38 in a desk drawer and can go back and look at race performance over the years in a matter of minutes. No brag! Just fact :0) 

    I enjoy sharing what I know and I’ve posted this before that “If I don’t have data or don’t know I will say so “. Then I’ll a give you my best SWAG based on data I have. The kids love that one SWAG, “Scientific Wild A#$ Guess”, which is better than a WAG, which is a Wild A#$ Guess. They’ll ask SWAG or WAG? Always a SWAG 🙂 or I tell them I stayed at a Holiday Inn Express last night. If you know the commerical you get the joke. 

    I have a couple of coaching buddies here that give me a hard time about sharing my data. But I always figure if the Russians hadn’t shared what they knew with me then how do we progress?

    Oldschool

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

    #1963
    billratiobillratio
    Participant

    Thanks for that chart! I’ll hopefully have some useful data to share with others in a few years.

    So to be clear. The percentages are how much faster the time at the final meet was than their best time from in season?

    I’m excited that we are done with our crazy stretch of meets. We had 7 in the last 3 weeks. You’ve got my confidence level back up again. I think we’ll be okay.

    "Most people have the will to win. Few have the will to prepare to win."

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