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Paul Smith
July 26th, 2008, 11:08 AM
Much has been discussed on this topic but i wanted to revisit it after watching the track & field championships and remembering debates about how much pool training time swimmers put in relative to a runner competing in the equivalent event (a 400m runner to 100m swimmer).

What got my attention on this again was a recent article in Men's Fitness about Jeremy Wariner, specifically his training week during mid-season:

M= 200's: 8 x 200's two minutes followed by 40 yd sprints w/20 seconds rest
T= 350m: 2 x 350's followed by 1 x 300, one minute rest then a 100m to simulate the end of the race
W= 450m: 2 x 450's each under 1:00 with 9 minutes rest between each
Th= 90m: Recovery day each run in an "X" pattern
F= 100m: last run of the week is multiple 100m sprints

That's an insanely lower amount of training time than even i put in....Ande & Jazz come to mind.

More of this in an excellent article:
"Elite coaching special - Clyde Hart coach to Michael Johnson and Jeremy Wariner"

Here's are a couple of excerpt:
Clyde believes the principles of training are the same for many events: "I trained Michael Johnson like I trained a four minute miler. A four minute miler was doing a lot of the same things Michael Johnson was - a lot of the same things in training but more of them.

"The longest workout we have ever done - not counting warm up and warm down - would be under 20min, I think we have never worked more than 20min. That's not counting the Fall phase.”

So here's my challenge...I'm going to pick one of the next seasons (either SCM this fall or SCY in the spring) and try and adapt to this regime...anyone else game?

SwimStud
July 26th, 2008, 01:21 PM
Paul is that all he does or is there biking, and weights etc?
Like you said get fit out of the water and save it for the race pace stuff and drills etc. No 4k a night thing.

Admitted I am not a swimmer thru school and college but I got fast (for me :50's down to 28 low; 100 1:06ish converted) at 50's and 100's doing little else but 2.5 -3kyards x 3 a week. Of note my 2 BR went from #;07 to 2:57 in 1 season... of course I's a nice steep curve of improving times when you first start up. I think you may be able to get some relative drops doing pure sprint work and technique stuff. Provided you don't binge eat and balloon up your weight etc.

This year I'm dong 3k x 4 or 5 a week in the LCM pool. I look a tad faster than last year, but the test will be zones in 3 weeks...see if I get any good drops after a rest and taper.

tomtopo
July 26th, 2008, 01:44 PM
First let me begin by saying, I’m in. I will evaluate what I would call the “Increased Stress through quality vs., quantity workouts) at our state meet in about nine months. If you follow basic baseline training, your workout times will dictate if you’re adapting to stress. When stress adaptation is realized (times not improving) you’ll need to find ways to add effective stress (stress that produces positive gains) to your workouts. Dara Torres won both the 100 and 50 while decreasing the yardage she did during her peak training decades ago, by half. I think Torres proves that there’s more ways to skin (adding stress and improving performance) a cat than simply adding yardage to a workout.

There’s an interesting article (on this subject) by Genadijus Sokolovas, Ph.D. USA Swimming Coaches Quarterly, The Science and Art of Coaching USA Swimming, The article doesn’t answer your question but does bring up an important note about the importance of stress adaptation. The article simply states that increasing workloads are necessary for improvement. I think coaches and swimmers who only use yardage as a stress gaining tool are missing the boat.

I think athleticism is a tough card to trump and should become a swimmer and coach’s main focal point. Increasing general athleticism and specific (swimming) athleticism are two different things. Core strength and symmetrical strength (fourteen concentric and eccentric muscle exercises) is what I can general strength. Isometric and resistance exercises that improve EVF, streamlining, kicking and pulling are what I call specific strength.

Like Dara Torres, I will concentrate on becoming a better athlete with general strength and specific strength. I will also add a little running and biking to help the cardio. I will get in the water in the second week in September and try to get three swim workouts a week and each session will be no more than 1500 yards. I injured my rotator-cuff in February and haven't been in the water since.

craig68
July 26th, 2008, 02:22 PM
I've been back in the water after a six year hiatus and have been training kind of like the track workouts Paul described. I'm convinced I was overtrained in high school and college and could have swum faster.

I lift hard a couple of times a week, but only swim about 2,500 in 4-5 swim workouts a week. I do zero 'garbage' yardage. After a short warm-up, I do lots of dolphin kicking with fins specifically to work on SDK off the walls and strengthen my core. I do stroke drills trying to get the hang of EVF. Then I do some sprints and warm down.

With just a few days rest, my times in the 50 LCM free and fly would have been 3rd and 4th in the 40-44 age group last year, so I'm pretty happy with my progress. Now, I haven't even tried racing 100s LCM yet. They might be beyond terrible. But I think training like this is fun. I also train on my own, so I just wouldn't tolerate 10X200 or anything like that. I'd simply get bored and get out before finishing such a set.

Jazz Hands
July 26th, 2008, 02:24 PM
So much of what swimmers do is just superstition. Yes, we must train twice a day for several hours!

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2020277


In an effort to assess the contributions of a period of increased training volume on swimming performance, two matched groups of collegiate male swimmers were studied before and during 25 wk of training. For the first 4 wk of this study, the two groups trained together in one session per day for approximately 1.5 h.d-1. During the following 6 wk (weeks 5-11), one group (LONG) trained two sessions per day, 1.5 h in the morning and 1.5 h in the afternoon. The other group (SHORT) continued to train once each day, in the afternoon with the LONG group. Over the final 14 wk of the study, both groups trained together in one session per day (1.5 h.d-1). Although the swimmers experienced significant improvements in swimming power, endurance, and performance throughout the 25 wk study, there were no differences between the groups. However, during the 6 wk period of increased training, the LONG group experienced a decline in sprinting velocity, whereas the SHORT group showed a significant increase in sprinting performance. The test results suggest that a 6 wk period of two 1.5 h training sessions per day does not enhance performance above that experienced with a single training session of 1.5 h each day. It was also noted that both groups showed little change in swimming endurance and power after the first 8 wk of training, though their performances improved significantly after each taper period.

I'll offer some of the workouts I've done this summer in the style Paul is talking about.

8x25 free with fins @ 1:00

48 strokes free from a dive with board shorts (open water)

3x25 fly with fins @ 3:00

aquageek
July 26th, 2008, 02:45 PM
I think I'd not enjoy spending so much less time swimming, to be honest. If the training is simply a means to an end then this might be appealing but I swim as much for the fast time as I do for just liking to be in the water a whole lot.

SwimStud
July 26th, 2008, 02:48 PM
So much of what swimmers do is just superstition. Yes, we must train twice a day for several hours!

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2020277



I'll offer some of the workouts I've done this summer in the style Paul is talking about.

8x25 free with fins @ 1:00

48 strokes free from a dive with board shorts (open water)

3x25 fly with fins @ 3:00

JH but you do a lot else. So you think if one did your interesteing routines as part of their routine it would have the ame efect. Or do you think it's the absence of other swimming e.g. slower paced distance etc that makes it work?

Chris Stevenson
July 26th, 2008, 02:51 PM
While I agree that there is a lot of overtraining in swimming, and not enough race-pace training, the kind of training of the T&F athletes doesn't appeal to me personally. I'm just too much of an endorphin addict. Still, I'll look forward to looking at the results of Paul's (hopefully well documented!) experiment. Who knows?

I hesitate to throw out the baby with the bathwater. In the SI article on Phelps, Bowman was taking his swimmers to 70 practices in 24 days before the Olympics. Yardage isn't mentioned, but it is a pretty good bet to be much more than the amount is being discussed here.

Yes, Dara is doing less than half her old training -- in the recent USA-Today article on Dara, she was quoted at 30-35,000 yards a week (this number keeps rising, for some reason, in the articles I've read). That is still far more than the vast majority of masters swimmers and it doesn't include her dryland work. And yet she said that she doesn't think she is training enough to do the 100 fly.

So I have a little bit of a hard time thinking that Phelps and Torres (and many other swimmers) are really so far off the mark.

Sam Perry
July 26th, 2008, 03:30 PM
One of the issues I have with comparing running to swimming is that we are not swimming all day all the time. If you think about runners when they are not running in workouts they are walking around. I would argue that they have a harder time losing a "feel" since they emulate somewhat their activity all day long. Unless you are a fish, you don't get to swim all day long therefore I think more difficult to keep a feel. I am not sure on this, just a hunch. I just know that when I take 3 or 4 days off from swimming it takes a little time to get that feel back. I wonder if runners have the same issue.

ehoch
July 26th, 2008, 03:41 PM
Here is more from the track coach -- I am especially surprised by this statement: Clyde is very clear that ‘training’ is just that – it is where you get fitter, not where you prove yourself.

"We race when they fire the gun, we train to train.”


That is almost the opposite of what every swim coach would tell you. Here is more:


"Right now [October 11] we are doing quantity - 30min running each day. That could be 6 x 5min run or 2 x 15min run, running some stadium steps and plyometrics. They are going to be in good shape.

"On Monday is 200ms. Then for two days a week for six weeks we are on the grass doing over distance work. We want to keep the oxygen uptake there. Some kids have never gone beyond 200m but they are going to do some half mile runs.

"I'm not interested in how fast they run their half mile runs. I'm interested in what they come through 400m in during their half mile runs. I put them down a cone at a quarter mile. I tell them what to go through in.”

Clyde is very clear that ‘training’ is just that – it is where you get fitter, not where you prove yourself.

"We race when they fire the gun, we train to train.”

So there are not big hang ups on what the training times are at this stage: "I say, 'Come through [400m] in 70sec and then see what you can finish in'. Some of them die, some finish strongly. Then you say come through in 69 or 68. When you have got the point where they are hitting half a mile comfortably instead of saying, 'We are now going to do 1100m' you say ‘It's 750m’. Then they come through faster. You don't have to tell them to do that. They give it a bit more as they know they are not running as far. Then you cut it to 700m.

"By the time we are taking them to train on the track I want them to be running a 600m. Then we stay at that until they have got their 400m time down.

"In March-April-May we get down to 450m. That's still 50m further than they will run in a race.

"From March we never run more than 450m. I give them 50m more than they need. They may be do two of them with a 10min break. Each one is in 57-58sec. We tried 15min and then cut it to 14min, 13min...I found that they could handle 10min. Michael could handle 6min to 8min rest. At his best he would run 2 x 450m in 50sec with 8min rest.

"The longest workout we have ever done - not counting warm up and warm down - would be under 20min, I think we have never worked more than 20min. That's not counting the Fall phase.”

The Fortress
July 26th, 2008, 03:45 PM
Are you proposing to cross train during the experiment, Paul? If so, how much? Which distance, 50 or 100? Have to do more yardage for the latter? What sample workouts do you envision? I think I am pretty much work out like this, but not to Jazz's degree. I've been doing a bit more than usual for me this long course season and, frankly feel more fit. However, I'm willing to try the experiment for the fall IF cross training is involved. I'm an endorphin addict too.

ehoch
July 26th, 2008, 03:48 PM
A couple of things come to mind ---

- they do some longer swim earlier in the year / fall -- 6x5 minutes, but before all the yardage pounder rejoice, that is still a lot less than what swimmers do.

- these guys (400m runners like Wariner) would never even dream of doing an 800 race. They just don't -- while most of us enjoy a little range in terms of events.

- if the sets listed above are at max pace, I bet you that it's more real race pace yardage than a lot of swimmers do -- even current college swimmers. I say real race pace, because many coaches and swimmers think they are swimming race pace, but they are not.

Paul Smith
July 26th, 2008, 04:33 PM
Some more thoughts:

- Nothing in this would be revolutionary by any means, in fact its not to different in many was as th Race Club trains (from what I understand).

- There was no discussion of weight training, I plan on looking into it a bit more but this echoes what Hoch has said in the past about weight training not being proven as effective for swimming. I've never "not" lifted during a swimming season and will look at maybe going without once...given the state of my shoulder the last 4 months it might not be a bad idea.

- Fort, not sure about any cross training. Doc Chris has pointed out that things like cycling may help in base level conditioning but are not directly applicable to swimming. Think about it...when have you ever set aside 4 months to do something radically different and 100% focused on the end result? I love to cross train as well...and the social side of being on a team (although I'm sure the coaches and swimmers would enjoy seeing less of me!)...so this would be VERY had.

-Hoch, regarding the 400 guys never doing the 800...for one, that is my point in harassing Hulk about using a "400" as a warm up for his sprints. You would never see a track sprinter running 1500m as a "warm up". But what the article says is it didn't matter if you were a 400 specialist or something different or longer...the training distances change relative to the race being prepared for.

elise526
July 26th, 2008, 04:35 PM
I always liked Bill Pilczuk's method of training. According to a friend of mine at Auburn who was coaching at the time Pilczuk beat Popov in the 50, his pre-taper weekly yardage was a total of 8,000!! I found it hard to believe but my friend said he was not joking. Apparently, Pilczuk spent alot of time just walking around the pool and thinking while the other swimmers racked up the yardage.

It does seem like sprinters are often overtrained for their events. A few coaches seem to be moving toward less yardage and more recovery between sets. I've heard that David Salo is one of these coaches along with a few others. Anybody know of any others?

Paul Smith
July 26th, 2008, 04:49 PM
I always liked Bill Pilczuk's method of training. According to a friend of mine at Auburn who was coaching at the time Pilczuk beat Popov in the 50, his pre-taper weekly yardage was a total of 8,000!! I found it hard to believe but my friend said he was not joking. Apparently, Pilczuk spent alot of time just walking around the pool and thinking while the other swimmers racked up the yardage.

It does seem like sprinters are often overtrained for their events. A few coaches seem to be moving toward less yardage and more recovery between sets. I've heard that David Salo is one of these coaches along with a few others. Anybody know of any others?

Elise...but here's the interesting thing which was also in the last ASCA journal...this same training philosophy can/should apply to ALL distances. Sure a marathoner is going to have significantly more time training longer distances than a 50, 100 or 400 specialist...but the theory is training for "speed"...at all distances.

I'll repeat what Rich Abrahams has said so often "when masters swimmers swim slow they swim to fast and when they swim fast they swim to slow."

Jazz Hands
July 26th, 2008, 04:51 PM
JH but you do a lot else. So you think if one did your interesteing routines as part of their routine it would have the ame efect. Or do you think it's the absence of other swimming e.g. slower paced distance etc that makes it work?

I'm sure Ande will disagree, but I really don't think the absence of other swimming is the important thing. I can take it or leave it. I'm training for 50s this year, so I mostly leave it. There's only a certain amount of training stress I can handle, especially my shoulders and elbows. Better to use all of that training capital on sprinting and strength training.

There's a lot that goes into race preparation, and I don't claim to understand it all. There's flexibility, muscle strength, anaerobic capacity, aerobic capacity, lactate buffering, and on and on. All of these things take time to develop, and they require sometimes overlapping and sometimes contradictory methods.

On top of everything, however, is the amazingly fast adaptation that we have for learning motor skills. If you want to swim a race for a certain time at a certain effort level, you better make it a priority to swim at that effort level for that amount of time in practice.

rtodd
July 26th, 2008, 04:56 PM
When I switched from track sprints to the pool, I just didn't get the short rest thing and the volume. It quite honestly rocked my world and I really suffered. I have since gotten more used to it.

In swimming once you are out of the 50's, there is a giant aerobic component and strength endurance that must be trained. This is proven for one minute plus efforts. But if I did just 50's in the pool and nothing else, my swimming workouts would be COMPLETELY different.

As far as generating lactic acid, swimming does not generate nearly the same concentration in any body part that sprinting 200's generates in the legs on the track (IMO).

elise526
July 26th, 2008, 05:10 PM
Elise...but here's the interesting thing which was also in the last ASCA journal...this same training philosophy can/should apply to ALL distances. Sure a marathoner is going to have significantly more time training longer distances than a 50, 100 or 400 specialist...but the theory is training for "speed"...at all distances.

I'll repeat what Rich Abrahams has said so often "when masters swimmers swim slow they swim to fast and when they swim fast they swim to slow."

Paul - I agree with you on the speed issue. It seems for all distances whether in track or swimming, the fastest way to improve is to do intense, race-paced efforts in training. My only question would be is whether the body can handle the constant intensity.

knelson
July 26th, 2008, 05:11 PM
I guess one thing I would ask is who's to say track is doing it right? If you look at the all-time top ten in the 400 in track Lee Evans and Larry James are both still in the list and they did their times at the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City! Michael Johnson's WR of 43.18 is less than 0.7 seconds faster than what Evans ran and Johnson's record has held up for nearly a decade now.

The 100 meter in swimming is closest in time to the 400 in track. In 1968 the world record for the 100 free was a 52.2 set by Mike Wenden of Australia. That time is well outside the U.S. Olympic Trials cut in the 100 now.

Paul Smith
July 26th, 2008, 05:17 PM
When I switched from track sprints to the pool, I just didn't get the short rest thing and the volume. It quite honestly rocked my world and I really suffered. I have since gotten more used to it.

In swimming once you are out of the 50's, there is a giant aerobic component and strength endurance that must be trained. This is proven for one minute plus efforts. But if I did just 50's in the pool and nothing else, my swimming workouts would be COMPLETELY different.

As far as generating lactic acid, swimming does not generate nearly the same concentration in any body part that sprinting 200's generates in the legs on the track (IMO).


Rob, not sure if you "strayed" from the point of the article...but I'm asking because of your background and think you have a better understanding of this than myself and other "non-runners".

What I take from the coaches training philosophy is that its quality regardless of the distance. If you just took Wariners weekly workouts for a 400 and increased by a relative factor of 4 then does that make sense for a 1500m runner AND a 200-500 swimmer?

aquageek
July 26th, 2008, 05:24 PM
So much of what swimmers do is just superstition. Yes, we must train twice a day for several hours!

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2020277



I'll offer some of the workouts I've done this summer in the style Paul is talking about.

8x25 free with fins @ 1:00

48 strokes free from a dive with board shorts (open water)

3x25 fly with fins @ 3:00

I'm sorry, this is not a workout nor adequate preparation for any distance unless you are competing against 8/9s in the 25 Summer League. This is in no way similar to what Paul is proposing. If all you do is the 50 and you have no desire to get better or do longer distances, this might suffice but as you get older and consider doing other distances this will cause you to fall flat on your face.

Paul Smith
July 26th, 2008, 05:48 PM
I'm sorry, this is not a workout nor adequate preparation for any distance unless you are competing against 8/9s in the 25 Summer League. This is in no way similar to what Paul is proposing. If all you do is the 50 and you have no desire to get better or do longer distances, this might suffice but as you get older and consider doing other distances this will cause you to fall flat on your face.

Geek....Brian did throw down a really good 50 in Austin (21.04) and that seems to be his focus....so would this type of training along with a heavy emphasis on weight training possibly be what someone like track sprinter Asafa Powell or Usain Bolt would do? Were talking about guys training to run in the 9.7 range...and MAYBE pushing out to 200m (19.32)?

As for the board shorts...sounds funky but I still know guys that train with them...and don;t forget doing funky stuff like kicking with sneakers (Josh Davis mentioned this in Austin but people have done it for years). This type of resistance/power work along with and including chutes, bungee's, power racks, etc. all blow your HR thru the roof...something most swimmers rarely can do in workout.

FYI...I had some swimmers from Sun Devil stay after workout the other day to do some bungee work...all were mainly 50-200 folks and I thought we might have a heart attack they were so 'blown up".

chaos
July 26th, 2008, 05:50 PM
who cares about race specific training? this is just masters swimming, REAL swimming occurs between the ages of 15 and 25.(snark)

Jazz Hands
July 26th, 2008, 06:02 PM
I'm sorry, this is not a workout nor adequate preparation for any distance unless you are competing against 8/9s in the 25 Summer League. This is in no way similar to what Paul is proposing. If all you do is the 50 and you have no desire to get better or do longer distances, this might suffice but as you get older and consider doing other distances this will cause you to fall flat on your face.

Of course. I'm thinking about the 200/500 combo at SCY nats next year. I've always kind liked those distances, and they suit me in one way because I'm not a terribly strong kicker.

Believe it or not, I went a lifetime best in the 500 (5:11) a couple years ago on less than 10,000 yards a week.

Paul Smith
July 26th, 2008, 06:02 PM
I mentioned the current issue of Bicycling magazine earlier and several great articles along the same lines, here's a few samples:

"Dead Zone Syndrome = typically found in the time-crunched, who often feel that every moment on the bike is so precious that they must go hard."

"Symptoms + Those suffering from the malady may not be aware of it, due to the syndrome's insidious nature. That's because, at a minimum, it maintains fitness." "You're sweating, you burn calories and you get good endurance out of it." "It typically manifests itself in the summer, after the body has reaped much training benefit as possible from single-zone riding. it can manifest as a feeling of monotony, both physical and psychological. Moderate-level intensity provides a constant stimulant to your sympathetic nervous system, your 'fight or flight' response so if you're stressing that system to the same degree day-to-day, there'll be less recovery. In other words you're wearing yourself down."

Sounds like 90% of the masters swimmers I see and 99.9% of the folks at the gym everyday on the elliptical!

The article goes into detail on a 16+5 plan (16 days of "on" training in all 5 training zones followed by 5 days of recovery).

Interesting

knelson
July 26th, 2008, 06:37 PM
The article goes into detail on a 16+5 plan (16 days of "on" training in all 5 training zones followed by 5 days of recovery).

That sounds brutal. I feel like I need a day off after more than about four consecutive days.

Paul Smith
July 26th, 2008, 07:20 PM
That sounds brutal. I feel like I need a day off after more than about four consecutive days.

Kirk..good point about wether track is something we should want to emulate. I just think we (swimmers) are far to much into routine and more importantly so many people (especially middle distance-distance) won't do quality speed work. i can't tell you how tired i get coaching of hearing someone say "I only have one speed"!!

As for the 16+5.... cycling is far less "stressful" on the body in general than swimming and running. Also, remember that I said and the article explains in detail that these 16 days encompass 1ll 5 zones...which include recovery rides for 30 minutes in zone 1 (or even day off) for example...when you get to the 5 days of recovery however its 1 day off, 1 day recovery ride, 1 day off, 1 day zone 1 w/optional cadence spin ups and finally 1 day off....then repeat.

The key to me and relating to swimming is that you really need to change things up almost daily in your effort level and that means recovery is a regular part of training as is speed work.

knelson
July 26th, 2008, 07:51 PM
The key to me and relating to swimming is that you really need to change things up almost daily in your effort level and that means recovery is a regular part of training as is speed work.

Hard to disagree with that. I definitely feel like I get in a rut sometimes in training.

xxsprint
July 26th, 2008, 08:22 PM
First of all, let me say I am a distance runner - just getting into swimming now.

This was the workout schedule for JW posted:

M= 200's: 8 x 200's two minutes followed by 40 yd sprints w/20 seconds rest
T= 350m: 2 x 350's followed by 1 x 300, one minute rest then a 100m to simulate the end of the race
W= 450m: 2 x 450's each under 1:00 with 9 minutes rest between each
Th= 90m: Recovery day each run in an "X" pattern
F= 100m: last run of the week is multiple 100m sprints

Keep in mind that according to his coach, this is his mid-season training. He is going to have to balance his training with his races. This is probably some of the least amount of work he does during all of his training. Also, the 400 requires some level of aerobic conditioning. I am pretty sure that he is running some kind of warmup and cooldown, whether it is a quartermile or a mile plus. His coach says that 20 min workouts are the most he does, except for the fall season - which I would guess is sort of his "base" season, where the workouts are somewhat longer and slower.

keep in mind - above is speculation

Now, I have a question: Do swimmers generally have "base" phases? Distance runners (at least thouse following the of Lydiard) usually categorize their training into something along the lines of base phase (where they run more mileage to build aerobic capacity and good economy), then get into a "season" mode where they slightly lower the mileage and do shorter and faster workouts and start mixing in races, and before the goal race one cuts the mileage more and does "sharpening" workouts that are meant to fine-tune you.

rtodd
July 26th, 2008, 08:46 PM
Rob, not sure if you "strayed" from the point of the article...but I'm asking because of your background and think you have a better understanding of this than myself and other "non-runners".

What I take from the coaches training philosophy is that its quality regardless of the distance. If you just took Wariners weekly workouts for a 400 and increased by a relative factor of 4 then does that make sense for a 1500m runner AND a 200-500 swimmer?


I'm guessing if you looked at a miler's workout it would be much more than 4x the yardage of Wariner's. I think remember reading one of Bernard Lagat's workouts was 20 x 300's all at 38 sec or under. Don't remember the rest. Distance guys might do 10-15 miles a day. I think swimmers are much more aligned in their yardage, intensity and sets than runners.

CreamPuff
July 26th, 2008, 09:45 PM
So much of what swimmers do is just superstition. Yes, we must train twice a day for several hours!

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2020277

I'll offer some of the workouts I've done this summer in the style Paul is talking about.

8x25 free with fins @ 1:00

48 strokes free from a dive with board shorts (open water)

3x25 fly with fins @ 3:00

Are there some additional examples of swimmers who do well with this kind of training?

Jazz, thanks for letting us know you did the 500. Out in :54 and back in 1:05+?




FYI...I had some swimmers from Sun Devil stay after workout the other day to do some bungee work...all were mainly 50-200 folks and I thought we might have a heart attack they were so 'blown up".

Paul brings up an interesting point here. Are we all in agreement that it's a safe practice physiologically to shoot for as little yardage at the highest intensity possible? Or is it more prudent to build up an aerobic base first and then do some speed work - an everything in moderation so to speak. I ask b/c I'm sometimes next to masters swimmers whose breathing sounds very irregular if not totally abnormal (and not in a good way) after they give 100% in speed sets. I worry about them. Unfortunately, I cannot say that I've never witnessed a heart attack occur after a masters practice.

Paul Smith
July 26th, 2008, 09:57 PM
I'm guessing if you looked at a miler's workout it would be much more than 4x the yardage of Wariner's. I think remember reading one of Bernard Lagat's workouts was 20 x 300's all at 38 sec or under. Don't remember the rest. Distance guys might do 10-15 miles a day. I think swimmers are much more aligned in their yardage, intensity and sets than runners.

Lagat's a freak....1500m & 5000m is insane...then again I admit I'm just a tad skeptical given some of the recent findings regarding EPO use and the fact he did test positive once but was cleared:

Here's the article related to hardy that talks about EPO tests of athletes and the testing guidleines that was already posted:
http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/more_sports/2008/07/26/2008-07-26_swimmer_jessica_hardy_claims_doping_inno.html?p age=0

Having said all that...some interesting training info from the world of track:

http://members.iinet.net.au/~peterg1/run/aths.html

exerpts:
- Gebreselassie love plyo's and light weights and regualarly does "strides" (spped work) after workout
- Coe nver trained more than 90k a week and loved weights in off season
- Look at Japhet Kimutai midseason workouts:
Monday: AM 3 miles easy PM 4 x 600m (1:35) + 2 x 200m (24 sec). 2 min rest after 600m, 1 min after 200m.
Tuesday: AM 3 miles at 5:40 pace. PM 9 x 300m (35 sec), with 2 min rest.
Wednesday: AM 3 miles at 5:40 pace PM 5 miles on hills.
Thursday: AM 3 miles easy. PM 12 x 200m (25 sec) + 2 x 400m (58 sec) 60 sec. rest.
Friday: AM 3 miles easy. PM 3 x 600m (1:30) + 2 x 400m (58 sec) + 4 x 200m (27 sec) 60 sec. rest.
Saturday: AM 6 x 400m (57 sec) + 3 x 200m (27 sec) 60 sec. rest. PM Hill repeats
Sunday: Day off.

The more I look into this the more I have questions. Are masters swimmers and triathletes the most overtrained obsessive athletes out there?

ourswimmer
July 26th, 2008, 11:01 PM
Paul brings up an interesting point here. Are we all in agreement that it's a safe practice physiologically to shoot for as little yardage at the highest intensity possible?

Not at all. I think your concern is spot-on.

aquageek
July 26th, 2008, 11:02 PM
Of course. I'm thinking about the 200/500 combo at SCY nats next year. I've always kind liked those distances, and they suit me in one way because I'm not a terribly strong kicker.

Believe it or not, I went a lifetime best in the 500 (5:11) a couple years ago on less than 10,000 yards a week.

Fair enough and your youth serves you well!!

Paul Smith
July 26th, 2008, 11:13 PM
Paul brings up an interesting point here. Are we all in agreement that it's a safe practice physiologically to shoot for as little yardage at the highest intensity possible? Or is it more prudent to build up an aerobic base first and then do some speed work - an everything in moderation so to speak.

Both?

Periodization maybe?

james lucas
July 26th, 2008, 11:20 PM
Others have gone down this road - consider the tale of Dr. George Schmidt (http://www.usms.org/people/027HS), an optometric physician practicing in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida:

http://www.usms.org/hist/sto/index.php?ID=242&srt=


His training regimen consists of 3-4 days per week, approximately 1100-1300 yards/meters per 30-40 minute session, and usually includes 400-500 yards of descending 100's as the main set. He finds if he trains harder than that, his shoulder flares up and he has to back off for a week or two for healing. "I believe that it's very important to swim your fastest when you're the most tired, focusing on maintaining an efficient stroke," says Schmidt. "Too many swimmers train themselves to swim slowly and inefficiently, which may be great for cardiovascular training, but it's not certainly not helpful for swimming fast. Focusing on stroke and control is the key." I also firmly believe most masters swimmers probably train too frequently, not allowing their body to recover fully before the next workout.


Schmidt's training regimen appears to work, as he has earned a total of six All-America finishes in 2000 and 2001, in the 50/100 freestyles, 100 IM's and 50 breaststroke. ("I'm finally the sprinter I always wanted to be!" says Schmidt.) In 2001 he finished in the Top 10 in the 50-54 age group in 22 events, including all four strokes and individual medley (including the 400 SCM IM, just to prove to his detractors who think he's just a pretty sprinter!). He also was ranked number one in the FINA World Rankings in three individual and six relays that year. His favorite race is the 100 IM. "I love the 100 SCM IM, because the #1 world ranked swimmer in that event can claim to be "The Fastest All-Around Swimmer in the World" in their age group. His time in 2001 was faster than anyone else over the age of 50, so he earned bragging rights that year.

His views on diet supplements also are interesting ...

Jazz Hands
July 27th, 2008, 12:19 AM
Jazz, thanks for letting us know you did the 500. Out in :54 and back in 1:05+?

My splits on that 500 were absolutely terrible. I was holding great splits in practice, but I got excited at the meet and took it out way too fast.

CreamPuff
July 27th, 2008, 09:25 AM
Others have gone down this road - consider the tale of Dr. George Schmidt (http://www.usms.org/people/027HS), an optometric physician practicing in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida:

http://www.usms.org/hist/sto/index.php?ID=242&srt=



His views on diet supplements also are interesting ...

Very inspirational! This guy is smokin' fast!

And for those of us who don't have a Div I swimming background to pull on?

rtodd
July 27th, 2008, 09:30 AM
So if a 100/200 track sprinters main set is say 10x200 (exculding say a 1 mile warm up and drills) and you take the 4:1 ratio, should a swimmer do four 50's and go home?

Paul Smith
July 27th, 2008, 09:35 AM
So if a 100/200 track sprinters main set is say 10x200 (exculding say a 1 mile warm up and drills) and you take the 4:1 ratio, should a swimmer do four 50's and go home?

That was one days workout in the week....and for a 50/100 specialist it makes sense. On that same designated day a swimmer who specializes in the 1650 would do two 800's fast with long recovery between each followed by fast 100's w/20 seconds rest.

Curious if Mr. Abraham's will weigh in here...he trains along these lines.

ndecker
July 27th, 2008, 10:19 AM
So if a 100/200 track sprinters main set is say 10x200 (exculding say a 1 mile warm up and drills) and you take the 4:1 ratio, should a swimmer do four 50's and go home?
I wouldn't think so, as in that case you're dividing both the distance (200 -> 50) and the number (10 -> 4) so you're reducing it by much more than a factor of 4.

At any rate I have a few theories on why some people may benefit from a 'less is more' approach:

1) It's more event-specific. After all, if my events are 50's and 100's, why do I spend hours training? If my cumulative race times in a meet are sub 2:30 (two and a half minutes), isn't it odd that I would spend hours training a day? Since intensity and duration are diametrically opposed, you can't go really really really fast for very long. So if I'm training thousands of meters a week, I'm probably spending very little time training the energy system that I rely on most during my events. However, if I concentrate on some really really really fast swims during a practice session, then my mileage for the hour-long session is really low as I spend so much time recovering.

2) Even if it's not permanent, it would probably be beneficial to most as it 'shakes things up'. The human body is extraordinarily adaptable - way more than we give it credit for. It adapts well to diet and exercise patterns - both physiologically and mentally. This is exactly the thing that Rich is talking about when he says that we don't swim hard/fast enough during the tough workouts, and we don't swim easy/slow enough during the light workouts. If all our workouts converge in the middle (moderate intensity), then we're too tired to go all out for the tough ones and we're never satisfied with our progress and accomplishments so we go too hard on the easy days. The end result is that all workouts are alike, and mentally and physically our bodies adapt in order to get by with the least amount of effort and impact. We don't stress it enough and don't let it recuperate enough, so it's in a gradual state of decline.

3) Many swimmers are currently over trained. Therefore, spending some time doing less mileage will automatically benefit them as it gives them a chance to heal and recover. Complete recovery takes more and more time as we age, and many of us have probably forgotten what that even feels like!

4) Lastly, every body is different and some really do well with short bouts of intense exercise. Not everybody needs to do double digits when it comes to hours/week in the pool. I'm sure it would benefit distance swimmers, but as a sprinter I don't know much about that sort of thing!

Nick

CreamPuff
July 27th, 2008, 10:47 AM
My splits on that 500 were absolutely terrible. I was holding great splits in practice, but I got excited at the meet and took it out way too fast.

Here's how one of the 19 year olds that I swim with at Swim Atlanta split his swims this summer (his dad emailed me the results). He went best times across the board. Beautiful splitting. He happens to really race in practice when it's time to do so. I'll never go that fast; however, I'd love to be able to swim/ split like this.

400 m free
4:26.9
Splits:
1:05.2
1:07.7
1:06.9
1:06.7

200 m free
2:07.2
Splits:
30.7
32.3
32.2
32.1

800 m free
9:21.1
Splits:
4:40.4
4:40.7

jordangregory
July 27th, 2008, 12:30 PM
This is quite the interesting post. I like the thought of doing a workout similar to world class track and field sprinters. Unfortunately, doing a workout like that is not realistic in the swimming world for a few reasons. First, aerobic work has huge health benefits and should be done by everyone.
Second and more pertinent to this discussion, sprinters in swimming are not exclusively fast twitchers. The velocity of movement for swimmers is lower than for sprint runners. Sprinters in track and field move their legs so fast that slow twitch fibers can't make a contribution. There is no reason to put an emphasis on aerobic work. In swimming, the velocity of movement with the arms is much slower. The lats are by their very nature slow twitch fibers. Aerobic work needs to be done and contributes to each event, even 50’s and 100’s.
I can remember the fastest sprinters in my section when swimming high school were also the best 500 swimmers. Heck, the section record holder in the 500 averaged each 100 faster than many could sprint a single 100. The only event this guy could not win was the 50. He was beat out by a pure sprinter, who spent much less time getting in yards.
So for swimming, if you want to put in minimal yardage, you could be a great 50 swimmer, maybe an ok 100 swimmer, and mediocre at everything else. Or you can train huge amounts of yardage and be pretty damn good at every event, even the 50. You may not win the 50, but you can come pretty close.

rtodd
July 27th, 2008, 12:41 PM
I wouldn't think so, as in that case you're dividing both the distance (200 -> 50) and the number (10 -> 4) so you're reducing it by much more than a factor of 4.


Oops, I meant ten 50's. Still not alot of swimming. So let's see, that's 500 yds for the main set and 800 yard warmup for a grand total of 1300 yards for the day.

hofffam
July 27th, 2008, 12:53 PM
This is quite the interesting post. I like the thought of doing a workout similar to world class track and field sprinters. Unfortunately, doing a workout like that is not realistic in the swimming world for a few reasons. First, aerobic work has huge health benefits and should be done by everyone.
Second and more pertinent to this discussion, sprinters in swimming are not exclusively fast twitchers. The velocity of movement for swimmers is lower than for sprint runners. Sprinters in track and field move their legs so fast that slow twitch fibers can't make a contribution. There is no reason to put an emphasis on aerobic work. In swimming, the velocity of movement with the arms is much slower. The lats are by their very nature slow twitch fibers. Aerobic work needs to be done and contributes to each event, even 50’s and 100’s.
I can remember the fastest sprinters in my section when swimming high school were also the best 500 swimmers. Heck, the section record holder in the 500 averaged each 100 faster than many could sprint a single 100. The only event this guy could not win was the 50. He was beat out by a pure sprinter, who spent much less time getting in yards.
So for swimming, if you want to put in minimal yardage, you could be a great 50 swimmer, maybe an ok 100 swimmer, and mediocre at everything else. Or you can train huge amounts of yardage and be pretty damn good at every event, even the 50. You may not win the 50, but you can come pretty close.

I think your post is mostly incorrect. A 50 yd race is about 25 secs long. Based on sources of energy - this race is completed using energy exclusively from stored glycogen. Aerobic training probably contributes near zero to the 50.

The 500 swimmers you mention were probably very good at the 50 relative to their peers because their peers weren't very good. These 500 swimmers were probably very fine swimmers they weren't REALLY that good in the 50. They had great stroke mechanics becuase they swam A LOT. Many high school sprinters are powerful and lightly trained. Lots of mediocre high school boys can swim a 23-24 sec 50 because they are strong and explosive.

aztimm
July 27th, 2008, 01:03 PM
I'm sure several out there won't like this, but I'll post anyway. Some of us swim for reasons other than to get faster. Reasons could be the aerobic benefit, fitness benefits, or a variety of similar reasons. For me personally, while it would be fantastic to get fast and break records, I've long since come down to reality and adjusted my swimming to what works best for me.

I will tolerate 1 short sprint day a week, as long as I'm swimming 5x a week. Otherwise, if I do it, I'll be kicking and screaming along the way. I just don't get the benefit from doing 5 x 100 @ 6:00 (fast sprints) that I would doing 10 x 200 @ 3:00 (in my workout mode). This past week, I only swam 3x due to some biz travel, and 2 of those were sprints, again due to swimming with different teams. When my home team coach on Friday said the set (a short sprint), I felt like I had wasted my time to show up for workout.

On my team, those who do meets are in the minority, and the coach adjusts the workouts accordingly. In our case, we have other partitions of the pool (across a bulkhead) that we could use if we just want to do something on our own, and I've done that a few times. Sometimes I just feel like cruising through some 500s or other long sets on my own.

I just don't see the reason to get up at 5 AM, drive 20 min, get in the water, if I'm going to burn just a few hundred calories. I can stay at home and run from here and burn ~1000 calories in less time (and I've started doing that some days instead of swimming).

When I did compete in meets, and did more of the shorter sprint stuff, I wasn't nearly as healthy as I am now. I was 30-40 pounds heavier, had high blood pressure, got sick 2-3 times a year (to the point of having to see a doctor), and all kinds of stress issues. To me concentrating on fast times doesn't seem to equate to being healthy, unless I'm missing something.

But this is MASTERS swimming, so to each his own.

Jazz Hands
July 27th, 2008, 01:21 PM
First, aerobic work has huge health benefits and should be done by everyone.

This is one of the dumbest things that people keep saying about training fast versus slow. Lower intensity does not mean you will be healthier or more physically fit. Sprinting can and does result in the same adaptations of aerobic metabolism as distance training. Sometimes it's even better, because the increased intensity outweighs the lack of volume.

Here are a few of the studies supporting the concept of sprint training for aerobic adaptation:

Muscle performance and enzymatic adaptations to sprint interval training (http://jap.physiology.org/cgi/content/abstract/84/6/2138)

A short training programme for the rapid improvement of both aerobic and anaerobic metabolism (http://www.springerlink.com/content/glqt266pba4gjknc/)

Skeletal muscle metabolic and ionic adaptations during intense exercise following sprint training in humans (http://jap.physiology.org/cgi/content/abstract/89/5/1793)

We need to learn, sprinting is aerobic work.

rtodd
July 27th, 2008, 02:10 PM
I just don't get the benefit from doing 5 x 100 @ 6:00 (fast sprints) that I would doing 10 x 200 @ 3:00 (in my workout mode).

Aneareobic training stimulates the production of natural HGH in your body. It slows muscle loss.....some perceive this as a good thing.

Also


This is quite the interesting post. I like the thought of doing a workout similar to world class track and field sprinters. Unfortunately, doing a workout like that is not realistic in the swimming world for a few reasons. First, aerobic work has huge health benefits and should be done by everyone.
Second and more pertinent to this discussion, sprinters in swimming are not exclusively fast twitchers. The velocity of movement for swimmers is lower than for sprint runners. Sprinters in track and field move their legs so fast that slow twitch fibers can't make a contribution. There is no reason to put an emphasis on aerobic work. In swimming, the velocity of movement with the arms is much slower. The lats are by their very nature slow twitch fibers. Aerobic work needs to be done and contributes to each event, even 50’s and 100’s.
I can remember the fastest sprinters in my section when swimming high school were also the best 500 swimmers. Heck, the section record holder in the 500 averaged each 100 faster than many could sprint a single 100. The only event this guy could not win was the 50. He was beat out by a pure sprinter, who spent much less time getting in yards.
So for swimming, if you want to put in minimal yardage, you could be a great 50 swimmer, maybe an ok 100 swimmer, and mediocre at everything else. Or you can train huge amounts of yardage and be pretty damn good at every event, even the 50. You may not win the 50, but you can come pretty close.


A few thoughts:


Probably in HS the best swimmers were the best at all distances because they were the best athletes. As they develop they will probably need to choose focus events and not be first in everything.

I agree there is a huge areobic component to 1 minutes efforts like the 100. Phelps breaths every stroke in the 100 right from the blocks.

The recovery of 50m swimmers is increadibly ballistic. You almost can't even see it and watch C. Jones 6 beat kick. It's a blurr. There is fast twitch in swimming.

You are right that distance swimmers can swim a fast 50, but will not win. A good miler like Alan Webb is also fast and has 10.8 speed in the 100.....but of course will never win.

I think there is a place for 4 all out 100's as a complete workout. These types of sets stimulate and develop the CNS which will promote reqruitment of more muscle tissue as it is developed.

elise526
July 27th, 2008, 03:18 PM
I think your post is mostly incorrect. A 50 yd race is about 25 secs long. Based on sources of energy - this race is completed using energy exclusively from stored glycogen. Aerobic training probably contributes near zero to the 50.

The 500 swimmers you mention were probably very good at the 50 relative to their peers because their peers weren't very good. These 500 swimmers were probably very fine swimmers they weren't REALLY that good in the 50. They had great stroke mechanics becuase they swam A LOT. Many high school sprinters are powerful and lightly trained. Lots of mediocre high school boys can swim a 23-24 sec 50 because they are strong and explosive.

Hofffam - Your opinion reeks of middle-distance/distance swimming snobbery. A high school boy is not mediocre if he swims a 23 or 24 in 50 free, especially considering that it may be his first year swimming and he may participate in other sports. Also, there are boys that are primarily 500 swimmers that do a high 21 or low 22 in 50 free. A 21 for a 15 year old is not mediocre. Also, there are boys that are pure sprinters that do a 21 in 50 free that will beat the 500 guy that does a high 21 or low 22. The 500 guy is still good in a 50.

Also, according to Dan Benardot in his book, Nutrition for Serious Athletes, in a swim lasting 25 seconds, up to 20% of the energy source is aerobic. Good luck convincing a swim coach that aerobic training for a guy specializing in a 50 has no value whatsoever.

SwimStud
July 27th, 2008, 03:29 PM
If I had the balls for it, I'd join Paul Smith on this trial to see how it works for someone without a long term swimming pedigree.
I tend to feel that I have yards to make up for in my experience, and laying off too much would be detrimental as good swim behaviours are not so deeply ingrained.

pwolf66
July 27th, 2008, 03:45 PM
Also, according to Dan Benardot in his book, Nutrition for Serious Athletes, in a swim lasting 25 seconds, up to 20% of the energy source is aerobic. Good luck convincing a swim coach that aerobic training for a guy specializing in a 50 has no value whatsoever.
Who says that swimming fast doesn't provide some aerobic benefits?

And using the above source, that leaves approximately 80% of the energy being generated anaerobically. So that does beg the question, why so much aerobic training for sprinters? Yes, maybe some aerobic work needs to be done but predominantly aerobic? Doesn't make sense to me.

elise526
July 27th, 2008, 03:58 PM
Who says that swimming fast doesn't provide some aerobic benefits?

And using the above source, that leaves approximately 80% of the energy being generated anaerobically. So that does beg the question, why so much aerobic training for sprinters? Yes, maybe some aerobic work needs to be done but predominantly aerobic? Doesn't make sense to me.

I do agree with you that training should not be primarily aerobic insofar as sprinters are concerned. Speed should be the primary focus for all distances, but I'm not ready to throw out the long, slow swims yet. I am convinced that they are of value, even to the sprinter.

Also, I am a bit concerned that doing too much speed at our age can end up working against us. Seems like there should be a middle ground- days devoted to race pace efforts, days of easy recovery swimming, and days of hard efforts not quite up to race pace.

There are at least two ways to break a swimmer down - lots of yardage OR lots of intense efforts. There needs to be a balance - not just speed to build aerobic conditioning and not just lots of yardage to build aerobic conditioning.

aztimm
July 27th, 2008, 04:18 PM
[QUOTE=rtodd;143429]Aneareobic training stimulates the production of natural HGH in your body. It slows muscle loss.....some perceive this as a good thing.

But I could get that (and do) from lifting weights, making better use of my time. Swimming isn't an efficient means to slow muscle loss.

rtodd
July 27th, 2008, 04:25 PM
Clyde Hart says that the 400...basically a one minute effort has a bigger aerobic component than all previously thought.


http://www.denverpost.com/sports/ci_5884473


I therfore submit that in swimming everything above a 50 requires significant aerobic training while the 50 alone can be trained for in a completely different way. But who wan'ts to just do a 50's??

pwolf66
July 27th, 2008, 04:33 PM
I therfore submit that in swimming everything above a 50 requires significant aerobic training while the 50 alone can be trained for in a completely different way. But who wan'ts to just do a 50's??


ME!!!!!!

CreamPuff
July 27th, 2008, 04:38 PM
ME!!!!!!

Except for the 400 and possibly the 1000? :lolup:

elise526
July 27th, 2008, 04:51 PM
What is the ideal way to train for the 50? Sure it helps to be strong but you also need to have near-perfect technique. How should improvements or changes in technique be practiced? Also, I still maintain that you need to throw some aerobic training in there since Benardot asserts that 20% of the energy source for an event under 30 seconds is aerobic.

FlyQueen
July 27th, 2008, 04:52 PM
The problem I see in training swimming like you train track is that while both use legs and arms, swimming uses a lot of arms - which are smaller muscle groups. That would seem to be a big difference.

I do think a lot of swimmers over train but due to water temps we probably aren't burning quite as many calories so I'm willing to be a large part of the training is too look good. It's also mental.

I also like the taper effect (though not a huge fan of tapering itself) so I know to feel good at my big meets I need to feel beat-up prior to the taper.

There are a lot of swimmers that train both ways - low yardarage swimmers include: Natalie Coughlin, Emily Silver, and Gary Hall Jr - McKeever, Salo, and Bottom all favor lower yardage/higher intensity workouts.

High yardage coaches: Reese, Bowman, Troy - athletes include Peirsol, Crocker, Hansen, Weber-Gale, Phelps, Vendt, Vanderkkay, Lochte, Burckle, Schmitt ...

Just naming the Olympians ...

runner girl
July 27th, 2008, 05:02 PM
So here's my challenge...I'm going to pick one of the next seasons (either SCM this fall or SCY in the spring) and try and adapt to this regime...anyone else game?

I'm in. I've been wanting to ask about this approach for awhile, but didn't want to seem ignorant. My thought is that in running marathons and ultras I have the aerobic system pretty much in place. And although I love distance running and hate sprint running, when it comes to the pool I am just the opposite. I'm not a good sprinter in the pool, but it is so much more fun!

Are there any training plans out there? I was thinking of converting the training plan for the 800 in Daniel's Running Formula book, but if there is something specific for swimming, that would be even better.

The Fortress
July 27th, 2008, 05:07 PM
Clyde Hart says that the 400...basically a one minute effort has a bigger aerobic component than all previously thought.


http://www.denverpost.com/sports/ci_5884473


I therfore submit that in swimming everything above a 50 requires significant aerobic training while the 50 alone can be trained for in a completely different way. But who wan'ts to just do a 50's??

Not me. I want to do 100s as well. Anthing 200 plus is distance to me. I think my 100s are inferior to my 50s due to lack of sufficient aerobic training. However, for the short course season, I would still join an experiment with a 100 as the focus event. I'd be fine cutting out weights for the experiment.

SwimStud
July 27th, 2008, 05:18 PM
So here's my challenge...I'm going to pick one of the next seasons (either SCM this fall or SCY in the spring) and try and adapt to this regime...anyone else game?

If you post your workots and planned events I'll do my best to follow the progam and see if I get any "WOW" results...

rtodd
July 27th, 2008, 05:46 PM
Also, I still maintain that you need to throw some aerobic training in there since Benardot asserts that 20% of the energy source for an event under 30 seconds is aerobic.


Perhpas yes and no. Yes, you may be right about the 20% component, but the oxygen needed for the 20% aerobic component is already stored in the blood/lungs since real fast swimmers don't breathe. No, you may not need to train the aerobic system in the classic sense, but a good aerobic base may help establish that blood/lung capacity for the 50's, so I wouldn't completely ignore it. This is probably where periodization comes in. Working long to short during the year.

Jazz Hands
July 27th, 2008, 05:58 PM
Also, I still maintain that you need to throw some aerobic training in there since Benardot asserts that 20% of the energy source for an event under 30 seconds is aerobic.

This makes no sense. It very nearly makes the opposite of sense. If X amount of energy for a sprint comes from aerobic metabolism, then in training the very same sprint will stimulate aerobic adaptation at the level of X. So, really, X doesn't matter. If it's low, then you don't get much aerobic work from sprinting and you don't need it. If it's high, then you need aerobic power for sprinting but you are also training yourself to produce a lot of aerobic power every time you sprint.

Conclusion: If you want to do anything well in competition, practice it! Energy systems are extremely overrated in swimming.

elise526
July 27th, 2008, 06:02 PM
This makes no sense. It very nearly makes the opposite of sense. If X amount of energy for a sprint comes from aerobic metabolism, then in training the very same sprint will stimulate aerobic adaptation at the level of X. So, really, X doesn't matter. If it's low, then you don't get much aerobic work from sprinting and you don't need it. If it's high, then you need aerobic power for sprinting but you are also training yourself to produce a lot of aerobic power every time you sprint.

Conclusion: If you want to do anything well in competition, practice it! Energy systems are extremely overrated in swimming.

So are you saying that after a warm-up, one should just practice the 50 over and over again as if one were racing?

Jazz Hands
July 27th, 2008, 06:07 PM
So are you saying that after a warm-up, one should just practice the 50 over and over again as if one were racing?

One should at least do that. As you said, technique work is necessary. That usually means shorter distances, slower speeds, and drills.

Oh, and increase muscle size with weight training and diet. No one wants to actually do that, though.

elise526
July 27th, 2008, 06:13 PM
One should at least do that. As you said, technique work is necessary. That usually means shorter distances, slower speeds, and drills.

Oh, and increase muscle size with weight training and diet. No one wants to actually do that, though.

Is it good for the body to do race-pace 50s each time we work out or should there be a day or two a week devoted just to that? On the days you don't do race-pace 50s, isn't it worth it to keep the HR in the mid-zone of what would be considered aerobic? In other words, for the 50, you do have to keep the aerobic system in shape. I don't know if it is good to do this day in and day out with race-pace efforts. It seems like a good way to get injured.

Jazz Hands
July 27th, 2008, 06:23 PM
Is it good for the body to do race-pace 50s each time we work out or should there be a day or two a week devoted just to that? On the days you don't do race-pace 50s, isn't it worth it to keep the HR in the mid-zone of what would be considered aerobic? In other words, for the 50, you do have to keep the aerobic system in shape. I don't know if it is good to do this day in and day out with race-pace efforts. It seems like a good way to get injured.

Heart rate? Aerobic system? If you really want to swim the 50, swim the 50. Allow your body to figure what "systems" are needed for the task.

I won't make specific recommendations beyond the obvious. "Practice your races" is the obvious. Different people can handle different workloads.

Swimming injuries tend to be overuse injuries. You see them coming from a mile away, and if they get you, it's because you ignored the pain. So what's the problem with sprinting? It's a lot less repetitive motion than distance training. If it hurts, stop.

elise526
July 27th, 2008, 06:28 PM
Heart rate? Aerobic system? If you really want to swim the 50, swim the 50. Allow your body to figure what "systems" are needed for the task.

I won't make specific recommendations beyond the obvious. "Practice your races" is the obvious. Different people can handle different workloads.

Swimming injuries tend to be overuse injuries. You see them coming from a mile away, and if they get you, it's because you ignored the pain. So what's the problem with sprinting? It's a lot less reptetitive motion than distance training. If hurts, stop.

If you are saying that almost all swimming injuries tend to come from overuse, I may have to somewhat disagree. I agree that you need to train the 50. One of my swimmers who ended up swimming for Tennessee was a sprinter. I used to give him the following set twice a week -

4 x 50 free on 1.30 - starting in the water -no breathing on first length and only two breaths allowed coming back - all efforts had to be within 3 seconds of best 50.

Jazz Hands
July 27th, 2008, 06:32 PM
I may have to disagree with you that all injuries come from overuse.

I don't really know what you're talking about then. I've never seen somebody hurt themselves from swimming too fast, unless you're talking about running into walls and lane lines. I've done that.

elise526
July 27th, 2008, 06:43 PM
I don't really know what you're talking about then. I've never seen somebody hurt themselves from swimming too fast, unless you're talking about running into walls and lane lines. I've done that.

It depends on how you define overuse and I think of it as too much, too soon. This can translate into too much yardage too soon or too much speed too soon. Think about running injuries- some get stress fractures from too much mileage and some get hamstring pulls from sudden, fast movements when the body is not prepared or too tired.

aquageek
July 27th, 2008, 06:50 PM
That usually means shorter distances,...

In your case, this would literally be impossible.

pwolf66
July 27th, 2008, 07:04 PM
I may have to disagree with you that all injuries come from overuse.

Except that JH's comment was "Swimming injuries tend to be overuse injuries", sorry, I don't read where that says all injuries. And I agree with JH's statement. Too much too soon is pretty much a classic 'over-use' injury. If you're body's not ready for an activity, and you do too much, then you have 'over-used' your body, i.e exceeded it's ability to cope with that movement, action or activity.

elise526
July 27th, 2008, 07:15 PM
Except that JH's comment was "Swimming injuries tend to be overuse injuries", sorry, I don't read where that says all injuries. And I agree with JH's statement. Too much too soon is pretty much a classic 'over-use' injury. If you're body's not ready for an activity, and you do too much, then you have 'over-used' your body, i.e exceeded it's ability to cope with that movement, action or activity.

pwolf66 - Thanks for bringing that up. You are correct and I have edited my post to say how I read it. I would agree with your definition of overuse and say that it squares with what I say in my later post. My point is that I think we have to be as careful with speed as we do with training lots of yardage.

elise526
July 27th, 2008, 09:04 PM
Have things changed that much since Richard Quick trained Dara for the 2000 Olympics? According to Dara in an article at http://www.swimmingworldmagazine.com/articles/swimmagazine/articles/200005-01swim_art.asp Quick coached Dara using primarily stroke work and recovery work. According to the article, she kept her HR get under 150. I doubt most people that age could do race-pace efforts and keep the HR under 150.

hofffam
July 27th, 2008, 09:35 PM
Hofffam - Your opinion reeks of middle-distance/distance swimming snobbery. A high school boy is not mediocre if he swims a 23 or 24 in 50 free, especially considering that it may be his first year swimming and he may participate in other sports. Also, there are boys that are primarily 500 swimmers that do a high 21 or low 22 in 50 free. A 21 for a 15 year old is not mediocre. Also, there are boys that are pure sprinters that do a 21 in 50 free that will beat the 500 guy that does a high 21 or low 22. The 500 guy is still good in a 50.

Also, according to Dan Benardot in his book, Nutrition for Serious Athletes, in a swim lasting 25 seconds, up to 20% of the energy source is aerobic. Good luck convincing a swim coach that aerobic training for a guy specializing in a 50 has no value whatsoever.

That's funny. I am not a middle distance swimmer. I have been around high school swimming in Texas for years now. A 23-24 second 50 free is a solid time but common. An elite male high school 50 free is low 21 to low 20s. None of these swims are by 500 free swimmers. Yes a few good 500 swimmers will go 22 sec 50s, but not many. I suggest that a 500 swimmer who swims 21 secs is probably not a 500 swimmer but a 200 swimmer.

I am merely suggesting that the good 500 free swimmer that is also good at the 50 is probably good because of great stroke mechanics - not because their aerobic capacity helps them in the 50.

Many articles confirm the nearly pure anerobic nature of a 25 second race (whatever the sport). One good one:

http://www.brianmac.co.uk/energy.htm

And I never said nor do I believe aerobic training has no value to a sprinter. It is useful and probably required for the 100. It is also helpful in surviving workouts. Aerobic work also helps keep body fat down. But I agree with the original premise of this post - that if racing speed for sprints is a priority - then aerobic training has minimal value.

Interval training began with track - and swimming adopted it later. Elite track sprinters almost never run slow in practice except for warmup and warmdown. I have read that some of this is due to a fear by coaches that the number of short twitch fibers is fixed at a certain age and cannot be increased. So the training is optimized to develop the short twitch fibers. Longer training sets emphasize slow twitch fibers.

FlyQueen
July 27th, 2008, 10:03 PM
I realize that technique is part of sprint running but it's so much more important to swim with great technique - or rather harder. It's easy to have your technique fall apart when racing which I believe is far more of a concern in a 50/100 in swimming than in a 400 on the track.

Paul Smith
July 27th, 2008, 10:13 PM
A great discussion we have going here...but so many of you keep going of track. My point in bringing Wariner up and the training article by his coach is that ALL distances fall back on the same basic principles for track...I did not intend this to be a discussion of "sprint" training but one of "speed" work for all distances.

So although the 400m in track is roughly the equivalent of the 100m in swimming, and the 1500m is akin to the 400/500....the basic plan includes 3 phases and far more emphasis on quality over quantity in mid-season.

Go back to my first post if your interested, read the article I linked and then adapt Wariner's weekly mid-season routine to your swimming....this is m question. Can ALL of us benefit from more focused, higher quality, lower volumne training?

I know the answer for myself...I train far less than the masters swimmers I know/train with. However I have never gone all the way so to speak to this level of "quality"...and the prospect of a 4 month test is very intriguing.

elise526
July 27th, 2008, 10:45 PM
A great discussion we have going here...but so many of you keep going of track. My point in bringing Wariner up and the training article by his coach is that ALL distances fall back on the same basic principles for track...I did not intend this to be a discussion of "sprint" training but one of "speed" work for all distances.

So although the 400m in track is roughly the equivalent of the 100m in swimming, and the 1500m is akin to the 400/500....the basic plan includes 3 phases and far more emphasis on quality over quantity in mid-season.

Go back to my first post if your interested, read the article I linked and then adapt Wariner's weekly mid-season routine to your swimming....this is m question. Can ALL of us benefit from more focused, higher quality, lower volumne training?

I know the answer for myself...I train far less than the masters swimmers I know/train with. However I have never gone all the way so to speak to this level of "quality"...and the prospect of a 4 month test is very intriguing.

I'm willing to test it out. Can we talk you into posting some swim workouts to follow on this?

pwolf66
July 27th, 2008, 10:46 PM
I know the answer for myself...I train far less than the masters swimmers I know/train with. However I have never gone all the way so to speak to this level of "quality"...and the prospect of a 4 month test is very intriguing.

I hope that by train, you are referring to pure water work? Because I recall discussions at SCY Nats where you described all the activities you engage in and most of them would fall under, at least for me, the definition of training.

Jazz Hands
July 27th, 2008, 11:09 PM
I hope that by train, you are referring to pure water work? Because I recall discussions at SCY Nats where you described all the activities you engage in and most of them would fall under, at least for me, the definition of training.

I was thinking about this before. What's training and what's not?

Swimming: Yes, obviously.
Hot tub: Yes, obviously.
Weights: Mostly yes, unless working on my guns for the ladies.
Bicycling: Commuting is great preparation for warmup at Nationals.
Walking: I walk with extreme intensity, so yes.
Arguing on USMS forums: Finger endurance is crucial.
LSD-enhanced race visualization: Maybe. Did I just admit to PED use?

Paul Smith
July 27th, 2008, 11:14 PM
I hope that by train, you are referring to pure water work? Because I recall discussions at SCY Nats where you described all the activities you engage in and most of them would fall under, at least for me, the definition of training.

I put in a max of about 10,000m a week..usually closer to 6000-8000m. However I have not gone to this level of "quality" work...and this experiment would mean stopping weights/cycling.

I would do something like;
6 weeks of base training = more of the 10,000m weeks but lower intensity.
7 weeks low volume/high intensity training ala Wariner
3 week "taper"
Only cross-training/dry land would be yoga 3x a week

Leonard Jansen
July 28th, 2008, 08:28 AM
The more I look into this the more I have questions. Are masters swimmers and triathletes the most overtrained obsessive athletes out there?

As a former track coach, I've said this before: Too much of swim training is based on myth and old habits and it is only the fact that swimming is more forgiving in terms of injury than running that has allowed this to continue. The key rule is that if you can't answer the question "Why am I doing this workout and how does it fit into reaching my racing goal?", you need to rethink your training. (The answer "Because it will help" or some such is a non-answer.)

For example, even though I am not a sprinter and not a swim coach, I'm going to put myself up in the cross-hairs and look at sprint swimming. If I had to train someone in sprint swimming, here is how I'd pick it apart. First of all: The goal is not "to swim fast" - the goal is to maximize the component skills (i.e. local optimization) that constitute fast swimming and then put them together in a whole (i.e. global optimization). Fast swimming is a result of this, not the other way around. (Some of) the skills you need to sprint:

1) Explosive start. How do you get this? Probably, the average sprinter would say, "Get up on the blocks and do some starts." Better: Do plyometrics and/or weights and "do some starts" as confirmation of the progress that the other work has made and to fine tune the feel and control.
2) Clean entry. A "dirty" entry causes loss of momentum. This is a practice-by-doing skill. If you can enter the water consistently with the same kind of hole that a top diver makes, you have it. A cheap video camera is your best friend. (I also might ask a diving coach to watch a sprinter and make suggestions.)
3) SDK - This has clearly become a critical skill for swimmers. It takes tremendous strength, flexibility and explosive power. To get this you need to work on weights/resistance exercises (esp exercises that develop explosive core and leg power) and dynamic types of stretching (Dara Torres, anyone?). Then you need to devote a decent proportion of your in-water training time to this.
4) Actual swimming: Speed is a result of minimizing the water's resistance while maximizing your ability to apply force to the water. Minimizing resistance means obsessive attention to every stroke you take, your body position, and the kinesthetic "feel" of the water. Maximizing force production is a function of strength, flexibility, stroke rate, stroke length and kinesthetic "feel". We know about the first two already. Stroke rate - You need to work on this, but not always as a function of body speed - in other words, there are time when the goal is just to turn your arms over very fast, even if it means shortening your stroke to do so. Over time, as you get stronger, your stroke at that rate will be longer. Stroke length - This is somewhat related to minimizing the water's resistance, but it also is a goal in and of itself. The ability to hold length for a given stroke rate is a function of stength and flexibilty - you know about these already. Since speed=rate * length, you will be playing a balancing game between rate and length. One of your goals is to actually find that optimal combination. (Suggestion: Pick a time that is a bit slower than all-out for a 50 M long course. Do a 50 M a number of times at this speed and play with the stroke rate and length, while recording on video. Make a subjective assessment at the end of each as to how each component felt (rate and length and any other observation) and then review the video later, counting stokes, etc.
5) Turns: A fast and strong turn is a function of flexibility and the same kind of explosive strength used in the start. We already know how to deal with those. This is also a skill that will be practiced obsessively in the water with video tape support.
6) There are other abilities/skills needed for sprint swimming, but I'm just giving a sample analysis here.

You need to locally optimize these things - i.e make each one as good as you can. You also need to then begin to globally optimize them by combining skills. For example, explosive start, clean entry and powerful SDK. Later: Explosive start, clean entry, powerful SDK, optimal swimming going into an explosive turn.
Etc, etc, etc.

Any of this must be done with the idea of "mastery learning" in mind. In other words, the first time you do something correctly, you have not mastered it. It's only the nth time, when you can do it at will, that you can move to the next level of that skill.

Notice that I didn't really mention things like "5 X 50 very fast" or 5 X 100 dolphin kicks on back", which are typically set as training "goals". Those are not goals - they are a means to the real goals, which I (partially) listed above. I also didn't mention total yardage or anything like that. Yardage is a function of the time and repetition that you need to reach your training goals. It is NOT a goal in and of itself. Your training sets should always answer "why am I doing this relative to the skills/physiological conditioning that I need for my event."

OK - sorry for the ramble, but at least that's how I'd (partially) train a sprinter.

-LBJ

ande
July 28th, 2008, 10:54 AM
many swimmers overtrain especially sprinters

here's the law of training

We become what we do

which means if you want to get better at swimming the 50 free

you should figure out what the critical factors are and work to improve in each area
one of them is to swim FAST swim 15's, 25's & 50 frees with plenty of rest

if you you don't allow enough rest between top efforts
you're actually training for a longer event

ironically the training many sprinters do makes them better at middle distance

one reason track athletes do less is to lower the risk of injury

I think it helps athletes to establish great technique and an excellent aerobic base in their younger years

you wrote:
I'm going to pick one of the next seasons (either SCM this fall or SCY in the spring) and try and adapt to this regime
give it a try I bet you'll have great results

I've gotten my best sprints results from doing this type of training
I did it 1990 - 92, 1995 & 96, and in 2008 preparing for SCY Nationals in May

One funny thing about longer harder training is swimmers work hard
so they believe they deserve to swim fast.

I swim fast in practice so I expect to swim fast in meets.



Much has been discussed on this topic but i wanted to revisit it after watching the track & field championships and remembering debates about how much pool training time swimmers put in relative to a runner competing in the equivalent event (a 400m runner to 100m swimmer).

What got my attention on this again was a recent article in Men's Fitness about Jeremy Wariner, specifically his training week during mid-season:

M= 200's: 8 x 200's two minutes followed by 40 yd sprints w/20 seconds rest
T= 350m: 2 x 350's followed by 1 x 300, one minute rest then a 100m to simulate the end of the race
W= 450m: 2 x 450's each under 1:00 with 9 minutes rest between each
Th= 90m: Recovery day each run in an "X" pattern
F= 100m: last run of the week is multiple 100m sprints

That's an insanely lower amount of training time than even i put in....Ande & Jazz come to mind.

More of this in an excellent article:
"Elite coaching special - Clyde Hart coach to Michael Johnson and Jeremy Wariner"

Here's are a couple of excerpt:
Clyde believes the principles of training are the same for many events: "I trained Michael Johnson like I trained a four minute miler. A four minute miler was doing a lot of the same things Michael Johnson was - a lot of the same things in training but more of them.

"The longest workout we have ever done - not counting warm up and warm down - would be under 20min, I think we have never worked more than 20min. That's not counting the Fall phase.”

So here's my challenge...
I'm going to pick one of the next seasons (either SCM this fall or SCY in the spring) and try and adapt to this regime...anyone else game?

ande
July 28th, 2008, 11:05 AM
that camp was before Olympic Trials

In the SI article on Phelps, Bowman was taking his swimmers to 70 practices in 24 days before the Olympics.

The Fortress
July 28th, 2008, 11:12 AM
I put in a max of about 10,000m a week..usually closer to 6000-8000m. However I have not gone to this level of "quality" work...and this experiment would mean stopping weights/cycling.

I would do something like;
6 weeks of base training = more of the 10,000m weeks but lower intensity.
7 weeks low volume/high intensity training ala Wariner
3 week "taper"
Only cross-training/dry land would be yoga 3x a week

Nice summary LBJ!

I do about the same yardage as you, Paul, maybe a bit more for LC. But I need a lot of easy warm up and recovery swimming to do speed work. I did 3000 today (missing sun and surf to swim with the tris at the local Y); only about 700 was high intensity.

Would you cross train or lift during your base period? In the middle period, you're just substituting increased high intensity swimming for cross training and pure aerobic work? So the test is whether the benefit of high intensity swimming specific work exceeds the benefit of cross training/weights/garbage yards? And your theory is that you can't do both without interfering with the quality/intensity of your swimming? If its really only a 7 week experiment, that wouldn't be nearly so hard as four months.

Sorry about the weight crack, Jazz. Don't love it yet, although I reluctantly must agree that (with my body type) it seems to help my swimming. I'm waiting to see how zones goes to further assess it. Although I'm thinking weights would probably be more beneficial to short course than long course?

ande
July 28th, 2008, 11:14 AM
more training would get your 500 time more in line with your 50 time
there's skinny little 12 year old girls who can barely go 26 in a 50 yard free that can go 5:11 in a 500
you should at least go under 5:00
I'm thinking about switching to longer events in the middle year of each age group
45 sprint
46 sprint
47 longer stuff
48 sprint
49 sprint

I'd really like to pop a decent 100 scy free
I'm leaning towards the paul smith trick
go for a 100 time while doing the 1,000


Of course. I'm thinking about the 200/500 combo at SCY nats next year. I've always kind liked those distances, and they suit me in one way because I'm not a terribly strong kicker.

Believe it or not, I went a lifetime best in the 500 (5:11) a couple years ago on less than 10,000 yards a week.

gull
July 28th, 2008, 11:59 AM
I'm thinking about switching to longer events in the middle year of each age group

Ande, that 5:09 400 IM was pretty damn impressive, especially considering the way you've been training.

ehoch
July 28th, 2008, 08:29 PM
I am not sure I am really that far away from training like this. My last all-out swim longer than 100 yards was my last meet about 8 weeks ago.

In a typical week since Nationals, I can do one race pace set of 3-5 swims. But, usually they are in a fast descend. I have 2 sprint days with the parachute - that's 7-10 sprints of 20sec or less. Then I have one pace day where I swim 50-100s at 200 to 800 pace - but not all out.

Other than that - I do swim more yardage, but all very easy. I can't remember the last time I have lead the entire main set for one of our workouts, and I am quite a bit faster.

My biggest problem with changing this even more is that I would have to train by myself (even more) + I think you need somebody to time you and give you feedback on stroke rates + technique.

elise526
July 28th, 2008, 08:59 PM
When and where did we start going wrong in swimming? My mother swam back in the 1950s and said that her coach had them practice what they were racing at race pace. Was he unique or did we take a wrong path in the seventies? When did the mega-yardage trend come into play? It obviously did somewhere, but where and when?

Iwannafly
July 30th, 2008, 04:34 PM
I'm just too much of an endorphin addict. ...
Bowman was taking his swimmers to 70 practices in 24 days before the Olympics. Yardage isn't mentioned, but it is a pretty good bet to be much more than the amount is being discussed here.

From an article on nbcolympics.com (http://www.nbcolympics.com/swimming/news/newsid=142382.html?_source=rss&cid=):


The full details of the regimen remain a Bowman secret. But he was glad to share, for instance, the details of what one day might be like: 6:30 a.m.: 4,000-meter swim. 11:30 a.m.: 6,000-meter swim. 4 p.m.: weight room or pilates, 45 minutes 5 p.m.: 4,000-meter swim Total in the pool that day: 14,000 meters, or about eight miles.

I'm kind of with you Chris on the endorphin addiction. I would almost like to try training like this just to see how my overall fitness (and physique) changed over its course. And to see if I could survive it.
I agree with Ande that if I want to improve my speed, I should train for that. But I really love the fact that I've lost 30+ pounds in the year and a half since I started swimming. And, even with all of our aerobic workouts, my speed is SLOWLY improving.

pwolf66
July 30th, 2008, 04:39 PM
14k meters in ONE DAY????? Yikes, that would kill me. I don't think that I did more than 7-8k in any one day back in the day of doing doubles.

Paul

Iwannafly
July 30th, 2008, 04:43 PM
14k meters in ONE DAY????? Yikes, that would kill me. I don't think that I did more than 7-8k in any one day back in the day of doing doubles.

Paul

I've never done 14k meters in a week, let alone a day! I did go on a 3 1/2 hour mountain bike ride last weekend with two guys who are significantly faster than I am. Details - 26 miles, 5000 feet of climbing, two PB&J sandwiches, a black bear and much pain! But it was an enjoyable pain!

knelson
July 30th, 2008, 04:50 PM
Was he unique or did we take a wrong path in the seventies? When did the mega-yardage trend come into play?

What makes you think it was the wrong path? Times probably dropped more in the early '70s than any other time in the history of the sport.

marksman
July 30th, 2008, 05:02 PM
I could not handle much high intensity swimming. I watched some of the floswimming videos...those swimmers move like fish in the water.

I've got to really work on my flexibility and streamline. When I try to sprint I can't handle much.

elise526
July 30th, 2008, 05:20 PM
What makes you think it was the wrong path? Times probably dropped more in the early '70s than any other time in the history of the sport.

Weight-lifting was added in there somehwere so that might have accounted for drops in times rather than mega-yardadge. Had we kept doing what we were doing in the 1950s, added the weights, made the technique changes we have in the last 10-15 years, and had the suits we do now, I imagine we would have seen times drop even more in the early '70s.

knelson
July 30th, 2008, 05:34 PM
My take is the mega-yardage trend of the '70s was a mistake because it was applied with such a broad brush. It paid huge dividends in distance events, but probably inhibited sprinting somewhat. For example, John Kinsella was the first man under 16 minutes in the 1500 with a 15:57 in 1970. A mere six years later Brian Goodell darn near broke 15 minutes with his 15:02 at the Montreal Olympics. There's no reason people swimming a 50 should train like those swimming a 1500.

ourswimmer
July 30th, 2008, 06:08 PM
When and where did we start going wrong in swimming?

Must have been Doc Counsilman and his wacky interval training (not to mention his high-tech anti-wave lane lines). Curse you, Doc, for ruining my sport!

The Fortress
July 30th, 2008, 07:21 PM
Just read an article in Mens Journal (it had a cover of Phelps and Lochte on the front). In the health & fitness section was an article entitled "Cardio is Bunk." Essentially, from what I recall, it was suggesting that aerobic work doesn't make you terribly fit unless your main goal is to fight fat or be able to go skiing for a day. It discussed the "Reyes" workout which advocates high intensity training such as sprints, circuit training, explosive weights, martial arts, etc. in lieu of aerobic work, which is described as an inefficient waste of time. There seemed to be a caveat for training for a long road race or triathlon, but, even there, it said you could train for those with anaerobic work. But, bottom line, it suggested that all out efforts were the way to become and stay most fit. And that muscle is additionally more important for longevity.

However, assuming this is true, why is Smith giving up weights during the middle cycle and substituting yoga? Is it really impossible to do quality work and weights simultaneously?

As a victim of the mega-yardage trend in the 70s, I have no doubt that it wrecked/suppressed some of my potential as a swimmer when young. In the summer, I recall doing doubles at two different pools with weights and drylands inbetween from 7:00 am-12:30 pm and then biking 4 miles home to sleep all afternoon. Blech.

elise526
July 30th, 2008, 07:27 PM
Must have been Doc Counsilman and his wacky interval training (not to mention his high-tech anti-wave lane lines). Curse you, Doc, for ruining my sport!


Counsilman had swimming on the right track. Who got us off? Where did the idea to put in mega-yardage come from?

chowmi
July 30th, 2008, 07:27 PM
Invention of goggles?

knelson
July 31st, 2008, 12:09 AM
It discussed the "Reyes" workout which advocates high intensity training such as sprints, circuit training, explosive weights, martial arts, etc. in lieu of aerobic work, which is described as an inefficient waste of time.

Just the latest flavor of the month, IMO. Seriously, these magazines have to keep convincing everyone that "everything you learned before about working out is wrong..." or else they wouldn't be able to keep people buying them.

SwimStud
July 31st, 2008, 07:48 AM
As a victim of the mega-yardage trend in the 70s, I have no doubt that it wrecked/suppressed some of my potential as a swimmer when young. In the summer, I recall doing doubles at two different pools with weights and drylands inbetween from 7:00 am-12:30 pm and then biking 4 miles home to sleep all afternoon. Blech.

...up hilll...in the snow... :D

The Fortress
July 31st, 2008, 09:30 AM
...up hilll...in the snow... :D

I said it was summer, Captain. Keep it up, and you'll be hobbling along the beltway to swim that 200 BR at zones. :cane:

ddunbar
July 31st, 2008, 11:10 AM
It wasn't all mega yardage in the 70s - a lot depended on the coaching. Our little swim team in Midland, Texas had some very good coaching. We had 4 groups in the practice, each with separate workouts: Sprinters, Stroke, Mid-distance, and the animal lanes. AM workouts were more aerobic, long slow distance, and then the evenings were much more focused on intervals and there were the dreaded stress days.

Yes the animals did get a few 20 K days during the long course season, they grooved on demont series and other demented swims, but there were other torture sets as well. I seem to remember 3 x 300m br decend by 100's desend the set, with 400 IM chasers.

We probably did more damage to ourselves from the high school dryland exercise program. Most swam AAU and the High School Coaches waived their work outs if we swam for the club. They did require us to do the dry land work and carrying a swimmer piggy back up stadium stairs probably did more damage to my knees than all the years of breast stroke.

In the early 90s, I was on one masters team that had switched to a sprint philosphy and focused on the 50s and 100s. This was frustrating for my 200 breast & 200 IM. Workouts were in the 2500 yard range.

Now this older fat man is just now back into the pool (7/2) after many years of sloth and glad to be able to drag myself through the warm, country club pool (no lane lines, but very few swimmers) while I work on rebuilding a base to 2500 yards per workout 4x. Adapting Paul's work outs have almost got me there. Unfortunately, I have log books and a memory of what times and distance used to be (last competed in the 30-35 bracket many years and several speedo sizes ago).

I don't forsee ever going back to 2 x days or swimming more than 4 x per week. The goal is to a build to 3500 yard workouts perhaps find a team, and get well adjusted to current times before I consider competing in the 50 -55 bracket that I just aged into.

Don

Allen Stark
July 31st, 2008, 09:46 PM
Just read an article in Mens Journal (it had a cover of Phelps and Lochte on the front). In the health & fitness section was an article entitled "Cardio is Bunk." Essentially, from what I recall, it was suggesting that aerobic work doesn't make you terribly fit unless your main goal is to fight fat or be able to go skiing for a day. It discussed the "Reyes" workout which advocates high intensity training such as sprints, circuit training, explosive weights, martial arts, etc. in lieu of aerobic work, which is described as an inefficient waste of time. There seemed to be a caveat for training for a long road race or triathlon, but, even there, it said you could train for those with anaerobic work. But, bottom line, it suggested that all out efforts were the way to become and stay most fit. And that muscle is additionally more important for longevity

It is amazing what is promoted with little or no research.Of course that is the same way it is in swimming,people tend to do what works for someone else.Swimming does seem to go in fads.Doc Councilman's genius was to say"this is what the top swimmers do,lets see what they have in common and try to explain it."This was a great step forward,but led to some blind alleys(the whole lift vs drag mish mash.)
My point of view(also really anecdotal) is that to swim fast you must swim at race pace and that for most Masters that will mean shorter yardage as we can't swim much at race pace with good form and not getting hurt(and not have our families feel totally abandoned.)

james lucas
August 1st, 2008, 01:23 PM
Speaking of research, consider this:

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/01/science/01muscle.html?ex=1375329600&en=56b47f25ad25580a&ei=5124&partner=permalink&exprod=permalink (http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/01/science/01muscle.html?ex=1375329600&en=56b47f25ad25580a&ei=5124&partner=permalink&exprod=permalink)


Researchers at the Salk Institute in San Diego reported that they had found two drugs that did wonders for the athletic endurance of couch potato mice. One drug, known as Aicar, increased the mice’s endurance on a treadmill by 44 percent after just four weeks of treatment.

A second drug, GW1516, supercharged the mice to a 75 percent increase in endurance but had to be combined with exercise to have any effect.
Maybe some day, with the right pills, you won't even have to do short yardage.

CreamPuff
August 1st, 2008, 02:16 PM
I propose that it is impossible to perform a quality workout without having an experienced coach (college or Trials/ Olympic background) correct you throughout the entire workout. I'm not even thinking about distance or speed although I'm sure they fall into the equation somewhere. I just came from a workout today and I was corrected on just about everything from stroke issues in free and fly to SDK and breathing. I felt fortunate to be able to make several significant changes (and to have a talented, patient coach point all these things out to me). I also felt that had I not been in darn good shape beforehand, that I could not have made the corrections. Swimming consistently and fast with the new corrections is a whole other can of worms. Good luck!

Paul Smith
August 1st, 2008, 06:12 PM
I propose that it is impossible to perform a quality workout without having an experienced coach (college or Trials/ Olympic background) correct you throughout the entire workout. I'm not even thinking about distance or speed although I'm sure they fall into the equation somewhere. I just came from a workout today and I was corrected on just about everything from stroke issues in free and fly to SDK and breathing. I felt fortunate to be able to make several significant changes (and to have a talented, patient coach point all these things out to me). I also felt that had I not been in darn good shape beforehand, that I could not have made the corrections. Swimming consistently and fast with the new corrections is a whole other can of worms. Good luck!

100% agree....but sadly something that is to often not available in masters swimming.

The Fortress
August 1st, 2008, 07:53 PM
How do you define "quality?" I'm thinking it can't be 100% true since there are many good self-coached masters swimmers.

Paul Smith
August 1st, 2008, 08:03 PM
How do you define "quality?" I'm thinking it can't be 100% true since there are many good self-coached masters swimmers.


Practice doesn't make perfect, perfect practice makes perfect.

Train all the quality you want but if your doing it with improper technique although you may be "fast" and see "improvement" its very doubtful you'll ever know just how could you have been or could be.

Don it actually wasn't all mega yardage in the 70's...at least one coach was doing some insanely different stuff; Sam Freas.


Also I found it very interesting that although I've brought it up several times so many people here still equate "speed" work with "sprinting". What I'm trying to get people to do here is to realize that even if your focus is in the distance events you can and should look at more quality speed work...Grant Hackett being a very good example of how someone who's best event is the 1500m but he can still go 49+ 100m...easy speed is a crucial element for everyone and just baning out max yardage every workout and avoiding speed work (IMO) is a mistake if you want to improve.

poolraat
August 1st, 2008, 08:03 PM
I wish I could do just an occasional workout with an on-deck coach. I might be much better than I am. It's not easy swimming alone without a coach.

The Fortress
August 1st, 2008, 08:11 PM
Practice doesn't make perfect, perfect practice makes perfect.

Train all the quality you want but if your doing it with improper technique although you may be "fast" and see "improvement" its very doubtful you'll ever know just how could you have been or could be.


Well, obviously, but, as you say, it isn't widely available in masters swimming. (S)he-Man's experience seems very unique and is the product of training with a high level USS team. And there is a difference between "quality" and "perfection." That was my only point. I'm well aware that my breaststroke is stuck in the gutter without some big time assistance.

CreamPuff
August 1st, 2008, 09:26 PM
How do you define "quality?" I'm thinking it can't be 100% true since there are many good self-coached masters swimmers.

I agree in that there are a lot of good self-coached masters swimmers out there. But how many *greats* are out there? I may be wrong, but let's say I qualify as a "good" swimmer. Well, after today's practice and being shown all the errors and such that I make, my thoughts were, "What a mess!"
So, I felt I was performing "quality" but not according to my coach - and she was right b/c I could make the corrections and I saw/ felt a difference. I've also had a world record holder point out lots of errors that I make throughout practices. So, I'm not swimming quality to him.

You are right in that it's all relative. For me, I feel that a good way to look at it is that when you are feeling like you've gotten to a decent level, get some additional/ new feedback if possible and then you'll realize you can hold yourself to an even higher standard.

When I think "quality," I think of Paul Smith as he does bring that term up quite a bit. So, I think of someone who is performing skills (again, not even thinking about speed or distance yet) during practice at an ex-NCAA Div I level or a masters World Record holder level. Now that's some quality.
And it's :rant3::rant3: challenging to swim that way! And let me clarify, I'm still not there yet.

Leslie, this quote of yours stood out for me:



I'm well aware that my breaststroke is stuck in the gutter without some big time assistance.

First, I'm in the same boat with my back AND breast. :laugh2: But here's where it gets interesting. Take my (our) beloved fly - something that I think is pretty good. Well, turns out there are TONS of specific things I need to continue to fix. Woa! :eek:

Anyway, what I thought was quality was not. I think that's what one of my coaches was referring to when he said I had a "limited swimming background."

Paul Smith
August 1st, 2008, 10:00 PM
I agree in that there are a lot of good self-coached masters swimmers out there. But how many *greats* are out there? I may be wrong, but let's say I qualify as a "good" swimmer. Well, after today's practice and being shown all the errors and such that I make, my thoughts were, "What a mess!"
So, I felt I was performing "quality" but not according to my coach - and she was right b/c I could make the corrections and I saw/ felt a difference. I've also had a world record holder point out lots of errors that I make throughout practices. So, I'm not swimming quality to him.

You are right in that it's all relative. For me, I feel that a good way to look at it is that when you are feeling like you've gotten to a decent level, get some additional/ new feedback if possible and then you'll realize you can hold yourself to an even higher standard.

When I think "quality," I think of Paul Smith as he does bring that term up quite a bit. So, I think of someone who is performing skills (again, not even thinking about speed or distance yet) during practice at an ex-NCAA Div I level or a masters World Record holder level. Now that's some quality.
And it's :rant3::rant3: challenging to swim that way! And let me clarify, I'm still not there yet.

Leslie, this quote of yours stood out for me:



First, I'm in the same boat with my back AND breast. :laugh2: But here's where it gets interesting. Take my (our) beloved fly - something that I think is pretty good. Well, turns out there are TONS of specific things I need to continue to fix. Woa! :eek:

Anyway, what I thought was quality was not. I think that's what one of my coaches was referring to when he said I had a "limited swimming background."

To be clear...I "struggle" with almost every single stroke. I can feel that I'm not where I need to be mainly with my left arm/catch/recovery and it drives me crazy..using a snorkel helps a lot but I will continue to strive for perfection and accept that its unlikely to ever be reached.

For those that don't have access to a day in/day out coach that can offer high level evaluation there are quite a few outstanding clinics available all over the country...be sure they tape...and I strongly suggest that any self trained swimmer who really does want some good feedback to look into attending one.

Ian Smith
August 1st, 2008, 10:10 PM
So, I felt I was performing "quality" but not according to my coach - and she was right b/c I could make the corrections and I saw/ felt a difference.

If Tiger Woods always has a coach (and he has being playing golf since he was 4), I figure most masters could use a swim coach to keep an eye on them, at least every now and again.

It is easy to get into bad habits and reinforce them by swimming uncorrected.

The Fortress
August 1st, 2008, 10:11 PM
I think that's what one of my coaches was referring to when he said I had a "limited swimming background."

Well, I'm down in the gutter with you. Frankly, without having any feedback, I already know there are a million things I could improve on. My list is so long, I simply can't address everything in the practice time I have. So I chip away or change focus periodically or ignore things like breaststroke. I got a lot of good tips at Nats, and I do at local meets as well thanks to forumite attendance. I'd love to go to a clinic, maybe one day I will, but I wouldn't trade it for a travel meet. Not yet anyway. Fortunately, when I do get to a team practice, I am coached by an able, credentialed swimmer. Yet I still feel I could use vastly more feedback.

Using your definition of "quality," then, I propose that 99.99% of masters swimmers are not having quality workouts.

Now, Paul, if you're "practicing perfect," haven't you achieved "perfection?" Or "quality?" The snorkel is at the bottom of my to do list. I've tried it, but don't like it. Can't breathe.

elise526
August 1st, 2008, 10:29 PM
Gosh, I'd give anything to have a coached practice! I coach a small group of folks once a week, but other than myself, the closest coached practice is 1.5 hours away and takes place at 5 am in the morning. I love swimming but not enough to drive 3 hours roundtrip during the early hours of the morning.

Not only is it great to have a coach to watch your strokes, but it is also great to have one to push you. I am so lazy and I know no coach in his right mind would have me doing what I did today -

300 warm-up
4 x 100 dolphin kick (no fins) on 2 min, hold under 1 min.,30 sec. (the colon key on my computer is broken)
4 x 50 rt arm/lt arm fly on 1 minute
100 easy

End of workout.

Isn't that pitiful?

Jazz Hands
August 2nd, 2008, 03:01 AM
I propose that it is impossible to perform a quality workout without having an experienced coach (college or Trials/ Olympic background) correct you throughout the entire workout.

I only sort of agree with this. It's awesome to have a good eye watching you swim and giving you the right focus points and drills. I assume it is, anyway, because I've never really been coached that way. I've always been coached as part of a team, so corrections were rare and they usually seemed like guesses. "I think you might be spinning, maybe slow the stroke rate?"

Swimming by yourself can work if you go more by how things feel than by how they look. If you know what a good swim feels like, you can alter your workout to try to capture that feeling. For me, it's like "That wasn't quite it, it needs more X. Drill/set/equipment Y gives me X sometimes. I'll try Y."

ddunbar
August 2nd, 2008, 11:20 AM
There are good coaches, great coaches, some that are fellow swimmers that are willing to take the responsibility of posting the workout, and then there are those on crack.

I would rather limp along self directed that every have another coach that is unwilling to post the work out, or does not work with those that are focusing on specific events and strokes. I will spend enough time in purgatory swimming backstroke and will never see the need to do more than an IM series of back.

knelson
August 2nd, 2008, 01:26 PM
Also I found it very interesting that although I've brought it up several times so many people here still equate "speed" work with "sprinting".

...easy speed is a crucial element for everyone and just baning out max yardage every workout and avoiding speed work (IMO) is a mistake if you want to improve.

By the same token I think there's an assumption that to bang out max yardage means you're swimming everything at aerobic pace.

CreamPuff
August 2nd, 2008, 02:32 PM
By the same token I think there's an assumption that to bang out max yardage means you're swimming everything at aerobic pace.

Swim Atlanta "busts it out" so to speak for the last 30 minutes of every practice regardless of whether you are in the mid distance, distance, fly (stroke), or IM lane.

LindsayNB
August 2nd, 2008, 02:36 PM
Swim Atlanta "busts it out" so to speak for the last 30 minutes of every practice regardless of whether you are in the mid distance, distance, fly (stroke), or IM lane.

I thought it was inadvisable to do high intensity work every practice?

Paul Smith
August 2nd, 2008, 03:50 PM
The snorkel is at the bottom of my to do list. I've tried it, but don't like it. Can't breathe.

Leslie give it another chance. Hand's down its the single best piece of equipment I use for technique work. I also use it with fins for long kick sets (kicking 6 x 6).

Paul Smith
August 2nd, 2008, 03:55 PM
By the same token I think there's an assumption that to bang out max yardage means you're swimming everything at aerobic pace.


Bodies adapt when you keep the same workload and never move out of zone 1-2, quality work changes the energy systems used and forces the body to change/develop.

I look at swimmers who do longer distance base aerobic work the same as that person who goes to the gym 6 days a week and reads a book while sitting on a bike or walking on the treadmill. Even fitness swimmers need quality speed work.

knelson
August 2nd, 2008, 05:35 PM
Bodies adapt when you keep the same workload and never move out of zone 1-2, quality work changes the energy systems used and forces the body to change/develop.

And I'm sure there are people who do stay at levels 1-2 for entire workouts, but there are also plenty of people who are doing lots of yardage AND mixing up the energy zones. It doesn't have to be all or nothing.

The Fortress
August 2nd, 2008, 06:34 PM
I only sort of agree with this. It's awesome to have a good eye watching you swim and giving you the right focus points and drills. I assume it is, anyway, because I've never really been coached that way. I've always been coached as part of a team, so corrections were rare and they usually seemed like guesses. "I think you might be spinning, maybe slow the stroke rate?"

Swimming by yourself can work if you go more by how things feel than by how they look. If you know what a good swim feels like, you can alter your workout to try to capture that feeling. For me, it's like "That wasn't quite it, it needs more X. Drill/set/equipment Y gives me X sometimes. I'll try Y."

Some things you know you're doing wrong and can attempt to self-correct and possibly succeed. Other fine points, you need a coach or educated observer, I agree. I've had several people point out things I'm doing wrong in fly that I never really realized, for example.

Kirk and Paul: Good point on quality applying to distance. I've got some distance geeks on my team that definitely are in zones 4-5 on some sets or parts of sets. They're animals.

I dunno about the snorkel, Paul. I know you and others love it. I've tried it a few times, can't get the hang of it and feel like I'm suffocating. Maybe this fall when I don't have many meets.

Paul Smith
August 2nd, 2008, 06:41 PM
We have a serious problem with obesity in our country today, and I give credit to anyone who does something to try to combat it. Sure, walking on a treadmill while reading/watching tv for 30 min isn't the quickest way to shed some pounds, but it is better than sitting on the couch. I'd hate to discourage someone like that, for fear they may stop entirely.

I guess I'd consider myself a fitness swimmer, since I don't compete. I pretty much just go with the flow at workouts, whatever the coach says so I don't have to move to another lane. I'll do speed sets when they're assigned, but I really don't see why I need it. I enjoy swimming, and do other things to help my overall fitness (like lifting weights, core work, and running). When I'm in the pool, I usually like cranking out as many yards/meters as I can, in the limited time I have.

Mr. Nelson...my point is that to many people are training with the "all or nothing" mindset...I'm suggesting people think outside the box and change things up on a frequent basis....especially those who don't understand the training zones and the fact that quality work is important.

Timm...if its obestity your concerned about those people would be better served doing 30 minutes of resistance training vs. 30-60 minutes of low level obesity which would have more impact on weight loss. And the reality is even before doing ANY workouts diet needs to be addressed.

Also, with regard to your question of "needing" quality/speed work in the pool...if you want to maintain the same swimming speed in practice and not make jumps in your ability to swim faster times on faster intervals...but rather to stagnate or regress than the "bang out as many yards as possible" strategy if fine.

All the other things you do (weights/running) are fine for general fitness but if you want to specifically get faster in running/swimming you have to train faster in those sports just as if you want to get stringer in the weight room you'll need to lift harder and change your routine on a regular basis.

Smith by Marriage
August 2nd, 2008, 07:30 PM
I really hate to say it, but I'm going to have to agree with Paul on this one. Timm, I, too, want to encourage anyone and everyone to choose the treadmill over the couch. However, I think that a main reason that people give up their quest for fitness, is that they don't see results. If you're trodding along without ever increasing your heart rate or effort level, you aren't going to get much out of it. (Isn't the definition of insanity, "doing the same thing the same way over and over and expecting a different result"?). If you don't stress your body in different ways, you won't see increases in fitness and decreases in body fat. The body has an amazing way to adapt to stressors, and once it adapts, you need to change your routine to keep progress moving forward.

pwolf66
August 2nd, 2008, 08:59 PM
Folks,


I discussed this in the getting stronger thread. It's all about gradually increase eustress (GOOD stressors) on the body, be that with running a little faster and/or longer each day, lifting a little more weight, swimming tighter and/or faster intervals, we need to continually increase the load. If the goal is to just to be able to do X, then great, eventually your body will become superb at doing X with the least possible work. But if after doing X for months (years), you then want to do X+Y, your body will fight you. So why not keep increasing the load and progressing?

LindsayNB
August 2nd, 2008, 11:10 PM
I've spent a little time trying to determine why some people aren't interested in doing what it takes to improve and some of those people say they want to enjoy their time in the pool rather than subject themselves to the pain/discomfort associated with swimming really fast. I am not a member of this group, I want to improve. I do admit however that my technique is so poor that I have tended to concentrate more on improving technique than improving conditioning and pain tolerance.

Anyway, I'm getting off topic, it is just a question I find interesting. Back on topic, I would sign up for Leonard's training program in second!

rhess54321
August 3rd, 2008, 12:17 AM
[QUOTE=Smith by Marriage;144598]I really hate to say it, but I'm going to have to agree with Paul on this one.

Now, Laura, this implies that you usually don't like to agree with Paul. Come on! He's not a bad guy! -a few off the wall comments at times but all in all a guy I would enjoy being married to (well...if I wasn't a guy myself). Maybe you guys have one of those Carville-Matlin type relationships?? Anyway, I agree with what you say on the treadmill thing. And to get back on track with the thread, I just might come on board for the "experiment". -thing is I would have to get used to the increased yardage, let alone the increased quality:weightlifter:

SwimStud
August 3rd, 2008, 12:36 AM
I think shock factor is good. I did it intra workout (SCY)last night after doing 10x 50 4 @ :50 and 6 @ :55 did 100 EZ and then went into 5 x 100 @ 2:00.
I did 4 on 2:00 holding a good quality stroke at 1:30. The last 100 I cut the interval off at 1:50 and went in 1:25, without really trying--I was surprised to drop time. Maybe I should have used 1:50 all the way through.

My point being I think the energy system hadn't had time to slip back to "comfortable" and so went a higher pace on adrenalin. So shocking the system can be good immediately and over the recovery/adapting period.

Coaching is good but hard to find. I took our masters group the other night, and everyone enjoyed the stroke correction/suggestions.

Allen Stark
August 3rd, 2008, 12:38 AM
I don't have coached practices,but I have coaching in that I go to clinics and have coaches and people I consider expert look at my stroke every chance I get.
If you want to get faster you need to stress the anaerobic systems as well as the aerobic.Also stressing means doing more and/or faster.Additionally I agree you need to be in good enough shape to do adequate work on technique.

elise526
August 3rd, 2008, 03:32 PM
I'm reading a book right now by Roy Benson called The Runner's Coach . It is aimed at training foks in distances of 800 meters to the 5k which is equivalent to the 200 to the 1500 in swimming. What I like is that he divides the season into four training phases to allow the body to make "physiological adaptations" - endurance training, stamina, economy, and speed.

Even in the endurance phase, on the hard days he has you doing "aerobic speed work." These efforts are capped at 80% effort. When you move up to phase II, stamina, you go to longer 85% efforts. Phase III, economy, on the hard days, you do things like 12 x 400 meter runs at 90-95% effort with a 200 meter recovery jog between each 400. In the the last phase, speed, he has you doing 100% efforts that are capped at 30 seconds. An example might be 4 x 150M, 6 x 100M, then 8 x 50M runs.

In general, he has you going 3 easy days and 3 hard days a week. I would guess that if you only had time to train 4 days a week, you would go 2 hard and 2 easy. The easy days are all at 60% while the hard days are just HARD! I like the idea in swimming because you can go hard for one practice and then use the next one just to recover. I think particularly for masters, this would be best to allow a full day to recover from a hard day of going all-out. Seems like then recovery days could be drills aimed at working on technique.

LindsayNB
August 3rd, 2008, 07:34 PM
In general, he has you going 3 easy days and 3 hard days a week. I would guess that if you only had time to train 4 days a week, you would go 2 hard and 2 easy.

I wonder if you could keep the 3 hard days and replace two of the easy days with off days? That would still give you a day off to recover between hard days.

elise526
August 3rd, 2008, 07:38 PM
I wonder if you could keep the 3 hard days and replace two of the easy days with off days? That would still give you a day off to recover between hard days.

I would think so, but since swimming is so technique driven, I think there are days that it may be best to work technique at 60%. If one is limited in how many workouts though, my guess would be that 3 hard days with a day off rest between each would be best.

CreamPuff
August 4th, 2008, 08:26 AM
I thought it was inadvisable to do high intensity work every practice?

If I've learned one thing from this forum, there aren't any rules.

Paul Smith
August 4th, 2008, 10:08 AM
I wonder if you could keep the 3 hard days and replace two of the easy days with off days? That would still give you a day off to recover between hard days.

So much depends on the athletes ability to recover and that is what I think should dictate this kind of stuff...problem is I think so many masters swimmers are out there in the "dead zone" (I referenced from Chris Carmichaels article in the current issue of Bicycling magazine) and misread their poor performance and fatigue as being out of shape vs. overtrained.

Big AL
August 4th, 2008, 01:51 PM
If you don't stress your body in different ways, you won't see increases in fitness and decreases in body fat.

Thanks for ruining it for me. :oldman: