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View Full Version : Max Vo2, Anaerobic, LT, Aerobic Swimming



xxsprint
August 5th, 2008, 08:57 PM
I am a runner and using swimming (right now) mostly for crosstraining, please don't hurt me. :D I know what these different zones are for running, but I don't know how they would correspond to actually swimming (putting them in practice). For runners, at least in the basic plan I'm following (Lydiard), you are not supposed to do any anaerobic training in your base phase (which I'm in), or very very little. I want to make sure that I am not going into anything more intense than LT, or at least be knowledgeable of what it takes to go into each zone.

I must add - I love swimming, I am thinking of maybe doing a triathlon one day or perhaps joining a club.

Thanks for the help!

-x

xxsprint
August 6th, 2008, 09:10 PM
bump

elise526
August 6th, 2008, 09:19 PM
I am a runner and using swimming (right now) mostly for crosstraining, please don't hurt me. :D I know what these different zones are for running, but I don't know how they would correspond to actually swimming (putting them in practice). For runners, at least in the basic plan I'm following (Lydiard), you are not supposed to do any anaerobic training in your base phase (which I'm in), or very very little. I want to make sure that I am not going into anything more intense than LT, or at least be knowledgeable of what it takes to go into each zone.

I must add - I love swimming, I am thinking of maybe doing a triathlon one day or perhaps joining a club.

Thanks for the help!

-x

xxsprint - I enjoy running and swimming also, and I coach a small masters group that has quite a few folks that run. That being said, I have learned that there are some similarities between running and swimming and there are some differences.

In running, I know in your base phase, long, slow runs are often the norm. Don't do this in swimming. It is a good way to get in the habit of having sloppy technique. Instead, in the base phase of swimming, I suggest focusing on lots of stroke drills -25s and 50s. For building your endurance in the base phase of swimming, I would suggest sets of build 50s and 100 with 15 seconds - 30 seconds rest between each swim. By build, I mean starting off each swim easy and building into a fast pace by the end of the swim. After this introductory stage, you can go to longer stroke drill swims, i.e. sets of 200s and 300s. You must, however, be mindful of practicing perfect technique on these longer swims.

Basically, I would work on technique first and building up speed before you go into doing whole swims in an anaerobic state. In the base phase, take your HR after you swim a set or wear an HR monitor. If you go past your AT in the base phase of swimming, you are probably going a little too hard. I'd keep it at 80-85% tops in the early season.

Hope that helps!



Edit - If you are going to do triathlons, I suggest you read The Triathlete's Training Bible by Joe Friel. He has a self-test you can do to establish various swim zones. He also has workouts as well. I'm not a fan of long swims until good technique is well-established. Long swims using the wrong technique can be asking for an injury.

LindsayNB
August 6th, 2008, 09:26 PM
Do a 20 or 30 minute swim for distance going at a steady pace at as fast a pace as you can hold basically indefinitely. Your average speed per hundred should basically tell you your aerobic/anaerobic threshold pace. Stay below that pace for pure aerobic training, go faster than that pace for anaerobic training.

xxsprint
August 6th, 2008, 10:37 PM
I would suggest sets of build 50s and 100 with 15 seconds - 30 seconds rest between each swim. By build, I mean starting off each swim easy and building into a fast pace by the end of the swim. After this introductory stage, you can go to longer stroke drill swims, i.e. sets of 200s and 300s. You must, however, be mindful of practicing perfect technique on these longer swims.



thanks for the help guys.

So, doing even distances as relatively short as 50s and 100s with that little rest inbetween wouldnt be going anaerobic?

I have to ask what I think is a stupid question (at least it seems like it to me). Since I am a pretty new swimmer I get tired very quickly, seemingly whether I am stroking fast or slow. If I am breathing hard after whatever distance, even if it was very short and I was not actually "trying" hard, am I going anaerobic? I mean, in running, I have to try very hard to be breathing hard, but in swimming, it seems like I breathe hard while not trying hard.

elise526
August 6th, 2008, 10:59 PM
thanks for the help guys.

So, doing even distances as relatively short as 50s and 100s with that little rest inbetween wouldnt be going anaerobic?

I have to ask what I think is a stupid question (at least it seems like it to me). Since I am a pretty new swimmer I get tired very quickly, seemingly whether I am stroking fast or slow. If I am breathing hard after whatever distance, even if it was very short and I was not actually "trying" hard, am I going anaerobic? I mean, in running, I have to try very hard to be breathing hard, but in swimming, it seems like I breathe hard while not trying hard.

I have found that I can be in great running shape, but if I am out of the pool for too much time, I will be huffing and puffing at the slightest effort. Part of swimming is acclimating to breathing rhythm. Be sure that you are letting all of your air out before turning your head to take in more air. Many folks hold their breath and don't realize it.

Take these swims very easy starting out and get faster the last half. To avoid going anaerobic, take a little more rest between each and back down on the pace throughout the swim. Later in the season, you can go to swims like 4 x 100 with 10 to 15 seconds rest and hold near 500 race pace. Those swims will be anaerobic. It is not until late in the season that you do things like 50s or 100s on 6 to 8 minutes at 95%.

Again, I am a swimming purist and don't like long, slow swims done at 60%. I don't think they do anything but reinforce bad stroke technique. Get comfortable doing 50s and 100s with only 15 -30 seconds rest between each swim before you start doing straight 300s, 400s, or 500s. You can do sets of those later. Establish good technique with shorter distances as it is much easier to hold perfect technique over shorter distances. Practice does not make perfect. Perfect practice makes perfect.

xxsprint
August 7th, 2008, 01:07 AM
It is not until late in the season that you do things like 50s or 100s on 6 to 8 minutes at 95%.



Whoa, that's really interesting. In swimming you save intervals with full recovery for the end of the season? In running it is the reverse, you do full recovery in base and work your way down to less recovery, generally.

elise526
August 7th, 2008, 01:25 AM
Whoa, that's really interesting. In swimming you save intervals with full recovery for the end of the season? In running it is the reverse, you do full recovery in base and work your way down to less recovery, generally.

I'm not sure I'm with you on that idea. I follow Roy Benson's ideas on training for running and his last phase is speed - 95-100% efforts with lots of recovery between each effort. With both running and swimming, you want to start off easy and allow your body to adjust.

Mid-season running or swimming is rough either way you cut it. For me, I used to do 5ks and 10ks, so mid to late season, I was doing 12 x 400s on the track at 90 -95% effort with a 100M recovery. This would translate in swimming to doing 12 x 100 with a 20 -30 second rest. Last phase, on the hard days of both running or swimming, the focus should be on short speed with race pace efforts with lots of recovery. Of course the few days before a race, you don't want to be doing race-pace efforts.

I think one thing runners often wonder about is why there is such short rest (30 seconds) on the swims early on. Remember, instead of swimming a straight 400 at 75 -80%, you are breaking it into 8 x 50s build at the same effort level. The 400 is broken up so that you can maintain perfect stroke. I think of it like a run out at the track where you are striding the straights at 80% and jogging the curves for recovery. The only difference here is that you are stopping to get your recovery on the swim.

Check out The Runner's Coach by Roy Benson to see the phases I'm talking about. Correct me if I am wrong, but whether you are training to run an 800 or a marathon, don't you need more recovery time the closer you get to your race?

knelson
August 7th, 2008, 01:30 AM
I am a runner and using swimming (right now) mostly for crosstraining, please don't hurt me. :D I know what these different zones are for running, but I don't know how they would correspond to actually swimming (putting them in practice).

Here's an article that should help:
http://www.usaswimming.org/USASWeb/ViewMiscArticle.aspx?TabId=417&Alias=Rainbow&Lang=en&mid=648&ItemId=1317

xxsprint
August 7th, 2008, 11:27 AM
I'm not sure I'm with you on that idea. I follow Roy Benson's ideas on training for running and his last phase is speed - 95-100% efforts with lots of recovery between each effort. With both running and swimming, you want to start off easy and allow your body to adjust.

Mid-season running or swimming is rough either way you cut it. For me, I used to do 5ks and 10ks, so mid to late season, I was doing 12 x 400s on the track at 90 -95% effort with a 100M recovery. This would translate in swimming to doing 12 x 100 with a 20 -30 second rest. Last phase, on the hard days of both running or swimming, the focus should be on short speed with race pace efforts with lots of recovery. Of course the few days before a race, you don't want to be doing race-pace efforts.

I think one thing runners often wonder about is why there is such short rest (30 seconds) on the swims early on. Remember, instead of swimming a straight 400 at 75 -80%, you are breaking it into 8 x 50s build at the same effort level. The 400 is broken up so that you can maintain perfect stroke. I think of it like a run out at the track where you are striding the straights at 80% and jogging the curves for recovery. The only difference here is that you are stopping to get your recovery on the swim.

Check out The Runner's Coach by Roy Benson to see the phases I'm talking about. Correct me if I am wrong, but whether you are training to run an 800 or a marathon, don't you need more recovery time the closer you get to your race?

Yea, I am a distance runner also, despite my name :)

Great analogy about striding the straights and jogging the curves, that makes a lot of sense.

I also see what you are saying now about short intervals with full recovery - I was thinking you were referring to pretty much the last couple months of the season, not just the last several days, when you are tapering. When you are sharpening you do much shorter, quicker stuff to get you feeling fresh and your legs really moving.

Anyway, I am not too familiar on Benson, I am following Lydiard.

Thank you for the link knelson.

rtodd
August 7th, 2008, 06:57 PM
Swimming workouts (the concept of intervals, lactic threshold etc.) are more analgous to a runner who trains up to the 1500 where lactic acid management is crucial. If you are a distance runner, the training is not very similar to typical swimming workouts. But cross training in the pool to do distance running??????

I think a swimmer can benefit from cross training on the track. Particularly sprints, plyo's etc. But I don't think there is much benefit to cross train in the pool for running of any distance, unless you are "running" in the pool for injury rehab, or some type of active recovery which can be very soothing (if you know how to swim).

If I were to get back to running, I would need to cut way back on swimming almost to zero and waste some upper body bulk developed from swimming.

What distance to you train for?

elise526
August 7th, 2008, 07:06 PM
Swimming workouts (the concept of intervals, lactic threshold etc.) are more analgous to a runner who trains up to the 1500 where lactic acid management is crucial. If you are a distance runner, the training is not very similar to typical swimming workouts. But cross training in the pool to do distance running??????

I think a swimmer can benefit from cross training on the track. Particularly sprints, plyo's etc. But I don't think there is much benefit to cross train in the pool for running of any distance, unless you are "running" in the pool for injury rehab, or some type of active recovery which can be very soothing (if you know how to swim).

If I were to get back to running, I would need to cut way back on swimming almost to zero and waste some upper body bulk developed from swimming.

What distance to you train for?

rtodd - I've got some runners in my class that might disagree with you. One of my swimmers, a female, set a state record in the half-marathon for a 45 year old woman. She did it in 1 hour, 33 minutes. She swears that masters swimming helped her do it.

Edit - Check out info on Roy Benson's training at http://www.pccoach.com/products/books/book_run_bensonsecrets.htm

ericl
August 7th, 2008, 07:22 PM
As a longtime runner/coach whose arthritic knees have driven me to try swimming, I wonder how much difference between running culture and swimming culture can be derived from the potential for mind-twisting boredom in the pool.

Nowadays, almost no runner training for a distance longer than 100m does all of their training on the track,...get over 800m and the bulk of it is off the track.

IF you go back to the bad all old days of extreme interval training in running in the 50's or 60's, you see a change. IF you look a Mihaily Igloi, a noted running coach of his era, he insisted his runner's do ALL of their training on the track, and his workouts were just as insanely convuluted as the workouts I see here.

I clain absolutely no expertise in swim training, (other than what carries over from running or endurance sport in general) but since I am stuck coaching myself, I have stuck to something a runner would recognize: Relaxed ocean swims up to 2hrs...moderate to intense intervals in the pool, and so on, and so forth.

The BIG difference, which I have come to respect, is stroke maintence. As a runner, recovery meant a slow jog on a trail. As a swimmer, I have fallen into a recovery habit, of repeat 50's with adeqaute rest, and extreme attention paid to technique. I feel that is not too far off of what I have read upthread.

The similarities/differences between running and swimming have been fascinating to me right from the start. I would bet that both sports occasionally suffer from an overload of "received wisdom."

rtodd
August 7th, 2008, 07:41 PM
I've got some runners in my class that might disagree with you. One of my swimmers, a female, set a state record in the half-marathon for a 45 year old woman. She did it in 1 hour, 33 minutes. She swears that masters swimming helped her do it.


How does she split up here training time between the two? Do you know her weekly run miles and weekly swim yardage?

Did she break the running record by running less and substite in swimming?

I just don't think top runners (i.e. the ones at Beijing right now) do alot of cross training in the pool to improve their running.

If this girl can ride a bike she is all set.

elise526
August 7th, 2008, 07:43 PM
Ericl - I'm not sure if your talking about the running or swimming workouts when you speak of things being "convuluted," but I have a hard time believing that Coach Benson is off on his training methods. Under his leadership, the University of Florida won 2 SEC track championships.

In the late '80s, I walked on the track team my senior year of college and ran the 5k and 10k on the track. I can assure you that we did intervals on the track in addition to off-track workouts. I am sure that people training for these distances still do track workouts.

Insofar as swimming is concerned, as a swim coach, I encourage you to open your mind to intervals and speed in the pool as it will make you a better swimmer.

ericl
August 7th, 2008, 07:50 PM
I knbw my poist meandered but I nthink the word "track workout" showed up in there somewhere. I was a clloege 5 & 10k runner. During the speed phase I was averaging 3-4 track workouts a week, and that was considered one too many by some.

What I was trying to give, was some historical perspective. Endurance running went through a phase of 7days/week track running. The improvements were noteworthy, the burnouts were as well. An elepahnt in the room with all track running was mental staleness and boredom. Making the the workouts everchanging permutatiopns of distances tempos etc. was a way of dealing with that. I see this in swimming as well.

rtodd
August 7th, 2008, 07:51 PM
Nowadays, almost no runner training for a distance longer than 100m does all of their training on the track


100m to 400m, A fair amount of weight room.......ALOT OF TRACK.



,...get over 800m and the bulk of it is off the track.

Huh?

rtodd
August 7th, 2008, 07:54 PM
An elepahnt in the room with all track running was mental staleness and boredom. Making the the workouts everchanging permutatiopns of distances tempos etc. was a way of dealing with that. I see this in swimming as well.

The weak get bored and quit. That's why there are 8 lanes and thousands of seats.

elise526
August 7th, 2008, 07:55 PM
How does she split up here training time between the two? Do you know her weekly run miles and weekly swim yardage?

Did she break the running record by running less and substite in swimming?

I just don't think top runners (i.e. the ones at Beijing right now) do alot of cross training in the pool to improve their running.

If this girl can ride a bike she is all set.

She was a great triathlete now that you mention it! While getting in top form for her half, she would do two swim workouts a week. Usually she would do just a total of 2,000 yards in each workout. Insofar as her running, I would say she was doing 45 miles per week. She ran 6 days a week. On her swim days, her run would be shorter (4-6 miles). The week of a race, she would only do one swim workout early on.

Now I do understand there are some top running coaches that are advocating more running in the pool instead of just on land. One gal I know is an ultra-marathoner, adventure racer, and uses a coach out of Nashville, Tennessee that is a big believer in water running. Apparently he uses it with a number of professional triathletes that he coaches as well.

I do think you are right somewhat in questioning whether swimming helps running. I am focusing on running right now and have pretty much had to abandon the pool so that I have energy to do it. I do think folks like to mix things up though and not just do one type of exercise.

Boy, you are right about shedding some of the upper body bulk to move better. I ran my best in HS at 5'9" and 125 to 128 lbs. I ran 5ks and 10ks until four years ago and then started focusing on swimming. Now I'm between 5'9" and 5'10 and weigh 145, mostly because of upper body development. It works great in swimming but when I run now, talking about elephants.....

ericl
August 7th, 2008, 07:59 PM
"The weak get bored and quit. That's why there are 8 lanes and thousands of seats"

Spoken like a 200/400 guy...or like a typical track coach from pre 1970 -

rtodd
August 7th, 2008, 08:16 PM
She was a great triathlete now that you mention it! While getting in top form for her half, she would do two swim workouts a week. Usually she would do just a total of 2,000 yards in each workout. Insofar as her running, I would say she was doing 45 miles per week. She ran 6 days a week. On her swim days, her run would be shorter (4-6 miles). The week of a race, she would only do one swim workout early on.

Two 2,000 yd workouts a week is like coming to the pool to be social. She was WAY biased to the running. The swim workouts might have been very therapudic for recovery, so in a sense it may be helpful.

Swimming is really unique to itself. I think most runners who try would agree. I don't think it helped Rocky in Rocky III.....Remember that fly?

xxsprint
August 7th, 2008, 08:42 PM
I would deem two 2,000 yd workouts using swimming as cross-training, no matter how easy it is. It's not running, and it is being used to help running, even as just a means of feeling good and recovering more quickly.

If you want to improve at running, the best thing to do is running. However, I think other activities certainly can be useful.

btw, I ran mile, 2mile, and XC (3mile) in HS (pretty much the farthest you can go in most meets), and now that I just graduated, I would guess I will be doing anywhere form 5K to 10K.

Eric, what you said earlier about doing "convoluted" workouts, that definitely sounds interesting. I don't know that much about Igloi but his methods are a rapid departure from most of the well-known, followed coaches nowadays. It makes you wonder how little/much we know.

elise526
August 7th, 2008, 09:52 PM
I would deem two 2,000 yd workouts using swimming as cross-training, no matter how easy it is. It's not running, and it is being used to help running, even as just a means of feeling good and recovering more quickly.

If you want to improve at running, the best thing to do is running. However, I think other activities certainly can be useful.

btw, I ran mile, 2mile, and XC (3mile) in HS (pretty much the farthest you can go in most meets), and now that I just graduated, I would guess I will be doing anywhere form 5K to 10K.

Eric, what you said earlier about doing "convoluted" workouts, that definitely sounds interesting. I don't know that much about Igloi but his methods are a rapid departure from most of the well-known, followed coaches nowadays. It makes you wonder how little/much we know.

Give the 2,000 yard workouts twice a week a shot. I've had a couple of young men that ran in college in my class and they felt swimming that small amount helped them. All three of the runners I have mentioned were very thin so the swimming may have given them a little extra power to have a good kick on the end of the race whatever the distance.

I do hope you will consider doing a triathlon. Both the fellows I mentioned took it up and did very well.