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Justin Ritter
October 20th, 2008, 04:04 PM
I always thought it would be cool to be able to break 5:00 in the 500. While it would be a bit of a stretch I feel like it's potentially within reach and given enough of the right kind of training I could do it. That said I also feel like every second between me and the 5 minute mark is going to get harder and harder to knock off.

I've always been, and continue to be, more of a breaststroker than a freestyler. I have no ankle flexibility so I pretty much always need to deal with dragging two brakes through the water. I've never really trained seriously for free events even though I do try hard and consider the longer frees to be my secondary events.

To give you an idea I swim about 3000-4000 a day, probably realistically average 4-5 times a week. I can and will increase that over the winter as we head into the meets starting in January. Intervals average in the 1:15-1:20 range, sometimes dipping to 1:10. I can pretty comfortably hold 1:10-1:15 pace depending on the set. Doing a 1:00 100 from a push is hard but not impossible.

So far my fastest masters times in the 200 are 1:55 and the 500 a 5:18. I know I can go much faster in both, in that 200 I took water instead of air on the turn at the 100 and was choking and coughing for the last 100 and still somehow managed a best time. The 500 was the last event of a long weekend of swimming and I was exhausted. I bet I could have done a 1:53 and a 5:14 given better circumstances.

Anyway, any training tips or things to work on? Ideal way to split it? Is the 5:00 500 going to be ridiculously difficult or given enough training reachable?

Thanks guys. That and the :50 100 (I'll save that one for later) are two swimming marks I always wanted to check off my list.

pwb
October 20th, 2008, 04:30 PM
I always thought it would be cool to be able to break 5:00 in the 500 ...
Anyway, any training tips or things to work on? Ideal way to split it? Is the 5:00 500 going to be ridiculously difficult or given enough training reachable?


Justin, it is a cool goal and you should be able to do it from where you are. I'm sure you'll get inundated with better advice, but here are some initial thoughts:

Splitting: Take a look at results of recent nationals as you'll see a number of people under 5 minutes, but also a number of ways to get there. In my experience, you always want to feel like you are negative splitting the race. In reality, you often don't, but gunning it too hard on the 1st 150 to 200 can be a real killer to keeping up the pace. It's always a very conscious effort on my part to feel like I'm cruising through the 250 mark. The 'moment of truth,' though where you need to learn to swim through the pain is from 300 to 450 yards. I find I can always get excited about picking up the pace after the halfway point and I generally have something left in the tank in the last 50, but if I don't really bear down -- and really train to do this -- during the 300 to 450 mark, I fall off the pace very quickly.

Technique: If you look at the elite swimmers, they are motoring the 500 with a 6 beat kick the whole way. You probably don't need that to get under 5 minutes if you can have an efficient, powerful 2 beat that is well-connected with your pull & core rotation. However, if you can build a stronger kick, that will come in real handy during the last half of the race.

Training: Do a search on 500 free under the workouts and see if Ande Rasmussen or some of the other prolific posters there have offered up ideas. I'd certainly recommend you work on on getting your "normal" 100 intervals down to 1:10s where you're comfortably going sub-1:05 and be able to do test sets on 1:05, ideally doing more than 5 at a time. At a very macro level, if you're really targeting the 500, I'd train the predominance of your early season training geared towards the 1000 to build endurance and then, as you add in quality, build more speed by training towards a 200 while keeping sufficient distance sets on your aerobic days at low rest, but a pretty good clip.

PJElder
October 20th, 2008, 05:14 PM
If you want a pracice goal set, I can usually go under 5:00 for 500 yards free about the time when I can start making 5 X 100s on the 1:05 in practice.

Making that interval means that I can repeat and hold a pace close to a minute per hundred yards without dying.

You should work on getting your 200 free time faster, since I think you need to be comfortably at 1:55 at the 200 to make it under.

Good luck.

Midas
October 20th, 2008, 06:35 PM
The 'moment of truth,' though where you need to learn to swim through the pain is from 300 to 450 yards.

Yikes! A 150 yard "moment" of truth is a darn long moment. I prefer the 200s where the "moment" of truth is just the third 50...

I have to agree with what people are saying. Looking at some guys going around 4:57 in the 500 free, I noticed that many of them swim the 200 free in 1:46/1:47. So that will be a challenge for you to overcome. Conditioning will be the key, and being able to pull off 10x100 on 1:10 and, especially 5x100 on 1:05 will be very important.

Can't wait to see what people say about how to break :50 in the 100 free. That's a goal you and I share.

Justin Ritter
October 20th, 2008, 06:51 PM
Thanks for the tips so far, I love the idea of 5x100 on 1:05. It sounds somewhat scary but also not completely impossible. Right now I'm sure I can do 2. It'll be fun to try 3. Then 4, and so on. As for working on my 200 that will also be a good goal. I'm guessing that I probably don't need to get down to 1:46 but I should be down to 1:50 if I want to obtain 4:59. I'll most likely be approaching it more as distance swimmer where 500 is my sprint distance as opposed to a 100 swimmer where 500 is my long distance. Based on previous 500s and 1000s I tend to get into a rhythm pretty quickly and then am able to hold it for the remainder. I can imagine a way I might break 5:00 to be something like :57 followed by four 1:00 lows.

The great thing about masters is that you have years and years to achieve your goals. At only 32 I still have tons of time to just take off a few seconds a year and make it.

Keep the suggestions coming!

As for the sub-50 100 I just need to get more strength and speed, especially in my kick. The 50 was always way too short to get going for me. I just broke 24 for the first time in my life not too long ago. But the way I swim the 100 my second 50 is usually only a second slower than my first. I'm thinking if I can go out in a 24.0 then I can probably come back 25 mid to break it. The 200 and 500 training will help that a bit.

pwb
October 20th, 2008, 07:10 PM
Keep the suggestions coming!


I should've made another comment on technique beyond your question on kicking. If you can, get your stroke videotaped and analyzed by a strong, technique-oriented coach. This will apply to both your 500 and your 100. While masters does allow us years and we can still hit the weights, I think many of us can benefit greatly from technique work.

After watching myself swim (both above and below the water), I've been making a number of changes to my stroke with an aim to increase my stroke length and reduce inefficiences / slippages in my pull. There are loads of great videos out there to watch, too, of the pros and a number of technique-oriented videos. The more efficient you can get your stroke, the less energy you use and the more effective / powerful you can be.

knelson
October 20th, 2008, 07:31 PM
I'm guessing that I probably don't need to get down to 1:46 but I should be down to 1:50 if I want to obtain 4:59.

For comparison I consider myself a distance swimmer and my best masters times are 1:50 low in the 200 and 5:00 in the 500. Yes, I'm still trying to break 5:00. also. I should have last year, but didn't quite make it. I've now got so many swims within a couple seconds of 5:00 it's ridiculous!

Anyway, I think it is key to be able to take the race out in at least 1:56 unless you are a real negative split type swimmer. It is very difficult to keep those 50 splits under :30 in the middle part of the race (for me, anyway), so you need to build a little cushion in the front half of the race. Obviously that 1:55 or 1:56 at the 200 has to be pretty comfortable or you'll die in the back half. The 5x100 on the 1:05 is a good goal. I really do think it's key to know you can swim consistent 100s right around 1:00.

As someone else said, don't forget about the technique work. Things like turns are critical. With 19 turns if you can just cut a couple tenths off each turn it could make the difference between getting under 5:00 and swimming a 5:01. I should know! :)

BillS
October 20th, 2008, 07:50 PM
For comparison I consider myself a distance swimmer and my best masters times are 1:50 low in the 200 and 5:00 in the 500. Yes, I'm still trying to break 5:00. also. I should have last year, but didn't quite make it. I've now got so many swims within a couple seconds of 5:00 it's ridiculous!

Anyway, I think it is key to be able to take the race out in at least 1:56 unless you are a real negative split type swimmer. It is very difficult to keep those 50 splits under :30 in the middle part of the race (for me, anyway), so you need to build a little cushion in the front half of the race. Obviously that 1:55 or 1:56 at the 200 has to be pretty comfortable or you'll die in the back half. The 5x100 on the 1:05 is a good goal. I really do think it's key to know you can swim consistent 100s right around 1:00.

As someone else said, don't forget about the technique work. Things like turns are critical. With 19 turns if you can just cut a couple tenths off each turn it could make the difference between getting under 5:00 and swimming a 5:01. I should know! :)

Kirk knows whereof he speaks:

Men 35-39 500 Freestyle
3 Nelson, Kirk E 37 PNA 5:01.77 5:00.37 8.00
27.24 56.70(29.46) 1:26.78(30.08) 1:56.94(30.16)
2:27.37(30.43) 2:57.81(30.44) 3:28.45(30.64) 3:59.46(31.01)
4:30.36(30.90) 5:00.37(30.01)

You can't get much closer than that over a 500.

tjrpatt
October 20th, 2008, 09:38 PM
In my age group days, it took me forever to break. I was 5 minutes in my sophomore year of high school and I think that a few weeks later, I broke it or something. All I know is that I was only able to get in the low 4:50s and that was a struggle. I think that it was more mental than anything.

For this year, I would like to get around the 5:15 to 5:19 range and then, go from there. It would be really nice to eventually break 5 minutes again. We will see how my training goes. If it happens great, if not, oh well. I have so many other events to worry about as well.

knelson
October 20th, 2008, 09:59 PM
In my age group days, it took me forever to break. I was 5 minutes in my sophomore year of high school and I think that a few weeks later, I broke it or something.

I remember it vividly. I went a 4:59 the very first dual meet my sophomore year in HS...then proceeded to not break it again for the rest of that season! I really don't know what went wrong.

daveindc
October 20th, 2008, 10:23 PM
Well, good luck! I will do a 500 sometime and post my splits here just for laughs. I wonder if my last 50 will be twice my first 50. I'm purely a sprinter.

tjrpatt
October 20th, 2008, 10:24 PM
I remember it vividly. I went a 4:59 the very first dual meet my sophomore year in HS...then proceeded to not break it again for the rest of that season! I really don't know what went wrong.

Wow, 4:59 without being rested? I was lucky if I went 5:10 unrested during my high school years. All in all, I like the 500 much better today than in my high school days.

knelson
October 20th, 2008, 11:37 PM
Wow, 4:59 without being rested?

Yeah, I was pumped! I think the State cut was like a 4:57 so I thought I'd get it no sweat. Little did I realize I wouldn't get that cut until the following season. I think that was the first time in my swimming career that I hit a plateau like that. Not fun at all.

ced357
October 20th, 2008, 11:43 PM
I never thought of myself as a distance swimmer as I never swam anything over a 200 all through college. My senior year my coach decided to put me in the 500 at the champs as we had a very deep field in the 50, which was on the same day. I usually swam the 50 but I wasn't all that competitive. I ended up swimming 4:54 which blew my mind. I feel I wasted all of college training in the sprint lane when I could have been a decent distance swimmer. Now I'm too lazy to train the distance that would require me to swim a competitive 500. But maybe you have motivated me to try again. Oh by the way I went out in a 1:55 for my first 200 and held 29-30 for rest. So, I agree you should get that first 200 to at least a 1:56-1:57 to leave a cushion.

david.margrave
October 21st, 2008, 01:55 AM
That was always my goal. The closest I ever got was not all that close, 5:23 my freshman year of H.S. when I was doing both USS and H.S. team. After that I did H.S. only and never beat that time.

During the 20 years I took off, sometimes I would wonder if I ever had any hope of meeting that goal at my age, or if the window of opportunity, if there ever was one, had passed. I'm quite a ways off now, best masters 500 is 5:43. I think I'll settle for beating that 5:23 then worry about the next goal.

Lump
October 21st, 2008, 10:53 AM
This is one of my goals as well (under 5:00 in the 500). It used to be my best event in HS and college. I came out of HS going 4:28 or something and 4:23 or so in college. That was then though....this now!! Its seems like an impossible feat!

Since I just started back 2 months ago I've set this to be a long term goal. I haven't even done a 100 yet as I've only swam in one meet that was only 50's (and a 100 IM). I'd "guess" that I'm around the 2:00 right now in the 200, but won't know for sure until Auburn in Feb. As others have suggested it takes a lot of repetitive 100's and fast intervals, its a good mix of distance and controlled sprinting.

jim clemmons
October 21st, 2008, 11:56 AM
If you want a pracice goal set, I can usually go under 5:00 for 500 yards free about the time when I can start making 5 X 100s on the 1:05 in practice.

Making that interval means that I can repeat and hold a pace close to a minute per hundred yards without dying.

You should work on getting your 200 free time faster, since I think you need to be comfortably at 1:55 at the 200 to make it under.

Good luck.

I agree with this for the most part. The only part I take exception to is that I don't believe you (necessarily) have to go out that fast in order to break 5:00.
My best 500 (age 52) came the year I could comfortably hold minutes on 1:05 for 100's. I went 4:58.9 with splits of 57.3, 59.8, 60.6, 60.7, and 60.5 so I was 1:57.11 at the 200 and my best time in a flat out 200 (untapered) that year was 1:58.93. I never broke 5:10 in college but I never swam year-round until masters which I feel makes a huge difference.

Typhoons Coach
October 21st, 2008, 01:42 PM
Justin, it is a cool goal and you should be able to do it from where you are. I'm sure you'll get inundated with better advice, but here are some initial thoughts:

Splitting: Take a look at results of recent nationals as you'll see a number of people under 5 minutes, but also a number of ways to get there. In my experience, you always want to feel like you are negative splitting the race. In reality, you often don't, but gunning it too hard on the 1st 150 to 200 can be a real killer to keeping up the pace. It's always a very conscious effort on my part to feel like I'm cruising through the 250 mark. The 'moment of truth,' though where you need to learn to swim through the pain is from 300 to 450 yards. I find I can always get excited about picking up the pace after the halfway point and I generally have something left in the tank in the last 50, but if I don't really bear down -- and really train to do this -- during the 300 to 450 mark, I fall off the pace very quickly.

Technique: If you look at the elite swimmers, they are motoring the 500 with a 6 beat kick the whole way. You probably don't need that to get under 5 minutes if you can have an efficient, powerful 2 beat that is well-connected with your pull & core rotation. However, if you can build a stronger kick, that will come in real handy during the last half of the race.

Training: Do a search on 500 free under the workouts and see if Ande Rasmussen or some of the other prolific posters there have offered up ideas. I'd certainly recommend you work on on getting your "normal" 100 intervals down to 1:10s where you're comfortably going sub-1:05 and be able to do test sets on 1:05, ideally doing more than 5 at a time. At a very macro level, if you're really targeting the 500, I'd train the predominance of your early season training geared towards the 1000 to build endurance and then, as you add in quality, build more speed by training towards a 200 while keeping sufficient distance sets on your aerobic days at low rest, but a pretty good clip.

Absolutely, in my opinion, an excellent post! Almost verbatum with regard to what I would say/suggest. I would also try to find a good pacing swimmer that has that 5:00.00 barrier broken that has the workout time available to help out. I have one or two in my pool (at sparatic times) that like to do this sort of thing, and I would hope that there are more people like that willing to help. I would most likely train on their hip (literally) where you are either splitting the lane or in lanes next to eachother and you stay on the hip; that way you can learn how to draft as well.

geochuck
October 21st, 2008, 01:46 PM
I quit training for middle distance swims in 1952, I only trained to do 100s. I quit training altogether in 1958 and just played waterpolo and swam in meets with the 3 days a week waterpolo practices. Then after a 4 year layoff started swimming marathon races in 1963. This is when we started doing 100s on 1.05.

Never tried a 500 but could do a mighty fine 440.

We never swam a 500 in our day in Canada.

Maui Mike
October 23rd, 2008, 12:37 AM
With 19 turns there's a great opportunity for most people to pick up speed and even a little rest. Analyze the distance to the wall, speed of flip, exact amount of rotation, streamlined push off, and work to achieve perfect form and minimal effort. I've always felt the difference between a perfect turn and a mediocre turn was perhaps .5 secs or maybe more.

Rykno
October 23rd, 2008, 03:38 AM
I was never a 500 swimmer, never really a freestyler. I could swim the 200 in 1:52, but my 500 was never better than 5:09. Not sure I swam it more than 3-4 times through out HS and college.

but reading this thread about going under 5:00 has inspired me to improve my 400m time. currently I have 4:41. which is about 5:21.

so for me to get down to 5:00 means I need to swim my 400 about 4:22. wow 19 seconds. I currently only swim the 100 at 1:00

for me to make 4:22 that would mean
1:03 / 1:05 / 1:07 / 1:07

I'll be swimming the 400 in Nov and then again in March. I went from 5:02 in march 2008 to 4:41 in sept 2008. my current goal was to get to 4:30, but getting to 4:22 (or 5:00 for the 500) sounds so much better.

Lump
October 23rd, 2008, 09:45 AM
I quit training for middle distance swims in 1952, I only trained to do 100s. I quit training altogether in 1958 and just played waterpolo and swam in meets with the 3 days a week waterpolo practices. Then after a 4 year layoff started swimming marathon races in 1963. This is when we started doing 100s on 1.05.

Never tried a 500 but could do a mighty fine 440.

We never swam a 500 in our day in Canada.

I assume 440 is 400 meters?

I love to hear about the old days of swimming. In HS (mid/late 80's) and College (late 80's/early 90's) I used to look at the old Olympic winning times to see at what point I'd be #1 in the world. I was surprised to see how fast some of the distance and mid distance guys where back in the day! Of course thats before modern equipment, suits, training techniques...pretty impressive stuff.

I think Brian Goodell, Kostoff, Salnikov, Perkins were my idols.

geochuck
October 23rd, 2008, 10:33 AM
400 meters = 437.445319 yards just about a 440 yards, 440 yards is a quarter of a mile.

It was not so much as equipment changes. I believe that swim times improved by stroke modification and using repeats with rest perionds of 5 and 10 seconds were major break throughs. Oh equipment changes did help for sure. I was amazed in 50s when I saw the first speedo swim suit. What a change from my Jantzen.


I assume 440 is 400 meters?

I love to hear about the old days of swimming. In HS (mid/late 80's) and College (late 80's/early 90's) I used to look at the old Olympic winning times to see at what point I'd be #1 in the world. I was surprised to see how fast some of the distance and mid distance guys where back in the day! Of course thats before modern equipment, suits, training techniques...pretty impressive stuff.

I think Brian Goodell, Kostoff, Salnikov, Perkins were my idols.

CreamPuff
October 23rd, 2008, 11:55 AM
Where on earth are you getting your conversions from?

I thought 4:41 400 LCM was like a 5:12 500 SCY.
4:22 400 LCM was like a 4:51 500 SCY.

Talking about SCM perhaps?


I was never a 500 swimmer, never really a freestyler. I could swim the 200 in 1:52, but my 500 was never better than 5:09. Not sure I swam it more than 3-4 times through out HS and college.

but reading this thread about going under 5:00 has inspired me to improve my 400m time. currently I have 4:41. which is about 5:21.

so for me to get down to 5:00 means I need to swim my 400 about 4:22. wow 19 seconds. I currently only swim the 100 at 1:00

for me to make 4:22 that would mean
1:03 / 1:05 / 1:07 / 1:07

I'll be swimming the 400 in Nov and then again in March. I went from 5:02 in march 2008 to 4:41 in sept 2008. my current goal was to get to 4:30, but getting to 4:22 (or 5:00 for the 500) sounds so much better.

mattson
October 23rd, 2008, 12:03 PM
Wanted to add another data point...

Waaaaaay back in high school, spent most of the regular season at :51 100 Free, 1:51 200 Free, and 5:12 500 Free. My 500 splits were "bell curve": 1st 100 fastest, each of the 100s slower than the previous one except for the 5th one (which was about the same as the 3rd 100). At the end of the season, shaved and tapered, my splits flattened out and did a 5:00.1 (:58.1 followed by four 1:00.5).

(My master's free times are considerably slower... :badday: )

Syd
October 23rd, 2008, 12:08 PM
Where on earth are you getting your conversions from?

I thought 4:41 400 LCM was like a 5:12 500 SCY.
4:22 400 LCM was like a 4:51 500 SCY.

Talking about SCM perhaps?


Yes, 4:22 is what I get for the SCM conversion if I use this (http://www.swimmingworldmagazine.com/results/conversions.asp) utility. A 4:31 400 LCM is more like a 4:59 500 SCY. That is just under an average of 1:08 per 100m.

pwb
October 23rd, 2008, 12:20 PM
so for me to get down to 5:00 means I need to swim my 400 about 4:22. wow 19 seconds. I currently only swim the 100 at 1:00


Conversions are notoriously difficult, but, as a frame of reference, in seasons where I go about 4:20 in 400 SCM, I can hit about 4:55 in 500 SCY. So, I think if you hit the 4:22 SCM, you'll be in the right shape to get under 5.

stillwater
October 23rd, 2008, 02:04 PM
"Waaaaaay back in high school, spent most of the regular season at :51 100 Free, 1:51 200 Free, and 5:12 500 Free. My 500 splits were "bell curve": 1st 100 fastest, each of the 100s slower than the previous one except for the 5th one (which was about the same as the 3rd 100). At the end of the season, shaved and tapered, my splits flattened out and did a 5:00.1 (:58.1 followed by four 1:00.5)."


Ouch.

Justin Ritter
October 23rd, 2008, 06:08 PM
I'm happy to hear that this is both a common goal and something that a lot of people have made or are close to. I certainly need to keep goals in mind when I'm practicing to keep motivated, the loftier the better. Especially in the middle of all those long freestyle sets that you need to do for this type of thing.

Thanks for all the suggestions and stories. I can imagine doing a 5:00 point anything would be frustrating. If it happened once it'd be something to laugh about and motivate the next swim. If it happened a few times then it might get a little old.

I've done the same exact 100 IM time within a hundredth of a second the last three times I've swam it, and that's over a year-long period. Doesn't seem to matter what I emphasize or change I get the same time. Although each time has been .01 slower than the previous. I've gotten a kick out of it so far but if I don't blow it away the next time I swim it I don't know what I'll do.

SLOmmafan
October 23rd, 2008, 06:29 PM
Ah the 5 minute mark! There is something about a sub-5 that just seems amazing - like you are a true fast swimmer. At my high school sectional championship meet, I went a 5.00:23. Just shy of breaking into the 4 minute category.

I now swim in the high 5.20:00 range on a good day, but I have establsihed a goal of breaking the mark and achieving 8 years later what I could not when I was swimming "full time". I always figured I could have broken it if I would have done college swimming - but my thoughts at that time where even if I break it I am still another 40 seconds away from becoming something great!

Maui Mike
October 23rd, 2008, 06:37 PM
I saw Roy Saari go 3:59+ for 400 yards at the CIF finals in 1961. He was the first HS guy under 4:00, and I was seriously in awe. A few years later there were guys going that fast in workouts.

Blackbeard's Peg
October 23rd, 2008, 11:35 PM
Add me to the crew wanting to go under 5:00.
I'm a firm believer in taking a race out hard, setting the pace right from the get-go, and is something I use in most races I swim. That doesn't always mean sprint the first 50 of your distance event (i did that at my very first USS meet ever last summer). But for a 500, if I hold back too much in the first 50/100, the rest of it ain't happening.

Dying isn't ever comfortable, but sets like that 5x100 on 1:05 will help. Think of sets like that as learning how to swim through the pain. Focus on trying to hold it together despite your fatigue. When you get to the race and the piano starts falling, it is not a surprise, and you'll be better equipped physically and mentally to haul it along for the ride.

One piece of advice - vary your training! Building your engine and endurance have its place, but I find it boring and counterproductive to concentrate solely on distance free during your workouts. Working on sprints now and again help you get yourself used to the speed and build what little fast-twitch muscle we distance guys have. IMs give your shoulders a rest and give the rest of your body a better workout with less yardage.

I swam next to Kirk in Austin, and I think both of us were hoping I would have put up more of a fight and having a war on the last 50 would have probably put both of us under.

Rykno
October 24th, 2008, 06:36 AM
Talking about SCM perhaps?

as others have already stated, yes, SCM is what I swim most of the time.

currently only have one LCM meet a year. this year my time of 5:02 scm was not good enough to qualify, but my recent time of 4:41 allows me to swim in in June LCM. I'll have two more chances to swim it scm before then.

so not sure getting to 4:22 in 2009 will be possible, but hopefully before Aug 2010.

knelson
October 24th, 2008, 02:08 PM
I swam next to Kirk in Austin, and I think both of us were hoping I would have put up more of a fight and having a war on the last 50 would have probably put both of us under.

That's right, I blame you! :)

My last 50 in the 500 was slower than my last 50 in the 1650. I just didn't have enough left in the tank by Sunday morning, I guess.

Paul Smith
October 24th, 2008, 07:58 PM
Justin, your getting a lot of good advice here but I wanted to add my thoughts on one of my favorite distances.

The biggest mistake I see swimmers make who are training for middle distance/distance is they almost never do speed work. Case in point today at ASU the main workout was 8 x 50's @ 2:00 best average then 4 x 100's @ 4:00...at which point about 6 swimmers moved over to do a "D" workout (something like 6 x 500's @ 6:00).

Do you need to get longer training swims in? Oh course. But the bottom line is you don't develop "easy speed" swimming repeat 500's & 1000's...you need to have a fast 25 to swim a fast 50 and a fast 50 to swim a fast 100...on and on.

Work on getting your 50's feeling very comfortable in the :28/:29 second range starting with as much rest as you need to hold those times....then progress to faster intervals. Your going to need to be able to swim a 100 around :56/:57 comfortably as well and the 2:00 in that 1:57/1:58 range...keep all these times in your thoughts during training and work towards them in descending sets of 50's, 100's, 200's on aerobic days and on speed days work on best average sets holding these time.

Totally doable based on your current times.

knelson
October 25th, 2008, 12:25 AM
Good post Paul. I totally agree about the need for some speed work. The 500 is really a middle distance race, after all.

CreamPuff
October 25th, 2008, 03:57 PM
I have to admit that I really experienced this the hard way. Paul is right on with his advice. I was doing TONS of distance this summer for my 25K. Recently, I've been getting in the Mid D/ Sprint lane (I felt my speed was sucky and I was right) and have been doing lots of 50s/ 75s/ 100s/ 125s, FAST, and it is killer hard. I feel like I'm trying to come out of a coma. I'll be focusing lots on speed until my next meet. Should be interesting to see what happens for me.

Oh yea, and not trying to do 5:00 but I would like to knock off a nice chunk of time from my 5:12. My lane mate just did 5:05.0 untapered and in a drag suit at her last meet, so I'm hopeful.


Justin, your getting a lot of good advice here but I wanted to add my thoughts on one of my favorite distances.

The biggest mistake I see swimmers make who are training for middle distance/distance is they almost never do speed work. Case in point today at ASU the main workout was 8 x 50's @ 2:00 best average then 4 x 100's @ 4:00...at which point about 6 swimmers moved over to do a "D" workout (something like 6 x 500's @ 6:00).

Do you need to get longer training swims in? Oh course. But the bottom line is you don't develop "easy speed" swimming repeat 500's & 1000's...you need to have a fast 25 to swim a fast 50 and a fast 50 to swim a fast 100...on and on.

Work on getting your 50's feeling very comfortable in the :28/:29 second range starting with as much rest as you need to hold those times....then progress to faster intervals. Your going to need to be able to swim a 100 around :56/:57 comfortably as well and the 2:00 in that 1:57/1:58 range...keep all these times in your thoughts during training and work towards them in descending sets of 50's, 100's, 200's on aerobic days and on speed days work on best average sets holding these time.

Totally doable based on your current times.

david.margrave
October 25th, 2008, 07:59 PM
Speaking of race strategy here are my 500 splits from today. At least, the differences between them since my actual time was kind of slow and I don't feel like posting it.

0.00 (fastest 50, other splits are relative to this)
+3.13
+3.90
+3.48
+3.69
+3.32
+3.45
+3.25
+3.08
+0.23

What I strive for is to try to maintain the same pace throughout. Except for the first and last 50, my splits were pretty even (between 3.08 and 3.90 slower than my fastest 50). But I had more energy left at the end that usual, so maybe I could have gone faster.

That Guy
October 25th, 2008, 08:38 PM
Good job David! I saw your 6th event, the Tarzan duathlon thing in the warmup pool. Did you get a ribbon?

david.margrave
October 25th, 2008, 09:07 PM
The rope swing was fun. A little hard of the hands, and maybe if I had gone faster on my races I wouldn't have had energy for it.

knelson
October 25th, 2008, 09:30 PM
But I had more energy left at the end that usual, so maybe I could have gone faster.

It looks like it, but you did a nice job keeping your split consistent. Next time just try to be a little more aggressive.