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rtodd
May 27th, 2009, 09:06 PM
Two swimmers test their blood lactate and they are at the same level. One swimmer holds a 60 sec/100 pace and the other holds 75 sec/100 pace, is it fair to say swimmer one is swimming more efficiently, or are there other factors such as physiology at play? Can the swimmer with higher lactate still actually be swimming more efficiently, yet be generating the higher lactate numbers?

How do you pinpoint where a swimmer's physiology is limiting their performance and not their technique?

GMM
May 28th, 2009, 04:02 AM
The blood lactate lavel is not a "standard" to everyone but is an "individual level". We can compare two different test or situation (for ex one in november, one in march) and see the training progress. Is not convinient compare two swimmers without more information

dorothyrde
May 28th, 2009, 08:31 AM
There are so many things that factor into this equation besides lactate threshold and technique.

With a 15 second difference, I would think you could visually watch the swimmers and determine the differences in technique, or strength, size, conditioning, genetic talent.

But if you want a scientific answer, you would need to set up research on the two swimmers and push them through different tests.

mattson
May 28th, 2009, 11:41 AM
I would think that it would be difficult to just compare a number between two people, and come up with a conclusion. Maybe it could be figured out with a set of points for each person (like resting, moderate effort, full effort).

I could imagine one person having low lactate levels with their body flushing it, and another person having higher levels from being able to exert more (useful) propulsive energy.

mctrusty
May 28th, 2009, 12:24 PM
Put them both on a treadmill or a stationary bike and have them go the same speed for the same duration. That will take swimming technique out.

tdrop
May 28th, 2009, 03:25 PM
biomechanical efficiency and physiological efficiency are two different things.

So, for example, swimmer 1 could be more efficient technically and less efficient physiologically.

Picture a swimmer with absolutely beautiful technique but totally out of shape against a swimmer with poor technique and great conditioning.

Thus, to answer your question both technique and conditioning will always be limiting factors to swimming speed.

ande
May 28th, 2009, 03:41 PM
R Todd,

you asked:


One swimmer holds a 60 sec/100 pace and the other holds 75 sec/100 pace, is it fair to say swimmer one is swimming more efficiently, or are there other factors such as physiology at play?
There are so many factors in play it's difficult to pinpoint
I think Tip 165 Build a Better Boat addresses many of these issues pretty well.



Can the swimmer with higher lactate still actually be swimming more efficiently, yet be generating the higher lactate numbers?
maybe



How do you pinpoint where a swimmer's physiology is limiting their performance and not their technique?
When a swimmer has perfected their technique in every possible way, then other factors are limiting their performance. You pinpoint causes with data. You get specific data on everything.
conditioning is critical,
technique is critical, technique habits
mental toughness and other mental aspects are critical

I can usually figure out what a swimmer needs to do to swim faster faster.

I'm aware of what some of mine are. Figure out what yours are then create improvement programs. Everyone has their list.






Two swimmers test their blood lactate and they are at the same level. One swimmer holds a 60 sec/100 pace and the other holds 75 sec/100 pace, is it fair to say swimmer one is swimming more efficiently, or are there other factors such as physiology at play? Can the swimmer with higher lactate still actually be swimming more efficiently, yet be generating the higher lactate numbers?

How do you pinpoint where a swimmer's physiology is limiting their performance and not their technique?

rtodd
May 28th, 2009, 05:46 PM
Just trying to figure out my biggest shortcoming so I can focus on it, or at least be aware of it. Not sure if it is conditioning, technique or a combination of both. I'm talking primarily free here.

Ande and others,

Do you ever compare heart rate and heart rate recovery with your lanemates during a workout? What would your peak heart rate be and how quickly does it recover. I would assume the higher the heart rate the better and the quicker the recovery the better.

mctrusty
May 28th, 2009, 06:23 PM
Just trying to figure out my biggest shortcoming so I can focus on it, or at least be aware of it. Not sure if it is conditioning, technique or a combination of both. I'm talking primarily free here.


Doc Counsilman drew up a hierarchy of training adaptations for swimming and the relative time involved in each part. The bottom of that pyramid was "skill", and the time involved was listed as "decades". On top of that was "Strength" -- years; "Aerobic" -- months; and at the top "anaerobic" -- weeks. Hierarchy Reprinted Here. (http://www.teamunify.com/cseksc/__doc__/42975_2_huffpufftrainingzones.pdf)

You should definitely focus on technique as part of your training; it's a forever endeavor. But you can work in conditioning at the same time. It's not like you have to do one at the expense of another.

I've been swimming for 10 years and I still think my biggest shortcoming is technique.

tdrop
May 28th, 2009, 06:36 PM
Just trying to figure out my biggest shortcoming so I can focus on it, or at least be aware of it. Not sure if it is conditioning, technique or a combination of both. I'm talking primarily free here.

Ande and others,

Do you ever compare heart rate and heart rate recovery with your lanemates during a workout? What would your peak heart rate be and how quickly does it recover. I would assume the higher the heart rate the better and the quicker the recovery the better.
I haven't ever compared to lane mates. Though I have tracked my own heart rate recovery. I'm sure you could compare how long it takes to come down to resting heart rate but you could not use the exact numbers because of the different max and resting heart rates between individuals.

Yes, you are correct. Part of being in good shape is the ability to return to a "calm" heart rate after an intense swim (high heart rate).

I'm always trying to refine some small piece of my stroke and simultaneously improving conditioning. I think you have to chip away at both little by little.

The beginning of a season is a good time to concentrate more on technique than conditioning. Also, as you get in better shape your technique will be easier to change and improve.

mctrusty
May 28th, 2009, 06:43 PM
Just trying to figure out my biggest shortcoming so I can focus on it, or at least be aware of it. Not sure if it is conditioning, technique or a combination of both. I'm talking primarily free here.

Ande and others,

Do you ever compare heart rate and heart rate recovery with your lanemates during a workout? What would your peak heart rate be and how quickly does it recover. I would assume the higher the heart rate the better and the quicker the recovery the better.

Higher max heart rate is better because you're getting more oxygen to working muscles. That said, higher heart rates might not necessarily be better. If the goal of a set is to swim race pace, then sure, you want your HR up near max. If you're doing an EN1-type recovery set and your HR is up there, it's not so great.

Quick recovery is desirable.

quicksilver
May 28th, 2009, 08:24 PM
Just trying to figure out my biggest shortcoming so I can focus on it, or at least be aware of it. Not sure if it is conditioning, technique or a combination of both. I'm talking primarily free here.

Ande and others,

Do you ever compare heart rate and heart rate recovery with your lanemates during a workout? What would your peak heart rate be and how quickly does it recover. I would assume the higher the heart rate the better and the quicker the recovery the better.


In our sport, it's about efficiency. I hate to compare it to golf. (Don't care much for golf...at all.) But technique means a lot.
You could be fit as anything, but it won't translate to speed unless the correct mechanics can harness the energy. Like ande said in building a better vessel.


Two swimmers going the same time for the 100 free may have a completely different combination of skills and/or level of conditioning. Swimmer no. 1 might be better in handling lactic acid build up while having technique only at a 7 on a scale of 1 to 10. Swimmer no. 2 other could have less than ideal conditioning...but his technique is more like a 9 on a scale of 1 to 10.

It's a good question ...but not so easy to pin point the answer.
Take the same 2 and try a 200 free. The better conditioning might weigh in more heavily and have a slight favor over the technique.

Jazz Hands
May 29th, 2009, 11:40 AM
Do you ever compare heart rate and heart rate recovery with your lanemates during a workout? What would your peak heart rate be and how quickly does it recover. I would assume the higher the heart rate the better and the quicker the recovery the better.

Your weaknesses can't be determined by comparing to others. Weaknesses worth working on are the ones that pay off when you give them attention. You can't really know in advance if your aerobic capacity needs improvement unless you know that, for example, you had better recovery or lactate stats previously when you were doing more aerobic training.

For example, I'm very fast-twitch dominant (just a guess). I get tired easily even when I'm in top shape. When I was a teenager on a USS club, we did "heart rate goal/go" sets, in which send-offs were based on heart rate coming back down to a certain baseline. I would be sitting on the walls for minutes while my lanemates were taking 30 seconds rest. I didn't bother me, because I knew that I made more power and I needed more recovery than most swimmers.

Paul Smith
May 29th, 2009, 12:07 PM
I don't see that lactate testing will answer any questions about a swimmers "efficiency"...I know many swimmers/triathletes who are extremally fit and have achieved a high level of lactate "tolerance" but are still extremally inefficient...these are usually the folks who complain that they go the same times for say a 100 "fast" with 10 seconds rest as they do with 3:00 rest. To which I usually reply by asking if they ride their bikes in the same gear at the same speed for an entire ride...

Bottom line is I like to use hard speed work to help point out to these types of swimmers how important it is to work on technique...far to often as the effort increases the "faults" in ones strokes are exposed, getting people to slow down and work on technique is the challenge.

Having said all that...I think all athletes benefit from LT training. Some interesting discussion about it here:

http://www.beginnertriathlete.com/cms/article-detail.asp?articleid=633

That Guy
May 30th, 2009, 01:43 PM
To which I usually reply by asking if they ride their bikes in the same gear at the same speed for an entire ride..

You're close - many of them probably do try to ride and run at the same heart rate all the time. To complete an Ironman, a popular strategy is to try to remain at the target heart rate (for most people, 140 to 150 bpm) for pretty much the entire race, aside from hill climbs and (hopefully) a sprint to the finish. And a common method for creating a training base for running is to spend three months running at a low heart rate (maybe 120 to 130 bpm; over time, running speed at that heart rate will increase). This is why many endurance athletes are slaves to their HRM's, and will even wear them in the pool, regardless of how ridiculous they look or how often the HRM's slip off in the water. You're quite right to challenge them to swim faster, because while the steady-eddie training approach will indeed get them to the finish line of a challenging event, they need to mix things up in all 3 disciplines if they want to improve.

Paul Smith
May 30th, 2009, 02:21 PM
You're close - many of them probably do try to ride and run at the same heart rate all the time. To complete an Ironman, a popular strategy is to try to remain at the target heart rate (for most people, 140 to 150 bpm) for pretty much the entire race, aside from hill climbs and (hopefully) a sprint to the finish. And a common method for creating a training base for running is to spend three months running at a low heart rate (maybe 120 to 130 bpm; over time, running speed at that heart rate will increase). This is why many endurance athletes are slaves to their HRM's, and will even wear them in the pool, regardless of how ridiculous they look or how often the HRM's slip off in the water. You're quite right to challenge them to swim faster, because while the steady-eddie training approach will indeed get them to the finish line of a challenging event, they need to mix things up in all 3 disciplines if they want to improve.

The problem with that type of thinking/strategy is that it doesn't factor in the need to "shift gears". I've coached and trained these folks and have repeatedly asked them if they ever have to climb, pass or sprint to the finish of a race...all of which throws this "comfort zone" strategy out the window if you have not done LT training...everything is about "speed" regardless of the distance even for people only interested in fitness and fail to reconize that the body adpapts rapidly to routine.