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View Full Version : Poll,Race Pace vs distance



Allen Stark
October 21st, 2009, 08:21 PM
We have been talking about the effectiveness of race pace vs as far as possible per workout,or at least short rest workouts so I thought"Why not a poll?"Note for this poll check all that apply.

The Fortress
October 21st, 2009, 09:37 PM
I was wondering the other day if there was any merit to pure LSD practices in swimming at all. (In terms of performance enhancement, not waistline diminishment.)

Jazz Hands
October 21st, 2009, 10:11 PM
...pure LSD practices...

I prefer psilocybin.

knelson
October 21st, 2009, 10:17 PM
OK, I've made Top Ten in an event of 200 or less, but it was the 200 fly. Does that still count? :)

The Fortress
October 21st, 2009, 10:18 PM
Does that still count? :)

No! :)

Allen Stark
October 21st, 2009, 10:28 PM
I thought of saying"an event of 200M or less(except 200 fly) "but I got tired of typing the same thing over and over again anyway.

chaos
October 21st, 2009, 10:49 PM
whats an LSD practice?

jim clemmons
October 21st, 2009, 11:13 PM
whats an LSD practice?

when you're finished, you get out saying "woooooow, dude..."

pwb
October 22nd, 2009, 01:39 AM
whats an LSD practice?

Long Slow Distance ... I've come to believe it's the true evilstroke when it comes to trying to swim faster.

chaos
October 22nd, 2009, 07:26 AM
Long Slow Distance ... I've come to believe it's the true evilstroke when it comes to trying to swim faster.

i think it has lots of value but, i'm not talking about the "conversational breaststroke"
what may be "slow" for a sprinter might very well be race pace for a marathon.
also, anyone looking to make stroke modifications has to put in the time and repetition.
temperature conditioning can only be achieved through increased exposure.

and finally and most obvious........ aerobic capacity

just to name a few benefits

Chris Stevenson
October 22nd, 2009, 08:47 AM
I was wondering the other day if there was any merit to pure LSD practices in swimming at all. (In terms of performance enhancement, not waistline diminishment.)

Active recovery. Working on technique. Aerobic conditioning.

And of course Chaos is right that race-pace for a distance swimmer is a different thing than for a sprinter/mid-D type of person. (Whenever a coach tells me to "descend to race pace," my smart-alec alter ego always wants to ask, "which race? The mile? The 10K?")

One thing I don't like about the poll is that "distance" and "race-pace" training are presented as if they are exclusive of one another.

"As far as possible" workouts can have value, just don't do them every darn time. I think the key is to mix it up: don't do everything at one (moderate) pace and HR/intensity level. Red-in-the-face race pace sets clearly have their place, but if that's all you did you would not be successful. Same thing for any other type of workout. Your focus (eg sprint, mid-D, distance) will dictate the proper mix of workouts.

Leonard Jansen
October 22nd, 2009, 11:42 AM
I was wondering the other day if there was any merit to pure LSD practices in swimming at all. (In terms of performance enhancement, not waistline diminishment.)

If you periodize your training, the rule of thumb is that you move from the most general to most race-specific training as your training program progresses. (This is also true in Lydiard-type training.) So there is value per Chris' reasons in some LSD work for anyone.

In general, the focus of the type and intensity of training is related to the race (a.k.a. the principle of training specificity), so if you are a sprinter, you won't do too much of this as compared to a distance swimmer.

When I was training for MIMS, I did lots of longer LSD swims since the ability to go for a long time at a lower intensity was specific to the race. (I was just trying to finish; not win anything.) For example, 12,000+ yards in a straight 3 hour swim (with a quick drink every 30 minutes) focusing on my technique and relaxing. That's 45 secs/50yards average - not exactly blazing - but very close to the effort that I felt I wanted to sustain. It worked like a charm - I got buried in the first part of the race, started hauling people back at the whirlpool (2-ish hours in), and was just about to move into the top 10 at the GW bridge (5+ hours in) when I had to DNF due to (non-swimming) health issues. I was totally relaxed and felt like I could swim forever. In fact, I was starting to think about putting the hammer down for the last few hours, I felt so strong.

If you do it right there is no such thing as "junk yardage" in swimming, regardless of the pace.

-LBJ

Chris Stevenson
October 22nd, 2009, 12:13 PM
In fact, I was starting to think about putting the hammer down for the last few hours, I felt so strong.

See, this statement is where you lost Fort. :)

The Fortress
October 22nd, 2009, 12:29 PM
See, this statement is where you lost Fort. :)

No kidding. :afraid::bolt:

I get the active recovery and technique work, Chris. But I do this within my regular sprinticus workouts. I will cop to doing a recovery workout every once in awhile as well. As Jazz has pointed out, though, you do get aerobic work in the course of doing anaerobic work.

LBJ, I don't find myself periodizing much as a master. And I'm not sure it holds tremendous validity for sprinters. So much of how we train is based on superstition rather than solid research, it seems ...

Jazz Hands
October 22nd, 2009, 01:12 PM
So much of how we train is based on superstition rather than solid research, it seems ...

Seriously. Lots of good examples in the cool-down thread.

JimRude
October 22nd, 2009, 02:27 PM
So much of how we train is based on superstition rather than solid research, it seems ...

Anyone who has been swimming for a while, and who does more than mindlessly execute the coach's workouts, probably is their own research lab.

In my case, periodization works not because I need to have a long taper from the mega-yardage workouts that I do, but because I tend to make large drops when I rest (my tempo improves, my body position is different, etc) and I do not get sufficient rest from just a few days of less yardage and no weights.

Different people will respond differently to the same training regimens. You've simply got to find what works for you.

As a young 'un I needed a 4-6 week taper - but this was coming down from mega-yardage. Now, with less time and interest in lots of yardage, and less need for lots of rest and recovery, my tapers are much shorter.

But every season I still go through a cycle of 6-8+ weeks of mainly aerobic and technique work, with heavy lifting (aka getting back into decent shape); followed by 4-6 weeks of mainly LT and anaerobic work (and some speed work) with moderate lifting (aka getting used to suffering); followed by mainly sprint and anaerobic work with little or no lifting.

It is not unusual for an early season 100y or 100m race to be 5 seconds slower than my "big meet" time.

Maybe this is why I can't swim a 200...

Chris Stevenson
October 22nd, 2009, 05:33 PM
As Jazz has pointed out, though, you do get aerobic work in the course of doing anaerobic work.

It is definitely possible to do too much anaerobic work, though; sometimes it is nice to get in some aerobic training without getting your LT too high or stressing your fast-twitch fibers too much.

I agree that you get aerobic work in the course of doing anaerobic work b/c there is no such thing as "pure" anaerobic or even "pure" aerobic work. Given his almost exclusive focus on 50s, Jazz may not be the best example of getting in sufficient aerobic work for longer races...any more than an ultra-marathoner would be a good role model for "regular" distance training for swimmers.

orca1946
October 22nd, 2009, 07:05 PM
My speed only gets faster when I work at the end of the season - IE losing pounds & going race pace in practice!

Allen Stark
October 23rd, 2009, 10:49 PM
The numbers aren't big enough to be meaningful yet,but I find it interesting that while the numbers on TT were about the same,the race pace has twice as many AAs.Also,to the 4 who find they are faster doing mostly distance,I'd like to know more about your experience.

SolarEnergy
October 25th, 2009, 05:52 PM
sometimes it is nice to get in some aerobic training without getting your LT too high or stressing your fast-twitch fibers too much. That's an interesting comment.

If I may, I would add that since swimming is a activity where we glide, even at aerobic pace it is possible to apply **huge levels** of torque/power (euh well, could be anywhere between smooth and huge) on each stroke. Of course we then reach outstanding distance per stroke (this is where the glide part comes in handy). That combined with a focus on staying streamline during the process can make mostly aerobic longish distances still relevant to race pace. All that at relatively low metabolic cost and at relatively low blood lactate level.

Add to it a soft but consistent 6 beat and you're even more specific to shorter event race pace. This sort of training even for a sprinter is very relevant.

It may be how the few having answered that they improve pure speed by performing endurance sets approach the stroke - technique wise I mean.

Stevepowell
October 31st, 2009, 12:41 PM
Search under "sport training intensity polarization" or the like and several studies pop upthat assert that 75% - 8% - 17% training distribution in zones 1,2 and 3 (slow, lactate threshold, and wide open) are common.

http://www.uem.es/myfiles/pageposts/La%20importancia%20de%20entrenar%20fuerte-suave.pdf

Allen Stark
October 31st, 2009, 08:02 PM
Search under "sport training intensity polarization" or the like and several studies pop upthat assert that 75% - 8% - 17% training distribution in zones 1,2 and 3 (slow, lactate threshold, and wide open) are common.

http://www.uem.es/myfiles/pageposts/La%20importancia%20de%20entrenar%20fuerte-suave.pdf

Fascinating article(that I admit I didn't read all of).I'm not sure how applicable it is to shorter more intense races,but it may be agreeing with Rich Abraham"s idea that when you go fast you should go fast and when you go slow you should go slow.)(I believe his quote was something like"the problem with most masters swimmers is that when they go fast they go too slow and when they go slow they go too fast".)

pwolf66
October 31st, 2009, 08:12 PM
Search under "sport training intensity polarization" or the like and several studies pop upthat assert that 75% - 8% - 17% training distribution in zones 1,2 and 3 (slow, lactate threshold, and wide open) are common.

http://www.uem.es/myfiles/pageposts/La%20importancia%20de%20entrenar%20fuerte-suave.pdf

Interesting article but I don't think it applies here as the study is centered around endurance athletes and only a small fraction of the competitive Masters community (at least for pool events) falls in that category.

james lucas
November 1st, 2009, 01:33 AM
75% - 8% - 17% training distribution in zones 1,2 and 3 (slow, lactate threshold, and wide open)
This isn't as nuts as it sounds at first.

Consider a workout with four "hard" sets - 10x50 on 1:00, 4x50 IM order on 1:15, 4x50 IM order on 1:30, and 4x100 on 2:00 with descending times that end with an all-out 100 for time. That's about 1,000 yards. But, by the time you get out of the pool - after swimming warm ups and cool-downs, kick sets and recovery swims between the hard sets - you will have logged about 3,000 yards. So, the "hard" sets in zones 2 and 3 will have accounted for about 30% of the total yardage in that one-hour workout.

geochuck
November 1st, 2009, 03:06 AM
A bit o this, a bit of that, and some of the other. It is how we apply the mix.

Chris Stevenson
November 1st, 2009, 07:28 AM
Consider a workout with four "hard" sets - 10x50 on 1:00, 4x50 IM order on 1:15, 4x50 IM order on 1:30, and 4x100 on 2:00 with descending times that end with an all-out 100 for time. That's about 1,000 yards. But, by the time you get out of the pool - after swimming warm ups and cool-downs, kick sets and recovery swims between the hard sets - you will have logged about 3,000 yards. So, the "hard" sets in zones 2 and 3 will have accounted for about 30% of the total yardage in that one-hour workout.

And why shouldn't kick sets count as one of the "hard" sets? This attitude is one reason most swimmers are generally poor kickers.

IMO 75% slow swimming (below LT) is too much for pool swimming, even milers. I average about 4000 yd/workout and we do a lot more than 1000 of it in zones 2 & 3. Endurance athletes need to raise their LT but do not need to build up as much lactate tolerance as pool swimmers. Just my :2cents:

qbrain
November 1st, 2009, 12:38 PM
And why shouldn't kick sets count as one of the "hard" sets?

I am sorry, when are kick sets not hard sets? When I am kicking without fins, it isn't easy, I don't care how slow it looks like I am going.

james lucas
November 1st, 2009, 12:42 PM
I average about 4000 yd/workout and we do a lot more than 1000 of it in zones 2 & 3.
Well, that's more than 25% in zones 2 & 3. So:

- How much more yardage, as a percentage of the total, should be in zones 2&3 (as this study characterized them) - 30%? 50? 75%

- Does this percentage hold every day of the week? Are there days with less-than-all-out swims - and how does this skew the weekly averages for zones 2 & 3? Do people need more recovery days and more lower-level swims when they pass their 35th birthday?

- What percentage of the total yardage is spent kicking. Of that, what percentage is hard kicking in zones 2 & 3, versus kicking in the aerobic zones (zone 1)?

Chris Stevenson
November 1st, 2009, 02:00 PM
- How much more yardage, as a percentage of the total, should be in zones 2&3 (as this study characterized them) - 30%? 50? 75%

- Does this percentage hold every day of the week? Are there days with less-than-all-out swims - and how does this skew the weekly averages for zones 2 & 3? Do people need more recovery days and more lower-level swims when they pass their 35th birthday?

- What percentage of the total yardage is spent kicking. Of that, what percentage is hard kicking in zones 2 & 3, versus kicking in the aerobic zones (zone 1)?

I am not going to try to answer for "should" or "must," I can only answer for me (and my team).

Here is a typical workout, though naturally they vary (see my or KEWebb18's blog for details; we swim for the same team).

1000 warmup (Z1)
A set of 1000-2000 usually at/near threshold (Z2), sometimes below LT (Z1)
A kick set (500-1000) (varies, see below)
Sprint or race-pace work (500-1000) (Z2 or Z3, sort of)

There is probably about 300 yards of easy swimming scattered throughout the practice after warmup. About every 2-3 days I might do a longer set (1000-1500 yards) below LT instead of either the Z2 or the race-pace/sprint set.

We generally spend more time in Z2 (at threshold) than Z3 (above it).

We do some race-pace work almost every day, but the distances and intensities can vary. There will be some easy swimming in there. Also, I do not think that short-distance "speed-work" fits so neatly in the "zones" idea: LA and HR remain fairly low for the most part, for example, even though you are going all-out.

We also do a high-intensity test-set once a week. An example would be 5 x 100 on 4:00, off the blocks. (Unfortunately I've been missing that practice recently.)

For kicking, very roughly we alternate between Z1-type kicking and harder kicking (Z2-Z3); I'd estimate 1-2 times per week of the latter. (I will say that not everyone on the team feels motivated to kick hard...which has been true of every team I have been on, age-grouper on up.)

So I don't really have magical percentages, though I know that it is different than the ones the study indicated. If I were to focus on 50s more, I would do a lot more speedwork than I do (I probably don't do enough); 200s are my favorite race and I enjoy 100s just fine (but consider them sprints).

What I will say is that I go by feedback (how I feel, times I am able to hit in practice) much more than trying to hit some target percentage. If I'm tired -- if I can't hit 200-race pace even with reasonable rest, for example -- I do less race-pace work (Z3) and more recovery work (Z1).

During a 3-week taper before a target meet, I will decrease Z2 (to almost nothing) and Z3, and greatly increase the percentage of Z1. I'll also do plenty of speedwork.

humanpunchingbag
November 1st, 2009, 02:07 PM
Fantastic thread. Tons of great comments here. Not having been "All American" ranking since 1982, I chose to miss the entire poll.

One important point that came up repeatedly: the high intensity speed swimming need not preclude lower intensity aerobic training. They can be mixed by the work-out and indeed within the work-out. For that matter stroke drills need not be "just drills"; they may also encompass aerobic training. The kick sets are of great interest to me right now: I added them into the training milieu just lately as part of my "high intensity" training: drilling to either descend to sprint pace or sprint/ recover mixtures with lots of emphasis on SDK off the walls for my backstroke kick. I find this addittion to be absolutely wonderful as my work-outs have become fun again.

I also do not think we should discount the value of stroke correction: more on that elsewhere.

marksman
November 3rd, 2009, 06:28 PM
Was reading a summary of one of Elizabeth Beisel's workouts, after the post about her joining Univ. Florida:

http://www.swimnetwork.com/blogs/blog/20090223/inside_the_workout__elizabeth_beisel-2083.html

She does around 4k of warmup/recovery/drill swimming, 2k of fast swimming, and less than 1k of "race pace".

That sure seems like a lot of race pace. Maybe it's possible because it's interspersed with 'strong' swims, rather than chaining them back to back.

Anyways I like how they organized that particular workout. Tough being an IMer though, long workout.