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View Full Version : Do you Swim non stop or do intervals and drills ?



Gareth Eckley
October 13th, 2003, 06:55 AM
I saw this in a post:
I will swim 200 laps in a 25 meter pool. All free style. Non stop. This is done in 3 phases , !st 64 laps is moderate speed 2nd 64 laps is distance the balance is for endurance.

My first reaction was WHY ? If you swim like this you will never know how good a swimmer you could be !

Reasons why.

1.- Your range of motion becomes less as your muscles fatigue and tighten up. This leads to the long, smooth stroke that your first few lengths have, deteriorating into a short, choppy survival stroke.

2.- You can only train one energy system, Aerobic, the anaerobic & lactic systems are untouched.

3.- You cannot improve your technique unless you use drills in a progressive manner.

4.- Why not put in some drills to check your technique. For example 10 strokes of head-up free every few lengths to check you hand entry ?

5.- By only doing Freestyle you are setting yourself up for injured shoulders, with all kinds of impingement problems.

6.-Where are the Kick sets and fly kick sets to improve core body strength and awareness ?

7.-What about the joys' of fly, back and
breast ?

I put together this poll to see how people out there are training.

Conniekat8
October 13th, 2003, 09:01 PM
couple years ago, i swam for several months, all free laps, up to 4000 yards per workout. I didn't improve much, never got weaned off the fins, did get into a little bit better shape.

In july I started with a team that does planned workouts, kicks, stroke drills, pulling, intervals, cardio days, racing days all kinds of stuff, and I'm improving leaps and bounds, over just short 3-4 months.

prrk
October 14th, 2003, 09:31 AM
Actually, in the proper context, I think the original quotee is on to something.

In the fall and winter, I mix it up and swim the Masters workout with the team, building to around 3500 or 4000 yards at the peak. We do drills, intervals, and distance - the usual. Then, as spring arrives, I start to do more consistent distance with fewer breaks. By summer race season (triathlon) I am swimming three or four times a week in the lake, up to an hour without any breaks, moderating my exertion between cruise pace and race pace. Then I back off in September and pick it up again in October. I think it's a good approach - this season my swim results were pretty good. At 37, I led the swim in several races, and went soundly under an hour in my first Ironman swim.

What are other people doing?

Gareth Eckley
October 14th, 2003, 02:56 PM
I should have modified this poll. The questions 4 and 5 have a lot of overlap.

Basically question 5 should mean "do you use printed workouts that you get from a coach or online coaching resource ? ". This would, of course, have swim, kick and drills for a mix of strokes.

mattson
October 16th, 2003, 11:00 AM
How many of those 10 people who answered the last option, are coaches trying to rig the results? :D

Dominick Aielloeaver
October 16th, 2003, 07:35 PM
Garteth. First I would like to ,thank you for a good commen sense approach to other than what I doing. But as a younger man all i ever did wsa ocean swimming. That is after learning how to swim in a pool. But once I got in open water , it was another world.(hard to explain) I found it was total freedom. Yes at 1 time I could fly breast back. But after not having swam in 45 years, I found free was easy. I dont belong to any teams nor do I have any coaching. And I dont really train as in the sense of ,of traing to compete. This what I do is for areobics. Another problem is I like the gym to much. But I have and do compete now . Naturally all free style events. And again thank you for your ,ideas. Dom:) :cool: :)

Gareth Eckley
October 17th, 2003, 08:17 AM
Dominick

Sorry ! I should take the time to find out what your aims are in swimming before criticising your training. Especially as i have never seen you swim. If you have done a lot of open water swimming then non-stop swims would feel better for you.

I guess, when you are a coach and do a lot of research in all of the ways to structure workouts to improve technique and conditioning, then you can get "hung up" on wanting everyone to swim that way !

You go for it ! It sounds as if it is working well for you.

Yardbird
October 22nd, 2003, 01:00 PM
I picked the last option because that's why I joined Masters and pay good money to be on a team! Our coaches have us do all of the above and then some! :cool:

Nancy Graham
November 1st, 2003, 02:40 PM
I find it interesting -- and intriguing -- that everyday (how do you know you are a swimmer?) I come on the forum and find Kim's reply form 10/22 still here! Kim, your reply must be pretty interesting! But really -- how does this happen?

Nancy

Yardbird
November 3rd, 2003, 11:51 AM
Hi Nancy!

It happens because people vote in the poll and that "activates" the thread as a reply would.

My scintillating observation didn't generate any discussion -- oh well! ;)

Regards,
Kim

Nancy Graham
November 3rd, 2003, 12:23 PM
Thanks for solving this puzzle for me Kim. Now for the other part of the puzzle -- what does this mean? How does one "vote in a poll" and why?

I know this is most likely a stupid question for those in the know, but I am still learning how to get around on the forum, and about all the little "tricks" available.

Thanks again, Nancy

Yardbird
November 3rd, 2003, 05:38 PM
Hi Nancy,

The poll is at the top of this thread. Just tick your choice and hit the "vote" tab.

A user can create a poll for whatever comes to their mind to quantify among us threadsters. Gareth Eckley wondered what kind of workouts we are doing.

Why create a poll? Just for fun, curiosity, I guess.
Why vote? I, for one, find polls irresistible! :D

Kim

BMcClernan
November 10th, 2003, 12:53 PM
When I started about four or five years ago, I was just swimming freestyle, with hardly any intervals.

For the last three years, I've been following posted coach workouts and doing all strokes. My skills and times have improved dramatically.

Where a 50 fly used to kill me, now I'm doing 400 IM's without a problem. My goal this year is to complete a 200 fly at a meet. I'm almost there!

continuousharmony
November 21st, 2003, 12:05 AM
Hi all,

New to this site, I just recently got back to the pool. Of course once i'm in it's hard to get out.

Anyway, once I found this site. Have been interested into getting in shape just in case I'd like to compete....not sure whether I want to just compete in meets or long distance.
Experienced both when I was younger, and liked both. I would like to try long distance someday.

Well, I figured I'd type out what I'm doing now for a workout.

1 200 yd - free
1 200 yd - kick alternating every 50 free/dolphin kick
1 200 yd - free/back every 50
1 200 yd - free
1 200 yd - kick alternating every 50 free/dolphin kick
1 200 yd - free/back every 50
1 200 yd - IM
1 200 yd - kick
1 200 yd - free/back every 50
1 200 yd - free (warm down)

I rest about 30 sec no more than a min...not really sure, but I don't rest long.

I don't time myself yet. I did once not too bad...at least I am in between 3-4 min. Phew.

Does anyone have any suggestions?

Or Ideas so I can keep the workouts exciting.

Thanks, nice meeting you all...

Kim

****Have you hugged a swimmer today!!!!*****

swim53
November 30th, 2003, 09:44 AM
Dear Kimberly,
Do you workout on your own? I was curious because of your question about how you can make the workout more exciting.

I mainly swim on my own, don't like it too much alone. Prefer swimming with others, at least some days. Our group disbanded because we lost our free pool slot and I would need to drive 1 hour to join another group.

Try to swim with others if you can. It's way more fun.

Swim53

Bob Boder
December 11th, 2003, 12:11 PM
I have responded in the past that I swim intervals. But on stressful days like yesterday LSD (long slow distance) is the way to go!

Dominick Aielloeaver
December 25th, 2003, 04:25 PM
Originally posted by Gareth Eckley
Dominick

Sorry ! I should take the time to find out what your aims are in swimming before criticising your training. Especially as i have never seen you swim. If you have done a lot of open water swimming then non-stop swims would feel better for you.

I guess, when you are a coach and do a lot of research in all of the ways to structure workouts to improve technique and conditioning, then you can get "hung up" on wanting everyone to swim that way !

You go for it ! It sounds as if it is working well for you.

Dominick Aielloeaver
December 25th, 2003, 04:33 PM
Garth E. I never got back to you. On That criticsing. But I took it as good constructive criticisam. I really appericate any help on swimming. Any time .Have amerry Xmas and New Year. Dom. A:) :cool: :)

breastroker
January 3rd, 2004, 05:31 PM
Dr. Phillip Whitten has the answer in his book "The Complete Book of Swimming". Lap swimmers and non stop distance swimmers are missing out on the fountain of youth. Only interval training releases natural human growth hormone (HGH). This keeps your body organs and tissues young.

Ever notce that most of our great masters swimmers look 10-15 years younger than they are? It is because of the HGH released by interval training:D

Ever notice distance runners look older than they are actually:mad: It is because they don't do enough interval training. Most runners know about intrevals but prefer the theory or more is better.

butterflybeer
January 18th, 2004, 08:52 PM
Breaststroker,

This is an interesting idea.

Could this difference in how long distance runners look possibly be realted to environmental factors?

When running outdoors, one's face is pretty much totally exposed to the elements: sun, wind, cold (at least in some regions) etc. Could the hours spent like this, have an effect on one's facial appearance? Indeed, I would maintain that people who spend a great deal of time outdoors tend to appear older due to "facial weathering".

With indoor swimming, the the environment is completely controlled and thus, environlemtal effects are negated.

Has Dr. Whitten's hypothesis ever been tested and verified? That is, is the only reason that long distance runners look old is due to lack of interval training and thus lack of HGH being relaesed. Perhaps distance running somehow pre-selects people who look older?

Also, what about distance swimmers who perhaps do not use intervals as much. Using Dr. Whitten's hypothesis, one would expect these people to look older than their interval training counterparts. If these non-interval training swimmers look younger, like other swimmers, then I would suggest that Dr. Whitten's hypothesis may need some revision.

Finally, I wonder about other sports. What other timed sports rarely use intervals for training. Dr. Whitten would expect these people to look older as well. An example might be some X-country skiers or maybe some cyclists, but I am just guessing here. What other sports use intervals regularly? These people would be expected to look younger.

Food for thought.

breastroker
January 18th, 2004, 10:07 PM
Justin,
Actually the largest benefit of swimming intervals is the organs, skin is just the most visible one. Autopsies of swimmers show much younger appearing organs than chronological age. Compared to other sports we have the natural HGH advantage interval training gives us.

Actually the most scientific sport is cycling, interval training is very important to them. Even distance runners know they would do better if they did intervals, but many go towards large distances (the more is better theory) that they loose all benefits. Perhaps that is why swimmers are usually the smartest groups in college:D

butterflybeer
January 18th, 2004, 10:34 PM
Wayne,

This is very interesting.

Do you know, or have a idea when exactly interval training becomes non-interval training or vice versa? For example is swimming 8x200 and getting 20 sec rest considered interval training? What if I were getting 15, or 10 seconds rest, would this be considered interval training? What if I were swimming a set of 400's and was getting 5 seconds rest? Would that be interval training?

I am not trying to be cute. I am genuinely interested in the exact definition you are using for interval training. Would you define interval training as starting a new repeat every x minutes/seconds? Or, might it have something to do with heart rate peaks and valleys?

Fritz
January 19th, 2004, 11:32 AM
Originally posted by breastroker
Justin,
Actually the largest benefit of swimming intervals is the organs, skin is just the most visible one. Autopsies of swimmers show much younger appearing organs than chronological age. Compared to other sports we have the natural HGH advantage interval training gives us.

Actually the most scientific sport is cycling, interval training is very important to them. Even distance runners know they would do better if they did intervals, but many go towards large distances (the more is better theory) that they loose all benefits. Perhaps that is why swimmers are usually the smartest groups in college:D

I just reread this and was wondering where I could get information on the autopsies of dead swimmers?

tjburk
February 18th, 2004, 02:23 AM
I try to mix it up as much as I can. Been back at it for almost a year now and can actually do regular sets throughout practice.

Venus
March 7th, 2004, 04:13 PM
I take ideas from the coaches workouts here and then customize them for myself and print them out and stick them in a ziplock bag. This works really well and gives me the structure I need. I can't swim with my team because of the time the practice is held (during my work hours).

Paul Smith
April 1st, 2004, 05:58 PM
Fritz, are you looking for results from dead masters swimmers? Or for late blooming masters swimmers? It's important to be accurate in this type of details!

Fritz
April 1st, 2004, 07:05 PM
I'm not going there.

I was just curious where Wayne saw autopsies of dead swimmers.

tecumseh9
April 4th, 2004, 03:56 PM
Be careful about any one study showing something medical literature is pretty complicated and needs to be looked at with skepticism. How old were the people tested? Did the groups have comparable BMI? what was the statistical significance?

If any reason why swimmers might be better off it is because they recognize the quality v quantity of workouts better than most runners and cyclists. So many runners and cyclists are mileage obsessed (I ride with a bunch of them and I think they are pretty typical) and pay little attention to quality of workouts just distance

butterflybeer
April 22nd, 2004, 07:14 PM
I would make the case that age group swim coaches in Canada are in fact mileage obsessed. Later on in life, I find that many of these former age group swimmers are turned off the sport and they have little or no interest in returning to the pool.

This may account for the extremely low percentage of Masters swimmers (at least in my experience) who ever swam seriously as a child/youth.

Perhaps the reason why James mentions that swimmers recoqnize quality vs quantity is because the swimmers he is referring to are not former age group swimmers? Perhaps, the former age group swimmers have taken up running and or cycling and they can continue their mileage focus in another sport?

The trend I see is running and cycling becoming very popular with adults, and swimming continuing to be more of a child/youth sport. A major piece of evidence is simply the explosion in the number of retail high end running and bicycling stores. I would dearly love to see adult swimming become as popular as adult running and bicycling. Triathlons have done some of this, but let's face it, triathlon swimming is much different than competitive swimming.

Just a few thoughts for discussion...

Scansy
April 22nd, 2004, 08:43 PM
One other reason for the explosion of high end running/cycling stores - there is more money in it. Think about it. You can convince a runner (I know several) to buy a new pair of shoes three or four times a year - at $100 or more a pop. And bikes! The newest "compettion" bikes are in the $1000 range. Plus the runners and bikers need the appropriate clothing - stylish, some light (for summer) and some heavy (winter). These "jogging suits" and "cycling suits" can be expensive.

Compare that to swimmers - most of us use old suits in practices. Yes, the new compettition ones carry a hefty price tag, but if you compete a handful of times a year, you can get one high end one a year for the same price of a pair of running shoes - the shoes the runners use every day. But I also notice a bunch of swimmers on here are always looking for the bargain suit or the grab bag suit. We are a frugal (cheap?) bunch. I buy mine at the end of summer clearance at the local sporting goods store. Pay half price and stock up for the year.

Goggles can cost some money - I have a pair of Baracuddas that I love - $30. Still not in the range of a pair of running shoes or a bike. You can get more expensive ones, but I doubt if many of the readers here spend more than $50 for a pair.

I am not convinced that less adults are swimming. If anything, adults are "cross training" or training for a triathalon - so they may be spending less time in the pool, but have not given it up. I also know a couple of runners/bikers who have added swimming so they can do tris. Around here (suburban Philadelphia) I don't see the drop off in swimming for adults.

Anyway, this is my two cents worth. No scientific study - just my gut feeling.

butterflybeer
April 22nd, 2004, 08:51 PM
Indeed, there is more money in the bike stores and running stores. Remember, these shops are driven by adults with disposable income, not age group swimmers.

I am suggesting that the rate of increase in adult runners and cyclists is greater than the rate of increase in the number of masters swimmers.

Obviously, this is another observation. I have no real data to support this.

Scansy
April 22nd, 2004, 11:19 PM
Could be right. Most exercising goes throug cycles where it is a fad. I think people get bored with one exercise and move on to another because they still want to exercise. Heck, I can remember tennis, raquetball, running, biking, swimming, stair climbers and eliptical trainers all being the "popular" or "trendy" exercise at one time or another.

Ryan@ICoachSwimming
May 6th, 2004, 11:23 PM
I've never heard about HGH being released because of interval training over another kind of training, but I do know this. The human body is designed to "adapt". When you work out, you put "eustress" on the body, which literally means "good stress". Your body doesn't like stress, so it changes its composition. That way, the next time it encouters that stress, it would be so challenging.

If you use intervals in your training, you are likely changing them up on some kind of program, or just for variety. It's similar to cross training - just when your body has learned to adapt, you change the type of stress you put on it. That promotes healthy change and adaptation.

When you think about long distance runners who always run long distances, think about how far they have to go each time BEFORE they start to put any eustress on their body. 10 miles? 20 miles? They're not forcing their body to adapt the way you would with intervals.

If you want to learn more about intervals, look for people who discuss "work to rest ratios." You'll find them in any physiological based program. Heck, technically, weight training is based on work to rest ratios - 10 reps curls, 30 seconds rest.

I do know that physiologists have had trouble selling their theories of training on many coaches, and many coaches have trouble getting physiologists to consider real world training issues in their research.

Heck, I took a graduate class on physiology for competitive athletes. All the physiologists wanted to develop four year training plans so that the college swimmers all peaked in their fourth year. That makes sense, right? you have four years to get them to be their best. Well, that doesn't work if you consider that it's important to try to win each year in a college environment. And, if a swimmer decides to leave the team before that fourth year, but you're training for the fourth year, you haven't gotten any output from him/her.

Wow, this was a long boring email that I doubt anyone will want to read.

Ryan@ICoachSwimming.com
www.ICoachSwimming.com (http://www.icoachswimming.com)

geochuck
July 20th, 2004, 04:36 PM
You need to mix it up Long and Slow, Short and Fast and sometimes long and slow with some fast mixed in. Variety is the spice of life.....

George

Branko357
September 5th, 2004, 04:46 AM
I have read all of your discussions, and I think the most important things you should consider is heart rate puls.Interval training should come later on, but generally it is very risky giving any advice because I havent see you swimming, your technic, mental andf psyhiological strenght...
Sorry for my english, but I hope ne1 understood.Bye

ann
September 7th, 2004, 05:04 PM
I've learned to do what you say from my coach. But why don't the lifeguards defend those of us trying to do a workout with swimming/resting intervals? when I'm at lap swim, the person who is resting gets all the newcomers, and they can be pretty rude. As if by taking a 10-20 SECOND break you're not using your lane enough! Just this weekend, while resting (to give the other person in my lane a 3/4 length lead) someone came into my lane, and just swam a 1/2 length, and then just stayed there, treading water. The lifeguard didn't care, because he thought I was resting! So, i don't know how to do one of these workouts without feeling the tension that someone is going to pounce on my lane at any moment!

ann
September 7th, 2004, 05:07 PM
my last post was referring to the first thread from Gareth ...

Guvnah
September 15th, 2004, 08:32 PM
Originally posted by ann
I've learned to do what you say from my coach. But why don't the lifeguards defend those of us trying to do a workout with swimming/resting intervals? when I'm at lap swim, the person who is resting gets all the newcomers, and they can be pretty rude. As if by taking a 10-20 SECOND break you're not using your lane enough! Just this weekend, while resting (to give the other person in my lane a 3/4 length lead) someone came into my lane, and just swam a 1/2 length, and then just stayed there, treading water. The lifeguard didn't care, because he thought I was resting! So, i don't know how to do one of these workouts without feeling the tension that someone is going to pounce on my lane at any moment!


Fortunately I don't have that problem because the time I workout at my pool seems to have a light enough demand that we don't have to circle.

But were I faced with your situation I would just swim down the lane, and brush past (not run directly into) the water-treader. Even if it took 2 or 3 such passes, s/he would get the hint soon enough.

hooked-on-swimming
November 1st, 2004, 07:40 PM
Originally posted by butterflybeer
Wayne,

This is very interesting.

Do you know, or have a idea when exactly interval training becomes non-interval training or vice versa? For example is swimming 8x200 and getting 20 sec rest considered interval training? What if I were getting 15, or 10 seconds rest, would this be considered interval training? What if I were swimming a set of 400's and was getting 5 seconds rest? Would that be interval training?

I am not trying to be cute. I am genuinely interested in the exact definition you are using for interval training. Would you define interval training as starting a new repeat every x minutes/seconds? Or, might it have something to do with heart rate peaks and valleys?

That was a very interesting question that did not get answered.I was thinkig about the same thing.At what point does the interval training become a non-interval one?

breastroker
November 1st, 2004, 11:06 PM
Interval training is all about raising the heart rate, doing work etc.
So if you are doing a "8x200 and getting 20 sec rest" or 15, or 10 seconds rest or a set of 400's and was getting 5 seconds rest, it is all interval training as long as you are not keeping the heart steady.

It doesn't matter what shape you are in, if you swim a 200 and then measure your heart rate it will be lower after 20 seconds rest. Then when you start the next set, you are raising the heart rate up again.

Your body really only gets better when you vary things. So swimming long slow distances like some lap swimmers, you do not trick the body to produce hormones that help rebuild the body better.

hooked-on-swimming
November 2nd, 2004, 03:26 AM
So simple, but so true, Wayne.It's all about change in heart rate ... Got it!Thanks.

craiglll@yahoo.com
November 20th, 2004, 02:21 PM
"I am suggesting that the rate of increase in adult runners and cyclists is greater than the rate of increase in the number of masters swimmers. "

This quote is from a previous writer. More people swim/water exercise daily for exercise than bicycle or run (at least the last survey I read said so). There is such a huge emphasis on compettition in swimming right now that I am very much afraid that we are becoming our own worse promoters. We must learn to push swimming as fittness. That is how running has always been able to reinvent itself when its numbers begin to decrease. Having said that, another problem with swimming is that it is almost invisible. I took a class two years ago and one of the readings was on sports promotion since WWII. the aurthor wrote that in 1964 the most likely college or nonprofessional sporting event to be televised was swimming!

The reason why running & bycling store are so successful is becasue of the high mark up on bikes & running shoes. Most running shoes are made for, at the most, a few dollars. They even last less time than a good pair of swim briefs. Bikes have a huge mark up. Also, we have seen the explosion of internet sites dedicated ot swimming equipment. There aren't as many for bikes.

2go+h20
December 1st, 2004, 06:17 PM
Ann,
I understand completely the frustrations of swimming sets during public swimming. I train 80% of my workouts during public length swims. I have many amusing and frustrating stories.
Basically I come with 2 sets in mind. One for the ideal swim lane world which can happen! and the other for when I get caught in the 'log jams'.
One way I solved the problem is to arrange, if you can, to meet other swimmers who would also like to do the same workout. That way you are making good use of the lane, and if there are 4 or 5 swimmers the lane looks busy and the 'classic cruisers' may well choose another lane.
A few years ago I had a 'personal lane clearer'. He was a huge 6 foot 2 man, with an enormous barrel chest and a wing span of an albatros. (At 65 he was the world champion breastroker). He would stand by the edge of the pool, with his 'garbage can sized paddles' on his hands. He would leap feet first then swim some breastroke with paddles. The bow wave he produced would drown even a seasoned swimmer. Those wall flowers who hold on to the wall and kick, or do various exercises, soon moved to another lane. As did those swimmers who did sidestroke in time to a waltz.
If you are part way through a workout and you want to try to fininsh the set, try holding on to the wall, legs bunched up ready to push off. One arm extended ready to go. Look up at the pace clock, back down the lane, up at the pace clock etc. That way swimmers might wait and let you go. But only do that for less then 10 secs. Adjust the interval if you have to, otherwise you will be swimming slalom as you dodge and pass them.
I have had many workouts ' interrupted' by surprises. Like swimmers who were swimming in the lane beside me, and simply decided to pop under the lane and swim in the next lane.
I try not to let it bother me. Use them as your pace clock. Get to know their speed and do some sets where you will try and catch up to them on the wall. OR when passing see how stretched out and strong your stroke can be as you smoothly pass them. That way you won't be noticed and they will not get annoyed.
If the lane is jammed, do a lot of drills.
If it is impossible, go over to the leisure lane and do some vertical kick sets until it clears a bit.
The lifeguards are not interested in what we are doing. They are simply interested in our safety. If they speak to a swimmer and suggest they move over, they must deal with the feelings and reactions of that swimmer.
Don't forget, if you are swimming in a public pool, every one who pays has the right to come in and use the pool however they like. Be it slow or fast, relaxing and recharging or training.
Happy training.
Kiwi

ann
December 1st, 2004, 06:26 PM
thanks! that's very encouraging ...

mrcnwmn
March 2nd, 2005, 02:16 AM
Funny... I do the same thing. Well I suppose it just makes sense: Anyone using a public pool to do reps has to give themsleves options. I have two workouts prepared everyday - one that's backstroke / freestyle and one that's IM driven. I keep my workout sheet in a large ziplock. It works great.

And like you, I use the short/kiddie end if their are no lanes with only one person in them. In this case the kiddie end is only 14 yards... so I have a conversion chart at the bottom of my workout for that as well.

I found I can't swim with two people in my lane. I'm not the fastest swimmer in town, but it's really tough to swim around people and keep your pace on the interval.

penguin4501
July 21st, 2005, 12:52 AM
Originally posted by Gareth Eckley
6.-Where are the Kick sets and fly kick sets to improve core body strength and awareness ?


I thought kick/fly kick sets only make your legs stronger, can't really imagine how it improve core body strength. Could you explain? I have a weak core and I've been looking for additional ways to improve it.

PeirsolFan
July 26th, 2005, 04:49 AM
I train alone and can't stand structured workouts with countless drills. I know what needs work and motivation isn't a problem because I really love swimming. Really. Love it.

My coach answers questions and offers support via email and we meet once a week. She gets in the pool with me when we work together and doesn't give me workouts. She swam my event competitivly for 2 decades so it keeps us synched up.

Psychologically she is a tremendous help because I've never been a competitive person. That's probably why training alone works best for me. "You WILL start to notice people in other lanes when you race," she says. Not gonna happen. I'm soooo slooooow.

At least 4 days a week with 3 hour sessions in the pool. Light cardio 3 days a week for 1/2 an hour. It's easy to spend that much time there because the pool meets most of my needs. I also take advantage of articles, Olympic footage, and physics research, etc...

69gscal
August 15th, 2005, 05:39 PM
Originally posted by penguin4501
I thought kick/fly kick sets only make your legs stronger, can't really imagine how it improve core body strength. Could you explain? I have a weak core and I've been looking for additional ways to improve it.

Do a 200m dolphin kick set and you'll imediately understand how kick sets strengthen your core. :D

beanie
September 19th, 2005, 07:44 AM
I want to hear some comments on the assumption made previously. Is swimming all freestyle workouts necessarily bad for your shoulders. I believe butterfly is just as stressful on your shoulders, isnt it?

I am a short distance freestyler. If I use intervals, kicking, pulling, and drills, etc. in my workouts and I am not getting a complete workout if I dont do any stroke work?

I just dont want to waste time doing odd strokes that I don't compete in...

Any insights would be appreciated.

- Beanie

patrick
October 12th, 2005, 02:36 PM
I just moved to NYC from Austin and I was pretty spoiled on the level of coaching and training at Longhorn Aquatics--Kim can tell you. Right now I find myself adapting the coached workouts I'm getting to suit myself. As a coach myself I think it's imperative that you are creative and challenging. Personally sets that are 10 x 100 or 6 x 200 just kill my spirit. I've already done those sets, it reminds me of the 70's! Here are some sets I like, that I've adapted to fit the intervals I'm being given.

8 x 100's on the 1:30--if I did free I'd get +:20 rest so instead I kick a 50 and drill/swim a 50 of Bu or BA--then I only get :05 rest and it's more challenging.

12 x 50's on the :55. Too much rest even if I did them backstroke or fly, so I put on fins and did a relaxed 25 underwater, a big open turn and then a fast 13 yards underwater kick with a fast breakout. By the third one it's recovery in oxygen debt.

Instead of doing 6 x 200 IM's try this one:
20 x 25 (5 Bu :30, 5 Ba :30, 5 Br :35, 5 Fr :25) Relaxed and Long
16 x 25 (4 of each stroke) descend each 4
12 x 25 (3 of each stroke) strong
8 x 25 (2 of each stroke) sprint
(it's a 1400)

A good warmup-700 yards
Pattern: first and second length free, third length choice stroke,
fourth length kick w/o a board.
1 x 25, rest :10-free
2 x 25, rest :10-free, stroke
3 x 25, rest :10-kick, free, free
4 x 25, rest :10-stroke, kick, free, free
5 x 25, rest :10-stroke, kick, free, free, stroke
6 x 25, rest :10-kick, free, free, stroke, kick, free
7 x 25, rest :10-free, stroke, kick, free, free, stroke, kick

Here's a 2000 I could do:
100 left arm fly
100 right arm fly
100 streamline kick on you back
100 Finger tip drag
100 swim
Do it 4 x for a non-stop 2000

My new favorite
100 perfect free with 10 breaths on the 1:30
100 fast on the 1:15
3 x 50 on the :35
do it 4 times--the perfect free becomes a recovery 100.

or this one
2 x 25 (half length UW, half length easy), :30
2 x 25 (half length UW, half length build), :30
2 x 25 (half length UW, half length fast), :30
3 x 50 fast, :40
Repeat 4 x


Keep swimming!

geochuck
November 8th, 2005, 04:11 PM
These drills are the rage for triathletes. http://www.teenbodybuilding.com/jeff8.htm

AguaMan
November 15th, 2005, 04:55 PM
Response to Kim's "scintillating" reply. I too voted, Do what the coach tells me. My common comment at the pool is, "I did not come here to think, I came to swim!!!!" So towards that end, i let the coach tell me what to do. The only thing about that is, when i was in high school (coach Richard Quick) he did ALL the thinking. He called the workouts and told me when to take off on the interval time. All i had to do was show up. Back then the workouts were fairly simple too. No drills, no negative splits, no desending etc etc....blah blah blah. Now i still have trouble with the coach getting creative. Sometimes i get so confused in the workout that i just stop until i have figured the set out. Then swim like hell to catch up!!!!!!!!
But i love swimming......maybe some of the confusion is AGE related.....lol:D :D

W4CHL
November 28th, 2005, 11:17 AM
Another vote for a coach, especially since I'm a newbie to swimming as a sport. Our DAMA coach, Danielle Newton, has taken into account my newbie status and interest in continuing with some of the Total Immersion principles (http://totalimmersion.net/). I really appreciate this as I had to spend much of my time just trying to keep from floundering the first few weeks of practice, then leaned on a swim snorkel for the next couple of months for anything over 100, now finally am able to go multiple 300s and up to 800y at reasonable pace comfortably.

Now under her direction, working to add in some speed work, more drills, perhaps even the 1 hour postal (http://www.usms.org/longdist/ldnats06/1hrentry.pdf) as a long distance workout. Hope to be able to compete in, and improve significantly, in middle distance events (200-400-800) which is where I found modest success years ago as a runner.

Cheers de Mark

kernal
February 18th, 2006, 09:55 PM
Hey, good question!

I am 49 years old, swim by myself 5 days a week; swim with my Masters club on Saturdays. I typically do the following:

Every day:
200 IM warmup
100 fly/free/fly/free
100 back
100 breast
100 free

100 fly kick
100 back/free kick
100 breast kick
100 fly kick

MWF:
one mile swim:
500 free pull
500 free swim
500 back swim
500 free swim

200 cool down

total: 3000 yds

Tues/Thur (after first 1000)

20 x 50 on 60 sec:

8 x 50 free pull
4 x 50 back swim
8 x 50 free swim

100 cool down

About once a week I will do the Masters workout that is on the board, or one that I remember that I like. One I do often is one that adds up to 1000 yards:

4 x 25 fly
4 x 50 breast
4 x 75 back
4 x 100 free


Another thing I throw in often is 4 or 5 x 100 KRLS (Kick, Right, Left, Swim)

John

KaizenSwimmer
February 21st, 2006, 08:18 AM
This is a practice I did last Thursday with the local Masters group at SUNY New Paltz. This illustrates how I modify a basic workout to turn it into a practice with enhanced personally-meaningful content.

WARMUP
Coach said: 4 x 150
I did 50BK 50BR 50 FR, focused on neutral head position.
Coach said: 4 x 100
I did them FR at 12 SPL (strokes per length), focused on silent swimming.
Coach said: 4 x 50 Kick
I did them as a BK drill, focused on keeping "quiet water" around my face.

MAIN SET
Coach said: 3 rounds of 5 x 200 with 100 recovery between rounds. The intervals in my lane were 3:00 on 1st round, 2:55 on 2nd round and 2:45 on 3rd round.
I did:
For the first round (5 x 200 on 3:00) I held 13 SPL with a focus on having a "leisurely catch" which means taking as much time as possible to set my hand firmly before stroking. I descended from 2:49 to 2:39. What was good about this was it got easier as I swam faster, mainly because I "found my groove" on the patient catch . I actually felt more relaxed and controlled on the 2:39 than the 2:49.

For the 2nd round (5 x 200 on 2:55), I increased to 14 SPL and shifted my focus to spearing my hand forward (to that catch position) with a bit more energy. Descended 2:39, 2:38, 2:37, 2:37, 2:36. I felt most relaxed and controlled on #4.

For the 3rd round (5 x 200 on 2:45) I knew my concentration would have to be more acute. With the interval fairly tight, I wanted to do EVERYTHING with as much control and precision as possible to make the "difficult" interval feel easy. I increased to 15 SPL (but emphasized feeling as controlled as I had at lower stroke counts) and added a focus on synchronizing my hip/leg drive to the hand-spearing action described above. I descended this set 2:38, 2:37, 2:36, 2:35, 2:34. I put no more effort into the 2:34 than I had into the 2:38. I did nail all seven turns on that last one though, which was satisfying.

For cooldown, I did 8 x 50 Long Axis combo - 4 strokes BK, 3 strokes FR.
Total: 4800 yards.

During this practice I shared a lane with two triathletes who are reasonably accomplished swimmers and each about 25 years younger than me (I'll be 55 in a few weeks). The effect of my disciplined approach to the main set (controlled stroke count, focus on maintaining relaxation) is that while both were finishing well ahead of me on the first round, I had to give them 10 seconds lead on the 2nd round in order to avoid running the 2nd over, then led the lane and was lapping them each 200 on the final round.

Because my goals revolve around distances of 1 mile to 5K, it's important to me to always feel strong and in control at the end of longish sets.

geochuck
February 21st, 2006, 08:30 AM
Terry
Glad to see you have not given up on us. Of course this is me talking others may not like it but I do. Main reason I like to see what others are doing.

Years ago I watched what I considered the worst swimming instructor I had ever seen and I still believe this. But I walked away and with a couple of very intresting things that I saw him do during the class and I still use these 2 things in my classes.

Again thanks for sticking around.

KaizenSwimmer
February 21st, 2006, 08:50 AM
Originally posted by geochuck
[

Again thanks for sticking around. [/B]

I'm a swim coach. Coaching swimmers - sometimes in person, other times via various media - is what gets my juices flowing. While flame wars are pointless; posting here is constructive.

Plus it gives people a chance to freely test my ideas and determine for themselves whether they're ruinous or useful.

There's been a misconception that I claim one can swim well without effort. Not so. I've applied years of rigorous thought, concentration and discipline to develop the ability to execute a set in as controlled and precise a manner I described above. (I've written that "It takes great effort to become effortless.")

The primary departure of the TI paradigm from conventional training is best understood from what we tell the kids on the TI-coached age group team we operate in New Paltz -- "You are not here to get in shape; you are here to practice the skills that win races. Conditioning 'happens' as you do that."

When I'm racing in an OW 2-mile or 5K, I'm usually swimming in a pack with swimmers who are 10 or more years younger than me. They all have greater physical capacity than I do. The only way I can stay with them is if my energy cost at that speed is less than theirs. Thus, as I've said and as the main set above illustrates, my goal is never to test how much generic punishment I can absorb -- or even how high I can raise my VO2max -- but to find the easiest way to complete a set of repeats at the standard I've set for myself...and to make every set a "rehearsal" of some kind for how I'd like my races to play out. I guess you could call that "organic" training.

KaizenSwimmer
February 21st, 2006, 10:16 PM
Another practice sample. Did this one tonight.

Tuesday February 21, 2006 4200 yards at Shawangunk Masters
New Paltz NY

Warmup 200 IM Swim, 200 IM Kick, 200 IM Pull
5 x 100 FR on 1:45 25 Drill, 25 Swim.
I did ZipperSwitch for the drill and held 11 strokes per length (SPL) on the swim.

Main Set 5 x 500 on 7:10.
The coach’s instruction was to swim at moderate pace except for a “breakout 100” in each 500. The breakout 100 was the 1st 100 on the 1st 500, the 2nd 100 on the 2nd 500 and so on. My goal was to maintain the same stroke count on the breakout 100 as on the moderate 100s. I swam the first 2 x 500 at 14SPL and the last 3 x 500 at 15 SPL. I increased my pace on the breakout 100s, by sharpening my hip/leg drive and without raising my stroke rate. I descended the 5 x 500 as follows: 6:54, 6:43, 6:41, 6:39, 6:28. On the final 500, I increased my stroke count on the breakout 100 (final 100) to 16SPL, but dropped my pace from 1:18 to 1:14.

Kick 300.
I did stroke drills, 75 of each stroke.

Swimdown 6 x 50.
I did these Backstroke – 25 BK-Switch drill, 25 BK Swim at 13SPL.

A.K.
March 3rd, 2006, 10:41 PM
Who was that Coach and what were the 2 things?

BTW Terry, it's always good to look at new things and different ways to approach the same old same old.
Gotta think outside the box.


Originally posted by geochuck
Terry
Glad to see you have not given up on us. Of course this is me talking others may not like it but I do. Main reason I like to see what others are doing.

Years ago I watched what I considered the worst swimming instructor I had ever seen and I still believe this. But I walked away and with a couple of very intresting things that I saw him do during the class and I still use these 2 things in my classes.

Again thanks for sticking around.

Loffe
April 22nd, 2006, 11:02 AM
It is very interesting read all these replys. Here and there we can all pick up some new ideas and tips of how to improve our swimming - wonderful.

One thing that really help me with my swimming was when I in my mind started to questioning my coach. That forced me to understand what I was doing and why. As a sprint swimmer do I really need this and that? Why doesn't he or she do this or that?

After some time I was able to myself realize that things I did not like sometimes and unfortunately were important to me, and.. some things I just stopped doing. In the 70's and 80's there used to be some focus on getting tired, not always getting better.

Another thing to remember is that there is a lot you can do to change a serie. When you for example swim 10x100 on 1:30 it can be so very different. It will be what you do with it. Just cruising ten 100's or .. drills, exellent time for turning practice, time to focus on breathing or stroke etc etc.

And regarding this thread - of course we need variation in our workouts. Even the most notorious long distance swimmer will need do different things than just non stop 4 mile swims.

Take care..

Jan

bcswim
May 2nd, 2006, 05:54 PM
i like to mix things up...some days i do mostly drill/kick workouts, others are long sets...speed days and last of all i do one swim per week where i swim a short warm up and then a straight swim.(distance increasing each week)
i get bored if all i were to do is swim straight all the time!

geochuck
July 13th, 2006, 03:40 PM
I just added goswim drills to my web site http://swimdownhill.com/_wsn/page10.html

Gareth Eckley
July 19th, 2006, 06:00 AM
Thank you to everyone who replied to this thread. I had no idea when i started it that over 30,000 people would read it.

Many very interesting views. I am now coaching a few ironman triatheletes who love to swim in lakes so I can appreciate how different their needs are to the club swimmer competing in meets.

I do a lot of technique work with them in the winter and they do a lot of their own distance training in the summer.

I do feel that all need variety in ther training whatever their goals. If you feel that you have plateaued then mix it up for a while.

:)

blainesapprentice
December 10th, 2006, 01:34 AM
Hey everyone,

I swim 2 hours (soon to be 4 hours, once winter training begins), each day with my collegiate team doing interval training, which includes a bit of everything, all strokes, kick, sprint, drill, etc...

However, I also get in for an additional hour or two to swim non-stop freestyle. I throw in a lap kick on my back or side here and there to give my shoulders a break, but otherwise I swim nearly 4000 yards in an hour swim.

I don't agree with these points however,


I saw this in a post:


1.- Your range of motion becomes less as your muscles fatigue and tighten up. This leads to the long, smooth stroke that your first few lengths have, deteriorating into a short, choppy survival stroke.

2.- You can only train one energy system, Aerobic, the anaerobic & lactic systems are untouched.




1. I feel that when I am doing interval training, and the intervals are very fast, which often in my program as a sprinter they are, my strokes turn to crud. I get short, choppy, so called survival stroke very quickly. During my long consecutive swim I really work on stretching my stroke out for the entire time, and not letting my stroke flaunter. I work on body roll and really try to slow down my stroke and focus on the fine details of swimming such as hand placement and the catch and underwater pull.

2. That completly depends on how fast your doing these swims. From those I have spoken to on here about consecutive swimming a good deal of the members seem to have worked a kind of regimine into their long swims such as every 200 changing pace from a slow consistent speed to a build 200 to a 200pace to maybe even a 200speed and back to a 200 slow recovery 200.

All in all, I feel that since I have started this extra hour of consecutive swim to my workout, my times have dropped and I am much stronger, in all areas.

thats just my humble opinion of course:wiggle:

tecumseh
March 4th, 2007, 12:26 AM
Have followed this thread with interest but I think one needs to back up first and ask the question: Why am I working out in the first place? None of us is going to win the Olympics and for many people it is cardiac fitness and general well being. Also for many of us there are unfortunately time pressures on our workouts.
I think too many of the workouts I see posted forget about these facts. Perhaps I am showing my bias I am an middle aged MD and I put cardiac health ahead of times. So IMHO a half hour of ones workout time should be devoted to aerobic working outs at say 70% max heart rate. This can be continous swim of sets of 200s or 500s without too much rest.
The workouts I see posted that do not take this approack IMHO are shortchanging the cardiac workout which should be the #1 priority for most of us.

jiminos
March 7th, 2007, 02:26 AM
interesting thread.... a lot of interesting assumptions abound....

another perspective (with your kind indulgence)... i am incli....oops... let me first say that virtually of my swimming is long, slow distance... now, where was i? oh... i am inclined to agree with the middle aged MD (tecumseh)... for me, swimming is not my primary athletic endeavor. running is. i run a minimum of four times a week... a minimum of 40 minutes per run... i run at 75 to 85 per cent of my Maximum Heart Rate. I push myself hard when i run... the swimming is more like an active vacation for me... at this time, i don't intend to compete with swimming, but i do intend to keep swimming until i can't.... swimming is sooooo relaxing and i still feel as though i have had a workout after one to two miles of free...

will i qual for olympics.. nope... do i care... nope... will i stay healthy? maybe... will i enjoy life? yup!

sometimes, i wonder if we all don't get just a tad bit tooooooo tied up in the activity and end up missing the joy of the activity....

i probably fell off topic, huh?

Slowswim
March 7th, 2007, 10:29 AM
Jim I agree with you. :bow:

That's why I prefer Triathlons because I can get more variety in my workouts, plus I feel in better overall shape than when I just ran.

Will I ever make it to the top of the podium, maybe when I'm 90 and the only one in my age group. Like you do care...no. I out to have fun, fellowship, and physical activity.
</IMG>

tecumseh
March 7th, 2007, 03:01 PM
Having read a lot of scientific literature on working out I must say there are some statements not supported by fact,
"Your body really only gets better when you vary things"
This is just wrong and defies common sense...you mean if I take someone who is totally out of shape and have him swim a mile a day at a steady rate he will show no improvement in conditioning?
To have this statement followed by one stating how swimmers are the smarter group of athletes I found mildly amusing.....my money is on the chess team.

Slowswim
March 7th, 2007, 03:11 PM
:2cents: In all exercise/athletic endeavors, you have to vary your training. If you did the same thing every day, you would improve as your body adapted and became more efficient. Then, you'd plateau. Your body grows as a reaction to new stresses.

All things in moderation...to include extremes.

stillwater
March 7th, 2007, 03:14 PM
The chess team are indeed a smart group of students. As far as being athletic? I'll ponder that one.


Respectfully,

Miles

tecumseh
March 7th, 2007, 04:41 PM
I agree with much of what people have said about interval training and how you need it to improve times/performance. But as far as cardiac fitness in terms of long term aerobic activity, preventing declines and not dying of heart attacks or congestive heart disease etc.....this is very unclear. For long term cardiac training perhaps it is best to put your heart in zone say 75% of maximum cardiac output and keep it there for a certain time interval and increases above this do not actually help.

I think it is important to remember that interval training and noninterval training are not mutually exclusive one can easily do both in one workout.

The chess team...it's funny in the state I live in there are all these rules to prevent abuses by the boys basketball and football programs and all these rules apply to the chess team and quiz bowl teams as well.

ann
March 7th, 2007, 05:17 PM
There's always someone who likes to tell people to stop doing something...eating butter, watching TV, wearing mini skirts, calling them on the phone every 20 minutes...Did you just look for a thread where people are doing something you disapprove of, to come on and tell them to stop? Why does it matter why people do interval training? I like to improve my swimming skills because it increases my ease and enriches my experience in working my body within the water. Using my muscles and lungs in this way is a great feeling. And, as for intelligence, the brain does respond to change. Repetition, while it increases myelination and therefore ability to trust oneself in an activity, also causes the brain to use less "intelligence" than it would if it had to respond to new stimuli. New receptor sites are constantly appearing in the brain, waiting for new information to then be "myelinated." In that sense the brain is a muscle that must be worked with new information in order to stay strong and intelligent. Speaking of chess, it is assumed that this is in part why chess is associated with exceptionally brilliant minds -- because the possibilities of the game are (as far as we know) endless, and therefore require one to draw on all of one's analytical resources to succeed in each game. Why shouldn't we apply that to swimming?

tecumseh
March 7th, 2007, 06:36 PM
Ann,
I agree 100%, people who say interval training is the only way to go......for you maybe.

jiminos
March 8th, 2007, 01:41 AM
dang! teach me to make a post a reply.... i responded to the poll, and agreed (to some extent) with the doc.... next thing i know... tension all about....

1) is it really important which athlete or group of athletes is most intelligent? (it is not how smart you are, it is how you are smart.)

2) a person who walks around the block gains more than the individual who sits on the couch. conclusion... any exercise is better than none.

3) some grow, some atrophy. some live, some die having never lived.

4) too much energy expended on the beliefs of others may be a good indicator (i suspect) of where one's focus lies. if too much of one's focus is on others, it leaves little focus for that which is within one's self.

be,

jim

tecumseh
March 8th, 2007, 10:58 AM
I think the more interesting and practical question is if you have limited amount of time is it better to swim lower yardage and do interval training or higher yardage and swim non stop? And if yes to yardage where is the cutoff?

My two cents worth is when pressed for time continuous swimming is hard to beat and through in fartlek and you have some of the benefits of interval training also.

LindsayNB
March 8th, 2007, 02:19 PM
Sometime in the last year there was a wave of articles in the popular press based on some study that seemed to show that brief periods of more strenuous exercise produced better health benefits than longer periods of continuous less strenuous exercise. I don't know the details. It would be great if someone put together an article on the pros and cons of various approaches to swim training from a health perspective and put it up on the USMS web site... That's a big order though, it seems it is very difficult to nail down information like that.

tecumseh
March 8th, 2007, 04:10 PM
The book Swimming Fastest has a good review of much of the research as it pertains to exercise physiology and swimming and I would highly recommend it for this. He cites many references and one of the things I took away is when you are swimming a set you should be asking yourself what are you trying to accomplish.

If you are trying to accomplish aerobic conditioning then continous swimming can achieve this quite well. If on the other hand you are trying to increase your muscles buffering ability then your really need to be doing interval training. The question of non stop vs intervals is again complicated and I would be leary of some posters who have a simple answer.

Dominick Aielloeaver
March 8th, 2007, 11:04 PM
I like a Non stop swim. Although it does make me go slow, but I have found it makes me sort of lazy. Just say iam going to swim 3-4 miles , I tell my self relax. I have plenty of time. But if I train to do speed, I do much less laps. But since I just love to swim, I rather do longer swims. dom in AZ.:snore: :shakeshead:

tecumseh
March 9th, 2007, 01:25 AM
The best workout is the one you do, I mean if you never make it to the pool that is not a good workout. At times it can be a little off putting because some of the posters are such good swimmers and swimming obviously takes up much of their personal identity.

There is this obese guy who swims in the pool where I swim and he is there every day I am there and he works out easy for over an hour and I think many of these posters would sneer at him I take my hat off to him. Just do it. We all suck compared to Michael Phelps that is not the point.

Which brings me to the long reply on intervals vs continous swimming, point one is just do it. That is obvious but the most important point if after a stressful day at the office you want to chill and swim long slow distance go for it.

jiminos
March 9th, 2007, 03:23 AM
uhhhh... doc, did you happen to catch my post just a few paragraphs that way ^ ?

be,

jim

tecumseh
March 9th, 2007, 10:52 AM
I agree with you I was trying to give a 10 part answer to what is the best workout looking at the scientiific data and the first part which is really obvious is the best work out is the one you do.

I know this sounds silly and super obvious but the fact is still the vast majority of Americans don't exercise. So you obviously need to pick a workout which will work for you. I also think a really high level of achievement in a sport is almost a disincentive to continue it lifelong.

So rule one: no studies cited is the Nike rule. just do it.

I will get to rule #2 later

tecumseh
March 9th, 2007, 01:08 PM
In trying to come up with an answer to which is a "better" way to swim from a scientific point of view we need to address what our goals are. Some posters seem to view masters swimming as kind of like age group swimming for old folks, I do not share this view. To me the greatest Masters swim would be to be under a minute SCY in the 100 free on one's 80th birthday.

Soooo if we are looking at workouts from a long term health particularly cardiac health point of view what do studies show?
Interestingly in the National Runners Health Study a suggestion comes that high intensity training say interval training and lower intensity training such as LSD may be doing different things even to the cardiac system. The high intensity runners had a greater drop in blood pressure the higher mileage lower intensity runners had a greater elevation in HDLs.

tecumseh
March 10th, 2007, 03:11 PM
Exercise is not without a cost to the body in generation of free radicals and oxidative stress. There is a lot of experimental evidence and piles of anecdotal evidence that you can "break a body down" lower the immune system and damage the body with an overdose of exercise.

How much is too much. Probably quite a bit, the National Runners Study showed a continued benefit in health to runners with increasing mileage until the 80K a week mark then it was unclear. The examples cited by people like Dr. Weil of people's health suffering are extreme example like Ironman athletes. There is a bit of political correctness with mainstream medicine coming up with a prescription for exercise....30 to 45 minutes a day. But the evidence does not really support this number more is better to a point where that point is is hard to determine.http://forums.usms.org/images/smilies/dedhorse.gif

It does seem logical that adding some LSD (long slow distance) allows one to add health benefits without stressing the body too much though it might not do too much to help one's times.

jiminos
March 10th, 2007, 09:58 PM
i'm just gonna go ahead and say this at the risk of offending.... but it seems to me that the original point of this thread has completely disappeared and the good dr tecumseh seems to have turned this thread/poll into a lecture series on exercise physiology or somesuch... am i incorrect to suspect this should be in its own thread? the information being presented is excellent... but seems it should be standing on its own, not buried in a thread about "do you swim non-stop or do intervals and drills?"

i think you've gone a tad off topic, tecumseh.... if i am wrong, i will go back to my corner and keep my peace.

be,

jim

tecumseh
March 11th, 2007, 04:03 PM
The point of the thread seemed to me do you swim non stop or intervals with a discussion of which is better? Many posters have talked about growth hormone and organs I am trying to point out the scientific basis of the benefits of continous swimming vs intervals. This is in response to Lindsay NB who I believe is a moderator.

Today's topic is Okinawa. A group of scientists asked a simple question years ago: where do people age the best, who are the healthiest people in the world. They came to the conclusion it was Okinawa and they then conducted a scientific study to determine why. An excellent book came out of this project which I highly recommend. They do some karate and some dance and lots of walking which is basicly long slow distance, they obviously do no interval training. Thus chalk one up for continous swmming today.

LindsayNB
March 11th, 2007, 10:55 PM
This is in response to Lindsay NB who I believe is a moderator.

I am NOT a moderator. I am however interested in the relationship between swimming and health both personally and as a member of the health and fitness committee of Masters Swimming Canada. I have to say that it is harder than one might think to get beyond "swimming is exercise, exercise is good for you".

I think this thread died out long enough ago that it has been resurrected more than hijacked.

I think one of the best arguments for swimming intervals is that you are more likely to improve your speed, and that most people find improvement to be motivating and are therefore more likely to keep up a program where they feel they are making progress.

Of course different people are motivated by different things, and the same person can be motivated by different things at different times. Sometimes I have enjoyed just getting in the water and going LSD. It can be a very zen/meditative experience. I would say that several of the times I have gotten out of the pool with a profound sense of wellness have been after LSD swims. I don't know if I would want to do it every day but some would I am sure.

It would be interesting to have more information about HOW exercise affects your health as I guess that might provide clues as to what approach to exercise would produce the most benefit.

With all the talk about diabetes in the news these days it would be good to have some info about how exercise relates to this disease.

I would require more information about the Okinawa study before I would leap to any conclusions, there are so many variables there.

ann
March 12th, 2007, 11:56 AM
The reason i subscribed to this thread several years ago was to find out what people did in their workouts, to get ideas for my own. Doing just what my coach tells me is fine but i like to hear from others. The recent addition of the discussion from a medical pov is interesting, though.

It's quite interesting that lately people are taking the question "do you swim non stop or do intervals and drills" to mean "which is better." As tecumseh pointed out, there are benefits from both. What i was trying to say earlier and was interpreted as angry (and i guess i was annoyed) was that it seems beside the point since we all have different bodies and different inclinations. There are people who live long healthy lives who do not feel particularly like exercising and look at those who enjoy it as crazy. The fact that someone enjoys LSD swims doesn't mean everyone will. And, enjoyment of life is a huge factor in health, well-being, and longevity.

Knowing something about people from Okinawa, I think there is more to the story than what they do physically. There is also an indoctrination of a religious philosophy into young children that has a dramatic effect on their approach to reality, affecting their enjoyment of life and ability to deal with stress. No one knows whether, if they were to have to shift to another culture at some point in their lives, health problems would result.

geochuck
March 12th, 2007, 12:16 PM
Some of us have longevity some don't. Fitness and training does not have anything to do with it.

My father lived to 93 years of age and remained active during this long life by continuing to work and have goals. Every year his goal was to drive from Hamilton Ontario to Vancouver and visit with me for a few months then he would drive to California to visit my brothers then back to Vancouver and stay with us until the snow was about to start. 3000 miles to BC, 1500 to California then return another 4500 miles.

While he visited he was very active sightseeing.

Long swims short swims really do not matter, just be active.

tecumseh
March 12th, 2007, 12:28 PM
There is a lot more to the story than exercise and unfortunately Okinawa is becoming a great case study to how important diet is, the Okinawian diet is being Westernized there are changes already in the mortality. But I point to that as a population that does no interval training and seems to enjoy great health.

Interval training note today part 4
Interval training works of course to help you swim faster and there seems to be multiple health benefits such as increased metabolic rate, greater fat burning, increases in cardiovascular fitness. The good news is that it may not take that much interval training to realize a lot of these benefits.

By this I mean like many biological systems it is not additional in nature, twice the interval training won't produce twice the effect. In fact many experts (I use that term loosely) feel that twice a week will give you most of the benefits.
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