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Waterdog7946
October 3rd, 2011, 11:19 PM
Help!!! I have completely lost the ability to pace myself in practice---let me clarify..I changed masters teams a year ago because of work and change of address..the team I went to was mainly into speed and sprinting in which our practices were about 3k yrds 4 times a week with an emphasis on dryland and weights on non swim days. needless to say I acheived dramatic PB's in all my events.
I have since gone back with my former team in which the emphasis is on more endurance with 3500 yards a practice. Now during the summer I only got in the pool once-twice a week and basically did what amounted to a really good warm -up...I did however work hard in the weight room vastly improving my max lifts in all areas especially my legs( a very weak point for me) I did this for about 3 months then in late july I added a good cardio regimen to the deal...I did a spin cycle class 2-3 times a week for an hour and ran a 125step stair case in the forest preserve 1-2 times a week for an hour each time hoping to build better legs before the team started back up.
So needless to say I started the swim season a month ago in what I thought was pretty good overall shape.
i knew the first week or two would be a little tough, getting technique back and adjusting to the added workload; but I figured by now I would be a rocketship in the water.
WAAAAAAAAY WRONG!!!!!!!! I'm finding that I CANT seem to split distances above 100yrds very well at all...I can hold hard consistant 50's and 100's all day but when we do a distance set I fall apart.
Have I trained myself into a drop dead sprinter???
Should I just gut this out and use the time to improve my endurance. I was going to talk to the coach about adjusting the workout more towards my strengths as a sprinter but I dont think that would be fair to the rest of the team...and besides its early in the season...the speed work really doesnt have to begin till late Jan to prepare for spring Nats.
And as a bonus my body comp has changed quite a bit as well...at Spring Nats in mesa I was 6'3 at 217 and my body fat was 17%...I 'm down to 210 and just under 10% so its not like I bulked up with all the weight training.
I should be crushing it at practice!!
Thoughts??????????

jim thornton
October 3rd, 2011, 11:37 PM
You have fast twitch and slow twitch muscles plus an intermediate type of switch hitters that can be trained to go one way or the other.

It sounds like you've trained your anaerobic system to the exclusion of your aerobic system.

Why not go in on your own once or twice a week and do some long, slow, steady, nonstop hour swims? This should quickly bring your endurance back, and with this, an ability to hold a good pace over distances longer than 100s.

robertsrobson
October 4th, 2011, 06:26 AM
I think that the most important thing you can do is focus on what you want to do. The change doesn't look that dramatic on paper, but I guess you're describing feeling a pretty dramatic change.

Ultimately, if you are racing sprint events and want to swim fast, why train for endurance? You left the last programme in great shape, so it wouldn't be for general health & fitness.

It might be worth sitting down with the coach and discussing the benefits of providing more of a sprint-based program for those that want it. It may be that your coach doesn't really know anything other than waht they've already done and by working together the whole program could benefit.

For what it's worth, I just don't see the point in doing high yardage as a masters swimmer. Yes, there are some distance swimmers but how many people in the programme only do 400+ in races? We have a very broad range of people in our club, from 'elite' masters to recreational and a good number of triathletes - who enjoy and value the work that we do at a higher intensity as it challenges their view of what's swimming fast (and they get aerobic conditioning in spades on the bike and from running).

For me focusing on higher intesity work keeps training fun, helps with weight management and helps build (or keep) strength. It's been discussed on other threads, but time is a scarce resource for masters swimmers so if I want to build my aerobic base I'll do it in the most time-efficient way by going for a jog!

Allen Stark
October 4th, 2011, 12:17 PM
What do you see as your events? You are going to Nats so I assume you are serious about your swimming.As Jim said if you train sprints you will do better in sprints and if you train distance you will do better in distance.If you want to keep up with the interval keep going to those workouts and it will come,if you want to swim fast at 200s and shorter talk to the coach about helping you sprint.

Waterdog7946
October 4th, 2011, 01:07 PM
My events are 50 and 100 free and butterfly events...every so often I'll swim a 200 free just to fill up my event card but I'm notorious for splitting it badly. 200 is really a nemesis for me.....and the crap part its not even the total yardage that I have a hard time with...its simply how the sets are set up....I can do main sets like 10x100 on 1:30 intervals holding about a 1:06-1:08 pace but if we do 5x200 on even a 3:00 interval i collapse....but I will talk to my coach...

ande
October 4th, 2011, 02:54 PM
you wrote:

Help!!! You've completely lost the ability to pace yourself in practice
you changed masters teams a year ago because of work

former team trained for speed and sprinting 3k yrds 4 times a week
with an emphasis on dryland and weights on non swim days.
you acheived dramatic PB's lyour events
new team does more endurance 3.5k per practice.

in the summer you only got in the pool once-twice a week
basically did a good warmup
you worked hard in the weight room improved your max lifts
for about 3 months then in late july you added a good cardio regimen
2-3X / wk did a spin cycle class for an hour and
1-2 X / wk ran a 125 step stair case

you started the swim season a month ago in what I thought was pretty good overall shape.
you CAN'T seem to split distances above 100yds
you can hold hard consistant 50's and 100's
but when you do a distance set you fall apart.

Have you trained youself into a drop dead sprinter???
not necessarily, you barely swam over the summer and didn't do much before that. Distance/endurance training takes a while to acclimate. Plus you're probably going too hard on the longer swims and need to pace yourself better. Our bodies adapt to the kind of training we do, I've seen college sprinters turn into elite triathletes. It's all about how you train.
Do the training and be patient.

Should I just gut this out and use the time to improve my endurance?Probably, What are your goals?

your body comp has changed
Spring Nats in Mesa you were 6'3 at 217 with 17% body fat
now you're 210 and 10% body fat

so it sounds like you're training sincerely and your body responds well.


my thoughts:

Only swimming is swimming.
Sounds like you're strong and can sprint.
You can only do what you're capable of.
Getting in shape, takes time and it takes what it takes
When Sprinters do longer swims, they think they're starting out easy but it often isn't easy enough so they fade and settle into a sustainable pace.

how many times a week do you swim with your new team?
3.5k per practice isn't much and 2 to 4 times a week isn't either.
consider ramping up to 4.0 - 4.5 per practice and 5 to 6 work outs a week

you started this post with
I've completely lost the ability to pace myself in practice
SO
concentrate on even splitting and negative splitting longer swims in practice
do an easy 2 beat kick
Breathe often.
do set survival, which is, hold back a bit on the front end of sets and swims so you can perform better on the back end.

Swim next a swimmer who's close to your ability, who has a better sense of pace and hang with them.

sounds like you're going to nationals

What are your best events and recent times?
What are you goals?

If you only want to sprint and you're on a distance based team.
Talk with the coach and modify sets to fit your needs.
Let your lane mates know what you're doing and stay out of their way

Begin a blog

You can Swim Faster Faster,

Ande

Redbird Alum
October 4th, 2011, 03:38 PM
My events are 50 and 100 free and butterfly events...
....I can do main sets like 10x100 on 1:30 intervals holding about a 1:06-1:08 pace but if we do 5x200 on even a 3:00 interval i collapse....but I will talk to my coach...

I think when you talk to your coach, find out if it would be okay for you to modify the sets the coach has to fit your needs.

You say you can do 10x100 on 1:30
Practice calls for 5x200 on 3:00

Seems you could make this work out without significantly impacting the team's workout intervals. You might have to swim first, or last, in your lane, but otherwise, you should be able to work something out.

orca1946
October 4th, 2011, 06:45 PM
What do you mean by fall apart on 200's? Can you still make them on 300? OR are you not making them on 300?