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Debugger
November 21st, 2011, 06:43 AM
Hi everyone,

I need some advice in planning training cycle for half a year (Distances are 50, 100 and 200 breast). I read much different stuff on internet but still I have some mess in my thoughts.
Some background: At the moment I have possibility to train only 3 times a week in the pool 1-1.5 hours. No possibility to add weights now but I have exercise bike and can train on it additionally (will it help somehow?) and can do some core exercise at home. I definitely do stretching almost every day for my knees, ankles and shoulders. Starting from spring I hope I’ll be able to add 3 more times a week in the pool – will be 6 times a week in total.
I read about couple approaches to the planning:
1. There’s 1 big macro cycle (let’s say 6 months) which an athlete divides into basic, interval sprint and taper gradually increasing load.
I experienced this one and it appeared to be working – I dropped 2 sec. from my result in 50m Breast event. The problem I experienced was described in one issue of the Swimming Technique magazine – my speed started to grow only during last 1 -1.5 months before main event. Before I couldn’t show high results and during workouts my speed was much lower than during the main event which made me very disappointed and unsure that I’m well prepared for the main event. :cane:

2. Looks very nice but I never tried this one. 6 months are spitted into 1 month cycles and each month contains basic, interval, speed and taper(and rest). Every month yardage gradually increases, intensity also gradually increases for 3 weeks and percentage of the interval and speed work grows from 1st to the 3rd week. During 4th week load decreases but still it is higher than at the beginning of the week 1. At the end of the week 4 the athlete swims time trial test.
This one looks very tempting because you work on endurance and speed through entire cycle hopefully without risk to come to the peak too early or overtrain. At the same time I hope it will be easier to show good results on some less important events. What do you think about this approach?
3. The one I don’t really understand but it looks for me that some folks on the forums work just for speed every time they are in the pool adding some aerobic “garbage yardage”. Also they do a lot of weight lifting. The question about this approach to those who use it: how do you manage to keep peak fitness all the time without risk of getting overtrained? how do you plan peak for some important events? Personally I had some 5 year long experience in weight lifting as a weight lifter in the past but when I tried to merge it now with swimming I found out that my swimming technique is collapsing because my muscles got oppressed and sore.
4. Please share if you know more approaches - that will be very interesting.

robertsrobson
November 21st, 2011, 07:18 AM
I do the same events and would say that if you are serious about 200 breast you have to do some aerobic and anaerobic endurance work. However, if only 200 yards that canges things a bit as you're cutting out the hardest 10% of your race!

You have to be practical and think about how training fits in with life as a masters swimmer. For that reason either option could on the cycles could work. For example, if you have a holiday planned or a particularly tough period at work it might blow a whole section of one type of work, and doing the one month cycles might be best.

I'd also say keep it simple and don't try to overengineer things.

In the next six months I'm broadly doing a 13 week cycle based on endurance, but that's only a skew towards endurance and will still include speed, lactic tolerance etc, and a 13 week race preparation cycle which skews towards speed and race pace but still touches on endurance.

On using bike etc, I'd say that if you can only do 3 pool sessions, my view is that you use the bike and get your aerobic base from that, so that you don't need to do 'garbage yardage' in the pool.

Debugger
November 22nd, 2011, 07:33 AM
I do the same events and would say that if you are serious about 200 breast you have to do some aerobic and anaerobic endurance work. However, if only 200 yards that canges things a bit as you're cutting out the hardest 10% of your race!

You have to be practical and think about how training fits in with life as a masters swimmer. For that reason either option could on the cycles could work. For example, if you have a holiday planned or a particularly tough period at work it might blow a whole section of one type of work, and doing the one month cycles might be best.

I'd also say keep it simple and don't try to overengineer things.

In the next six months I'm broadly doing a 13 week cycle based on endurance, but that's only a skew towards endurance and will still include speed, lactic tolerance etc, and a 13 week race preparation cycle which skews towards speed and race pace but still touches on endurance.

On using bike etc, I'd say that if you can only do 3 pool sessions, my view is that you use the bike and get your aerobic base from that, so that you don't need to do 'garbage yardage' in the pool.
Thanks Rob,
A good point concerning job or vacations. When I followed by plan #1 created by my coach I trained 6 times a week for 3 months and didn't miss even single session. If I had some emergency case at work or in my family indeed that would ruin everything. :bolt:

geochuck
November 22nd, 2011, 09:55 AM
Debugger at least work on technique once or twice a week.

I have just started my new training cycle, 7 days ago. The new cycle is to add 6 lengths of the pool everyday. I am now at 42. After I reach 120 lengths I will start getting down to a real work out. The pool is very short, about 60ft Long. I have to avoid the crowds.
http://www.youtube.com/user/geochuck#p/u/1/5pXYo4qg00A