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jim thornton
February 10th, 2012, 12:35 PM
In my most recent blog entry, "One Man's Garbage..." http://forums.usms.org/blog.php?bt=78500 , I asked my fellow swimmers their respective opinions on the impact long, slow, continuous swimming has on meet performance.

The expression "garbage yards" (and the pejorative overtones such a phrase conjurs) has become so embedded in the forum lexicon that many, I suspect, now consider as indisputable truth swimming this way is a waste of time for anyone with competitive ambitions.

Such a view appears particularly well-entrenched among the many non-credentialed exercise physiology pontificators here on the forums who also have a fondness for sprinting and dry land exercise.

But is the concept of garbage yards truly valid--or a kind of urban legend made up largely by sprinters who would rather be doing something other than spending 90 minutes without stopping in the pool?

I don't mean only practicing this way. But if you are, like me, inclined to enjoy swimming, once or twice a week, long, slow, relatively relaxing, continuous yards, do you believe (and more importantly, perhaps, have any evidence to bolster said belief) that so-called "garbage yards" can have some value for actual racing?

Or do these only teach your body to swim slow?

I invite you to read my recent blog http://forums.usms.org/blog.php?bt=78500 and post your thoughts advice there or here.

At the risk of provoking censure by the forum authorities, I furthermore ask you to leave all civility by the wayside.

Feel free to trash talk and smack upside the head of any and every one who disagrees with your personal bias here!

It's been way too long since these forums have had a good, old-fashioned range war of opinions run amuk and ad hominem attacks!

Go at each other tooth and claw. It will only stir the blood of us all, I say--something we garbage yard enthusiasts probably need a bit more of, I will admit.

Peter Cruise
February 10th, 2012, 12:44 PM
Perhaps the pursuit of garbage yards would most ideally suit an individual doggedly seeking the most catatonic of low readings on his heart monitor (and kindly sharing said readings with a few of his closest friends on Facebook)...

jim thornton
February 10th, 2012, 12:49 PM
Perhaps the pursuit of garbage yards would most ideally suit an individual doggedly seeking the most catatonic of low readings on his heart monitor (and kindly sharing said readings with a few of his closest friends on Facebook)...

Thanks, Mr. Cruise, for the invitation to post said results here, too.

Perhaps one benefit of garbage yardage (this has a nicer ring to it, I think, than the plainer garbage yards) is its impact on what is surely the single most important aspect of competitive swimming: that is, getting your resting heart rate down as close to a corpse's as possible.

This morning, after months of being stubbornly waylaid in the low 40s, my own resting heart rate took a huge and exciting leap in the direction of death by registering a 2012 personal best of 36.

I credit garbage yardage to this salutory development and hope to soon match Bjorn Borg's 29 and that female triathlete's 18.

Beat..beat...beat..........beat................... ....................beat.......................... ............................beat.................. ................................Doctor! Paddles! Stat!!!!

pwb
February 10th, 2012, 01:17 PM
I'll take a good, old-fashioned 5K workout with no more than 15 seconds rest on repeats and preferably no breaks between sets before I do some mind-numbing set like 10 x 50 on 5:00 AFAP. Talk about boring -- nothing more boring than sitting on a wall and resting. We're swimmers, not wall-resters, after all.

That Guy
February 10th, 2012, 01:55 PM
Long slow continuous swimming is not necessarily garbage yardage. Swimming without purpose is garbage yardage.(1) Here is one way you could go dumpster diving in the pool: "Well, practice is over but I have 20 more minutes to kill until the family arrives. I can't think of anything else to do so I'll mindlessly swim laps until then." You might find some lost valuables while sifting through that refuse - getting rid of lactic acid, lowering stress by zoning out, etc. But it's still garbage yardage since it had no purpose.

(1) credit for this definition goes to The Fortress

jessicafk11
February 10th, 2012, 02:25 PM
Maybe it's a mater of perspective but being currently stuck on dry land, I'd take any yardage I could right now, garbage or not. Prior to this I may have felt differently but if I somehow manage to get myself into a pool I don't care if it's a quality swim or not as long as it's swimming. Once I can get back at it for real, my perspective will likely shift again but for now I'll take anything I can get!

Allen Stark
February 10th, 2012, 03:31 PM
I didn't participate in the poll as it looks like"heads I win tails you lose."
1) is pro distance
2)is pro distance
3) is neutral
Come on.

The Fortress
February 10th, 2012, 04:12 PM
I didn't participate in the poll as it looks like"heads I win tails you lose."
1) is pro distance
2)is pro distance
3) is neutral
Come on.

Exactly, I didn't vote either.

Here are my thoughts:

1. That Guy is a smart guy and remembers my definition correctly.
2. Jimby is equating slow aerobic swimming with garbage yards, and I don't necessarily agree with that. I've done two slow aerobic workouts this week. They weren't garbage -- I did drills, hypoxic work and they helped clear lactic acid and set up my speed workouts.
3. Patrick tends to be one of those mentally deranged animal lane swimmers, and so must be ignored when posturing as above.
4. Garbage = a steady diet of almost nothing but moderate short rest aerobic work. Most pool swimmers, not just sprinters, need some quality race pace work.
5. Sprinters are not wall resters. We do recovery swimming between fast efforts. (Though I suppose to the Patrick followers anything over 15 seconds rest is to be avoided at all costs. Regrettable.) As a result of this, I frequently spend 90 minutes in the pool.

couldbebetterfly
February 10th, 2012, 04:25 PM
We're swimmers, not wall-resters, after all.
:applaud:

What may look like garbage yardage to some, is actually silently saving my sanity.

I just love swimming, up & down, hypnotised by the blue (or black) line, no kids to worry about, no dirty dishes to look at, I can mentally write my grocery list, etc. Sometimes its nice to zone out and plod.

chaos
February 10th, 2012, 05:00 PM
I live for long aerobic sets.

aquageek
February 10th, 2012, 05:01 PM
Regrettable.) As a result of this, I frequently spend 90 minutes in the pool.

Spending time in the pool is best spent swimming, not hanging on the wall, just sayin'.

james lucas
February 10th, 2012, 05:08 PM
I looked in the index and couldn't find "garbage yardage" in this book:

Amazon.com: Swimming Fastest (9780736031806): Ernest Maglischo: Books

But this book does talk about the benefits of changing the training as the season progresses. It suggests that there's benefit early in the season - even for swimmers who do things like 100s and 200s - to "over distance" workouts that build an aerobic foundation. In early February, we're relatively early in the calendar of masters swimming for the spring season, so most masters swimmers who follow the advice in this book would be doing "over distance" swims during some of their workouts.

The Fortress
February 10th, 2012, 05:09 PM
I live for long aerobic sets.

But you are a marathon swimmer, not a pool swimmer.

LSD may be good for sanity and marathons, but it will just make you slow in the pool.

Geek, I need a wall when I am gasping for breath and making the noodlers think I'm having a heart attack.

If sprinters are doing over-distance swimming right now, they may suck in April when champs meets are here. I'm not a fan of over-distance for masters sprinters (for us, 50s & 100s are sprints). No one but Chaos would consider the 200 a sprint event.

aquageek
February 10th, 2012, 05:11 PM
Geek, I need a wall when I am gasping for breath and making the noodles think I'm having a heart attack.

That's when us distance swimmers start to get giddy, when the pain gets deep and ugly. Oh, and don't let the chaotic one fool you. That man can swim as fast as any speedster, and he brings gifts!

Chris Stevenson
February 10th, 2012, 05:25 PM
4. Garbage = a steady diet of almost nothing but moderate short rest aerobic work.

Sure, that's a bad training strategy for pool swimmers. But if you substitute any of the following phrases for "moderate short rest aerobic work," I would say the same thing:

-- speed work with tons of rest
-- race-pace swimming
-- working on technique
-- working on starts and turns
-- chips and beer

It doesn't mean that none of those things have a place in a well-rounded training program. The optimum mix will depend on the swimmer and the events s/he is targeting. Surely that isn't controversial?

The phrase "garbage yardage" is a useless one, IMO.

The Fortress
February 10th, 2012, 05:32 PM
It doesn't mean that none of those things have a place in a well-rounded training program. The optimum mix will depend on the swimmer and the events s/he is targeting. Surely that isn't controversial?

The phrase "garbage yardage" is a useless one, IMO.

Nope.

Mostly agree.

But I think sprinters and marathon swimmers can have less "well rounded" programs.

jim thornton
February 10th, 2012, 05:59 PM
Excellent! (Said with Mr. Burns intonation, fingers furiously tenting!) I have started a barn burner here!

Leslie, I think you have been insulted.

Dave, I am almost certain you have been slighted.

Who will stand for this!

It's an outrage, really. An outrage, I say.

Off the practice.

Would any one who believes in the "garbage yards" concept give a precise definition a bit more specific than "swimming that does not contribute to your goal."

What if you have a goal that cannot be articulated?

Is it enough to say, "Garbage yards are good for my goal, which I cannot put into words, but is real because, well, just because!"?

Off to swim, but I hope to see massive vitriol upon my return!

PS in my blog on this topic, the legendary Mr. James Kegley has left a comment on Doc Counsilman's use of the phrase "El Garbagio" to describe this kind of practice. I like the phrase, it rhymes with Caravaggio, and has a veneer of Italianate glamour to it.

I propose we replace "garbage yards" forever more by El Garbagio in honor of James Kegley, legendary distance swimmer and frequent reader of my vlog whenever I beg him to.

Peter Cruise
February 10th, 2012, 08:00 PM
Perhaps one person's garbage is someone else's ambrosia?

jaadams1
February 10th, 2012, 08:03 PM
That Guy is a smart guy.


Just don't say that too loudly...:bolt:

The Fortress
February 10th, 2012, 08:05 PM
Just don't say that too loudly...:bolt:

I didn't use blue font or smilies. ;)

jaadams1
February 10th, 2012, 08:08 PM
I didn't use blue font or smilies. ;)

That works then. : )

ElaineK
February 10th, 2012, 09:20 PM
I didn't use blue font or smilies. ;)

Yeah, but you do like using blue Comic Sans font in your profile. :D

rxleakem
February 10th, 2012, 09:33 PM
I used to list my warmdown as "junk," not implying that it was of no use, but just that I do lots of different junk duing warmdowns - drills, skulling, underwater 25's. Where is the balance between swimming just to swim and needing to have an exact plan for every length? Is one less garbage than the other? I might contend that after dabbling in sprint and distance orientated sets this year that maybe both ideas have a place in every swimmer's repertoire, regardless of which camp you pitch your tent in.

I have read a lot that with our busy lives and families/careers, that we need to make the most of our time in the pool. Sometimes I enjoy a long swim, not for time, to just swim. I'll just chalk those moments of perceived lucidity up to preparing for the 10 miler this summer
:groovy:

knelson
February 10th, 2012, 09:40 PM
I read an article on training recently that had a pretty good quote. It was something like "you should be training to improve your racing performance. You should not train just to get better at training." Now, how exactly you should train to improve your race performance is debatable, but I think this is a good mantra to keep in your mind anytime you get in the pool.

Herb
February 10th, 2012, 10:01 PM
Wasn't Michael Phelps doing like 10,000 garbage yards in the middle of the Olympics?

That Guy
February 10th, 2012, 10:09 PM
I didn't use blue font or smilies. ;)

Hey what are you guys talking about

The Fortress
February 10th, 2012, 10:20 PM
I might contend that after dabbling in sprint and distance orientated sets this year that maybe both ideas have a place in every swimmer's repertoire, regardless of which camp you pitch your tent in.


Distance oriented sets have no place in a sprinter's repertoire. :angel: And they have nothing to do with "race performance."

Paredes
February 11th, 2012, 01:11 AM
Or do these only teach your body to swim slow?



If that is true.. I am sooo screwed!! :bitching: :bolt:

Debugger
February 11th, 2012, 02:53 AM
Distance oriented sets have no place in a sprinter's repertoire. :angel: And they have nothing to do with "race performance."
What exactly do you mean? Is there a difference between a sprinter swimming 50 event and a sprinter swimming 100 event? IMO there's a difference. If 100 oriented swimmer works only on sprints he might not have enough endurance to keep the speed on last 25 yards/meters. If sprinter prepares only for 50 event I agree - there's no need in such sets.

GGS5T
February 11th, 2012, 07:30 AM
This morning, after months of being stubbornly waylaid in the low 40s, my own resting heart rate took a huge and exciting leap in the direction of death by registering a 2012 personal best of 36.

I credit garbage yardage to this salutory development and hope to soon match Bjorn Borg's 29 and that female triathlete's 18.


I find this really interesting, Jim. My current resting pulse rate is 38. I usually manage to get it down to 30 bpm, but this is helped by taking beta-blockers and other pills. I need a low resting pulse rate because I actually work between heart beats. I hope you find this of interest...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bu-vis-LGOM&context=C3b82d09ADOEgsToPDskKx1H-CZ8Re_0uiIn4CyIrV

The Fortress
February 11th, 2012, 09:34 AM
What exactly do you mean? Is there a difference between a sprinter swimming 50 event and a sprinter swimming 100 event? IMO there's a difference. If 100 oriented swimmer works only on sprints he might not have enough endurance to keep the speed on last 25 yards/meters. If sprinter prepares only for 50 event I agree - there's no need in such sets.

I don't think you need "distance oriented" aerobic sets for 100s either. To me, those type of sets may border on garbage yards for sprinters. Some lactate tolerance/production sets specifically geared to sprint distances should do the trick, especially in short course. Something like 8-10 x 50 AFAP @ 2-3:00 will help your 100 and sprint endurance more than 10 x 100 @ 1:30 or, even worse, 10 x 200 @ 3:00. Just my opinion. :) Though I've also read that some college sprinters avoid aerobic sets like the plague. And it is true that anaerobic/sprint work can train the aerobic energy system too.

aquageek
February 11th, 2012, 09:58 AM
Every sprinter at our club, and we have quite a few, are perfectly fine doing long distance sets and vice versa. It's still fun swimming together no matter what kind of swimming you prefer. But, we have 50-60 people per workout.

The Fortress
February 11th, 2012, 10:02 AM
Every sprinter at our club, and we have quite a few, are perfectly fine doing long distance sets and vice versa. It's still fun swimming together no matter what kind of swimming you prefer. But, we have 50-60 people per workout.

There are many ways to skin a cat. I wonder, though, if they'd be even faster if they skipped the long distance sets and focused on sprint sets? Sprinting is fairly neuromuscular, after all. I admit I am not remotely well-rounded in my training, but it works for me. And though I am not doing distance or aerobic sets, I am working damn hard.

couldbebetterfly
February 11th, 2012, 10:22 AM
I read an article on training recently that had a pretty good quote. It was something like "you should be training to improve your racing performance. You should not train just to get better at training." Now, how exactly you should train to improve your race performance is debatable, but I think this is a good mantra to keep in your mind anytime you get in the pool.

If your sole reason for swimming is to improve your race performance, then yes.

For those who don't want to race and are swimming for fitness, perhaps swimming just to swim is the right thing to be doing?

gobears
February 11th, 2012, 10:45 AM
If your sole reason for swimming is to improve your race performance, then yes.

For those who don't want to race and are swimming for fitness, perhaps swimming just to swim is the right thing to be doing?

The majority of masters swimmers in the US are perfectly happy with training to train better, from what I've seen. And, that's ok. The joy is in the journey for many of us. Enjoying challenging your body every day and feeling like you are getting better at that can be, in itself, very satisfying.

I agree that "garbage yardage" = mindlessly swimming along with no purpose or goal. Everything else, no matter the distance, is fun to try.

aquageek
February 11th, 2012, 11:14 AM
There are many ways to skin a cat. I wonder, though, if they'd be even faster if they skipped the long distance sets and focused on sprint sets? Sprinting is fairly neuromuscular, after all. I admit I am not remotely well-rounded in my training, but it works for me. And though I am not doing distance or aerobic sets, I am working damn hard.

With 21 lanes of swimmers and 50+ per session, it is not possible to go off the reservation and hog a lane doing your own thing, nor would it make you much of a teammate. Plus, the sheer boredom of only doing one type of swimming would not appeal to a big group as a whole. We have plenty of top 10 sprinters on our team.

Chris Stevenson
February 11th, 2012, 11:31 AM
Something like 8-10 x 50 AFAP @ 2-3:00 will help your 100 and sprint endurance more than 10 x 100 @ 1:30 or, even worse, 10 x 200 @ 3:00.

I'd probably agree that 10 x 50s AFAP will help your race 100 a little more than 10x100, but they both help, and in different ways. What's more, it isn't exactly an either/or choice: the sets aren't mutually exclusive.

In terms of training for sprinting (or any distance really), another facet is that it isn't just about training to be good for one 50 or 100, but to recover between races and be strong even on the last day of the meet. Besides how one designs particular sets, this might involve doing back-to-back(-to-back) quality workouts on occasion.

EJB190
February 11th, 2012, 11:50 AM
Better to swim long and slow than nothing at all :angel:

pwb
February 11th, 2012, 11:59 AM
Swimming without purpose is garbage yardage.(1)...(1) credit for this definition goes to The FortressOn this point, Leslie, That Guy and I are in perfect agreement.

However, I think there is belief that "garbage yard = long, aerobic sets" and vice-versa. I can and will continue to do sets that are long, with little rest but high intensity possibly for a single set that totals 3K or 4K. To some people, that might seem like garbage yardage, but it absolutely prepares me for my key races (400 IM and 500 free, sometimes the 800 and 1000). What bugs me is that there is such a thing as "garbage short yardage" where people do short sets with long rest under the guise of training for speed (Fortress -- I KNOW this is not you), but really aren't pushing themselves to really train for speed. They are training without purpose or without dedicating themselves to the purpose of the set.

Fortress, I hate to publicly point out errors you have made since I admire you so much, but I'd hate to have your reputation besmirched, so I have corrected these statements ...


1. That Guy is a smart guy and remembers my definition correctly.
...
3. Patrick tends to be one of those mentally deranged animal lane swimmers, and so must be ignored when posturing as above.

to read more accurately,


1. That Guy must be ignored when posturing as above, but remembers my definition correctly.
...
3. Patrick tends to be one of those mentally deranged animal lane swimmers, and so is a smart guy

knelson
February 11th, 2012, 12:00 PM
If your sole reason for swimming is to improve your race performance, then yes.

Correct. I consider "training" to mean training for an event of some kind, not merely fitness swimming.

The Fortress
February 11th, 2012, 12:06 PM
I'd probably agree that 10 x 50s AFAP will help your race 100 a little more than 10x100, but they both help, and in different ways. What's more, it isn't exactly an either/or choice: the sets aren't mutually exclusive.

In terms of training for sprinting (or any distance really), another facet is that it isn't just about training to be good for one 50 or 100, but to recover between races and be strong even on the last day of the meet. Besides how one designs particular sets, this might involve doing back-to-back(-to-back) quality workouts on occasion.

I agree with you and Geek that there are many ways to train successfully.

I agree with you that doing back to back quality sessions has some value, though back-to-back-to back is a really contra-indicated for sprinters (and perhaps many masters who need more recovery).

I agree with Geek that sprinters can't disrupt a practice, though I don't see why there can't be a dedicated sprint lane in a large team practice once in awhile.

I agree with Patrick that long aerobic sets aren't garbage yards for those training for his events, though I do wonder if even swimmers in the animal lane should do more quality work and not periodize it until near the end of the season.

But do you agree that you can train successfully for sprints without doing any classic aerobic work or "distance oriented" sets?

aquageek
February 11th, 2012, 12:06 PM
In terms of training for sprinting (or any distance really), another facet is that it isn't just about training to be good for one 50 or 100, but to recover between races and be strong even on the last day of the meet. Besides how one designs particular sets, this might involve doing back-to-back(-to-back) quality workouts on occasion.

I'm done after a 1650 for the day, finito.

Oh, and I root for communist baby seal killers over Dook.

aquageek
February 11th, 2012, 12:11 PM
But do you agree that you can train successfully for sprints without doing any classic aerobic work or "distance oriented" sets?

This is a really good question. I'd most likely say the answer is yes, of course.

SealGirl
February 11th, 2012, 12:23 PM
You know you're a masters swimmer when LSD is long slow distance.

Admittedly I'm not a sprinter or near any Top 10's. I do early morning LSD because I have Type II diabetes and have found that if I swim at least 5000 meters a day (plus diet plus medication) I can normalize my blood sugar all day long. When I add sprinting I tend to get hurt, have to take days off, and my blood sugar goes up.

I stand in awe and and want to cheer on all of you amazing sprinters.

The Fortress
February 11th, 2012, 12:23 PM
This is a really good question. I'd most likely say the answer is yes, of course.

Maybe the question was too rhetorical since you said "of course." Maybe the real question is -- Can sprinters race even faster if they don't do classic aerobic sets?

aquageek
February 11th, 2012, 12:28 PM
Maybe the question was too rhetorical since you said "of course." Maybe the real question is -- Can sprinters race even faster if they don't do classic aerobic sets?

I was just adamantly agreeing with you, nothing subversive. But, now you have asked another question and while I also say "yes," it is with a little less gusto and maybe a hint of doubt in my head.

jim thornton
February 11th, 2012, 12:34 PM
I find this really interesting, Jim. My current resting pulse rate is 38. I usually manage to get it down to 30 bpm, but this is helped by taking beta-blockers and other pills. I need a low resting pulse rate because I actually work between heart beats. I hope you find this of interest...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bu-vis-LGOM&context=C3b82d09ADOEgsToPDskKx1H-CZ8Re_0uiIn4CyIrV

If any of you missed this, I implore you: Go back and watch this video.

Without doubt, Graham, this is absolutely the single most fascinating "goal" for swimming training via "el Garbagio" (and I would argue that when a 65-year-old artist is swimming 10K every day of his life to lower his resting heart rate for his work, he is probably not doing too much of this as 50s AFAP on 7 minute intervals!)

Seriously, my fellow forumites, this is what I love so much about this forum: the chance to meet absolutely remarkable individuals, almost by accident, here online. I have definitely noted posts by GGS5T in the past, but until now, I had no idea what a remarkable fellow we can include here among our number!

Perhaps Graham could one day engrave a miniature trophy of sorts for the USMS swimmer with a lifetime record of tiniest accomplishments! Humbly, I put myself up for consideration for the first of just such a Nano Cup!

Again, if you do NOTHING ELSE THIS WEEK, PLEASE WATCH GRAHAM'S STORY, FILED BY THE DISCOVERY CHANNEL AND POSTED ON YOUTUBE HERE:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bu-vis-LGOM&context=C3b82d09ADOEgsToPDskKx1H-CZ8Re_0uiIn4CyIrV

P.S., was your resting heart rate naturally low to begin with? How much has the daily 10k swimming helped to lower it further still?

That Guy
February 11th, 2012, 12:45 PM
On this point, Leslie, That Guy and I are in perfect agreement.

However, I think there is belief that "garbage yard = long, aerobic sets" and vice-versa. I can and will continue to do sets that are long, with little rest but high intensity possibly for a single set that totals 3K or 4K. To some people, that might seem like garbage yardage, but it absolutely prepares me for my key races (400 IM and 500 free, sometimes the 800 and 1000). What bugs me is that there is such a thing as "garbage short yardage" where people do short sets with long rest under the guise of training for speed (Fortress -- I KNOW this is not you), but really aren't pushing themselves to really train for speed. They are training without purpose or without dedicating themselves to the purpose of the set.

Fortress, I hate to publicly point out errors you have made since I admire you so much, but I'd hate to have your reputation besmirched, so I have corrected these statements ...



to read more accurately, I think my posture is nothing if not consistent.

Kurt Dickson
February 11th, 2012, 12:46 PM
I find this really interesting, Jim. My current resting pulse rate is 38. I usually manage to get it down to 30 bpm, but this is helped by taking beta-blockers and other pills. I need a low resting pulse rate because I actually work between heart beats. I hope you find this of interest...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bu-vis-LGOM&context=C3b82d09ADOEgsToPDskKx1H-CZ8Re_0uiIn4CyIrV

I agree with Jimby...interesting stuff. Although taking B-Blockers may help your miniature engraving skills and golf game...no way it's helping your swimming.

My definition of garbage yards came at the end of 2011 with 10 miles down on my GTD and no motivation when I did 3000-6000 straight slow yards per day for 3 weeks. It's good for nothing other than to keep a small amount of fitness.

Speaking of less aerobic activity for sprinting, interesting article in lava magazine a few months ago where a guy successfully (and quickly) did an ironman with more high quality workouts and way less traditional aerobic miles.

knelson
February 11th, 2012, 12:46 PM
Again, if you do NOTHING ELSE THIS WEEK, PLEASE WATCH GRAHAM'S STORY, FILED BY THE DISCOVERY CHANNEL AND POSTED ON YOUTUBE HERE:

Yes, that was well worth watching. Amazing! And good looking swimming stroke, too. Thanks for sharing this, Graham.

The Fortress
February 11th, 2012, 12:56 PM
Speaking of less aerobic activity for sprinting, interesting article in lava magazine a few months ago where a guy successfully (and quickly) did an ironman with more high quality workouts and way less traditional aerobic miles.

I've recently heard anecdotes along a similar vein -- elite (OT qualifier) marathon runners training 4x week with quality fast/slow mileage and nothing traditional.

That Guy
February 11th, 2012, 01:21 PM
I find this really interesting, Jim. My current resting pulse rate is 38. I usually manage to get it down to 30 bpm, but this is helped by taking beta-blockers and other pills. I need a low resting pulse rate because I actually work between heart beats. I hope you find this of interest...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bu-vis-LGOM&context=C3b82d09ADOEgsToPDskKx1H-CZ8Re_0uiIn4CyIrV

Wow, this is really amazing! :applaud:

bassboneman
February 11th, 2012, 01:52 PM
Again, if you do NOTHING ELSE THIS WEEK, PLEASE WATCH GRAHAM'S STORY, FILED BY THE DISCOVERY CHANNEL AND POSTED ON YOUTUBE HERE:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bu-vis-LGOM&context=C3b82d09ADOEgsToPDskKx1H-CZ8Re_0uiIn4CyIrV



I want to concur, THIS VIDEO IS REALLY AMAZING!!!:bow:

GGS5T
February 11th, 2012, 02:57 PM
P.S., was your resting heart rate naturally low to begin with? How much has the daily 10k swimming helped to lower it further still?

Hey, thanks for the kind words from my fellow masters swimmers across the pond. Much appreciated.

To answer Jim's question - My heart rate was pretty normal (for a swimmer) before I stepped up the yardage. I have a friend who is a pharmacist. He supplies me with magnesium and potassium tablets, and also beta-blockers. I eat them like sweets, although I know I shouldn't! These help to keep my resting pulse rate down. Every three months I have a course of botox around my eyes. This keeps the eye muscles and nerves absolutely solid. It may sound like I go to extremes, but I'm used to it now. It's only when I tell people how I work that it doesn't sound so normal.

pwb
February 11th, 2012, 03:06 PM
If any of you missed this, I implore you: Go back and watch this video.
...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bu-vis-LGOM&context=C3b82d09ADOEgsToPDskKx1H-CZ8Re_0uiIn4CyIrV
Awesome. We are, indeed, in the presence of so many variants of greatness. Graham, I'm not just in awe of your engraving skills, but your freestyle stroke is a similar work of beauty. 10K a day, as well?

Wow! :bow:

I've got relatives in Birmingham -- is your studio / works open for viewing to the public? If so, PM me the details or post the details here. I'd love to send folks your way and to come see your work some day when I'm next there.

Wow!

GGS5T
February 11th, 2012, 03:25 PM
A
I've got relatives in Birmingham -- is your studio / works open for viewing to the public? If so, PM me the details or post the details here. I'd love to send folks your way and to come see your work some day when I'm next there.


You are more than welcome to call in. I've PM'd you.

jaadams1
February 11th, 2012, 05:01 PM
:) Though I've also read that some college sprinters avoid aerobic sets like the plague.

I'm still waiting for Leslie to put up the Auburn sprinter's Gatorade workout in her weekly workouts. :)
What would you consider that? Speed, lactate, or just pure amusement. Definitely not garbage yards, because it is funny as hell!! :applaud:

The Auburn Puke Session.flv - YouTube

chaos
February 11th, 2012, 05:14 PM
So.... I'm guessing... no caffeine?



To answer Jim's question - My heart rate was pretty normal (for a swimmer) before I stepped up the yardage. I have a friend who is a pharmacist. He supplies me with magnesium and potassium tablets, and also beta-blockers. I eat them like sweets, although I know I shouldn't! These help to keep my resting pulse rate down. Every three months I have a course of botox around my eyes. This keeps the eye muscles and nerves absolutely solid. It may sound like I go to extremes, but I'm used to it now. It's only when I tell people how I work that it doesn't sound so normal.

GregJS
February 11th, 2012, 09:11 PM
Since taking up swimming again in my late 30’s (inspired by reading the Total Immersion book), I spent years doing nothing but low intensity stroke drills and “fitness” swimming – which was definitely not “garbage” because I was working on things like alignment, streamlining, balance, rhythm, core rotation, efficiency – all that good stuff, which I had been pretty much oblivious to in my earlier high school team swimming. But when I finally did try racing again at a local mini-meet a few weeks ago, I found that my years of fitness swimming had done almost nothing to prepare my body for the stress of all-out racing. So I’m thinking that maybe fitness/distance swimming can be very good, non-garbagey swimming if used to ingrain good technique (I mean for people like me who do not already have good technique and/or who would not be able to maintain good technique throughout a race-oriented practice session); and this may serve as a good foundation for race training; but fitness/distance swimming in and of itself may not do much of anything to prepare the body for racing.

Just a theory at this point.

But I find the whole thing intriguing and am testing this theory by adding in higher-intensity/sprint days – hopefully without letting my still-fledgling technique completely fall apart – leading up to a meet in a few weeks. Then, since I still feel that I have a lot to learn from the low-intensity fitness/technique/drill-based swimming, I’ll probably return to that for a while. Then pick another meet to gear up for…and so on - and see how that works out.

That link to Graham’s video was amazing. I’ll now have to totally re-evaluate my views on just how many angels can dance on the head of a pin…

Chicken of the Sea
February 11th, 2012, 09:32 PM
I don't see how doing something you love just for the sake of doing it can be viewed as junk, but that's probably just my excuse for being slow

chaos
February 11th, 2012, 10:26 PM
So I’m thinking that maybe fitness/distance swimming can be very good, non-garbagey swimming if used to ingrain good technique (I mean for people like me who do not already have good technique and/or who would not be able to maintain good technique throughout a race-oriented practice session); and this may serve as a good foundation for race training; but fitness/distance swimming in and of itself may not do much of anything to prepare the body for racing.


a regular part of my training consists of long sets... 3000 - 9000 yds @ x (100 - 200 yds) on an interval that allows me 5-10 seconds rest.
additionally, i'll impose a strict SPL to be maintained throughout.
no, this isn't going to help me swim a fast 50, but it does wonders for the 1650 (which is still a sprint in my book)

GGS5T
February 12th, 2012, 03:16 AM
a...
no, this isn't going to help me swim a fast 50, but it does wonders for the 1650 (which is still a sprint in my book)

I agree. I can't swim a fast 50 to save my life, but I prefer the longer events, so it doesn't matter,

jim thornton
February 12th, 2012, 03:10 PM
Hey, thanks for the kind words from my fellow masters swimmers across the pond. Much appreciated.

To answer Jim's question - My heart rate was pretty normal (for a swimmer) before I stepped up the yardage. I have a friend who is a pharmacist. He supplies me with magnesium and potassium tablets, and also beta-blockers. I eat them like sweets, although I know I shouldn't! These help to keep my resting pulse rate down. Every three months I have a course of botox around my eyes. This keeps the eye muscles and nerves absolutely solid. It may sound like I go to extremes, but I'm used to it now. It's only when I tell people how I work that it doesn't sound so normal.

Graham, there is so much about your life (as gleaned from the Discovery Channel video) that strikes me as fascinating. But I shall confine myself to a few brief inquiries:



Do you take beta blockers on an ongoing, or an "as needed" basis? Since they work fairly quickly, I would think you wouldn't need to take them all the time, rather just before you are engraving, although perhaps you do this every day?
I read someplace that botox injections can have a beneficial effect on depressed mood by relaxing, so to speak, a brow otherwise furrowed with woe. It sounds ridiculous, but supposedly it actually works--sort of like the old pencil test--not that pencil test for strapless evening gowns, but rather the one that found if you hold a pencil in your mouth horizontally, it improves mood, presumably by activating muscles used when smiling; if you place it in the other way, i.e., hotdog eating style, it dampens mood, presumably by activating muscles used during a frown. Anyhow, have you had any mood effects from botox or, for that matter, eating hotdogs?
I once interviewed Al Teague, a legendary land speed racer who holds all sorts of high speed driving records on the Bonneville Salt Flats and other locales. He only raced piston driven cars--he found so-called "rocket cars" to violate the spirit of racing. I suspect with nanotechnology that there are high tech ways to write messages almost on the level of individual atoms. Does this kind of approach appeal to you, or are you--like Al Teague--a purist of sorts who is committed to doing this amazing work by hand?
Penultimately, to bring things back a bit to swimming, I am amazed that you can do 10K per day long term without just breaking down. I swam 6500 yards (shorter than meters!) the other day, and my shoulders were definitely starting to grind a bit. Is your daily 10K something that your body has just gotten used to? Does it cause any problems? Do you ever rest? Any advice for the likes of me?
Finally, have you every swum the English Channel? I once tried to get permission to jetski across it, but France wouldn't allow this. The thought of ending up in a french prison, being fattened to death on glorious food served by surly waiters--well, I didn't pursue it, opting instead to cross the Bering Straights instead. But I digress. Excellent to meet you online!

GGS5T
February 12th, 2012, 03:40 PM
Jim, I'm aware I'm taking this thread off its original topic. I didn't mean to do so.

I can't work more than 5 days at a time. I get too tired, so I have to follow this with three normal days when I don't work during the night. I take the beta blockers when I arrive at work at 10.00 pm every evening.

I've never noticed mood changes caused by the botox. I'm grumpy most of the time anyway! Sometimes the doctor pumps in too much, causing some paralysis around my mouth. Many times, after the injections, I can't blink for about five days. I'm continually pulling my eyelids down by hand to lubricate my eyes. This wears off though, after a week or so.

I suppose there must be high-tech ways of imprinting lettering on something as small as atoms. I wouldn't know how to do this. I simply use very fine needles which I rub down even more, using an Arkansas stone which the American banknote engravers use.

I can understand you feeling tired after doing 6,500 yards in a set. Believe me, your body will adapt to this after a while. A few years ago I had a shoulder problem when swimming 10k a day, and had to rest for a few weeks, but I was doing 7,000m of this on fly in those sessions. Now I only do front crawl. 10 years ago when I was 55 years old I got down to 2:37.7 secs for 200m fly. I can't get anywhere near it now. In fact I don't swim fly at all.

As for swimming the English Channel - Don't be ridiculous!! I hate cold water and without a straight line on the bottom of the pool I can't swim straight.

GregJS
February 12th, 2012, 04:16 PM
a regular part of my training consists of long sets... 3000 - 9000 yds @ x (100 - 200 yds) on an interval that allows me 5-10 seconds rest.
additionally, i'll impose a strict SPL to be maintained throughout.
no, this isn't going to help me swim a fast 50, but it does wonders for the 1650 (which is still a sprint in my book)

The part about 1650 being a "sprint" made me do a bit of a double-take. But then I thought about it and realized that - on a much smaller scale - my own perception of what's a "long" swim has changed as a result of doing long slow distance (LSD) swims. When I was younger, racing a 500 seemed nuts. I never dared try it. But more recently, before changing things up in preparation for racing, I was doing an LSD day each week - a 45 minute continuous swim, also focusing on SPL and keeping my technique decent. As a result, I'll be trying the 500 in that upcoming meet - and it doesn't seem like such a big deal. I probably won't be swimming it very fast - but the point is that maybe another benefit of LSD swims is that they change your relative sense of "distance."

Not that I ever expect to call a 1650 a "sprint," though...!

jim thornton
February 12th, 2012, 07:55 PM
The part about 1650 being a "sprint" made me do a bit of a double-take. But then I thought about it and realized that - on a much smaller scale - my own perception of what's a "long" swim has changed as a result of doing long slow distance (LSD) swims. When I was younger, racing a 500 seemed nuts. I never dared try it. But more recently, before changing things up in preparation for racing, I was doing an LSD day each week - a 45 minute continuous swim, also focusing on SPL and keeping my technique decent. As a result, I'll be trying the 500 in that upcoming meet - and it doesn't seem like such a big deal. I probably won't be swimming it very fast - but the point is that maybe another benefit of LSD swims is that they change your relative sense of "distance."

Not that I ever expect to call a 1650 a "sprint," though...!

I agree with you.

I swim the hour postal swim in late January to make the 1650 seem less daunting.

Then I swim the 1650 in late February to make the 1000 and 500 less daunting.

But nothing seems to make the 200 less daunting. Not sure why that is.

pwb
February 12th, 2012, 09:15 PM
But nothing seems to make the 200 less daunting. Not sure why that is.Because the 200 freestyle is an evil event. I think I currently hate it even more than the 50 breaststroke.

jim thornton
February 12th, 2012, 11:24 PM
I didn't participate in the poll as it looks like"heads I win tails you lose."
1) is pro distance
2)is pro distance
3) is neutral
Come on.

Allen, I apologize for not responding to your perspicacious comment earlier.

I had actually semi-noticed that 1 & 2 do actually say more or less the same thing, i.e., that El Garbagio is a myth. I should have worded answer #2 more clearly so that it was the obvious choice for those who believe garbage yards are a real phenomenon, and that they contribute nothing positive, and most likely something negative (i.e., teaching your body to swim slowly) to meet performance.

I had hoped that the broader question at the top of the poll would have finessed this, i.e., the part that describes the three possibilities as Yay, Nay, and Meh.

I hadn't reckoned that the poll would be deconstructed by a practicing psychiatrist-breaststroking vundermensch, two-thirds of which, I shall concede, has been the undoing of many of my lazy intellectual efforts over the years.

For those of you who missed the definition of "Meh" when it won "word of the year" honors in 2007, here it is with some examples of it being used in actual sentences:

May 22, 2007 Urban Word of the Day
Indifference; to be used when one simply does not care.
A: What do you want for dinner?
B: Meh.

"The verbal equivalent of a shrug of the shoulders." -quoth me
"(While holding gun to their own head) Give me one good reason why I shouldn't pull this trigger!"
"meh."

Used in the greatest tv show of all time The Simpsons (http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=The%20Simpsons). in the episode Hungry, Hungry Homer, bart and lisa respond to a homer inquiry with "meh". mystery solved
Homer: Kids, how would you like to go... to Blockoland!
Bart & Lisa: Meh.
Homer: But the TV. gave the impression that--
Bart: We said "meh".
Lisa: M-E-H. Meh.

--from Urban Dictionary

jaadams1
February 13th, 2012, 12:37 AM
Because the 200 freestyle is an evil event. I think I currently hate it even more than the 50 breaststroke.

200 Freestyle used to be a big sprint...now it has to be a little more controlled, but not by much. If you slack off in it just a little, you'll be kicking yourself at the end for not doing enough. Yet on the other hand, if you do too much at the beginning, you'll end up kicking yourself in the end double time!! :afraid:
I still say go for it, and hope the training you've done is backing you up that day. :cheerleader:

ElaineK
February 13th, 2012, 02:55 AM
I find this really interesting, Jim. My current resting pulse rate is 38. I usually manage to get it down to 30 bpm, but this is helped by taking beta-blockers and other pills. I need a low resting pulse rate because I actually work between heart beats. I hope you find this of interest...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bu-vis-LGOM&context=C3b82d09ADOEgsToPDskKx1H-CZ8Re_0uiIn4CyIrV

:bow: :applaud: :thewave:

Wow! YES, I did find this of interest! Your patience and dedication amazes me- as does your resting pulse. I thought I was doing well by getting mine down to 50, since training for competition (from 68 as a "fitness swimmer").

Thank you for sharing this fascinating interview. I am continuously amazed by the stories I read about other USMS swimmers!

By the way, Forumites, Roderick Sewell (the 19 year old double amputee featured on one of the LCM Auburn Nationals videos) participated in the Auburn Short Course Invitational, this past weekend. He is an amazing swimmer in every stroke!

aquageek
February 13th, 2012, 09:46 AM
200 Freestyle used to be a big sprint...

Used to be? Holy crow, man, the 200 free is basically a sprint event now more than ever. In last year's A and B finals D1 the slowest was 1:38, and that was the slowest by over 2 seconds. The average was around 1:34, which means those guys are turning 23.5 50s.

I haven't done a 200 since Atlanta nationals. I'm scared of that race. It is just too painful.

knelson
February 13th, 2012, 10:14 AM
Used to be? Holy crow, man, the 200 free is basically a sprint event now more than ever.

I think James was saying it used to be a sprint for him, but now he has to hold back a little. Yeah, those guys going 1:33 aren't holding back anything!

aquageek
February 13th, 2012, 10:43 AM
I think James was saying it used to be a sprint for him,...

You can't trust anything that guy says.

pwb
February 13th, 2012, 10:51 AM
I think James was saying it used to be a sprint for him, but now he has to hold back a little. Yeah, those guys going 1:33 aren't holding back anything!


I was at the NCAA meet in Atlanta, where Simon Burnett went 1:31.60. He didn't look like he was swimming that fast until the final 50. His swim in control the whole way.Yeah, sadly, those guys are going 1:31 to 1:33 and they ARE NOT sprinting the whole way. They have a 200 race strategy that requires some level of pacing and likely the same kind of relative effort expenditure across the 50s as we do ... they're just a helluva lot faster than us old farts and mortals.

shark
February 13th, 2012, 11:11 AM
I am coming into this way late, so I apologize for repeating anyone. I used to be a big believer in garbage yards. But have for about 14 years now, been trying to spread the gospel of Quality vs Quantity. I do not believe that you need the yards. More yards make you tired, tired leads to bad technique, practicing with bad technique leads to injury, injury leads to really slow times. Do less ugly strokes and your times will be very good. Now if you can hold a big practice with good technique, you are doing pretty well. I am sure the top guys and girls are doing a bunch of garbage yards? Or do you think?

aquageek
February 13th, 2012, 11:29 AM
Yeah, sadly, those guys are going 1:31 to 1:33 and they ARE NOT sprinting the whole way. They have a 200 race strategy that requires some level of pacing and likely the same kind of relative effort expenditure across the 50s as we do ... they're just a helluva lot faster than us old farts and mortals.

Maybe I should have said that turning 23s seems to be going super fast. But, I agree it is not all out sprinting, for them anyway.

I wonder what the best 200 guys/gals do in the 100 or 50. It seems I saw Nathan Adrian swim either a 100 or 200 on TV a while back and the last 25 didn't look so good.

That Guy
February 13th, 2012, 11:42 AM
You can't trust anything that guy says.
I approve this message.

pwb
February 13th, 2012, 12:12 PM
It seems I saw Nathan Adrian swim either a 100 or 200 on TV a while back and the last 25 didn't look so good.... because he didn't do enough sets of 15 x 200 with 0:05 rest :bolt:

aquageek
February 13th, 2012, 12:26 PM
... because he didn't do enough sets of 15 x 200 with 0:05 rest :bolt:
Stop stealing my set for this Friday.

jim thornton
February 13th, 2012, 12:46 PM
Yeah, sadly, those guys are going 1:31 to 1:33 and they ARE NOT sprinting the whole way. They have a 200 race strategy that requires some level of pacing and likely the same kind of relative effort expenditure across the 50s as we do ... they're just a helluva lot faster than us old farts and mortals.

A couple years back, I did a deconstruction of the winning NCAA men's Div 1 200 freestyle on my vlog.

I concluded then that that year's winner had, indeed, swum a controlled race.

One thing that needs to be factored in here is that when you can swim the distance in 1:30+, you are exerting yourself a good 25 percent less, duration wise, than someone who is covering the same distance in, say, 2:00.

My own feeling about the 200, and why it is such a fiendish test, is that perhaps more than any other freestyle event, it requires a perfectly intelligent approach to pacing to do your best in.

50s, certainly, and 100s, oftentimes, are too short to require all that much strategy.

500s and beyond, at least for the likes of me, give you time to build and correct mistakes as you proceed.

But the 200 requires that perfect needle-threading of dual suffering--sprint suffering and distance suffering--but both types of suffering managed in such a way as to avoid the worst suffering of all, that is, mental suffering from either having wimped out to much on the front end, or gone out too fast and seized up on the back end, either of which approach will lead to ruin, time wise!

Anyhow, for anyone interested in reading about a NCAA championship 200 pace deconstructed by this amateur analyst, you can find it here:

http://forums.usms.org/blog.php?b=2360

aquageek
February 13th, 2012, 12:57 PM
One thing that needs to be factored in here is that when you can swim the distance in 1:30+, you are exerting yourself a good 25 percent less, duration wise, than someone who is covering the same distance in, say, 2:00.

Jim does math, intriguing.

While true the exertion lasts about 25% less time, the amount of exertion is substantially greater than doing it at 2:00. There is probably some mathematical formula at play here, chime in at any time knelson.

jim thornton
February 13th, 2012, 01:08 PM
Jim does math, intriguing.

While true the exertion lasts about 25% less time, the amount of exertion is substantially greater than doing it at 2:00. There is probably some mathematical formula at play here, chime in at any time knelson.

I am not sure this is actually true. I will agree that effort/hydrodynamic resistance increases greatly (exponentially?) with increasing speed, but that is so within a given swimmer.

Some of these 6' 5" sleek behemoths with their gigantic flipper feet and hands the size of paddles and ripped abdomens devoid of flapping fat are like America's Cup yachts compared to New York Harbor tugboats of your typical Thornton-style geriatric competitor.

I would venture to bet that were we to rig up both the NCAA champion and me at the end of our respective best 200s of any given year, the testing apparatus would suggest without doubt that one of us had been moved, by his efforts, considerably closer to the boneyard than the other.

You can tell which one of this is by the fact that the one who has exerted himself more continues to lie down on the pool deck where the handicapped hoist has plopped him for a good half hour, while the other one has merrily jogged off to show the women's team his abdomen, giant feet, giant hands, and the rest of the championship package.

mcnair
February 13th, 2012, 01:24 PM
A few notes on this fascinating thread:
1. Graham, your skill is incredible, my handwriting--normal size--doesn't look that good! What patience!

2. It really should be "Il garbagio" if we're going for an Italianate feel (just sayin'...)

3. I'm not sure if analogy can be called evidence in this case; but, if you are looking for physiological evidence I think the analogy with running is pretty good (sprinters don't do a lot of mileage... distance runners do a lot of mileage).

4. following on the last point: distance runners do a lot of LT work and some sprint work too, but the vast majority of their work is in the aerobic range. The faster distance runners have higher LT, but threshold training may only account for 20-30% of overall mileage. Would they call the 65-75% of their mileage at slower aerobic pace garbagio?

5. So following points 4-5, what for a distance runner is essential might be garbagio, indeed even detrimental, for a sprinter... I agree, then, that one person's garbagio is another's tesoro!

6. 200s are pretty close to the swimming equivalent of running's 800 (or vice versa)... 400 is a sprint, but 1500 is middle distance; the 800 is just a puke fest (I went all the way to HS state meet three times at that distance... probably one of the reasons I love/hate to do interval 200s in the pool now).

Thanks for the thread!

jaadams1
February 13th, 2012, 02:35 PM
You can't trust anything that guy says.

I don't trust That Guy either.

jaadams1
February 13th, 2012, 02:41 PM
I think James was saying it used to be a sprint for him, but now he has to hold back a little. Yeah, those guys going 1:33 aren't holding back anything!

You got it Kirk. Even when I was fast in college (at a measley 1:42), I had to hold back just a little bit, but not much. It was basically a sprint for me then. Now if I go out the first 100 AFAP, I won't be coming home to finish till next week...

That Guy
February 13th, 2012, 03:23 PM
I don't trust That Guy either.

And so he says, I don't like the cut of your jib, and I go, I says it's the only jib I got, baby! (1 (http://thetick.ws/embquotes.htm))

Rob Copeland
February 13th, 2012, 03:38 PM
I would venture to bet that were we to rig up both the NCAA champion and me at the end of our respective best 200s of any given year, the testing apparatus would suggest without doubt that one of us had been moved, by his efforts, considerably closer to the boneyard than the other.Most scientific measures (max heart rate, blood lactate, etc.) would show that the 1:31 – 1:33 athlete is working significantly harder than your, say 2:00 200 swimmer. As for the less scientific measures (flopping and gasping on the deck like a landed carp) I’d probably give the nod to some of our more colorful Masters Swimmers.

Note –for most of us, getting our max heart rate in a race in the 190-210 range or a blood lactate level of 10-13 mmol/L would put us in the boneyard not just closer.

ande
February 13th, 2012, 03:50 PM
Garbage Yardage is subject to a swimmers expectations, perception, attitude, mood, conditioning, events, & time of the season.

It's the belief that what they are being asked to do or what they just did serves no purpose toward getting them closer to their goal.
Swimmers don't self inflict garbage yardage. It's usually when there's a coach or training group. Certain swimmers have a tendancy to be in foul moods or complain more often than others. They might be more likely to be vocal that a set is.

Most swimmers can handle a lot more training than they think they can.
Extreme sprinters & quality based swimmers don't want or need to do long swims, much aerobic training, threshold training or high repeat low rest type sets. And when such sets are given. They call them garbage yardage.

Garbage yardage is going further and harder than planned or necessary.

the solution is to know your goals, know who you are and where you are and what you need, and if you are given a set that doesn't really fit in with your plan. Tell your lane mates how you're going to modify the set and stay out of the way.

Today we were given an 800 set that was
150 DPS 50 strong with 4 breaths
I did 100 DPS 50 rest on the wall 50 fairly fast with 4 breaths

Masters is different than age group, HS and college swimming.
Masters can do what they want, we can arrive late, leave early, skip days and modify sets. Younger swimmers need to do what their coach says unless they have a very good reason not to.

aquageek
February 13th, 2012, 04:01 PM
Garbage yardage is going further and harder than planned or necessary.

I don't know, Ande. Going farther and harder than planned can produce results. And, I don't know how you'd define necessary. I think there's a lot to be said for taking it to the next level, especially if unplanned.




Masters is different than age group, HS and college swimming.

It doesn't have to be (excluding college, in which I concur). We get age groupers all the time who practice with us when they get in trouble with their coaches. I guess 5:30 am is water-boarding for AGers. Nothing like seeing a teenager gasp at trying to keep up with the geezers, until we do kick sets. But, yes, the Masters Prerogative is a thing of beauty. We had an AGer once raise his hand and ask our coach to use the restroom. Boy, that brought the house down with laughter, poor kid.

Couroboros
February 13th, 2012, 04:10 PM
Hello! I am going to contribute to this poll topic now. But first, the 200 free has been absolutely pummeled in this thread so far. I thought I'd give it a little bit of appreciation.

I love the 200 freestyle. I love doing 200s in practice, I love doing 200s in races. I sincerely don't understand all this "evil race" talk. Some of the things that have been said in this thread seem like slander to me. Come here, 200 free distance, come to my embrace, away from these slimy, monocle-and-top-hat wearing villains. :bighug:

Okay, so on the topic of Il Garbagio.... lately, I did this following workout:

500 warm-up
1x800 on 13:00
2x700s on 11:00
3x600s on 9:00
4x500s on 7:30
5x400s on 6:00
6x300s on 4:30
7x200s on 3:00 descending 1-3, 4-6, recovery 7
8x100s on 1:30 ALL OUT
500 warm-down

13k yards total. I found it in a Michael Phelps book. I added the intervals, intensity, and the 500 bookends. Everything up to the 200s was on 90%. It took almost 3.5 hours to complete.

When I finished that set, I did not feel like I had wasted 3.5 hours of my life. I did not feel like Duke Vittorino il Garbagio, either. I did not feel like I had wandered nowhere on the back of inuring, mind-numbing discomfort and pain.

I instead felt the most invincible pride, the most invulnerable happiness, the most scintillating, seductive illusion of indestructibility. I did not feel like I had somewhat closed or shut the door, the access point, the portal, the gateway, to more speed, to faster times... instead I felt that door was now a gaping maw of opportunity that it was impossible for me to fool myself from entering because I would be too blind or too lazy, because now it did the work for me, it vacuumed me into and on through to its inescapable consequences and conclusions: I had worked hard, I had used my body for what its made, I had told my body what its made for, and I had unlocked the permission slips, the permits, to acquire more of that all too obsessing, wonderful, sublime, and soul-penetrating thing- SPEED, the wheels spinning me forth on the highway to a land, a plane, a happy place where times are smaller. Faster.

That Guy
February 13th, 2012, 04:14 PM
It occurs to me that another form of garbage yardage is performing a drill without any idea of what the drill is supposed to accomplish. Bonus points if the coach who assigned the drill doesn't know either.

aquageek
February 13th, 2012, 04:21 PM
It occurs to me that another form of garbage yardage is performing a drill without any idea of what the drill is supposed to accomplish.

Is it garbage if the only drill I do is catch-up and I don't do it right and it really is just an opportunity for me to loaf?

That Guy
February 13th, 2012, 04:32 PM
Is it garbage if the only drill I do is catch-up and I don't do it right and it really is just an opportunity for me to loaf?
You bet!

The Fortress
February 13th, 2012, 05:00 PM
Why, because now it did the work for me, it vacuumed me into and on through to its inescapable consequences and conclusions: I had worked hard, I had used my body for what its made, I had told my body what its made for, and I had unlocked the permission slips, the permits, to acquire more of that all too obsessing, wonderful, sublime, and soul-penetrating thing- SPEED, the wheels spinning me forth on the highway to a land, a plane, a happy place where times are smaller. Faster.

This may help some of your times, especially if you're entering some OW races, and your psyche. But it has nothing to do with "speed." And one cannot do 8 x 100 @ 1:30 ALL OUT. It's really just a threshold or pacing set.

Geek's drill failure may just be recovery, and hence possibly not il garbagio.

aquageek
February 13th, 2012, 05:24 PM
Geek's drill failure may just be recovery, and hence possibly not il garbagio.

Trust me, it's garbage. If I don't see the words "Main Set" I read "Goof Off."

jim thornton
February 13th, 2012, 05:30 PM
Hello! I am going to contribute to this poll topic now. But first, the 200 free has been absolutely pummeled in this thread so far. I thought I'd give it a little bit of appreciation.

I love the 200 freestyle. I love doing 200s in practice, I love doing 200s in races. I sincerely don't understand all this "evil race" talk. Some of the things that have been said in this thread seem like slander to me. Come here, 200 free distance, come to my embrace, away from these slimy, monocle-and-top-hat wearing villains. :bighug:

Okay, so on the topic of Il Garbagio.... lately, I did this following workout:

500 warm-up
1x800 on 13:00
2x700s on 11:00
3x600s on 9:00
4x500s on 7:30
5x400s on 6:00
6x300s on 4:30
7x200s on 3:00 descending 1-3, 4-6, recovery 7
8x100s on 1:30 ALL OUT
500 warm-down

13k yards total. I found it in a Michael Phelps book. I added the intervals, intensity, and the 500 bookends. Everything up to the 200s was on 90%. It took almost 3.5 hours to complete.

When I finished that set, I did not feel like I had wasted 3.5 hours of my life. I did not feel like Duke Vittorino il Garbagio, either. I did not feel like I had wandered nowhere on the back of inuring, mind-numbing discomfort and pain.

I instead felt the most invincible pride, the most invulnerable happiness, the most scintillating, seductive illusion of indestructibility. I did not feel like I had somewhat closed or shut the door, the access point, the portal, the gateway, to more speed, to faster times... instead I felt that door was now a gaping maw of opportunity that it was impossible for me to fool myself from entering because I would be too blind or too lazy, because now it did the work for me, it vacuumed me into and on through to its inescapable consequences and conclusions: I had worked hard, I had used my body for what its made, I had told my body what its made for, and I had unlocked the permission slips, the permits, to acquire more of that all too obsessing, wonderful, sublime, and soul-penetrating thing- SPEED, the wheels spinning me forth on the highway to a land, a plane, a happy place where times are smaller. Faster.

I am too used to Facebook.

I kept looking for the Like button.

And on this note, off to do our 200s on 2:30 till my heart explodes and/or reaches a rate of 80-90 beats per minute, which is pretty much the same thing.

__steve__
February 13th, 2012, 05:42 PM
My warm ups and warm downs are garbage (1000 and 200-500, respectfully). If I don't take out the garbage my swimming will be trashed.

Also, the neuro-sprinting sets I've recently discovered, and had promising results with (in weeks time:)) consist 80% of "garbage" time wise. For exp, 15M are 100% and 35M of it is slow. Even though the slow part in itself is too slow to have any aerobic worth, if the rest interval is tight enough with 8 seconds of 100%, it is.

For these reasons I voted in support of garbage.

chaos
February 13th, 2012, 05:59 PM
But the 200 requires that perfect needle-threading of dual suffering--sprint suffering and distance suffering

wow, wish I had only know that I could have fulfilled my "distance suffering" quotas in 2 minute intervals

Rob Copeland
February 14th, 2012, 08:44 AM
wow, wish I had only know that I could have fulfilled my "distance suffering" quotas in 2 minute intervalsWhat… you thought distance suffering didn’t kick in until hour 5 or so?

jim thornton
February 14th, 2012, 11:57 AM
Most scientific measures (max heart rate, blood lactate, etc.) would show that the 1:31 – 1:33 athlete is working significantly harder than your, say 2:00 200 swimmer. As for the less scientific measures (flopping and gasping on the deck like a landed carp) I’d probably give the nod to some of our more colorful Masters Swimmers.

Note –for most of us, getting our max heart rate in a race in the 190-210 range or a blood lactate level of 10-13 mmol/L would put us in the boneyard not just closer.

Rob, with all due respect to the Presidential Office that you hold, I must say you are incorrect here, sir!

Imagine, for the sake of explication, two athletes: Usain Boldt and a somewhat hypothetical version of yourself.

Imagine, moreover, that the demands of the USMS presidency have forced you to remain at your desk, toiling day after day, albeit in a sedentary fashion, to the point where your feet, well, atrophy altogether, along with what ever slight musculature has not entirely metamorphosed into adipose tissue in your lower extremities.

The two of you are summoned to a track, where Usain laces up his running shoes and does a bit of warm up. You, having made your way to the same track by the assistance of a Rascal mobility scooter, place some sort of rubberized booties over your leg stumps and attempt to stand upright.

The starter says, "Gentleman, take your marks."

Usain assumes the position, and you assume something that is a bit more idiosyncratic and too difficult to describe in words. But you assume it nevertheless.

The starter says, "Get set!"

Usain's fast twitch muscles twitch magnificently, like a jaguar who has spotted a tapir.

Your muscle-like fat tissues simply twitch, like a tapir aware he has been spotted by a jaguar.

The starter raises his gun and pulls the trigger. "Bang!" goes the blank round.

Approximately 9.58 seconds later, Usain crosses the finish line designating 100 meters splendidly run.

Sometime the following day, you cross the same finish line, your rubberized booties worn down, blood leaking so profusely that one of the major impediments to your finishing the race is that you keep slipping and falling down because of your own fluids.

I ask you: who has worked harder here--Usain in his 9.58 seconds of blazing glory, or this hypothetical version of yourself, in your 17 hours, 52 minutes, 12.22 seconds of extended Bataan-Death-March True Grit?

I think the answer is obvious. Our USMS president, hypotheticalized, in such a scenario is a much, much harder working athlete than the world record holder.

If you agree with my reasoning here, and frankly, it brooks no disagreement outside of the clinically brain dead or needlessly argumentative self-delusional type individual, neither of which I know you are not, sir!--if you agree, and of course you will, how much of a leap is it to suggest I swim much, much harder in the 200 than my lean and physiologically lucky whipper-snapper betters?

Q.E.D.

Rob Copeland
February 14th, 2012, 01:36 PM
Sir James,


with all due respect…. Assuming “all Due” > 0 then thanks… I think.


Imagine, for the sake of explication, two athletes: Usain Boldt When did we start classifying track guys as athletes?


You, having made your way to the same track by the assistance of a Rascal mobility scooter Do I get to compete on my Rascal or can I step it up to my EV Rider Royale?


I ask you: who has worked harder here--Usain in his 9.58 seconds of blazing glory, or this hypothetical version of yourself…? Assuming I’m allowed to upgrade to my Rider Royale, I’d have to answer that the starter worked harder than the hypochondriacal me. Holding that heavy gun whilst I’m taking my mark must be a strain.

What I do know is in the water when my son went 1:33 in his 200, he worked a lot harder than I did when I went my all out 2:00 200 free. And except for age, strength, training, hair, technique, motivation, weight, reaction time and a few other factors; our swims were comparable.

Therefore, without fear of contradiction, young fast dudes work harder than old fat duds.

R.H.I.P.

jim thornton
February 14th, 2012, 08:33 PM
R.H.I.P.

Rest Hopefully in Peace?

PS I am not sure what this vehicle is that you are discussing, but I suspect that my Honda Metropolitan Scooter works a lot, lot harder going up and down the hills of Pittsburgh.

Just sayin'.

http://motorcycle-specs.com/general/Honda-Metropolitan-2003.jpg

mcnair
February 14th, 2012, 10:43 PM
Usain's fast twitch muscles twitch magnificently, like a jaguar who has spotted a tapir.

Your muscle-like fat tissues simply twitch, like a tapir aware he has been spotted by a jaguar.


I think you may have just insulted tapirs!

Chris Stevenson
February 15th, 2012, 07:36 PM
Rob, with all due respect to the Presidential Office that you hold, I must say you are incorrect here, sir!

Imagine, for the sake of explication, two athletes: Usain Boldt and a somewhat hypothetical version of yourself.

So who "works" harder, a masters or young stud swimmer? Interesting question. Rather than try to compare myself with some current elite athlete, maybe I can brave the waters of unreliable memory and compare myself as I am now to myself at 20. I was significantly faster then and tired much less quickly.

I have heard or read somewhere that there are two physiological changes with age that no amount of exercise or training will halt: decrease in max HR and decrease in lung capacity.

The HR I can (as much as my aging memory banks allow) attest to: I seem to remember hitting the 200+ bpm range routinely in practice in college and HS, and there is no way I can touch that now.

In races, I feel like when I was younger I had a 5th gear that I no longer possess; in fact, I'm not sure if I even have a 4th gear. By that I mean that my times in practice are now closer to my race times than I remember being the case when younger.

I don't think I work harder in practice now than I did. But -- much like a new car -- I could really rev the engine up when younger and push myself to limits that I simply cannot match right now.

So maybe that means I was working harder in races then. But races nowadays are definitely not less painful now than they were.

Chris Stevenson
February 16th, 2012, 10:48 AM
Back on topic: gotta throw the sprinters a bone.

http://www.drmirkin.com/public/ezine112909.html

"You cannot gain maximum endurance just with continuous exercise...All competitive athletes should do some sort of 30-second interval [sets]...A sound endurance program should include a lot of slow miles, one or two workouts with many short intervals, and probably at least one workout that includes a few long intervals each week."

knelson
February 16th, 2012, 11:02 AM
...A sound endurance program should include a lot of slow miles, one or two workouts with many short intervals, and probably at least one workout that includes a few long intervals each week."

Did my coach write that? :)

jim thornton
February 16th, 2012, 12:26 PM
Back on topic: gotta throw the sprinters a bone.

http://www.drmirkin.com/public/ezine112909.html

"You cannot gain maximum endurance just with continuous exercise...All competitive athletes should do some sort of 30-second interval [sets]...A sound endurance program should include a lot of slow miles, one or two workouts with many short intervals, and probably at least one workout that includes a few long intervals each week."


So Dr. Mirkin, who is not, I should add parenthetically, the inventor of the eponymous product, is suggesting that you can't build endurance by garbage yards alone, but that they are, indeed, a part of the process?

Disgusted by my practice speeds, mid-season meet times, and hour swim performance, I decided to ramp up the weekly yardage to see if this would help me swim faster.

As of last night's practice, I am up to 78.04 miles for 2012. Because of a detached retina, I was at about 45 miles for the same 6 and 1/2 week time period in 2011.

My yards basically fall into several categories:

Official "distance" day practice, which includes 100s, 200s, and 500s on intervals tight enough that I barely make them with 5 seconds per 100 rest (or less)--for instance, 200s on 2:30 or 100s on 1:20.

Official stroke day practice, where I swim mostly freestyle but try to use the extra rest to push myself below my AT times.

Official "sprint" practice, which includes a reasonable amount of AFAP type sets either on long intervals or where active rest is part of the mix.

This leaves the off days where there is no official practice for the Sewickley Y Sea Dragons, Geriatric Division. It is at these 4 other days of the week where I allow myself to indulge in garbage yards, at least on occasion.

So far in Feb., I have managed to swim every day, though my shoulder is starting to pay a bit of a price for this. During my solo swims, I tend to do the following:

Long garbagy warm ups.

Sometimes, an hour to an hour and a half continuous swim, trying to not worry too much about what the clock says but work on keeping a smooth efficient stroke.

Sometimes, I add kicking, which is the worst aspect of my swimming and in most need of improvement.

Sometimes I will add some quasi-quality sets to the mix, too. For example, the other day I did the following garbage modification:

5 x 150 on 2:20
5 x 50 kick on 1:00

repeat the above for a total of 5 sets, decreasing the interval by 5 secs on the 150s and increasing by 5 secs the 50s


This meant that the last set of 150s were at a 1:20 per hundred pace, and the last set of the 50s kick were on 1:20, so I sprinted the second 25s as hard as I could


slow 300

14 x 50 on :55 cool down


-----------------


I guess the basic question that is emerging at this point is this: if you do, say, 1 or--at the most--2 pure slow distance swims per week, but you do this against a background of other practices of reasonably high and challenging quality, will the garbage yards help at all? Or would you be better off just resting those days?


I suppose time will tell. As of now, I am betting they will help me. But who knows?


I do feel I am creeping slowly but surely in a positive endurance direction. On the other hand, a tweaked shoulder and general feeling of being run down argues that maybe I am deluding myself.



More as the data filters in...

Chris Stevenson
February 16th, 2012, 01:46 PM
I guess the basic question that is emerging at this point is this: if you do, say, 1 or--at the most--2 pure slow distance swims per week, but you do this against a background of other practices of reasonably high and challenging quality, will the garbage yards help at all? Or would you be better off just resting those days?

My $0.02: I believe high quality/intensity sets help aerobic endurance -- and can also help add a valuable "kick" to finish a race -- but I don't think they are sufficient training for the distance swimmer. I think some long aerobic swims, and some long/low-rest sets that are right up against the lactate threshold, are important too.

chowmi
February 16th, 2012, 02:36 PM
-----------------


I guess the basic question that is emerging at this point is this: if you do, say, 1 or--at the most--2 pure slow distance swims per week, but you do this against a background of other practices of reasonably high and challenging quality, will the garbage yards help at all? Or would you be better off just resting those days?


I suppose time will tell. As of now, I am betting they will help me. But who knows?


I do feel I am creeping slowly but surely in a positive endurance direction. On the other hand, a tweaked shoulder and general feeling of being run down argues that maybe I am deluding myself.



More as the data filters in...

I think everyone has their own definition of what garbage yardage is. Mine is that it is yardage only for the sake of yardage AND at the expense of technique AND without regard to a prudent recovery element. That said, if one doesn't care about form, recovery, and the main goal is to get in x amount of yardage per day over x period of time, then that is a fine goal, albeit not mine! There is no requirement that there be any improvement in technique, form, or speed in masters. I can completely see the point in making a yardage goal, in itself, the only goal. Perhaps one day I will attempt to swim 100 days in a row or an endurance swim and at that point, I wouldn't be paying attention to my form or having a cohernent thought anyway by the end of that race! And for me to make it to 100 days in a row, maybe not for you or another other forum reader, but for ME to make it there, i'll be slopping my body up and down the pool with whatever body parts are still working to just wheeze in to my 100th day.

But back to your original (rhetorical? were you expected an answer? well, here's mine, anyway) question - it is not whether the "garbage" yardage will help or not, but whether I want to go to the club and take a shower. I might as well get something in while i'm there. In fact, today I did about 500, nothing hard and random stops along the way. I think it was helpful - not only did I get squeeky clean with awesome water pressure shower and free toilettries and hot towels that I don't have to launder, but I also relieved the stresses of stupid idiots doing stupid things in my bankruptcy cases!

ElaineK
February 16th, 2012, 04:18 PM
My $0.02:

Sheeesh, Chris, you could have saved yourself key strokes and used this, instead: :2cents:

:D :bolt:

aquageek
February 16th, 2012, 04:21 PM
3267

dsyphers
February 16th, 2012, 09:04 PM
I'm a little late to the party on joining this discussion, but I've just had some recent conversations along these lines that crystallized my thoughts on this.

My constant battle in practices is to be able to push myself far enough into the "discomfort" zone. It takes physical energy and emotional energy. It's much easier to do something that pushes me a little, but doesn't take intense concentration. This can be a long slow/med swim, or it can be 100's on 1:40 at 20% to 25% slower than my fastest. On the surface it looks like I'm working, but the real work is how hard I have to dig, and how much discomfort I have to push through. Unfortunately the rest of my life (work, children, etc.) often requires that energy so I settle for leaving a little in the tank and not pushing to a highly uncomfortable stage of swimming. When I do have the luxury of pushing that hard (and most likely napping a couple of hours after the workout), and can summon the focus.....well, that is when I have seen my biggest gains in my times.

I push about as hard in every race I do. The difference in my race times is more often about how hard I worked on the preparation in practice (I keep meticulous records of every single practice I do). A set of 3 100's on 1:30 at 10% slower than my fastest takes concentration and putting up with a lot of discomfort (I'm 55... Make the interval shorter for you younger folks). When I can do this regularly, as part of a serious and well-structured sequence of workouts, my times drop. Or it might be a long swim(for me 500 to 1000) at 5% to 8% slower than my best, where I am in a high state of discomfort toward the end, again as a part of a well-structured sequence of workouts. When I can only do the regular serious workout without pushing into that zone of high discomfort,my times stay the same or even slide back a bit.

So I think there are all kinds of "garbage yards". The hardest thing for me to do is to have enough focus and drive to push into that high discomfort zone in practice. It's easy to do it in a meet, since it is episodic. But for me the gains come from going there as part of my workout regimen. When I need to shock myself out of complacency I go to a lot of meets to remind myself what that discomfort feels like. It's hard to do, and I can't always do it. So I guess for me the focus is not on what "garbage yards" are, but how to get their opposite in my workouts --- pushing to high levels of discomfort. (Note that I never used the word pain --- for me pain is a signal something is starting to go wrong, but serious discomfort is where my gains are made.)

My 2¥ worth!

Celestial
February 18th, 2012, 05:01 PM
When I do have the luxury of pushing that hard (and most likely napping a couple of hours after the workout)
You made me very happy by publicly posting this! :) I've been wondering about my "true" age lately. . .

rodent
February 19th, 2012, 11:55 PM
I think that you have to workout continuously for a long enough period of time for your heart, lungs and muscles to develope the capacity to work efficiently for long periods of time. Doing this will enable your body to handle the stress of hard training and racing. I can not think of any reason that this can not be accomplished by continuous long swims. I don't think it makes any difference to your body whether you swim 10x200 at 2:40 or just swim 2000 yards holding a 2:40 pace every 200 and just not stopping every 200 yards. You don't stop every 200 yards when you race, do you?
I think that you have to do some sprinting during every workout, but if you intend to compete in events of 200M or more you need at least as much endurance as speed. The longer the event is the more important endurance becomes as a factor in your success.
You also need to swim some of your yardage at a pace similar to your race pace and you have to do enough yardage at that pace to get used to that level of effort and the anaerobic fatigue that you feel when you race. I don't think that the hard yardage has to be the majority of your workout or even has to be done everyday.
I do agree that you can not train effectively by swimming only at a "garbage yardage" pace. If you don't develope the ability to sprint, you will find yourself getting passed on the last lap by the swimmers who are in good enough shape to hang with you and have developed the speed to pull away from you at the end of the race.:canada:

Fresnoid
February 20th, 2012, 12:42 AM
I suspect the original question is about whether lots of low intensity yardage helps pool racing performance. If so, then people who do more yardage should be kicking butt in races.

I don't know if any of these people race, but the top 200 should be able to race a lot faster than me.

http://www.usms.org/fitness/results12/gtdparticipants.php

jim thornton
February 20th, 2012, 10:53 AM
My constant battle in practices is to be able to push myself far enough into the "discomfort" zone. It takes physical energy and emotional energy....Unfortunately the rest of my life (work, children, etc.) often requires that energy so I settle for leaving a little in the tank and not pushing to a highly uncomfortable stage of swimming. When I do have the luxury of pushing that hard (and most likely napping a couple of hours after the workout), and can summon the focus.....well, that is when I have seen my biggest gains in my times.

Dale, you make excellent points. I agree with you that without "discomfort" in practice, you won't swim at your peak in meets. My measure of discomfort in practice is pretty visceral: I like to feel my stomach contents entering the esophagus but not quite reaching the mouth and beyond. My lanemates appreciate this nod to etiquette.

I suppose my question is not so much an either/or kind of thing--i.e., long continuous yards at a reasonably humane pace, or interval training with plenty of peri-vomit-inducing periods of discomfort. I assume you must do the latter to swim your best in meets. My question is can the former help you do the latter? Or would you be better off just taking more rest days?

I've been experimenting this year (2012) with the hypothesis that garbage yards on the off days actually helps swimming performance, assuming they are not a replacement for hard swimming during regular practices.

As of yesterday, I am up to 85.28 miles this year, which for me is a lot; I have also swum every day in February, for a total of 43.49 miles as of yesterday, again, a lot for me.

My first "test" of whether this is helping came yesterday, when I did the 200 free at one of our little local meets. It was in a 5-lane, very shallow pool, and I raced at the tail end of a 16.09 mile swimming week. The 200 was my 4th event in around 2 hours, but I still managed a 2:00.07, which is a good mid-season time for me, and a 1.5 sec. drop from the last time I swam it (before the garbage yardage off-day swimming regimen began).

So Test #1 was a tentative pass.

Test #2 comes next Sunday, when I swim the 1650. I will keep you posted if I am not in the ICU.


I think that you have to workout continuously for a long enough period of time for your heart, lungs and muscles to develope the capacity to work efficiently for long periods of time. Doing this will enable your body to handle the stress of hard training and racing. I can not think of any reason that this can not be accomplished by continuous long swims. I don't think it makes any difference to your body whether you swim 10x200 at 2:40 or just swim 2000 yards holding a 2:40 pace every 200 and just not stopping every 200 yards. You don't stop every 200 yards when you race, do you?
I think that you have to do some sprinting during every workout, but if you intend to compete in events of 200M or more you need at least as much endurance as speed. The longer the event is the more important endurance becomes as a factor in your success.
You also need to swim some of your yardage at a pace similar to your race pace and you have to do enough yardage at that pace to get used to that level of effort and the anaerobic fatigue that you feel when you race. I don't think that the hard yardage has to be the majority of your workout or even has to be done everyday.
I do agree that you can not train effectively by swimming only at a "garbage yardage" pace. If you don't develope the ability to sprint, you will find yourself getting passed on the last lap by the swimmers who are in good enough shape to hang with you and have developed the speed to pull away from you at the end of the race.:canada:

Absolutely agree. I look at it this way: the body has all sorts of subsets of fast and slow twitch fibers. Sprinters really don't need too much of the latter, especially those who only do 50s. (I would argue that for 100s, you absolutely do need some aerobic conditioning, too.) Actually, swimming really does not have any events that are all-out anaerobic. You burn thru all the substrates for this within 8 seconds or so, if I recall correctly. Track has the 100 meters, and football coaches the 60 meters, which are pretty close to all out sprints. But until they include the 25 yard freestyle, there is no 100 percent pure sprint in swimming.

Anyhow, I think long swimming is particularly good for establishing the base you can call upon when all else has started to fail... Even sprinters like Leslie can benefit, if for no other reason than to clear out byproducts of anaerobic metabolism and allow them to concentrate on stroke mechanics.


I suspect the original question is about whether lots of low intensity yardage helps pool racing performance. If so, then people who do more yardage should be kicking butt in races.

I don't know if any of these people race, but the top 200 should be able to race a lot faster than me.

http://www.usms.org/fitness/results12/gtdparticipants.php

Keith, in scrolling down the list, I actually recognize a number of great swimmers, many of whom are regular posters here on the forums.

Shirley A Loftus-Charley
David J Barra
Jim Mc Conica
Thomas J Patterson
Christopher A LaBianco

Are just a few of the top-mileage greats that I recognize within our ranks.

orca1946
February 20th, 2012, 11:43 AM
At 65, all 10 of my fast twitch fibers have left me with only 2-3 remaining. Distance is my friend. We do many 200 x [fill in] on 15 sec. rest so I do not call that junk yards at all! At least for me.

KatieK
February 20th, 2012, 06:18 PM
I suspect the original question is about whether lots of low intensity yardage helps pool racing performance. If so, then people who do more yardage should be kicking butt in races.

I don't know if any of these people race, but the top 200 should be able to race a lot faster than me.

http://www.usms.org/fitness/results12/gtdparticipants.php

Let's assume that I am the slowest person on that list. I've only been swimming for about 3 years. Before that, I was a decent (not fast) breaststroker, but I could barely swim 50 yards of freestyle.

I don't think any of my yardage is garbage. In 2011, I made the list because I swam 3,000 yards, almost every day. I did that because I wanted to. Swimming is fun. Some days higher intensity, some days more focus on technique. Very little in terms of long, continuous yardage. My 2011 races were all OW or postal swims. I limited my OW races to 1-1.5K because I wanted to improve my speed.

In 2012, I'm well into the top 200 because I'm training for a marathon swim. This year, I do a lot of long, continuous swims. The other practices are about evenly split between high-intensity work and leisurely technique work. None of that's easy. It's all challenging in different ways. The long swims develop endurance and mental toughness. The high-intensity work is fun, energizing, and painful. The technique work takes the most discipline.

In each of the 3 years I've been swimming, I've taken about :10 off my 100-yard pace. I expect to do that again this year. I think that's reasonable progress for someone at my level.

jaadams1
February 20th, 2012, 07:33 PM
Keith, in scrolling down the list, I actually recognize a number of great swimmers, many of whom are regular posters here on the forums.

Shirley A Loftus-Charley
David J Barra
Jim Mc Conica
Thomas J Patterson
Christopher A LaBianco

Are just a few of the top-mileage greats that I recognize within our ranks.

James A Adams M35 HMS

Jim...you missed me. I know there are others too:

That Guy M39 PNA
Peter McCoy M43 MATT
Kristi D Lee F37 SAWS

and we can't forget:

James Thornton M60 1776