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trident58
August 30th, 2014, 04:33 PM
Trying to set one solid goal for next year. After a mediocre season, I've decided to focus on one event only for next year. I want to see if I can break 5 minutes for a 500 free.

Back in my college days (almost 30 years ago), my best was a 4:47, and I would routinely swim just under 5 in most dual meets. Since I started Masters swimming 4 years ago, my best has been a 5:10. Not bad, but I think I can do better.

Now here's the question for all the middle-distance studs out there: what are some good workouts/drills that you can do to A) increase raw speed, and B) increase endurance. As I mentioned in a different thread, I have been dealing with a mild anemia issue, which I'm pretty sure has been resolved.

Allen Stark
August 30th, 2014, 05:49 PM
Since Glenn Gruber set a WR in the 400M and dropped his 500 yd time using it, I'd have to sat USRPT.

trident58
August 30th, 2014, 06:45 PM
The USRPT does sound good. I very rarely do anything over 200 yds at a time, and we do lots of sets of 100's and 50's. One thing we do need to change is the rest interval. One set we did last week was 10 x 100 free on a 1:10 interval. Great for endurance, but because of the minimal rest, doesn't allow you work them at race pace.

Glenn
August 30th, 2014, 08:53 PM
The USRPT does sound good. I very rarely do anything over 200 yds at a time, and we do lots of sets of 100's and 50's. One thing we do need to change is the rest interval. One set we did last week was 10 x 100 free on a 1:10 interval. Great for endurance, but because of the minimal rest, doesn't allow you work them at race pace.

If your goal is under 5:00 for the 500, forget doing 100 repeats. Do what I do and do USRPT sets of 50s.

You should work into 2 sets of 30 x 50 on the :50 holding :29 to a hand touch, skip if missed. Of course as you know with USRPT, you should never be able to do all 30 in the set. If you can do into the low 20s of the 30 x 50 and hit your total of 3 failures, you will be able to go under 5:00.

Best of luck to you!

Glenn Gruber

trident58
August 30th, 2014, 10:23 PM
Thanks Glenn. I think I'll try that 30 x 50 set on Monday.
Who knows, maybe I'll even be able to catch Mike Shaffer in a 500!

mmlr38
September 2nd, 2014, 09:06 PM
If your goal is under 5:00 for the 500, forget doing 100 repeats. Do what I do and do USRPT sets of 50s.

You should work into 2 sets of 30 x 50 on the :50 holding :29 to a hand touch, skip if missed. Of course as you know with USRPT, you should never be able to do all 30 in the set. If you can do into the low 20s of the 30 x 50 and hit your total of 3 failures, you will be able to go under 5:00.

Best of luck to you!

Glenn Gruber
I have made huge gains doing USRPT myself. Many thanks go out to Glenn for posting here on the USMS forums about this training technique and being so friendly and willing to help!

I was not a swimmer until a couple of years ago and I'm now 37. Having always been an endurance athlete, I'm naturally inclined to distance swimming and I think USRPT is great for distance and middle distance athletes.

Before a recent injury, I got to the point where I could hold 29 seconds/50 yards on 50 seconds and not have more than 3 failures in two sets of 30 x 50, but I could only muster a 5:25 this year at spring nationals.

Granted, a 5;25 is 10 seconds faster than I ever went previously in a 500, but it's also not anywhere near sub-5:00. I believe this mostly to be due to my lack of experience controlling my breath into and out of turns.

I can easily do 29-30 seconds per 50 yards for 60 repetitions when I have 20 seconds rest between each 50 (doing them on 50 second intervals). Problem for me is, when continuously swimming a 500, somewhere around the 150-200 yard mark, all of the turning catches up to me in terms of oxygen debt and breath control. I attribute this primarily to a lack of experience/coaching. Most everyone I swim with has swum since they were young and they don't seem to have any problem controlling their breath in and out of turns. Hopefully I'll get there someday. For now, my LCM times are great. But all of the turning required in SC results in slower times than I'd expect.

Anyway, I just wanted to share my experience. USRPT has definitely made me faster and I'd highly recommend it to nearly anyone, but I can't quite do the times one would expect in a SC setting. However, in LC I'm golden!

david.margrave
September 3rd, 2014, 01:10 AM
Next year?in my case more like next life.

trident58
September 3rd, 2014, 09:56 PM
Next year?in my case more like next life.

What's funny is I thought the same thing 4 years ago, as I swam my first 500 free in 23 years. I can think of at least three times during that race that I was sure I was going to die:
1) When I did my turn at the 300 yd. mark
2) When I tried to stay with the girl lapping me at about 400 yd.
3) When I tried to get out of the pool afterwards

I think my time was around 5:40 or so.

habu987
September 10th, 2014, 04:14 PM
Here are a few sets I've had my middle distance age groupers do. I've modified the intervals and goal times to make them more applicable to you, trident.

-10x100 on 1:50, aiming for :59 or faster at the touch
-20x50 on 1:00, aiming for :29 or faster at the feet
-12x200 as 4 on 2:30, 4 on 2:20, 4 on 2:10, aiming for 30/20/10 seconds of rest
-4x400 on 8:00, aiming for 3:58 or faster; then 3x300 on 6:00, aiming for 2:57 or faster; then 2x200 on 4:00, aiming for 1:57 or faster (fyi, the pattern is a 59.5 base on the 400s, 59.0 base on the 300s, and a 58.5 base on the 200s)

Those sets all consist of race pace training, so you're going to have high lactic acid buildup. Not quite USRPT, but it's a similar principle.

sunruh
September 10th, 2014, 04:19 PM
i'll call EMS now.
is the AED charged?

trident58
September 10th, 2014, 05:08 PM
Here are a few sets I've had my middle distance age groupers do. I've modified the intervals and goal times to make them more applicable to you, trident.

-10x100 on 1:50, aiming for :59 or faster at the touch
-20x50 on 1:00, aiming for :29 or faster at the feet
-12x200 as 4 on 2:30, 4 on 2:20, 4 on 2:10, aiming for 30/20/10 seconds of rest
-4x400 on 8:00, aiming for 3:58 or faster; then 3x300 on 6:00, aiming for 2:57 or faster; then 2x200 on 4:00, aiming for 1:57 or faster (fyi, the pattern is a 59.5 base on the 400s, 59.0 base on the 300s, and a 58.5 base on the 200s)

Those sets all consist of race pace training, so you're going to have high lactic acid buildup. Not quite USRPT, but it's a similar principle.

Thanks for the suggestions. I've already done something like the first to sets you listed, but I'm not sure my almost-50 yr old cardiac system could cope with the last two. As sunruh pointed out, the AED would be getting some use.
I'll try modifying the goal times on the last two sets.

Our main set this morning:
14x100, with the following intervals:
1st: 1:30
2nd: 1:25
3rd: 1:30
4-5: 1:20
6th: 1:30
7-9: 1:10
10th: 1:30
11-14: 1:05

First time since college I've been able to make 1:05 intervals, even if it was for only 4 100's. Really good confidence builder. I've got a meet on the 21st of this month, and I want to try and go around 5:05 or so.

sunruh
September 10th, 2014, 07:13 PM
i wish you the best of luck in 11 days, but dont be disappointed if you dont hit 5:05.
in the 50-54 age group only 3 guys went under that time all of last year.
5:05 is a fast time no matter what age group you are in.

trident58
September 10th, 2014, 08:04 PM
i wish you the best of luck in 11 days, but dont be disappointed if you dont hit 5:05.
in the 50-54 age group only 3 guys went under that time all of last year.
5:05 is a fast time no matter what age group you are in.

No doubt, it's a very ambitious goal, especially considering I'm not going to taper for this meet. However, I've been feeling so strong in the water the last few months I think I can give it one heck of a shot. If I don't make it, well, I've got a secondary goal of 5:15, something I've done quite a few times the last few years. If anything, I just want to beat my disappointing time from Nationals.

habu987
September 11th, 2014, 03:19 PM
Thanks for the suggestions. I've already done something like the first to sets you listed, but I'm not sure my almost-50 yr old cardiac system could cope with the last two. As sunruh pointed out, the AED would be getting some use.
I'll try modifying the goal times on the last two sets.

Our main set this morning:
14x100, with the following intervals:
1st: 1:30
2nd: 1:25
3rd: 1:30
4-5: 1:20
6th: 1:30
7-9: 1:10
10th: 1:30
11-14: 1:05

First time since college I've been able to make 1:05 intervals, even if it was for only 4 100's. Really good confidence builder. I've got a meet on the 21st of this month, and I want to try and go around 5:05 or so.

Haha, might help if I read your original post more carefully...I breezed through it and thought you were currently at a 5:01, not a 5:10. In that case, I'd say adjust the goal times in my sets to a 1:02 or 1:03 pace. Those times are for if you're doing true race pace training. If you want to just do "fast" training, then I'd say your goal times would be a 1:06-1:07 pace. As you get faster, then you could start working those goal paces down to the times I initially listed.

An alternative for the last two sets could be:

-9x200 as 3 sets of 3x200, with each set being 1 on 2:30, 1 on 2:20, 1 on 2:10.
-1x400, 1x300, 1x200 on the intervals listed. Go through that set twice.

...oh, and make sure the guards at your pool have 911 on speed dial! :D

knelson
September 11th, 2014, 03:51 PM
My opinion is that the key to breaking 5:00 is the part of the race from about 300-450. I've got good endurance, but this is the part of the race where I have trouble maintaining 30 second 50s. Maybe I'm wrong, but I don't see how USRPT is going to help much with this. Swimming 50s at race pace, but resting 15 seconds after each one just isn't going to simulate swimming at that pace for 10 straight 50s with no rest in between. To achieve this I think you need to be doing lots of short rest aerobic conditioning as well as race pace training. I believe there's danger in going to one extreme or the other as far as training goes.

Glenn
September 11th, 2014, 05:01 PM
... I don't see how USRPT is going to help much with this. Swimming 50s at race pace, but resting 15 seconds after each one just isn't going to simulate swimming at that pace for 10 straight 50s with no rest in between.

"Short work and rest periods sustain energy use consistently. In long work periods, energy use changes as a repetition continues. Ultra short training best simulates the onsistent demands of well-paced competitive performances as aerobic and anaerobic energy sources are stimulated maximally (Tabata et al., 1997)"

"The many short-work intervals, by repeatedly depleting stored oxygen and alactacid energy, ensure its maximal regeneration during each rest interval. This sustains race-pace performance quality and adapts the alactacid energy system maximally (Fernandes et al., 2011). Longer intervals of work and rest produce anaerobic fatigue which reduces swimming velocity and stroke rate (Barden & Rorke, 1999). Ultra short training is the best format for producing anaerobic adaptation."

"In USRPT the aerobic system is used continuously. It sustains swimming duromg the work phase of each interval and during the rest clears substantial lactate and repleishes significant amounts of creatine phosphate. High volumes of low-intensity training do not result in the best form of aerobic adaptirion (Weber et al., 2011)."

"high intensity ultra short training produces similar training effects lmore efficiently (Gibala et al., 2006) and in less training time (Sperlich et al., 2009) than endurance training. Its effects are better than those that can be achieved through continous training (Helgerud et al., 2006). USRPT develops a greater aerobic base than is possoble with longer interval or continous training at lower than race-pace intensities."

From Swimming Science Bulletin # 40b, September 2013, Brent Rushall, Ph D

I have been doing USRPT and only USRPT for just over a year. I have been training exclusively for the 400 and 500 only. The results for me have been outstanding. I know many people do not want to believe that USRPT works, but is based in science and has had proven results. That certainly does not mean that USRPT is the only way to go. Many Olympic Champions, present and future have and will train in other ways.

On the surface it seems hard to believe that doing 50s at race pace will train you best for the 500, but try doing the set that I do i.e. 30 x 50 on a 20 second rest interval at the pace you need to swim the 500 to get your time (done properly you should not be able to swim all 30 at the designated race pace). I guarantee you that by the time you get to # 14 or so, you will be breathing very hard. And by the time you get to # 22 if you have not missed any yet, you will understand why USRPT works.

Oh yes, when you have done that set, rest as long as you need to (I rest for 10 or 15 minutes sometimes) and do the set again.

Now do those two sets 4 more times in the week. At weeks end you will have swum over 10,000 yards at the pace you need to swim your 500. Is anyone else in your age-group training for the 500 doing that?

Glenn Gruber

trident58
September 11th, 2014, 05:05 PM
My opinion is that the key to breaking 5:00 is the part of the race from about 300-450. I've got good endurance, but this is the part of the race where I have trouble maintaining 30 second 50s. Maybe I'm wrong, but I don't see how USRPT is going to help much with this. Swimming 50s at race pace, but resting 15 seconds after each one just isn't going to simulate swimming at that pace for 10 straight 50s with no rest in between. To achieve this I think you need to be doing lots of short rest aerobic conditioning as well as race pace training. I believe there's danger in going to one extreme or the other as far as training goes.

Very good point. I still do a lot of short-rest sets, such as 10x100 on 1:10, or 30x100 on 1:15, etc. However, one thing that I feel is holding me back is that I'm a horrible sprinter. Always have been. Even back when I went a 4:47 500 free, I was never able to break 24 seconds in a 50.
I think the USRPT is going to be just one of many parts of my training plan.

trident58
September 11th, 2014, 05:08 PM
Glenn, I did that 30x50 set last weekend. Did it on a 50 second interval. I was able to make the first 12, and then it became sort of hit-and miss. The slowest one was just under 31. Absolutely killed me!

Glenn
September 11th, 2014, 07:12 PM
Glenn, I did that 30x50 set last weekend. Did it on a 50 second interval. I was able to make the first 12, and then it became sort of hit-and miss. The slowest one was just under 31. Absolutely killed me!

It is very, very, very difficult to start a USRPT set like that without having done one before. I sometimes forget that when I talk to people about USRPT!

When I started I was doing them all wrong, i.e., I did them as sets of ten repeats with rest in between. It took me a while to understand how they are supposed to actually be done. Working into the set by getting used to the interval, when to go on each one, how to keep track of your times etc. all takes practice. There is nothing wrong with "adjusting" the set in the beginning in order to get some success doing them this way and getting practice doing them correctly. It is easy to get discouraged by USRPT if you take too big a bite in the beginning. I am still learning how to do these sets correctly.

Doing two two sets a day is not easy either. Dr Rushall wants me to do three sets at least once a week. That's my goal right now. We'll see how long it takes me to get to that point.

In the end you need to do what works for you. If it is USRPT, great, if not, there are other approaches that can be of benefit as well.

trident58
September 21st, 2014, 06:50 PM
Swam a 5:11.64 today, only 1 second off my Master's PR. Didn't make my goal time of 5:05, but considering the 50 mile bike ride I did yesterday, not bad at all. Felt really strong, and I didn't feel like I faded towards the end.
I do feel that I could have taken it out a bit faster, though.

sunruh
September 22nd, 2014, 09:31 AM
that is a really good time!

trident58
September 22nd, 2014, 10:53 AM
that is a really good time!

Thanks!
Was actually pretty surprised, as I didn't feel great during warmup.
Felt sorry for one guy in my heat. He was also shooting for sub-5, and he went a 5:00.04!

knelson
September 22nd, 2014, 11:33 AM
Very nice swim. I'd say you are on track!

Glenn
September 22nd, 2014, 12:02 PM
Great swim. Now just think if you had not done that 50 mile bike ride! I can't imagine doing a 500 the day after a bike ride like that. Wow.

trident58
September 22nd, 2014, 02:38 PM
Great swim. Now just think if you had not done that 50 mile bike ride! I can't imagine doing a 500 the day after a bike ride like that. Wow.

Glenn,
The funny thing here is that I did that ride to make sure I was not "well-rested", as my goal was to see what I could do in a regular, mid-season meet. I also wanted to establish a baseline that I could gauge my future conditioning on.
It only seemed to affect me towards the end, when my quads got a bit tired, causing me to spend a bit too much time on the walls.

mmlr38
September 22nd, 2014, 03:40 PM
Nice swim! Congrats!

Glenn
September 22nd, 2014, 08:17 PM
Glenn,
The funny thing here is that I did that ride to make sure I was not "well-rested", as my goal was to see what I could do in a regular, mid-season meet. I also wanted to establish a baseline that I could gauge my future conditioning on.
It only seemed to affect me towards the end, when my quads got a bit tired, causing me to spend a bit too much time on the walls.

The fact that you did as well as you did should give you confidence for a rested swim! Good job.

trident58
September 22nd, 2014, 10:31 PM
The fact that you did as well as you did should give you confidence for a rested swim! Good job.

Thanks Glenn.
It most certainly is a big confidence builder. Not just for the 500, but for any medium to long distance race. I'm doing a 2.4 mile open water race this weekend (the Tikiswim in Oceanside) and I'm feeling pretty good about placing in the top 20 or so.

SLOmmafan
September 26th, 2014, 05:41 PM
I have a history with the 5 minute 500 barrier. Made it to a 00 in my final high school meet, which also was my last competitive race of my "career". I do think with more rounded coaching and hard work in college I could have become a routing sub-5 guy. But I was going to a D1 college and wasn't quite at the level of a walk on (without some extra work). I'm 30 now and can typically still go sub 5:30. In the last year I have stepped up my training and quality of swimming. Would love to join that sub-5 club.

trident58
September 27th, 2014, 10:41 AM
I have a history with the 5 minute 500 barrier. Made it to a 00 in my final high school meet, which also was my last competitive race of my "career". I do think with more rounded coaching and hard work in college I could have become a routing sub-5 guy. But I was going to a D1 college and wasn't quite at the level of a walk on (without some extra work). I'm 30 now and can typically still go sub 5:30. In the last year I have stepped up my training and quality of swimming. Would love to join that sub-5 club.

Pretty cool club to be in! Want to see if I can re-join before I turn 50. Now THAT would be cool!!
That 00 wasn't that long ago for you, and you're still pretty young, so with a bit of hard training, you should have no problem going under 5.

sunruh
September 29th, 2014, 09:05 AM
i cant even remember 30. that was so many broken bones and surgeries ago.
its sad when you take an xray of your shoulder and can see all the ribs that have been broken
or take an xray of your lungs for pnemonia and see the anchors and screws holding your shoulder together.
ug!!!
the 500 certainly is an interesting race.
it sure will look odd on the blocks in san antonio if i get sandwhiched between 6'5" stewartcarroll and 6'5 pwb, some might look right past me and think nobodys on my block. oh look a shaved ewok! eeeewwwww! lol

trident58
September 29th, 2014, 11:06 AM
i cant even remember 30. that was so many broken bones and surgeries ago.
its sad when you take an xray of your shoulder and can see all the ribs that have been broken
or take an xray of your lungs for pnemonia and see the anchors and screws holding your shoulder together.
ug!!!
the 500 certainly is an interesting race.
it sure will look odd on the blocks in san antonio if i get sandwhiched between 6'5" stewartcarroll and 6'5 pwd, some might look right past me and think nobodys on my block. oh look a shaved ewok! eeeewwwww! lol

This isn't going to help, but I'm also 6'5 and I'm planning on being at San Antonio!

sunruh
September 29th, 2014, 11:19 AM
so i get to wear paddles and fins that get me to 6'5" as well, right?
i mean just to be fair.
:D

smontanaro
September 29th, 2014, 11:20 AM
so i get to wear paddles and fins that get me to 6'5" as well, right?
i mean just to be fair.
:D

Sounds to me like you won't have any trouble spotting the competition @sunruh!

knelson
September 29th, 2014, 11:28 AM
it sure will look odd on the blocks in san antonio if i get sandwhiched between 6'5" stewartcarroll and 6'5 pwb, some might look right past me

They might, but no one's going to look past you once the race starts!

ande
September 29th, 2014, 01:02 PM
Hi,
You want to see if you can break 5 minutes for a 500 free.
you've been 5:10.. you think I can do better.

what are some good workouts/drills that you can do to
A) increase raw speed, SPRINT with rest
B) increase endurance, Do longer sets, aerobic set and speed work.

what were your splits in your 5:10 500?
What are your recent times for 50, 100, 200, & 1000
what suit did you wear
Tell us about your training
x per week
sets
yards per practice
times in practice
...

You can Swim Faster Faster (http://forums.usms.org/showthread.php?4229-Ande-s-Swimming-Tips-Swimming-Faster-Faster&p=300640&viewfull=1#post300640)

trident58
September 29th, 2014, 08:08 PM
Hi,
You want to see if you can break 5 minutes for a 500 free.
you've been 5:10.. you think I can do better.

what are some good workouts/drills that you can do to
A) increase raw speed, SPRINT with rest
B) increase endurance, Do longer sets, aerobic set and speed work.

what were your splits in your 5:10 500?
What are your recent times for 50, 100, 200, & 1000
what suit did you wear
Tell us about your training
x per week
sets
yards per practice
times in practice
...

You can Swim Faster Faster (http://forums.usms.org/showthread.php?4229-Ande-s-Swimming-Tips-Swimming-Faster-Faster&p=300640&viewfull=1#post300640)

Hi Ande,
Here's a link to one of my typical 500 free splits:
http://www.usms.org/comp/meets/swim.php?s=2137125

In my opinion, my biggest weakness is that I don't have much in the way of raw speed. On a good day, I can go around 1:56-1:57 in a 200 free, and about :55 for a 100. On the other hand, I have pretty good endurance, with a 1000 free time of 10:48.

I train 4-5 times a week, about 4000-4500 yds each workout. I also lift weights 2-3x per week and do a lot of running and cycling.

StewartACarroll
September 29th, 2014, 10:05 PM
the 500 certainly is an interesting race.
it sure will look odd on the blocks in san antonio if i get sandwhiched between 6'5" stewartcarroll and 6'5 pwb, some might look right past me and think nobodys on my block. oh look a shaved ewok! eeeewwwww! lol

It may look odd but own up......you can't wait and it sure will be fun!!!

and you may be a shaved ewok in San Antonio but you are one fast little Ewok.

I cant wait Mr Motivator.

trident58
October 19th, 2014, 07:38 PM
Bit more progress today. I had set an intermediate goal of swimming an 800 free SCM under 9:20 this season. Just went a 9:19, untapered. Beat my previous Master's pr by 14 seconds. Really helped to have someone next to me going about the same speed (okay, just a bit faster-thanks anyway, Robbie!).
Going to change my 800 goal this season down to 9:10.

mmlr38
October 20th, 2014, 11:32 AM
Bit more progress today. I had set an intermediate goal of swimming an 800 free SCM under 9:20 this season. Just went a 9:19, untapered. Beat my previous Master's pr by 14 seconds. Really helped to have someone next to me going about the same speed (okay, just a bit faster-thanks anyway, Robbie!).
Going to change my 800 goal this season down to 9:10.
Nice swim! Congrats!

I'm coming off the most serious injury of my life and just signed up to swim the 800 free SCM on November 15th. I have no idea what to expect. At my healthiest, I go under 10 minutes. I'm hoping for somewhere in the low-10 minute range, but would be thrilled to go under 10 again. Wish me luck!

knelson
October 20th, 2014, 12:58 PM
Nice swim! Congrats!

Seconded. That's fast for right now.

trident58
October 20th, 2014, 02:29 PM
Nice swim! Congrats!

I'm coming off the most serious injury of my life and just signed up to swim the 800 free SCM on November 15th. I have no idea what to expect. At my healthiest, I go under 10 minutes. I'm hoping for somewhere in the low-10 minute range, but would be thrilled to go under 10 again. Wish me luck!
Thanks!

Really starting to like doing the 800. Not as brutal as the 1500, but more interesting than the 400. It was the very first event I swam when I got back into competitive swimming, after a 22 year break.
Best of luck with your 800. Just don't overdo it if you're still recovering from an injury.

ande
October 21st, 2014, 12:19 PM
Hi Ande,
Here's a link to one of my typical 500 free splits:
http://www.usms.org/comp/meets/swim.php?s=2137125

In my opinion, my biggest weakness is that I don't have much in the way of raw speed. On a good day, I can go around 1:56-1:57 in a 200 free, and about :55 for a 100. On the other hand, I have pretty good endurance, with a 1000 free time of 10:48.

I train 4-5 times a week, about 4000-4500 yds each workout. I also lift weights 2-3x per week and do a lot of running and cycling.

swim 5 - 6x per week, do 4500 - 5000 per practice,
do some speed work, going under 5:00 in the 500 would be way easier if you could go 51 or 2 in the 100

here's your splits

01 27.75
02 57.61 29.86
03 1:28.38 30.77
04 2:00.14 31.76
05 2:31.98 31.84
06 3:04.18 32.20
07 3:36.52 32.34
08 4:08.66 32.14
09 4:39.97 31.31
10 5:10.63 30.66

2:31.98 2:38.65
6.67 difference
(try to get it closer in future races, like under 3 or 4)
No 31's or 32s

What sort of suit did you wear?

Improve your kick, it would help if you could turn on a turbo 6 beat kick for your last 50 or 100

mmlr38
October 23rd, 2014, 07:13 AM
Thanks!

Really starting to like doing the 800. Not as brutal as the 1500, but more interesting than the 400. It was the very first event I swam when I got back into competitive swimming, after a 22 year break.
Best of luck with your 800. Just don't overdo it if you're still recovering from an injury.
I really like the 800 too. Like you say, at a 10 minute effort, it's challenging but more manageable than the 1500.

I'm definitely getting back into things slowly since recovering from the bike wreck I had. Been mostly kicking for the last 2 months. I'm finally getting my arms back into the mix now and swimming about 2000 yards each day while kicking another 1000 or so.

Impressive how much you're swimming and how much ande suggests you swim. Even when I was healthy, I was rarely getting in 4500 to 5000 yards a workout. What kind of sets are you doing right now?

trident58
October 23rd, 2014, 10:44 AM
I really like the 800 too. Like you say, at a 10 minute effort, it's challenging but more manageable than the 1500.

I'm definitely getting back into things slowly since recovering from the bike wreck I had. Been mostly kicking for the last 2 months. I'm finally getting my arms back into the mix now and swimming about 2000 yards each day while kicking another 1000 or so.

Impressive how much you're swimming and how much ande suggests you swim. Even when I was healthy, I was rarely getting in 4500 to 5000 yards a workout. What kind of sets are you doing right now?

Funny thing is, these good races I've been having the last few months are coming at the end of the worst year, swimming-wise, that I've had since I started swimming master's 4 years ago. What's changed is that A) I've started paying more attention to general health/diet; B) every set I do in practice is with a purpose, meaning no junk yards. And C) paying more attention to focused weight training.

On the health issues, for as long as I can remember, my blood tests have always showed me to be at the low end of normal for iron. Never thought much about this, until I had a physical after my horrible performance at SC Nats. Turns out that I had full-blown iron deficiency anemia. I've started taking an iron supplement (Proferrin ES) and that seems to have made a big difference in my endurance. The real benefit from the extra endurance is that now you can workout harder for longer.

As for workout quality, a lot of my past workouts where spent swimming hard to make the intervals, but worrying too much about having enough energy to finish a set. My approach now is sort of a "Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!" on everything, except something that's supposed to be a recovery/drill set. And even then, focus on quality/technique. Also, our coach quit a few months ago, and we've been having some of the lifeguards at the pool fill in. They all have college swim experience, so they have been giving quality workouts, but we all seem to work a lot harder because we have to prove to these 20-somethings that us late-40 types can still kick their butts!
One workout that we've been doing, that I got from sunruh, is 12x200's, broken into 4 sets of 3. First set is descend to all out; second is easy, all out, easy; third is all out, easy, all out; and the last is 2 all out, one easy. Do them on a 3 to 3:30 interval, and remember that the all-out ones are really all out.

For weights, I do that 3-4 times a week, and remember that "triceps are the Gods of swimming, so worship them". Strong tri's enable you to get the most out of each stroke. Notice that when your tri's get tired, your stroke gets very choppy and you feel like you're slapping the water.

Let us know how your 800 free goes. I'm doing a 1650 and 500 free on Nov. 9th. Hoping to break 18 on the 1650.

mmlr38
October 23rd, 2014, 12:23 PM
Funny thing is, these good races I've been having the last few months are coming at the end of the worst year, swimming-wise, that I've had since I started swimming master's 4 years ago. What's changed is that A) I've started paying more attention to general health/diet; B) every set I do in practice is with a purpose, meaning no junk yards. And C) paying more attention to focused weight training.
All of those things make sense and sound very similar to my path these last couple of years. I too change my diet, started trending away from junk yards and paying more attention to weight training. My times, in just a year, saw a significant drop.


On the health issues, for as long as I can remember, my blood tests have always showed me to be at the low end of normal for iron. Never thought much about this, until I had a physical after my horrible performance at SC Nats. Turns out that I had full-blown iron deficiency anemia. I've started taking an iron supplement (Proferrin ES) and that seems to have made a big difference in my endurance. The real benefit from the extra endurance is that now you can workout harder for longer.
Interesting. I've not had blood tests done in perhaps a decade or more. I should probably get a check up and see how things are with me. I feel great, in general, so I don't know if I have anything such as an iron deficiency, but without a blood test there's no way to know for sure.


As for workout quality, a lot of my past workouts where spent swimming hard to make the intervals, but worrying too much about having enough energy to finish a set. My approach now is sort of a "Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!" on everything, except something that's supposed to be a recovery/drill set. And even then, focus on quality/technique. Also, our coach quit a few months ago, and we've been having some of the lifeguards at the pool fill in. They all have college swim experience, so they have been giving quality workouts, but we all seem to work a lot harder because we have to prove to these 20-somethings that us late-40 types can still kick their butts!
One workout that we've been doing, that I got from sunruh, is 12x200's, broken into 4 sets of 3. First set is descend to all out; second is easy, all out, easy; third is all out, easy, all out; and the last is 2 all out, one easy. Do them on a 3 to 3:30 interval, and remember that the all-out ones are really all out.
That sounds really painful. I like it! Like you, I pretty much swim "full speed ahead" all workout, trying to get as much quality yardage at race pace as I can, while focusing on technique. That's why I love the USRPT. I'll have to give the 12x200s set a try sometime once I'm more recovered. I don't think I could finish that set right now without pain in my left tricep (evidently the tricep attaches to the shoulder blade and I happened to fracture mine right at the point of attachment of the tricep, so it will bother me right now if I swim too many yards too hard). On the "all out" 200s, do you give yourself more rest? I can comfortably "cruise" a 200 at about 2:20 or so. When I work hard, I can get down in the 2:12-2:14 range. And when I go all out from a wall push, I can probably go somewhere around 2:05 or 2:06. Knowing these times, what interval would you suggest for me?


For weights, I do that 3-4 times a week, and remember that "triceps are the Gods of swimming, so worship them". Strong tri's enable you to get the most out of each stroke. Notice that when your tri's get tired, your stroke gets very choppy and you feel like you're slapping the water.
I totally know what you're saying about slapping the water. Luckily, I'm genetically gifted with relatively large and strong triceps for my body size. Perhaps that's why I took so well to swimming as an adult. This recent injury has really set me back on my left side, but I'm finally back in the gym now, as of this week, and I'll regain the strength fairly quickly I think. During my lifting, I tend to focus on triceps, deltoids, abs and lats for the most part. I also always do rotator cuff exercises. Those seem to be the primary muscle groups I use when swimming. What other muscle groups do you work on, or what is your weight lifting routine like?


Let us know how your 800 free goes. I'm doing a 1650 and 500 free on Nov. 9th. Hoping to break 18 on the 1650.
I will! And let us know how your 1650 and 500 go. Good luck breaking that 18 minute barrier. I'm sure you'll do it, given how well you're swimming right now. I just got under 19 minutes for the first time at Spring Nats. I'm trying to figure out what a new goal for the 1650 might be for me this SCY season. I can probably more accurately predict what I'll be capable of after the 800 free in a few weeks. It might be just getting under 19 again, considering the huge setback I had this year. Even that may be a tall order!

trident58
October 23rd, 2014, 02:43 PM
Quote:
That sounds really painful. I like it! Like you, I pretty much swim "full speed ahead" all workout, trying to get as much quality yardage at race pace as I can, while focusing on technique. That's why I love the USRPT. I'll have to give the 12x200s set a try sometime once I'm more recovered. I don't think I could finish that set right now without pain in my left tricep (evidently the tricep attaches to the shoulder blade and I happened to fracture mine right at the point of attachment of the tricep, so it will bother me right now if I swim too many yards too hard). On the "all out" 200s, do you give yourself more rest? I can comfortably "cruise" a 200 at about 2:20 or so. When I work hard, I can get down in the 2:12-2:14 range. And when I go all out from a wall push, I can probably go somewhere around 2:05 or 2:06. Knowing these times, what interval would you suggest for me?


Those workout times you're doing are pretty close to mine. I'm usually 2:03-2:05 for the all-outs, from a push start. Don't give yourself any extra time on the fast ones, as the idea is to practice going all out when you're tired. You should be fine with a 3:15 interval.

Also, I wouldn't be surprised if you go around 9:40 or under in your 800. Your 200 times look pretty solid!

mmlr38
October 23rd, 2014, 04:08 PM
Those workout times you're doing are pretty close to mine. I'm usually 2:03-2:05 for the all-outs, from a push start. Don't give yourself any extra time on the fast ones, as the idea is to practice going all out when you're tired. You should be fine with a 3:15 interval.

Also, I wouldn't be surprised if you go around 9:40 or under in your 800. Your 200 times look pretty solid!
OK, sounds good! I'll try the workout with a 3:15 interval. Hopefully I get healthy enough to try it in the next few weeks.

9:40 for an 800 SCM sounds like a long shot to me, but I'd love to do that! I went a 9:59 LCM when I was fit and healthy in May. Just checked and that converts to a 9:48 or so. But I am really bad at SC. My turns and breath control are pretty dismal. Only thing I have going for me is endurance and a pretty good, powerful, clean stroke. I'm working on my turns and breath control, and they're getting better. Considering I only learned to do flip turns a little over 2 years ago, I'm hopeful that I still have a lot of room for improvement, especially in short course. I'm definitely still learning!

trident58
November 9th, 2014, 09:23 PM
Kind of mixed results from the meet today. Went a Master's PR in the 1650 (18:12), but was a bit off in the 500 (5:19). I suppose I shouldn't have expected much in the 500, seeing as it was about an hour after the 1650.

Glenn, it was nice to talk to you in person. Always an honor to swim next to a world-record holder!

Glenn
November 9th, 2014, 10:04 PM
Thanks Jonathan. I enjoyed talking with you as well and swimming next to you.

Your 18:12 was a good swim so don't worry about the 500. The 1650 takes a bit out of you! I didn't hit the time I wanted either. I was out a bit too fast the first 200 so it caught up to me on the last 200. It is sometimes tough to slow down enough at the beginning of a race when you are feeling great, to even split. That was my problem today.

Luckily there is always another race to look forward to.

Maybe I'll see you at Pierce College next week.

mmlr38
November 10th, 2014, 11:07 AM
Kind of mixed results from the meet today. Went a Master's PR in the 1650 (18:12), but was a bit off in the 500 (5:19). I suppose I shouldn't have expected much in the 500, seeing as it was about an hour after the 1650.
Nice swims! Great 1650 and the 500 was a solid effort, even though it wasn't what you wanted, given how close it was to the 1650!

trident58
November 11th, 2014, 11:00 AM
Glenn, I'll be at Pierce this weekend. I've entered the 1500 and a few other events, although I'm planning on giving everything I've got on the 1500. I'll even do a mini-taper for this meet, as I won't be able to swim the 1500 at Regionals.

Mmlr38, isn't your 800 coming up soon? How is your shoulder feeling?

mmlr38
November 11th, 2014, 12:39 PM
Mmlr38, isn't your 800 coming up soon? How is your shoulder feeling?
Yep, thanks for remembering! I'm swimming the 800 this Saturday. The shoulder is feeling great. I think I'm probably 95% healed now. Every once in a while I'll feel a little tenderness at the end of the collar bone or in the left triceps, but this week I've had none.

And I even did my 6000 yard ePostal on Sunday! Went out really slowly, holding 1:15s (SCY) the first half. Ended up descending and negative splitting it! My last 1000 was just under 1:12 pace. I've never negative split a swim before. I always try to even split it as much as I can, but I was really worried about having the endurance to finish, given how much pain I was in 2 weeks ago when I did the 3000 ePostal.

And I swam again on Monday, a full workout after that 6000 on Sunday, and I was still swimming fast and felt energetic. So I'm hopeful that I'll have a good swim on Saturday.

Good luck in your 1500 this weekend Jonathan! Let us know how it goes. I'm planning on doing the 1500 in Bend on December 6th.

ElaineK
November 13th, 2014, 09:38 PM
I'm swimming the 800 this Saturday. The shoulder is feeling great. I think I'm probably 95% healed now.

And I even did my 6000 yard ePostal on Sunday!

And I swam again on Monday, a full workout after that 6000 on Sunday, and I was still swimming fast and felt energetic. So I'm hopeful that I'll have a good swim on Saturday.

That's great news, Fly Trap! I'm glad you have recovered well from your horrible injury. Good luck on Saturday! :cheerleader:

mmlr38
November 14th, 2014, 01:43 PM
That's great news, Fly Trap! I'm glad you have recovered well from your horrible injury. Good luck on Saturday! :cheerleader:
Thanks Elaine!

mmlr38
November 16th, 2014, 04:37 PM
Glenn, I'll be at Pierce this weekend. I've entered the 1500 and a few other events, although I'm planning on giving everything I've got on the 1500. I'll even do a mini-taper for this meet, as I won't be able to swim the 1500 at Regionals.
How did it go Jonathan? I hope you crushed it!

I had a great swim this weekend, all things considered. The pool was hot for me (I'd guess 84 or so) and I'm only 4 months out from a very serious injury, with only about 2 months of (somewhat minimal) training under my belt. But I managed to go a personal best 9:51.00 in the 800. We were swimming 4 wide the entire swim, so that definitely helped pull me along. Started feeling the heat of the water around 600m, but managed to fight off the mental demons and focus enough to finish strong. Came home on a 1:10 (33.53 last 50m), which I was really happy about. Top 4 went:

Mark Frost 9:48.93
Dan Phillips 9:50.68
Matt Miller 9:51.00
Robbert Van Andel 9:52.54

I think it was the most fun swim I've had in a pool.

And, in the same heat, Dan Kirkland set a new American Record in the M65-69 age group with a super-impressive 10:05.03! He took over 14 seconds off his time of 10:19.31 that he swum in September.

Glenn
November 16th, 2014, 06:07 PM
Great swim Matt, congratulations!

I should also point out that not only did Dan Kirkland set a new American record in the 800, he also set the World Record which was 10:16. So he crushed that one too! I was thinking that maybe I had a chance at that record, but not anymore. Congratulations to Dan.

ElaineK
November 16th, 2014, 06:21 PM
Congratulations, Fly Trap! That's an amazing swim, especially considering what you have been through from that accident! :applaud:

trident58
November 16th, 2014, 06:44 PM
How did it go Jonathan? I hope you crushed it!

I had a great swim this weekend, all things considered. The pool was hot for me (I'd guess 84 or so) and I'm only 4 months out from a very serious injury, with only about 2 months of (somewhat minimal) training under my belt. But I managed to go a personal best 9:51.00 in the 800. We were swimming 4 wide the entire swim, so that definitely helped pull me along. Started feeling the heat of the water around 600m, but managed to fight off the mental demons and focus enough to finish strong. Came home on a 1:10 (33.53 last 50m), which I was really happy about. Top 4 went:

Mark Frost 9:48.93
Dan Phillips 9:50.68
Matt Miller 9:51.00
Robbert Van Andel 9:52.54

I think it was the most fun swim I've had in a pool.

And, in the same heat, Dan Kirkland set a new American Record in the M65-69 age group with a super-impressive 10:05.03! He took over 14 seconds off his time of 10:19.31 that he swum in September.

Awesome job! As much as it hurts, there's nothing better than doing a distance race when your neck-and-neck with the opposition. Everyone usually ends up with great times.

I went a 18:17 in the 1500 today. Went out a bit too fast, and died towards the end. Still a PR, so a good day!

mmlr38
November 17th, 2014, 11:32 AM
Great swim Matt, congratulations!


I should also point out that not only did Dan Kirkland set a new American record in the 800, he also set the World Record which was 10:16. So he crushed that one too! I was thinking that maybe I had a chance at that record, but not anymore. Congratulations to Dan.
Thanks for pointing that out, Glenn. I thought it might have been a world record, but I didn't check before posting so I didn't want to say it was without knowing for sure. Huge congratulations to Dan!

You don't think you still have a shot at that record? You pretty consistently go a sub-5 minute 400. Maybe you could go out a little slower and even split it? I think you might still be able to do it! Dan was out in 5 minutes even at the 400.

Also, David Radcliff, who was kind enough to house me and feed me the night before the meet (thanks Dave and Nancy!), dropped a little over 7 seconds from his world record time for men 80-84 with an 11:35.71. Amazing!

Congratulations, Fly Trap! That's an amazing swim, especially considering what you have been through from that accident! :applaud:
Thanks so much Elaine! I was thrilled with the swim, all things considered. Several people who knew what had happened to me in July approached me and said that they were shocked to see me at the meet and certainly didn't expect me to be able to swim like I was able to. It really was a pretty fast recovery. I even surprised myself!


Awesome job! As much as it hurts, there's nothing better than doing a distance race when your neck-and-neck with the opposition. Everyone usually ends up with great times.

I went a 18:17 in the 1500 today. Went out a bit too fast, and died towards the end. Still a PR, so a good day!
Great swim Jonathan! You should be very happy with that. I'm hoping to do the 1500 in a few weeks in Bend (December 6th). At 4000 feet of elevation, I don't have high hopes for a fast swim there, but I would like to be somewhere around 19:10 or so. That should be good enough to make the top 10.

trident58
November 20th, 2014, 08:53 AM
Thanks for pointing that out, Glenn. I thought it might have been a world record, but I didn't check before posting so I didn't want to say it was without knowing for sure. Huge congratulations to Dan!

You don't think you still have a shot at that record? You pretty consistently go a sub-5 minute 400. Maybe you could go out a little slower and even split it? I think you might still be able to do it! Dan was out in 5 minutes even at the 400.

Also, David Radcliff, who was kind enough to house me and feed me the night before the meet (thanks Dave and Nancy!), dropped a little over 7 seconds from his world record time for men 80-84 with an 11:35.71. Amazing!

Thanks so much Elaine! I was thrilled with the swim, all things considered. Several people who knew what had happened to me in July approached me and said that they were shocked to see me at the meet and certainly didn't expect me to be able to swim like I was able to. It really was a pretty fast recovery. I even surprised myself!


Great swim Jonathan! You should be very happy with that. I'm hoping to do the 1500 in a few weeks in Bend (December 6th). At 4000 feet of elevation, I don't have high hopes for a fast swim there, but I would like to be somewhere around 19:10 or so. That should be good enough to make the top 10.

That 4000 foot elevation probably won't affect you too much. My wife and I did the Pacific Crest Long course tri there back in 2010, and we both had really good swim times (run-not so much!). Only effect I noticed was an elevated heart rate.

knelson
November 20th, 2014, 11:58 AM
That 4000 foot elevation probably won't affect you too much. My wife and I did the Pacific Crest Long course tri there back in 2010, and we both had really good swim times (run-not so much!). Only effect I noticed was an elevated heart rate.

Colorado Swimming has an altitude converter: http://www.csi.org/coursealti.aspx
An 19:00 swim at Bend's altitude converts to a 18:49 at sea level.

Rich Abrahams
November 20th, 2014, 04:17 PM
You can use altitude adjustments for qual. times but I don't think conversions are allowed for Top 10 or records

BobBruce
November 20th, 2014, 07:31 PM
Rich is correct. Altitude adjustments may be used for qualifying times and/or seeding, but NEVER for performances, top ten, or records. Performances are what they are!

mmlr38
November 21st, 2014, 06:19 PM
That 4000 foot elevation probably won't affect you too much. My wife and I did the Pacific Crest Long course tri there back in 2010, and we both had really good swim times (run-not so much!). Only effect I noticed was an elevated heart rate.
Yeah, I normally don't have any trouble swimming at elevation either as long as I don't have to do flip turns! They kill me. I've done the Pacific Crest Triathlon Olympic distance triathlon each of the last two years and had great swims there both in 2013 (http://www.racecenter.com/results/2013/res_co13.htm#46) and 2014 (http://www.racecenter.com/results/2014/res_co14.htm#47) (1st out of the water). I also had a really good bike ride this year (http://www.racecenter.com/results/2014/res_co14.htm#48) (13th overall). And I've done Donner Lake a couple of times and had no trouble with the elevation.

But when it comes to having to hold my breath for a couple of seconds every 17 seconds or so, it really gets to me after a while. The most pain I've been in while competing since I've started swimming was in 2013 when I did the 1500 in Bend at the Oregon Association Meet. I went a 19:13 and I nearly passed out from the pain! I used to end up gasping for air after every turn, but I've gotten better at controlling my breath into and out of turns recently, so hopefully my time will reflect that.

Colorado Swimming has an altitude converter: http://www.csi.org/coursealti.aspx
An 19:00 swim at Bend's altitude converts to a 18:49 at sea level.
Thanks for that handy, dandy tool, Kirk!

Rich is correct. Altitude adjustments may be used for qualifying times and/or seeding, but NEVER for performances, top ten, or records. Performances are what they are!
Sure, that makes sense Bob!