View Full Version : Training Books, Suggestions, and or Advise Needed.

July 3rd, 2017, 02:22 PM
I have been a master swimmer for a number of years (10?). I first started out in triathlon. Over the years I have learned to swim all the strokes and have recently been able to improve my times.

I have lost a bunch a weight recently, and have added cross fit into my training regiment.

I am now trying to see how to take more time off all my strokes. I am currently swim 3 times a week and do cross fit three times a week. I have one rest day.

I am not sure how to move forward to structure my workouts so that I will improve.

I know I need work on the following:

Turns(free style, I am still not where I want to be).
Free Style Arms ( My coach tells me to reach out farther.. I am not reaching enough).
Kick: I need a better kick (I am trying to bolt on a new butt by doing lots of squats).

Turns: I am told there is not much more I can improve on.
Pull: Arms can be brought down in a better position.
Stroke: I should ungulate more.

Stroke: Roll more.
Turns: Needs some work. (Longer and stronger).

Stroke: I wait to long to bring my arms up and over..delayed... need to be faster.
Kick: Needs work (I need to ungulate more, and bolt on new butt (see above).

I know that I also have to work on lactic acid threshold, and sprint, sprint, sprint.

I have looked at the workouts provided here on USMS. I am not sure what to do. How should I split up my 3 workouts a week. Should I do sprint (high intensity training ) workouts 1 day? Should I then do a technique (Basic Training) workout the 2nd day? And then perhaps do distance maintenance on the 3rd day?

What books can anyone recommend to help me establish metrics, so that I can measure where I am at, where I need to go and how to get there?


July 3rd, 2017, 06:21 PM
I just looked you up to get your age from your race history, because that would factor into the advice others may give you. While I was at it, I looked at your race times. Wow, looking it over, those could be MY race times! Actually, many of them ARE my race times! Too bad we don't live in the same area, because we would be perfect training partners. I'm 55, I've been swimming for 7 years, and I really didn't learn the strokes properly until I joined Masters. (I swam in high school; however, my coach was a PE teacher who didn't know how to swim-- literally.)

Anyway, having said all that, I have also asked all of the same questions you have asked. Ande will tell you that if you want to improve your times, you need to swim more than 3x/wk. He'll say to swim 5 or 6. Ande and Allen Stark (King Frog!) will suggest you post videos, so we can see your strokes and offer tips on how to swim faster. If you can get somebody to post good close-up videos, that would be great. Underwater would be even better. Check out my videos on "The Breaststroke Lane" thread and read King Frog's comments if you want to get a good idea on the excellent feedback you can receive here online.

On structuring your workouts, several of the guys (knelson, pwb, Ande, etc.) will probably want you to be more specific with your goals. Are there specific races you are looking to improve? (Sprints or distance? 50 fly or 200 fly??) Sprints and distance training are two different animals, and 50 fly is approached differently than 200 fly, for example.

I will leave specific workout advice to the experts on here; however, I can suggest this: Check out http://www.goswim.tv if you haven't already. I have learned so much from the videos on that site, and the basic membership is free.

Stick around here on the Forums, because you will learn a lot. I train on my own, so these guys and gals are my "coaches"! Be sure to poke around some of the other threads, too. Ande's Swim Faster Faster thread is excellent, and the "lane" threads ("The Breaststroke Lane", "The Butterfly Lane") are, too.

Good luck, E! :cheerleader:

July 5th, 2017, 08:58 AM

Thanks for your post. Thanks for taking some of your time to help me out. I am chaining things up, and trying different things in order to improve my speed in the pool. For the longest time I did distance. I am just slow, so I have switched my training regiment in order to support sprints.

I guess I am trying to be competitive in the 100s and 200s and 400s IM, so that when our team does state I could perhaps score some points to help the team out. I would also like to get faster as my technique improves. I have recently added strength work into my schemes in order to get core strength. I am almost 100% sure that the core strength stuff has help me improve. I guess we are all individuals and we have to customize our training to our specific needs. If I can bolt on a new butt... I will get faster for sure.

I would love a training partner, however, the times that I can swim are always changing due to family and work obligations. For the most part I swim on Sunday, Monday and Weds. However, holidays or pool closings, and my kids meet schedules (I am also a deck ref N2) keep me busy. I would love to train more, but my family would go on strike, saying that they only see me 2 hours a day on weekdays. So... I kinda have to walk the tight wire on the training front.

I guess I am trying to improve my 200 times. That being said, I am working on getting faster in my 50's and then taking the approach of "Hold" on to get my records(PRs). That seems to be working for now, but I have not been able to "nail" down anything scientific to that I can follow a proven training plan. That is really what I was hoping to find. I may be searching for Unicorns and rainbows.

I have read that I really do need to get my form down better. I can ask someone to video me with a phone. Where to I save the huge files to? Drop box? I will get something out on my all my strokes. Should do 100s for video or just 50s?

Again infinite thanks for your help and post. If I can be of service back let me know.


July 5th, 2017, 06:38 PM
You're welcome, Ed-- and, thanks! :chug:

I understand your reasoning for not swimming more. Family obligations take priority, so you just need to maximize the time you DO have in the pool.

Regarding videos, do you have a You Tube channel? If not, it's free and easy enough to set up. Post your videos there, and then provide the links here on the Forums. I would suggest posting your stroke videos on the various "lane" threads to get the attention of stroke specialists, such as Allen Stark on "The Breaststroke Lane". For freestyle, start a new thread with a title that lets readers know you would like stroke feedback on your video. 50's should be enough to get a good idea of your strokes and turns.

Regarding your training, a lot of good advice has been provided on the Forums about training for specific events. I can't remember the thread titles; however, the "Advanced Search" is a good tool to narrow it down. You can also scan the thread titles until something catches your eye. Look for posts by Allen Stark and PWB, for starters.

In addition, check out the workouts here: http://forums.usms.org/forumdisplay.php?95-Workouts

You also mentioned that you have a coach. I would recommend setting up a meeting with him to discuss your specific goals. He/she should be able to write some workouts for you that will help you achieve those goals.

Good luck!

July 6th, 2017, 08:59 AM
Swimming Fastest

Mark Usher
July 6th, 2017, 10:04 AM
Swimming Fastest

I would 2nd the suggestion of Maglischo's book, with the only caveat being that it is written like a college text book and takes some effort to get through it. But it's the most comprehensive book I've seen on swimming, and a natural progression from Doc Counsilman's landmark book, The Science of Swimming.

I'd also suggest either (or both) of Sheila Taormina's books, Swim Speed Secrets, and Swim Speed Strokes. Sheila collaborated a lot which Maglischo when she was writing her books and there's a lot of commonality in the theory, but they're an easier read, plus the stroke sequence photos in Sheila's books are just beautiful.

Sheila also published a set of workout cards, with progressive workouts based on the concepts in her books. I'll refer to them when I train on my own.