View Full Version : Seasonal training adjustments

June 24th, 2004, 01:22 PM
Firstly, what times of year are the short course and long course seasons? We only have one long course pool in the province, and there are no masters meets there, so it doesn't affect me much but I'm curious. The masters meet season here basically ends with Nationals in late May, but a friend of mine in Florida has a whole slew of meets coming up. Is there generally an off season without many meets or do meets generally occur year round?

Secondly, how do people vary their training during the year? We have no meets here from late May to early November so I'm looking at open water swims and improving my butterfly technique.

I guess I'm wondering what I can be working on now that will benefit me when the meets start back up in the fall. I think the long distance training I did last summer for the open water swims gave me a good aerobic base. On the other hand, conditioning effects seem to fade surprisingly rapidly, is there any point in building/maintaining conditioning this far in advance of next season? Is there a generally accepted amount of time it takes to get in peak condition? Or at least as peak condition as one can get swimming 5-7 hours/week. Would it make sense to concentrate more on technique improvements (I know, one should do that always) on the theory that technique will survive a break better than conditioning? On the other hand, it is hard to train butterfly without being in pretty good condition :)

Anyway, any and all thoughts on any of the above are welcome!

June 24th, 2004, 03:02 PM
Whoa... That's a boatload of questions.

I don't compete so can't tell you much about the seasons. But I had a thought relating to taking a break and losing endurance or technique because of it.

I recently missed four weeks in the pool due to a work assignment that had me commuting 4 hours a day. This week, I returned to the pool. My cardio endurance was down some, but not as much as I expected. But my muscular endurance is waaaaaayyyyyy down. I am amazed at how sore I am this week.

As for technique, I lost something there, but did a lot of drills so far this week and it seemed to come back quickly. (Some would say that when you have very little technique, you don't have much to lose or recover!:p )

jean sterling
June 24th, 2004, 03:43 PM
I live in Florida, and we do have several long course meets coming up. Long course season is in the summer - June, July, August with perhap the first part of September thrown in. Long course always takes a bit of getting used to, but I always end up liking it (maybe I just don't have great turns?)

June 24th, 2004, 04:12 PM
This is how I've always thought of the swimming seasons:

Summer/Early Fall - LCM
Fall/Early Winter - SCM
Winter/Spring - SCY

Sabretooth Tiger
June 24th, 2004, 05:51 PM
At the Rose Bowl, it seems that the seasons are as follows:

Summer: Ocean/Open water season culminating in the Maui Channel Relay.

Fall: Is the "wasn't Maui fun?" season along with "I don't want to swim short course meters, do you?"

Winter: Is the "gosh it's dark and cold and hard to drag out our butts out to workout, but Maui is only __ months away" season. Plus the "does anyone want to go to SCY Nationals?" season.

Spring: Is the "We've got to start training for Maui" season along with the "let's all go to the Caltech Penathalon" mini-season coupled with the "what about National's?" conundrum.

Summer: Start cycle over.

June 24th, 2004, 07:01 PM
It's pretty easy to remember what the swimming seasons are according to the Top Ten publications.

Short Course Meters season is the same as the calendar year.
Long Course season ends pretty much with our summer, except it's September 30. Short Course Yards season closes May 31.

Check it out on the USMS home page and scroll down to Top Ten.

June 25th, 2004, 11:50 AM
Thanks Doug, as you say the top ten times page gives a convenient definition of the US seasons:

SCY ends May 31st (US Nationals usually mid-May)
LCM ends Sept 30th (US Nationals usually mid-Aug.)
SCM ends Dec 31st

In Canada we don't have SCY and Nationals alternate SCM and LCM annually but are always in late May, making our seasons less clear cut.

Last xmas I was travelling and came back with a persistant cold and found that even after three weeks I had lost a lot of training ground, my distance ability was particularly affected. How much was the time off, how much was having been ill, how much was loss of conditioning and how much was loss of technique I don't know but it was very discouraging at the time.

A related issue I sometimes wonder about is splitting my training time between distance free training and working on learning butterfly. So far I do most of my butterfly training 25m at a time so I can concentrate on technique without too much deterioration due to fatigue. This week my coach has been giving me sets like
3x400m (75cr, 25fly)
which might provide some balance. What is people's experience with training for long and short distance at the same time? I want to keep up my distance training for open water swimming but really want to work on my butterfly. I guess the obvious thing would be to alternate distance and fly workouts. But then again I find when working on technique that I carry more of what I learn forward from workout to workout if I work on it every day. If I could I would swim twice a day but I've got a 40min drive each way to the nearest pool and I can't afford the time and gas money! It's also very annoying that the open swims are mostly only an hour long.

I swam with Doug's club in Bloomington Indiana for a summer, boy do I miss that 50m outdoor pool.