View Full Version : Workout advice

July 21st, 2004, 09:46 AM
I currently swim a mile three times a week in a 25 metre pool all freestyle without a break, I have just started using tumble turns (which are slowly improving.

I was wondering if this is the best way to utilise my swimming time?

Up until a couple of months ago I was swimming just to keep fit, I have now taken by triathlons and discovered the complete contrast in open water swimming!!! Its amazing how much harder it is.

So I was wondering what the best workout routine would be. I feel as though I've hit a bit of a plateau. My time is consistent (assuming I dont miscount my laps!!!), but does not seem to be improving. Not really sure where to go from here.

I am planning to take a course in Total Immersion swimming and see if that can help too. The last time I had formal swimming training was at school - about 12 years ago now!!

Any advice would be really appreciated.

July 26th, 2004, 12:27 PM
I have only read about Total Immersion, so I cannot comment firsthand. (It is my dream to gather the time and money to do this one day!)

Total Immersion will show you where your stroke is lacking. And if you are an open water swimmer, improved stroke is the best way to become a better open water swimmer. (And to save more of your leg strength for the bike and run of your triathlon.)

"Tumble turns" (flip turns) aren't going to help you much in your triathlons unless your swim legs are done in a pool. My recommendation to you is to concentrate on your stroke. If incorporating flips into your workout isn't getting in the way of that, then no problem. They add a degree of difficulty to your workout and require you to have better stamina, so there is that dimension of benefit for you.

You should break up your workouts. Do some short distances (at faster pace) as well as some long ones. Incorporating some faster laps will solicit your fast-twitch muscle fibers to participate in your stroke. (If you just stick solely to your long aerobic workout that you currently do, you will only develop the slow-twitch fibers.) So on alternating workouts, maybe for example, you can work in some 50s and some 200s and maybe one 500 and end up with the same 1600 total. Don't do the short ones at the same pace as your daily 1600! Maybe try to cut 10% of the time off the pace. (If your 1600 pace is 1 minute per 50, for example, aim for under 55 seconds (or even better!) and then take enough time in between to do 10 of those in a row like that.)

"Best" workout? There are as many opinions on that as there are participants here, so I'm not going to pretend to have the "best". My point is merely to direct you away from solely doing a nonstop mile each workout.

July 27th, 2004, 07:00 AM
I know I should be mixing it up a bit. I went for a swim this morning and planned to add some 2 x 10 @ 50m sprints with a 20 lap warm up. I got to the end of the 20 laps and couldn't bring myself to stop. At 40 laps I stopped and did 10 x 50. I am absolutely knackered now. I can feel the difference it makes.

So now I just need to play with a few works outs and get it out of my head that I need to be doing the mile straight.