View Full Version : Sprint Workouts

June 1st, 2002, 12:51 AM
I recently read a fascinating book on Sprinting (author- Samuel James Freas). The book emphasizes the importance of swimming all out during practice in addition to dryland exercises. Although the sequence of daily workouts consist of recovery, fast, and superfast workouts, the book does seem to focus on the college age swimmer. QUESTION...How many times during the week should a middle age Master swim fast/ superfast workouts? I have heard that too much anaerobic training may be detrimental. I am in search of the right mix between anaerobic and aerobic that will allow a Sprinter to significantly improve their times.


June 1st, 2002, 11:26 AM
I'm 37.

Once a week I go off the blocks, timed swims, all out.

1-2 times per week I go lactic acid tolerance, a bunch of swims totalling 3-600 yards fast. But the lactic acid builds up, so it would be more at 90-95%.

More than this would be difficult for me, unless could double my practice time.

Swim fast,

February 15th, 2003, 10:34 PM
The Freas book is geared for the younger swimmer. I am 48, I concentrate solely on sprints in meets. I only do 2 sprint workouts a week because my body cannot take more. I would like to do more, but it causes too much lingering fatigue. A true sprint workout is like a weight lifting session in which the muscle is broken down and needs a lot of time for repair. When I was younger, one day off would have been enough, but now it's 3! Each person is different, however.

I have found that swimming all out in training makes a huge difference for a sprinter. Most masters workouts are designed for the endurance swimer. Even when they say they are doing a sprint workout, they are really doing endurance work (e.g., 10 50s with 15 seconds rest). Masters swimmers will often feel sore the day after a meet when they swim a 50. This means they are not trained for sprinting, they are swimming at max speed for the first time since the last meet.

The main thing I got from Freas' book is that you must swim with maximum effort for each sprint and then rest until you feel fresh enough for another. I usually will rest 3-4 minutes between each 50. The article about Richard Abrahams in SWIM magazine describes something similar

I have hit a plateau in my sprint times, so I am trying weights and vasa training next. Any advice about weights, please comment.

February 16th, 2003, 12:45 PM
At your age weight workouts esp. for breaststroke become more important than extra sprint sessions. email me seperately, I have several heart rate articles I wrote when I experienced what you are going through. Also check out the number one web site for Breaststroke articles http://www.breaststroke.info. Number one for eight years now. I am positive you will find information that will help you get faster.

As we get past the age where our hormones such as Testosterone, and human growth HGH beging to drop off, we have to train smarter. When I was 35 I could sprint every other day, or do hard (max) weights every other day. By 42 I was down to every third day. What you really need is to get aerobically fit with normal masters workouts 5 days a week. Then just one day a week go anerobic, but no more than a total of 20-30 minutes. So that could be 10 fifty sprints from a dive on two minutes, or 6 75 sprints on three minutes, or 5 broken at the fifty 100's on four minutes. You should really slow down on the last sprint due to lactic acid build up. It takes 72 hours for the cells to rebuild after becoming full of lactic acid, so swim real easy the next couple of days. Water is what the body needs for sprinting, be sure to drink lots of water and stretch properly.

Sam Freas book has many great drills you can be doing, reaction time on the start and expolsive turns is important as we get older.

Wayne McCauley
ASCA Level 5 Masters Coach
18 years now top 10 in breaststroke