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401kman
February 21st, 2005, 10:17 PM
Hi,
Relatively new to swimming - only started last May, but have become obsessed with the sport. So much so that I have done a fair amount of reading on how to best workout and properly train the correct energy systems for the appropraite purposes (sprinting, middle distance, and long distance events). I have not yet competed, but want to, perhaps next year. I am a 47 year old male, 5'11"+, about 195 Lbs. (need to lose about 10-15 more, but have already dropped about 35 lbs since I started swimming). From my reading, apparently one key to proper training seems to be determining your Anaerobic Threshold speed. This will help you determine your EN1, EN2, EN3 training paces. But I am confused by all the different ways that it can be calculated, and what appears to me to be able to produce wildly different results, even using the same method. Any comments on this point? And what method (except for actual blood testing) do you recommend?

gull
February 22nd, 2005, 07:31 AM
I like the T-1000: a timed 1000 yard swim where you try to maintain an even pace throughout, then divide your time by 10 to calculate your threshold pace for a 100. I've read that this is not as accurate as a T-2000 or a T-3000, but I'm not sure that rule applies to a Masters swimmer who averages "only" 3000 yards/day. I think the threshold pace derived from a T-1000 is pretty accurate for sets of 100s and 200s but may be a bit too fast for longer repeats.

401kman
February 22nd, 2005, 07:23 PM
Thanks Craig!! I actually decided to do the T-30 minute test just today. I got to 2,100 yards right at 29.:59, so that supposedly translated to 1:25 Anerobic Threshold for 100 repreats (1:25 holding pace with about 20 seconds Rest Inbetween i.e. starting each repeat at 1:45).

I had done an extended warm-up (1,400 yards) and two 50 yard time trials (32 and 31 seconds, respectively) prior to doing this timed 30 minute swim, so I think I could have done a little better if I were truly fresh. Then again, I took a fifteen minute rest before starting the T-30. Also, did not feel completely spent by the end of the T-30 and could have kept going for a little while longer, but I was certainly tired. And this subjectivity seems to me to be the problem I have with all of these methodologies for determining A.T. and the EN1, EN2, En3 training concept in general. If I were to do a T-1000, I feel confident I could do it in under 13:20 (1:20 pace, maybe even 1:18). But I am not sure that I could keep even the 1:25 for a full T-3000 test (maybe more like 1:28-1:30???). Also the Critical Swim Speed method would almost certainly give another set of results. And even more dispersion would be created by how I felt on any given day that I would perform any of the different tests.

My point is, a 3 to 5 second change (4% difference) in repreat times would put me in a completely different energy system according to the literature I have read. Yet these different methods of determining A.T. seem to create a spread of up to 10 seconds difference (8% difference). Given all this, is this method really the best way to determine repeat times and build a training program? Comments . . . . am I missing anything? Up to this point, I have just been kinda making up my own workouts and swimming til I was tired with little rhyme or reason beyond that.
~Bob

jpjackson76
February 23rd, 2005, 07:49 AM
401 I feel your pain on trying to figure out all the training jargon.

I'm now 28 and have realized I'll never be a pro so if I feel like cranking it up I do, if I feel like taking it easy I do that too.

good luck

Ryan@ICoachSwimming
February 24th, 2005, 09:11 PM
401 and others,

There is a small flaw how you seem to have conceptualized the Anerobic Threshold. The EN series of paces are not energy systems, they are just paces that stress one system more than another. There are really only two systems you need to worry about - the Aerobic and the Anerobic. Both are almost always working simultaneously. You can work beneath your AT, and still really work the Anerobic system pretty darn well and push it's limits.

When you work right at the AT, you've crossed into a territory where you're building up lactic acid at a rate faster than you can remove it.

The T-2000 is probably a better measure than the T-3000 for you, based on how long you said it took you to finish your T-2000. Or, you can do a T-30, which is a count of your laps in 30 minutes. A good AT level set will leave you exhausted (what the literature refers to as "failure") after about 30 minutes of near-continuous work. Basically, how fast of a set can you make that takes about 30 minutes to complete. If you swim a T-3000, and it takes you 45 minutes to swim, you're going at a sub AT pace.

ande
February 26th, 2005, 12:43 PM
isn't anaerobic threshold training about doing long sets, fairly hard, with short rest to identify the point where you can sustain a hard pace, where as if you were to slightly increase your effort you'd start using your anaerobic system, which would cause you to greatly fatigue and shut down.

doing sets like

like
10 X 100 with 5 or 10 seconds rest after each 100
or
10 x 200 with 5 - 15 seconds rest,

concentrating on keep all 10 solid and close.
As you swim them you'll notice where your times fall.
Over the season, you should improve
you'll be able to hold the same time with less effort or faster times with the same effort

ande


Originally posted by 401kman
Hi,
Relatively new to swimming - only started last May, but have become obsessed with the sport. So much so that I have done a fair amount of reading on how to best workout and properly train the correct energy systems for the appropraite purposes (sprinting, middle distance, and long distance events). I have not yet competed, but want to, perhaps next year. I am a 47 year old male, 5'11"+, about 195 Lbs. (need to lose about 10-15 more, but have already dropped about 35 lbs since I started swimming). From my reading, apparently one key to proper training seems to be determining your Anaerobic Threshold speed. This will help you determine your EN1, EN2, EN3 training paces. But I am confused by all the different ways that it can be calculated, and what appears to me to be able to produce wildly different results, even using the same method. Any comments on this point? And what method (except for actual blood testing) do you recommend?

Ryan@ICoachSwimming
February 28th, 2005, 03:27 PM
Ande wrote:

isn't anaerobic threshold training about doing long sets, fairly hard, with short rest to identify the point where you can sustain a hard pace, where as if you were to slightly increase your effort you'd start using your anaerobic system, which would cause you to greatly fatigue and shut down.

The way you've worded it suggests that there is key point you are missing here that is really important.

If you cross AT, you do not just start using your anaerboic system . You don't switch from one to the other. You're always using both. If you're working below your AT, you're still using your anaerobic system, and if you work above your AT, you're still using your aerobic system. The two ALWAYS work in tandem. That's human physiology, and any swimming literature that explains it otherwise is wrong.

Here's the difference. The Anaerobic system produces by-products which when accumulated in the blood and muscles, interfere with performance. When you workout below the AT, you are accumulating at a slow enough rate that you can flush out your system without it being a problem. But, when you cross over the AT, your desired intensity requires you to put more demands on your anaerboic system, and produce more acidic byproducts that cannot be flushed out fast enough. So, you start to fatigue quicker.

The point is that you don't switch from one system to the next. It's not "Anaerbobic on, aerobic off". You can work out beneath the AT and still stress and improve the anaerboic system. You can also work above the AT and improve the aerboic system.

psyncw
February 28th, 2005, 05:57 PM
I have a related question. If you find that you are doing a set that is above your AT, and you are starting to fail, should you just swim slower or should you increase your recovery time/interval? I feel it is better to take more rest by increasing the interval and swim faster, but my coaches insist on me doing reps with very little rest.

401kman
February 28th, 2005, 08:28 PM
Much appreciation Ryan. I have a much better understanding of how my energy systems work with your explanation. But my conclusion remains the same: I shouldn't get hung up on being at, above, or below AT pace. Just make sure I am doing some of all three paces (a lot more of below if practicing for long distances, a little more of above if practicing for sprints). In my case, it is more about just working out in a way that keeps my interest. And that means making sure I am enjoying the workout, less on whether my below AT pace should be another 5% more of the workout total than my at AT pace, etc (I am, after all, a fossil and it is not like it makes that much of a difference anyway- maybe in my next life I will start younger). But again, thanks, I have a much better understanding.

~Bob

P.S. - As for PSYNCW's post (assuming he is a younger person and competitively focused), I presume the answer for him depends upon:
1.] where he is in his training cycle,
2.] what he is training for (sprint, middle, or long distance), and
3.] what ratio of above AT, at AT, and below AT pace his workouts are at.
Also, I was reading "Swimming Fastest" and it sounds like he might also have to watch out for overtraining and nutrition if he is failing earlier than others on his team. Otherwise, his coaches are telling him (via their training instructions) that he is doing to much anaerobic training and not enough aerobic training, no?

Ryan@ICoachSwimming
February 28th, 2005, 09:13 PM
401kman,

Keep having fun! That's the best part of being athletic.



PSYNCW,

It depends how much rest you're talking about. Does 5 extra seconds allow you to go the pace your coaches want you to go? Well, I won't tell them how to coach, but it might not be a big deal. But, if you're asking for 10 seconds or more, then you'll be getting too much rest and recovering too much between reps, even if you're going faster.

Now, let's say that they want you to swim 20 x 100 on 1:10 holding 1:05, and you just can't seem to get past number 10. Well then, you could try to swim 3 sets of 9 x 100 at 1:10 holding 1:05. You will actually be spending MORE TOTAL VOLUME at the pace they want you to sustain. In between each round, you allow yourself to recover JUST A LITTLE BIT. This might help you develop the ability to swim 20 straight through at the desired pace, instead of just swimming 20 until you finall make it.

Now, I'm not your coach, so if you go to them and say "That guy from ICoachSwimming.com said I should do this, not what you do," I will deny all knowledge of any conversation.

Good luck!

Ryan

psyncw
March 1st, 2005, 08:21 AM
I have a related question. If you find that you are doing a set that is above your AT, and you are starting to fail, should you just swim slower or should you increase your recovery time/interval? I feel it is better to take more rest by increasing the interval and swim faster, but my coaches insist on me doing reps with very little rest.

ande
March 1st, 2005, 04:12 PM
thanks, I never knew that, I described the concept from a swimmer in the water POV.

All I know is it hurts to cross over and stay there for long.

Ande


Originally posted by Ryan@ICoachSwimming
Ande wrote:

isn't anaerobic threshold training about doing long sets, fairly hard, with short rest to identify the point where you can sustain a hard pace, where as if you were to slightly increase your effort you'd start using your anaerobic system, which would cause you to greatly fatigue and shut down.

The way you've worded it suggests that there is key point you are missing here that is really important.

If you cross AT, you do not just start using your anaerboic system . You don't switch from one to the other. You're always using both. If you're working below your AT, you're still using your anaerobic system, and if you work above your AT, you're still using your aerobic system. The two ALWAYS work in tandem. That's human physiology, and any swimming literature that explains it otherwise is wrong.

Here's the difference. The Anaerobic system produces by-products which when accumulated in the blood and muscles, interfere with performance. When you workout below the AT, you are accumulating at a slow enough rate that you can flush out your system without it being a problem. But, when you cross over the AT, your desired intensity requires you to put more demands on your anaerboic system, and produce more acidic byproducts that cannot be flushed out fast enough. So, you start to fatigue quicker.

The point is that you don't switch from one system to the next. It's not "Anaerbobic on, aerobic off". You can work out beneath the AT and still stress and improve the anaerboic system. You can also work above the AT and improve the aerboic system.

geochuck
August 19th, 2006, 12:55 AM
Just saw this thread these heart rates are the ones to follow. However if your resting heart and age are different all these rates must change. No not necessary to do long swims. could be 25s, 50s, 75s, 100s, 200s, 300s, even 400s

If you are age 47

Your Resting HR is 60

Aerobic minimum HR 127.8
Anaerobic threshold min HR 150.4
Anaerobic threshold max HR 161.7
Max V02 min HR 161.7
Max V02 max HR 161.7
Lac tolerance HR 168.48

VC22
May 8th, 2008, 10:35 AM
Regarding all things swimming you will find insightfull yet simple articles in http://www.svl.ch/svlimmat_ratind.html (this is from a Swiss Master Club, but they do have translation to english).

With the owners permission I was thinking to translate this into http://www.anadar.net (the web site from my Portuguese Masters Clube), this will be of no help to you (unless you come visit us and learn some Potuguese;)).

Anyway I now have a more urgent translation job, aqualoja (http://www.aqualoja.net) the Portuguese swimming online shop (http://www.aqualoja.net), is gonna have an English version.
(at least I won't need to translate english articles to english).

I won't sugest you visit the shop website for now, but do take a look at www.anadar.net (http://www.anadar.net) and think about visiting Portugal, we have a lot of open water events in summer (not the best for anaerobic, but there's always that final sprint!)

Contact me if you need

all the best

PS: Just so you can enjoy some portuguese:
O objectivo da aqualoja é proporcionar a todos a mais moderna tecnologia em equipamento de óculos, fatos e equipamento de natação (http://www.aqualoja.net) para competição e treino).