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Donna
September 8th, 2006, 08:44 PM
What is the best way to work on your sprinting when most of your team workouts are geared toward distance (triathaletes) swimmers? I am trying to figure out how to start working on sprints but I also enjoy the distance as well (a learned responce).

I know it annoys my fellow teammates when people swim fast and then swim a slow active recovery while everyone else is trying to hold a pace, but I can't think of any other way to get my sprinting going without disrupting the others in my lane.

Any suggestions?

geochuck
September 8th, 2006, 09:00 PM
when I was a distance swimmer I could swim sprints because ln winter I did my training by doing 50s and 100 repeats most of the time. I just did a lot more than I did when all I swam was a 100 in the games I competed in and occasional 200s on relays.

ande
September 9th, 2006, 12:28 AM
do aerobic work on slower intervals in slower lanes and get more rest
look for spots in your lane where you can open up and swim fast
you have to make sure you get what you need

skip laps here and there to get more rest

ande



Originally posted by Donna
What is the best way to work on your sprinting when most of your team workouts are geared toward distance (triathaletes) swimmers? I am trying to figure out how to start working on sprints but I also enjoy the distance as well (a learned responce).

I know it annoys my fellow teammates when people swim fast and then swim a slow active recovery while everyone else is trying to hold a pace, but I can't think of any other way to get my sprinting going without disrupting the others in my lane.

Any suggestions?

Ian Smith
September 9th, 2006, 02:14 PM
I am a sprinter (out of laziness) but our coach is quite flexible and doesn’t mind when I sit out a 50 in long reps with better distance swimmers in my lane. (as Ande mentions)

Just as one example, if there are 250 repeats, I do the first and last 100 and sit out the middle 50. Be consistent in the set so you lane mates know what to expect. (let them know beforehand – you can even lead the lane)

By going faster for less distance and having more rest allows me to swim without disrupting the lane at all.

Donna
September 9th, 2006, 03:14 PM
Thanks for the words of wisdom. I'll try sliding over a lane or 2 and get alittle more rest between sets while looking for opportunities to breakout.

Today I actually had opportunity to throw on the fins and lead one lane down. We were sprinting the first half or last half (alternating) of each 50. My teammate Steve said I really took off on that set. Even though it was hard it felt good to be more like a hydroplane than a tugboat! Maybe not a tugboat, maybe more like a powerboat on a joy ride.

I guess I'll have to do that atleast 2 times a week, with 2 days recovery swims (with alittle sprinting/starts/turns) and 2 days serious distance work.:D

KaizenSwimmer
September 11th, 2006, 07:21 AM
Donna
I think fartlek/speedplay will be more valuable to you than putting on fins. If you do wear fins, the training effects could include:
1) approaching walls faster, possibly improving your reaction time on turns
2) increasing muscle recruitment in your lower body -- but decreasing it in your upper body
3) increased sensitivity to drag, bcz drag multiplies significantly as your speed increases -- but you'd need to actively make that your focus in order to benefit.

But swimming faster simply bcz you're wearing the fins contains no particular transformational effect that remains when you take them off. People are often jazzed that they make an interval with fins on that they were unable to make without them and assume it was somehow a "better" set than had they swum slower without fins. But wearing fins to be faster is analogous to wearing platform shoes to be taller. The effect disappears as soon as you remove them.

When I coached the West Point sprint group, the only fin work we did was underwater (i.e. very intense 25s or less of flutter or dolphin kicking), bcz the muscle-loading and awareness-heightening impacts directly impacted qualities that would be of benefit while racing.

We improved whole-stroke speed potential most frequently (though not exclusively) with speedplay sets. Slow speed repeats, focused on stroke perfection, alternating with faster repeats, focused on maintaining that perfection while swimming at higher rates and increased power. We spent a lot of time seeking the speed/rate threshold at which they lost efficiency, then training to incrementally raise that threshold.

As an example, while the rest of the team does a set of, say 15 x 100 at constant pace, you could use such patterns as:
1Perfect (P), 2F (Fast)
1P, 1 F
2P, 1 F

or 3 rounds of:
75 P 25 F
50 P 50 F
25 P 25 F (x2)
25 Fast 50 P 25 F
100 recovery
Periodically count strokes and limit yourself to, say, +1 or +2 SPL on the Fast lengths, compared to Perfect.
Such variations are limited only by your imagination.

geochuck
September 11th, 2006, 10:16 AM
Terry
Fartlek training is not the end all be all for sure but has always been a part of my teaching and I used it for myself.

Donna
September 11th, 2006, 05:44 PM
Today was one of my middle distance days (repeat 200's) but I did try a few sprints into and out of the walls only. Did not feel too strong today. My kicking set is feeling much better and stronger (when I do distance I have no kick!) and yes I did it without the fins and actually kept up with everyone else. I used to be the worst kicker in the world except for very short distances.

My back was too locked up to really get much of a quality sprint workout in but I managed to pop my hips back in place later in the morning. Perhaps tomorrow I will be loose enough to do some decent sprinting. Returning to swimming for me began as rehab for my back but my competitive nature has made it much more...

This weekend I will be swimming in a USA Swim meet and most of my events are sprints on Saturday and Sunday with the 1650 on Friday night. The goal is to break :30 for the 50 free but anything faster than a 31.5 will be ok too.