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rtodd
September 29th, 2006, 02:18 PM
After reading alot of threads, it seems my volume and frequency is way lower than everyone elses. My freestyle workouts are typically no more than 1500 to 1700 yards. If it is a repeat workout, then it is less (i.e. 10x100, 5x200, 2x500....etc) I swim three times a week.

My fly, breast and back workouts are no more than 1000 yds (still learning those strokes).

I am biased towards the sprints like 100 free and maybe someday if I'm lucky the 200 IM. Is this volume OK for a 42 year old, or should I be trying to build in more yardage?

nkfrench
September 29th, 2006, 03:00 PM
Depends on your goals. 3 miles a week for a 40-something sounds like a good workout for basic wellness. Is 1000-1500 your total workout yardage 3 times a week, or just your freestyle set in a longer workout ?

When you are learning strokes and doing a large amount of drills / instruction, don't worry so much about the yardage. Learning the basic skills would take precedence over meet performance initially.

The "serious" Masters I've know will train 3000-4500 a day, 4-6 times a week with great variety in the sets they do. That's 90 minutes or so a pop, which is a reasonable upper bound for amateur adults with other responsibilities.

Don't increase either intensity or duration/distance more than 10% a week. It can overstress and injure you.

KaizenSwimmer
September 29th, 2006, 03:44 PM
Indeed three times a week for a mile -- say 30 to 40 minutes of swimming -- is indeed ample for basic fitness. Motivation to do more is usually a desire to improve. Most people think in terms of "more" as just more volume, i.e. more yards = more conditioning.

As someone who swims not only for fitness but to win races, my most compelling reason for increased yardage would be more opportunities to imprint efficient movement -- either to accelerate my learning process on a particular skill or to "immunize" it from breakdown as I swim farther or faster. Does fitness also increase as I do so? Yes, but my swimming benefits most when my skill improves along with my fitness. So if increased yardage causes you to compromise the quality of your strokes, it may not be benefitting you as much as you'd hoped.

The best motivation of all to do more is that you love swimming so much that every hour is intrinsically rewarding. Learning while doing makes it more rewarding for me...which reinforces my desire to swim regularly. A virtuous cycle.

rtodd
September 29th, 2006, 04:04 PM
I started swimming a little over a year ago due to lower back problems when I could no longer run.

My progression has been coming along OK, but I thought I would be putting in more volume by now.

Swimming is a completely new set of muscles and movements. Perhaps my inefficiency is an issue since I am learning new strokes. I think I am an efficient freestyler, but I become very tired after about 30 minutes.

3000-4000 yds of volume is just way too much for me at this point. What are the volume totals for master sprinters who only compete in 200m or less?

quicksilver
September 29th, 2006, 04:07 PM
I agree with that reply 100%. 2,000 yards at a clip is good for a fitness swimmer.
The dose should be higher (around 3,000 yds)...and maybe a bit more intense in preparation for some racing. Lap swimming is much different than interval training.

It sound like you are considering entering a meet. Just do it. Your swim sessions will take on a whole new meaning if there is a motivating force behind them.

KaizenSwimmer
September 29th, 2006, 04:18 PM
Your swim sessions will take on a whole new meaning if there is a motivating force behind them.

And I agree with that reply 100%.
As soon as you fill out the entry form every training session will have more urgency, more purpose, will be more stimulating.
Set goals, make a plan to achieve them, work your plan.
As soon as you achieve them, reset them.

hofffam
September 29th, 2006, 06:29 PM
What are the volume totals for master sprinters who only compete in 200m or less?

I'm 47, swim 50s and 100s. Good enough to qualify for nationals, but I'm no record setter. I usually swim five days a week, M, T, Th, F, and Sa. My weekly yardage is around 16,000 yds. Weekday workouts are typically 3000 yds and about 4000 on weekends. I travel a bit so my training is interrupted partially about one week a month.

Allen Stark
September 29th, 2006, 09:33 PM
I'm 57 and swim 4 days a week 2000-2400 per session. I am a National and World champion in breaststroke (I don't say that to brag but to show what can be done with limited yardage.). If I swim more than that my shoulders or knees or both start hurting so I do other things. I lift weights twice a week,stationary bike 3 times a week etc. Also everything I swim is warm-up, warm-down or race pace. If you want to swim fast it doesn't make sense to me to practice swimming slow. I also never take time off from exercising. It's much easier to stay in shape than get in shape.

dorothyrde
September 30th, 2006, 07:27 AM
I started swimming a little over a year ago due to lower back problems when I could no longer run.

My progression has been coming along OK, but I thought I would be putting in more volume by now.

Swimming is a completely new set of muscles and movements. Perhaps my inefficiency is an issue since I am learning new strokes. I think I am an efficient freestyler, but I become very tired after about 30 minutes.

3000-4000 yds of volume is just way too much for me at this point. What are the volume totals for master sprinters who only compete in 200m or less?

Others who have answered are quite good. I am more around your level. I started swimming 6 years ago at age 39. I try to get in the water 4 days a week, and am satisfied if I get in 2500 yards in a work-out. There are some weeks that all I have time for is a 40 minute session and then it is down to 2000 yards. 2 years ago I consistently did 45 minutes work-outs 3 times a week and was able to do some competitions(even swam a 1000 yard race). I am not fast, but it is the consistency week in and week out that will help you improve. A year may SEEM like a long time, but swimming takes time, and you are doing fine.

KaizenSwimmer
September 30th, 2006, 07:36 AM
I am a National and World champion in breaststroke (I don't say that to brag but to show what can be done with limited yardage.).

I think that noting you're a world champion is important in this context as well. Not to brag indeed, but for two reasons. It's both inspirational and informative to learn that one can become an elite athlete when one's opportunity to train is limited -- whether to minimize chances of injury or because of other obligations or pool access limitations.

But just as important, one's level of ambition influences that choice. Someone whose motivation is to be an active, healthy adult might make different choices from someone who thinks of themselves as an "athlete" - i.e. interested in racing performance. And someone whose ambition is to be an "elite athlete" - capable of competing at the very top tier among one's age peers - will likely make another set of choices.

Each increase in ambition should prompt choices about both volume and level of "examination" by which I mean having well-informed and compelling reasons for the choices one makes about the time available for training.

While one might well win an event at a local meet "by accident" and - depending on the presence of good athletes in one's LMSC - perhaps even break an LMSC record without ever intending to, I don't believe anyone becomes a World Champion by accident. It occurs because you had a vision of possibility for that and developed strategies for transforming the vision into reality.

When training time is limited, it becomes even more essential to use that limited time in a highly examined way.

So, "is my volume enough" is a question one can answer in fairly simple ways if fitness is the goal. As soon as performance enters into the question, the answers become more complicated.

gull
September 30th, 2006, 08:54 AM
I also never take time off from exercising. It's much easier to stay in shape than get in shape.

Excellent point. I was out for two weeks recently because of surgery on my neck (a benign cyst--if you pm me I'll tell you where to send get well cards and gifts). It has taken me three weeks to get back to roughly where I was before. I've read that the physiological adaptations to training begin to diminish at two weeks (by at least 50% for many parameters).

Great job at Worlds, Allen.

geochuck
September 30th, 2006, 09:26 AM
I sent my gift 2 weeks ago, It was retuned. Must have sent it to the wrong address.

Swimmer Bill
September 30th, 2006, 09:31 AM
couple quick questions: how did your running volume progress over the years leading to your injury? had you been steadily increasing your running volume when you became injured?

hofffam
September 30th, 2006, 10:06 PM
Interesting article in this month's Splash (the USA swimming magazine).

Kate Ziegler, the 17 yr. old distance swimming phenom, swims 17,000-18,000 yds per day in peak training periods. Unbelievable yardage!

Another article also says Bob Bowman's top workout group (includes Phelps, Vendt, etc.) swims twice a day about 8,000 meters per workout.

SearayPaul
September 30th, 2006, 10:26 PM
Great thread.

I find consistency is the most important factor in my improvement. I only have had time to swim two days each week for the last 10 months or so. Swimming so infrequently has decreased my conditioning but more importantly has hurt the quality of my practice. I usually will spend the first half of the practice getting a feel for the water again. I find that when I have a vacation and can swim most days whether for 30 minutes or 90 minutes by the end of the week there is a great improvement for me. Bottom line, do what you can and have fun doing it.

Paul

Love that spell checker

Peter Cruise
October 1st, 2006, 12:17 AM
Let me echo the sentiment expressed in Allen Stark's post: despite 'limited' yardage (his level of activity is what I aim for), Allen achieves success because he totally focuses on his swimming. By that I don't mean that when you visit with him he is all about swimming; he is very approachable and social at meets- what I do mean is that he appears to waste none of his time while applied to his task, whether it be training, warming up or actually racing.
His attention to detail gets him to the level he currently swims at.

KaizenSwimmer
October 1st, 2006, 07:58 AM
It has taken me three weeks to get back to roughly where I was before. I've read that the physiological adaptations to training begin to diminish at two weeks (by at least 50% for many parameters).

I've read the same and believe it's true. It was also my experience of swimming for many years - those during which my technique was ragged or "developing."

While conditioning is volatile and impermanent, technique -- once it has been refined and locked in long-term memory -- is remarkably immune to periods of inactivity.

In the late 60s in college, we'd start training the first week of school - mainly water polo til October - and it would take me until December to begin to feel as I had the previous Jan or Feb. And that was even though I would continue swimming 30 min or more per day during the summer, albeit mostly body surfing at Jones Beach where I worked.

When I first swam Masters in 1988, I'd train in seasons, rather than year round. Each new season it took seemingly forever to begin to train and race at pace levels that I considered acceptable.

My experience in my 50s has been radically different. In the past three years I've had two surgeries and two significant injuries -- separated shoulder and bruised ribs from mtn bike falls -- each of which required lengthy periods of inactivity or limited activity for recovery. But when I did resume training, it took me only a few days to regain my "feel for the water" before my repeat times would come surprisingly close to those I was doing before the injury.

I had surgery for a ruptured biceps tendon (weight lifting) Feb 15 2005. Doctor said "three weeks in a sling and three months of no swimming." This surgery is normally catastrophic for a competitive swimmer and requires 10 to 12 months to regain previous performance level.

I cheated and began drilling March 20, but without use of my right arm for the first few weeks. When I began using my right arm, I did so without applying any pressure or force, simply regaining range of motion at first, then "etching" the stroke path. My focus was on using the period of enforced no-pressure swimming to re-educate my muscles to better control water on the catch, and keep the right hand from sliding toward the middle in the first 30 degrees of movement.

Cutting to the chase I did my first moderate-pressure whole-stroke swimming in Masters practice on May 20. Though I had done nothing above probably a 105 bpm HR I swam 500 and 1650 in a meet in Ballston Spa the next day. I could clearly sense during both that my race fitness (i.e. ability to continue generating energy at a HR of, say, 140) was very compromised. Nevertheless by pacing conservatively -- and employing the improved catch I'd been working on -- I swam the 1650 in 21:36, only six seconds off the best time I'd done in the previous 18 months.

Two months later - July 15 - I swam an absolutely shocking 45:43 in the USMS 2-Mile Cable Championship - almost 4 minutes faster than I'd swum on the same course the previous year at full fitness. During the previous two months I'd still not come close to normal volume or intensity - and could feel the effect of that during the race. But my stroke had become so much more integrated during the four months of "recovery swimming" that the localized fatigue produced at race speed was markedly lower than I'd ever experienced.

Three weeks later - Aug 4 - I had a mtn bike fall and separated the same shoulder. This was followed by three weeks of no swimming and about three months of no "workouts." Instead of training with the Masters I did "stroke tuning" (drills and gentle whole stroke) two to three hours a week in the Endless Pool.

Dec 17 I registered for MIMS and went back to Masters that night. Within a week I was swimming the same repeat times as before I left.

This persuaded me that once I'd had the opportunity to regain full fitness I'd be ready to significantly "turn back the clock" on my swimming. Between Feb and May of this year my "swimming clock" moved steadily back until I swam times I had not seen since about 93.

I found this experience a source of great optimism. Indisputably, in our 50s, we injure more easily - often in the course of routine activities - and recover more slowly than when younger. If those periods of reduced activity can be transformed from an inconvenience to an opportunity to explore finer points of technique, the whole experience of being a middle-aged athlete can be far more satisfying. This is a period during which, despite our best efforts, our physical capabilities are likely to slowly diminish. How great if we can compensate with the capacities that should increase at this time - "physical wisdom," self-awareness, etc.

SearayPaul
October 1st, 2006, 09:32 AM
Great post Terry. You are absolutely right that technique can make up for conditioning. That is exactly what I have tried to do this past year in my limited workouts. By concentrating on my stroke only and increasing rest intervals so I can maintain a better stroke during my practice my times have remained stable. It is amazing what good stroke can accomplish.

Improved stroke also can limit the injuries that can occur during practice. Those nagging sore spots after practice can really add up as we get older and take us out of the pool to heal.

Have a great day.

Paul

geochuck
October 1st, 2006, 11:09 AM
Technique is very important for sure but technique will only get you so far. I personally regain the feel of the water very quickly.The secret is to include volume with technique.

How much volume, requires great thought. How much time do you want to apply to the activity? Do you have the desire to apply the time? The individual who is swimming can only tell the volume needed, the main thing we have to have is the right tech and I have yet to see a swimmer with perfect tech because there is always something we can change in any stroke to become a better swimmer or there would never be a record broken.

Right technique first volume second, but vulume also changes technique.

Terry how much volume have you done to attain your goal or have you reached your goal?
Do you now have perfect technique or is it a work in progress?
Will perfect technique ever be attained?
Do we need Volume to attain good technique?

gull
October 1st, 2006, 12:53 PM
Without sufficient training volume (including but not limited to race pace), I think your technique will break down in a race. If you're not interested in competing, 30-60 minutes/day of moderate aerobic exercise is sufficient. I've read that the minimum, at least for younger competitive swimmers, may be in the range of 8000m/day. I think it's a more difficult question for Masters, because you have to factor in goals, time constraints, and physical limitations.

hofffam
October 1st, 2006, 01:26 PM
Without sufficient training volume (including but not limited to race pace), I think your technique will break down in a race. If you're not interested in competing, 30-60 minutes/day of moderate aerobic exercise is sufficient. I've read that the minimum, at least for younger competitive swimmers, may be in the range of 8000m/day. I think it's a more difficult question for Masters, because you have to factor in goals, time constraints, and physical limitations.

The minimum - for what? To improve? To make Nationals cuts? I have two teenage boys that compete and they swim between 6 and 9 times per week. My youngest (now 14) just recently stepped up to 8-9 times per week from 5 per week before that. He has consistently improved throughout and may be in an accelerating phase because he is growing. My boys daily volume is in the range of 9000 yds. But my point is that they have improved for years at less volume than that. They are solid swimmers (AA, occasional AAA times), but not elite.

KaizenSwimmer
October 1st, 2006, 01:31 PM
Terry how much volume have you done to attain your goal or have you reached your goal?
Do you now have perfect technique or is it a work in progress?
Will perfect technique ever be attained?
Do we need Volume to attain good technique?

These are all great questions and the answers are never as simple as we might expect.

Gull is right that, without sufficient volume, technique is likely to break down in a race. I would just amend that statement slightly to say that without sufficient volume practicing that technique at the level of demand -- force production AND energy production -- the body will encounter in the race, then form will break down.

You could, on the other hand, probably sustain the technique at a lower speed. I did that for quite a few years when my training time allowed only about 14K/week. Rather than swim shorter races -- I have zero fast-twitch muscle fibers -- I elected to swim efficient, well-paced distance events and still had a measure of success. It was both an increase in volume and improvements in technique that allowed me to swim substantially faster this year.
Though, as I pointed out, when injuries cut into my volume and intensity my performance suffered far less than it would have without efficient technique.

To answer your questions:
1) Because of the demands of work and family I had time to train only 14k/ week for many years. I now have the time -- and the motivation -- to train 6 days a week and about 24,000 yards. I'm only guessing at the yardage because I don't actually keep track of it. I missed a week two weeks ago and didn't worry about it at all because my foundation - technique - is unaffected by layoffs.
2) Swimming is not a game of perfect - to borrow a phrase from golf. My technique has been a 40-year work in progress and I have yet to see any diminishing of possibility. I improved it more in the past two years -- precisely because of injury -- than I had in the previous five years. So the curve shows no sign of flattening.
3) We do need volume to achieve good technique. The content of that volume is more important than the amount.

It's estimated that it takes 7000 correct repetitions to move a simple motor skill (tennis forehand) from short-term to long-term memory. And 20,000 correct repetitions to move a complex motor skill (analyze the flight of an approaching tennis ball, move to meet it, set up, then execute the forehand) to long term memory.

Because of the environment (unstable, high resistance, difficult to breathe) in which we perform it, swimming is considered to be the most complex of all cyclical movements (those we repeat the same way over and over rather than each movement being unique [broken field running]).

So draw your own conclusions about how much volume it might require to master and integrate all the skills for an efficient freestyle.

While you do, "conditioning happens." The main difference is most people make energy system training the priority. I make nervous system training the priority.

geochuck
October 1st, 2006, 01:33 PM
Hoffman
I made the Olympics and other games on technique only from 18 years of age til 28 years of age. I could not swim more than 800 yards a day. But as every one said George why don't you train more - if I had been able to would I have been faster????

My training was more reading newtons laws and watching the great swimmers of the day and applying what I saw to my stroke.

I have stolen everthing I know or percieve to know about swimming from others. I am not an inventor of anything but may be called a modifier.

KaizenSwimmer
October 1st, 2006, 01:39 PM
I have two teenage boys that compete and they swim between 6 and 9 times per week.

One would usually expect that frequency and volume would increase as age group swimmers age. I suggest to coaches that they apply different standards than just age to those decisions about kids readiness to respond positively to increases in volume.

I wrote in my first book that when Popov was in his early teens, Touretski increased his training load and demand only as he showed himself capable of swimming the new workload at a high level of efficiency.
I.E. If Touretski set the level of freestyle efficiency at, say, 30SPL in a 50M pool, he increased overall volume, training speed, decreased rest intervals, etc. etc etc. only if Popov could perform the more demanding work at the same or better efficiency. We apply the same principle to the age group team we coach in New Paltz. After we took over the team, quite a few parents took their teenage swimmers to other teams because they felt we were doing insufficient yardage. The ones who remain are supportive of this approach.

How many age group swim programs do something similar?

gull
October 1st, 2006, 03:29 PM
By "younger" I was referring to college age (ie younger than most of us). I know that this is a debated subject among coaches. How much is enough, assuming you want to achieve your full potential? It is also of interest to many Masters swimmers, particularly those of us not blessed with exceptional talent or willing to use performancing enhancing products (other than aleve).

While I agree that we should try to maintain "perfect" form in practice, a physiological system has to be overloaded if we want to see training adaptations with the resultant increases in speed and/or strength (which, by the way, can occur at any age). Think of weight lifting--at some point, you've got to add more weight.

geochuck
October 1st, 2006, 03:41 PM
Gull if I did not practice perfect (although it may not be perfect form) with every stroke I take the pretty young things would not even look my way.

It is the only way I can swim that is why when I swim butterfly it is only 25 meters, I do not want to feel uncoordinated. This is also the reason I never swim over 250m free without a rest after every 250. My volume is always done in sets of 25s, 50s, 75s, 100s, 200s or 250s,

Allen Stark
October 1st, 2006, 03:54 PM
I was at a seminar years ago where they said that although conditioning goes down very fast with inactivity,exercising once a week vastly slows the decline. You can't get in shape swimming once a week but if you are in shape and have to change your schedule for business,family,or illness if you can swim or cross train even a little it makes a difference.(Don't you just hate it when life interferes with swimming.)

KaizenSwimmer
October 1st, 2006, 03:59 PM
While I agree that we should try to maintain "perfect" form in practice, a physiological system has to be overloaded if we want to see training adaptations with the resultant increases in speed and/or strength (which, by the way, can occur at any age). Think of weight lifting--at some point, you've got to add more weight.

I know perfect's not realistic even at slow speeds. Often, on the final 100 of the final 500 in a set, or perhaps the last one or two 100s in a series on which the interval keeps coming down, I feel more ragged than I'd like - usually manifest in some slippage on the catch, or feeling my elbow drop a bit -- or any sense that the effort is greater than the outcome.

I used to disregard that, so long as I was working "hard enough." But now when that happens, I remind myself -- with as vivid a mental image as I can summon -- how I aim to feel at my "red line."

As well, I observe a range of stroke counts, which I won't exceed under most circumstances. I try to stay at 15SPL or below in Free, even on the sprint 25s. I figure there's no point in practicing speed with a shorter stroke than I hope to race with.

Another thing that's changed is my state of mind when I reach the critical point of a set. Where I used to really feel my adrenaline rise, now I find myself becoming more calm and centered. I dial back my effort a bit and try to make my stroke feel a bit more precise and controlled. That approach always works. And when I find myself at a critical point in a race, I go to the same mind state.

This training approach uses as much mental effort as physical. Fortunately, as I age and my body weakens, my mental skills are strengthening. Not that I don't also try to be as physically prepared as I can.

KaizenSwimmer
October 1st, 2006, 04:08 PM
although conditioning goes down very fast with inactivity,exercising once a week vastly slows the decline.

I've heard the same. I try to keep my activity level at 3 or more hours a week whatever may be going on. The difference in my approach to other activities is I'm not performance oriented so my approach is more relaxed. However I'm a pretty avid x-c skier and have always focused on technique just as much. I'd like to enter my first loppet at Lake Placid this winter.

When I "retire" (from work, not swimming) I'd like to take up sculling too and I'll certainly be as technique-intensive in that.

Cross-training choices would be a good thread topic.

scyfreestyler
October 1st, 2006, 04:12 PM
I have heard that rope jumping is a great means of staying/getting in shape and it is incredibly inexpensive. I have been thinking of taking it up myself since my pool visits have been limited to 2 or 3 times a week recently.

gull
October 1st, 2006, 05:32 PM
I was at a seminar years ago where they said that although conditioning goes down very fast with inactivity,exercising once a week vastly slows the decline. You can't get in shape swimming once a week but if you are in shape and have to change your schedule for business,family,or illness if you can swim or cross train even a little it makes a difference.(Don't you just hate it when life interferes with swimming.)

I agree with that. When we go to the beach for a week in the summer I try to do some ocean swimming two or three days as well as my dryland routine. Unfortunately, after my surgery I was not allowed in the water for two full weeks and was told not to lift weights. I decided to follow the doctor's orders so I wouldn't be out even longer.

Josh54
October 1st, 2006, 07:58 PM
I find this thread very interesting and would like to add my :2cents: on a few points:

1. It is very difficult to compare running to swimming since swimming is so much more skill oriented. Still, the basic 4-1 ratio applies i.e. 4 meters of running is comparable to 1 meter of swimming (freestyle). It really is interesting to compare times at different levels and see that this indeed holds up. So if one is coming from a running background and wants to compare volume, this is a reasonable measuring stick.

2. Volume: I didn't see the word intensity in this thread. I feel that swimmers do alot of garbage laps that up their total distance. Total distance does not always accurately sum up the w/o. I am more sprint oriented so I do alot of short distance repeats at over 85% intensity. One of my favorites is 10x50m. that I do with my 23 year old son. We alternate 50m. sprints (he swims, I rest until he returns and vice versa) for 10 sets. Now this is "only" 500m. but it is a real .... buster. My sessions are only about 1500m.-2000m. but I swim on the average 5 times per week. Since I am doing intensive sessions, I prefer more sessions with less volume per session. I also feel that it is counter productive to train sloppy, fatigued strokes. About a 30% of the session is w/u and c/d and another 20% - 30% skill drills. The rest is intensive swimming.

3. Skill training - I concentrate on working only one skill at any session. For example, right now I am working on my underwater fly off the wall. My goal is a fast, fluid movement for the legal limit (15m.) off the wall (I figure that way I'll have less to swim :D ).

geochuck
October 1st, 2006, 08:17 PM
Intensity, 85% are not what some believe are important. Some here believe, you only have to swim technique.

I believe we are required to balance the work outs using technique in all workouts - Max V02 which is similar to your 85% workouts using Technique (but your rests are too long), Aerobic using Technique and Aenerobic - 2 x each a week using Technique and Lactic threshold once a month using Technique. Just because you swim hard you don't forget to use sound technique.

Sorry did I use technique too often

KaizenSwimmer
October 1st, 2006, 08:41 PM
Some here believe, you only have to swim technique.

I missed that assertion. Can you point me to where that was posted by someone here? I'd like to debate that with them.

KaizenSwimmer
October 1st, 2006, 08:49 PM
My sessions are only about 1500m.-2000m. but I swim on the average 5 times per week. Since I am doing intensive sessions, I prefer more sessions with less volume per session. I also feel that it is counter productive to train sloppy, fatigued strokes.

Lots of good sense in this post. Your speed-oriented training regimen increases the probability that your nervous system will be well-tuned and your musculoskeletal system adapted to generating the kind of power you need to succeed at sprinting.

Your concentration on walls, pushoffs, breakouts is also a race-winning strategy.

If there was any argument in favor of occasionally doing more yardage, if you had the time and inclination, it would be the one Gennadi Touretski offered when asked why he occasionally had Popov do 20,000 meter training days when his racing time maxed out at about 48 seconds.

"More opportunities to practice correct technique."

Two "sneaky" ways to increase the efficient-movement focus of your high-speed sets of 50s:
1) Occasionally note the "swim golf" score of those 50s. What's the best combination of stroke count + seconds you can manage. A better score will relate more closely to your 100 than your 50, in particular the final 50 of your 100.
2) How quietly can you swim on those sprints?

Enjoy.

geochuck
October 1st, 2006, 09:06 PM
I missed that assertion. Can you point me to where that was posted by someone here? I'd like to debate that with them.
I read stuff and don't understand English or stories change with every thread or post. Terry do you think I am talking about you?

Josh54
October 1st, 2006, 09:07 PM
.... Just because you swim hard you don't forget to use sound technique.



Absolutely. Very important point that I neglected to mention. I ceasefire, so to speak, when I feel out of sync. No point in practicing bad form. That's another reason I prefer shorter sessions.

Josh54
October 1st, 2006, 09:13 PM
Two "sneaky" ways to increase the efficient-movement focus of your high-speed sets of 50s:
1) Occasionally note the "swim golf" score of those 50s. What's the best combination of stroke count + seconds you can manage. A better score will relate more closely to your 100 than your 50, in particular the final 50 of your 100.
2) How quietly can you swim on those sprints?

Enjoy.

1) On some sets I count strokes but I'll give the swim golf a try. Err..will need an appropriate stopwatch with multiple sets. Any reccomendations?
2) Oh I'm very quiet on the sprints - I never talk :rofl:

KaizenSwimmer
October 1st, 2006, 09:42 PM
Terry do you think I am talking about you?

Just trying to encourage more careful citations of all who post here.

geochuck
October 1st, 2006, 10:00 PM
Some are very erratic about things they say and the storyline changes very often, I like accuracy. Today I say one thing, tommorrow I say the same thing.

gull
October 2nd, 2006, 12:35 PM
Many would like to believe that success can be achieved without hard work or breaking a sweat. It's part of our culture. That's not to say that drills and technique are unimportant, but there is an almost subliminal message (which people are all to willing to believe) that training needn't be painful, and that yardage (volume) = garbage ("mindless" swimming). On a hard set, I'm swimming mindfully right up to the point that I feel like I'm going to puke.

bud
October 2nd, 2006, 02:04 PM
After reading alot of threads, it seems my volume and frequency is way lower than everyone elses. My freestyle workouts are typically no more than 1500 to 1700 yards. If it is a repeat workout, then it is less (i.e. 10x100, 5x200, 2x500....etc) I swim three times a week.

My fly, breast and back workouts are no more than 1000 yds (still learning those strokes).

I am biased towards the sprints like 100 free and maybe someday if I'm lucky the 200 IM. Is this volume OK for a 42 year old, or should I be trying to build in more yardage?
In my book quality is more important than quantity. If my technique starts to suffer it is a clear indication that I need to ease off the throttle. I also have a major aversion to injury, so I donít try to push beyond what I can reasonably do. I have looked and felt great for years now, and swimming is about all I do for regular exercise.

How much swimming you do is completely relative IMHO. In í95 I basically had to relearn to swim. I started out at 300yds, breaststroke only, 1 SCY length at a time, in 45min. Now I can regularly do 2400yds in about 90min. Not stellar speed (I still fatigue easily), but nearly 900+yds of that are fly or fly kick drill.

Peter Cruise
October 2nd, 2006, 03:33 PM
One of the things I've tried to do in latter years relates to the warmdown: while I'm not as self-disciplined as Terry in constant mindful swimming, (I do try & am getting better at it) I have focused on the warmdown as crucial to my neuromuscular memory, esp. after very hard sets where puke, screams and various body parts go flying. At that point, despite trying hard, I know vital points of my technique have fallen apart largely 'cause I'm still in the 'fast' lane of my club surrounded by 25-35 year olds & this old guy(54) lets his ego duke it out with them. What I'm trying to say (in typically convoluted fashion) is this: I make sure that in the following warmdown I try to swim the most perfect technique possible of that stroke. That means getting control of my breath first, not just wollowing right into it. Our club often does these sets right at the end of the workout, but I feel that the few extra minutes staying in the water really pays off.

KaizenSwimmer
October 2nd, 2006, 03:43 PM
Peter
You and I are swimming nearly carbon copy practices. I'm surrounded by swimmers who are 15 to 25 years younger and it's a point of pride to wear them down. They can beat me at the beginning of practice but not at the end. They'll outswim me on the first few repeats of a set, but not as the set goes on. They're faster than me in the beginning of a long swim, but not in the latter stages.

So I'm intensely competitive. BUT I know that the price I must pay for that is to give far more attention to restoration immediately after every intense set. If we are doing speedplay, I squeeze in every lap of superslow I can between the fast reps. As soon as a fast set ends I immediately begin swimming down.

In your 50s recovery takes longer than it did in your 20s or 30s, because HR is lower and less of your blood volume gets cycled through your liver during any time period. The best way to compensate is with active, rather than passive, recovery.

The first 25 or 50 of that I'm not trying to be meticulous at all, but the rest I am.

The slower or easier a swim is the higher I set the bar on technique.

TheGoodSmith
October 2nd, 2006, 04:01 PM
Quote by byNKFrench... :The "serious" Masters I've know will train 3000-4500 a day, 4-6 times a week"

Way to much too time with your face in the water. There are too many other important things at life at our age. Remember, the 50s and the 100s are the only thing that are important. If you have to swim a 200 do like I do.... take it out hard and fake it.

Also remember that most of the events are 200 and below, not above a 200. Weights are a good diversion to pool time and help speed work and taper. You'll go mind numb if you have to swim an hour and a half 5 days a week.


Terry...... dude...... you are limited to one paragraph responses from now on.... :)


John Smith

geochuck
October 2nd, 2006, 04:23 PM
Good idea only one or two line responses. Do you also think we should restrict master swimmers to 1500 m swim workouts 3 x a week.

TheGoodSmith
October 2nd, 2006, 04:29 PM
George,

You are free to train and write your life away.... :-)


John

Peter Cruise
October 2nd, 2006, 05:53 PM
John-good-terse-short-longhorn-beer-yahoo...Peter

TheGoodSmith
October 2nd, 2006, 05:58 PM
Peter,

If you and I ever make it to Austin Ande and I will treat you to a TexMex Chuy's burrito the size of your head and a frozen margarita that will knock your socks off.

Sprinters eat fast too !

It's all part of my 11 second theory on life. Its hard for sprinters to pay attention beyond that.

John Smith

Peter Cruise
October 2nd, 2006, 06:23 PM
John- I really need to get wipers for my monitor: I got some really gruesome imagery from your 'swimmers eat fast too'. Depending on certain employment developments, I hope to make it to either Woodlands or Austin (I have pleasant memories of both), so who knows?- Peter

White Buffalo
October 2nd, 2006, 06:28 PM
Terry:
Help me understand- since Popov smoked, should I smoke too? Or when Alex was winning the 50 at the 2000 Olympics by a significant margin, should one dolphin into the wall/finish costing Popov the gold medal (would have been third Olympic gold in the 50 in a row) when Irvin and Hall tied for the gold? His coach got him to do the dolphin kick, the same coach that was arrest during a flight for drunkeness and caught with anabolic steroids in Australia. I suggest that some athletes like Popov are just that good, despite coaching. Genetics is the ultimate key, not anything else.
What is your point since to my knowledge other than authoring some books, you have never trained anyone of significance, such as a finalist? I enjoy all posts, but quite frankly, until a coach has produced multiple champions ( George Haines, Doc Councilman, Sherm Chavor, Ray Boussard, Eddie Reese, etc.), credibility will not exist until the repetition of producing varying champions is established.
WB
"He who truly knows has no occasion to shout." Leonardo da Vinci

Peter Cruise
October 2nd, 2006, 06:40 PM
White Buffalo- I don't remember Terry 'shouting' any of his ideas. This is a discussion not a diatribe.

geochuck
October 2nd, 2006, 07:55 PM
Champion swimmers do not a coach make. Terry is helping mostly non swimmers and swimmers in general to be more compitent swimmers and I agree with most of his stuff. I have taught thousands to swim but found coaching competitive swimmers not to be financially worth it they consume too much water time.

KaizenSwimmer
October 2nd, 2006, 09:01 PM
Terry...... dude...... you are limited to one paragraph responses from now on.... :)

Very long grafs...or many, many messages?

thewookiee
October 2nd, 2006, 09:57 PM
A lot of the best, most knowing coaches, aren't the ones coaching finalist or multiple champions.

They are the ones laying the foundation for young(er) swimmers to develop into champions/finalist/record holders. They are the ones at age group practices. They are the ones instilling a love of the sport, proper form, how to be responsible.

Besides if Reese and Marsh didn't think Terry's ideas were valid, they wouldn't keep allowing him to design practices when he visits their programs.

bud
October 3rd, 2006, 07:05 AM
... credibility will not exist until the repetition of producing varying champions is established.
WB
"He who truly knows has no occasion to shout." Leonardo da Vinci
But how about:
"Judge not lest ye be judged...."

I reckon since Iíve never produced an Olympic Champion that all of my study and practice are completely worthless. Forget that as far as swimming is concerned that Iíve practically come back from the dead. I couldnít possibly have anything to offer. Plus Iíve never published a book or video, nor even written a workout routine. Crikey, I should probably give up on swimming altogether.... NOT!

Iíve long ago lost count of the great champions Iíve seen interviewed immediately after winning some super event who first thanked their high school coach for inspiring them to excel and eventually become what they were that day. Yaí gotta start somewhere.

I believe anyone with positive input should be able to contribute unfettered. As for those who donít, well, they can put their opinions where the sun donít shine.

Oops! Guess Iím being a bit judgmental there. :Ē> Oh well, Iím probably going to Hell anyway, so I reckon Iíll get over it. (Thinks of the Far Side cartoon with the bloke gleefully pushing the wheelbarrow through hell and one Devil says to the other ďWeíre just not getting through to that guy.Ē)

Double Oops! Dang! More than one paragraph (again). I meant to fuse them all together. Oh well... maybe next time. :-p

KaizenSwimmer
October 3rd, 2006, 07:28 AM
Point is, Popov did two noteworthy things:
1) dramatically raised the bar on what sort of efficiency was possible when sprinting the 50 LCM Free -- 10% greater SL than Biondi who was considered the all-time paragon of stroke efficiency while sprinting, when he beat Biondi in the 92 Olympics.
2) He then went on to remain at the top of world sprinting for an ungodly 11 additional years, winning his final world championship in 2003.

He also did so while racing in a manner that reminds me of Maurice Greene, coming from what seemed hopelessly behind at 85m to win quite a few important 100m races.

So I'm enormously curious about anything I can glean that might have contributed to those incredible accomplishments. (My curiosity is unbounded - I just invested in a fairly rare copy of Johnny Weismuller's 75-year old book "Swimming the American Crawl" and found it loaded with interesting insights that seem fresh today.) Particularly as Touretski's approach to developing Popov as a young teen stands in such contrast to how it's conventionally done.

Those who prefer to be incurious are welcome to ignore.

And, um, didn't Touretski produce multiple champions?

geochuck
October 3rd, 2006, 07:46 AM
He also did so while racing in a manner that reminds me of Maurice Greene, coming from what seemed hopelessly behind at 85m to win quite a few important 100m races.

So I'm enormously curious about anything I can glean that might have contributed to those incredible accomplishments.
Just a point Terry, Is it possible that being hopelessly behind at 85m then winning the other swimmers had gone out too fast. I have seen many a horse race where the front runner seems to put on the brakes and slows down and the horse coming from behind did not go any faster but seemed to walk past the horse that was in front.

bud
October 3rd, 2006, 07:58 AM
.... I make sure that in the following warmdown I try to swim the most perfect technique possible of that stroke. That means getting control of my breath first, not just wollowing right into it....
Iím pleased to hear Iím not the only one who does this. I donít feel like such a loony now.

Recently Iíve noticed Iím developing a bad habit of holding my head up too much in free. I've deduced that this is because Iím now doing mostly shorter, sprint-like distances of it while Iíve been concentrating on other strokes (mostly fly). So Iíve been tagging on a few 50ís of free at the end of my workout and mostly concentrating on this one thing. Iíve found the slowing down and the added concentration to be exceptionally beneficial, and peaceful.

I just posted this link recently, but Iíll put it up again. I find this to be a very interesting read, especially all the way to the end, which includes the bit on "Slowly does it".
Swim Like a Fish - a useful principle for swimmers?
By Felix K. GmŁnder
http://www.svl.ch/svl_swim_like_a_fish.html

In verifying this link I noticed that Terry gets some (controversial?) ink/bytes here. In reading the ďtwo lettersĒ link Iím reminded of how baffled I get when I see people frothing at the mouth over such nit picky details. I suppose anytime one feels their profession is attacked or threatened they are going to get a bit defensive, but much of the talk of super refined technique for Olympic class swimming tends to just flow by me with little interest on my part. I mean, the number of folks who are likely to understand and benefit from these details must be quite small indeed compared to the number of people who actually bounce off the walls between the lane lines on a daily basis. For a lot of folks, just getting out there and doing it is a major accomplishment. Forget doing it perfectly at all, let alone all the time.

As for swimming like a fish Iíve had a number of folks comment that I do so, which pleases me to no end and makes me thoroughly bust my buttons. It is nice to get that kind of warm and fuzzy feed back, especially when it is unsolicited. Truth be told though, the fish I most probably represent however is a Flounder. :-D

geochuck
October 3rd, 2006, 08:04 AM
Bud swimming like a fish, don't get caught in the net. Don't follow the pack (school of fish). My favorite words when teaching - get that head down.

KaizenSwimmer
October 3rd, 2006, 08:07 AM
I have seen many a horse race where the front runner seems to put on the brakes and slow down and the horse coming from behind did not go any faster but seemed to walk past the horse that was in front.

Exactly the point I've been making in these comments on sprinting. It's true enough that the "go all out, berserko aggression" approach wins the day in the 50 scy free at the NCAA Championships (and perhaps Masters Nationals as well), but even the best coaches agree that's not a "swimming race," it's a start-and-turn race with a little bit of swimming squeezed in between walls. As soon as the distance increases to 100, or you shift to LCM, a different approach is probably called for.

Since I've never trained any physical specimens like those I see in the finals of that race, my preference has been to coach "swimming."

I'd heard years ago from both Bill Boomer and Eddie Reese that "the person who slows down the least on the final 25" will be the winner in a 100 Free. So when I began coaching the sprinters at Army, I decided we would take a "managing deceleration" approach to training. And it worked.

When I read the article on how John Smith coached Maurice Greene for the 100m in track, just after completing my final season at Army, I recognized the same philosophy and was really struck by how critical they viewed it as being in a race that lasted less than 10 seconds.

geochuck
October 3rd, 2006, 08:16 AM
I raced Clark Scholes in Ohio in 1955 he led me for 90yards I was at his hip with 10 yards to go, he seemed to sink in the water and I won. I had gone all out for that 100 also and did not swim by him he just slowed down and almost stopped.

KaizenSwimmer
October 3rd, 2006, 08:20 AM
Recently I’ve noticed I’m developing a bad habit of holding my head up too much in free.

It's always good to be self-aware. However I've learned over time not to fixate too much on taking an overly strict approach to various alignment or position goals, lest people go from self-aware to self-conscious.

This was reinforced when we were producing the Freestyle Made Easy DVD and I saw underwater video of myself, showing my head inclined slightly forward.

I use this footage at workshops to demonstrate that (a) perfection is not necessary -- I was well-balanced with that head position, and (b) how different our positions and movements can be from those we THINK we have.

Since then, rather than try to have my head in a particular position, I just relax it completely -- release its weight to the water -- and let it find its own natural equilibrium. (In Alexander Technique they call this "not doing.")

A welcome bonus was the feeling of relaxation that spread from my neck to shoulders, upper back and arms. And that's the approach to head-positioning we teach now.

geochuck
October 3rd, 2006, 08:24 AM
I am a very high floater and to keep my legs in the water my head can not be as low as I want it.

KaizenSwimmer
October 3rd, 2006, 08:25 AM
I raced Clark Scholes in Ohio in 1955.

It appears you swam - and held your own against -- all the greats of that era. How many of your 100m pool rivals were also competitive in marathon swimming? Not many, I'll wager.

Perhaps you hold the distinction of being the "world-class swimmer with the greatest range" in history.

geochuck
October 3rd, 2006, 08:28 AM
Only other was Dan Sherry who held the world record for the 100 fly.

KaizenSwimmer
October 3rd, 2006, 08:30 AM
my head can not be as low as I want it.

What I was suggesting in my post on head position is rather than "want" or "put" your head in a particular position, let it go where it naturally wishes.

But to do so, you have to become aware whether you're "doing" something with your neck muscles -- maintaining an unconscious level of tension sufficient to hold your head higher than its natural position -- then stop doing that.

I think it is however useful to maintain a sufficient level of "tone" in one's neck muscles to keep the head stable.

geochuck
October 3rd, 2006, 08:38 AM
I was the bad luck swimmer could beat them all at a given time but always had an accident at the international events. Broken ankle the day of the 110 yards at 1958 Commonwealth Games, out of the hospital the day of the heats at the 1956 Olympics after a 4 day flu attack. Fell asleep in the sun at Mexico city 1955 Pan Am games, blood streaming down my back from sunburn the day I came second to Clark Scholes in the 100.

rtodd
October 3rd, 2006, 04:02 PM
Wow,

Alot of interesting posts. With the running, I was training primarily for the 400m, the longest sprint. It involved alot of interval training. I trained 4 times a week. Each workout included 800m warmup and 4x100m stride outs, then a series of about 6 drills. Then the workout consisted of about 1600 to 2400m of various interval work. I would consider this the amount of work necessary to be very competative in the 40 year old age group. Perhaps a fifth day a week for recovery and tempo if you have a good marriage. For masters sprinting, recovery is important, so I think 4 times a week was good. Lifting was 5 days a week.

Now that I am swimming, I am biasing myself towards the sprints. In running the 1/4 lasted about 55sec, which would equate to the 100 in swimming, so I consider the 200yd swim a middle distance event from the perspective of running. Actually in running the 400, it is not all out and you run with speed reserve in the first 200. In swimming, the 50 is probably the only thing that is really all anaerobic...barely.

So is 1500 yards of intervals enough to compete in the swimming sprints? Ulimately I would like to be able to do the 100 and 200 IM. I have been swimming one year and my volume has gone up, but it seems to be leveling off. I could do 2000 yard workouts at a lower intensity, but is there something to be gained in the shorter races?

I just don't get the 3000 yard workouts. Maybe someday I will.

geochuck
October 3rd, 2006, 04:13 PM
I don't think anyone can say whether 1500 or 3000 is enough, 100s are easy to train for lots of 25s, 50s and 75 repeats. You need a mix. I very seldom swim over 250m and my rest periods are longer than most. when I swim arms only my legs gently flutter. You will know if you are putting in the right type of work by your results.

I personally when younger could stay with the top sprinters by doing 500 to 800m workouts.

Allen Stark
October 3rd, 2006, 04:33 PM
The minimum amount for you to train is enough to grove your stroke so that it is as efficiect as you can get it(which generally requires a coach or an underwater video camera and lots of tapes of world class swimmers) and well conditioned enough to hold that stroke for the distance of the race. How far that is depends on many individual factors. For 100s I'd agree with George about 75s,50s,and 25s,but I'd also add 100s and 125s and 12.5s. 125s for over distance(especially important for LCM) and 12.5 to work on how sprinting feels.

The Fortress
October 3rd, 2006, 10:11 PM
If you've only been at it a year, which is about what I'm at, I don't think 1500 yards per workout will make you competitive. But it depends what you mean by "compete." I don't do a ton of yardage, but I do a lot more than that with some quality. Maybe you could fake a good 50, that's not too hard, but a 200 IM?! 200 IMs are painful even if you're in great shape. I'm about to attempt my first one this year after doing a bunch of 100 IMs. Now, 2500-3000 a few times a week is plenty to do some good 50s if you do it the way Allen suggests. (BTW, Allen, I love your idea of getting the sprints in after a long warmup, instead of at the end of workout. I'm going to do that when I swim alone.) Good luck! Leslie

geochuck
October 3rd, 2006, 10:59 PM
Warm up then your repeats, don't forget your warm down.