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FindingMyInnerFish
December 16th, 2006, 02:52 PM
Hi all,

I'm the Slow Swimmer in Residence at my swim practices, and this often means that I'm maybe halfway done with a set when people are moving on to the next one. Usually, I have the slow lane to myself, which widens my options somewhat (if I don't, I do whatever the others are doing, even if it means moving on to the next set before I'm done with the previous one).

Since I almost NEVER finish my sets the same time as the others (unless I get to the practice earlier... that allows me to come out even with the others at least on the first set), would I benefit more from (a), (b) or (c)?:

(a) jump to the sets that others are doing even if not finished with all the repeats (ex.: 10x100; others have moved on to 250s. I have done 5-6 100s... following this option, I'd stop doing the 100s and move ahead to the 250s).

(b) finish the set I'm doing, then start on whatever set others are doing, even if they're, let's say, two or more sets ahead of me.

(c) finish the set I'm doing, then move on to the next one in the order the coach listed, only skipping ahead if the time allotted for the workout is drawing to a close and I need the warmdown.

Underlying all this, I guess what I am asking is whether it's better to do fewer repetitions but more of the sets that everyone's doing or all the repetitions but finish fewer sets.

Some might say I should retire to the open lap swim, but I'm not ready to do that. ;)

Thanks for your help!

Warren
December 16th, 2006, 03:00 PM
I think you need to be doing different practices. Do something that will push you but something that is not imposible.

FindingMyInnerFish
December 16th, 2006, 03:06 PM
I think you need to be doing different practices. Do something that will push you but something that is not imposible.

Granted, but the choices are limited by schedule and location (can get to the ones I mention fairly readily, whereas with work and other commitments, others are pretty much out of reach... so I need to find ways to work with what I have).

dorothyrde
December 16th, 2006, 03:14 PM
I would reduce the number of reps. So if the set is 10 * 100, do 7 * 100. Pick the number of reps that makes you work hard to keep up, but that you can complete. Also, if it is distance, reduce the distance in the same manner. If you look at Mel's work-outs, he suggests this very thing.

Paul Smith
December 16th, 2006, 04:16 PM
One of my pet peeves (yes.....there are many!), is siwmming with teams that don't train more as a "team". Often I see coaches give a set and differant lanes take off at differant times.....

My preferance is having a coach give a set that has options on the distance that each "level" of lane may have.....but have all lanes on the same interval.

For example if the set is 10 x 100's @ 1:20 for the "fast" lane, you may have another lane doing 75's on that interval our even 50's.....

Muppet
December 16th, 2006, 05:37 PM
One of my pet peeves (yes.....there are many!), is siwmming with teams that don't train more as a "team". Often I see coaches give a set and differant lanes take off at differant times.....

My preferance is having a coach give a set that has options on the distance that each "level" of lane may have.....but have all lanes on the same interval.

For example if the set is 10 x 100's @ 1:20 for the "fast" lane, you may have another lane doing 75's on that interval our even 50's.....

That is a great suggestion. I used to do that a lot with a summer team I coached a few years back. I called it the "2 Minute Drill." We'd have 4 or 5 lanes from 6 year olds to 16 year olds doing 25s to 100s. I would have some of the older folks do strokes/IMs in there, and would challenge them to beat their neighbors who were doing free (and likewise challenge the freestylers to not get beaten by the IMers). The little ones really liked the inclusion.

But to Fishie's question, on my team, you would get a similar workout to the "fast" people, probably less reps and definetely a workable interval, and to Paul's point, everyone usually finishes each set around the same time so at least the entire pool is somewhat going together. I vote for fewer reps, more sets. Variety is the spice of life!
:banana:

nkfrench
December 16th, 2006, 06:37 PM
If you don't have guidance from the coach...

I suggest you try to mesh with teammates and keep the spirit of the workout so you are getting the same level of intensity and work:rest as they are (start and finish each repeat about the same time as teammates do). Usually that means not going as far for each repeat but doing the same # of repeats.

That way you should still get the desired mix of aerobic, sprint, stroke work.

If you only have 45 minutes to get in a 60 minute workout, something else has to go. I like cutting out entire sets rather than watering them all down.

meldyck
December 16th, 2006, 07:12 PM
Fish:

let me give you two perspectives: One as a coach and the other as a swimmer.

As a coach, I try to put together a workout to fit the alloted practice time, tailored necessarily to the fastest swimmers. Sometimes I do a workout as Paul suggests (having everyone go on the same clock) and sometimes not. The main thing here is that (in spite of what a coach may tell you) there are no absolute right ways to train. A whole variety of things work for people. When I would see a swimmer who couldn't keep up but who insisted on finishing the particular part of the set as I wrote it (damn the torpedos...) my thought would always be 'here is a swimmer who takes the instructions waaaay too literally.' Be flexible & drop something if you need to.

As a swimmer, I really dislike swimming with someone who is finishing the kick set, say, (maybe only half way through) when the rest of us in the lane are switching to doing IM. This is very disruptive to the other swimmers in the lane.

If you wind up only getting 75% of the work done on each set, at least you will have gone through the entire range of disciplines that the coach intended. If you drop an entire part, you may have missed the main point of the workout for the day.

As as example, last spring I was in Bend OR swimming with Bob Bruce's team. The day I was there the set was a baker's dozen (no, not Dennis Baker) 100 SCM IM on 2:05. Well, that's a bit too fast for me. So, I did a set of 5 and sat one out and then repeated. In the end, I got 11 of the 13 done & worked pretty hard. I was happy and always started on the same clock as the others in the lane so I wouldn't be in the way.

Hope this view helps.

-- mel

islandsox
December 16th, 2006, 08:04 PM
I would shorten up your intervals within the sets so I finished about when everyone else did. I would do this because it will move you forward to other sets that obviously may be vital to the workout and work other body parts. If the workout is designed to 10x100s and you cannot yet do those, I would do what I could and try to finish when your lane is finishing.

Then move on to the next set and, again, finish when your lane swimmers finish. Nothing wrong with not finishing the "set". In time you probably will.

Step back and try to go through the scheduled workout, even if you cannot yet complete all the components within it. Change the set when your lane change the set.

Cheers,

Donna

dorothyrde
December 16th, 2006, 08:41 PM
For those of you that coach, why can't there be more than one work-out listed. All having the same sets, but do the modifications for the swimmers. My masters group had a coach who only wrote work-outs for the fastest lane, and the rest of the swimmers who could not make our intervals were very unhappy. They wanted a sense of accomplishment on finishing the work-out and never got that. Later another coach came in and wrote 3 different levels, and that worked much better.

Paul Smith
December 16th, 2006, 10:18 PM
Dorothy....good point. I'd say there are only 2-3 teams I've swam with over the years where this is done. ASU/Sun Devil Masters probably is the best.....every practice has a minimum of 2 workouts....usually 3 and almost always has two coaches on deck...which is necessary with 30-50 swimmer and 3 differant workouts :

- Distance
- Middle Distance/Stroke
- Sprint

I recognize that not all teams can be run like this....but they can certainly mix it up a lot more.

dorothyrde
December 17th, 2006, 08:06 AM
If you think about it, the fastest swimmers probably have the knowledge to take a work-out and adapt it to their needs. But the slower swimmers are often more new to swimming(I started in that slow lane and worked up, would still be slow with many of you guys), and need more advise on how to adapt. So just sticking a work-out on the board geered to the fastest swimmers really make the slower lanes feel left out. We had a period of time where no coach was showing up, so I often came prepared with a work-out for myself. I would put my work-out up on the board and than write 2 others that I adapted from mine at different levels. It was not that hard, but to someone new, it would be.

FindingMyInnerFish
December 17th, 2006, 03:07 PM
Thanks for all your replies!

As far as others in the lane, I've been pretty lucky for the most part--I've lately been the only one in my lane (no one else that slow, but I suppose there's some trade-off...).

Should note my week's "picture": I work out on my own during the week (work schedule and masters' group workouts not in sync), but on Sat. and Sun. I do group practices. Sat.'s is smaller (three lanes and only about 6-8 swimmers), also shorter (an hour), whereas Sun.'s goes for two hours, and there are considerably more swimmers (haven't counted them, still new to the group), w/ ten lanes available.

My dream is to become fast enough to move up to the next lane for the Sunday practices. That's a small step up, I know, but have to start somewhere. And hey I love crowds! :)

Occasionally some tired swimmers will find their way to my lane, and they're always welcome to join me. When they do, we often split the lane, so both swimmers can do their own pace. In those instances, I stay in the same set the other person's doing, even if that means not doing as many repeats--makes it easier for both me and the other swimmer.

But if I'm in the lane by myself, I still want to negotiate the workout in a way that will most benefit me as a swimmer. From what you folks are saying, it looks as if it's better to get as much of the "whole mix" as possible, rather than skip sets. That by itself helps.

Should mention that in both workouts, the coaches are not giving a lot of feedback, although they will do so if specifically asked. At first, I was a little taken aback by that, but sometimes I like the flexibility it gives me to make my own way through the workout. I've more or less decided that I have to take care of my own "workout within a workout" and set my own goals, also meshing with the others in my lane. The first masters' coach I had, though, was much more hands-on, and I really valued that. I learned so much from him. Yet recognizing that the ultimate person I report to about my progress is myself, no matter who gives feedback, is itself worthwhile.

FlyQueen
December 18th, 2006, 09:39 AM
One of my pet peeves (yes.....there are many!), is siwmming with teams that don't train more as a "team". Often I see coaches give a set and differant lanes take off at differant times.....

My preferance is having a coach give a set that has options on the distance that each "level" of lane may have.....but have all lanes on the same interval.

For example if the set is 10 x 100's @ 1:20 for the "fast" lane, you may have another lane doing 75's on that interval our even 50's.....

The problem I see with this is that the slower lanes aren't getting in quite the same type or yardage ... we do all sorts of things at practice sometimes we all have the same interval and different distances other times one lane does 12 x 100 on 1:20 the next lane does 10 x 100 on 1:35 and another lane does 7 x 100 on 2:00 ...

My team has a HUGE range in ability ... we have a few very fast people that can hold around 1:15 for 100s and we have a few swimmers who can barely swim a 100 straight ... (and perhaps they can't)

A few of our coaches also customize workouts .. Giving the sprinters more sprint work and the distance swimmers more of that horrific distance training ...

FindingMyInnerFish
December 18th, 2006, 11:09 AM
It's kind of a relief to know there are ppl in a master's group who "can barely swim 100." I tend to be at the VERY slow end of the workout groups I've been in (except for one that has since disbanded that had a couple ppl at the same level I was).

My usual times--please don't laugh--pushing myself I'm happy to get maybe 1:03 or so in a 50, 2:15-2:30 in a 100, 4:50-5:10 in a 200. etc. Not too great, but I can hang in for a long time, swimming a two hour practice... Longest no. of yards I think was 3600. Goal is 4000 for Jan.

But I kept thinking to myself, "am I possibly the slowest swimmer in any masters' practice ANYWHERE?" Not that this stops me from doing the practices. I do them along with running and when I see my bp and resting pulse (high 30s and I'm 56 yrs. old), I KNOW I'm doing what I need to do for myself. Better to wear out than rust out.

FlyQueen
December 18th, 2006, 11:21 AM
It's kind of a relief to know there are ppl in a master's group who "can barely swim 100." I tend to be at the VERY slow end of the workout groups I've been in (except for one that has since disbanded that had a couple ppl at the same level I was).

My usual times--please don't laugh--pushing myself I'm happy to get maybe 1:03 or so in a 50, 2:15-2:30 in a 100, 4:50-5:10 in a 200. etc. Not too great, but I can hang in for a long time, swimming a two hour practice... Longest no. of yards I think was 3600. Goal is 4000 for Jan.

But I kept thinking to myself, "am I possibly the slowest swimmer in any masters' practice ANYWHERE?" Not that this stops me from doing the practices. I do them along with running and when I see my bp and resting pulse (high 30s and I'm 56 yrs. old), I KNOW I'm doing what I need to do for myself. Better to wear out than rust out.

I think it's fabulous that you are swimming at all! Good for you. Don't worry about trying to keep with other swimmers or whether or not you are the slowest. You are doing something good for your health and reaping the benefits. Congratulations!!!! :woot:

LindsayNB
December 18th, 2006, 11:41 AM
I have no idea if this applies to FindingMyInnerFish but in our club I have observed that some of the swimmers swim every set at almost exactly the same speed, no matter whether it is a sprint set or a distance set. Some of them are in the slower lanes, and just don't seem to have learned multiple "gears", some of them are in the faster lanes and end up doing a long almost continuous swim because the intervals are really too short for them.

Sometimes in the open swims I see people swimming continuous laps on say 1min/50m, and I wonder if they wouldn't be much better off swimming intervals of say N x 50 on 1min, coming in on 55sec? That way they would be practicing swimming faster while still covering the same distance. Not that I don't enjoy the occassional LSD swim, but some of these people always swim at the same slow continuous pace.

tomtopo
December 18th, 2006, 02:07 PM
As a coach, I usually set the distance low enough so my slow swimmers can finish their set (always less yardage) with everyone else. If eveyone is doing 5 x 50 they might be doing 5 x 25 etc.

As a swimmer (breaststroker), my college coach adjusted the workouts accordingly also ( more time, less yardage, still intense).

So, lower the distance so you can stay-up with everyone is my suggestion.

aztimm
December 20th, 2006, 04:58 PM
Dorothy....good point. I'd say there are only 2-3 teams I've swam with over the years where this is done. ASU/Sun Devil Masters probably is the best.....every practice has a minimum of 2 workouts....usually 3 and almost always has two coaches on deck...which is necessary with 30-50 swimmer and 3 differant workouts :

- Distance
- Middle Distance/Stroke
- Sprint

I recognize that not all teams can be run like this....but they can certainly mix it up a lot more.

I swim with Sun Devil Masters, and have swam with other groups, and it is certainly the best team for me or I wouldn't be swimming with them for 8+ years.

Anyway, even within each major group (distance, mid, sprint), there could be 3-4 lanes of different speeds. The coach will tailor the workouts appropriately. I'm usually in the distance area, 3rd lane, when lane 1 does 40x100, I'll usually be somewhere around 32 to 36x100. If lane 1 is doing 10 @ 1:25, then take away 5 sec every 10, we'll do the same type of thing, but maybe 9 @ 1:35 to start. I have no complaints with less yardage, and we can usually stay late if we really wanted to do the yardage.

dorothyrde
December 20th, 2006, 06:28 PM
It's kind of a relief to know there are ppl in a master's group who "can barely swim 100." I tend to be at the VERY slow end of the workout groups I've been in (except for one that has since disbanded that had a couple ppl at the same level I was).

My usual times--please don't laugh--pushing myself I'm happy to get maybe 1:03 or so in a 50, 2:15-2:30 in a 100, 4:50-5:10 in a 200. etc. Not too great, but I can hang in for a long time, swimming a two hour practice... Longest no. of yards I think was 3600. Goal is 4000 for Jan.

But I kept thinking to myself, "am I possibly the slowest swimmer in any masters' practice ANYWHERE?" Not that this stops me from doing the practices. I do them along with running and when I see my bp and resting pulse (high 30s and I'm 56 yrs. old), I KNOW I'm doing what I need to do for myself. Better to wear out than rust out.

Hey, I was there when I first started for a number of years, and a whole lot younger than you. I think regardless of speed, it is just important to have a sense of accomplishment when doing a work-out. If you set a goal in a work-out and complete that goal, that is what is important!

FindingMyInnerFish
December 20th, 2006, 10:27 PM
Thanks all for the suggestions and especially for the encouragement! Now, if I can just fight off a cold that's trying to take over...

Aztimm... 32-36x100?? and there are people who do forty of these!! You guys ROCK! I look here for swimming role models, and I'm finding them!

Paul Smith
December 21st, 2006, 09:45 AM
Dorothy....its amazing to see how hard some people in this sport are still training! This group at Sun Devil is pretty insane.....the "D" workout last Friday was 600 warm up followed by 4 x 1000 @ 12:00!

A week from tomorrow is the infamous 100 x 100s New Years workout....otherwise known as the "do you knw a good shoulder surgeon" practice! :dedhorse:

FlyQueen
December 21st, 2006, 10:18 AM
I have a small little team that I love, though I'm a bit envious of these huge teams with tons of really fast people. Anyway, a few of our coaches completely tailor the workouts to the lane or swimmer. I've gotten so spoiled because I get a lot of sprint workouts and lots of fly. The lane next to me will be doing repeats of 250-300 and I'll be doing 100s. Then they do 100s and I do 50s and broken 100s ... so great!!!

The nice thing about differntiating workouts is that more people get what they want, the distance junkies get their yardage, I get my fast swimming, and the newbie's get drills and more instruction. All are happy - at least most are.


40 x 100 and 100 x 100 :bow:

FindingMyInnerFish
December 21st, 2006, 11:39 AM
100x100?? :eek:

I heard about this New Year's Eve thing on another forum, and I think I'd have to be in the pool for maybe New Year's Eve, New Year's Day, and maybe the next day too, and after that, in my chiro's office! ;)

That's if I could make the interval...

Amazing!