View Full Version : Never get quicker

The Tartan Taddy
March 7th, 2007, 07:18 AM

I am swimming a 100f/c at 68 , and a 50f/c at 32.
My 100 splits are 33/35.

The problem is I cannot see my 100 time improving as I can not get my 50 time below 32. and if I am already splitting at 33 which is 3% outside my very fastest pace of 32 then I see no room for improvement.

Am I doomed or is there hope ?

March 7th, 2007, 08:26 AM
There is always hope! If you haven't already... try working on sprints to get that 50 time down. Your 100 splits are good so you'll need to focus on getting out faster to pull the time down. Strength and "fast-twitch" workouts will get you there.
I've had the same problem recently. I've found as I age my sprints get slower but my distance events are getting faster. I focused on the first 50 and sprinting for a few weeks and, then all of a sudden, I dropped .8 seconds on my 50 and that helped pull .5 off my 100. Both times were my fastest in 2-3 years. Good Luck.

March 7th, 2007, 09:17 AM
i agree with waves. as you get older, you will get a little slower, and a 32 split on a 50 isn't bad, but there is definitely still room for improvement.

March 7th, 2007, 09:19 AM
also, on a personal note, i find that as i get older, i am better able to understand the stroke mechanics of swimming than i was in youth. that is the advantage of age, so take advantage of it. be sure that your strokes are all they can be.

The Tartan Taddy
March 7th, 2007, 10:28 AM
Tks Waves/Haffathot for your replies,

Waves what did you mean by strength training , is this land training weight training ? or a particular swim set type.

I am aware of "fast-twitch" work-out's and will be adopting them, tks.

I agree with you about the age and distance factors, I feel better over 200 and that I have more realistic chance of achieving a PB, of course there is more scope as the margin is greater than 50/100.

I am always trying to improve my stroke , and this winter I had a revolutionary change to bilateral breathing which was very strange at the start but now starting to feel natural, before I was breathing to my left and when tired my right hand entry/stroke was poor.

I also work on my Starts and Turns, my turns are OK I think , my starts are simple but effective, so maybe there is some fat in there.

Rob Copeland
March 7th, 2007, 11:30 AM
... then I see no room for improvement.
:frustrated:Am I doomed or is there hope ? :dedhorse:There is always room for improvement. Just because you are 32 in the 50 and 1:08 (33/35) in the 100 today, doesn’t mean that in a year you can’t be going 28 in the 50 and 1:03 in the 100. It is a matter of training, personal commitment and coaching.

The Tartan Taddy
March 8th, 2007, 07:43 AM

Yes I agree, of course I have the usual constraints work, Family etc
do you have any specific approaches to reduce my 50 ?

Waves what did you mean by strength training , is this land training weight training ? or a particular swim set type.

below is my current situation........

As I had said before I come from a non-swimming backgroud, I joined Masters in 1996 but only started to compete last year.

training - We have 4x1hr sessions per week in the winter thats indoor
In the summer we go outdoors two of the sessions are 1.5 hrs.
before an event I can squeeze in an extra session per week 2hrs
I can also do 3x40 mins gym sessions weights plus floor exercises at my lunch break

commitment - ok thats all down to me, I am not obessive about improving but I would dearly love to break 30 in my 50 and subsequently PB my 100, I train hard but could train harder (who could'nt).

coach - My main motivator, and not that I am emersed in the latest scientific training methods , I know he always is looking to innovate , his sets are always interesting a demanding.
But it is always good to get different opions and points of view.

March 8th, 2007, 08:33 AM
It sounds like you are doing plenty as far as strength training in the weight room with your sessions. For strength workouts I'd use a combination of aerobic overdistance (75's and 125's), lactate sets (8 x 100 @ 8:00, or something similar) and good old fashioned sprinting (12.5 breakouts, 25's decending). Keep working the starts and especially the turns. I've found as masters swimmers we like to take that little bit of rest a turn offers. Avoid it at all cost. Make sure the turn it tight and fast with an explosion off the wall. Swimming against resistance (stretch chords) is good. And, swimming with fins (practicing at high speed) also helps.

Rob Copeland
March 8th, 2007, 09:13 AM
When you say “training - We have 4x1hr sessions per week” do you mean that you are training 4 times a week or that these time are available and you make some of them? Similarly “I can also do 3x40 mins gym sessions weights”; can or do?

Also are your times improving or slowing? If your times are improving then you may be on the right track. If they are slowing, then you likely need to increase your training, which may mean changing your priorities; assuming that a sub 1:00 100 is a goal and not just a wish. If it is a goal share it with your coach and talk about what you need to do to achieve it.

General advice… as Jeff mentioned pay attention to technique (Start, stroke and turn), build endurance and power, and above all have fun!

The Tartan Taddy
March 8th, 2007, 06:20 PM

Generally I have been getting about 4x1hr swims and 2 40min land sessions per week.

of course sub 60 for a 100 would be unbelievable but I think a bit beyond me, certainly this year, remember my original point was about not getting my 50 under 32 how could I get my 100 under 68 with 33/35 splits.

I am going to make a concerted effort on the 50 over the next 6 weeks
applying many of your hints and tips, I have a meet mid April, and will report back any progress.

Waves excuse my ignorance but what does 8 x 100 @ 8:00 mean,
the @ 8.00 part ?

March 9th, 2007, 11:37 AM
We refer to the 8 x 100 @ 8:00 set as a lactate set. What it means is to swim (8) 100 yards swims on the 8 minute interval. So, swim 100 yards from a block start at race pace. If you come in on 1 min. and 15 seconds, you'll have 6 min. and 45 sec. of rest until you start 100 #2. Repeat until you've completed 8 100 yard swims. I'd also recommend doing say a 100 easy swim in between each hard 100 but do not add any time for this. You'll still have plenty of idle rest (approx. 3 of the 8 min.) This set creates lactic acid buildup in your body and helps to train your body how to adjust to the acid buildup, and/or process it, under simulated race conditions.

March 9th, 2007, 12:19 PM
also, 50 splits aren't as useful for a 100 as they are for a 200. I like to look at 25 splits for a 100. perhaps your 25 splits will tell you something. for instance, if your 25 splits are: 16, 17, 19, 16, then you know that you can improve your focus during the third leg to trim your third leg down to at least an 18 to knock off a second. If your times are more even, like 16, 17, 18, 17, then you know that your fatigue pattern is pretty normal and that you may have maxed out your time for your particular stroke technique/strength level combination. if you find that you are suffering from the latter situation, then i would first break down your stroke. When you do kicksets, are you much, much slower than your 50 time? What about when you are working just arms? If the breakdowns don't reveal any serious deficiencies in the strength of your upper or lower half, then i would recommend that you dive into some studies on stroke technique and strategy, like I-Pulls vs. S-Pulls or kick depths. Although, another concern might be breathing. Have someone time your stroke rate when you are not breathing and when you are. Is there a significant change in the stroke rate when you breathe? How many times in a 50 do you breathe? Ideally, it should be zero for a 50 race and only once or twice in the course of a 200.


March 24th, 2007, 08:54 PM

Was this a typo when you said to breathe zero for a 50 and only once or twice for a 200? I don't know of anyone who can do this so maybe I misread your comment. ???


March 24th, 2007, 10:41 PM
i think i meant one or two breaths on a 100 on the latter, but zero breaths in the former -- at 50 yards at least -- certainly isn't completely uncommon at high levels of swimming ability. two breaths or less on a 100 is a bit more difficult, though.


The Tartan Taddy
March 26th, 2007, 04:28 PM
Hi haffathot,

I think I could manage 2 per 50, either 1st just before I tumble or on the way out, and the second between 5-10m to finish. (25m pool).

For 100 no way for me I would looking at a mix of 3's out of turns and 5's and 7s on the stretches.

March 26th, 2007, 07:12 PM
well, the fewer breaths the faster. that is qualified, of course, that you don't sacrifice stroke force to help you hold your breath. everyone has a vo2max, and -- for most people -- that will mean that the number of breaths taken per a given race cannever be at a truly elite level. if you have the ability to breathe only once or twice on a 100 and not sacrifice power, or none at all on a 50 while not sacrificing power, then go for it. such an ability will be a great aid in speed. however, you can't find out your vo2max without testing it first. pushing yourself to your limit with hypoxics during practice will help you find out where you need to draw the line.