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Mswimming
August 29th, 2007, 12:47 PM
I think most masters who work out with a team tend to swim about 3-4 K per work out. But what I want to know is what percentage of that is hard swimming? And by hard I mean race pace effort.

For example, last nights work out was the following.

4X200 warm up. (EZ swimming)

10X100 - odd on 1:35 (EZ) Even on 1:20 (hard)

3 rounds of the following
200 on 3:00 Build (EZ/moderate)
3X100 on 1:40 (25 hard/25 EZ...)

4X50 kick on 1:05

Warm down 200

2750 of this was EZ or moderate swimming. And only 950 was hard swimming. About 26%. For the high intensity/quality yards fans is this about right or is it a little light?

Kevin

knelson
August 29th, 2007, 01:26 PM
2750 of this was EZ or moderate swimming. And only 950 was hard swimming. About 26%. For the high intensity/quality yards fans is this about right or is it a little light?

I don't swim on a team that concentrates on quality over quantity so much, but with that caveat I think it's about right, if not a little " heavy." 1000 yards of race paced swimming per workout is a lot. Did you truly do it race pace? My feeling is a lot of people would swim "hard" swims fast, but definitely not race pace. Maybe 90% of race pace or something like that.

I'll be curious to see what others say about this. Personally, I'd say substantially less than 10% of my total distance is done at 90% speed or faster.

Mswimming
August 29th, 2007, 02:01 PM
I guess it might be more accurate to say 90% plus. And yes it was very hard. I was dead at the end of the practice.

But yeah I am curious to see what percentage of practice is 90% or better type swimming others are doing.


Kevin

ande
August 29th, 2007, 02:10 PM
there's degrees of hard
today I went around 3,000
150 of it was very hard,
50 was strong and the rest was easy to moderate

if you're going close to race pace you don't need to do very much

though 4 X 100 kick on 1:05 would have totally whipped me



I think most masters who work out with a team tend to swim about 3-4 K per work out. But what I want to know is what percentage of that is hard swimming? And by hard I mean race pace effort.

For example, last nights work out was the following.

4 X 200 warm up. (EZ swimming)

10 X 100 - odd on 1:35 (EZ) Even on 1:20 (hard)

3 rounds of the following
200 on 3:00 Build (EZ/moderate)
3 X 100 on 1:40 (25 hard/25 EZ...)

4 X 100 kick on 1:05

Warm down 200

2750 of this was EZ or moderate swimming. And only 950 was hard swimming. About 26%. For the high intensity/quality yards fans is this about right or is it a little light?

Kevin

scyfreestyler
August 29th, 2007, 02:15 PM
I don't do enough race pace in practice but I think it is quite valuaable for improving times provided you allow enough rest time in between workouts. Race pace is going to result in some atrophy of muscles and without the time to rebuild, hypertrophy, you will lose strength and possibly some speed. Swimming a large amount of race pace 5 to 6 days a week is too much IMHO.

Shaman
August 29th, 2007, 02:15 PM
Why were your 100's kick so much faster than your 100's swim?

Mswimming
August 29th, 2007, 02:17 PM
Why were your 100's kick so much faster than your 100's swim?

ooops that was a typo. Should be 4X50 on 1:05.

no way in hell I could make 1:05. Even with fins. I'll edit the original post.

Kevin

knelson
August 29th, 2007, 02:30 PM
there's degrees of hard

I agree with this, and to me there's no way you could do that 10x100 set on 1:35/1:20 with the hard ones anywhere close to race pace. It's just not enough rest. At least I should say I couldn't. Anyway, my idea of a set where you're going close to race pace requires more like a 1:1 swim to rest ratio.

scyfreestyler
August 29th, 2007, 02:37 PM
1:1 at least. Swimming 100's at race pace would require more than 1:1 for me...if they are to continue to resemble something like a race pace swim.

poolraat
August 29th, 2007, 02:44 PM
1:1 at least. Swimming 100's at race pace would require more than 1:1 for me...if they are to continue to resemble something like a race pace swim.


At Least!! If I'm doing 50's or 100's at race pace for 50 or 100, I do the 50's on a 3:00 interval (and even then they are at about 1-2 sec slower than my best) and 100's on 6:00 (again these are swam 2-3 sec slower than my best). And I am usually only able to do 4-6 50's or 3-4 100's and hold the target times. The 1:1 ratio works good for 200 -500 race pace swims though.

Mswimming
August 29th, 2007, 03:31 PM
I agree with this, and to me there's no way you could do that 10x100 set on 1:35/1:20 with the hard ones anywhere close to race pace. It's just not enough rest. At least I should say I couldn't. Anyway, my idea of a set where you're going close to race pace requires more like a 1:1 swim to rest ratio.


From that stand point, yeah swimming a 100 close to my race time in practice would be impossible that many times. By number two I would blow chow. I was refering to level of effort. And even with a great deal of effort during this set I was about 10 seconds off race pace for a 100.


I guess a better question is what is considered hard swimming or quality yards?

tjburk
August 29th, 2007, 04:11 PM
I agree with Ande....there are definitely different levels of "Hard" all the way up to Race Pace....I usually save Race Pace days for Fridays so I have the weekend to recover....once I get back to the level of doing 2 a days then the follow up day to a Race Pace day would be a lot of long rest/easy sets concentrating a lot on the warm up and a lot of drills.

knelson
August 29th, 2007, 04:26 PM
I guess a better question is what is considered hard swimming or quality yards?

Here's a good article on the USA Swimming site about the different energy zones in swim training: http://www.usaswimming.org/USASWeb/ViewMiscArticle.aspx?TabId=417&Alias=Rainbow&Lang=en&mid=648&ItemId=1317

Allen Stark
August 29th, 2007, 08:43 PM
I swim 4 times a week,2500 yd or less each time. I swim a one day 50 pace,one day 100 pace,one day 200 pace and one day combo.My basic is a 1:3 ratio,so on 50 pace day it is 25 all out,75 recovery.I do the 25s timed and am repeating 100's on the 2-3 min depending on where I am in my training cycle and how I feel. If I can't do the race pace part at my goal time I give myself more rest.

Donna
August 29th, 2007, 08:48 PM
I was doing too much at race pace (holding my pace for the 1650) for 75% of practice. That accounts for the mega drops in my distance events.

Now that I am trying to get some sprint speed I am doing about 25% sprint speed and 25% distance race pace the remaining 50% is moderate or EZ. In practice I find I have been able to beat my best times on a good day. My 50 Back has already gone down.

With the change in percentages I find I recover faster and can handle double practices now with ease.

geochuck
August 29th, 2007, 09:09 PM
Very little hard pace for me ever. In my Sprint days gone by about half of my 800m a day was a warm up warm down the rest was all out 25s, 50, 75s or 100s.

As a distance swimmer 20 percent was all out swimming, 80 percnt race pace about 22 or 23 min mile pace.

nkfrench
August 29th, 2007, 10:13 PM
When I was training regularly we would do a "lactate set" once a month mid-season. It was 10 x 100y on 3 or 4 minutes. I would be swimming about 1:12/1:13 from a push (best race at that time was 1:10 from blocks).

Total workout was 4,000 or so.

By the end of the lactate set I would be on the verge of tears and hanging in the gutter. Not sure what hurt exactly, but still felt like I had been run over by a truck. Next morning it was a struggle just to get out of bed to go to work. A few days later I would be faster, but no way I could do those very often both from the physical punishment and also getting psyched up to do them hard.

These days: much less swimming, much slower, much more rest between swims. I did a 4 x 100y fly and still the next day I slept 14 hours.

The Fortress
August 29th, 2007, 11:36 PM
I think I'm about at Allen's ratio. I don't swim more than 25% of my workout at true "race pace." How could you? As Ande notes, there is a big difference between true race pace and 80-90%. If you're at race pace, you need a serious rest interval to make it meaningful. It's effectively a timed swim. When I'm doing that kind of workout, I mix a lot of easy recovery swims and DPS swims in with the race pace sprinting. I might, for example, do 20 x 50 on 1:00 alternating easy, DPS, fast, easy, etc. A hard aerobic set is completely different than race pace swimming. Both have their benefits, although I'm a believer in quality over quantity.

As for the question of hard swimming versus quality yards, I think you can have both or do them in alternating workouts perhaps. But if your stroke starts falling apart from hard swimming on a short interval, I'm not sure how productive that is. Yeah, it's very macho, but so what? Will that make you swim faster in a meet (assuming that's your goal)? I'll very occasionally bang out a hard set of 10 x 100s. But more often I'll descend 1-5 and 6-10 to get more bang for the buck and preserve technique and SDKs. I guess it depends somewhat on your event focus. And everyone trains differently and benefits from different training. Although I've read on the forum that race pace training can work for distance swimmers too. For me, among other things, I'm going to attempt to focus on race pace and timed swims more in practices this season. I'm convinced it's a good idea to time yourself from the blocks fairly regularly, although this is difficult if you swim alone or your team doesn't do this much. If there's no blocks, time yourself from a push off.

And, wait a minute, you can't make 50 kicks on 1:05?! I think your 100 free would improve if your kicking improved!

Slowswim
August 30th, 2007, 09:36 AM
I agree there is a big difference between race pace and effort especially for us that are new to swimming.

The workout I get from my coach seem to have a lot less warm up/down than the ones I see posted here (usual workout is 2200-3000M with 500 being a long warm up and 200 being a long cool down). My hard workout 85-100 percent of max (based on a max heart rate of 182) is at least 50% and as much as 75% which is a HR of 155 and up. I'm guessing from this thread that that may be too much.

I know by the end of my workout, my "race pace" is slower than my EZ and form breaks are common, but my HR is near 100%. Good news, hydration isn't a problem since I'm drinking half the pool.

MAC swimmer
August 30th, 2007, 10:34 AM
This is an interesting discussion. When I hear "race pace" I think time trials. We do time trials once a trimester on our team, and it is brutal. I go 100% for all of the events (say 5 events). With a 500 warm up and 200 warm down.

I cannot imagine a workout of 1000+ yards of race pace where you absolutely bury yourself--for me 3000 per hour is about max so 30% of my workout as race pace would be a huge effort . Once a week on Fridays maybe. I was not a high school or college swimmer though. I guess there are whole schools of training on race pace efforts EVERYDAY (!), ala Santa Clara Swim Club with Jochems as coach. It sounds like hell.

Mswimming
August 30th, 2007, 12:06 PM
And, wait a minute, you can't make 50 kicks on 1:05?! I think your 100 free would improve if your kicking improved!

I had typed 4x100 on 1:05 kick when I listed the work out. That was the typo I was referring to. My best kicking time for 100 yards with a kick board is only 1:28. Something I know I need to improve.

I guess the drawback with working out on a team is that we rarely do a true sprint set, or atleast one that is greater that a 1:1 rest to work ratio. I think 25's on :30 is about as close as it gets. Any more rest and the other swimmers complain and want to shorten the interval. At least now after looking at the link Knelson provided I understand why it is important.

Thanks for all the responses, this was helpful.

Kevin

knelson
August 30th, 2007, 01:13 PM
Any more rest and the other swimmers complain and want to shorten the interval.

I could see where this would be a problem. I think a lot of swimmers want to get in X amount of yards in their hour or whatever and get kind of annoyed if they fall short. Also it's tough to crank it up like that. A few hundred yards of fast swimming is way more difficult than just keeping an aerobic pace up for an hour or so. Not everyone wants to work their tail off.

hofffam
August 30th, 2007, 03:21 PM
I swim 4 times per week, occasionally 5. Distance is in the range of 2800-3300 meters. Warmup is very consistent at about 800. The meat of the workout varies. Mondays are usually aerobic threshold work, Tuesdays recovery, Thursdays V02max or Lactate production, Fridays something else. My coach doesn't include "race pace" until the last month or so of the season and it is usually broken swims. The RP set might be something like 4x25 on :15 following by 200yds easy recovery, then repeated one or two times. Race pace to my coach is max effort swims. He will time the broken pieces and use it to predict a race time unbroken. A race pace set may last 15-20 minutes, no longer. These sets leave my muscles drained for a long time even if if my heart and lungs return to normal.

The lactate production sets are usually very hard with long rest, but I wouldn't describe them as race pace. These sets become more common in the latter part of the season, and could be something like 6 x 100 (yds.) free on 2:30, swum very hard.

Most workouts also include at least a bit of sprinting - usually 25 sprint, 25 easy 50s. Then warmdown.

aquaFeisty
August 30th, 2007, 03:25 PM
Very thought-provoking post, Kevin... after thinking about it, I don't do nearly enough true race-pace efforts. I do a lot of 90-95%ish stuff, but not race pace. I enter all my workouts in excel and color code each workout for easy (green), medium (yellow), and hard (red). It's a totally arbitrary coding, and probably somewhat dependent on how I felt during/after the workout, but still looking back since June 1, I've only had 3 'red' days. Granted, our team's focus in the summer is geared toward the open water swimmers and tris, but still...

Sadly, I am a sprinter and my focus event is the 100 free. I really need to do some more all out race pace quality in my workouts! I think you nailed it with people complaining about too much rest and wanting to shorten the interval. Unfortunately, lots of people don't understand that 5x100 ALL OUT on the 5:00 is wayyyyyyy more excruciating than say 20x100 on the 1:30.

Hoping to put a lot more RED in the worksheet next season,
Carrie

okoban
August 30th, 2007, 03:42 PM
I swim 3 to 4 times a week, 3K-3.5K meters a workout. My workouts are 3 types:
weekends I do sprint sets (nearly 50% of the workout at 90-95% effort level),
weekdays one workout focused on drills (15-20% on 90-95% effort level)
and the other one endurance (80% of the workout at 85-90% effort level).
Sometimes I choose a program from Kevin Williams in this forum.
Now I started dryland training 2 times a week plus 3 times 2.5-3K meters of swim. I need dryland exercises to be stronger.:fish2:

Allen Stark
August 30th, 2007, 03:50 PM
Race Pace to me is just that,not "all out" swims(except for 25s).For instance on 100 pace days I am swimming 200s as 50 at"race pace" and 150 as recovery. For this,race pace means the time of the 2nd 50 of my 100. That is my goal time,if I can't make it I lengthen my interval.On 200 pace days I swim 300s with the first 100 at the speed of the second 10 of my 200. These are not lactate tolerance swims,the idea is to get my body used to that pace so that when I am in a race I go that pace without thinking.As I said I do 50 pace one day,100 pace one day and 200 pace one day. On the forth day I will do lactate tolerance set sometimes or other different things,but on pace days I pretty much stick to the above. Just to add another thing set I do rarely on the forth day,200s,sprint the first 50 all out and then try to hold good form and DPS the next 150. It's is a good way to get confidence(or not) that I won't fall apart if I take my 200 out too fast.

The Fortress
August 30th, 2007, 04:36 PM
I guess the drawback with working out on a team is that we rarely do a true sprint set, or atleast one that is greater that a 1:1 rest to work ratio. I think 25's on :30 is about as close as it gets. Any more rest and the other swimmers complain and want to shorten the interval. At least now after looking at the link Knelson provided I understand why it is important.

It's difficult to do this type of training with a team that has different swimmers with different training/meet goals. I do most of my sprinting and race pace training on my own. If it's aerobic work I want, I'm better off with my team. Although sometimes my team has a great sprint set or will have two main sets -- one for sprinters/strokers and one for distance free. Then everyone's happy.

Aqua Jock
August 30th, 2007, 04:42 PM
Re: percentage of hard swimming?

I try not to do any, it would be embarassing wearing a speedo and all. Usually cold pool water keeps things in check.

AJ

quicksilver
August 30th, 2007, 04:57 PM
2750 of this was EZ or moderate swimming. And only 950 was hard swimming. About 26%. For the high intensity/quality yards fans is this about right or is it a little light?

Kevin

My 2 cents...

This is a good workout for a sprinter. You probably do well with the 50 and the 100.
And the workload is just right in terms of pace and a little bit of sprint.

In my humble opinion...this formula might leave you a bit ill prepared if you ever planned on the 200 or greater.
And that said...a bit more yardage could only help your stamina on the 100.

I was a 100 free swimmer in college...and went out fast for the first 75. The third turn was always brutal no matter what.
That's where the weight room and a bit more endurance training really paid off.

Maybe on a non sprint day...see how many 100's you can do at the 1:10 rest interval.
If you can manage around 10 or so...you'll be investing money in the bank.

The Fortress
August 30th, 2007, 05:22 PM
My coach doesn't include "race pace" until the last month or so of the season and it is usually broken swims. The RP set might be something like 4x25 on :15 following by 200yds easy recovery, then repeated one or two times. Race pace to my coach is max effort swims. He will time the broken pieces and use it to predict a race time unbroken. A race pace set may last 15-20 minutes, no longer. These sets leave my muscles drained for a long time even if if my heart and lungs return to normal.

The lactate production sets are usually very hard with long rest, but I wouldn't describe them as race pace. These sets become more common in the latter part of the season, and could be something like 6 x 100 (yds.) free on 2:30, swum very hard.

I know saving the lactate sets and race pace swimming for the latter part of the season is the conventional wisdom. But is that necessarily right (assuming you're not out of shape when the season begins)?

I agree with Quicksilver's last post. That's why I don't do 200s.

hofffam
August 30th, 2007, 10:07 PM
I know saving the lactate sets and race pace swimming for the latter part of the season is the conventional wisdom. But is that necessarily right (assuming you're not out of shape when the season begins)?

I agree with Quicksilver's last post. That's why I don't do 200s.

There are different kinds of lactate work....Some are intended to create large amounts of lactate, like high effort, but short sprints. Other sets might be designed to teach your body to tolerate high levels of lactate - "lactate threshold" work. These sets are high intensity, more rest than an aerobic threshold set, but shorter overall duration. I do these about once a week. I also do a few long rest sprints every week. My point is that the race pace broken swims are later in the season, but I swim "fast" throughout the season. Very important for me since I never race anything over 200 yds!

geochuck
August 30th, 2007, 10:30 PM
Wouldn't it be great if we did not have to think of all the words lactate, Vo2max etc. etc. and train how we felt.

Guess what I only train how I feel. I want to swim hard today. I want to swim steady today. Today I want to do technique = opps I do technique all the time.

I want to swim long or I want to swim short. Do I really need to be told what to do.

When I train I know when it is time for me to quicken the pace and when to back off.

Simple for me I only do 50s and 100s.

3strokes
August 30th, 2007, 10:35 PM
Wouldn't it be great if we did not have to think of all the words lactate, Vo2max etc. ect. and train how we felt.

Guess what I only train how I feel. I want to swim hard today. I want to swim steady today. Today I want to do technique = opps I do technique all the time.

I want to swim long or I want to swim short. Do I really need to be told what to do.

When I train I know when it is time for me to quicken the pace and when to back off.

Simple for me I only do 50s and 100s.

You took the words right out of my mouth. My sentiments exactly.
And I guess that you, like I do, enjoy every minute of swimming.

CreamPuff
August 31st, 2007, 08:40 AM
Crud. This was an eye-opener thread for me.

Did over 5000 meters today w/ the masters group. I'd say 0% was at race pace (95 to 100% effort if that's how we're defining it).
Arg.

I really need to work on that. I was feeling really sluggish from my increased weight routine (went from 80 minutes a week to now lifting 180 minutes a week).

Still, not an excuse. I will shoot for 5% tomorrow.

Slowswim
August 31st, 2007, 10:16 AM
My coach usually puts percent of Max heart rate of a time on the workout.

Not only do I do the exact workout, I hit all my time hacks (unless I just can't go fast enough, then there is no rest interval. I even count my beats per minute to be sure I where I'm supposed to be. I know I just creeped out Fort and Geochuck.

When i was on a team the "Group think" would change the workout or socializing would increase the rest periods. But by myself, I stick to what written. I hate just standing at the end of the pool waiting on the clock.

I too use excel to track all my workouts. Does any one think I'm a little too Type A about this?:bitching:
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geochuck
August 31st, 2007, 10:36 AM
Slowswim it is a fact what I suggest for others, Vo2 max 2 x a week, Aenerbic 2 X a week, Aerobic 2 X a week. I do not do it myself. I go to the pool and never swim with a team - I swim the workout by the lane availability. It may start out as a certain type of workout but it can change by who gets in my lane.

I was working out doing a few sprints and suddenly people started swimming across the pool instead of laps. End of my sprints.

Slowswim
August 31st, 2007, 11:40 AM
Geochuck:

Thanx, that seems like a nice simple formula for the off season.:groovy:

aztimm
August 31st, 2007, 03:29 PM
My team does a variety of hard swimming....just today our main set had 2 different parts...

5x200, where #1 and 4 had the 1st 100 fast, 2 and 5 the middle 100 fast, 3 and 6 the last 100 fast

later in the set, 4x (100 fast, 50 easy)


We fall into the same boat as the others, if there's too much rest, most of the fast lanes get restless and adjust the interval. I think we've done 100s on 3 minutes or more a few times, and some people complained.

Many times, the coach will have something like a group of timed swims on 6 minutes, you select whatever distance you want (usually a whole lane will do the same thing). Some lanes will do 100s, some 200s, and some do 400s, all with easy swimming in between as time allows. This way you can make it race pace if you want, or crank out some distance if you'd rather.

If I had to give a % of 'hard swimming' I think it would be around 15-20%.

Syd
September 3rd, 2007, 01:30 AM
I think it is really important to have at least two practices a week where you go race pace in all your competitive events. I usually only do one repeat of each event at race pace (usually the last in a set). The others might be at 90% or less. Or I might descend in a set. For instance in a 10 x 50m crawl I might go 31,30,29,29,28,28,27,27,27 and 26. If I am doing a set like that I usually don't time the rest intervals and give myself enough rest to allow myself to descend on the next one. That probably means an average of 90 secs - 2 mins rest between each. I do the same for 100's trying to get as close to or under 60 secs on the final one.

In fact I hardly go one practice a week without timing myself in some event or another. Whether it be a 50, 100 or 200. I have never timed myself over a 25 (except for kicking or SDK'ing). It is just too short and I have never raced that distance anyway. I do this mainly because I train by myself and if I don't compete against the clock I have no idea how fast I am going. I even time my warm up! I try to do my 500m warm up in under 7m30s. I feel a brisker warm up leads itself to a quicker practice. Also, if you are constantly cruising along at 3/4 pace in practice you will, no doubt, cruise along at 87% pace in a race. But if you go 100% in practice perhaps you could go 110% in a race!

Syd

marksman
September 17th, 2007, 05:15 PM
My limit of hard swimming seems to be 1.5k. It's not a percentage of my workout, it seems to be an absolute distance per day as my muscle tissue gets injured. If I try to swim more, my stroke suffers.