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View Full Version : Pre-race warm up: how much is enough?



Syd
October 11th, 2007, 02:14 AM
Here's the thing. I always swim my best times at the end of practice or at the end of a set. I don't deliberately hold out (maybe in a set but not in a practice as a whole). If I am doing a set of 10 x 50 free sprint, I always descend the set and usually in 1 second intervals. So if I did the final 50 in 27 the previous one would have been in 28 and the one before in 29, etc. In fact it is almost as if I have to go through the whole progression to get to my best times. I find it very difficult to just dive in and do a good time.

What should I do at a meet? I don't know what the situation is going to be with warm up pools etc. I know I would want to do at least a 500m slow warm up and then, at least, 5 - 7 fast 50's getting my time down as low as possible (without burning myself out) on the last few. I don't know if this is going to be possible though.

What does everyone else do for a race day warm up?

Syd

geochuck
October 11th, 2007, 04:04 AM
Warmups - I would say do a swim of 10 minutes starting slowly and pick your pace up to a point that you are going at a nice clip. A few 50s at decendig times almost to the time you intend to do your race.

Just don't kill yourself before the race.

Now if I was going to race I would first have a warm shower.
I would do no more than a total of 500m for the total warmup in the pool starting slowly and almost get to a race pace in 300m then 4 fairly brisk 50s. I would put on some warm sweat suit thing, stay out of the wind if an outdoor swim and keep warm.

Good luck in your swim.

Syd
October 11th, 2007, 09:31 AM
Warmups - I would say do a swim of 10 minutes starting slowly and pick your pace up to a point that you are going at a nice clip. A few 50s at decendig times almost to the time you intend to do your race.

Just don't kill yourself before the race.

Now if I was going to race I would first have a warm shower.
I would do no more than a total of 500m for the total warmup in the pool starting slowly and almost get to a race pace in 300m then 4 fairly brisk 50s. I would put on some warm sweat suit thing, stay out of the wind if an outdoor swim and keep warm.

Good luck in your swim.

That's sounds like very sensible advice George. You know, when I used to swim as a kid, we never warmed up. We just used to dive into the pool and do our event. Sounds crazy doesn't it!

I am hoping that the warm up pool is going to be available at all times to allow me to swim almost to the time of racing. I have no idea what the situation will be.

My father always used to tell me as a kid not to have a hot bath before a race as it would make you sleepy and draw away energy. However, I have seen swimmers relaxing in the hot tub before training.


Syd

Allen Stark
October 11th, 2007, 10:09 AM
Syd,the warm up you describe may be very good for you.Warm up is a very individualized thing.Try what you suggested and see how you feel.At USMS meets a warm up/warm down area is required,I hope they have that where you are.

geochuck
October 11th, 2007, 10:32 AM
Allen you are so right what he posted may be good. I am just afraid that some warmup too much, but it is up to the person who has to race.

I have done many differrent types of warm ups.
My favorite is the very warm shower and wrapping my body very warm water soaked towels without swimming.

Over the years some do not even go near a pool and just do land exercises. Some just do stretches.

The main thing after the warmup is to keep warm.

Betsy
October 11th, 2007, 04:39 PM
I agree with Alan that a warmup is a very individual thing. The older I get, the more it helps to do a long warmup. Most people don't swim well in practice until at least 1/2 way through the practice, and many swim well at the very end. I know of lots of people who do not warmup enough. Rarely have I heard of anyone who says they did too much.
I like to do about 800 during my initial warmup, then get back in the pool closer to the race and do 200-300 more. In the initial warmup, I always do some 50s or 25s to get my heart rate up.
My worst weakness (in regard to warmup) is do less each day of a meet. The truth is that I need to do more when I am tired as the meet goes on. I have a real battle with myself to show up early and do a good warmup by the 3rd day of nationals. I swim better when I do it, but ...

islandsox
October 11th, 2007, 08:28 PM
I do agree that it is individual BUT it is also based on what kind of training a person has been doing (yardage) and what event(s) they will be swimming. There is no way that a warmup even a long one should take everything out of a swimmer who has been training.

Here's an example: a swimmer swims 3500 to 5000 yds a day 3x week. Event is a 500 yd or 800 m free. The warmup can be as long as 1,000 yds all split up of course. EZ 300 free, some not-quite race-pace 50s, 200 of mix and match, some hypoxic 25s done easily, etc. For many people, they DO NOT warm up for a long enough period of time, thus, why they feel better the further into their swim meet they go. The better the conditioning a swimmer is in, the longer the warmup should be. I never found a warm shower of much benefit; it doesn't get my heartrate and muscles moving; it only makes me feel looser. And I need that aerobic warmup to get my body to "READY." For a mid to long distance swimmer, a longer warmup may just do the trick; it has for me.

Donna

Syd
October 11th, 2007, 08:35 PM
Yes, Donna I agree with you. I train on average about 21 000 to 24 000m a week so a 800m or so warm up shouldn't tire me out. And I am just one of those people who needs more time before they get going. Anyway, everyone's responses have given me the confidence to do a 'longer' warm up without worrying too much.

Syd

hofffam
October 12th, 2007, 02:42 PM
I agree warmup is a highly individual thing but I must say I'm surprised at the short warmups discussed here. I train about 13,000 M per week right now and race 50s and 100s. My coach recommends a warmup much closer to 1500-2000 yds. Most of it is swum easily. But it includes full stroke swimming, kick (without a board), drills in each of the strokes I'm racing, and a short "set" of something like 8 x 50 or 4 x 100 followed by just a few high speed 25s from the blocks. I aim for 35-45 minutes of swimming for the main warmup.

I don't have much endurance so I'm paranoid about tiring myself. But I have never felt drained by this kind of warmup. My body is completely loose, warm, and I'm famililar with the walls, stripes, and flags.