PDA

View Full Version : What is the point of "descending?"



spudfin
November 13th, 2007, 09:06 AM
Good Morning
I am reading about how to structure workouts and many recommend that I descend my times in a series of intervals. I know what it means but wonder what is the physiological basis for doing it.
Regards
Spudfin

etrain
November 13th, 2007, 09:55 AM
Descending is great for beating people on the last couple of laps in a longer race. I do all sorts of descending or negative splitting (swimming the second half faster than the first). You should really try it for awhile because it will make a huge difference in a meet or even in practice if you have people to race.

etrain

TRYM_Swimmer
November 13th, 2007, 10:02 AM
One of the benefits of descending swims is that you learn to relax and stretch out in order to go slower on the first part. That conserves energy for the latter half of the race when the fast starters are beginning to feel it more. When you go faster later, you don't tie up as much as you do when you have pressed the first part of the race. It's hard for some people to hold back, fearing they will be too far behind, but once you have swum a race or two descending, and find you are actually going faster than if you had pushed from the beginning, you'll never go back.

RuffWater
November 13th, 2007, 10:35 AM
Descending forces you to HTFU.

onefish
November 13th, 2007, 11:31 AM
1. Forces you to know your pace by feel and by time.
2. Forces you to manage your energy levels.
3. Simulates a negative split race.
4. Encourages better form by starting smooth and slow and building into a frenzy rather than going all-out from the first rep.
5. Gives you a mental target during the swim, which may help break up the monotony of some workouts. But not those 5x1000 things.

Done right, they're exhausting - the next to last rep should almost leave you at the crisis stage while still thinking you can crank out one more good swim.

Variation: decend the intervals but keep the swim pace constant at a fairly strenuous energy level.

DV

art_z
November 13th, 2007, 12:49 PM
two ways to do it


examples 1

8 x 50, descend 1 to 4, 5 to 8 where repeats 1 and 5 are slow and 4 and 8 are basically 90%+ effort

example 2

15 x 50, hold same pace for all 15, but descend interval. adjust interval so that the last 5 are 1 or 2 seconds rest.
1 -5 on 45
5 - 10 on 40
10 to 15 on 35

these are good for 100s as well.

Kevin in MD
November 13th, 2007, 03:22 PM
Good Morning
I am reading about how to structure workouts and many recommend that I descend my times in a series of intervals. I know what it means but wonder what is the physiological basis for doing it.
Regards
Spudfin

Not much Physiological basis for doing it, trying to justify descending sets in temrs pf physiology will result in lots of hand waving. Lots of mental and pacing reasons for doing it though.

I like to do some descending sets just afetr warmup if I am going to do some hard swims and will be watching times. Sort of an after warmup, warmup.

aztimm
November 13th, 2007, 03:36 PM
I find that the descending lets me 'warm into' a set....like for 5x200, you can start at 70%, and work yourself up to max by #5. That is, if everyone in your lane knows/does what the coach says... There's been more than once when I've had guys catching my feet on the first of a descending set, let them pass, only to be catching them by the last one or 2.

How our coach will sometimes describe a set, rather than descending, is at 800 pace, 400 pace, 200 pace, 100 pace. It would be assumed that a 100 at 100 pace would be faster than a 100 at 800 pace (one of the middle 100s of the 800).

art_z
November 13th, 2007, 03:39 PM
it is a good way to get the heart rate up at the end of a warmup set and get ready for some real "work"