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Alex's swim journal

VO2max workout

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by , March 7th, 2013 at 11:46 PM (593 Views)
So, yesterday I did an LT workout and felt pretty comfortable. Today, I didn't have any residual soreness and the tender left shoulder was even feeling better than yesterday. I'm off Advil, but still icing a couple of times at night and once in the morning if I have time. So, if my old 1500 pace is now my LT pace, then what would my VO2max pace be? I figured that would be my new 1500 pace, maybe not as fast as my 500 pace, but approaching it.

I'm guessing all of this based on pace and distance conversions from running. If a 15K to 1/2 marathon pace is the threshold in running, then that corresponds to about the 5K pace (about 1:43/100y last summer, but I'm guessing closer to 1:40 now... my "old" 1500 pace). If the VO2max pace is what you can sustain in a 3-5K run, then that would be more or less the 1000-1500 pace in the water. So, if the technique holds together in the water (and that's a HUGE IF), then the other distance, pace, and rest times from my running workouts should be adaptable. The goal in an LT workout is to be at the threshold pace for 30-40 minutes (long intervals and short rests), while the goal of the VO2max workout is to maintain the faster pace for a shorter time (2-6 mins per rep) with longer rests... active rests in running, so I would try this in swimming too.

The workout I chose for VO2max was a set of 150s at my 500 pace, which should mean about 2:15-2:20 of hard swimming, followed by an EZ 50 and about :10 rest on the wall before the next repeat. I don't think this rest was long enough, so some of my repeats came in over 2:20 and it felt more difficult, less comfortable than I would have liked... I was getting about 65-70 seconds of active recovery/rest between 150s and the minimum should have been 70. Maybe I should have had an EZ day after the LT workout? The LT workout felt EZ though. Anyway, here's what I did:

400 EZ on 8:30 (7:00)
4 x 100 on 2:00 (1-3 fr in 1:28; 4, was IM in 1:40)
4 x 50 kick in 200 IM order (w/fins)

12 x 200 on 3:30*

6 x 50 kick w/fins (fly, bk, br; 400 IM order)
200 EZ free
100 IM EZ

4000 SCY/80 mins

*I wrote the workout this way, though what I actually did was 150 hard/50 recovery which brought me in consistently at 3:20, so I could easily leave for the next rep every 3:30... but, again, I don't think this was enough of a rest for a VO2max workout... It was uncomfortable, especially toward the end... fatigue and tightness were really setting in around the 6th rep. The other thing frustrating about this workout was that the pacing felt uneven... to the extent that I got a chance to peek at the clock at all it seemed like my 100s were coming in around 1:30-:32 (:45-:46 per 50 pace), which means my last 50s were coming in mostly in :49... that's too big a drop-off.

So, to sum up, I did a total of 1800 at VO2max pace (or pushing the limits of that pace)... about 27-28 minutes total at VO2max, which is kind of like swimming a really hard mile for me. So, I guess it's OK. Maybe VO2max workouts are not supposed to be terribly comfortable anyway. I'm hoping this helps increase the oxygen uptake.

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