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Thread: Sprint Training Advice

  1. #1
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    Sprint Training Advice

    I have been swimming 3-6 times a week now for about two months. Within the past month I transitioned from 25-3500 meters in a practice to attempting some of this high intensity only training I keep hearing people experiment with. Maybe it isnt so "experimental" and I am just that naive.

    I am swimming 3 - 5 times a week and lifting weights twice a week. I am doing mostly the weight program that Jason Lezak recommended, with some modifications. Mainly only lifiting twice a week not three(Tuesday/Thursday). My pool time has been split. MWF I am doing all high intensity sprinting with about 300 warmup and 1-200 cool down. Usually swim about 1000 after I do weights to help with muscle recovery.

    I do not have a benefit of a coach blowing a whistle at me or setting up my intervals. I have been trying to "cram" as much sprint yardage into my high intensity training as possible. I have been surprised at how quickly the my body is adapting to this type of training. The first week I could not do but 4 x 25 all out sprint, without the vomit feeling. Monday of this week I was able to 8x25s, 4x37.5s and 2x50s. With 3 minutes rest in between each. I was holding around 12secs on the 25s and 28secs on the 50s, I didnt get the time for the 37.5s. These are all from a push by the way no diving blocks at the pool I practice at.

    All of that just to ask if anyone has any recommendations or insight on a way forward. Or am I headed the wrong way. I wont actually get to swim in a meet until Nov.8th. I just found a pool in the area that will let me use their diving blocks!!!

    Please let me know if there is any adivce. Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
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    Re: Sprint Training Advice

    Here is some feedback and also some questions -

    Are you focusing on the 50 or also on the 100 ?

    I think 300 warm-up is not enough - most people need at least 15 minutes - whatever that means in terms of distance.

    Sprinting like this 3x per week is actually quite a bit - I can only manage it 2x per week with the lifting. But great if you can handle it.

    Even for sprinters - there still needs to be some sort of periodization. When is the main meet you are shooting for ? How many weeks out are you and then build some sort of plan from there. Another question is - what other tools can you use - and want your body to learn how to use >> paddles, fins, resistance training.

    Here is a rough example of a season 12 weeks just focusing on the sprint workouts:
    3 weeks of technique and getting used to resistance work - you can sprint maybe at 90-95% level and still focus on technique - or use the fins to help you. Learn how to use a parachute / big trunks / or a T-shirt and do 8-12x25 sets with rest. Start out easy - see if your arms and shoulders show any problems.

    3 weeks or building strength - Use the sets you are already doing - add in 10 seconds of fast sculling before some of the sprints / or 25 all out kick + a 25 sprint. Build the resistance training further - getting closer to max efforts. You can also add some sprints with paddles. Mix that up with just regular sprints.

    3 weeks - just power work - use the resistance training - maybe do 6-8 sprints with a parachute and then 2-3 without and then 2-3 with zoomers and then 2-3 with zoomers and paddles. Again always have a regular sprint day as well.

    3 weeks of fine tuning and above race pace sprints + Taper -- use a band to assist you. Running starts are great or zoomers.

  3. #3
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    Re: Sprint Training Advice

    Thanks ehoch for the feedback!
    I am just focusing on the 50 for right now. And as it turns out the only meet I will be able to swim before next spring sometime will be the one in November 8th. And since I started the 3rd week of August it seems I am right in your 12ish week recommendation.
    I would even say that through my first two weeks I focused 70% effort on technique and 30% workout distance. After that for about 2-3 weeks I emphasized my kick/dsp/increasing workout duration. Then about the last week of September I decided to start lifting weights and then at the end of that week I decided to try all high intensity workouts.
    I am using paddles/zoomers on the days after I lift and if I swim on sat/sun. I am also using zoomers during some of the sprint sets. I know that JMiller recommends fullsize fins for this but I dont have and cant afford right now to get them. For instance I just got back from my workout and I swam:
    200 swim
    100 Pull
    100 Kick
    50 easy swim
    4 x 50 swim with zoomers on 3:30
    4 x 50 swim w/o zoomers 4 minutes (I only made one of these)
    200 cool down

    My intention for this training is to see if I can still compete. I swam through high school but only took my senior year seriously, and because I hadnt much foundation on technique, I bulled my way through the water. I know academically the correct technique, but was unwilling to implement in my swimming. Because of this I over worked my shoulder. I ended up swimming two years in college after taking a year off. My times didnt get any faster after high school, but I grew two inches. And like most red blooded americans after being motivated by the olympics, I said "Hey I can do that!!!" and with dreams of grandeur I decided I wanted to test the waters, no-pun intended.
    Again thanks for the input, any more based off of the additional info is greatly appreciated.

  4. #4
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    Re: Sprint Training Advice

    Quote Originally Posted by Justin_Pyle View Post
    I am swimming 3 - 5 times a week and lifting weights twice a week. I am doing mostly the weight program that Jason Lezak recommended, with some modifications.
    Justin - Where did you get Lezak's weight workout? Is there a link you could post? I would certainly appreciate it. Thanks!

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    Re: Sprint Training Advice


  6. #6
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    Re: Sprint Training Advice

    Justin, what is your age, and do you have any injuries that would affect your workouts?

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    Re: Sprint Training Advice

    I am 27, and I did have a strained shoulder when I was 18, my stroke technique was horrible, and I did not kick very much.

    As far as that goes though I have completely revamped my stroke and have been free of any "injuries" and body soreness is usually gone by next morning but never last really until the next workout.

    I would appreciate any advice/input/recommendations - you can give me would be awesome.

    was really hoping to have had some people way in on perspectives of sprint training. There seems to be many philosophies and I was interested in hearing some of them.

    I have no intention of taking place of any of the other threads.

  8. #8
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    Re: Sprint Training Advice

    I believe your well oriented on what things to do in order to get good results in sprint training. It's important to know that if you want a speed performance that gets good results, you train fast untili you can! This means that once your times start falling behind your goal times you STOP the exercise, swim some recovery for a while and then try once again at least one more if your able to continue.

    You definitely need more W-UP!!! And ofcourse more COOL DOWN!!! This helps promote early recovery. Also the weight progrma of Jason Lezak I can say for experience is brilliant!!! I had great results with my sprint swimmers when I tried it. I think theirs also other things that could be added to make it more complete in a sense. Or maybe not add, but change a bit like add excentric work to the program. I noticed that my swimmers were even more explosive once they tried this type of work. Though it was a great result for power which I think it was, you can't train excentric in swimmers for more than 2 weeks without having a feedback of extreme tiredness and lack of energy which is important for the main exercise (sprint swimming).

    One other thing is that I would recommend that you try lifting weights the same day you train sprinting and right after the water workout. Reason for this is that if you sprint swim M,W&F's and do the weight workout T & TH's, since their both predominantly anaerobic workouts, probably your body would drop in performance at some point in the season. This is not a drop you would want, thinking that you want to keep on going fast. You could rest your body the days in between and work on technique, plus it helps on recovering at the mind set for the next sprint bout.

    I'm a Personal Trainer and been a Swim Coach for the last 6 years. I have 2 B.S. one in Physical Education the other in Sports Science. I'm also an ASCA member for the past 5 years. At this moment I also am studying my Master's in Exercise Physiology at the University if Puerto Rico. I hope to do complete my thesis in this type of theme. Any questions or even suggestions will be greatly accepted.

  9. #9
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    Re: Sprint Training Advice

    Get a snorkel. Train dryland and in the pool using a snorkel. You'll increase lung capacity and pain tolerance. We ran stadium stairs with snorkels and it helped a lot.

  10. #10
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    Re: Sprint Training Advice

    The guy who trained the Olympic gold medalist in the 50 free in London gave a practice every Friday that was 20 minutes - minimal warm-up and lots of sprints.

    With respect to warm-up duration:
    Empirical evidence from recent gold medalists > conventional wisdom

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