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Thread: Proper warm-up at a swim meet

  1. #1
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    Proper warm-up at a swim meet

    If any of you were to go to a swim meet and only swam one single event...the 200m freestyle...what kind of warm-up would you do, how long before the event, and what other things (if any) would you do before your even. Thanks guys

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    Very Active Member scyfreestyler's Avatar
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    Re: Proper warm-up at a swim meet

    Just did this very thing yesterday, as a matter of fact. I swam my warm-up 1 hour before my event started and it was about 600 meters, mostly freestyle but also some breaststroke. Two things I paid attention to in warm-up were the locations of the T's in relation to the wall and swimming some short bursts of what I had intended my race pace to be in the 200. While waiting for my event, I got into my dry race suit (FS PRO legs in this case) and stayed off of my feet, just trying to relax.

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    Re: Proper warm-up at a swim meet

    A half hour before my event I like to be finished with my warm-up. For the 200 I would swim a relaxed 500 to 1,000. Usually I end up at about 600.

    Next it's off to the blocks where I do several 25 sprints, all out. If it's long course I shut down halfway. Next I swim a 50 at first 50 race pace. I want to know how I'm feeling and how that first 50 at my target time feels. I might do one, two or three of these. I warm down and get out.

    I go over the race in my mind while waiting. I snap at my wife and kids for bugging me.

    That's my routine.

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    Re: Proper warm-up at a swim meet

    Great. Thanks - those are great tips....

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    Very Active Member knelson's Avatar
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    Re: Proper warm-up at a swim meet

    I try to swim at least 1,000 yards or meters as a warmup, but it's going to vary for everyone. The most important thing is to feel loose and ready to go. I like to swim easy until I get all the kinks out, then do a little kicking and then maybe some pace or sprinting. Take it easy on the fast stuff, though. You want to get a feel for swimming fast, but you don't want to tire yourself out. I also like to get in and swim 100-200 within ten minutes of my race, especially if I have to sit around for a while after warmups end.

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    Very Active Member nkfrench's Avatar
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    Re: Proper warm-up at a swim meet

    I'd do 200 general loosening up, then a little stretching. Then some technique-focused work for 200-400, 4-8 descending 50's for pace, and some short sprints and fast kicking to wake up my muscles. A few starts and breakouts to get used to the blocks, a few turns to get used to the walls. And some more easy swimming to shake things out and cool off. It all depends on how good my conditioning is, so I try to not exceed my average workout mileage just on warmup and cooldown!

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    Re: Proper warm-up at a swim meet

    I would do whatever I routinely did in practice to get ready for a fast swim.

    If you walked into workout, and were told that workout consisted of a 200 free from the blocks... what would you do to get ready for that? In workout, you should occasionally practice racing, and practice warming up for that racing.

    -Rick

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    Re: Proper warm-up at a swim meet

    If anything, I would err on the side of warming up too much, rather than too little, mostly because most masters could stand to do more warmup. I also used to worry about "wearing myself out," but this year I did a lot of active rest sets (like I describe on my blog), where you do a repeat and go straight into a 50 active active rest instead of just sitting on the wall, and though I got very tired, I also got very fast at the end, going some surprising times. When I mentioned that to one of my coaches, he was like, "Yes. It works like that for me too. Remember that when you are at the meet warming up. It is okay to even be panting a little when you get up on the blocks."

    And I went with that and it has worked well. So you can warm up a lot more than you think. I usually do 1500 general loosen/drills/builds and then do a little more hard stuff first thing. Then I will jump in again and get my heart rate up and focus on the last little bits right before getting on the blocks. This usually works pretty well for me.

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    Re: Proper warm-up at a swim meet

    I usually do a ladder set like 100, 200, 300, 400, 500, 400, 300, 200, 100 nice and smooth on a 1:15 per 100 interval. Then I like to do some sprints right before the race like 30 x 25. If there is too much lag time before the event, I will do 100 push ups while on deck to get my heart rate up before getting on the blocks.

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    Very Active Member 3strokes's Avatar
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    Re: Proper warm-up at a swim meet

    Warm-up?
    Are you kidding me?
    Waste whatever little energy I have left?

    Just kidding.
    Do what "they" said. Quite a bit of experience and wisdom there and I can't add anything new to it.
    ..... Where, Oh, where did I last see my swimming suit? Oh well!

  11. #11
    Very Active Member Muppet's Avatar
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    Re: Proper warm-up at a swim meet

    I swim with a former olympian whose meet routine looks like this:
    • arrive at the pool about 45 min. before event
    • change and chat with teammates
    • swim a few hundred in the pool
    • take a long hot shower
    • pace up and down the deck waiting for heat
    • race
    man up, buttercup!

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    Very Active Member knelson's Avatar
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    Re: Proper warm-up at a swim meet

    Quote Originally Posted by Muppet View Post
    I swim with a former olympian
    There's no such thing as a former Olympian!

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    Re: Proper warm-up at a swim meet

    Quote Originally Posted by Herb View Post
    I usually do a ladder set like 100, 200, 300, 400, 500, 400, 300, 200, 100 nice and smooth on a 1:15 per 100 interval. Then I like to do some sprints right before the race like 30 x 25. If there is too much lag time before the event, I will do 100 push ups while on deck to get my heart rate up before getting on the blocks.
    If the Matterhorn were nearby, would you climb it?
    Young for my speed. . .

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    Very Active Member Speedo's Avatar
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    Re: Proper warm-up at a swim meet

    Well, here's how I figure a meet warmup.

    I've found that at the end of my *workout* warmups of about 1500, I'm not quite warmed up completely. I'd say at around 2000 or a little more I feel unkinked in practice. So the way I figure, your heart rate stays elevated for some time after you work out, so if I get out after 1500 during a meet warmup, my heart will warm me up the rest of the way. Efficient, huh?

    That 1500 is mostly low intensity though- just stretching and getting a feel for the water. Then I do a few 50s at 200 pace (hypoxic stuff and concentrating on getting the turns right), a few half-pool sprints and out.

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