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Thread: Improving Speed

  1. #1
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    Improving Speed

    Have been a masters swimmer for almost 3 years. I seem to have hit a plateau in improving my 100 free speed, which is not fast. I can't get below 1:29 in the 100; My fastest 50 is :42. I have increased by yardage to about 3500 per workout (from 2500) with more interval work five times per week. Also, I cycle and lift weights about three times a week.

    I am 52, 6'3" and weigh 195; the main feedback I get from the masters coach is I need to minimize head movement during sprints.
    Last edited by Kenny100; October 2nd, 2014 at 08:18 PM.

  2. #2
    Very Active Member Swimosaur's Avatar
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    Re: Improving Speed

    Quote Originally Posted by Kenny100 View Post
    ... I cycle and lift weights about three times a week ... I am 52, 6'3" and weigh 195 ...
    You are obviously a very fit guy. The problem must be that you are using all your energy battling water resistance.

    Water is 800 times denser than air. No amount of training can overcome water resistance. The water will always win. You have to avoid water resistance.

    Here are my two all-time favorite videos. Take videos of yourself. Post them here if you like.

    Karlyn Pipes. Study every frame. See her body position? No resistance.

    BORKED

    Ande Rasmussen. This is masterful. Do try this at home. No resistance.

    BORKED

  3. #3
    Very Active Member __steve__'s Avatar
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    Re: Improving Speed

    Exactly what S-Rex said, take the path of least resistance.

  4. #4
    Very Active Member Allen Stark's Avatar
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    Re: Improving Speed

    Absolutely,the main and best way to get faster is to improve technique,but another common reason swimmers plateau is lack of race pace work. If your focus race is the 100,how much work do you do at 100 race pace?.Check out this thread for a good discussion of race pace http://forums.usms.org/showthread.ph...ighlight=usrpt
    "To strive,to seek,to find,and not to yield" Tennyson
    Allen

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    Very Active Member Swimspire's Avatar
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    Re: Improving Speed

    I would agree that adding in some race pace work could help improve performance. However, from what you have described, you have already been including interval work and race pace-style swimming to your training, with no perceived effect. This means that there is probably something else missing, and that is most likely your technique. My suggestion would be to get your technique analyzed by someone other than your coach to see what areas of your stroke could do with improvement beyond just minimizing head movement. I actually wrote a piece on why swimmers should get a stroke analysis - perhaps it will be insightful for you: www.swimspire.com/get-stroke-technique-analyzed/

    Good luck!

  6. #6
    Very Active Member Allen Stark's Avatar
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    Re: Improving Speed

    Quote Originally Posted by Swimspire View Post
    I would agree that adding in some race pace work could help improve performance. However, from what you have described, you have already been including interval work and race pace-style swimming to your training, with no perceived effect. This means that there is probably something else missing, and that is most likely your technique. My suggestion would be to get your technique analyzed by someone other than your coach to see what areas of your stroke could do with improvement beyond just minimizing head movement. I actually wrote a piece on why swimmers should get a stroke analysis - perhaps it will be insightful for you: www.swimspire.com/get-stroke-technique-analyzed/

    Good luck!
    I totally agree that stroke analysis is an excellent tool for any serious swimmer and I already noted that technical improvements are the best way to get faster.
    That said,I think the point needs to be made that the vast majority of interval work most Masters do is not race pace. 10X100 with 10-15 sec rest is not race pace work for a 100 event. That is why I gave the link to the race pace thread.
    Train like you race or you will race like you train,both in terms of technique and pace.
    "To strive,to seek,to find,and not to yield" Tennyson
    Allen

  7. #7
    Very Active Member Glenn's Avatar
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    Re: Improving Speed

    Quote Originally Posted by Allen Stark View Post
    I totally agree that stroke analysis is an excellent tool for any serious swimmer and I already noted that technical improvements are the best way to get faster.
    That said,I think the point needs to be made that the vast majority of interval work most Masters do is not race pace. 10X100 with 10-15 sec rest is not race pace work for a 100 event. That is why I gave the link to the race pace thread.
    Train like you race or you will race like you train,both in terms of technique and pace.
    Couldn't have said it better myself.

  8. #8
    Very Active Member rtodd's Avatar
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    Re: Improving Speed

    Are those meters times or yards times? You are getting more than enough pool time and should be swimming faster by now.
    A good metric for technique is slow swimming and studying body position, body line, recovery/catch/pull. This can expose many flaws in technique that could otherwise be hidden when thrashing at race pace. With technique issues solved, then build in race pace swimming.

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    Re: Improving Speed

    Quote Originally Posted by Kenny100 View Post
    Have been a masters swimmer for almost 3 years. I seem to have hit a plateau in improving my 100 free speed, which is not fast. I can't get below 1:29 in the 100; My fastest 50 is :42. I have increased by yardage to about 3500 per workout (from 2500) with more interval work five times per week. Also, I cycle and lift weights about three times a week.

    I am 52, 6'3" and weigh 195; the main feedback I get from the masters coach is I need to minimize head movement during sprints.
    Kenny,

    You can Swim Faster Faster

    your 100 free is 1:29
    your 50 is :42.
    you swim 3500 per workout with a team 5 times per week.
    you cycle & lift weights 3 times a week.
    you're 52,
    6'3"
    weigh 195
    the main feedback you get from your coach is you need to minimize head movement during sprints
    Plus you WANT to swim faster, you're frustrated and determined.

    You're a big guy, you're not fat and you train often.
    Without even seeing you swim, it's obvious you're making some significant technique errors.
    If you swim properly your improvement will be proportional to what you fix.

    I like to do swim faster faster sessions.
    I ask you to swim easy and I watch you.
    I let you rest about a minute then I have you do a 25 all out from a dive for time.
    While you're swimming I look for things to fix.
    I might show you a few things and have you copy me.

    I have you swim easy and rest a bit.
    Then I give you a few short instructions to correct your most significant errors.
    then I have you do another 25 all out from a dive for time.
    Hopefully you just swam faster faster and have a few things to think about and do when you're training.


    Improve your
    pushoffs,
    streamline,
    break out,
    stroke,
    kick, and
    turns.
    You can swim way faster, get one on one stroke improvement lessons.
    Video yourself swimming and put it on youtube. then give us a link

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