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Thread: The Best Way to Complete a Workout?

  1. #1
    Participating Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2002

    The Best Way to Complete a Workout?

    Would someone be able to advise me please. At my local swim club I have difficulty in completing the sets at the times given to us. I am able to start off OK, but then need the aid of fins to continue at the pace about half way through.

    So the question is; Is is better for me to complete the whole set's distances at the times given (with the aid of fins half way through), OR better to swim with no fins but cut distances and times?

    I assume at the moment it is better to swim the distances at the times given with the fins (although I feel as if I am cheating in a way, compared to everyone else - because it is perceived as easier etc etc.)

    But is it right for me to think I am still increasing flexibilty and strength and stamina so I will eventually be able to do the sets without the need for the fin?

  2. #2
    Very Active Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2002

    I would suggest you mix it up, do some sets with the aid of fins and do some sets without, of course this is depending on your goals. If you want to become a fantastic fin swimmer, then go ahead and swim with fins all the time, but I am assuming you want to improve your non-fin swimming ability. Not knowing your swim workout group, I am not sure if you are capable of moving into another lane and adjusting the times or distances of the sets. As for when you put fins and the feeling of cheating, don't worry about it - the only time I get upset when a swimmer puts fins on is after doing so they consistently run up my butt and then refuse to go ahead of me.
    Remember that by challenging yourself is the way you improve, and that just because you fail (don't make a send off) doesn't mean you haven' gained anything, we occassionally do failure type sets, repeat swims on a descending interval or as amny swims as you can on a very fast/tight interval, you do what you can and next time around try to do more or do the same number on a faster interval. Good luck.


  3. #3
    Active Member GZoltners's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Durham, NC
    Your heart and lungs don't care what activity you are doing, as long as they are working hard. However, your muscles need specificity to perform best at an activity. Swimming with zoomers is LIKE swimming without them, but swimming without zoomers IS swimming without zoomers. It would be best to swim without zoomers. Now, the kind of long set on which getting behind is likely to be a problem is probably the kind of set that is for aerobic conditioning. You are getting less rest with the zoomers than the fastest people making the set easily are getting. You can legitimately get more rest than you are getting and still get the aerobic benefit of the set. So you should not feel bad if you have to mix in a few 50s in a set of 100s while swimming without zoomers.

    On a medium or long set like this I would make as many as I can, then miss the interval, and rest out one, and then make as many as I can, etc. On a set of 100s, this might work out to be: make the interval on 1-5, miss on 6, wait, make 8 and 9, miss on 10, make 12. Suppose they were on 1:30:

    1:15 feeling good
    1:20 breathing heavily
    1:23 definitely out of breath
    1:25 cranking along
    1:28 I'm GOING to MAKE this one
    1:38 Just plain tired
    skip one
    1:22 still a bit tired,
    (I didn't bang the feet of the person in front of me!)
    1:28 definitely tired
    1:35 slowing down
    skip one
    1:20 last one, go fast

    I personally like doing aerobic sets with zoomers because I like to have good leg conditioning, but swimming without zoomers is what you do in a race.

    What you decide to do depends on how many people in the lane and how irritable they are. If there are a lot of people in the lane and you are getting passed a lot, that could be a problem. If you are in your own lane or half a lane, or it is long course, you can just decide to swim through the whole distance until you get lapped. Remember, what you do is none of their business unless you are affecting their practice negatively. If they can't handle an occasional pass or turning with someone resting over by the lane rope, they need to get over it. If you are doing fly drill on a fly set and going last, who cares. But if you are doing elementary backstroke and 5 people pass you in a length, that's a problem. If you lead the lane and decide to go on a faster interval, that's a problem.

    There are some people that are good at longer sets and are in better shape. I used to train with a gal who would catch up to me and pass me in a longer set, but I could beat her by 6-7 seconds in a 100 yard free. If I got in good shape I could stave her off for longer, but it wasn't easy.

    swim fast,


  4. #4
    Participating Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2002


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