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Thread: Request for LONG distance training (?)

  1. #1
    Very Active Member Leonard Jansen's Avatar
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    Request for LONG distance training (?)

    Just a thought/request:

    At some point in the future, it would be nice to have workouts posted by someone who specializes in LONG distance coaching with an eye on open water distances (1 mile "death sprints" to ??? miles). The workouts provided are generally excellent, but since open water distances basically start where pool distances leave off, it would be great to have something a bit more specific. This is especially true since there is a relatively small body of printed work on longer distance/open water training and coaches for LONG distances seem few and far between.

    Would anyone else be interested and would this be possible?

    -LBJ

  2. #2
    Active Member Kipp's Avatar
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    LD

    LBJ-
    I think I could probably keep you in mind during some of my workouts. I was until last year in charge of the of Santa Barbara Beachguards and we used to do many open water swims as well as set many of the local open water courses.

    You could also double many of the distances in our sets or even swim some of the sets with an open water stroke (with you head coming up to sight the wall), while it may look funny it could help bridge the gap. Keep in mind that swimmers who specialize in open water are still a minority in the sport, but I guess we should consider them more as they help coaches stay in business!
    Jeremy Kipp
    UCSB Swim Coach

  3. #3
    Active Member Nancy Graham's Avatar
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    I second the motion for some long distance workouts that will help us open water swimmiers -- even it the distance isn't quite so long Periodic suggestions will be a great help. Simply swimming non-stop laps gets old.

    Thanks, Nancy

  4. #4
    USMS Member since 2003 gull's Avatar
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    For that matter, what about workouts for middle and long distance (400-1500) swimmers?

  5. #5
    Very Active Member laineybug's Avatar
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    When I first started back to swimming i couldn't even do the 'beginner' workouts. Newbies to this board frequently ask how they can increase their yardage and endurance. The advice is always the same, "start out slow and easy. Don't be to anxious and increase the yardage too quickly," but that doesn't really tell them WHAT to do during a workout. WHAT, is what I wanted most. Suggestions on how to modify even the beginner/slowest levels of a workout DOWN so Newbies could benefit, would also be great for them. Something simple, with an eye toward very low, to low yardage, like, "if you are a Newbie you would likely benefit most from doing 1/2 of the warm up, the first two swims of set 1, and 1/2 of the warm down. Adjust your intervals by (or some other specific modification)..." Then, when a newbie asked a question about how to begin doing workouts we could direct them to yours.

  6. #6
    Active Member Nancy Graham's Avatar
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    I think laineybug has a great idea. That way we would have direction from a coach rather than either being confused about what part of the workout to do, or feeling we need to try to completer the entire workout. Forget that!!! When I see these workouts I simply move on to another thread

    Guidance would be appreciated.

    Nancy

  7. #7
    Active Member n8.'s Avatar
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    Hmmmm....

    Id like to address a few of these concerns actually. I think this is a great thread and should be discussed...

    first and foremost, with regards to long distance workouts, i had one of the best distance coaches in the game when i was in high school. only occasionally would we do repeat 1000's or 800 pyramid sets. more often than not he trained me at mid distance with bracket sets. these, i found out, increased my endurance substantially. its almost too easy to do a 1650 at race pace for a workout and then call it a day. even two of them. whats not easy is doing multiple repeats of 300 and 400's on 1650 race intervals. thats what does the work for you. Long distance coaches are not as rare as you may think. some of the world's best distance swimmers come from mid-distance IM programs...look at Ian Thorpe who's workouts range from 200-500. he repeats until the cows come home but thats a different story.

    secondly, when you look at a workout, the idea is not to freak out when you see it. taken as a whole the workout is designed to reach a goal. though the preferred method is to do the whole workout at once, obviously not everyone can or will. therefore, i absolutely recommend picking it apart and doing what works best for you. i even recommend changing up intervals and distances to accommodate your style. there are thousands of swimmers on here who all have their own styles. to write a workout for everyone is impossible. you have three choices for workouts. mix and match!

    lastly, with regards to newbies...you guys have been fantastic over the past year helping people out with recommendations and so forth...to that end i will help whenever i can now that im a member. my tendency though is to not try to coach a newbie too much through a web page. newbies can have significant stroke mechanic issues which could be worsened. i would hope that each newbie has some local person that they could speak to with regards to specific mechanical issues with their strokes.
    try not...DO or do not...there is no try.

  8. #8
    Active Member u352's Avatar
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    Long Distance Workouts

    I can only say what I have been doing. Since I don't have the time to spend hours in the pool I save my long distance swim for saturday and/or sunday while during the week I focus on shorter endurance workouts. Now Leonard you know I am new to this sport and don't have a lot of experience to share but here is what I have been doing.

    I'll start off with a slow and easy 500yd to warm up and then maybe a brisker 500yd followed by 10 25yders on every 45 and then finish with another 500yd to finish. I mix up the middle distance depending on my mood but most of it is endurance stuff. 50's or 100's but I do it to get me breathing hard and I always run to help my cardio endurance out.

    That is only what I do and it probably isn't the best way to do it but it keeps me coming back.

    Leonard helped me get through my first long distance swim last year. Look forward to seeing you again this year.

  9. #9
    Very Active Member laineybug's Avatar
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    I am not a member because I don't have access to a coach/team and can not see an advantage to becoming a member, so maybe I don't have a right to offer this criticism, but sometimes someone on the outside can shed light on what is going on.

    I believe more people DO NOT HAVE ACCESS to a coach or Masters team than do. (I am one of them again as the coach who worked with me privately is moving) If USMS wishes to continue to grow its membership then something has to be done for the newbies and other swimmers, who do not have access to coaches and teams, to get them to feel successful, to continue to swim and to want to join the organization. Not being able to do ANY of the posted workouts does not promote these feelings. In fact, it is down right discouraging. When I first started back swimming I definately got the impression that the coaches did not care about any swimmer who could not do the workouts, and that USMS was for more proficient swimmers than myself. However, I'm not the kind of person who would let something like that stop her from doing what she wanted to do, but there are many others who do not share my kind of temperament and probably write off USMS as something that does not meet their needs (which at this point it doesn't) and is not worthwhile. It was the private one-to-one sessions that motivated me in the beginning.

    While this does not address the stroke mechanics issue, perhaps a partial solution to the problem is to get a coach to write a series of progressive workouts that would help bring a newbie up to a point where he or she could use the other workouts. At least that would give a newbie a starting point and make them feel 'welcome.'


    Elaine

  10. #10
    Active Member n8.'s Avatar
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    Good suggestions...

    LB, you have a valid point. The last thing anyone wants is for any new swimmer or even veteran swimmers to feel unwelcome. However, I am worried when you say that swimmers can not do any of the posted workouts. I will admit that mine hover around the intermediate level but Mo Chambers writes terrific workouts for ALL swimmers of all levels. I've sent many beginner swimmers the link to her page and they have all said that her workouts helped them tremendously. I would recommend that newbies seek out her workouts and follow her advice on each set. And with regards to mechanics, there are many links in recent posts that point to other websites that have great instruction and tutorials for beginning stroke mechanics. Definitely worth checking out. Best of luck.
    try not...DO or do not...there is no try.

  11. #11
    Moderator Rob Copeland's Avatar
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    To Leonard’s original question, I have contacted the USMS Long Distance Committee chair, Peter Crumbine, and asked if he could solicit some of his members to get together to develop some basic workouts focused towards open water swimming. I’ll let you know his reply.

  12. #12
    Very Active Member laineybug's Avatar
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    Mo's workout on this site are way to advance for many Newbies.
    Michael Collins' workouts with their different levels were closer to what I could do (but still wasn't even up to the lowest level).

    I pulled myself up to the posted workouts by paying for private coaching session. The question to USMS, do you want beginning swimmers who does not have access to a coach/team and whose ability is below the posted workout? If USMS does then put yourself in their shoes and ask this question. Where is the money better spent? On USMS dues or private coaching session? You know my decision. Now multiply that decision by all the beginning and returning swimmers in the nation.

    To attract the less than proficient swimmer USMS must offer them some other benefit other than a magazine.

  13. #13
    USMS Member since 2003 gull's Avatar
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    Mo's workouts utilize cruise intervals and as such can be used by swimmers of all levels of ability. Emmett Hines' Fitness Swimmer has been mentioned previously and is a great reference, with color coded workouts beginning at a very basic level.

    I have not had access to a team or a coach but have found USMS to be a great source of information and very motivating. The fact that any member can swim at Nationals has been a subject of debate on this forum but reflects the philosophy of participation regardless of ability.

    The original topic of this thread was a request for workouts for long (and middle?) distance swimmers. No one is disputing the value of interval training, but repeats of 50, 75 or 100 yards are not going to be adequate for the longer events. Unfortunately, as Masters swimmers most of us are limited in terms of time available for training (10,000 yards/day is not feasible, even if our bodies were willing).

  14. #14
    Active Member n8.'s Avatar
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    10K a day? i wish ;-) ...in any event you have a good point and as jeremy (kipp) mentioned he is going to keep that in mind for future workouts as will I. expect to see some more distance-centric workouts at least once a week in the near future at least from me but i expect from both of us.
    try not...DO or do not...there is no try.

  15. #15
    Very Active Member laineybug's Avatar
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    MY POINT EXACTLY! A willingness to help the more advance proficient swimmer but only lip service to beginners.

  16. #16
    USMS Member since 2003 gull's Avatar
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    Ah, but I paid my membership dues. . .

  17. #17
    Very Active Member laineybug's Avatar
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    AHHHH... so you are saying if I paid my membership dues and I asked that workouts be modified down to meet needs below those levels it would happen?

    Bull, is all I have to say to that, because if USMS and its coaches truely wanted to encourage beginning/less proficient swimmers then the workouts and modifications would have already been a part of this site, rather than referring them to other sites or references.

    There is a great deal of difference between philosophy and reality.

  18. #18
    Moderator Rob Copeland's Avatar
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    Elaine,
    As a member of USMS for many years who has been an active participant in both in the water and out of the water activities, I can tell you there is no agenda to discourage beginning/less proficient swimmers. The reality of the situation is that with our less then a handful of employees and almost total reliance on volunteers, USMS can not be all things to all people, in fact we can not be many things to most people. USMS employees no coaches, all of the workouts posted on this website come from folks who in many cases are volunteer coaches.

    In the 20+ years that I have been involved with the national organization we have struggled with how “to promote fitness and health in adults by offering and supporting Masters swimming programs”. I can tell you that we have made many improvements in that time. Back when I started, there was no web site or workouts on-line, albeit there was no web back in the 70’s. My point is that we will continue to evolve and offer more services and programs. Just remember that these programs and services are being developed and administered by volunteers, so if you want something new it may take time and it may need you to champion the effort. That’s the reality of the situation.

    And I apologize for further digressing from the “Request for LONG distance training” thread. But, hey, at least I feel better now.

  19. #19
    Very Active Member laineybug's Avatar
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    Rob,

    I am simply pointing out that USMS is missing a huge
    population of potential members! Probably a group bigger
    than the group USMS targets now. While I'm sure there is no
    hidden agenda to discourage the beginner/less proficient
    swimmer USMS doesn't dp much to encourage the beginning/less
    proficient swimmer who doesn't have access to a coach or
    team.

    As for digression from the thread, I don't see this as a
    digression. If someone can request more long distance
    workouts why can't someone request newbie workouts?

    Champion the effort? Don't you think thats what I am doing now?

    Elaine

  20. #20
    Active Member Nancy Graham's Avatar
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    Elaine, I do think you are championing the effort, and I thank you for it. I for one am pleased that Leanord started this topic, and the activity on this thread over a short period of time indicates that others have interest as well.

    I am hopeful that Rob's efforts with the Long Distance Committee are successful, and look forward to the workouts that might come from this. Although I am a strong swimmer, I have not and do not swim on a team -- like Elaine, I have no team available to me in my nearby area -- so I guess I may be considered a newbie as well. So I am in chorus with Elaine's thoughts, concerns and requests for workouts for folks like me as well.

    For some (perhaps many) of us, it may not be the technique that we are struggling with, but more the endurance, speed and monotony of the same practice we do each time. So ideas and direction from a coach would be a great help.

    What a great site this is -- thanks to all.
    Nancy

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