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Thread: My 500 freestyle time is terrible. need a faster solution

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    My 500 freestyle time is terrible. need a faster solution

    My 500 yd scy freestyle time is terrible. I am not breaking 7 minutes. I would like to know if there are any fast ways to improve my times. My masters coach has given me advice, but the results are very slow. I am not looking for a magic pill or anything like that. I am looking for a workout solution. Any tips?

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    Re: My 500 freestyle time is terrible. need a faster solutio

    longer sets with less rest

    yeah thats kinda general, but if you are not about to "chum the gutter" when you finish.....

    and your "terrible" time is all relative.
    what is your swimming background?
    how much do you train now?
    lots of factors.

    my times are "terrible" compared to when i was 13.
    Last edited by sunruh; December 6th, 2013 at 04:19 PM.

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    Very Active Member knelson's Avatar
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    Re: My 500 freestyle time is terrible. need a faster solutio

    Quote Originally Posted by sunruh View Post
    longer sets with less rest
    Seconded. At least a couple long aerobic sets (3000+ if possible) a week.

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    Very Active Member flystorms's Avatar
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    Re: My 500 freestyle time is terrible. need a faster solutio

    How is your pacing? Do you go out and do the first 100 fast, then lose 5 sec/100? How is your last 100 by comparison? Maybe you could do several sets of 5x100 on 1:30, then 5x100 on 1:25, then 1:20 over time. Or do a couple of sets of 5x100 where your first 100 is your slowest and your last your fastest. Improve by 1-2 secs each 100.
    Kari Kennedy

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    Re: My 500 freestyle time is terrible. need a faster solutio

    Quote Originally Posted by sunruh View Post
    ...
    your "terrible" time is all relative.
    what is your swimming background?
    how much do you train now?
    lots of factors.
    For sure. We don't have much information here.
    Were you once faster? If you swam sub 5-mins 5 years ago that's one thing, but if you couldn't swim 2 years ago that is another.
    How does you time compare to others your age. If you are 33 years old your 7 minutes is quite different than if you are 83.
    How is your stroke? If you have never been under 7 minutes in your life, I'd bet that the fastest way to get faster is to improve your stroke and turns.

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    Very Active Member __steve__'s Avatar
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    Re: My 500 freestyle time is terrible. need a faster solutio

    Slow results are results nonetheless. I would be flabbergasted to swim 500 in 7

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    Very Active Member Swimosaur's Avatar
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    Re: My 500 freestyle time is terrible. need a faster solutio

    Quote Originally Posted by Karl_S View Post
    I'd bet that the fastest way to get faster is to improve your stroke and turns.
    Seconded. And at the risk of going all Total Immersion on you, the fastest way to improve your stroke is to start counting strokes per length, and work on reducing that number. To a first rough approximation, strokes per length measures efficiency: how far you travel per unit of effort. More efficient = less effort expended on overcoming water resistance = more effort expended on moving forward. It's easy, too. All you have to do is count.

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    Re: My 500 freestyle time is terrible. need a faster solutio

    Quote Originally Posted by cparkerson View Post
    My 500 yd scy freestyle time is terrible. I am not breaking 7 minutes. I would like to know if there are any fast ways to improve my times. My masters coach has given me advice, but the results are very slow. I am not looking for a magic pill or anything like that. I am looking for a workout solution. Any tips?
    I looked up your previous results ( parkerson was unique?) according to your 100 free results your equivalent 500 time is about a 6:30+. You should realize that 500 swimmers usually have more yardage in their workouts (3-4000 5x a week). A 500 swimmer has a totally different mindset than a 100 swimmer. A previous response was 5x100 sets with short rest the only change I would suggest is the intervals be 1:40, 1:35, 1:30. If you can do 5x100 on 1:20 you should break 7 easily

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    Re: My 500 freestyle time is terrible. need a faster solutio

    Here's some things that helped me drop my 500 times:

    - Let your coach and teammates know your goals. They will assist you, cheer for you and help keep you accountable. When others see you working hard for success, it breeds success for the whole team.
    - Long sets (maybe 1000 total yards) with intervals that leave you short rest (5-10 seconds). 3-4k/day, 5 days a week.
    - Push yourself but don't get so tired that your stroke gets sloppy. It does little good to swim hard the wrong way.
    - Learn to pace. Try to make your last interval as fast or faster than your first one.
    - Time yourself weekly. If you can, get your coach to get your splits for each 100. Write it down so you can track your progress.

    Good luck and let us know how it goes.

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    Very Active Member knelson's Avatar
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    Re: My 500 freestyle time is terrible. need a faster solutio

    Quote Originally Posted by pmccoy View Post
    - Long sets (maybe 1000 total yards) with intervals that leave you short rest (5-10 seconds). 3-4k/day, 5 days a week.
    I see the definition of a "long set" may vary.

    But, really, I think sets like 10x300 where you're getting 5-10 rest between repeats pay dividends for the 500 free. A 1000 yard set just seems really short to me, but it may be a good place starting point for someone who isn't used to long, aerobic training.

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    Re: My 500 freestyle time is terrible. need a faster solutio

    Quote Originally Posted by knelson View Post
    I think sets like 10x300 where you're getting 5-10 rest between repeats pay dividends for the 500 free.
    He's shooting for 7:00, not 5:00 . Yes, 1000 yards isn't "long" anymore but it sure felt like it back when I started off.

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    Re: My 500 freestyle time is terrible. need a faster solutio

    Quote Originally Posted by Karl_S View Post
    For sure. We don't have much information here.
    Were you once faster? If you swam sub 5-mins 5 years ago that's one thing, but if you couldn't swim 2 years ago that is another.
    How does you time compare to others your age. If you are 33 years old your 7 minutes is quite different than if you are 83.
    How is your stroke? If you have never been under 7 minutes in your life, I'd bet that the fastest way to get faster is to improve your stroke and turns.
    I am 43. I didn't start Masters swimming till a 18 months ago. I get about 8k yards in a week. (1 hour , 3 days a week averaging 2500-2800 yards. I never swam that distance when I was younger. My issue is I have been holding at around 1:30 for a while and I can't seem to get down to 1:25 or 1:20, for 500 yards. I just keep running out of gas. I can go much faster for a single 100 or 200 though. I have been slowly improving my stroke technique. As far as average times go, The 40-44 age group times seem to hover around the low 6 minute mark on average. The has been the case at the meets I have been to.

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    Very Active Member knelson's Avatar
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    Re: My 500 freestyle time is terrible. need a faster solutio

    Quote Originally Posted by cparkerson View Post
    I get about 8k yards in a week. (1 hour , 3 days a week averaging 2500-2800 yards.
    If you want to see real improvements in the 500 free you're going to need to swim more.

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    Re: My 500 freestyle time is terrible. need a faster solutio

    Quote Originally Posted by cparkerson View Post
    My 500 yd scy freestyle time is terrible. I am not breaking 7 minutes. I would like to know if there are any fast ways to improve my times. My masters coach has given me advice, but the results are very slow. I am not looking for a magic pill or anything like that. I am looking for a workout solution. Any tips?
    I am 43. I didn't start Masters swimming till a 18 months ago. I get about 8k yards in a week. (1 hour , 3 days a week averaging 2500-2800 yards. I never swam that distance when I was younger. My issue is I have been holding at around 1:30 for a while and I can't seem to get down to 1:25 or 1:20, for 500 yards. I just keep running out of gas. I can go much faster for a single 100 or 200 though. I have been slowly improving my stroke technique. As far as average times go, The 40-44 age group times seem to hover around the low 6 minute mark on average. The has been the case at the meets I have been to.
    You can Swim Faster Faster

    you want to improve your 500 FR. you want to break 7 minutes. which is averaging 1:24 per 100

    you asked: "Are any fast ways to improve my times?"
    you are 43. started Masters swimming 18 months ago.
    you do about 8k yards in a week. (1 hour , 3 days a week averaging 2500-2800 yards.)

    Dude, you're not training enough.
    you need to swim 5 to 6x per week, 75 to 90 minutes per practice doing 3,500 to 4,500
    you need to swim faster in practice.
    It works if you work it.

    read my answers about this fellow who asked why his last 150 in his 500's falls off

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    Paint test area ahead Michael Heather's Avatar
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    Re: My 500 freestyle time is terrible. need a faster solutio

    Quote Originally Posted by cparkerson View Post
    I am 43. I didn't start Masters swimming till a 18 months ago. I get about 8k yards in a week. (1 hour , 3 days a week averaging 2500-2800 yards. I never swam that distance when I was younger. My issue is I have been holding at around 1:30 for a while and I can't seem to get down to 1:25 or 1:20, for 500 yards. I just keep running out of gas. I can go much faster for a single 100 or 200 though. I have been slowly improving my stroke technique. As far as average times go, The 40-44 age group times seem to hover around the low 6 minute mark on average. The has been the case at the meets I have been to.
    Simple solution. Always (as in always) swim a descending race or workout. Pace is good in workout, but you seem to be more of a sprinter. If you like the 500, that is fine, just modify your style. First 100 go out way easy. Every following 50 should be a build up swim followed by another build up on top of the last. Negative splits are your friend. All you have to do is become comfortable with swimming a very easy first 100. The last 100 will be like swimming downhill, constantly accelerating. Good luck.
    The opinions expressed in the above post are mine, not those of U.S. Masters Swimming. But maybe they should be.

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    Very Active Member Swimspire's Avatar
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    Re: My 500 freestyle time is terrible. need a faster solutio

    Quote Originally Posted by cparkerson View Post
    I am 43. I didn't start Masters swimming till a 18 months ago. I get about 8k yards in a week. (1 hour , 3 days a week averaging 2500-2800 yards. I never swam that distance when I was younger. My issue is I have been holding at around 1:30 for a while and I can't seem to get down to 1:25 or 1:20, for 500 yards. I just keep running out of gas. I can go much faster for a single 100 or 200 though. I have been slowly improving my stroke technique. As far as average times go, The 40-44 age group times seem to hover around the low 6 minute mark on average. The has been the case at the meets I have been to.
    Hi,


    You pretty much answered your own question - you are "slowly improving your stroke technique". This is a great first step! Maintaining a good technique is one of the most important elements to improving your time and avoiding injuries, especially in the longer distance events such as 500 and above. In addition, as many others have advised you on this thread, you should also start working on increasing your yardage, developing a stronger kick, and working on interval sets. Never sacrifice your technique, however. Incorporate drills into your workouts and you will be able to improve both your endurance and your efficiency - which will lead to a faster time!


    Good luck!

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    Very Active Member Celestial's Avatar
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    Re: My 500 freestyle time is terrible. need a faster solutio

    Just my 2c here -
    I'm (gad) 54 yo female & my most recent best is 5:59. I swim 3-4 x week for ~ 90 min at a time. It is hard for me to do lots of 1:20's, but that is my "marker" set - what I compare myself against. We do 12 x 100 @ 1:20 at least once a week, and I often can only go a 1:18, but I get it done. Sometimes I have to rest 50 midway. I figure if I can do it, you can.

    My goal is 5:35. Actually, I'd like to just repeat that stupid 5:59. Anyway, my goal at present is to do those 1:20's and hold as close to 1:10 or faster on each one. We also do something called a "DeMont" - named after a pretty darn good distance swimmer in his day. It is really designed to make sure you don't run out of gas at the end. A typical DeMont set goes like this: 500 free - catch your time on the 400 while you flipturn; (these are done on an interval base, like say 1:30's, so the 500 must be finished by 7:29, because you leave on the 7:30) - then do a 400, catch your time at the 300 & finish the 400 faster than the 400 time you just did on the 500. Then do a 300, catch your time on the 200, and make the 300 faster than the 300 split on your 400; do a 200, catch your split on the 100, making the 200 faster than the 200 split on the 300, then a 100 - obviously feels almost like a sprint, because it must be faster than the 100 split on your 200. Exhausting, and a bit of brain work, but forces you to go faster at the back end of your race, which is key in mid-long distance. I suspect you may be a triathlete, so this will come in handy in your open water races too. Best wishes

    Oh yeah. And you do this every week, every week, every week. Eventually you'll be doing that 6:00 500 free.

    **Intervals on the DeMont:
    500 @ 7:30
    400 @ 6:00
    300 @ 4:30
    200 @ 3:00

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    Re: My 500 freestyle time is terrible. need a faster solutio

    Good stuff Celestial!

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    Re: My 500 freestyle time is terrible. need a faster solutio

    Quote Originally Posted by Celestial View Post
    **Intervals on the DeMont:
    500 @ 7:30
    400 @ 6:00
    300 @ 4:30
    200 @ 3:00
    I borrowed this for our workout today. Great idea!

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    Very Active Member Celestial's Avatar
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    Re: My 500 freestyle time is terrible. need a faster solutio

    Glad you like it. You know i have to do them on a 1:20 base (i.e. 6:40, 5:20, 4:00, and 2:40) cuz I swim with the kids. SOMEtimes, just for grins, the coach will add some extra 100's or 200's in there - we'll maybe do 400-300-200-3 x 100; or 400-300-200-200-100-100-100; in which case you get to descend for a little bit longer. Joy

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