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Thread: beginner swimmer - looking to improve 1500 m time

  1. #1
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    beginner swimmer - looking to improve 1500 m time

    Hi all, I am a relative beginner just started regular training. My aim is to get to 30' on 1500 m in a 50 m pool.

    I have tried a straight 1500 m in a pool last evening, and got 35'9" with not much effort with average 52 spl without flip turns, which was about 49 - 50 near the beginning but 52 - 54 towards the end.

    Last week I also tried a straight 2000 m in the same pool, and got 46'52", i.e. the exact same pace (2'21" / 100 m) as last evening, but with 50 - 52 spl at the beginning and 57 - 58 towards the end.

    More swim statistics includes:
    10 x 100m on 2'30" - average 2'5"
    10 x 100m on 3' - average 2'0"
    4 x 500m on 12'30" - 11'22", 11'25", 11'49", 11'56"
    50m all out - 47" with about 53 strokes (race time is much faster because races start with a dive)

    For comparison, my running race speed is 48'36" for 10 km on completely flat course, but any slope will tire me and slow me down immediately significantly.

    Should I work to reduce stroke per length, or increase the effort (i.e. stroke rate) to see if I can reduce my time further?
    Last edited by miklcct; May 9th, 2018 at 09:50 AM.

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    Re: beginner swimmer - looking to improve 1500 m time

    I'd focus more on getting my technique right before times. But overall, I would definitely focus on distance per stroke. When I started about a year ago, I was taking 19 strokes to go 25yards, now I'm down to 13-14 (fresh, tired) for more distance focused swims. Your goal does seem to be quite achievable, at least benchmarking myself wth the improvements I made to my technique. To increase DPS, make sure you are extending fully, and you'll feel your shoulders hit your cheeks (if you are a male and swim before you shave, you might even get a bit of redness from your whiskers on your shoulders if you are doing it right). Be sure you get a lot of body rotation. I actually will glide a little wth every stroke to keep my overall tempo at the proper pace.

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    Re: beginner swimmer - looking to improve 1500 m time

    As a relative beginner just started regular training swimming 35+ minute 1500 now, I would say that a 30 minute 1500 sounds achievable.

    Should I work to reduce stroke per length, or increase the effort (i.e. stroke rate) to see if I can reduce my time further?
    Yes to both. Your swim time is a function of distance per stroke and stroke rate. Continued training and working on technique improvements will help with both is these. There isnít any magic to it, to improve you need to practice.
    The opinions expressed in the above post are mine and not those of U.S. Masters Swimming.

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    Re: beginner swimmer - looking to improve 1500 m time

    Quote Originally Posted by 67King View Post
    I'd focus more on getting my technique right before times. But overall, I would definitely focus on distance per stroke. When I started about a year ago, I was taking 19 strokes to go 25yards, now I'm down to 13-14 (fresh, tired) for more distance focused swims. Your goal does seem to be quite achievable, at least benchmarking myself wth the improvements I made to my technique. To increase DPS, make sure you are extending fully, and you'll feel your shoulders hit your cheeks (if you are a male and swim before you shave, you might even get a bit of redness from your whiskers on your shoulders if you are doing it right). Be sure you get a lot of body rotation. I actually will glide a little wth every stroke to keep my overall tempo at the proper pace.
    After reading your reply I managed to squeeze 4 strokes out of 50 m - I completed the length in 45 strokes in warm up in my training session just now.

    However, that was not sustainable because I exaggerated stretching in my core and my arms, and become tired so fast, in my main set consisting of mainly 200 m intervals the spl fell back to about 53 (time for 200 m about 4'9" to 4'15"), and couldn't bring it back below 50 afterwards no matter how I tried.

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    Re: beginner swimmer - looking to improve 1500 m time

    Quote Originally Posted by miklcct View Post
    After reading your reply I managed to squeeze 4 strokes out of 50 m - I completed the length in 45 strokes in warm up in my training session just now.

    However, that was not sustainable because I exaggerated stretching in my core and my arms, and become tired so fast, in my main set consisting of mainly 200 m intervals the spl fell back to about 53 (time for 200 m about 4'9" to 4'15"), and couldn't bring it back below 50 afterwards no matter how I tried.
    Takes practice and patience. Your body has to get used to it. It will tire out you more, as you are working your core and lats, which are not as conditioned to it. But as you engage more of your body, you'll find more of your body contributes, which will in the long run only help.

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    Re: beginner swimmer - looking to improve 1500 m time

    Re: beginner swimmer - looking to improve 1500 m time
    A straight 2k ? You won't get where you want to go training like that. Don't worry about 2k or 4x500. 10x100 is ok, 20x50, 40x25.... you need to work on technique and keep the repeats short. Resting between repeats is not a waste of time.

    I was top 3 in the world for M40-44 in 2017 in the 1500 both Short Course and Long Course.

    Tapering for Canadian Masters Nationals right now and had a really light session of 1300m with some 1500m pace work, specifically

    8x75 @ 1:05 holding 49.5 or faster for all of them (use a tempo trainer in pace mode), that's 16.5/25m or 1:06/100m.

    Learn about head and body position, build a good stroke and learn how to kick properly... you can't 2 beat kick with dorsiflexed ankles.

    https://youtu.be/sjdgsJirhQY
    My most recent 800m Free...

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    Re: beginner swimmer - looking to improve 1500 m time

    I'm a relative beginner too, having been sidelined from running permanently with arthritis at age 67. I'm now 70 and have 3 years of masters team practice and improvement has been scant. Of course age has much to do with that, but I found that 40+ years of running has eliminated much the the ankle flexibility needed for a good kick. Honestly, my feet will not flex and a couple years ago I could take a kick board and flail away for all I'm worth and go absolutely nowhere. Now I can kick a tiny bit but 25yds will take several minutes. So 99.9% of my propulsion comes from the arms BUT even my lame, ineffective kick speeds me up because the body position is better and I get more glide per stroke.

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    Re: beginner swimmer - looking to improve 1500 m time

    Quote Originally Posted by miklcct View Post
    Should I work to reduce stroke per length, or increase the effort (i.e. stroke rate) to see if I can reduce my time further?
    yes

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    Re: beginner swimmer - looking to improve 1500 m time

    Quote Originally Posted by 67King View Post
    Takes practice and patience. Your body has to get used to it. It will tire out you more, as you are working your core and lats, which are not as conditioned to it. But as you engage more of your body, you'll find more of your body contributes, which will in the long run only help.
    I got 1 fewer sp50m in average (currently about 50 sp50m) in my last 1500 m test compared to the previous test, but it was slower than before by 1.5 minutes, how come?
    Last edited by miklcct; May 19th, 2018 at 08:55 AM.

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    Re: beginner swimmer - looking to improve 1500 m time

    Quote Originally Posted by 67King View Post
    Takes practice and patience. Your body has to get used to it. It will tire out you more, as you are working your core and lats, which are not as conditioned to it. But as you engage more of your body, you'll find more of your body contributes, which will in the long run only help.
    Quote Originally Posted by miklcct View Post
    I got 1 fewer sp50m in average (currently about 50 sp50m) in my last 1500 m test compared to the previous test, but it was slower than before by 1.5 minutes, how come?
    I bolded the parts that answer your question.

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    Re: beginner swimmer - looking to improve 1500 m time

    Quote Originally Posted by 67King View Post
    Takes practice and patience. Your body has to get used to it. It will tire out you more, as you are working your core and lats, which are not as conditioned to it. But as you engage more of your body, you'll find more of your body contributes, which will in the long run only help.
    Quote Originally Posted by miklcct View Post
    I got 1 fewer sp50m in average (currently about 50 sp50m) in my last 1500 m test compared to the previous test, but it was slower than before by 1.5 minutes, how come?
    Even still, you need to work to get your efficiency improved by a good 30%. I would suggest you look at some videos, I personally enjoy Gary Hall's videos. ALso look at teh workout forums, and look for drills to help improve this metric. If you can access a coach for soem lessons, you'll probably get some very good pointers.

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    Re: beginner swimmer - looking to improve 1500 m time

    My recent combination is about 4'5" for 200m and 34' for 1500m - should I do aerobic intervals or sprint intervals more?

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