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Thread: Working on 500 Free Time

  1. #41
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    Re: Working on 500 Free Time

    Quote Originally Posted by pwb View Post
    A 1:1 work:rest ratio will not get someone to hit their target 500 time. Think 1 to 1/6th work to rest ratio. For example, if I wanted to be sub 5:00 on a 500 yard free, a great test and training set of whether I could hit that would be to do 5 x 100 on 1:10 and hold 1:00. If I can do that set, I can hold that in a meet.
    YES! 1:1 is great to work on speed and getting an initial "feel" for the pace, but my experience is that you have to be able to hold pace on short rest to have a high probability of holding the pace in a meet.

  2. #42
    Very Active Member Calvin S's Avatar
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    Re: Working on 500 Free Time

    Quote Originally Posted by Karl_S View Post
    YES! 1:1 is great to work on speed and getting an initial "feel" for the pace, but my experience is that you have to be able to hold pace on short rest to have a high probability of holding the pace in a meet.
    Agree. My point with the 1:1 stuff was always grounded in ďfeelĒ. It just so happens it correlates pretty closely FOR ME to what I end up going in a meet. But also you got to train the way that best helps you. Iíll keep doing my 100s BEST AVG on a 1:1 work to rest ratio because it helps me

  3. #43
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    Re: Working on 500 Free Time

    Quote Originally Posted by Windrath View Post
    Montana,

    To more clearly apply what pwb is illustrating. You should do sets that more closely mirror the aerobic challenge you will face to break 8:00. To break 8:00, you need to average 1:36/100. The set you need to attempt is 5 x 100 on 1:45 holding 1:36. If you cannot do that, I suggest trying 5 x 100 on 2:00 - holding 1:36.

    For me, these sets were difficult. Even though I was swimming the 500 in 5:04, I could not do 5 x 100 on 1:10 holding 1:01s. So, I would do them on 1:20-1:30.

    My suggestion to you is to do 5 x 100 on whatever interval is necessary to be 1:36 or faster. Once you are able to do that, shorten the interval and try again the next day (or the day after). The key point is to swim the pace you need to swim 8 minutes.

    To be honest, without knowing anything about you (other that age), I suspect you are limited by technique. As you are working on getting the video, tell me how many strokes/length you take. Tell us how far off the wall you can streamline glide before surfacing. BTW - get rid of the dolphin kicks - just push-off as spear-like (aka streamline) as you can be. For what you are trying to accomplish, dolphin kicking is counter-productive (IMO).

    I have found 10 x 50 a much better training method. When I was around 5:00 for the 500, I would do 10 x 50 on 1:00 holding :29-30. You should try 10 x 500 on 1:10 trying to hold :48.

    Good luck!
    Thanks for the suggestions. I will try this the next time I swim next Monday.

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    Re: Working on 500 Free Time

    Yesterday I swam the first 100 in 1:30, but I dropped off the pace after that; I couldn't hold it for any additional 100s. So, after the first 100 I adjusted the time on my Tempo Trainer Pro and also swam 6 75s after the first 2 100s. The set I had set out to do was 10x100 on 3:00 holding 1:30s. My times per length after the first 100 ended up being between :23.25 per length and :25 per length. The last 2 100s were on 1:40. If only I could hold that 1:30 time for 5 100s! That would put me at 3:00 for the 200 and 7:30 for the 500. I will count the number of strokes I'm taking per length next time, too.
    Last edited by LG Montana Swimmer; July 25th, 2019 at 07:10 PM.

  5. #45
    Very Active Member scyfreestyler's Avatar
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    Re: Working on 500 Free Time

    Quote Originally Posted by LG Montana Swimmer View Post
    Yesterday I swam the first 100 in 1:30, but I dropped off the pace after that; I couldn't hold it for any additional 100s. So, after the first 100 I adjusted the time on my Tempo Trainer Pro and also swam 6 75s after the first 2 100s. The set I had set out to do was 10x100 on 3:00 holding 1:30s. My times per length after the first set ended up being between 23.25 per length and :25 per length. The last 2 100s were on 1:40. If only I could hold that 1:30 time for 5 100s! That would put me at 3:00 for the 200 and 7:30 for the 500. I will count the number of strokes I'm taking per length next time, too.
    I'm not sure if you completed your 10 x 100 set or not, though it seems like you didn't. I think you need to adjust your pace to something you can sustain for a full 10 x 100, and adjust your sendoff interval to something that gives you closer to :15 to :20 of rest. For instance, 10 x 100 @ 2:00, holding 1:45's for each repeat. If that is too easy then adjust to holding 1:40's. This will give you some aerobic base and muscle endurance to improve your 500 and 200 times. You can still do some pace work but I think you need to do some base building work as well.

    The same principle would hold true for the USRPT I mentioned earlier in this thread. You need to select a pace that you can sustain for a number of efforts.

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    Re: Working on 500 Free Time

    Quote Originally Posted by scyfreestyler View Post
    I'm not sure if you completed your 10 x 100 set or not, though it seems like you didn't. I think you need to adjust your pace to something you can sustain for a full 10 x 100, and adjust your sendoff interval to something that gives you closer to :15 to :20 of rest. For instance, 10 x 100 @ 2:00, holding 1:45's for each repeat. If that is too easy then adjust to holding 1:40's. This will give you some aerobic base and muscle endurance to improve your 500 and 200 times. You can still do some pace work but I think you need to do some base building work as well.
    The same principle would hold true for the USRPT I mentioned earlier in this thread. You need to select a pace that you can sustain for a number of efforts.
    Thanks, I'll try that on Monday. No, I didn't complete the set at 1:30 per 100.

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    Re: Working on 500 Free Time

    Quote Originally Posted by LG Montana Swimmer View Post
    Thanks, I'll try that on Monday. No, I didn't complete the set at 1:30 per 100.
    If 10 x 100 seems a bit much then even just getting to 5 or 6 repeats is a good start. Work up from there.

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    Re: Working on 500 Free Time

    Quote Originally Posted by scyfreestyler View Post
    I'm not sure if you completed your 10 x 100 set or not, though it seems like you didn't. I think you need to adjust your pace to something you can sustain for a full 10 x 100, and adjust your sendoff interval to something that gives you closer to :15 to :20 of rest. For instance, 10 x 100 @ 2:00, holding 1:45's for each repeat. If that is too easy then adjust to holding 1:40's. This will give you some aerobic base and muscle endurance to improve your 500 and 200 times. You can still do some pace work but I think you need to do some base building work as well.

    The same principle would hold true for the USRPT I mentioned earlier in this thread. You need to select a pace that you can sustain for a number of efforts.
    I found a set that I can do that will build aerobic base: 10x100 @ 2:05 holding 1:45. I will work on this set and decrease rest time when possible. If I were racing a 200 I can swim the first 100 @1:30 but then drop off that pace during the second 100. Perhaps if I split the race right I can get close to 3:00.

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    Re: Working on 500 Free Time

    Quote Originally Posted by Windrath View Post
    Montana,

    To more clearly apply what pwb is illustrating. You should do sets that more closely mirror the aerobic challenge you will face to break 8:00. To break 8:00, you need to average 1:36/100. The set you need to attempt is 5 x 100 on 1:45 holding 1:36. If you cannot do that, I suggest trying 5 x 100 on 2:00 - holding 1:36.

    For me, these sets were difficult. Even though I was swimming the 500 in 5:04, I could not do 5 x 100 on 1:10 holding 1:01s. So, I would do them on 1:20-1:30.

    My suggestion to you is to do 5 x 100 on whatever interval is necessary to be 1:36 or faster. Once you are able to do that, shorten the interval and try again the next day (or the day after). The key point is to swim the pace you need to swim 8 minutes.

    To be honest, without knowing anything about you (other that age), I suspect you are limited by technique. As you are working on getting the video, tell me how many strokes/length you take. Tell us how far off the wall you can streamline glide before surfacing. BTW - get rid of the dolphin kicks - just push-off as spear-like (aka streamline) as you can be. For what you are trying to accomplish, dolphin kicking is counter-productive (IMO).

    I have found 10 x 50 a much better training method. When I was around 5:00 for the 500, I would do 10 x 50 on 1:00 holding :29-30. You should try 10 x 500 on 1:10 trying to hold :48.

    Good luck!
    Thanks. Iíll try the 10x50 set.

  10. #50
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    Re: Working on 500 Free Time

    You seem to be building a base of speed from what I see you doing. It will take awhile for your body to accept these changes.Keep at it!

  11. #51
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    Re: Working on 500 Free Time

    I've experimented with a number of different training regimens over the 8 years I've been coaching Masters--this past year, for my mid distance group I used a modified regimen from Bruce Gemmell. At the national USMS coaches conference last year, he talked about how he trained Ledecky in the leadup to 2016, showed some sets, and talked about the general training regimen.

    The basic philosophy is that there are training zones (red, blue, purple, green, etc) that correspond to various percentages off of a threshold pace.

    Here's how I implemented it (note, all my mid distance swimmers are between 5:15 and 6:00 for their 500):

    -I had the swimmers do 3 x 500 from a push on 9:00 (you'd adjust to an interval that gives you 3:00-3:30 rest)
    -I averaged out the 100 pace for all three 500s, that gives the threshold pace
    -From the threshold pace, I calculated out red, blue, purple, and green target zones (2% faster than TP, 4% faster, 8% faster, and 12% faster than TP, respectively) at distances of 50, 100, 150, 200, 250, 300, and 400 (note, each 50 increase in distance from 100 on up resulted in a 4% increase in pace compared to regular 50 TP)
    -In general, red sets would give :10-:20 rest at target pace, blue would give :15-:30 rest at target pace, purple would give :30-1:30 rest, and green would give 1:00-2:00 rest
    -I printed the resulting spreadsheets out and had them on the pooldeck for my swimmers to see during sets
    -Here's a sample worksheet: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets...t?usp=drivesdk (expand the hidden columns and rows to see the formulas, if you want to play around with it)

    For training, the majority of the sets I gave my mid distance crew stayed in the red and blue zones at probably a 60/40 mix, with short stints in the purple zone and very limited, irregular stints in the green zone.

    Taking Bob "Fly and Die" from the sample worksheet, here's a sample set I might have given him:

    -3 x 100 red zone on 1:40, target pace of 1:24
    -2 x 200 red zone on 3:10, TP of 2:48
    -1 x 300 blue zone on 4:35, TP of 4:14
    -1 x 300 red zone on 4:30, TP of 4:20
    -2 x 200 red zone on 3:05, TP of 2:52
    -3 x 100 blue zone on 1:45, TP of 1:23
    -1 x 150 purple zone, TP of 2:00

    The key takeaway from this kind of training is repeatability. The idea isn't to fly and die, but to be able to hit your target pace every single time, whatever training zone you're in. It necessitated quite a substantial mindset shift in a number of my swimmers, since quite a few trained solely based on feel and never looked at the clock, or tended to start a set really strong and then epically crash and burn by the end. For example, the swimmer I based this sample worksheet on started off the season ranging anywhere from a 1:21 to a 1:36 on red zone 100s in the same set, even though his target red zone 100 pace was 1:24, but by the end of the season was able to hit within a :1 or :2 range of that 1:24 target pace very consistently throughout these kinds of sets.

    I think you can definitely train for the 500 while swimming nothing longer than a 300 in practice (not counting doing a timed 500 from time to time)--during Bruce Gemmell's presentation on training Ledecky, he mentioned that she never swam distances longer than a 400 in practice, and I hear she's a pretty good distance swimmer.

    Most of my mid distance swimmers swam very well this past season after using this training methodology for the majority of the season. Beyond the USRPT suggestions from earlier in the thread, this is another training methodology to consider.

  12. #52
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    Re: Working on 500 Free Time

    Quote Originally Posted by habu987 View Post
    I've experimented with a number of different training regimens over the 8 years I've been coaching Masters--this past year, for my mid distance group I used a modified regimen from Bruce Gemmell. At the national USMS coaches conference last year, he talked about how he trained Ledecky in the leadup to 2016, showed some sets, and talked about the general training regimen...
    Thanks so much for posting this. I am definitely going to try working this into my training plan. The threshold set is similar to what Salo uses, but the zones and their definition seem more intuitive and easier to implement in training than other methods where people are trying to use heart-rate to estimate zones (which is easy to do when running with a watch, hard to do swimming since HR monitors still don't work well in the pool).

    I really appreciate you posting this.

  13. #53
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    Re: Working on 500 Free Time

    Quote Originally Posted by pwb View Post
    Thanks so much for posting this. I am definitely going to try working this into my training plan. The threshold set is similar to what Salo uses, but the zones and their definition seem more intuitive and easier to implement in training than other methods where people are trying to use heart-rate to estimate zones (which is easy to do when running with a watch, hard to do swimming since HR monitors still don't work well in the pool).

    I really appreciate you posting this.
    Yeah, Salo came up with the original training zone scheme. Gemmell made some slight modifications to it, and then I codified the percentages when I adapted it to my masters group. Various sources out there online had different percentages, especially with the per-50 increase in target pace (I saw anywhere from a 1.15% to a 7% increase when I was doing my research), so I went with a 4% increase per 50 across the board.

    One of the things I ran into when doing my research was that you can find quite a few similar charts out there, all based on Salo's system, but none of them have comprehensive documentation on the methodology behind the numbers on the chart. I spent a weekend just crunching numbers and reverse engineering the formulas to see how they came up with their numbers, then combined all of it and adapted for my usage.

    The key variable in my chart is the 4% increase in time per 50 at a given training zone--tweak that % in the formulas as needed if you're a rock solid mid distance/distance swimmer and don't have that much fall-off from one 50 to the next over a given distance, or if you're naturally a shorter distance swimmer and tend to have a steeper decline.

    ETA: I really like this kind of training because it ignores heart rates entirely. Every now and then I've had my swimmers check their HRs after a set and the results can be all over the place, even when the perceived effort is more or less the same across the board. Giving a data driven time goal, in my opinion, is a much better way to establish and hit training targets. Heck, just speaking for myself, my :10 HR check can range from ~23 to 38 from warmup to a fairly challenging set, and my max :10 HR check back in the day was well into the 40s. HR zones for me are garbage, but I can sink my teeth into quantifiable time zone training.

    In terms of the threshold set itself, the 3x500, I believe the ideal is something like 3x1000, or alternatively a T-30, but I cut it down simply because our practices are only an hour and we wouldn't be able to do the full thing along with warmup and cooldown given that constraint. If you've got the time for the full set, by all means go for it. You'll likely get better data for the threshold 100 pace and be able to decrease the 4% fudge factor in the equation.
    Last edited by habu987; August 2nd, 2019 at 11:51 AM.

  14. #54
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    Re: Working on 500 Free Time

    I hate T-30s and T-3000s. Did them all through high school. Once a month it was a T-3000, and then 2-3 weeks later it was always 30x100 try to beat your T-3000 pace. It served no purpose for me (in my high school brain), because at the time I didn't extend much into middle distance, and I just fell asleep during a T-3000. So I never got much out of it because of course my 30x100 times would easily beat my T-3000 pace.

    I do prefer pwb's (and Salo's) 3x300 over 3x500 personally, but the goal is the same!

    EDIT: I also then swore I would never make any kids I coached do a T-3000. 30x100, that's one thing, but the T-3000 I expunged from my training and coaching repertoire!

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    Re: Working on 500 Free Time

    From a coaching standpoint, for those who're really training for the 500 and/or 1000...or *those* people who train for the 1650, I think doing 3x500 as the threshold set works better than 3x300 for masters swimmers *in general*.

    Over the years I've been coaching, it would probably take all the fingers on both hands and all my toes, if not more, to count the number of swimmers I've had who would throw down pretty drastically different avg 100 paces from a 3x300 set vs a 3x500 set.

    Going off on a bit of a tangent--I've got one swimmer who, when he did the 3x500 in February, had a ~:5 dropoff in his avg 100 pace from the first 500 to the second one, then a ~:7 dropoff in his pace again for the third 500, giving him an overall average of a 1:32 pace, if memory serves...yet I've seen him easily hold sub-2:40 on 200 repeats. On the flip side, for my one true distance swimmer, there'd probably be less than a :5 delta between her average pace if I gave her 3x200 or 3x3000.

    At the end of the day, it really comes down to the physical conditioning and ability of the swimmer. Speaking as a swimmer, I'm confident enough in my own mid distance capability that I'd probably have pretty close results doing either 3x300 or 3x500. Speaking as a coach, given the wide range of abilities, I like 3x500 as a more universal set than 3x300, since I think it would give more accurate data for a wider range of swimmers.

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    Re: Working on 500 Free Time

    Yesterday I did a speed set of 4x50 on a 1:20 sendoff holding at least :46, repeat 4 times with an easy 50 and an additional 1 minute of rest between 200s. I didnít have any problem completing this set; itís recommended to do speed sets like this once every 2 weeks or so. The target goal of this set is to swim a 200 in 3:04, which is the time Iím trying to get down to in the 200.
    Last edited by LG Montana Swimmer; August 2nd, 2019 at 12:30 PM.

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    Re: Working on 500 Free Time

    Awesome!!! Nice job!!

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    Re: Working on 500 Free Time

    Quote Originally Posted by habu987 View Post
    From a coaching standpoint, for those who're really training for the 500 and/or 1000...or *those* people who train for the 1650, I think doing 3x500 as the threshold set works better than 3x300 for masters swimmers *in general*.

    Over the years I've been coaching, it would probably take all the fingers on both hands and all my toes, if not more, to count the number of swimmers I've had who would throw down pretty drastically different avg 100 paces from a 3x300 set vs a 3x500 set...
    I just abbreviated, but agree with your points.

    Every swimmer is different. What I know from my experience, when I devoted some seasons to training for the 1000 and the 1650, is that I almost never did race pace repeats in workout longer than 150.

    For example, the year I swam my best Masters 1000 and 1650 (excluding the rubber suit years '08 to '09), one of my favorite pace sets was a broken 1650 done as:
    • 3 rounds of
      • 3 x 50 on 0:45
      • 2 x 100 on 1:25
      • 1 x 150 on 2:05

    • Followed by an extra round of 3 x 50


    I ended up going 17:07 that year and, when I look back at my training, my pace times on best efforts on the 150s on those miles, multiplied by 11, were right around 17:00. My 1000 time correlated pretty closely with my performance on the 100s of that set.

    My point is that you don't need to do long-distance repeats to swim fast on long distance events. That's why I prefer the 3 x 300 vs 3 x 500 ... it gives me a better idea of my 100 threshold pace and I spend more time doing 50 to 150 repeats at race pace.

    Also, if truth be told, I'm a pretty crappy workout swimmer as a Masters swimmer, relative to my ultimate racing speed ... which is more fun than being how I was in my youth - an exceptional workout swimmer and an occasionally good racing swimmer.

    YMMV
    Last edited by pwb; August 2nd, 2019 at 06:31 PM.

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    Re: Working on 500 Free Time

    Iím up to 7x50 on 1:10 holding :48. Iím trying to get to 10x50 for that set. Doing TRX rollout pushups and kettlebell swings daily in hopes that this will help increase my arm, chest, and core strength and therefore help me swim faster times in the 200 free.

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