Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 59

Thread: Working on 500 Free Time

  1. #1
    Participating Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2019
    Location
    Montana
    Posts
    21

    Working on 500 Free Time

    Hi, I just joined USMS last month. I swim for fitness, and I have been doing this for a long time. I am working on lowering my time in the 500 free because I would like to swim in meets someday. I train on my own almost exclusively, except for an occasional workout with a masters team. I have 2-3 hours a week to practice except during the summer months when I have a lot more time to train due to having summers off from my job as a teacher. My current time in the 500 free is 8:40. My goals are to bring this time down to under 8 minutes by the end of the year and to under 7 minutes by the end of next year. I am 6'1" and weigh 193 lbs. Any suggestions that will help me reach my goals are appreciated!

  2. #2
    Very Active Member JPEnge's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2017
    Location
    St Louis, MO
    Posts
    400
    Blog Entries
    453

    Re: Working on 500 Free Time

    What does a typical workout look like for you right now?

  3. #3
    Very Active Member orca1946's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    schaumburg, il - U S A
    Posts
    7,783

    Re: Working on 500 Free Time

    That is pretty aggressive for time drops. I M H O..
    How are your turns?
    Do you lift weights?
    Do you run?
    What sets do you do by yourself?
    What is your age?

  4. #4
    Participating Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2019
    Location
    Montana
    Posts
    21

    Re: Working on 500 Free Time

    Lately I've been swimming long distances, hiit sets, and speed sets. My last set was 5200 LCM meters, all freestyle, in 2 hrs without stopping. The hiit sets are 2 min all out, 1 min easy, repeat 8 times. My last speed set was 10x50 SCY on 51.5. On the speed sets I use a Finis Tempo Trainer Pro timer, and I've been trying to gradually lower my 500 free time by decreasing the time for each length by a quarter of a second, or 5 seconds per 500 yards.

  5. #5
    Participating Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2019
    Location
    Montana
    Posts
    21

    Re: Working on 500 Free Time

    My flip turns are good. I do 4 or 5 sdk after each turn.

    I have started following the weight-lifting routine recommended by Bo Hickey in the article "How to Build Your Power and Prolong Your Peak Performance," at https://www.usms.org/fitness-and-tra...ak-performance, so I can swim my best as I age. The article was published on the USMS website in April 2019. I'll be doing this 2 or 3 times per week.

    I don't run.

    Lately I've been swimming long distances, hiit sets, and speed sets. My last set was 5200 LCM meters, all freestyle, in 2 hrs without stopping. The hiit sets are 2 min all out, 1 min easy, repeat 8 times. My last speed set was 10x50 SCY on 51.5. On the speed sets I use a Finis Tempo Trainer Pro timer, and I've been trying to gradually lower my 500 free time by decreasing the time for each length by a quarter of a second, or 5 seconds per 500 yards.

    I'm 51 years old.



  6. #6
    Very Active Member flystorms's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Memphis, TN
    Posts
    686
    Blog Entries
    295

    Re: Working on 500 Free Time

    On the 500, turns are your moneymakers. If you can really get your turns done well and fast, you can drop some easy time there.

    It sounds like you're on the right track with some of the concepts you're doing with the sets and your Tempo Trainer.

    One set I enjoy doing for 500 training is this:
    1x 500 at 75-80% pace
    5x100 on 1:30 (this allows about 12-15 seconds rest)
    10x50 on :45 (or :50), aiming for :35 pace
    1x 500 faster than the first

    Adjust these for your own times and as you improve, you can continue to adjust.
    When I do these, I work to keep the same pace for the 100s and 50s. It gets harder to maintain as the set goes on, but it helps build your endurance if you don't go out too quickly in the beginning. It also gives you a sense for pace as well. You'll start to feel when you are falling off of it.
    Also, don't be afraid to breathe every 2 strokes as you get further into your race. Your body needs air on these longer races - O2 depletion will suck the life out of you pretty quickly.
    Kari Kennedy

  7. #7
    Very Active Member JPEnge's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2017
    Location
    St Louis, MO
    Posts
    400
    Blog Entries
    453

    Re: Working on 500 Free Time

    Quote Originally Posted by LG Montana Swimmer View Post
    My flip turns are good. I do 4 or 5 sdk after each turn.

    I have started following the weight-lifting routine recommended by Bo Hickey in the article "How to Build Your Power and Prolong Your Peak Performance," at https://www.usms.org/fitness-and-tra...ak-performance, so I can swim my best as I age. The article was published on the USMS website in April 2019. I'll be doing this 2 or 3 times per week.

    I don't run.

    Lately I've been swimming long distances, hiit sets, and speed sets. My last set was 5200 LCM meters, all freestyle, in 2 hrs without stopping. The hiit sets are 2 min all out, 1 min easy, repeat 8 times. My last speed set was 10x50 SCY on 51.5. On the speed sets I use a Finis Tempo Trainer Pro timer, and I've been trying to gradually lower my 500 free time by decreasing the time for each length by a quarter of a second, or 5 seconds per 500 yards.

    I'm 51 years old.

    A few things, stream-of-consciousness style.

    As much as I advocate for underwater work and thrive on it in my own swimming (I'm more of a sprinter), I think 4 or 5 dolphin kicks probably hurts in the 500 more than helps. You don't want to go into oxygen debt too early.

    I think, if you are truly focusing on 500 time scale, 5200 straight isn't really a helpful practice. If you enjoy doing that, then by all means continue, but it isn't going to help for the 500.

    I've never really trained swimming HIIT style like that, but it seems like it would be pretty comparable to pace work if you are working on going the around the same distance each repeat.

    When you say you did 10x50 on 51.5, I assume that was the pace you were holding? If so, what was the sendoff interval you were going on? That pace is not significantly faster than your current 500 time, so I'm not sure I would quite classify it as "speed" work.
    400 IMer/200 backstroker in another life, now sprinter/breaststroker... Yeah, I don't know how that happened either!

  8. #8
    Participating Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2019
    Location
    Montana
    Posts
    21

    Re: Working on 500 Free Time

    Thanks for the suggestions.

  9. #9
    Participating Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2019
    Location
    Montana
    Posts
    21

    Re: Working on 500 Free Time

    I havenít been doing sendoff intervals when doing the 10x50 sets, just swimming at that pace, 51.5 per 50, for the whole 500 without stopping. Maybe I could try 5x100 on an interval of 2:00? My pace per 100 right now is about 1:44, so this would allow for about 15 seconds rest before the next sendoff. Maybe I should increase my stroke rate to get faster?

  10. #10
    Very Active Member flystorms's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Memphis, TN
    Posts
    686
    Blog Entries
    295

    Re: Working on 500 Free Time

    [QUOTE= Maybe I should increase my stroke rate to get faster?[/QUOTE]

    You're asking great questions, Montana. You could look at improving the efficiency of your stroke - are there things you can do to improve that help push you through the water faster with the same or less effort? Is your hand entry good? Is your initial pull good? Do you finish with strength? To me, efficiency is more important than trying to increase stroke rate at this point, otherwise you will just be spinning your arms and getting tired.

    A good coach can help you with this, but it's going to take time. Focus on one, maybe two things, each month and get your muscle memory strong, then work on another area.
    Last edited by flystorms; July 10th, 2019 at 02:02 PM.
    Kari Kennedy

  11. #11
    Very Active Member Calvin S's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Little Rock, AR
    Posts
    368
    Blog Entries
    846

    Re: Working on 500 Free Time

    500 Freestyler here. I am a big advocate of you need to be able to train at your goal pace. For instance, when I was coaching the middle distance/distance group for a college team, and some of the girls had goals of breaking 5:00. That is 1:00/100 or :30/50. So Any fast stuff we did had to be at or below goal pace. 25s needed to be under 15, 50s under 30, and I went as far as up to 200s if we happened to do them off the block or on a slower sendoff. Note that I am not saying EVERY 25/50/100/200 etc. was meant to be held under pace. Just any fast stuff. I wanted the girls to "feel" what that speed was like, what that time was like.

    The 500 is a controlled sprint (with the evolution of the 200, I would say it is now THE controlled sprint). You go out to slow and you will find your opponents (be that other swimmers or the clock) so far ahead that you won't have enough distance left to catch up. Go out too fast, and you will discover there is a lot of distance still to cover and not a lot of energy left to do it!

    I would advocate taking your goal time for this year, divide it out into increments of 25/50/75/100 all the way up to 200 so you know what times you need to hold on each of those. Then start incorporating some fast work into your workouts where you try to hold that pace. Ideally you want to be able to hold repeats of those times at those distances with about a 1:1 work to rest ratio (so for 100s, if I wanted to hold :59 trying to go under 5:00, I would go 6, 8, 10, or maybe even 12x100 at 2:00...that's :59 seconds of work, followed by about 1:00 rest).

    Hop you don't get lost in all that. I went kind of technical on you there. Definitely agree with Jeff that just swimming 5200 isn't going to accomplish much for you. No matter the event, no matter the goal time, if you want to hit the goal, you need to come up with a plan, and one more detailed than just "I will show up a few times a week at the pool and swim." (I am generalizing here, not calling you out specifically).

  12. #12
    Very Active Member flystorms's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Memphis, TN
    Posts
    686
    Blog Entries
    295

    Re: Working on 500 Free Time

    This is good stuff, Calvin, thanks!
    Kari Kennedy

  13. #13
    Very Active Member scyfreestyler's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    California
    Posts
    3,410

    Re: Working on 500 Free Time

    I think the 500 is a great race to use USRPT (Ultra Short Race Pace Training) as preparation for. If you want to hold a :51.5 pace per 50, try doing 20 50's holding :51.50 and leaving every 1:10, giving you around :20 rest. If you fail to hold the desired pace of :51.50 after only a few sendoffs, readjust your goal time to something more manageable. Perhaps move to holding :55's with a sendoff of 1:15. If you do a search on here for USRPT you'll find a good amount of information on the subject. I think there might even be a thread specific to USRPT and the 500 Free.

  14. #14
    Very Active Member scyfreestyler's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    California
    Posts
    3,410

    Re: Working on 500 Free Time

    http://forums.usms.org/showthread.ph...+year%27s+goal

    This might be of interest to you.

  15. #15
    Very Active Member __steve__'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    s c
    Posts
    2,604
    Blog Entries
    804

    Re: Working on 500 Free Time

    500 yards? You probably already have the conditioning for under 7, so having a coach or video to check your form might be a good idear just in case thereís something going on. Thereís also 19 turns involved, and that is where time is either wasted or made with streamline and breakouts

  16. #16
    Very Active Member knelson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    8,156
    Blog Entries
    567

    Re: Working on 500 Free Time

    Quote Originally Posted by LG Montana Swimmer View Post
    Maybe I could try 5x100 on an interval of 2:00? My pace per 100 right now is about 1:44, so this would allow for about 15 seconds rest before the next sendoff.
    If you can make this you should definitely be able to hold faster than a 1:44 pace in a race. That's really not much rest. Personally I think 10x50 is a better set for pacing a 500. If your goal is 8:00 then try something like 10x50 on 1:15 holding under :48.

  17. #17
    Very Active Member pwb's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Barrie, Ontario
    Posts
    2,847
    Blog Entries
    2019

    Re: Working on 500 Free Time

    First off, I'll be a little self-serving, but if you want workout ideas for pacing for a 500, scroll through my blog January through April of 2012 starting here - http://forums.usms.org/entry.php?196...-what-I-preach. I was writing the High Volume Workouts for USMS that year (they have now disappeared from the archive) and had oriented those towards training for two of the world's three greatest races, the 400 IM (#1) and the 500 free (#3). The 200 fly, of course, is the world's second best event. I also swam my best time of my Masters' career that year, going faster at age 45 than I had in my 30s. Anyhow, you should get some good ideas of pacing and a variety of sets. If I can find old offline copies I saved of the workouts, I can share those (just message me and I'll see what I can dig up)

    With some reiteration from above


    • 4-5 dolphin kicks will kill you in the 500. Google Townley Haas, Clark Smith or Zane Grothe and find videos of their races. They don't do that and they went like 4:08 or something. 1 kick is probably warranted, 2 might be OK, but at 3 you're already in the danger zone.
    • Breathe as much as you want and probably more than you think. Google Sun Yang videos and watch him take 3 breaths in a row going into a turn, then another one coming out. The 500 is an aeorbic effort (e.g., requiring oxygen!)
    • Technique, technique, technique - you want to be able to swim as smooth as possible with as little effort as long as possible. Check out Total Immersion (http://www.totalimmersion.net/), GoSwim (https://www.goswim.tv/) and/or Swim Smooth (https://www.swimsmooth.com/)
    • Then go find a coach who will watch you and correct your technique, ideally video'ing you so you can see what you're doing wrong.
    • Oh, and you shouldn't need to do workouts longer than 3K, 4-5x per week. Think about
      • ~1K warmup (but make it meaningful)
      • Main sets of about ~1750
      • Cool down ~250

    • Of course, you can do more if you need, but the key is to make as much of the workout "count" as possible and be focused on your technique and pacing simultaneously. I'm not quite a complete USRPT guy, but much of your main set training should be done at or as close as possible to race pace.

  18. #18
    Active Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2018
    Posts
    41

    Re: Working on 500 Free Time

    Quote Originally Posted by pwb View Post
    First off, I'll be a little self-serving, but if you want workout ideas for pacing for a 500, scroll through my blog January through April of 2012 starting here - http://forums.usms.org/entry.php?196...-what-I-preach. I was writing the High Volume Workouts for USMS that year (they have now disappeared from the archive) and had oriented those towards training for two of the world's three greatest races, the 400 IM (#1) and the 500 free (#3). The 200 fly, of course, is the world's second best event. I also swam my best time of my Masters' career that year, going faster at age 45 than I had in my 30s. Anyhow, you should get some good ideas of pacing and a variety of sets. If I can find old offline copies I saved of the workouts, I can share those (just message me and I'll see what I can dig up)

    With some reiteration from above


    • 4-5 dolphin kicks will kill you in the 500. Google Townley Haas, Clark Smith or Zane Grothe and find videos of their races. They don't do that and they went like 4:08 or something. 1 kick is probably warranted, 2 might be OK, but at 3 you're already in the danger zone.
    • Breathe as much as you want and probably more than you think. Google Sun Yang videos and watch him take 3 breaths in a row going into a turn, then another one coming out. The 500 is an aeorbic effort (e.g., requiring oxygen!)
    • Technique, technique, technique - you want to be able to swim as smooth as possible with as little effort as long as possible. Check out Total Immersion (http://www.totalimmersion.net/), GoSwim (https://www.goswim.tv/) and/or Swim Smooth (https://www.swimsmooth.com/)
    • Then go find a coach who will watch you and correct your technique, ideally video'ing you so you can see what you're doing wrong.
    • Oh, and you shouldn't need to do workouts longer than 3K, 4-5x per week. Think about
      • ~1K warmup (but make it meaningful)
      • Main sets of about ~1750
      • Cool down ~250

    • Of course, you can do more if you need, but the key is to make as much of the workout "count" as possible and be focused on your technique and pacing simultaneously. I'm not quite a complete USRPT guy, but much of your main set training should be done at or as close as possible to race pace.

    Hey- would you be willing to answer a quick question via PM? don't want to hijack this thread.

  19. #19
    Very Active Member Calvin S's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Little Rock, AR
    Posts
    368
    Blog Entries
    846

    Re: Working on 500 Free Time

    Quote Originally Posted by pwb View Post
    First off, I'll be a little self-serving, but if you want workout ideas for pacing for a 500, scroll through my blog January through April of 2012 starting here - http://forums.usms.org/entry.php?196...-what-I-preach. I was writing the High Volume Workouts for USMS that year (they have now disappeared from the archive) and had oriented those towards training for two of the world's three greatest races, the 400 IM (#1) and the 500 free (#3). The 200 fly, of course, is the world's second best event. I also swam my best time of my Masters' career that year, going faster at age 45 than I had in my 30s. Anyhow, you should get some good ideas of pacing and a variety of sets. If I can find old offline copies I saved of the workouts, I can share those (just message me and I'll see what I can dig up)

    With some reiteration from above


    • 4-5 dolphin kicks will kill you in the 500. Google Townley Haas, Clark Smith or Zane Grothe and find videos of their races. They don't do that and they went like 4:08 or something. 1 kick is probably warranted, 2 might be OK, but at 3 you're already in the danger zone.
    • Breathe as much as you want and probably more than you think. Google Sun Yang videos and watch him take 3 breaths in a row going into a turn, then another one coming out. The 500 is an aeorbic effort (e.g., requiring oxygen!)
    • Technique, technique, technique - you want to be able to swim as smooth as possible with as little effort as long as possible. Check out Total Immersion (http://www.totalimmersion.net/), GoSwim (https://www.goswim.tv/) and/or Swim Smooth (https://www.swimsmooth.com/)
    • Then go find a coach who will watch you and correct your technique, ideally video'ing you so you can see what you're doing wrong.
    • Oh, and you shouldn't need to do workouts longer than 3K, 4-5x per week. Think about
      • ~1K warmup (but make it meaningful)
      • Main sets of about ~1750
      • Cool down ~250

    • Of course, you can do more if you need, but the key is to make as much of the workout "count" as possible and be focused on your technique and pacing simultaneously. I'm not quite a complete USRPT guy, but much of your main set training should be done at or as close as possible to race pace.
    blah, blah, blah, something about how 45-49 500 FR at 2012 USMS Nats was the greatest masters race (and one of the top 5 in person races, period) I have ever witnessed, blah, blah, blah

    :P

  20. #20
    Participating Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2019
    Location
    Montana
    Posts
    21

    Re: Working on 500 Free Time

    Thanks for the suggestions everybody. Calvin, Iíll try your suggestion of a 1:1 work-to-rest ratio tomorrow when I swim at the Y. It'll be my first swim since getting back from a week-long vacation. Iíve revised my goal; I think it was too aggressive originally, like somebody said in the thread. My new one is just to get my time in the 500 free below 8 minutes. If I can get to that time I'll be comfortable swimming it in my first meet. I'll keep you all posted on what I hope will be my progress on reaching this goal-- I'd like to accomplish it by the end of this year!
    Last edited by LG Montana Swimmer; July 11th, 2019 at 10:02 PM.

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. dropping time in the 50 yard free ?
    By adrianandcielo in forum General Swimming-Related Discussions
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: August 20th, 2011, 01:10 PM
  2. Breaking 1:00 in the 100 free SCY for the 1st time
    By Herb in forum General Swimming-Related Discussions
    Replies: 72
    Last Post: April 29th, 2011, 01:53 PM
  3. Help estimating 500 free seed time?
    By smontanaro in forum General Swimming-Related Discussions
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: March 24th, 2009, 11:03 PM
  4. 100 free time??
    By DanSad in forum General Swimming-Related Discussions
    Replies: 27
    Last Post: October 15th, 2007, 07:26 PM
  5. Free Time Converter
    By Bert Bergen in forum General Swimming-Related Discussions
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: June 8th, 2004, 09:59 PM

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •