Sunday, May 8, 2011

My swimming world defined

I have many wonderful friends that comment on my swins in Daily mile - and often say "I don't understand what you are posting but great job!" They are right. It looks like a big math equation sometimes, with strange terms thrown in.

So, I thought I would help them by defining my swimming world.

Let's jump in.

Short Course (SC): in competition swimming this is a pool that is 25 meters. In the US it usually means a pool that is 25 yards. Many lap pools, such as LA FItness, are 25 yards short course.

Long Course (LC): Olpmpic Distance 50 meters. The pool at Dynamo is 50 meters. But they change the lane dividers to the short direction during the winter and have a 25 yard SC pool.

So, 2 our of 3 of my weekly swims are SC.

Lap: This term is up for debate. I consider a lap one trip down a lane. If I am in a SC pool that means 25 yards. If I am in a LC pool it means 50 m. You speak with some people (no dig on Chris Baker!) and a lap means there and back. He's more right - what I consider a lap is really a length (1 length of the pool), but it makes for easier counting for me, and that's what counts.

Length: 25 yards in a SC, 50 meters in a LC pool

T-pace: Threshold pace. Equivalent to your lactic acid threshold pace in running or biking. You are swimming hard at a semi-sustainable pace for medium distances. Equivalent to your 5 or 10k pace on a run, depending on your fitness. My T-pace (right now) is 1:39 for 100 yards.

The pull buoy is pictured. Basically you put it between your legs and it keeps you from kicking. So you are working your upper body.

Kick (K): use a kick board and fins

Paddle (P): swim paddles

Next I will put up a swim and pull it apart. Here we go!

W/U: 10 x 50 (:15RI)300 PULL
400@ T-PACE + :03(:20RI)
4 x 100@ T-PACE(:20RI)
300@ T-PACE +:03(:20RI)
3 x 100@ T-PACE(:20RI)
200@ T-PACE +:03(:20RI)
2 x 100 UNDER T-PACE (:20RI)
CD 300

That's it. Got it? Don't worry if you don't. There is no test. Now for a (partial) Line by line

W/U: 10 x 50 (:15RI)300 PULL

W/U: Warm up
10 x 50: 10 intervals of 50 yds/m apiece
(:15RI): with a 15 second rest interval between each interval

So, if I am in LA Fitness (25 yd SC)I swim 2 pool lengths and then rest 15 seconds. Repeat 9 more times. Exciting, huh?

300 pull: Swim 300 yds/m continuously using a pull buoy.

400@ T-PACE + :03(:20RI) : This is a long one. 400 yd/m continuous swim at your 100 yard T-pace plus 3 seconds followed by a 20 second rest interval. So I would aim to swim each 100 yard interval at 1:42. I swim the 400 yards continuously for a total of 6 minutes and 48 seconds. Then rest 20 seconds and go on to the next set.

4 x 100@ T-PACE(:20RI): 4 sets of 100 y/m at my threshold pace. So I would swim 100 yards aiming for 1:39, rest 20 seconds and repeat three more times.

The rest is a repeat of the above, but at 300 and 200 yd/m intervals.

CD 300: Cool down 300 yards continuous swim

There have been other workout where it gets more complicated. For example:

200 as 50 Drill / 50 Swim / 50 Drill / 50 Swim
2 x 400, Negative Split (0:30 RI)
3 x 200, descend 1-3 (0:20 RI)

200 as 50 Drill / 50 Swim / 50 Drill / 50 Swim: 200 y/m continuous swim broken down in to 50 yd/m doing your choice of a swim drill, 50 yd/m as straight swim, 50 yd/m doing a swim drill, and 50 yd/m as straight swim

2 x 400, Negative Split (0:30 RI): 2 sets of 400 yd/m continuous swim with a 30 second rest interval between each 400 yd/m.

Negative split is just like running where the second half is faster than the first half. I take it to mean the second 400 is faster than the first. I am sure others would say the second half of the 400 (so the last 200 yards) is faster than the first 200 yards. But that gets really hard to time. I keep it simple.

3 x 200, descend 1-3 (0:20 RI): 3 sets of 200 yd/m swim with a 20 second rest interval between each 200 yd/m swim.

Descend means each set gets progressively faster. So if my first set of 200 yards was done in 4 minutes, my second should be less than 4 minutes (say 3:55) and my final set the fastest (say 3:50).

That's it. That's my primer. If you made it through - I hope you enjoyed.

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