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terry 01-18-2011 03:29 AM

"High-Volume 50s" Set
I got this idea from exercise researcher Mike Joyner and Runner's World editor (and former elite marathoner) Amby Burfoot. We correspond regularly and in the last few days they were discussing plans to conduct a joint experiment in the spring with a run-training method that involves doing many repeats of 200m fast-paced run alternating with 100m walk or slow jog. Both plan to use it once a week to train for a marathon. Amby used it previously with good results.
Mike wrote: " I start out with about 20 x 200 then add 2-4 per week until I get to 40. I The goal is to stride them but be under control."

The swimming equivalent of 200m would be 50m, but I'm swimming in a 25y pool, so I decided to try something similar with high volume 50 yd repeats. Here's today's practice incorporating that idea.

Monday January 17, 2011 3500 @ SUNY
This is my first pool practice in nearly two weeks, part of which I spent at our Open Water Camp in Maho Bay.

Set #1 8 x 100 IM on 2:00. Hold SPL constant @ 8+16+8+14 and descend.
This was one of my fairly common Ďopení warmup/tuneup sets with no pre-determined # of repeats. I continue as long as my stroke count holds constant and times keep improving. I set the max at 8 repeats.
I descended from 1:55 to 1:43 and actually took only 7 Fly strokes on the final 2.

Set #2 5 x Broken 500 on 1:00 rest.
Each broken 500 was 7 Fast-paced 50s @ 29 strokes, with a recovery 25 between. 7 x 50 + 6 x 25 = 500 yds.
My best broken 500 was the 5th on which I averaged 38 sec for the fast-paced 50s which is a 500 pace of about 6:20. I will repeat this set once a week through February. Iíll swim a similar set once a week combining all strokes.

CoachSuzanne 01-21-2011 04:52 AM

Terry, i love these sets. the other day after teaching a lesson, I had time to do about 5 x 100 IM. The digital pace clock was off and my watch was not at I took advantage of the opportunity to eliminate all measures of "good" or "bad" timewise.

I simple focused on gliding with each stroke and a feeling of ease and relaxation. My SC averages were BK 14-15, BR 7-8, FL 9-10, FR 15-16

I find it curious I can easily achieve a lower SC in backstroke routinely than freestyle, and see it as a possible point of improvement in FLY to try and match my breaststroke count.

I have not spent a lot of time on all strokes, but like to do 100IMs in sets of 5 or easy 10s at the end of workouts.

I have yet to try the broken 500 fast 50s, but will add it to my list.

terry 01-21-2011 01:42 PM

Curious. I'm consistently more efficient in freestyle. I think it's because backstroke offers far less opportunity to consciously 'separate water molecules.'

terry 02-15-2011 02:09 AM

High Volume 50s Practice #2
I revisited the High Volume 50s practice today. I had been in Japan for 9 days and the pools there were too warm to do a high-intensity practice such as this. I attempted one early in my visit and become overheated quickly.

Set #1 Tuneup
Swim 4 x 50 + 2 x 100 + 1 x 200. Hold SPL at 13-14 throughout. Aim to improve average pace as repeat distance increases.
Cumulative 200 times (from adding up shorter repeats)
50s: 2:57
100s: 2:53
200: 2:49
This is a repeat of one of my favorite tuneups. Increasing pace as repeats get longer is normally a challenge, but since I start 'cold' it becomes a little easier. This is a good warmup for someone aiming to swim distance.

Set #2 Main Set
5 Broken 500s as follows
1-2: 7 x Brisk/Strong 50s, alternating with 6 x easy 25s.
3-5: 10 x Brisk/Strong 50s on an interval. Swim 100 EZ between rounds.

The first time I tried this set 3 weeks ago, I did all 5 x Broken 500 as 50-25-50-25-50-25-50-25-50-25-50-25-50 with the 50s Fast-Paced and the 25s Easy. At that time I managed to average 38 sec only for the final set.

Swimming easy repeats between faster repeats is known as Active Rest. It's very popular among runners, less so among swimmers.

Today, I started out intending to repeat this set exactly as before, but after swimming two rounds this way I decided to switch to Passive Rest - i.e. swimming the 50s on a particular interval with my rest determined by how fast I swam.
Round #3 was 10 x 50 on 45 sec. I.E. If I averaged 38 sec for the 50s, I would get only 7 sec rest.
Round #4 was 10 x 50 on 50 sec. If I averaged 38 sec, I would now get 12 sec rest between repeats.
Round #5 was 10 x 50 on 60 sec. Averaging 38 sec would now give me 22 sec rest.

I increased rest interval as a 'hedge' against anticipated fatigue.

In the event I was more pleased with how I swam on Passive rest (i.e. wait at the wall until next repeat) than Active rest (swim an easy 25 before next repeat).

But because my rest was relatively brief, this was still a good simulation of the demands of racing a 500.

Again my best round was the last. This time I may have averaged just under 38 sec for the final 10 x 50.

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