Trying to Improve My 1000 Pace
Though this thread is nominally about the 1500, at the moment I'm more focused on improving my 1000-yard free. Once I begin swimming open water races - my first will probably be 3k on June 17 at Masters World Championships in Riccione Italy - all of my races will be a mile or longer. I may swim a 1650-yd race during the indoor season, but my practices will be focused on maximizing my speed for much shorter races -- 200s in all strokes, 400 IM and the 1000 Free.
This is a good choice for me because holding a steady consistent pace and finishing strong in long races has always been a strength of mine. My primary weakness is a lack of 'natural' speed. And I always believe it's wiser to focus on one's weaknesses and trust one's strengths. So I'll keep training as if the longest race I'll swim in the next 4-5 months is 1000 yards and if I do happen to swim a longer one, I'll rely on experience.
As I mentioned in my last post, the 1000 Free I swam at Ithaca College last Saturday revealed that my current pace/efficiency limit is 20 sec/25y at 16SPL. At the moment I can't manage that combination for 1000y. So I will try to systematically wire in the ability to maintain that combination for incrementally greater distances - until I CAN manage it for 1000y -- at which point I'll swim 13:20 or faster, a nice improvement over my time of 13:42 last week. I believe I can make that improvement in a month or less.
On Monday I swam a main set of 50s-75s-100s and 125s holding 20 sec/25y and 15-16SPL on a relatively tight interval of 25 sec/25y. Today I stretched that set a bit farther, keeping all other metrics the same. Here's today's practice
Friday Dec 16
4 x 100 BK on 2:00 Hold 14 SPL. Focus on Vessel-shaping 1st 50, firm catch 2nd 50
4 x 50 BK on 1:00 Hold 14 SPL. Stronger pace than 100s.
Main Set - 1000yd Pace/Efficiency Focus
4 x 50 on :50. 14-15SPL Pace: :41-:41-:40-:40
4 x 75 on 1:15 15SPL Pace :61-:60-:60-:60
4 x 100 on 1:40 15SPL Pace 1:20-1:20-1:20-1:20
4 x 125 on 2:05 15-16SPL Pace: 1:40-1:40-1:40-1:40
1 x 150 15-16SPL 2:01
This set illustrated one of my key strengths in distance swimmer - the ability to maintain both efficiency and pace as I swim farther. As my times show, I struggled slightly at the beginning to swim the 20 sec per 25y pace. My first two 50s and my first 75 were all slightly above target pace. But once I figured out how I needed to swim, I did 11 consecutive repeats - final three 75s and all four 100s and 125s at the pace.
On the 150 I was giving it all I had. I managed to swim the intended SPL, but was one second above pace. So I had found my limit and decided to end the set there.
I swam a recovery 25 between each set of four repeats.
For cooldown I did 4 x 50 BK drill.
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