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  #1  
Old 10-10-2012
Josefish Josefish is offline
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Default CSS Critical Swim Speed

Dear people,

I have found this CSS, in a swimming web page. It looks like this is the way to train speed and pace...Anyone have any information about it ???

Thanks folks
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  #2  
Old 10-10-2012
CharlesCouturier CharlesCouturier is offline
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The Critical concept, is very old. It was first created by Monod I believe, and its first representation was using Power, hence the name given back then which was Critical Power. It is still widely used in the world of Cycling.

What this concept tries to find, is your sweetest aerobic work zone, ie one that elicit the highest level of fitness gains.

Its application to the swimming world, ie Critical Swim Speed (or CSS), although often over simplified, is very easy to apply. Your webpage probably takes two inputs, a pb over 200m and 400m (just guessing). The resulting pace, the CSS pace is a pace per 100m you should train, to expect the best possible aerobic adaptation.

Note that it is also recommended to train slightly above, or slightly below this pace.

Also note that Total Immersion, though not denying explicitely these concepts, prefers to focus on neuro-muscular development, rather than on aerobic development. The later being a consequence of working with the former in mind.

The Cycling world really use the CP (Critical Power) concept to its full extent. The swimming world in general mostly use CSS to personify lactate threshold speed. It's not using anywhere near the full power of this concept, and to the best of my knowledge, the only blogger that really documented this concept entirely remains Alejandro Martinez, based in Argentina.

http://www.amtriathlon.com/2007/01/p...n-natacin.html

By the same token, Ale did document another similar concept, the SDI concept, which was created by my former boss Jean-Marie De Koninck.

http://www.amtriathlon.com/2007/01/p...atacin_29.html

Last edited by CharlesCouturier : 10-10-2012 at 03:18 PM.
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  #3  
Old 10-10-2012
CoachSuzanne CoachSuzanne is offline
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I use the CSS concept to establish intial goals along with tempo & SPL targets for my masters swimmers who are new to pacing, or have not trained with me long enough to have a feel of their targets or points of improvement.

About once a quarter I'll have my swimmers do the following:

Assessment Set
10 minute warmup
300-500yd/m time trial (this must last at least 5 minutes, so the distance varies y the swimmers skill level...self selected initiall)
8 minutes of active recovery in the pool
50m all out sprint

The critical swim speed is then an application of Monod's idea that charles referred to. It plots the time vs. the distance and a line drawn between the two is described by the basic algebraic equation:
y = mx + b

m is equal to the theoretical critical speed (or power in the case of cyclists)
b is the intercept and represents the anaerobic work capacity

by plotting a "long" and a "short" time trial test, the anaerobic and aerobic capacities for each effort ar normalized. the above equation to determine the slope, removes teh anaerobic component from the longer time trial (the 300, 400 or 500yd TT).

HERE IS THE EASY WAY
Critical speed = [long distance - short distance] / [long time - short time]

Example:
400yd TT: 8 minutes
50yd TT: 35 seconds

critical speed = 400 - 50 / 8*60sec - 35sec
critical speed = .78 yds/second

Even in a yard pool, I like to normalize in meters per second as a lot of the literature is written that way. Just 1.1 yards = 1 meter so .78 yd/sec = .78/1.1 m/s = .71 m/s

.71 meters/second (or .78 yards/second) is the critical swim speed for that swimmer, or 2:08/100 yards

Why is the critical speed slower than the 400 yard time trial speed?
In an activity lasting 8 minutes, even 20-30 minutes or more, a component of the speed comes from anaerobic muscle activity...brute force.

The comparison between the long time trial where the aerobic system makes a significant contribution and the SHORT time trial which is primarily anaerobic, allows you to subtract the BRUTE FORCE component out of the longer time trial speed.

This leaves us with what should in theory be completely aerobic training.

In TI way of thinking, this is vital because the intensity level is low enough to allow us to focus on technique improvements while swimming at a pace that isn't "too slow"

SO...we are left with what in theory, represents the highest aerobic speed a swimmer can swim.


Here is where the TI twist comes in....


As Charles noted, with TI we like to focus on the neuro-muscular connections and movement path ways from brain to muscle. We can swim at the critical speed in many different "gears". We want to find the optimal gear, or stroke length and rate, that will allow the swimmer to work in a comfortable capacity while leaving ample room to grow in speed and get faster.

Once I've calcuated the speed with a spreadsheet I've set up to do that, I"ll give my swimmers a test set of 10x50 at critical speed + 5 seconds rest.

While they are doing that, they count their average SPL.

With this 2nd data point, they are now honing in on a really valuable set of training parameters...not JUST critical speed, which can be swum at many tempos and stroke lengths (ie many different stroke techniques) , but they are establishing first an average SPL, which they should not allow themselves to exceed, as well as a target for improvement.

After the 10x50 counting strokes, their next set (on a subsequent day perhaps), will be to use that SPL and the critical swim speed, and swim the long set again, but with focus on holding SPL at that average number and not exceeding it.

What we've done is used the swimmers current fitness & ability to give them a starting point, without placing any specific focus on the swimmer adhering to SPL or tempo constraints while swimming the initial time trial. This allows anyone to do the set, not just people who are math inclined.

I can take any of my swimmers with any level of experience, have them do the assessment set, plug their times in and my spreadshett does the calculations, recommends the 10x50 pacing and the swimmer then begins their journey!
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Steel City Endurance, LTD
Pittsburgh, PA

Total Immersion Swim Coaching, Triathlon and Bicycle Training in Pittsburgh, PA

My TI Coach Blog
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  #4  
Old 10-10-2012
CharlesCouturier CharlesCouturier is offline
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Beautiful post, expect me to refer to it when the question pops up again :)

You may also want to play with the SDI concept as well, bullet proof.

http://www.arhy.org/swim-predict

Method one gives you your prediction based on
1. Your individual SDI (the SDI is just a fatigue decay coefficient)
2. Based on an ideal fatigue decay which is set to 1.06

In other words, it compares how you should perform now given your actual fatigue decay vs how you should perform if you reached an ideal training balance.

Method 2 simply tells you how fast you should aim at swimming, given your goals over longer distances.

Lots of fun. A comprehensive article pending since 2009, some day I should find the time.

That coefficient is established using:

SDI = Log(Time1/Time2) / Log(Distance1/Distance2), given 2 entry points.

Last edited by CharlesCouturier : 10-24-2013 at 06:23 PM.
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  #5  
Old 10-10-2012
CoachSuzanne CoachSuzanne is offline
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I use similar concepts in running using the mcmillan running calculator ,as well as several running tests via Bobby McGee (my running guru) which calculates projected times based on your actuals...and you need to train so your decay is in line, or you won't meet projected times.

Also I use a decay factor of 4-7% when going from open run races to triathlon run races.

Fun stuff!!

Each persons decay factor is going to vary based on training for endurance vs. speed as well as individual makeup of fast twitch vs. slow twitch fibers.


Ft vs ST is genetically determined, but training impacts how the FT fibers act...

Zero decay would be a person with no fast twitch ability...I hvae one of those in my masters group. She is fast-ish (1:20/100) over long distances...but her 50yd sprint is still 40 seconds!

OH...

And thank you!
__________________
Suzanne Atkinson, MD
Steel City Endurance, LTD
Pittsburgh, PA

Total Immersion Swim Coaching, Triathlon and Bicycle Training in Pittsburgh, PA

My TI Coach Blog
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  #6  
Old 10-10-2012
CharlesCouturier CharlesCouturier is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CoachSuzanne View Post
Zero decay would be a person with no fast twitch ability...I hvae one of those in my masters group. She is fast-ish (1:20/100) over long distances...but her 50yd sprint is still 40 seconds!

OH...

And thank you!
Wow that's diesel :)

In fact Suzanne, the SDI concept was the fruit of some researches that Jean-Marie De Koninck conducted. He found this SDI fit, that was new.

But he also found that t=b*d^m which is used to issue predictions.

And that last formula already existed at least a decade before. It was first created by Pete Reigel, was using a fixed fatigue decay (1.06) and these works were then reused by Jack Daniels, Ph.D

So anyone that uses the Running Formula, or Oxygen table etc, it all uses the same formula to issue prediction. Therefore the new thing that Jean-Marie found out is how to find an Individual Fatigue Decay, instead of using one considered as ideal.
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  #7  
Old 10-10-2012
andyinnorway andyinnorway is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CoachSuzanne View Post
I use similar concepts in running using the mcmillan running calculator ,as well as several running tests via Bobby McGee (my running guru) which calculates projected times based on your actuals...and you need to train so your decay is in line, or you won't meet projected times.

Also I use a decay factor of 4-7% when going from open run races to triathlon run races.

Fun stuff!!

Each persons decay factor is going to vary based on training for endurance vs. speed as well as individual makeup of fast twitch vs. slow twitch fibers.


Ft vs ST is genetically determined, but training impacts how the FT fibers act...

Zero decay would be a person with no fast twitch ability...I hvae one of those in my masters group. She is fast-ish (1:20/100) over long distances...but her 50yd sprint is still 40 seconds!

OH...

And thank you!
My main swimming buddy (read rival) is the same. 100m pb 1:26, Pool swim average mile time 23:45
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  #8  
Old 10-10-2012
andyinnorway andyinnorway is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Josefish View Post
Dear people,

I have found this CSS, in a swimming web page. It looks like this is the way to train speed and pace...Anyone have any information about it ???

Thanks folks
Josefish, a simpler way to approach this and get approx same benefits is to swim 4x10 minutes at aerobic threshold with 5 minutes rest in between.

This is an hour workout and will have similar benefits to figuring out CSS and training with it.

Its also self adjusting as the distances will go up as you get better at swimming, stronger or fitter.

Just try to hold your pace consistent throughout Tempo trainer and stroke counting will help.
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  #9  
Old 10-10-2012
CoachSuzanne CoachSuzanne is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andyinnorway View Post
Josefish, a simpler way to approach this and get approx same benefits is to swim 4x10 minutes at aerobic threshold with 5 minutes rest in between.

This is an hour workout and will have similar benefits to figuring out CSS and training with it.

Its also self adjusting as the distances will go up as you get better at swimming, stronger or fitter.

Just try to hold your pace consistent throughout Tempo trainer and stroke counting will help.
Well sure, you can take the math out, but what fun is that???

:)

Kidding. 4 x 10 minutes will appeal to some and "lotsamath" will appeal to others. The problem is that many who like details won't believe that 4 x 10minutes will work just as well.
__________________
Suzanne Atkinson, MD
Steel City Endurance, LTD
Pittsburgh, PA

Total Immersion Swim Coaching, Triathlon and Bicycle Training in Pittsburgh, PA

My TI Coach Blog
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  #10  
Old 10-10-2012
CharlesCouturier CharlesCouturier is offline
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And the other major issue is: how can one establish what his threshold (or anaerobic threshold, or maxlass, or whatever the name given to this threshold) is?

This is what the CSS model, especially the simplified version addresses.

One could always use the SDI concept, for instance considering the 1.9k as your threshold pace. But I'd expect the 1.9k pace to be very close to the CSS pace.

But one way or another, it's good to have a quick way to calculate your threshold pace. Forget about HR, especially over a 10min bout only.

**edit**
I can confirm that the CSS model is a match within 1sec per 100m with the prediction over 800m as issued by the SDI concept. So this is a bloody fast pace, one that roughly correlates with a 10min long effort, dear Andy.

The implications here, is that one could use the SDI concept with any possible distance (e.g. 50/100, or whatever really). The prediction for the 800m should be within a second of being the CSS pace.

Last edited by CharlesCouturier : 10-10-2012 at 09:12 PM.
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