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  #1  
Old 04-02-2012
rkadar rkadar is offline
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rkadar
Default Building Endurance

Currently I swim a real mile (1600 meters) in about 40-45 minutes (in a 25 meter pool, no kick-turns). I both want to get my mile time down -- 32 minutes would be awesome or 1 minute per lap, AND I also want to increase endurance.

I can swim a mile without any problem but start fading after about a mile and a third to a mile and a half.

Wondering what others are doing to increase their swim endurance?

Jogging or bike riding to increase lung capacity? Weight training to increase strength? Cross training to do both? Or just consistent every day swimming? Or should swim sprints be a part of every practice?

What about diet and nutrition? I'm a bit overweight, would losing 20 pounds make a big difference?

Currently I swim 2-3 times per week. Should I increase it to 4-5 times per week? Do I risk injury if I do so?

I've taken 2 TI workshops - one a weekend workshop and the other a one day workshop. I think my technique is very good but I'm sure I could improve it. Should that be my focus?

Lots of questions!

Thanks for your responses, ideas and suggestions.

Rob

PS I won't say my exact age, but I'm old enough to remember when the Beatles were still coming out with albums!
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  #2  
Old 04-02-2012
CoachSuzanne CoachSuzanne is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rkadar View Post
Currently I swim a real mile (1600 meters) in about 40-45 minutes (in a 25 meter pool, no kick-turns). I both want to get my mile time down -- 32 minutes would be awesome or 1 minute per lap, AND I also want to increase endurance.

I can swim a mile without any problem but start fading after about a mile and a third to a mile and a half.

Wondering what others are doing to increase their swim endurance?

Jogging or bike riding to increase lung capacity? Weight training to increase strength? Cross training to do both? Or just consistent every day swimming? Or should swim sprints be a part of every practice?

What about diet and nutrition? I'm a bit overweight, would losing 20 pounds make a big difference?

Currently I swim 2-3 times per week. Should I increase it to 4-5 times per week? Do I risk injury if I do so?

I've taken 2 TI workshops - one a weekend workshop and the other a one day workshop. I think my technique is very good but I'm sure I could improve it. Should that be my focus?

Lots of questions!

Thanks for your responses, ideas and suggestions.

Rob

PS I won't say my exact age, but I'm old enough to remember when the Beatles were still coming out with albums!
When you say you want to increase endurance, can you be specific? are you only swimming continuous miles at a time? Do you train in any shorter intervals? Have you read the thread "A faster 1650/1500"? (it's long and detailed and I won't blame you in the last if you say you havn't read it)
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Suzanne Atkinson, MD
Level 3 USAT Coach
USA Paralympic Triathlon Coach
Coach of 5 time USA Triathlon Triathlete of the Year, Kirsten Sass
Steel City Endurance, LTD
Fresh Freestyle

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  #3  
Old 04-02-2012
rkadar rkadar is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2011
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rkadar
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suzanne, I haven't read the thread you quote but I will. And yes, by build endurance I mean the ability to swim 2-3 miles on a consistent basis with good form. Thanks for your help!
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  #4  
Old 04-02-2012
CoachSuzanne CoachSuzanne is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rkadar View Post
suzanne, I haven't read the thread you quote but I will. And yes, by build endurance I mean the ability to swim 2-3 miles on a consistent basis with good form. Thanks for your help!
First break it down into the abiltiy to swim shorter efforts with good form. Counting strokes is the best way to start. For repetition length, it can be anything your comfy with, but for starters, it shoudl be slightly shorter than what you think it should be.

For example:

Practice #1: Swim 8 x 200 with 30 seconds rest. Count your strokes per 25 and record your time per 200. (you can give a range of stroke counts, eg. 1st 200, 16 SPL/25 for duration...5th-8th 200s, 17-19 SPL per 25). The more accurate you can be the better, but don't make it overly burdensome.

That's your homework. Report back and we'll go from there. :)
__________________
Suzanne Atkinson, MD
Level 3 USAT Coach
USA Paralympic Triathlon Coach
Coach of 5 time USA Triathlon Triathlete of the Year, Kirsten Sass
Steel City Endurance, LTD
Fresh Freestyle

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  #5  
Old 04-03-2012
rkadar rkadar is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 13
rkadar
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CoachSuzanne View Post
First break it down into the abiltiy to swim shorter efforts with good form. Counting strokes is the best way to start. For repetition length, it can be anything your comfy with, but for starters, it shoudl be slightly shorter than what you think it should be.

For example:

Practice #1: Swim 8 x 200 with 30 seconds rest. Count your strokes per 25 and record your time per 200. (you can give a range of stroke counts, eg. 1st 200, 16 SPL/25 for duration...5th-8th 200s, 17-19 SPL per 25). The more accurate you can be the better, but don't make it overly burdensome.

That's your homework. Report back and we'll go from there. :)
OK sounds like a plan. thanks!
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  #6  
Old 04-03-2012
CoachDavidShen CoachDavidShen is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rkadar View Post
suzanne, I haven't read the thread you quote but I will. And yes, by build endurance I mean the ability to swim 2-3 miles on a consistent basis with good form. Thanks for your help!
CoachSuzanne's suggestions are excellent.

I would add one thing, which is to think not about "swim endurance" as a purely physical thing. It has physical, mental, and neuromuscular components.

Physical endurance would mean some training involving strength, and the quality and quantity of the workout and its sets.

Mental endurance means building the ability to remain focused for long periods of time, and certainly for the duration of an entire race, with all its distractions like other people splashing around you, etc.

Neuromuscular endurance means training your body's nervous system to first, burn in the right swimming habits in movement, and second, the ability for it to sustain the habit over time.

this can best be done with what CoachSuzanne describes, which is to start with shorter intervals and working on all 3 elements, and then gradually challenging all 3 components by lengthening the intervals over time as your body, mind, and nervous system adapts. your speed will increase, guaranteed!
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  #7  
Old 04-03-2012
rkadar rkadar is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 13
rkadar
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CoachDavidShen View Post
CoachSuzanne's suggestions are excellent.

I would add one thing, which is to think not about "swim endurance" as a purely physical thing. It has physical, mental, and neuromuscular components.

Physical endurance would mean some training involving strength, and the quality and quantity of the workout and its sets.

Mental endurance means building the ability to remain focused for long periods of time, and certainly for the duration of an entire race, with all its distractions like other people splashing around you, etc.

Neuromuscular endurance means training your body's nervous system to first, burn in the right swimming habits in movement, and second, the ability for it to sustain the habit over time.

this can best be done with what CoachSuzanne describes, which is to start with shorter intervals and working on all 3 elements, and then gradually challenging all 3 components by lengthening the intervals over time as your body, mind, and nervous system adapts. your speed will increase, guaranteed!

Excellent suggestions. And yes, I definitely am aware of the mental component. Not sure if anyone has tried this but I've started swimming to music. It's adds a wonderful and fun element to the activity and definitely keeps me focused, energized and engaged for longer. I've carefully selected songs whose tempo's have me swimming in the 1.10 to 1.25 strokes per second range. It takes some doing to identify these songs but wow - for a music lover like me, it's AWESOME!

Thanks,

Rob
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