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  #71  
Old 01-22-2018
Streak Streak is offline
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That's outstanding Gary.
I have only tried the 30x50 USRPT sets, I need to try and do some 100's.
Right now the best I have done for a 1650 in a 25 yard pool doing touch turns is 28:30 which is a 1:43 per 100 pace. I know I can do sub 1:40's and even mid 1:30's when I do my 6x100 sets so need to start doing some USRPT on say 1:40 on 2 minutes to see how many I can do and then start reducing that to say 1:35's on 1:55.

I swam next to someone who was swimming your speed and wow, quite amazing to watch. He was doing 150's on 2 mins and looked like he could continue doing this the whole day. Same age as me (58) but he did his first Kona Ironman in his 20's and been a competitive athlete ever since. I guess teaching myself to swim in my 50's puts me at a slight disadvantage!!
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  #72  
Old 01-22-2018
gary p gary p is offline
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A 28 minute 1650 for someone who took up swimming in their 50's is pretty good!

You mention going from 1:40 to a 1:35 pace. I would highly recommend taking it in smaller steps. 2 seconds max, maybe even single seconds.

I've gotten down to .1 second incremental pace increases for my 25's at 100 free race pace.

I use a SportCount finger stopwatch to accurately time every repeat to the 1/100th.
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  #73  
Old 02-01-2018
s.sciame s.sciame is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gary p View Post
I have come to the conclusion that, for me, at least, USRPT sets of 100's aren't quite predictive of 1500/1650 race pace. Just finished a 13 week long training block with lots of hundreds on ~20 seconds rest. I dabbled some in 75's (mostly when coming back from a minor illness or on days when I was feeling excessively fatigued) and 125's, but 100's were my staple set. I was able to get close to 30 reps of 100y @ <1:14 pace on a 1:35 interval before failing a set. On several occasions, I got past 20 before my first failure. Most of the time, I was clocking sub 1:13's until I got close to the failure point. Knowing that my turns aren't terribly snappy in a 1650, I added a second to the 1:14 pace to account for the 4th turn per 100, and expected a 1:15/100 race pace.

Raced the 1650 yesterday, first time in nearly 2 years. By the 300y mark, I was already splitting over a 1:15/100 pace. From the 500 to the 1550 yard mark, I averaged 1:17/100. I was able to close out with a strong 1:13.03 final 100. My final time was 20:53.97, making my average pace just a nick under 1:16 flat.

My goal was to go 20:33.30. I figured if I went out the first 50 in :33.something, held 1:15.00/100y through, and closed out with a sub :37 final 50, I'd get there. Obviously I overestimated my ability to hold a sustained pace. My average pace per 100 from 50-1600 was 1:16.45.

I was a little disappointed to not hit my goal, but that still represented a nearly 24 second improvement over my previous personal best. I feel I'm headed in the right direction, but just need to take it up a notch. Think I'll work on sets of 125's for now, with the aim of stretching that out to 150's in the near future.

While the USPRT sets of 100's didn't quite correlate to 1650 race pace for me, I think I can safely say it would have been quite predictive of 1000y race pace. I was 12:35 at the 1000y mark yesterday. Pretty sure I could have gone just a bit under 12:30 if the race finished there. Just subbing out the final 50 of my 1650 for the 20th 50 would have put me at 12:32.
Thanks for the detailed report Gary. Fwiw, the same happens with me: in general I find scarce correlation even on the shorter distances (eg 50's for 200m, 75's for 400m). I believe correlation highly depends on weekly volume. If embracing a 100% USRPT approach (which usually means low volume per session) I believe you should be swimming at least 5 times per week. Less than that and weekly volume is too low (ie aerobic fitness is not enough) to expect good correlation on race day. I also believe USRPT works great within a periodized plan: for instance a 4 weeks block of 100% USRPT as a sharpening phase which follows a high volume period where you have built solid aerobic capacity. Conversely, doing only USRPT all the year... don't know, it could lead to staleness maybe.

Anyway how is it going with the 125's? I like this approach of extending the repetition distance by 1 length (so 125's, 150's, 175's etc) until you find good correlation.
Moreover, do you ever take the splits during your USRPT sets? I don't, but I often take 1 less SPL in the first length, meaning that the first length of each rep is probably faster than the others and this has to be taken in account when estimating the current sustainable race pace.

Salvo

PS: Tom, some useful numbers for your goal. Having swam nothing longer than 100's recently (mostly short reps with longish rest because I'm into technical changes), a few days ago I swam a straight 400 SCM to see my current state and I finished in 6:00 (splits 1:28, 1:32, 1:30, 1:30), which is the pace you're after, right? So for reference, the day before this test I had done the following set:
30 minutes of 50m reps on 1:00, adding a 100 every 5th rep (no additional rest), that is 5x(4x50 + 100). In the 50's I held steady 41s. In the 100's I did respectively 1:24, 1:25, 1:26, 1:26, 1:26. My current weekly volume is pretty low (10km on avg), this may explain the gap from the pace I could hold in the above set and the pace I held in the straight 400.
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  #74  
Old 02-01-2018
Tom Pamperin Tom Pamperin is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by s.sciame View Post
PS: Tom, some useful numbers for your goal. Having swam nothing longer than 100's recently (mostly short reps with longish rest because I'm into technical changes), a few days ago I swam a straight 400 SCM to see my current state and I finished in 6:00 (splits 1:28, 1:32, 1:30, 1:30), which is the pace you're after, right? So for reference, the day before this test I had done the following set:
30 minutes of 50m reps on 1:00, adding a 100 every 5th rep (no additional rest), that is 5x(4x50 + 100). In the 50's I held steady 41s. In the 100's I did respectively 1:24, 1:25, 1:26, 1:26, 1:26. My current weekly volume is pretty low (10km on avg), this may explain the gap from the pace I could hold in the above set and the pace I held in the straight 400.
Salvo,

thanks--that's really interesting. And suggests I have some work to do! I have really prioritized working on my kick timing without paying any attention to the clock for a few weeks now, but I plan to restart USRPT sets next week.

After finishing the 30 x 50m set at around :43/50m pace a while back, I did manage to swim a 500m in 7:45. I think with repetition to work on pacing, I can get very close to my 7:30 goal just working the standard 50m USRPT repeats. We'll see. Actually, we won't see, because I also plan to add USRPT sets with 75m and 100m repeats as well. I feel like my new kick timing is solid enough to take the stress, so it'll be interesting to see if my technique focus has brought any speed.
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  #75  
Old 4 Days Ago
gary p gary p is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gary p View Post
I have come to the conclusion that, for me, at least, USRPT sets of 100's aren't quite predictive of 1500/1650 race pace. Just finished a 13 week long training block with lots of hundreds on ~20 seconds rest. I dabbled some in 75's (mostly when coming back from a minor illness or on days when I was feeling excessively fatigued) and 125's, but 100's were my staple set. I was able to get close to 30 reps of 100y @ <1:14 pace on a 1:35 interval before failing a set. On several occasions, I got past 20 before my first failure. Most of the time, I was clocking sub 1:13's until I got close to the failure point. Knowing that my turns aren't terribly snappy in a 1650, I added a second to the 1:14 pace to account for the 4th turn per 100, and expected a 1:15/100 race pace.

Raced the 1650 yesterday, first time in nearly 2 years. By the 300y mark, I was already splitting over a 1:15/100 pace. From the 500 to the 1550 yard mark, I averaged 1:17/100. I was able to close out with a strong 1:13.03 final 100. My final time was 20:53.97, making my average pace just a nick under 1:16 flat.

My goal was to go 20:33.30. I figured if I went out the first 50 in :33.something, held 1:15.00/100y through, and closed out with a sub :37 final 50, I'd get there. Obviously I overestimated my ability to hold a sustained pace. My average pace per 100 from 50-1600 was 1:16.45.

I was a little disappointed to not hit my goal, but that still represented a nearly 24 second improvement over my previous personal best. I feel I'm headed in the right direction, but just need to take it up a notch. Think I'll work on sets of 125's for now, with the aim of stretching that out to 150's in the near future.

While the USPRT sets of 100's didn't quite correlate to 1650 race pace for me, I think I can safely say it would have been quite predictive of 1000y race pace. I was 12:35 at the 1000y mark yesterday. Pretty sure I could have gone just a bit under 12:30 if the race finished there. Just subbing out the final 50 of my 1650 for the 20th 50 would have put me at 12:32.
End-of-season update. After failing to secure a National Qualifying Time in the 1650 per the post above, I went to 125's, eventually got to ~20 reps @ the 1:15/100 pace I was aiming for. At my next opportunity to race the 1650, the scoreboard was situated such that I could see my splits every 50 yards. I used the clock to try to pace instead of perceived effort. I held 37.5 's or better every 50 through about 750, but I really crashed and burned on the last half and ended up going slower overall. I opted not to swim it again at the "last chance meet," as nothing in my training in the interim suggested I would go any faster. Without an NQT in the 1650, I had to enter the 1000 at Nationals instead. I went back to 100's, and worked the pace down to 1:13, albeit at slightly less volume (reps in the high teens to low 20's). As I started winding down my workload, I was finding I could go sub-1:12's at the same effort. Adding for turns, I was thinking I'd go in the 1:13's/100 at Nationals. Turns out I under-estimated how fatigued I'd been racing at all season. I ended up going 11:55.03 in the 1000, or 1:11.50/100! A shave and a technical racing suit helped, but my pacing was solid all the way through, with my 50 splits between the 400 and 900 all in the low-mid 36's.

Moral of the story? Two-fold.
First, 100's correlated better with my 1000 race pace than 1650. I think the 125's would have correlated well to a fully rested and shaved 1650 race pace.
Second, this old guy can't throw down mid-season races at or near peak potential on USRPT, regardless of what the literature suggests should happen. I will drop time when I unload at the end of season, even though the total weekly average training yardage isn't all that much.
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  #76  
Old 3 Days Ago
Tom Pamperin Tom Pamperin is offline
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Gary,

those times are impressive! Congratulations!

Can I ask what your typical workload is during the peak of your training? Do you think there is a certain minimum amount of yardage you need to attain that level of fitness?

And do you spend any time swimming slowly, or is pretty much every set you do aimed at being aerobically challenging?

Thanks for posting--it's very interesting to see what good swimmers can do in competition, though that hasn't been my own main goal. It is inspiring.
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  #77  
Old 2 Days Ago
gary p gary p is offline
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I averaged ~12k yards a week for 7 months. I had a few outlier weeks on either side of that, but it was pretty steady. I do very little slow swimming. Even in warmup, I don’t swim much slower than a 1:20/100y pace.

Besides the distance sets, I did some sprint work, including a 3 week sprint- focus block. Also did a lot of fly work; specifically 200 fly pace work.
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  #78  
Old 2 Days Ago
Tom Pamperin Tom Pamperin is offline
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Well, I can match that volume but can't come close to matching your speed. I doubt I can get below 1:20/100m right now at my fastest single repeat!

Of course, I have not prioritized speed, either. I keep thinking maybe someday I will. Thanks for your post!
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  #79  
Old 15 Hours Ago
Streak Streak is offline
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Great stuff Gary. I started gasping for air just reading your update!!
With lots of concentration I managed a 1:29 100 yard last week. Sub 1:20's seem a lifetime away!
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