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  #1  
Old 10-26-2011
andyinnorway andyinnorway is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2011
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andyinnorway
Default Training for speed and focus - suggested sets please

I now feel my stroke is balanced enough and consistent enough to put some effort into the 30% that is fitness and stamina.

Here I find myself something of a newbie. How do you design sets that build speed and stamina over time?

My inclination is to train myself to hold SPL at certain distances for different TT ranges.

However, I know there are many of you that have much deeper understanding, especially from a running and cycling background, who can throw some pointers my way.

General Goal, to swim open water 1500-3200m races competitively for my age group. (top 5%)

Specific short term goal, swim a mile in under 26.40

Current best 28.08 with TT@1.22 = 21.6 strokes per lap (inc push and turn I use 2.5 for push off and 1-1.5 for the turn depending on focus and fatigue)

I have been working on holding SPL and focus and can remain consistent as follows

TT @ 1.38, almost perpetual at 15-16 SPL (1.45-1.48 100 split) so approximately my pb mile pace.

TT @ 1.30 circa 400m at 15-16 SPL

TT @ 1.22 circa 200m at 15-16 SPL

25s and 50s I can keep under 16 SPL down to around TT@1.0

If I can train my body to maintain 15-16 SPL @ TT1.14 then my 100 splits would be 1.26 which would give me a very different race position to 1.45

I am just not too sure on set combos to achieve this. I have 3 sessions a week where I can get some space for longer sets and 3 other sessions where I need to do drill work or repeats under 100 because of lane traffic.

Thanks for any suggestions.
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  #2  
Old 10-30-2011
ian mac ian mac is offline
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ian mac
Default

There are 3 ways to increase speed- increased stroke length, faster stroke rate & a combination of both. Adaptation over time focussing on both SPL and SR will get you good results. A SL of 15/25m is excellent, you should be proud of that accomplishment. Here is a set that has helped me get under 19:00 for 1500m:
4 x [ 4x25, 3x50, 2x75, 1x100] all on 30sec/25m interval.
1. try to hold 12-13 SPL for all distances
2. using a TT, start SR at .04 above lactic threshold
3. using TT, hold SR at lactic threshold
4 using TT, hold SR at .04 below lactic threshold
in all cases try to hold SPL at 15
The only way to improve speed over time is by adapting, slowly and reducing your lactic threshold while maintaing or even reducing your optimum SPL. Best of luck on your goal.
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  #3  
Old 10-30-2011
swimmermike swimmermike is offline
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Location: Denver
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swimmermike
Default lactic acid threshold

Hi ian mac

Interesting ideas--thanks for the set.

I have a question--how did you locate your "lactic threshold?" I understand the principle, I just have never heard of a non-laboratory way of doing this.

Michael
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  #4  
Old 10-31-2011
andyinnorway andyinnorway is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2011
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andyinnorway
Default

I tried this today and it was great.

Firstly I liked the simplicity as that meant i did not need to refer to my sheet during my swim.

I swam as follows.

1st set warm up no TT, focused on relaxing and holding SPL

2nd set TT 1.22
3rd set TT 1.14
4th set TT 1.06

Of my 80 laps I would guess 64 were, 15SPL. 15 16 SPL and 1 lap was 17SPL.

the 17 SPL I stopped swam back and repeated the task.

Curiously because I held 16SPL on the last 100, I did an unconscious pb of 1.24.8 so very cool. I guess thats the idea though.

thanks again for good advice.
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  #5  
Old 10-31-2011
ian mac ian mac is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2009
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ian mac
Default Another set or 2

Hi Andy, I'm glad it worked for you. My training partner and I are 55 and 53. Last year he won every freestyle event at the Canadian Masters Championships and will qualify for, several top ten FINA Masters. As we get older, we try to develop adaptive lactic threshold improvement. We try and combine old school sets with a TI approach -mindful swimming. This year, we both hope to break 18:30 for the 1500m, shortcourse.
We did a workout today that you might enjoy. We started with 200 each of swim/kick/pull in IM to lossen up. Then, continuing our warmup, we swam that set of 4x25, 3x50,2x75, 1x100 @30sec/25m interval, trying to maintain 12SPL.
Our main set was 5x[ 3x100m@ 2min interval doing 1easy, 1 lactid threshold, 1 hard/strong]. Our average times were 1:21 for the easy, 1:15 for the threshold and 1:09 for the hard. During the easy/recovery swims we looked for long strokes, piercing hands and good hip roll. The threshold we looked to build into each turn, come out strong and look for "easy speed". The hard were with the same attitude toward the turns, but with an increased stroke rate.
Although we are both big fans of the TT, we did this set without devices, as it is important to get a natural feel when racing. Our threshold was about a sec. slower than what we need for our goal next March, so we were pleased. However, we ALWAYS count strokes and we averaged 15SPL on the threshold and15?16 on the strong. To increase speed by adaptation, it is crucial to occasionally swim below it.
Our final set was 6x50 @ 60 sec. The first we take 8 breaths and take 1 less breath for each successive repeat (7,6,5,4,3). Because we are old farts, we allow ourselves an extra min. rest and then do 1x50 with only 1 breath and try to swim under 35 sec.
Keep up the good work and remember that while your goal is important, the journey of each day swimming is where the fun is.
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  #6  
Old 11-04-2011
andyinnorway andyinnorway is offline
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andyinnorway
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Ian,

When you try to maintain 12SPL on your warm up set, what sort of SR would that be at?

Do you change your stroke at all (reach/rotation) to achieve such a low SPL?
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  #7  
Old 11-08-2011
ian mac ian mac is offline
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ian mac
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Hi Andy,
When attempting an SPL of 12 for 25m, I am not consciously timing my stroke rate. Ultimately when swimming, feel is more important than anything else, which is why we always swim our hardest sets without using the TT. Gadgets are a useful tool, but should not be relied on exclusively.
We are more mindful of "beautiful" technique when swimming a 12SPL, similar to watching martial artists practicing Tai-Chi. When watching the great Ryan Lochte swim a 200m freestyle shortcourse on YouTube, he is able to maintain a SPL of 12-13 while going very fast. When I increase my propulsion, I am only able to achieve an SPL 0f 14-15. Hopefully this is helpful.
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