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  #11  
Old 12-10-2017
Tom Pamperin Tom Pamperin is offline
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Originally Posted by sclim View Post
My HR was over 160 for most of this portion and 170 at the end, not bad for mid winter off season..

My point is that I sag in fatigue if my swimming HR gets to 140. Why? It's gotta be mental.
I don't think it's mental at all. I don't pretend to understand the science of it all, but while swimming, even highly trained athletes can't come close to reaching the same heart rates that they reach during dry land exercise (running, HIIT, etc).

So, even if you push even harder in swimming than you do in running, you'll never get your swimming heart rate to match your running heart rate.
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  #12  
Old 12-10-2017
Tom Pamperin Tom Pamperin is offline
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Hello Tom,

please excuse for distracting your thread.
Werner,

I'm not annoyed at all--I welcome any thoughts people have even if they wander a bit. Those wanderings have led me to many interesting discoveries here on the Forum. So, thanks again for your input.

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Originally Posted by WFEGb View Post
To put in an at least a tiny hint regarding your intention (hopefully), I think it's worth to take a look into Mat's Blogs about the Zone of Discomfort collected in this link.

And did you aside your USRPT-work give Suzanne's course "Fast Forward" or Mat's "1-k Masterclass" a try? I think with some tiny adaptation work they are just addressing what you like to get over a 10-12 weeks run: Times, numbers, FPs, test-swims...

Best regards,
Werner
And this is right on the money--thanks for the suggestions. I am a HUGE fan of Coach Mat's blog, but am not sure I've read those posts. That's a good way of rephrasing my original suggestion: what is the most efficient, most productive method(s) for getting into the Zone of Discomfort, and how long, and how often, should you be there?

I'll check out Fast Forward as well. Thanks!
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  #13  
Old 12-10-2017
Tom Pamperin Tom Pamperin is offline
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And not to detract from their various specific valid power and speed related advice, superimposing these additional techniques on established TI efficiency principles can only lead to a win-win situation, i.e. power plus efficiency. But they often don't get the efficiency idea, maybe because they learned those skills somehow themselves automatically and they assume everyone else automatically gets it, or maybe they are unaware of the little inefficiencies that still exist in their own strokes, inefficiencies that, if eliminated would speed them up with no extra muscular effort, but perhaps requiring a major major amount of mental attitude adjustment.
I agree completely.

I think I am somewhat at the opposite end of the spectrum--I have developed some security/stability of technique, and some efficiency, but have not really pushed the speed end of things. As you say, putting the two together can only be good.

I'm mainly curious about whether I can get close to matching times closer to competitive swimmers--i.e. getting down in the neighborhood of 1:00/100m. It won't happen tomorrow, that's for sure! But pushing harder is certainly going to be necessary to do it. I've been impressed with some of the speeds Gary and Salvo are reaching--very motivating to hear about.

To me, part of mastery (of anything) is to be able to do things quickly and still get masterful results. A dedicated amateur can get wonderful results (as in building wooden boats, for example) by taking his time and persevering. A master can get those results much more quickly and with much greater efficiency.

I think that something similar holds true for swimming as well.
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  #14  
Old 12-11-2017
CoachBobM CoachBobM is offline
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Originally Posted by sclim View Post
But the difference from music is that as you speed up the tempo, the only limitation comes from your innate limitation of brain processing speed, which can improve continuously with practice.
To some extent, it depends on what instrument you play. One of my instruments, for example, is trombone, and a perpetual problem trombonists face is that there's a limit to how fast you can move your slide. But there is sometimes a way around this: Many notes can be played in more than one slide position.

Because of this, playing a piece of music slowly can be deceptive. You may be able to play it at that slow speed using the "standard" slide positions (i.e., the ones that trombonists are first taught, and which are therefore most familiar), but no matter how much you practice, you're never going to be able to play it that way very fast. So part of what happens when you gradually speed things up is that you realize you need to switch to some of the alternate slide positions. And since they're not as familiar to many trombonists, part of the benefit of playing the music slowly is that it provides the extra time needed to think about and to mentally process using the alternate slide positions. And, with practice, less and less conscious thought is needed to do this.

Note the difference: There's an inherent limit to how fast humans can make some physical movements, but there is much less of a limit on how fast they can learn to mentally execute a series of instructions.

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In swimming there is also the physics, that is, the fact of drag being the cube of velocity. But maybe I'm overlooking other advantages of speed. I'm slow enough now that keeping the legs up is a struggle. At higher swim speeds there would be some planing effect that would help keep the leg up, right?
Well, that's another thing that happens as you gradually speed things up: There may be things you need to do at slower speeds to stay balanced, streamlined, etc. that you don't need to do as much at faster speeds, and you can gradually adjust your technique as this happens.

Occasionally, after we do our final videotaping of our students at workshops, we coaches videotape each other. One of the things I learned from one of these videotapings was that I had progressed to the point where my leading arm no longer needed to be as low to keep me balanced, and it was actually making my hips higher than my shoulders. So I had to retrain my skate position to compensate for this.


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  #15  
Old 12-11-2017
CoachBobM CoachBobM is offline
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Originally Posted by Tom Pamperin View Post
Does anyone have any thoughts specifically on frequency and intensity of training? How much to do, and when?
You say that you're already swimming 5 days per week. I doubt that you really need to do it more frequently than that. (Or were you considering doing it less?)

When I was doing weight training, the book I had (which was written by a champion bodybuilder) recommended doing workouts 3 times per week. The rationale for this was that exercise stimulates the muscles to grow, food provides the raw materials needed for this, and it is during rest that your muscles actually grow. So it said that you needed a day of rest between each pair of workouts. But swimming is more complicated because it is a highly skilled activity. So you aren't just building your muscles - you're also training your neurons. And that can benefit from more frequent training sessions.

What you should do in each practice depends on what your goals are and on how near you are to the date(s) of the event(s) for which you are preparing. I do a variety of strokes and distances in competition, so much of my training throughout the year is general (i.e., it's designed to bring about improvement in everything I do). But as an event approaches, my training becomes much more specific to what I am planning to do at that event. Also, my training during most of the year is geared toward producing long-term improvement, while as an event approaches, I become more focused on how to consolidate what I've been doing throughout the year in order to produce my best performance on the day of the event (not "How fast can I swim while maintaining good technique?" but rather "How well can I maintain my technique while swimming at faster stroke rates?").

Quote:
It's interesting to see the first responses here seem dogmatically TI in nature--understandable, but you're preaching to the choir!
Keep in mind that many of us came to TI after unsuccessfully trying to reach our goals by swimming "hard" sets and doing lots of high intensity training.


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  #16  
Old 12-11-2017
s.sciame s.sciame is offline
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Originally Posted by Tom Pamperin View Post
I'm curious about how often people here are doing "hard" sets during their training.

...

So, any thoughts on how often I should consider a tough swim set like a USRPT session? (My current one is 30 x 50m at :45 speed)

Another question: should I mix and match USRPT sets, like 50m repeats one day, 75m the next, and throw in some 25m repeats as well? Or do one set over and over until I can swim all repeats, then move on?
Hi Tom, fwiw I swim 3 to 4 times a week and 3 of these sessions include at least one "hard" set. Always, each week of the year and year after year. No need to rest more. So don't worry, at 10-12k per week you're not at risk of overtraining. And by the way, a 30x50m at 400 race pace on 20s rest (which probably lasts 20 reps or so) is not as hard for the body as you may think. USRPT sets are designed to finish way before you're k.o.

As for the 2nd question: for your goal (500m in 7:30), from personal experience I'd suggest you to forget about the 25's, do less and less 50's and more and more 75's and 100's.

Happy swimming!
Salvo
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  #17  
Old 12-12-2017
Tom Pamperin Tom Pamperin is offline
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Hi Tom, fwiw I swim 3 to 4 times a week and 3 of these sessions include at least one "hard" set. Always, each week of the year and year after year. No need to rest more. So don't worry, at 10-12k per week you're not at risk of overtraining. And by the way, a 30x50m at 400 race pace on 20s rest (which probably lasts 20 reps or so) is not as hard for the body as you may think. USRPT sets are designed to finish way before you're k.o.

As for the 2nd question: for your goal (500m in 7:30), from personal experience I'd suggest you to forget about the 25's, do less and less 50's and more and more 75's and 100's.

Happy swimming!
Salvo
Salvo,

thanks for your comments. I'll try doing maybe 4 USRPT sets per week and see how that goes.

You don't think some spring training (25m repeats) would be beneficial? Intuitively, I've always thought that if distance swimming (my priority generally, but I'm not training for a specific even right now) can only be done at X% of my short-distance speed, then part of the puzzle to get faster at distances must be to increase sprint speed. Do you have any thoughts about that?

It's easiest for my schedule to swim right after lifting, so it'll be interesting to see how adding more "hard" swimming goes. Right now--just 3 weeks into weight training--I'm lifting very light weights and increasing intensity slowly, so it should be fine.

Funny--no matter how tired I feel, I can usually complete a USRPT set with some improvements over last time. So I suspect I have been avoiding "hard" swimming because I fear the discomfort. But once started, the fear goes away.
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  #18  
Old 12-13-2017
sclim sclim is offline
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Tom, you'll be pleased to know that after running to the pool today, I hung in there for 100m x 12 rather then whining out at 1000, maybe 700, or even 500m.

I kept the TT on prior sessions's tempo, but took longer rests if necessary than my prior enforced regular send-offs. And I stayed mentally focussed, even continuing to achieve sustained low SPL for longer than before.

Funny, I actually started subjectively very tired, and I predicted I wouldn't last, but I did.

Now to see if this will continue. It's been unseasonally warm in Calgary -- actually 12 degrees today! The really cold weather actually is not a cardio-pulmonary stress, but a psychological one. I hate the cold, and prior running in -20 C had got me psychologically defeated even before I jumped into the (mentally) cold pool.
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  #19  
Old 12-15-2017
s.sciame s.sciame is offline
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Originally Posted by Tom Pamperin View Post
Salvo,

thanks for your comments. I'll try doing maybe 4 USRPT sets per week and see how that goes.

You don't think some spring training (25m repeats) would be beneficial? Intuitively, I've always thought that if distance swimming (my priority generally, but I'm not training for a specific even right now) can only be done at X% of my short-distance speed, then part of the puzzle to get faster at distances must be to increase sprint speed. Do you have any thoughts about that?
Hi Tom, of course some sprint training is beneficial (I always do some fast 25's at the end of my sessions by the way), but I was talking specifically about your goal. I'm not a coach but I believe you already have all the speed you need to swim 500m in 7:30. You need more endurance, not more speed. In the end it's about finding the easiest way to hold a pace of 1:30/100m, and fast 25's don't teach this.

Note that a 7:30 effort is basically a full aerobic effort. In around that time elite swimmers swim the 800m, which is an aerobic race and something different from, say, a 400m which they finish in less than 4:00 and hence requires much anaerobic endurance as well.

We often think in terms of distance, but I believe we'd rather think in terms of effort durations to get the best training.

Salvo
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  #20  
Old 12-15-2017
Tom Pamperin Tom Pamperin is offline
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We often think in terms of distance, but I believe we'd rather think in terms of effort durations to get the best training.
Salvo,

this is something I've often considered, but haven't seen suggested on the Forum. From my background in running (marathons and a few ultras), I know I've had great success incorporating challenging intervals at a variety of distances. For example, I often included two high-intensity speed work sessions per week, rotating distances for each session between 400m, 800m, 1200m, 1600m.

When I started training to swim seriously, I wondered if matching those durations (roughly 1:15, 3:00, 4:45=ish?, and 6:00) in the same pattern might be just as effective in swimming. For me, that might look like:

100m (1:20), 200m (3:04), 300m(?), and 400m(6:00) sessions

Have you ever tried something like that? Or what do you think of it?

As far as having the speed for a 7:30 500m, that's true--I can swim a 1:21 or so for 100m right now. But if I increase my sprint speed simultaneously as training endurance, then I might hit 1:19 for 100m, and that 1:21 would start to be easier as well. I think.

But maybe I'm misguided, and it's possible to simply train to swim longer, and nearer my top speed (endurance), without increasing that top speed. So many variables!
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