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  #1  
Old 12-21-2013
andyinnorway andyinnorway is offline
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From wiki

Fartlek, which means "speed play" in Swedish, is a training method that blends continuous training with interval training.[1] The variable intensity and continuous nature of the exercise places stress on both the aerobic and anaerobic systems. It differs from traditional interval training in that it is unstructured; intensity and/or speed varies, as the athlete wishes.[2][3] Most fartlek sessions last a minimum of 45 minutes and can vary from aerobic walking to anaerobic sprinting. Fartlek training is generally associated with running, but can include almost any kind of exercise.

I find when I run or swim fartlek I am usually slightly faster than when I am time trialing. Is this inexperience of gauging effort or does the body respond well to varying the nature of the task?

example of a 200m fartlek that I might swim faster than 200m time trial

50m breathing every 4 strokes
50m fast smooth stroke rate
50m powerful long DPS
50m sprint with kick

has anyone else experienced anything similar
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  #2  
Old 12-21-2013
AWP AWP is offline
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In short, the fartlek approach can be useful for endurance enhancement, less so for speed development long term.
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  #3  
Old 12-22-2013
andyinnorway andyinnorway is offline
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I investigated a little bit today

8x200m, first 4 were fartlek as above, next 3 steady effort and last one longer dps

1 03:25.0 200 01:44
2 03:16.0 200 01:39
3 03:24.0 200 01:43
4 03:18.0 200 01:40
5 03:17.0 200 01:39
6 03:14.0 200 01:38
7 03:18.0 200 01:40
8 03:23.0 200 01:43

since 5-7 were a bit quicker then my fartlek being faster than max effort seems to not hold up on one session

I was quite pleased that I stuck to the task and did all 8 repeats as I felt like stopping after 5, I was also pleased with the pace holding over the 8 repeats given no TT. I think most of the difference is the odd breath/pause on turn and some weekend lane traffic.
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  #4  
Old 12-23-2013
CoachSuzanne CoachSuzanne is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andyinnorway View Post
From wiki

Fartlek, which means "speed play" in Swedish, is a training method that blends continuous training with interval training.[1] The variable intensity and continuous nature of the exercise places stress on both the aerobic and anaerobic systems. It differs from traditional interval training in that it is unstructured; intensity and/or speed varies, as the athlete wishes.[2][3] Most fartlek sessions last a minimum of 45 minutes and can vary from aerobic walking to anaerobic sprinting. Fartlek training is generally associated with running, but can include almost any kind of exercise.

I find when I run or swim fartlek I am usually slightly faster than when I am time trialing. Is this inexperience of gauging effort or does the body respond well to varying the nature of the task?

example of a 200m fartlek that I might swim faster than 200m time trial

50m breathing every 4 strokes
50m fast smooth stroke rate
50m powerful long DPS
50m sprint with kick

has anyone else experienced anything similar
yes. one set I enjoy is just a long aerobic set liek 500 or 800m, and using lengths 1 & 2 to smooth out and focus on balacne& breathing, "passing" effort on 3rd length then 4th length recovery while maintaining race speed then repeat. Works great ina 50m pool.

I find my average times for these are usually higher than a continuous effort, but with practice it should allow me to do a faster continuous effort. however since racing does require efforts of higher speed & effort itnermittently, this is how a race is swum anywway.

The trick in maintaining speed is to make the variation slight...the passing or harder effort not so hard that you need to recover at a very slow pace.
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  #5  
Old 12-26-2013
AWP AWP is offline
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Designing practice sets that have you gradually "pulled" towards quicker swimming will have a longer lasting effect on your speed development.
Training the mind and body in such a way will make any gains in speed more sustainable overall.
Why? I feel because you've trained your neural network along with physical factors to make your speed practice feel 'easier', more effortless to obtain through an incremental approach instead of a haphazard reliance on 'effort' for speed.
Focused intensely on your balance, streamlining and propulsive movements while merely changing your metrics, not your effort, should be the goal for overall more effective swimming and quicker times; speed will happen.
Not to say your practice won't be arduous, but this will come from intense focus, with physical efforts, fatigue, falling to your periphery.
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