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Old 12-21-2010
grant alan davis grant alan davis is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 1
grant alan davis
Default how to train for 1500m

Hi I am 40ys old & have just joined masters swimming & would like to compet in the 1500m.
I normally train by myself, my time is 24 mins I swim each 50m on about 45 secs to 50 secs I would like to get them down to 40 secs to 45 secs.
I train a minimum off 3 times a week.
My session goes like this 20 50s off free kick with fins on 1min come in on 45 secs. Then I swim 1500m with tumble turn at each end & try to swim 3 stroks then breath for the hole 1500m.
After that I swim 50m easy and have a breather.Then I do 20 50m on 1min coming in on 45 secs.
I would like some varyation to my progame & some tips can you help me please?
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Old 12-21-2010
terry terry is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 2,305
terry has disabled reputation
Default Break your 1500 to make it faster

Welcome to the TI Forum (if this is your first post). This morning I exchanged email with Laurence C., a 55 y.o. successful triathlete in New Orleans. In the mid-70s, at US Merchant Marine Academy, he was one of the most improved swimmers I ever coached.
Here's an excerpt from his message to me. >>Right now I am swimming 2x a week. One continuous 1500 and one 2000. I am trying to get below 7 minutes
per 500 yds. Then I will extend each workout 500 yds and do it again.

The two good aspects of his training plan are (1) It's measured, giving him useful feedback; and (2) He's included aspects of progression.

There are two clear areas of opportunity for improvement. (1) He needs to measure more than one variable - i.e. time; and (2) Doing only long swims really limits his opportunities for adaptation. Here's my email reply to him.

>>Break those longer swims into 'broken' versions. Be rigorous about maintaining a long stroke (lower SPL than you would use while racing, or even during a timed swim of the full distance) during them. Work at incremental improvement, similar to the way Phil Maffetone had Mark Allen practice low-HR training in a very rigorous way.

An example: I'm focused on my pace for 1000 yds right now. I'll stay with that focus through late Feb at which time I'll raise my focus to 1650 yds. I swim a timed 1000 infrequently. More frequently I swim:
4 x 250 on 4:00 Descend, followed by 2 x [4 x 125 on 2:00], Descend 1st round then Descend 2nd round faster.

I hold 13-14SPL on all (as compared to the 15-16 SPL I'd hold in a 1000 race.) Every 20 days or so I do a test set in this, looking for improvement over the last time. I expect to swim a faster cumulative 1000 time on the sets of 125s, with a goal of seeing my 4 x 250 set converge with that pace a month or two later.
Also, while I'm holding my SPL @14 for now, during Dec I'll allow that to rise toward 15 on the 250s, That will accelerate the convergence I'm seeking. But I will do that when I see my improvement @14SPL stagnate.
I did the 4 x 250 on Nov 17 with cumulative 1000 time of 14:13. On Dec 2, I repeated it at 14:10. Yesterday I did it at 14:03 -- but was splitting a narrow end lane with another swimmer which probably slowed me a bit.
I did the 2 x 4 x 125 on Dec 2 in 13:46. Yesterday I repeated it in 13:36. In April, I'd like to be able to swim it under 12 minutes -- as my goal is to break 12 minutes for 1000 yards at Masters Nationals at the end of that month. At least that's the plan. We'll see. >>
Terry Laughlin
Head Coach & Chief Executive Optimist

May your laps be as happy as mine.

My TI Story
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Old 12-21-2010
AWP AWP is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 575


First let me say you beat me to it ;) (the advice).
Second, this, the approach, is just what I needed to see, thanks.
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Old 12-23-2010
AWP AWP is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 575

Yesterday was my first run at Terry's set of cumulative 250s and 125s. Since my goals are similar for improving my pace for those distances I'll be applying this practice towards my improvement.

On the 4x250s
1- 4:07
2- (like a knuckle head I swam an extra 50 so can only quess-timate on this one. Judging by the time I came in on (4:43) and saying I was swimming at a :45 per 50 pace, puts me at just under 4 min.
3- 3:45
4- 3:45
So my added time puts me just under or just over 15:30 for the 1000. I feel I can definitely improve on this even at this stroke length; avg. 14-15 taking 13 on several initial lengths and 16 on some later ones.

On the 125s
Round 1- 1:52- 1:49. Total 7:22
Round 2- 1:51- 1:52. Total 7:24
I was able to descend the first round quite simply but not so on #2 without adding more strokes. I felt it beneficial to hold that for now until I've improved there as much as my patience will allow. It was after all my first go, many more to come.

Interestingly enough, adding the last two repeat times of the 250s brings me to my usual quick pace for a straight 500 and the total for the second round of 125s equalled my best measured time for the 500. ("Patience Grasshopper, patience")
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