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  #11  
Old 02-03-2014
CoachSuzanne CoachSuzanne is offline
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I think to arbitrarily "drain the tank" is a poor way to go about trianing, for the precise reason that it is arbitrary.

I squad coach has no way to understand what is happening within your body, your mind or the rest of your life when asking for an x by 100 set of repeats until ...

Personally I would choose to do something like you did andy...a number of set times, set rests and set "RPE" that I know I could handle. THen I would handle it and get on with my day. If today I could handle 8, then next week I'll try handling 9 or 10.

The fact taht you felt good enough to go about your day is really, really, really vital. THere is a sweet spot of working out to the point that feels good, but that doesn't negatively impact your day and family too much. THose days where you feel spent should be reserved for special times, weekends, building up or mentally testing prior to a race, etc.

A random squad workout on a tuesday morning at 5:30am isn't one of those times.


As far as swimming 95% at sub 1:30 until it deteriorates to 1:40 ... horrible idea. there's no point in the subsequent repeats once time starts to drop more than 2-3 seconds...if you are still swimming at 95% intensity.

YOUR swim is YOUR swim. If you have to maintain 98 or 100% effort to keep it below what you were doing 95% 10 minutes ago ,you are swimming a different swim. it's good to explore that area so you know where the edges are. But how do you improve those boundaries then? Not by bashing through them on a regular basis, but by gently nudging those edges like you have described.



Here is an entirely different approach. give yourself 3-5 minutes of recovery between each of those sub 1:30 efforts. Let your anaerobic system recharge a little bit, since it IS a contributor to those efforts. the small muscles that fatigue first run out of anaerobic fuel supply when the rest interval is too short.

If you are trying to practice THE SKILLS that will allow you to swim sub 1:30s consistently, then you need to allow your body to perform those skills with the right energy substrates.

The more you practice this, the better your aerobic conditioning in those muscles will become, since it requires aerobic systems (oxygen) to recovery from the harder efforts.

I have a lot of opinions, but I'm sure not everyone agrees.

If you want to do HIIT for health, don't do it in the water...risks of shoulder and/or hip flexor injuries are great. Do it on the land, or stick to very brief repeats.
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Suzanne Atkinson, MD
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USA Paralympic Triathlon Coach
Coach of 5 time USA Triathlon Triathlete of the Year, Kirsten Sass
Steel City Endurance, LTD
Fresh Freestyle

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  #12  
Old 02-03-2014
CoachSuzanne CoachSuzanne is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Talvi View Post
I've been exclusively focusing on TI form for the last 9 months and was saddened to find how unfit I was when I went back to XC-skiing. I'm at a low level of fitness etc but had been expecting a payback from 2-3 km sessions, 2-3 times a week in the pool. Perhaps though it's just different exercise exercising different muscles etc?

Andy, there's some research I saw (Jamie Timmons, professor of systems biology, Nottingham University - High Intensity Impact Training HIIT) regarding fitness, from a health rather than performance perspective, maybe suggesting that intensive exercise for very short periods e.g 3x 30 sec bursts may be a good route fwiw

@Sherry: Do you have a link for the webinar?
The payback on your time is in your swimming skill. If you want to maintain XC Ski fitness you need to do something that uses more bodyweight with gravity as your resistance. Swimming, even for great swimmers, is a poor substitute for such an oxygen demanding sport like XC skiing.

Over time though as efficiency improves you'll be able to also add efforts thatwill translate to forward speed. Until added effort results in an equivalent added speed without shortening stroke too much (ie rise in SPL) your time in the water should be emotionally and mentally reserved for a) improving swim skills b) immersing yourself a task focused actvitiy c) perhaps some moving meditation?

These things will "Condition" you to improve at those thngs. I also find a great cross over in the way I can practice OTHER skill based activities
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Suzanne Atkinson, MD
Level 3 USAT Coach
USA Paralympic Triathlon Coach
Coach of 5 time USA Triathlon Triathlete of the Year, Kirsten Sass
Steel City Endurance, LTD
Fresh Freestyle

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  #13  
Old 02-04-2014
CoachBobM CoachBobM is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andyinnorway View Post
Today I did some 100m intervals @ 95% effort, aiming to hold sub 1:30 on each.

After 8 I had had enough, but I know if I had been in a squad they would have asked me to do 20 or so until I was exhausted or until my times had dropped to 1:40 or something.

This type of draining the tank training has always been popular and I wonder if as part of a balanced training schedule it has some merits once in a while to build mental strengths and performance stamina, or should it be avoided for age groupers and left to the teenagers and elites?

As it is I look forward to this session on my schedule, if I had to do 20 I'd probably dread it?
The question should always be how many intervals you can do while maintaining good technique.

Weight trainers employ a similar principle. All weight trainers know that you can do more reps by allowing yourself to become sloppy about how you do an exercise, but they avoid this because they know that if you do the exercise incorrectly, you end up using the wrong muscles, thereby cheating the muscles the exercise was intended to build.

The same thing can happen in swimming, but there is a further problem, since you are also engraining bad technique, which will make you less efficient.

Good swim training, like good weight training, requires patience. It may give you a thrill to do 20 intervals instead of 8, just as it may give a weight trainer a thrill to do 20 reps instead of 8. But if it's done at the expense of using bad technique, it's a misleading thrill. If you can only do 8 intervals with good technique, it's better to stop there and to work on extending it to 9 intervals next week, and 10 the following week, and so on.


Bob
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  #14  
Old 02-04-2014
Talvi Talvi is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CoachSuzanne View Post
.....Over time though as efficiency improves you'll be able to also add efforts that will translate to forward speed. Until added effort results in an equivalent added speed without shortening stroke too much (ie rise in SPL) your time in the water should be emotionally and mentally reserved for a) improving swim skills b) immersing yourself a task focused actvitiy c) perhaps some moving meditation? .....
Thanks CoachSuzanne. Good to hear that I'm not barking. I think that's pretty much what I do, and I do enjoy it, it's just that I get impatient. My improvements seem to be ambling in while the sands of time seem to be running out! I guess I'm approaching that time when these things will be rewarded not with performance but with continuing mobility! :D
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