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  #1  
Old 03-02-2011
BradMM BradMM is offline
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Default High Intensity Interval Training

.... or HIIT

This seems to be the most frequented forum area so I'll re-post here.


I was going to start alternating my interval work on the recumbent bike with my normal 1 mile swim. Instead, I decided today to try to incorporate the HIIT into my swimming. I did one length full speed, flipped over on my back and just kicked on the return. Did this for eight or nine repetitions. What do you think about this approach?

I always am concerned about exercise in the pool vs in the "real world," i.e., working against gravity on land, but I think I may do this on regular basis and throw in some weight lifting here and there at home.

Brad
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  #2  
Old 03-02-2011
CoachSuzanne CoachSuzanne is offline
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Look in the favorite sets forum. Terry has a nice thread there about "fast 50s" that may give you some insight and ideas. The key would be that you are not swimming so hard that your form gets shattered.

What is your training goal?
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  #3  
Old 03-03-2011
BradMM BradMM is offline
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I've been hearing that "what's your training goal" since I quit playing basketball 12 years ago... I'm 56 now. My goal is simple... FIND SOMETHING THAT I CAN DO ON AN ONGOING BASIS! Had to quit b-ball due to knee and ankle concerns. Lifted mostly the next 10 years (some swimming) until my body couldn't sustain the heavy lifts and probably not allowing enough recovery. Started swimming the long workouts for a while. Was playing racquetball since Dec but discovered my elbow wouldn't tolerate it. After waking up most mornings with hips tight and in pain, swimming allows me to feel good most of the time and still get some exercise.

I don't have a "training goal," I have a fitness and health goal. I think my best option is the HIIT approach over the long steady swims. Even the recumbent bike and elliptical machine causes me to be sore the next day. I believe the higher intensity work provides benefits that the long and steady can't. As I said, I'll still do SOME resistance work in the gravity-challenged, land environment.

Thanks for the info about the "fast 50's." Sounds like what I'm looking for.

Brad
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Old 03-03-2011
Richardsk Richardsk is offline
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Hi

I think the high intensity work is a good idea for some of your practice, but you still have to do the slower stuff focused on technique -at least that's how I interpret the TI approach. The slow Tempo Trainer work at the limit of how slow you can swim is actually quite strenuous, I find and I'm sure it has fitness benefits as well as helping to identify weak points in your stroke.
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Old 03-03-2011
CoachSuzanne CoachSuzanne is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BradMM View Post
. I believe the higher intensity work provides benefits that the long and steady can't. As I said, I'll still do SOME resistance work in the gravity-challenged, land environment.

Thanks for the info about the "fast 50's." Sounds like what I'm looking for.

Brad
So are you saying that you want to use swimming to provide resistance work that doesn't cause elbow pain?

Most of the studies that look at various HIIT protocols in land based sports demonstrate that HIIT provides both an improvement in aerobic and anaerobic work capacity, despite shorter duration efforts in what is traditionally considered anaerobic work only.

So those who will get the biggest benefit are those who would like to do endurance based activity, but training time is on the short side...enter HIIT.

But the drawbacks in swimming is that unless you are meticulous in your execution of the hard efforts, you'll be practicing form that may actually worsen tendonopathies and joint pains...and not contributing towards improving those issues.

Most of us here enjoy the meditative, mindful aspect of specific focus on swimming with specific technique goals in mind, and limit top end efforts to that just short of what causes form to fall apart.

There is a ton of info in the "favorite sets" forum to help people find their "edge" of speed vs. form and work on improving speed without sacrificing technique.
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Last edited by CoachSuzanne : 03-03-2011 at 06:01 PM.
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  #6  
Old 03-03-2011
CoachGail CoachGail is offline
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Have you considered a whole body approach to this, nutrition backs up hard training, you deplete your minerals with hard workouts which leads to issues such as tendonitis and cramping (magnesium citrate supplementation can alleviate this). Doing a more balanced approach to the training instead of picking a favourite might allow you to do most of all of it. It sounds like you want to do what you enjoy and I think more variety of core and hips on the ground may help with your mobility which will let you mix up your training how you want. Just an idea.
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Old 03-03-2011
CoachSuzanne CoachSuzanne is offline
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Sorry, i just reread your post and think I misinterpreted it. Anyway, you write about doing long and slow, and doing HIIT in the pool (whether it's 25s or 50s). There's plenty of stuff in between that allows you to get "exercise". Hard to say what's best based on what you wrote.
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Fresh Freestyle

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  #8  
Old 03-04-2011
terry terry is offline
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Default Pay attention to Strategic Recovery in HIIT

As Suzanne noted, I've done more High Intensity Interval Swimming (HIIS) of late. This is because:
1) I turn 60 three weeks from today and have set goals to swim well in shorter events.
2) Swimming at constant pace for long distances is fairly easy for me, but swimming considerably faster for shorter distances is Arduous Experience.
3) I'm convinced of the health benefits of mixing extensive with intensive training.

But I'm highly rigorous in how I do HIIS. I take great care to avoid doing it ways that might (i) lead to 'tendonopathy,' as Suzanne says -- which is a greater concern at 60 than at 20 or 30; or (ii) degrade my carefully cultivated muscle memory. I also use the recuperative easier intervals not just for physical rest, but to reinforce efficiency.

This is all consistent with the TI Training philosophy that prioritizes neural over aerobic adaptations.

Here's an example from a practice I did Wednesday with the Mission Valley Y (San Diego) Masters on Wednesday, with whom I've swum several times this week.

The set was:
100 Goal Pace
100 Cruise
100 Goal Pace
200 Cruise
etc. to 100 Goal Pace, 400 Cruise, 100 Goal Pace.

I swam all the Goal Pace 100s at 15-16 SPL with a laserlike focus on keeping my hands relaxed but the rest of my arm 'engaged' in Soft Hook with Open Axilla. There were 5 of those, which I descended 1:17-1:16-1:15-1:14-1:13 (taking no more strokes @ 1:13 than I had @ 1:17.)

I swam all the Cruise repeats at 14 SPL with a focus on feeling my 'toe flick' originate in the core.

Kicking on your back will give you physical recovery - which is all you would be concerned with when pursuing aerobic adaptation. But it has no neural/imprinting value.

Our pool time is too precious, and our skill improvement opportunities too great to bypass any opportunity to improve a neural program that will help us when we swim faster.

Whenever I reduce my physical intensity, my mental intensity -- on achieving harmony with the water -- is proportionately greater.
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  #9  
Old 03-04-2011
Rincewind Rincewind is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BradMM View Post
I think my best option is the HIIT approach over the long steady swims. Brad
I think you have to mix them up for best results. From personal past experiences doing too much HIIT ultimately leads to injury.

What worked best for me was structuring my training and alternating HIIT days with some moderate intensity and long slow distance.

Of course this was for running not swimming, but I assume similar principles would apply.
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  #10  
Old 03-06-2011
CoachEricDeSanto CoachEricDeSanto is offline
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I have read a bit on HIT lately. Most notably, I recently read Chris Carmichael's books "the time crunched cyclist" and "the time crunched triathlete." (Which I highly recommend) In those, he mentioned that you can train to be seriously competitive in races 3 hours and shorter on 6 hours a week if you use HIT. He focuses (almost) entirely on fitness, so you have to keep in mind that your technique always comes first.

I wanted to post this because Carmichael uses power intervals (100% max effort) as 1 minute intervals, and VO2 max intervals as 8 min intervals at slightly below max (he is much more precise about "slightly below"). I have a weird gut feeling about the value of HIT 25s if your goal is miles. So make sure your distances reflect your goals.

As Suzanne and Terry have said, the shorter and faster the distance, the greater the injury risk and the bad technique risk. My rule of thumb is to always train at a level that requires 100% concentration. So pick a distance or an intensity that you can hold your form IF you hold 100% concentration. You should be at an intensity or distance in which, as soon as you lose focus, your stroke count goes up. That way you have immediate feed back and you are always pushing your limits.
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