Interval Training

author : Tri Swim Coach
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Training for a distance-swimming event is different from training for a run or cycling event. When training for a marathon, for example, you would start out with short runs and gradually increase your mileage each week as you build up endurance. You may work on sprints to increase speed but overall the goal is to run further or for a longer period of time to get ready for the event. When training for an open water swim or triathlon, you must do much more than just swim more laps each time you hop in the pool.

Racing any distance more than 200 yards uses a combination of aerobic endurance and anaerobic endurance. 

 

Tri Term alert:

 

Aerobic means “with oxygen.” During aerobic work the body is working at a level where demands for oxygen and fuel can be met by the body’s intake. Anaerobic means ‘without oxygen.’ During anaerobic work involves maximum effort and the body works so hard that the demands for oxygen and fuel exceed the rate of supply and the muscles have to rely on stored fuel reserves. Anaerobic training is generally attained at around 75 percent of maximum heart rate

 

Interval training is used to describe the system of multiple repeat swims used in most swim training programs. An example is a set of 10 repeats of 100’s at 80 percent effort with 10 to 20 seconds rest between swims. The best way to improve aerobic endurance is through short rest periods. The most effective aerobic fitness training occurs when a swimmer begins the next repeat with their breathing and heart rate still considerably elevated from the previous swim. This condition causes physiological systems to remain overloaded for the entire set of repeats, including both the rest and work periods.

 

Example of a typical aerobic set:

10 x 100’s on 2:00 min interval

This means swimming 10, 100-yard swims within two minutes.  If you finish the 100-yard swim in 1:40, you get 20 seconds rest. If you finish in 1:55, you get five seconds rest.

 

Anaerobic fitness is also an important part of your training, although it should not be emphasized often when preparing for an Olympic distance, Half Ironman, or Ironman-distance triathlon. Effective anaerobic fitness improvement is done in two ways. One is short sprints at race pace with short rest periods, which allow your body to become used to lactic acid buildup. The second is through speed work: short sprints with plenty of rest.

Examples of typical anaerobic training sets:

1) 20 x 25’s on :25 with five to 10 seconds rest between each 25 m

2) 20 x 25’s on 1:00


In the aerobic set, you are training your body to finish a race strong, with lactic acid buildup. This type of set should not be done more than once per week. In set anaerobic set, you are building up your speed. For distance athletes, this is only needed about once every two weeks at the most.

 

Keep in mind that no training should be done at the expense of technique! There is never a point where you should cut drills completely out of your workout. If you are a true beginner, take a few lessons before you begin your training program. With the right instructor this can be one of the most valuable things you can do in training for a triathlon. Also you can find a coach.

 

The Complete Guide to Triathlon Swimming has a program designed to prepare you for an Olympic Distance or Half Ironman triathlon.


 


Kevin operates www.TriSwimCoach.com, a resource for beginning through intermediate level triathletes looking for help with swimming. The site features a free e-mail newsletter the e-book titled “The Complete Guide to Triathlon Swimming.”

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date: August 31, 2004

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Tri Swim Coach

I'm at http://www.TriSwimCoach.com,a resource for beginning through intermediate level triathletes looking for help with swimming. The site features a free email newsletter offering tips and articles on triathlon swimming. I have also written an electronic book titled “The Complete Guide to Triathlon Swimming” and created "The Essential Triathlon Swimming DVD", both available on www.triswimcoach.com.

For a 20% DISCOUNT on Zoomers Z2 fins and Freestyler paddles, go to www.finisinc.com and use discount code ‘aggies20’ at checkout!

Author

avatarTri Swim Coach

I'm at http://www.TriSwimCoach.com,a resource for beginning through intermediate level triathletes looking for help with swimming. The site features a free email newsletter offering tips and articles on triathlon swimming. I have also written an electronic book titled “The Complete Guide to Triathlon Swimming” and created "The Essential Triathlon Swimming DVD", both available on www.triswimcoach.com.

For a 20% DISCOUNT on Zoomers Z2 fins and Freestyler paddles, go to www.finisinc.com and use discount code ‘aggies20’ at checkout!

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