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2013-04-11 11:01 AM

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Subject: Is this a productive swim workout?

Hey all,

Little background on me. I've only completed one Tri in my life (Poconos 70.3) in September, and since I was a weak swimmer, I spent a lot of time with the backstroke, and a lot of time wading (37 minute finish). I've worked a ton on the bike this winter, and really slacked in the pool (4K in all of March...) Now that I'm getting back into it, i'm no where near where I was before Poconos. Here is what I do when I get into the pool usually:

  1. 200 WU
  2. 8 x 50 of kick drills (Arms straight out, on stomach, side, etc...work on balance)
  3. 8 x 50 of free style (Still working on breathing etc)
  4. Lastly, I use the Pull Buoy to work on just form for a while

I feel like that gets me balance work, form work, and then everythiing combined for the 8*50 Freestyle part of it.

 

Any advice on switching it up? Last year I was able to do 2K straight before my race, now I'm struggling with 300 straight.

Cheers,

Chris



Edited by crr5071 2013-04-11 11:02 AM


2013-04-11 11:19 AM
in reply to: #4696302

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Subject: RE: Is this a productive swim workout?
Anyone at all!?
2013-04-11 11:24 AM
in reply to: #4696302

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Subject: RE: Is this a productive swim workout?
set's of 50's are OK if your point is to get faster.  However, sounds like this should rally not be your focus, rather, you need to build up some endurance and stopping every 50 yards is not going to do that for you.  At all.  You need to swim 100's at least and far better 200's-500s.  Go slow if you need to but don't stop, keep going, only way to build the needed endurance.
2013-04-11 12:21 PM
in reply to: #4696302

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Subject: RE: Is this a productive swim workout?
crr5071 - 2013-04-11 11:01 AM

Hey all,

Little background on me. I've only completed one Tri in my life (Poconos 70.3) in September, and since I was a weak swimmer, I spent a lot of time with the backstroke, and a lot of time wading (37 minute finish). I've worked a ton on the bike this winter, and really slacked in the pool (4K in all of March...) Now that I'm getting back into it, i'm no where near where I was before Poconos. Here is what I do when I get into the pool usually:

  1. 200 WU
  2. 8 x 50 of kick drills (Arms straight out, on stomach, side, etc...work on balance)
  3. 8 x 50 of free style (Still working on breathing etc)
  4. Lastly, I use the Pull Buoy to work on just form for a while

I feel like that gets me balance work, form work, and then everythiing combined for the 8*50 Freestyle part of it.

 

Any advice on switching it up? Last year I was able to do 2K straight before my race, now I'm struggling with 300 straight.

Cheers,

Chris

 

Short answer: No.

You are swimming 1000+ (you didn't mention how much you pulled) and about half is drills, and most of those drills are kick. You're spending way too much time on drills and not enough time applying those drills. If you do a kick/balance drill, do it so that you are immediately applying that to your stroke. So kick/balance down, then swim back applying that drill.  But keep drills to 10-20% of your entire workout. With only 1000 of swimming, you need to be swimming.

2013-04-11 4:46 PM
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Subject: RE: Is this a productive swim workout?

I'm not a huge fan of doing a lot of drills.  Certainly not kick drills.  The idea of endurance swimming is to use the legs as little as possible.  Kicking is very inefficient propulsion as compared to using your arms.

If you're struggling with 300 yards straight, then I'm guessing that you don't have a smooth relaxed form.  you may need some coaching.  Just doing drills isn't going to change your form.  Not unless you're doing them for a very specific purpose, concentrating on a specific movement, that you follow with actually swimming with that movement.

As for your workout- consistancy and volume are your friend.  you need to be in the pool at least 3 days a week, and increase your volume.  you can keep those 8 x 50's, but add in longer sets.  I tend to start with longer sets and then ladder down to shorter ones as I get fatigued.  I try and keep my swim sets a little longer than I can hold good form, which I notice degrades as I get fatigued. 

2013-04-11 5:00 PM
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Subject: RE: Is this a productive swim workout?

Simply from a traditional periodization standpoint I'd agree with upping your interval distance to get that aerobic capacity up. This is especially important if you're thinking of doing another 70.3 or an IM. 

Swim gurus correct me here if I'm mispoken, but I'm fairly certain that working on your kick strength/speed won't be a huge factor until you're in the fray sprinting out from the start trying to stay on someone's feet. As mentioned previously it's an inefficient way to swim long distance so getting that ability for a longer aerobic effort in comes first in my opinion, then breaking it up into some smaller faster sets on one of your days of training to increase that capability.

 

Good luck with the training. 



2013-04-11 5:26 PM
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Subject: RE: Is this a productive swim workout?

I am no coaching expert, but I swam competitively for 15+ years and the first thing I would say is that you need to swim more, as others have stated.  I am horribly out of shape, and I don't train nearly as much as I should, but in looking at that workout you listed, the only swimming you're doing is 400 yards, and only in little 50 yard spurts.  I would certainly throw in at least a couple hundreds, and some 200's maybe.  You don't mention your intervals/rest, but my guess is that some coaching/stroke analysis would probably be a HUGE benefit before you start logging countless yards.  You may want to work on stroke/form before you really imprint bad form in your muscle memory with lots of practice.  What sort of pace/interval are you doing your 50's on today?  

Just my 2 cents.  

2013-04-12 4:58 AM
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Subject: RE: Is this a productive swim workout?
37 minutes sounds like a pretty fast swim for 1.9 kms for a "weak swimmer" with lots of backtroke and wading, with such low volumes of training. I spend a lot more time in the pool than what you describe, and can barely break 40 minutes / 2000m doing only free in the pool. You must have something going for you
2013-04-12 9:47 AM
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Subject: RE: Is this a productive swim workout?
morey000 - 2013-04-11 4:46 PM

 The idea of endurance swimming is to use the legs as little as possible.  Kicking is very inefficient propulsion as compared to using your arms.

Ding, Ding, Ding!   This answers a significant number of the swimming posts put up here.

2013-04-12 10:17 AM
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Subject: RE: Is this a productive swim workout?

Oysterboy - 2013-04-11 11:24 AM set's of 50's are OK if your point is to get faster.  However, sounds like this should rally not be your focus, rather, you need to build up some endurance and stopping every 50 yards is not going to do that for you.  At all.  You need to swim 100's at least and far better 200's-500s.  Go slow if you need to but don't stop, keep going, only way to build the needed endurance.

 

"Endurance" swimming is not about having long reps. You can build plenty of endurance with 50's. It has to do with intensity and rest interval. 40x50 on 3-5sec rest is an endurance swim. You are basically doing a 2000, but you are swimming at a faster pace than if you did 2000 straight, or even 4x500. Stopping for a couple seconds every 50 allows you to closely monitor your pace and keep it up, or slow down if you are going too fast and will not complete the set. 200's to 500's at his level will most likely be poor swimming. beginner swimmers start with 25's and 50's, and move up to 100's and 200's as their bread and butter. They then can add in longer reps occasionally. Most advanced swimmers can handle 300's-500's better, with little fall off from what less advanced swimmers can do with 100's and 200's. The shorter reps keep the quality and form up...until you are doing well with lots of 50's, the 500's will end up being poor swim training, dragging yourself through the water. You may feel really tired after, or like you gained more fatigue from these longer reps, but they will be holding back swim development. Bashing yourself with longer reps when not ready for them will stagnate your swimming.

2013-04-12 10:59 AM
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Subject: RE: Is this a productive swim workout?

Agree with above.  

I am average swimmer and if I don't swim regularly (3-4x/week for me) then I start to struggle with endurance.  My personal opinion the two greatest factors here are 1) need to swim more and 2) efficient form.  

I always struggle and hear different things about how long swim sets should be.  I really vary it on each day.  

Day 1 - shorter sets (50) with 5 sec rest mixed with 100s and 10 sec rest

Day 2 - 100/10sec rest and 150/15 rest

Day 3 - 2-300 sets with 30sec rest

Day 4 - 500 or 1k sets with 1-2 mins rest



2013-04-12 12:49 PM
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Subject: RE: Is this a productive swim workout?
Yeah, but my bet that someone doing sub 1000 yd workouts is not doing 40x50 on 3-5sec rest, learning how to pace yourself so that you can finish an endurance swim with decent form and not completely gassed is an important part of training.
2013-04-12 1:41 PM
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Subject: RE: Is this a productive swim workout?

Oysterboy - 2013-04-12 12:49 PM Yeah, but my bet that someone doing sub 1000 yd workouts is not doing 40x50 on 3-5sec rest, learning how to pace yourself so that you can finish an endurance swim with decent form and not completely gassed is an important part of training.

Yeah, I didn't comment on his swim workout, more towards the statement that 50's wont build endurance. The ~1k "workout" is more like an ok warmup for an easy swim day...it need a main set and a cool down...

2013-04-12 2:00 PM
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Subject: RE: Is this a productive swim workout?

Some connects on above: When I did the 8*50's, I now realize I put way too much rest inbetween sets. Something I'm going to change when I start adding more yards.

When training for Poconos, I kind of jumped in the pool without knowing anything, wasn't able to do 25 yards. I went 4 times a week and forced myself to go further each time, and after struggling for a while, got to the point where I could do 2K straight (many months)

After the race, I took a little time off and got 2 swim lessons (Since I know my Poconos swim was awful as far as form goes). I 100% started overthinking things, and wanted to start back from the beginning to get my form down. I guess that's what my problem is...thinking too much about perfecting my form, and I got away from increasing weekly distance.

Thanks for all of the replys,

Cheers,

Chris

2013-04-12 3:11 PM
in reply to: #4696302

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Subject: RE: Is this a productive swim workout?

If you really want some good specific feedback, post a video of you swimming on here.  You'll get some very specific advice (and some free coaching to boot).  I think we're all essentially saying the same thing.  Sets of 50's are great as part of a workout with the right interval/rest, but there are so many other considerations.  Your form is the biggest limiter to your speed in my opinion.  I am horribly out of shape, but because I swam for so many years, I can still hop in the water and hang with the FOP/MOP on the swim just based on form alone.  (Then it's time to crash and burn after that!)  Tongue out

I say you get someone to record you swimming a bit and let us see what you're working with!

2013-04-12 4:10 PM
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Subject: RE: Is this a productive swim workout?
No way to know how productive it is without knowing your weaknesses...so video post will help us help you even kown if the drills you have chosen are going to be helpful. A drill is good if it improves a weakness tat you can take into whole stroke...but everyone differs in how they make that transition.

For a stubborn habit, maybe 80% drill 20% swim, For a reminder maybe 50/50 for a nudge mabye 20/80 for a tuneup maybe 10/90 or 5/95.



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