General Discussion Triathlon Talk » Swimming - closer to race day should I do intervals or distance training Rss Feed  
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2013-06-21 8:18 AM

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Subject: Swimming - closer to race day should I do intervals or distance training
First off, let me start by saying that I learned to swim at the end of January and have been thrilled with my results so far. I used to just get in the pool and do very slow methodical lap after lap. I thought my goal would be to just swim further and further every time I worked out. After doing this for awhile I ended up swimming my first mile non stop in 47 mins. I came to the boards and was all excited and posted about it and I got a bunch of congrats but also got several people telling me that now I need to start interval work. For the past few months I have done exclusively nothing but intervals. Almost all of my training is doing 50 and 100yd intervals at about 80-90% effort with about a 30 seconds rest in between. I would do like 12 x 100 and then 12 x 50's. I have my eye on my 2nd race ever in August and its a 860yd swim. I did my first long swim in a few months today to see how I felt. I did 850yds in 17' 34". This was a HUUUUGE improvement over my 47 min mile time a few months ago. I can definitely see where the interval work is helping me with my speed, but I want to make sure I have the stamina for the 860 yards on race day. I felt pretty good at the end of the 850 yards, wasn't drained and could have actually swam a bit faster, but I wanted to pick a pace where I knew I could cover the distance today.

My question is this - Since I am a relatively new swimmer (Since January), I know that I haven't really built up a big base yet. Most of my workouts are around the 1600 yard range (due to limited workout time). I want to know if it is better to continue doing exclusively interval work at short distances or if I should start implementing 800 to 1000yd sets into my workout earlier and then finish with some interval work. My thinking is that it might be better for me to do some long sets over the next few weeks to get my body used to swimming longer distances again. I just want to be sure that I have a ton left in my tank for the bike and run. Opinions?



2013-06-21 8:26 AM
in reply to: spiderjunior

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Subject: RE: Swimming - closer to race day should I do intervals or distance training
Here's an example of what I would do since you are limited to ~1500 for your whole workout.

200 choice
2x100 technical with :20 rest
8x25 all out on :60

16x50 with :05 rest aiming to maintain even pace throughout (race effort)

200 choice

In addition, if you haven't done any open water swimming, then I would aim to get a few open water swim sessions in; practice sighting, dealing with waves, entries, exits, etc. However, in the pool, I would stick with short sets with short rest as your key workouts.

Shane
2013-06-21 8:45 AM
in reply to: gsmacleod

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Subject: RE: Swimming - closer to race day should I do intervals or distance training
Thanks Shane, I have yet to OWS. I have a day planned in 2 weeks to go to the local lake with a fellow training partner. We are roughly the same build and he said he will let me try on his wet suit as well. I have been trying to take advantage of the deal BT has with xterra and get a new vector suit but they are on back order. Hopefully the OWS goes well. Crossing my fingers
2013-06-21 10:33 AM
in reply to: spiderjunior

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Subject: RE: Swimming - closer to race day should I do intervals or distance training
Shane's advice is good. But I would do a few continuous swims at/near your race distance as raceday approaches. Perhaps once per week for the last 3-4 weeks of your trianing. If one if them can be an OWS, all the better. Do one or two at intended race pace (I suggest your OWS + one close to race day--use wetsuit for both if you intend to race in one) and one or two as 'best effort' (i.e., not saving anything for a bike/run afterwards). Include a warm-up.
2013-06-22 7:41 AM
in reply to: JohnnyKay

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Subject: RE: Swimming - closer to race day should I do intervals or distance training
Originally posted by JohnnyKay

Shane's advice is good. But I would do a few continuous swims at/near your race distance as raceday approaches. Perhaps once per week for the last 3-4 weeks of your trianing. If one if them can be an OWS, all the better. Do one or two at intended race pace (I suggest your OWS + one close to race day--use wetsuit for both if you intend to race in one) and one or two as 'best effort' (i.e., not saving anything for a bike/run afterwards). Include a warm-up.


Thanks for the advice. Sounds like a solid plan
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