I have a new challenge for you this week – inspired by Alex and Pete and also based on a set I did many years ago when swimming for Wycombe Masters.  It’s based on the Beep Test that you may have done in a gym to test your fitness.  A traditional Beep Test consists of short interval runs, with timed intervals getting ever shorter, with a beep telling you when to start the next interval.  You keep going until you can’t make the it to the start before the next beep.

In my swim variant of the Beep Test the objective is the same – try and make as many of the reducing turnaround times as possible until you can’t do any more.  We will start with 100s swum off a comfortable turnaround time.  Each subsequent 100 will be swum with 5s less rest.  Do as many 100s as you can until you can’t make the turnaround time any more.  Then drop back to doing 50s off the still reducing turnaround time.  These will feel comfortable again for a while until the turnaround times get tighter again and the challenge is to do as many 50s as you can make to the end of the set.  Please drop out when you can no longer make the turnaround times to ensure the lane stays together for the whole set.

Please swim this set off strict 5s intervals between swimmers if there are 8 or fewer swimmers per lane.  If there are more you will need to reduce the gap between swimmers to 3s but it will be easier to check your time and know whether or not you have made the turnaround time with 5s intervals.

See you Saturday!

Rob

Photo by Tim Gouw on Unsplash

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Many of us will have an A-race, which is the race we aim to perform at our best during the season.  We may also have a B-race or another important qualification race.  You will often taper off the quantity and duration of your training before these races to perform at your best, so I expect many of you to either swim shorter sessions on Saturdays or swim them at much lower intensity.  However, most of us race much more than twice a year so should you taper before other races too if it’s not your A or B race?  Only you can judge what is right for you based on your race plan but I would encourage you to continue training hard before some races to help you judge the right taper for your A and B races.

This week we will be returning to the ratchet set we did a few weeks ago which is a 1,500m main set with the intervals swum at reducing rest intervals.  Enjoy trying to use the set to practise your easy-speed by relaxing and saving some effort for the last few reps where the turnaround times start to get really right.

See you Saturday!

Rob

 

Photo by Victoire Joncheray on Unsplash

Well done for all of your efforts on the Easter Swim last weekend.  It was a tough set – made especially tough by the unexpectedly warm water temperature – so well done for sticking with it.  This week we will be back to a more typical session but finishing a bit earlier to allow the juniors plenty of time for their time trials.

On the cards this week is a main set to help you focus on improving your VO2 max.  It consists of a number blocks of 100s, off a fairly short turnaround time, followed by a 100% effort, flat-out 50m sprint.  You will get more rest after the fast 50 as both the 100s and 50 will be off the same turnaround time.  Aim to swim the 100s at your sustainable 1500m race pace before putting in a maximum effort on the fast 50.

See you Saturday!

Rob

It’s time for the Easter Swim this week.  So we will be splitting the session into two equal 65 minute sessions – starting at 7am and 8:05am.

This will be a chance to put all of the hard work over the last few weeks to the test by seeing how all all our hard work on fast 50s and 100s translates into easy speed over a long endurance set.  The set will be a challenge and consist of a long set of 100s off a fairly short turnaround time.  Pace yourselves, relax and enjoy the challenge by focusing on good technique to achieve a good easy-speed.

See you Saturday!

Rob

Great effort last week on the fast 100s!  Those sorts of intense sets really let you practice expanding the envelope of your sustainable speed.  We will be expanding the envelope in a different way this week by returning to the Will Clarke set of fast and slow 50s.

Many of you will remember that this is a challenging set with fairly short recoveries at the start but getting longer at the end.  It is a great set for working on speed endurance.  To maximize the benefit of this set aim for a big difference in speed between your fast and slow 50s.  You should aim for a  minimum 5s differential of your times between the fast and slow 50s.  This will be a challenge on the earlier ones with a short turnaround time.  One the later 50s you should be able to get much more than a 5s differential on the faster and slower 50s.  How big a differential can you achieve this week?

See you Saturday!

Rob

It is important to expand the envelope of speeds you can swim at if you want to increase your speed.  The set of USRPT fast 50s is a good set for this where you are swimming at an unsustaitably fast pace so that you have to miss some out to keep your times.  This week we are going to do a set of 100s to work on expanding the envelope of your swim speed.  You will be getting much more rest than you usually do so please swim each 100 faster than your 400m race pace (aim for 5s per 100m faster.)  However, the aim is to swim every one at the same pace, though, so don’t go completely mad at the start!

See you Saturday,

Rob

It’s time for the final set of time trials for the Winter.  And after a Winter of technique work and all the recent high-intensity training it’s a good opportunity to get a measure of what sort of swim condition you are in before we hit the race season.  So relax and enjoy the challenge of swimming with some good easy-speed.  To help with this I suggest focusing on working hard on the 5m into and out of each of your turns before relaxing in between on each length.  See what effect that has on your time, distance per stroke and stroke rate.

See you Saturday!

Rob

Well done for your efforts on the ratchet set last week.  I know most of you found it a good challenge and for those of you in lane 2 who found it too easy – don’t worry – it will be more challenging next time we do it!

This week we will continue with the race-pace work with the Brownlee set of progressively-paced 100s.  They are in blocks of 3, with a descending rest, swum 1-3 progressively.  This means the first 100 is a bit slower than your 1,500m race pace, the second 100 at your 1,500m race pace and the third 100 faster than your race-pace.  There is no extra rest on this set, though, so you will need to use the steady-paced 100s to recover.  I call it the Brownlee set as it is reputedly one of the Brownlee’s favourite sets.  I like it too!

I have to leave at 8am on Saturday so won’t be coaching the 8am session.  I will see if I can get someone to cover but if not I am sure you will cope looking after yourselves.  Lanes 1, 2 and 3 were all full again this week with 10 per lane so please do arrive promptly, choose a lane with space and be considerate to the other swimmers in the lane.  When everyone works together, stays sharp and swims close together, we can get everyone in the lane having a good workout.

See you Saturday!

Rob

 

Photo courtesy of Yiannis Theologos Michellis

Well done for your efforts last week on the highest intensity set we do in USRPT.  This week the ratchet set is back which is more a test of pace judgement and speed-endurance.  It’s a good length main set totalling 1,500m of swimming with gradually reducing rest intervals.  This means pace judgement is key.  Aim to negative split this set, i.e. start steady and pick up the pace gradually throughout the set to ensure you make the shorter turnaround times.

See you Saturday!

Rob

Back by popular demand it is USRPTs this week!  OK, it’s not really popular demand but because I get to choose sessions that I think will help us build towards the race season, but who’s checking?

As a reminder, USRPT stands for Ultra Short Race Pace Training and it is has some very simple rules to make it a very effective form of training for building your speed.  They are:

  1. Swim every 50 fast.
  2. Leave exactly 5s intervals between swimmers and take your time for each 50.
  3. Repeat until your time drops by 1s or more.  When this happens miss out the next 50m.
  4. If the person in front of you misses a 50m for this reason DO NOT close the gap on the next swimmer – keep to the same turnaround for yourself for the whole set.
  5. You do not get to choose when you miss a 50m.  The clock decides when you miss a 50m by telling you your time dropped by 1s or more.
  6. If you do not miss out any 50s then you have not worked hard enough on the set.  Hang your head in shame!

See you Saturday!

Rob

PS Some of you already know that the secret to this session is all about easy-speed.  You also have to put in a good amount of effort but pushing too hard often makes you go a bit slower.  So do try and use this set to practice easy-speed at a higher stroke rate than what we have done in previous weeks.

Photo by Nicolas Hoizey on Unsplash

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