Archives for the month of: January, 2016

Time trials again this week to see how you are progressing with your swimming over the winter.  During the extended warm-up we will be doing some Unco drills to help you think about your stroke as well as some fast 50s at the faster-than 400m race pace we were doing during the set last week.  This is to get you ready to swim fast but by swimming fast efficiently and with good technique.  So when you start the 400m remember to focus on relaxing and swimming with good technique.  You want to start with relaxed, easy speed during the first half of the time trial so you can still swim the second half strongly.

See you Saturday,

Rob

This week we will be doing a variant of the Will Clarke 50s main set to give us chance to do some more fast-paced swimming before we do the January time trial next week.  All the 50s in the main set will be off the same turnaround time rather than a gradually increasing turnaround time that we have done before, which will make it too easy if you don’t make all the fast 50s really fast.  In fact, I would like you to aim to swim all the fast 50s at your 200m race pace.  Your 200m race pace should be around 3-4 secs faster than your 400m race pace so as a rough guide:

  • Lane 1 swimmers who swim 5:30 for 400m should be doing the fast 50s around 36-37 secs per 50.
  • Lane 2 swimmers who swim 6:20 for 400m should be doing the fast 50s around 43-44 secs per 50.
  • Lane 3 swimmers who swim 7:00 for 400m should be doing the fast 50s around 48-49 secs per 50.
  • Lane 4 swimmers who swim 7:50 for 400m should be doing the fast 50s around 55-56 secs per 50.

See you Saturday,

Rob

After the steady paced swims last week we will start picking up the pace a this week and do some work on stroke rate as we build towards the next set of time trials at the end of the month.  So we will be doing some head-up front crawl to work on increased stroke rate as well as some golf stroke swimming to help you try and find the right balance between stroke rate and efficiency.  Please see my previous post on stroke rate if you have forgotten about why this is important or how to measure your golf stroke. Knowing your golf stroke will require you to know your times when swimming each 50 so hopefully you are well practised now after my post last week and the session on Saturday!

A natural reaction from many of us when asked to increase stroke rate is concern that either your stroke length with shorten or you will need to increase your effort and hence reduce efficiency.  However, this is often not the case and a higher stroke rate can often be more efficient.  This is because most of your propulsion comes from the second half of your underwater pull so doing more of these parts of the pull every minute can make a big difference in your speed. It’s a bit like spinning in an easier  gear on your bike and one that enables you to go faster for less effort overall.  The best way to find out is to try it so play around with your stroke rate over the next few weeks to see what works best for you.

See you Saturday!

Rob

Happy New Year everyone!  I hope you had a good break over Christmas and New Year and are looking forward to 2016.  So with my first post of the  year I wanted to talk a bit about the plan for the next few months and what I’d like you to focus on this week.

We will be doing the the usual pre-season build-up over the next few months which means a gradual introduction of some more faster-paced swimming to get ready for the start of the main triathlon season in May.  There will be two more time trials to help you track progress, at the end of January and the end of March.  And I will be introducing a type of fast-paced swimming set that I think is particularly effective at getting you used to race-pace swimming.  However, it does require you to know the times you are swimming for each rep.

I’d really like you to start getting into the habit of knowing your times starting this week.  I have written about this before but as a reminder I think there are a number of very good reasons to do this:

  • It’s a great objective measure on your progress on a far more frequent basis that you can get from doing time trials
  • It ensures better lane discipline, and hence better training for everyone in the lane, as you will be going on more regular intervals (ideally 5s intervals but 3s intervals if the lane is crowded)
  • It will be essential to do some of the sets I have planned
  • Knowing your time will avoid the embarrassment of having to say “I don’t know” when I randomly select you to ask what times you are swimming!

The other key thing to think about as we pick up the pace is technique.  Before Christmas most of the technique work we did were drills to help with your body position and pull but done slowly so really helping increase your distance per stroke.  As we pick up the pace we will be doing some more drills focused on increasing your stroke rate.  Both stroke rate and distance per stroke are essential for fast swimming so play around with varying both of these over the coming months to see what combination works best for you.

See you Saturday!

Rob

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