Archives for posts with tag: anaerobic threshold

OK, so it is really hot at the moment so we are going to take a break from the longer sets with short turnaround times and focus on increasing your top-end speed.  To do this we will be doing some faster paced 100s with longer rests, which will give you plenty of time to think about keeping that excellent quick breathing going that we were practising last week!

You should be aiming to swim each 100 as fast as you can at a pace that you can maintain for the whole set.  That should mean that you are swimming each 100 at about your anaerobic threshold.  If the lactic acid starts to build up in your arms on each swim, then you are swimming too fast.  You want to be swimming just below this level so that you are only at the point of your muscles tightening up on the last stroke of each 100.  If you have enough breath after each 100 to chat then you are swimming too slowly!

Please do monitor your times when swimming this type of set as it provides great feedback on how efficiently you are holding your stroke together as you try and swim faster.  I have heard some of you say that you put a lot more effort into the harder swims some times but your times either stay the same or sometimes even get slower.  Feedback from the clock is an excellent way of measuring what actually works in the trade-off between effort, technique and speed.  I find that focusing on pushing hard at the back end of the stroke is a good way for me to keep stroke length and efficiency when trying to swim faster.  Something different may work for you – but if you don’t take your times and try different things you will never know!

See you Saturday,

Rob

 

Photo by Jeff Sheldon on Unsplash

I will be at the session this week but then away for the next two weeks so will leave the sessions in the box at the pool.  This year my holiday seems to coincide with our other Saturday coaches so you will be in charge of yourselves.  Whoever is at the pool first please help to put the lane ropes out and get the sessions out of the club box in the office for each lane.

This week we are doing some fast-paced 100s but with quite a bit of extra rest than usual.  Aim to swim them at the fastest pace you can maintain for the whole set.

Finally, there are a few extra keen triathletes I know who do like sessions while they are away when they have access to the pool so I have added some here.

See you Saturday,

Rob

I hear that you all worked hard over the last couple of weeks so well done for that.  I hope you also did your homework and watched the Bill Furniss video I posted last time.  You will be tested on it this week!

This week we will be picking the pace up a bit more with some anaerobic threshold paced swimming as well as some technique work.

I’ve talked about anaerobic threshold paced swimming a number of times before but the basic idea is that you will get more rest than usual so you should be swimming at the fastest pace you can sustain throughout the set.

For technique I would like you to think about a common fault I see which is letting your arms get in too close to your centre line at the front of your stroke or even crossing over the centre line.  So I’d like you to think about about keeping the space between your arms so they enter in front of your shoulder rather than in front of your head.  You will have seen this in the Bill Furniss video from last time but if you missed it you can just watch 17:45 – 19:45 in the video.  Having a good high-elbow recovery is a good way to set yourself up to achieve this.

See you Saturday,

Rob

No big deal this week – just keeping the pace high with a set swum at anaerobic threshold  – so a decent rest but a fast pace.  A reminder in my previous post here if you have forgotten what what means.

We are now well into race season so remember when it’s feeling tough in a race you are training with probably the only club in the country that did 1km of Butterfly for the Christmas Swim this year – so you are likely to be able to hang tough more than your competitors!

See you Saturday!

Rob

Back to normal this week with the times for the sessions with a 7-8 session and 8-9:15.  We will finish the 8-9:15 session a little earlier this week to allow the juniors to start promptly as they are doing time trials and it is only fair to give them a bit of pool time back after the extra time we have had for the last couple of weeks.

This week the main set will be anaerobic threshold 100s, so plenty of rest to allow you to swim fast.  You can re-read my post on this type of set and how to swim it here as well as some thoughts about how to try and swim fast and relaxed here.  We will be doing time trials again next week, as previously promised, so try and use this week’s session to get familiar with that fast and relaxed pace you will need to use next week.

One final reminder, especially as many of our sessions are very full at the moment, is to please remember to be considerate to the other swimmers in your lane and observe good lane etiquette.  We cannot always stick to 5s intervals between swimmers when the lanes get full but most of the other guidelines are easy to follow and allow everyone to get a good workout.  Getting the right lane order is especially important if everyone is to get the maximum benefit from faster sets and you will have plenty of time during the longer recoveries this week to adjust the lane order if required.

This week we will be doing a fairly fast-paced main set of 200s, 150s and 100s all being swum at your anaerobic threshold pace.  Remember, this is the fastest pace you can sustain for the whole set and is typically around 5s faster than your 400m race pace.  You will get long-enough recoveries to allow you to do this.

I know some of you find it very easy to swim hard but less easy to swim fast.  In fact someone told me how they had given everything in the 400m time trial but swum a 400m faster in training a few days later while putting in much less effort.  If this is true for you then the clear message is that increased effort is likely to be resulting in poorer technique, and hence slower times.  The faster paced sets like we are doing at the moment are a great chance to work on this and try out different things to see what helps get a better balance of effort and speed.  Some things you could consider trying are:

  • Doing a slightly shorter and quicker catch at the front of the arm stroke.  Many people try and keep their stroke length by over-reaching, resulting in both a weaker catch and loss of streamlining by “snaking” with your hips.  Try and keep your catch quick, sharp and strong.
  • Slowing down the underwater pull and just pressing harder rather than faster.  If you lose your feel for the water when you try and go faster you will often slip water, making you less efficient and slower overall.  If you want to increase your stroke rate do it on the recovery rather than underwater – where you want to maintain a powerful pull holding on to the water all the way to the end of the stroke.
  • Using your head to keep as streamlined as possible.  When focusing on swimming fast, and needing to breathe frequently, it is easy to forget that the fastest any of us will ever swim is when our heads are still and we are not breathing.  A moving head disrupts your streamlining so make sure it is looking straight down after every turn and that you move it as little as possible when you breathe by breathing into the bow wave created near your shoulder.

These are just some ideas so play around and see what works for you.  Clearly, the only way to really measure the effect of any change is to make sure you know your times for each swim.  However, you can also use your feeling of how hard you are working and stroke count to try and identify the best way for you to get faster speed efficiently.

See you Saturday!

Rob

We’ve been doing some more faster-paced work over the last few weeks and we will continue the trend this week where the main set will all be faster paced 100s.  The aim of this type of set is to increase your ability to maintain a faster pace for longer.  This means you will be getting longer rests after each swim – typically 35-45 seconds between each – so if you really want to benefit from this type of set you need to make each swim hard!  You should be aiming to swim as fast as you can at a pace that you can maintain for the whole set.  That should mean that you are swimming each rep at about your anaerobic threshold.  If the lactic acid starts to build up in your arms on each swim, then you are swimming too fast.  You want to be swimming just below this level so that you are only at the point of your muscles tightening up on the last stroke of each 100.  If you have enough breath after each 100 to chat then you are swimming too slowly!

Please do make sure you monitor your times when swimming this type of set as this can provide good feedback on how efficiently you are holding your stroke together as you try and swim faster.  A couple of weeks ago one swimmer told me how they put a lot more effort into the harder swims but their times were the same as when they were trying to swim aerobically.  This type of feedback from the clock is an excellent way of measuring what actually works.  I find that focusing on pushing hard at the back end of the stroke is a good way for me to keep stroke length and efficiency when trying to swim faster.  Something different may work for you – but if you don’t take your times and try different things you will never know!

See you Saturday,

Rob

%d bloggers like this: