Archives for posts with tag: pace judgement

A few of you have asked me about the next time trials that are due at the end of the month as it clashes with Easter.  It seems the numbers will probably be low if we do the time trials over Easter weekend so I will delay them a couple of weeks until mid April so most of you that want to do them can.

This also gives us a bit more time for preparation so this week we will work on pace judgement in the main set.  The two drills in the warm-up are reverse catch-up and straight-arm recovery.  Reverse catch-up gives you time to keep thinking about being patient with the catch, as we have for the past two weeks, and straight-arm recovery a chance to start increasing your stroke rate ahead of the main set.

The main set consists of blocks of 4 or 5 x 100s with short recovery at your 400m race pace.  This is a great opportunity to take your time and judge your effort across each block and keep a consistent pace.  As I have said many times before, and many of you do know, most people will start to slow down in the 3rd quarter of the set (i.e. the 3rd 100 in a block of 4) so try and pace yourself so this doesn’t happen.  If you get it wrong don’t worry – that is why we practice and it’s a great way to learn – so do your best and play with your pace judgement this week!

See you Saturday,

Rob

Photo by Veri Ivanova on Unsplash

Some of the sets we’ve been doing in recent weeks have been off some tight turnaround times and I’ve also been asking you vary the pace, even when you have little rest.  We will be doing some more of this type of set in the coming weeks so I thought it was worth explaining why we are doing this and what to focus on.

The main reason for doing this type of training is to practice one of the essential skills that most of us want to improve at – swimming fast and relaxed.  When you know that you have a hard effort coming up – like getting out of the water and straight into a hard bike or run – most of us try and relax just a bit and conserve some energy.  Many of us can often do some of the best fast and relaxed swimming when we are focused on saving something for the hard effort rather than feeling the stress of trying to make the turnaround with time to spare.  If you accept that you only need a short rest of 5 seconds or less before a hard effort that it is much easier to relax.  We push the boundaries on this sometimes – with tighter turnarounds that are possible before dropping back into continuous swimming – but this is all about working on the edge of what is currently possible and improving your speed.

This week I will be asking you to do some progressively paced swims as part of the main set.  To get the most benefit of this type of work please really focus on making the faster swims at least 5s faster per 100m.

See you Saturday!

Rob

PS  Please try and stick to turnaround times wherever possible and don’t add in extra rest between blocks of work to change lane order.  I know it is not always possible to do this but you will get the most benefit from the sets if you can.

We will be doing our final Winter time trials next week (28th March) so the session this week is in preparation.  The main set is all 100s swum at your 400m time trial pace off a short turnaround.  There will also be some technique work with finger drag and fists to help you think about getting a good length of stroke and catch using your whole forearm.

The main set is split into blocks of either 3, 4 or 5 x 100s depending on your lane.  Try to make sure your last 100 of each block is at least as fast, if not faster, than your first 100.  To do this you will need to feel very comfortable on the first 100 but I have set some quite tight turnarounds on some of them to make sure you can’t drop much below your race pace!  However, please do try and relax as much as possible on these first few, even if you get less than 5s rest, to make sure you have enough left to put in the extra effort that you will need to keep your speed either the same or faster.

See you Saturday!

Rob

It’s time for time trials again this Saturday to help you assess how your swimming speed is at the moment. If you did our last time trial two months ago then this is a good measure of your progress at race pace swimming compared with last time. You can look at your times from last time, and especially your splits, to see how well you paced your previous efforts here. If you didn’t do our last time trial then this is a good opportunity to give it a go and get a time for 400m to measure against.

My comments from last time about what to think about going into a time trial are still relevant and you can read them here. The most important thing to think of though for most people is not to panic, tense up and hence lose technique as well as wasting effort. Instead try and use the natural adrenaline that you will most likely have at the start to know you will go out faster than is sustainable, so relax and plan on putting in the effort on the third 100, where most people drop off in pace.

See you Saturday!

Rob

This week we will be doing some work on a unique triathlon-specific aspect of open-water swimming – going out fast.  For pool-based racing we all know that swimming an even pace for each 100m is usually the best way of getting the best overall time.  However, in open water with a mass-start often the best way of doing a fast swim for the least effort is to go out hard from the start to get into a good position where you can draft some slightly faster swimmers.  We will be practising this during the main set this week where I will be asking you to do some 200s by swimming the first 100m fast and then dropping back to a steadier and more relaxed pace for the second 100m.  We will also be doing some even-paced swimming in between these 200s.

When doing the 200s in the main set this week please practise your drafting by leaving 5s intervals between swimmers but using the first hard 100m to try and catch the swimmer in front and then drafting them for the remainder of the swim.  You will probably need to use your legs on the first 100m to give you the pace to swim hard but this will prove very tiring so use your legs judiciously.  Also, try and mix it up a bit by not swimming at a uniform fast pace for the first 100m to try and practice for the real-life start where you will have to vary your pace depending on who is around you.  Don’t make it easy for the person behind to catch and draft you.  Have a bit a fun and mix it up a bit!

See you Saturday!

Rob

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