Archives for posts with tag: VO2 max

The Juniors have time trials for the next two weeks so we will be finishing the 8am session at 9am to give them enough time.  That also means we can get the pool for 3 hours on October 7th, though, so put the date in the diary now for a good, long session!

It’s nearly the end of the season so we will only be keeping the faster paced sessions going until the end of September before we get into Winter training.  This week we will be doing a main set we haven’t done for a long time consisting of some very fast 200s.  You will be getting a massive 4 minute recovery between each 200 to allow you to swim each one nearly at max effort, during which time I would encourage everyone to swim at least 50m nice and easy.

This is a great set for working on your VO2 max and expanding the speed at which you can comfortably swim.  Aim to swim each 200 as fast and relaxed as possible, still with a good fast stroke rate, and ideally swim a negative split (i.e. swimming the second half slightly faster than the first half).  Then as you tire really try and hold onto your stroke.

See you Saturday,

Rob

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This week the main set consists some 100s off a fairly short turnaround followed by a 50 flat out sprint.  The aim of this set is to get your heart rate up to maximum by sprinting when you are tired so helps to train and improve your VO2 max.  So please make sure you relax as much as possible on the 100s, getting some easy speed even if you get very little rest, and make sure you give it everything on the 50 sprint.

When going flat out please do swim at 100% speed as well as 100% effort, i.e. don’t thrash around putting in loads of extra effort inefficiently.  I recommend you do this by

  • setting a nice high stroke rate by kicking fast as your legs help set the tempo for your stroke
  • keeping your underwater pull controlled and focusing on just levering your body past your hands rather than ripping your hands through the water too quickly and slipping water
  • doing the simple things well – starting and turning with a great streamline push off and swimming fast especially in the last 5 metres when most people slow down a lot

And if you want a reminder of why the little things can make a big difference, whether you’re an Olympic swimmer or not, try listening to some of the tips from members of the recent US Olympic Team here.

See you Saturday,

Rob

This week we will be finishing the 8am session at 9am rather than 9:15am to allow the Juniors to fit in their swimming time trials and will be doing so again on 3rd October.  In return, they’ve offered to give us one of their slots over the next few weeks, so allowing us to have the full 3-hour slot from 7-10.  I will let you know the details when this is agreed.
The aim of the main set this week is to work on your speed endurance and VO2 max so will be doing some 100% effort 50s after some steady-paced 100m swims on a short recovery.  To get the most out of this set I’d like you all to focus on making the 50s a 100% effort, flat-out sprint and try and catch the person in front of you.  So, just as you would if racing a 25m sprint, I’m expecting to see your legs kicking like a powerful outboard motor to set the tempo for an increased arm speed but still holding a long a powerful arm stroke.
See you Saturday!
Rob

This week our main set will be working on top-end swim speed and VO2 max with a mix of 100s and 50s.  To get the most from this set you will need to focus on doing all of the 50s at 100% effort.  This should help improve your VO2 max, top-end swimming speed and help improve your speed endurance when you are still looking to swim at 1500m pace for the 100s after the 50m sprints.

When you are swimming the 50s flat out the most important thing to do is put in 100% effort.  However, you will get more benefit and swim faster if you can also hold your technique together when putting in this effort.  When sprinting try to focus on kicking really hard and fast and getting your speed by pressing harder underwater on each stroke rather than trying to increase your stroke rate.  Your stroke rate will increase naturally as you kick faster and you should be able to keep hold of the water better rather than slipping water as you try to rip your hand through the water too quickly.  For a short video of Roland Schoeman doing some sprint freestyle see the following video.  Especially note the speed of his leg kick!

See you Saturday!

Rob

As I mentioned last week we have an extra 45 mins of pool time this week, as the Juniors will not be swimming after us, so I will be making each session 1.5 hours long.  Hence the 7am session will run until 8:30 and the second session will run from 8:30am till 10am.  This gives us chance to get two main sets in this week.  The first will be a VO2 max set of 300s, so you can refer to my previous post on this topic if you need a reminder, and the second will be a longer set of 125s practising varying the pace.

With the longer sessions please do make sure you adjust your pace depending on the set and take it easy in the sets when you are asked to.  Varying the pace of your swimming is an important skill and generally you see the better swimmers swimming at a far greater range of different paces during a swimming session than weaker swimmers.  I think some of this may come from the triathlete “working hard” mentality but I do think there is a lot to learn from swimming at different speeds.

As I have mentioned before, you should always be monitoring and trying to improve your technique, and swimming at different paces can help you in the search for a fast, efficient swimming style.  When swimming slowly you have a lot more time to think about your stroke, and your muscles are usually less-fatigued, so really try and use the easy-paced swims to swim with as perfect a technique as you can.  Then, when you start to swim faster, try and keep your feel for the water by just applying a bit more pressure to the water rather than trying to increase your stroke rate too much.  Fast, efficient swimming only comes if you can keep a good hold of the water.

See you Saturday!

Rob

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