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400m Time Trial

I only started swimming in June, last year, and am really happy with my progress having just done my first sub 8min 400m (7:57).

However, when I swim 400m I, unintentionally go off quite quickly 24sec/25m which means I'm slowing down considerably towards the latter stages.

My question is, should I continue to swim as I am and my fitness will improve so I maintain the quicker pace for longer, or should I try to slow my initial pace and maintain a quicker pace overall? What have others done?




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    Andrew4Andrew4 Posts: 190

    I would try and think about your pacing... generally fatiguing, as you suggest you are, will lead to inefficiencies, maybe you can get away with these over 400 in the pool but as you progress to longer distance and move outdoors (as you will during your tri career) this fatigue will start to hurt and knowing your pace (and sticking to it) becomes increasingly important.

    What I wold recommend would be trying to do shorter distances at various different target paces, for example doing sets of 100m at say 1:40 (the speed you say you set off at), 1:50 (a speed a bit faster than your 400m pace) and 2:00(your 400 pace) and see how they feel.

    Try doing 4x100 at each pace with say 20s between each 100. Give yourself a full recovery after each set of 4x100 and see how it feels. Learning to feel pace is really important and will help you build your endurance and ensure your technique holds at higher paces.

    A favourite session of mine is doing 100s at my CSS - 2s with 10s recovery which pushes on that speed that you can cling on to during a race.

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    bathtubbathtub Posts: 280

    Sounds like you would benefit from  buying and using a "Finis Tempo Trainer" which I would recommend, its basically a small waterproof timing device that you can wear underneath a swim cap or it can be attached to your goggle straps, you can then set the timer to beep at whatever time you want to swim each length,thus perfect for pacing.


    Excellent article linked below from swimsmooth explaining how to do a CSS (critical swim speed) test and how to use it to improve your pace awareness and eventually swim faster. You could use the pace clock at your pool but the Finis Tempo Trainer is the perfect tool for this



    Happy Training




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