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Killer workouts - swimming

So I am here to pick some brains, particularly from all you fish out there.
I know my limiters, and they all revolve around swimming.
I did a race yesterday, I was 30 something in the swim, 6th on the bike and 1st on the run.
On the bike and running side I have a few killer workouts as I call them, ones that I believe have provided me with the best results.
Mine are - cycling - cruise intervals - building to 9min work 1 min rest x 6, I don't think there is anything better for race pace specificity
Running - Cruise intervals as above + a shorter version of what a mate called kenyan 4 milers - essentially its mile repeats of increasing pace, so a reducing set effectively.
So mine is 400m at 5:45 a mile, 400 at 5:30, 400 at 5:15, 400 at 5:00, then you go back to 5:45. This is continuous there is no rest allowed! Try and bash out 6 of these and you will be in pain. Oh an the idea is that the 3rd one is roughly your lactate threshold or you can do it as your goal 5k pace.
These are both muscular endurance workouts, and they seem to work pretty well.

BUT.......I don't have a similarish one for swimming, I seem to have good speed, I can blast out a 100 in just over a minute, but I can't hold pace, I think its my muscular endurance thats letting me down as my heart rate doesn't significantly elevate.
SO...does anyone have any killer swimming workouts for this purpose that they would like to share?


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    risris Posts: 1,002
    you could try some simple fartleks, 3 laps steady 1 hard, and do them in blocks of 5 or 6. i can't see a reason why a similar routine to the run intervals wouldn't work in the pool - 25 at xsec, 25 at x-5, 25 x-10, 25 x-15 then back to x. you could stretch those distances out so that you are doing 4 sets of 100.

    tonight at swim training we did something like that 4x100 at steady, 1x400 at below the first, 2x200 below second, 1x400 below the third. short break between each and intending to keep heartrate fairly steady (50 bbm).

    bearing in mind though, your swimming probably batters mine to the bottom of the pool!
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    Jack HughesJack Hughes Posts: 1,262
    Hmmm. I'm not really that well qualified for this.. but..

    It sounds like most of your strength is in your lower body..
    .. but a lot of speed in swimming is about technique rather than strength.

    So drills that focus on technique as well as muscle adaptation might be good - a combination of the kind of work outs (I really like the Kenyan 4 miler!), together with things like swimming with fists.

    Coming from a running/cycling background, I have issues with flexibility, especially with ankles, so a lot of what I'm doing at the moment relates to trying to be like a swimmer in the water, not a runner (core strength, flexibility for feet ankles, hip position etc).

    What happens to your stroke rate when you do a fast 100m - is it markedly different to your normal longer distance speed? i.e. to what extent is technique your limiting factor, rather than muscle strength/power.

    I'm puzzled that you don't have a coach telling you what to do at your level!
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    BritspinBritspin Posts: 1,655
    Can I just add that he was third overall....good to see you again Tom.
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    DamonDamon Posts: 6
    One I do for swim muscular endurance is:

    10x50 easy with 10 secs rest.
    300m pull

    Main Set:
    400m at t-pace + 4 seconds. 20 seconds rest.
    4x100m at t-pace, 20 seconds recovery between 100. 20 seconds rest.
    300m at your t-pace + 3 seconds. 20 seconds rest.
    3x100m at t-pace, 20 seconds recovery between each 100. 20 seconds rest.
    200m at t-pace + 3 seconds. 20 seconds rest.
    2x100m at t-pace, 20 seconds recovery between 100. 20 seconds rest.
    100m at t-pace + 3 seconds. 20 seconds rest.
    100m at under t-pace.

    Cool down:
    100m easy
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    risris Posts: 1,002
    third! you were third!

    well done tom, great result. any advice i've just given you is probably about as much use as i am in a race!
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    TommiTriTommiTri Posts: 879
    Oh Britspin you make me blush! It was good to see you too mate, same time next year?

    Thanks for the workouts guys I will try all of those out and see how I get on.
    I think Damon has highlighted my need to workout swimming times and paces, I really don't do this like I do in running and cycling, so I will get to it!

    Jack, my stroke count doesn't really increase to much when the speed increases, I have a really long stroke I think, i try and put as much effort into a good catch and push phase. I find after a few hundred metres my shoulders really start to feel the fatigue, so I figured it was a muscular endurance issue.
    My technique is ok I think, I do lots of drills and find they do help.

    I wish I could have a coach! The aim is to get good enough next year to go and train up at loughborough, where I hope to meet and marry Vanessa Raw, though don't tell my girlfriend this! hehe
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    BritspinBritspin Posts: 1,655
    Hi Tom..might do Newent..your Mum recommended it!
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    TommiTriTommiTri Posts: 879
    I'm a pretty good artist too
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    PC_67PC_67 Posts: 196
    What was the race?

    If it was a good event there were probably some good triathletes who were originally from a swimming background. On this basis I think you'd always have your work cut out against these guys, even if you do go on to discover a "killer" workout that works for you.

    That said, there's always room for improvement and you're obviously pretty clued in to what works in other disciplines so similar threshold & interval work ought to bear some results.
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    BritspinBritspin Posts: 1,655
    I happen to know the second fastest swim chap.....2nd ever triathlon....he is a swimmer by background.
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    DamonDamon Posts: 6
    tommi, judging by your posts you are a good competitor and a clued-up individual but in case you (or any others) need to know how to work out your swim t-pace do the following:

    Warm-up for 10 to 20 minutes then swim 3x300m with a 30 second rest between each one. The goal is to swim the 300’s at the highest average speed possible. An accurate test is when all three 300’s are within 15 seconds of each other. Do not swim a fast first 300, followed by a third 300 that is slower by 20 seconds or more. Watch the clock and remember your time for each 300 and then take an average of the three 300’s and then divide that average by three to establish your T1 pace for 100m. For example, if you swam the 300’s in 3:30, 3:25 and 3:22, the average for the 300 is 3:27 giving a T1 pace of 1:09 for 100m. Cool down for 100m or so. This is an approximate guide to lactate threshold pace.

    Ideally the above should be done every 4 to 6 weeks as your swimming improves that way bringing your target t1 pace down and making the sessions that little bit harder!

    As with the bike and run, always useful to have a target pace/interval level in mind to train with and too improve other course of a season!
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