Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Speed + Endurance is the Trick!

Coach Brad continued with his theme of speed with endurance employing another workout utilizing the combination. Last night’s practice was the most like a track workout I’ve had yet at Hyack Masters.

Warm up: 200 easy
16 x 25 sw/k/p/sw @ 0:45 in sets of four (I did it IM)

Main set(repeated twice):
4 x 25 sprint @ 0:50
100 easy @ 2:30
4 x 25 sprint @ 0:45
100 easy @ 2:30
8 x 25 sprint @ 0:40
100 easy @ 2:30
The 25s to be maintained at the same fast pace throughout the set (i.e. 17 sec/25)

Warm down

This is classic interval training. You set a fast pace on an easy interval and pound away until you gradually transition from pure speed, move through technique (keeping up the pace by concentrating on efficiency), and finally go to endurance where to maintain speed you need to force stroke turnover and kick. Now in a track workout you wouldn’t have any easy breaks, rather you’d just do a block all together such as 20 x 400 @ 3:00 with a 1:15 target. Personally I don’t think swimming is any different so I suspect Brad threw the easy hundreds in to provide breathers and so reduce the stress for us oldsters. An adjustment I’m most grateful for because towards the end I was just swimming to avoid the stigma of quitting before finishing the set. Not only does interval training help establish overall speed but it also trains the athlete to recognize the tempo of certain paces, something which I sadly lack at the present, and a deficiency which makes establishing the correct turnover rate during a race difficult if not impossible. Of course an elite athlete knows what his or her time will be if the present tempo is maintained and consequently can make adjustments during a race for time or to conform to a pre-race strategy. If you’re a masters swimmer you’ve no doubt come across coaches like Coach Reid more used to dealing with real swimmers (Brad was a national caliber swimmer not so long ago) who will occasionally slip into giving instructions such as “start at one twenty and decline each of the next five by one second, then hold at one fifteen for the remaining reps until the last when I want you go best time plus five” Quite impossible for us masters to follow of course. A workout which brought back the memories from my running days – I’m giving this one a 9 too.


Peter said...

I just stumbled upon this through a link from Kevin's brother Joe. I hate to say it, but I may have to "borrow" some of your work out ideas for when I coach my team here in Chicago. I hope you don't mind!

It's good to read of Masters Swimming in BC again. Almost ten years since I left the province, and I do miss the nice community of swimming there sometimes. I've swam a few times with the English Bay Masters when I've visited Vancouver, but never had a chance to wander out to Hyacks and join a practice there.

In any case, keepup the training - I hope it goes well!


Scott said...

I have no problems with you taking what you can from the few workouts I do list here on my blog. They all come from my coach Brad Reid, and he in turn borrows heavily from Hyack head Coach Mark Bottrill. There are a lot of workouts 'floating' around out there, the trick as coach is to employ the right ones for your swimmers at the right time. I'm sure this is a redundant comment for you but the workout intervals listed here were the fastest in our practice, others swam on intervals +5 or +10 depending on ability. You may have some swimmers who should/can do the workout on -5. Hope your team has a lot of success and has fun doing it!

Joe said...

That's my kind of workout! Too bad I missed it!