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  1. #1
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    Swimming Workouts

    I'm currently training for a half IRONMAN this summer. Last fall I completed a six week swimming lesson course and since January I have been swimming twice a week for 45 minutes each night. I've been doing intervals of 100m with 15 seconds rest between intervals.

    This past Saturday I did my first "benchmark" of my progress and did lengths non-stop for an hour straight. I managed to swim 40 lengths (50m) in an hour (2km!).

    I've progressed enough that I'm comfortable in the water and can do a significant distance, so what I want to do now is focus more on increasing my speed/efficiency so I can do more distance in that same hour.

    I'm still pretty new to swimming and I don't have a coach - I just make up workouts for myself. So far I'm thinking of keeping my 100m intervals but alternating really fast/hard ones for "normal" pace ones. Comments? How do you train to increase your swimming pace?

  2. #2
    Col du
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    Swim more.

    You need a few things. First and foremost you need an experienced swimmer in the water with you. A second set of eyes will tell you if your body position and roll are good, if your strokes are good, and especially if your kicks are good. Kicks are very difficult to get right on your own because you can't see what is going on back there.

    Practice the best hydrodynamic body position by doing wall push drills. Push off the wall and try to glide as far as possible.

    You'll also need some gear: kickboard, pull buoy, paddles. Use the kickboard to perfect the kick, and buoy/paddles to improve the reach, catch, pull and push. The idea is to work on one thing at a time.

    Good luck. Coach/instructor is really your best option at this point.

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    I have a few workouts I come back to fairly often:

    Warm up, 50 kick followed immediately by a 100 freestyle x 8, then 4 200s.

    Ladder of some sort 200, 300, 400, 500, 300, 200

    50s hard until I hurt

    100s like you are talking about

    Also, drills, 200s, long slow swims.

    When I started swimming I used whatever workouts I found around the web.

  4. #4
    sultan of schwinn EjustE's Avatar
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    One piece of advice: Get into open water swimming as soon as you can. If you live away from a place with lakes or ocean or it is cold out there, take a week long vacation down to FL or CA (depending on your location) and swim daily. It's a total different ballgame, depending on the wind conditions.
    -E

    still stuck in the '80s; '70s were good as well, but i severely dislike tubulars.
    I tri...

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    I think one major thing is missing from this thread: drills. Swimming is different than biking and running the most in that if you have poor technique, you will do significantly worse than if you had bad technique in biking or running. Intervals are good, you definitely need to train with distance, but you NEED stroke work drills. Also, get a coach, Even if that means a high school varsity swimmer in need of some money.

    Some drills I do when I swim with my team: No arm freestyle (roll), one arm, fingertip drag, three, five, seven, count, three count at each part of stroke, catchup freestyle, one arm kicking (just hold one arm in front while kicking on side), Distance Per Stroke (DPS), Fast stroke rate, Short stroke, long stroke, half stroke. Also hypoxic sets help your efficiency (breath control-although mostly for sprinting, I feel that this helps distance efficiency)

  6. #6
    Too Much Crazy C Law's Avatar
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    ^ swimming with fists is a great drill as well.

  7. #7
    Senior Member travelmama's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tourmalet View Post
    Swim more.

    You need a few things. First and foremost you need an experienced swimmer in the water with you. A second set of eyes will tell you if your body position and roll are good, if your strokes are good, and especially if your kicks are good. Kicks are very difficult to get right on your own because you can't see what is going on back there.

    Practice the best hydrodynamic body position by doing wall push drills. Push off the wall and try to glide as far as possible.

    You'll also need some gear: kickboard, pull buoy, paddles. Use the kickboard to perfect the kick, and buoy/paddles to improve the reach, catch, pull and push. The idea is to work on one thing at a time.

    Good luck. Coach/instructor is really your best option at this point.
    +10,000 Get a coach or join a masters swim program ASAP. By doing so, your speed will increase a great deal. I was like you last year and am now in a program that I enjoy.
    Two Wheels One Love

  8. #8
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    simply answering what workouts to do, If you have an iphone there is a good app called swimplanner where you put in the distance you want to swim, and it'll give you a workout to do.....you can also break it down to whether it's a speed, technique, or recover swim. The website is TriFaster.com. Also, TriNewbies.com has a good training plan for Spring, Olympic, and Half IM. I used the Half IM last year and it worked well. Each one has a set of workouts that you can do for different distances.

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    One piece of advice: Get into open water swimming as soon as you can. If you live away from a place with lakes or ocean or it is cold out there, take a week long vacation down to FL or CA (depending on your location) and swim daily. It's a total different ballgame, depending on the wind conditions.
    I'm in Vancouver, so the ocean is cold pretty much all year round, but bearable on the hottest summer days. I am planning on swimming in some really nice local lakes throughout the summer, but unfortunately a vacation isn't in the budget at the moment

    The website is TriFaster.com. Also, TriNewbies.com has a good training plan for Spring, Olympic, and Half IM
    Great sites! Thanks!

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