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Any swimmers out there ? Training advice needed

(10 Posts)
Claybury Thu 17-Jul-14 14:06:25

I am a triathlete with a back ground in running. I know how to train for running, intervals, tempo, run, etc and I know my pace.
Now I need to have a system to my swim training. I just don't really know where to start. Can any recommend a source of training plans ? And a watch for timing my laps / recoveries? I think I need to be more systematic than just 'going for a swim' - which I can do about three times a week. I do a coached session each week so I know drills, but I do much better ( with everything) when someone is telling me what to do.

pootlebug Thu 17-Jul-14 14:54:18

What are you primarily trying to achieve - getting faster, getting more consistent, getting more stamina, getting better technique, something else? Do you know roughly how fast you go per 100m at the moment?

pootlebug Thu 17-Jul-14 14:56:28

Oh and I have a Finis Swimsense which I bought for around £45 2nd hand on ebay (only I wish I could locate it.....currently I just use the clock at the end of the pool). It works well but I didn't analyse too much which one to get as it was a good price on ebay so just went for it.

Do you have a running watch already? If not maybe the Garmin 910xt (or older 310xt which is a great price on amazon just now) might make sense.

Ludways Thu 17-Jul-14 15:02:10

What sort of results would you like to see ie distance, time and stroke? Training for open water swimming or shorter distances or even pool swimming etc are very different.

Claybury Thu 17-Jul-14 20:46:49

Pootle - I guess the fact that I don't know what I can do for 100m at the moment says it all. I did 17 mins in open water recently for 800m.
My primary goal would be to get faster over that sort of distance. I have a sea swim in sept of 750m to work towards.
I have done 1500 m in open water last year ( about 35min without wetsuit , better with !)
I have a 50 m lido to train in during the summer, plus an outdoor lake for 100m laps.

pootlebug Sat 19-Jul-14 10:13:11

I asked how fast per 100m to try to get an idea what sort of level you swim at already. Given the triathlon training I suspect it is technique that limits you more than fitness when it comes to swimming.

Until October last year I could barely swim front crawl at all - maybe 50m max in a splashy gasping mess. I did a one-day 'Shaw Method' front crawl course with Steven Shaw last October and within a week I was swimming 1000m of crawl with no problem. I have got faster over the past few months and have been in the top 10% of female swimmers in the two open water triathlons I have done (6 min 50 for 400m on a bad swim day, 26.40 for 1500m on a good swim day). But I didn't do any 'drills' etc. I just focus on technique when I'm swimming - sometimes different bits of technique at a time, sometimes my whole stroke. I count strokes on nearly every length as for me stroke efficiency is a key indicator of how fast/well I'm swimming.

But I'm not sure I train like a 'typical' swimmer - most people tend to do workouts that involve Xm warm up, Y x 100m fast with Z second breaks inbetween, etc etc. For me i feel that if I do that I lose concentration on technique and end up being inefficient.

How much open water experience do you have? Practising sighting buoys, practicing in a wetsuit more etc are all useful too. I do some of my lengths in the pool looking up to sight even though there is blatantly a black line on the bottom, just to get used to fitting it into my rhythm.

dizzyday07 Sat 19-Jul-14 12:07:44

Zoggs have training plans you can sign up for and Swimfit is available on the British Swimming website

Claybury Sat 19-Jul-14 15:55:43

Thanks pootle. I initially learnt shaw method , from scratch, a few years ago. Had some weekly lessons then tonnes of practice. It is amazing how you go from 25m to 1000m - I can't recall how that happened but it did !

I just did a 300m time trial in a pool and did 6min 40 secs. I've done 3 in the past year and I'm not getting any quicker ! You are faster than me !
I have some open water experience although I know I don't swim in a very straight line .....
(Btw am doing a 100km ride tomorrow without adequate distance training - in the heat- good luck if you are too !)

Ludways Sat 19-Jul-14 16:17:27

Concentrating in technique is a good thing, as it really is key to having an efficient use of energy and effective stroke. However timed sets allow the same concentration on pace and building stamina, by slowly decreasing time means you can push your stroke slightly faster over a period of time without ruining your stroke technique. Start by doing distance sets with a decreasing period of rest between, making a note of your times, you then have an understanding of what your current pace is, you can then build some sets for yourself. Go to the ASA website, they have example sets, to give you an idea.

pootlebug Sat 19-Jul-14 22:03:55

If you have a Shaw method background, have you got the video? It includes some land-based practice, which can really help your technique if you do it for a few days and then really try to apply the principles in the water too.

Good luck tomorrow! Is this a Rapha ride? Hopefully the more intensive shorter distance training will see you through, though I suspect you may have a sore bum on Monday! I contemplated doing it with a friend but was put off not so much by the distance as the fact she's doing a central London start and I am a wuss and hate traffic.

For the straight line in open water thing....I went to an open water swimming coaching session. They recommended sighting every 6 strokes. That seems a lot, but keeps you on course. I do every 6 or every 9. Do a 'crocodile eyes' thing between breaths - don't try to breathe and look at the same time.

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