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Swimming Plateau
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Hi,

Since I am injured and can neither run or bike for the next weeks, I am focusing on my swim. I am stuck in the 4:40-4:45min range 400scm for the past few years. I swim usually 10-20km a week but had a bit of a break from swimming this summer/fall from august to november since I focused on cycling before my injury. I just started again and swam two weeks with five sessions and around 25k in total per week.
I am already back in around 4:50-4:45min shape I guess from recent workouts. Now how can I improve another 10-20sec on the 400m?
I am swimming 5-6x and do two core workouts per week atm. Any specific sessions? Up the volume even more?
Last edited by: bentus: Dec 11, 18 14:43
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Re: Swimming Plateau [bentus] [ In reply to ]
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How old are you, and what is your swim background? like lifetime best 400m? SCM, LCM. How far removed from that PR?

All of those facts are pertinent to any advice you get. If you are 50 and have been swimming for just 5 years, vs being 28 and got out of a D1 program at 23, I think you can see the difference...
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Re: Swimming Plateau [monty] [ In reply to ]
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I am 23 and swam until I was 16 in a club (European) then I switched to short course triathlon ( draft legal) which I have been doing the last seven years. To get out of the water in front, I want to bring down my 200/400/800m.
My lifetime best is a 4:40scm but I swam that time in practice. When I was still a club swimmer I wasnt that focused on sports and slower.
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Re: Swimming Plateau [bentus] [ In reply to ]
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Ok, so you were a good to average high school distance swimmer, so my advice would be to just get into a lane with some fast dudes, and try and keep up. You can ask the coach for advice on your stroke, or even post up some videos here, but you obviously already have pretty good efficiency, so more a function of training.

You can get faster on 20k a week, if it is with the right lane mates. Otherwise you will have to be diligent training alone, focusing on 50's to 200 speed. Just remember dropping a second off your 100 will trickle up usually, if it is done in an extended distance set with short rest...
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Re: Swimming Plateau [bentus] [ In reply to ]
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The best thing you can do is workout with swimmers that are faster than you are. Get in a group with fast swimmers where you are the slow guy in the lane.
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Re: Swimming Plateau [bentus] [ In reply to ]
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bentus wrote:
Hi,

Since I am injured and can neither run or bike for the next weeks, I am focusing on my swim. I am stuck in the 4:40-4:45min range 400scm for the past few years. I swim usually 10-20km a week but had a bit of a break from swimming this summer/fall from august to november since I focused on cycling before my injury. I just started again and swam two weeks with five sessions and around 25k in total per week.
I am already back in around 4:50-4:45min shape I guess from recent workouts. Now how can I improve another 10-20sec on the 400m?
I am swimming 5-6x and do two core workouts per week atm. Any specific sessions? Up the volume even more?

Honestly, no secrets here. It’s about volume, specifically volume at intensity. If you can’t run or bike, take advantage and bump up the volume.

____________________________________
Swimming Workout of the Day: http://forum.slowtwitch.com/...ost=5784860#5784860;
Favourite Swim Sets: http://forum.slowtwitch.com/...m.cgi?;post=5004659;
Winner of the 2017 50 fly east coast Smackdown. http://forum.slowtwitch.com/...ost=6294538#p6294538
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Re: Swimming Plateau [JasoninHalifax] [ In reply to ]
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Thank you for your advice. I dont really have a coach. I am Swimming on my own or with my triathlon Club but most members are much slower. There is only one day where there are fast guys present and I cant make it every week at that specific time.
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Re: Swimming Plateau [bentus] [ In reply to ]
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bentus wrote:
Hi,

Since I am injured and can neither run or bike for the next weeks, I am focusing on my swim. I am stuck in the 4:40-4:45min range 400scm for the past few years. I swim usually 10-20km a week but had a bit of a break from swimming this summer/fall from august to november since I focused on cycling before my injury. I just started again and swam two weeks with five sessions and around 25k in total per week.
I am already back in around 4:50-4:45min shape I guess from recent workouts. Now how can I improve another 10-20sec on the 400m?
I am swimming 5-6x and do two core workouts per week atm. Any specific sessions? Up the volume even more?

At the risk of being inflammatory, if you are swimming circa 4.45 400m SCM then there isn't a lot of triathlon related gain to be had, that will put you front of pack. So just keep up the good work (I am jealous :-) )
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Re: Swimming Plateau [bentus] [ In reply to ]
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Two things can make you faster; form and fitness. If you're a 4:40-4:45 400m swimmer, your form can't be that far off the mark. And +/- 15k/week is enough volume that, if the intensity is sufficient, you should have reasonably good swim fitness. The good news is, you're pretty damn fast already. The bad news is, there probably aren't any easy gains from here. Doubling your volume for a season might get you a second or two a hundred; maybe 3 with a good taper. Has to be properly structured, though. A really good coach might help you fine-tune your stroke for a second or two a hundred....if you are able to incorporate his/her suggestions into your stroke, and "over-write" the muscle memory you have of your current stroke.

I'd be curious what a week of your current training looks like. You might be able to make some gains at your current volume just be restructuring what your workouts look like.

"They're made of latex, not nitroglycerin"
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Re: Swimming Plateau [bentus] [ In reply to ]
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More swimming at your goal pace, most people try to hit pace on too short of a rest. Start with something like
3 rounds of

16-20x25 @ 25 try to hit 16 on all of them...
200 easy in between

I'm 41 and have recently swam
4:14 / 4:24 (scm/lcm) 400m - 2017
8:51.1 (scm) 800m - 2018
16:58.9/17:32.0 1500m (scm/lcm) 2017
4:51 400 IM (scm)
58.9 100 Fly (scm)
2:13 200 Fly (scm)
2:14 200 IM (scm)
2:15 200 Back (scm)
2:37 200 Breast (scm)

I swim 3-5x most weeks with most sessions in the 2500-3000m range, nothing over 4000m in the last while.

My gut says you need more top end. What's an all out 100 looking like?

___________________________________________
http://en.wikipedia.org/...eoesophageal_fistula
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cerebral_palsy
Canadian Record Holder 35-39M & 40-44M - 200 m Butterfly (LCM)
Last edited by: realAB: Dec 11, 18 17:55
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Re: Swimming Plateau [tuckandgo] [ In reply to ]
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Well it all depends. For long-course probably not so much but in the higher german short course draft legal leaugues with my times you are only semi-competitive. For the first division, you need to swim between 4:20-4:40 or even faster to catch the front group. That is why I want to improve to the next level.
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Re: Swimming Plateau [realAB] [ In reply to ]
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Sounds good. I will try that. I havent swum a swimming meet or anything like that in a really long time. So no clue how fast I could go for the 100m. In practice we did a 50m all out in spring and I did a 29,xx I guess. With start form the blocks.
The set sounds good especially since the first 200m are very very important in the mass start events. If you are in front at the first buoy and catch good feet, the swim isnt that hard anymore in my experience. But if you are stuck behind because your start is slow, it becomes hell against 50-80 other triathletes that are similar in strenght

Those are great times btw. I am envious for your 400m times.
Last edited by: bentus: Dec 12, 18 4:11
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Re: Swimming Plateau [realAB] [ In reply to ]
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realAB wrote:
More swimming at your goal pace, most people try to hit pace on too short of a rest. Start with something like
3 rounds of

16-20x25 @ 25 try to hit 16 on all of them...
200 easy in between

I'm 41 and have recently swam
4:14 / 4:24 (scm/lcm) 400m - 2017
8:51.1 (scm) 800m - 2018
16:58.9/17:32.0 1500m (scm/lcm) 2017
4:51 400 IM (scm)
58.9 100 Fly (scm)
2:13 200 Fly (scm)
2:14 200 IM (scm)
2:15 200 Back (scm)
2:37 200 Breast (scm)

I swim 3-5x most weeks with most sessions in the 2500-3000m range, nothing over 4000m in the last while.

My gut says you need more top end. What's an all out 100 looking like?

How does a typical session look like for you? I always swim between 3500m-5500m. I have alot of time at the moment, so I would hesitate to reduce the volume.


A typcial session at my tri club looks something like this:

400 easy WU
8x50m 25drill/25 normal
4x100m medley
12x100m @1:30 or 1:45 every 4. fast
2-3x5x200m 1. with fins
2. 25 kick 150 arms 25kick
3. 25ez,25,medium,25fast
4. 4x50m Paddles
5. 200 medium

200 CD

So not much intensity. On my own, I do sets of 20x50m for example <35sec @55. I did this set yesterday.
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Re: Swimming Plateau [bentus] [ In reply to ]
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Here is a Video of me swimming around 400m Pace. It was filmed in June. I notice my ass is getting up and looks weird when I breath to the left.

I noticed that I swim faster if I only breathe to the right side. But in practice I switch sides every three strokes so I train both sides.
Last edited by: bentus: Dec 12, 18 4:56
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Re: Swimming Plateau [bentus] [ In reply to ]
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bentus wrote:

Here is a Video of me swimming around 400m Pace. It was filmed in June. I notice my ass is getting up and looks weird when I breath to the left.

I noticed that I swim faster if I only breathe to the right side. But in practice I switch sides every three strokes so I train both sides.

you can do that in practice if you want, but it isn't necessary. I typically alternate breathe when I'm doing pull sets, but when swimming hard (i.e. 400 race pace and up) it's only to the right. That's how I race, so it's better (in my mind) to get the timing and rhythm nailed in practice.

____________________________________
Swimming Workout of the Day: http://forum.slowtwitch.com/...ost=5784860#5784860;
Favourite Swim Sets: http://forum.slowtwitch.com/...m.cgi?;post=5004659;
Winner of the 2017 50 fly east coast Smackdown. http://forum.slowtwitch.com/...ost=6294538#p6294538
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Re: Swimming Plateau [tuckandgo] [ In reply to ]
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tuckandgo wrote:
bentus wrote:
Hi,

Since I am injured and can neither run or bike for the next weeks, I am focusing on my swim. I am stuck in the 4:40-4:45min range 400scm for the past few years. I swim usually 10-20km a week but had a bit of a break from swimming this summer/fall from august to november since I focused on cycling before my injury. I just started again and swam two weeks with five sessions and around 25k in total per week.
I am already back in around 4:50-4:45min shape I guess from recent workouts. Now how can I improve another 10-20sec on the 400m?
I am swimming 5-6x and do two core workouts per week atm. Any specific sessions? Up the volume even more?

At the risk of being inflammatory, if you are swimming circa 4.45 400m SCM then there isn't a lot of triathlon related gain to be had, that will put you front of pack. So just keep up the good work (I am jealous :-) )

Yes first I thought there was some kind of writing error in his post or SCM does not mean meter (does SCM mean meter?) , anyway I have got nothing to do in this thread, after 4:45 I just hit, heavily gasping, the wall after 250m.
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Re: Swimming Plateau [JasoninHalifax] [ In reply to ]
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JasoninHalifax wrote:
bentus wrote:

Here is a Video of me swimming around 400m Pace. It was filmed in June. I notice my ass is getting up and looks weird when I breath to the left.

I noticed that I swim faster if I only breathe to the right side. But in practice I switch sides every three strokes so I train both sides.

you can do that in practice if you want, but it isn't necessary. I typically alternate breathe when I'm doing pull sets, but when swimming hard (i.e. 400 race pace and up) it's only to the right. That's how I race, so it's better (in my mind) to get the timing and rhythm nailed in practice.

I don't like that big dead spot at the front of your stroke, especially not with a straight arm recovery like you have. Looks like you're just doing that when you breathe, so I think what's happening is that you are breathing a bit late in the cycle. You're basically entering the water at full extension, so you really want to start initiating the catch and grabbing water earlier in the stroke. Your strokes per length might go up, but that's OK.

____________________________________
Swimming Workout of the Day: http://forum.slowtwitch.com/...ost=5784860#5784860;
Favourite Swim Sets: http://forum.slowtwitch.com/...m.cgi?;post=5004659;
Winner of the 2017 50 fly east coast Smackdown. http://forum.slowtwitch.com/...ost=6294538#p6294538
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Re: Swimming Plateau [longtrousers] [ In reply to ]
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SCM = 25 metre pool
LCM = 50 metre pool
SCY = 25 yard pool

Water Polo pool = 33.3 metre pool
(common in Europe)

___________________________________________
http://en.wikipedia.org/...eoesophageal_fistula
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cerebral_palsy
Canadian Record Holder 35-39M & 40-44M - 200 m Butterfly (LCM)
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Re: Swimming Plateau [bentus] [ In reply to ]
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ok today was a bit of a threshold day, total volume of 3200m.

300 warm up (50 free/25 bk)
4x (w/fins)
75 Fly kick @ 1:15
50 swim choice strong @ 55

main set/series
300 Free pull w/paddles @ 4:30 /1:08 pace
4 x 150 Free @ 2:05 / 1:09 pace
4 x 75 Bk @ 1:15 / 1:15 pace
4 x 100 Free @ 1:30 / 1:08 pace
4x
75 IM (Fly/Bk/Br) @ 1:20
50 Free @ 55 / hold 31

3x
3 x 25 Fly @ 25 - Back end speed (100 Fly)
60 between rounds
75 easy.

The bulk of the main set was at or just a bit easier than my 1500m pace.

Monday was anaerobic capacity about 2500m total with a 4 round main set.

75@ 2:15
2 x 50 @ 1:30
3 x 25 @ 45
150 easy (25 kick 25 swim) rest 60-90
I did it in IM order with a full round on each stroke.

___________________________________________
http://en.wikipedia.org/...eoesophageal_fistula
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cerebral_palsy
Canadian Record Holder 35-39M & 40-44M - 200 m Butterfly (LCM)
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