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"Max speed" swim intervals question
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Today's AM workout included 15x100 (scy) "max effort" on 1:40. I suggested that we really wanted to do "best average" because nobody there would be able to do 15 100s all out on 1:40 (at the time, I was the fastest "sprinter" there and held 1:08s). One person, whose current best swim times for anything over 200 are better than mine, said "I can." Well, she started out at 1:07 and the last couple were at 1:11.

The question is, for you folks at that speed and faster, how much rest would you need to do 15x100 all out? Or is it just that "max effort" means "whatever you can do for that interval" even if your speed crumbles as the set progresses? Which approach might yield the best training effect (yeah, too vague a question)?

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Re: "Max speed" swim intervals question [Just Old Again] [ In reply to ]
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I am right at your pace for a "max effort", my opinion is that you would want something around 30-45 seconds rest, probably closer to 30 seconds. Sometimes when we do intervals on the 2:00 at Max effort it feels like the rest is to long and I would actually do better on the set with a little less rest.

I am sure there are some much bigger & faster fish on this sight that can provide better insight.
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Re: "Max speed" swim intervals question [Just Old Again] [ In reply to ]
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If you're talking true 100% sprint effort, probably on the 5:00. Seems like a pretty number for that, and you can fit in a nice super-easy 50 between each one to hopefully cut down on the burn.
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Re: "Max speed" swim intervals question [cam2win] [ In reply to ]
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Not sure if you understood what I wrote: while I held 1:08s, I can bust out a 1:00 if I have enough rest (like a couple of days :-). That is pretty much max effort. And I wouldn't be able to get under 1:20 for a couple of minutes afterwards.

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"i disagree with your analysis [or judgment], nevertheless you have the responsibility of moderating this board so i honor your authority to make the moderating decisions."
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Re: "Max speed" swim intervals question [Just Old Again] [ In reply to ]
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I would go with the 5 minutes too, you need that easy 50 or 100, and then you can get out and do a block start too each time. But with 15 of them, you are still going for average, just a much faster one. There is benifit in both ways to swim it, but I would guess that falling apart and losing your stroke, and swimming 4 or 5 seconds slower at the end is not the best way. You would probably drop 5 or 6 seconds a 100 with that interval too...We used to do this in college, but only 10 of them. It was a challenge set and also a way to check speed and fitness through the season..
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Re: "Max speed" swim intervals question [Just Old Again] [ In reply to ]
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You need more rest to do that set at max effort.

Brian Stover
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Re: "Max speed" swim intervals question [Just Old Again] [ In reply to ]
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Semantics,

100s on 1:40 aren't all that close your absolute max effort.

However they can eaisly be "best average" in that you put in the best you can manage over a set of that type.

But you already knew this.

"Max speed" to me is what others call alactic training, maximum distance is 25s and they would be on 2:30 or so.

In this case if I wanted to 100s at max 100 pace or close to it, like others it would be on 5:00 or possibly up to 7:00
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Re: "Max speed" swim intervals question [Kevin in MD] [ In reply to ]
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As someone relatively new to serious swimming, are these max-sprints, like 100m on 5:00 (wow that's a lot of rest) useful for triathlon swimming?

Just wondering, as I've never done anything like that sort of all-out short stuff, and am curious as to its effectiveness in improving speed over triathlon-distance longer swims.
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Re: "Max speed" swim intervals question [lightheir] [ In reply to ]
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In Reply To:
As someone relatively new to serious swimming, are these max-sprints, like 100m on 5:00 (wow that's a lot of rest) useful for triathlon swimming?

Just wondering, as I've never done anything like that sort of all-out short stuff, and am curious as to its effectiveness in improving speed over triathlon-distance longer swims.

I would have to say no, max 100s on the 5:00 isn't very useful for triathlons, it is much more of a race simulation for traditional swimmers. For triathletes, the best efforts with 30-50sec rest are much more beneficial, everything more is just for fun.

Conversely, when I swam competitively we had a set called "5 5s on 5." it was 5x125s all out on the 5min, and that remains the only set I have ever puked after.

Hoka One One - Field Service Rep
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Re: "Max speed" swim intervals question [Just Old Again] [ In reply to ]
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if your speed doesnt crumble somewhat during that set, then you are not doing it correctly. i would say that the interval should be a little bit quicker than 1:40 when you can hold 1:10's, say maybe 1:30's. in doing that many 100s it sounds more of a challenge to hold your stroke together and pacing. i would say that this would be the best set for triathlon training.

as far as 'max effort', it doesnt sound to much like that type of set. a max effort would not have a total of 1500yds at max. the most probably should be done would be 8 or so and even that is a lot. also there should be more rest +2:00. this would be geared for a competitive swimmer.

i think the best way to now your effort is your HR. dont wear a HR strap in the pool cause that looks horrible IMO, but take your HR say after every 5th one for 10s. dont convert the number to Heartbeats/min, just use the value you got and compare to other sets.
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Re: "Max speed" swim intervals question [monty] [ In reply to ]
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Aside: the 19:22 55yr old woman says her record has already been broken: 18:59. Yikes. Don't know who did it.

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"i disagree with your analysis [or judgment], nevertheless you have the responsibility of moderating this board so i honor your authority to make the moderating decisions."
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Re: "Max speed" swim intervals question [Just Old Again] [ In reply to ]
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You should be slowing down through that set, not maintaining the same pace for all 15. If you are holding the same pace for all 15 then you either are not at max effort or need to reduce the total time for each 100 (ie 95 seconds instead of 100).

In swimming circles many people would call that workout 15 "100's". It being known that you swim 100 on 100 earning whatever rest you take.

Max Effort is not a Sprint. In running terms think of Max Effort like a Hard Tempo run (not a sprint, but getting close).

Dave
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Re: "Max speed" swim intervals question [Just Old Again] [ In reply to ]
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Aside: the 19:22 55yr old woman says her record has already been broken: 18:59. Yikes. Don't know who did it. \\

That really sucks. For 20 years I was a top man pro, for the next 10 I was the top woman pro, then I was a top 10 woman pro and top Ag'er, and my last bit of sports self asteem was that I at least was the top woman in my AG in swimming and sometimes top 5 in my mend AG, now I don't even have that anymore, thanks a lot...(-; I suppose I will have to be content with being the top woman in the 200fly and a few other events the old ladies just do not swim...
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Re: "Max speed" swim intervals question [lightheir] [ In reply to ]
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In the parlance of the american swim coaches association and others these type of sets are called lactate tolerance or perhaps lactate production depending on your view.

They would not be a significant part of a tri swim training program.
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Re: "Max speed" swim intervals question [lightheir] [ In reply to ]
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As someone relatively new to serious swimming, are these max-sprints, like 100m on 5:00 (wow that's a lot of rest) useful for triathlon swimming?\\

A lot of whether it is going to be useful to you or not depends on your goals. I feel that all hard swimming is useful in some way, but if you are just beginning and struggling with 2;00minute 100's, then your time best be spent working on stroke and endurance. But if you are in the top 20% of your group, have to make that swim pack that sprints at the start for 400 before backing off, then this is a good set to do. I have always felt that in all 3 sports, if you quicken your sprint speed it will transfer to your longer efforts. I would only do this type of set a few times a season though, unless I could just swim once a week for an hour, then I would do it almost every week...
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Re: "Max speed" swim intervals question [lightheir] [ In reply to ]
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In Reply To:
As someone relatively new to serious swimming, are these max-sprints, like 100m on 5:00 (wow that's a lot of rest) useful for triathlon swimming?

Just wondering, as I've never done anything like that sort of all-out short stuff, and am curious as to its effectiveness in improving speed over triathlon-distance longer swims.


Standard n=1 disclaimer and all that, but short, HARD efforts on long rest have been hugely beneficial to my swimming.

Last season I was pretty well plateaued at around 22:30 for a wetsuit legal 1500m. My best ever 100 SCY off the blocks at the time was 1:05.

Since then my two staple workouts have been 8 x 200yd on 5:00 and 20 x 50yd on 2:00, for "best average". In my case that means the first rep is always the fastest and the times steadily deteriorate until the end, at which point I feel like I'm about to die from the first push off of the wall, even on the long rest. I generally do each of these workouts once a week, with 2-3 additional workouts of standard masters fare (i.e. aerobic stuff on much shorter rest intervals).

Last weekend I did 58.47 for 100 free and 5:51 for 500 free at a masters meet. Not that those times in and of themselves are all that brag-worthy, but I would've considered sub-1 and sub-6 total pipe dreams last summer. I haven't had a chance to test any of this in a longer open water race yet, but I can now hang on the feet of guys in masters that would lap me in a 400 a few months ago. I think its entirely plausible that I could go sub-20 for a wetsuit-legal 1500m this season.

Like monty already said, if you're really raw you'd be better served focusing on technique, but if you've already plucked all the low hanging fruit there and are finding youself plateaued somewhere in the realm of "mediocre", then hard sprinting may be just the kick in the crotch you need to get to the next level.
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Re: "Max speed" swim intervals question [KoopaTroopa] [ In reply to ]
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I've started tossing in something like 10x150 on 3:00, with the first 50 being "all out", for best average, and feel like its helped me tremendously; I can use blocks and get water "comfortably" (ie, I've got plenty of time, but am anything but comfortable).

Of course then I started training with my ex-collegiate sprinter buddy, and realized how much of a minnow I am outside of age group multi-sport when he swam sub-22 from a flat start with paddles.

edit: Should be noted that I do something like 10x100 or 15x100 in the same workout as these 150s, so while they're quality, they're definitely not like the good old days of yore when we'd do something like 2 or 3x100, and you had to get within some range of the PR, or dryland extended a half hour and involved more pushups than any human can do.
Last edited by: Quantum: Apr 23, 10 22:59
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Re: "Max speed" swim intervals question [Quantum] [ In reply to ]
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I've started tossing in something like 10x150 on 3:00, with the first 50 being "all out", for best average, and feel like its helped me tremendously; \\

That is a great set, the one I like to do and have incorporated into a few pros week before race schedule, is the 4X300, fisrt 100all out, then open turn for time and do the 200 as active recovery. Do those on the 6 minutes. Then for ironman week it is 4X500, first 200 all out and then 300 active recovery on the 9 minutes. THese along with the one you mentioned are great taper workouts a week out to get ready for that blast off at the beginning of every swim for already good swimmers. For MOP'ers it is a great set to do every couple weeks as a challenge set, trying for best average on the hard and recovery swims.

I just started doing my offstrokes again, and I'm doing 24X50 on the minute, 1 fly/back/breast, 2 free recovery, and my speed is coming back fast. As for endurance that is another story, 200 fly or 400 IM is still a month or two away I fear..(-;
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Re: "Max speed" swim intervals question [Just Old Again] [ In reply to ]
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In Reply To:
The question is, for you folks at that speed and faster, how much rest would you need to do 15x100 all out? Or is it just that "max effort" means "whatever you can do for that interval" even if your speed crumbles as the set progresses? Which approach might yield the best training effect (yeah, too vague a question)?

I think Max effort means just that. As hard as you can for each 100. However, I don't see the benefit unless the interval doesn't give you a 1 - 1 1/2 minute rest. The true test for me is am I swimming as hard as I can. Can I maintain concentration and excellent form. Am I going nearly the same time as I would with 5 minutes rest. If you are training to be a pool sprinter there is a good argument for the 5 minute interval, but personally I don't see the purpose for it otherwise.

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Re: "Max speed" swim intervals question [lightheir] [ In reply to ]
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In Reply To:
As someone relatively new to serious swimming, are these max-sprints, like 100m on 5:00 (wow that's a lot of rest) useful for triathlon swimming?

I would say most definitely, and agree with some of the other posters who suggested some even shorter repeats like 50s as well. In fact, I would go so far as to say the most useful speed work might be 25s with 1:1 or higher rest:work ratios. You could do something like 12x25 on 1:30, and in only 18 minutes have a really stimulating experience, one that will force your body to make technical adaptations on the fly -- these will quite likely pay dividends when you go at sustainable paces. The way I look at swimming skill development is that you do two things: 1) develop basic competencies with drills, and 2) do things that cause your neuromuscular system to "integrate" those competencies into useful swimming propulsion. I also find that executing drills (that you can do properly) at a high speed offers a tremendous amount of "integrating" stimulus.

Because of the highly technique dependent nature of swimming, one has to often separate the "technical" from the "physiological" when evaluating the usefulness of a specific training activity. I think swimming far above an aerobically sustainable pace is one of these cases.

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