Hi folks, here’s a quick swimming blog, my take home messages from this blog are:
- Developing effective stroke Mechanics (good technique) leads to faster more efficient swimmers.
- Developing your aerobic fitness will help you go further and faster, with less effort.
- The improved fitness will enable you to train at higher intensities for longer.
- To achieve the above we will look at three types of training sets, with the aim of understanding why, and how we do them, what we hope to gain from them.
This is swum at a low intensity (50%) with a high volume (increased meters swam). The main aims of the Aerobic 1 sets are developing good stroke mechanics, improving the fitness base, while developing the capacity to train. To achieve the above aims Aerobic 1 sets will focus on technique, using drills, kicking, some longer swims maintaining good technique.
All these meters of drills and good technique hopefully leads to good muscle memory. A simple definition of muscle memory, is the muscles over time, with repeat practices lead to good stroke mechanics that become automatic.
Example of Aerobic 1 main set:
4 x 66 pull with PB between ankles
200 free @ 50% effort or gear 1 working turns
4x 66-backstroke drill 200 back as above
4x 66-breaststroke drill
200 breast as above
These sets are swum at 60% effort (Gear 2) with a reasonably high volume of meters, more full stroke, but maintaining good technique. Along with maintaining your technique at a higher effort level, you will improve your aerobic fitness. Aerobic fitness in simple swimming terms is improving the body’s ability to perform the strokes more efficiently, using less energy. Along with the more efficient strokes, with better aerobic fitness we develop an improved ability to maintain effort and recover faster from training. Improved aerobic fitness leads to the ability to repeat more high-quality swims which in turn leads to a swimmer who can go further, faster, with less effort.
Example of Aerobic 2 main set:
8 x 50m kick 10s rest medley order 2 x (fly, back, breast, front)
6 x 150 front crawl with a long smooth stroke, with 15s rest
6 x 100m IM working the turns 15s rest.
These sets are swum at 70% effort (Gear 3). Threshold sets are swum at effort level between aerobic and anaerobic swimming. Swimmer gain advantages from both forms of training, aerobic fitness, improved technique and anaerobic swimming improve explosiveness, speed, agility all competitive swimming skills. However, unlike aerobic swimming, anaerobic swimming produces very high levels of lactate acid so can only be done over short periods, as swimmers do not recover. Threshold holds training between the two energy zones and has several advantages it improves both the aerobic and anaerobic fitness. The improvements in aerobic and anaerobic fitness from threshold training enable swimmers to repeat more high quality repeats swimming sets at higher intensities, leading to faster more competitive swimming. Threshold swimming should be challenging and at first exhausting but it improves a lot, as you get fitter.
Example of a threshold main set:
24 X 100m front crawl swam at 70% effort.
Martin Purcell, Swim Coach