Interval Training for SwimmingWritten by Kevin Koskella
Training for a distance swimming event is very different from training for a run or cycling event. When training for a marathon, for example, you would start out with short runs, and gradually increase your mileage each week as you build up endurance. You may work on sprints to increase speed, but overall goal is to run further or for a longer period of time to get ready for event. When training for an open water swim or triathlon, you must do much more than just swim more laps each time you hop in pool.
First of all, you have to understand that racing any distance over about 200 yards consists of using a combination of aerobic endurance and anaerobic endurance. Aerobic means ‘with oxygen.’ During aerobic work body is working at a level where demands for oxygen and fuel can be met by body’s intake. Anaerobic means ‘without oxygen.’ During anaerobic work, involving maximum effort, body is working so hard that demands for oxygen and fuel exceed rate of supply and muscles have to rely on stored reserves of fuel. Anaerobic training is generally attained at around 75% of maximum heart rate.
Interval training is used to describe system of multiple repeat swims used in most swim training programs. An example is a set of 10 repeats of 100’s at 80% effort with 10-20 seconds rest between swims. The best way to improve aerobic endurance is through short rest periods. The most effective aerobic fitness training occurs when a swimmer begins next repeat with their breathing and heart rate still considerably elevated from previous swim. This condition causes physiological systems to remain overloaded for entire set of repeats, including both rest and work periods.
Are You Out of Shape for Swimming?Written by Kevin Koskella
Have you taken a break from swimming? Do you feel out of shape and feel need to get back in shape quickly? Here are some tips to help you get back to feeling best you can in water:
1. Don't try to do too much too soon. Start out with long, slow swims. If you can't do long swims, start with short, slow swims and little by little build up your endurance.
2. Don't jump in "fast lane". If you are doing masters, don't be tempted to "pick up where you left off." Swallow your pride and start out a lane or two slower than when you last worked out.
3. Don't use fins for speed. Fins are great for technique work and drills, but worst thing you can do is to throw on a pair of fins to "keep up."
4. Swim often. Even if you only have 20-30 minutes a day, get in water as much as possible rather than doing fewer workouts and staying in longer. In other words, it would be better to swim 4 days a week, 30 minutes each time than to swim 2 days at 1 hour per session.