Friday, August 1, 2008

Blissful Friday evening workout

During the school year, the gym is way too busy on Friday evenings for me to have such an utterly blissful workout. On the other hand, during the school year it is not usually still eighty degrees at ten o'clock at night, so there you go...

Swim: warmup (all easy) as 25 free - 25 stroke (fly drill) - 50 free - 50 stroke (double-arm back) - 75 free - 75 stroke (breast) - 100 free - 100 stroke (back) - 100 free - 100 stroke (breast) - 75 free - 75 stroke (breast) - 50 free - 50 stroke (back) - 25 free - 25 stroke (fly drill)

2 x 50 fly down, free back with :10 rest, 2 x 50 breast down, free back with :10 rest, 50 back, 50 free

And then it was 8:00 and the pool was closed. 1400 yards total.

Plus 4 treadmill miles. (Too hot to run outside, and the incentive of combining with a swim was irresistible.)


It was the most excellent swim, after just a length or two I felt great, I have not swum for a week and I very much missed it. I did not exercise very much while I was on vacation, but it was an unusually clear example of the need for vacation being much stronger than the need for exercise, it was remarkably beneficial!

The swim warmup was a serendipitous find, one of the few instances where Facebook actually gave me something interesting to read. Tri-blogger IM Able is a Facebook fan of a group whose name immediately caught my eye - Swim Workouts for Triathletes of ALL Levels!

Well, my eyes were as big as SAUCERS when I read this workout, which I am going to paste in for your delectation.

Really a notional future where I am training for an iron-distance triathlon (which I am definitely going to do, barring unforeseen calamity or generally wayward life developments, only the earliest is 2010 and 2011 is more likely!) does not hold such a swim workout as this. I would almost certainly just be doing 2 regular masters swims c. 2500-3000 yards each and one long straight swim of c. 4000 (perhaps broken into 500s). This is described as a 90-minute workout, with total yardage for fastest swimmers of 6200 yards, scaled down to 80% of that for slower lanes; though I am hugely enthusiastic and would definitely do a 6000-yard workout ANY TIME if I could, really it would need to be at least 2 hours, possibly even a bit longer, for me to get through that kind of yardage! It would not be to the point, it would not make sense with my performance goals, it would not be a sensible use of time.

Hmmm, the fact that I am going on about this at such length will probably show how very, very much I would like it if I could do such a workout, though...

Anyway, here it is, courtesy of (non-Facebook link) UCLA-based Bruin Masters Swim:
This workout is strictly aerobic based, designed for those preparing for an Ironman. You’ll need one of these each week if you are serious about doing well in your swim. You’ve made the commitment and paid the money for your race, so you better put in the most effective training.

Nutrition suggestion: Bring your fuel bottle, especially if you have had another workout prior to this one.

Please remember this workout is written for the L1 group, and then scaled down accordingly for the L2 and L3 groups. The post “swim workout guidelines” explains the various groups. Since this workout is specifically designed for an Ironman distance, there is NO scaling down on the main set. All groups do the same distance, just different intervals.

This workout is designed for a short course pool (25 yards or meters, but can be adjusted for a 50 meter pool).


Warm-up: 800 ez (25 free/25 non-free; 50 free/50 non-free; 75 free/75 non-free; 100 free/100 non-free; 75 free/55 non-free; 50 free/50 non-free; 25 free/25 non-free) 1 min break

Warm-up: 4 x 200 pull @ 70% output, 20 sec rest interval, breathing every 3rd stroke on the odd 50s, every 5th stroke on the even 50s.

Warm-up: 8 x 50 swim, 10 sec rest interval. Odd 50s are build-up (slow to fast), the even 50s are build down (fast to slow).

Main set: 40 x 100 (no equipment, i.e. no pull buoys)
I = interval. You’ll need to know the fastest interval you can swim on that gives you about 3-5 sec rest, for four successive 100s @ approximately 80-85% max heart rate. The set intervals are based around your specific individual “fastest” interval. Example: the fastest swimmers should be able to swim 4 x 100 @ 1:05 for yards or 1:10 to 1:15 for long course meters; so their “I” would be 1:05 as in the yards example, or 1:10 as in the meters example.

Set description:
1 x 100 @ I + 15 sec
1 x 100 @ I + 10 sec
1 x 100 @ I + 5 sec
1 x 100 @ I
2 x 100 @ I + 15 sec
2 x 100 @ I + 10 sec
2 x 100 @ I + 5 sec
2 x 100 @ I
3 x 100 @ I + 15 sec
3 x 100 @ I + 10 sec
3 x 100 @ I + 5 sec
3 x 100 @ I
4 x 100 @ I + 15 sec
4 x 100 @ I + 10 sec
4 x 100 @ I + 5 sec
4 x 100 @ I

The super fit should be able to sustain an even pace throughout this set, i.e. swimming 2-5 seconds under their fastest interval on all 40. Others may swim easier on the slower intervals; progressing their output as the rest interval decreases. Example: If your set calls for:

1 x 100 @ 1:30 (you’d swim ez for a 1:25 clock time)
1 x 100 @ 1:25 (you’d pick-up your effort, swimming 1:20 or so)
1 x 100 @ 1:20 (you’d now swim around 1:15-1:16’s)
1 x 100 @ 1:15 (you’d make sure you make the interval, then repeat for the round of 2s, 3s, and 4s).

Warm-down: ez 200.

Distance swam is approximately 6,200 meters/yards for L1. L2 and L3 groups may swim around 80% of that total distance, but you’ll need to do ALL 40 x 100 in the MAIN SET.
All I have to say is...

... !!!!!!!!

(NB I would still have to go on 2:05 rather than 2:00 at current swimming speeds, which is terribly slow for this sort of workout, and I strongly suspect that I could not manage 40 x 100 without falling off that pace a bit.)


Danielle in Iowa said...

What I want to know is: how does one keep track of 40 100s! I lose count when I do 10!

Lynn said...

Next time I'm in New York (no idea when that'll be - maybe January?!?), we really should find a few hours to do this together! It sounds like SO MUCH FUN! :)

Wendy said...

Luckily for a lot of folks, it is not necessary to swim such a workout to complete an Ironman! (But then, I'm not a big fan of 40 x 100 main sets.)

ShirleyPerly said...

Holy Moly! I think I'd have to get a new watch to do that swim workout. My lap counter only goes up to 30. (Then again, do I have any real reason to do it?)