Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The Almost-Painless Hardcore Distance Set

Here's one for the triathletes and Master's swimmers in our midst:

4 x {
25 hard
50 Distance Pace (DP)
75 hard
100 DP }

5 second rest in between each of the elements, 20 seconds rest in between each repition of the whole set. The key to this set is really making sure that you don't go easy on the DP portions. They should be exactly at your distance pace, not an easy pace. And by 5 seconds rest, I don't mean "round up to the nearest 10 or 15" like so many swimmers do! It's five seconds, no more, no less. So if you normally swim a 1:30 per 100 distance pace, your set might look like:

25 @ 17 seconds, 5 seconds rest
50 @ 45 seconds, 5 seconds rest
75 @ 1:00, 5 seconds rest
100 @ 1:30, 20 seconds rest

This is a great set for many reasons. I like taking it to the outdoor pool in the summer when it's crowded and I need to also keep an eye on my kids. I'm not swimming for more than a minute and a half at any one time, and I end up at both ends of the pool, so it's handy this way. Also, you can do this set in a pool where you can't see the pace clock, which makes it versatile.

This is also a great 1000 yard set to improve your distance swimming. For one thing it doesn't really feel like a long set, it goes by fast. The hard parts are never too long, and broken up by the distance pace. It can really get you to hone in on your distance pace after a hard effort, so in a race situation when you have to work it a little to get ahead of the pack at a buoy turn and then you need to return to your distance pace, you'll know exactly how to do it.

This set is great to do in a mixed group too, it keeps your distance people happy and it keeps your sprinters happy. Nobody can complain too much, yet it's deceptively hard work.

If you really want to do a hardcore set, add this one before or after:
4 x {
100 hard
75 Distance Pace (DP)
50 hard
25 DP }


1 comment:

Bonny said...

This is Greek to me, but my DD says "thanks"