Be ENGAGED in your workouts

Lap swimming can be therapeutic and can provide an escape from the world, but rarely does it provide significant improvement in regards to your swimming ability.  Swimming back and forth, mostly in your sub-aerobic or aerobic energy system will, in time, produce a fitness gain but following a training plan will always be better, and produce superior results.

Once you have your plan (hopefully from the MSCO site) you need to understand the focus of the workout and follow through with what you are being asked to do. 

When a percentage effort number is given, it refers to a perceived effort that you will need to determine.  A pace clock or a watch with a stopwatch (chrono) function will help with this.   You need to know the kind of time 80% or 90% perceived effort will produce.  For example …..here is a simple training set……Swim 9 x 100 on :30 rest w/ #1 – #3 swam at 80% effort…..#4 – #6 swam at 90% effort……and #7 – #9 swam at 100% effort…..freestyle

With this set you will need to hold the first three 100’s at a time that will produce @ 80% of your maximum training heart rate (see heart rate info on our homepage).  The next three 100’s should be swam about 5 – 10 seconds faster than the first three and should produce @ 90% of your maximum heart rate.  Finally, the last three 100’s should be swam about 5 – 10 seconds faster than #’s 4 – #6 (10 – 20 seconds faster than #1 – #3) and produce your maximum training heart rate.   Each group of three 100’s should be produce about the same time.    The result of this set should look something like this……

Maximum training heart rate is determined to be ….. 160 bpm (beats per minute)

1st three 100’s holding 1:30 on 2:00 interval (@:30 seconds rest) ………pulse rate (taken at the end of #3) = @130

2nd three 100’s holding 1:22 on 1:50 interval (@:30 seconds rest)……..pulse rate (taken at the end of #6) = @ 145

last three 100’s holding 1:15 on 1:45 interval (@:30 seconds rest)……..pulse rate (taken at the end of #9) = @ 160

By knowing your time for each repeat 100 and your pulse rate goals you will be much more engaged in this set.  If, after the first three 100’s you find that your pulse rate is too low, you can simply adjust to a faster pace for the next three.  Once you have completed this set, or one like it, a few times you will begin to see progression. 

The hope is that, in time, you will be able to swim faster with less energy used.   

Be engaged in your workouts and your workouts will be much more interesting AND much more productive.