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Need new swimming workout

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Old 01-30-2007, 10:36 PM   #1
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Default Need new swimming workout

Are there any swimmers out there?

I've been swimming 3 days a week for the past 2 months. The first month I started with 100 m breaststroke, 300 m freestyle, and 100 m breaststroke. I slowly increased the freestyle up to 600m. At this point I still needed to catch my breath every 100m or so and my swims were taking me about 30 min.

For Jan. I stuck with the 100 BS, 600 FS, 100 BS and have worked on taking less breaks. I can now usually complete all my laps in 20-22 min.

I need a new challenge for Feb. I'm not sure if I should add more laps, or do something different. I'm not very good at the backstroke and I've never really learned the butterfly. The max time I have is about 30 min for a workout. I own a kickboard and the gym has pool noodles and this things that look like dumbbells with paddle wheels on the ends.

Does anyone have any ideas for how to structure different swimming workouts? What I can seem to find online is either triathlon training or much longer distances or time then I can handle.

Thanks!!
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Old 01-30-2007, 10:42 PM   #2
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I used a book called The Waterproof Coach by Thomas Denes when I was getting started again. Workouts start at about 800 yds (and work up as you progress), mostly freestyle but with some alternate strokes, kicking, etc. Each page of the book is divided into 3 sections (literally divided-cut) so you can pick and choose warm up, main set and cool down, and to top it off the book is waterproof for use near your pool.

Anne
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Old 01-31-2007, 05:36 AM   #3
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You could try alternating arms and legs per lap while using your float. Hold it in your arms and do a lap just kicking. Then hold it between your legs and just pull with your arms.

Also how about interval training in the pool? Do 1 lap really really fast, then do 3 moderate pace until you recover, then another sprint lap.

IMHO butterfly is over-rated and just annoys other people in the pool since you can't help but make a HUGE splash!
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Old 01-31-2007, 08:24 AM   #4
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Anne, I'm thinking about doing a tri this summer. I can do freestyle, and that is all. However, right now I'm training for a 25K, so I can't get a lot of swimming in. One, maybe two days per week. Should I be doing other strokes? Or should I just concentrate on getting my endurance on the freestyle up until after the 25K?
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Old 01-31-2007, 07:53 PM   #5
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Thanks for the suggestions. That book sounds great.
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Old 01-31-2007, 09:01 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MissDee View Post
Anne, I'm thinking about doing a tri this summer. I can do freestyle, and that is all. However, right now I'm training for a 25K, so I can't get a lot of swimming in. One, maybe two days per week. Should I be doing other strokes? Or should I just concentrate on getting my endurance on the freestyle up until after the 25K?
I guess I'll pretend I know what I'm talking about and I'm the Anne you want!

FWIW, I swim freestyle almost exclusively. I've been known to throw in some breaststroke, backstroke and sidestroke now and then, but almost never do more than 100yds of mixed strokes in any given workout. Some triathletes swear by mixing up strokes to keep from overworking the same muscles, but they tend to be folks from a swimming background.

I can maintain my swim speed and endurance on one session a week, and build on 2 hard sessions or 3 moderate ones. I don't know what your swim strengths and weaknesses are so you may need to do something totally different. If you are new(ish) to swimming the best investment is to find a swim coach to work with you on your stroke for a session or two since efficiency in the water is very important and you can probably get more gains there than lots of work on endurance and speed with poor technique. If you are a more experienced swimmer, I'd do a minimum of once a week to keep your feel for it, and add more as you can. It is also great non-impact cross training for running if you get worn down and need a day off.

Anne
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Old 02-02-2007, 07:49 AM   #7
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Thank you for this. The tri I'll be training for has a 1/2 mile swim. I've never even watched a triathlon! I was wondering if I needed the other strokes for the tri, but it sounds like I can get by with just the freestyle. I worked with a coach on my freestyle for a while in the fall. I wish I had time for more swimming! I guess everything else is academic if I can't get time in the water.
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Old 02-02-2007, 08:00 AM   #8
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The only other thing I can think of, is that an open water swim is quite different than a pool swim and you might want to practice that once or twice, unless you are very comfortable. Wetsuits change things up quite a bit as well, if you wear one.

Anne
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Old 02-02-2007, 09:47 PM   #9
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DD"s swim team makes them swim all the strokes with only one arm at a time. So, in freestyle, your left arm would be outstretched forward and your right arm would be the only one stroking. Quite challenging. Do one lap this way then switch. They do this with free and back.
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