General Discussion Triathlon Talk » Swimming - Why is my first 100 faster than my others Rss Feed  
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2017-02-16 4:47 PM


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Subject: Swimming - Why is my first 100 faster than my others
So I have noticed something pretty consistent with my swimming and that is my average time for 100yards on the first 100 is substantially faster than my average 100y time for all other sets. Now I realize fatigue clearly is the answer as I get deeper into a workout, but it still seems a bit odd to me. So I start every warmup with 100y and my time is consistently around 1:40/100y. Then I usually swim either a couple 50s or 100s for the rest of my warmup with some rest in between. Without fail my average time drops to about 2:00 to 2:05/100y for the rest of those. I tend to bi-lateral breathe during that initial 100y, but switch to single side after my warmup. I also try to go out nice and slow in my warmup and just relax.

My guess with later sets is obviously I am fatigued, I am not as relaxes and as such not swimming as smooth and my legs drop causing more drag. But if my first 100y, which I think I am going nice and easy on, is at 1:40/100y...am I actually swimming it too hard. I would think I should just be able to swim that easily the whole time and keep cranking out the 1:40 pace.


2017-02-16 5:17 PM
in reply to: cdoug55

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Subject: RE: Swimming - Why is my first 100 faster than my others
Have you tried to swim say a 2:10 first 100? Do you do the same with your runs, is your first mile the fastest
2017-02-16 8:15 PM
in reply to: cdoug55

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Subject: RE: Swimming - Why is my first 100 faster than my others

Originally posted by cdoug55

So I have noticed something pretty consistent with my swimming and that is my average time for 100yards on the first 100 is substantially faster than my average 100y time for all other sets. Now I realize fatigue clearly is the answer as I get deeper into a workout, but it still seems a bit odd to me. So I start every warmup with 100y and my time is consistently around 1:40/100y. Then I usually swim either a couple 50s or 100s for the rest of my warmup with some rest in between. Without fail my average time drops to about 2:00 to 2:05/100y for the rest of those. I tend to bi-lateral breathe during that initial 100y, but switch to single side after my warmup. I also try to go out nice and slow in my warmup and just relax.

My guess with later sets is obviously I am fatigued, I am not as relaxes and as such not swimming as smooth and my legs drop causing more drag. But if my first 100y, which I think I am going nice and easy on, is at 1:40/100y...am I actually swimming it too hard. I would think I should just be able to swim that easily the whole time and keep cranking out the 1:40 pace.

Without seeing you swim, I suspect that you have some significant technique and balance issues.  That first 100 you are fresh and able to overcome poor form and technique.  Very quickly you begin to go anaerobic, technique and form breaks down further,  and you begin to slow down.

At 2:00/100 there is quite a lot of "low hanging" technique fruit that you can pick.  Getting lessons and/or coaching from a qualified coach/instructor will pay huge dividends and in fairly short order, you will be swimming much more efficiently and faster.

Good luck!

2017-02-16 8:32 PM
in reply to: #5213759

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Subject: RE: Swimming - Why is my first 100 faster than my others
What Scott said. My first 100y in my warmup often feels effortless and I hit 1:29/30. By the time I get into my work sets I start to fatigue and I can feel my technique is going to hell and the times go up with it. At the end of some hard sets I feel like I'm just fighting the water not to drown.
2017-02-17 9:06 AM
in reply to: cdoug55

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Subject: RE: Swimming - Why is my first 100 faster than my others
Swim shorter reps at the faster pace. Do enough of that and you will be able to do longer reps after a while.
2017-02-17 9:36 AM
in reply to: simpsonbo

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Subject: RE: Swimming - Why is my first 100 faster than my others
I would say in addition to fatigue that your form is likely breaking down. Count your strokes - that will tell you if you're form is getting sloppy (if you're taking more strokes than the 1st 100, chances are you're not swimming smooth, not engaging your core, not rotating, etc).


2017-02-17 10:32 AM
in reply to: Toefuzz

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Subject: RE: Swimming - Why is my first 100 faster than my others
I also swim my first 100 much faster than most of the rest of my swim.
My reason may not be the same as yours but - the pool I swim in is, to me, COLD.
I purposely really push that first 100 to get my body warm. After a hard 100 I am fairly comfortable with the temperature and can slow down to a sustainable pace. Maybe if you are cold, you are subconsciously doing something similar?

When the weather is cold outside, my runs often follow the same pattern. I start a little fast to get warm, then settle in to a pace that is more reasonable for me.

2017-02-17 11:53 AM
in reply to: DennisF6

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Subject: RE: Swimming - Why is my first 100 faster than my others
My first 100 in a set is usually the fastest but by only by a few seconds. I don't go out hard in the first one but I know my stroke, body position and flip turns are pretty solid in that first one. Then later on in the set things are not an optimum. A typical set of 100's for me is 16 or so. If I average 1:20 for the set, the fastest would typically be 1:17-1:18 and the slowest would be 1:22-1:23.

So percentage wise my fastest (which is usually the first one) is approx. 4% faster than the average and about 8% faster than the slowest.

I don't know if this is typical for very strong swimmers. I am not fast when it comes to short sprints, my fastest 100 in a workout is around 1:12 and that's all out early in the workout. If I do a "fast" set of 4x100's I'll typically average 1:18-1:19 for the set of 4 so not a huge drop off for me if I do a set of 16 or 20.

Our masters swim coach says stuff like "you only have one speed" LOL

I swim 3x/week typically each swim is 3K yards average and once you get into some kind of "swim shape" and your stroke becomes better you won't see such dramatic drop-offs from your first swim to your last one.

2017-02-17 12:19 PM
in reply to: k9car363

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Subject: RE: Swimming - Why is my first 100 faster than my others

Originally posted by k9car363

Originally posted by cdoug55

So I have noticed something pretty consistent with my swimming and that is my average time for 100yards on the first 100 is substantially faster than my average 100y time for all other sets. Now I realize fatigue clearly is the answer as I get deeper into a workout, but it still seems a bit odd to me. So I start every warmup with 100y and my time is consistently around 1:40/100y. Then I usually swim either a couple 50s or 100s for the rest of my warmup with some rest in between. Without fail my average time drops to about 2:00 to 2:05/100y for the rest of those. I tend to bi-lateral breathe during that initial 100y, but switch to single side after my warmup. I also try to go out nice and slow in my warmup and just relax.

My guess with later sets is obviously I am fatigued, I am not as relaxes and as such not swimming as smooth and my legs drop causing more drag. But if my first 100y, which I think I am going nice and easy on, is at 1:40/100y...am I actually swimming it too hard. I would think I should just be able to swim that easily the whole time and keep cranking out the 1:40 pace.

Without seeing you swim, I suspect that you have some significant technique and balance issues.  That first 100 you are fresh and able to overcome poor form and technique.  Very quickly you begin to go anaerobic, technique and form breaks down further,  and you begin to slow down.

At 2:00/100 there is quite a lot of "low hanging" technique fruit that you can pick.  Getting lessons and/or coaching from a qualified coach/instructor will pay huge dividends and in fairly short order, you will be swimming much more efficiently and faster.

Good luck!

I think Scott is spot on.  When we move through the water, we generate lift, like an airplane wing.  Faster = more lift.  Slower = less lift.  More lift can help compensate for less than ideal technique and balance.  As soon as you start to fatigue and slow down a little, the amount of lift decreases, and balance deteriorates causing a tendency for hips and legs to sink, slowing you even more, causing you to work harder and fatigue more, slowing you even more, etc.  This is one of the reasons that intentionally swimming slowly can be a great drill for revealing balance issues and improve them.

 

2017-02-17 2:06 PM
in reply to: cdoug55

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Subject: RE: Swimming - Why is my first 100 faster than my others
I just looked at the data from my swim today. I did 200 yards, taking a break at 1700 yards. For both "sets" I averaged around 1:47/100. For both sets the first 100's were 1:39 and 1:37, the two fastest. FYI, after having HIM with OWS without a wetsuit and seeing how much slower i was, this off season I'm focusing much more on balance and streamlining as opposed to doing intervals for speed. I figure I can get more improvement this way and focus on speed later.
2017-02-17 10:21 PM
in reply to: nickster


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Subject: RE: Swimming - Why is my first 100 faster than my others
Thanks all for the responses. I figured it was a mix of fatifue and breakdown of form. I just thought that difference was pretty substantial and I always feel like I take that first 100 pretty easy. Guess Ill try to slow it down even more in fact try and slow everything down a bit more so as not to go anerobic. One thing I have noticed since starting to swim with a masters group is that after that warm up my average 100 time over all my various sets hovers right around 2:05/100. So i guess im consistent and thats a good thing, right?


2017-02-17 10:22 PM
in reply to: ThomasGerlach ProTri


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Subject: RE: Swimming - Why is my first 100 faster than my others
Originally posted by ThomasGerlach ProTri

Have you tried to swim say a 2:10 first 100? Do you do the same with your runs, is your first mile the fastest


No my first mile is always slow because i make sure to keep it slow. Perhaps because i can actually watch my pace while running i can pace better than in swimming
2017-02-19 8:04 PM
in reply to: cdoug55

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Subject: RE: Swimming - Why is my first 100 faster than my others
Under race conditions that's pretty normal. In training you are probably breaking down technicallyrics speaking. Do lots of 50s and 25s. Then go back to 100s in 8 weeks or so.
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