General Discussion Triathlon Talk » Hey swimming gurus.....I have a couple questions Rss Feed  
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2016-06-01 8:12 AM

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Subject: Hey swimming gurus.....I have a couple questions
Something about swimming (kicking with fins? Kicking without fins? something else?) is like manna from Heaven for my runner's knee. It's not really important what it is.....it just IS. I did a wetsuit swim on Saturday (little over a mile)....followed by a big bike and a 5K. Sunday I did my long run. Monday, I get to the pool (Masters class) and the lane lines had been pulled. Since it was a holiday, we were kind of left on our own (this never happens, so it was fine) to do what we wanted to do. Since I have it in the back of my mind to do an IM next year (and it will be wetsuit legal), I thought I'd just swim continuously for the class time (1:15). I used a PB for the entire swim. Point of all this is.....I didn't use my legs very much. 4 mi. run after the swim and the back of my knee starts tightening up on Monday afternoon.

Today, regular masters class. minimal pulling and 2,750 yds of front crawl with maybe 2-300 yds of kicking mixed in. My knee feels new. It's amazing what swimming does for it.

Last year, I joined a neighborhood pool. It's 25 yds.....no lane lines.....but the beauty is I have a key and can swim any time I'd like. I'm thinking of dropping one masters class each week (I've been going 3X/wk) and swimming the other 4-5 mornings at my neighborhood pool. I hear that swimming frequency trumps volume (within reason). Would I get more benefit from a structured class of 2,500-3000 LCM (we're going to a 50M pool for the summer, next week) or 4000-5000 scy done 1K at a time over 4-5 days? I'm envisioning getting in first thing in the morning and just swimming for 1K yds. I don't really see myself doing 20x50's on intervals......but, I'm not saying no to that, either. I'm trying to be realistic (with myself).

Thanks.



2016-06-01 8:40 AM
in reply to: 0

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Subject: RE: Hey swimming gurus.....I have a couple questions
I would think the LCM class would be a better workout. For starters, being long course, there will be less walls to hang on (or at least get a big breath of air at). The pace will likely be quicker, as you will have a coach and peers keeping you moving. And that coach or peers may have some good tips you can pick up on.

As for your knee problem, I can't venture a guess as to how one type of training would be better than the other in that regard.

BTW, I am envious of your having a key to the neighborhood pool.

J White




Edited by Jwse30 2016-06-01 8:41 AM
2016-06-01 2:05 PM
in reply to: nc452010

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Ann Arbor, Michigan
Subject: RE: Hey swimming gurus.....I have a couple questions
Yeah LCM is my vote too.
LCM is harder cause there is no walls (and it is a better mimic to open water than scy). In LCM you have to take so many strokes per length that you have a chance to build into a better rhythm and work on technique without the annoying hassle of so many walls.

As for the knee, that is not very surprising as numerous physical therapists use swimming/ pool exercises as a form of resistance training (without the propensity for overload that weights allow for). Swimming combines resistance training, high number of reps, and aerobic exercise to stimulate strengthening of the muscles and blood flow to joints.
2016-06-01 2:15 PM
in reply to: jckcrlln

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Subject: RE: Hey swimming gurus.....I have a couple questions
Just so we're clear (I'm not questioning either of you....just wanted to make sure I was clear, before)......

I'm talking about ditching 1 LCM workout per week (so, I'd still be doing 2).....for 3-4 days of probably 1K SCY's at my neighborhood pool.

It would seem, if I'm understanding you correctly, that in this instance......frequency does not trump volume (heck....even frequency with more volume isn't winning ).
2016-06-01 2:27 PM
in reply to: nc452010

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Subject: RE: Hey swimming gurus.....I have a couple questions
SCY vs LCM does not matter much if you don't grab the wall, only touch and go or flip.

More days a week would be good except your only going to do 1000 yards? that's only a warm up, get at least 2000 yards in any time you get in the pool. If your masters swim pushes you much harder than you push yourself then it will be better for improving.
2016-06-01 2:47 PM
in reply to: mike761

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Deep in the Heart of Texas
Subject: RE: Hey swimming gurus.....I have a couple questions

Originally posted by mike761  More days a week would be good except your only going to do 1000 yards? that's only a warm up, get at least 2000 yards in any time you get in the pool. If your masters swim pushes you much harder than you push yourself then it will be better for improving.

x2.  I can get really lazy swimming on my own - not a factor in master swim.  I think you are better off with a full, planned 3000  (yd/m) workout whether its long course or short course.  You can still add in some time at the neighborhood pool, just use it for active recovery after a hard workout day or on an off day.



2016-06-01 6:31 PM
in reply to: nc452010

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Subject: RE: Hey swimming gurus.....I have a couple questions
One of the reasons that frequency trumps volume (within reason) is that you hve more frequent opportunities to improve your neuromuscular imprint of swimmign well & improving form.

Improving your skills takes enough repetitions on any given day to benefit from your focus and concentration.

1000yd/m is a great recovery session, but honestly not a lot of time (20 minutes?) to explore technique and skill and imprint an improvement pathway.

If you're doing a 1k swim, it's not for fitness building or skill building most likely. It could be but only if you employ the principals of deilberate practice...putting yourself in the way of errors & discovery of flaws. But it doesn't sound like that's your plan.

If you want a quick local session, I'd personally make it at least 1.5 k (30 minutes?) if you want something resembling an aerobic event.

If you promise to employ deliberate practice and work primarily on skill improvement, the 1k will work fine...but is still on the short side. nevertheless if you do it every day...find one new tiny flaw a day, practice improving that skill (over aerobic volume and long sets) then you'll keep improving.
2016-06-01 6:42 PM
in reply to: nc452010

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Subject: RE: Hey swimming gurus.....I have a couple questions
Originally posted by nc452010


Last year, I joined a neighborhood pool. It's 25 yds.....no lane lines.....but the beauty is I have a key and can swim any time I'd like. I'm thinking of dropping one masters class each week (I've been going 3X/wk) and swimming the other 4-5 mornings at my neighborhood pool. I hear that swimming frequency trumps volume (within reason). Would I get more benefit from a structured class of 2,500-3000 LCM (we're going to a 50M pool for the summer, next week) or 4000-5000 scy done 1K at a time over 4-5 days? I'm envisioning getting in first thing in the morning and just swimming for 1K yds. I don't really see myself doing 20x50's on intervals......but, I'm not saying no to that, either. I'm trying to be realistic (with myself).






I misread what you were saying there. I thought you were going to bow out of the Masters program in lieu of the neighborhood pool. If the practices 3 x a week are too much for you (and your knee!), going a 1000 yds a day would be better than only going 2 x a week with the Masters, especially if you can get the coach to give you a few things to work on between practices.

J White

2016-06-02 12:46 AM
in reply to: nc452010

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Subject: RE: Hey swimming gurus.....I have a couple questions
Skip fins for now. I am a very strong kicker and fuched my right knee up last summer, not saying fins are bad but give your knee a break. Kicking without is just fine.
2016-06-02 1:15 AM
in reply to: nc452010

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Subject: RE: Hey swimming gurus.....I have a couple questions
For me I focused on a plan initially and trusted the plan. That included intervals, and a variety of sprints and Long swims. I did some test 2.4 mile swims in the middle of my lronman plan to see where I was at. I was aiming for a 1 hour 15 mi.n. And was coming in at 1:13. At some point mid way into my plan I backed off and ,maintained my swim fitness with 2-3 swims a week and focused more on the bike and run. My ironman swim ended Up at 1:11.

I liked the variety of the different training sessions that included warm ups with technique drills each swim session. I used the Iron Fit plan that was 30 weeks. I did my long swim sessions usually on a Sunday evenings after my long runs in the morning.

2016-06-02 1:24 PM
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Subject: RE: Hey swimming gurus.....I have a couple questions
I swim two masters sessions a week. My third and sometimes 4th sessions are on my own. Those sessions pretty much always have a set of 100's. For example Saturday I did 16x100's on a set interval. My warmup before that was around 800 then after the 100's it was a 200 cool down.

Very simple.

I've found these tips to be quite useful, this Filliol character makes some good points.

http://joelfilliol.blogspot.com/2012/01/most-popular-post-on-this-b...

I don't think there's going to be a measurable difference between having one of your swims per week be SCY if you do a solid workout on your own.



Edited by reecealan 2016-06-02 1:24 PM


2016-06-02 2:50 PM
in reply to: simpsonbo

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Ann Arbor, Michigan
Subject: RE: Hey swimming gurus.....I have a couple questions

In my years of competitive swimming, we only ever used fins to simulate race speeds in practice. Otherwise there wasn't much benefit to them.

Also on the reps vs volume note, IMO volume is actually important. The more you swim the better you will get at it. However, count volume as time spent in the water and not as a distance. This will allow you to spend time just working on technique and not worrying about distance. Reps don't mean much if you are only swimming a few minutes a day and have no time to get adjusted in the water.
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