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2018-09-08 3:16 PM


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Subject: Swim Pacing and Fatigue?
Gang-alang -

So, I had a serendipitous thing happen last week - I found a gym less than 5 mins from my house with a 25y lap pool and I found out my work will reimburse me a gym membership. Naturally, I signed up and had my first swim session today.

As a quick aside; I would classify myself as an extremely competent swimmer. My cardioaquatic shape, though - that's what needs honing.

Anyway, I figured today I'd just try to see if I could swim, at whatever pace, the full race distance without stopping. That quickly got nixed. I swam a quick warm up (my session was trying to wedge in while my daughters napped). What I ended up doing was this;

4 x 150y (crawl)
1 x 50y (crawl)
1x 100y (breast stroke, recovery)
1x 50y (speed)

(none of this includes warm up / cool down)

Here are the individual 150's
1 x 150 (2:39) Rest 30
1 x 150 (2:41) Rest 30
1 x 150 (2:47) Rest 45
1 x 150 (2:43)
*You'll note this does not add up to 750. That's because I can't math good and counted my laps incorrectly, hence the recovery/speed work incorporated into total to push above the 750m race mark.

Now, I understand that a) these times aren't great and b) stopping to rest doesn't really happen in a race. I think I have the same problem with swimming that I do with running, which is - when I'm not on a treadmill I have a real problem with pace. I don't know how to slow down. Setting aside that my pace is generally bad, i need to make it a little worse to iron out those necessary rest breaks. Does anyone have any experience with starting out too fast and/or tips and tricks to pace yourself to avoid burning up early? Thanks.

LaS.

Edited by LiftAndShoot 2018-09-08 3:16 PM


2018-09-08 4:16 PM
in reply to: #5249118

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Subject: RE: Swim Pacing and Fatigue?
In have to start out way slower than I plan my pace to be and then work down to my target pace.

As far as resting in a race, people actually do during the swim portion. You can hold onto to a buoy or kayak and rest as long as you don’t make forward progress. I am doing Augusta 70.3 on 9/23 and plan to possibly take a buoy break around the midpoint.

What broke me from taking a lot of rest breaks during swim training was doing more open water swims. There isn’t a wall to stop at every so many yards.
2018-09-08 5:22 PM
in reply to: LiftAndShoot

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Subject: RE: Swim Pacing and Fatigue?

As you swim more, the rest intervals will come down.  You might consider focusing on shorter length intervals (50s and 100s).

Slowing down is basically psychological.  You have to convince yourself that it is OK to go at a pace that feel ridiculously slow.  Make it a challenge.  You're swimming around 1:50/100.  Challenge yourself to swim 100 in 2:00.  If you come in under 2:00, you failed.  Try again.

2018-09-09 7:34 AM
in reply to: #5249119


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Subject: RE: Swim Pacing and Fatigue?
Really good question, my issue with swimming is that I struggle to go slow and end up fatigued quickly, if I go slow my legs drop and I feel I don’t have he forward momentum. Keep me posted on what you do to address the challenges you face.
2018-09-09 2:43 PM
in reply to: Tri-Ing26

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Subject: RE: Swim Pacing and Fatigue?

Originally posted by Tri-Ing26... if I go slow my legs drop and I feel I don’t have he forward momentum.

It sounds like you need to work on your balance in the water.  There are drills that can help.  It makes a huge difference.

2018-09-10 2:56 AM
in reply to: LiftAndShoot

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Subject: RE: Swim Pacing and Fatigue?

Originally posted by LiftAndShoot

Here are the individual 150's

1 x 150 (2:39) Rest 30
1 x 150 (2:41) Rest 30
1 x 150 (2:47) Rest 45
1 x 150 (2:43)

Now, I understand that a) these times aren't great and b) stopping to rest doesn't really happen in a race. I think I have the same problem with swimming that I do with running, which is - when I'm not on a treadmill I have a real problem with pace. I don't know how to slow down. Setting aside that my pace is generally bad, i need to make it a little worse to iron out those necessary rest breaks. Does anyone have any experience with starting out too fast and/or tips and tricks to pace yourself to avoid burning up early?

Thanks. LaS.

Your splits from the 4 x 150 work out to an average pace of ~ 1:48/100y.  That pace indicates you have technique issues that need to be sorted out.  Those technique issues are causing you to become anaerobic while you swim which directly leads to the fatigue you are experiencing.  This ISN'T about pacing at this point.  If you slow down in an effort to delay "blowing up" you'll actually make things worse because your balance in the water will be even worse - your legs will drop more than they likely already are, causing you to work harder and forcing you to become anaerobic even more quickly.

The best thing you can do for your swimming at this point is arrange a series of lessons with a qualified coach/instructor.  As you improve your technique, I'd suggest shorter intervals with sufficient rest that you can maintain proper technique.  There is nothing wrong with doing 50's or even 25's.  As you build your swim fitness you can lengthen the intervals.

Using your times from the 4 x 150 as a guide, you might consider starting out with something like 10 x 50 @ 1:15 send-off.  That will get you started working on the fitness part.  More importantly however is improving your technique.  Good technique and swim fitness are two sides of the same coin.  You can't have one without the other and they must be developed simultaneously.  The quickest easiest way to do that is through lessons.

Hope that helps.



2018-09-10 2:58 AM
in reply to: Tri-Ing26

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Official BT Coach
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Subject: RE: Swim Pacing and Fatigue?

Originally posted by Tri-Ing26 Really good question, my issue with swimming is that I struggle to go slow and end up fatigued quickly, if I go slow my legs drop and I feel I don’t have he forward momentum. Keep me posted on what you do to address the challenges you face.

If your legs are dropping AT ANY POINT or at any speed, you likely have similar issues to the OP - you have technique issues that need to be sorted out.  See my comments to the OP.

2018-09-13 4:02 PM
in reply to: LiftAndShoot

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Subject: RE: Swim Pacing and Fatigue?
Typically I recommend working on mechanics and pace will fall out naturally.

Some people have issues when they don't breathe enough. How many strokes between breathes do you take? If you do more than 3, you probably need to scale back to get enough air.

Also working on drills may help you lengthen your stroke and require less strokes per length = less energy needed.

If you swim windmill style, you'll wear out.

Mix in easy, medium and hard efforts so you can get a feel for the difference.

I like a drill where you do something like 10 to 15 pushups as fast as you can and then jump in the pool and try to calm down while swimming. Makes you focus on energy management.
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