General Discussion Triathlon Talk » 9 months into swim training, only endurance but not speed improved Rss Feed  
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2019-07-23 8:43 PM

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Subject: 9 months into swim training, only endurance but not speed improved
This was by previous thread:

https://beginnertriathlete.com/discussion/forums/thread-view.asp?tid...

I've been training in the squad for 9 months now, supplemented with some private lessons and also a swim smooth video analysis. However, the symptom mentioned in the old thread still exists even I modified the form after the video analysis and private lessons. The only difference is that I can now go much longer than before, but my race pace didn't get faster (i.e. I kept my previous 3 km pace for 5 km, but my 1.5 km time didn't improve)

For example, on a good day, I may be able to do 8 x 100 m on 2'5" returning on 1'55", however after that my triceps were so fatigued, then once they got fatigued, my pace then dropped immediately to 2'5" or even 2'15", failing to keep up with the interval because I could no longer keep the form which allowed me to swim at 1'55" / 100 m.

Eventually, in order to be sustainable, I cannot go faster than 2'10" / 100 m no matter how I tried, although I can go MUCH longer. I can now go about 10 km before I feel tired in my lats, then I can still maybe force myself through at least 3 km more afterwards, but the speed is still very slow.

Moreover, after the technique adjustment from my squad coach, my stroke per length and stroke count both increased, as the coach thought I was overgliding and always told me to spin my arm faster.

I'm still at the back of the slow lane in the tri club squad training even after 9 months, with many beginners in front of me in these months. I need to get my speed up ASAP in order to meet cut-offs of my target races. Do I still have hope? I just can't believe that if I really have multiple serious technique issue I can still complete a 13 km swimming race without any ill effects. (Basically 2 days were all needed for me to recover after the 13 km race)


2019-07-24 7:33 AM
in reply to: miklcct


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Subject: RE: 9 months into swim training, only endurance but not speed improved
Let me preface this by saying I've got a swimming background, and have been coaching a HS swim team for the past 5 years, so I'm used to taking people from close to zero competitive swimming (they were able to swim ~200 yds continuously) to a point where they could swim pretty well. That being said, it's been a long time since I have been that person trying to learn to swim fast.

1. How much mileage are you doing per week/workout? What would an "average" workout look like? If you've been training for 9 months consistently but are only doing long/slow distance stuff where you are trying to complete 3-5km's in a single swim, you might be a. overtraining and not recovering, b. training to swim slow.

2. If you can only hold 2:10 for multiple 100's (on what break?) then I'd agree with something that someone said in your last thread that there is some technical stuff you need to work on (that means dialing back the yardage so you can focus heavily on fixing that, without any fatigue, so you are swimming with just that single thought until it becomes 2nd nature).

Reading through your prior thread and seeing little improvement over 9 months makes me think there is not enough intensity in your program and possibly way too much distance. What length race are you training for? Even if it's an IM, I would still be doing a lot of good quality intensity stuff (really fast 25's, and 50's, faster than race pace 100's). The faster you can swim, the easier you can swim slow. Its also really hard to swim fast with bad form, but really easy to swim slow with bad form. Swimming fast will help expose some of those flaws because drag increases so dramatically with a small increase in speed.
2019-07-24 8:44 AM
in reply to: miklcct

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Subject: RE: 9 months into swim training, only endurance but not speed improved
I agree with the comment before looking at workout types and distances.

If you swim long and slow... you won't see much speed gain.

If you have improved form, time to start working in speed intervals.

And, if you swim with the slow lane, are you leading or following? If you lead, time to move up a lane. If you follow, might be time to start pushing to be at the front.

Speed comes with being uncomfortable in workouts.
2019-07-24 7:36 PM
in reply to: #5261181

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47
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Subject: RE: 9 months into swim training, only endurance but not speed improved
In the beginning of a year I was mainly doing 11 - 15 km / week, and in May and June I was doing 15 - 18 km / week, about 1/3 - 1/2 are long OWS training, and the other were squad training with a lot of speed intervals. My latest time trial in my club was 7'24" / 3'36" for 400 m / 200 m in a 50 m pool, but the CSS calculated has never translated to race speed.

I was training for a 13 km swim race since April, which I've done last week.
2019-07-24 7:44 PM
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Subject: RE: 9 months into swim training, only endurance but not speed improved

You're not getting much, if anything, out of that 1/3 - 1/2 that isn't intervals.  Your time trial times are not bad at all for AG triathlon......stay with the intervals, ditch the long swims except for maybe once a week if you can do open water.  If you can't do open water then don't bother with the long swims.  Your times, with that small-medium volume of training, and I assume an adult onset swimmer, means you have a decent feel for the water and plenty of speed to gain.



Edited by Left Brain 2019-07-24 7:48 PM
2019-07-24 11:24 PM
in reply to: 0

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47
25
, Kowloon City
Subject: RE: 9 months into swim training, only endurance but not speed improved
Originally posted by Left Brain

You're not getting much, if anything, out of that 1/3 - 1/2 that isn't intervals.  Your time trial times are not bad at all for AG triathlon......stay with the intervals, ditch the long swims except for maybe once a week if you can do open water.  If you can't do open water then don't bother with the long swims.  Your times, with that small-medium volume of training, and I assume an adult onset swimmer, means you have a decent feel for the water and plenty of speed to gain.




My time trial times are literally the slowest in my club - most of the people in my club are swimming between 6 and 7 minutes for 400 m, and most are much older than me (I am 26 years old, just started swim training last year because I was not fast enough to join the training a few years ago).

As my target is to train for 14 km rough open water swimming, these weekly OW long swim is important to me, and I don't do any long swim in the pool, mostly drills and intervals only. Also, I'm doing these OW like doing long intervals as well due to how we swim the OW - maybe like long intervals of 400 m - 700 m.


Edited by miklcct 2019-07-24 11:29 PM


2019-07-25 1:57 PM
in reply to: miklcct

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Subject: RE: 9 months into swim training, only endurance but not speed improved

Originally posted by miklcct
Originally posted by Left Brain

You're not getting much, if anything, out of that 1/3 - 1/2 that isn't intervals.  Your time trial times are not bad at all for AG triathlon......stay with the intervals, ditch the long swims except for maybe once a week if you can do open water.  If you can't do open water then don't bother with the long swims.  Your times, with that small-medium volume of training, and I assume an adult onset swimmer, means you have a decent feel for the water and plenty of speed to gain.

My time trial times are literally the slowest in my club - most of the people in my club are swimming between 6 and 7 minutes for 400 m, and most are much older than me (I am 26 years old, just started swim training last year because I was not fast enough to join the training a few years ago). As my target is to train for 14 km rough open water swimming, these weekly OW long swim is important to me, and I don't do any long swim in the pool, mostly drills and intervals only. Also, I'm doing these OW like doing long intervals as well due to how we swim the OW - maybe like long intervals of 400 m - 700 m.

Fine, but you can't have 1/2 of your swim volume be long swims and expect dramatic speed gains. 

You'll get faster if you keep swimming.  The more you swim the better you'll get.

Look, It's all relative.....if you are training for triathlon your 7:xx 400 is firmly middle of the pack. If you are 15 years old in a swim program that 6-7 minute 400 won't get you out of the locker room, or get the kids to quit laughing at you.

2019-07-25 8:24 PM
in reply to: Left Brain

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47
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, Kowloon City
Subject: RE: 9 months into swim training, only endurance but not speed improved
Originally posted by Left Brain

Fine, but you can't have 1/2 of your swim volume be long swims and expect dramatic speed gains. 

You'll get faster if you keep swimming.  The more you swim the better you'll get.

Look, It's all relative.....if you are training for triathlon your 7:xx 400 is firmly middle of the pack. If you are 15 years old in a swim program that 6-7 minute 400 won't get you out of the locker room, or get the kids to quit laughing at you.





It's too hot now in the summer that I burn out very fast (maybe about 2 km into my training) and get too tired easily when doing intervals in the pool. The pool is now 30°C in these few months. I can only increase the training amount in form of OW swims because the sea is not as hot as the pool.

Moreover although my speed is firmly in the middle of pack in age-group triathlon, it is at the very back of the slow lane in my club training, and also at the very back of the long-distance OW swimming race I am doing, only marginally meeting the cut-off times.
2019-07-25 10:31 PM
in reply to: miklcct

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Subject: RE: 9 months into swim training, only endurance but not speed improved

Originally posted by miklcct
Originally posted by Left Brain

Fine, but you can't have 1/2 of your swim volume be long swims and expect dramatic speed gains. 

You'll get faster if you keep swimming.  The more you swim the better you'll get.

Look, It's all relative.....if you are training for triathlon your 7:xx 400 is firmly middle of the pack. If you are 15 years old in a swim program that 6-7 minute 400 won't get you out of the locker room, or get the kids to quit laughing at you.

It's too hot now in the summer that I burn out very fast (maybe about 2 km into my training) and get too tired easily when doing intervals in the pool. The pool is now 30°C in these few months. I can only increase the training amount in form of OW swims because the sea is not as hot as the pool. Moreover although my speed is firmly in the middle of pack in age-group triathlon, it is at the very back of the slow lane in my club training, and also at the very back of the long-distance OW swimming race I am doing, only marginally meeting the cut-off times.

Yeah,  because you are not doing enough interval work......you can't change the process to fast swimming.  There are zero shortcuts.

2019-07-26 12:46 AM
in reply to: Left Brain

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47
25
, Kowloon City
Subject: RE: 9 months into swim training, only endurance but not speed improved
Originally posted by Left Brain

Yeah,  because you are not doing enough interval work......you can't change the process to fast swimming.  There are zero shortcuts.




I have to wait until winter when the unheated pool goes below 24°C otherwise I simply can't maintain my intensity - anything more than 25°C I will eventually overheat. I'm actually doing less interval work despite more in my overall volume in summer.

Hong Kong is not a good place for me. I love 18°C water rather than 28°C.
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