Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Quality vs. Quantity

Whether you are trying to improve your running or training for a race, your weekly mileage usually consist of the following runs:
  1. short runs that may consist of some tempo/speed/or fartlek type work, and
  2. long runs that help you build endurance
I would like to think the same goes for swimming.

After my 3200M in the pool a week ago, I realized that I need to start doing more work on speed and form on top of my endurance swims. Usually I try to swim 2 times per week, averaging 2000M each time. Now it's time to start working more on good form, as well as speed!

It's Quality vs. Quantity.

This morning's workout: Hard-Easy-Hard

Here's the description:
All of the repeats in this set should be the same distance. Swim 4x 25m at a fast, almost un-sustainable speed (or 4x 50, 4x 75, 4x 100, 4x 125, or 4x 150; looking for a total time of about 9-10 minutes for the 4 swims including rest), 2x 25m very easy focusing on technique (or 4x 50, 4x 75, 4x 100, 4x 125, or 4x 150; looking for a total time of about 6 minutes), and 4x 25m at a fast, almost un-sustainable speed (or 4x 50, 4x 75, 4x 100, 4x 125, or 4x 150; again looking for a total time of about 9-10 minutes) all on 20s-30s rest. At the end of this set, check your heart rate; check it again at 30s, 60s, and 90s. As you get fitter, your fast times should get faster, your speed fall-off between repeats will decrease, and your heart rate should go down faster.

With what I know about my speed and ability, this was my "plan-of-attack"
  • 200M w/u
  • 4x100M - HARD ( approximately 9-10 minutes)
  • 2x100M - EASY (approximately 6 minutes)
  • 4x100M - HARD (approximately 9-10 minutes)
  • 200M c/d

Here were my results:
(these are approximate times, including rests)

  • 200M w/u = 4:00
  • 4x100M = 9:00
  • 2x100M = 4:00
  • 4x100M = 10:00
  • 200M c/d = 4:00

How did it go? It went pretty well. I reserved myself in the first 4x100M because I was afraid that I wasn't going to be able to get through my second set. The last couple HARD 100M's were pretty challenging and I really felt my heart rate go up.

Overall thoughts? I liked this workout. Next time I will wear my watch to get a more accurate picture of my time. It was just enough time in the pool to get in a challenging workout.

What's your favorite swim workout?

Today's Workout:
Swim -1400M
(Hard-Easy-Hard Workout)

Today's Song:
The Killers - Romeo & Juliet (in sidebar)


Carolina John said...

that sounds like a good approach. I'm just starting back into the pool and still trying for distance. hard or easy, i'll feel better in about a month when i can actually complete 100 m without stopping. i'm still stuck on 50's right now.

Unknown said...

Very nice. There was a time when I did drills, then speed work in the pool once a week and a long swim the other time. I improved during that time.

Right now I'm not swimming at all. But I'll be bck at it soon.

Jess said...

Seems like a smart idea!

Viv said...

I did one of those short fast interval swims today and they wear me out. Great job on getting in some Quality swimming in.

jahowie said...

Wow!! You are really doing well with your swimming. I'll have to hire you as my coach. Keep up the good work!!

Wes said...

Some form work and drills should be part of your warm up! Since speed doesn't matter its a perfect time drill drill drill :-) Some of the speed work that I liked that coach gave me?!?

sets of 100 with 25 medium, 25 hard, 25 medium, 25 easy, repeat.

Continuous swims where you go 100 hard, 100 easy, 100 hard, 100 medium, or something like that. You get the idea. It makes the time fly.

Marcy said...

LOL what is swimming? :P

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a great workout.

Aron said...

wow awesome job on the swimming!!

my favorite swim workout is not swimming at all :) eeek the pool scares me!

N.D. said...

That's great!! I do the same warmup everytime I swim - 500 swim, 500 with 100 pull, 100 kick repeat for 500. Then I like doing pyramids or ladders up and back down. I like company and that is what is best about my favorite swim workouts. Good job!

BeachRunner said...

I dont swim, but I like your thought process. Looks like a very smart approach to me.

BeachRunner said...

Answer to your question: TR went to the Dakota Badlands after the tragedies!

Great TR tidbit. I looked it up. I didn't know that.

Run Mommy said...

I am enjoying your posts and I hope to one day make the jump to Tri's! (if only I can become a confident swimmer). Keep inspiring! :)

N.D. said...

I know - right! I love the days we have workshops or midterms and I can have more than a half hour for lunch and can go for a run. It is such a nice change up!! A doula is like a birthing coach, someone that assists you and supports you.

Holly said...

I cannot swim. Plain and simple. I can stay afloat by doggie-paddling or laying on my back, but add any fancy arm or leg movements and I'm done for. I'm always impressed with people who can swim.

Unknown said...

I'm not a big swimmer so I'm impressed with anyone that can do all that,

Jess said...

Wow that's a great approach to the swimming. What an awesome workout!

Aka Alice said...

I never know what to say to swimming....I'm just "duhhhhhh." But your theory sounds about right.

hmmmmm swimming. I should try that.

Shannon said...

What's my favorite swim workout?

One that's done........

I need to get my butt in the pool, I'm dragging my feet.

Holly said...

Where would you like me to send your interview questions and directions? Should I post them here or email them to you (if email, I don't have an address)?

Runner Leana said...

I don't realy decide on my swim workouts, I just do what my swim coach tells me to do. But I've been coming to the conclusion lately that a little speed work in swimming may be a good thing. My coach my agree since we've had sprint and intervals in our last few workouts!