Workout Wednesday - 13 November 2013

With too much focus on aerobic effort workouts, your overall swim speed can suffer.  This is an often overlooked aspect to training.  Just like going to the track to work on your running speed, you need to do the same in the pool.  And typically when people do include speed work into their swim training, it often tends to be a "speed endurance" set - a very different type of workout.  This all comes down to the work-rest ratio.

If you think you don't need to work on speed for the swim leg of a triathlon, just have a look at any of the ITU World Triathlon Series events.  The 1,500 meter times are blazing fast.  Even in the age-group category of most races now, times are getting quite quick.  Coming out of the water three or four minutes behind is a tough deficit to overcome in a sprint or Olympic distance event.

With this in mind the workout this week is speed focused.  The work-rest ratio is at least 1:2. Sometimes 1:3 depending on the set.   The key with speed workouts, just like when you go to the track and do 400's and 800's, is to ensure you're able to push maximum effort - a pace much higher than race pace - repeatedly.  Be warned, if the work-rest ratio becomes too narrow, or tight, you're run the risk of the set becoming speed endurance focused.  We'll cover that topic and focus next week.

The focus here is on quality.  Yardage is low, but intensity is high in the primary main set - only 800 yards.  Although, depending on the athlete, this could be upped to 10 rounds of efforts.  The other key here is that form must be maintained.  The efforts should be done as hard as possible but if form falls off the benefit of the set is lost.

This workout is short course yards (SCY) and lasts about an hour in duration.  Again, not a lot of yardage, but a focus on high intensity and quality.  At the end of this workout, if done correctly from an effort standpoint, the muscular fatigue will be pretty high.

Warm up
2 x 150 easy on :30 rest.
6 x 50 on 1:00
Descend 1-3, 4-6

Main set
8 x (25, 50, 25)
25's on :45, 50's on 1:30.
1 min rest after every 2 rounds.
6 x 100 pull with buoy on 2:00
Moderate effort.  Focus on form and mechanics

Cool down
100 / 200 easy.

2100 yards