After reading a bit more about training at your threshold and thinking about it further it makes a lot of sense to me. So I’m going to make a tweak to my big training session.
The main thing is that I’m going to drop all the 50m sets – it doesn’t matter how good I get at swimming 50m it won’t help me much if I want to swim 10.5miles. In place of the 14 sets of 50m I’m going to add an additional 3 sets of 200m (so a net loss of 100m). Much better to add longer sets that worry about my sprinting.
The second thing I’m going to do is relax on the times slightly. The point of threshold training is to constantly train at (or just below) your top speed. Instead of sprinting and training the body to cope with short sharp bursts you train at a hard pace and train the body to cope with maintaining that pace. At first it may seem that the threshold pace is too slow, but as you reach the end of the session it soon becomes a tough pace to maintain.
I don’t want to be a sprinter, I want to be able to swim long distances quicker – so this all makes sense to me. Therefore the new plan (starting tomorrow) will look like this:
– 100m sets – time 1min 50, with 15 secs rest between each, 1-min break between sets: 2-3-4-3-2
– 200m sets – time 3mins 40, with 15 secs rest between each, 1-min break between sets: 2-3-3-2