Tag Archives: threshold pace

I got a PB

One of the things I love about open water swimming is the fact that it is different every time, it isn’t controlled and ‘sanitised’ like pool swimming. When you swim in a pool, you can be confident that the distances are exact, the water will be a standard temperature and you can swim up and down in a straight line. You can therefore be confident in the distance you have swum and you can measure it exactly against other swims.

Open water swimming is not like that.

On any given day the various variables mean that each swim is different. The course may change slightly (even moored buoys can move a bit), the wind and water temperature can make a huge difference. Not to mention the current or tides if you are in a river or the sea. In many ways, each swim is completely different and can’t be compared to others – even if you have swum the same ‘course’.

On that logic, I’m pleased to announce that I got a PB on Sunday.

I need to qualify that slightly – it was a PB for the swim on Sunday – given that every swim is unique. It wasn’t a PB for the distance, or even for that venue. But hey, I’ll take what I can get.

I was actually quite a bit slower than last year, but so were most people – it was very windy on Sunday (and cold!). However, I was actually slower in comparison to other people (ie they weren’t as much slower as I was). Now, they are on different swimming journeys, but still now I’ve done the big endurance event it’s time to spend a bit of time working on speed.

One of my biggest problems is knowing quite how hard to push myself on these swims. I can spend a bit too long being a ‘tourist’ and not swimming hard. So I’m not going to work on my sprinting speed, but rather my endurance threshold – getting used to feeling more comfortable pushing a bit harder for longer.



Filed under Swimming

A tweak

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.

Sprinters – Photo Credit Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images

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
Total 3,400


Filed under Motivation, Swimming