Tag Archives: threshold training

Smashed a 400m

The last length was killing me. My legs were burning, my lungs were bursting and I was desperate for it to end. I finally touched the wall and reached for my watch to stop the timer. I was so tired that I missed it the first time, but finally managed to stop it. I took my goggles off and checked the time. 6:01…

It had been a long day. A slightly disappointing client meeting that had required a 7-hour round trip drive to get there and back. So by the evening I wasn’t sure if I was ready for the gym, or for my bed. In the end I opted for the gym.

I took my kit, my SiS sports drink and my wife’s words (“Remember, you’re meant to enjoy it”) with me and did a light set on the bike and treadmill, with an abs set between the two. Once that was over, it was time to hit the pool.

A gentle 200m warmup and then I decided that it was time to do another time trial to see how the threshold training was going and if I was getting any quicker. So I set off on a 400m set and pushed myself as hard as I could and swam as fast as I could. And boy was it hard, but would it be quick?

… 6:01 …

I was amazed. That SMASHED my previous time!

Then it slowly dawned on me that maybe that time was a bit too quick… maybe, just maybe… okay, probably… I’d only swum 350m!

I was gutted, but I rested for a bit and then did another 400m in 7:04 and a 200m in 3:28, so my training is really starting to have an impact which is really pleasing.

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Finding my threshold

I wrote the other day about starting to use threshold training as a way to improve my swimming times, well I finally had chance to find out what my threshold is as defined by Swim Smooth.

What you need to do is swim a 400m and 200m time trial (ie as fast as possible) and then enter those times into the form and it works out your threshold training pace. I did a 7:20 400m and a 3:33 200m and my threshold pace was defined as 1:54 / 100m.

– It’s important to note that this isn’t meant to be your fastest pace, but a pace you can keep to consistently over a longer training session.

I then did my first session using that threshold pace on Tuesday lunchtime. The goal was to swim 20 x 100m at 1:54 with just a 15sec gap between each set. What was interesting was how hard it was to go slow enough to keep to that time at the start (my first 3 or 4 sets were 1:50 or below), but then how hard it was to go fast enough by the end (the 16th or 17th set was a 1:58 because I wasn’t concentrating).

Apart from that though, I like the concept of it and will keep this in my regular training plan.

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Washout weekend, woeful Wednesday

I don’t want you to feel sorry for me, but I work hard at my job. It’s not so much the hours as the intensity and sometimes it can just make me feel run down and unable to train and that’s what happened this weekend.

It started on Thursday which was a very intense day (don’t get me wrong it was great too – a lot of very exciting meetings about this). Thursday is also on the training plan as a gym night. The plan is to do a bit of cardio (bike and treadmill), but have a good weights session between those two to work on the back and shoulders. However, I got to the gym and could only manage 10 minutes on the bike. I just felt weak, had a killer headache and felt sick – not a good recipe for training. So I went home.

A good night’s sleep and again on Friday and I thought I’d be fine for my Saturday session – which is the same as Thursday plus a swim to finish it off.

Friday night didn’t turn out to be a good night as the little one woke up at 2am feeling ill, but I got everything ready as per usual on Saturday morning. I was just about to head off when I sat on the bed for a couple of minutes and nearly couldn’t get up – again not a good recipe for a training session. So Saturday got cancelled. The same thing happened on Monday morning as I was about to go out for my big swim. I realised I could go and try, but I’d either fail miserably or knock myself out for the whole week ahead – again with work not something I can risk. So another cancellation.

I did manage a very gentle mile on Monday evening, but that brings us to this morning.

I thought I was feeling better so I set off to replace Monday’s big swim with my threshold training routine. It was tough.

I managed the 100s in about 1:50 (between 1:47 and 1:52), but the 200s were a real struggle and in fact I left three of them out there.

Woeful… but possibly understandable and certainly better than a cancellation.

3,000m including warm up and cool down.

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Filed under Motivation, Swimming