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How Do I Introduce Intervals?

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Old December 2nd 08, 12:06 AM posted to rec.sport.swimming
Steve Freides[_2_]
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Default How Do I Introduce Intervals?

wrote in message
I've never been a natural in the pool but now after focussing more on
the sport for some time, I'm finally at the point of being able to
swim crawl continuously. (Total Immersion and a waterproofed Ipod
Shuffle got me over the hump.)

I'd like to now start adding 4 to 8 minute interval training to my
swimming and would appreciate any advice. E.g, I now do alternate
side breathing--should I assume this is not going to work at 90%
interval effort? Are there any things that are different between
swimming intervals and running intervals (one issue is that I have
much harder time guaging effort in the pool.)

Thanks in advance,


If you can, your best bet is to find an advanced swimming class and/or a
private swimming teacher and/or a Masters Swim club or other swim club
in your area. You'll learn lots of workout formats and maybe even have
company doing them.

Most swimmers I know, even those training for 1500's and the like, don't
do 4-8 minute intervals, they do shorter ones on short rest periods.


Old December 2nd 08, 02:32 PM posted to rec.sport.swimming
Steve Freides[_2_]
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Posts: 1,038
Default How Do I Introduce Intervals?

wrote in message
I'll check my Y and see if there's a Master's team--that does make
sense to get some guidance.

I'm using swimming mostly at "cross-training" for cross-country
skiing--I'm surprised swimmers don't do longer "VO Max" type
intervals. My understanding has always been that 4 to 8 minute
intervals are some of the most efficient, and the ones that can be
done using any activity (since your developing your central
cardiovascular adaptations.)


VO2Max work does not have to be 4 to 8 minutes of non-stop activity,
e.g., in the kettlebell world (the cannonball-with-a-handle type of
weights I do most of my training with), the VO2Max protocol that's most
popular is 15 seconds of work at VO2Max followed by 15 seconds of rest.
That's one "set" and typically 50 or more sets are performed. The
person responsible for this particular protocol has quite a set of
credentials in Denmark, working with world-class athletes from several
sports, including swimmers. (He has a DVD out - if you google
'kettlebell VO2Max Kenneth Jay" you'll find it.)

There is a fair body of anecdotal evidence to suggest that too much work
at VO2Max just leads to overtraining - it should be considered one tool
in the toolbox, to be used as appropriate.

Last but not least, what works for one does not always work for
everyone, and especially since your first sport is not swimming, there
may be limited benefit to VO2Max work in the pool for you if transfer to
performance on cross-country skis is what matters most to you. I'm not
saying VO2Max work in the pool won't help your cross-country ski
performance, just that it's not a given and you should try it and see if
you get the results you're hoping for from it. "central cardiovascular
adaptations" - whatever that/those are, I'm not sure they're more
important than the specific adaptations to training in your chosen sport


Old December 4th 08, 04:51 PM posted to rec.sport.swimming
Steve Freides[_2_]
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Posts: 1,038
Default How Do I Introduce Intervals?

wrote in message
All helpful tips--thanks.

One other question is what does a rest period for swimming looking
like. E.g., if you're doing longer intervals with 20 seconds rest, is
the 20 seconds spent standing still, or doing some quick, light


The most typical swim workout is with short rests and the rest is rest,
not light swimming. As mentioned previously, it's just the starting
times that are tracked, e.g., 100's on the 1:30. You might do 100's on
the 1:30 by swimming them in around 1:15 - 1:20. Typically a team would
have several swimmers in a lane and they'd each start a new round every
5 seconds.



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