It’s time to mea­sure progress and set goals

220 Triathlon Magazine - - Contents -

The best way to be­gin your off-sea­son swim train­ing is by iden­ti­fy­ing the ar­eas you need to im­prove. Per­for­mance-im­prove­ment goals for swim­mers typ­i­cally break down into three ar­eas: in­creas­ing fit­ness; re­duc­ing drag (through bet­ter body po­si­tion­ing); and im­prov­ing propul­sion (by in­creas­ing stroke ef­fi­ciency). This crit­i­cal swim speed (CSS) ses­sion will test your cur­rent per­for­mance, so you can set pac­ing tar­gets for your train­ing and mon­i­tor your progress.

CSS ses­sions should be race­spe­cific, so if you’re work­ing up to a sprint tri (750m swim), your pace should be CSS mi­nus 2-4secs per 100m; for an Olympic/mid­dledis­tance tri (1.5km/1.9km swim) aim for your CSS pace; and for a long-dis­tance tri (3.8km swim) aim for CSS + 2-4secs per 100m.

Struc­ture your train­ing so you have a weekly CSS-pace ses­sion of 10-20 x 100m on 20secs rest. Drop the rest in­ter­val to 15secs af­ter a cou­ple of weeks, then drop it to 10secs a few weeks af­ter that be­fore test­ing your CSS pace again.


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