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questions for the swimmers...

couple questions for fellow swimmers, as I'm getting bored with my routine, as well as not seeing as many results.

Currently, I usually swim 2K in 43 minutes or so. First 1/2K is basic front crawl, then the next 1/2 is with hand paddles, then I'll do some arm only with paddles, fins only on my back, and either hand paddles or basic front crawl for the remaining K. Occasionally if I have time for it, I'll swim 3K in an hour.

I rarely get my heartrate up that high doing the routine I've been doing. I haven't focused on making it a cardio workout- obviously given the paddles and fins, muscle work has been a goal. I only ever do freetsyle and a little bit of legs only on my back. I have no interest in doing a real back stroke or butterfly. Used to do breast stroke, but don't like what it does to my neck.

So- how high do most of you get your heart rate during a swim workout? When I run, I can easily get to 80 or 85 of my max rate, when I swim, I can rarely EVER get past 70. (When running I train between the 70 and 85 mark).
And what should I do to mix it up? I know a woman in a group I was once in mentioned something about swim 50m in 45 seconds, wait 15 seconds, then swim another 50m in 45 seconds, it was called some thing like Y x 100's- I think... I don't know. Anyone know? And how many of them am I supposed to do? Do I do them in sets? How many should I be able to do before my time starts slipping? Any swim coaches out there???

Tue. Jan 9, 1:10am

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Hi - I just switched to swimming from running because of a hip injury, and I am having the same problem. My HR is around 160-170 when I run, and from my estimates, it is usually around 145 as I am swimming.

I don't have any advice as a coach, but I can tell you what gets my heart rate up - swim fast and hard, no matter what stroke it is. When running, it is good to do sprints now and again. It's the same with swimming.

I can swim steady freestyle for over an hour without stopping (HR around 145). The other night at the end of my workout, I swam two lengths of the pool (50 yards) freestyle as hard and fast as I could, with a flip turn, and by the end of the second lap, my arms were practically numb and I was almost thinking "God, I better stop or I'm going to drown b/c I am so out of breath!"

You could then recover by resting and stopping completely or recover with 1-2 easy laps. I would say if you want to do this for 20-25 minutes at any point during your workout, it will help improve your cardio strength. Unless you are training for racing, the exact amount of time or distance isn't as important. I think you should do what feels like you are getting the most out of your workout.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007, 9:56 AM

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Any other suggestions? And how does one get faster? Anyone know what a decent pace is? Endurance isn't so much an issue- I could swim for hours- but faster for longer durations... how is that best accomplished?

Tuesday, January 09, 2007, 7:55 PM

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pick a given length, swim it as fast as you can, then rest 20 seconds. repeat it over and over again. if you do this 10-20 times each time you swim laps, you'll notice after a few weeks that you are getting faster. plus your heart rate will soar!

Tuesday, January 09, 2007, 8:57 PM

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As the mom of a collegiate swimmer I can second the recommendation to check out U.S. Masters Swimming. You might have a Masters group at your pool, be sure to ask. Masters is for adults who want to train to swim well and get healthy. They have competitions (by age group) but you don't have to compete. All Masters programs have a coach. The coach sets up an entire training program for the group -- both distance and interval training (that's where you swim a given distance in under a certain amount of time. If you have time left over that's your rest period). So you build up endurance and you have times where you increase your heart rate. Unfortunately my local Y does not have a Masters program. If it did I'd be there.

Thursday, January 11, 2007, 5:13 PM

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Here are a few sets to try...

Hi, I was a collegiate swimmer, here are a few sets that should get your heart rate up. Your heart rate will get up the highest by going as fast as you can and getting the least amount of rest. Doing sets on an interval will help you stay on track. Lap swimming is great for some but it doesn't generally get your heart rate up once you have done it for a while.

Bring a watch or check the clock if they have one
Figure out what time you swim a 50 (2 laps) in moderately
Let's pretend it is 50 seconds
Do 10 x 50 on 1:00 (getting about 10 seconds rest)
Next time you do it try 55 seconds, 50 seconds, etc...

Do 5 x 100 on 2:00
Next time try 1:55, 1:50, etc...
Or increase to 10 x 100 when you get better at it

Ladder sets are good too:
1 x 50 on 1:00
1 x 100 on 2:00
1 x 150 on 3:00
1 x 100 on 1:55
1 x 50 on :50

See how the interval got faster on the way down? Play around with your sets but know your "base time" and keep reducing your intervals so you are getting less rest inbetween.

Hope that helps!

Thursday, January 11, 2007, 7:49 PM

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any luck with your workouts? Tuesday I took it easy and did mostly freestyle, but I swam an hour of 100m IMs the other night and was physically exhausted by the end...

Thursday, January 11, 2007, 10:39 PM

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