Thursday, 14 July 2011

Swim Threshold T100

Today I was coaching at a local Triathlon club in Norfolk, through the past weeks we have been working through technique.  Learning how we swim and what we as Triathletes are trying to achieve within the swim leg,  "Get from A-B as quick as possible and using a little energy as possible".  We have started right back at basics, BODY POSITION, KICKING & HAND ENTRY,  we are now week 3 so having covered those 3 we have more to come. Tonight we looked at utilising T100 within our swim sessions and how we can benefit from using T100.  

What is T100?
Swim time for 100m at "threshold pace". We want to achieve "threshold pace", a pace that is "comfortably hard." That means you're approaching the border between an effort that can be maintained for long period of times and one that causes the muscles to burn to the point where you're unable to continue.  We use Threshold pace workouts to improve swimming speed over long distances. Determining your threshold pace is the first step in allowing you to move faster through the water for longer periods of time.

How do I get T100?
Warm up  400m Easy swim
5/6 x 50m  Slightly faster pace
 Timed 1000m straight swim  , You will do this at the fastest pace that you can maintain throughout the entire distance. This can be done without stopping, or you can do shorter distances such as 10x100m at a time with very short rests in between and recording splits to gain average.
Cool Down 200m

Record your time and divide by 10, this will be your T100 pace, the swimming pace per 100m that you can use to design threshold workouts for yourself.

The goal is to cover 1000m in the least amount of time possible, while keeping a steady pace throughout. In other words, don't start out too fast and then burn out at the end. You will get better at determining this with more swimming experience, so in subsequent weeks, as you repeat the test, it will become a better measure of your true "T" pace.

Performing 100m repeats at your threshold pace will improve your performance. Therefore, it will be necessary to repeat this test at regular intervals to insure that you are getting the most benefit from your threshold-pace swims.

Once you have your T100 time you will looking to add this time with Recovery (10-20sec) and therefore gaining what is known as a "Swim Time".  Using your Swim Time in intervals, reps, Pyramids and ladders swim sessions you gain increase your threshold pace.  You can vary the main set as much as you wish but bear in mind the T100 and monitor the Rest period, because if you swim faster you get more rest time.  You need to pace your splits so that you can maintain threshold pace and improve it. 

Example ........

T100   =   1:30min (90sec)
Swim Time = 1:50 (T100 + 20sec rest)
Main Set  
 1 =     4 x 50m  Swim off 55 sec
           2 x 100m    "     "   1:50 min
           1 x  200m   "      "  3:40 min
           2 x  100m    1:50min
           4  x  50m      55sec

2  =     10 x  100m  Swim off  1:50min

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