Most of us have hear the old adage in real-estate; The three most important aspects of real-estate are location, location, location. In much the same way, for your training to be at its most effective you need to use interval, interval, interval. I see so many swimmers using workouts that advise swimming on a rest interval (RI). 5 seconds, 30 seconds or any number in between, are common in many workout recommendations. When using a rest interval for a set we have the unfortunate habit of starting out at one pace, and slowing as the set continues. In this format of set it makes no difference how fast you go, or more importantly, don’t go, you get the same amount of rest. This, leads to swimmers who slow down over the distance. Where the ideal swim even splits or negative splits.
Instead swim your sets on a time interval. A specific time over the distance. For example: If my base interval was 2:00 minutes per hundred yards, I would do a set of 5x200s on 4:00 per 200. This means I have four minutes to swim 200 yards (8 lengths of the pool) plus rest. At the 4-minute mark, you must start the next 200. So, do swimmers need to do all of their sets on interval? No, but the majority of your sets should focus on being on an interval.
For those of you who do not know what your base interval should be, review my simple three step process to help you determine your base interval on the website.
Next week: Distance Freestyle the 5th Stroke