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Training Session Terms and Abbreviations

Each training session should have a similar structure regardless of the training phase that the athlete finds themselves in.

 

At a minimum, the training session should have the following core parts:

  • a warm-up component
  • a work component, and
  • a loosen-down component

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Why should each training session be divided into component parts?

While the whole of the training session is important, dividing a training session into its component parts makes it easier for the athlete to perform the session correctly and eliminate any  “grey areas” in their preparation.


For training sessions like those in preparation for ultra-distance events, breaking down the training session into component parts may also make it seem less daunting psychologically. 

TP training session cycling

The Warm Up

In our training plans, the abbreviation for the warm-up component is WU.

 

In the example above, the warm-up is 30 minutes long and gradually builds in intensity from Zone 1 to Zone 3.

The Main Set

In our training plans, the abbreviation for the main set component is MS.

 

In the example above, the main set is 16 minutes long and consists of a 20-second “all-out” sprint followed by 3 minutes and 40 seconds of aerobic riding repeated 4 times.

Loosen Down

In our training plans, the abbreviation for the Loosen Down component is LD.

 

In the example above, the loosen down is 10 minutes of easy cycling.

Time Intervals:

hrs – Hours 00:00:00

mins – Minutes 00:00:00

secs – Seconds 00:00:00

Distance Intervals:

m – meters, e.g. 200m

km – kilometers, e.g. 5km

Rest Intervals:

r – static recovery between intervals. r30 = recover for 30 secs after completing a work intervals, then start the next one.

rest – static rest, usually stated in minutes, between sets of intervals

walk – active rest between intervals

General Intensity Zones:

The General Training Zones are:

Z1 = Zone 1  – Warm Up, Loosen Down & Recovery

Z2 = Zone 2 – Aerobic Endurance & Drills

Z3 = Zone 3 – Muscular Endurance

Z4 = Zone 4 – Threshold Pace (Tempo)

Z5 = Zone 5 – Power, Force, Speed

 

MAF  = Maximum Aerobic Function.
The ideal intensity to build your aerobic base

Other Intensity Zones

Sport-specific field tests can be performed to calculate training zone. This is especially important when participating in triathlon, as often there is a disparity in the proficiency across the three sports.

It makes sense to have different training zones for each discipline.

Swimming Training Zones

To calculate your training paces, complete the CSS swim test.

Cycling Training Zones

To calculate your training Power and Heart Rate zones based on your thresholds, complete the 20-minute FTP Test

Running Training Zones

To calculate your Training Paces and Heart Rate Zones based on your threshold pace and heart rate, complete the 5 km TT run test.

Calculate your MAF Training Zone

What is YOUR optimal training zone to build aerobic efficiency with the least risk of injury or illness?
Try This

Other:

In our Road Cycling, Mountain Biking, Duathlon and Triathlon training plans, the cycling session sometimes has an additional abbreviation; cadence – pedal revolutions per minute.

Cycling Cadence is indicated as range and expressed as @…rpm
e.g 10. mins Z4 @50-60rpm

 

 

In our swimming and triathlon training plans, Intensity Zones, Drills and Training Tools are also described because sound swimming technique is so crucial.

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Training for Swimming Nationals – Week 2

The start of the proper base work phase.

Last week was a bit of a recovery week after the gala.

Table of Contents

Monday

A good Distance Per Stroke (DPS) and aerobic endurance session.

Pre-Swim Mobility and Activation

10 minutes of Shoulder Mobility.

Core activation and 3 sets of 15 dips.

The Swim Session

WU:
300m Swim Easy
300m PullBuoy Easy
300m Paddles Easy
100m Kick Easy
200m Swim Easy
2x100m IM Moderate
300m PullBuoy Moderate
2x100m Kick Moderate

MS:
100m Swim (25m Fast, 75m Easy)
4x400m Swim (100m Build, 300m @Race Pace)
100m Swim Easy
100m Swim Hard

LD:
200m Mixed Strokes Easy

 

Total: 4km

The session was only supposed to be 3km, but I got in early and did an extra 1km slowly before the session to get in some extra mileage. The extra long warm up was done in Zone 2.

Wednesday

My legs are feeling fine after the squat set last night. 

My upper body is a little stiff after swimming-specific core training on Monday and Tuesday night

Pre-Swim Mobility and Activation

10 minutes of Shoulder Mobility.

Core activation and 3 sets of 15 dips.

The Swim Session

WU:
300m Swim Easy
5x100m Swim (Desc 1-5)
200m Kick Easy

MS:
100m Swim Moderate, r15
200m PullBuoy Moderate, r20
300m paddles Moderate, r30
*repeat 3 times

LD:
200m Mixed Strokes Easy

My upper body did loosen up after the warm-up.

🙂

Because the intensity of the Main Set was moderate, the rest periods were around 10 secs between repeats.

Good session.

Friday

Fridays are fun sessions as both my training partners are usually in the pool with me. 

Pre-Swim Mobility and Activation

10 minutes of Shoulder Mobility.

Core activation and 3 sets of 15 dips.

The Swim Session

WU:
400m Swim Easy
12x50m Swim Build

MS:
600m Swim (300m Cruise, 200m Hard, 100m Fast)
*repeat 3 times

LD:
200m Mixed Strokes Easy

 

Total: 3km

This is my favourite type of swimming session. 
I enjoy performing longer intervals of varying intensities (a.k.a. fartlek in running) as I feel these sessions benefit the type of swimming  (long-distance open water) I like the most. 

Additional Aerobic Training

Sunday Evening

I decided to add some Jogging / Walking to my weekly Cross training.  All sessions, at least until the end of January,  will be in Zone 2 or the MAF Training Zone

Resistance Training

Tuesday Evening

Squats – 3 sets of 15 easy, 3 sets of 8 medium, 2 sets of 5 heavy

Core routine.

 

Saturday Morning

Leg Press
Lat Pull Downs
Shoulder Press

Saturday Afternoon

Squats
Seated Rows

Summary at the end of Week 2

Total swimming distance: 688.0km 

End-of-year forecast: 807.3km

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Training for Swimming Nationals – Week 1

Over the weekend, I competed in the SA Short Course Champs and I’m pretty happy with the results.

 

In the last year, however,  I have swum more galas than in the last 30 years.

The dives and fast turns that are an integral part of short-course racing are not something I regularly practice. My strategy has basically been to show up early for the galas, do a long warm-up and practice a few dives.

 

Note to self:
Include diving and fast tumble turn practice once a week from mid-January.

 

Anyway, my Short Course times were:

200m Freestyle 00:02:24

50m Butterfly 00:00:33

400m Freestyle 00:05:04 (a provincial age-group record)

50m Breaststroke 00:00:40 

50m Freestyle 00:00:28.1

100m Individual Medley 00:01:23

 

And this is the reason I started this section of the Swimming Blog. 

As I prefer long to short-course swimming, I love open-water racing and there is an opportunity to swim in one of my favourite fresh-water reservoirs in a beautiful part of the country, I have set my sights on swimming the National Master Long Course Championships in March 2023.

This section of the swimming blog will be a review of each week’s training with links to related posts to explain or flesh out ideas I will be implementing along the way.

 

First things first.
Make the commitment!!

  1. Book accommodation.
  2. Download the program to check the scheduling of the events.
  3. Enter pool events.
  4. Check where the open-water swim is and enter.

The accommodation has been booked and confirmed by the proprietor.

I booked a self-catering BnB within 8 blocks of the pool. Self-catering means I can eat at my normal times (05:30) and I can eat my normal diet, steak and eggs for breakfast.

The gala is over 3 and a half days with the open water race in the afternoon on the 4th.

In my first draft of events I want to swim, I picked far too many. At the bottom of the program in small print, it says I am limited to 6 individual pool events.

In my second draft, I favoured the long-distance Freestyle events, 800m, 400m and 200m, with the 50m and 100m for extra team points. I included 1 indulgence, the 200m Breastroke just to do something in the afternoon of the second day.

Also, I must plan each day’s meals as there are relay events on each day too. I’m sure the team captain will sign me up for every single one of them.

 

When checking the open water venue, I got very excited for 2 reasons:

  • I get to swim in one of my favourite freshwater reservoirs, and
  • there is an additional 4 x 1km open water relay.

The total race distance for the four days is 6500m and is divided as follows:

  • In the pool, I am preparing for 6 individual events and 5 relays
  • In the open water, I am preparing for 1 individual event and 1 relay.

One last thing, Friday the 17th of March is St. Patrick’s Day.
I am obliged to drink at least one Guinness…. and dance a jig.

Table of Contents

Disclaimer

Just an advanced warning, I have been swimming since age 6 so my technique is pretty good and my joints and muscles are quite accustomed to the training volume and intensity.

 

I have been swimming consistently for almost 18 months now so I’m not starting from Zero.

 

My swimming statistics for 2022 so far are:

Total distance: 678.0km
Projected Distance: 804km

Number of training sessions: 190

Max distance: 11.6km

Average distance per session: 3.6km

Monday

Expecting to feel a little stiff after the gala on Saturday and having a static rest day on Sunday. 

The 4 croissants probably didn’t help either 😉

Pre-Swim Mobility and Activation

10 minutes of Shoulder Mobility.

Core activation and 3 sets of 15 dips.

The Swim Session

WU:
2x400m Swim Easy
3x200m (1 Swim, 1 PullBuoy, 1 Paddles)
3x100m Swim (Desc 1-3)
100m Kick Easy

MS:
600m (200m IM, 300m Race Pace, 100m Smooth)
*repeat 3 times

LD:
200m Mixed Strokes Easy

 

Total: 3.9km

The session was only supposed to be 3km, but I did an extra 800m slowly before the session to try and loosen up. 
It took about 1500m to get the “feel” for the water back.

Wednesday

Feeling a little fatigued in the legs after the silly gym set the night before.

Between the 200’s and 100’s, I decided to tread water to try to ease the stiffness.

Pre-Swim Mobility and Activation

10 minutes of Shoulder Mobility.

Core activation and 3 sets of 15 dips.

The Swim Session

WU:
200m Swim Easy
6x200m Swim (Desc 1-3, 4-6)

MS:
800m PullBuoy Cruise
6x100m Swim (Desc 1-3, 4-6)

LD:
200m Mixed Strokes Easy

 

Total: 3km

My legs did not loosen up. 

🙂

Good session.

Well-controlled Distance Per Stroke 800m. 

most of the session was complete in Zone 2.

Friday

Fridays are fun sessions as both my training partners are usually in the pool with me. 

Pre-Swim Mobility and Activation

10 minutes of Shoulder Mobility.

Core activation and 3 sets of 15 dips.

The Swim Session

WU:
400m Swim Easy
12x50m Swim Build

MS:
600m Swim (300m Cruise, 200m Hard, 100m Fast)
*repeat 3 times

LD:
200m Mixed Strokes Easy

 

Total: 3km

This is my favourite type of swimming session. 
I enjoy performing longer intervals of varying intensities (a.k.a. fartlek in running) as I feel these sessions benefit the type of swimming  (long-distance open water) I like the most. 

Additional Aerobic Training

Sunday Evening

I decided to add some Jogging / Walking to my weekly Cross training.  All sessions, at least until the end of January,  will be in Zone 2 or the MAF Training Zone

Resistance Training

Tuesday Evening

Squats – 3 sets of 15 easy, 3 sets of 8 medium, 2 sets of 5 heavy

Core routine.

 

Saturday Morning

Leg Press
Lat Pull Downs
Shoulder Press

Saturday Afternoon

Squats
Seated Rows

Summary at the end of Week 1

Total swimming distance: 688.0km 

End-of-year forecast: 807.3km