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Swim Club Blog - Threshold Training

The Endurance Store Swim Club provides you with simple swim training plans throughout the winter months. The plan runs October to October and is completely free. We only ask that you pre-register so that your training plans can be emailed directly.

Registration is free and you may unsubscribe at any time from the Swim Club and stop receiving updates. Overview of the swim plan be seen below, but before you start you need to complete a test to set your swim paces, then register and download the sessions. GO HERE to register for swim club.

Last week we discussed how to effectively use the pace clock, if you didn't read the blog post then CLICK HERE to read in full before going any further. This week we are continuing our theme of using the pace clock but specifically in relation to 'THRESHOLD TRAINING'.

We are now up to week 13 of swim club and in 2 weeks time we'll reach the end of the 16 week general base phase. From February, we'll be introducing THRESHOLD TRAINING and to do this effectively, you need to use the pace clock.

What's Threshold?

If you have completed the swim test then you will already know your swim threshold pace and paces for the other various levels. If you've not yet done the 10 minute test, then you should GO HERE to read the post, complete the test and calculate training paces.

As a basic start point, what time should you be capable of swimming for 500m? What's the average 100m pace?

For example: If you think you should be capable of swimming 9 minutes 10 seconds for 500m, that's an average pace of 1 minute 50 seconds per 100m.

Using the Pace Clock For Threshold Sessions

If the session is 10 X 100m at threshold with 15 seconds recovery, then for our example above, each of the 100m repetitions should be swam IN 1:50 and should be completed ON 2:05 (for furthern explanation of IN / ON read last weeks post about using pace clock).

The mathematically gifted amongst you will have calculated that if you start your first repetition on RED TOP, your next will start on RED FIVE PAST, the next on RED TEN PAST and so on.

Hitting Your Target Pace

For each repetition its important that you hit your target pace. You should be swimming each 100m repetition 'bang on' 1:50. If you struggle to hold 1:50 per repetition, then your predicted time of 9:10 for 500m is clearly not manageable. Common errors are swimming the first one way too fast and then fading as the session goes on. This is when swimmer start to take much longer recoveries and the structure of the session begins to falter.

Things To Do:

1. What is a realistic 500m pace
2. Calculate the pace per 100m
3. Develop pace judgement and complete each 100m 'bang on' your target pace (not quicker or slower)
4. Use the pace clock to start each repetition on time, don't let your recoveries start to slip as you get tired. If you swim 5 seconds slower than planned, your recovery will be 5 seconds less than planned.

Over the next couple of weeks, use the pace clock and practice the maths so you are ready for threshold training from February onwards. The long term goal is to instinctively know your swim repetition times for 50/100/150/200m so you can effectively use the pace clock and monitor your improvements from week to week.

Marc Laithwaite
The Endurance Store Swim Club

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