Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Interval Training in Swimming – Increase Your Speed!

If you are a lap swimmer churning up the yards, I have a great booster for your regular swimming agenda: interval training. Interval training will maximize your time in the water and help your swimming abilities with increased conditioning and better form.

In a busy adult world time is essential. Use it all to the fullest. Interval training is an integral tool for all modern sports training. It teaches you how to pace yourself during each workout using the cardiovascular system. It will also enable you to stay motivated. Most people have a self-defeating tendency to start each workout as fast as they can go. Remember, start off slowly and build.

What is an interval? It is a time which you can complete the swim and get some rest. It means you will consistently keep to a scheduled departure (every 50 sec., every 1:00 min. or every 3:00 min.) for a given distance. As you get in shape, learn to pace and improve on technique, your rest on the same interval (time schedule) for the same distance will be greater because you will be traveling faster. With time, you will gain endurance enough to decrease that interval, enabling you to challenge yourself – and increase your speed!

Interval training is important to any coaching regimen. You will see immediate as well as long-term progress. Write down your swim times and your interval times after each workout so as to chart your progress. Pacing will also improve your stroke; it will become smoother, more stretched out and more relaxed.

Anytime you are in the pool for a swim, check out the white board for interval workout ideas, and please ask me if you have any questions! Happy Swimming!

Written by Karin Stender
Swimming Instructor, Seattle Athletic Club Downtown

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