January 22, 2018
A Different Type Of Pacemaker
We talk a lot about pace and energy zones. Champions, and championship teams, take ownership of their training processes. I think it is great that our swimmers constantly check their heart rates during and after their sets. Most of the silver and up swimmers can intelligently describe their perceived exertion in every zone. Even our newer and younger swimmers have a good basic understanding of the different training gears, so to speak. Now, it is time to step it up a notch.
Our training program uses the Russian based five (5) energy zone system. With the sub zones within four (4) of the zones, we have nine (9) targeted zones for training. We use a program call Super Sports Systems (3S) to design our seasons. More on that in another post. Suffice to say, a well thought out season hits these zones in a strategic manner so the athlete has nine (9) fully developed energy systems to fuel their performance at the end of the season. A well thought out career path hits these zones in differing percentages as the swimmer matures and develops into a high performing athlete.
Instead of relying on heart rates or perceived exertion, we can target paces more precisely through 3S. Since our program is growing, it is impossible to enter every swimmer into the system to get their prescribed pace from the 3S system. I know an app is in development that will make it easier for swimmers to get their 3S paces, but until that is out, we can use the following simple tool. I call it the Blue Wave Swim Pace Calculator, aka the “Pacemaker”
I posted a quick podcast on how to best use this new tool. It can be viewed below. I have also created an accompanying .pdf document. It can be used by the swimmer to write down their paces for different distances in each stroke. I suggest downloading it (click here) and printing out a new one each week. In addition to having the paces handy on deck, there is also a place to add what the swimmer wants focus on and improve during the week of practice. If you want to do a sheet for each day, great. Simply put the filled out form in a ziplock see through bag and keep it at the end of the lane at practice.
For years my athletes have heard this phrase. “Know Thy Pace, Hold Thy Pace”. Using this simple tool we can give the swimmers an even clearer understanding of proper zone training. This is a major advancement for our swimmers and for the club as a whole. Those who fully embrace this will experience true long term posiive results. Remember, you must be logged in to download the Excel file.
See you at the pool - Rich