11.06.2015

Swim Smooth "How Far Can You Go" Challenge

If you don't already subscribe to the Swim Smooth newsletter, you definitely should.  I think it is some of the best swimming and training advice available and it's in a format that is easy to understand, even if you haven't been swimming all your life.

A few weeks ago in the Swim Smooth email, a challenge was described that is designed to help give you some motivation and something to work towards during the winter months.  With no big swims to train for in the winter, it's hard for me to get up and go to the pool.  So when I saw this challenge, I was excited to give it a try and finally got around to doing it this week.

Basically, for the "How Far Can You Go" Winter Challenge, you time yourself swimming a 400 yard (or meter) swim.  You should be going "all out" and trying to get your best time.  After you swim your 400 for time, look up your time on the chart below to figure out your "challenge" pace.  Once you have your "challenge pace" you try to swim as many lengths as you can at that pace (it really helps to have a FINIS Tempo Trainer Pro).

Your current
400m/yd time*
per 25m/yd
per 50m/yd
per 33m/yd
12:00
41
83
55
11:45
40
81
54
11:30
40
79
53
11:15
39
78
52
11:00
38
76
51
10:45
37
74
50
10:30
36
73
48
10:15
36
71
47
10:00
35
69
46
9:45
34
68
45
9:30
33
66
44
9:15
32
64
43
9:00
31
63
42
8:45
31
61
41
8:30
30
59
40
8:15
29
58
39
8:00
28
56
37
7:45
27
54
36
7:30
26
53
35
7:15
26
51
34
7:00
25
49
33
6:45
24
48
32
6:30
23
46
31
6:15
22
44
30
6:00
21
43
28
5:45
20
41
27
5:30
20
39
26
5:15
19
37
25
5:00
18
36
24
4:45
17
34
23
4:30
16
32
21
4:15
15
30
20
4:00
14
29
19

Swim Smooth recommends doing this challenge every couple of weeks.  It doesn't take long to do and you can easily fit it into your workout, or even do it at the end.  The idea is to see if you can increase the distance you swim at your challenge pace.

On Wednesday, I swam 400yards for time at the end of the workout and got a time of 4:51.  I've been out of the pool for a while and haven't done a CSS test for a long time so I decided to swim easy until my heart rate came back down and then swim a 200 sprint so I could figure out my current CSS pace.  I did the 200 in 2:20, resulting in a CSS of 1:16.  (Click here for a brief explanation of CSS training)

Looking up my 400 time on the chart, I was right between the 4:45 and 5:00 times, so I decided to go with the faster time.  My challenge pace was 17 second per 25 yards (which is is a 1:08 / 100 pace).

At the end of my workout today, I decided to do the challenge and see how far I could get.  I thought maybe I'd get 50 to 75 yards and was surprised when I got to 150.

I'm excited to keep going with this challenge and test again in a couple weeks to see if I can get further than 150 yards at that pace.  If you decide to give this challenge a try, let me know how it goes.

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