As I write weekly workouts for Kiefer, I find myself growing frustrated that all I can give you is rest based sets. To get the most out of your workouts, setting an interval base is the way to go. Even if you are not using my workouts this can be beneficial to your training.
It’s not as hard, scary or intimidating as you may think, so let’s set up a few scenarios to find something that will work for everyone.
First, we all need to hop in the water and do a timed swim. The distance you choose should be based on your age and fitness level. For example, is you are like me and swim multiple times a week for over an hour and average over 3000 yards or meters per workout, you want to do a timed 1,500 yard swim or more.
There is a minimum here of 500 yards regardless of your age or ability. The shorter your timed swim is the less accurate your base interval will be. It is easier to swim faster over shorter distances, of course!
Divide and conquer: for simplicities sake, let’s say you did a timed 1,500 yard swim and it took you 15 minutes. That would make your interval base 1:00 per 100. For a little sample of what we can do with this, here is a small heart rate set.
8 x 100’s Freestyle
2 x 100’s @ interval base +10 (1:10)
2 x 100’s @ interval base +5 (1:05)
2 x 100’s @ interval base (1:00)
2 x 100’s @ interval base -5 (:55)
I hope you can see the difference in quality this kind of information can foster in your workouts vs the generic :10 second rest intervals.
Choose your timed distance, give it your best effort, and divide your final time by the number of 100’s you swam. A 1,500 yard swim would be your time divided by 15, and a timed 1,000 yard swim would mean your time divided by 10 to get an interval base.
I’m encouraging everyone to try this over the next month. You will see me start to integrate actual intervals into my workouts. This doesn’t mean I will forego any rest based sets, they will still be there. Helping you achieve your goals is my goal, and this is one way to make significant gains.