During this past week those swimming on Thursday and Friday got the chance to assess their current ‘diesel engine’ level by conducting two timed swims. If you missed the sessions and want to know what your diesel engine level is let me know and I will tell you what you need to do. It’s simple to do on your own and provides you with a measure of your critical swim speed. (read more about Critical swim speed or CSS here).
The reason for this testing is 2 fold:
- Calculate your pacing to assist with improving fitness and session programming
- To create a measure, a line in the sand, of how swim fit you currently are, to enable comparisons over time.
The results fell into a few categories – mind blowing improvement, a good level of improvement, and an improvement, everywhere an improvement (whoop whoop says the coach!). There are several reasons for the improvements, which I would like to expand upon here.
The test consists of swimming a 400m and 200m timed swim. The biggest improver went from 9.48 and 5.10 respectively to 7.50 and 3.47. That’s an improvement of almost 30 seconds per 100m and is simply phenomenal. Well done Wendy Mitchell you have worked for that!
Its important to note Wendy could swim 400m when she started Swimming Women so she was already a mermaid but there has been a trick to her improvement that I would like to share. (There are lots of other reasons including her being so intelligent, a great listener, challenging herself to the point of glaring at the coach and being such a model student etc. etc. but we have to keep it real!)
Consistent Routine. Quite simply Wendy has consistently swum twice a week. Each week she has done a technique session and an endurance session and the two have combined to provide a better fitness base to work the drills more effectively and the improved drill performance has in turn improved the speed and the fitness.
You don’t have to swim twice a week with swimming women, although I heard a change room rumour that the sessions are getting harder if you don’t! You can do another session or even both sessions on your own but if you want to improve the key is regularity and consistency. Sure there will always be weeks when life gets in the way and its too hard to get to the pool but getting into a routine helps you roll through and over life!
It’s also important to remember why you swim. Getting to the pool once a week may be just the right level for you and that is OK. You may not improve so drastically in such a short space of time but with a consistent routine that improvement will come.