CSS Ragamuffin

In Uncategorized by Charlotte OBeirne

Over the last week I have been conducting CSS testing on our current swimmers. Everyone has done so very very well. Everybody has improved brilliantly. I have explained CSS previously so you can read more on that here if you wish.

The results for the group are here CSS information.

What the spread sheet tells you: 100 time  – first 100m of the 100 or 200m swim. 400 & 200 times are the finish times for the test swims. Average for last 300m will show you how much slower you swam per 100m after the first 100m. A big number here will show that your pacing needs some work. Try and go out slower next time, leaving you more energy for the end of the swim. CSS, the third highlighted number is your threshold pace, and the pace for you to aim to hold for a 2k+ session. Some people managed to repeat the test twice so the second time they swam it you will see their name and a 2.

Remember your CSS time. It is your measure of pacing for sets. The time per 25 next to it shows you what to pace to set your Tempo trainer (if you have one) per 25m. We will start to use these more in training particularly on a Friday.

The results show fantastic improvements across the board. Several people last time we did this could not make the distance. Just made the 200 and now did the whole set and the swims in between. Huge congratualtions. That is both a mental and physical achievement you should be proud of!

The biggest gains have come from those who have been swimming more than once a week and that fitness is going to show in all that you do. Peta and Shannon for example  put in 2 sessions a week pretty regularly this year and went from only making 200m with a time of 2.45 per 100 to swimming sub 2min/100 completing the entire set, twice!

If you look at Amanda Burges’ times you will see she has bought her CSS down by 11 seconds which is a great achievement when you are already swimming that fast. What is interesting is that the second time both Amanda and Shannon did the test they swam faster however their CSS pace dropped. This is due to the pacing drop off between the 400 and the 200.

 It pays to work on your pacing and your fitness! 

Helen Lee… 400 time of 7.09, CSS of 1.52 (March 14) has benefitted from regular Friday sessions and has dropped a minute off her 400 time and 14 seconds off her CSS. Helen is an interesting one……and a great example for explaining how knowing your CSS works for everyone even if you don’t want to enter a long swim event.

CSS is a brilliant tool to help you build your diesel engine. It shows how strong you are over a long distance. I can speak from experience in that if you are targeting a long swim, Busselton Jetty for example, you need a strong diesel engine and good pacing. If you go out too hard and then get slower by an average of 15 seconds per 100 it is going to be a long hard swim.

If you can build your diesel engine over time you will be much better placed to get the result you deserve.  Brendan Evans is a brilliant example of this. He has been backing up his Swim [men] session with a CSS session each week and dropped a monster chunk off his times and hopefully he will appreciate how well he is swimming.

Back to Helen. Helen doesn’t want to enter an event. It isn’t her thing. She wants a hard work out and to push herself in training. The CSS testing will show Helen that she has improved from all her hard work. From the column which shows time per 25 for the beeper I can set Helen off at a time that is faster than her CSS. Then I know she will have to work hard and will meet her goal.

For the rest of you, that completed the testing (if you didn’t, read how from the link above and e-mail me your times) if you have a Finnis Tempo trainer Pro (what is that?)  you can now set your beeper to your pace and try to stick with the beep for each 25. It will be easy at first but over the length of the session you will know you have worked hard.

If you have a Tempo trainer please bring it to training with you. If you don’t you will have to ask Father Christmas nicely, or get better at using the clock to manage your pacing until he arrives. They cost $50-$60.

If you would like more information on CSS sessions using your Tempo Trainer. E-mail me or if you think you might want to buy one I can bulk buy this Friday and get a discount. – just let me know by midday tomorrow.

Happy Swimming