Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Critical Swim Speed Testing & Training

As our swimmers move into a more specific swim phase next week, I took them through a Critical Swim Speed (CSS) test on Tuesday with a 400 and a 200m Swim TT. This test looks at the relationship between the speeds of the 2 TT’s and gives a swimmer their current distance per second at threshold intensity.

This morning being 48hours later we set a quality set of 200’s with short rests at each swimmers 100m CSS split based on the Tuesday test

CSS testing effectively finds what your threshold pace in the pool, and sets a 100m split to work off. This time can be used for subsequent threshold sets from 100m to 400m reps or so. Rests between are usually short and between 10-30sec. This set works to increases your anaerobic threshold and aerobic capacity, with the short rests ensuring HR doesn’t drop and HR averages remain high for the entire set

It’s a perfect set for this time of year for our Fluid Movements swimmers.

Variables in CSS
One thing that I have noticed over the years is CSS sets generally favour swimmers with more endurance than swimmers who are naturally powerful but with less endurance (or unfit). They have the ability to hold their CSS pace over longer sets a little more easily.
So when I am watching my swimmers do the set, it can give me an indication of a few things.

1.       Their natural speed and endurance in the water.

2.       Their current fitness and ability to hold speed (speed end) at that time.

Something to Aim for
The exercise of doing CSS testing gives the swimmers a 100m split speed to aim for using the pace clock at the pool. It gives them a mark to strive for that’s based on their current form, and I find that it really motivates them to push the whole set.

Try it out and see what you think
Can’t wait to get stuck into the next 12week block.

*For more info on Fluid Movements swimming you can contact Coach Foz at

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