Triathlon Lesson #1: Swim Sprint Splits (or why no weightlifting is good)

Triathlon Lesson #1: Cutting off weightlifting might hurt short burst swim speed, but is better in the long run.

The biggest major change in my training over the summer has been the elimination of weightlifting of any kind (other than a short, weekly ab routine). I’ve lost five lbs. as a result, pretty much all in the shoulders and arms. I’ve been enjoying swimming a lot more as a result, as my back muscles are never so knotted tight that I feel like I can hardly move.

This really showed when I did my first sprint workout of the summer yesterday, involving 5×100 on 2:00 (sprinting the first 50, best effort), and 4×150 on 2:30 (sprinting the first 100, best effort). My 50 times were a fair bit slower than they had been the last time I did this workout, a disappointment given the volume I’ve been putting in. I went 29,28,28,28,27 on the 50’s, an average of 2 seconds slower than the last time I did the workout. I wasn’t even seriously tired after each, I just couldn’t move fast through the water.

My spirits were raised after doing the 100’s though, as I went 1:05, 1:06, 1:04, and 1:03. I’ve always had a problem where my shoulders just lock up and I can’t keep my turnover up high enough to be effective moving through the water. This happened at the end of my last 100, but without all that shoulder muscle mass, my range of motion during the stroke was much better than I remember it being, and as such, I had more endurance.

In sum, while having an awesome 50 free time is good fun for master’s meets, I’m much happier having the short burst speed of a 100-200y, and the ability to last longer than that once I settle down in the water.

Only a week and a half until the Lake Samish triathlon!

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~ by cdviking on July 26, 2010.

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