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How RKC and PTP Training Have Made Me a Competitive Swimmer Again

February 7, 2005 07:47 AM

Just recently I had a competed on Master's nationals swimming competition and had placed 4th in my age group. The placement sounds impressive but that had been out of 6 competitors. Upon further study, I came to realize that it had been my fastest swim. Still, it had been a disappointment when I swam the time I did 27.57 in 50 Meter Long Course race. The world record is approximately 21.8. I had hoped to break 26 but will say this. The guy who won the heat won the last half of the race. In cross training kettlebells and PTP for that matter, I had inadvertently trained power giving myself a lot of speed. The question is then how did the other guy beat me by a whole two seconds. It was not that he was faster as much as a question of fatigue. I actually came out ahead and broke even until halfway he gradually took over.

This is a problem with keeping the anaerobic threshold up long enough which requires anaerobic type training. When I swam competitively from age 7 to 17 I swam 50 M free in 28.5 but with a flip turn which adds speed. In 50 M without a flip turn in would have been approx 29 seconds which is a full second and half slower then my disappointing time not to long ago. With almost no prep I was able to after a decade of no competition whatsoever despite getting tired and perceptively slow down crush the old time by 1.5 seconds. I wish I could have kept up the pace. I intend to in the near future.

I'm not sure what the best way to train for a race 50 M is but I will argue that I had overtrained most of my life. The "more is better" concept which I hear from runners and endurance athletes is true to a point and the point in my opinion is much lower then they think it is. Sure, I could run a 5 min mile if I ran 10 miles a day, but for how long? Does not a car give out after a certain mileage? There are exceptions with certain folks but for the most part the human body cannot replace what it has lost upon constant overtraining. Unfortunately, the Air Force has it built in their minds that I need to run 4 miles a day 3 days a week to train for a 1.5 mile run. I'm not saying this does not work well but I will argue overtraining for 1.5 mile run. What do I know about the specifics of overtraining? Not too much other then half a life time of experience in being the victim of it in the pool.

Though I take training seriously currently, I had not taken training swimming specifically serious for this recent meet. I had the power to win but not the endurance in a sprint event. Sounds like an oxymoron: endurance in a sprint event. Granted, there are ways to train to meet an anaerobic threshold (90-100 %) intensity or aerobic threshold, which is less intensity for a much longer duration. I do not pretend to have absolute knowledge on how to train either way in balance with one another but will say that I have a fair understanding. The catch is to keep up this intensity for more then 20 seconds.

Since the meet though I train swimming 30 minutes a day 4 days a week and strength train on the off days with Power to the People! (PTP) and/or Kettlebells (ballistics). The desire to compete had been dormant long enough. I have good technique that probably could be improved but for now need to get back into swimming shape with this newfound power and explosive ability I now possess in the pool. Salutations go to Pavel and his PTP/RKC concepts that have given me newfound strength and power to be better then ever.