park tae-hwan times and CSS

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park tae-hwan times and CSS

Post by s.sciame on Mon Dec 12, 2016 7:15 pm

As you may know, a reborn park tae-hwan won the 200, 400 and 1500 SCM at FINA world swimming championships in Canada this week. He also qualified for the final in the 100's. Let's see his times:

Distance | time | AVG time per 100m

100m | 47.09 | 47.09
200m | 1:41.03 | 50.5
400m | 3:34.59 | 53.6
1500m | 14:15.51 | 57

His calculated CSS ((400-200)/(T400-T200)) is 56.78 and he averaged 57, very close. Another confirm that the CSS test is pretty accurate, especially for a well trained distance swimmer. But what hits me is that his average pace over 1500 is only 10s slower that his best 100. And there is also a 3s pattern: his 400m pace is about CSS-3, his 200m pace about 3s faster and his 100m another 3s faster. How many distance wanna-be swimmers here have such a narrow gap (and linear pattern) between the best 100 and the average pace over 1500? I believe Paltrinieri has an even more narrow gap (because he doesn't race over 100, 200 and 400).

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Re: park tae-hwan times and CSS

Post by SA on Mon Dec 12, 2016 10:31 pm

WOW, thats an impressive list of swim wins. Very versatile swimmer.
Always was a fan of Park because of his flawless techniqie (despite being a bit too much catchup and kneekick for me)
Thought he was finshed, but he still is alive and kicking!

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Re: park tae-hwan times and CSS

Post by s.sciame on Tue Dec 13, 2016 8:28 pm

so what's the lesson learned from those numbers? For me it's something like this (maybe this doesn't apply to pure sprinters but it's still fine to win the 200's and make the final in the 100's):

In the path of improvement, the "CSS green zone" for a developing swimmer should be 10 to 15s slower than his best 100m pace. If the gap is greater than 15s, it perhaps means lack of fitness (unless you're a very good sprinter). If it's 10s or less, chances are that you're becoming one-paced and it's hard to improve more (unless you already have a fast 100 under your belt, in that case it means you're very fit).

Basically the same concepts reported here:

http://www.arhy.org/swim-predict

But I prefer thinking in terms of CSS. So, gap > 15s do more threshold and aerobic work, gap < 10s do more speed work, green zone do both. Any other thoughts?

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Re: park tae-hwan times and CSS

Post by Sprinter on Tue Dec 13, 2016 10:03 pm

s.sciame wrote:so what's the lesson learned from those numbers?

But I prefer thinking in terms of CSS. So, gap > 15s do more threshold and aerobic work, gap < 10s do more speed work, green zone do both. Any other thoughts?

The difference between 47s/100m and average 57s/100m over 1500m is much bigger than say between 2:00/100m and average 2:10/100m over 1500m, due to the more than quadratically increasing water resistance. So for slower speeds the gap should widen.

Of course, there is the fundamental question: what do you want? I for example don't have much interest in longer distances, so I don't practice them (and I don't need them; indeed swimming longer distances is considered harmful for sprinters).

On the other hand, to become *really* fast over distances up to 1500m, you have to be quite fast also over short distances.

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Re: park tae-hwan times and CSS

Post by Guest on Wed Dec 14, 2016 1:41 am

Well just checked garmin connect my best 100 earlier this year 1m56s
My best 1500 31m 47s so 2m07s pace 11 secs difference so statistics say I only vary 1 sec to Park !
More Red mists and CSS required for me to get to even half his pace.

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Re: park tae-hwan times and CSS

Post by s.sciame on Wed Dec 14, 2016 1:23 pm

Sprinter wrote:

The difference between 47s/100m and average 57s/100m over 1500m is much bigger than say between 2:00/100m and average 2:10/100m over 1500m, due to the more than quadratically increasing water resistance. So for slower speeds the gap should widen.


Right, we humans should actually consider a wider gap between the best 100 and CSS.

Anyway, for those who practice CSS training on regular basis, I like the idea of having a CSS green zone. The CSS test (400m and 200m time trial) is fine, but I'd regularly do a 100m time trial as well to make sure that this also improves over time. If it doesn't, chances are that CSS will stagnate as well no matter how much CSS training one keeps doing, because CSS will never equal max speed of course. In such cases (eg CSS pace within 10-12s from best 100m time) a warning should trigger (green zone border line) and the swimmer should better focus more on improving his best 100 than his threshold, or he will hit a css plateau soon. On the opposite border line (eg CSS pace is 15-17s slower than best 100m) the swimmer should focus more on improving his threshold than his best 100. Does it make sense? Again, I'm talking about distance swimmers, not sprinters.

Gerry Rodrigues recommends a 100m and 1000m time trial every x months to assess how his triathletes are developing during the season. Guess his approach is similar to this one.

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Re: park tae-hwan times and CSS

Post by Mike A on Wed Dec 14, 2016 4:41 pm

That's a controversial idea, Salvo (that 100m time and distance time should improve together). When Paul Newsome was training for his English Channel swim, his 100m speed actually went down. He reckoned that training for distance inevitably reduced sprint fitness (on account of training different muscle groups and aspects of the CV system etc). He referred to the distance-focused training as "becoming a diesel engine".

For what it's worth, my current CSS is around 1:51, and my best recent 100m time is 1:35 (though I've managed 1:30 in the past).
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Re: park tae-hwan times and CSS

Post by Sprinter on Thu Dec 15, 2016 5:10 am

Mike A wrote:That's a controversial idea, Salvo (that 100m time and distance time should improve together). When Paul Newsome was training for his English Channel swim, his 100m speed actually went down. He reckoned that training for distance inevitably reduced sprint fitness (on account of training different muscle groups and aspects of the CV system etc). He referred to the distance-focused training as "becoming a diesel engine".

I think that ANY of this stuff only applies to the top-end of the field. Only there you will experience these trade-offs, because you are already at the limits of your body.
But most of us are likely far away from our limits. Especially if swimming slower than say 1:10 for 100m (fastest speed), then I believe the biggest improvements (for 100m fast) come from technical improvements --- and these are, in the opinion of many coaches (not all) best practised by actually swimming fast.

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Re: park tae-hwan times and CSS

Post by s.sciame on Thu Dec 15, 2016 8:56 am

Hi Mike, as Sprinter says, any of this stuff applies to the top-end of the field. Paul had a completely different story: he had 59s over 100m and 18:30 over 1500m and had to prepare for the English Channel swim. He decided to change stroke for the purpose (in particular he abandoned his 6 beat kick) and trained most of the time at 1:24/100m. He also gained some body fat to deal with low temperatures. Pure marathon swim training. It's normal that his 100m time dropped to... 1:02 (still damn fast!).

But ask him whether his intermediate swimmers don't improve in both max speed and critical speed. For instance, do you remember Mega Megan? In order to go from 2:12 to 1:32 CSS she also had to improve her 100m time.

What I'm trying to say with this CSS green zone idea is: you currently have 1:35 over best 100 and 1:51 CSS. If you diligently and consistently commit to CSS training, you'll eventually take your CSS to 1:45. At that point, or you find a way to improve your best 100m time, or your CSS will plateau there no matter how hard you try. Hopefully, by the time you get to 1:45, something in your technique will have improved as well and you could find your 100m time has improved to 1:30 as a by product. In this case you're still in the green zone, so go on with CSS training. If instead your best 100 is still 1:35, your CSS is probably close to a plateau (green zone border line), so you'd better focus more on speed development for a while to build some speed potential to work on. Only when you'll have built that buffer, your CSS can improve again to 1:44, 1:43 etc.

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Re: park tae-hwan times and CSS

Post by s.sciame on Thu Dec 15, 2016 3:22 pm

Another tool which can be used as an aid to understand what to do next for a distance swimmer is the Red Mist validator (it recently appeared here):

Say again Mike that your css is 1:51/100m. If you succeed css sets at 1:51 but fail Red Mist sets from 1:57 to 1:54, that means you lack fitness, so focus more on that.

If instead you succeed Red Mist sets from 1:56 to 1:53 but still fail css sets at 1:50, that could mean you're becoming one-paced and lack speed, so focus more on speed development.

It's this last bit that's missing on Feel For the Water: they promote to use the Red Mist to tweak css and it's fine. But what happens if the tweaked 1:50 pace still feels too hard on a css set? Maybe it's time to do some more speed work.

I guess the Guru makes these kind of assumptions when prescribing your training sessions and/or tracking fitness/fatigue.

CSS green zone and Red Mist validator: by now it should be clear that I'm trying to build a free version of the Guru Wink

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