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Lost in transition

CSS swimming advice

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I have my Critical swim speed at 1:36 per 100. When I’m doing a 20x100 css session, I am lucky to make 6 on the time cycle.

What am I doing wrong. If I push it out 2 seconds (1.38), this set is much more achievable. Am I missing out though?

Also when doing 400’s on CSS, do I have to add some time to my css per 100 due to turns, length of intervals?

Ok, one last question. Have people had genuine success doing this css training vs the standard type of swim sets, with mixed distances per intervals, rests etc etc?

 

 

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I have not heard of this. It will be interesting to hear about.

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The css equation isn't foolproof and just a guideline.  If you're not hitting the times it probably says your tt times are either being impacted by each other or you're a more natural speed/ endurance swimmer (depending on the gap between your tt paces).

If 1.38 is achievable then use that as your time. You're supposed to use the same time for 20x100, 10x200, 5x400 etc. with the only thing changing is more rest. Once you can do all those easily then retest and start again. 

Realistically it is race pace sets for triathlon so it should be a part of most people's program just called by a different name.. one of those sessions outlined above, combined in a week with some shorter harder intervals and another longer easier session and most people would improve..

 

 

 

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I can swim 100s on about 1:33. 

But when I did the css test it came up at 1:47 css. 

Last week I did 20x 100 on 1:47 it felt pedestrian. 

Maybe we both need to redo the test. 

Did you do it solo or in a squad situation?

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15 minutes ago, pieman said:

The css equation isn't foolproof and just a guideline.  If you're not hitting the times it probably says your tt times are either being impacted by each other or you're a more natural speed/ endurance swimmer (depending on the gap between your tt paces).

If 1.38 is achievable then use that as your time. You're supposed to use the same time for 20x100, 10x200, 5x400 etc. with the only thing changing is more rest. Once you can do all those easily then retest and start again. 

Realistically it is race pace sets for triathlon so it should be a part of most people's program just called by a different name.. one of those sessions outlined above, combined in a week with some shorter harder intervals and another longer easier session and most people would improve..

 

 

 

Hmm ok. I was watching some videos and they all seem to say that you will feel the first 5 be reasonably easy, and often will go to fast. At no point did I think this haha.

I did the test all on my own @Peter. Long way off my best, but I gave it everything over the last 200 😩😩😩

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1 hour ago, Lost in transition said:

I have my Critical swim speed at 1:36 per 100. When I’m doing a 20x100 css session, I am lucky to make 6 on the time cycle.

What am I doing wrong. If I push it out 2 seconds (1.38), this set is much more achievable. Am I missing out though?

Also when doing 400’s on CSS, do I have to add some time to my css per 100 due to turns, length of intervals?

Ok, one last question. Have people had genuine success doing this css training vs the standard type of swim sets, with mixed distances per intervals, rests etc etc?

 

 

I read somewhere that if you swim reps approaching (but just below) CSS, then you will still get plenty of benefit.

If your CSS is in theory 1.36, but you can hold 1.38, in reality, 1.38 probably closer to your actual CSS.

Regardless of your actual 'real' CSS - doing 20x100 at that speed is going to help you anyhow. It's a good set.

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23 minutes ago, Peter said:

I can swim 100s on about 1:33. 

But when I did the css test it came up at 1:47 css. 

Last week I did 20x 100 on 1:47 it felt pedestrian. 

Maybe we both need to redo the test. 

Did you do it solo or in a squad situation?

How did you do the test, and what were your actual times? Was it a 400, then 5 or so mins later a 200?

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Might I add.... some days I can do 15x100, holding 1.27-28, and it feels like a walk in the park. On a bad day, though, 10x100 holding 1.31 is a struggle.

Just getting in there & doing the set is most of the battle.

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20 minutes ago, Nick777 said:

How did you do the test, and what were your actual times? Was it a 400, then 5 or so mins later a 200?

Yeah but I had 8 minutes between. 

I don’t have my times here. They are at work. 

I think I actually swam the 400 too slow. I wasn’t shattered at the end.  

I think I might go to msac tomorrow and have a crack.  I did it in a 25mtr pool 

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My previous coach used CSS but we never just did 100s on our css. It was more a normal session but you were aware of what speed you should be attempting to hold. They were very rarely on your CSS but plus a few seconds and those times and rest changed regularly with what the set was trying to achieve. Do you use a beeper? I trained on my own for an IM using sets she gave me and found it was very effective because the beeper doesn't lie!  It also meant that other people could use the same set just change the times to suit their CSS. Our coach was trained by Paul Newsome and used the swim smooth program. If you could get your hands on a few of his sets your CSS may make more sense. 

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11 minutes ago, Peter said:

Yeah but I had 8 minutes between. 

I don’t have my times here. They are at work. 

I think I actually swam the 400 too slow. I wasn’t shattered at the end.  

I think I might go to msac tomorrow and have a crack.  I did it in a 25mtr pool 

Yep, that sounds the same as what I did. 

It's not a fun test. The last time I did one, my 400 was totally flat out. Until about 2 minutes before the 200, I wasn't going to do it.

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Lost in transition, sounds like your swim endurance is a bit light on. I think you should try 1.40 for your 20 x 100 session to start with. If you can hold 1.40's for all 20 without fading then you you can think about dropping it to 1.38. If you struggle to hold 1.40's, work on you endurance and strength endurance for a few weeks then try your 20x 100s again on 1.40. You will probably be able to hold close to 1.40 a bit easier. 

Peter, you should be swimming 1.35's. Stop bludging and stop sitting on the lane rope! Lol.

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@Greyman yep, what your saying makes sense. I am just getting back into swimming after a looong time away. I was going to do 2 focus sessions a week. 

20x100 CSS on a Monday

5x400 CSS on a Wednesday - is this a strength endurance session?

Long swim Sunday

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Great thread!

I find that when I increase my running and/or cycling, it has a direct impact on my swim times (more so than the other way round).  It will affect your time trials and your later efforts to hit split times. Keep this in mind if your times drop by a couple of seconds. During taper I decrease the running & cycling load but maintain swimming and my splits drop back down.

@Lost in transition most people would not do the same swim sets week in, week out. The 20x100 CSS on Monday & 5x400 CSS on Wed is something I might do once a month to gauge progress.

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10 minutes ago, Lost in transition said:

@Greyman yep, what your saying makes sense. I am just getting back into swimming after a looong time away. I was going to do 2 focus sessions a week. 

20x100 CSS on a Monday

5x400 CSS on a Wednesday - is this a strength endurance session?

Long swim Sunday

The advice you get here is just a guide to get you thinking about how you can get back into swimming without injuring yourself. Joining a swim squad is always a preferred option, however, if you can't due to time , work hours etc and swim by yourself ( I do most of the time) then the following info could give you some ideas about how and what you could do.

If you're just coming back to swimming, doing two CSS sets a week maybe over doing it and could give you an over use injury. What it will do, is make you tired and after a few weeks you may get very demotivated for swimming. Also doing a long swim Sunday followed by a 20 x 100 CSS on Monday, is not a great idea. Your cumulative fatigue from the long swim on Sunday, will mean you will be struggling to meet your goal CSS lap time by about lap 10. 

Assuming Sunday, Monday and Wednesday are your days available to swim, I would suggest you try the following:

Sunday - Long swim. But just don't got to the pool, dam or beach and swim mindlessly for an hour. Think about those things that need a bit of work like running in and out of the water, porpoising and sighting while swimming. You can even practise this at the shallow end on the lane at the pool. After doing your 1500m or whatever long swim, doing another 500m simply broken up into 5 x 100m. Start each lap striding in the shallow end until waist deep then porpoise a few times then start swimming and practise your sighting, turn at the wall and as you head back sight where you will stand and start porpoising etc. 

Monday - as you're returning to swimming, your stroke will be rusty so doing swim drill sets, would be a better option the day after a long swim session. Doing a warm up of 800 to 1000m (any combination you like and can do comfortably) followed by simple drills like Stroke catch up, paddles, swim band or any other of the dozens of swim drills you can find in the Internet. Just start out simple and easy and don't overdo it. 

Wednesday - do your 20 x 100s this day if you can. The secret to pacing these sessions is your mindset and relaxing. If you are time constrained to get the session done or you arrive late because of traffic, 9 times out of ten you will rush the first 5 or so 100's until you settle. So make sure you have an adequate time window in your day to get the session done. If you find struggle with time, try swapping it with your long swim on Sunday. 

How, when, why and what you do with swim training is limited to your imagination. 

 

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Awesome awesome awesome. I wasn't sure if I just do css paced sets that it was the perfect mix of endurance, and intensity.

I used to swim with a squad, but now with a new born, it's lunchtime or before work only training. Most of my swim sets are around the 2 - 3km session including warm-up and cool down. I was just trying to find the most efficient use of time. 

I thought doing a lot of CSS sessions were a similar training stimulates to Sweet Spot bike sessions. 

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