The short-course pool and long-course pool are two completely different things. If you have limited access or no access to a long-course pool, you still have a few options for training.
Here are a few tips to make it easier to adapt to a long-course pool:
Work on your technique. Technique should be the main focus of your training. It is important to correct technical flaws in the beginning of the season. This will help you when swimming in a long-course pool.
An efficient swimming technique will not just mean less physical issues, it will also increase your strength and endurance. Training in a short-course pool also allows swimmers repeated opportunity to improve turns and work on streamlines, this focus will go a long way in swimming long-course.
Train your aerobic base. Along with technique, aerobic training is the very key to success. Aerobic training in a short-course pool will help you adapt to a long-course pool that requires greater energy expenditure.
There are inevitably certain differences in aerobic training in a short-course pool and a long-course pool. Most of the differences lie in the length and volume of training. Whereas aerobic work in a short course pool lasts 45 minutes, it can be as long as an hour in a long-course pool. Sets will involve longer reps (e.g. over 200 m) and there will also be speed work so that the swimmer gets used to changes in pace that are so important in a long-course pool.
Train your legs. Legs are probably the part of the body most affected by the transition from a short-course pool to a long-course pool. Even though there are fewer underwater phases, the volume of leg work must not be decreased. Maintaining a heavy work load is vital for finishing races strongly. Your legs will consume approximately 50% of your oxygen supply alone.
The short recovery periods force you to work hard during both parts of the session. After using your legs intensively during the first part, you are forced to swim the second part with tired legs. The high number of leg reps guarantees a solid endurance base for your legs.
There are only a few long-course pools in the state of Oregon. Check with the pool closest to you and see if there might be a workout group or a lap swim that will allow you some long-course training time. Even if you only get to swim one or two times a month, it’s better than nothing and it will give you the confidence you need to be competitive in a long-course pool.
Another option for training long-course is Open Water swimming. Oregon Masters Swimming offers several Open Water swimming competitions from May through August. Swimming Open Water is great for your aerobic base training which translates into some great long-course swimming. There are multiple distances available in Open Water swimming. Swimming one-mile or two-mile swims are a great way to start with Open Water training. An occasional 5K or 10K swim will help develop your aerobic base to a greater level than you could accomplish in any swimming pool. When you do swim Open Water, make sure your focus is on technique in the beginning. You don’t want to begin training with poor technique. Your endurance level will increase dramatically and you will have the strength to swim strong in a long-course pool. There are several opportunities available this year to train for Summer Nationals. I plan on taking advantage of these training opportunities; a weekend of racing translates into a week’s worth of training. If you haven’t tried Open Water swimming, you’re in for a treat! There’s nothing like hanging out on a beach with several of your swimming buddies.
Upcoming Pool Meets
|May 14||Central Oregon Masters Aquatics||LCM||Bend, OR|
|May 29||Amazon Pool 10K ePostal Event||LCM||Eugene, OR|
|June 3-5||Tualatin Hills Dual-Sanctioned Meet||LCM||Beaverton, OR|
|August 17-21||2016 Summer Nationals||LCM||Gresham, OR|
Upcoming Open Water Events
|May 15||COMA Lake Juniper Buoy Swim||Bend, OR|
|June 19||Hagg Lake Swims||Forest Grove, OR|
|June 25||Foster Lake Cable Swim||Sweet Home, OR|
|July 10||Portland Bridge Swim||Portland, OR|
|July 16-17||Applegate Lake||Ruch, OR|
|July 29-31||Cascade Lakes Swim Series||Bend, OR|
Hi Tim- Thanks for the tips.
One quick correction in the Applegate Lake Swim Dates. It will be July 16 and 17. You listed it incorrectly as July 17-18. As Bob mentioned in the distance swimming write-up, the Applegate Lake Open Water weekend will feature the 10K National Championship on Saturday the 16th of July and the OMS 1500M Assoc championships on Sunday, the 17th of July. It should be a great weekend of swimming! -Andy