Swimming Set of the Week – May 1, 2009

This week’s set is based on heart rate and perceived level of effort.   Think about your effort in terms of color zones:
WHITE = totally aerobic; 55-65% of max heart rate
PINK = aerobic but slightly more strenuous; 65-75% of max heart rate
RED = right at your aerobic threshold; 75-85% of max
BLUE = Just above threshold; this is anaerobic; 85-95% of max heart rate
PURPLE = max Vo2 pace; 95% of max heart rate

In this, set, you don’t want to get to the BLUE or PURPLE zones.  You want to be WHITE, PINK, or RED as indicated.

The set is choice, but it’s best to swim the same stroke the whole way through.  Take your pulse (at your neck) for 6 seconds after each swim and multiply by 10 to get your heart rate.   There’s no "correct" heart rate for any zone.  Your rate will depend on your age, fitness level, and how well you can control the way you swim.  As a rule of thumb, you might expect to see your heart rate increase by 7 to 10 beats per minute in each new zone.  Here’s the set:

4 X 200 in your WHITE ZONE on :15 rest interval

1 minute extra rest

4 X 200 in your PINK ZONE on :30 rest interval

1 minute extra rest

3 X 200 in your RED ZONE on :45 rest interval

If you do the set as breaststroke, do fewer repeats:
3 X 200 in WHITE ZONE
3 X 200 in PINK ZONE
2 X 200 in RED ZONE

Remember that there are two more zones beyond RED.   Don’t go there in this set!  Have fun.