In a world where we calculate most things (like money) on a 100-based scale, athletics brings the need for a new type of math, the 60-based scale.
Why Do It:
Learning how to calculate how fast you swam with just a quick glance at the pace "clock" can bring a new dimension to your swimming. Without paying attention to the clock, swimming becomes simply exercise rather than a sport.
How to Do It for Interval Training:
1. First, it’s incredibly important to always know WHEN you leave the wall. Whether you’re 5 or 10 seconds behind the person in front of you, you’ll have your own time and everything will be based around THAT time.
2. Once you know your BASE (or your set time), you need to calculate when you must leave for the next swim. For instance, if you leave on the :15 and the send-off is :40, you’ll need to determine quickly, or during your swim, that your next swim will start on the :55.
3. Digital clocks like the one shown here require good math skills, and knowing when you need to leave prior to finishing is a good idea.
How to Do It for Getting Your Splits:
1. A very quick glance at the clock can generally give you enough information if you’ve preplanned a general idea of what your split should be.
2. Knowing that you’re holding approximately 1:05s for 100s within a 500, means that if you leave on the :00, you should see a :03 just prior to your turn… or an :08 after your turn (depending on your push). Estimating on freestyle and backstroke through the turn will be important, while you can get pretty accurate on breast and fly.
How to Do It Really Well (the Fine Points):
Once you and your team get a good grasp of swimming math, be creative with your intervals by going sets on the :36, or 1:12, or even… 1:12-1/2. Also, to further practice your math, have the swimmers leave :08 seconds apart and give them 50s on the :42. See how they use their minds. 🙂