2 comments on “Are Your Intervals Too Long?

  1. For decades, swimmers have endured crippling interval sets that involve intervals lasting over two minutes with only 5-15 seconds rest. Thankfully, this kind of interval training is being questioned by a few experts and coaches, but is still popular. My question is this: If a swimmer is training for a race lasting two minutes, is this kind of interval training optimal for performance in such an event? I doubt it’s optimal for health.

    • I am not very familiar with the physiological or physical demands of swimming as I myself have not experienced the training required for it, but I can’t see how such short rest could prepare one for a competition. It does make sense to repeat multiple bouts to improve both anaerobic and aerobic work capacities within the same session, however the periods of rest must be trained appropriately, assuring the athlete is doing the following:
      1. Improving their initial two minute swim time each time it is tested
      2. Consistently producing the same work output and time results during the subsequent bouts in the same session
      This has to be done by gradually decreasing the amount of rest in between each bout. And if a swimmer for a 2 minute race has the endurance to repeat the bouts after such short a rest, I doubt they have the power endurance to sustain a pace equal with that of the other swimmers.

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