Aerobic Threshold 3,000

16 April 2022


I've devised a training plan to get me ready for Canadian Masters Nationals (May 20th to 22nd) that concludes each week with a longer, aerobically oriented workout. I'm not sure if exercise science supports my plan, but it feels like the right mix of my "best of" sets and test sets to build confidence, fitness and speed. I've got two more weeks of increasing volume and intensity before I enter my three week taper phase. Here's how this went down on Saturday mid-day at my local LA Fitness, in yards.


Warmup (1,500 yards) A slight abbreviation on my standard warmup:

  • 1 x 400: IM kick-drill

  • 8 x 50: on 0:50, free swim with snorkel, descend in sets of 4 using stroke count per lap (SPL) as the driving factor making the descend happen

  • 1st four at 0:35 (9-10 SPL), 0:34 (10-11 SPL), 0:32 (11-12 SPL), 0:31 (12-13 SPL)

  • 2nd four at 0:33, 0:31, 0:31, 0:30 (adding 1 SPL to the first round)

  • 4 x 100: on 1:45, IM kick on back descend, 1:30, 1:29+, 1:28, 1:26

  • 1 x 50: easy scull with snorkel

  • 8 x 25: done in pairs on 1:00, odd lengths fast IM order, even lengths easy

  • 1 x 50: easy scull with snorkel

Main Set 30 x 100 (3,000 yard set / 4,500 yards total)

The idea was to do 30 x 100 on 1:30, a fairly generous interval for me:

  • Descend #1 to #5 down to my threshold pace

  • Threshold pace is determined by taking the average from my most recent 3 x 300 test set, where I was 3:13s and so used 1:04 as my target today

  • Notably, this is also close to 90% of my 100% effort of 0:59 on my recent heartrate test set

  • Then, alternate between one at 80% of max speed (e.g., target 1:10) and the threshold pace through #25, making for 11 efforts at threshold pace

  • Ascend the last five, aiming to go 1:10, 1:15, 1:20, 1:25, 1:30 to be my active cool-down (which I did by progressively swapping a lap of freestyle for a lap of backstroke starting on #26)

I actually had a hard time hitting the 1:10s on my more moderate effort, but hit 1:04/1:04+ on all of the threshold efforts except lucky #13 at 1:05, which I documented using the kind of "super high tech" swim technology I love, a scuba/underwater slate board:

You can see another benefit of bringing the slate board to the pool at the very bottom: when a non-swimming idea pops into your head, as they often do (e.g., remind myself to ensure my work calendar reflects that I have to take my Honda Accord in for service this Thursday), I just scribble it down before it floats away into the chlorine ether.





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