The benefits of doing anaerobic alactic swim workouts
Having speed in the water can make a significant difference to the overall outcome of your swim. Here are three example sets you can do.
peed training in the pool is often disregarded by triathletes. This is a huge oversight: having speed in the water can make a significant difference to the overall outcome of your swim.
There are three physiological systems that work together throughout the swim; anaerobic alactic, anaerobic lactic, aerobic.
- The anaerobic alactic is the fastest and most powerful system. This system works without oxygen, doesn’t produce lactic acid and lasts for 6-15 seconds.
- The anaerobic lactic works without oxygen, produces lactic acid and lasts about 2 minutes.
- The aerobic system uses oxygen and is the main engine used for efforts over 4 minutes.
For the sport of triathlon, the majority of your swim workout should be focused on building your aerobic capacity. This means that you should be swimming intervals that are over 2 minutes in length and at threshold pace or slower.
There are, however, substantial benefits to be had from training the anaerobic systems, specifically the anaerobic alactic system. Despite not being a common practice among triathletes, or unknown to many, you may find some unexpected gains by training the anaerobic alactic system.
The beauty of using this particular system strategically in races is that it can recover and be ready to be used again within a minute. There are four strategic areas where you can use your anaerobic alactic system.
Give’r from the gun: in the sport of triathlon, it is beneficial to be able to sprint at the start in order to be able to draft someone who is slightly faster than you. It doesn’t make much sense to dawdle at the start and draft someone who is the same speed as you. Sprinting at the start may also allow you to get into clear water faster and avoid the washing machine that is the start of most races.