With the 10x100's Check Set on Monday I started to look at the value of said sets. And other variations of Check Sets. I decided to find out more so I could justify to myself why I should skip Monday's practice to avoid swimming the 10x100's. Right off the bat I found an article from Swimming World Magazine LINK that states:
Coaches usually administer test sets during the course of a season to measure a swimmers endurance, speed, training thresholds and strength. The type of tests varies from program to program.
Okay. That makes sense. I swim Monday mornings and that has been the same coach for my four years of swimming so she knows me. That isn't the case with all the swimmers at the various workouts. Even I would guess that not all of our coaches know much about my swimming except that it's a guarantee that i'll get out during a kick set.
The article LINK then explained three different test sets. Here are some snippets:
Step Tests such as 6 x 200 with 1 or 2 minutes rest between swims. Rest should be just long enough to measure heart rate or obtain a lactate blood sample. The swimmer is asked to descend his or her times to the point where the last 200 is an all-out effort.
Another simple test set to determine Constant Swimming Velocity is a set in which the swimmer swims 4 x 100 at top speed with 30 seconds rest between each 100. This is usually done at the beginning of every season or twice during the short course season, with the second one done over the holidays.
The article was written geared towards Age Group Swimmers but I think most Masters Swimmers are closer to training of Age Group Swimmers as opposed to College Swimmers. Hell I couldn't do some of the College Swim Sets I've seen online. Maybe I'm more of a "Shark and Minnows" Swimmer. With these sets the article mentions taking heart rates and lactate testing. I'll be upfront and say that I've never checked my heart rate in any swim practice since age group swimming. It's never been asked. I'm intrigued enough to swim the 10x100's and do just that. Take my heart rate after each one. As for the lactate testing that won't happen. But that is something for me to think about down the line.