Critical Swim Speed is the highest rapidity that a swimmer can maintain throughout the race without deceleration. Critical speed training provides a strong dynamic load on the body but is not so heavy as to harm the athlete. Rest after such workouts can be minimal, which allows you to do other sports in parallel and significantly strengthen your physique and increase durability. Let’s find out which swimmers use this technique and what it is for.
Use of the CSS Methodology among Triathletes
Triathlon-type competitions are very popular among modern swimmers. Triathlon is a multi-sport competition where athletes go through several stages: cycling, swimming in open water, and running. The first competition of this type took place in 1977 in Hawaii as part of the Iron Man Triathlon and since then has attracted more and more sports fans every year from all over the globe.
Triathlon contests always begin with a swim in open water, usually, 1500 meters, after which the athletes change into cycling uniforms and start a 40-kilometer race, after which they will compete in a 10-kilometer run. Naturally, such competitions require great endurance.
The main feature of the triathlon is its strict regulations. Such events always begin with swimming, which forces the competitor not to spend all his energy in the first stage. It is CSS trainings that help determine the comfortable pace for each athlete in order to overcome the range as quickly as available and save energy for the next stages of the race.
Calculating CSS During Workouts
Many newcomers have heard of the Critical Swim Speed calculation but are not able to calculate it. Let’s explore this important point together.
To begin with, athletes cover a distance of 400 meters, trying to stick to one pace that will allow them to save energy and maintain the required speed. After overcoming the 400-meter stage, the athlete must rest a little, and then overcome another 200-meter swim, observing exactly the same conditions for maintaining a constant speed. Then the results of both swims are entered into a special application for calculating the critical speed. Such applications are widely available on the Internet for any device. This critical tempo is calculated to cover a triathlon range of 1500 meters.
Exercises to Improve CSS Scores
To increase swimming pace and improve durability, skilful competitors recommend the following exercise regimen:
- 20 x 100m swims with 15-second rest
- 10 x 200m with 20-second rest
- 5 x 400m with 30-second rest
- 3 x 600m with 45-second rest
All workouts must be performed at one speed, which is critical for you at the moment. As you train, your performance will improve, for this, conduct a CSS test every two weeks.