Yesterday our swim workout was 4x225m + 4x150m(or 4x4.5 laps and 4x3 laps), 1500m total. I had a great swim workout by the way, my flip turns were good and I felt like a "swimmer."
My training partner asked me, "Why are we doing 225m and not 250m? Why are we doing such a wierd distance?"
Well, to be honest of the 3 sports swimming is the one I have the least experience in and I am still learning a lot about swimming technique, workouts, etc. I can come up with a periodized 16 week strength training program no problem, but to come up with swim workouts for 16 weeks leading up to a Half Ironman is not my forte. I know periodization, so applying it to swimming shouldn't be too hard but I still have a hard time being creative with different swim workouts. But I am learning...So, last year I attended a Triathlon Coaching certification with Dave Scott. If you don't know who Dave Scott is, you should study up because he is one of the most well known and successful triathletes there is. He also gave an excellent coaching course and he mapped out swim workouts for 20 weeks leading up to each distance!
Why reinvent the wheel...if Dave Scott says this is how to do it, I believe him...He gave 20 weeks of marker sets, or sets to time yourself and watch your improvement. He alternated between shorter faster distances and longer endurance swims so every other week you swim a long endurance swim.
I have also realized that I learn by doing, as most athletes do. When I read a workout or concept I have to put it into practice before the concept sinks in, I have to experience it. So on our training plan I wrote out Dave Scott's 20 weeks of marker sets for us to follow. As we are progressing through it I understand the concept of alternating speed workouts with endurance workouts and building the volume, maintaining the pace. I have altered some of the workouts because of where we are at in our training plan(recovery week or peak week) but for the most part we are sticking to these marker sets each week. We are swimming 3 times a week so I will repeat the workout usually one more time and then we'll usually work on technique on our third swim.
Check out Dave Scott's 20 weeks of marker sets to a Half Ironman-
1- 24 x 50
3- 13 x 100
5-4x150, 5x100, 8x50
15-4 x 600
16- 2400(prog by 600)
18- 2500(race pace)
20- 2500(race pace)
So in answer to the question, "Why are we doing 225m?" "Because Dave Scott says so..."