SwimSmooth (who are recommended by both English and Scottish Triathlon organisations) have devised a system to assist with training speeds and for estimating race times. This Critical Swim Speed (CSS) is a measure of how fast you are, together with how well you can sustain your speed as the distance increases. This CSS depends upon two times set within the same training session which comprises…
- A warm-up
- A 400m time-trial (see t400 below)
- An easy swim
- A 200m time-trial (see t200 below)
- A warm-down
SwimSmooth’s various equations can be simplified to CSS = (t400-t200)/2.
- For endurance training add about 8 seconds to your CSS per 100m.
- For sprint training subtract about 5 seconds from your CSS per 100m.
- For a 400m (Sprint) race your estimated swim time is about “2 to 4 seconds” quicker than your CSS for each 100m
- For 1.50km (Standard/Olympic) up to 1.93km (Middle/70.3/HalfIM) race your estimated swim time is around your CSS for each 100m.
- For the 3.86km (IM) race your estimated swim time is about “2 to 4 seconds” slower than your CSS for each 100m.