I was having a discussion with a fellow triathlete about what the difference between a “build” set and a “descend” set is when you are swimming. In both scenarios the goal is to swim faster and faster but they are a little different. When you “build” you usually do so within each interval of the set. So if you are swimming 4 X 100 build, you swim each lap in the hundred faster than the last (building). But if you are swimming 4 X 100 descending, then you swim each hundred in less time than the previous one (descending).
You may not have needed this explaination and it is quite possible that I have just confused you even more. The reason I bring it up is because I was lucky to get new training tool this weekend that really helped me see the difference between the two types of sets. I got a Garmin 910XT which is a great tool for analyzing your swimming. I am a decent swimmer so I don’t really look at my times or worry about them. But now I have a ton of data at my hands due to this new watch. When I was looking over the graphs of my swim this morning I noticed how the build versus descend was evident in the graph.
Set #1 shows 6 X 50 build. You can see that I was building because each 50 (except for # 4) shows my second lap was faster than the first. Building!
Set #2 shows 6 X 50 descending every 2 (swim two at slow, then two at medium, then two at fast). You can see that intervals 3 and 4 are faster than 1 and 2, and 5 and 6 are faster than 3 and 4. Descending by 2!
I am SUPER excited to use this new watch and I think it might give me the little extra push I needed to kick my butt in the pool.
Click here for all the Garmin data.