garmin 910XT

Build or Descend

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.