Pool Tempe For Active Recovery
by Keats Snideman
As a master's sprinter and proponent of sprint work for all field/court sports and even for general fitness, I have been using what is referred to as "tempo" training for well over a decade (since late 90's). Tempo training is basically energy system development (aerobic work) for a sprint, speed, for more power-oriented athletes. In the coming months my brother and I will go over how to perform this vital and fun method to improve general fitness and aerobic capacity for the sprint athlete. In this blog however, I want to introduce a recovery-oriented method of performing tempo work that fits well for a day when someone is feeling a little bit beat up or fatigued from prior accumulated training stress.
The goal here is simply to reduce the stress and pounding on one's joints and muscular system by performing essentially a "running A"(aka "high knees) drill in about chest deep water. The programming used here I learned from the late Canadian sprint coach Charlie Francis who really pioneered the many used of tempo work for sprinters and speed-power athletes.
Work-Rest Ratio: 45 seconds on/15 seconds off (although during my rest periods I perform a gravity reduced bodyweight movement on the steps of my pool; see video below).
Sets/reps: aim for 1-2 rounds of 10, so total time is 10-20 minutes or so (more when adding in time for BW movements).
I don't monitor heart rate during type of training session since the intensity is really quite low. On an Rating of Perceived Exertion (RPE) Scale one should be around 3-4/10, possibly higher if very unfit. This is a nice, quick and easy way to get some tempo work in with a lot less stress applied to the joints of the body. For a master's athlete it is a vital tool to have in the recovery toolbox!
Thanks for reading and watching and please share this with anyone you think might benefit from it!
In Speed and Strength,