H2O Cruise Terms 'Splained

T-20 Swim | Cruise Chart (CC) | Cruise Pace (CP) | Cruise Time or Chart Time (CT) | Cruise Distance (CD) | Cruise Effort or Intensity (CE) | Cruise Interval (CI or CInt) | Cruise Stroke Count (CSPL) | Work:Rest (W:R) | Set Variety

T-20 Swim - A best effort 20-minute swim. At the end of the T-Swim, record total distance swum, exact total elapsed swim time (finish the 50 you are on when the clock passes 20 minutes and get your finish time at the end of that lap) and your average stroke count. Your average pace for a best-effort T-Swim is a good predictor of your anaerobic threshold, lactate threshold or Cruise Pace (see below) for swimming. This test is an excellent practical indicator of your swimming ability. T-Swims may be done either all-one-stroke or in some repeatable combination of strokes (ex. IM or Fly/Free or Back/Breast, etc.). Although the most common T-Swim we do is a T-20, T-Swims can also be done in longer durations such as T-30, T-40, T-60, etc.

Cruise Chart (CC) = officially the Cruise Pace/Times Chart - this chart lists swimmers' recent (last 90 days) T-Swim performances. Following is an abbreviated section of a typical Cruise Pace/Times Chart. The data in the Time, Dist and SPL(Strokes Per Length) columns are collected from the swimmer's most recent T-Swim. The other columns show T-Swim-average-pace for distances from 25s and up (the chart we most often use at the pool has columns for every short-course wall distance up to 575).

Swimmer
Time
Dist
SPL
25
50
75
100
125
150
175
200
225
250
275
300
325
350
375
...
Billy Bobber
20:06
950
24
:32
1:03
1:35
2:07
2:39
3:10
3:42
4:14
4:46
5:17
5:49
6:21
6:53
7:24
7:56
...
Joe Swimmer
20:24
1200
15
:26
:51
1:16
1:42
2:08
2:33
2:58
3:24
3:50
4:15
4:40
5:06
5:32
5:57
6:22
...
Sam Speed
20:40
1500
13
:21
:41
1:02
1:23
1:43
2:04
2:25
2:45
3:06
3:27
3:47
4:08
4:29
4:49
5:10
...
H2O Cruise Pace/Times Chart

Cruise Pace (CP) = the average pace per 100 that you swam through the T-20 (ex. Joe Swimmer, above, went 1200 yards in 20:24 resulting in a 1:42/100 CP). This is the time that shows up in the 100 column of the Cruise Chart.

Cruise Time (CT) = your Cruise Pace extrapolated to other distances listed in corresponding columns on the Cruise Chart ( you can see that Joe's Cruise Time for 50s is :51, for 200s it is 3:24, and 5:06 for 300s, etc.). ("Cruise Time" is used interchangeably with "Chart Time")

Cruise Distance (CD) = the distance, rounded to the nearest wall, that you swim in a specific time period when swimming at your Cruise Pace. A 3-minute Cruise Distance would be the distance you swim in about 3 minutes. (so at Joe's CP of 1:42/100, in a short course pool he'll be a few yards short of the 175 wall at the 3 minute mark - so his 3-minute Cruise Distance would be 175).

Another way to express Cruise Distance: the distance for which your Cruise Time is closest to a specified time ( Joe's 2:30 Cruise Distance is 150 because that is the distance for which Joe's CT of 2:33 is closest to 2:30).

Unless otherwise specified we are looking for the closest wall to a Cruise Time - might be a bit short of, or a bit longer than the specified time - but sometimes the set might call for a Cruise Distance that takes at least (or at most) some specific time - so you must pay close attention to the words used in the set description.

Cruise Effort (CE) (also sometimes called Cruise Intensity) = the perceived effort required to swim at Cruise Pace. This is useful in describing a particular work intensity without the swimmer having to pay strict attention to the clock. This is a subjective monitoring tool as opposed the the objective tools of CP, CT and CI (below). If you do lots of work with these objective tools, your mind and body really knows what swimming at CE doing occasional CE swims will yield very similar results

Cruise Interval (CI or CInt) = An interval calculated from your Cruise Time for a given distance plus a small amount of rest. (Joe's coach says to go repeats of "about a 6-minute Cruise Distance on a +:15 interval". Joe's Cruise Time for 350 yards is 5:57, so he adds :15 to get 6:12. He then rounds up to get his CInt of 6:15 for the set - or he accepts a bit more of a challenge by rounding down to 6:10 for a slightly shorter CInt. In some cases Joe's coach will explicitly indicate which direction to round, otherwise it is Joe's choice).

When swimming a Cruise Interval set, unless otherwise specified, each repeat should be swum to hit the CT (or faster) and then the next repeat leaves on the CInt time. (Joe should swim each 350 in 5:57 or less and leave at 6:15 for his second 350, then start the third 350 at 12:30 and so on.)

In some cases Coach will ask you to determine your Cruise Interval by using a "minute multiplier". For instance he may say something like, "this is a 20 minute Cruise Interval set of 300s on a minute multiplier of 3". To figure this:

  • first, look up your Cruise Time for 300 (say, 4:42), then
  • round that to the nearest whole minute (4:42 rounds to 5 minutes), then
  • multiply that whole number by the minute multiplier (5 x 3 = 15),
  • which now becomes the number of seconds to add to your CT to arrive at your Cruise Interval,
  • so the set now becomes 300s on a +:15 CInt.

Commonly used minute multipliers are 2, 3, 4 and, occasionally, higher numbers.

Cruise Stroke Count (CSPL) = The average stroke count (strokes per length or SPL) the swimmer used during the T-Swim. A swimmer may have T-Swim performances at several different stroke counts. When basing a set on a specific line on the chart, the swimmer should strive for the same, or lower, average stroke count as listed for that line.

Work:Rest - In CInt sets we want to keep the rest short in relation to the swim time - generally in the 3-5% range - to keep the keep the work:rest profile at a highly aerobic level - at or slightly above anaerobic threshold. Too much rest makes the set more anaerobic. This means that for each minute of swim duration we add 2 to 3 seconds to the Cruise Time, then round to a convenient :5 second clock mark to arrive at an interval that allows an appropriate amount of rest.

Set Variety - Although Cruise Intervals are generally used to prescribe highly aerobic training sets, Coach will often use Cruise Chart data to construct other types of sets. Basing intervals, distances or rest periods on your personal Cruise data helps to make one set "fit" a much wider variety of ability and conditioning levels than the standard "everybody goes 10 x 100 on 2:00" type of set description.

Index of all the workout terms, sets, concepts, etc. that have links in the workouts.

 

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