CSS stands for Critical Swim Speed – a really simple concept that could improve your swim fitness, pace judgement and training motivation.
What Is CSS?
The Benefits of CSS Training
2. CSS is a race-specific training pace. It may not make you the fastest 50 or 100 swimmer, but it will train you to sustain a moderately high speed for longer distances.
3. CSS training teaches you about pace awareness the hard way (which is usually the best way!) Go off too fast and you’ll pay the price later. Ouch!
4. Thankfully you can test your current CSS pace without having to swim a solo 1500 Time Trial. See below for instructions.
5. Once you know your CSS pace, you can use a Finis Tempo Trainer Pro to help you train. It’s a small beeping device that attaches to your goggles. Dial-in your CSS pace and it’ll happily beep every lap so that you can maintain perfect pace.
How To Test Your CSS
To test your current CSS pace you need to swim a 400 and 200 Time Trial within the same session. Ideally, get a friend or coach to time you and record your 100 splits and strokes per minute. Failing that, simply record the 400 and 200 times yourself. Once you’re done, enter your 400 and 200 times into our own CSS Training Zone Calculator.
CSS Sample Workouts
Once you’ve worked out your CSS pace, the training possibilities are endless. You could start off by trying these four simple workouts. You can shorten them if you’re not quite ready for 2000 metres or yards yet. Don’t forget to include a warm up (400-800m/y) and warm down (100-200m/y) too.