Vasa SwimErg + Trainerroad -- how to approach?

I just received a Vasa SwimErg with the ant+ power meter. I set it up and did my first session this morning, mostly aimless “swimming.” However, what’s the best way to implement the Vasa into my training? I’m still going to swim a minimum of two to three times a week, but I would love to hop on and do a TR workout.

Should I just do a ramp test to get my swim “FTP” and go from there? Also, is there a more eloquent way to swap from my cycling FTP to my swim FTP?

I would probably lean more toward the 8 or 20 min test to get a vasa erg FTP. I’ve used an erg (w/o power) and I cant imagine trying to follow a steady ramp rate very closely on one. And there definitely is no way to swap cycling to vasa erg FTP, you’re just gonna have to do the test.

Hi. Have you seen this link?

I suggest you work through these workouts. Those workouts were all fairly simple (help familiarize you with Vasa) and the final workout will have you to an FTP test.

I did put the FTP test into Trainer Road and can share that with you if you are interested. I have some other simple workouts that I use that I can share.

Note: I saw your message on Slowtwitch too and will likely respond there in the next few days. I only do Vasa workouts using Trainer Road. You can edit your FTP in the account profile. It is tedious to keep changing back and forth for bike and Vasa, but it is worth it.

I use to dryland train on the Vasa Erg when I was a more competitive swimmer. I’m in the market for a Erg, but haven’t found a used one yet. If you know of any, please let me know.

But, does this workout work with non-erg versions of the Vasa? I feel that I would need to purchase an erg version (and power/ant+) to be able to use this method of training better. Thoughts?

Yes, you are correct. You would need the erg version and an ant+ dongle on your phone or pc to do the power based workouts. Good luck finding an erg. Drop me another note here if you get one.

I ended up sending mine back. After a few sessions, I couldn’t get into it. It was way too different from actually swimming and I get a better workout in actually in the water. It sucks that I had to pay 600$ to merely try the machine for a month… Be warned that the shipping is stupid, so if you buy one, you better make sure you want it. IMO, vasa’s are way overhyped for the majority of swimmers.

Hey Econ,

I’m an Ex college swimmer and coach. Used to use TR a bit for cycling. Just got a Vasa Erg and am set up with TR. I’ve been playing around a bit. Any advice? Tips? Need to do an FTP test still.

Thanks!
Steve

Hi Steve. Sorry not to reply sooner. I see you got yourself added into the Vasa team thread - not a very active group, unfortunately. The things that helped me get started were 1) reading the vasa related threads on Slowtwitch and following along with the workouts included in this 12 week plan that the Vasa folks put out. I guess not many people ended up seeing this, but it includes the FTP test and you should be able to see my version of some of these workouts in the Vasa team thread.

Yeah, I think I’m as set us a I need to be at this point. Thanks for the reply. Fun and painful machine!

I was not aware of this 12 week program–thanks for posting about it! I got my Vasa Erg in February and did the 3 week Vasa intro program and have been repeating the same 3 workouts/week (selected from the TR Vasa Team) ever since. I’ve continued to see improvements, but believe I could probably accelerate my progress by either mixing it up or upping my volume.

How was your experience with the 12 week program? Did you see some good improvements? I’m debating building out all the workouts in TR, but would need to cross-reference the workouts in the program with the ones you’ve already built so I don’t duplicate efforts.

I somehow got into the beta test for the program last year. The program itself only showed up once in the Vasa Blog (distributed via email) in March this year. I’m not sure why they did not give it more press. It was kind of buried in the article - scroll down towards the bottom and you will see 12 Week Training Program:

If you can get in all 3 workouts every week, I believe you will see good improvements. I ended up doing 2 workouts per week and sticking with 3 pool workouts. I got through week 9 and still improved my FTP from 42 to 61 (yeah, it is quite low but I’m 62 and I think that brought back a lot of the strength I had lost in the previous 5 years).

If you want to see which workouts I built, search for “Vasa 1-”, “Vasa 2-”, etc. The first couple weeks are shaky, but after that I got most of them through week 10. Since you are a member of the team, those workouts should now show up in your search. There may be some errors and I am open to making changes if you have suggestions.

Dan

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Thanks for the insight on the program. I’m on their mailing list, but must’ve somehow missed the mention of the program in the email in March. I’ve been doing 3 Vasa workouts/week and have improved FTP from 45 to 62 (late Feb to present). I think I’ve got a ways ago, but happy with the progress I’ve made so far.

I just looked at all of the workouts on the Team Vasa TR page and am not seeing any workouts titled “Vasa 1-” etc. Can you double check that they’ve been shared with the group? (I’m seeing 29 workouts total in the group.)

Thanks a ton!

Alex

I took a look at the 3 workouts you are doing and they are quite good. It is interesting to see that your gains pretty much mirror mine. I have slacked off a bit on the vasa and have not tested in quite a while. I will take a look back at my actual results and see if/when it makes sense for you to step into that 12 week plan. I guess you are already hitting quite a bit more stress than the first 4-5 weeks.

Do not search in the Team Workouts. Go to the normal TR workout search. If I enter “vasa” there, I can see 73 total workouts. Let me know if that works.

Dan

Thanks for the feedback! My target event would be a 70.3 swim and it looked like the 12-week program was aimed toward that, so was thinking it could be worth it. I definitely need to continue working on endurance portion as I’m struggling to hit that IM 70.3 Prep workout at targeted intensity.

I just did full TR workout search and am still only coming up with 29 workouts with “Vasa” in them. Are you by chance on additional TR Teams that have more Vasa workouts than I have access to? I’m just on the “Team Vasa” TR team…

Sorry about that. My memory is flawed. We did have a discussion on this in the Team thread and I should have looked at it for reference. In order for you to see any of my workouts, I must add them into the Team workout library. Give me a few days to move in some of those workouts. I will start working backwards from week 10 because I think you are already beyond the level required for some of the early weeks. I will also open up a thread over there for further discussion.

Dan

No problem. Thanks so much for all of your work on this—I really appreciate it.

Alex

Alex,

You can find the workouts for weeks 3-10 in the team workout library. I also started a thread in the team forum to include the links to the 3 and 12 week plans.

Dan

Dan,

Thanks a ton for uploading all of the workouts to the team page and for providing additional context on the plans. I’ll have to review my current weekly VASA tss and determine the most appropriate place to start in the 10 week plan. I plan to jump in in the next week or two.

Looking forward to mixing up the VASA workouts a bit!

-Alex

I forgot to mention that I looked at your workout TSS: 70.3: 57, 10X30s: 22, 3X(3X60s): 24

I will also throw some comments into that same thread about my experience using the plan prior to an IM along with my thoughts on that 70.3 workout.

Ok thanks. Looking at the weekly TSS on the 12 week plan, it seems that jumping in at Week 6 would put me at at similar TSS as the 3 workouts I’ve been doing.

I did read in the 12-week plan that for 70.3, they recommended the maximum # of intervals in the interval ranges for most workouts and I believe you mentioned you created the workouts using the minimum # of recommended intervals. I’m thinking I could go through Weeks 6-12 once the way you have them built and then could potentially repeat the plan (would need to figure out which week to start at then) by doing maximum # of recommended reps (as recommended for 70.3). I’ve used Workout Creator before, but am unsure if I can download a workout you’ve created into it and add additional reps as needed. This wouldn’t be necessary for a while, but just a question on my mind.

I look forward to hearing more on how the plan worked for IM prep and your thoughts on the 70.3 workout.