Posted by: Joe English | May 11, 2010

Workouts — What does “Going on the top” mean?

Coach Joe English

Coach Joe English

A reader names Jenny writes in with a question this week that I think a lot of people might not know the answer to. Here’s Jenny’s question:

“I’m training for my first triathlon so I went to a local swimming club workout. It was my first time out and the coach told me that the workout was to swim 50 meter intervals and “go on the top”. I didn’t know what he meant, so I just followed the crowd. What the heck did he mean?”

First, Jenny, I’m glad that you asked the question of someone, but don’t be afraid to ask your coaches. We often get into a lingo and forget that people don’t all know what we mean. I’m certainly one to use colorful language at times. For the most part, coaches will be happy to explain. Who knows if you’re dealing with someone who wouldn’t, so let me tell you what “going on the top means” and how it applies to both swimming and running.

“Going on the top” — or other variations of the term like “going on the bottom” or “leaving on the 10s” — are a way to use the clock to derive the rest interval of your workouts for group of people.

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