100m repeats in Short Course (25m pool)
13 July 2800 SCM in 60 min [season total 20,000m]
My plan was to swim at the county 50m pool, but when I arrived there were no 50m lanes in, so I went to the town pool with is 25m. I really enjoyed this practice so I will continue to mix 25m and 50m training the rest of the summer. I think training in a 25m pool will help me gain more speed.
Tuneup 6 x 100 on 2:15 at 56 strokes (14 SPL each length). RPE 1-1.5
Times were fairly slow, descending from 2:03 to about 1:51
4 rounds of 5 x 100.
I tried to descend each round, and added a few strokes/100 to each successive round so my times got progressively faster.
Round 1 @ 14 SPL (50 strokes/100) I descended to ( 1:45
Round 2 @ (14+15+15+16) (60 strokes/100) I descended 1:44 to 1:39
Round 3 @ (14+15+16+17) (62 strokes/100) ( descended 1:39 to 1:35
Round 4 @ (15+16z+16+17) (64 strokes/100) I descended 1:35 to 1:31
My RPE never rose above 3.5 on this set. My stroke and turns felt great.
I swam 3 x 50 at (14+15 SPL) on 1:30 and went :45 and :44
Then I swam 1 x 50 at (15+16) and went :43 sec.
Then they closed the pool. If I'd had more time I'd have gone
3 x 50 @ (15+16) and 3 x 50 at (16+17). I guess I'll save that for next time.
You were easy to find once I found the link to the results page.
I look forward to the account on your blog.
Tues 14 July, 1900 SCM in 45 minutes [Season Total 21,900m]
I swam in the 25m New Paltz town pool for the second day in a row, partially because I was coaching a student there and it was most convenient to swim afterward, and partly because I had some unfinished business - a set of 50s interrupted when the pool closed--from the night before.
4 x 50 + 3 x 100 + 2 x 150 + 1 x 200
This is one of my favorite sets for testing my ability to keep one or more metrics constant while increasing distance. In this case my goal was to maintain my stroke count (14 SPL) and the fastest pace I'd swum on the 50s as repeat distances increased to 200m.
My fastest 50 was 52 sec and iI did succeed in holding 14 SPL and a pace at least that fast through the rest of the set.
My 100s were 1:45, 1:44 and 1:43 (51.5 per 50)
My 150s were 2:36 and 2:34 (51+ sec per 50)
My 200 was 3:26 - exactly double the time for my fastest 100.
Besides holding my best 50 pace throughout, this was also the longest set for which I've ever held 14 SPL in a 25m pool. Obviously very pleased with that.
Set #2 3 rounds of (4 x 50 on 1:30)
Round 1 @ 14+15 SPL.
Round 2 @ 15+16 SPL
Round 3 @ 16+17 SPL
I hit my target stroke counts on every length and maintained or increased my pace in each round, and swam faster average times each time I increased stroke count. Very solid set.
Set #3 3 rounds of (4 x 25)
Round 1 @ 1.00 tempo
Round 2 @ .98 tempo
Round 3 @ .97 tempo.
My goal was to hold lowest SPL I could manage throughout the set (i.e. fastest times too).
I held 17 SPL on odd lengths and 16 SPL on even lengths the entire set.
I feel as if swimming the fastest 25s I can--by holding lowest SPL on fast tempos--is extremely valuable speed work for me. I'll do this at least once per week for the rest of my Summer Training Project. Which means more practices in the 25m pool.
Revisiting my baseline 'broken' 1500 test set
Fri 16 July, 2000 LCM in 45 minutes [Season Total 23,900m]
I had planned since early this week to repeat my baseline test of a broken 1500m, done as 5 x 300. Though I woke up feeling somewhat under the weather since waking this morning I decided to go ahead with this, at 10 am, as planned. I think my times were affected somewhat, but it's good to occasionally do a high-effort set or test swim when you're not feeling your best.
5 x 100 on 2:10 at 37-38 SPL
I descended these from 2:00 to 1:49. Max RPE was 2+.
5 x 300 on 7:00 at 40-43 SPL. RPE was 3+ to 4+
I descended as follow 5:10 (40+ SPL), 5:00 (41 SPL), 4:57 (42 SPL), 4:55 (42+SPL), 4:51 (43+ SPL)
Three weeks ago, when I first swam this baseline test, my times were My times were 5:06, 4:59, 4:56, 4:52, 4:52 for a cumulative 1500m time of 24:45 and an average of 1:39/100m.
Today my cumulative 1500m time was 24:53 and an average 100m time of 1:39.5. I'll try again in about a week, on a day I'm feeling better and see how it turns out.
I believe I can also improve by swimming a longer tuneup and finish at a faster pace. Both times I did this set, though I felt I was giving a good effort on my first 300, my times were too far off the average for the set.
When doing a descending set such as this, it's ideal to swim each 300 repeat only about 2 seconds faster than the previous--or less than 10 seconds difference between the fastest and slowest 300. My fastest and slowest 300s had a 14-second gap last time and a 19-second gap this time. Reducing that gap will be my primary goal the next time I do this.
100m repeats -- Tempo + Time
Sat 17 July 2500 LCM in 60 minutes [Season 26,400m]
After swimming a pretty effortful practice yesterday, I needed a pretty restorative one today. Yet, even while controlling effort, I wanted to do some neural programming to prepare to swim a faster pace on my baseline broken 1500 in a week or so. I decided that a long set of 100m repeats, all with the Tempo Trainer would allow me to accomplish both.
I chose 100m repeats because they let me swim relatively brisk paces, with minimal fatigue.
I decided to make tempo my primary metric (with SPL and time as secondary metrics) because I always focus on a light touch and relaxation, when swimming with the TT.
I swam 4 rounds of (6 x 100 on 2:00) with the TT plus one more 100 easy after finishing the set. It turned out to be my best practice of the entire year. Here's how I did it.
1st Round 6 x 100 @ 1.15 sec/stroke
I did this with a very light feeling in my stroke and 2BK. As I tuned up, I gradually improved efficiency, reducing SPL. Every time I saved a stroke, I also saved 1.15 sec from my time for 100m.
I descended from 1:47 to 1:41, as my 100m stroke count fell from 87 to 82.
As my tuneups are usually 10 sec/100m slower, this was great. RPE of 2.
2nd Round 6 x 100, increasing tempo by .01 each--from 1.15 to 1.10.
My sole goal was to keep my touch light and strokes/100 at 82. I did both. As tempo got faster--while keeping stroke count constant--times improved to 1:38.
3rd Round 6 x 100 @ 1.10 Tempo
On the previous set, I felt as if I'd come pretty close to the tempo limit at which I could maintain ease and a 100m stroke count of 82. So I decided to try a full set of 6 x 100 at that tempo, striving to make it feel easier and more sustainable. I did increase my sense of ease very slightly and times were all 1:38, except for one at 1:37.
4th Round 6 x 100 @ 1.09 Tempo
Feeling a bit easier at 1.10 made me feel ready to increase tempo to 1.09 without increasing SPL or effort. That happened and consequently times came down to 1:37. On the last couple I increased pressure slightly and swam 1:36 and 1:35, my fastest 100 repeats of the summer in a 50m pool.
This worked out so well and felt so good, I'll increase the number of Tempo + Time sets I do. My goal will be to patiently increase tempo as I did today while maintaining a sense of ease/control and the same 100m stroke count.
If I look to increase tempo on these sets by only .01 to .02 per week, by Labor Day I should be able to do these sets at 1.00 sec/stroke. At 82 strokes/100m and 1.00 tempo my pace/100m will be 1:28-1:29. I hope to get there with the least possible change in perceived effort.
Best Broken 1500 of the Summer
Sat 24 July 2400 LCM in 55 minutes [Season Total 28,400m]
This was my first time in the 50m pool in a week. Each week previously I'd swum 2 to 3x/week in the pool. But I'd swum only in Lake Minnewaska for the past six days--my longest stretch this summer of unbroken lake swimming.
Here's why. Eight days ago I did my 2nd broken 1500 baseline test of the summer. I felt it fell short in two ways (1) At 24:53, it was 8 seconds slower than my previous broken 1500, two weeks earlier; and (2) I felt the gap of 14 seconds between slowest and fastest 300 was too large.
The next day I swam 4 rounds of 6 x 100 with a Tempo Trainer. I was pleased with how controlled my effort felt in swimming my best set of 100m repeats of the summer. I swam and felt much better than the day before.
So I decided to swim only in the lake for an extended period, gradually increasing my sense of comfort, control and relaxation at faster tempos. I swam 2000 meters each day, increasing tempo by .01 each 400. I didn't time them or count strokes. I just focused on feeling.
Last Saturday my tempo range in the pool was 1.15 sec/stroke to 1.09.
On Sunday I did my 400s at 1.10, 1.09, 1.08, 1.07, 1.06.
I gradually made my 'Tempo Comfort Range' faster throughout the week. Yesterday I increased from 1.07 to 1.03, feeling comfortable all the way.
That left me feeling well prepared to swim at considerably faster tempos today than I had one week ago.
Tuneup 200 Cruise @ 37-38SPL -- then:
Tempo Pyramid 10 x 50 @ 1.07, 1.11, 1.15, 1.19, 1.17, 1.15, etc. to 1.07.
I took 42 strokes at 1.07 at the start of the pyramid and reduced that to 39 strokes at the end.
Main Set Broken 1500 as:
5 x 300 on 6:00. At 1.09, 1.08, 1.07, 1.06, 1.05 Tempo
I averaged 41 SPL on 1.09 and my average was still slightly below 42SPL at 1.05.
My times were 4:59-4:57-4:54-4:54-4:51
Cumulative 1500 time 24:35 -- best of the summer by 10 seconds and 18 seconds better than last week.
And the primary reason I improved my cumulative time so much was by reducing the gap between slowest and fastest from 14 to 8 seconds--which I identified as the ideal descending range on such a set in my last post.
Swimming this set with a Tempo Trainer, and increasing tempo by just .01 each repeat, made that pretty much a no-brainer . . . if I kept my Stroke Length or SPL pretty consistent.
3 rounds of (6 x 100) with Tempo. Best Practice Again!
Mon 26 July 2700 LCM in 55 minutes [Season total 31,100m]
My switch to using Tempo as my 'controlling metric' instead of SPL, has brought fantastic results. I closely repeated a practice I did 9 days ago, but with strikingly faster times--simply by increasing Tempo, while trying to keep effort moderate.
In that practice I did 4 rounds of 6 x 100 with tempo ranging from 1.15 to 1.09.
Today at much faster Tempos -- 1.07 to 1.05 -- I still held 82 strokes/100 and consequently swam much faster., even though I tried to keep my stroke pressure light (not disturbing water molecules). didn't feel as if I work any harder to to it. Though these were the fastest 100m repeats I've swum this summer, I felt very controlled--RPE below 4 until the last few 100s.
Tuneup 100 EZ + 800 Tempo Pyramid
I did the Tempo Pyramid as 16 x 50, starting with 1.07 Tempo at 41 SPL, slowing tempo by .02 for 6 x 50, then increasing by .01 for 10 x 50. I finished at 39 SPL, a 2-stroke improvement.
3 rounds of (6 x 100 on 2:00) + 1:00 rest between rounds.
Round 1 @ 1.07 sec/stroke Tempo. I held 41SPL and times of 1:35. This was my fastest 100 in the last practice. I felt quite relaxed and controlled repeating 6 x 100 at that pace today.
Round 2 @ 1.06 Tempo. I again held 41 SPL and times improved to 1:34.
Round 3 @ 1.05 Tempo. I still held 41 SPL -- but it required intense concentration on every stroke -- and times improved to 1:33.
I'm super pleased with the progress I've made the last two weeks since focusing on Tempo as my primary metric.
thanks for the post. Very interesting, as I've made this same switch to tempo focus during my OW training this summer--nothing else to measure. I'm guessing that, with all of your training, your neural circuits are set to default to efficient SPLs, so you don't need to consciously monitor that. I've found that even my own SPL (with FAR fewer hours/years of training) doesn't vary too much when I focus strictly on tempo and feel. Anyway, I like training this way. I think I've worked so much on SPL and body position that SR is now my biggest performance limiter--which is nice, because I know what I need to do to increase SR.
I'm looking forward to switching up my training now, and will be trying to swim a PR for 1500m the rest of this summer (not difficult since I haven't ever swum a timed 1500m!) But obviously, the ideas on this thread are going to be VERY useful for me. It'll be fun to be doing lots of fast (for me) swimming.
Broken 1500m Baseline Set #4
Mon 3 Aug 2500 LCM in 60 min [Season Total 33,600m]
Today I repeated my baseline set for Summer 2015 for the 4th time since June 20. The last two times I've used Tempo as my controlling metric, after discovering that it enabled me to swim a faster cumulative 1500 by keeping my descending times within a much tighter range. Using SPL as my controlling metric earlier in the summer I always started the set with much slower repeats than I finished with.
Tuneup 300 'Perfect' RPE of 1 to 1.5 and SPL range of 33 to 36.
Pre-Set Tempo Pyramid 12 x 50 slowing by .04 from 1.03 to 1.15 then increasing tempo with 4 x 50 at 1.13-1.11-1.09-1.07 (.02 change) and 4 x 50 at 1.06-1.05-1.04-1.03 (.01 change).
I chose 1.03 as the starting and finishing tempo on this Puramid because I planned to finish my main set at 1.03.
Main Task 5 x 300 on 7:00 at 1.07-1.06-1.05-1.04-1.03 Tempo
4:54 - 4:53 - 4:51 - 4:49 - 4:47
Cumulative 1500 time of 24:14
This is my best of the summer, improving on my previous best (just 10 days ago) by 21 seconds. The key to swimming as fast as I did was descending all 5 x 300 but the slowest was within 7 seconds of the fastest. The first time I did this the slowest 300 was 14 seconds slower than the fastest.
Andy in Norway was the first on this Forum to do that, giving an example I've followed ever since.
Andy's thread is Reducing 400m Time from 7 minutes to 6 minutes in 21 sessions.
When I saw it I coined the name Improvement Project and have done two or three of them a year since then. The elements of an Improvement Project are
1) An empirically measurable goal
2) A plan or strategy for achieving it. If you read the thread, you'll see advice I gave Andy on modifying the plan he chose initially
3) A finite time frame.
4) Accountability -- one form of which is to log it publicly (or semi-publicly) as Andy gave the example for in that project by announcing his project then logging it here.
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