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Tom Pamperin 11-20-2017 09:53 PM

Back At It
 
I've been swimming again after about 5 months without pool access. After about two weeks now, I'm starting to feel like my technique is starting to come back. Today I did my second USRPT session: 30 x 50m at faster than :45 on a 1:05 interval. My first session I did 4 repeats total!

Today, 9 repeats total before failing out of the set. Based on my experiences with USRPT in May, I expect to be hitting near 20 repeats next week--gains come very quickly.

The nice part of such a long break from swimming is that my stroke feels new. Right now I'm discovering an awareness of my kick and its relation to hip rotation. Seems like kicking slightly later--after my spearing hand enters--facilitates an increased hip rotation that I haven't felt before. It seems to offer more speed/power without any extra load on arms--e.g. for my first USRPT repeat today, I set out too fast (typical for me) and came in just under :40, which is pretty fast for me. Really fast for me right now.

But the real fun, of course, is the continuing progression. I'm still thinking I'll prioritize USRPT sets of 50m and 75m repeats, holding SPL at 16 or under, and see if I can swim a 7:30 500m. Last spring I hit a 7:45 in my second attempt, so I think it's realistic.

All right, good to be back. Cheers!

s.sciame 11-21-2017 08:25 AM

Welcome back Tom!
Glad to hear you're swimming again and sharing your practice with a renewed stroke. By the way, a sub :40 after 5 months without swimming is awesome!

Happy swimming and keep us posted,
Salvo

gary p 11-21-2017 11:22 PM

Welcome back! After a summer where I concentrated far more on biking than swimming, and an illness in September, I got back to serious swim training in early October. Been doing USRPT sets of 50's, 75's, and 100's at 200, 500, and 1000 race pace. Also some hybrid USPRT sets of 50's fly, trying to build myself up to be able to race a 200 (SCY) in the mid 2:20's by Spring.

Tom Pamperin 11-21-2017 11:58 PM

Salvo,

thanks for checking in. How are things going for you?

Quote:

Originally Posted by gary p (Post 63930)
Welcome back! After a summer where I concentrated far more on biking than swimming, and an illness in September, I got back to serious swim training in early October. Been doing USRPT sets of 50's, 75's, and 100's at 200, 500, and 1000 race pace. Also some hybrid USPRT sets of 50's fly, trying to build myself up to be able to race a 200 (SCY) in the mid 2:20's by Spring.

Gary,

I'd love to hear about your experience using longer repeats with USRPT sessions. Most likely I'll try some long open water swims again (10+ miles) and I'm curious how to combine that with USRPT.

For now, I'm just happy to be back at it with 50s for a while. When I finish that set I'll start up with 75s again. Winter is a good time for me to train, as I can swim 5-6 days per week.

s.sciame 11-23-2017 04:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tom Pamperin (Post 63931)
Salvo,

thanks for checking in. How are things going for you?

Hi Tom, I'm currently swimming 3-4 times a week, doing mostly sets of 100's, 50's and 25's (not pure USRPT however, in general I keep the rests shorter than the standard 20s).

One thing I'm trying to fix is my addiction to Tempo Trainer. After years of intense and creative use of the tool, the result is that when I swim without it I'm just slower and I can't figure out why! Maybe I slack a bit into and out of the walls, don't know (with TT I always count the beeps also during the turns, no way to slack). Or maybe I just unintentionally slow down the cadence during the swim. This would be another proof that neural training matters and that's fine. However I don't like to know that my best performance depends on an external tool (perhaps chasing a faster swimmer would produce the same outcome in a more natural way).

Curious to know if others have ever dealt with similar side effects after swimming a lot with Tempo Trainer.

Salvo

sclim 12-13-2017 03:48 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by s.sciame (Post 63939)
Hi Tom, I'm currently swimming 3-4 times a week, doing mostly sets of 100's, 50's and 25's (not pure USRPT however, in general I keep the rests shorter than the standard 20s).

One thing I'm trying to fix is my addiction to Tempo Trainer. After years of intense and creative use of the tool, the result is that when I swim without it I'm just slower and I can't figure out why! Maybe I slack a bit into and out of the walls, don't know (with TT I always count the beeps also during the turns, no way to slack). Or maybe I just unintentionally slow down the cadence during the swim. This would be another proof that neural training matters and that's fine. However I don't like to know that my best performance depends on an external tool (perhaps chasing a faster swimmer would produce the same outcome in a more natural way).

Curious to know if others have ever dealt with similar side effects after swimming a lot with Tempo Trainer.

Salvo

Salvo: I use the TT almost always, but I am still getting a lot of training use from it. For instance, I notice that my stroke is still irregular, and I sometimes detect very minor stroke to stroke irregularities. The fix for it (for me, anyway) is demanding a very strict cadence for the moment of catch, for instance. I believe the overall effect is getting me to tidy up my balance, so I'm still getting a good benefit from the TT. But when required, I seem to be able to switch to "noTT" mode quite effortlessly. But also I see no need at present necessarily to wean myself off.

However, for yourself, have you tried doing a 100m, say at a tempo that is suitable for the speed you're aiming for, then doing a test run with the TT to see that the time matches your expectation and calculation, given your appropriate SPL. Then doing it without the TT, but just matching the pace in your head with the time you want, assuming the SPL will look after itself. If you are good at hitting a precise pre-determined time for a 100m, for instance, it can't be difficult to re-train a proficiency without the TT.

Unless the problem you are talking about is the ability without TT to easily hit precise times for, say 100m, until they get so fast that they hit a speed/time range that you can easily achieve with the TT, but it's hard to without the TT, in which case I misunderstood, and your problem is that you like having a coach yelling in your ear when to stroke, and it's easier for you that way, so much easier that it's hard to raise the required effort without the beep. Hm, I get like that when running with a fast buddy (just automatically matching his pace, I mean, not his foot cadence) -- but I don't respond well to any (non-human) mechanical device telling me to run faster (in running I have never been able to run with a TT-like cadence setter -- it wouldn't work due to micro irregularities of terrain and other randoms that make synchronizing footstrike to a beep problematic).

I must say that one possible reason I have not missed the "TT crutch" is that without the TT I have not been exposed to any prescribed difficult expectation or self imposed trial to meet a given time or speed. But my feeling is that my own technique is fragile enough that I don't want to encourage any bad habits flailing around for speed! For me, better practice correctness until my technique is secure.

CoachStuartMcDougal 12-13-2017 05:31 AM

Hey Tom, Salvo:

When you've swam with tempo long enough you know what your tempo range is both lower end and higher end (faster tempo) without a TT beeping next to your ear. I rarely swim an entire session on tempo, maybe 1/3 max, and mostly to reset my "inner tempo" or swim at tempos both above and below my range. Whether tempo is 1.05, 1.02, 1.0, .98, .95 - I know each one so well that I can hit those tempos at will and use each depending on distance and (in open water) changing conditions.

Challenge yourself on what your tempo range is and if you can hit tempos in that range at will. Test with turning tempo on and, counting strokes, pressure, and feeling.

Stuart


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