Recovery and Efficiency
Wed Dec 5 50 min at SUNY NP
How many yards did I swim today. I'm not sure since I only did one set of a pre-determined yardage. I swam 50 minutes with a keen sense of purpose and feel I imprinted good habits on every lap.
I 'gave myself permission' to swim very easily, and no doubt slowly, on this to see if I could improve efficiency a bit.
I swam continuous backstroke--I believe between 300 and 400 yards. My focus was to see if I could reduce my stroke count to 14SPL by feeling a slightly firmer grip as I began each stroke. I swam for a couple minutes at 15SPL, then a couple minutes at 14 SPL, but wasn't satisfied with my rhythm and the continuity of my stroke. But each length improved my feel slightly and soon I was making 14 SPL more easily and with a satisfying sense of rhythm. I continued until it felt like I'd created a bit of muscle/sense memory.
Backstroke Tempo/SPL Exercise
After achieving a stroke count of 14SPL by feel in the Tuneup, I decided to do it empirically with the TT to identify the exact tempo range where 14SPL felt effortless. I decided to swim 50y repeats.
I started at 1.20, knowing I'd feel rushed, and sacrifice some efficiency. (Why? Because finding your weak spot, or discomfort zone, is critical to improvement.) My SPL increased to 17. Not bad, but not much 'mojo' either.
I slowed tempo by .05 each 50, until I reached 1.40, then by .04 between there a 1.60, and finally in .02 and .01 increments to my slowest tempo of 1.66, where I finally I could effortlessly swim each 50 in 27 strokes (13+14).
Then I reversed tempo and did 6 x 50 at 1.65, 1.64 . . . 1.60. I managed to hold a comfortable stroke count of 13+14 down to 1.60.
I'll revisit this combination (50s at 27 total strokes at about 1.6 tempo) every few days this month to see how much speed I can add while holding 14 SPL. I will also swim sets at 15 and 16 SPL and expect to be able to swim faster on them than previously by improving the pace I can attain at 14SPL.
Ascending Freestyle Set
Today's Task was Hold SPL but get faster. MUCH faster.
Fri Dec 7 2200y in 45 min at SUNY NP
My practice today was designed to be relatively non-taxing since I'm swimming 100 BR, 200 BK and 1000 FR in a Masters meet tomorrow. However I did want a good neural tuner prior to the meet. One of my favorite ways to prime my nervous system before racing is to do an exercise that tests how well I can improve times while holding SPL steady. Today I did that pretty well. In fact better than I ever had, in one set.
I swam only two 1000y sets plus an easy final 200. The first set also functioned as my warmup, but by its end I was moving at a pretty good clip.
Set #1 10 x 100 on 2:00 Modified Medley [25FR+25BK+25BR+25FR]
My goal was to hold an unchanging SPL, then see how much I could descend my times after starting out super-easy.
My SPLs were FR13, BK14, BR7, FR13 - or a total of 47 strokes for the 100. My 1st 100 was 1:53 (note - only 7 seconds rest before sendoff for #2) and my 10th was 1:33.
Descending 20 seconds on a set of 100s--without adding a single stroke--is a new Personal Best for me. Woo hoo.
How far can you descend without changing stroke count? Give it a try -- in any stroke, or a stroke medley.
Set #2 10 x 100 BK on 2:00
Descend 1-4 @14SPL Interval
I descended this set from 1:48 to 1:39
Descend 5-8 @15SPL
I descended these from 1:41 to 1:35
The key here is to descend over a faster range of times when adding one SPL on the 2nd round of 4 x 100.
Swim 2 x 100 Cruise @ 16SPL
Final Swim 200 FR @ 13-14-15-16SPL by 50s. I did this to have an easy swim before showering and to test my ability to seamlessly increase SPL by 1 stroke each 50.
Multi-Descending Sets with Active Rest
Tues Dec 11 2100y in 45 min at SUNY New Paltz
Today's practice was short and sweet--my favorite kind lately; nearly all of my practices the last three weeks have been less than an hour--and great fun too.
Warmup/Tuneup 400 'Modified Medley' [25FR+25BK+25FR]
This is a favorite warmup of mine. A continuous swim, changing strokes every 25, which starts and finishes with 25FR.
I'm planning to make this my standard warmup for the next month or so.
I maintained the same stroke counts FR@13SPL, BK@14SPL, BR@7SPL and timed it. Today I did it in 7 min 20 sec. I'll see how much time I can wring out of that -- and see how consistent I am from day-to-day.
Set # 1 3 rounds of 50 BK + 50BK/BR (by 25s) + 50 BR + 50 FR
I did these on a 1:00 interval.
The first three 50s in each round were timed and 'effortful.'
The 50 FR was Active Rest.
My goal was to swim a faster range of times in each successive round without adding strokes.
Round 1: BK :51 - BK/BR :55 - BR :56 (not much rest here.)
Round 2: BK :50 - BK/BR :53 - BR :54
Round 3: BK :47 - BK/BR :50 - BR :51
Very pleased with how well I executed this task.
Set #2 3 rounds of 3 x 100 FR on 1:40 + 50 BK on 1:00
This set was the same kind of task as Set #1 but One Stroke, Three Counts.
I did each round as follows
100 @ 13 SPL
100 @ 14 SPL
100 @ 15 SPL
50 BK - Active Rest.
My times were
Round 1 1:21-1:20-1:19
Round 2 1:20-1:19-1:18
Round 3 1:19-1:18-1:18
I fell just short of executing this task perfectly -- I slightly missed a turn on the last 100 and failed to swim that faster. I'll do better next time.
I left the pool feeling 'chuffed' as they say in England.
It seems Andy's no longer 'in norway' wot?
Terry, I'm going to try your 10x 100 main set tomorrow in a 25 yd pool pacing with an SPL of 16-18 or 17-19, I''ll see how I feel after my warmup .
It was 1000y but 9 x 100 plus 2 x recovery 50s.
I love this kind of set.
Yeah, I counted 9 reps.
Today I did 1 round with a 1 SPL differential:
16 16 16 16 1:44
16 16 16 17 1:42
16 16 17 17 1:40
16 17 17 17 1:38
17 17 17 17 1:34
17 17 17 16 1:37
17 17 16 16 1:36
17 16 16 16 1:40
16 16 16 16 1:42
I'm really pleased with the stead descend all the way down to the 4 x 17 SPL. Teh drop of 1 second between the 6th & 7th was due to a 5 minute interuption by the pool owner asking me to help one of her teenage swimmers who is a "true sinker", but otherwise did these on a 2 minute send off.
I really enjoyed seeing the time drop by 2-3 seconds each repeat and the fact that I was nearly exactly precise with my SPLs.
I ran out of time to do another set of x by 100 but had planned to repeat a similar set using the tempo trainer. This was really interesting for me. Oh, and some lactate happened as well. ;-)
E + ET = E
"Endolphins" (Endorphins produced when swimming) + Exacting Tasks produces Euphoria.
Thurs Dec 13 - 2500y in 55 min at SUNY NP
Today's practice was another great example of why I find practicing with a focus on finding and improving my Neural Threshold, and guided by the TI Swimming Success Algorithm such an immersive experience. I left the pool with a euphoric buzz, which energizes me for the 'dry' parts of my day. May I be so fortunate as to still experience practice this way in my 90s.
Swim 400y continuous, alternating 25FR (13SPL), 25BK (14SPL), 25BR (7SPL). My time was 7:12.
Tuesday I did this same tuneup task in 7:20 and decided I'd repeat it every scy pool practice for the next month or so and see how much I might improve my time -- without increasing exertion, but rather by finding mini- and micro-skills to improve on. Nice progress already.
Swim 3 'cascading' rounds of [3 x 50BK descending + 1 x 50FR recovery]
'Cascading' is the term I've coined to describe a series of short sets in which I repeat the same task in each set, but swim a bit faster each time I repeat it.
In each round I swam the 3 x 50s BK as follows #1 - 13+14SPL; #2 14+15SPL; #3 15+16SPL.
I should descend within the round as a matter of course, by adding two strokes to each successive 50. Where the challenge comes in is improving my times in the 2nd and 3rd rounds without adding strokes. Oh, and hitting the prescribed SPLs -- which change every length -- on all 18 laps of BK.
Round 1: 52-51-50 sec.
Round 2: 50-49-48 sec.
Round 3: 49-48-47 sec.
Swim 3 'cascading' rounds of 5 x 100 FR on 1:45. Swim EZ 50BK after 1st round and EZ 100BK after 2nd round.
Descend each round. Swim faster in successive rounds.
In each round of 5 x 100 I swam the following stroke counts
52 strokes (13+13+13+13)
53 strokes (13+13+13+14)
54 strokes (13_13+14+14)
55 strokes (13+14+14+14)
56 strokes (14+14+14+14)
Round 1 Descend from 1:30 to 1:23
Round 2 Descend from 1:26 to 1:21
Round 3 Descend from 1:24 to 1:19
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