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Noydberg 10-03-2009 01:06 AM

Need for Speed

I've embraced the concept of TI for the past 2 years and have become a firm believer in swim efficiency, having a graceful stroke, enjoying every lap, etc. I usually practice in a 25m pool and can consistently do a lap in 13 strokes. Thanks to your drills and methodology, have been very happy with the results and what they've done for my stroke, not to mention how much I've really I enjoyed swimming again (coming from a competitive swimming background in my younger years, wouldn't touch the water for quite some time when I stopped swimming competitively).

Now here's my question - how do I work on my speed? In a long swim, I can maintain a pace of 1:20 per 100m at the same stroke rate, but as I try to go any faster than that, my shoulders start to stiffen up, and my swim starts to feel closer to a struggle than feeling the smooth, gliding sensation that we're always after. Are there any workouts/sets you can recommend that focus on increasing one's speed or pace, or land exercises which can strengthen the same shoulder muscles used for the arm stroke?


CoachEricDeSanto 10-03-2009 03:28 AM

After reading "the talent code" I have become more fond of constantly changing the challenge on your nervous system. Two of my favorites are:

1. Hold the same stroke count as you descend 10x25. Using the tempo trainer, drop 0.01 or 0.02 seconds per stroke each 25 until you feel you can barely hold on to your stroke count. Then hold that tempo for 25-50-75-100. Only go as far as you can and hold that stroke count and tempo. Notice that here you have a tempo challenge and a maintenance challenge.

2. Sets of 3x whatever (I like 200s). Odd sets descend by holding the same stroke count and swimming faster tempo. Even sets descend by holding the same tempo and dropping stroke count or improving turns.

Noydberg 10-04-2009 02:31 AM

Good stuff..will try that in my next swim and I'll give some feedback. Thanks a lot!

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