Randomized Tempo Trainer Swim
This is a favorite Practice for me that I have never seen elsewhere and is not endorsed anywhere that I know, including by TI, but I do it because it is fun, different, and helps me to collect data on my swim by helping to eliminate the impact of random variation on my data. It would be even better if I analyzed the data as a time series but I don't. I enjoy a swim during which I have not established an expectation of doing something like cutting a certain number of strokes off the next 100 to beat the time on the 100 yards immediately prior. The randomization and repetition help eliminate the opps factor when you miss a turn (atleast it is in just one rep not in the ladder down or up). I feel the randomization helps simulate suddenly drafting behind a slower swimmer or suddenly needing to pass.
This swim involves 24 * 100 yards in a 25 yard pool by me, a 5 foot 1.5 inch swimmer. Before showing up at the pool I create a list of 4 repetitions of 6 different tempo trainer stroke rates (i.e. 1.00, 1.02, 1.04,1.06,1.08,1.10). I create this list by putting 24 pieces of paper in a bag, shaking them up, and then pulling from the bag until all the pieces of paper have been drawn and their order documented. The bag contains 4 pieces of paper with 1.00 on it, 4 pieces with 1.02 on it etc.. It takes me time to recover from the swim and to document the time and stroke count for that 100 yards thus I usually take about a 45 second rest between 100s going on the top or bottom of the pace clock. Below is my summary for my last practice with no time series study of the data.
Tempo 1:00, Avg Time 1:41, time range 1:40-1:42, Stroke Avg 81.5, stroke range 80-83, Golf Swim score Avg 182.5, Score range 180-185
Tempo 1:02, Avg Time 1:43, time range 1:42-1:44, Stroke Avg 81.5, stroke range 80-83, Score avg. 184.5, score range 182-186
Tempo 1:04, Avg Time 1:44.3 time range 1:43- 1:45, Stroke Avg 79.5, stroke range 78-81, score avg. 183.8, Score reange 181-186
Tempo 1:06, Avg Time 1:43.5, time range 1:42-1:44, stroke avg 79.8, stroke range 79-80, score avg 183.3, score range 182-184
Tempo 1.08, Time Avg 1:43.5, time range 1:42 - 1:45, stroke avg 80.0, stroke range 79-81, score avg 183.5, score range 182-185
Tempo 1.10, Time Avg. 1:45.75, 1:45-1:46, stroke avg 78.8, stroke range 78-79, score avg 184.5 score range 183-185
I put this in a table for a summary. It tells me that a tempo of 1.00 is doable for me but that I am using the very top of what I consider my stroke range for 0 to 3 lengths of the pool out of the 4 lengths in the 100 yards(i.e. 18-21 per 25 yard pool). My lowest golf score on the 1.00 tempo reinforces that I am gaining a time improvement for the additional effort required for the higher stroke count. The data at the extremes of 1.00 and 1.10 tempo rates "make sense" but some of the data in between doesn't (i.e. especially the tempo 1.04)
My goal is to swim the 100s at the time range I am currently swiming while maintaining a stroke count no higher than 80 for the 100 yards. The goal also includes maintaining the pattern for breathing of alternating sides for the first 50 yards and then doing all right side breathing for 25 yards, followed by 25 yards of left side breathing. My focal point for most of these was a high elbow thru the entire stroke.