Things moved on and I think my approach has been working. Swimming has definitely become far easier. I've been finding myself swimming distances of a kilometre or thereabouts with little to notify I have done so other than a dim sensation of not wanting to practice-struggle. A kilometre feels now like 300m or 400m. Before all this, going over 600m say, has felt like work, sometimes even after just a few hundred metres but sometimes even within that distance! Now I really want to just keep on keeping on going
(and yes, yes - don't practice struggle - but as anything can feel like struggle and as change most definitely feels like struggle, and probably isn't change if it doesn't, .. not as clear as the mantra makes it sound)
I've been using a TT, mostly just at one setting these days. I always have it with me and usually use it for some laps at least but I haven't found it delivers much benefit via the recommended routes as my technique is so patchy and unknown (despite videos and a long history of posting here). Achieving a solid technique is what I feel like I am starting to get a grip on now.
AndyInNorway (wherehenow?) suggested I practice at 20% faster rates than the CSS I wanted and I've been exploring that idea. Four days ago, at the end of a session, as I was getting into just-one-last-interval, and with the TT set to 1.20, it seemed so slow I wished I had set it to 1.10. When I got hope I checked and found it had been on 1.10 all the time! And I hadn't even been conscious of implementing Andy's suggestion much.
One additional thing I've realised regarding pace is that the turns have a massive impact (and also on my SPL and and and..). So I finally put together a very simple spreadsheet containing the calculation linking SPL, turn, TT, pace etc (see attachments). It surprised me (no surprises for Werner!) and explained the "confusing" results I've been getting (the subject of many of my old posts here).
Werner - "No, it's not as linear as we wished" - ain't that the truth!! :D Spiral development is the only way forward!
A psychological disorder is: "Any personal construction which is used repeatedly in spite of consistent invalidation."
~ George Kelly
"The water is your friend.....you don't have to fight with water, just share the same spirit as the water, and it will help you move."
~ Aleksandr Popov