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Old 08-03-2011
terry terry is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2008
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Default Avoiding Fatigue -- while 'Drafting Off' Sun Yang

A TI Coach once said he spent his practices 'drafting off my Zen Master.' For the foreseeable future Sun Yang is my Zen Master.

Today my primary goal was to avoid fatigue, so I can feel relatively fresh when I swim the US Masters 5K national championship at Coney Island this weekend. But a secondary goal is to still practice paces that are at least moderately strong. Swimming s-l-o-w-l-y while I go easy is less valuable.

There's only one way I can minimize effort while maintaining a decent pace. That's to travel sufficiently far on each stroke--while staying relaxed--that a relatively low Stroke Rate is still sufficient to produce a good pace. Which is just what allowed Sun Yang to swim 54.4 for his last 100 meters and a jaw-dropping 25.9 for his final 50 meters. So today, like Monday, I was striving to keep my average SPL below 40.

Set #1
5 x 200 on 4:00. Descend 1-4 while maintaining a low stroke count.
I averaged 38 SPL throughout this set. My 200 times were
3:42
3:33
3:28
3:23
I was encouraged by this tuneup set because both my stroke counts and pace nearly matched what I did on my opening set of 8 x 100 on Monday.
On #5 I aimed to swim with the same ease as on #1. My SPL increased by 1, but I swam a 3:33, nine seconds faster.

Set #2
3 x 100
1 x 200
3 x 100
2 x 200
3 x 100
3 x 200
3 x 100
On this set I did the 200s with Balance Thoughts - i.e. prioritizing relaxation, weightlessness and gentleness. I did the 100s with Streamlining Thoughts - extending, piercing, minimizing noise-splash-wake.

My goal was to keep average SPL below 40, and stay relaxed, on both yet swim the fastest effortless paces I could. I averaged about 3:30 on the 200s and 1:40 on the 100s.

I feel this practice was a good tuneup for Saturday's race. The low effort level was restorative, but the exacting effort to still generate moderately strong paces tuned up both my stroke and my focus.
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