I tried Boken's suggestion today of setting the TT for two strokes. Let's just say I'm not a prodigy at that. I still think that idea has potential, but I'm putting it back on the shelf for the next week or so...
I spent most of my practice just paying attention to my stroke and how it relates to the beep. It felt like I was learning something by doing that. I hope. (I'm learning about humility in any case.)
Originally Posted by haschu33
No real advice, maybe, but I noticed something when I use a faster stroke rate: rhythm. From some TT timing downwards - it's for me around 1.2 or a little faster than that - rhythm becomes prominent and changes from deliberate recovery, deliberate catch, deliberate pull, deliberate kick to an overall rhythm that does not consist so much of single parts but actually of a whole stroke, it really is a full stroke. So it is not so much the feel of each single movement but more like music - a rhythm. I cannot remember how and how fast to move parts of my body at a certain pace, but I can remember a rhythm without TT.
I don't know if this is understandable, I just can't put it in better words.
BTW rhythm in swimming I noticed is when it gets really fun.
Which speaks in favour of faster rates - once balance and stroke is established at slow rates..
Haschu, I think you're on to something with this. My stroke has phases, not an overall rhythm. I'm definitely aware of the "deliberate" sensation you described, especially since I've been paying more attention to the sensations at each point in the stroke.
I was thinking today that I don't think I would have this problem with breaststroke. That stroke is so ingrained in me, it feels like there's nothing to *do*. With freestyle, it still seems like there are a whole bunch of tasks to complete on each stroke.
Originally Posted by AWP
Well, right away, after reading your last paragraph I can pretty much guarantee that after a cold water (-70F) immersion your stroke rate would become considerably quicker!
Alan, what you say makes *perfect* sense, but I'm not sure it's true in my case. When I'm cold, I definitely try to stroke faster. That attempt makes me feel warmer. And TIRED. But, the data is telling me that all I'm doing is working extra-hard to hit a tempo that would feel s-l-o-w with the TT. Either I'm flailing, or the adrenaline from feeling rushed/anxious gets my heart rate up.
In my last race, I did three separate events, totaling 7K, with very little rest in between. Unlike stroke rate, I have a pretty reliable sense of stroke length, even in OW when I don't have a way to measure it.
I did some estimates of my stroke rate for those three events. The formula I used was as follows:
Total # of Strokes = (SPL Feeling + 3 for pushoff + 2 to be conservative) * 1.0936133 converts to meters * (Distance in meters / 25)
Estimated Stroke Rate = Finish Time in Seconds / Total # of Strokes
Since I'd already learned (the hard way) that I can't swim fast without the TT, my goal was to swim slowly, maintain a long stroke, and enjoy myself.
Here's how it went.
-1st Event: 1K, Stroke Feeling 16 SPL, Estimated Stroke Rate 1.47. (I would have guessed 1.2-1.3)
-2nd Event: 2K, Stroke Feeling 17 SPL, Estimate Stroke Rate 1.44. (I would have guessed 1.2-1.3 as above).
-I got COLD. Decided to speed up for the 4K--both because I wanted to warm up and because I knew I had plenty of energy left to finish.
-4K Event: Stroke Feeling 19 SPL, Estimated Stroke Rate 1.39. (I would have guessed 1.0-1.1 to start, 0.9 at the end)
So, I was able to speed up my stroke rate a little, but my "fast" stroke rate was much slower than I would ever set the TT. I usually set it between 1.1 and 0.8. Maybe up to 1.3 if I have a specific reason.
Thanks for all the encouragement,