Originally Posted by jenson1a
Just a thought--is it possible that in the effort to decrease spl, you are creating tension in your body that shouldn't be there? While I can't identify with your balance problem, I do remember when I first started TI, it seemed to me that spl was what to concentrate on. I got so uptight that I used whatever energy I had to decrease spl. This caused me to run out of air and my rest periods were longer than my swim times. Now the mantra seem s to be optimal stroke, optimal spl, etc. etc. Suddenly the lower spl doesn't seem to be important. Now the talk is all about gears and different spl at different rates. so who knows what will be the next all important thought process?
But since you are improving, maybe you are on the right track. I admire your determination and wish you well.
I'm sure that is part of the mix of possibilities, and even probabilities. But what I intend and hope to do is focus on lowering SPL, and in the process, which will be a zig-zag path, I'm sure, by experimentation and observation, try and figure out what improves things and what makes things worse. It's already working in some areas (see Favourite Practices and Sets - "Gearing Practice (No TT)" thread), and sometimes I even think I have a clue how that last little tweak of improvement happens. But when it's a puzzle I just accept it and move on, hoping understanding will come later.
If excess tension is a relevant detriment, it should make itself obvious in the experimentation process and all come out in the wash anyway.
PS: I have a vague vision for my future. I'll get my SPL down further -- I don't know how low, but lower than now. Then I'll speed up the tempo again, and my SPL will increase some, but I'll try to hang on to some part of my improvement, and, hopefully, because I've spent so much effort in shaping my stroke and balance to get the SPL down, when it increases again, I'll still have a relatively acceptable SPL at "normal" swimming tempo. So I see the low SPL not so much as an end in itself, but a tool for improvement -- more like a surrogate measurement for whole stroke efficiency.
But thanks for the thought, and for forcing me to think it through again.