So, here is the contrasting TI practice I enjoyed this morning:
Since this was just one day after my trip to the "dark side," I wanted to direct my attention back to getting things as close as I could to perfection. I decided that not only would I swim nearly the entire session at my current "best" SPL of 13 strokes/25m, but I would start with short repeats and consciously try to maintain the ease of a 25m repeat as I added distance.
I almost always begin with a full 25m underwater swim, no breaths. Not only does this help me relax my mind and move deliberately, it's also a nice benchmark to check streamlining and balance underwater. A normal day takes me push-off + 6 strokes; a good day takes me push-off + 5. Today was a +6 day.
Next, 10 x 25 alternating various focal points.
Today I decided not to count strokes for 5 repeats, but to monitor something I haven't paid much attention to lately: how many bubbles are formed at each hand entry. This isn't quite correct full stroke swimming as I have to lift my head (thus dropping my hips a bit) to see my hand entries.
I was able to have almost zero bubbles today on some repeats--mainly by focusing on feeling the extreme tip of my fingers touching the water before completing the entry. This was an incredibly relaxing and satisfying focal point today--it really got me in a nice flow state.
On the other 5 repeats (again not counting strokes), I focused on elbow lead during recovery. I imagined a string tied to each elbow, and the string pulls the elbow forward (not really up, just forward). Today I really tried to extend the elbow lead as far forward as I could, and as I maintained the elbow-forward position farther forward than my head, my recovering arm seemed to "fall" effortlessly forward with a motion that seemed to include the entire arm/shoulder assembly, all of it relaxed and floppy.
Then finished the tune-up with a favorite SPL set:
1 x 25, 1 x 50, 1 x 75, 1 x 100 all at 13 SPL
I had a couple of 25s at 12 SPL here, which was nice.
MAIN SET 1: 500m
4 x 25, 3 x 50, 2 x 75, 1 x 100, all at 13 SPL
My goal here was to make the 25s feel ridiculously easy and smooth, going as slow as necessary, and then maintain that ease as I added distance. Mostly successful, though I had one length at 14 SPL when I lost focus during a 75. But again, I had a couple of lengths at 12 SPL.
(seems odd to call it "recovery" with such an easy, restful set--maybe "Recalibration?")
2 x 50m at 13 SPL
These I swim as slowly as possible while still swimming and not drilling--I set a MINIMUM time of 1:00/50m, and try to go as far OVER that 1:00 as I can. Today I managed a 1:01 and a 1:05. These ultra-slow repeats are great to build awareness of body position, balance, and core activation.
MAIN SET 2: 1,000m
I hadn't felt quite as easy as I wanted to during the main set, so I repeated a shorter version next:
4 x (4 x 25, 3 x 50 all at 13 SPL)
2 x 50m ultra-slow swim
By now I was feeling really smooth and easy at 13 SPL for 50m, but checked my time and saw I had been swimming a bit slower than my normal pace for 13 SPL at 50m (I was doing :52/:53 instead of my normal :48/:49). I was curious how much speed I could add while maintaining 13 SPL and keeping that smooth, easy feeling. So:
1 x 50 @ 13 SPL
This felt smooth, strong, and easy, and came in at :47--a drop of :06!
1 x 50 @ 14 SPL
Again, I hit my SPL target and kept the ease and smoothness, but got :45 instead of my normal :47.
1 x 50 @ 13 SPL
Missed the 13 on the second 25, finished 13/14 SPL at :45.
Conclusions/observations in next post in case anyone is reading these super-long entries...
Last edited by Tom Pamperin : 04-08-2016 at 08:15 PM.