thanks for the input. I keep saying I need to do TT work but I keep avoiding it because I'm enjoying beep-free swimming so much. But I really should do some TT work...
Originally Posted by Streak
Higher tempos (faster turnover) has to lead to faster speeds
This is probably obvious, but that's true only if your SPL stays the same or gets lower. You can certainly increase turnover without increasing speed--that may be the most common error I see in people trying to "swim fast."
From which I have drawn this inference:
TT work to get used to higher tempos is effective. But if we can maintain only a certain percentage of our distance per stroke as we increase stroke rate--in other words, if eventually you will be at a stroke rate too fast to maintain your SPL (which I think is true about increasing stroke rates)--
Then IF the percentage is constant or nearly constant***, it makes sense to focus on increasing distance per stroke (i.e. reducing SPL) without paying attention to tempo. Because if I can increase my default distance per stroke (reduce my SPL) at slow tempos, then when I increase my stroke rate (i.e. tempo) I'll also have a longer stroke at that higher stroke rate.
***I doubt it is constant for all swimmers--I think the percentage varies with individual swimmers. I'd predict the percentage also gets higher as technique improves, and ALSO gets higher due to familiarity with faster tempos. In other words, a well-trained swimmer with good technique will be able to hold a much higher percentage of his distance per stroke than a beginner as tempo increases.
In other words, if my "default" distance per stroke (DPS) is 1.6 meters, and I can hold 90% (wild guess for sake of argument) of that distance at a faster tempo, I'll have a DPS of 1.44 meters.
Then, after I increase my "default" DPS to 1.8 meters through slow focused short repeats, ignoring tempo, my DPS at faster speeds will be 1.62 meters. With that new longer DPS, I'll be faster at any tempo.
Just idle theorizing--but it's my guess at how the ability to swim long strokes (low SPL) increases swimming speed at higher tempos, even if we don't do TT work to specifically work on faster tempos. I'm not advocating getting rid of all TT work, just speculating on other ways to build speed with TI practice.
TT work is very quantitative and scientific. I find other, more intuitive, "feel" based approaches to practice, more interesting and enjoyable right now. Probably everyone should do some of each for fastest progression. But going without a TT seems to let/force me to tune in more deeply to my own body and the sensations it is experiencing.
If anyone has thoughts about my "percentage of DPS" theory, I'd love to hear them.