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Old 12-05-2012
terry terry is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2008
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Default Recovery and Efficiency

Wed Dec 5 50 min at SUNY NP
How many yards did I swim today. I'm not sure since I only did one set of a pre-determined yardage. I swam 50 minutes with a keen sense of purpose and feel I imprinted good habits on every lap.

I 'gave myself permission' to swim very easily, and no doubt slowly, on this to see if I could improve efficiency a bit.
I swam continuous backstroke--I believe between 300 and 400 yards. My focus was to see if I could reduce my stroke count to 14SPL by feeling a slightly firmer grip as I began each stroke. I swam for a couple minutes at 15SPL, then a couple minutes at 14 SPL, but wasn't satisfied with my rhythm and the continuity of my stroke. But each length improved my feel slightly and soon I was making 14 SPL more easily and with a satisfying sense of rhythm. I continued until it felt like I'd created a bit of muscle/sense memory.

Backstroke Tempo/SPL Exercise
After achieving a stroke count of 14SPL by feel in the Tuneup, I decided to do it empirically with the TT to identify the exact tempo range where 14SPL felt effortless. I decided to swim 50y repeats.
I started at 1.20, knowing I'd feel rushed, and sacrifice some efficiency. (Why? Because finding your weak spot, or discomfort zone, is critical to improvement.) My SPL increased to 17. Not bad, but not much 'mojo' either.
I slowed tempo by .05 each 50, until I reached 1.40, then by .04 between there a 1.60, and finally in .02 and .01 increments to my slowest tempo of 1.66, where I finally I could effortlessly swim each 50 in 27 strokes (13+14).
Then I reversed tempo and did 6 x 50 at 1.65, 1.64 . . . 1.60. I managed to hold a comfortable stroke count of 13+14 down to 1.60.
I'll revisit this combination (50s at 27 total strokes at about 1.6 tempo) every few days this month to see how much speed I can add while holding 14 SPL. I will also swim sets at 15 and 16 SPL and expect to be able to swim faster on them than previously by improving the pace I can attain at 14SPL.

Ascending Freestyle Set
Terry Laughlin
Head Coach & Chief Executive Optimist

May your laps be as happy as mine.

My TI Story