Inspired by Coach Suzanne's "funkyness" and recent post (3500 funky) I was prompted to share some more un-posted notes esp. since it reminded me of similar lay over and focus of mine. My desire to help instill Terry's brand of coaching and approach towards swimming enjoyment /excellence by sharing experiences and insights is a prevailing motivation. Why? Because it works! I'm in my fifth year of swimming and still enjoy improvement day to day, even when those days are far and few in between.
I was back to the pool after 10 days of relative inactivity; save the exercise from adopting a 11mo. old Boxer! This following two weeks of swimming interrupted only on perhaps two of those days @ an average of 60 min. a session plus three days in the Long Island Sound (@ an average of 30 min.) Not a bad couple of weeks. During those days I practiced extensively with the TT, working on acclimation to paces while correlating to spls both in the pool and OW.
I wrote about my OW use of the TT in another thread and will relate a pool practice here not using the TT but focused on a more 'natural' pace control through counting strokes and feeling myself swimming.
Today's practice (25yd pool) would be one of getting back a 'groove' seeing if my neural system is remembering what it needs to do. I started with a warm up 500 focused on just gentle swimming. Then 4x50 counting strokes to find where I was and what I'd use as my base stroke length. On the first 50 I counted 14spl/15spl. I thought to hold 14spl on the remaining 50s. After doing so I decided I'd take that 'for a ride' and progressively increase distance as I tried to hold my length and even more importantly, comfort. Why hold my length? Teaching my system this discipline will allow me more purchase, in time, for my swimming, that is if I can systematically become quite comfy at a given pace, even more, a quicker pace, at a lower SR ('holding' good water) then undoubtedly when I need to, heck when I want to add strokes I'll do so but the result will almost surely be that of faster swimming.
So I began a set of 4 rounds of 50-100-150-200. My only thought was on gentle swimming and found after timing only the 200s of each round that I kept my pace relatively consistent, 3:05-3:03, a modest change from rd 1 to 4 but felt where the first round was perhaps "effortful" the last one was "effortless", with a 2 sec. savings. One Kaizen opportunity next time will be to see if I can improve on the pace while retaining that effortless feeling and stay within my stroke length target. Incidentally my stroke length never went above 15spl and always started w/13spl on the first and third lengths of each repeat (?)
The multiple rounds really had me feel like I got my groove back and I'm sure helped with neural input. What would happen when I emphasize toe flick or add a bit of extra nudge here and there? Now I need another two weeks straight of swimming!