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Old 11-16-2011
tpamperin tpamperin is offline
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 80

Originally Posted by rbs24h View Post

I just started swimming in May and was thrilled that I could swim the
1500m in an Olympic distance Tri within a couple of months after starting TI (at 2:02/100 pace).

so I am tempted to keep swimming just for enjoyment and "flow". Ahh, but I want to be faster too......I'm human. Anyone have thoughts?
First off, to complete 1500m at 2:02 per 100 is a big achievement; most people with so little swimming background couldn't finish a 1500--well done.

I've practiced TI for several years (though I took a 5-year break until 3 months ago), so keep that in mind--it didn't come quickly for me, but steadily. And that slow steady practice sets you up for periods of seemingly sudden advancement, which is where I'm finding myself right now. I just started TT work and I'm finding that it's really important. At the same time, you want to start from a nice long SL as you start trading stroke length for speed so you never have to leave your efficient range as you increase tempo. I spent 3 months without a TT doing this set (one of Terry's) every day (often twice):

4 x 25, 3 x 50, 2 x 75, 1 x 100--the idea is to try and hold the same SPL throughout the entire progression; I rest as much as I need to to swim a high quality repeat. This is some of the hardest swimming I've done (concentration-wise), but it got easier, and though I started at 14-15, now I can hold 12 SPL on the whole set (though I'll often slip to a 13 in the final 2 lengths). Before doing this set, I'd typically swim 300-500 yds with fistgloves--usually when my fistglove 25's hit near (1-2 above) the target SPL I knew I was ready for the set.

Maybe it's best to concentrate first on increasing SL until you are deep into your efficient range (which for my height, I think, is 12-16 SPL). That way when TT work begins, you have more room to trade SL for speed. To do that, I highly recommend sets like the one I described above. Anyone have thoughts on that?

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