I just posted a response, but now I can't find it. I apologize if it comes up double.
Shumai - I got the exaggerated timing from conversations with Coach Dave and videos I have seen of Hackett. The longer the race, the more overlap Hackett uses. In some video of his 1500, his lead hand is in skate while his spearing hand is lined up with the mid-forearm of the lead hand. In the frame-by-frame analysis that is all over the web (showing Thorpe and Hackett side-by-side, Hackett does, as you suggest, set the anchor during the recovery. THat is what I used in developing what I called "my stroke". It is very hard on the body because you must develop a greater than 90 degree rotation between your forarm and your body roll. But it allowed me to greatly reduce the stress on my arms because I could cut out all pauses in the stroke and slow down my hand speed. That was the timing I used last year when I was able to do a 25:32 for the 1500SCM on very little training. What I have noticed as I am doing this experiment, is that I don't have enough shoulder flexibility to maintain a perfect skate from elbow to toes like Hackett can. So I lose some speed during that catch.
I spent a lot of time last year learning how to transition from one timing to another as I needed speed. I expect that will occur this year as well.
Madvet- My training may not be the model to follow. I get the joy of full time Daddy Day Care this summer and have not yet figured out how to work regular training into the rest of my schedule. I am happy when I get to swim 2-3 days a week.
My general plan is to race the 1500M at 1:28/100 pace which is roughly 1:20/100 yds. I do that at about 15s/length and 1.0 tempo. My plan for the 400IM is to fly and back at 1:30/100yd pace, breast at 1:40, and free at 1:20 or faster if I have energy left.
My training plan is to develop the stroke that will allow me to hit slightly faster than those paces as easily as possible. Then work to imprint my goal paces so I can hit them perfectly without the tt. Then, if I have time, to play with holding race pace, with bursts of speed thrown in. That way, if I find someone a couple body lengths ahead of me in the race, I have trained to catch them for a draft or have a finishing kick.
I can hold Breast and Fly between 7-10 strokes depending on my glide. I am playing with golf to find the stroke count that will work best for me.
I am struggling with consistency in back the most. So I am spending a lot of time doing back single switch, triple switch and finish up drills over 25-100 yd distances focusing on holding my body line and rotation just right so my face does not go under too much.
Free I can hold anything from 13-18 strokes with my old technique and 13-15 with the new timing. I will experiment until the end of june, then work on imprinting.