Had an interesting session today that seemed to fit in well with THIS RECENT THREAD
posted by Coach Suzanne, where she talks about working in the green zone for SPL and letting speed come naturally as a byproduct.
Today I did my normal tune-up of 10 x 25 with shifting focal points, mostly feeling my head float, and keeping the shoulder-driven recovery I have discovered recently.
Then I did this set, just gearing practice at different SPLs without aiming for particular speeds:
2 X 50M AT 13, 14, 15, 16, 15, 14, 13 SPL with lots of rest (1:15 each, mostly)
My first 13 SPL 50s were around :47, my first 14 SPLs were around :45, and everything after was under :45--that's fast for me, but I didn't feel like I was trying to be fast. I was just keeping the same shoulder feel and kick/spear connection.
Then I repeated the same set, and again everything was :45 for 50m or faster. My fastest sets at 16 SPL were at :40/50m, which is pretty fast for me. Again, I didn't feel like I was trying to be fast. I was trying very hard to maintain the feeling of shoulders in recovery, and kick/spear connection. And that worked pretty well.
Afterwards I realized I had just swum 1400m, and virtually ALL of it faster than my target pace for a 7:30 500m. And that seemed really cool! I haven't done that much fast swimming in a long time, and if I hadn't thought about it afterwards, I wouldn't have even noticed it!
A side note: a skilled Masters swimmer told me she noticed my stroke was noticeably different, smoother, as if the transmission of power was flowing evenly throughout the stroke in a way it hasn't been doing before my recent breakthrough. So, again, cool! I'm having fun.