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Old 11-16-2011
terry terry is offline
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Originally Posted by rbs24h View Post
So, my SPL doesn't increase with faster tempos as much as I expected. As my neurons get used to faster tempos, I'm betting I'll hold SPL even better at these fast tempos. Which is all very exciting!
The benefit of adapting to faster tempos can be both in the ability to sacrifice less SL as SR increases and in discovering the least-effort combination of SL and SR (or SPL and Tempo) that allows you to maintain a particular pace.

I.E. To swim 24 min for 1500m, you need to maintain a pace of 1m 40s per 100m. (Approx 1m 30s per 100 yds).

If I allow 15 sec for the initial pushoff and three turns (25m pool), you could achieve that 100m pace in all the following ways:
14SPL at a tempo of 1.5 sec/stroke (85 sec divided by 56 strokes)
15SPL @1.4
16SPL @1.3
17SPL @1.25

Whichever of those combinations you can maintain with the least effort is the one you're most likely to be able to maintain for the entire distance. There is no single 'right' combination. That combination will vary from one individual to another -- even between two swimmers of the same height. It can also vary for one swimmer as they proceed through the 1500. Holding 15SPL @1.4 might feel best for the first 500m, but 16SPL @1.3 may feel better in the middle to latter stages.

You can only discover that via organized experimentation. A large percentage of your practice should be devoted to sets designed to:
1) Explore different combinations to find those that feel easiest.
2) Teach your brain and nervous system the adaptability to be able to change both SL and SR at will and do so effectively.
3) Imprint and incrementally improve your current optimal combinations.
Terry Laughlin
Head Coach & Chief Executive Optimist

May your laps be as happy as mine.

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