Originally Posted by CoachDavidShen
My question to you would be, why would swimming TI mean a slower tempo? And why do you feel you are not swimming TI if you increase your tempo?
Today when we train, we use the TT to challenge our nervous system to maintain form at faster and faster tempos. The nervous system is usually our first focus, and our energy system (aerobic, anaerobic, strength) second because our form tends to fall apart when we attempt a tempo that is beyond the point that our body is capable of maintaining proper form.
To attain your bilateral breathing at a faster than 1.2s tempo, you should practice and continually challenge your nervous system by swimming a lot at that tempo and also faster tempos for shorter distances while varying the rest interval. Varying the tempo by as little as .01s can mean the difference between maintaining bilateral breathing or not. Gradually increase the distances you swim at a faster tempo to imprint adaptation over time and distance. Do not let form waver no matter what.
Also you should figure out how to relax enough such that you don't use up so much oxygen that you need to take a breath more than once every 3 strokes. But as you train this, you are also increasing your body's energy system capacity to maintain work at higher tempos as well....
Thanks for your response. Am I correct that you recommend working toward a faster tempo so that when I breathe bilaterally, my breaths are not so far apart? I have to admit that I had assumed that using TI entailed a relatively low stroke tempo. This assumption was based on watching such videos as the iconic Shinji video (Stroke/2.3s). It was also based on the idea that the potential advantage from low drag achieved by TI is only realized through a glide phase during arm recovery; a high tempo reduces the distinctive glide phase of TI. Am I mistaken? Does it make sense to be swimming TI at, say, stroke/1sec? Is this what more advanced TI swimmers do? (Are there any videos I can watch?) Or do they generally manage to breathe bilaterally at a slower tempo? Another way of asking this is: About what is the stroke tempo (or tempo range) for a good TI swimmer swimming a long distance breathing bilaterally?