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Old 11-29-2012
terry terry is offline
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Default How I improved my Tempo/SPL combination in Backstroke

Wed Nov 28 3000 SCY at Davie FL

I did this practice on my way to the FLL airport for my flight home to NY. The Davie pool is just 15 minutes from the airport, so quite convenient. And the guest fee for 'seniors' was only $1. I'd hoped the pool might be set up Long Course (50) Meters, but I still had an enormously satisfying Short Course (25) Yards practice
Since the pool was set at 25y I decided to see if I could improve on the Tempo/SPL combination I achieved in Sunday's main set -- the practice posted immediately above -- also done in a 25y pool.
In that one I found my 'discomfort zone' on the last in a set of 8 x 250, where my SPL for backstroke increased from 16 to 17 on the last 50 at a tempo of 1.23.
I mused on the various options I had for building on the elements in that set, which were
Set Distance 2000y
Repeat Distance 250y
Duration for uninterrupted backstroke 25y
SPL 16
Tempo 1.23
I decided that for today's practice I'd reduce repeat distance to 200y while keeping set distance at 2000y.
Also that I'd increase duration for uninterrupted backstroke to 50y (freestyle at that range of tempos is very much in my comfort zone so any freestyle serves as recovery for backstroke.
Also since it would take me 10 repeats (of 200y) instead of 8 repeats (of 250y) to complete a 2000y set, my tempo would also descend by an additional .02sec.
Here's how I did:

Tuneup Set 400 [25FR25BK] @ 13/15SPL
This prepares me for main set by setting the bar higher on efficiency than I plan for the main set. I held 1 SPL less on each stroke than I will on the main set.

Main Set10 x 200 [50BK+25FR+50BK+25FR+50BK] on 3:40 interval
My goal was to maintain 14SPL for FR and 16 SPL for BK while increasing tempo by .01 each 200. I started set at 1.30 tempo and finished at 1.21. I did manage to maintain SPL at my target. This resulted in improving 200 time from 3:21 on #1 to 3:09 on #9. I did #10 all backstroke and was pleased to stay @ 16SPL with a time of 3:13.
This was a nice progression from Sunday's main set -- more backstroke-intensive and with a slightly faster range of tempos. AND I swam the final 200 all backstroke and 17 seconds faster than in my baseline set less than two weeks and only 4 pool practices (I've also done several Endless Pool sessions) ago. So targeted focus, with 'measured' practice, really does produce significant results.

Secondary Set 6 x 100 FR on 1:40 interval.
My goal was to maintain 14SPL while advancing tempo from 1.20 to 1.15 (i.e. continuing tempo progression from final backstroke 200. I succeeded at this, which meant my time improved from 1:26 to 1:22.
Terry Laughlin
Head Coach & Chief Executive Optimist

May your laps be as happy as mine.

My TI Story

Last edited by terry : 11-29-2012 at 01:52 PM.
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