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Old 12-21-2012
terry terry is offline
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Default Final Practice of Month of Backstroke Excellence

I began my month of extra focus on backstroke on Nov. 14. I was just resuming pool swimming after a long hiatus. I swam in open water from May through Oct, but usually delay my return to indoor swimming as long as possible in the fall.
I came up with the idea of giving myself a mission for my first month, as a way of sharpening my appetite and excitement. I chose backstroke improvement as my focus, because I think of it as my least developed stroke, and so improvement opportunities in it should be 'low hanging fruit' so to speak. Plus, a focus on improving weak points is a principle of Excellence and Mastery.

In my first practice I did the following backstroke Baseline Set, with the intention to repeat it after a month and see how much I could improve.
I swam 50+100+200 BK, holding 15-16SPL
My times were :51-1:41-3:30.

Today, I swam a modified version of that set, also at 15-16 SPL. Here's the set
4 x 50 BK on 1:00 Times: :49-:48-:48-:47 (200 total 3:12)
50 EZ FR
2 x 100 BK on 2:00 Times 1:37 - 1:36 (200 total 3:13)
100 EZ FR
1 x 200 BK Time 3:08
150 EZ FR

I was really thrilled (or chuffed as TI-UK swimmers would say) at this result. First, because I improved my 200 time by 22 seconds in five weeks. I doubt I could improve by that much in any other stroke.
Second, because I swam the continuous 200 significantly faster than the cumulative times of my 4x50 or 2x100 -- and I didn't take it easy on them.
Third, because this was just 4 seconds slower than my time for 200BK in a Masters meet two weeks ago -- even after swimming a 90%+ effort on the 50s and 100s.

It's been a great Month of Focus. In January--after returning from two weeks of open water swimming at Maho Bay--I'll take up Breaststroke.
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Terry Laughlin
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