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  #1  
Old 01-22-2012
PKFFW PKFFW is offline
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PKFFW
Default Things feeling good, consistent 16 SPL so what's next?

Hey everyone,

Firstly, sorry for the long post. :)

Now, the reason I started using TI is because I want to do an ironman length triathlon. 3.8 km is a long way to swim, specially when up to now I've only been able to swim about 100-200 meters before being absolutely knackered!

So after a month of TI practice I'm consistently achieving 16 SPL in the 25 meter pool I practice in. That's with basically no push off from the wall too. I don't know what my SR is exactly but it's not real fast. Things feel good and I can definitely feel a difference when I'm stroking well and gliding through the water well as compared to when things aren't working. My breathing feels good and I can actually breathe to both sides which I've never been able to do before. I still take a gulp full of water a little too often for my liking but it is becoming less often. All in all I think my stroke is progressing very nicely but of course I intend to continue doing drills and working on fine tuning everything.

At present I practice drills for 45 mins and then try to put it all together by swimming laps for 15 mins. Not sure if this is the best way to go though as after 45 mins of drills I'm getting tired. So at that point I can only swim a single length then I need a break or my form starts to suffer. Maybe I should start with swimming while I'm fresh and then do the drills?

Then I'm wondering what comes next? Should I just continue as is or should I focus on increasing my endurance at this point and lessen the time I spend on drills? Does TI have a program for increasing endurance? Are there any other recommended ones out there?
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  #2  
Old 01-23-2012
CoachSuzanne CoachSuzanne is offline
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Originally Posted by PKFFW View Post
Then I'm wondering what comes next? Should I just continue as is or should I focus on increasing my endurance at this point and lessen the time I spend on drills? Does TI have a program for increasing endurance? Are there any other recommended ones out there?
You can steadily decrease the time spent on drills...or even dramatically. How much do you end up swimming as far as 25m lengths? Can you swim 50m continuously at 16SPL?

here is a favorite set around here:
4 x 25
3 x 50
2 x 75
1 x 100

Try to swim the entire set at 16 SPL +/- 1 or 2 strokes on all but the first length. The idea is to see fi you can sustain your good stroke mechanics. Endurance is just the ability to execute your stroke over & over. This is a 500 yard set. When you can do the 100 @ 16 SPL (+/- 1-2 SPL), then try this set (1000 yds)

4 x 25
4 x 50
4 x 75
4 x 100

Or this one:
4 x 50
3 x 75
2 x 100
1 x 125

You get the idea. Work on sustain ing your stroke. When you can consistently swim several 100s at your SPL of 16/17 then it's time to get a tempo trainer and work on your stroke rate.
__________________
Suzanne Atkinson, MD
Level 3 USAT Coach
USA Paralympic Triathlon Coach
Coach of 5 time USA Triathlon Triathlete of the Year, Kirsten Sass
Steel City Endurance, LTD
Fresh Freestyle

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  #3  
Old 01-23-2012
PKFFW PKFFW is offline
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PKFFW
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CoachSuzanne View Post
You can steadily decrease the time spent on drills...or even dramatically. How much do you end up swimming as far as 25m lengths? Can you swim 50m continuously at 16SPL?
Thanks for the reply.

As far as how many 25m lengths I swim during drills I'd say a whole bunch! haha Seriously though it'd be around 25-30 lengths in the 45 mins worth of drills.

I can swim 50m continuously at 16 SPL, after that is when my form starts to really suffer. I'd say I'd average around 20 SPL during lap 3 and it gets worse from there. I'm sure part of my form deterioration is my tiredness from drilling. I've never tried swimming laps at the start, before I get tired, so I imagine I might get 75-100 meters out before my form started to really suffer if I was fresh.
Quote:
Originally Posted by CoachSuzanne
here is a favorite set around here:
4 x 25
3 x 50
2 x 75
1 x 100

Try to swim the entire set at 16 SPL +/- 1 or 2 strokes on all but the first length. The idea is to see fi you can sustain your good stroke mechanics. Endurance is just the ability to execute your stroke over & over. This is a 500 yard set. When you can do the 100 @ 16 SPL (+/- 1-2 SPL), then try this set (1000 yds)

4 x 25
4 x 50
4 x 75
4 x 100

Or this one:
4 x 50
3 x 75
2 x 100
1 x 125

You get the idea. Work on sustain ing your stroke. When you can consistently swim several 100s at your SPL of 16/17 then it's time to get a tempo trainer and work on your stroke rate.
I'll give these a try.

Just to make sure I get the idea, set 1 would go like this....
4 x 25 m laps with breaks in between each lap
3 x (2x25=50m) laps with breaks after each 50 meters
2 x (3x25=75m) laps with breaks after each 75 meters
1 x (4x25=100m) laps
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  #4  
Old 01-23-2012
rbs24h rbs24h is offline
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Location: Southern Cal
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Congratulations on impressive progress! You've got the workout right.

You only mentioned the Full Ironman distance swim. If you don't have plans to do any shorter races, I would highly recommend them. As you're swim endurance increases, the Sprint and Olympic distance races are especially good training. Even if you are a great duathlete, nothing can prepare you better for Triathlon Open Water Swim Starts than actually doing them.

They will also help with Transition out of the water to the bike.

I started TI fo find my way through Triathlon swim as well. I found that and much more..

Good luck
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  #5  
Old 01-23-2012
PKFFW PKFFW is offline
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My ultimate goal is the ironman but I do plan on doing a sprint first and working my way up. Probably an olympic distance or two and definitely a HIM along the way. I totally agree that there is nothing like actually doing something to really get the hang of it, whether a triathlon or anything else.

I must say I didn't think I'd be enjoying the whole swimming thing as much as I am. It use to be so much of a struggle that I just basically never bothered. Now it's actually fun!
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  #6  
Old 01-23-2012
terry terry is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PKFFW View Post
I can swim 50m continuously at 16 SPL, after that is when my form starts to really suffer.
It looks like you have your answer right there. In a sprint tri you'd need to swim 16-20x that distance with good form; in an Olympic tri 30x and in an IM tri 78x.

In TI Practice Methodology, when you reach an SPL range appropriate to your height and balance/streamline skills (how did you determine that 16SPL for 25m is right for you?) you work on the following:
1) Maintain that SPL (+/- 1-2 SPL) for greater duration.
2) Maintain that SPL over incrementally faster tempos.
3) Both.

To do this gradually reduce the percentage of drills in the overall practice. However keep unwavering attention -- via Focal Points -- on Balance and Streamlining skills in your whole stroke.
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  #7  
Old 01-23-2012
tab tab is offline
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tab
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CoachSuzanne View Post
You can steadily decrease the time spent on drills...or even dramatically. How much do you end up swimming as far as 25m lengths? Can you swim 50m continuously at 16SPL?

here is a favorite set around here:
4 x 25
3 x 50
2 x 75
1 x 100
CoachS, what is a reasonable time to run each set? Or how much time between sets?
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  #8  
Old 01-23-2012
tab tab is offline
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tab
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Quote:
Originally Posted by terry View Post
In TI Practice Methodology, when you reach an SPL range appropriate to your height and balance/streamline skills (how did you determine that 16SPL for 25m is right for you?)
In my case I swim 17SPL @25-yards, I am 5'-9" flat feet to top of head, and on my toes to outstretched finger tips, 7'-7" (or finger tip to other finger tip 5'-9", wing span). Does this fit into the appropriate range for my specs? I have seen it specified on a chart, perhaps a lecture you gave, Terry, but can't place it.
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  #9  
Old 01-23-2012
dshen dshen is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tab View Post
In my case I swim 17SPL @25-yards, I am 5'-9" flat feet to top of head, and on my toes to outstretched finger tips, 7'-7" (or finger tip to other finger tip 5'-9", wing span). Does this fit into the appropriate range for my specs? I have seen it specified on a chart, perhaps a lecture you gave, Terry, but can't place it.
Here is the SPL v. height chart for 25yards - I copied it because I knew I would lose it in the forums!

SPL can be roughly approximated to height and skill. I’ve prepared this height-indexed rough guide for 25-yard SPL (for 25m, add 1 to 2 SPL) to give swimmers a broad target:

5’0” to 5’ 2” 18 to 21 SPL
5’3” to 5’5” 17 to 20 SPL
5’6” to 5’ 8” 16 to 19 SPL
5’9” to 5’ 11” 15 to 18 SPL
6’0” to 6’2” 14 to 17 SPL
6’3” or taller 13 to 16 SPL

How to use it:
• Each height category is indexed to a range of 4 SPL. As you begin stroke counting, a personal range of 3 SPL will be sufficient.
• If you find that balance is elusive, your legs feel “heavy” or find it difficult to relax your kick, use the highest 3 counts in your range. (E.G. If you are 5’7” aim for 17 to 19 SPL.)
• If you feel generally well-supported with a relaxed kick, use the lower 3 counts in your range. (E.G. If you’re 5’7” aim for 16 to 18 SPL.)
• Aim to swim 25-yard repeats at the lowest count in your personal range. Use the upper 2 SPL in your range for middle or final laps on any repeat or swim. Stop for a rest or “reset” when you exceed the highest count in your range.
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  #10  
Old 01-23-2012
CoachSuzanne CoachSuzanne is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tab View Post
CoachS, what is a reasonable time to run each set? Or how much time between sets?
As long as you want to start out. Note the rest interval and over time work on decreasing it. You can measure rest by breathing or seconds. (ie 10 deep breaths or 30 seconds, etc).

For example today I was doing a set on descending tempo trainer settings. 2 Identical rounds liek this:

2 Rounds of
5 x 100 on 2 minutes
TT @ 1.25 sec/stroke
1.20
1.15
1.10
1.05

The first round I held them all, but the second round, I had a glitch resetting the TT which set me back 20 seconds...so i waited 10 more to make it an even 30, then each subsequent one ended up being more like a standard 30 sec rest instead of leaving on an interval.

What's important is not what my itnerval was, but that I note what it was and have a target for improvement, whether it's decreased rest, hitting target times, hitting target SPLs, etc.

You get to choose.
__________________
Suzanne Atkinson, MD
Level 3 USAT Coach
USA Paralympic Triathlon Coach
Coach of 5 time USA Triathlon Triathlete of the Year, Kirsten Sass
Steel City Endurance, LTD
Fresh Freestyle

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