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  #1  
Old 04-12-2016
Tom Pamperin Tom Pamperin is offline
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Default SPL Focus--How Much is Too Much?

I just posted a reply on Terry's current practice thread that got me thinking about SPL (again). Assuming you had all the time in the world, and no hurry to train for a specific event, how much focus on swimming at your lowest SPL would be productive?

I started swimming after a long-ish layoff, and for about 8-10 weeks now, I have been purposely focusing on spending the vast majority of my swimming time at my lowest SPL (which right now is 13 SPL for 25m at a pace of :47-49 for 50m, with a very occasional 12 SPL). I also do a few sets like this every week just to keep my access to a wide range of SPL:

2 x 50 @ 13 SPL, 2 x 50 @ 14 SPL, 2 x 50 @ 15 SPL, 2 x 50 @ 16 SPL, 2 x 50 @ 15 SPL, 2 x 50 @ 14 SPL, 2 x 50 @ 13 SPL.

My theory is that by patiently extending my focus on my extreme low SPL, and striving to make that SPL feel very very easy and relaxed, I'll see lots of benefits as I gradually add faster tempos and higher SPLs (especially for very long distances, which is a big interest of mine). And I really do have all the time in the world right now--I swim 5 days/week, 1.5-2 hours per day, and have no events scheduled.

What does everyone here think? Anyone want to make any predictions about where this might take me, or when it's time to move on? I feel like I'm definitely learning about balance, core activation, etc. and am enjoying myself a great deal--just curious about some feedback on the idea.
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  #2  
Old 04-12-2016
CoachSuzanne CoachSuzanne is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Pamperin View Post
I feel like I'm definitely learning about balance, core activation, etc. and am enjoying myself a great deal--just curious about some feedback on the idea.
Say no more! No one can create this environment or plan training better than you. I say continue until you are no longer a) learning or b) enjoying
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  #3  
Old 04-12-2016
ti97
 
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suzanne gives a very wise reply....a statistic, like SPL or time, is just a number....it doesn't always reflect true outcome for the swimmer

if you've got the time, then enjoy swimming and learning will naturally follow
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Old 04-12-2016
Zenturtle Zenturtle is offline
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First make your strokecount speed independant before thinking of lowering it.
A rocksolid strokecount is a pretty good indicator of a solid hold on the water.
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  #5  
Old 04-12-2016
Tom Pamperin Tom Pamperin is offline
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Originally Posted by Zenturtle View Post
First make your strokecount speed independant before thinking of lowering it.
A rocksolid strokecount is a pretty good indicator of a solid hold on the water.
I'm curious what you mean by "speed independent." I can see that you might choose to swim slower at a given SPL, but there is a tempo where you won't be able to maintain a given SPL.

So, there will always be a correlation between speed and SPL--what kind of independence are you suggesting, ZT?
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Old 04-12-2016
Zenturtle Zenturtle is offline
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I am suggesting almost the same strokecount, for 2 min/100m as for 1.30 min/100m.
Well ok, minimal loss of DPS at higher speed.
I am not such a big fan of very long strokes in general. Does work for some, but not for all.
Well, thats an old debate.
For tall guys with long arms which have a preference for slow movements with high force it can work.
But Andrew Gemmel looks like this and is a very high turnover swimmer.
You have to look at video footage to see if you are going too long.
Dan bullock is going too long here in my view.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=feUhyCklHL0
But maybe he likes having harder pulls with some rest inbetween instead of smoother pulls with lower force levels and
less rest.
This is one of the most famous marathon swimmers: doesnt look like 13 strokes/25 m to me (but not very short either)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZLQwZf65OKc

Last edited by Zenturtle : 04-12-2016 at 09:54 PM.
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  #7  
Old 04-13-2016
Streak Streak is offline
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Very interesting Tom.
I have never been a huge stroke counter (If I count strokes my form suffers!) but of late have been trying to see where I am at.

On my quicker laps (1:35/100) , I am doing around 17-19 SPL in a 25 yard pool.
Slowing my tempo way down to get 13-14 SPL my time is about 1:50 per 100.

I would love to find a way to keep my SPL low and improve times at the same time.

Now where's that drawing board?
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  #8  
Old 04-13-2016
truwani truwani is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Pamperin View Post
I just posted a reply on Terry's current practice thread that got me thinking about SPL (again). Assuming you had all the time in the world, and no hurry to train for a specific event, how much focus on swimming at your lowest SPL would be productive?

I started swimming after a long-ish layoff, and for about 8-10 weeks now, I have been purposely focusing on spending the vast majority of my swimming time at my lowest SPL (which right now is 13 SPL for 25m at a pace of :47-49 for 50m, with a very occasional 12 SPL). I also do a few sets like this every week just to keep my access to a wide range of SPL:

2 x 50 @ 13 SPL, 2 x 50 @ 14 SPL, 2 x 50 @ 15 SPL, 2 x 50 @ 16 SPL, 2 x 50 @ 15 SPL, 2 x 50 @ 14 SPL, 2 x 50 @ 13 SPL.

My theory is that by patiently extending my focus on my extreme low SPL, and striving to make that SPL feel very very easy and relaxed, I'll see lots of benefits as I gradually add faster tempos and higher SPLs (especially for very long distances, which is a big interest of mine). And I really do have all the time in the world right now--I swim 5 days/week, 1.5-2 hours per day, and have no events scheduled.

What does everyone here think? Anyone want to make any predictions about where this might take me, or when it's time to move on? I feel like I'm definitely learning about balance, core activation, etc. and am enjoying myself a great deal--just curious about some feedback on the idea.
I think it is key to train keeping the low SPL at the same tempo. For me one of the biggest challenges is to avoid/postpone the moment where my form starts to break down:if then I want to hold the same SPL I tend to overglide,... Keeping the tempo fixed should make it harder to let these issues creep in your stroke, but also harder to keep the low SPL...

Do you relate?
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  #9  
Old 04-13-2016
Zenturtle Zenturtle is offline
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Quote:
2 x 50 @ 13 SPL, 2 x 50 @ 14 SPL, 2 x 50 @ 15 SPL, 2 x 50 @ 16 SPL, 2 x 50 @ 15 SPL, 2 x 50 @ 14 SPL, 2 x 50 @ 13 SPL.
If you think you are discovering things by exploring the limits of strokelength and strokerate its a good and interesting practice.
Maybe interseting to find out your current optimal combination of strokelegth and strokerate for a differnt speed and effort levels in a matrix, store this data and see if it has shifted after a few months.

Last edited by Zenturtle : 04-13-2016 at 11:58 AM.
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  #10  
Old 04-13-2016
Tom Pamperin Tom Pamperin is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by truwani View Post
I think it is key to train keeping the low SPL at the same tempo. For me one of the biggest challenges is to avoid/postpone the moment where my form starts to break down:if then I want to hold the same SPL I tend to overglide,... Keeping the tempo fixed should make it harder to let these issues creep in your stroke, but also harder to keep the low SPL...

Do you relate?
I completely agree that at some point the stroke breaks down at both faster and slower tempos. I like to try to work toward both faster AND slower tempos at each SPL. I've found that I can swim a 1:05 50m at 13 SPL without overgliding by gradually slowing everything down and maintaining acute awareness of body position throughout the slow-motion stroke (while using minimal pressure on the arms--that's a key)--this is a really interesting challenge to core stability and balance.
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