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  #11  
Old 07-08-2010
sasquatch sasquatch is offline
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sasquatch
Default hope this helps

"I know you have done this before but could you go over the SPL methodology."

Obviously not Terry here, but this is my simple method of counting SPL; every time a hand hits the water I count it as a stroke. So when I push off the wall my stroke cycle starts with my first catch/pull and ends when that hand breaks the water surface in front of me again on recovery. I think Terry has mentioned before, it's not terribly important how you count SPL as long as you are consistent. That way you can track your own improvement. Counting it the "right" way only gets to be a problem if you're trying to compare your SPL with someone else.

"I'm 6'7" and now about 238 lbs. I taken off about 15 lbs and folks say I look skinny. I don't think I am but that what people say. I have long arms (38 sleeves) and fairly long legs (38 inseam). So what should my SPL be and where should I set my tempo timer (I just bought one). I do admit that I thought tempos above 1.2 to ridiculously long and favor the shorter ones which probably says loads about my predicament. Any insights are appreciated."

atriedes; you and I are about the same size (6'6", 220 lbs). Wingspan looks to be about the same although I think my legs are shorter (maybe my mom was right and I do wear my pants too low, but I typically wear a 34" inseam) I've had a tempo trainer for a little over a year and am very comfortable swimming at 1.2, I don't usually ever go over 1.4 and am actually working to get more comfortable in the 1.0-1.05 range over longer distances. Using the SPL counting method I outlined above I'm usually in the 14-15 SPL range (25 m pool) at 1.1-1.2 sec/stroke. I will go as high as 18 SPL if I drop down to 1.0 on the TT.

From my experience I think you can definitely cut down your SPL at a slower TT setting so if I were you I'd start where your comfortable and then gradually decrease your SR to 1.2 (or slower) in .01-.02 increments (swim 1 or 2 lengths then drop the TT setting again). Pay attention to your body position while swimming at that progressively slower pace, take advantage of the extra time between strokes to feel what might be out of place and adding resistance to your forward movement. Without seeing you swim it's hard to say what you'll need to work on to get more distance from each stroke, but my guess is that you'll drop a stoke or two per length as you slow it down. Then try the reverse (speeding up your stroke rate) and try to maintain the same SPL for as long as you can. Read Terry's blog post (http://www.swimwellblog.com/archives/406). Since you're more comfortable at a higher stroke rate what I'm trying to explain is this practice set in reverse so you can slow down and figure out what's cutting into your distance per stroke.
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  #12  
Old 07-08-2010
terry terry is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KatieK View Post
Is there a formula we can use as a guide for SPL target by height?
Here's something from an ebook I will publish later this summer about Stroke Counting as a form of training:

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.


If you're above the height-indexed range -- or it's a strain to hold the SPL noted for your height -- you should keep your repeat distances fairly short and your Tempo fairly leisurely until your "effortless efficiency" improves.

In fact, use the SPL index as a guide to choosing Tempo. If your SPL is above the indicated range for your height, it would be best to set your Tempo Trainer around 1.30 until you can swim fairly consistently, at a range of repeat distances up to, say, 200 yds/mts within the range noted for your height. Once you can do that, you can begin moving toward, and possibly below, 1.20. If you can easily manage SPLs in the lower part of your range, you are probably ready to begin training with tempo from 1.0 to 1.10, or possibly even faster. Just use the SPL range as a guide to alert you to when the combination of Tempo and Distance may be exceeding your neural capacity.
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May your laps be as happy as mine.

My TI Story
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  #13  
Old 07-08-2010
terry terry is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sasquatch View Post

"I'm 6'7" and now about 238 lbs. I have long arms (38 sleeves) and fairly long legs (38 inseam).

atriedes; you and I are about the same size (6'6", 220 lbs). Wingspan looks to be about the same although I think my legs are shorter (maybe my mom was right and I do wear my pants too low, but I typically wear a 34" inseam)
This is one of those interesting influences on stroke efficiency, and therefore SPL, that few people are aware of. If Sasquatch and Atreides both recorded their inseam accurately, then Sasquatch should find it easier to achieve a lower SPL and Atreides should be expected - even at a similar skill level - to have a higher SPL, even though his height is the same.

If you are 6-6 with a 34" inseam then, your body is more like Phelps - longer spine, shorter legs than most people of your height. If you're only 1" taller but have an inseam 4" longer - as Atreides does - more of your "vessel length" is below the hips. Longer torso and shorter legs make it easier to balance, so legs will ride nearer the surface and less kicking required. Shorter torso and longer legs means more difficulty in balance, legs likely to ride a bit lower (creating more drag) or requiring more kick (creating more turbulence).

This is why I created an index for 4 SPL per height range. I'll probably refine that index to add maybe another level of efficiency for each height.
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May your laps be as happy as mine.

My TI Story
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  #14  
Old 07-08-2010
sasquatch sasquatch is offline
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sasquatch
Default just like Mike?

I think I saw something during the '08 Olympics where they went through Phelps' measurements and how his body was suited to swimming and swimming fast. Largely for the reasons Terry outlined, that he was both tall (long torso and arms) and short (inseam). I didn't think I really fit into that category, but maybe that explains why I adopted a 2-beat kick fairly easily. I'd like to think it had something to do with a lot of time on focused balance drills.

I've seen lots of tall people who "swim short" and, conversely, short people who "swim taller" than their measurements would indicate because they know how focus on correct form.
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  #15  
Old 07-09-2010
KatieK KatieK is offline
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Default Questions about SPL Ranges

Quote:
Originally Posted by terry View Post
Here's something from an ebook I will publish later this summer about Stroke Counting as a form of training:

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.


If you're above the height-indexed range -- or it's a strain to hold the SPL noted for your height -- you should keep your repeat distances fairly short and your Tempo fairly leisurely until your "effortless efficiency" improves.

In fact, use the SPL index as a guide to choosing Tempo. If your SPL is above the indicated range for your height, it would be best to set your Tempo Trainer around 1.30 until you can swim fairly consistently, at a range of repeat distances up to, say, 200 yds/mts within the range noted for your height. Once you can do that, you can begin moving toward, and possibly below, 1.20. If you can easily manage SPLs in the lower part of your range, you are probably ready to begin training with tempo from 1.0 to 1.10, or possibly even faster. Just use the SPL range as a guide to alert you to when the combination of Tempo and Distance may be exceeding your neural capacity.
Thanks for posting. A few questions/observations:
1.) Are these ranges based on observations or a formula?
2.) Are you saying we shouldn't try to go below our range? I'm 5'7" and can easily stay in my range of 16-19 SPL at tempos between 1.0 and 1.3. When I slow down to about 1.5, I can hold 14-15 SPL for long sets. At even slower paces, I can hold 13 SPL for about 100 yards. I find these slow sets helpful as a drill for improving my streamlining, and I've been hoping to be able to maintain those low SPL's at faster paces as I improve. It sounds, though, like you think I'd be better served by trying to hold 16 at higher tempos than dropping down to 15 SPL at 1.3.
3.) This week was the first time I've been able to hold 19 SPL at tempos below 1.1. I've been swimming at those tempos once a week for a couple of months now, usually at about 21-22 SPL. I have to say that swimming a little faster than I can swim with good form was really helpful. The additional resistance from the water at those speeds made it really clear where my form was off. The best thing I learned from that was that I was waiting too long to stretch out my lead arm; as soon as I realized that, my SPL improved across the board.

Thanks so much for the great information.
Katie
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  #16  
Old 07-12-2010
haschu33 haschu33 is offline
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I think this table is a good reference.

But.
I think there is a danger of reducing TI to a low stroke count.
For me TI is efficient and easy swimming. There should be certainly some degree of effortlessness in the swimming, maybe even elegance or grace, a certain degree of being relaxed, of feeling at ease, maybe. All that does not get reflected in a low SPL. The dilemma of course is that we don't seem to have another measure, but getting fixated on SPL could be quite misleading. And could lead to an extreme, unefficient, long-glide style just to keep the SPL down. And breaking down the table in taking into consideration different arm and leg lengths, ratios between legs and body and even shoulder flexibility will not help us from coming to the conclusion that people still are quite different.
Maybe it is more about finding your own comfort zone, which can be quite different for different people. And then improve from there, counting strokes only once in a while for reference.
Of course there might be people for whom a constant counting of strokes simply works best. And there might be people who are doing a good work but still are out of the range of those suggestions.

I was in the pool yesterday and did something I usually never do: I tried to swim with the least effort possible. After my usual suspects of drills I did one slow motion lap in the shallow 25 m lane: 13 strokes. What does this tell me ? Then I escaped from the kids and did a few very nice, very effortless 50 m laps. Counted: SPL was way over 40, will be equivalent to more than 20 in a 25y pool. Now, what does that tell me ? I was undecided what to do: stick with the relaxed swimming, or try to decrease the SPL? I did stick with the relaxed swimming and stopped counting strokes. It was a very nice swim, but still I had to take care not to get caught by that nagging feeling that my SPL is too high and I am not swimming 'good'.


So I don't disrespect the effort to get such a table done, and maybe it's just me, but sometimes I have difficulties with the SPL and get more support by using another focus.

Last edited by haschu33 : 07-12-2010 at 12:19 PM.
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  #17  
Old 07-19-2010
hagargolf hagargolf is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by terry View Post
Here's something from an ebook I will publish later this summer about Stroke Counting as a form of training:

[color="Blue"]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
Hello Terry,
Thank you for the response along with the chart and explanation on how to use it. I have a some work to do to get down to that 14 to 17 SPL range for 6"0". I am an engineer, so I love being able to measure my progress in this area and have goals to shoot for. I am looking forward to the new ebook when it is published. Thanks everyone else for their contributions as well. This is great stuff. Off to the pool!
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  #18  
Old 07-20-2010
kathyswims kathyswims is offline
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Wow! I'm doing better than I thought. I am 5'3" and usually target 16 SPL but can regularly hit 18 ... but did I mention that I swim very s-l-o-w-l-y . Tonight I was really focusing on long strokes and had several lengths at 15 and at least one at 13 (25 yd lengths). And I count every time I put a hand in the water. One time I counted only 10 but that was impossible so I figured I must have missed a few somewhere (was laughing by the time I made the wall).

I should get my Tempo Trainer in a few days. New toy!

The way I do the math -->
pool is 25 yards = 900 inches
I am 63 inches long
900 / 63 = 14.29 body lengths
so 13 should be doable with some gliding in there
This is assuming one stroke = at least one body length of forward motion
so if I only make 3/4 of a body length forward motion per stroke
my 14.29 --> goes to 19.05
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  #19  
Old 07-20-2010
splashingpat splashingpat is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by westyswoods View Post
5. My preference is definitely naked.
So have been able to swim 75% without.



In closing after having read this post it most likely belongs in the
. . .
If any administration desires to please do so.

Have a Great Day
Swim Well and Silent
Westy


swim well , silent and naked...

funny thing I had a fish yank my hair!i guess You are definitely much more comfortable and freer than I thnk i could be!
I don't even thnk i could dance naked in my dreams!

P.S. How do you get to swim naked?

Last edited by splashingpat : 07-20-2010 at 12:25 PM.
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