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  #1  
Old 04-17-2011
terry terry is offline
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Default Best Multi-Event Day Ever

Forty years ago when I swam in college, we were limited to 3 events (2 individual + 1 relay) in a dual meet, lasting several hours. I would usually swim the 1000 and 500-yard free. If the meet had already been decided by the final 400 free relay, I might also swim that.
But three individual events would have been thought a killing schedule. And if one of them was the 200 Fly? That would have been testing the limits of human endurance.

Funny how one's outlook can change. Today at the Colonies Zone Masters Championships in Fairfax VA I swam four events - 200 Fly, 200 IM, 500 Free and 200 Breast in that order, in 3+ hours.

My main goals were to take each event as it came, and give a strong effort and performance, not holding back in any event, and still be able to maintain a high performance level through all four.
My other goals were to swim seasonal best times in all four and break Adirondack Masters 60-64 records in the last three.

Mission Accomplished.

200 Fly I swam 3:06, a whopping 13 seconds faster than the only prior time I'd swum it, on Jan 28.
50 yd Splits 42.4 - 47.6 - 48.4 - 47.7

200 IM I swam 2:52.53, a respectable 4 seconds faster than the Adirondack record I'd set on March 27, and 9 seconds under the old record.
Splits Fly 41.1 Back 47.5 - Breast 46.2 - Free 37.5
I feel this time is still a bit soft and aim to improve another 3-4 seconds as Masters Nats.

500 Free I swam 6:13.3, two seconds under the Adirondack record and a seasonal best by a solid 9 seconds over the time I did 4 weeks ago at NYS Masters.
100yd Splits: 1:11.2 - 1:15.9 - 1:15.8 - 1:15.3 - 1:14.1
I was pleased that I descended the last four 100s, but feel this time is a bit soft too and will aim to improve another 4-5 seconds at Nationals.

200 Breast was my best swim by far despite (1) being my 4th event; and (2) In a comical oversight I started the race with goggles perched on my head, not on my eyes. On the start they came down around my nose and I had to interrupt the lap to strip them off. Nonetheless I finished in a time of 3:00.13, a whopping 13 seconds faster than three weeks ago and 7 seconds under the Adirondack record. I'll swim it again at Nationals, with great hopes of knocking another 3 or more seconds off.
Splits 41.7 - 46.5 - 45.9 - 45.8
As with the 500, I'm very pleased that I descended the last three 50s.

In total, this was easily the best multi-event day swimming I've ever had, a product of approaching each event and the whole day strategically -- and of practices that gave me the ability to do so.

Disciplined splitting in races is essential to swimming best times while preserving energy for a long day of racing. The major reason so many of the top times in the world have featured progressive pacing (i.e. swimming gradually faster through the final three quarters of a race) is that it delays the accumulation of lactic acid until quite late in the race.

If I'd had high levels of lactate earlier in my races I'd have felt a lot more fatigue and soreness in the latter events. As it was I reached the halfway point of all races still feeling pretty good.
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  #2  
Old 04-17-2011
Richardsk Richardsk is offline
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Very impressive results there, Terry! Congratulations! It just goes to show that the method works, which of course is no surprise to you. On to even greater feats!
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  #3  
Old 04-17-2011
CoachRosita CoachRosita is offline
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Default Best Multi-Event Day Ever

Congratulations! What a wonderful 60th year on-going celebration of happiness and accomplishment. Lots to learn about racing these types of events in your post (i.e. entire post but especially disciplined splitting and how to handle the unexpected - goggles). Again Congratulations and Thanks!
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Old 04-18-2011
AWP AWP is offline
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Terry,
Kudos to you on reaching a new mark in your swimming. As excited as I am for ya I'm even more so for my future swimming as I follow your example(s).
Did you manage your pacing as in practices or was it left to 'neural perception'?
Is there anything you would (will) do differently, goggles debacle aside? (my mind is 'racing').
Lastly, how did you celebrate? :-)
Great luck @ Nationals. Hoping for more good news.

Best,
Alan
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Old 04-18-2011
CoachBrian CoachBrian is offline
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Excellent work from a man who once had a lifelong exemption form having to swim butterfly! Congratulations!
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If you're in the Denver area, contact me for a private lesson - 303-596-4978.
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  #6  
Old 04-19-2011
terry terry is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AWP View Post
Did you manage your pacing as in practices or was it left to 'neural perception'?
Alan
The SPL Gears practices proved invaluable for rehearsing and encoding race strategies.
I didn't count strokes in all races, but when I did, I was able to add a stroke per 50 where I planned to do so. My stroke counts for the 8 lengths of 200 BR for instance were 6 (from dive) - 7 - 8 - 8 - 9 - 9 - 10 - 10.

I'll post my Sunday days results splits and reflections shortly. The 200 BK was a good time but I could greatly improve pacing on it as I was 'ridiculously' fast on the final 50. (Meaning much too conservative earlier).
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  #7  
Old 04-20-2011
terry terry is offline
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Default Results from Sunday

I swam 3 events on Sunday. While I don't feel my performances were quite at the level of Saturday, I'm still pleased with having given a creditable wire-to-wire effort in each -- not 'saving' for races to come, yet maintaining the quality of effort in the latter events.
My first swim on Sunday probably suffered a bit from a hurried 5-minute warmup - I prefer 15 to 20 minutes before my first swim. I tried a different route to the pool and got quite lost.
200 Free 2:20.31
Splits 33.04 - 35.89 - 36.14 - 35.24
This was 6 seconds faster than my seasonal best -- I'd only swum it once, but that was just 3 weeks earlier - but 1.6 seconds short of the Adirondack record. I think I can split better at Nationals and make up that time. My first 100 was 1.08.9 and my second 1:11.3. I swim my best when the 2nd 100 is within about a second of the first. I'll strive to do that at Nationals.

400 IM 5:59.29
Splits
FL 1:32.8 (43.6-49.2)
BK 1:36.2 (49.1-47.0)
BR 1:36.4 (48.8-47.6)
FR 1:13.8 (38.1-35.7)
I improved the old Adirondack record by 37 seconds with this swim. I think I can improve quite a bit with a keener sense of pace. My sense of ideal splits for 400 IM is to limit loss of pace to about 3 seconds from 1st to 2nd 50 of Fly, but to increase pace by about.5 seconds on the 2nd 50 of the BK, BR and FR. So I've got plenty of room for improvement here. The most obvious area of weakness is the 2nd and 3rd 50s. I'll address that by swimming a fair few repeats of 100FL+100BK or variations on that (75FL+75BK) (50FL+50BK) in the week leading up to Nationals, to improve my ability to float through the 1st 50 of FL at a decent pace so I can swim 2nd 50 of FL more strongly and avoid being in 'recovering' mode as I start the BK.

200 BK 2:55.07
Splits 45.3 - 44.0 - 43.8 - 41.8
This was a solid 11-second improvement on my seasonal best - I'd only swum it once, on Mar 13 - but 10 seconds short of the Adirondack record.
There's much I'm encouraged about, but still see lots of room for improvement. So much room in fact that I feel very confident that, with the right kind of focus, I can break that record of 2:45.4 next year at 61 years young!

The main area of improvement will be to swim the first 150 much more strongly, while still finishing as fast as I did here. On the one hand, few people can swim a 200 race and descend all four 50s. On the other hand, that's too conservative in the early going to allow your best potential final time to emerge.
PS: My middle 100 of 1:27.8 and final 100 of 1:25.6 on 200 BK are both so much faster than the 1:36.2 I swam for 100 BK in 400 IM that it shows I can be much better there too.

Lessons Learned From this meet, and the last couple of months, is that my choice to move out of my distance freestyle comfort zone and focus on shorter events in all disciplines brought great rewards. When I shift my focus from 200-yard races to those of 1- and 2-miles, to freestyle technique and open water strategies in mid-May I'll do so with a real sense of anticipation. But my sense of engagement in the last few months has been greater because of the feeling of newness in the less-familiar skills and challenges of shorter swims (intensive rather than extensive efforts) in other strokes.

Not only did this put me in an area where I have far more prominent weak spots to focus on, it's given me a far wider menu of possible weak spots to address.

Consider pace for instance. I swim a relatively narrow band of pace (meaning a narrow group of SL and SR combinations) in distance free. But in swimming all five 200s (four strokes + IM) and the 400 IM, I have a wide variety of pacing efforts to hone.

Take just the 400 IM for instance. I consider that to have 7 different pacing 'circuits' to optimize, in all of which I have much room to improve.
Fly
Fly-Back
Back
Back-Breast
Breast
Breast-Free
Free

Considering that a key characteristic independently identified by those who studied Mastery, Expert Performance and Flow was a keen focus on finding and fixing errors and weak spots - and using an analytical and strategic approach in doing so - my choice to divide each year into a distance freestyle phase and an all-disciplines phase should keep me on the steep part of the learning curve through at least age 65. Who wouldn't be excited by that?
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Terry Laughlin
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May your laps be as happy as mine.

My TI Story

Last edited by terry : 04-20-2011 at 08:48 PM.
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  #8  
Old 04-20-2011
sasquatch sasquatch is offline
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Default if he doesn't need it anymore...

...I'd like to borrow Terry's unused "butterfly exemption." Actually, if I don't get any better at it I may be forced to accept a full-fledged ban. My masters swim buddies have a hard time breathing due to laughter anytime I'm working on my "butter-flop." My current rate of improvement may have me able to swim a 50-fly by the time I'm 50. Then I could use the following 10 years to work up to a 400 I.M.

Congrats Terry on a successful weekend. Thanks for sharing your multi-stroke practice sets.
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  #9  
Old 04-20-2011
terry terry is offline
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Sasquatch
You're welcome to my lifetime butterfly exemption. I had taken it when I turned 50 and still hadn't figured out how to swim Fly with enough easy to make 100 yds without being exhausted. To my great pleasure I did figure it out at age 54, only 40 years after I began trying to crack the code. I now expect to have a lifetime enjoyment instead. So perhaps you might also.
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May your laps be as happy as mine.

My TI Story
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