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  #1  
Old 12-09-2010
drone drone is offline
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Default How to change gears without extra output?

I'm a much slower TI freestyle swimmer than virtually everybody posting here (average speed approx. 2.3k+ per hour), but I can maintain a 14 SPL pace in a 25m pool for average 1.5 to 3k swims, enjoying the feeling almost like being out for a relaxed nap on the 25m waterbed a lot of the time.
I want to improve my speed, but find my SPL and heart rate increase when I try to increase my stroke rate (changing gears). It's hard for me not to make the transition of speed/stroke rate without investing extra energy into the bargain. Any tricks or tips?
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  #2  
Old 12-09-2010
flppr flppr is offline
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Default four times

Decreasing drag is four times more effective at increasing speed than increasing force.
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  #3  
Old 12-09-2010
borate borate is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drone
I want to improve my speed, but find my SPL and heart rate increase when I try to increase my stroke rate (changing gears). Any tricks or tips?
Focus on streamlining - extending and reaching, after the high elbow spear.



And perhaps increase the 'patience' of your extended arm, before it pulls, as it awaits the recovery arm's entry. This timing varies slightly with individual swimmer and speed. Experiment.
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Old 12-09-2010
westyswoods westyswoods is offline
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Default Finally

Some thoughts on increased tempo with corresponding speed.

I have been working recently on breaking out of the slow mode drill rut while whole stroke swimming. I was at 1.5, after a visit with Coach Dave I jumped to 1.3 argh, felt hurried and just not right. Well after some time and doing 20 x 25 yd sets with some 50's and 100's mixed in, the hurried feeling is leaving me.

Last evening after a four day hiatus from swimming due to sore shoulders from X country skiing I decided to do 50's at 1.30. Low and behold it felt much easier not hurried and I could focus on other pieces than hitting the rate. It was also great to see my 50 times right a 52-56 seconds. Never been close to these before while doing more than one set. SPL's = 16/18 with 2 beat push off. Progress is always nice to see and needs to be acknowledged.

Now I can start working my way down from 1.3. Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated.

Swim Silent and Be Well
Westy
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  #5  
Old 12-09-2010
Lawrence Lawrence is offline
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In case helpful, I've noticed that most videos posted here show people swimming at a noticeably lower tempo than Shinji and Terry in their videos. I think people have a tendency towards an exaggerately slow recovery arm action, and a corresponding tendency to try to get too much distance out of the glide phase. That would definitely slow you down.
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  #6  
Old 12-09-2010
bsaaditya bsaaditya is offline
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Yes, it does appear that most TI beginners who've made the progression from drill to full stroke, and also those who've adapted their freestyle to TI stroke (like me), have a tendency to swim slower than optimal speeds. I think this is mainly due to the experience of the gliding phase. The joy of the glide, as I discovered initially, was tremendous. But as I put more days of training behind me, I naturally felt the need to go faster, and now that I've got my Tempo Trainer, I'm pushing for speed and efficiency. I'm able to sustain 14 SPL at a tempo of 1.36, and I cover 1610 yards in about 45 mins. I'm curious to know if my distance covered in this time is a good benchmark, and how much distance people on this forum cover in the same time.
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  #7  
Old 12-09-2010
andreasl33 andreasl33 is offline
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It is unavoidable that your heart rate and SPL go up when you swim faster. That's the nature of things. SPL is not a goal in itself. It may give you a hint about the efficiency of your swimming, but without further information it is no more than a hint. What counts in the end is your energy expense. If at a given speed, you reduce SPL by 20% by stroking 50% harder, you expend 20% more energy, not less. You have to find the optimal SPL with respect to energy expense (try to estimate how much effort you put into your swimming or measure your heart rate every now and then) for a given speed, not the lowest SPL for a given speed. What you want to do is get this optimal SPL down over time by reducing drag, not by stroking harder or making the recovery artificially slow.
I would suggest, you stop counting strokes for now and instead use focus points during your swim. Think about your hip position in length 1, your rotation in length 2, the correct position of your extended arm in length 3, your mailslot entry in length 4, a relaxed recovery in length 5, etc. Over time, your SPL will drop automatically as a result of becoming more proficient in these details. But you can't force SPL down. That means you can force it down, but without progress in reducing drag, it can only be done with more effort.
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Old 12-09-2010
KatieK KatieK is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drone View Post
I'm a much slower TI freestyle swimmer than virtually everybody posting here (average speed approx. 2.3k+ per hour),
Quote:
Originally Posted by bsaaditya View Post
I'm able to sustain 14 SPL at a tempo of 1.36, and I cover 1610 yards in about 45 mins. I'm curious to know if my distance covered in this time is a good benchmark, and how much distance people on this forum cover in the same time.
You guys are in the exact same boat as every other swimmer: faster than some, slower than others. No matter how fast you get, that won't change. You're only competing with yourselves.

Quote:
Originally Posted by drone View Post
I want to improve my speed, but find my SPL and heart rate increase when I try to increase my stroke rate (changing gears). It's hard for me not to make the transition of speed/stroke rate without investing extra energy into the bargain. Any tricks or tips?
Quote:
Originally Posted by flppr View Post
Decreasing drag is four times more effective at increasing speed than increasing force.
It's true that decreasing drag is more effective than increasing force. BUT, 14 is already a low SPL. Unless Drone is over 6'3", decreasing it is probably not even practical. (Check out this post of Terry's that gives a range of stroke rates by height: http://www.totalimmersion.net/forum/...6&postcount=12)

Assuming you could get your SPL down to 12, you could shave off about 3 seconds per 25m. That adds up to about 2 minutes per 1000m, dropping your 2.3K time by about 4.5 minutes. (I used a stroke rate of 1.5 for that calculation.) Not a huge improvement.

The real improvement in speed comes with increasing tempo. I created a little tool that illustrates the relationship between SPL, tempo and speed. If you're interested, you can get it here: https://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?...GeFVkT2c&hl=en

Your SPL *will* increase as you increase your tempo. There are lots of tips for minimizing this in the Favorite Practice Sets section of this forum. But, you're always going to be at the low end of your SPL range (i.e. the one in the first link I posted) for slow tempos and the higher end for faster tempos. I personally add about 1 stroke for every .1 second decrease in tempo below 1.2/1.3.

As you get more accustomed to working at faster tempos, the feeling of exertion will decrease. For me, that was due to 3 things: increased efficiency, improved fitness, and a new-found comfort/enjoyment at the increased exertion.

Quote:
Originally Posted by drone View Post
I can maintain a 14 SPL pace in a 25m pool for average 1.5 to 3k swims, enjoying the feeling almost like being out for a relaxed nap on the 25m waterbed a lot of the time.
Quote:
Originally Posted by bsaaditya View Post
Yes, it does appear that most TI beginners who've made the progression from drill to full stroke, and also those who've adapted their freestyle to TI stroke (like me), have a tendency to swim slower than optimal speeds. I think this is mainly due to the experience of the gliding phase. The joy of the glide, as I discovered initially, was tremendous. But as I put more days of training behind me, I naturally felt the need to go faster, and now that I've got my Tempo Trainer, I'm pushing for speed and efficiency.
Swimming slow and swimming fast are both really fun. In the beginning, I couldn't imagine wanting to move past that relaxed state. Now, I really want to improve my speed. I think once we start to master one thing, it's natural to want to push ourselves by trying something new. Even though I'm working on speed, I still spend a lot of practice time on swimming slowly.

My thinking about swimming keeps expanding. It started out as recreation, then fitness, then meditation. I still think of it as all those things, but I also think of it as a sport now. I never thought that would happen.

Keep up the good work.

Last edited by KatieK : 12-09-2010 at 04:02 PM.
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  #9  
Old 12-09-2010
borate borate is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bsaaditya View Post
Yes, it does appear that ... those who've adapted their freestyle to TI stroke (like me), have a tendency to swim slower than optimal speeds.
Optimal speeds? Like-minded TI acolytes understandably abound in these forums.

With no disrespect to those who are into Zen concepts, flow states, SR and SPL, there are lurkers here who have little concern for benchmarks.
They are consumers of TI books and video, who simply want to lessen struggle.

At whatever their 'optimal' pace, it may sufficient that Ti concepts help them to swim more comfortably, encouraging regular exercise and boosting their well-being.

Last edited by borate : 12-09-2010 at 05:29 PM.
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  #10  
Old 12-09-2010
Alex-SG Alex-SG is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drone View Post
I'm a much slower TI freestyle swimmer than virtually everybody posting here (average speed approx. 2.3k+ per hour), but I can maintain a 14 SPL pace in a 25m pool for average 1.5 to 3k swims, enjoying the feeling almost like being out for a relaxed nap on the 25m waterbed a lot of the time.
I want to improve my speed, but find my SPL and heart rate increase when I try to increase my stroke rate (changing gears). It's hard for me not to make the transition of speed/stroke rate without investing extra energy into the bargain. Any tricks or tips?
Drone,

What is your Stroke Rate at 14SPL?
I cannot figure things out... even if you swim at a Stroke Rate of SR=2.0 (1 stroke every 2 seconds) that means Time=30sec per 25m (roughly).... which is 3Km/hour... much faster than the 2.3Km/hour you declare here.

There is something wrong....... ALEX
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