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  #1  
Old 08-31-2011
RobM77 RobM77 is offline
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RobM77
Default What's your sprint pace vs long distance pace?

My TI journey started after I found I was getting out of breath after just one length of a pool. A year later, after learning TI, that was up to about a length and a half, maybe two lengths. Back then I was swimming 25 second lengths in a 25 metre pool, and anything slower left me starved of breath, even if I breathed every stroke cycle I was getting totally breathless. I've now sorted out my breathing technique, which has allowed me to slow to 32 second lengths and produce continuous swimming for 800 metres or so. It struck me that this was exactly double my sprint pace over short distances (16s for a 25 metre length). What's interesting is that this also roughly holds for running and cycling (9mph/18mph and 17mph/31mph respectively; both on the flat).

Does this work for other people? If you swim 25 metres as fast as you can, and then swim 800 metres at a comfortable pace, do you find your endurance pace is pretty much half your maximum pace?

What's interesting with swimming is that 32 seconds a length seems painfully slow to me. Perhaps if I'd realised this rule of halves earlier on I'd have convinced myself it was actually normal...
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Old 08-31-2011
harling harling is offline
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harling
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Hi Rob,

I would love to be able to sprint at 16s for a 25m length. My "sprint" maximum at the moment is about 22s over 25m, but I can swim long distances reasonably easily at 30s per length, so the rule doesn't follow for me. If I were to swim at double my sprint I would take 44s. I am 53 and only been swimming crawl for three years, with no swimming background, and not very muscular or tall so I would think I will always struggle to get under 20s I suspect, but can see myself getting to 25s per length over long distances eventually.

I suspect some people are better adapted to sprints so get really low times, but less speedy swimmers may be better at maintaining a reasonable pace for long distances, so I am almost certain that t your "double rule" isn't correct. e.g. if someone like Terry can swim at around 22s for miles (in his last blog this seemed to be the pace he was maintaining), I doubt even he could do 11s for a 25m length (the world record is around 10s). I would have thought when you get improve your balance etc you could easily get into the low 20s per length over long distances, if you can do 16s lengths.

Last edited by harling : 08-31-2011 at 06:27 PM. Reason: Removal of comment about speed
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  #3  
Old 08-31-2011
RobM77 RobM77 is offline
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Thanks. Perhaps this "rule" is just a coincidence. I was surprised that swimming fitted it, because of how dense water is compared with air, I expected the ratio to break down as soon as I worked out the swimming.

If we remove breathing from the equation (give me a wide snorkel for instance), I think I'd do about 20 seconds a length over long distances. It's the breathing that pulls me down to 32 seconds per length - any faster and I can't get enough air in to maintain it.

Thanks for your numbers though - hopefully a few more people will reply and I might start to get a handle on how fast I should be able to swim if I breathed like everyone else...
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Old 08-31-2011
gladtobedifferent gladtobedifferent is offline
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gladtobedifferent
Default Pace and speed

Well I have one mode of operation - the same pace and stroke rate no matter how far I swim. I think running has drilled into me that a steady consistent pace is key.

I swim 100m, 200m, 400m, 1 mile (first time yesterday) with an average of 25-26 strokes per length and at an average speed for all of the above of 2 mins 15- 2 mins 30. So whatever the distance is I swim the same speed.

These sites are funny - 25s for 25m - I did that when I was 11 in the local swimming club for breastroke. I could only dream of doing that now !!

And as for the response:
' if i were to swim at 44 sec that would be slow slow slow' - well mate for some of us we are just in front of that time (by a few secs). So please guys, watch what you say about fast and slow times as, to be honest, it does not help encourage us slowbies !! In fact it makes us feel pretty rubbish.

I swam a mile yesterday with the same pace and efficiency that I swim 100m - which in my mind is a good thing. I keep my slow slow slow pace all the way through. But to be honest I did not struggle doing my mile at all. And breathing was good. (although always to the left).

Interested what others say
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Old 08-31-2011
RobM77 RobM77 is offline
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Thanks for your post GTBD. I was purely interested in ratios between spring and endurance, and wasn't inferring that I was fast or slow or encouraging others to do so (depending where your own swimming pace lies!). Sorry!

From what others have said and looking at world records I have a feeling reality may be nearer 75% for endurance rather than 50%, and perhaps what's slowing me down is that I'm breath limited.
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  #6  
Old 08-31-2011
westyswoods westyswoods is offline
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Default Glad

Congratulations on the swim. Your times, if you are concerned, are more than respectable. It seems every so often this forum gets caught in a vortex of what is fast, respectable or what ever for swimming.
When I observe others swimming, many are faster, few swim with the ease I have been able to achieve through TI. I am slowly improving my pace, through the use of a tempo trainer the past three months. My pace was very much the same as you are now swimming. I was good with it, but what I found was that any attempt to increase speed just neurologically felt out of wack.

I was video taped at an increased tempo and the video did not show the stroke falling apart like it felt. I have worked from 1.5 tempo down to 1.3 and feel quite normal at 1.3. moving towards 1.2. Doing a 1/3 mile open water last week at 1.3 in 12mins.

Monday evening I did some open water rope repeats without the TT and found for 75 yds my times were right on 1:25-1:30, did not do the math but think it works out to about 36 min per mile. These repeats were done without a TT and I found the stroke felt hurried.

You can get there do it for you.

An interesting side note is we have an Thursday OW swim usually 15-20 people show up. Last Thursday four of us were there. Most of the Tris for the year are done.

I swim because I enjoy it and get so much from the journey, not because I need to complete a swim in a triathalon, dreading every second.



Swim Silent and Be Well
Westy
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  #7  
Old 08-31-2011
RobM77 RobM77 is offline
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Thanks Westy. Strange isn't it how Triathlons stop about now? here in the UK other watersports run May to October, because there's a lag between good air temperature (April to Aug) and water temperature (May/June to Sep/Oct). I actually kayak right up to the end of November, but wouldn't dream of restarting kayaking in April when Tri's start - the water's far too cold!

I'm interested by what you say about the stroke not falling apart as the pace increases. I hope this is the case for me. Interestingly, I've found that to get much under 17/18 seconds for 25 metres I need to modify the TI method slightly to accomodate the faster pace (less arm angle on entry and less glide); have you found this too? It's not something I do very often, as it upsets my sciatica - I'll stick to endurance for now :-)
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  #8  
Old 08-31-2011
andyinnorway andyinnorway is offline
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andyinnorway
Default World records instead of ratios

I have recently started charting my personal best times for each length against the short course world records as this gives you a measure of which event you would be best at.

for example. If you could swim 50 metres in 32 seconds depending on how long you took to turn and compared that to Roland Schoeman world record time of 20.3, you would be at 158% of the worlds best.

whereas an 800 time of 1024 seconds would be 231% of Grant Hacketts world record (443s short course).

This shows you that your difficulty in breathing/relaxing/Co2 build up is limiting your ability to perform as well as you would expect for your swimming skills/fitness in the 800m distance.

I was surprised how all my times were in the range of 187 to 191% over world record but now I use the highest number as a target for my new pb. So if 1500m is my worst time compared to the world record then I make improving that my next goal. Its a fun way to swim against the clock.

World short course times on wikipedia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of...ds_in_swimming
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  #9  
Old 08-31-2011
RobM77 RobM77 is offline
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Thanks. The WR comparison is an interesting one, because one can assume they're perfect at everything, and you're right, it therefore shows up weaknesses for the rest of us. 32 seconds over 50 metres is how fast I can actually swim (only breathing four times), whereas 600 seconds over 500 metres is how fast I can get away with because of my breathing - it's a very different thing, as your calculations rightly show.

edited to add: This makes my breathing issues with swimming even more frustrating as in all other sports I'm a distance person, not a sprinter. In running I'm rubbish compared to average for my age at the 100 metres, and generally get better compared to average the further I run.

Last edited by RobM77 : 08-31-2011 at 02:14 PM.
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  #10  
Old 08-31-2011
westyswoods westyswoods is offline
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westyswoods
Default RobM77

Funny that you mention the modification of stroke with spear angle. I just had an appointment yesterday with my PT and discussed with him how I could get a more streamline angle with the lead hand. I do believe one of the things that is slowing my times and decreasing glide is the angle with which I spear.

Although I can get much greater alignment and streamline during dry land, in water it is much more difficult. My PT says a big part of it is a strength issue and gave me some exercises. They definitely show weakness when arms are stretched overhead at shoulder width.

I want to be clear in that my goals to increase speed are secondary to all the other pieces of a good efficient, balanced and streamline stroke. The speed and distance will happen after the others. I am very happy with that.

Just got started and so much to learn and ingrain


Swim Silent and Be Well
Westy
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