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  #1  
Old 04-25-2015
jenson1a jenson1a is offline
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Default Rest Intervals and Heart Rate

I have been spending the last few months trying (like sclim) to obtain an optimal spl and stroke length. At first I tried designating prescribed time lengths for rest, i.e. 30 sec, 45 sec or whatever. Couldn't seem to get any consistency as to what was best number.

I decided to use heart rate as a measure of feeling as to when to continue an interval. I took my heart rate before and after swimming 1 length. Starting hr was anywhere between 72 (this was at beginning of practice) and typically rose to 84 as time wore on. The ending hr (once again in beginning of practice) was between 90 and 96. Ending hr as the end of practice time would rise to 108 to 114. I would wait for hr to decrease, at minimum, of 84 before proceeding.

When I tried to do 2 lengths, the ending hr rose to 120. Can't believe there would be that much difference between 1 and 2 lengths.

The other thing I noticed was that while even doing 1 length and hr was only 80 to 96, I seemed to be breathing pretty hard. To compare this to walking, I took hr and it was 90 but my breathing was nowhere near to the amount of O2 intake while swimming.

So,, now to my questions--first do you think this is a good way to proceed as far as the timing of intervals?

2nd-could it be that my conditioning is very poor?

3rd-what causes such a large difference in hr in between 1 and 2 lengths?

4th-should I try adding more distance just to see if breathing and heart rate smooth out? I remember one swimmer telling me that when swimming for distances the first 20 lengths were the hardest. Sort of like hitting the wall.

Would appreciate any input. I might add that I took hr manually--10 seconds with finger on carotid artery.

Sherry
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Old 04-25-2015
sclim sclim is offline
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Likewise I have been rather overwhelmed at the subjective effort required, at least initially to achieve low SPL. Very un-TI, I should acknowledge, but it's getting less effortful. I haven't timed my own HR, but maybe I should, to get an objective reference number to jive with my subjective discomfort at the end of a hard length. I am somewhat distrustful of the precision of pulse measurements (or more likely I have just got lazy, having used a chest strap HR monitor for so long during running and cycling). Am waiting for the wrist based pulse HR monitor Viiiiva Mini to come out from 4iiii Innovations Inc (my daughter's company -- in fact she is working on it), rather than buy a Mio watch which is already out. This would be ok for checking visually at the end of each length. Or I could blow the wad and buy a Finis AquaPulse which monitors continuously and announces regularly in your ear what your HR is.

I should emphasise, that in my case I know I am in excellent cardiovascular condition. In fact I just went through a treadmill VO2max evaluation as part of a running analysis, so, not only do I know I am a good runner, I know the physiological numbers match up.

So I am tremendously inefficient when I swim. I have just realised that part of the inefficiency is my lack of sufficient exhalation in between breaths. The more I think of it, I am significantly tense (in my chest and torso) while holding in the amount of air that I do. Mental note to self -- make a special point of concentrating on exhalation and relaxation, and to heck with any buoyancy consequences for now.

I have just been waiting till I recover sufficiently before I push off again. This recovery time is getting less, likely for 2 reasons -- firstly I am gradually getting less exhausted on each attempt, due I suppose to increasing efficiency, as I find the exact balance and timing to do the movement, and also, as I realise and actually believe I don't actually have to exert as hard as I have been doing before to achieve the self specified SPL; but secondly, as I get more confident, I am resting less, as I know now I can start off again with a less complete rest because I know I will be less overwhelmed (due to increasing efficiency) by the end of the next attempt.

So to summarise, for myself it definitely is a swimming inefficiency thing, and I suspect largely aggravated by my breathing habit/technique, and maybe magnified by some psychological thing related to the breathing. I really don't think it's fear of swimming, or water, per se, as I think I've largely got over that. But you never know. And maybe it's partly due to CO2 build-up as I hold my breath, rather than let it all out by the time of the next intake. (Maybe that might help explain your breathing hard discrepancy in the face of a not so high pulse rate, Sherry?)

Last edited by sclim : 04-25-2015 at 08:39 PM.
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  #3  
Old 04-25-2015
Tom Pamperin Tom Pamperin is offline
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The nice thing about exercise and heart rate is that it is, essentially, idiot-proof and self-adjusting. Your body will tolerate a certain amount or intensity of activity, and demand a certain amount of rest. As you get fitter, you'll need less rest and tolerate greater intensities and/or durations automatically.

No need to complicate it by over-thinking in my opinion. (But then I'm a bit of a techno-hater--I'd rather just feel what my body is feeling than try to measure everything with a gadget).

That said, a jump in heart rate between 1 and 2 lengths might reflect a mental/fear issue--that is, you (like me) have learned to fear longer repeats, which is stressful, which makes the discomfort worse, etc. etc. This happens to me all the time. Remember, going from 1 to 2 lengths is a 100% increase! You are making a bigger jump than it might seem.

You might focus on feeling as relaxed as possible and see if it helps reduce heart rate. Worth a try, anyway! Good luck.
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Old 04-26-2015
Zenturtle Zenturtle is offline
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A lot is tied with breathing and relaxation.
I wish I could breath the same way as on dryland, but it just isnt possible while swimming.
Normally you slowly breathe in and slowly breathe out.
During swimming you have to speed up the breathing in and keep the slow breathing out.
When do you breathe in so relatively sudden and fast?
When you are in panick.
So the fast breathing in is mentally assosiated with an uncomfortable feeling. On top of that, there is more pressure on your chest in the water which also is uncomfortable and forces more muscle effort to expand the chest and diafragm.
Lately I experimented a bit with exagerating the hurried intake and slow exhale.
Just take more air in than you need and also at a faster rate.
Best to start this with an easy, stroke like breaststroke. Gradually demish the time your mouth is above water to take a breath and dont let the breathing disrupt the flow of the stroke.
Can you stay relaxed while there is less and less time to get a breath?
After a while it becomes a habit to breathe in the limited available time window, you realise you have plenty air and the assosiation with panick breathing also deminishes.
When going back from exagerated fast and big inhaling actions to normal ones, the normal ones feel pretty relaxed.

Last edited by Zenturtle : 04-26-2015 at 06:09 AM.
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Old 04-26-2015
jenson1a jenson1a is offline
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sclim

Regarding your ending sentence:

And maybe it's partly due to CO2 build-up as I hold my breath, rather than let it all out by the time of the next intake. (Maybe that might help explain your breathing hard discrepancy in the face of a not so high pulse rate, Sherry?)

This is a good point, but I don't think that is my problem. I did take 1 lesson with Coach Gary Fahey and he pointed out that I had been holding my breath. that was a year ago and since then, one of my focal points has been to consciously let the air trickle out and then just before taking a breath, forcefully exhale my air. That did help.

Appreciate your comments and it is good to know that your efforts are improving. I also have noticed a very small difference in the perceived rate of effort after swimming a length. Each practice I try to do at least 4 two length sets with the idea of relaxtion being foremost. Gradually it seems that the effort level is decreasing.

Tom

Thanks also for your comments. In a previous thread you suggested that after swimming 1 length, do the turn and just take a few more strokes. I have just implemented that idea in the last few days and to me, it makes sense. You also mention the idea of fear of longer distances. You do raise a good point and ZT also gave a good idea on how to get over it

Zenturtle

I will try your suggestion about the breathing while doing breast stroke. Will let you know how this works out.


Sherry
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  #6  
Old 04-26-2015
s.sciame s.sciame is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jenson1a View Post
I have been spending the last few months trying (like sclim) to obtain an optimal spl and stroke length. At first I tried designating prescribed time lengths for rest, i.e. 30 sec, 45 sec or whatever. Couldn't seem to get any consistency as to what was best number.

I decided to use heart rate as a measure of feeling as to when to continue an interval. I took my heart rate before and after swimming 1 length. Starting hr was anywhere between 72 (this was at beginning of practice) and typically rose to 84 as time wore on. The ending hr (once again in beginning of practice) was between 90 and 96. Ending hr as the end of practice time would rise to 108 to 114. I would wait for hr to decrease, at minimum, of 84 before proceeding.

When I tried to do 2 lengths, the ending hr rose to 120. Can't believe there would be that much difference between 1 and 2 lengths.

The other thing I noticed was that while even doing 1 length and hr was only 80 to 96, I seemed to be breathing pretty hard. To compare this to walking, I took hr and it was 90 but my breathing was nowhere near to the amount of O2 intake while swimming.

So,, now to my questions--first do you think this is a good way to proceed as far as the timing of intervals?

2nd-could it be that my conditioning is very poor?

3rd-what causes such a large difference in hr in between 1 and 2 lengths?

4th-should I try adding more distance just to see if breathing and heart rate smooth out? I remember one swimmer telling me that when swimming for distances the first 20 lengths were the hardest. Sort of like hitting the wall.

Would appreciate any input. I might add that I took hr manually--10 seconds with finger on carotid artery.

Sherry
What happens to your hr if you swim 2 or more lengths with a snorkel?
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  #7  
Old 04-27-2015
lloyddinma lloyddinma is offline
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Default Exhalegate.

Hi. Started swimming ever in June 2014 On TI. To the point, there is an exercise that trains you to exhale properly. Found it online.

Inhale and sink to pool bottom on knees.Then exhale gradually as you ascend back up. This I have been doing as a warm-up in case I regress back to holding my exhalation.

To the SPL thing...feel the same pain, but I finally made a breakthrough. Was initially able to come down for 22 to 17. For my height 6 ft 3 inches (195Ibs) this was decent. Until I saw that Shinji video... is shorter can do the same 25 yards in like 11 SPL. I was furious. Tried everything but to no avail...holding glide, longer stroking.. nothing. Then out of exhaustion, it occurred to me I was rotating only my torso region, excluding my glute area. This may have caused drag. Did this two days ago and I hit SPL 14!
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  #8  
Old 04-27-2015
jenson1a jenson1a is offline
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s.sciame

Good idea--will try this a.m.

Sherry
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  #9  
Old 04-27-2015
terry terry is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Pamperin View Post
No need to complicate it by over-thinking in my opinion. (But then I'm a bit of a techno-hater--I'd rather just feel what my body is feeling than try to measure everything with a gadget).
I'm with Tom on the question of HR. I tried using a Polar HR monitor 20 to 25 years ago, but it proved relatively unreliable. Also self-checking by taking pulse rate has been shown to be pretty unreliable. So I simply stopped relying on HR as a measure of exertion. Since doing so I've developed a pretty keen internal sensitivity to levels of exertion, and that has worked incredibly well for me. According to Matt Fitzgerald's book "RUN: The Mind Body Method of Running by Feel" (not sure that's exactly correct) great runners like Haile Gebresellasie are far more inclined to run by feel than by formula., so I feel very comfortable with swimming that way.

If you are familiar with the Borg or any of the other scales of RPE (Rate of Perceived Exertion), I've developed a TI -RPE scale that relates more to function than purely exertion. After all, as 'energy wasting machines' shouldn't exertion always be a last resort?

The TI-RPE Scale
RPE-1 Perfect: At this nearly effortless level, you feel capable of swimming with nearly perfect technique and your highest level of efficiency. RPE-1 is ideal for skill improvement, tuneup at the start of practice and recovery/restoration between efforts at the RPE-4 and above level. RPE-1 should be equivalent to walking pace on land. (Note: You must have good Balance and Stability skills to access this level of ease.)

RPE-2 Cruise: At this light effort—moderately faster than tuneup/warmup pace—you can maintain a high level of efficiency (traveling 65% or more of height on each stroke) for relatively long sets or swims. If you were running RPE-2 would be the equivalent of an easy jog. This is the optimal effort level for a beginner triathlete or the first quarter of a tri or open water swim. RPE-3 Brisk: At this effort level, you can maintain solid efficiency (3rd and 4th counts in your 5-count SPL range) . . . so long as you maintain keen focus. You’re well within your comfort zone, but ‘aware’ of its edge.

RPE-3 is a good training zone for testing and developing your ability to stay efficient in longer (1km/20 min or more) timed swims or races. If your goal is to swim a strong, steady pace at RPE-2 during a 1.5k tri swim, you can improve the pace you’ll hold there by swimming pool repeats of two to three minutes with relatively brief rest at RPE-3, then gradually extending those repeats to 5 to 10 minutes with no loss of efficiency. If you were running, RPE-3 would be a conversational pace—but perhaps not long-winded conversation.

RPE-4 Fast: RPE-4 represents how you’d like to feel during a strongly-paced segment of a race--or time trial--perhaps the final 200-300m of a 1.5k. Though somewhat intense, RPE-4 should feel great on the whole—using your body at its peak capacity, but using it well! In pool practice, RPE-4 repeats will generally be 200y/m or shorter with active rest (i.e. an equal amount of ‘recovery’ swimming at RPE-1 to RPE-2). Strive to maintain an SPL one to two strokes below the highest count in your range.

RPE-5 Fast+: RPE-5 is intended mainly for those who are quite serious about performance. It prepares you for relatively brief and specific segments of a race. In open water that could be the initial sprint of 50 to 100 meters to the first turn buoy (for those who strategically wish to establish drafting position with a faster group of swimmers) or the final 100 to 200 meters if you find yourself in a head-to-head dual with a rival. A critical discipline when swimming at this level—still a bit below your maximum—is to avoid exceeding the highest SPL in your range . . . and to minimize water disturbance, noise or splash.
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  #10  
Old 04-28-2015
jenson1a jenson1a is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by s.sciame View Post
What happens to your hr if you swim 2 or more lengths with a snorkel?
Tried your idea yesterday (don't know why I didn't think of it), but using the snorkel gave very different results when swimming more than 1 length. PRE went down substantially. Heart rate down as well as breathing rate.

Obviously my breathing technique without snorkel still needs a lot of work. I have been doing a lot of left side breathing in order to make stroke more symmetrical. Still not as comfortable with that side compared to right side.
Tried to mimic exact breathing pattern with snorkel, but I noticed I was taking in much more air than without snorkel. Also noticed that spl went up. This could be because my push off wasn't as aggressive.

Thanks so much for suggestion

Sherry
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