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  #61  
Old 04-17-2017
gary p gary p is offline
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Originally Posted by Tom Pamperin View Post
Gary,

thanks for the feedback. My first USRPT session with 75m repeats is scheduled for tomorrow--it'll be interesting to see how it goes. I find myself partly dreading how much harder I expect it to feel than the 50m set, but also still really motivated to see how I'll progress based on my success with the previous 50m set.

Fun stuff!
Don't dread it. All USRPT sets should be equally hard. It's just a matter of how soon you get to failure and move onto a recovery set. ;)
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  #62  
Old 04-18-2017
Tom Pamperin Tom Pamperin is offline
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Well, it's a pleasant kind of dread. More of a compulsion where I am eager to do it but at the same time anticipating that it'll feel hard. But I ought to hit my three failures pretty early on, so I won't have to suffer long!

I finally got a new battery for my TT, set it to :22, and will use that for both my repeats and rest period--a bit more rest than optimal, but the best timing solution I found for this set where I won't be able to see the pace clock and I'm aiming to swim each 25m at :22 pace.
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  #63  
Old 04-18-2017
Tom Pamperin Tom Pamperin is offline
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OK, did my first USRPT set with 75m repeats today. The goal was 30 x 75m at 1:06 pace on a 1:25 interval. I was lucky enough to share the pool with only one other swimmer, so I could reposition the pace clock at the end of my lane and see it from both ends of the pool--first hurdle cleared! No need for a TT today.

I swam 6 successful repeats to begin--quite a drop-off from my 30 successful repeats at 50m last week, but completely expected. I was trying (and mostly succeeded) to hold 16 SPL, and actually swam the first 3 repeats at 1:00-1:01, so quite a bit faster than intended. That's a :40/50m pace, which is pretty brisk for me, and may have helped lead to my quick decay in the set.

I missed #7 by :01-02, and rested 1:25 for #8.

I missed #9 by the same, and rested 1:25 for #10.

I hit #11 on 1:05, then missed #12 by :04 to end the set.

I decided to finish the session by swimming as many leisurely lengths as possible while holding 16 SPL and feeling easy and relaxed, taking a break after any length above 16 SPL. This will be my "race" SPL, so I want to gradually increase distance at that SPL, and then increase tempo with some TT work later one. Here's what I got today:

150m (last 25m @ 17 SPL) in 2:25
150m (last 25m @ 17 SPL) in 2:25
100m (last 25m @ 17 SPL) in 1:30
150m (last 25m @ 17 SPL) in 2:25
150m (last 25m @ 17 SPL) in 2:24

I was really feeling like I was able to use core strength (especially muscles right up under the rib cage) to hold a straight line with my body as I swam during these sets today. As a result, I felt like my body was riding higher in the water, and my kick was with a much straighter leg, kicking powerfully (but small amplitude) from core/glutes.

I will continue to focus on these new core sensations; it feels like I am on to some small improvement in posture here. It also seems like this kind of core activation lets me keep my body more rigid, like a see-saw, so I am able to slightly tilt myself head-downward, lifting my hips and getting better balance and less drag.

I'll also continue to work on maintaining 16 SPL for longer distances. And, of course, doing 2 USRPT sets each week until I can do my 30x75m (if I get there!)
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Last edited by Tom Pamperin : 04-18-2017 at 07:51 PM.
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  #64  
Old 04-18-2017
Danny Danny is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Pamperin View Post
Danny,

great question. I worked for a long time to have multiple "gears" that I could swim at by feel. By now a lot of the process of choosing an SPL to target is intuitive, going just by feel. For lower SPLs I have to focus harder and be much pickier about body position and core activation. Usually I can only get to lower SPLs by doing things that make the effort feel easier (except for mental focus) and smoother, not more powerful. Trying not to splash at all on hand entry is often a pretty effective focal point for me to get to low SPLs. But there are a few cues I use all the time to help me hit the target:

1. Landmarks--I know if I am crossing the center of the pool on my 6th stroke, I'm in the 15 SPL neighborhood (I have a pretty long push-off, over 5m for sure); if I slow tempo a tiny bit from there, 14 SPL is probably in reach for that length. Similarly, if I am finishing my 12th stroke as I cross the flags, I'm at 15 SPL. These SPL numbers pretty much go up or down by 1 with each SPL different from 15 (i.e. crossing center at 7, or crossing flags at 13, means 16 SPL; center at 5.5-6 or flags at 11 means 14 SPL. There's actually a floor vent in my usual lane right at the flags on the deep end, which is an even easier cue to see for judging SPL. And these landmarks help me know when I can get my last breath in so I can fit in one more stroke after that breath before my flip turn.

2. Tempo. This is again mostly intuitive, but I try to have a good sense of how long to "maintain the shape of the vessel" before spearing for the next stroke. A lot of this feel for tempo is set up on the push-off--I start stroking sooner for a 16 SPL length than I do for a 15 SPL length, etc.

Again, mostly my feel for SPL came from lots of practice focused on (first) achieving lower SPLs (LOTS and LOTS of 25m repeats counting strokes), and then changing SPLs on purpose in sets like:

25m (later 50m, later yet 2 x 50m) at 13, 14, 15, 16, 15, 14, 13 SPL.

These sets were all by feel with no TT, and it took lots of practice before I could target SPL reliably. I think that's a good way to go--target SPL first, then later use a TT to try to increase tempo at those SPLs. Thinking back it really started to happen for me after I was down to 12 SPL for almost all my swimming, and Terry suggested I see what happened if I allowed myself more strokes. For a while it felt like higher SPLs were so effortless that I could barely fit in any extra strokes, they felt so short. My feel for different SPLs started there.

It helps to find all this endlessly fascinating, which for some reason I do. I think it has to do with the constant physical/sensory feedback of the water itself, and an open-minded curiosity about how different adjustments affect your stroke.
Tom, thanks for your feedback. I too find all of this endlessly interesting, but I differ from you (perhaps) in that my pool access is rather limited. In general, I have 3 hr/week of pool access, where the hour includes locker room time to change, so it is less than an hour. If I am lucky, I have 90 min. available on Sat. which makes a big difference. So Saturday is often the time where I try experiments just to see what happens. During the week, I always have more that I want to get done than I have time to do.

The idea of keying off of intermediate landmarks to anticipate SPL is good. At some point I will start playing around with that.
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  #65  
Old 04-22-2017
Tom Pamperin Tom Pamperin is offline
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This week I had my first attempt at putting 2 USRPT sessions in instead of just one per week. I'm a little wary of increasing volume or workload too quickly, so this was part of the experiment.

Results: inconclusive. I actually did worse on my second USRPT set (30 x 75m at 1:06 on a 1:25 interval). Partly this may be because I again started much faster than intended, with the first two repeats at 1:00 flat. I ended up with 9 repeats total, first failure on #4. Very very tired (maybe not enough rest and/or calories leading up to the session).

Partly it may also be a bit of an overload. I'm only doing about 2,400m per day, 5 days/week, but am starting from a low level of base fitness. And lots of my swimming has been race pace or faster, maybe too much of it.

I was also trying to hold 16 SPL for the set (hitting 16/17/17 mostly) instead of relying on faster SR. That's the opposite of my 30 x 50m USRPT set, where it wasn't until my 6th attempt that I tried to hold a 16 SPL (with great results).

Conclusions:

1. I won't have a pool available next week, and maybe the rest will do me some good. I'll start up again with 2 USRPT sessions/week at 75m repeats and see how it goes.

2. Given my success at lower SPLs in my 30 x 50m USRPT set, I want to prioritize 16 SPL or lower for this set. But when I pay attention to SPL as the only priority, I'm missing my times for the USRPT set by a little bit (1-3 seconds). To work on that, I'm going to do a lot of TT work to try and increase tempo while holding 16 SPL and lower.

3. I'll also swim some easy sets to maintain low SPL as long as I can, not watching tempo or clock but just striving for ease and balance. Every time I miss an SPL for a length, I'll start a new set and try again.

4. I'm definitely faster than before I started USRPT sets. I used to start my SPL ladder at 13 SPL coming in around :47 seconds. This week my 13 SPL lengths at the same effort were :44 seconds. My 16 SPL used to be :43/50m; this week it was down to :40. A significant part of this new speed is from core activation and balance, leading to better 2bk--which is my target focal point for this round of USRPT sessions.
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  #66  
Old 04-22-2017
gary p gary p is offline
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Your first set of a workout is almost always going to be your best. Not surprised you struggled a little with 75's as a second set, especially since it was your first time trying two in one workout. It will get better.

If you're keeping this focused on the 500, you might try 75's for the first set, and 50's for the second.
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  #67  
Old 04-23-2017
Tom Pamperin Tom Pamperin is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gary p View Post
Your first set of a workout is almost always going to be your best. Not surprised you struggled a little with 75's as a second set, especially since it was your first time trying two in one workout. It will get better.

If you're keeping this focused on the 500, you might try 75's for the first set, and 50's for the second.
Some confusion in my last post--I only did a 500m tune-up, then did the USRPT set 30 x 75m repeats and did poorly even without a first set of 50m repeats.

I was planning on doing 2 USRPT sets per week, each with 75m repeats, until I get close to finishing. Any thoughts on that?
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  #68  
Old 04-23-2017
s.sciame s.sciame is offline
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Tom, to improve pacing skill I suggest you to set tempo
trainer at 22s/length. Without TT you don't know
whether and how much you slow down during those 3 lengths. And of course TT helps you not going out too fast.

As for the volume, I'm not sure 1 or 2 usrpt sets per week are enough. According to B. Rushall you fall in decay phase if too much time passes beetween 2 stimuli of the same intensity. You lose specificity in other words. At least this is how I interpreted his bulletins.

Salvo
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  #69  
Old 04-23-2017
gary p gary p is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Pamperin View Post
Some confusion in my last post--I only did a 500m tune-up, then did the USRPT set 30 x 75m repeats and did poorly even without a first set of 50m repeats.

I was planning on doing 2 USRPT sets per week, each with 75m repeats, until I get close to finishing. Any thoughts on that?
Two sets of 75's per week should be no problem. I thought you meant you were trying to do two sets in a workout.

One time going backwards is nothing to worry about. Sometimes you're just not gonna get as far as you did the last time you attempted the set. There are external factors which can affect your ability to swim fast, some of which aren't always obvious.

In the theoretical world of Dr Rushall's bulletins, we'd all make neat progressions every day. In reality, it's a bit like tracking your weight daily when you're on a diet. Some day's you're gonna weigh more than you did the day before. That does't mean what you're doing isn't working. You have to watch the trend.
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  #70  
Old 04-23-2017
Tom Pamperin Tom Pamperin is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by s.sciame View Post
Tom, to improve pacing skill I suggest you to set tempo trainer at 22s/length. Without TT you don't know
whether and how much you slow down during those 3 lengths. And of course TT helps you not going out too fast.
Good point. I'll give it a try at some point. Still enjoying beep-free swimming.

Quote:
Originally Posted by s.sciame View Post
As for the volume, I'm not sure 1 or 2 usrpt sets per week are enough. According to B. Rushall you fall in decay phase if too much time passes beetween 2 stimuli of the same intensity. You lose specificity in other words. At least this is how I interpreted his bulletins.

Salvo
Interesting--I've been planning on USRPT as only part of my routine, not the whole thing. I certainly seemed to improve quickly on 1 set per week when I did my 30 x 50m set. I do plan to increase volume but want to do it gradually enough not to overload. But you may be right.
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