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  #21  
Old 01-27-2012
CoachSuzanne CoachSuzanne is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 2,453
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ian mac View Post
Suzanne,
For all those who like to get technical-
Over 4 practices, I will work on lowering my race pace by doing the following as a main set:
My current race pace for a 400m (4:52) is 1:13/100m
NO TT - as this is a test set, I need to test my ability to set a pace in my mind, and concentrate on SPL of 15 and hope to feel the stroke rate needed without the external aid of the TT.

Main set Day 1: 3 x [4 x 100] @1:45
1 slightly above race pace,2 & 3 at race pace, 4 slightly below race pace KNOW TOTAL STROKES FOR#4
3 min rest between sets and repeat - make sure that on all 3 final swims that a coach or friend times 6 strokes in the middle of each 100 to determine stroke rate as this will be my new race pace target

Armed with the data of my 3 faster than race pace swims, I now know what the SPL and SR were by calculating 2 things
SPL = total strokes for all 3 swims of #4 /12
SR = 3/time to complete 6 strokes x 60

Main Set Day 2: 3 x [8 x 50] @1min hold race pace SPL for all 3 sets with TT at 3 tempos: 1. race pace + .08, 2. race pace +.04 3. @race pace
approximately 3 min rest between sets

Main Set Day 3: with TT set @ race pace, 12 x 50 broken 5sec. rest @1:15
- on each swim try to take 1 less stroke on second 50

Main Set Day 4: as many 100's as possible @ 1:15 until failure - TT optional

In all sets, we are ALWAYS counting strokes to try to find where we can find easy speed and hope to lose 1-3 strokes per 100. In the final 3 days we are "playing around" with TT tempos and SPL to become comfortable with the new race pace, learning what works well empirically and also with feel.

Over the next 3 weeks I would focus on a variety of sets of varying distances with the primary focus of trying to drop 1 stroke/50m of the new race pace.
Ian
Ian, thanks for the great ideas. Sets like these put the control in the swimmers hands, and get away from generic plans.

I hope my comment about swimming faster wasn't misunderstood. I was specifically thinking of swimmers/triathletes struggling to bump past certain tempos because they are being too strict. One woman I encountered spent an entire year working from 1.3 to 1.2, yet her from was still very stiff and awkward...the kind you develop from doing lots and lots of drills with pauses. In her case she could easily create a prettier, more fluid stroke when she simply allowed it to flow at a faster rate...her form improved in those respects. Her next step (one of them) is to bring that newfound grace back into a slower tempo to then try and remove strokes.

So the use of the tt, and various Li.its also need to be taken in context of the swimmers ability. There is no single best set design or approach.

I really like how you have taken your speed training and systemetized a method for improvement.
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Suzanne Atkinson, MD
Level 3 USAT Coach
USA Paralympic Triathlon Coach
Coach of 5 time USA Triathlon Triathlete of the Year, Kirsten Sass
Steel City Endurance, LTD
Fresh Freestyle

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  #22  
Old 01-27-2012
andyinnorway andyinnorway is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 1,680
andyinnorway
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ian mac View Post
Suzanne,
For all those who like to get technical-
Over 4 practices, I will work on lowering my race pace by doing the following as a main set:
My current race pace for a 400m (4:52) is 1:13/100m
NO TT - as this is a test set, I need to test my ability to set a pace in my mind, and concentrate on SPL of 15 and hope to feel the stroke rate needed without the external aid of the TT.

Main set Day 1: 3 x [4 x 100] @1:45
1 slightly above race pace,2 & 3 at race pace, 4 slightly below race pace KNOW TOTAL STROKES FOR#4
3 min rest between sets and repeat - make sure that on all 3 final swims that a coach or friend times 6 strokes in the middle of each 100 to determine stroke rate as this will be my new race pace target

Armed with the data of my 3 faster than race pace swims, I now know what the SPL and SR were by calculating 2 things
SPL = total strokes for all 3 swims of #4 /12
SR = 3/time to complete 6 strokes x 60

Main Set Day 2: 3 x [8 x 50] @1min hold race pace SPL for all 3 sets with TT at 3 tempos: 1. race pace + .08, 2. race pace +.04 3. @race pace
approximately 3 min rest between sets

Main Set Day 3: with TT set @ race pace, 12 x 50 broken 5sec. rest @1:15
- on each swim try to take 1 less stroke on second 50

Main Set Day 4: as many 100's as possible @ 1:15 until failure - TT optional

In all sets, we are ALWAYS counting strokes to try to find where we can find easy speed and hope to lose 1-3 strokes per 100. In the final 3 days we are "playing around" with TT tempos and SPL to become comfortable with the new race pace, learning what works well empirically and also with feel.

Over the next 3 weeks I would focus on a variety of sets of varying distances with the primary focus of trying to drop 1 stroke/50m of the new race pace.
Ian
super insightful, great post thanks ian
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  #23  
Old 01-27-2012
dshen dshen is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Palo Alto, CA
Posts: 200
dshen
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by the way, I should say these two things, one for bkgnd and one for clarifying.

first the bkgnd:

the reason why i was asking about a term for this particular aspect of TI training is that i think it's important that we in the TI community form a common vocabulary for all aspects of our training. for example, we still catch shinji saying "under-switch" when he should say "spear-switch". such things are confusing and are a product of the history of TI and the evolution of terminology that's been used over the years.

that's why i was trying to put a name to this one thing, which is when you swim a particular workout with an aim towards increasing neural adaptation to higher tempos or SRs, you often reach a point where you can't maintain it any more and this point is something you should remember, for the next workout.

now this efficiency tempo threshold limit whatever can manifest itself in at least two ways. the first is what i describe where you swim a lap at a tempo, then increase tempo, swim again, repeat and repeat until your uncomfortableness increases, feel like spinning, SPL jumps, etc. etc.

the second can also be distance. so you pick a certain tempo to start, with or without a tempo trainer. your aim is to maintain the same SPL for each length of the pool. so CoachSuzanne's favorite workout is:

4x25, 3x50, 2x75, 1x100

and your object is to increase your skill to where each length is the same SPL. where your SPL jumps is yet another efficiency threshold that you should remember, work on, and go back to test yourself. or you can simply see how long you can maintain SPL on steadily increasing intervals of distance: 25, 50, 75, 100, etc. the moment your SPL jumps, you've reached a temporary limit because your efficiency suffered because you got tired, you lost concentration, etc.

so we should name this too.

like i said, i would love to see all these important aspects given some sort of identification or name so we all have a shorthand to refer to, and know what we are all talking about instead of describing it fully each time.

now to clarify:

just to check - some of your responses here make it seem like i am pushing this as the only way to train efficiency. just for the record, i wasn't saying that. i was merely trying to execute the above in naming everything in TI that didn't have a name.

but we do use the method i talk about, and the other methods you all have posted, and even those not posted here, to encourage and drive neural adaptation in swimmers to swim at longer, easier, and faster.

so i am not saying that the method i describe is the only best way, but merely one way that is missing a name for this point at which swimmers reach and find their efficiency drops significantly. i would also say your methods are probably missing terminology that we should probably develop too...
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