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  #41  
Old 05-21-2015
terry terry is offline
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Default Repeating the 3 x 550 Baseline Set with Tempo

Wed 21 May, 2400 yds in 45 min (Season Total: 25,000y)

I forgot my Tempo Trainer when I went to the pool two days ago planning to re-do my baseline set. So I did 3 x 550 on 14-15-16 SPL instead of on Tempo.
My times were 8:21, 8:07, and 7:57 (24:25 for 1650) which suggested to me that my Tempo had been a bit slow. SPL is a less-precise measure than Tempo.

So today I repeated the set as I'd intended on Monday.
Tuneup
1. 150 EZ as 25 FR @ 13 SPL, 25 BK @ 16 SPL, 25 BR @ 8 SPL
2. 10 x 25 Tempo Pyramid 1-4 @ 1.16-1.20-1.24-1.28 (slow by .04); 5-10 @ 1.26-1.24-1.22-1.20-1.18-1.16 (increase by .02)
I subtracted one stroke between start and finish at 1.16, from 14 SPL to 13 SPL

Main Set
3 x (550 + 50 BK Recovery) on 10:00
#1 8:03 @ 1.18 Tempo -- I held a few laps at 14SPL, most at 15SPL, which felt pretty easy.
#2 7:58 @ 1.15 Tempo - I held 15 SPL the whole way. This required pretty keen focus.
#3 7:55 @ 1.13 Tempo - I held mostly 15 SPL with 2 to 3 laps at 16SPL.
This was pretty hard work. I had to restart #3 after having to stop at 200y, due to bad foot cramps. I got out to stretch my feet then restarted from the beginning.

My cumulative 1650 time was 23:56, 27 seconds faster than the last time I did this with Tempo.
My Tempo range was .02 faster this time, so I became curious how much of my improvement was due to faster Tempo and how much to increased efficiency.
Tempo was 1.6% faster
Time was 2% faster, so I made a small gain in efficiency or Stroke Length too.

My results in today's test swim suggests I should increase Tempo range to 1.16-1.14-1.12 on the next round of main sets at 250y, 125y, and 75y. I'll begin that tomorrow, since I won't be able to get to the pool on Friday.
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My TI Story

Last edited by terry : 05-23-2015 at 12:14 AM.
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  #42  
Old 05-21-2015
WFEGb WFEGb is offline
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Hello Terry,

thank you very much for taking time for an answer. Hmmm... 50+ years... my life will be far to short closing this gap; even with TI outgrown the state of first development.

I just wonder how you manage it to start after a large gap, and all it seems you have to do is a little finetuning.

Looking forward to your new book. Sure it will answer most of my training program design questions.

Best regards,
Werner
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  #43  
Old 05-23-2015
terry terry is offline
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Default Broken Goggles = Short (but worthwhile) Practice

22 May 1400y in 25 min (Season Total 26,400y)

My plan was to begin my 3rd cycle of training with sets of 250s, but my goggles broke as soon as I jumped in the pool and it took me 20 min to find a substitute pair (from now on I bring spare goggles) leaving me only 25 min
So I did this
(8 x 50 + 3 x 100 + 2 x 150 + 1 x 200) @ 1.16 Tempo, then
2 x 150 @ 1.14 Tempo
My goal was just to hold an average of 15 SPL. It took me 4 x 50 before I got my average down to 15 SPL, so I began my set then.

Tomorrow I get to swim LCM for the first time. I'm curious to see what my 50m SPL will be at my current Tempo range of 1.12 to 1.16.
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  #44  
Old 05-24-2015
terry terry is offline
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Default Short Course Meters - instead of yards

Sat 23 May, 3100 Short Course Meters (Spring Season Total 29,700y)

In my last post, I expressed the hope that I would be able to swim Long Course Meters today. I biked to the County pool and was disappointed to find it won't open until June 20, so then I biked to the Town pool (outdoor 25m) and found it open. There's no pace clock and I generally don't wear a watch, so I couldn't time any of my swims. No problem: A Tempo + SPL set tells me much more than a pace clock can.

I decided to do a modified version of the practice I'd planned for Friday but hadn't been able to do because of broken goggles. Instead of my planned main set of 250y repeats I did 200m repeats.

Note: The 25m Green Zone chart shows an efficiency range for me of nearly 15 strokes to nearly 20.

Tuneup
200 @ 15 SPL I was aiming for the smoothest most fluid stroke possible. It took a lot of concentration to hold 15SPL even at my easiest effort level (RPE of 1)

Main Set
3 rounds of (3 x 200). One round each at Tempos of 1.16, 1.14, 1.12.
My rest/recovery intervals were 30 beeps on TT between 200s and an easy 50 BK between rounds. Each 200 took approx 160 beeps, including turns, so this ratio of 30 beeps rest to 160 beeps of swimming (work) or a bit more than 1:5 work/rest ratio is highly aerobic in nature, for those interested. In other words conditioning 'happens.' though I don't make it my goal.
#1 I held 17-18 SPL, with more 17s than 18s. RPE about 3.
#2 I held 17-18 SPL with ratio slightly favoring 17. RPE 3+.
#3 I held 17-19 SPL -- Mostly 18s but a couple of 19s. RPE 4.
Most of the 19s happened on laps where I was fighting off calf cramps.

I chose a Tempo range from 1.12 to 1.16 because that's where my 5 weeks of 25y training suggest I should be right now to keep my stroke efficient on the sets I'm doing. I would use the same Tempo when moving to a 25 or 50m pool, and was curious where my SPL range would be in either. It wasn't a surprise that I stayed mostly in the middle of my Green Zone range with just a few laps at what I've decided should be my highest 25m count in training, 19SPL.

3rd Set 10 x 50 Tempo Pyramid
My legs were cramping lightly at the end of the previous set, but I felt I could squeeze in a few meters if my repeats were short and I could stretch my calves after each. I hadn't done a Tempo Pyramid in a while and felt it could help bring down my 25m stroke count.
I started the set at the fastest tempo from my previous set and slowed Tempo by .04 for first four 50s, then sped up Tempo by .02 for the final six 50s.
I.E. 1.12, 1.16, 1.20, 1.24 - then 1.22, 1.20, 1.18, 1.16, 1.14, 1.12
I took 34 strokes on my first 50 at 1.12, reduced count to 32 at 1.2.
I then held 32 strokes to 1.18 and held 33 the rest of the way. So net was an reduction of one stroke (and 1.12 seconds) from beginning to end of set. I was very happy with that result. If it wasn't becoming so hard to fight off cramps, I probably would have continued for bringing Tempo down to see how far I could maintain my starting stroke count of 34.
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My TI Story

Last edited by terry : 05-24-2015 at 03:49 PM.
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  #45  
Old 06-01-2015
s.sciame s.sciame is offline
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Hi Terry,
Always following this thread with much interest.

What breathing pattern are you using during these sets? Is the pattern constant throughout the set or does it vary depending on how you feel? And is it the same pattern you use for racing?
I usually breathe every 3rd stroke, though I'm recently finding that breathing every 2nd and switching side every few breaths (eg 3 to 5) could be a better option for me when swimming at race pace.

And talking about race, do you also train navigation skills (eg sighting every x strokes)?

Thanks and good practice!
Salvo
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  #46  
Old 06-01-2015
Tom Pamperin Tom Pamperin is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by s.sciame View Post
I usually breathe every 3rd stroke, though I'm recently finding that breathing every 2nd and switching side every few breaths (eg 3 to 5) could be a better option for me when swimming at race pace.
Salvo,

I've started doing this too--I find I'm often swimming just a bit too fast to be breathing every third stroke.

I'm in open water now, so that sometimes dictates what side to breathe on. Otherwise, I like to go longer before switching sides. 80 strokes is about 100m for me, so I will switch every 80 (helps remember distance, too).

But I agree--I'm following this thread with keen interest. Lots of ideas to try out.
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  #47  
Old 06-03-2015
s.sciame s.sciame is offline
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s.sciame
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Pamperin View Post

I'm in open water now, so that sometimes dictates what side to breathe on. Otherwise, I like to go longer before switching sides. 80 strokes is about 100m for me, so I will switch every 80 (helps remember distance, too).
Hi Tom, good to hear you're already in open water! How is it going, are you also doing some long swim test for your 10 mile? I should begin ow swimming this weekend at the lake, I'm a bit late given that I want to participate in a race on 5th July (perhaps the next year I'll buy a wetsuit and begin integrating ow swims sooner).

100m breathing on the same side seems a lot to me: are you still able to go straight? How often do you sight? I guess I'd go off course if I didn't switch breathing side frequently, and sighting every 10 strokes (or less) gives me more confidence as well.

By the way, talking about sighting, I wanted to share this cool crocodile sight by M. Phelps:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_WsAD1AiHi4

He looks very smooth and elegant (and fast!) even when sighting, doesn't he?

BR,
Salvo
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  #48  
Old 06-04-2015
Tom Pamperin Tom Pamperin is offline
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Salvo,

I've been working out my sighting--I seem to do ok so far if I sight every 20 strokes or so. At least, I didn't notice myself deviating badly today when I swam that way today. I've been doing kind of what the Phelps video shows--sneak my goggles above the water for a quick look, just BEFORE taking a breath.

I'm going to go back to breathing every 3 strokes and see if I can relax into that rhythm at race pace (which I hope will be around 1:40-1:45/100m).

Then again, I've done a few open water swims in some big chop this past week (on purpose--great training) and if race day is like that, I'll change my focus to just enjoying myself and trying not to drink half the lake!

I will be doing a 6-mile swim (unofficial, just me and a kayaker) next weekend--that'll be my longest so far. My open water times have been VERY slow so far, but I've been picking windy days. I'm also not mentally relaxed yet--I can feel much higher stress which should go down as I do more and more.

Sorry--bit of a thread hijack!
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  #49  
Old 06-08-2015
terry terry is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by s.sciame View Post
Hi Terry,
Always following this thread with much interest.

What breathing pattern are you using during these sets? Is the pattern constant throughout the set or does it vary depending on how you feel? And is it the same pattern you use for racing?
Salvo
My breathing pattern has been 90% bilateral. When my effort level increases, generally so will my breathing frequency. So my bilateral pattern will be one breath on left, then one on right, when the Tempo is slower.

But when oxygen consumption increases--as the Tempo increases, and I try to hold Stroke Length (a more challenging task neurally but also I'm swimming faster) I increase breathing frequency by going to a pattern of 2L/2R, 3L/3R or a full length breathing Left and a full length Right.

And when I need a little more speed I'll finish a repeat with a 25 or 50 breathing only to my left.
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Terry Laughlin
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May your laps be as happy as mine.

My TI Story

Last edited by terry : 06-08-2015 at 11:40 AM.
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  #50  
Old 06-08-2015
terry terry is offline
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Default First Practice in Two Weeks - Main Set of 3 x (5 x 100)

7 June 2400 Short Course Meters in 60 minutes
Life, work, a week in the UK and inconvenient pool closings have interrupted my Spring Training for two weeks. I was only able to swim a few laps a couple of times, after finishing a coach training session, clinic, or workshop.
So yesterday was my first true practice session since 23 May, 15 days earlier.

I was in the UK primarily to conduct a coach training on TI's Fast Forward training methodology (which I'll explain in detail in my upcoming book, "Swim Less, Swim Faster.") As the coach trainees' first post-training exercise I assigned them to swim 3 rounds of 3 x 100, descending each while holding the same stroke count, and to swim those 100s at a pattern of N, N+1, N+1, N+2.

So I decided to swim that set myself, but making the challenge of descending each round a bit greater, by doing 3 rounds of 5 x 100, instead of 3 x 100 as my main set. Here's the entire practice.

Tuneup 500m continuous at TI-RPE of 1-Perfect to 2-Cruise
While biking to the pool I was thinking I would probably swim the 100s in the main set at a stroke count pattern of (15+16+16+17) which is the lower end of my Green Zone, which shows high-15 to high-19 as my range of efficient counts.
I began, as I always do in Tuneup at an RPE (rate of perceived exertion) of 1 (on a scale of 5). My SPL was 16 the first 150m, but as I felt more in tune with the water I found I was easily able to hold 15--even as my RPE increased to a 2-Cruise (just by experiencing the Tuneup Effect, not by trying to increase effort).
When that occurred I decided I would try to maintain a stroke count pattern of (14+15+15+16) during the main set.

Main Set 3 rounds of (5 x 100 on 2:00) + 50 Perfect between rounds. Descend each round without adding strokes. Try to make each successive round a little faster, also without adding strokes.
This is a key performance indicator set in Fast Forward training, because it both measures and 'hardwires' your ability to execute what we call the Swimming Success Algorithm--the ability to increase Stroke Rate, while maintaining Stroke Length. Here are my results
1) I swam the entire set--all 60 lengths--at my target SPL. Not adding strokes took a huge amount of focus and discipline in the last part of the 2nd round and for most of the 3rd round.
2) My results by round
Round 1 Descended from 1:46 to 1:41
Round 2 Descended from 1:42 to 1:38 (exactly 1 second faster each 100)
Round 3 Descended from 1:40 to 1:35

Final Set 4 x 50 on 1:30. Swim at 15+17 strokes. Descend.
My goal was to significantly increase pace by shortening repeats, increase recovery time between repeats and allow more strokes per length.
My times on these 50s were :46 - :45 - :44 - :43

What I love about training based on 'cognitively difficult' (i.e. making my brain work hard) tasks, requiring a high level of focus, self-perception, control, and skill is that it creates the possibility that I can start every practice with a high level of anticipation for a satisfying experience--and probably a Flow experience. And finish each practice feeling thrilled by my results--without regard to how fast I swim.

I.E. I swam sets of 100s faster than this during Long Course training last summer and would have swum considerably faster at 55 or 56 than I now swim at 64. But that doesn't compromise the pleasure I gain from swimming to my full capacity today. And that will remain true for the next 30 years, even as my times get slower yet.

This capacity for lifelong joy is pretty unique to swimming it seems to me If I was a runner, my times would also slow, but I can't think of how one would create similarly exacting tasks around running or cycling, with the potential to leave you feeling thrilled by the results of a workout.
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May your laps be as happy as mine.

My TI Story
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