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  #1  
Old 12-03-2010
Alex-SG Alex-SG is offline
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Default TEMPO TRAINER - Trying to swim faster...

I currently swim at SR=1.7 which is considered as way too slow by most people in this Forum. Indeed keeping balanced with the 2BK is hard and so is the bilateral breathing every 5.1sec !

I understand SR=1.5 is the slowest I should swim and SR=1.3-1.4 is a good goal.

Assuming I swim 3 times a week... How many sessions do you think I will need to reach the SR=1.5 mark? The SR=1.3 mark?

Asked differently, how should I adjust the TT Stroke Rate from one session to the next?
SR=1.7 today.... SR=1.65 in 2 days ? (Or is it too much of a jump)

Thanks. ALEX
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  #2  
Old 12-03-2010
CoachSuzanne CoachSuzanne is offline
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I don't knwo that anyone can give you an answer to this. Have you tried doing a test set where you swim 25s or 50s at increasingly fast tempos and see how it affects your stroke rate and overall time?

EG. do 6-8 x [2x25]
Start at TT of 1.7seconds, decrease by .1 sec/stroke with each pair of 25s. Count your strokes for each, then look at your overall times...

Do you get incrementally faster? If so, do you stall or even slow down as the tempo gets even faster? If so you've found a sweet spot. You could try starting at that sweet spot and focus on regaining your TI form, as opposed to Incrementally increasing your tempo.

Even just doing a few sets at a markedly faster tempo once in awhile can help you shake out of the ultra slow stroke rate you currently have.

That being said, if you are comfortable at 1.7, you enjoy swimming and are still able to look forward ot your swimming sessions every day then there is no overwhelming need to increase it.

What's your ultimate goal?

I should add that Coach Dave had me go abruptly from 1.3 sec/stroke to .85sec/stroke, just to "see what happens". The weakest parts of your stroke will be magnified at faster rates, particularly as you fatigue. That could be a way to scare up the part of your stroke that is limiting you from speeding up to say 1.5 sec/stroke. You wouldn't have to try .85, but could jump to 1.1 or 1.2 and just "see what happens"
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  #3  
Old 12-04-2010
flppr flppr is offline
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Do it all! Try going from 2.0 down to 0.70 by tenths. It challenges you at both ends and gives you a lot of information. Have fun with it.
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  #4  
Old 12-05-2010
Alex-SG Alex-SG is offline
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Thanks Coach Suzanne and Flppr.

I will try to be more aggressive with the Tempo Trainer. Probably SR=1.7 --> SR=1.6 today and --> SR=1.5 tomorrow.

The idea is to get used to stroking faster naturally... without compromising on the stroke quality.

I like the "See what happens advice". It is true that by stroking faster or swimming towards the "Out of breath point" should highlight the common root mistakes.

ALEX
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  #5  
Old 12-05-2010
CoachSuzanne CoachSuzanne is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex-SG View Post
Thanks Coach Suzanne and Flppr.

The idea is to get used to stroking faster naturally... without compromising on the stroke quality.

ALEX
Of course it is...but when you find your new limiter, it will always be due to a compromise in stroke quality.

Sometimes it's fun to flirt with danger. ;)
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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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  #6  
Old 12-05-2010
flppr flppr is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex-SG View Post

The idea is to get used to stroking faster naturally... without compromising on the stroke quality.

ALEX
Yes, swimming faster for short distances will challenge your stroke quality temporarily, but it may even solve some problems, too. When I started playing with tempos faster than 1.0, my body solved my tendency to lift my chin when breathing. It just fixed itself. Plus, I was very surprised to discover there is a lot of time available to get into position for the next stroke between beeps. If you start with shorter distances such as 25 yards or meters, you won't get out of breath. You will discover how many different swimming gears your body has, and it will add a new dimension to your swimming.
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  #7  
Old 12-05-2010
Grant Grant is offline
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[quote=flppr;15277] Plus, I was very surprised to discover there is a lot of time available to get into position for the next stroke between beeps.

I would just like to reinforce Flppr's point here. Am down to TT setting of 0.94 and find that after several 25m swims with each decrease in setting I experience lots of time to get into position. Am always pleasently surprised at the unhurriedness (cant think of better word right now) of the pace.
May we swim with ease at the speeds we choose.
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May we swim with ease at the speeds we choose.
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  #8  
Old 12-06-2010
KatieK KatieK is offline
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Default Dialing down the Tempo Trainer is fun

[quote=Grant;15283]
Quote:
Originally Posted by flppr View Post
Plus, I was very surprised to discover there is a lot of time available to get into position for the next stroke between beeps.

I would just like to reinforce Flppr's point here. Am down to TT setting of 0.94 and find that after several 25m swims with each decrease in setting I experience lots of time to get into position. Am always pleasently surprised at the unhurriedness (cant think of better word right now) of the pace.
May we swim with ease at the speeds we choose.
Ditto for everything Flppr, Suzanne, and Grant said about experimenting with tempos that are outside of your range.

When I first started using the TT, I was struggling to hit the beeps at 1.3. I about fell over when my coach told me to set it at 1.1. And, when I could hit 1.1, she had me try 0.9 and 0.85. Huh?!?!

It turned out to be some of the best advice I've gotten. Like everyone already mentioned, the slower tempos started to feel leisurely after a few lengths of really pushing the tempo. I started improving rapidly in many areas after that.

Another surprising thing about swimming at a pace beyond my comfort zone: it's really, really fun. I get a feeling of exhilaration and goodwill towards mankind that lasts several hours after I get out of the pool.

Spending too much time outside of your comfort zone isn't good--it can make you sloppy. It's also pretty strenuous. But, a few lengths a few times per week is worth trying.

Good luck, and enjoy!
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  #9  
Old 12-07-2010
haschu33 haschu33 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KatieK View Post
... I get a feeling of exhilaration and goodwill towards mankind that lasts several hours after I get out of the pool.
Other people pay a lot of money for weekend workshops or struggle for years on buddhist or other spiritual paths to get to those experiences and still don't make it...
You must either have a mind that is very conducive to and has a great capacity of natural love and ecstacy anyway or you must have an amazing built in endorphine/morphine ejecting/injecting device and a strong talent to trigger it, or both of it ... :-))

I wonder what happens when you are in love and swimming at the same time... ;-)


Quote:
Originally Posted by KatieK View Post
...
Good luck, and enjoy!
Same to you, and all others!


PS: hope I am not too personal, I just couldn't resist...
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  #10  
Old 12-07-2010
quad09 quad09 is offline
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quad09
Default What is faster??

How long does it take you to swim 25m?
Thanks!
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