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  #1  
Old 09-30-2015
truwani truwani is offline
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truwani
Default Lowering SPL: purely focus on this?

Hey everybody,

I want to get my SPL down in order to be able to swim faster during longer swims (several kmís)
Currently I am at 18 SPL for a 25m pool with my tempotrainer set at 1:30, 38 years old, 1m86 tall and weight of 78kg.

I would like to get this down to 16 SPL, holding the same tempo.

Now I see that this will take some time. Basically I stop whenever my SPL is higher than 16 and start over.
So I am araid that my physical abaility to swim long will deteriorate because like this the length of my swim laps diminishes.

So should I purely focus on getting SPL down? Or should I combine with swim sessions where I swim longer but with higher SPLís?

And does this look like a good strategy to swim faster?

Thanks!
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  #2  
Old 09-30-2015
CoachDavidShen CoachDavidShen is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by truwani View Post
Hey everybody,

I want to get my SPL down in order to be able to swim faster during longer swims (several kmís)
Currently I am at 18 SPL for a 25m pool with my tempotrainer set at 1:30, 38 years old, 1m86 tall and weight of 78kg.

I would like to get this down to 16 SPL, holding the same tempo.

Now I see that this will take some time. Basically I stop whenever my SPL is higher than 16 and start over.
So I am araid that my physical abaility to swim long will deteriorate because like this the length of my swim laps diminishes.

So should I purely focus on getting SPL down? Or should I combine with swim sessions where I swim longer but with higher SPLís?

And does this look like a good strategy to swim faster?

Thanks!
when i first trained in TI, i spent some time obsessing over SPL. i also had some fun completing my first ever 7 SPL 25 y swim. i think there are pros and cons to "training for SPL".

it is the best measure for efficiency. holding tempo constant with a TT, you get accurate feedback on swimming more efficiently for real (it's one of the downsides to using Swim Golf which melds two variables together).

if you count on every length you swim, you can get a read on your efficiency, and your mental/physical condition, during a workout.

training at low SPLs magnifies your problems in your stroke. for example, you cannot depend on higher velocity to keep your hips high; you must have good balance independent of velocity. elements of the stroke require more control, and precise control. otherwise, it gets messy very fast.

but when you go for low SPL at all costs, you will find that there are tricks to swimming with low SPL that you wouldn't otherwise employ in normal swimming. Things like practicing to not breathe for an entire length of a 25 y pool, elongating the glide phase, remaining in streamline after the push off the wall for longer than usual.

also it may frustrate you that you get stuck on an SPL and can't seem to improve it. this may detract from learning. you may learn, as did i, that sometimes it's better to step away from SPL; practice basic skills for a while, then come back to it. improvement can come from many angles.

when i did this, i swam 3x a week obsessively counting and recording each length. it did get me to 7 SPL LOL. after a while, i found other training aspects to be more productive, but working on increasing tempo, or using focal points, etc.

as for being concerned about swimming long distance - if you don't have a race coming up, why not take some time to work on efficiency as a focus? learning will be increased if you spend time on something. but if you like/want to swim longer, i would advocate a 2-3x/week on SPL focus, and then one workout on distance, employing the elements you've practiced in the other 2-3 SPL focus workouts.

i think you will find that your endurance will not have dropped at all.
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  #3  
Old 09-30-2015
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CoachStuartMcDougal CoachStuartMcDougal is offline
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Hi Truwani,

Just to add to all of Coach Shen's pearls of wisdom. (David - 7spl in 25y? Incredible!). Many do get overly caught up trying to hit a low SPL often at the cost of introducing an error of pausing/hitching recovery at hip. This hitch at the hip is a "Cardinal sin" which triggers even more imbalance errors. It's not about the lowest SPL (or greatest stroke length) - what can each swimmer sustain for the distance they are competing or swimming.

Although dropping a stroke will have the most impact on speed, hitting a low count may not be attainable or sustainable. Stroke length and turnover are very personal to each swimmer and are base primarily on height and current skill level - as well as distance you are swimming.

It comes down to rate = distance/time, or pace = sl/tempo and what feels sustainable given height and skill set without breaking down mid swim (or race). See blog: High Turnover vs Right Turnover

Coach Mat Hudson just posted an excellent piece on this very subject too: Two Essential Measurements

Stuart
MindBodyAndSWIM

Last edited by CoachStuartMcDougal : 09-30-2015 at 10:20 PM.
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  #4  
Old 10-01-2015
truwani truwani is offline
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Coach David and coach Stuart thanks a lot for your excellent feedback!!

The Shinji video of 9 SPL impressed me a lot, but David 7, wow no idea how you can do that: splendid!!

I agree that there is a risk in overfocusing on SPL (overgliding,Ö): I hope not to fall into this trap by keeping my tempo fixed

Currently I can hold 16 SPL at 1:30 tempo but only for two laps

I will take your advice David and focus a while (couple of months) on this, not having any race coming up: hope it will work! once at 16 I don't think there is a reason to go down further

Thanks guys
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Old 10-01-2015
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Hi truwani,

If you are having difficulty holding 16 spl for more than two laps, maybe 16 is too low for you at the moment. Find where your spl range should be using the Green Zone height/spl index. You can download it for free here: http://www.totalimmersion.net/store/...l#.Vg00i-c7u_Q

The "Green Zone" is based on stroke length being roughly 50%-70% of your height. For example, if I take 20 strokes in 20 yards, 20y/20s = 1y or 3 ft. SL = 3 ft. If I were 6 ft tall swimmer, 20 spl, sl = 3ft would represent 50% of height, or high end SPL/height index

Stuart
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  #6  
Old 10-01-2015
CoachDavidShen CoachDavidShen is offline
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If you want to have some fun, here was what worked for 7 SPL in 25 yards:

http://www.dshen.com/blogs/training/..._25_yards.html

always have fun whenever possible in training, challenge yourself and join the ranks of 7 SPL swimmers (albeit SUPER slow and haven't hit it again since!).
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  #7  
Old 10-01-2015
Zenturtle Zenturtle is offline
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Skaters also like to balance
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M_cdj1rOnLo
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  #8  
Old 10-01-2015
CoachEricDeSanto CoachEricDeSanto is offline
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I try to work this in cycles. I find that my swimmers can decrease stroke count for a while then plateau. While they plateau we work more on tempo or neural endurance. When that plateaus, we go back to stroke count. Often the factors that stopped you from lowering your stroke count in the first cycle improved as we imprinted the technique in the tempo and endurance cycle and we see counts drop again.

I do a few lengths of "Lowest possible stroke count" in every warm up and cool down because I like how it magnifies the errors in the stroke and helps define what the focal points should be that day. My main rule is no pause in back (as Coach Stuart mentioned).

For pool availability reasons, we tend to work on count in the fall, tempo in the winter and endurance in the spring and summer. Although every practice includes a little of everything.
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  #9  
Old 10-02-2015
truwani truwani is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CoachEricDeSanto View Post
I try to work this in cycles. I find that my swimmers can decrease stroke count for a while then plateau. While they plateau we work more on tempo or neural endurance. When that plateaus, we go back to stroke count. Often the factors that stopped you from lowering your stroke count in the first cycle improved as we imprinted the technique in the tempo and endurance cycle and we see counts drop again.

I do a few lengths of "Lowest possible stroke count" in every warm up and cool down because I like how it magnifies the errors in the stroke and helps define what the focal points should be that day. My main rule is no pause in back (as Coach Stuart mentioned).

For pool availability reasons, we tend to work on count in the fall, tempo in the winter and endurance in the spring and summer. Although every practice includes a little of everything.
Hi Eric,

this is very interesting, thanks.

Working on lowering SPL I see as focusing on the TI drills (superman glide, skate,...), correct?

Working on tempo I imagine is working with Tempo training and searching optimal pace, correct?

And what is 'working on neural endurance'?

Thanks!
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  #10  
Old 10-04-2015
Zenturtle Zenturtle is offline
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I think he means being able to keep SPL rock solid under varying loads as swimtime or tempo.
Neural endurance is build. Movement patterns dont break down under pressure.
If it gets normal to swim at a certain strokerate without even concentrating on it,(its ingrained) then its more likely you can increase DPS again if you try very hard for a few lenghts at a lower speed.

Its an old discussion, but what is an TIīs coach definition of the word efficiency?
Engineers, biomechanical experts and swimmers all seem to have their own definition.

I think its a bad practice to swim only at low effort level for a whole workout in general.
The slow speed long stroke act as a magnifier for certain weak points in your swim, but the same effect can be seen by trying holding technique together under short bursts of speed.

Balance is magnified at slow speed. Drag is magnified at high speed.

Alternating between al aspects of techique in hopeflully upwards spiraling circles works best, is also my n=1 experience.


Truwani,
You know I have some doubts about these statements:
Quote:
I want to get my SPL down in order to be able to swim faster during longer swims (several km’s)
Talking about swimming faster during long swims.
This guy has just done what you aspire. And covered more than 60.000km doing this.
Curious how his stroke looks?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZLQwZf65OKc
Its not your avarage public pool swimmer. Google him.

If you take 18 strokes-25 m now, be sure you own this 18 strokes under all conditions until 1.30 min/100m swimspeed.
If your 18 is rocksolid, and you want to lower it further, do so if you fancy that.
Dont spend too much time on lowering it further if its not solid yet.
I am no ( TI) coach...

Last edited by Zenturtle : 10-04-2015 at 09:22 PM.
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