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  #1  
Old 03-30-2015
Talvi Talvi is offline
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Default Upping the tempo

On another thread (that even I can't bear to hijack more) I got an ok to up my tempo as a way to break out of the box, get a new feel for the stroke, and to get away from a microscopic analysis and attempt to micro-manage its components.

Obviously if I simply go from 1.60 TT to 0.8 TT something other than tempo is going to change if I'm not to find myself swimming at 1:00 /100m. As this is unlikely (well it didn't happen last time) I wonder if anyone has any suggestions as to what to keep and what to let go, or what to hold on to and what to leave for later, or what focus to have, etc.

Something is going to give so I wonder if I can exercise any choice over what that is.

Comments/suggestions?
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A psychological disorder is: "Any personal construction which is used repeatedly in spite of consistent invalidation."
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"The water is your friend.....you don't have to fight with water, just share the same spirit as the water, and it will help you move."
~ Aleksandr Popov
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  #2  
Old 03-30-2015
Zenturtle Zenturtle is offline
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Go! Talvi GO! ;-)

Keep: core/kick/roll/line/balance. Let this be your metronome
Change: timing of armstroke/length of glide upfront, finish at the back.

You could try the TI way of keeping DPS as good as possible while increasing strokerate,
or let the arm movement happen as a consequence of the increased roll frequency, reduce the pressure on the arms by reducing the lenght at the front and the back
while trying to limit the increase in drag caused by the "flailing" arms.

I find kicking with fins while letting the arms idle can be an eyeopener telling where arms can create drag or propulsion.

Good luck with your experiment.

Only do short repeats and give yourself plenty of rest to stay focused and alert during your swim to swim with awareness.
Where do problems arise? What part of the stroke starts to break down? What is easier than expected?

The core/kick/bodyline frequency driver is an ideal. Dont be too affraid to give some pressure under the arms.

Last edited by Zenturtle : 03-30-2015 at 03:25 PM.
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  #3  
Old 03-30-2015
Talvi Talvi is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zenturtle View Post
Go! Talvi GO! ;-)....
RoFL love the wink! :D

Yes it's a bit absurd but your suggestions sound on the money. Thanks.

I intend to let DPS go for starters. It's a fixed equation and that's the only thing to give if I don't stumble on a vast hidden power store in my decrepit frame!

Could you clarify what you mean by reduce the pressure on the arms by reducing the lenght at the front and the back ?

Something I find odd from time to time is experiencing the water as rock solid. It's really uncomfortable on my fingers. It only happens once in a blue moon and I have no idea why it does. Grrrr!

Have you tried those aero oops Alpha fins? Or do you recommend the long fins? Terry suggested using long fins in a blof of his (which I now can't find)

I really need to mix it up.

Just had a conversation with the manager at the Scottish pool and things are looking up for video. Duty free Amsterdam may get my custom! Does the GoPro have it, or is there a cheaper option? Opps, off topic again!

EDIT
Just got it. Yo mean less extension at front and back. I misread your text! D'oh! Maybe that's when I get the concrete water thing?
__________________
A psychological disorder is: "Any personal construction which is used repeatedly in spite of consistent invalidation."
~ George Kelly

"The water is your friend.....you don't have to fight with water, just share the same spirit as the water, and it will help you move."
~ Aleksandr Popov

Last edited by Talvi : 03-30-2015 at 03:32 PM.
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  #4  
Old 03-30-2015
Zenturtle Zenturtle is offline
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Yep, only use the most effective part of the underwaterpull while trying to keep extra drag to the minimum.
Just like a lower gear on the bike to cruise at a slightly higher speed with less pressure on the knees.
Getting the impression of pulling the body past a good gripping arm is important.

its very difficult to tell if its a totally useless experiment or if you can get something out of it.
Just try some faster(sprint) half or full lenghts.

Any fin that gives big speed with little effort is good for drag awareness.
Not too small. Bigger fins do nothing to learn a good arm-leg connection, but its fun to feel all the waterpressure on the front of the body and on the wrong side of the arms if you dont stroke fast enough compared to forward speed.

Last edited by Zenturtle : 03-30-2015 at 06:24 PM.
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  #5  
Old 03-30-2015
Streak Streak is offline
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Hey Robin.
Keep at it you will get there. Measuring is important to see how one is progressing after making small changes to the stroke. I found however that sometimes the measurement determines the stroke rather than the stroke affecting the measurement if you know what I mean! This is why I suggested before trying a less micro and after the fact measurement like your time over say 100 yards. While doing the 4 x25 you just try and swim relaxed allowing your brain to focus on nothing but an element of the stroke (breathing, spear, recovery etc.). The moment I start counting strokes something else in my form suffers. If I were to add a TT I think I would go crazy!

This morning my only measurement was the length of time it took me to swim 1650. The rest of the analysis I only did after I got home. And by the way, in case you did not see it my 1700yd thread, I actually broke my record by some way and achieved my goal for a sub 30 minute 1650.

My method may be totally unconventional but until my next block it's working for me!
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  #6  
Old 03-30-2015
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CoachStuartMcDougal CoachStuartMcDougal is offline
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Hi Talvi,

I would not drop more than 0.4 secs/stroke from sustainable (or comfort zone) tempo when dropping down to quick tempos, i.e. if your range is 1.45-1.35, 1.0 or .95 will be fine, and that will feel like you're thrashing about. When you get to the fast uncomfortable tempos, your main focus is "quick but quiet", "quick" being the recovery arm moves forward quicker, don't think of pulling faster or sooner. The goal of the set is to get the swimmer at a tempo that is slightly faster that their previous tempo where they are holding a consistent stroke length that is sustainable.

Reverse asymmetric pyramid set (example of sustainable tempo 1.20 secs/stroke):
1. 5x50 desc tempo: 1.20, 1.10, 1.00, 0.90, 0.80
2. 8x50 asc tempo: 0.85, 0.90, 0.95, 1.0, 1.05, 1.10, 1.15, 1.20
3. 3x50, 2x75, 1x150 @ sustainable tempo -.02 to -.05 (between 1.15 and 1.18 in this example), maintain SPL to SPL+1 counting strokes on odd lengths.

Going down the scale where tempo feels ridiculously fast, will not feel nearly as fast on the way back up, i.e. descending to 1.0 tempo may feel you just can't keep up, missing a beat or two, sloppy, thrashing. Ascending back up to 1.0, the 1.0 tempo will still feel rushed, but now hitting tempo mostly, not feeling as sloppy.

I believe you must learn to swim slow to swim faster as well as swim faster tempos in order to swim at a quicker sustainable pace. This is not designed to build bigger lungs or bigger shoulders, but rather adapting the neural system to faster tempo while maintaining stroke length.

Have fun with it, and don't stress if you feel you fell apart completely at the faster tempos. Hold that focal point "quick but quiet" as best as you can.

Stuart

Last edited by CoachStuartMcDougal : 03-30-2015 at 07:03 PM.
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  #7  
Old 03-31-2015
Talvi Talvi is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zenturtle View Post
Yep, only use the most effective part of the underwaterpull while trying to keep extra drag to the minimum.
Just like a lower gear on the bike to cruise at a slightly higher speed with less pressure on the knees.
Getting the impression of pulling the body past a good gripping arm is important.

its very difficult to tell if its a totally useless experiment or if you can get something out of it.
Just try some faster(sprint) half or full lenghts.

Any fin that gives big speed with little effort is good for drag awareness.
Not too small. Bigger fins do nothing to learn a good arm-leg connection, but its fun to feel all the waterpressure on the front of the body and on the wrong side of the arms if you dont stroke fast enough compared to forward speed.
I used to enjoy snorkelling, and that feeling you describe. But it was always just a killer to take the fins off and go back to feeling like a smokey old tug boat.

I susually nowadays swim s few intervals at 1.00 TT and I have done for a while but I've just never seen it as being a substantial part of a session, just a break from the norm. I don't know how my session today will go, I'll probably end up doing the same old same old, but at present I intend to swim mostly at 1.00 with my outer-limits swimming left for when simply can't do that anymore for strength reasons or because I really am thrashing, as opposed to just my normal flailing about.

What precipitated this realignment of approach was the course of my last my last three sessions, which was striking though actually nothing fundamentally new. After a month long illness, my first session from the off tried to mimic the Manadou kick. It felt very confusing. Why I couldn't figure. My legs seemed to find it hard to move at the right time. It was maybe like trying to tie a shoelace in the dark with one hand gloved. Astonishingly my first few 50's were at 1:50 pace, with a TT of maybe 1.50. I didn't have it on, but my SPL was between 16 and 18. Next time out I accepted that I hadn't been getting Mandou right and focused on what I thought I'd got wrong with it. There was another ahah moment in there, but nothing real. In the third session I focused on the hip nudge "bead" after reading Stuart's analogy. And my times crashed to over 2:20!! I tried everything I could think to get back to where I thought I'd been. Nothing worked.

What my data consistently shows is that the harder I try to improve my technique the worse my swimming becomes! And this is despite an almost continuous sequence of those ahah moments. The Garmin may be less than optimal as a guide, but it works fine as a stopwatch, and the rest is passable if not precise. I don't know if I've swum 15, 16 or 17 strokes on a length but I'm happy to move in bands through these measures as I have little consistency.
__________________
A psychological disorder is: "Any personal construction which is used repeatedly in spite of consistent invalidation."
~ George Kelly

"The water is your friend.....you don't have to fight with water, just share the same spirit as the water, and it will help you move."
~ Aleksandr Popov
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  #8  
Old 03-31-2015
Talvi Talvi is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Lappeenranta, Finland
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Talvi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Streak View Post
... Measuring is important to see how one is progressing after making small changes to the stroke. I found however that sometimes the measurement determines the stroke rather than the stroke affecting the measurement if you know what I mean! This is why I suggested before trying a less micro and after the fact measurement like your time over say 100 yards. While doing the 4 x25 you just try and swim relaxed allowing your brain to focus on nothing but an element of the stroke (breathing, spear, recovery etc.). The moment I start counting strokes something else in my form suffers. If I were to add a TT I think I would go crazy!

This morning my only measurement was the length of time it took me to swim 1650. The rest of the analysis I only did after I got home. And by the way, in case you did not see it my 1700yd thread, I actually broke my record by some way and achieved my goal for a sub 30 minute 1650.

My method may be totally unconventional but until my next block it's working for me!
Sometimes I get along with the TT but I only ever use it for part of a session. Generally I have it switched off. For me it's a baseline indicator and sometimes, with its count set at three per whole stroke, I can use it to see how symmetric my stroke is. And I do know and experience what you mean aabout the measure determining the stroke. I think this is why I turn it off. As for counting strokes, I have managed to count one or two lengths over the last year or two!! Those numbers matched my Garmin reading. Generally when I do try to count I find I've stopped counting after about 6 - 8 strokes, something way more importat grabs my attention - my arm crossing, recovery arm issues, spear wobble, over-rotation, etc, etc.

I'll check in on your thread. Really sounds like you're making amazing progress. If my maths is right, 1650 yds = 1509 m, so a sub 2:00 min pace. That really is my goal too, so *&%!*! err I mean congratulations!! :D And thanks for your encouragement. I don't see any grounds for it, but maybe letting go is something I need to find a way to do.

p.s
I can't remember if you've got a Garmin Swim or a 920 ... I'm going to start using SWOLF/Swim Efficiency Index (both seem identical to me) rather than trying to interpret times + SPL + TT.
__________________
A psychological disorder is: "Any personal construction which is used repeatedly in spite of consistent invalidation."
~ George Kelly

"The water is your friend.....you don't have to fight with water, just share the same spirit as the water, and it will help you move."
~ Aleksandr Popov
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  #9  
Old 03-31-2015
Talvi Talvi is offline
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Talvi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CoachStuartMcDougal View Post
... I would not drop more than 0.4 secs/stroke from sustainable (or comfort zone) tempo when dropping down to quick tempos... When you get to the fast uncomfortable tempos, your main focus is "quick but quiet", "quick" being the recovery arm moves forward quicker, don't think of pulling faster or sooner. The goal of the set is to get the swimmer at a tempo that is slightly faster that their previous tempo where they are holding a consistent stroke length that is sustainable...
I believe you must learn to swim slow to swim faster as well as swim faster tempos in order to swim at a quicker sustainable pace. ... Hold that focal point "quick but quiet" as best as you can.
Hi Stuart

I emailed and got to talk to the manager at the pool in Scotland and it is sounding pretty hopeful. He's pretty sure something can be worked out. So I will have something to send you even if I have no ability to send it until I get back to "civilization" again (the Outer Hebrides are pretty isolated)

Thanks for those pyramids you describe.

I've been swimming the occasional interval at 1.00 TT for quite a while now, and actually found that recovery timing was the way, exactly how you describe, but I just haven't put it centre stage. As you say I hoped at some point, following the progressions that you describe that tempo would increase while keeping DPS consistent. However it's the usual problem, the results I get are simply a chaotic jumble and as I don't really know what is causing results to change from one interval to the next, the changes I choose to focus on are merely a highly biased radomness and get the results predictable for such an approach.

So today I am going to use SWOLF and Swim Efficiency Index scores (both the same as far as I can tell). They seem to get past the problem I find of judging whether my technique is improving or I am merely changing one of the variables (DPS x Tempo = Pace). I'd previously ruled them out as being somehow crude and out of kilter with the TI way but now I think they might be a consistent, simple and reliable measure and therefore provide better feedback than focusing on SPL and Pace and Tempo individually.
__________________
A psychological disorder is: "Any personal construction which is used repeatedly in spite of consistent invalidation."
~ George Kelly

"The water is your friend.....you don't have to fight with water, just share the same spirit as the water, and it will help you move."
~ Aleksandr Popov
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  #10  
Old 03-31-2015
Streak Streak is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Talvi View Post
Sometimes I get along with the TT but I only ever use it for part of a session. Generally I have it switched off. For me it's a baseline indicator and sometimes, with its count set at three per whole stroke, I can use it to see how symmetric my stroke is. And I do know and experience what you mean aabout the measure determining the stroke. I think this is why I turn it off. As for counting strokes, I have managed to count one or two lengths over the last year or two!! Those numbers matched my Garmin reading. Generally when I do try to count I find I've stopped counting after about 6 - 8 strokes, something way more importat grabs my attention - my arm crossing, recovery arm issues, spear wobble, over-rotation, etc, etc.

I'll check in on your thread. Really sounds like you're making amazing progress. If my maths is right, 1650 yds = 1509 m, so a sub 2:00 min pace. That really is my goal too, so *&%!*! err I mean congratulations!! :D And thanks for your encouragement. I don't see any grounds for it, but maybe letting go is something I need to find a way to do.

p.s
I can't remember if you've got a Garmin Swim or a 920 ... I'm going to start using SWOLF/Swim Efficiency Index (both seem identical to me) rather than trying to interpret times + SPL + TT.
Yes I have the Garmin Swim. I assume you download your data after each session? I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with mine and I am very often checking it against the pool clock and my counting on the rare occasions that I do count.

Like you I can only count for so long and then I lose concentration or some other aspect of my swimming suffers. This is the whole reason that often I just go out there and relax forgetting about the micro metrics and just use the pool clock.

Now that I have achieved my sub 30 goal it's back to looking at where my inefficiencies are and how I can get even better without working harder. I'll get some more video up soon.

Keep it up.
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