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Old 05-06-2011
terry terry is offline
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Default What's your favorite stroke

I was asked this question Monday evening while swimming with the Masters at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff. I'd swum my last event at Masters Nationals in Mesa Sunday afternoon, then driven to Flagstaff, a good base for visiting the Grand Canyon
Monday I swam with the NAU Masters. The pool was set up in th 50-meter configuration - and Flagstaff is at 7000' of altitude. Nice combination.
Coaches Sonja and Cathy had designed a nice Medley-intensive practice. Here's what we did
400 Choice (I alternated 50m BK and 50m Free at 39 and 37 strokes respectively)
4 x 50 Choice on 1:10. I chose BK and descended while trying to hold SPL consistent.
6 x 150 on 3:10 Odd IM (no FR). Even FR (50 Cruise, 50 Strong, 50 Cruise)
I held SPL consistent on the IMs while descending 2:57-2:54-2:51. On the FR my SPLs were 38-41-39 - allowing SPL to rise on the faster middle 50, then recovering to a lower SPL on the 3rd 50. Not easy.
400 FR Negative Split. I held 38-39 SPL on 1st 200, and allowed myself 41-42 SPL on 2nd 200. I split 3:25 - 3:12 for 6:37.

Main Set: 4 sets of 4 x 50 [200 IM order] on 10-15 sec rest. Cathy and Sonja told us we should try to descend each stroke -- which means each set of 4 x 50 should be faster than the previous. The particular challenge in this is to keep improving time for 50m Fly.

After the 2nd round, Sonja asked "Did you swim 400 IM at Nationals?" I said yes. She said "You look like a 400-IMer." That really pleased me.

After the 3rd round, Cathy asked "What's your favorite stroke?" Without even needing to think, I replied "All of them." And as I pushed off to start the last 50 of Fly, I couldn't help but think
1) I probably wouldn't have answered that way - even as recently as late last year; and
2) How grateful and happy I am to be able to say that now -- and really mean it!

I have no doubt that the NEXT 40 years of my swimming life will be immeasurably enriched as a result.
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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 : 05-06-2011 at 04:29 PM.
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Old 05-06-2011
terry terry is offline
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Default Practice All my Favorite Strokes

My 2nd practice after Masters Nationals
Thurs May 5 3000 yds at SUNY New Paltz

Tomorrow I swim a Pentathlon in the Adirondack Masters Spring Fling Meet at Ballston Spa NY. The meet offers Pentathlon at short, medium and long distances. The Short = 50 of each stroke plus 100 IM. Double the distances for the Medium. Quadruple them for the Long. I opted to swim the Medium, which I had also done at Mission Valley Y in San Diego on Feb 27. I look forward to comparing tomorrow's results with those two months ago.

I planned this practice as a tuneup for the Pentathlon
Set #1 All distances swum [25BK-25FR]
4 x 50 + 2 x 100 + 1 x 200 + 2 x 100 + 4 x 50
My goal was to keep SPL constant at 15 BK and 14 FR, while making each subsequent series at a faster pace, challenging as I progress from 50s to a 200, easier as repeats shorten again. I was successful.

Set #2
400 IM 6:30
2 x 200 IM 3:08 - 3:07
4 x 100 IM 1:35-1:33-1:31-1:28
8 x 50 [2 rounds of 50 FL - 50 BK - 50 BR - 50 FR]
Times: Round 1: 45-46-47-38 Round 2: 44-44-46-37
16 x 25 [swim 25s in 400 IM order]
I held FL @ 21 sec, BK @ 20-21 sec, BR @ 21-22 sec and cruised the FR @ 19-20 sec.
This was the best All-Strokes practice I've ever swum. I set SPL and time goals for each set and was able to accomplish all of them.
In general I reduced SPL and improved speed as the set progressed and repeats got shorter.
E.G. On the 2nd round of 4 x 50, I took at least one stroke off each 50 in 2nd round, yet swam each 50 faster than in 1st round.

Being able to set such varied goals in a single practice - and realize that a few months of focus on being a Complete Swimmer has brought measurable increases in Mastery (i.e. being able to plan and perform challenging practice tasks) is the reason why it's so easy to now answer "All of them" when someone asks What's your favorite stroke?
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Terry Laughlin
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May your laps be as happy as mine.

My TI Story
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Old 05-06-2011
AWP AWP is offline
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Terry,
Wow, I can feel that glow from here! Can use some of it to warm things up down here and to help keep me stoked as well as I continue on my own path towards a 'similar' proficiency and enlightenment.
Great stuff and I'm sure you can sense my eagerness to add these practice examples to my list of goals (will continue to report as this too helps keep me focused).
Likewise, I never imagined I would have the other strokes as a real part of my experience and now can't imagine not incorporating them in some fashion into each and every one of them. Yes, I suspect I'll even have some fun with this in open water too, esp. Fly!
Kudos to you on your many new successes and the continued replenishment of your Kaizen spirit for all to share (I especially like the 'promise' of another 40yrs of potential practice examples ;-)

Best,
Alan
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Old 05-07-2011
terry terry is offline
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One thing will certainly change in my summer routine as a result of my change in outlook. In previous summers I became almost exclusively an open water swimmer, which meant swimming mostly distance free. Though I often swam 200 or so of other strokes after doing 3000-4000 freestyle in Lake Minnewaska. The last few years I'd done fewer and fewer pool practices, as I relished the lake swimming so much.

This summer I can't imagine not continuing with regular pool practices, say, 3-4x per week, probably doing Medley work at least half the time.
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May your laps be as happy as mine.

My TI Story
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