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Old 03-03-2012
terry terry is offline
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Default Exciting Long Course Practice

I've noted on a couple of threads that I'm recovering from a couple of 'middle age athlete syndrome' injuries - torn meniscus right knee and frayed supraspinatus left shoulder - that had kept me out of lap pools since before Christmas. I've continued swimming in the Endless Pool at home, but that was gentle stroke tuning, not what you'd describe as training.
I gave my fitness level what is usually a stern test yesterday (Fri Mar 2) by swimming a Long Course practice in St Petersburg FL. I swam with the St Pete Masters, because their Mon and Fri am workouts are the only opportunity during the week to swim Long Course there.

So it was a pretty standard Masters workout, generic repeats of various distances. However I was able to use SPL and Tempo to create exacting tasks with a sense of personal purpose. Here's what I did

800 @ 38SPL
They'd already been swimming for 30 min when I got in at 0600. They were starting a set of 4 x 200 with fins on 3:30. I let the other four swimmers go ahead then started 30 seconds behind the last so I could swim a continuous 800 while they did 4 x 200. My only goal was to discover what SPL I could sustain. After swimming the first length in 37 SPL I was able to hold at 38SPL for the next 15 lengths. Considering I'd not swum in a 50m pool in six months, I was very pleased.

12 x 50 on 1:00 Advance Tempo while trying to maintain SPL.
Their assignment was 12 x 50 with Buoy and Paddles. I set my TT @ 1.30 to start and swam the 1st 50 in 34 SPL. I advanced tempo by .01 each 50, trying to minimize change in SPL. I finished the set at 36SPL and 1.20. These compare quite favorably to last summer when I was much fitter (and 10 lbs lighter) and swimming LCM regularly.

Swim 2 x 300 on 5:30.
This was the assignment as written on the workout sheet at the end of the lane. It contained no further instructions. I opted to back off tempo to 1.25 (because I would swim 300m, rather than 50) and to learn what SPL I could manage. It turned out to be 35-36 SPL. Since I was very pleased with this I set tempo for the 2nd 300 @ 1.23 and kept SPL virtually the same - I think I had one length at 37 SPL.

[4 x 50 + 3 x 100 + 2 x 150 + 1 x 200]
At this point the rest of the Masters began doing their swim down. I wanted one more set, adding up to perhaps 1000m. This ladder series is one of my favorites, for testing my ability to maintain a constant SPL and/or SPL-Tempo combination as distance increases. I set TT @ 1.20, held 35SPL on the 50s then was able to complete the rest of the set without exceeding 36SPL.

I was exceptionally pleased with how favorably this practice compared to those I did last summer when I was swimming Long Course regularly, was doing at least twice the weekly volume I've done since getting injured. It suggests that the tuning practices I've done since being diagnosed with the two injuries have materially improved my efficiency.
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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 : 03-03-2012 at 01:20 PM.
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  #2  
Old 03-03-2012
grandall grandall is offline
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Terry great achievement and very inspiring! on your Master's swim.
A couple of questions regarding your post.

On your first of set (800 @ 38SPL) -What was your TT set at?
excellent job in sustaining SPL consistency by the way..

On the second set (12 X 50) - Did you swim with paddles/buoys...with a bad
shoulder and all?
great job you only increased by two strokes.

On the third set(2 X 300) - you mentioned you said you backed off on the TT to 1.25?..what was thinking on why you decided to back off from 1.20 to 1.25 on the 300 as your SPL was almost the same? What it because you thought the added distance in one swim would effect your efficiency? As you swam 800 on the first set with a great SPL (not sure on the TT setpiont).

Thanks for sharing


.
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Old 03-05-2012
terry terry is offline
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George
Thanks for responding. Great queries. I'll address each in turn.

Quote:
Originally Posted by grandall View Post
On your first of set (800 @ 38SPL) -What was your TT set at?
excellent job in sustaining SPL consistency by the way..
I usually swim my tuneup set accompanied mainly by my own thoughts and sensations. It's a way of taking inventory and choosing a set of metrics to target in the sets that follow. In this case, the 38SPL -- arrived at 'organically' rather than manipulated with aid of TT -- became my benchmark.

Quote:
On the second set (12 X 50) - Did you swim with paddles/buoys...with a bad shoulder and all? great job you only increased by two strokes.
Ach, no. I haven't 'sullied my stroke' with buoy and paddles in 20 years! I only mentioned that as a way of contrasting the old-school nature of the prescribed Masters workout with my own adaptations to it. My shoulder, by the way, felt great. I have my first PT session today, but started informal self-prescribed supraspinatus rehab last week. Found the right exercise on youtube.

Quote:
On the third set(2 X 300) - you mentioned you said you backed off on the TT to 1.25?..what was thinking on why you decided to back off from 1.20 to 1.25 on the 300 as your SPL was almost the same? Was it because you thought the added distance would effect your efficiency?
Exactly. This kind of decision is an informed guesstimate. There's not a formula for making these kind of adjustments. You learn to do it through experience. So my guesstimate was informed by years of TT practice.

My goal was to find the tempo at which I could maintain the SPL I'd just recorded on 50m repeats for the 300m repeats. I guessed that backing off by .05 might do the trick. And, as I usually do - once I verified I could maintain the same SPL, i began testing my limits, initially on the 2nd 300, then on the ladder set that followed.
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May your laps be as happy as mine.

My TI Story
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  #4  
Old 03-05-2012
terry terry is offline
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Default The most exciting thing was confirmation of Neural Focus

I should add that the most exciting thing about this practice was how it reinforced a lesson I've learned previously when injury or surgery limited me to 'rehab' swimming. Since I got diagnosed with torn meniscus in right knee and frayed supraspinatus in left shoulder I'd put aside any short-term competitive aspirations -- and thoughts I'd had previously about attending the Masters World Championships in Riccione Italy three months from now. Instead, I'm looking ahead to open water season.

From Dec 22 until last week I'd not done any pool training. Just 30 min sessions in the Endless about 4x/week. I swam almost solely with gentle current, focused on subtle stroke tuning -- looking for small 'problems' to fix.

The problem I chose to focus on was a tendency I sensed (and which was confirmed in video we shot last summer for an upcoming TI DVD), in both free and back, for my right foot to turn out on 'down' (actually up in backstroke) beat. I realized it was from upper body instability and have spent 30-minute sessions blissfully laser-focused on 'wiring in' the fix. I've been delighted to see how quickly that problem -- that is likely 40 years old -- responded to keen focus.

The confirmation of how valuable this fix was came last Friday morning when I swam this 3000-meter practice -- the first time I'd swum in a 50m pool in almost six months.

I was thrilled that the consistent quality (measured in sustained SPL/Tempo/Duration/Ease) equaled my best practices from July and August last summer when my weekly swim volume (including evening practices in Lake Minnewaska) was double or triple what it's been the last two months and I was practicing 3 mornings per week in the 50m Ulster County Pool.

I never cease to be amazed at the power of keenly-focused neural training.
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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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