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  #51  
Old 03-08-2016
sclim sclim is offline
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Update:

I was extending the principle of descending sets, still breathing on left only, but gave up the tumble turns -- too taxing and not a core necessity, but might revisit them much later.

So I was doing sets of 50m x 5 starting at TT 1.40 sec and descending by 0.01 seconds, with sendoffs at 2:00 intervals. After 5 50s I rested or played then repeated the sets, continuing to descend, with rests after each set until I had done 4 sets of 5, i.e 20 x 50m with the last one at TT 1.21 seconds. I was starting the sets of 50m at about 1:15 and finishing with a time of 1:07 but not getting any less towards the end, which meant that I was losing time on the SPL even as the TT was descending.

On further reflection, most of my SPL increase started on the 2nd 25m of the 50s. In other words, I had great form when I was fresh but I really fell apart even with slight stress.

On Monday, yesterday I decided to take a new approach. What was the point of looking good only on the first 25m? If I was going to get any better, I had better learn to handle keeping good form with progressive fatigue.

I decided to do 100m x 10 straight, on 3:00 send offs. I started on TT 1.40 sec and descended by 0.01 sec. Again I stuck to regular turns, and breathed only on my right.

Alarmingly, my first 100m came in at 2:43 or so (I wanted to keep relaxed as possible). I tolerated the re-start with 17 sec rest ok, but as the series progressed I started having awkwardness breathing left, so I started cheating and breathing right a lot, sometimes for a whole length, sometimes alternately.

My breath got a little short breathing alternately, but that could be salvaged with on-the-fly breathing relaxation. Oddly, I noticed that although I felt safer breathing on my right, I noticed consistent bad technique on that side, with premature dropping of the lead hand before I had finished my breath on the right. That never happened while left breathing, even if I was intimidated by doing it.

The times even drifted up during the descending series as my co-ordination occasionally got scrambled, but I pulled it together again, and finished the last few at 2:35. By this time I had added 2 more 100s to my intended 10 to finish the last of 12 at TT 1.29.

So overall, my SPL really took a hit, but I was able to swim continuously for 1200m, more or less. Today was really a repeat descending 100m x 12 on 3:00 sendoffs more or less with the same breakdown as I got fatigued, but the breakdown only escalated so much before SPL stabilised at about 25, I think. But I was still resorting to right side breathing. There was also some lane crowding distractions.

Several observations: the air hunger and fatigue associated with flip turns before was too much for me to tolerate. The lesser stress associated with extending the intervals to 100m was still gradually causing me to lose my left sided breathing, and to impact my good form as demonstrated by my rising SPL.

I think I will continue to do this. I think as I get familiar with the fatigue I will be able to force myself to breathe left only. Also, I think I can regain my form -- even if mildly fatigued, when I focus on catch-up strokes, on spearing long and deep etc I can drop my SPL again, even if only for short periods. The risk is that I may be rehearsing struggle, but I'll risk it for now.

Another thought is that I may try to keep the TT interval at 1.40 seconds and not descend the TT; but this may not necessarily help me to keep a long stroke, despite shortening my quick rest time if I keep to 3:00 send offs.

I guess this has as much to do with "What Happens When I get Tired" as "Awkward Breathing on One Side"; but whatever it is, it needs to be fixed.

Oh, I turned 68 yesterday, and had my first grandchild on the weekend, so maybe there were some minor other distractions.
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  #52  
Old 03-09-2016
Zenturtle Zenturtle is offline
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Happy birthday Sclim!

I get dizzy from all those numbers, but reading 2.43 min for 100 m, there must be something wrong there, thats almost sure.
Maybe getting some video can clear up the dust to be able to focus at least on the main items.
But if you having fun in the water and sense you are gradually improving, who cares?
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  #53  
Old 03-09-2016
jenson1a jenson1a is offline
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sclim

Over the last weekend, there were virtually no posts to any of the forums. I usually get up pretty early and use whatever has been posted as motivation for my swim. So I decided to browse the )2 In H20 forum and came across a pretty good thread.. it was started by Alex-SG and the title is Building endurance without undoing the STROKE?

There is some really good advice by CoachEricDeSanto and also CoachSuzanne. This thread is an old one, but I feel it has some really good information in it. Terry also has a post and his last 2 paragraphs hit home for me. Here they are:

"I will always prioritize keeping my SPL and adjust other parameters so I can do that. This is because stroke length (or efficiency) is the most critical and exacting aspect of swimming performance."

For me this means that the priority s/b to get consistent spl on increasing lengths before working on stroke rates. I order to get those spls, you need to control stroke length.

Not sure if this may help you

Sherry
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  #54  
Old 03-09-2016
sclim sclim is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jenson1a View Post
sclim

Over the last weekend, there were virtually no posts to any of the forums. I usually get up pretty early and use whatever has been posted as motivation for my swim. So I decided to browse the )2 In H20 forum and came across a pretty good thread.. it was started by Alex-SG and the title is Building endurance without undoing the STROKE?

There is some really good advice by CoachEricDeSanto and also CoachSuzanne. This thread is an old one, but I feel it has some really good information in it. Terry also has a post and his last 2 paragraphs hit home for me. Here they are:

"I will always prioritize keeping my SPL and adjust other parameters so I can do that. This is because stroke length (or efficiency) is the most critical and exacting aspect of swimming performance."

For me this means that the priority s/b to get consistent spl on increasing lengths before working on stroke rates. I order to get those spls, you need to control stroke length.

Not sure if this may help you

Sherry
There is no disagreement on my part that stroke length and stroke length maintenance in the face of encroaching fatigue is the primary objective.

But the issue is how to get solid spl in a case like mine, where I can get 22 spl or less over 25m, 22.5 to 24 spl over 50m (TT set at 1.40 sec 50m in 1:15; TT set at 1.30 50m in 1:11; TT set at 1.21 sec 50 m in 1:07), but deteriorating badly as the continuous distance over 50m increases.

Do I keep on practicing at 50m (maybe dropping the TT interval further), hoping the stroke form "sticks" better by practicing in a situation where I'm mostly fresh and exhibiting solid form? I thought this was getting me diminishing returns, so I embarked this week on the 100m x 12 descending series, on 3:00 send-offs

The first 2 days were pretty bad, deteriorating usually after the first 50m of each 100m and getting worse through the series as I fatigued.

However today was a breakthrough of sorts, where I held what form I had (such as it is) right through the 100m. So, on the first TT 1:40sec 100m I timed 2:40, and the time descended evenly and consistently to 2:32 on the 12th 100m when TT dropped to 1.29. If I had been able to hold the SPL exactly, I should have dropped the time to 2:28. But the fact that the slippage was even and consistent was encouraging, and better than the first 2 days when the total time even climbed above 1:40 after the initial 1:40. It is not clear yet whether the slippage in SPL is due to cumulative fatigue with repeat 100s, or inability to have an efficient stroke as the TT interval drops. I suspect it is the former, as I don't feel hurried at all with this TT interval.

Today there were still issues of mild panic and air hunger, and forced panic breathing on the right side (I was trying to stay breathing on the left side), but I was able to talk myself out of this relatively quickly and regain form. So I think I'm on the right track in addressing how to correct my deteriorating form on the fly while mildly, then progressively more fatigued.

So I think I'll keep on attacking the problem this way. Not to drop TT further rapidly, but to do more (a greater number per practice session) descending 100s, say 15 then 20, but not necessarily descending the TT past 1.25 sec, if I get there safely. I think more 100m repeats at TT 1.25 sec will benefit me, rather than trying to speed the tempo further, for now, until I demonstrate to myself that fatigue due to cumulative distance (i.e. 1200m, 1500m, 1800m) is not the problem.

Last edited by sclim : 03-10-2016 at 04:53 AM.
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  #55  
Old 03-10-2016
jenson1a jenson1a is offline
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Just a thought on breathlessness--when you exhale is it just a trickle or more of a gush? The reason I ask is that when I am not concentrating on the exhale, I find that I am doing it very forcibly. This tires me out quickly and I lose the sense of relaxation. When I make the exhale just a trickle, I am more relaxed and my endurance improves. Like I said, it is just a thought.

Sherry
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  #56  
Old 03-10-2016
efdoucette efdoucette is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jenson1a View Post
Just a thought on breathlessness--when you exhale is it just a trickle or more of a gush? The reason I ask is that when I am not concentrating on the exhale, I find that I am doing it very forcibly. This tires me out quickly and I lose the sense of relaxation. When I make the exhale just a trickle, I am more relaxed and my endurance improves. Like I said, it is just a thought.

Sherry
Agree 100%, this is exactly where I am at. There are times I can swim 250 to 300 meters continuously but really depends how relaxed my exhale is. And for me anyway, a controlled easy exhale does not come naturally. I know it works, I focus but sometimes still can't get there. But I am confident it will come with continued awareness.

Yesterday, when I found my breathing was becoming forceful I just stopped stroking and with arms in superman position I focused on an easy smooth exhale, then started back to stroking. I think I will continue this practice as it did help me to regroup and refocus.

I am unable at this point to breath bilaterally so my breath is every 2 or 4 strokes. I find when I swim 2 strokes = rushed and forceful breathing while 4 strokes = a better chance of relaxed exhale.

Good luck to you and me.
Eric
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  #57  
Old 03-11-2016
sclim sclim is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jenson1a View Post
Just a thought on breathlessness--when you exhale is it just a trickle or more of a gush? The reason I ask is that when I am not concentrating on the exhale, I find that I am doing it very forcibly. This tires me out quickly and I lose the sense of relaxation. When I make the exhale just a trickle, I am more relaxed and my endurance improves. Like I said, it is just a thought.

Sherry
The best is a slow (actually I sometimes have to hurry it a little to get a full exhalation if I am out of breath) relaxed trickle, and if I am forcing too hard, when I am distracted or tired, it makes things worse.

Today was a setback, more like a repeat of Tuesday, with times (for the 100m x 12 descending series on 3:00 sendoffs) starting at 2:40, then climbing to 2:43, finally descending to 2:37. Just to show you there are no guarantees, and once you learn to do something subtle like this you may not be be able to do it tomorrow.

But I had a really tiring day yesterday -- 16k run with 5 400m sprints thrown in the middle, and very vigorous martial arts class last night. I was really deeply tired in the pool today, and I just couldn't get it together. Well, at least that's my excuse.
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  #58  
Old 03-20-2016
sclim sclim is offline
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Well, this has been a mixed week. Monday I did my usual 100m x12 descending TT from 1.40 seconds by 0.01 sec sets with consistent spls. Tuesday I took a day off and went skiing. Wednesday I just couldn't get it together in the pool, very distracted, and with a headache. I went home and did some speedwork on the treadmill, but poor concentration and a rather high heart rate forced abandonment. I though I was coming down with a cold; I skipped swimming Thursday, so out of guilt I did an hour of stationary bike. I had much less headache Friday, but no respiratory symptoms yet. I suddenly realised I must have had a very mild concussion - I smacked my head on the packed snow on Tuesday. I didn't think too much of it, as I had no loss of consciousness and no neurological symptoms apart rom the headache. I skipped swimming again and went for an easy 16k run, tolerated reasonably well.

I improved further on Saturday and biked for half an hour, then went for my weekly TI Swim Club session. We were put through several drills and ended with a descending set of 500 400 300 200 100 50 with TT to descend too. I arbitrarily chose TT 1.30 seconds to start and descended by 0.03 seconds each set. I wasn't able to hold onto my intent of left breathing exclusively, and my form deteriorated as usual after 75 m each set, but in retrospect it did not keep on deteriorating further. despite much congestion in the lane.

Thus I clocked under 10 minutes for the 400m, the first time that I have ever recorded this over 400m. And about 4:40 for the 200m (again a milestone) which was with TT set at 1.21 seconds, which worked out to an average SPL of 25 after subtracting the glide and turnaround blanks.

Considering that I was achieving 22-23 spl over 50m sets this could be seen as discouraging. But I had only recently come to be able to hold the 22-23 spl over 50 m a month or two ago, and had been conscious of a catastrophic dropping off of stroke form after 50 m then, so this might be seen as a very encouraging development. Possibly I have reached a "perpetual" capacity of 25 spl, and at quite a rapid turnover (for me) of 1.21 down to 1.15 seconds. SPLs were of course better over 100m w TT at 1.18 and over 50m w TT @ 1.15 sec. Something has subtly changed for the better.

I have only in the past week started to grapple with the math of subtracting stroke beeps for push-off glides and turns to arrive at effective SPLs from TT settings and total times, so this is very edifying.

I need to continue to strive for exclusive left breathing in practice, even as I fatigue.

Last edited by sclim : 03-20-2016 at 09:40 PM.
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