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  #1  
Old 12-15-2010
terry terry is offline
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Default How Much Faster can you swim without changing Stroke Count

Lately I've been focused on improving my ability to swim at a wide range of paces and speeds at a single stroke count.
On Monday morning I swam a series of 50s at 25 strokes (12+13) and descended from 45 to 38 sec. I thought a 7-second differential was pretty good.

This morning for my first set I swam a set of 100s starting @ 56 strokes (13-14-14-15). My first 100 was 1:34. During the first 10 x 100 I actually subtracted a couple of strokes (down to 54) while also improving my time to 1:23.

On my last 100 I took 56 strokes again, and swam 1:17. I think 17 seconds improvement in a 100 without adding strokes is probable my personal record. I doubt I would have been able to swim as much as 5 seconds faster without changing stroke count 40 years ago in college. That is, if I'd even counted strokes back then.

I'm coming to view this metric as a pretty good marker for one's ability to effectively convert effort - or strokes - into speed.

Try this challenge and let us know how you do.
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My TI Story
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  #2  
Old 12-15-2010
haschu33 haschu33 is offline
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Well, one could get the idea to extend the range into the slow area, where it is rather easy to maintain the SPL. Then you get a very wide range with the same stroke count. E.g. here:

A little old - but still valid

Taking the 1:28 (SPL=21) and 0:82 (SPL=21), and assuming 3 beeps for the pushoff in the slow range and 4 beeps in the fast range, I must have covered a range from 30.72 secs to 20.50 secs with an average of 21 strokes for 25m laps.

So, about 10 seconds. But does that really tell me something? My swimming capabilities are far away from Terry's while these numbers don't really show it.

What I mean is, when you do a 'how much slower can you swim without changing stroke count' you can get quite silly results.
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  #3  
Old 12-15-2010
quad09 quad09 is offline
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Default Awesome Times For A Younger Swimmer

Super "T":

Wow!!! What awesome times, i am so impressed! God bless, keep up the Great swimming and Merry Christmas.

Awesome

Last edited by quad09 : 12-16-2010 at 02:07 PM.
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  #4  
Old 12-15-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by terry View Post
Lately I've been focused on improving my ability to swim at a wide range of paces and speeds at a single stroke count.
This morning for my first set I swam a set of 100s starting @ 56 strokes (13-14-14-15). My first 100 was 1:34. During the first 10 x 100 I actually subtracted a couple of strokes (down to 54) while also improving my time to 1:23.
Try this challenge and let us know how you do.

I practice this as well quite often. I find only one 'draw back' in that I'm then 'stuck' at that SR and crave the TT (if only I had a properly working one, listen up Santa!)
This past weekend I swam a set right out of the TL handbook and so not surprised I find myself 'paralleling' this focus and practice. Although it was with different intentions it also was with similar purpose; hold within sl.

My set: 3 @ 4x100 (100 BK-BR between rds)
1-4 ~ 1:31-1:27 spl. 13-14 (avg. 54)
(B&B)
5-8 ~ 1:23/1:24 spl. 14-15 (avg. 56)*
(B&B)
9-10 ~ 1:21-1:22 spl. 14-15 (avg. 58)*
11-12 ~ 1:24-1:25 spl. 13-14 (avg. 54)

I noted that the 1:23 and 1:21 felt the most effortless and even a tad surprised at the actual time. It was my feeling I would hold a similar pace throughout albeit easier.
When I found on round 3 that my sl was climbing I made a 'conscious effort' to focus on bringing it back down as in the first round. This, and perhaps being joined in the lane, may have slowed me a bit.


Can't wait to give it a go, probably tonight! Thanks.
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  #5  
Old 12-16-2010
terry terry is offline
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Alan
I like your idea of a Pyramid SPL set. I was planning to do a set of 5 x 3 x 100 this morning, increasing SPL slightly in each round. Naturally I would plan and expect for my average pace to improve in each round, and find that very easy to do. Instead I think I'll increase 1-3, then decrease SPL again in 4 & 5 and give myself the challenge to continue improving pace.

In both sets - the one yesterday where SPL remained constant, but pace improved continuously, and the one today where SPL will increase, then decrease, but pace improve continuously - you must do the same thing: Figure out how to generate more power AND apply it effectively.

The generating part test your ability to coordinate weight shift (hip nudge) and kick (toe-flick). The applying part tests your ability to convert that power into locomotion, not commotion. This means that the stroke moves your body forward rather than move the water around. Or grip-not-slip.

As you increase SPL, you're keeping power generation at a minimum, but cultivating water-feel in your hands and forearms for trapping and holding water. A relaxed hand is far more sensitive to that than a tense one.

After doing a Pyramid SPL set today, I'll report results here. Tomorrow I'll do the same set but with Pyramid Tempo.
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My TI Story

Last edited by terry : 12-17-2010 at 11:19 AM.
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  #6  
Old 12-16-2010
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Terry
As always great and much needed input. I think I'll give your sets a run to continue the focus, thanks.
The "figure out" part is quite the conundrum but all the fun!

Alan
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  #7  
Old 12-16-2010
CoachTodd
 
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Are your times in meters or yards? Have you used a TT in conjunction with these sets?
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  #8  
Old 12-16-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CoachTodd View Post
Are your times in meters or yards? Have you used a TT in conjunction with these sets?

CoachTodd
Not sure who your question is directed at but I'll address it on my behalf and I'm glad you asked as maybe we should be a bit more specific at times about our practice scenario.

My times are almost always expressed in yards. In the set above I swam breathing bilaterally, utilized the flip turn and a 2BK. I did not, on this occasion, use the TT. Marked my times by my Timex IM watch (4yo, so maybe giving up some much 'needed' seconds).
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  #9  
Old 12-17-2010
terry terry is offline
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Default My "SPL Pyramid" Set

My experiment with the SPL Pyramid suggested by Alan was a massive success - in fact one of the best sets I've ever swum in my life.

Caveat: It would have been very difficult to experience the kind of positive results I did on this set had I not been giving myself "problem-solving sets" over the years, and gradually increasing the difficulty of the problems they present.

Here's the set:
5 rounds of [3 x 100 YDS on 1:50].
1st round @ 52 strokes (12+13+13+14SPL)
2nd round @ 56 strokes (13+14+14+15SPL)
3rd round @ 60 strokes (14+15+15+16 SPL)
4th round @ 56 strokes
5th round @ 52 strokes.

Here's the problem:
1) Accurately calibrate strokes
2) Descend each round without increasing strokes. To do this I must increase SR while maintaining SL from 1st to 3rd 100 in each round.
3) Swim faster average time in each successive round. This is the most exacting problem. It's relatively easy to swim faster averages as I increase stroke count. Exceedingly difficult to continue doing so as I decrease stroke count in rounds 4 and 5. To do this I must apply considerably more power without losing any grip.

Unlike Alan I didn't break it up with a recovery 100 between rounds. I would encourage others to consider doing so the first time they attempt this.

Here are my results (recalling some of the intermediate times as closely as I can.)
1st round. 1:34-1:29
2nd round 1:31-1:26
3rd round 1:28-1:23
4th round 1:24-1:19
5th round 1:21-1:15

In the entire set (60 lengths of the pool) I only missed my assigned SPL on one length.
I descended each 100 in each round.
The differential between my easiest and fastest 100s @ 52 SPL (#1 and #15) was 19 seconds. This is surely my lifetime record for increasing speed without increasing SPL. (And for all I know it might be a world record?)

If you've never attempted something like this I could recommend a simpler version as a starter set
Swim 3 rounds of 3 x 100 and make the stroke count differential a bit smaller. I.E.
3 x 100 @ 60 strokes
3 x 100 @ 62 strokes
3 x 100 @ 60 strokes.

In the very near future I'll repeat this set as a "Tempo Pyramid" rather than an SPL Pyramid.
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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 : 05-11-2012 at 06:54 PM.
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  #10  
Old 12-18-2010
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Terry
Glad to hear of your success, great!
I'm eager to try that one too and the tempo pyramid as well.

This is a fantastic manner in which to really 'test' what I tirelessly practice and a good way, I think, to set up for that next level (whatever that may be).

It super-highlights the three main aspects, BSP, and our ability to manage them.

I had planned on mimicking your initial 'test' of 100 repeats, got derailed a few days and chose instead to play with part of the IM set you had layed out last week (just had to get one more IM practice in) only on the free sets used the focus of holding a spl throughout while increasing pace. Maybe I'll post that under the other thread and what I found in doing it.

Thanks again for more inspiration. Maybe I'll come up with something else for you to
try out ; )

Alan
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