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  #11  
Old 12-07-2011
terry terry is offline
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Default Freestyle and Different Strokes Mixed

Tues Dec 6 at SUNY
I wasn't sure where to post this, since it wasn't strictly a 1500/1650/Mile practice. It did have some 1650 elements in it though.
Set # 1
Swim 18 x 100 Odd - Free, Even - Mixed Strokes(25FL50BK25BR)
My goal was to descend the 100 Free and separately descend the 100 Mixed Strokes, while maintaining SPL for each (FR@14SPL, FL@8, BK@15-16, BR@8)
I succeeded at that - descending the 9 x 100s FR from 1:36-1:23 interspersed with descending the 100s Mixed Stroke from 1:56-1:43.

Set #2 Swim 5 x 100 FR @ 15 SPL. Hold fastest average time.
I swam these with a recovery 25 between fast 100s. Sendoff time was 2:00, giving me about 10 seconds rest after each 125. I did hold 15SPL and averaged 1:19 per 100, for pace of 6:35 for 500. A good set to build on in coming weeks.

Set #3 Swim 4 x 75 FL-BK-BR. Hold SPL and try to descend
I swam a recovery 25 between fast 75s. My times were 1:15-1:14-1:13-1:13. Also a good set to build on in coming weeks.

Notes: Set #1 was an exercise in effortless pacing and descending. This is a skill that's always valuable.

Sets 2 and 3 were designed to improve my speed, to prepare for racing. On these I swim as fast as possible, but am very disciplined about not sacrificing efficiency - i.e. I set a strict SPL limit and do everything possible to avoid exceeding it. It takes great focus on the final lap of each 100 and on the later repeats in the set, since some fatigue does set in.
Set #2 was a simulator for the 500 Free, swum just below the SPL I'll use when racing.
Set #3 was a simulator for 200-400 IM, also swum at SPLs just below what I expect to use when racing.
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Last edited by terry : 12-09-2011 at 12:46 AM.
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  #12  
Old 12-07-2011
AWP AWP is offline
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Here's my go on this Coach, although my mind was on 'recovery' mode/rhythm, so skipped any "fast" stuff.
I had a time with the mixed stokes so noted some balance work and incremental focus is in order. Still fun!

Made it a quickie for lack of time...
Set #1
10x100 odd lengths Free/ even lengths mixed 25 Fl/ 50Bk/ 25Brst
I was able to descend adding one then two strokes on the 4th and 5th repeats.
1:35/ 1:32/ 1:28/ 1:25/ 1:23
My times for mixed 'descended', however, on the 3rd and 4th repeats only and missed the first 'cause I neglected to start the watch, doh!
X/ 1:57/ 1:55/ 1:54/ 1:56* (*botched turn)

Set #2
5x100 hold spl and descend
I aborted this set after the second repeat after failing to descend and "not feeling it"
1:24/ 1:24 (glimpsed 1:23, blah)

Set #3
3x75 Fl/ Bk/ Brst hold spl and try to descend
1:32/ 1:25/ 1:22
I actually bettered my spl so a plus

I finished with
2x50 Bk/ Fr
2x50 Fr
focused on staying tall and keeping a fluid rhythm, descend spl.
Interesting set and looking forward to using it moving forward, thanks.
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  #13  
Old 12-08-2011
terry terry is offline
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I did a variation on the Freestyle and Different Strokes practice from Tuesday. I repeated the Broken 500 of 100 Fast + 25 Recovery, but today I focused on Medley swimming. Then I did a set of 4 x 75 Fast + 25 Recovery in Free.

See today's practice.
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Last edited by terry : 12-09-2011 at 12:43 AM.
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  #14  
Old 12-08-2011
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Good one! Remarkably what I had in mind for the next go, will report thanks!

Alan
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  #15  
Old 12-09-2011
terry terry is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AWP View Post
10x100 odd lengths Free/ even lengths mixed 25 Fl/ 50Bk/ 25Brst
Remarkable how our minds run on similar tracks. I swam the exact same 100s for my main set today - 25FL50BK25BR.
Next week I'll probably do a similar set as 25FL25BK50BR.

I think this kind of 100 Medley is more valuable practice experience than a 'normal' 100 IM (25FL25BK25BR25FR) because it intensifies focus on the BK and BR, which I believe are the two critical strokes in IM racing.

I also am impressed that you made an 'executive decision' to abort Set #2 when you realized after 2 reps you weren't likely to 'improve the circuit.' Better to put your energy into something where you can leave a positive imprint.
When I coached the West Point sprinters. I would come to practice with something ambitious planned. But they sometimes looked 'blah' on the first set. Often I would stop the set and refocus them. If they still couldn't meet the standard I had in mind, I would substitute a set they could do well.
Shorter or fewer repeats or a longer rest interval.
Or perhaps a set that put more emphasis on technical excellence than speed.

Whatever they did, I wanted them to do it to the best of their ability.

You clearly get that in your own training.

What a brilliant day it will be for swimmers on LI when you begin coaching!
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  #16  
Old 12-09-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by terry View Post
Next week I'll probably do a similar set as 25FL25BK50BR.
I think this kind of 100 Medley is more valuable practice experience than a 'normal' 100 IM (25FL25BK25BR25FR) because it intensifies focus


Exactly!I have practices logged with these sort of sets incorporated. I'll have to dig them up again. Always good to know I'm on to something useful. Btw, I stole that template from your practice of Tue. 6th, thanks ; )

And the coaching? 2012 may be my year, I'll be touching base on what I should be thinking of, how to proceed once things are in order.
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  #17  
Old 12-12-2011
terry terry is offline
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Default The Gift of a Slower 1000--and how I'll use my gift

Today's blog post was on the liberating experience of swimming my slowest-ever 1000 Free (13:42) on Saturday at Ithaca College and why it freed me to finally--really--view race results as simply 'data points.'

Today I will begin using the data I gathered from Saturday's race to plan the specific improvements I'll seek to 'wire in' through practice. As is my habit, I counted strokes on every length throughout the swim (not so hard after years of practice), and asked the meet manager for a printout of my splits.

Here's what I know about the Math of my time of 13:42.
Stroke Length: I held 16SPL for the first 10 laps (250y), about 17SPL for the next 250 and 18SPL for most of the last 500.
Pace: My splits for the four 250s were 3:27-3:29-3:26-3:20.

I can calculate Tempo fairly easily by dividing average pace per length by number of strokes (allowing 4+ seconds for the turn).

I analyze the 1000, as I do other races by breaking it into quarters.

I swam the first 3 x 250 at an average of about 21 seconds per lap, the last 250 at an average of 20 seconds.
1st 250 16 SPL @ 1.05 sec/stroke
2nd 250 17 SPL @ 1.0 sec/stroke
3rd 250 18 SPL 1.0 sec/stroke
4th 250 18 SPL @.95 sec/stroke

I will think of each of these, not just as a data point, but as a neural circult. I will try to improve the neural circuit over coming weeks, in the following ways:

In sets where I use Time and SPL as my key metrics, I'll try to swim a gradually expanding range of repeats averaging 20 seconds per length, in fewer than 16 SPL.

In sets where I use SPL and Tempo as my key metrics I'll try to swim a gradually stretch the distance for which I can maintain 16 or fewer SPL @ .95-1.05 sec/stroke .

I'm about to head for the pool. I'll let you know how my first 1000-focused set went.
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Terry Laughlin
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My TI Story

Last edited by terry : 12-12-2011 at 08:30 PM.
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  #18  
Old 12-12-2011
terry terry is offline
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Default Programming myself for a faster pace

Breaking down the 'data' from my time of 13:42 for 1000 yards shows a clear route to substantial improvement in the 1000, indeed a way to at least match my best time from last year - 12:53.
1) The current limit of my ability is a pace of 20 to 21 seconds at 16 to 18 SPL. At 16 SPL I was able to swim about 21 seconds per 25 yards, but the effort to maintain that count proved fatiguing.
2) Because I couldn't maintain 16 SPL for more than about 10 laps, it took me 50 more strokes to complete the 1000 (+10 strokes during the second 250 and +40 strokes during the last 500) compared to the total stroke count I'd have had if I maintained 16 SPL.
3) If I had maintained 16SPL the whole way, thereby saving 50 strokes, while swimming at the same tempo (average of 1.0 sec/stroke) I'd have swum nearly 50 seconds faster.

So it seems I should train myself to hold 16 SPL @ 1.0 sec/stroke.

My custom has always been to do most of my training at least 1 SPL below the count I hope to maintain while racing. In today's practice I began the effort to find out what range of repeat distances I could swim (1) at 15 or fewer SPL and (2) at the fastest pace I maintained on Saturday. That was the :20 per 25 yards I averaged on the last 250 -- albeit needing 18SPL to manage that pace.

Here are today's experimental sets (I did them all on an interval of :25 per 25 yards - i.e. :50 on 50s, 1:15 on 75s, 1:40 on 100s, etc.)
6 x 50 @13+14SPL This was my tuneup (swum below my target SPL of 15) I descended from :43 to :41.

6 x 50 @14+15SPL. By adding one stroke each length, I was able to easily swim these in 40 sec. So I was at target SPL and pace. Now I'd try to find out how far I could swim in repeats and maintain both.

4 x 75 @15SPL. I swam all 4 at exactly 60 seconds. Still on target and it didn't feeling too taxing.

4 x 100 @15SPL. I swam three of four at 1:20 and the other at 1:21. I added one stroke on that 100. This told me I was reaching my edge. I decided to push my edge just a bit farther and find out how my SPL and pace held up.

2 x 125. I swam both in 1:40 -- i.e. still at a pace of :20 per 25 yards -- but couldn't maintain 15SPL beyond 75 yds on either, taking 16SPL for the final 50 on both.

That took just over 30 minutes. I swam for another 25 minutes, doing efficiency-intensive BK and BR repeats at relatively moderate effort.

Over the next 10 days (until the pool closes for the holidays) I'll explore this range of repeat distance, SPL and pace a bit more.
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Terry Laughlin
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My TI Story

Last edited by terry : 12-12-2011 at 08:03 PM.
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  #19  
Old 12-17-2011
terry terry is offline
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Default Trying to Improve My 1000 Pace

Though this thread is nominally about the 1500, at the moment I'm more focused on improving my 1000-yard free. Once I begin swimming open water races - my first will probably be 3k on June 17 at Masters World Championships in Riccione Italy - all of my races will be a mile or longer. I may swim a 1650-yd race during the indoor season, but my practices will be focused on maximizing my speed for much shorter races -- 200s in all strokes, 400 IM and the 1000 Free.

This is a good choice for me because holding a steady consistent pace and finishing strong in long races has always been a strength of mine. My primary weakness is a lack of 'natural' speed. And I always believe it's wiser to focus on one's weaknesses and trust one's strengths. So I'll keep training as if the longest race I'll swim in the next 4-5 months is 1000 yards and if I do happen to swim a longer one, I'll rely on experience.

As I mentioned in my last post, the 1000 Free I swam at Ithaca College last Saturday revealed that my current pace/efficiency limit is 20 sec/25y at 16SPL. At the moment I can't manage that combination for 1000y. So I will try to systematically wire in the ability to maintain that combination for incrementally greater distances - until I CAN manage it for 1000y -- at which point I'll swim 13:20 or faster, a nice improvement over my time of 13:42 last week. I believe I can make that improvement in a month or less.

On Monday I swam a main set of 50s-75s-100s and 125s holding 20 sec/25y and 15-16SPL on a relatively tight interval of 25 sec/25y. Today I stretched that set a bit farther, keeping all other metrics the same. Here's today's practice
Friday Dec 16
Tuneup Set

4 x 100 BK on 2:00 Hold 14 SPL. Focus on Vessel-shaping 1st 50, firm catch 2nd 50
4 x 50 BK on 1:00 Hold 14 SPL. Stronger pace than 100s.

Main Set - 1000yd Pace/Efficiency Focus
4 x 50 on :50. 14-15SPL Pace: :41-:41-:40-:40
4 x 75 on 1:15 15SPL Pace :61-:60-:60-:60
4 x 100 on 1:40 15SPL Pace 1:20-1:20-1:20-1:20
4 x 125 on 2:05 15-16SPL Pace: 1:40-1:40-1:40-1:40
1 x 150 15-16SPL 2:01

This set illustrated one of my key strengths in distance swimmer - the ability to maintain both efficiency and pace as I swim farther. As my times show, I struggled slightly at the beginning to swim the 20 sec per 25y pace. My first two 50s and my first 75 were all slightly above target pace. But once I figured out how I needed to swim, I did 11 consecutive repeats - final three 75s and all four 100s and 125s at the pace.
On the 150 I was giving it all I had. I managed to swim the intended SPL, but was one second above pace. So I had found my limit and decided to end the set there.
I swam a recovery 25 between each set of four repeats.

For cooldown I did 4 x 50 BK drill.
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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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  #20  
Old 12-17-2011
terry terry is offline
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Default Conditions for Flow - not just pace

Three conditions identified by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi for achieving a Flow state are:

1. Set clear and concrete goals

2. Carefully balance skills with difficulty.

3. Get immediate and unambiguous feedback.

All three elements are present in the sets I've logged here.
Clear and concrete goals. To improve my current best 1000y pace by training myself to swim 1000y (40 continuous lengths of a 25y pool) at an average of 20 sec/25 y AND at 16SPL.

Balance Skills with Difficulty I increase the distance I swim incrementally, looking for the point of failure - the distance at which I cannot maintain a combination of 20 sec and 16 SPL. Each practice I try to push that point a bit closer to 1000y.

Immediate and Unambiguous Feedback I count my strokes on every length and at the end of each repeat the pace clock tells me whether I succeeded at the combination I'm aiming for.

In today's practice, the challenge I set myself was exhausting as well as exacting. It took a supreme physical effort to get to 150y repeats holding the combo. For the next couple of days, the challenge will be more exacting than exhausting, while my 60y.o. constitution recovers for the next time I set a challenge that requires intensive swimming.
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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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