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  #1  
Old 06-19-2012
CoachSuzanne CoachSuzanne is offline
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Default Easy Masters-Style Swim Set (2800m) for 50m pool

Set I gave my "informal masters" swimmers tonight. I was teaching a clinic, but had an extra 50m lane available so I invited people for a guided swim, not strictly coached.

============================

50m LCM 3200m

Warmup (Choice) (500m)

Sustainable 200s. Choose a TT setting for a sustainable 1600m.
Swim 8 x 200m with 30 seconds rest to start and descend rest if times for each 200 remain the same. Get an SPL average for the final 200. (1600m)

Starting at the TT setting from the set above, swim a tempo trainer pyramid (4 up, 6 back down) trying to lenghtne the stroke. (500m)

Set the tempo trainer aside and swim 6 x 100 at the resulting SPL while matching the pace from the initial round of 200s. (600m)

==============================

Not too complicated, and easy to remember. Please post your results!
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Suzanne Atkinson, MD
Coach of 4 time USA Triathlon Triathlete of the Year, Kirsten Sass
Steel City Endurance, LTD
Fresh Freestyle


Last edited by CoachSuzanne : 06-19-2012 at 06:06 AM.
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  #2  
Old 06-24-2012
terry terry is offline
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I'll do this practice Monday morning - when I begin swimming in an unused lane with the local age group team several mornings a week.
Great example of Practice Design Principles.
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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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  #3  
Old 06-24-2012
CoachSuzanne CoachSuzanne is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by terry View Post
I'll do this practice Monday morning - when I begin swimming in an unused lane with the local age group team several mornings a week.
Great example of Practice Design Principles.

Thanks Terry. I've used a variation of this first on my athlete (David) we've been talking about...it was an outstanding practice for him and eye opening.

Then I did DAvid's practice for me...one of hte best swims I've had in a long, long time. I felt like a superstar.

Fun how one practice evolves into the next and as a collection, they create a nifty "system" for improvement.

But they need to be considered organically with modifications made if needed as you go. That's how I devised Davids set which alternated 100m of catch focused drills with 200s swim focusing on a variety of (simply) ways to descend, and how I took david's set & made it my set.

WE descended David's 200 sets by first
#1 Sustainable race effort (1500m triathlon effort)while I estimated tempos with a tempo trainer
#2 He swam the first 50m and final 50m with the tempo trainer at the slower end of his range from first 2 sets (1.05- 1.10) while I counted his stroke count range
#3 Streamlining focus of reaching 2cm further on each stroke (2cm x 48 strokes should theoretically take off 1 stroke in a 50m pool
#4 Focus on stretch plus the tempo trainer at 1.0 (testing if faster rates that he felt comfortable with lead to faster times)


As a result david expereinced and felt a variety of ways to alter pace, noting that some of them (#4) were not in fact faster than others.

The catching focused 100m drills in between were done with a pull bouy (i know, I know...but it works for david) and really engaged his upper back and rotator cuff muscles showing him that he really does have room for technical improvement and not just building muscle mass, which has been his MO).


Anyway Terry, let us know how it goes!
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Suzanne Atkinson, MD
Coach of 4 time USA Triathlon Triathlete of the Year, Kirsten Sass
Steel City Endurance, LTD
Fresh Freestyle

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  #4  
Old 06-30-2012
terry terry is offline
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Default First Long Course Practice of Summer 2012

I had hoped to do Suzanne's practice last Monday but there was lightning that morning and the kids' practice was cancelled (I swim in an empty lane alongside the age group team. Since then I'd been involved with supporting the 8 Bridges event. This morning I finally got to it. It was a thoroughly encouraging practice for me in every way.

Warmup
I swam 400m without the Tempo Trainer. My sole focus was to find my mojo and establish initial count - I easily maintained 36SPL with great mojo.

Set #1
I swam the 8 x 200 on 4:00 advancing tempo .01 on each, and timing them. I counted strokes for first few then decided I'd be better off just giving full attention to synchronizing and stroke sensations.
I descended very steadily (-1 sec on every 200). Tempo went from 1.10 to 1.03 and times from 3:18 to 3:11

Set #2
10 x 50 Asymmetric Tempo Pyramid
I slowed tempo by .04 1-4 then speeding it by .02 5-10.
Tempo went 1.03-1.07-1.11-1.15-1.13-1.11.1.09-1.07-1.05-1.03
SPL was 40 on #1 (1.03), 38 on #4 (1.15), 39 on #10 (1.03)

Set #3
6 x 100 on 2:00 without TT.
My goal was to hold or improve SPL while descending.
#1 was 82 strokes @ 1:37. #6 was 79 strokes @ 1:34.

The most valuable outcome of doing this practice was that I came up with a standard protocol to transfer the neural efficiency program from beep-driven to feel-driven. I.E. To imprint a high efficiency stroke pattern with the aid of the TT, then be able to replicate it without the TT--which is essential for racing success.

The protocol is to repeat the pattern I followed above in sets 1-2-3 on a regular basis.
First do a set in which your metrics are Tempo + Time
Follow it with a set in which your metrics are SPL + Tempo
Finish with a set in which your metrics are Time + SPL.

PS: Despite having my training volume and intensity strictly limited from Jan through May--first by torn meniscus which made pushoffs -- and therefore pool swimming -- out of the question from Jan to March, and after that by a rheumatoid arthritis flareup my first two 'measured' practices of Summer 2013 -- one in Lake Minnewaska, then this one in the 50m Ulster Count Pool are WAY ahead of last summer.

I credit that to the intense focus on increasing the artfulness of my stroke -- in particular better streamlining my 2BK.
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Terry Laughlin
Head Coach & Chief Executive Optimist

May your laps be as happy as mine.

My TI Story

Last edited by terry : 07-01-2012 at 01:24 AM.
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  #5  
Old 06-30-2012
CoachSuzanne CoachSuzanne is offline
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Terry, wonderful that you had such a great outcome with this set! The progression came to me while I had given "Set #1" to the lone "informal masters" swimmer that came that night. After reporting the results of each set to me, I gave her the next set and the pieces simply fit together very nicely.

I'm so happy that you have extracted the essence of this set!
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Suzanne Atkinson, MD
Coach of 4 time USA Triathlon Triathlete of the Year, Kirsten Sass
Steel City Endurance, LTD
Fresh Freestyle

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  #6  
Old 06-30-2012
grandall grandall is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CoachSuzanne View Post
Set I gave my "informal masters" swimmers tonight. I was teaching a clinic, but had an extra 50m lane available so I invited people for a guided swim, not strictly coached.

============================

50m LCM 3200m

Warmup (Choice) (500m)

Sustainable 200s. Choose a TT setting for a sustainable 1600m.
Swim 8 x 200m with 30 seconds rest to start and descend rest if times for each 200 remain the same. Get an SPL average for the final 200. (1600m)

Starting at the TT setting from the set above, swim a tempo trainer pyramid (4 up, 6 back down) trying to lenghtne the stroke. (500m)

Set the tempo trainer aside and swim 6 x 100 at the resulting SPL while matching the pace from the initial round of 200s. (600m)

==============================

Not too complicated, and easy to remember. Please post your results!
I tried this practice at the pool this week in preperation for my 1.2 mile Buzzards Bay swim next saturday. I found it very helpful in preparing me to swim without a TT and still maintain a consistant SPL. I will post my practice results soon. Thanks for sharing this practice set
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What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
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  #7  
Old 06-30-2012
CoachSuzanne CoachSuzanne is offline
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George, just for that I will send you a donation! :) Best of luck next weekend!!!
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Suzanne Atkinson, MD
Coach of 4 time USA Triathlon Triathlete of the Year, Kirsten Sass
Steel City Endurance, LTD
Fresh Freestyle

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  #8  
Old 06-30-2012
grandall grandall is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CoachSuzanne View Post
George, just for that I will send you a donation! :) Best of luck next weekend!!!
Thanks Suzanne..Appreciate it!
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George
What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
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  #9  
Old 06-30-2012
CoachDeb CoachDeb is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2012
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Default Streamlining 2 beat kick

Hi all!
Had the good fortune to meet and swim with Ann Svenson this week and she noted that I was swimming with my ankles bent/stuck! I was stunned. I guess that I was flicking so determinedly that I was not relaxing into and nice long leg to toes. I was getting into details part way and neglecting the "whole." Her thought was relaxed ankles like relaxed hands. So yet another focal point for me. Also, just letting the flick come from that hip high kick generator instead of a hard worked ankle maneuver. Oh, how I continue to find misunderstandings in my mind and body! I'm planning a one mile swim at Point Lookout at the end of June, so I have time to work with this.
Any other ideas? I know the kick isn't central to initial TI work, but it certainly is important if it is breaking line or causing stiffness. Thanks for thoughts!
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  #10  
Old 07-01-2012
terry terry is offline
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The main efficiency improvement I made during my 5 months of 'constrained' training was a more streamlined and economical 2BK. I studied Shinji's toe-flick and strived to make mine the same. I tirelessly tried to make it smaller and lighter and to keep my feet streamlined behind my lower leg.

I also worked to feel the kick initiated by the interaction of the surface area of my upper torso meeting the resistance of the water on my weight shift. I.E. As I enter my right hand in the Mail Slot my upper chest and lats on the right side were meeting resistance from the water. I strove to feel that--rather than leg muscle--initiating the left leg toe-flick.

I definitely feel as if my kick is far more efficient than it ever was -- more bang for the buck so to speak -- and know this is the reason why my early summer practice performances have compared favorably with any swimming I did last summer, when my fitness level from winter and spring training was far greater.

Looking further back, I've kept logs of much of my summer LC practice dating back to 2004. I's remarkable how consistent my SPL/Tempo metrics have remained. I believe most of the credit goes to the fact that when swimming with the TT I'm more explicitly focused on finding the easiest way to complete any task/set, so the gradual loss of physical capacity that accompanies aging--and which is supposed to accelerate in our 50s and 60s--seem to have less effect on me.

Yet at the same time, simply controlling effort isn't good enough. Those metrics, and the ubiquitous beep of the TT, provide an always-present standard I have to satisfy every single length. If I let down my focus for an instant I know I'll add a stroke or two to the length I'm swimming and that means lost time. If I have to work too hard to reach the far wall in the target number of strokes, it will only get harder on subsequent laps.

The other aspect is that I quite clearly make these periodic, quite substantial, leaps in efficiency, such as I cited above. I feel this has come from two things. The first is that I respond to physical limitations by striving all the harder to find greater efficiencies. The other is that it's a natural outcome of Loving the Plateau, as George Leonard wrote in the book 'Mastery." I have absolute conviction that, when you practice with unblinking attention to finding and fixing weak points, even when you don't sense improvement happening, it IS happening at the neural level. And periodically that neural improvement consolidates into a thrilling leap forward. I seem to be in a 'leap period' right now--despite the limits on my training dating to January.

PS: I did the math on the set of 200s I did. My time of 3:18 on the 1st 200, divided by my 1.1 tempo (subtracting 4 beeps per wall for turns) equates to 165 strokes (41SPL). My time of 3:11 on the 8th 200, divided by 1.03 tempo equates to only 169 strokes, or 42SPL.
I daresay there are few swimmers who could convert tempo into speed as efficiently -- which means limiting the addition of strokes as tempo increases.

If you do the set, do the math too, to learn how many strokes you add as tempo increases by .08 in a set of 200s.
__________________
Terry Laughlin
Head Coach & Chief Executive Optimist

May your laps be as happy as mine.

My TI Story

Last edited by terry : 07-01-2012 at 10:44 PM.
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