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  #1  
Old 12-21-2010
terry terry is offline
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Default My All-Disciplines Practice

12/21/10 2800 @ SUNY-NP

Warmup: 4 x 50 + 2 x 100 + 1 x 200 FR. Rest 15 sec. Hold 13-14SPL
Goal: Make each 200 faster (total the 50 and 100 times) with no effort increase . 4x50 = 2:59 2x100 = 2:54 200 = 2:52

Main Set: 4 rounds of [50 FL, 50 BK, 50 BR, 50 FR].
Goal: Hold SPL constant (8-9FL, 15-16BK, 8-9BR, 14-16FR) and maintain or improve pace in later rounds. Swim 50 EZ after each 50 Pace. Be conscious of 200 goal pace in all strokes and IM.

EZ-Fly Set: Swim 12 x 25 on :40. Hold @ 7SPL. Average 22 sec. Very relaxed and sustainable.

Notes: This practice was geared to my all-around goal of breaking an Adirondack Masters 60-64 record in each discipline (all strokes plus IM). After a warmup focused on economic/progressive pacing for middle-distance Free, during the main set my benchmarks were the current ADMS records for 200s of each stroke and IM. These are:
200 FL 2:59.1; 200 BK 2:45.4; 200 BR 3:07.7; 200 FR 2:18.7; 200 IM 3:01.5

I added the 4 x 50 I swam in each stroke for a ‘broken 200’ time and the 4 x 50 in the final round for 200 IM
My 'broken' 200 times:
200 FL 3:06
200 BK 2:58
200 BR 3:08
200 FR 2:22
200 IM 2:50
I have 4 months to bring my times down to record-breaking range.

The 12 x 25 Fly were to imprint ease for 200 Fly. Pace for the 25s was under 200-goal pace, SPL was -2 to anticipated race SPL, and effort was minimal.
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  #2  
Old 12-22-2010
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Terry

Beautiful practice example. I think I'll hold on to this one for quite a while, thanks.

My goals are similar in that I look to improve my overall swimming capacity in all four disciplines. A lofty goal is to race in them all, a more 'immediate' goal as a primer for my free focus for the up and coming OW season.

I hope to keep a more strict log of my progress and think I'll use this Forum as a catalyst for that. I hope I won't bore too many.
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  #3  
Old 12-22-2010
terry terry is offline
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The "Benchmark" and "All Disciplines" practices I've posted both illustrate a principle I believe in strongly - which takes a diametrically different approach than what most swimmers do. The traditional way to train is to just make training progressively harder -- hoping that the training hardens you - for the hard work of racing, or swimming faster.

Instead of trying to harden myself, I focus on finding creative ways to make the pace I wish to swim easier, with the idea that I'll be pulled toward that pace, rather than have to push toward it.

One way I do it is as follows:
1) Establish the pace I wish to swim. Shorten repeat distance or lengthen rest interval as needed to allow myself to establish that pace.
2) In the beginning it may take considerable effort to achieve that pace. By repeating it at regular intervals, I've learned that my body adapts progressively, in various subtle ways, to it. As my body adapts,I can either shorten rest interval and/or increase repeat distance to shift my practice-swimming toward more closely resembling the race-swimming for which I'm preparing.

To this basic principle I've added a couple of my own wrinkles. One, which I first employed while coaching the sprinters at West Point from 1996-99, was to reinforce efficiency by practicing at a slightly higher level of efficiency than I expect to race at. In other words, if I expect to race the 1000 or 1650 free mainly at 16SPL, then I aim to do my practice swims mainly at 14-15. That 'super-adapts' my nervous system, muscles and aerobic system to the pace, which should make it easier to maintain in the race I'm targeting.
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  #4  
Old 01-21-2011
terry terry is offline
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Default Revisiting my All-Disciplines Practice

Some comments on my 2nd go at this practice:
1. I intended to revisit it within 10 days to 2 weeks. Instead a month elapsed. I'll be sure to do this again in 10 days or less.
2. My hope is to see measurable improvement each time I do a 'Benchmark' practice. I made improvements in some measures - set #1 and the 'broken 200 Fly. My broken 200 BK and 200 IM were both a bit slower. Everything else matched my performance a month ago.
3. However this time I have a nasty cold. I also increased the difficulty of the practice (i) 5 rounds of 4 x 50, rather than 4, and (ii) 25 easy between fast-paced 50s, rather than 50 easy.
4. Overall I feel this indicates progress.

Thurs January 20 2900 yds @ SUNY-NP

Set #1 Swim Free [4 x 50] + [2 x 100] + [1 x 200] + [2 x 100] + [4 x 50]
Hold 13-14SPL. Interval = 50 sec/50yd. Make each 200 faster (50s and 100s are ‘broken’ 200s) with no effort increase. My times: 2:55, 2:53, 2:51, 2:49, 2:42
This is a warmup that requires ‘arduous’ execution at a low level of exertion.

Set #2: 5 rounds of [50 FL + 50 BK + 50 BR + 50 FR] with easy 25 between fast-paced 50s Hold SPL constant (8-9FL, 15-16BK, 8-9BR, 14-16FR) and maintain or improve pace in later rounds. Be conscious of 200 goal pace in all strokes and IM.
My ‘broken’ 200 times (adding four fastest 50s for each) were:
200 Fly 3:02
200 Back 3:01
200 Breast 3:08
200 Free: 2:22
200 IM: 2:51

Set #3: Swim 16 x 25. Odd Fast Back, Even EZ Free. Hold 16-17 SPL for fast-paced back. Average: 21 sec. This was a maximal effort.
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Old 01-28-2011
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Revisiting my All-Disciplines Practice -Terry


I plan on incorporating a similar practice tomorrow, what do you think?

Set #1
Freestyle
2 x 200 + 2 x 150 + 2 x 100 + 2 x 50
(maintain spl for each 2x beginning w/13-14, 14, 14-15, 15)

Set #2
3 rounds of 4 x 50 as 2 x 25FL/25BK + 2 x 25BR/25FR

Set #3
4 x 50 as 50FL + 50BK + 50BR + 50FR
Then
2 x 100 IM

Depending on my alloted time I would like to finish with
4 x 50FR descending swim golf
2 x 100FR
8 x 25 speed play (not sure if I'll do all free or cycle through 2x 100IM. If all free I'll gradually increase spl beginning with 13 >16>13)
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  #6  
Old 01-28-2011
terry terry is offline
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Alan
With each practice you post, you demonstrate the instinct you have acquired for designing practices with purposeful variation.

We are all familiar with examples of pointless variation. This mostly arises in response to the unfortunate fact that so much mainstream swim training is characterized by repeat sets that are tedious. The most famous example is 100 x 100. There's also 10 x 1000. Such sets virtually require you to turn off your brain and just get through them.

They not only lead to mental disassociation, they also minimize adaptation. Adaptation -- which is the whole point of training -- happens when the brain is made to solve new problems or learn new tasks frequently.

To relieve the well-recognized tedium (I've pointed out several times that after "How do I swim faster" the next most common complaint or plea on triathlon sites is "Swimming is boring.") coaches and swimmers often inject pointless variety. A common example is reverse IMs. While this does present the brain with a new task, this asks you to do something you'll never encounter in a race!

In this practice I like that you warmup with freestyle, then switch gears to IM practice for your main sets, contemplating that you might revisit free at the end.

And your IM practice includes both single-stroke and stroke-switching sets.

Single-stroke sets give you greater opportunity to examine and refine each stroke, leading to sustainability. They promote a critical skill of good IM swimmers: They build speed throughout a segment. E.G. The best 400 IMers negative-split the 100 Back, Breast and Free.

Stroke-switching sets improve your ability to seamlessly transition from one stroke to the next. Another common feature of elite IMers has been that while they may not be the best, say, at swimming breaststroke, they are exceptionally good at swimming breast immediately after back.

Thus it's important to practice both kinds of sets. Even if you don't plan to race an IM, pursuing Mastery of All-Disciplines Swimming should include the ability to combine and sequence strokes masterfully.
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Last edited by terry : 01-28-2011 at 12:13 PM.
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  #7  
Old 01-29-2011
terry terry is offline
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Default I did Alan's All-Disciplines Practice

with small revisions. Here's my practice log from today

Friday January 28 2600 @ SUNY
Set #1 20 x 50 FR Inverse Tempo Pyramid
#1 @ 1.00, #2 @ 1.10 . . . #10 @ 1.90, then reverse to #20 @ .90. Count strokes on each. Subtract strokes as tempo slows; avoid adding strokes as tempo increases again. Goal: Return to starting tempo with lower stroke count (greater efficiency) Stroke totals were:
32 @ 1.00, 21 @ 1.90, 28 @ 1.00 (4 sec faster than #1), and 32 @ .90

Set #2 4 rounds of [4 x 50 IM order + 4 x 25 IM order + 100 EZ BK]. Add up 50 times for a ‘broken’ 200 IM time.
Rds 1&3: 50FL+50BK+50 BR+50 FR #1 3:02; #3 2:54
Rds 2&4:[ 2 x 25FL+25BK] [2 x 25BR+25FR] #2 2:59; #4 2:54


Set #3 10 x 25 BK Inverse Tempo Pyramid 1,4 to 1.8 to 1.3
I was more efficient at the end, but found .1 increments too large, because tempo range much narrower in BK. Still need to experiment more to better gauge tempo differences between BK and FR
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Old 01-30-2011
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... and here is my go with my revisions.
(Friday's practice was interrupted by events at work so had to wait until yesterday, Saturday.)
Saturday Jan. 29 @ the Y 2300

Set #1
freestyle (spl pyramid)
2 x 200/ 2 x 150/ 2 x 100/ 2 x 50 as 13spl/ 14spl/ 14-15spl/ 13-14spl
(3:22- 3:15) / (2:15- 2:13) / (1:29- 1:25) / (:41- :40)

Set #2
Heeding Terry's suggestion "Single-stroke sets give you greater opportunity to examine and refine each stroke" I decided to begin with how I originally thought I'd end the practice, with focus on single stroke in order then applied that to stroke switch.

4 @ 8 x 25 then 4 x 50 inserted stroke switch

1. 8x25 Butterfly (:25 -:23)
2. 8x25 Backstroke ( :27 -:28)
4 x 50 BF/ BK maintained a consistent :52 (3:28 for 200)
3. 8x25 Breaststroke ( :28 -:29)
4. 8x25 Freestyle ( :22 -:21)
4 x 50 BR/ FR maintained a consistent :48 (3:12 for 200)

Set #3
2 x 100 IM (1:45)
(only had time for 1 x 100)

Applying the single stroke focus first proved to be a huge benefit and led to my 'best' IM practice to date. That is, not the best times or perfect technique but in my grasp for each stroke and an overall feeling of ease, especially in butterfly, than I'd had before. The pool became even more crowded than it started and had a difficult time when doing the backstroke segment, otherwise it was a pretty flowing practice from one segment to the next. I gave myself no set interval and this proved beneficial for me at this point in this type of practice; also being so crowded made it difficult to not work out timing with the other swimmers, this patience payed off.
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  #9  
Old 01-31-2011
terry terry is offline
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I had a really interesting All Disciplines practice today. I started with a series of 50s BK with Tempo Trainer. Very interesting
Set #1 30 x 50 BK with Tempo Trainer and Counting Strokes.
4 rounds of 4 x 50 BK counting strokes. I rd each @ 1.30, 1.35, 1.40, 1.45
At 1.30 I improved from 32 to 31 strokes. At 1.35, 30 strokes. At 1.40, 29 strokes. At 1.45, 28 strokes. Then I did 1 to 2 x 50 at each tempo back down to 1.30. Finally, 2 x 50 each at 1.28, 1.26, 1.24, 1.22 and 1.20. I completed the 50s at 1.20 in 31 strokes, a nice improvement from the start of the set.

Set #2
3 rounds of [50 FL- 50 BL- 100 FL-BK - 50 BR - 50 FR - 100 BR-FR]
I did this set as an experiment in how well my pacing ability in FR would translate to an all-stroke set.
After many years of practice I have great mastery of pacing in FR. I can do 4 x 50 + 2 x 100 + 1 x 200 FR and, with no difficulty, increase my pace on the 100s over the 50s, then increase again on the 200.
I've never tried this in an IM set and was curious how I would do. I didn't think I was ready to swim this set and improve pace from 50s to 100s to 200.
4 x 50 (FL - BK - BR - BR)
2 x 100 [FL-BK] and {BR-FR}
200 IM

So I decided my first try would just be 2 x 50 + 1 x 100, trying to swim the 100 as fast as the added-up pace of the 50s.

I didn't succeed but had an encouraging experience nonetheless.
On the 1st rd, both my 100 FL-BK and my 100 BR-FR were a second slower than the added-up pace of the 2 x 50s.
On the 2nd round I swam the 50s easier. No luck. I swam the 50s faster and was still a bit behind on the 100s.
3rd round, same result. Again I tried to swim the 50s easier. Again they were slightly faster. Again the 100 could not keep pace.

So I failed in what I set out to do, but succeeded in improving my pace in FL, BK and BR, even while reducing effort. Nothing to complain about there. I'll definitely revisit this set. I won't be satisfied until I can at least match pace from 4 x 50 to 2 x 100 to 1 x 200 in IM order.

Set #3 I finished with a FR set with TT.
4 x 50 @ 1.90 (improved from 21 to 19 strokes)
4 x 50 @ 1.80 (20 strokes)
2 x 50 @ 1.70 (20 strokes)
2 x 50 @ 1.60 (21 strokes)
I would like to have continued down to .90 but ran out of time.
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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 : 01-31-2011 at 01:56 AM.
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  #10  
Old 02-18-2011
terry terry is offline
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Default All Disciplines Again

I think this is my 4th time doing a quality practice in all strokes. Here's the latest:
Friday Feb 18 at SUNY
Set #1
10 x 100 IM on 2:00 - Swim each 100 slightly faster while keeping Stroke Count consistent.
I've used this as a warmup several times previously. Each time I've held stroke count at 8 (FL) 16 (BK) 8 (BR) 14 (FR)
Today I descended very steadily by 1 second each 100 from 1:49 to 1:40 on #10.
The ability to descend in such a controlled manner, as well as to swim 10 seconds faster without adding strokes are both worth pursuing through practice.

Set #2 4 rounds of [4 x 50 IM order with EZ 25 between faster-paced 50s]
My goal was to swim a faster cumulative 200 IM in each round, and hold SPL consistent (FL 8+8, BK 15+16, BR 8+8, FR 14+15) as in the warmup.
Times in 4th round were 44-45-48-38 for 'Broken' 200 IM time of 2:53.

Set #3 3 rounds of [4 x 25 IM order on :30] Rest 1:00 between rounds.
I was consistent on these with times of :21 for FL, :22 for BK, :22 for BR, :17 for FR. SPLs were 8-17-8-16.
A short rest set (only 8 to 9 seconds rest between 25s) more closely simulates the experience of racing.
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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 : 02-18-2011 at 11:13 PM.
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