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  #1  
Old 12-07-2008
CoachEricDeSanto CoachEricDeSanto is offline
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Default using tempo trainer

I did some playing around with stroke counts and tempos on Excel recently and found an interesting pattern.

First, the details. I entered my usual stroke counts (14-18) and, for each, tempos from 1.2 to 0.4 (yes, 0.4 is crazy, but I was curious) into excel. Then I asked the program to calculate my time per 100yds assuming a constant 1 second per turn and 4 seconds underwater (I am not yet that consistent, but my times seem to match what the computer came up with so I must be close. Finally, I ranked the results by time. I wanted to see if there was a pattern in how much tempo change is necessary to get the same time with 1 extra stroke/length or one less. For example, my usual cruise is 1.2 seconds at 15 s/l. I found that dropping to 14 strokes required about 1.25 tempo. Increasing to 16 strokes required about 0.95. In general, there was about 0.05 seconds required for each stroke number change.

I am not sure exactly how I will use this. My first thought is to use it to find my least effort stroke count. So, I have done a practice recently where I did:

4x50 at 1.25 and 14 strokes.
4x50 at 1.20 and 15 strokes.
4x50 at 1.15 and 16 strokes.

I found it much easier to hold to the 15s and 16s than the 14s. I think that means that, for now at least, 14 is too low a count to race at. I do still do some practicing at 14 and 13 on the idea that as my efficiency improves, my results for this test will show that 14 becomes easier.

I feel like this may be a tool to find a good gear.

I believe that, if any of you try this, you would have to enter your own data for every part. Your stroke counts and tempos would be different. Your underwater time and turn time will be different. I tried to attach my spreadsheet as a model, but I don't think it worked because it is an invalid extension.

I am curious about your thoughts.
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  #2  
Old 12-08-2008
Adam Adam is offline
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My approach is a bit different. I try to maintain the same stroke count for whatever SR I use. When I find a SR that gets me winded, I stick with it and usually that makes me understand a few things I'm doing wrong.

For example, this is how I learned to keep the muscles along my long axis relaxed (I assume this is more of a feeling than what's really happening physically). The speed gains have been very slow, though.
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  #3  
Old 12-08-2008
CoachShinji CoachShinji is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CoachEricD View Post
I tried to attach my spreadsheet as a model, but I don't think it worked because it is an invalid extension.
Thanks for your useful information, Eric.
I think you can attach the file if you compress it to a zip file with "send to" command in Windows Explorer's context menu.
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  #4  
Old 12-08-2008
shuumai shuumai is offline
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Default Attaching a File

Quote:
Originally Posted by CoachEricD View Post
I tried to attach my spreadsheet as a model, but I don't think it worked because it is an invalid extension.
Here are a couple work-arounds if you can't attach a spreadsheet or Zip'ed file. Assuming you are running MS Windows...

1. Press Alt-PrintScreen to take a screenshot of the window containing the spreadsheet, then paste the screenshot into something that can save it as an image file; The GIMP or MS Paint for example. (Vista has the "Snipping Tool" which is nice.)

2. Save or "print" the spreadsheet to PDF, assuming a PDF can be attached. You can "print" to PDF using something like CutePDF in place of a real printer, or just export to PDF if you are using OpenOffice.

3. Save the spreadsheet as HTML or some other browseable file type.

Last edited by shuumai : 12-08-2008 at 03:24 PM. Reason: missed a word
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  #5  
Old 12-08-2008
AWP AWP is offline
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OK, Shu(u)
You'll have to translate I don't read Japanese : ))))
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  #6  
Old 12-08-2008
shuumai shuumai is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AWP View Post
OK, Shu(u)
You'll have to translate I don't read Japanese : ))))
Huh? Translate what?
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  #7  
Old 12-08-2008
shuumai shuumai is offline
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(This thread has gone way off the original topic and I helped. Sorry.)

Oh, this should help: "Valid file extensions: bmp doc gif jpe jpeg jpg pdf png psd txt zip"

Last edited by shuumai : 12-08-2008 at 05:48 PM. Reason: apology
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  #8  
Old 12-08-2008
AWP AWP is offline
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Coach Eric

I had a similar "playing around" experience but did my 'calculations' in the pool only.
I was curious also to see how long it would take before any increase in speed, keeping my effort the same as I swam, and comparing it to how soon before stroke count changed.
I had a similar timing before change. I don't off hand have those #s but I'm sure I posted about it not quite sure if it was on the old site though.
I too was interested in finding a sustainable level and once found how I could affect that by doing nothing other than changing stroke lengths. (Secretly hoping to run into "Voodoo" speed)

I'd started my 'search' at a setting of 1.20 and increased by .02 until .80, then took it back to 1.20 but shortened the increase to 1.0 then back to 1.20 and shortened yet again to 1.10 and then 1.14. Finally staying with 1.20 to check any effects. I do recall this being a well dialed in tempo for 13 spl, making for 'easier' speed as sl increased. The key is making it sustainable through the 'other' variables ie. balance, streamline, hold on water.
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  #9  
Old 06-09-2009
CoachEricDeSanto CoachEricDeSanto is offline
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Default Another purpose for the TT

Today I had a great set with the Tempo trainer I thought I'd share.

First, the background. As I have posted before, I have been playing around with changes to my timing based on some advice from Coach Dave. My two options:
1. I found great ease with what I guess would be the EVF technique. I would set the anchor as my arm other arm is recovering, then switch during the spear. I found I had to focus a lot on maintaining balance, but when I did it felt great. I also focused on moving my arms as slowly as possible within a given tempo to lessen the pressure on the shoulders. It worked, but it was a bit inconsistent.

2. Coach Dave suggested a much more patient lead hand and very exaggerated Front Quadrant timing. It his stroke, based on Grant Hackett's distance stroke, (Dave, please correct me if I am saying this wrong) you only set the catch as the spear and switch are happening. So when you finish the switch, the anchored arm is still at head level and you press back from there. He also mentioned the much understated value of the momentum of the recovering arm being thrown forward. Because you spend much more time in skate, balance and efficiency are much easier. But because the anchor has not finished by the end of the switch, I lost the power of the body roll. At first, I had shoulder popping from this motion. Dave suggested I was still too rotated. Today, I started feeling more competent and less shoulder strain with this technique so I tested as follows:

4x50 hold stroke count at 13 using Dave's stroke and measure heart rate for 10 seconds
4x50 same with my old stroke.

I was testing a new technique so I started very slowly (1.6 per arm on the TT) Each round I increased by 0.1 which is a fast increase, but possible since I started so slowly and have been working on this for a while.
I did 5 rounds. As I increased tempo to 1.4 I increased to 14 strokes. At 1.2 I went to 15.

I liked this set because it gave me a HR comparison for the two techniques with time, rest, tempo held constant. It took me a few rounds to really start to feel good with Dave's stroke but at every level it was even or 1-2 beats/10 sec easier.

Just for the record, before this set I did a bunch of drill work with the snorkel to flatten out my rotation a bit more and learn to switch without pulling. I did 400 or so swim with my stroke free and back with fist gloves so my stroke was primed as well. After the set I did a bunch of Breast stroke work. I like doing:
4x25 3kicks/1 pull working on kicking straight back and so no undulation comes from my kick. (I want all hip motion to come from my chest falling in, not my kick. And I want to find a perfectly strait body line while kicking.)
4x25 3pulls/1 kick working on smoothly getting over the top of the stroke so there is no hitch (stopping point) as I recover the arms.
6x75 3kicks/1 pull, 3 pull/1K, swim.

I have no idea how much I did in total but I was in the water for two hours before I knew it. It felt amazing.

One of the reasons I posted this was to point out a thought pattern I have. I have seen great success with my stroke. I have gotten my 15 stroke length down to 0.6 after a particularly good two weeks of training. I have had success with Dave's stroke. How do I pick which one is best? And, will there be a time when the two techniques merge. Hackett, for example, uses the stroke Dave taught me for the 1500, but moves into a stroke like my old one for the 200. There might be a time when I can do that. For now, I am deciding which one I want to use for LCM regional champs in July and SCM champs in October. I am probably going to swim the 1500 and the 400IM. I'll keep you all posted if I can get to those meets this year.

But try the set when you are considering a change. It works well.
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  #10  
Old 06-09-2009
CoachEricDeSanto CoachEricDeSanto is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 384
CoachEricDeSanto
Default Another purpose for the TT

Today I had a great set with the Tempo trainer I thought I'd share.

First, the background. As I have posted before, I have been playing around with changes to my timing based on some advice from Coach Dave. My two options:
1. I found great ease with what I guess would be the EVF technique. I would set the anchor as my arm other arm is recovering, then switch during the spear. I found I had to focus a lot on maintaining balance, but when I did it felt great. I also focused on moving my arms as slowly as possible within a given tempo to lessen the pressure on the shoulders. It worked, but it was a bit inconsistent.

2. Coach Dave suggested a much more patient lead hand and very exaggerated Front Quadrant timing. It his stroke, based on Grant Hackett's distance stroke, (Dave, please correct me if I am saying this wrong) you only set the catch as the spear and switch are happening. So when you finish the switch, the anchored arm is still at head level and you press back from there. He also mentioned the much understated value of the momentum of the recovering arm being thrown forward. Because you spend much more time in skate, balance and efficiency are much easier with this technique. But because the anchor has not finished by the end of the switch, I lost the power of the body roll. At first, I had shoulder popping from this motion. Dave suggested I was still too rotated. Today, I started feeling more competent and less shoulder strain with this technique so I tested as follows:

4x50 hold stroke count at 13 using Dave's stroke and measure heart rate for 10 seconds
4x50 same with my old stroke.

I was testing a new technique so I started very slowly (1.6 per arm on the TT) Each round I increased by 0.1 which is a fast increase, but possible since I started so slowly and have been working on this for a while.
I did 5 rounds. As I increased tempo to 1.4 I increased to 14 strokes. At 1.2 I went to 15.

I liked this set because it gave me a HR comparison for the two techniques with time, rest, tempo held constant. It took me a few rounds to really start to feel good with Dave's stroke but at every level it was even or 1-2 Heart beats easier.

Just for the record, before this set I did a bunch of drill work with the snorkel to flatten out my rotation a bit more and learn to switch without pulling. I did 400 or so swim with my stroke free and back with fist gloves so my stroke was primed as well. After the set I did a bunch of Breast stroke work. I like doing:
4x25 3kicks/1 pull working on kicking straight back and so no undulation comes from my kick. (I want all hip motion to come from my chest falling in, not my kick. And I want to find a perfectly strait body line while kicking.)
4x25 3pulls/1 kick working on smoothly getting over the top of the stroke so there is no hitch (stopping point) as I recover the arms.
6x75 3kicks/1 pull, 3 pull/1K, swim.

I have no idea how much I did in total but I was in the water for two hours before I knew it. It felt amazing.

One of the reasons I posted this was to point out a thought pattern I have. I have seen great success with my stroke. I have gotten my 15 stroke length down to 0.6 after a particularly good two weeks of training. I have had success with Dave's stroke. How do I pick which one is best? Is there a way to know which stroke will top out first or if both will always be good? I am not yet sure. And, will there be a time when the two techniques merge. Hackett, for example, uses the stroke Dave taught me for the 1500, but moves into a stroke like my old one for the 200. There might be a time when I can do that. For now, I am deciding which one I want to use for LCM regional champs in July and SCM champs in October. I am probably going to swim the 1500 and the 400IM. I'll keep you all posted if I can get to those meets this year.

I digressed. But try the set when you are considering a change. It works well.
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