Total Immersion Forums  

Go Back   Total Immersion Forums > Freestyle
FAQ Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 03-24-2011
Thatchman Thatchman is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 13
Thatchman
Default What speed would be regarded as average or slow

Hi Guys

My swimming has come a long way in the last 9 months to the point that I have endurance for long swims and am at a comfortable point ahead of my first Ironman on 10 April.

I feel balanced and streamlined in the water (will find out at my first weekend TI workshop this weekend).

It seems that most people are faster than me though.

Yesterday I did a swim session that included 8 x 200m sets. I swam these at an easy pace. I do not know what my tempo was and averaged about 24 SPL.

My time started out at 4min35 for the first 200 and the slowest was 4min50.

So my question is whether this is regarded as average, slow or very slow?

I am hoping that this weekend will reveal areas of opportunity for me to improve efficiency and technique which should help to make me faster.

I do not have a desire to be fast but I do not want to be slow.

Tks
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 03-24-2011
terry terry is offline
Head Coach
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 2,305
terry has disabled reputation
Default

Thatchman
The question of what speed is 'average or slow' is unanswerable, because time by itself is an incomplete and imprecise measure of how you're swimming.

If you are 6 feet tall, 25 years old and male, those times would put you in one percentile of all swimmers with similar characteristics

If you are 5 feet tall, 55 years old, and female, the same times would put you in a radically different percentile.

And those are only a few characteristics that will influence how any particular level of efficiency translates to speed.

However I can say this much with great certainty: Simply being able to complete 8 x 200m -- or a 'broken mile' -- of swimming . . . at any speed . . . puts you in the 1st or 2nd percentile of all humans in swimming ability.

Having accomplished that, I'd suggest the following Principles of Improvement:

1) Speed is a math problem.' Any speed you swim will be a mathematically precise product of a particular Stroke Length multiplied by a particular Stroke Rate.

2) Speed is also an energy problem. In water, drag squares as speed increases. 5 percent more speed = 25% more drag. Therefore . . .

3) . . . Speed is ultimately a force gap problem. To move forward, the propulsive force you generate must exceed the water's resistive force. To swim faster, you must increase the difference between the two forces. Increasing propulsive force incurs high costs in power and energy. Reducing drag produces high savings - which increase by the same percentage as drag does. A low drag position cuts energy cost by 25% when speed increases by 5%.

That's why:
a) The workshop you're about to take will focus heavily on Balance and Streamlining skills.
b) In your own practice, prioritize SPL (stroke count per length of the pool) over other measures. Aim to incrementally and patiently improve it over short distances (100m or less), then to maintain it as you incrementally and steadily add distance (150-200-250 etc), then
c) bring in Stroke Rate as an additional measure, using a Tempo Trainer.

Every practice, indeed every set, focus on where you are right this moment, and how you can incrementally and patiently improve any of those three metrics - SPL, Tempo and Distance/Duration. (The biggest payoffs will come from (i) Balance, then (ii) Streamline, then (iii) Propulsion.)

Over 1, 2, 3, 6 months the seconds shown on the pace clock should 'melt' away.
__________________
Terry Laughlin
Head Coach & Chief Executive Optimist

May your laps be as happy as mine.

My TI Story

Last edited by terry : 03-24-2011 at 02:17 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 03-24-2011
Thatchman Thatchman is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 13
Thatchman
Default appreciated

Hi Terry

Many thanks for taking the time to give me a response.

It was the first time that I timed myself and only the second time that I have counted my SPL. I did this so that I could have a basis to measure my improvement post the workshop.

I will also try to get a tempo trainer as suggested.

I will take your advice together with my learnings from the weekend and look forward to making some gains in the near future.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 03-24-2011
LennartLarsson LennartLarsson is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 42
LennartLarsson
Default

Hi Terry,
Sometimes I don't get your theories. If you and I race in Masters Class 60-64, which we will later this year, the one of us hitting the finish first is the one swimming at the fastest speed, isn't it? I agree that their is a difference between individuals, making a 100 meter free in 1.20 more impressive for the 55 year old shorty versus the 25 year old tall guy. Bit still they are both swimming at 1,20. When we compare speed, we compare how fast we swim a certain distance, don't we?

See you!

/Lennart
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 03-24-2011
swimpaired swimpaired is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 23
swimpaired
Default

When I get curious for comparison I pull up some of the sprint triathlon results which are 400m and compare finish times by age group and finish position. Not definitive results of course but something interesting to look at.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 03-24-2011
saadbox13 saadbox13 is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 47
saadbox13
Default speed and energy problems

There is an optimal pace that differs from individual to individual, I believe that it cannot be defined by any math formula and it is up to us to find our personal 'optimal' pace through practice.
I had to take 2 weeks off due to business travels and when I came back to my daily TI swim practice I found myself struggling to get back to my normal pace. During that process I realized that speed had a direct negative impact on my stroke precision, there is an optimal pace in which I feel like I am gliding effortlessly in the water, it is not too slow nor too fast it just feels RIGHT! if I increase my speed even by a bit I start making mistakes, and if I slow down I need to apply more effort to stay balanced. This begs the question: should we squew our stroke and catch/recovery based on our speed in a conscious manner or should it just adjust naturally through sensory information and instinct?
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 03-24-2011
roates roates is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 46
roates
Default

[quote=LennartLarsson;18487]Hi Terry,
Sometimes I don't get your theories. If you and I race in Masters Class 60-64, which we will later this year, the one of us hitting the finish first is the one swimming at the fastest speed, isn't it? I agree that their is a difference between individuals, making a 100 meter free in 1.20 more impressive for the 55 year old shorty versus the 25 year old tall guy. Bit still they are both swimming at 1,20. When we compare speed, we compare how fast we swim a certain distance, don't we?

I'm with you Lennart, I don't get the theories either.
Feel there's a bit of sitting on the fence here.
We all know we are different shapes and sizes but a bit of a suggestion/speculation, based on sex,age,experience,shape,weight might be a useful approximate benchmark.
I know I'm never at my age coming to swimming late in life be as fast as you Terry with a whole life spent in the water. But I like something to aim for.

I'm with Thatchman too
'I do not have a desire to be fast but I do not want to be slow'
I just want to be efficient and not always last.

Roger
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 03-24-2011
dzhou01 dzhou01 is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 16
dzhou01
Default

[quote=roates;18498][quote=LennartLarsson;18487]

Lennart and Roates,

I think what Terry tried to say is if you get balanced and streamlined, you will not be slow. If you find yourself still slow in your age/sex group, you have to work on balance and streamline more, they are not good enough yet. So focus on SPL, instead of speed, since SPL reflects how balanced and streamlined you are. And then increase stroke rate if you want to go faster. You may find people swim faster than you, but ask yourself:
1. Are they younger/taller?
2. Are they swimming as effortless as you, in other words, if swimming for longer distance, will they still be faster than you?

Terry also said that to increase speed by 5%, the drag increases by 25%. So you need to increase your power by at least 25% to overcome the drag. Do you have that 25% more power? If you do, take it out, and you will be 5% faster. If not, you'd better work on balance/streamline to reduce drag. There are people out there who are 50% or 100% more powerful than you, so if they have the same drag as you, it is no surprise they are faster. If you can reduce drag, you will be as fast as them with less power.

Last edited by dzhou01 : 03-24-2011 at 08:39 PM. Reason: more words to say
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 03-24-2011
robedon robedon is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 31
robedon
Default what is your average time to swim 1000 yards

Hello,

I've finally advanced to swimming 1000 yards without stopping. It prompted me to wonder if my time on this distance is good or not. I did it in 18:37. How long does it take you to swim 1000 yards?

thanks
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 03-25-2011
borate borate is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 533
borate
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by robedon View Post
I've finally advanced to swimming 1000 yards without stopping. It prompted me to wonder if my time on this distance is good or not. I did it in 18:37.
thanks
Keep in mind that TI stresses relaxation and sustainability. Speeds and focus of folks here vary widely. Some are beginners, others accomplished triathletes.
For comparative purposes...

Masters Level 1: Masters level 1 is for swimmers who swim one mile in over 35 minutes.
Masters Level 2: Masters Level 2 swimmers can swim one mile under 35 minutes and over 25 minutes.
Masters Level 3: Masters Level 3 swimmers can swim one mile in 24 minutes or less.
Michael Phelps swims a mile in under 17 minutes. ^_^

If I tallied it correctly your time per lap is 53/54 seconds. That would be about a 32-minute mile.

U.S. Masters Swimming welcomes swimmers of all abilities who want to improve their overall fitness, develop better technique, or train for any type of swimming competition - or who just enjoy the social interaction and workout.
Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are Off
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT. The time now is 11:34 PM.


Powered by vBulletin®
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.