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Old 04-29-2011
dobarton dobarton is offline
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Default I'm gonna' vent just because I can...

Interesting observation yesterday and today. Yesterday was interval day. I was doing 100 meter intervals in a 25 meter pool. I don't own a tempo trainer (yet?), so I just concentrate on a fast turnover while trying to keep SPL "low." Usually, fast 100's are 18-23 SPL (6 foot tall, 10% body weight). The 100's ranged from 1:30-1:35. I had REALLY been hoping to get under 1:30 for a couple of them (I only swam 10).
Today, I swam 1650 meters. I went in planning to swim it pretty quick. I swam the entire length in an average 1:43/100 meters! My SPL was between 18-20.
In running, when you go from hard intervals to long, but moderate pace, the differences are huge! In swimming, the difference between fast/short intervals and moderately fast, longer distances is really very small!!!
I know what Terry will say, "More drills with gradual increases in tempo to teach the brain. Proof of the contention that resistance plays the largest role in speed."
I know some here will say, "Just be glad you can swim that fast."
Others will say, "show us a video and we'll tell you what to fix."
I know, I know... but I just wanted to vent. I was so pleased with this morning's swim, but so frustrated by yesterday's intervals. At least there's always something to learn, lol!
Such is the journey...
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Old 04-29-2011
Rincewind Rincewind is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dobarton View Post
In running, when you go from hard intervals to long, but moderate pace, the differences are huge!
Actually I am not sure I totally agree with you there.

When I used to train for marathons I would do half mile intervals at about 6mins per mile, and my moderate pace 7.5 mile runs were at about 7mins per mile.

About 16% slower? Seems similar to your 1:30 vs 1:45 pace.
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  #3  
Old 04-30-2011
KatieK KatieK is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dobarton View Post
Interesting observation yesterday and today. Yesterday was interval day. I was doing 100 meter intervals in a 25 meter pool. I don't own a tempo trainer (yet?), so I just concentrate on a fast turnover while trying to keep SPL "low." Usually, fast 100's are 18-23 SPL (6 foot tall, 10% body weight). The 100's ranged from 1:30-1:35. I had REALLY been hoping to get under 1:30 for a couple of them (I only swam 10).
Today, I swam 1650 meters. I went in planning to swim it pretty quick. I swam the entire length in an average 1:43/100 meters! My SPL was between 18-20.
In running, when you go from hard intervals to long, but moderate pace, the differences are huge! In swimming, the difference between fast/short intervals and moderately fast, longer distances is really very small!!!
I know what Terry will say, "More drills with gradual increases in tempo to teach the brain. Proof of the contention that resistance plays the largest role in speed."
I know some here will say, "Just be glad you can swim that fast."
Others will say, "show us a video and we'll tell you what to fix."
I know, I know... but I just wanted to vent. I was so pleased with this morning's swim, but so frustrated by yesterday's intervals. At least there's always something to learn, lol!
Such is the journey...
Nice job, and interesting observations. My 100-yd sprint times decrease pretty slowly too. As you mentioned, it feels like I make faster progress holding a nice pace for longer distances than I do at speeding up my "full-speed-ahead" mode.

It *feels* that way, but that doesn't necessarily mean it *is* that way. Shaving .05 seconds off your 100-yd time doesn't feel like major progress. If you're not paying close attention, you may not even notice it. On the other hand, you might be more likely to notice shaving 8 seconds off your mile time.

Lately, I've been really focused on keeping a good log. I find that most of my frustrations tend to be based more on emotion than fact. I can always remember how I *felt* in today's practice. But, unless I keep a good log, my perception of overall progress tends to be distorted. The log helps me recognize slow, steady progress over time.
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Old 04-30-2011
borate borate is offline
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Originally Posted by KatieK View Post
It *feels* that way, but that doesn't necessarily mean it *is* that way.
Interesting thought that has often crossed my mind. From lap to lap, perception of competency and pace changes, but the reality may not.

Keeping a log may be the proof, but to some of us the feel is more important.
These are folks who want to improve, certainly, but who focus more on the pure enjoyment and exercise benefits of their swim than charting it.

Last edited by borate : 04-30-2011 at 06:03 PM.
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  #5  
Old 04-30-2011
cynthiam cynthiam is offline
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Originally Posted by borate View Post
Interesting thought that has often crossed my mind. From lap to lap, perception of competency and pace changes, but the reality may not.

Keeping a log may be the proof, but to some of us the feel is more important.
These are folks who want to improve, certainly, but who focus more on the pure enjoyment and exercise benefits of their swim than charting it.

I use objective measures like strokes per length and time in a loose way to give me a reality check.

The feel is what's most important to me, though at this point in my development I'm not consistent in how I swim and how it feels. I've gotten frustrated at times, feeling like I'm making no progress. I'm clearly a better swimmer than I was 8-10 months ago but sometimes it seems like I'm on a treadmill getting nowhere.

I was wondering about this during a swim recently and started counting my strokes. I felt pretty good, though I knew I wasn't perfectly balanced, my timing is not solid, my kick is underdeveloped, I haven't gotten the whole drive train working together, and I don't have a very effective catch yet.

So I was surprised to find that I was hitting 21-22 SPL (25m) through most of my workout. I'm 5'4"/163cm tall. For a long time, I had trouble getting under 23. Now I could see some progress! It meant that my balance & streamlining have improved, and it gave me a lift to see this.

If I had relied in my perception only, I don't think I would have understood this. Maybe at some point my perception will be better honed and more accurate; right now, objective measures are helpful to me.
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Old 04-30-2011
borate borate is offline
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Originally Posted by cynthiam View Post
I use objective measures like strokes per length and time in a loose way to give me a reality check. ... Now I could see some progress! It meant that my balance & streamlining have improved, and it gave me a lift to see this.

If I had relied in my perception only, I don't think I would have understood this.
Sounds good.

While the swimmer tries to pay no mind to their SPL and times, it might prove entertaining to gauge perception against reality by employing a third-party chronicler.
At the conclusion of the session, the swimmer would relate how they felt...to see how that compares with the more objective measures tracked by the friend.

Last edited by borate : 04-30-2011 at 11:12 PM.
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  #7  
Old 05-01-2011
terry terry is offline
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I virtually never do a swim as long as 1650 yds or meters in practice. In fact, it's become increasingly rare for me this year to swim even 500 yds.

So most of my training is intervals. But I do intervals of varying lengths, mostly between 50 and 200. I really strive to keep Stroke Length consistent across that range. It takes a lot of focus, but I can now do that easily.

My focus on keeping SL or SPL consistent across that range has contributed to my ability to keep pace consistent as well.

Consequently when I swim races at longer distances I have little difficulty with maintaining consistent pace.

I think that when you really emphasize keeping Stroke Length, or count, consistent over even a range of intervals that seldom exceeds 200 yd or meters, you don't need longer practice swims to be quire ready for longer race swims.
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  #8  
Old 05-01-2011
cynthiam cynthiam is offline
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Originally Posted by borate View Post
Sounds good.

While the swimmer tries to pay no mind to their SPL and times, it might prove entertaining to gauge perception against reality by employing a third-party chronicler.
At the conclusion of the session, the swimmer would relate how they felt...to see how that compares with the more objective measures tracked by the friend.
Nice idea, borate. I think this would be very interesting. I just might draft an off-duty lifeguard to observe for me.
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