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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 (1418) 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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