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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 06-09-2009
shuumai shuumai is offline
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Huh? The way I see it, Grant Hackett begins setting the catch during the recovery just as the body roll reverses direction. Then he stretches forward as the body rolls to the opposite extreme. The pull happens during that stretch and roll.
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  #4  
Old 06-09-2009
CoachEricDeSanto CoachEricDeSanto is offline
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I just posted a response, but now I can't find it. I apologize if it comes up double.

Shumai - I got the exaggerated timing from conversations with Coach Dave and videos I have seen of Hackett. The longer the race, the more overlap Hackett uses. In some video of his 1500, his lead hand is in skate while his spearing hand is lined up with the mid-forearm of the lead hand. In the frame-by-frame analysis that is all over the web (showing Thorpe and Hackett side-by-side, Hackett does, as you suggest, set the anchor during the recovery. THat is what I used in developing what I called "my stroke". It is very hard on the body because you must develop a greater than 90 degree rotation between your forarm and your body roll. But it allowed me to greatly reduce the stress on my arms because I could cut out all pauses in the stroke and slow down my hand speed. That was the timing I used last year when I was able to do a 25:32 for the 1500SCM on very little training. What I have noticed as I am doing this experiment, is that I don't have enough shoulder flexibility to maintain a perfect skate from elbow to toes like Hackett can. So I lose some speed during that catch.

I spent a lot of time last year learning how to transition from one timing to another as I needed speed. I expect that will occur this year as well.

Madvet- My training may not be the model to follow. I get the joy of full time Daddy Day Care this summer and have not yet figured out how to work regular training into the rest of my schedule. I am happy when I get to swim 2-3 days a week.

My general plan is to race the 1500M at 1:28/100 pace which is roughly 1:20/100 yds. I do that at about 15s/length and 1.0 tempo. My plan for the 400IM is to fly and back at 1:30/100yd pace, breast at 1:40, and free at 1:20 or faster if I have energy left.

My training plan is to develop the stroke that will allow me to hit slightly faster than those paces as easily as possible. Then work to imprint my goal paces so I can hit them perfectly without the tt. Then, if I have time, to play with holding race pace, with bursts of speed thrown in. That way, if I find someone a couple body lengths ahead of me in the race, I have trained to catch them for a draft or have a finishing kick.

Currently,
I can hold Breast and Fly between 7-10 strokes depending on my glide. I am playing with golf to find the stroke count that will work best for me.
I am struggling with consistency in back the most. So I am spending a lot of time doing back single switch, triple switch and finish up drills over 25-100 yd distances focusing on holding my body line and rotation just right so my face does not go under too much.
Free I can hold anything from 13-18 strokes with my old technique and 13-15 with the new timing. I will experiment until the end of june, then work on imprinting.
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  #5  
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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  #6  
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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  #7  
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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  #8  
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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  #9  
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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  #10  
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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