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Old 05-15-2010
woodbldr woodbldr is offline
Junior Member
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 5
Default My first mile (almost)

I was able to swim enough yardage today to reach a mile (almost). I posted a few months ago asking for help with breathing. I applied all of those suggestions (thanks again to all) but still could only make it 100 yards without resting. I was reading through various threads on this site and saw Terry's link to a tempo trainer. I realized then that breathing wasn't my problem, but pacing was. I bought the tempo trainer last week and began playing with stroke rates. I started at 1.7, then over the next few days I was able to reduce it. Today, I was able to set the tempo trainer to 1.5 and did the 3 X 500 yd sets (2 min rest). I then decided to try a faster tempo (1.25) and did a 150 yd set. I was getting a little tired (not out of breath though) and decided to quit and swam a 100 yd cool down. I then realized I had swam 1750 yards total. The interesting thing is the slower rates helped me put all the drill work together. I now understand how to lever myself over my arm versus pulling myself through the water. In fact, doing the set at 1.25 was almost the same effort as my slower tempo swims. Sorry for the long post, but I wanted to share this everyone here. All of you have contributed in some way to my success.


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Old 05-15-2010
ewa.swimmer ewa.swimmer is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Ewa Beach or Kona Hawaii
Posts: 147


Keep up the good work. Welcome to the very small percent of the world who can swim a mile.
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Old 05-16-2010
JoePetto JoePetto is offline
Junior Member
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 6

Way to go. When I started TI 6 months ago, I could barely swim a 50 and last month I swam my first mile and now routinely practice sets of between 1750 - 2000. Couldn't agree with you more about the value of the advice in these forums about breathing. For me, there was a post by Nicodeamus about how he learned to breath by teaching his daughter to bob. It's great when those "eureka" moments happen - sometimes there are small wins and sometimes there are the game changers. When I did a TI clinic with Coach Kevin, he said something which I think about everytime I swim - "no matter how bad the lap feels finish every stroke/drill because you never know when its going to come together."

There's always room for improvement (and breathing consistently of both sides remains my nemsis) and, with patient and deligent practice of TI, it will come.
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Old 05-16-2010
Lawrence Lawrence is offline
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: London, UK
Posts: 804

I'm going to do a thread on breathing in the near future. I think there's a simple way to capture the principle that will, I hope, make sense to everyone.
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Old 05-16-2010
terry terry is offline
Head Coach
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 2,305
terry has disabled reputation

Originally Posted by woodbldr View Post
In fact, doing the set at 1.25 was almost the same effort as my slower tempo swims.
Congratulations. Virtually all who practice regularly with the Tempo Trainer sooner or later experience a remarkable phenomenon. You can swim longer, and faster (both tempo and pace) with far less sense of fatigue than previously. This has often resulted in PRs like the one Suzanne reported for 500.

Your feeling hardly any greater exertion at 1.25, compared to 1.5 or 1.7 is an example. From my own experiences I've come up with two explanations for this welcome phenomenon
1) The repeating beep tends to narrow your focus to a pinpoint - the actions and sensations that occur between beeps. With practice you recognize that a more efficient stroke has a distinctively different feel - i.e. a 16-SPL lap feels very different from a 20-SPL lap at the same tempo. With practice you can even tell the difference in feel of a 16 vs 17. Knowing that the 16 SPL will produce a much better time, you give incredibly keen attention to holding onto the sensations you associate with 16 SPL.

2) As you try to swim farther with the same combination of SPL and Tempo, or try to maintain SPL while increasing Tempo, you instinctively recognize how important it is to maintain a feel of ease and leisure. When you devote so much concentration to feeling at ease and unhurried, you DO feel those things - independent of the fact that your body is having do exert more to execute more exacting combinations of duration, SPL and Tempo.

Staying focused and staying relaxed are both major factors in being able to swim farther than you ever have before.
Terry Laughlin
Head Coach & Chief Executive Optimist

May your laps be as happy as mine.

My TI Story
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Old 05-16-2010
westyswoods westyswoods is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Rio, Wisconsin
Posts: 564

Tempo Trainer How I Wish

A quick comment of the use of TT. Been doing TI for two plus years and have been attempting to find some combo of MP3/hearing adjunct plus tracks and software for producing a usable TT. I have discussed several issues and difficulties due to severe hearing loss on this sight. I am closing in on a solution which will involve several different custom adjuncts. Now the neat part for all the messing around I've done with this, last week I was able to get two laps in which I actually had my ear buds positioned so I could hear my snare drum beat from a Swimman MP 3. I had a tempo set @ 1.5.

The end of this is I was able to swim 2x25 at an SPL of 14 with 2 push off 24sec. I was amazed at this, as I usually can hold 14-18 SPL's but never have come close to the time.

Terry's previous post hits on how I felt for just these two laps and was it great.

Unfortunately I lost the sound and have not been able to duplicate. I am in the process of getting some extra pieces that Swimman uses for their waterproof earbuds and will have them molded into some custom fit ear pieces, so I can use the MP3. Need to do an appointment with my audiologist to figure out best pitch and frequency to use in MP3 so I can capture. I am looking at using Macs program Logic Express to make tracks, does anyone have experience or other suggestions. Bone conduction does not work.

I have read that Coach Dave has made tracks for MP3's. Coach any advise will be greatly appreciated. When this project is done I will write a blog as to how the problem was solved.

Last edited by westyswoods : 05-16-2010 at 11:13 PM. Reason: spelling/grammar
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