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  #1  
Old 03-21-2014
Raini Raini is offline
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Raini
Default Spear depth and Tempo trainer.

This week I have been working on backstroke at the end of my session and discovered that when I alternate a length of backstroke with a length of freestyle my spear depth becomes shallower than usual and I feel myself moving through the water a lot easier and more streamlined. Is this my natural spearing depth or just an after effect of the backstroke and should I pursue this shallower spear?
Also does anyone else find it difficult to focus on the TT. I find myself habitually tuning it out and end up swimming faster than the 1.30 setting that I have it on
after about 20 lengths.
My last question is when to know when I am ready to begin open water swimming. At the moment I am able to swim a comfortable mile and have done two miles a couple of times but have struggled on the last 8 or so lengths. There are some wild swimming groups in my area but I am concerned about being able to keep up with them.
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  #2  
Old 03-22-2014
CoachSuzanne CoachSuzanne is offline
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If you are moving easier and more streamlined then why not keep experimenting with this angle and see how it goes?

the other side of this is how much different it is to start your ctach without pushing down first. It may in fact be easier for you, but that's the typical tradeoff for most folks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Raini View Post
This week I have been working on backstroke at the end of my session and discovered that when I alternate a length of backstroke with a length of freestyle my spear depth becomes shallower than usual and I feel myself moving through the water a lot easier and more streamlined. Is this my natural spearing depth or just an after effect of the backstroke and should I pursue this shallower spear?
Also does anyone else find it difficult to focus on the TT. I find myself habitually tuning it out and end up swimming faster than the 1.30 setting that I have it on
after about 20 lengths.
My last question is when to know when I am ready to begin open water swimming. At the moment I am able to swim a comfortable mile and have done two miles a couple of times but have struggled on the last 8 or so lengths. There are some wild swimming groups in my area but I am concerned about being able to keep up with them.
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Suzanne Atkinson, MD
Level 3 USAT Coach
USA Paralympic Triathlon Coach
Coach of 5 time USA Triathlon Triathlete of the Year, Kirsten Sass
Steel City Endurance, LTD
Fresh Freestyle

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  #3  
Old 04-09-2014
Raini Raini is offline
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Hi
The other trade off is sore upper arm muscles something that I haven't previously had a problem with. Another more experienced swimmer suggested engaging my lats more which did help but I found I have been losing the sense of anchoring before the catch.
Another swimmer has suggested sprint sets but I am not sure whether that would be helpful to me. Do TI coaches advise sprint sets?
Today I have swum 2 miles with no struggle at all in 55 minutes a personal best for me so far and I did it without using the TT. I think it will useful for me to use it for just a few lengths perhaps to swim faster or to slow right down to check balance.
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  #4  
Old 04-10-2014
CoachBobM CoachBobM is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raini View Post
Also does anyone else find it difficult to focus on the TT. I find myself habitually tuning it out and end up swimming faster than the 1.30 setting that I have it on after about 20 lengths.
How did you decide to set the TT at 1:30? If the setting is too slow, you may be having to distort your stroke in order to adhere to a stroke rate that slow. I'd suggest that you begin by finding a stroke rate that you can comfortably maintain and then use that rate as your initial TT setting.


Bob
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  #5  
Old 04-10-2014
Raini Raini is offline
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I set the TT at 1.30 as I read somewhere on the forum that for most people a cruising pace is usually between 1.30 and 1.40. This did feel comfortable for me when I first started using it about 3 months ago and it did enable me to swim my first mile with an average 18 spl in a 25m pool. My spl went up when I started unconsciously tuning it out and swimming faster so I kept re focusing on the beep which became irritating and disruptive. I haven't used it for the last week and have concentrated more on technique instead. Perhaps I'm not ready at this point to concentrate on two things at once. I need to stay mindful of how I'm swimming as I do love speed. Unfortunately I'm one of those people that move through life doing everything fast so I have to be extra careful about not bringing this into swimming.
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  #6  
Old 04-16-2014
CoachBobM CoachBobM is offline
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When I first began using the TT, I found it useful to begin each practice by first doing some lengths without the TT, just focusing on reducing my stroke count. Then, when I felt confident that my stroke length (and, hence, my stroke efficiency) were good, I'd find a TT pace that matched the stroke rate I'd been doing.

The first thing I'd normally find was that it was hard to synchronize my strokes with the beeps because my stroke rate normally varied, since my breathing strokes took longer than my non-breathing strokes. But once I got past that, I'd try increasing the TT pace a bit and see whether I could maintain the same stroke count at that faster pace.


Bob
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  #7  
Old 04-17-2014
CoachSuzanne CoachSuzanne is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raini View Post
I set the TT at 1.30 as I read somewhere on the forum that for most people a cruising pace is usually between 1.30 and 1.40. This did feel comfortable for me when I first started using it about 3 months ago and it did enable me to swim my first mile with an average 18 spl in a 25m pool. My spl went up when I started unconsciously tuning it out and swimming faster so I kept re focusing on the beep which became irritating and disruptive. I haven't used it for the last week and have concentrated more on technique instead. Perhaps I'm not ready at this point to concentrate on two things at once. I need to stay mindful of how I'm swimming as I do love speed. Unfortunately I'm one of those people that move through life doing everything fast so I have to be extra careful about not bringing this into swimming.
It sounds to me like you are resisting changes that may be holding you back. 2 miles in < an hour is outstanding. "most people" depends on what population of people you are referring to. We start most of our weekend workshoppers at 1.30...but not many of those can swim 2 miles in less than an hour.

Try the other end of hte TT...see what the fastest tempo is that you can set it on while completing a 500 yd TT (or a 1000 yd TT if you like) and see how it affects your focus/stroke lenght.

You need to be willing to continue adapting
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Suzanne Atkinson, MD
Level 3 USAT Coach
USA Paralympic Triathlon Coach
Coach of 5 time USA Triathlon Triathlete of the Year, Kirsten Sass
Steel City Endurance, LTD
Fresh Freestyle

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  #8  
Old 04-17-2014
Raini Raini is offline
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Thank you Bob and Suzanne.
I will start working with the TT again next week and try your advise.
Although I have been swimming a minimum of a mile a day this week I haven't yet swum another 2 miles in an hour. For instance this morning I swam a continuous 2000m followed by 10 lengths of drill and that took me an hour so last week was exceptional but encouraging as I find myself leaning toward distance swimming but lack the know how and structure in my sessions.
I live in the UK and unfortunately the nearest TI coach is 200 miles away from me.
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  #9  
Old 05-06-2014
Raini Raini is offline
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I have been working with the TT again for a couple of weeks and I think I have now made friends with it!
I have played with a range of 1:40 down to 1:00 and found my cruising speed to be 1:25 with an spl of 20/21 in a 25m pool and I am 168 cms tall. 1.20 was good to but left me a bit breathless after about 16 lengths
1:00 felt a sprint pace and I loved it lol! More importantly though what I discovered at this tempo is that my lead hand has been a little too patient and turning too breathe has been very leisurely when swimming at the slower tempos so I am focusing on correcting this.
Previously I was using the TT on 1:30 with an spl of 18. Am I right in thinking I now need to try to get the same spl on 1:25?
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  #10  
Old 05-08-2014
Talvi Talvi is offline
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Default Breathe/non-breathe: same of different?

Quote:
Originally Posted by CoachBobM View Post
.. my stroke rate normally varied, since my breathing strokes took longer than my non-breathing strokes..
Just wanted to ask Bob whether you "got past that" by balancing the two strokes, or is the imbalance natural/unavoidable? I've been assuming the way to go is to make both sides the same but wonder if this is right.

Apologies for gate-crashing Raini - that relaxed 55 min 2 mile swim sounds sweet. Congratulations :)
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