Trifling with Tempo (2200)
200 Warmup as 4 x 50 focused on various stroke thoughts.
3 rounds of:
300 + 150 + 3 x 50
Start at TT setting of 1.3 sec/stroke. Descend within each set by .02 s.
Start each round .02s below previous start.
CD: 200 mixed, easy strokes
150 1.28 sec
3 x 50 1.26sec on 1 min
300 1.28 sec
150 1.26 sec
3 x 50 1.24 sec on 1 min
300 1.26 sec
150 1.24 sec
3 x 50 1.22 sec on 1 min
This set was harder than I thought it would be, but most likely because I took a bunch of days off from swimming...ugh, never again!
The goal was to begin working in some yardage at faster tempos in a way that would not be too shocking to my form. the 300s were hard, especially the first, but again, i think because I was out of the water for so long.
I like the idea of coming at increasing distance pace from both ends. Longer sets at moderate paces, and shorter sets at faster tempos, bringing the two ends together to meet somwhere in the middle.
I'll do probably one more shorter set workout this week, then do some sets of 3 x 600 perhaps. Probably aftger some warmup sets of faster tempos, then try a set of decreasing tempo (slower) with each 600, then repeat a faster tempo to see if the longer strokes carry over.
With long sets I just don't have the patience to do incremental sets
**About the title of this set: My boyfriend came to watch me swim and saw me talking to "Mr. Biceps" in the lane next to me and accused me of flirting (it was kind of cute to see him jealous). The name "Flirting with Tempo" came to mind, but I figured he wouldn't appreciate that title. Looked up flirting on thesaurus.com and came up with Trifling...so a little alliteration sounded good, hence "Trifling with Tempo"
Suzanne Atkinson, MD
Coach of 4 time USA Triathlon Triathlete of the Year, Kirsten Sass
Steel City Endurance, LTD
The main set: 8 x 250 ( :10- :20 sec. rest between repeats)
Although I wanted to use the first couple of repeats as my warm up I swam an initial gentle 250 to dial in.
My intention was to keep within one stroke of my 'n' (which I would establish on the first repeat) as I progressed. Additionally keep a different stroke thought throughout each repeat (ie soft hands, breathing, "toe flick") and note any differences that would perhaps enhance or hinder a feeling of relaxed swimming.
By far the focus that produces, for me, the best feeling of coordination and fluidity is that of soft hands and a totally tense free recovery, finishing my strokes forward. More attention comes in when pace picks up so as not to rush my stroke thus shortening my stroke. Instead, I'd shift focus to "hip nudge" and swimming "just off my stomach". This allows for continued relaxed swimming as the 'load' is kept away from my arms and avoids fatigue and inefficiency there. A natural switch for me is then made to focus of the kick, "toe flick", albeit a non-overt one most of the time I need to be careful here as was pointed out to me recently I tended to splay a bit once in awhile on one side. This undoubtedly was happening when I 'focused' on the kick. As has been said many times, what one feels in the water is not necessarily what is happening in the water. I never felt an overly stated amplitude in my kick but apparently it was happening.
To come full circle, I almost always return to a soft hands/marionette focus and the grove continues.
Incidentally, my 'n' on repeat one was 15 (although I'd hit 14 on most odd lengths, initially). As I increased my tempo I even hit 13 on some initial lengths of each repeat.
I finished as:
(clearing the slate)
hold spl, increase tempo
hold spl, stroke thoughts while jivin' my rhythm
relaxed swimming, hold spl
relaxed swimming, perfect form (breathe every 3)