Total Immersion Forums  

Go Back   Total Immersion Forums > Favorite Practices and Sets
FAQ Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 07-09-2010
LennartLarsson LennartLarsson is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 42
LennartLarsson
Default Tempo Trainer

I am 61 years old and have regular contacts with Terry on swim training. My intention is to swim as well as I can in the Open Water 3 K race that is coming up soon in the World Championships in Gothenburg, Sweden. Yesterday I reported the following to Terry:

+++++++

I have now done the 8x400 set that we have discussed. I t was not so encouraging really. Here is how it went:

TT 1,16 6,42
TT 1.14 6,40
TT 1.12 6.37
TT 1.14 6.39
TT 1.12 6.36
TT 1.10 6.36
One relaxed 400 without timing
No TT 6.32

This shows very little difference between different settings and it shows that I am not swimming fast enough. Basically my SPL was 37-40 and on my relaxed swim 34-35. You are right that I am lacking hard tempo, which can be easily helped by doing fast repeats. But the TT does not give me a feeling of really increased speed as I lower the interval between beeps. I had hoped for about 15 seconds better per 400, but I have to face it. This is my level and my experience from racing is that I make it better in a race and would guess to make around 12.20 on 800 free, long course. To break 12 minutes will be difficult.

In this training session, I managed, I think, to keep good form and relaxed swimming. I felt no fatigue after the session, but felt that I have had a good training. I guess, the only way is to move on and count on improvement as a result of continuous swim training.

Can you comment please?
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 07-09-2010
terry terry is offline
Head Coach
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 2,305
terry has disabled reputation
Default

Lennart recently traveled here from Sweden to attend last week's Open Water Camp in Lake Placid. On the way up to Lake Placid he stopped in New Paltz and we swam in Lake Minnewaska and Lake Awosting on two consecutive days. I sent him this message about a set I did in Minnewaska, after he had returned to Sweden.

>>On Saturday I swam 8 x 400 on the line in Minnewaska, circling the far end of the cable and stopping only after two lengths. I started a new 400 every 7:00. I started at 6:26 and finished at 5:39.
I was probably too cautious at the beginning, making bigger drops on the final 3. I had tried to use the TT, but couldn't hear it so I just descended them on the watch. If you do a similar set in the pool, I'd suggest descending 1-3 and 4-6, going faster average times on the 2nd round.

Then do #7 at recovery pace and swim #8 faster than #6. This single set could be your whole practice, doing #1 as your warmup. That will make it a bit easier to descend the next 3 at faster paces, since you'll already be warmed up as you start. >>

Lennart's set in the pool was 400M repeats. Mine in the lake was probably closer to 400yd repeats, though not so exactly measured. We estimate the line in the lake to be 200 yds long, so 400 is up-and-back.
__________________
Terry Laughlin
Head Coach & Chief Executive Optimist

May your laps be as happy as mine.

My TI Story
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 07-09-2010
terry terry is offline
Head Coach
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 2,305
terry has disabled reputation
Default My interpretation of Lennart's set

The best way to use the TT and the info provided in a set like this is to view your performance as neither good, nor bad, but simply information. My best experience in training with the TT has been when I view it as a pure math problem which I would solve with both motor neurons and cognitive neurons.

In this example, on the first round of 3 -from 1.16 to 1.12, Lennart increased tempo by 3.5%. His speed improved by a bit more than 1%. From 1.14 to 1.12, his increase in speed fell below 1% (but was a bit faster than 1st round) and he had no increase in speed from 1.12 to 1.10

This result falls into the 2nd of 3 categories I've created for similar sets:
Green Light: Velocity improves as much or more than tempo.
Yellow Light: Velocity improves, but less than tempo.
Red Light: Tempo increases. Velocity same or decreases.

Green Light results: You can make the set more challenging.
Yellow Light results: Keep practicing that combination, or in a range fairly close to it, until it progresses to Green Light status.
Red Light results: Reduce the difficulty of that combination until you move it at least into Yellow Light status. In this instance, for tempos below 1.12, Lennart could consider reducing repeat distance, to perhaps 200m, and see if that produces at least a Yellow Light result.
When he can move that result to Green, he can increase difficulty - either by increasing tempo or repeat distance.

You can find a closely related thoughts in my post on the "Next Steps in Getting Faster" thread on this conference.
__________________
Terry Laughlin
Head Coach & Chief Executive Optimist

May your laps be as happy as mine.

My TI Story
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 07-09-2010
madvet madvet is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 230
madvet
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by LennartLarsson View Post
.... But the TT does not give me a feeling of really increased speed as I lower the interval between beeps. ...
....
In this training session, I managed, I think, to keep good form and relaxed swimming. I felt no fatigue after the session, but felt that I have had a good training.

Can you comment please?
I think the objective of the Tempo Trainer is to increase your pace WITHOUT the feeling of increased speed. That feeling of rushing introduces tension and sucks up energy.

You say you "felt no fatigue" after the session -- did you feel less fatigue than you normally would have after a set like that? If so, that would be a distinct advantage. After all, a 3K is a series of 400's, if you have less fatigue you can put more energy into the later part of the race.

Another way to use the tempo trainer is to not use such fine differences in time but use bigger changes, like going from 1.3 to 1.1. This would be more like "shifting gears" than the tiny changes you tried this time. The tempo trainer can help you stick to the faster tempo without rushing or tensing up.
__________________
John Carey
Madison, Wisconsin
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 07-09-2010
LennartLarsson LennartLarsson is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 42
LennartLarsson
Default Madvet

You have understood it right; I felt less fatigue than after s similar set without TT. That shows off course the importance of even speed throughout the session. But strange enough, I feel a bit stressed by the beeping, but probably I just need to adjust to using that gadget.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 07-15-2010
CoachSuzanne CoachSuzanne is offline
Coach
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 2,453
CoachSuzanne
Default

Lennart,

How much experience do you have using the tempo trainer, and at what tempos have you been practicing?

My suggestions were going to be similar to Terry's but as usual Terry has a much more elegant way of communicating it: the green light, yellow light, red light status of the set can give you an indication on where to work and when to move forward.

Since the increase in pace did not result in a significant increase in speed, it suggests a potential sweet spot area for improvement.

my only confusion is around what tempo do you thnk you are swimming when you swam yoru relaxed 400, which from what I can see is actually yoru fastest? you indicate yoru stroke count was lower on the relaxed set, which suggests to me taht your tempo was probably also much slower than the 'timed' sets you did.

Why not try another similar set, this time with increasing tempos. Start at 1.14 and go upward until your SPL hits 34, as it did in your 'relaxed' set. What is your time and tempo when you hit 34 SPL? Does doing a 'timed' TT set at that rate match your fastest, relaxed 400? And then progressing to faster tempos, does your time again slow down? If so, you've foudn your sweet spot for training...doing a variety of set distances around that tempo with shorter sets slightly faster. After a week or two of playing around with tempos in that area and some shorter, harder sets, repeat this set you posted here and see waht kind of results you get.

Just my thoughts...Great discussion.
__________________
Suzanne Atkinson, MD
Coach of 4 time USA Triathlon Triathlete of the Year, Kirsten Sass
Steel City Endurance, LTD
Fresh Freestyle

Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 07-19-2010
LennartLarsson LennartLarsson is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 42
LennartLarsson
Default Wise advice

Suzanne, I think your ideas are smart and actually I have been thinking the same way. I do not have a lot of TT experience really, but I came to the conclusion that you need to find some kind of optimum to work from. I have tried some other sets with about the same results, i.e. increase of tempo does not really make me go faster, rather more uncontrolled. Stroke length goes down and stroke rate up. Look at this one (sets of 4x200 meters, long course):

TT 1.12 03.14 03.14 03.14 03.12

TT 1.10 03.12 03.12 03.12 03.12

TT 1.08 03.12 03.12 03.14 03.10

I was rather tired on the last two, but managed to focus better on the technique on the last repeat, which gave 3.10.

I will take your advice and try to optimize SPL and SR. Thanks Suzanne.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 07-19-2010
CoachSuzanne CoachSuzanne is offline
Coach
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 2,453
CoachSuzanne
Default

Lennart,

Since you didn't show any significant increase in speed with this set, I'd reverse it and see what happens.

Try 3 rounds of 4 x 200m at teh following TT settings:
1.14, 1.16, 1.18

Record stroke count and time. Even if it seems counterintuitive, i would like to know what happens to your SPL and time as the tempo gets slower.
__________________
Suzanne Atkinson, MD
Coach of 4 time USA Triathlon Triathlete of the Year, Kirsten Sass
Steel City Endurance, LTD
Fresh Freestyle

Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 07-19-2010
tri-inghard tri-inghard is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 11
tri-inghard
Default Tempo Trainer

Lennart, CoachSuzanne, and Terry,

Lennart, I hope I am not getting off the point of your tempo trainer question per the repetition of the 400 yards. I too am often disappointed at my times based on what I thought they would be using the tempo trainer.

The tempo trainer is great for my focus, my main swim buddy does not like it and will not use it. I am currently trying to figure out the correct tempo for training at various yardages (i.e. 25, 50, 100, 200, and 500). I am 5 ft 1.5 inches tall and 52 years old. If I swim 50 yards at a pace of a stroke every 1.0 seconds and use 40 stokes my time will be around 49 or 50 seconds versus my hoped for 46 seconds. Perhaps the difference is just my ability to see the pace clock or I am taking more than three beeps off the wall. Regardless, with the mind focused on swimming the tempo trainer math is still not second nature to me.

My thought / question per this is as follows:

Since swimming is core driven, I have been trying to quietly and smoothly go from right side sweet spot to left side sweet spot (obviously on my back) thinking right hip drive / left hip drive. I will do this for 25 yards (without fins) at the chosen tempo trainer rate I am trying to teach to my body. Then I will rest and swim 25 yards, hopefully at 17 to 18 strokes. If this stroke count is exceeded I do the sweet spot drill again. If not, after a rest I aim for 50 yards in 36 -38 strokes and repeat the process for 100 yards in 80 strokes. Does this idea of "separating the core" from the "arms and legs" make any sense? I feel as though I am better able to relax at the tempo rate on my back and get a better sense of body rotation at that pace for the follow up swim.

Tri-inghard
Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are Off
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT. The time now is 05:22 AM.


Powered by vBulletin®
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.