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  #11  
Old 08-25-2011
CoachSuzanne CoachSuzanne is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KenW View Post

While I can pull off these great SPL numbers, I cannot get my TT faster than 1.30 at the moment. Hence, I cannot swim very fast. My pace is currently 1:35 per 100 yards whereas it was about 1:30 per 100 yards a year ago before I started working on improving my stroke.

I suspect what SPL hides is how relaxed I am or not when I am swimming at that SPL.
What happens when you try to increase your rate with the tempo trainer, and what kinds of sets are you trying with it?

A fun one I learned from Dave Cameron, is to start at 1.3, go up by .02 in 25s or 50s until you get to 1.40...then come back down by .03s for the same # of ntervals. You'll finish several hundreths of a second faster in your stroke rate than where you started, but you should maintaine the same sense of easy stroke you had at the slower tempo by coming down gradually.
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  #12  
Old 08-25-2011
TomH TomH is offline
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I had a similar problem. What worked for me was to ease off a bit at the lower TT setting (1.30 in your case), and try do do 200 or 300 yards at a slightly higher SPL (maybe 14 in your case). Once that is doable, then try increasing TT slightly (maybe to 1.25), and try to swim the 200 yards at 14 SPL at the faster TT setting. Once that is doable, repeat at a slightly faster TT setting, etc. etc.

I found that the single lengths at max low SPL are helpful to my technique, but I had to increase the SPL a bit in order to swim any length, and/or so that I could swim at a faster TT setting.
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  #13  
Old 08-25-2011
RobM77 RobM77 is offline
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Applying common sense to this surely there's an ideal SPL which isn't the lowest or the highest, but somewhere in the middle? I should imagine it's a bell shaped curve.

For example, I've noticed that I swim faster with less effort if I go from about 25 to 20 SPL(25m). It's a common mistake that I make to try harder and go slower because my SPL goes up. This is such a common error that I'm sure coaches get tired of telling swimmers to lower their SPL, but surely that's not because low = good, it's because most people are too high. Now, as with anyone, I could choose to make my SPL whatever I wanted (from 1 to about 40!), but I've been finding my ideal SPL, which surely is anyone's aim, rather than getting it as low as possible?
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  #14  
Old 08-25-2011
celeslau celeslau is offline
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Default Work on SPL or speed first?

Quote:
Originally Posted by CoachSuzanne View Post
A fun one I learned from Dave Cameron, is to start at 1.3, go up by .02 in 25s or 50s until you get to 1.40...then come back down by .03s for the same # of ntervals. You'll finish several hundreths of a second faster in your stroke rate than where you started, but you should maintaine the same sense of easy stroke you had at the slower tempo by coming down gradually.
Hi Coach Suzanne, I'm a little confused. As a novice who started off using a TT at 1.3 with 25SPL/25m, and now at 23SPL/25m with TT at 1.38, should I be working to lower my SPL and TT then increase them to get speed when I've achieved 'optimal' SPL say 20SPL?

Today when I truly focused on my form at 1.38, I did a comfortable 23SPL, before that, I felt stuck at 25SPL even with a 1.35/1.38 TT - meaning I was not as efficient even with a slower TT. So I should be aiming to maintain the same efficiency as I did with a 1.38 TT even as I up my TT to say 1.3/1.25 to maintain a low SPL?

Also, I'm a little unfamiliar with internal training in the pool (unlike with running). What do I do at intervals at the end of a lap? I'm usually so focused on my form that I don't track how many laps I've done. If I start thinking about 4×25m, I get a little distracted from focus.

Thanks:)
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  #15  
Old 08-25-2011
grandall grandall is offline
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If I might add my two cents.
Velocity = SL*SR...you can't have one without the other.
George
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What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.
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  #16  
Old 08-25-2011
dshen dshen is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by celeslau View Post
Hi Coach Suzanne, I'm a little confused. As a novice who started off using a TT at 1.3 with 25SPL/25m, and now at 23SPL/25m with TT at 1.38, should I be working to lower my SPL and TT then increase them to get speed when I've achieved 'optimal' SPL say 20SPL?

Today when I truly focused on my form at 1.38, I did a comfortable 23SPL, before that, I felt stuck at 25SPL even with a 1.35/1.38 TT - meaning I was not as efficient even with a slower TT. So I should be aiming to maintain the same efficiency as I did with a 1.38 TT even as I up my TT to say 1.3/1.25 to maintain a low SPL?

Also, I'm a little unfamiliar with internal training in the pool (unlike with running). What do I do at intervals at the end of a lap? I'm usually so focused on my form that I don't track how many laps I've done. If I start thinking about 4×25m, I get a little distracted from focus.

Thanks:)
I've been playing with the TT incessantly and love it for the data points it provides on SL, SR, and overall improvement in speed.

Some quick thoughts:

Changes will happen over time. Sometimes they can happen within one workout, and sometimes it takes many weeks of practice with the TT. Suzanne's workout above shows that many times when you go up the tempo pyramid and back down again, you can see improvement because your nervous system adjusted within one workout - wow! cool!

However, I can tell you that sometimes changes require much practice, effort, and focus over longer periods of time as well. For example, I am building towards the Waikiki Rough Water Swim on Labor Day. However, my experience at swimming OW races means I want to get my tempo up as close to 1.0s as possible to combat the rough conditions that could batter my body at lower tempos. But I dont just want to swipe my arms faster through the water; if I'm gonna swim at that tempo, I want to be faster too!

But I've been working on adaptation for the last 2 months through every workout, using both shorter workouts (ie. 800-1200y) and longer workouts (ie. 3000-4000m), using the tempo trainer to keep conditioning my body and nervous system to maintain efficiency at higher tempos.

In the beginning, I would slowly raise tempo but found that i was losing efficiency and getting overly tired and uncomfortable at only 1.15s. Then over the weeks I keep working out intervals both short and long while challenging the tempo by raising it. Sometimes I do better and sometimes I find that I actually reverse and these days I just don't have the same efficiency. It can be frustrating to be improving and then all of a sudden you have a day or two where you can't seem to get it back. But don't worry about that - just keep at it. Overall, you will improve which is what happened after I kept at it.

Now I am down to about 1.02s where I can see my length/laps time dropping nicely but then when I get faster than 1.02s, I can see my length/lap times start to slow down. But it took me almost 2 months of consistent, focused work, and with the help of my Swimsense, recording times and thinking about the last workout and then strategizing on the next.

Now back to your comments - in general, you should be more efficient at lower tempos than at higher, but anything can go wrong in terms of body balance which you may lose if you are swimming more slowly. If anything you should master perfect form at any tempo and generally there is a range of tempos where you will find that to be the easiest. Super slow tempos are very hard to maintain good form, as are super high tempos. Thus, we strive to do better outside our comfort zones until we can, as Coach Shinji says, have many "gears" and use them strategically during a race to cruise or to sprint past a competitor.

I would also not get antsy about losing efficiency on one length. Swim it again at the same tempo. Did you get the same result? Sometimes I can swim many lengths at the same tempo and get different times. There can be many reasons for that: maybe you're getting tired, maybe you lost focus, etc.

One goal would be to, at any given tempo, that you always swim with the same SPL, tempo, and time. This means you have mastery at certain level of efficiency for a given tempo and you want to be able to maintain that over long periods of time for a race which is good. You don't want to vary so much in time/SPL/other metrics because it shows you haven't mastered form yet or just can't mentally/physically pull it together that workout day.

It may also simply mean you should get out of the pool - I've done that on some days where I just could not seem to do anything right and it was just time to not force it and get out. The next day, all these problems disappeared so it was not something to angst over.

Re: interval training

Did you mean time interval swim training or simply counting of intervals?

keep us posted on your progress!
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  #17  
Old 08-31-2011
celeslau celeslau is offline
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Default Tempo Pyramid

Hi David,
Thanks for the great advice. I tried playing with tempo going up and down with TT. It was eye-opening ! At slower TT like 1.6, I felt imbalanced, and had to go back to basics of head body legs alignment and spearing deep. I could sense if I was even gliding at all. I only realised I over compensated this lack of gliding when my right elbow hurt a little afterwards as I had pulled too hard to maintain gliding speed instead of using core rotation to drive my hips and arms. Lots of practicing to be done...
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  #18  
Old 09-02-2011
Alex-SG Alex-SG is offline
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Default Quick POLL: What is your stroke Length ?

OK everyone, it seems clear that SL alone is not enough for benchmarking purpose.
However, like DSHEN, I would love to see some kind of TI standard way to be able to assess TI progress.

In Golf they have the concept of Handicap which gives a pretty good idea about a golfer's ability.

This morning I managed to lower the TT to SR=1.33 and still have some level of comfort in my stroke. SPL=18, removing my 3.5m push off that gives a SL=1.194m. Is that good or not considering my height is 1m91 (legs=1m) ?

Is there a way to define a MAX SL = Highest practical Stroke Length?

Thanks. ALEX
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  #19  
Old 09-03-2011
Ghul Ghul is offline
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Sun Yang apparently broke the 1500 world record on 28 SPL over 50m. He appeared to take about 5m underwater, so 45m swum, and distance per
stroke about 45/28=1.6m. He is about 2m tall, so distance per stroke is about
80% of height. His SPL was unusualy low even for olympians so perhaps this is some kind of bound.
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