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  #11  
Old 12-21-2013
jenson1a jenson1a is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AWP View Post
Sherry
I'm not quite sure what you both mean here.
If I could suggest other things to hone:

*neutral head position/relaxed, looking down
*extension, especially the lead arm
*spearing depth/balance
**timing, flick-to-spear**

Other nuances come next. Use the TT @ moderate tempos (not too slowly) if you wish to balance your stroking cycles while focused on these.
Have fun and keep us up.

Best
Alan
Alan

Not sure if you had seen my video, but I think what Andy was commenting on was the fact that part of my forward motion was misdirected by too much lateral movement--side to side (over rotation?). He had linked his comment to a video that was illustrating the use of a vasa trainer. This video showed clearly what to do and what not to do. This was posted in the freestyle thread and title of thread was Need Direction.

Was very interested in your comment about the head position. I had noticed that I do not keep my head down. Part of that is the result of the type of pool I swim in. It is a resort pool--no lane dividers or the nice black lines on bottom. I constantly have to look up to see where I am--bad habit.

Also in the thread Tempo Pyramid vs strokerate ramp test you advised that if a person's stroke was broken, to fix it first. Well my stroke is far from perfect, but in doing the ATP, I noticed the following. My slowest time was 65.6 seconds @ 1.6 and fastest time was 56 seconds @1.4 Now here comes the really sad part.

Total time to complete this pyramid was 26 minutes. Total swim time was 10 minutes. That means my total rest time was 16 minutes.



Now logic tells me my "stroke is broken", but maybe this (the ATP) is just something I have to continue to plug along on?

Any advice?

Sherry
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  #12  
Old 12-27-2013
andyinnorway andyinnorway is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jenson1a View Post
Alan



Total time to complete this pyramid was 26 minutes. Total swim time was 10 minutes. That means my total rest time was 16 minutes.



Now logic tells me my "stroke is broken", but maybe this (the ATP) is just something I have to continue to plug along on?

Any advice?

Sherry
I wouldn't worry about that. When I first started doing the 4x25,3x50,2x75,1x100 pyramid my rest periods were over double my swim time. It all comes down with repetition.
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  #13  
Old 12-27-2013
AWP AWP is offline
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Sherry
(Sorry I missed your last post.)
I'll concur with Andy on the "rest" idea. While developing your swimming and your swim practices, take as much rest as needed, this can only help and reassure you as you move along. It's not an exam or tied to a deadline. You're developing your holistic mind-body (neural) growth.

As far as the pool you're using, do a few slow 'heads up' lengths counting strokes. This should give you a sense of where you are and where you'll be.

It's fine to practice something like the ATP and focus on your swimming, just don't be too concerned with outcomes on an ATP. Instead be concerned about your form, sense of feel and effort while doing an ATP. When it becomes familiar then perhaps switch focus(es) to 'performance' related exercises; marking outcomes only for information; count strokes.
Later, use that info to further guide (remind) you through practices.

A detailed layout of your actual set would help decipher where we can make suggestions.
Regardless, I'll say to find a comfy zone, your zone and one you can swim in consistently (this should be a relatively narrow range of tempos eg. if TT setting 1.40 is comfy then play in the 1.39> 1.49 range). While there work on your form; count strokes. When you feel ready take that into another zone, your outer zone, and maybe see if you can manage some competency there (*intense focus alert*).
Eventually you'll feel a pull towards a challenge and so then set a goal, your "challenge zone", again a narrow range of tempos outside your present comfort level. Maybe a zone that will enable you to make overall gains in endurance/speed for a desired distance(s).
I found my "challenge zone" today.

Best
Alan
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  #14  
Old 01-15-2014
AWP AWP is offline
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After the holiday break I'd returned to a focus on drawing out gains in efficiency and speed, with consistency, in my practice.
A step by step procedure utilizing both Tempo Trainer and stroke counting measures, and am back 'on track' with some measured improvements.

I'll share a part of a couple of recent practices that illustrated a bit of these improvements in efficiency. Each part followed a 20-30 minute tune-up or initial practice sets and proceeded with warm downs.
The entire practice(s) set up to "pull" me towards another level; another level of competence, efficiency, comfort and performance.

From Practice A - stroke counting
1. 3x50
2. 3x75
3. 3x100
4. 3x125
5. 3x150
6. 1(3)x200
In each series of these repeats my intention was to descend each set by 'finding' my spl for the initial repeat and then reducing my spl (increasing my dps) while maintaining pace. *High Focus Alert*
The results:
1. :43 / :42 / :41
2. 1:05 / 1:03 / 1:02
3. 1:25 / 1:22 / 1:20
4. 1:49 / 1:46 / 1:45
5. 2:10 / 2:07 / 2:09#
6. 2:57 / ? / ?
Although I managed to descend each set I faltered a bit on pace when I reached the 125s. Here's how I did:
1. pace
2. on pace
3. -:01 / -:02 / -:02
4. +:02 / +:03 / +:04
5. +:01 / +:01 / +:06#
6. +:05
#- This 2:09 and :06 deficit was due to a completely flubbed turn (3rd turn) so decided to just re-gain form and take the hit.

I also managed only one 200 repeat before I ended the exercise. I knew I was off pace, possibly fatigued, so stopped.

OK, the positives were :
I did manage to descend each round.
I did manage to keep pace relatively close; faltered on the 125s, improved on the 150s (except that last one) and even bettered it on the 100s.
I did manage to maintain focus and comfort.
But most exciting was...
I did all that while reducing my stroke count by 1 - 2 strokes each successive repeat in each set! I'd say I ninja'd that.
I also now know where in a series of practice sets and at which distances I can focus to either improve on my ninja effect or more importantly where I need to start adding back strokes for improved performance (Note: I'll be greedy here).

Practice B - TempoTrainer mixed with drill/tech exercise
After my tune-up I marked my time @ TT setting 1.05. In previous practices I'd come in on 1:25 and so used this as my guide as I proceeded.
I was happy when I came in @ 1:22 on my initial 1.05 tempo. Something sunk in.
Next I did repeats of 150s - 300s swimming them as 50yds w/closed fist, 50 w/ finger extended, 50 open handed, increasing the distance of open handed lengths by 50yds each go. Mixed with this I was utilizing several drills such as spear switch, swing switch.
After each set of form focus I'd 'test' myself @ 100 yards, hold spl and mark time.
How I did:
TT setting 1.05
1:22
TT setting 1.02
1:20
TT setting 1.00
1:19 *
TT setting .98
1:19 (glimpse of 1:18)
TT setting 1.02
1:19 *
All repeats were done @ the same average spl except @ tempos 1.00 and my final repeat @ 1.02 where I increased dps and pace!
Another key point, upon returning to TT setting 1.02 at the end I was able to mark the same time as on TT setting 1.00 only stroking 'slower' thus easier.
The first time in awhile I'd completed a sub 1:20 100 yards and more importantly the first time I'd done so intentionally and with some precision. I know how to get there now!

Last edited by AWP : 01-15-2014 at 08:08 PM.
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  #15  
Old 01-16-2014
AWP AWP is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AWP
(In previous practices I'd come in on 1:25 and so used this as my guide as I proceeded.
I was happy when I came in @ 1:22 on my initial 1.05 tempo. Something sunk in.
)

At the end of today's practice session, my 'test' 100 yards @ TT setting 1.05 had me at 1:20! and fewer strokes!
I'll look to cement these gains, making it more sustainable as distance or tempo increases.
More later...
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  #16  
Old 03-02-2014
AWP AWP is offline
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My process and progress continues in my recent practices with some promising 'holds' on efficiency.
I continue to mix both TT practice with stroke counting 'specific' practices but mostly on separate occasions.
I was excited when during one session, on a 'test' set, I managed a level of control I've yet to achieve so precisely and easily. That test was done @ 50 yard repeats, counting strokes, and had me climb my stroke per length range ladder while peeling away seconds for strokes, not effort just strokes.

I began at 12spl and :44 to 16spl and :36; a pb for control for gain.
(so precisely 2 more strokes per repeat resulted in precisely a 2 seconds improvement in speed per repeat!)

Similarly I've done a 'test' swim @ 100 yards using the same stroke counting process.
E.G.
SPL TIME
13/14 - 1:32
14 - 1:26
14/15 - 1:24
15 - 1:21
15/16 - 1:19
16 - 1:18
*
16/17 - 1:18

I hit a wall on that last repeat but had planned on only 6 repeats. Having felt good after the sixth and excited about the result, I chose to do one more 'trying' to swim @ 17 spl. A fail mostly because I've not tuned myself for that stroke count or tempo necessary to produce a successful combination of metrics. Have yet to venture consciously into the 17-18spl range. When I've been there I was 'floundering' and lost efficiency, another level...
Perhaps next time I'll begin at a higher stroke count, especially in tune-up and when time- for- strokes evens out I'll begin. I can also look to play with "fitting in" 17s on successive repeats to see what I can learn; both with TT and counting strokes.

I've also introduced the other strokes to my practices to add an additional layer of thought and for change+ work different muscles.

More to come... much more.

Best,
Alan

P.S. will try and gather my notes to post some "pull-to-speed" (PTS) set examples and continue to share any insights or developments.
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  #17  
Old 03-04-2014
AWP AWP is offline
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Today's practice, borrowed from TL (a re-do):
Stroke + tempo maintenance

Monday March 3rd @ YMCA 25y pool (3200 yards)
Tune-up 2x150 as
150FR @14spl
150FR/BK @14/16spl

Ladder
FR 100y-150y-200y-250y @ 14spl

Pull Set
5x100FR @
TT Time
1.08 1:24
1.14 1:25
1.20 1:26
1.26 1:27
1.23 1:24
I managed to average 14spl on the entire set taking 15spl on a couple lengths at the quicker tempo and 13spl on a couple at the slower tempo finishing at tempo 1.23 while marking the same time as tempo 1.08, a much quicker tempo!
Although my marked time increased as tempo slowed, it increased only slightly while I held stoke length and while tempo slowed 'dramatically'. By then increasing tempo, only marginally, I was able to increase speed easily at a much slower tempo than where I started.

Main Set
5x250FR
TT Time
1.25 3:51
1.24 3:50
1.23 3:49
1.22* 3:46*
1.21** 3:44**
I managed to average 14spl on this set as well.
Now, on a recent thread on the Freestyle conference I believe, Coach Suzanne made a comment about the 2bk staying in the shadow of a swimmer and how it can stay there by relaxing each leg in turn. I got that, and perhaps even applied that in previous sessions but never really focused completely on it, somehow thinking I was doing that 'enough'.
Well today I applied that focus with a rewarding result as in the last two repeats of this main set. I knew I was finding something 'new' for me because the feeling I had as I scanned was something different, more relaxed and pretty effortless so to speak. I'll definitely play with this more.

After the last repeat of the main set I swam a 150FR w/o TT @ 14spl and came in @ 2:12 (:44 per 50, 1:28 per 100, 3:40 per 250).

Finished w/ 300 yards of warm down; FR/BK sets.
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  #18  
Old 03-04-2014
jenson1a jenson1a is offline
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AWP

While you are way above what I can do, I really enjoy reading your posts. I like the way you think and plan your sessions. Also like the consistency you are getting in your strokes and times. Don't know if you ever thought of going into coaching, but I think you would make a good one.

Looking forward to your next post

Sherry
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  #19  
Old 03-05-2014
AWP AWP is offline
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First off thank you Sherry, & I do consider myself the best coach I have! ; )

Now here's a 'wild' one for you, after repeats @ 50, 100 & 200 yards of FR,BK and BR I was ready for some 'quick' but short repeats utilizing the TempoTrainer. An experiment in drawing out and maintaining speed. Here's what I did:

25x50 yards "TEX" (Tempo EXperiment)
TT
1.00
1.06
*
1.02
1.08
*
1.04
1.06
*
1.02
1.00 (:39)
*
.94
.98 (:39)
*
.92
.96 (:38)
*
.95
.93
.91 (:38)
*
.94
.98 (:38)
1.00 (.39s)
1.02 (:39s)
1.04 (:39s)
1.06 (:40)#
*
1.02
1.00
.98
1.00 (:39)

I spent the first few pair of repeats tuning in and began marking time when I returned to tempo setting 1.00. From there I would gauge my progress.
If you look closely you may notice my 'pattern', haphazard as it may seem, it was an attempt to 'step' my way through (sort of like bobbing a fishing line in hopes of a bite, only I was fishing for easy speed/efficiency).

When I felt an improvement (as @ .96) I would mark the time and continue raising the tempo. When I felt my form/efficiency about to be compromised I'd stop and re-mark time. If it improved I'd continue ever so slightly so as not to compromise form. In this case after reaching .91 with no measurable improvement in time I knew to slow tempo to find it, and did so to speak, @ .98 same time but slower tempo which was much easier
.

I then decided to continue upping tempo and see how far before I reached over :39. I managed to reach 1.06 @ :40, a 1:20 100y pace and totally sustainable tempo! (I realize it's only @ 50y but a favorable measure for improvement in distance).

The last set of repeats did not gain me any 'magical' speed however I know I'd probably leave out the initial 1.0 repeat if I tried again. All in all I managed to maintain pace and improve a bit at no costly effort; what I was looking for.

Walking back to the locker room the lifeguard mentioned to me "hey, you could probably swim a 6:40 500! I'm starting to believe him! (it did interest me that he was paying attention...)
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  #20  
Old 03-14-2014
AWP AWP is offline
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I carried my focus to 200s on my last session with the same premise in mind, this go counting strokes.
Marked only first round of repeats, being happy with that I played it out.
I like to test run a planned set sometimes, before marking metrics, to acclimate and see if I feel it will benefit me to do so.
Doing a series of 200s cycling through stroke count range to see if my 'efficiency' holds (is holding). This is followed by quicker tempo/rate sets at much shorter repeats; as 50s.
What made me happy? trading strokes for seconds...
200s
1. 14spl - 3:08
2. 15spl - 2:59
3. 16spl - 2:50

So for each added stroke per length I was able to subtract
a second in time completed, a sign that I was holding 'efficiency'.
(interestingly enough I took 14spl on each initial length of each repeat)

Can I go faster? Sure. How? By taking more strokes? Perhaps, but for how long and at what cost (?)
Nah, instead I can adapt by doing more repeats (which I did, unmarked though) allowing my neural adaptation to kick in, focusing on reducing drag focal points. Likewise, I could add a bit of oomph to my kick say on the last length... the last two lengths, three etc.. Also a more pronounced firmness to my catch (ever so briefly) again on select lengths of each repeat.
Lots of opportunities for future set planning as I'd like to carry this focus to a mile improvement project.
I'll also review my spl range and tempo range for each to give myself, and maybe others, a sense of how I approach what I do and why. Posting here helps me mentally 'work out' my efforts and hopefully gather some input.
The little 'successes' are addicting and, I feel, lead to solid improvement and overall better swimming experience.

Best,
Alan
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