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  #31  
Old 10-28-2010
KatieK KatieK is offline
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I tried Boken's suggestion today of setting the TT for two strokes. Let's just say I'm not a prodigy at that. I still think that idea has potential, but I'm putting it back on the shelf for the next week or so...

I spent most of my practice just paying attention to my stroke and how it relates to the beep. It felt like I was learning something by doing that. I hope. (I'm learning about humility in any case.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by haschu33 View Post
No real advice, maybe, but I noticed something when I use a faster stroke rate: rhythm. From some TT timing downwards - it's for me around 1.2 or a little faster than that - rhythm becomes prominent and changes from deliberate recovery, deliberate catch, deliberate pull, deliberate kick to an overall rhythm that does not consist so much of single parts but actually of a whole stroke, it really is a full stroke. So it is not so much the feel of each single movement but more like music - a rhythm. I cannot remember how and how fast to move parts of my body at a certain pace, but I can remember a rhythm without TT.
I don't know if this is understandable, I just can't put it in better words.

BTW rhythm in swimming I noticed is when it gets really fun.
Which speaks in favour of faster rates - once balance and stroke is established at slow rates..
Haschu, I think you're on to something with this. My stroke has phases, not an overall rhythm. I'm definitely aware of the "deliberate" sensation you described, especially since I've been paying more attention to the sensations at each point in the stroke.

I was thinking today that I don't think I would have this problem with breaststroke. That stroke is so ingrained in me, it feels like there's nothing to *do*. With freestyle, it still seems like there are a whole bunch of tasks to complete on each stroke.

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Originally Posted by AWP View Post
Well, right away, after reading your last paragraph I can pretty much guarantee that after a cold water (-70F) immersion your stroke rate would become considerably quicker!
Alan, what you say makes *perfect* sense, but I'm not sure it's true in my case. When I'm cold, I definitely try to stroke faster. That attempt makes me feel warmer. And TIRED. But, the data is telling me that all I'm doing is working extra-hard to hit a tempo that would feel s-l-o-w with the TT. Either I'm flailing, or the adrenaline from feeling rushed/anxious gets my heart rate up.

In my last race, I did three separate events, totaling 7K, with very little rest in between. Unlike stroke rate, I have a pretty reliable sense of stroke length, even in OW when I don't have a way to measure it.

I did some estimates of my stroke rate for those three events. The formula I used was as follows:
Total # of Strokes = (SPL Feeling + 3 for pushoff + 2 to be conservative) * 1.0936133 converts to meters * (Distance in meters / 25)
Estimated Stroke Rate = Finish Time in Seconds / Total # of Strokes

Since I'd already learned (the hard way) that I can't swim fast without the TT, my goal was to swim slowly, maintain a long stroke, and enjoy myself.

Here's how it went.
-1st Event: 1K, Stroke Feeling 16 SPL, Estimated Stroke Rate 1.47. (I would have guessed 1.2-1.3)
-2nd Event: 2K, Stroke Feeling 17 SPL, Estimate Stroke Rate 1.44. (I would have guessed 1.2-1.3 as above).
-I got COLD. Decided to speed up for the 4K--both because I wanted to warm up and because I knew I had plenty of energy left to finish.
-4K Event: Stroke Feeling 19 SPL, Estimated Stroke Rate 1.39. (I would have guessed 1.0-1.1 to start, 0.9 at the end)

So, I was able to speed up my stroke rate a little, but my "fast" stroke rate was much slower than I would ever set the TT. I usually set it between 1.1 and 0.8. Maybe up to 1.3 if I have a specific reason.

Thanks for all the encouragement,
Katie
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  #32  
Old 10-28-2010
terry terry is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by haschu33 View Post
I found it nicely warm in Singapore, although the humidity is quite demanding. And the difference between air-conditioned rooms and the outside is shocking sometimes.
Since I've lived 57 of my 59 years without air conditioning at home (exception being while living in an apt in Richmond VA 1978-79) it's perhaps been easier for me. I'm staying in a fairly rustic 'resort' - a very spartan room, in a row of attached rooms that have doors at front and rear. I close them while sleeping and turn on air con as they call it here. While awake I open them and turn off the ac. The breezes flowing through -- and the bird noises -- make it quite delightful.

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I loved the food in S'pore, especially in those hawker centers. My favourite was Maxwell hawker center. If you don't mind the somewhat rustic atmosphere you can eat delicious food for a few Singapore Dollars and have a nice Tiger Beer with it (which costs more than the food).
I've eaten mostly in Hawker centers and like them as much as you do. Also ate from street vendors in Chinatown, topping the meal with durian a very popular fruit that is butt-ugly and has a taste that is acquired. I could see myself developing affection for it over time. Not so the Tiger beer. I had one bottle but am not really a lager drinker.

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I first thought that you are swimming in a 50 m pool, I though they are rare or don't exist in Singapore.
The city operates quite a few 50m pools. I swam yesterday in Jalan Besang which shares space with an impressive soccer stadium. They don't believe in lane lines so as it got more crowded it was like OW swimming.
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  #33  
Old 10-29-2010
haschu33 haschu33 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KatieK View Post
... My stroke has phases, not an overall rhythm. I'm definitely aware of the "deliberate" sensation you described, especially since I've been paying more attention to the sensations at each point in the stroke.

... With freestyle, it still seems like there are a whole bunch of tasks to complete on each stroke. ...
I know exactly what you mean.

Still. You can swim several k (unlike me), so your stroke should be quite stable. At a faster pace I don't focus on details, I focus broadly on streamlining and mainly on: catch&spear catch&spear catch&spear...
That makes the rhythm. Everything else should fall into it's place on it's own. And it does. If it does it with me, it must do it with you a lot more because your stroke must be much more stable.

Maybe you 'over-focus'. Why not relax a bit and *trust* your stroke and go for the feel of the rhythm?

I think focussing can become a bad habit, too, if we get unable to drop it when we need to.

Also, how is it when you go really fast, like 0.8 ? Do you still have time to focus on details? Maybe it is easier at fast speeds to get the swing.


Hang on in there!
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  #34  
Old 11-02-2010
KatieK KatieK is offline
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Default Trade-off between rhythm and stroke length

Quote:
Originally Posted by haschu33 View Post
Still. You can swim several k (unlike me), so your stroke should be quite stable.
Haschu33, if you want to swim longer distances, I'm confident you can do it. It's just a matter of working up to it gradually.

Quote:
Originally Posted by haschu33 View Post
how is it when you go really fast, like 0.8 ? Do you still have time to focus on details? Maybe it is easier at fast speeds to get the swing.
No matter how fast I'm going, I deliberately reserve some time at the end of the stroke to stretch my lead arm for as long as I can. This causes a slight pause, but it lengthens my stroke.

My coach figured out that I often miss one beep per length while swimming with the TT at faster speeds. I had had a suspicion about that, but it didn't make any sense. I couldn't figure out how I could miss one beep and hit the rest of them. I think what happens is I get slightly behind and then sneak in a longer pause to catch the next beep.

She said that at faster speeds, I shouldn't try so hard to keep my lead arm as patient as I can at slower speeds. To help me get rid of the pause, she had me switch back to timing the beep to my spearing arm instead of the kick. My SPL went way up, but she said it made my stroke look better. Smoother and with a more consistent rhythm.

Doing it that way took caused me a lot more physical exertion, but I did get a better feel for the rhythm of the stroke rate. I felt like I was rushing, but I didn't miss any beeps.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AWP View Post
I can pretty much guarantee that after a cold water (-70F) immersion your stroke rate would become considerably quicker! If you can stay in long enough (coherently) to remember that feeling you're all set : ) .
On my most recent lake swim, I started to get a sense of this. I had the tempo trainer set to 1.1 which usually feels leisurely. The water temperature had dropped, so I was really cold for the first ~250 yds. Then, I started to get a sensation of the rhythm of one stroke falling into the rhythm of the next. The 1.1 pace felt very brisk. The term "kinetic chain" kept popping into my head. I started getting that sensation of my warm body being separate from the cold water.

When I got out of the lake, I felt like I'd made great progress. But, when I got back in the pool the next day, my SPL was way off. I have actually noticed that before. Any time I focus on elbow circles or using the gravity of the spear to initiate rotation, I shorten my stroke.

So, I guess the next step is figure out how to keep my stroke long while focusing on rhythm.
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  #35  
Old 11-02-2010
AWP AWP is offline
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A little something I think of when the tempo picks up is the extension on the lats. A minute feeling but one I can definitely ascertain, like a tug. If I focus on what's in front, pausing, I'm almost always delayed. So, I put faith in my neural system, that my extending hand and arm will hit its target (many hours spent doing that), and put my attention on this feeling. Since the feeling of extension seems briefer while focused on this as opposed to reaching with the arms I can more easily, more quickly place myself in a position of a firm catch and a readied recovery. I don't try to make this feeling happen I'm just aware of it. Keep it up Kid!
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  #36  
Old 11-05-2010
terry terry is offline
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Default One Practice without TT and one with TT

I"m staying at the Grand Hotel in Taipei for a week. It has a lovely outdoor, unheated 50m pool. Lines on the bottom but no lane markers to the water gets a bit wavy with several swimmers going at once. Every morning between 0630 and 0800 I see middle-aged and older Chinese swimming with impressive ease. I love being in their midst. One or more look to be practicing TI nearly every day. (TI is very popular in Taiwan as a result of 30k copies of my latest book in complex chinese characters sold here in last 3 yrs.)

Some years ago, I read John Douillard's book, "Body, Mind, Sport" about the application of mindfulness principles to sports practice. One is the ayurvedic technique of doing nose-only breathing in a variety of endurance activities.
TI Coach Grant Molyneux writes extensively about the practice in his book "Effortless Endurance" which TI will release here as an e-book in the coming week.

Some runners and cyclists have reported exciting breakthroughs from its practice It's more of a challenge in swimming - because you need to inhale through your mouth. Since reading Grant's book on Monday, I've experimented several times this week with the technique. I keep my mouth closed between inhales and nose-breathe only during rest breaks between repeats. It's gotten easier - and more relaxing - each time I've practiced it.

Both days my warmup was 50+100+150+200, resting 3 breaths between swims and trying to stay close to initial SPL. I stayed within +2 of SPL on my first 50 throughout.

Yesterday I swam 4 x 500 counting strokes and progressing through a variety of Focal Points. On my first 2 x 500 I used Balance Thoughts; on the next 2 x 500 Streamlining Thoughts. The Balance thoughts were quite relaxing. The Streamlining Thoughts improved SPL by 1-2 per 50m.

I finished with 10 x 50. The goal here was to swim at the fastest pace I could manage while holding same SPL as on the 500s. My primary focus was on achieving a pronounced sense of effortless-power-through-integration. It felt amazingly smooth and effective.

Today I swam my warmup at -1 SPL compared to yesterday's. My main set was quite similar 4 rounds of 5 x 100, instead of 4 x 500, but with TT and normal breathing today.
Round 1 @ 1.20 Averaged 77 Strokes for all 5 x 100.
Rounds 2-4 @ 1.19, 1.18, 1.17 respectively. Averaged 78 strokes for rounds 2-3 and 79 strokes for round 4.
Then I swam 8 x 50 increasing tempo by .01 on each. Tempo on #1 - 1.10. Tempo on # 8 - 1.03. 38 SPL on #1-4, 39 SPL on #5-6, 40 SPL on #7-8.

Analysis On 100s
77 strokes x 1.2 = 1:32.4 avg pace for 1st round
78 strokes x 1.19 = 1:32.8 pace
78 strokes x 1.18 = 1:32.0 pace
79 strokes x 1.17 = 1:32.4 pace
So if add one stroke, while increasing tempo by .01 I add a fraction of a second. If I hold SPL while increasing tempo by .01, I subtract a fraction.
It's these sorts of tiny gains, improving SL by a couple of millimeters, or tempo by hundredths of seconds, which can multiply to noticeable gains in speed over the course of weeks.

Analysis on 50s.
38 stk x 1.10 = 41.8 sec
38 x 1.07 (#4) = 40.7 sec
39 x 1.05 (#6) = 41.0 sec.
40 x 1.03 (#8) = 41.2 sec
Knowing I optimize speed-for-effort @ 1.05 is useful info in guiding me on selection of tempo for now. Hopefully in a week or three I can optimize at a slightly faster tempo.
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