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  #41  
Old 09-05-2015
terry terry is offline
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Default A Distance Pyramid with Tempo Trainer in the 50m Pool

Saturday 5 Sept 2500 LCM at Ulster County Pool + 2000m at Lake Minnewaska
Today I'm still in relaxed/restorative mode because I'd like to feel fresh tomorrow morning when I swim my 'broken' 1500 baseline test set for the final time this summer. Even so, because it's Labor Day weekend and my opportunities for outdoor 50m swimming and Lake Minnewaska swims will end on Monday, I'll do one of my infrequent double practices today, a morning session in the pool and late afternoon lake swim.

Main Task:
Distance Pyramid [100 + 200 + 300 + 400 +300 +200 + 100] on an interval of 2:00/100m
In a distance pyramid, you increaser repeat distance over the first half of the set, the decrease it by the same amount over the second half to finish at the same repeat distance you started.
I design all training sets as problem-solving exercises. Today I started at a Tempo of 1.10 sec/stroke and challenged myself to keep my SPL constant as distance increased, then increase tempo as distance decreased, still holding a constant SPL And, because today is a restorative day, I wanted to feel quite at ease throughout.
Summary: I stayed in a range of 41-42 SPL for the entire set, at a very contained effort--below 3 RPE. The key to doing so was to start each stroke with care--with my palm facing back, feeling water pressure on the inside of my forearm and with a very light touch.
My times:
100 1:40
200 3:19
300 4:59
400 6:39 -- all of these were slightly faster than my initial pace of 1:40/100.
300 4:58
200 3:17
100 1:36 - my paces got faster because I increased tempo while keeping SPL constant--which is what won Katie Ledecky 4 gold medals at the World Championships.

After this I moved to a 25m section and held 17 SPL while increasing tempo from 1.10 to 0.90 in .02 increments.

In late afternoon I swam a mostly-continuous 2000 in Lake Miinnewaska with my most fluent form and perfect ease. I counted strokes along the line trying to stay below 160, which is highly efficient for me.
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Terry Laughlin
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My TI Story

Last edited by terry : 09-08-2015 at 03:48 AM.
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  #42  
Old 09-06-2015
terry terry is offline
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Default 2015 Summer Training 'Lab' -- Final Broken 1500 Test Set

Sunday 6 Sept 3000 LCM at Ulster County Pool + 2400 at Lake Minnewaska
I've swum more meters than usual this week, but most was with a high level of focus, but moderate level of exertion. This recovery-oriented swimming was to have me ready for a good effort this morning on my 'final exam' -- the baseline test set of 1500m broken into 5 x 300 on 6:00

I swam this for the first time June 25 with a cumulative time of 24:45. That time I used SPL as my 'controlling' metric, trying to stay between 39 and 42 strokes. I averaged 41 strokes/50 and a pace of 1:39/100. I calculated average tempo at 1.12 sec/stroke. My goal for the summer became to substantially increase tempo while minimizing increase in stroke count . . . so faster tempo would translate into faster pace.

Tuneup
Tempo Pyramid
- from 1.06 to 1.14 and back, changing by .02 each 100. I didn't time these. I only counted strokes, trying to lower then maintain stroke count. I started at 87 strokes/100m and finished at 84.

Baseline Test Set
3 x 500 on 6:00 at increasing tempo
#1 Tempo 1.04 - Time 4:47
#2 Tempo 1.02 - Time 4:44
#3 Tempo 1.00 - Time 4:41
#4 Tempo 0.99 - Time 4:40
#5 Tempo 0.98 - Time 4:39

I kept average SPL barely below 44 throughout the set.
My cumulative time of 23:41 (1:04 faster than 10 weeks ago) equates to 5 percent improvement. I think most people would be quite happy with half a percent of improvement each week, sustained for 10 weeks.

In the afternoon I swam 2400m at mostly restorative pace at Lake Minnewaska, Most lengths of the line I was simply trying to maximize relaxed fluency and seamless integration, and minimize stroke count. On 4 x 200 I swam a pickup from light to firm pressure as I progressed down the length of the cable.
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Terry Laughlin
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My TI Story

Last edited by terry : 09-08-2015 at 03:51 AM.
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  #43  
Old 09-07-2015
s.sciame s.sciame is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by terry View Post
Sunday 6 Sept 3000 LCM at Ulster County Pool
I've swum more meters than usual this week, but most was with a high level of focus, but moderate level of exertion. This recovery-oriented swimming was to have me ready for a good effort this morning on my 'final exam' -- the baseline test set of 1500m broken into 5 x 300 on 6:00

I swam this for the first time June 25 with a cumulative time of 24:45. That time I used SPL as my 'controlling' metric, trying to stay between 39 and 42 strokes. I averaged 41 strokes/50 and a pace of 1:39/100. I calculated average tempo at 1.12 sec/stroke. My goal for the summer became to substantially increase tempo while minimizing increase in stroke count . . . so faster tempo would translate into faster pace.

Tuneup
Tempo Pyramid
- from 1.06 to 1.14 and back, changing by .02 each 100. I didn't time these. I only counted strokes, trying to lower then maintain stroke count. I started at 87 strokes/100m and finished at 84.

Baseline Test Set
3 x 500 on 6:00 at increasing tempo
#1 Tempo 1.04 - Time 4:47
#2 Tempo 1.02 - Time 4:44
#3 Tempo 1.00 - Time 4:41
#4 Tempo 0.99 - Time 4:40
#5 Tempo 0.98 - Time 4:39

I kept average SPL barely below 44 throughout the set.
My cumulative time of 23:41 equates to 5 percent improvement.
Thanks Terry for posting such a detailed training log and congrats for the improvement: a full minute in 2 months is for sure a great achievement. If it's not too late however, my "ultimate exam" would be a straight 1500 LCM without TT to also assess pacing skills and to remove the sendoff "problem" (having the sendoff fixed at 6:00, in the second baseline test you swam faster but also rested more).

I wanted to ask you what changed throughout this process together with adapting to higher rates while protecting stroke length as much as possible. For instance:
1) Was your breathing pattern always the same? And by the way, what's your breathing pattern in the pool and in open water?

2) Did your turns+pushoffs get faster too or you gained speed only from your stroke? More specifically, did you keep the same number of beeps for turn+pushoff when increasing SR or did you allow one more beep at higher rates? Was your pushoff length constant during the whole process and during a given set at different stroke rates?

3) Since you also did a lot of cable swim in open water, do you feel this 5% improvement measured in the pool also applies in cable swims?

I ask this because I feel like my recent pool improvements seem not to translate as well in open water (also in cable swims where navigation is simplified).

Thanks again,
Salvo
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  #44  
Old 09-07-2015
terry terry is offline
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Salvo
Thanks for posting. You ask highly pertinent questions, which I'll address at some length in a blog post which summarizes my Summer Swim Lab project, why I did it, and the benefits I feel it brings--both to racing and living!

I'll probably post that on Sept 14.

Today will be my final swims of the season at both places. I plan 50s and 100s at the pool and am thinking of doing 4 x 1600m at the lake. Or a Pyramid of 400-800-1200-1600-1200-800-400. Both or 6400m, but the latter will pose some more interesting problems to solve.

As for why I haven't swim 1500 continuous in the pool. For quite a few years I've preferred to save pool distances greater than 500m for racing. That may change at some point but it's worked out quite well for me.
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  #45  
Old 09-07-2015
terry terry is offline
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Default Final 50m Pool Practice of Summer 2015

Monday 7 Sept- Morning: 2500LCM at Ulster County Pool -- Late Afternoon: 6400m at Lake Minnewaska in the afternoon.

This morning I swam both my fastest and my most efficient 100s (in separate sets) of the summer. Nice way to end the pool portion of my Summer Training Lab. In fact all I did this morning was 100m repeats--a counterpoint to the long swims I plan for Lake Minnewaska this afternoon.

Tuneup
6 x 100 at "Perfect" focus on 2:10.
I started the set at a time of 1:58 and 74 strokes.
I finished at 1:48 and 71 strokes -- 10 seconds faster in 3 fewer strokes. I stroked with more feel and firmness, but my effort level didn't change appreciably. This is exactly what I'd like to get out of a Tuneup set.

Task #2
5 x 100 on 2:10.
My goal was to keep both time and stroke count as low or lower than on my final 100 of the Tuneup. My times were consistently 1:48, but I managed to cut a stroke or two from my count, doing one repeat in 69 strokes and two repeats in 70 strokes.

Task #3
5 x 100 on 2:20.
My goal was to keep my stroke pressure light and stable, while gradually increasing tempo, by feel. (without a Tempo Trainer).
I descended this set from 1:47 to 1:40. Stroke count increased from 73 to 76.
I'm fairly sure 76 strokes is the fewest I've taken all summer while swimming as fast as 1:40 for 100m. When I have time I'll look through all the practices I've logged to be sure.

Main Task
6 x 100 on 3:00 on increasing tempo.
My goal on this set was to swim an entire set of 100m repeats faster than any 100m repeat I'd swum all summer. I have to go through the entire log to be certain but I was fairly sure my fastest 100 of the summer was 1:31.

I decided to do this with a Tempo Trainer and guesstimated that a starting tempo of 0.97 should be sufficient to produce a time of 1:30--as long as I kept my stroke efficient. And in fact that was my time for the 1st 100. Then I increased tempo by .01 each 100, doing the 6th 100 at a tempo of 0.92.
I descended from 1:30 to 1:27, so I did achieve my goal on this set with all six 100s faster than I'd swum previously this summer.

How efficient was I?
I counted but can't recall what my SPL was on each length but I can easily calculate by dividing tempo into time for the first and sixth repeats, then subtracting the 7 beeps I allow on initial pushoff and turn.

1:30/.97 = 85 strokes
1:27/.92 = 87 strokes
On these fast-paced, RPE-4 100s I was comfortably within the top range (44 SPL max) of my 50m Green Zone.

And on my cruise-paced 70-stroke, 1:40 for 100m (RPE-2) I was actually below my lowest Green Zone count of 36SPL. I calculate a tempo of 1.3 for this repeat.

I'll report my final Lake Minnewaska practice, which I did six hours later, in its own post.
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Terry Laughlin
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May your laps be as happy as mine.

My TI Story

Last edited by terry : 09-08-2015 at 03:54 AM.
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  #46  
Old 09-08-2015
terry terry is offline
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Default Final Lake Minnewaska Practice -- 4-Mile Distance Pyramid

Monday 7 September - 6400m at Lake Minnewaska

I decided to wrap up my Summer Training Lab with my longest practice of the summer. I swam 6400m--exactly double the length of my previous longest. Otherwise my practices averaged a bit over 2000m in length. But I made up in consistency, what I may have lacked in volume, practicing an average of nearly six days per week since June 20.

Main Task: Distance Pyramid 400+800+1200+1600+1200+800+400
I increased the difficulty of this by swimming on an empty stomach, having eaten nothing since breakfast -- a bagel with cream cheese, tomato, and onion. This forced me to rely on available fuel supplies. I felt very hungry and a bit depleted by the end. I took no fluids during this either.
I set the Tempo Trainer at 1.05 sec/stroke and timed each repeat, to test my ability to keep a fairly steady pace throughout--which required me to maintain Stroke Length too.
[b]Results (Distances are in meters) /B]
400 - 7:02
800 - 13:36 (6:48 400m pace)
1200 - 20:24 (6:48 pace)
1600 - 27:20 (6:40 pace)
1200 - 20:36 (6:51 pace)
800 - 13:36 (6:48 pace)
400 - 6:44

Considering that I swam for over 2 hours, on an empty stomach, with no calories or hydration, and totaled 9000m for the day--and 20,000m over the 3-day weekend--this set was an excellent indicator of how well my efficiency--and thus pace--should hold up on the longer swims I have planned this month and next.
I'll race a 10k on Sept 26, a 5k a week later (both at Coney Island/Brighton Beach in Brooklyn), then 12k in a very different environment, the Mediterranean between Corsica and Sardegna between Oct 17 and 20.
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Terry Laughlin
Head Coach & Chief Executive Optimist

May your laps be as happy as mine.

My TI Story
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  #47  
Old 09-09-2015
s.sciame s.sciame is offline
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s.sciame
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Quote:
Originally Posted by terry View Post

Considering that I swam for over 2 hours, on an empty stomach, with no calories or hydration, and totaled 9000m for the day--and 20,000m over the 3-day weekend--this set was an excellent indicator of how well my efficiency--and thus pace--should hold up on the longer swims I have planned this month and next.
I'll race a 10k on Sept 26, a 5k a week later (both at Coney Island/Brighton Beach in Brooklyn), then 12k in a very different environment, the Mediterranean between Corsica and Sardegna between Oct 17 and 20.
Cool test, I also liked the trick of the empty stomach + no hydration! Moreover I guess your central 1600 in 27:20 was even faster than your recent 2 races?

About the 12k between Corsica and Sardegna, is it a race or? I live in Italy and searched on the 2015 races schedule but I didn't find it.

Regards,
Salvo
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  #48  
Old 10-26-2015
terry terry is offline
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Salvo
We swam Corsica to Sardinia last Monday, Oct 19. It was just three friends sharing a great experience. We did swim about 15k in 4h31m, inclusive of feed stops.
I'll blog about it in the next day or two.
I hope to return to Italy soon and do some teaching on my next visit.
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Terry Laughlin
Head Coach & Chief Executive Optimist

May your laps be as happy as mine.

My TI Story
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  #49  
Old 10-29-2015
s.sciame s.sciame is offline
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Wow, it really had to be a great experience, I'll read the blog post with much interest.

Also congrats for the performance: 15k in choppy (guess) water at 1:48/100m including feed stops is great steady swimming and also a good "thermo-endurance" proof.

Best regards,
Salvo
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