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  #11  
Old 10-20-2010
haschu33 haschu33 is offline
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Hi kk,

I have the opposite experience with the TT. Whenever I use it my SPL goes up immediately by about 2 to 3 strokes. After a while it gets better.
Once I did a quite fast lap, without TT. It must have been a lot faster than 1.0, but I was hitting an SPL of 17. I never managed that when I use the TT.
Having said that, yesterday I had no problem using the TT, I was easily holding my SPL. I did my 1.20 to 1.30 and back number in 0.02 steps that I got prescibed by Dr. Sue. I had a constant (and very easy) SPL of 18 all the way up and down, and there was no difference to swimming without the TT.

I can agree on this that the TT gives more time when it gets very fast. Actualy I am always amazed how much time there is between the beeps.
But in general I find the TT quite annoying. But crucial to develop faster stroke rates without loosing efficiency.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KatieK View Post
I'd be grateful for any suggestions.
My suggestion. Try to establish a feeling for swimming at 1.0 without TT (If that is a timing where you can swim comfortably). That is a pacing we are most used to simply because we often see or hear watches in a rhythm of seconds passing by. You can train that pacing during the day. Just check your watch, count 10 secs and check again.
If you have a watch in the pool you can also try to swim a lap with a constant kick-off and check afterwards. I am not sure about repeating a word for aid. You can repeat that word slow and fast and then it doesn't help. But it steals a lot of focus.
I think it is easier to develop a feeling of a constant pacing for one timing only. From there you can swim faster or slower.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KatieK View Post
I started out timing it to the spearing arm. When I switched to timing it to the kick, everything started coming together for me.
What's the difference ? Isn't it the same timing anyway ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by CoachRosita View Post
... "swam" 80 yards thus stroke length is 1 yard at a height of 61.5 inches I am 59% efficient (i.e. 36 inches / 61.5 inches).
So 100% efficient means that you swim one body lenght/height at one stroke, right? Where does that classification come from?
It would mean for 100 % efficiency I need to swim:
25m - 5m (push-off) = 20 m = 787 inches swimming lenght,
divided by 178 cm = 70 inch = 11.2 = at 11 strokes in a 25m pool.
Quite ambitious...
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  #12  
Old 10-20-2010
KatieK KatieK is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by haschu33 View Post
My suggestion. Try to establish a feeling for swimming at 1.0 without TT (If that is a timing where you can swim comfortably). That is a pacing we are most used to simply because we often see or hear watches in a rhythm of seconds passing by. You can train that pacing during the day. Just check your watch, count 10 secs and check again.
If you have a watch in the pool you can also try to swim a lap with a constant kick-off and check afterwards. I am not sure about repeating a word for aid. You can repeat that word slow and fast and then it doesn't help. But it steals a lot of focus.
I think it is easier to develop a feeling of a constant pacing for one timing only. From there you can swim faster or slower.
This is a good suggestion. I actually did put quite a bit of effort into this approach at 1.0. I think I need to try it at a slower pace like 1.1 or 1.2. Based on what I learned this week, I don't think I *ever* swim at 1.0 without the TT. It makes much more sense to work on feeling a more natural pace before speeding up. I'll make some timing tracks for my iPhone.

I think part of my problem is that I'm practicing at too wide a range of paces: 2.0 down to 0.8. For the next week or so, I'm going to limit the amount of time I spend swimming at my. (I've been chasing that 100% efficiency mark of 12 SPL for my height of 5'7". I can hit it sometimes but it's V-E-R-Y S-L-O-W. That activity is definitely not helping me develop a race pace, lol.)

I'll keep doing sprints at Masters practice, but in my solo practices I'm going to try to stay between 1.0 and 1.2. A little variation is probably good for helping me feel subtle differences (thanks AWP).

Quote:
Originally Posted by haschu33 View Post
What's the difference ? Isn't it the same timing anyway ?
I *think* initiating the kick happens *slightly* before the spear. Or, maybe I'm wrong about that. Regardless of the explanation, timing to the kick works way better for me. If you haven't tried it, maybe it's worth a shot.

Quote:
Originally Posted by haschu33 View Post
So 100% efficient means that you swim one body lenght/height at one stroke, right? Where does that classification come from?
It would mean for 100 % efficiency I need to swim:
25m - 5m (push-off) = 20 m = 787 inches swimming lenght,
divided by 178 cm = 70 inch = 11.2 = at 11 strokes in a 25m pool.
Quite ambitious...
I think we feel most happy when our goals are *slightly* out of reach.
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  #13  
Old 10-20-2010
haschu33 haschu33 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KatieK View Post
... I think I need to try it at a slower pace like 1.1 or 1.2. ... It makes much more sense to work on feeling a more natural pace before speeding up.
Yes, makes a lot of sense. 1.0 is quite fast, I noticed it again today. And although you are a lot better swimmer than I am I think it is quite *brisk* for an everyday and long lasting pace.
Quote:
... Based on what I learned this week, I don't think I *ever* swim at 1.0 without the TT.
No, not at all. You know what you are at, and that is a big advantage. It just takes some practice.
Quote:
...I think part of my problem is that I'm practicing at too wide a range of paces: 2.0 down to 0.8.
That is definitely true. That's an extreme range. Just decide on a smaller speed range, decide on one pace to imprint without TT and then go for it. It will work out. It will not even take very long.
Just keep in mind, that you cannot do all of it at once ;-)

Quote:
I've been chasing that 100% efficiency mark of 12 SPL for my height of 5'7". I can hit it sometimes but it's V-E-R-Y S-L-O-W. That activity is definitely not helping me develop a race pace, lol.
Today I used the TT to swam at 2.0 and that is E-X-T-R-E-M-E-L-Y - S-L-O-W. It took me 14 strokes.
During my pool visit I made one lap where I focused on being very relaxed and effortless while keeping very streamlined and didn't care about the SPL at all. It was probably at a speed of around 1.4. I hit the other wall after *12* strokes. I was quite surprised. But I always have my best SPL's when I don't care about them and just focus on effortlessness.
So, yes, my 100% efficiency is just *slightly* out of reach :-))

Hang on in there, you can do it!
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  #14  
Old 10-21-2010
Alex-SG Alex-SG is offline
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KatieK: Very impressive ! SPL=16 at SR=1.0 You are clearly in a different league :)

Show us a Video one of these days. ALEX
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  #15  
Old 10-21-2010
KatieK KatieK is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex-SG View Post
KatieK: Very impressive ! SPL=16 at SR=1.0 You are clearly in a different league :)

Show us a Video one of these days. ALEX
Thanks, Alex-SG. That's very kind of you to say, but I don't think it's true. I can hit that mark (25-yards, not meters, btw) on a good day when I'm SUPER relaxed. On an off day, I'm all over the board. (And without the TT, forget it!)

Working with a coach has been really helpful. I naturally gravitate to drills, long distances, and very slow stroke rates. My coach pushes me to work at faster tempos. I *never* would have thought to try some of the things she tells me to do.
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  #16  
Old 10-22-2010
CoachRosita CoachRosita is offline
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Default Pacing Without The Tempo Trainer

Hello haschu33

The "efficiency" index I referred to is discussed on page 167 of "overachiever's diary" by Swim Coach Louis Tharp and Laurie Ferguson, Ph.D. It might be elsewhere but this is where I turned to answer your question.

The context is given in this quote from the book:

"inches you moved forward per stroke and an efficiency index (which is the percent of your body height covered in each stroke)."

"The maximum efficiency index any tri-team member had was 134 percent. Your efficiency index can be more than 100 if you exceed your body length for each stroke".

The book is very good. It helped give me a quantitative way of monitoring my swimming and thus hopefully a tool to improve my swimming. The 134 percent is an inspiration to continually strive to improve.

Good luck to all in their quest for improved swimming.

CoachRosita

Last edited by CoachRosita : 10-22-2010 at 12:21 AM. Reason: Not sure of this but my recollection is that this body length should be attainable at 1 stroke per second.
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  #17  
Old 10-22-2010
boken boken is offline
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Hi Katie.

I was reading on a running forum a while ago where they were discussing this issue about reliance on metronomes for keeping their strides. This advice was offered which might help you learn to keep your tempo:

Set your TT to twice the time that you would normally. So instead of it beeping every stroke, it beeps on only one hand. Don't stay here long because you may get lob-sided by emphasizing the side the beep is on. But it's a first step. When you can complete a cycle (decently) and land on target with the beep, set the TT to 3 times your stroke. That way you will go *beep*-silent_stroke-silent_stroke-*beep*; the beeps will alternate sides. Once you can do three and land on time at the beep, increase to 4, 5, and continue until it only beeps every once in a while. Then the beep will only be there as a occasional reminder/reinforcer of your tempo.

This will gradually teach you how to be responsible for your own rhythm more and more over time; while allowing you to keep some sort of feedback on how well you are actually doing so.
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  #18  
Old 10-22-2010
DesertDog DesertDog is offline
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KK,
Interesting problem. You are so accomplished at different tempos I would think the stroke timing would be ingrained in your body. I'm wondering if it is psychological thing were you are swimming "behind the between beat" creating a musical illusion of relaxation. If you swim "ahead of the beat" does that change how things feel?
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  #19  
Old 10-22-2010
KatieK KatieK is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DesertDog View Post
KK,
Interesting problem. You are so accomplished at different tempos I would think the stroke timing would be ingrained in your body. I'm wondering if it is psychological thing were you are swimming "behind the between beat" creating a musical illusion of relaxation. If you swim "ahead of the beat" does that change how things feel?
Hi DesertDog. That's a really interesting suggestion. (I'll admit, I had to Google those terms to find out what they meant, though.) It sounds promising--kind of another way to think about perception of time.
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  #20  
Old 10-22-2010
AWP AWP is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KatieK View Post
I think I need to try it at a slower pace like 1.1 or 1.2. Based on what I learned this week, I don't think I *ever* swim at 1.0 without the TT.
It makes much more sense to work on feeling a more natural pace before speeding up.
I think part of my problem is that I'm practicing at too wide a range of paces: A little variation is probably good for helping me feel subtle differences (thanks AWP).

KK

I'm glad you were able to come up with these conclusions and it prompts me to share my original notes*, in response to your original post, to reiterate and perhaps for those just joining the thread.

*For me "feeling" is what it is all about. Developing that sense while we practice should be what we're after and paying attention to, concentrating on. As you relate, the same should apply while using the infamous TT. Once acclimated to following a beep, become aware at all times of what our bodies are doing/experiencing and how they react while changing tempos; careful not to always get lost in the beep.
How to do it? Big question and one which can be answered in an array of ways (as has been demonstrated).
What I've done: Not changing the range too much at first, spending plenty of concentrated time on 'building' my tempo(s). i.e. .01-.02 @ a time. Painfully minute perhaps but well worth the lesson(s). What has helped me: Practicing a set tempo, say 1.12, holding a spl then squeezing as much as comfortably (sometimes not as comfy) possible out of that before changing to a quicker pace, albiet minutely different. By squeezing I mean gaining more purchase, lengthening my stroke i.e. going from 16-14spl(maybe even 13) on the same tempo, then, descending time! I can kill an hour easy just on this focus alone.*

Some points,"feelings", that helped me recognize I'm holding a quicker pace:

My rotation 'feels' a bit lessened (or better, where it should be), allowing for a very easy, brief and sneaky breath.

My 2bk feels more fluid, less time for added movements (if this happens it's apparent instantly)

My extension feels long, from the lats, sooner and I find myself poised for an instantaneous catch.

And, what I seem to notice most, my recovery feels more compact, my "marionette arms" swinging a bit quicker (but my overall recovery remains relaxed and unhurried) my fingers just skimming the surface of the water.

I always remember a story Terry related when he was working on a 'more' compact recovery. While being observed from shore one day the observer commented afterwards that it seemed his arms spent more time in the water than out! How? By practicing spending as much time as possible, even nano seconds, in the position that will gain the most purchase with less effort and create the least amount of drag. Sound familiar?

How to do this? Practice, practicing minute movements in minute steps. Very 'painful' for many but beneficial for most. Especially if your PFI (Plan For Improvement) is continual and open ended. It's a bugger of a thing to nail down consistently but fun to try!

Oh, and my pace work is very much a work in progress and I like it that way. As far as OW goes suffice it to say I can swear I have an easier more 'natural' ability to quicken my pace in OW. Now I won't pretend to be scientifically inclined to speak of the why and how but I can venture to guess that maybe just maybe it has something to do with the buoyancy of salt water and the chilly temps!(What say you Naj, man, you've become the 'poster boy' for cold water swimming ; ) Am I going any quicker? We'll have to see next race season.

I'll try and keep you up on any insights as I prep for the too quick approaching end to my OW season and plan on more concentrated pace work in the pool (Terry, keep those practice sets coming!) BTW, KK et al, I highly highly recommend Terry's blog posts, in particular to this discussion, his post titled "Exact Pace Awareness without the pace clock" and his accompanying practice examples.

Best,

Alan
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