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  #21  
Old 12-18-2012
Joe Novak Joe Novak is offline
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Default I love these practices

These practices are addicting and limitless in possibilities. I love the cascading and makes everything become a much "deeper" set.
  #22  
Old 12-19-2012
terry terry is offline
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Default Backstroke Breakthrough -- and a new FS Baseline swim

Tues Dec 18 2200 y in 45 min at SUNY New Paltz

Tuneup Task 400 Modified Medley in 6:15 I held SPLs constant at 13FR, 14BK and 7BRm but my time was 3 sec. slower than last time. I felt really good though.

Task #2 Swim 45 0 FR @ 13-14SPL. I couldn't hold 13 and so allowed my stroke count to go to 14SPL at around 200y. My time was 6:36 -- which told me I'd stopped 50y too soon. So that's 6:36 for 450y.

Task #3 Swim BK 4 x 50 + 2 x 100 + 1 x 200 - on intervals of 1:00 per 50y.
This was a version of my Backstroke baseline swim on Nov 14, the first day of my Month of Backstroke Excellence.
That day I swam 1 x 50 + 1 x 100 + 1 x 200. I held 15-16 SPL and my times were
50 - 51 sec
100 - 1:41
200 - 3:30
Today I hold 14-15 SPL (one stroke less than last month) and had greatly improved times on a longer set. I'll repeat this set on Friday, but at my original stroke count and see how much speed that addsl
4 x 50 Times: 53-52-51-49
2 x 100 Times 1:43 - 1:40
1 x 200 Time 3:15
This is pretty thrilling progress to make in a month.

Task #4 Swim 550 Free I decided to balance out the 'short' 500 I'd done earlier by adding the 50y I missed. Plus 550y is one-third of a 1650 so it will give me a baseline for sets oriented to distance freestyle. My time was 7:56, a small improvement in pace from the 450y I swim earlier.
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Last edited by terry : 12-19-2012 at 02:54 AM.
  #23  
Old 12-20-2012
terry terry is offline
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Default Improving Time while Maintaining SPL in 3 Strokes

Wed Dec 19 2500y in 50 min at SUNY

Today I went to the pool with a big ole' draggy suit (not a commercial 'drag' suit, just an old boxlike suit that's 2 sizes too big and has lost its shape) and no particular plan. I started with my Modified Medley tuneup swim -- did my slowest time yet -- and decided to devote my practice to improving that mix of backstroke, breaststroke and freestyle. As usual, what resulted was a hugely satisfying series of tasks. And measurable improvement!

This is my series of tasks:
1. 400 Modified Medley [25FR25BK25BR) at 13-14-7 SPL respectively. Get time.
2. Descend 4 x 150 No-Fly-Medley [50BK50BR50FR] at same stroke counts.
3. Repeat initial 400 at same stroke counts. Strive to improve time.
4. Repeat descending set of 4 x 150 but at +1 SPL for each stroke. Test how much improvement in time I could get for small increase in stroke count.

Here are my times
6:43 on 1st 400. This is over 30 seconds slower than earlier this week. I attribute this to struggling to complete each length in my assigned (quite low) SPL because I could feel the suit adding so much drag -- and found myself distracted by that. I think the distraction took more out of me than the drag.

I descended first set of 4 x 150 from 1:48 to 1:40. My concentration improved on each 150 and as it did, so did my times.

I repeated the 400 and this time went 6:15 with no change in SPL. I attribute this improvement of 28 seconds entirely to better focus which produced higher efficiency. This time I was completing each length in the low SPL much more strongly -- though it did take total focus to avoid increasing SPL.

Then I repeated the set of 4 x 150 and with the 'luxury' of an additional stroke on each length descended from 1:39 to 1:29 -- 11 seconds faster than on the earlier set. A 'trade' of 11 seconds for 6 additional strokes is one I'll take any day.

I finished with:
2 rounds of 4 x 50 FR on 1:00
Round 1 @ 14+15 SPL. I descended from 41 sec to 39 sec.
Round 2 @ 15+16 SPL. I descended from 40 sec to 38 sec. I hoped to go 37 sec, but couldn't quite make it, even giving myself an extra 50. A goal for next time.

What is the Key Takeaway for Forum browsers?
The times I did on these sets don't matter much -- because these are 'non-standard' swims. (What is a 'standard' swim? Any repeat that appears in an 'official' meet program. Or one that you and everyone else does regularly in training. Like, say 100y/m freestyle repeats.)

What matters most is that once I choose my task, I measure it via two or more data points -- in this case SPL and Time. If I can keep one data point constant, and improve the other data point, I congratulate myself for a job well done.

You can design any task and measure it this way. In fact I believe it's better to regularly plan practice tasks or sets that are non-standard. When you begin a set without a sense--from having done it 100s of times before-- of what your time (or any other data point, like stroke count) SHOULD BE, you are free to focus solely on . what it IS on your first repeat. The fun and flow come when you apply mindfulness -- and a measure of 'cunning' -- to improving it on subsequent repeats.
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May your laps be as happy as mine.

My TI Story

Last edited by terry : 12-20-2012 at 02:33 PM.
  #24  
Old 12-20-2012
Joe Novak Joe Novak is offline
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Default Data Points

The data points that come to mind to use that I can think of are:
1) Stroke Count
2) Tempo
3) Time

What are some others?
  #25  
Old 12-20-2012
CoachSuzanne CoachSuzanne is offline
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Novak View Post
The data points that come to mind to use that I can think of are:
1) Stroke Count
2) Tempo
3) Time

What are some others?
Trick question...here are the others:
rest interval
repeat length
total set distance

(I know you're doing the V8 hand to forehead thing right now).
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Fresh Freestyle

  #26  
Old 12-20-2012
terry terry is offline
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Default Don't Forget the Mojo Scale!

Quote:
Originally Posted by CoachSuzanne View Post
Trick question...here are the others:
rest interval
repeat length
total set distance.
And let's not forget some way of assessing effort.

This can be subjective: the 'Perceive Rate of Exertion' scale -- 1(almost effortless) to 5 (metaphorical tongue hanging out after 30 seconds).

Or semi-objective (since it's difficult to measure accurately) -- heartbeats in 10 seconds after finishing repeat or set.

And finally my personal favorite metric: The Mojo Scale (a term I borrowed from somewhere). This measures the pure enjoyment and overall quality of the experience -- from 1 (soul-crushing tedium) to 5 (Swimming Nirvana).
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Terry Laughlin
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May your laps be as happy as mine.

My TI Story
  #27  
Old 12-21-2012
Joe Novak Joe Novak is offline
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Default Today

Today our main set was:

8 X 100 Backstroke
Add .03 to the TT after every 100 and go the same time.

Some easy (perfect) swimming

8 X 50 Breaststroke
Add .03 to the TT after every 50 and go the same time.

Some easy (perfect) swimming

6 X 50 Freestyle
Add .03 to the TT after every 50 and go the same time.

It look good and as you might expect. Kids found ways to go faster on each one.
  #28  
Old 12-22-2012
terry terry is offline
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Default Winter Solstice Practice -- Concluding Month of Backstroke Focus

Fri Dec 21 2600y in 55 min at SUNY

Task #1 400 Modified Medley - Time 6:12 - much improved over Wed and only 1 second off my best time for this swim. I swam with a very controlled effort

Task #2 Swim 550 FR (one-third of 1650y)
I swam @13-14 SPL and time of 8:10. This was moderate effort because it would be followed by a timed backstroke baseline set -- the wrapup of my Month of Backstroke Excellence which began on Nov. 14. That day I did an initial Baseline Set, with the intention to repeat at the conclusion of a month focused on backstroke improvement.
Nov 14, I swam 50+100+200 BK, holding 15-16SPL
My times were :51-1:41-3:30.

Task #3 Today, I swam a modified version of that set, also at 15-16 SPL.
4 x 50 BK on 1:00 Times: :49-:48-:48-:47 (200 total 3:12)
50 EZ FR
2 x 100 BK on 2:00 Times 1:37 - 1:36 (200 total 3:13)
100 EZ FR
1 x 200 BK Time 3:08
150 EZ FR

I was really thrilled at this result. First, because I improved my 200 time by 22 seconds in five weeks. I doubt I could improve by that much in any other stroke.
Second, because I swam the continuous 200 significantly faster than the cumulative times of my 4x50 or 2x100 -- and I didn't take it easy on them.
Third, because this was just 4 seconds slower than my time for 200BK in a Masters meet two weeks ago -- even after swimming a 90%+ effort on the 50s and 100s.

Task #4 Immediately following this set I repeated 550 FR, but raised my stroke count to 14-15SPL. My time was 7:45 -- an encouraging 25-sec. improvement over the earlier one, adding only 1 stroke per length, and following a pretty effortful BK set.

Task #5 I wrapped up with 4 x 50 FR on 1:00 at 14+15SPL to see how much I might improve over the same set on Wed, which I did with a baggy suit. Today I wore clingy polyester jammers.
Wed I couldn't swim faster than 38 sec. Today I did the same set and descended 38-37-36-35 sec. Better than I expected, in part because so much effortful swimming preceded it.
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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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