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#1




George's Practice Sets1mile or more
All,
In preparation for my races this year I wanted to share my experimental practice sets. My first race is in June which will be a half iron man (aquabike). For this particular race my goal is to swim at a tempo of 1.11.2. This is a set I did this morning. My objective with every set is to swim with a SPL range of1619 (25mpool  I'm 5' 11") consistently without sacrifing stroke efficiency. These are experimental sets that I'm playing with, so please feel free to give feedback and thoughts. Warmup: Tempo Trainer @ 1.3 2 X 200fist gloves 2 X 200 1 X 100 Main Set: 1 x 300 @ 1.2 (20SPL on 4th length,19SPL on 8th, 19SPL on 12th)  rest 10 beeps 1 x 200 @1.10 (19 SPL 4th, 18SPL on 8th)  rest 10 beeps 1 X 100 @ 1.0 (18 SPL on 4th)  rest 15 beeps 2 X 50 @ .95 (38SPL)  rest 15 beeps 1 x 100 @ 1.0 (18SPL on 4th length)rest 15 beeps 1 X 200 @ 1.10 (19SPL on 4th,and 8th length)  rest 10 beeps 1 X 300 @ 1.2 (18SPL on 4th, 19SPL on 8th, 19SPL on 12th length) rest 15 beeps Cool Down: 1 X 50 @ 1.20  skate/whole stroke 1 X 50 @ 1.30  fiinger drags 1 X 50 @ 1.30  whole stroke
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George What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us. Ralph Waldo Emerson Last edited by grandall : 01062013 at 05:49 PM. 
#2




George that looks like a well planned set. Good job!
Do you have a current performance or time trial as a basis? Do you have any times to anchor your current performance for comparison? (ie a 100yd, 500yd, 1000yd or OW time trial speed?) How did you arrive at your goal time? With your calcuations of 1619 SPL and a tempo of 1.101.20 what is your expected or hoped for target time / pace for the HIM? 1.2 sec/stroke * 19SPL + 4 beeps for turns * 60 (lengths for a 1500m) = 26.8 minutes 1.1 sec/stroke * 16 SPL + 4 beeps for turns * 60 (lengths for a 1500m) = 21.6 minutes With your current practice objectives, 5 minutes difference is quite a bit of time! I would challenge you to first learn your optimal SPLs & tempos for varied distances that better mimic a 25 minute event (ie 5 minute sets at least, or 300m), and first practice consistency at the shorter events then extend duration. The shorter repeats with faster tempos are great practice as well, but I would encourage practices that focus primarily on one or the other as the main task for the day. 1500m (in a pool) at 1.2 sec/stroke & 19 SPL may be your desired target. We know you can do shorter distances with this combination. Try repeating this combination for multiple sets and see how your endurance holds up. (ie sets of 300s with ~ 20 seconds rest) Can you do 3 sets in a row? 4 sets? 3 sets of 3s? 500? 500 x 2 with 20 seconds rest? 4 x 500 with 20 seconds rest? How fast should you be able to swim a 100 all out to hit your distance target? http://www.arhy.org/swimpredict this site predicts you should be able to swim a 1:29/100m to hit your distance target. Using a range of SDI numbers of 1.06 to 1.09, we get a range of 1.24 to 1.31 min.sec / 100m. Now, taking into account fatigue over that distance, what 100 pace should you be capable of assuming generally well developed endurance fitness (gained from practicing the specific combinations of rate/SPL you're targeting for distance of course) Based on the practice you just did (1.0 sec/stroke @ 18 SPL, adding 4 seconds for turns), your 100m speed was about 1:28, right in the range physiologically speaking, that you need for your projected target. So a couple of thoughts/suggestions Your current practices design is on target to get you the slower end of your target (a 26.8 minute 1500m), and while this will take some dedication to training time, it will not be much of a challenge to you...you are already there and on target for it based on your 100 ability and your ability to hit the SPL/tempo combinations you've already mentioned. You just need to gain repeatability and confidence in your ability to hit this combination at will. Start doing continuous longer sets to challenge your ability to hold your desired combinations for longer since we already know you are capable of your targets physically. You can go through the same set of calculations with the faster number (the 1.1 16SPL combo), which is quite a bit faster than the slower set of numbers and devise some numbers. in realty, a combination of 1.1 @ 18 SPL OR a 1.2 @ 17 SPL might be better numbers for you bio mechanically speaking. here are those calculations for comparison...same math as above, just different tempo & SPL 1.2 sec/stroke * 17SPL + 4 beeps for turns * 60 (lengths for a 1500m) = 24.4 minutes 1.1 sec/stroke * 18 SPL + 4 beeps for turns * 60 (lengths for a 1500m) = 23.8 minutes Looks like 'settling' in on a projection for 24 minutes for 1500m will help you meet your goal nicely. Furthermore, this will be a nice stretch goal for you as well. The numbers suggest you can already do the slower combinations of 1.2 @ 19SPL for a distance of your choosing. Taking off 2 SPL consistently will require thoughtful approach and smart training. The target fastest 100 time at the 24 minute goal would be in the range of 1:151:22...a bigger challenge for you, right? Three tiered approach 1) Imprint endurance stroke (aerobic fitness needed will follow) 2) Challenge yourself to more exacting combinations for future speed 3) Work on sprint/anaerobic efforts as these will contribute to your endurance ability (as well as built aerobic fitness in the process) My personal approach would be: jump right into longer sets at your targets 3x300 with 20 sec rest at 1.2 tempo & 1619 SPL. Repeat this set once or twice more and make that the make focus of 12 swim per week. (20004000 yards each set) work on more 'exacting' combinations of your stroke and get ride of the 4 stroke range in your current allowance. Can you do repeated 200s (6 x 200) at 1.15 with 17 or 18 SPL (17 on first, 18 on remainder)? or the 1.2 @ 17 SPL OR 1.1 @ 18 SPL. Maybe a set of each . Spend 12 blocks of training a week on this type of combination (middle distance speed?) (6001200 yards each set) e.g. 3 x 200 @ 1.2 Tempo target 17 SPL, followed by 3 x 200 @ 1.1 Tempo target 18 SPL. Alternatively, you can use tempo & pace for these or SPL & pace or both. e.g. 3 x 200 @ 1.2 Tempo target time 3:20/200, leave every 3:30 or 3:45. OR 3 x 200 @ 17 SPL target time 3:20/200 leave every 3:30 (challenging) or 3:45 (easier) Have fun working on your fastest 50 & 100 times once per week by doing a dedicated block/set where you focus on your "most exacting" form for fast swimming (e.g .8, .85, .9, .95 @ 17 SPL) with 200300 yards (35 minutes) of active recovery between efforts? (work your breast or back stroke, or do some favorite drills). Thanks George as this gives some some ideas for training plans that folks have been asking about. Credit for some of the inspiration for this approach goes to both Terry and Charles, both brilliant men!
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Suzanne Atkinson, MD Coach of 4 time USA Triathlon Triathlete of the Year, Kirsten Sass Steel City Endurance, LTD Fresh Freestyle Last edited by CoachSuzanne : 01062013 at 09:09 PM. 
#3




Quote:
George
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George What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us. Ralph Waldo Emerson 
#4




Suzanne,
Thanks for the informative response. Do you not find it that helpful to have a range of 4 SPL that swimmers are efficient at over 25 yards/meters? Joe Novak 
#5




Quote:
Recently in experimenting with pace & distance combined together I'm finding that I can hit a certain pace and vary my SPL & tempo...staying on pace but differing combinations. Some of it is deliberate, some of it is accidental. But it lets me give different muscle groups a bit of recovery, which I think will be useful in distance events. Fun to think about...but in the long run I want to have control over pace & form.
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Suzanne Atkinson, MD Coach of 4 time USA Triathlon Triathlete of the Year, Kirsten Sass Steel City Endurance, LTD Fresh Freestyle Last edited by CoachSuzanne : 01072013 at 05:44 AM. 
#6




Suzanne,
I do agree with relaxing different muscles at different paces and that's a great point. I'm just learning a lot  especially the difference in being fast in 100 Yards and 1+ mile. As always, thanks for your detailed responses. 
#7




Hi Suzanne. Just a quick question regarding your math. I calculate as follows:
1.2 sec/stroke x 19SPL + 4 beeps for turn (4.8sec) x 60 = 27.6 minutes 1.1sec/stroke x 16SPL + 4beeps (4.4sec) x 60 = 22 minutes Am I missing something here? Thanks 
#8




Quote:
yes, there are two ways you can make adjustments for turn time, either adding "beeps" or simply adding seconds. The beeps make seconds as you've noted by multiplying by the tempo trainer setting. What I had done in my original calculations was add 4 seconds, rather than four beeps, so your math is "more correct" as far as how I have written it. Another way to write and calculate would be: 1.2 sec/stroke x 19SPL + 4.5seconds for turn x 60 = 27.3 minutes The reality is that the time difference is pretty small...but I agree it's important to know the different options for estimating turns, or for precisely measuring them if for example you have a breakout marker.
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Suzanne Atkinson, MD Coach of 4 time USA Triathlon Triathlete of the Year, Kirsten Sass Steel City Endurance, LTD Fresh Freestyle 
#9




Cool! Glad to hear I'm not turning stupid.

#10




Coach Toby, Coach Suzanne,
Thanks for the headsup on the math lesson.
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George What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us. Ralph Waldo Emerson 
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