I'll carry my posted practices from "Improve your Mojo" over to this thread as a fresh start to my Spring focus.
I continue to build on a base for distance improvement as open water season is upon us and I'd like to participate in at least two events if my work schedule this season allows.
Regardless, I'll be in the Sound hopefully beginning the first week of May for my first plunge of the year in OW. Temps here are still hovering around 40sF so after an initial plunge may have to push swimming until the Memorial holiday.
My last practice session was last Monday so not quite back to a steady swim regiment but feel I've managed to hold onto my 'gains' thus far while extending my practice distance and time a bit.
I wanted to 'test run' this practice to incorporate as I proceed in my focus, altering repeat distances but perhaps keeping the same format as a card- to- pull out when needed.(?)
Monday April 28 @ Y 25yd pool 3200 yards
1st 200 FR
2nd 200 as 2x 50FR 50BK
This would set me up for the main set by concentrating on long strokes, relaxed breathing and a streamlined feel from head to toe.
In this main set I intended to stay within two strokes (+/-) of the count set in the first round while remaining comfortable as pace increased and the task grew. I took approx. 20 seconds rest before/after 400s and 10 seconds between 100s. My first go at this I still wanted it to feel somewhat continuous, rhythmic. This was a good exercise in staying relaxed, unhurried (especially while breathing) even when I felt I could have easily accepted more rest. Once I began a new repeat I easily adjusted to any discomfort/fatigue.
Here's how I did
400 @ 6min:20sec
100s @ 1:31/ 1:29/ 1:29/ 1:27
400 @ 6:08
100s @ 1:25/ 1:24/ 1:24/ 1:24
400 @ 5:58
100s @ 1:24/ 1:27*/ 1:26/ 1:24
I managed to stay within my spl range throughout, 13-14 on the low end and 15-17 on the high at a moderate/steady effort; arduous but not taxing.
I would've liked a smoother and continuous descent in times but was happy to maintain a pace I felt sustainable at even a total of the repeat distances.
I did find that the times improved when I mainly increased my focus/concentration and not so much if I thought of the physical aspect/application... does that make sense? When I thought of applied power, no go, when I focused on relaxation, streamlining and little power (just focus on smooth metrics changes) bingo!
*This was highlighted on the last round of 100s, where on the second repeat I decided to play with adding kicking, gentle, continuous 4beat type kicking but it managed to only slow me down. The effort was easy but I slowed. I then refocused to steadily bring me back down; quicker time same effort/metrics.
Likewise on the second round I held a constant metrics focus and had the same pace throughout. Interestingly my time did creep closer to 1:23 on those 100s, who'd of thought there was so much time within a measured second!
I finished with
2x200 warm down as
1st 2x 50BK 50FR
2nd 100@ 25BK25FR+100FR
A quick review of yesterday's practice, sort of a 'recovery' session. I'll incorporate something like it after practice days of longer distances/repeats.
They'll focus on 'recovery' but finish with 'intensity' in order/hopes of carrying over to the next session where I'll look for sustainability/efficiency of skill in my endurance.
Tuesday April 29 YMCA 25yard pool
1st @ TT setting 1.25
2nd @ TT setting 1.30
These were done at my low spl count, focus on ease; smooth movements, clean deliberate turns. First 100 of each breath every three.
4x100 as FR/ BK/ BR/ FR
Focus on light pressure at catch, keep hold on first repeat, streamlined feet/legs on second.
2x50 @ TT-1.20 and :42seconds
2x50 @ TT-1.15 and :41
2x50 @ TT-1.10 and :39
2x50 @ TT-1.05 and :39
(added 1x50 @ TT-1.05 still :39)
1x50 @ TT-1.00 no time
1x50 @ TT-1.01 and :39
1x50 @ TT-1.00 and :38
Felt good on these and managed and easy attentiveness to tempo, happy to hit the walls on my low to middle spl ranges (means I can squeak out some more speed if I apply my focus there).
Finished up with
100 easy FR the way I started...
My planned practice for today, fell a bit short but I still managed to get in most and felt good (arrived late and of course ran into some fellow swimmers so chat here chat there eats up time. But that's part of the draw!).
Will alter some tempos next go but liked the way the rest played out overall. I'll post the entire practice and mark where I made it in just under one hour.
Monday May 5 YMCA 3200 yards
150 FR @ 12/13 spl
150 - 50FR 50BK 50FR @ 13/15/14 spl
150 - 50FR 50BR 50 FR @ 14/8/15 spl
Pyramid FR - hold average spl @ 14 for all
3x550 w/ TempoTrainer
1. TT 1.20
2. TT 1.15
3. TT 1.10
Right away the tempo felt too slow on the first repeat for what I was looking to attempt; to build my pace (a twist on my previous 550s practice main set so will alter).
This kept me at my low spl range and felt completely restored afterwards. stuck to the plan regardless and made mental notes.
I did cover my spl ranges with each repeat so that was a good exercise. Modest perceived effort; 1.10 felt best.
On each repeat held a different focus, #1 an 'exercise' in timing because it felt slow coming off the tune-up, so focus on that, synching to beep and stability. #2 felt better, focus on light pressure "flick" to spear and #3 focus was on swimming as quietly as possible; stealthy, on each length sneaking up on someone as quickly and quietly as possible!
NOTE: entire practice done with relatively short rest periods between repeats, 10- 20 seconds with one minute between tune-up and main set.
My intention was also to time my repeats but @ the 450 yard mark my TT decides to fall out! After that point it came out a couple more times and so decided to leave the 'clock' alone.
***At this point I only had time for a quick 100 'cool' down, the rest of the plan was:
1. 100 @ 14spl + 50 @ TT 1.06
2. 100 @ 15spl + 50 @ TT 1.03
3. 100 @ 16spl + 50 @ TT 1.00
Will get it all next time!
And I'd love to hear back from anyone else who may decide to give this practice layout a try, cheers.
Hmm, well my swimmers enjoyed the set, modeled after one of yours here, but as a coach I found it unsatisfying.
They were each pretty self-absorbed in following the suggested tasks and in fact, everyone did an excellent job of it with far less of input from me than they usually need/want/have forced up on them.
So I guess it was a success. :)
Great! I bet they felt like their own 'best' coach, and that's the point. Get sucked into a focus that leads you to being totally absorbed in self-awareness, perfect.
Here's another one for ya...
Thursday May 15 YMCA 3000 yards
Here an 'infinite' number of focuses can be applied/suggested to hone a swimmers senses as they prepare for a main set, especially the skill of concentration.
1x100 as 25BK 25FR
Today, for me, this began as an open ended set. Having been away from the pool for 10 days I wasn't sure where this would lead me but it quickly turned into a triple pyramid set I dubbed "Giza".
3(5x100 Giza, all FR w/TT)
In each set of 5xs I created a pyramid of tempos, the first being a symmetrical one then an asymmetrical pyramid and then a double asymmetrical pyramid.
I worked from a TT setting of 1.16 and progressively increased to a tempo of 1.00, with each block of 5xs having similar tempo intervals of .02
1x100 as 25BK 25FR
TT A-pyramid 1.02>1.04<1.00
Ooops, you have me there!
I actually did do a double asymmetrical pyramid, however I did add an additional two repeats on that last block. It was not part of the plan.
The last set would have been n, +.02, -.03, +.01, -.03. Sorry for the confusion, I actually swam it as n, +.02, -.03, -.01, +.02, -.03, -.02.
Maybe next time I'll swim it as 3(7xs).
Yesterday I was feeling a bit sluggish, so after long warm-up/tune-up swims I did something similar, woke me right up!
Had time for a 'quickie' on Saturday, a practice that helps keep me tuned-up and in line with my Spring focus; since my time to practice has been sporadic and few.
1x500FR (alt. 2x300FR)
Full body 'scan', develop "silky smoothness", monitor spl
Wasn't quite sure where I was going with it until after the first series of repeats. I kept the tempo setting constant @ 1.12 throughout the entire main set.
My task, dial in to tempo while maintaining stroke count per length as repeat distance increased, improve pace and ability to maintain stroke count, even improving upon that (main focus however is primarily on development of ease of task).
A pool mate swam the last part of the pyramid with me and noticed the improvement in pace and his spl. I only told him to 'match' my strokes/tempo and count his strokes. Me thinks I've hooked a 'fish'!
Clear the slate
'Fast' Silky Smoothness
4x50FR + 100FR
This doesn't mean try and swim quick, but with each successive repeat feel drawn in to speed by being more dialed in each go (repeat). No TT
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