Yes, that was exactly where I was at and I thought that it was an unacceptable SPL and hence the reason why I was so slow in open water.
One objective in opening this thread was to try to ascertain just what was normal for rank and file TI people.
The 1:50 in the pool takes 100% and I couldn't maintain that in the open water for 2kms. If I dial back with the TT, to say 1:15, I take 18-20 strokes and I get through 100m in under 2:0.
The 1 hour 2k is constant swimming up and down which should cancel any current or wind direction.
Swimming again today in the sea and over 2km my rate was 2:56 per 100m, again according to Mr Garmin. Yes, it is in a 3/2mil wetsuit.
Swam 2km in a 1 mil short suit last week also in 1 hour so there is at least consistency.
Ok - got it. You're swimming against some current. If you are swimming salt water (ocean) and with a wetsuit, you are probably bobbing like a cork, or what my coach colleagues/friends down-under would say, "you float like a Sheila in that thing [wetsuit]" :-) But floating in a wetsuit, doesn't mean you are stable.
If sustaining 1.15 tempo at 18-20 spl that's actually a bit faster that 22-23 @1.0 - stick with the tempo that is the least effort holding you at your sub 2 min pace.
When you swim in the pool, can you easily hold 18 spl at 1.15 tempo? Say for 20-30 100m repeats?
Lastly, what's your height?
I can maintain the sub 2:00 @ 1:10 but my SPL varies between 17-20
I have tried to get a constant SPL at any TT setting for many years without success.
I am 195 cm or 6'4+1/2"
The 1 mil short suit doesn't give much buoyancy at all.
At 195cm, it's time to take advantage of your height. 17-20 SPL at a single tempo of 1.1 is a pretty big range.
Something isn't quite adding up though, unless your turn is really slow or you're pausing a couple of seconds on 25's, 17 spl @ 1.1 tempo is a 1:34 100m pace - and 20 spl @ 1.1 tempo is 1:49 100m pace. I suspect you are closer to 22 spl @ 1.1 tempo is 2:00 100m pace. This all assumes your flight off the wall is 5m and you're not pausing on 25's.
Given your height at 195 your ideal "green zone" would be 15-17 spl. I suggest first finding a slower tempo between 1.1 and 1.3 where you can easily swim 15-17 strokes consistently. i.e. 16 spl at 1.3 tempo is roughly 1:44 100m pace. 1:44 pace is in the upper 10% of triathletes. A sustainable 1:44 pace in 2.4 mile swim (no currents) 64.4 mins or 1:04:24
This brings me back to the "slow" question. If you are using your Garmin and swimming into a head current, clearly that's not a good measure of true swimming pace. Find your sustainable pace in the pool first *without your Garmin*. Use the Garmin for reference only in open water after your swim.
If you are at 21-22 spl at your height, something is causing those hips to drop shortening stroke length. 1. Main issue is most likely head position, especially when rotating to air - head lifts for air, spine bends, hips drop. Like stomping on the breaks each time you breathe. 2. Reaching high and flat on surface with recovery arm/hand. 3. Busy kick and/or leg splay for stability, this can drive hips down too. I often see a combination of 1, 2 and 3 above when swimmers roll to get air. Fix these issues and you will discover you are capable of a 1:44 100m. This pace means balance and core stability, not power.
Thanks CoachStuart, will work on that when I get back to the pool.
I am back with this thread.
Returning to the pool at the end of July I focused for the next 3 months going through Ultra Efficient freestyle doing the drills.
I was able to stabilise my SPL to 18 and these were the times per 100M all at 18SPL
TT 1:20 / 2:08
TT 1:10 / 2:02
TT 1:00 / 1:56
So you can see a perfect symmetry in that.
Stuart had suggested that I may be raising my my head when breathing so I tested this by swimming with a snorkel but it made no no difference to SPL.
At 18 SPL I am just in my green zone.
I cannot get to a lower SPL even by swimming more slowly, sometimes I do fluke a 17 but that is rare.
I am now back in open water swimming 15-20 km per week and feel like I am clipping along.
I was surprised the other day when I met another swimmer going in the same direction about 500m from home.
The other swimmer was early 50s, swam totally flat with legs trailing down with no kick just whirled his arms over. I wanted to stay with him so I upped to about 80% but the time I got near home this guy was 50m in front of me. We were both in a similar wet suit.
Today I put the TT in place set at 1:10 and swam 3 km 1.5 against the tide and 1.5 with the tide in very flat glassy water.
My average 100m pace was 2:50 which is funereal. Felt like I was swimming very nicely, low splash, bow wave etc but the numbers say I am towing something.
Should my feet be pointed in the direction of travel or should my head go first?
there must be something wrong with your stroke count, your TT or your stop watch. If you have 18SPL constant, on your first lap you'll have to add 2beeps (first arm-entry on third beep), on your second-third-fourth lap you'll have to add 3 beeps for turns and push offs. So for 100m you'll need
83beeps x 1.2sec/beep= 100sec=1min40sec
or if you offer yourself a beep more for taking up
(4x18+3+3x4)beeps = 87beeps
87beeps x 1.2s/beep = 104sec = 1min44sec
With 1.0sec/beep you are at 1min27sec for 100m and this will be very fast for many forum members (me included).
Most of us have to face there are most time other swimmers with more or less worse strokes who are nevertheless faster than we. First we have to take it as fact and then we have to decide if we're patient enough to change; and if this is completed by sufficient enjoyment.
Swimming against tide OMG, you never should take that for average OW-times. Swimming forth and back the same distance, the way against takes much more time and drops your average much more than you'll earn on way back.
Don't miss to put enough enjoyment into your way!
1) at TT 1:10, what's your pool time (25m pool I suppose) for a 3km continuous swim? Is it 61 minutes (ie avg pace 2:02)? If your 3k ow was w/o warmup, you should do the pool test w/o warmup as well
2) understand how much the walls help you (they may help you more than expected). Are you so lucky to repeat the 3k test on a 50m pool? If so, compare the times (same TT settings, same warmup of course). If for instance your avg pace SCM was 2:02 and your avg LCM pace was 2:06, don't expect to be faster than 2:10 in ow
3) sighting: how often do you sight in ow? Try to sight with the same frequency in the pool and see how much your pace drops over 3k. If for instance your 2:06 LCM drops to 2:10 (hey, we started from 2:02...!), don't expect to be faster than 2:14 in ow
4) navigation: was your ow swim a cable swim? Even if it was, are you sure you went perfectly straight as you do with a black line under you? If you try to deliberately drift slightly in the pool, you may lose another sec or couple of secs per 100m. If your ow swim was not cable assisted, you made have added a lot of distance (but your GPS should calculate your pace according to the distance you actually covered, so you may even ignore this point)
5) ow temperature and conditions: what temperature did you swim at? Cold water can slow you down quite a lot. As for currents, see what Werner said.
6) last but not least: as per my personal experience, the lack of reference points in ow itself slows me down by default: in the pool I always take an eye at the pace clock, or if don't look at it I count SPL and, during my swims, there is always a continuous self assessment and continuous micro-corrections on the fly. In ow I don't have reference points so it's kind of swimming blind, so I inevitably slow down by default (unless I'm in a race and am challenged by other swimmers).
Regarding the last point, if you have some money to spend and want to know what's happening in ow on the fly, you may be interested in this:
Never tried it myself but I guess this could be a very powerful tool to take some of "ow mystery" out.
Hope that helps,
Thanks all for your replies
@Werner that is some sure fancy sums you have done there.
So on the face of those numbers I am a hugely inefficient.
I must have a very wide flat head, I had a friend with an over sized head and the barbers used to quote his haircuts by the square metre.
I feel that I am improving but the numbers tell a different story but I enjoy OW swimming and TI has extended my swimming life.
Only problem is that when swimming with a group I am usually shark bait at the tail.
@Salvo some good ideas to work on there and I have a Garmin which gives me good stats
I sight about every 20 strokes.
Yeah it is cold 17 degrees I am in a 3x2 suit.
Last year I swam 1km in a 50m pool at TT 1:10 for 23:20.
3km in a pool, I would need to take a waterproof crossword puzzle in with me.
Sadly my OW season will be over in a couple of weeks and I will be back at the pool where I hope to post some footage.
It is great that there is still some people left to reply on this forum.
Salvo do you do much OW swimming where you are ( I presume you are Italian)
Ha, as nearly silver-surfer, my haircutter had to know something about circular computation :-)
Wish you as much enjoyment to get never bored!
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