Originally Posted by CoachSuzanne
Well, here is what I learned...
#1) Swimming slowly at low stroke counts is easy. Maintaining VERY LONG STROKES while trying to increase stroke rate is extremely strenuous. Of all the above sets, the most challenging was the 15 SPL at my fastest time of 1:37.
In fact, I was so tired from that effort, even though it was far from a "fast" 100 for me, that swimming easy at 16SPL was challenging.
The 12-second difference between your 1st 100 @ 15SPL and your 4th is more likely the reason for your inability to continue, than the low SPL. That's a LOT to descend in only 4 x 100.
When I do a set like this, I do my opening round with a focus on "pull" rather than "push" effort.
I don't push at all to improve my times. Rather I look for them to drift
down effortlessly. I feel this happen mainly as a result of tuning my nervous system to the task via repetition. I feel a greater sense of 'touch,' coordination, and precision as I proceed. That translates into faster times without trying.
In that sense I feel I'm being pulled toward faster swims, rather than pushing toward them. It seems magical, but it's a form of magic you can master.