Doc Sue and Alan - thanks for answering. I wasn't aware that you can develop the ability of swimming at a given SPL at will. Actually Doc Sue did mention something about the level you need to be at when doing this matrix, I must have overlooked it ;-)
One remark I have to make about the famous and often quoted (poor) nervous system: it gets trained anyway - I think there is nothing we can do about it - for it or against it. To store patterns is it's job. For my understandung the point in a 'nervous system optimized training' would be to carefully and deliberately choose what
you want to be stored, i.e. you avoid storing 'bad' and unwanted patterns and only store helpful ones. Which means e.g. not to continue a stroke when the stroke starts to break down because then you tell your nervous system: please store that broken down stroke, and recall it the next time when we are swimming and I happen to be distracted and unaware of how I am swimming...
Originally Posted by CoachSuzanne
Alan gave a nice description. Initially when you are improving your technique the focus should be on improving your efficiency by traveling further with each stroke. as your form continues to improve you reach diminishing returns on trying to lower your stroke count.
At this point, most TI swimmers are swimming long strokes with slow turnover. At this point, increasing turnover rate while still maintaining long strokes will allow you to gradually add speed back into your swimming while still keeping form intact.
That's a brilliant description!
What does 'slow turnover mean' ? Does it mean slow stroke rate or a long interval between laps?
In any case that's where I am at: I swim with a SPL of 17-19 from 1.30 (or slower) and and manage sometimes to keep a 19 all the way down below 1.0, and my focus at the moment is to keep the SPL while increasing the stroke rate. I am still busy to anchor a nice and 'clean' pattern at a slow speed (hello nervous system) and don't swim at high rates very often. My stroke count in general does not really get lower at the moment.
I can get the idea of being able to swim at different stroke counts at will, it makes sense and it is logical. My expereince is not like that, though. I remember being in my community pool this summer (outdoor 50m pool) and I had laps where I felt really well and expected a good SPL, but the wall wasn't even there when I was counting 40. And I had laps where I thought: water is thick, efficiency is bad - forget this lap. And then the wall hit me at 34. And I wasn't miscounting.
Probably the walls move when you don't expect it, it's their kind of humour. It's like the concrete pillars in the parking garage: they hang out there quite innocently, and when you don't watch them they attack you. You should see the mirror of my car :-((
Originally Posted by CoachSuzanne
I start people by having them do some TI focused warmup swimming, trying to streamline & lengthen their stroke. Then we do a stroke count and swim a few 25s while slowing down the recovery arm so taht there is more and more glide in each stroke. Soon they will reach a point where there is so much glide they are drilling and not swimming. At this point, gradually increase the rate of teh recovery arm while keeping the stroking arm essentially the same.
With practice, you can add exactly one stroke with each 25 repetition. Gradually increase the rate of stroke recovery and watch stroke count gradually climb. YOu should be able to hit a target number of strokes while maintaining good form by adjusting the rate of recovery and possibly the timing of your arms...(ie when does the stroking arm/body rotation start as compared to the location of the recovering arm?)
That's interesting. You mean you control the stroke rate and the SPL by the speed of the recovery? And keep the speed of the stroking arm the same? Don't you have to speed that arm up when the rate gets faster??
And you change the timing of the arms - boy, that is upperclass TI,... I am impressed.
When my rate gets faster the whole movement circle gets faster - I think at least. I am glad I can manage that.
Originally Posted by AWP
It's quite encouraging when not only do you hit a consistent # of strokes per length but you do it because you planned to. Then changing the # per length at will is another level indeed. ...
Yes, sound very exciting, thanks again!