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Old 05-02-2015
terry terry is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2008
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Default 3 x 550 Revisited

2 May -- 2600y in 55 min (Season Total: 13,350y)
Tuneup
6 x 100 on 2:00

I held 13SPL all the way and descended very gently from 1:40 to 1:30. Never added a stroke. I did this as a tuneup because I thought holding 13 SPL and descending would be good preparation for the goal I had for my main set, which was to hold 15 SPL on three longer swims on increasing tempos.

Main Set
3 x 550 on 10:00
#1 8:14 @ 1.20 Tempo
#2 8:08 @ 1.17 Tempo
#3 8:01 ! 1.15 Tempo 'Broken' 1650 Time = 24:23

Final Set
10 x 25 at 14 SPL. Tempo increased from 1.15 to 1.08.
A week ago I did a similar set, trying to learn the fastest tempo at which I could hold 13 SPL. Like today I started at 1.15, took 14 strokes and had to slow tempo (by .01 each time) to 1.17 before I was able to make it in 13 SPL Today I went the other direction, increasing tempo by .01 each 25 until I found the Tempo at which I could barely strike the wall in 14 SPL. That turned out to be 1.08.

Notes: The Main set was a reprise of my test set, which I did about 12 days ago. On that I swam the same range of tempos and my times were
8:31, 8:27, 8:25 for a 'broken' 1650 time of 25:23.
So I have improved my 'broken' 1650 by exactly one minute -- or almost 4% in just five practices totaling only about 10,000 yards cumulatively. I said at the outset my goal was to improve upon my baseline time by 5% to 8% over two months, so I feel great about having achieved a big chunk of that already.

How did I improve my 1650y/1500m pace one minute in just five practices and 10,000 yards? A laser like focus on making small improvements to my SPL/Tempo combinations on virtually every yard I swam during that time.

The first time I did this test set my goal was not to exceed 16 SPL during the entire set. I did accomplish that--barely with a lot of focus and stroke discipline on the last 550.

Today my goal was to not exceed 15 SPL on the same set. I almost managed. I had only one length of the final 550 at 16SPL--fairly early, around 150 or 175y as I recall. But by focusing on better core stability and a more integrated feeling overall, I got back down to 15 SPL on the next length and held it to the finish.

I will repeat the cycle of 3 practices with main sets of 250y, then 125y, then 75y, but I'll increase my tempo range by .02 - i.e. doing #1 at 1.18, #2 at 1.15, and #3 at 1.13 in each practice. Then I'll revisit the 3 x 550 and see if I can old 15SPL or better at those faster tempos next time.

Stay tuned to see how that works for me.
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Terry Laughlin
Head Coach & Chief Executive Optimist

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Last edited by terry : 05-03-2015 at 10:48 AM.
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