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Old 04-14-2013
terry terry is offline
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Default 'Hacking the Mile': 28 sec faster 5 practices!

Tim Ferriss has become a multimillionaire by teaching people how to 'hack' work, your body and cooking. Well if there's such a thing as hacking your time for a mile swim, I think this qualifies. Nearly half a minute faster in just 5 practices. Can you do it?

13 April 2900y in 50 min at SUNY
Tuneup
Descend 6 x 100 EZ Medley 25FR25BK25BR25FR @ 12-14-7-13 SPL

Revisit Baseline Test Set
3 x [550 Timed + 50 Recovery] on 10:00
On Mar 20 I did
#1 @ 14SPL Time - 8:07 - Pace/25 22.1 sec - Tempo 1.25
#2 @ 15SPL Time - 7:57 - Pace/25 21.6 sec - Tempo 1.13
#3 @ 16SPL Time - 7:44 - Pace/25 21.1 sec - Tempo 1.03
Total (1650y) 23:48

Today I did
#1 @ 14SPL Time - 8:02 - Pace/25 21.9 sec - Tempo 1:24
#2 @ 15SPL Time - 7:46 - Pace/25 21.2 sec - Tempo 1.11
#3 @ 16SPL Time - 7:32 - Pace/25 20.5 sec - Tempo 1.00
Total 23:20

This encouraging outcome gives support to two insights about effective training -- i.e. creating maximal improvement with a minimal investment of time and energy. My mile (1650y) pace improved by 28 seconds in just 3 weeks -- and 5 practices. (I was in Kona for one week of this period, swimming at generally quite slow paces in open water. The other two weeks, I also swam 2 to 3x/week for 30 minutes in the Endless Pool -- all of it at quite gentle paces.)
1) Improvement Projects work. Do an assessment or baseline set. Record time and SPL or time and tempo. Then design every practice around a main set that targets the metrics you recorded.
2) Even very small changes in tempo add up to significant improvement when multiplied by many strokes. Tempo improved by only .01 at 14 SPL, .02 at 15 SPL and .03 at 16SPL, but mile pace improved by 28 sec.

I'll repeat the cycle of 5 practices two more times before this project concludes in early June. Stay tuned to see how much more I can improve my mile pace. But don't just watch. Start your own Improvement Project and share it with us on the Forum. When you make your progress public, you turn an Improvement Project into an Accountability Project.
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Terry Laughlin
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