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Old 09-17-2012
tomoy tomoy is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 585
Default Today's Focus Points

I hope people don't mind my sharing thoughts on today's swim. It's my first time breaking 30 min for a 'mile', for me, defined by 64 lengths (32 laps) of a 25Y pool. I've been hacking away at it most of this year, often coming close, but never quite getting there. What do people do for goal-achieved rewards? Pinkberry? Islands Teriyaki burger? Sushi?

Most of this (calendar) year, I've been working with a tempo trainer, picking up its lessons, bringing myself down from my slow 1.4s to a feasible 1.2s, and probably averaging somewhere around 1.35 SPL 16-17.

Most of my stabs at the mile with the TT had me poking along at 57s per 50Y which usually left me 20-40s over 30 min. I could start out hitting 53-55s laps, only to peter out and have to catch my breath at around 20 laps. 1.3s on the TT and I petered out sooner. 1.37s and I could make the mile, but slower than my goal.

Today's primary focus point was timing of spearing and core-rotation. Not a new one for me, but today I went without the TT. This was the first time I really felt the detriment of the TT. It has the ability to force your timing out of wack. Ironically.

Liberating myself from the TT allowed me to focus on what it felt like to nail the timing. I noticed it when I either missed my spear target, or over-rotated on breathing. With the TT, I would start the 'engine' for the snap - flick/catch/rotate/spear (I'm not really sure what order) - when I heard the beep, but due to the previous error, it would be too soon, so I'd lose some of the coordinated benefit of all the muscles firing at the right time. I'd start the engine just to catch up with the TT.

Swimming without the TT, I found that if I over-rotated, I could feel when my recovery arm was truly ready, when my core was rotating and when my other bits had leverage, and delay the engine snap just a split moment. And it felt like I nailed it more of the time. That with the time of 29:40 and clearly I averaged 1-2s per lap faster than ever before.

To use the auto analogy, it felt like I could feel the gears, and the engine RPMs varying with the reality of my progress through the swim. With the TT, I was stuck at a certain RPM. I think that limits flexibility on how you fire your muscles. Doing a high RPM run for 50-100Y while not pulling very hard can relax some muscles, and utilize others - maybe different ones than doing a low SPL longer glide but harder pull run.

Anyway, just thought I'd think out loud here. It's probably not that big a revelation, but to me it helped me over my goal for the year, and it's only September. Now I'll shoot for 29min by the end of the year.

Thanks to everyone here - this community has really helped fuel my continued obsession with improving in the water.

Last edited by tomoy : 09-17-2012 at 08:49 AM.
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