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Old 09-24-2012
tomoy tomoy is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 585

Very interesting. Thanks for jumping in here Coach Gary.

First I have to confess to measuring my "mile" as 1500M. Generally speaking, I do 200Y in roughly 3:25-3:40, 16 SPL, 1.30-1.35s tempo. At that combo I can't go much further than 250Y before running out of steam, and needing 30-60s rest.

The breathing thing is fascinating. I almost always do bilateral, every 3-strokes, and can do 1500M at a loping pace non-stop of 1.37-1.40s. I might take 2-stroke breaths after or before a turn towards the end. But it could be, my engine is being starved at that rate, every 3-strokes. Bilateral breathing was a big goal of mine early on, and maybe I'm sticking to it too much where it's not appropriate.

Will try to kick up the tempo and breathe 2-strokes tomorrow, maybe kicking in 1 or 3 3-stroke breaths mid-lap to switch sides.

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Old 10-03-2012
tomoy tomoy is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 585

Okay, I think I have my brain wrapped around my times. I've done a couple swims where I allow myself to breath every 2-strokes (same side) when I feel the need for air - usually comes in around 600Y. Can really feel the engine chugging along, and the conversion from 3-strokes (bilateral) is an interesting transition. I know my heart rate is higher, but I seem to be able to keep it up for the mile, so I'm assuming things are okay in cardio land.

In addition to the lack of symmetry I notice I end up stressing different muscles due to the repeated breath stroke: these are the lead-hand side's shoulder muscle that reaches to extend the spear which helps align my head for the breath, and the and the opposite foot and calf which rotate me to air. I can feel these tiring more quickly when I hit them on the breath stroke. Where I used to get a couple extra seconds of rest for these muscles, now I'm firing them more often. I learned though, that if one leg/foot is starting to border on cramping or tiring, I can change my breathing side, and that gives it enough of a break to continue on.

I'm repeating my sub-30 min 1500Y at this point pretty reliably.
TT: 1.36
SPL: 17
TT Beeps during turn: 3
Timex lap time ~54s /50Y
It all adds up to right around 29m. My last swim was 29'19", and I think several of those laps took 18 strokes because I noticed hitting the wall with my right hand towards the end. (Ref. Charles' thread on counting or not counting SPL's).

All things considered, if I can truly stick to 17SPL, then I should hit 29min. Alternately, if I can do the same 17SPL at TT1.35, then I should get under 29min comfortably. So I think that's my next goal. Try to keep 17 SPL and drop the TT down.

And if that doesn't work, set the TT to 1.29 and go with 18SPL. Is it better to do one or the other? Or for training do both? I'm still alternating training sessions of 100s, 200s at different tempos, to get used to going fast. But if a goal is a faster 'mile', work on maintaining the long stroke length, or work on tempo? I guess I'll start re-reading that über thread again. I get the feeling it's both.
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