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  #11  
Old 07-29-2015
WFEGb WFEGb is offline
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Hello Danny,

think you're absolutely right with

Quote:
...My own interpretation of "these days" is that I was using the wrong methodology to correct my problems. if I try something for a while and it still isn't working then I need to think if there is an error in my approach....
Missunderstood your day #3. Read it as: All went fine and this one day something was wrong; and feelings and thoughts didn't tell what's wrong.

Best regards,
Werner

PS: Very interested in your results. I'm nearly at the same point. (1.38s 41SPL in LCM failed in a progressive broken 1500m (100m, 200m, 300m, 400m, 500m) at 300m. Had to go on with 200m's...) Two weeks off pool. Bah! Now I've to find a new starting point :-(
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  #12  
Old 07-29-2015
Danny Danny is offline
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Originally Posted by WFEGb View Post
Hello Danny,

think you're absolutely right with



Missunderstood your day #3. Read it as: All went fine and this one day something was wrong; and feelings and thoughts didn't tell what's wrong.

Best regards,
Werner

PS: Very interested in your results. I'm nearly at the same point. (1.38s 41SPL in LCM failed in a progressive broken 1500m (100m, 200m, 300m, 400m, 500m) at 300m. Had to go on with 200m's...) Two weeks off pool. Bah! Now I've to find a new starting point :-(
Hi Werner,

1.38s, 41SPL LCM is indeed close to what I do, but I can't hold that for any distance. It would be fun to compare notes.

Right now I think I am doing battle with questions like: What should I be measuring, for what durations and what failure criteria should I use? This is still very much work in progress, but my feeling after today's session was better than last time. As I said before, my target in a 25 yd pool was 1.36 s/stroke, 16 or 17 SPL. I tried doing this and varying the rest times in between intervals. It was hard work! One of the things I am noticing is that, when fatigue sets in, I don't see an immediate increase in SPL or time/length. Instead, I notice that my timing is off and I am out of position at certain critical points in my stroke. One dramatic indicator of this was that sometimes I would role to breath but miss the surface and get a mouth full of water. So I had to wait until my next chance to breath. The result: still able to meet my SPL goal, but I had to work harder and was more out of breath when I was done. So even counting strokes is not as good an indicator of technique as the simple feel for timing and comfort level, but it constrains my technique and prevents me from cheating too much on SPL in order to meet a time constraint.

At the end of my workout today, I did two 100 yd intervals, both at 1:49 min, 16 or 17 SPL. Again, my second 100 yds was much worse than my first, even though the time and SPL were the same. Feeling counts for everything.

All of this is forcing me to put my stroke mechanics under a microscope, which I suspect is also a good thing. I am flooded with questions about my own body and things I don't understand about my stroke, so I will continue to ponder these issues.
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  #13  
Old 07-29-2015
WFEGb WFEGb is offline
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Hello Danny,

Quote:
Right now I think I am doing battle with questions like: What should I be measuring, for what durations and what failure criteria should I use? This is still very much work in progress, but my feeling after today's session was better than last time. As I said before, my target in a 25 yd pool was 1.36 s/stroke, 16 or 17 SPL. I tried doing this and varying the rest times in between intervals. It was hard work! One of the things I am noticing is that, when fatigue sets in, I don't see an immediate increase in SPL or time/length. Instead, I notice that my timing is off and I am out of position at certain critical points in my stroke. One dramatic indicator of this was that sometimes I would role to breath but miss the surface and get a mouth full of water. ...
Good old friends you talk about! FWIW some thoughts that I have to lead yourself before my eyes over and over again...

- We have to decide what we will measure (if) for every pooltime. Mat told me, if we fail we should measure same things at least a second time and look if we fail at the same point. If so we should vary the measurements nearby and look if there's a new constant point of failure anywhere...

- Failure criteria also a point of decision. For SPL I'd say middle of the GZ is a good starting point and we should offer 1-2 strokes more before we should call it a failure. Especially crowded pools are not very good for exact metrics. Because higher SRs are a challenge for me I'd say we should set them just into the lower half of our comfy zonas.

- Rest times. Coaches say at least so long to be able to swim the next laps with focus and enough breath. But I realized the tendency to expand them too much for the last breaks. Last year when worked with Suzanne's FF training I found it's not so bad to cut them down as decided before. (But we should remember Terry's: Never practice struggle, even if it's hard to find out when struggle really starts...)

- Water instead of O2 is an edge of panic for me. If not able to cough up while swimming on, it's necessary to reorganize me. Pooledge, rolling on back or even breaststroke or treading water on the public side of the lane...

- If you've got the feeling something went wrong in too many parts although youre measurements are in your GZs. (Know it. Then mostly I antizipate something with more effort in an other part of the stroke. Confusion spreads with every stroke...) It might be you just need a (very) short break (2-3 breathes) and pick up one of your day's FPs again and then go on...

Best regards,
Werner
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  #14  
Old 07-29-2015
Danny Danny is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WFEGb View Post
Hello Danny,



Good old friends you talk about! FWIW some thoughts that I have to lead yourself before my eyes over and over again...

- We have to decide what we will measure (if) for every pooltime. Mat told me, if we fail we should measure same things at least a second time and look if we fail at the same point. If so we should vary the measurements nearby and look if there's a new constant point of failure anywhere...

- Failure criteria also a point of decision. For SPL I'd say middle of the GZ is a good starting point and we should offer 1-2 strokes more before we should call it a failure. Especially crowded pools are not very good for exact metrics. Because higher SRs are a challenge for me I'd say we should set them just into the lower half of our comfy zonas.
Failure criteria is still tricky for me. Today I never really failed in maintaining my stroke count at 1.36 s/stroke, but it started to feel worse and worse while I was doing it. So eventually I declared failure simply because it felt so bad. My timing was off and I had the sense I was struggling. The fact that I was struggling and still able to meet my stroke count may be because I was resting too long in between intervals, but I do know it felt like I was working hard, and for this reason I didn't try to cut down the rest time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by WFEGb View Post
- Rest times. Coaches say at least so long to be able to swim the next laps with focus and enough breath. But I realized the tendency to expand them too much for the last breaks. Last year when worked with Suzanne's FF training I found it's not so bad to cut them down as decided before. (But we should remember Terry's: Never practice struggle, even if it's hard to find out when struggle really starts...)
I am trying to increase the distance that I can swim at 1.36 s/stroke at an SPL of 16 to 17 in a 25 yd pool. So I do need to reduce the rest times to make progress on this goal. On the other hand I couldn't agree more with "Never practice struggle". This is why I declared failure even though I was still meeting my SPL goals.

Quote:
Originally Posted by WFEGb View Post
- Water instead of O2 is an edge of panic for me. If not able to cough up while swimming on, it's necessary to reorganize me. Pooledge, rolling on back or even breaststroke or treading water on the public side of the lane...

- If you've got the feeling something went wrong in too many parts although youre measurements are in your GZs. (Know it. Then mostly I antizipate something with more effort in an other part of the stroke. Confusion spreads with every stroke...) It might be you just need a (very) short break (2-3 breathes) and pick up one of your day's FPs again and then go on...

Best regards,
Werner
I can miss one breath because of water and still go on, but it takes its toll on me. For this reason, I am toying with the idea of increasing my intervals to 100 yd instead of 50 yd. The farther you swim the harder it becomes with lousy technique.

That said, I am still trying to understand other issues in my stroke. I separated my shoulder years ago, and it places some severe limitations on my recovery because sometimes it just locks up when I try to keep the elbow up. The strange thing about this is that whether or not it locks up seems to depend on rather small differences in my shoulder position. So, if I am a little off on that side, I may have to pay a rather large price for it. I am spending time these days in front of the mirror trying to figure out what path I should be taking on my recovery to avoid this problem. Whatever seems right in front of the mirror has a tendency to change when I get in the water. All work in progress...
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  #15  
Old 08-01-2015
Danny Danny is offline
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Back in the 25 m pool today. It was a good day. Started out with the TT set at 1.36 s/stroke, but my 50’s were coming in at 58-59 s, so I increased the TT to 1.4 s, and was around 1:00 min. per 50. Don’t know how many I did, I think around 800 m with 15-20 s rest per 50 m, before I decided I had failed. It’s clear to me now, failure is always when it stops feeling smooth. The SPL was 17-18 up and 18-19 back. After failure comes the question what do I do now? I did a couple of lengths of 1-armed drills and then decided to try some 100 m intervals. For these, I felt it would be easier to turn the TT up to 1.36 or 1.38 instead of 1.4 s, because a shorter arm stroke for longer distance (100 m) felt easier. I was getting times like 2:03/100 m, 18-19 SPL up and 19 back. I then tried a 300 m interval with the TT turned off and no stroke counting. It felt very good and I got a time of 6:24. Nothing great, but it felt smooth and I enjoyed it. Starting to realize some things about my spearing that are helpful. I think that I have had a tendency to spear too much by just straightening my arm. Because my right shoulder tends to lock up when I do that, I started doing the spear with an earlier shoulder rotation instead of just straightening the arm. This means I spear wider, but when I spear with the shoulder I can also get the hip rotation involved. The fun is timing the shoulder and hip rotation just right. When I got it, it felt great.

The workout came to an end when I started getting cramping along my shin. This is not just a problem with swimming, I get thrown out of bed in the middle of the night by these things. Yes, I eat bananas, but I am getting old. I can still swim when I get these cramps, but forget about smoothness.

Not sure any of this is relevant to anyone else, but it helps me to put it down here to track my progress. The summary: my stroke is starting to feel smoother and I am learning some new things about recovery and timing, all of which makes me happy.
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  #16  
Old 08-22-2015
Danny Danny is offline
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Maybe it’s time for a progress update here. I am still working on swimming intervals of 50 m and 100 m to see what that does for my times on 300 m. In the meantime there has been a lot of work on finding a suitable recovery for my right arm, which has a shoulder injury, and that subject was dealt with in a different thread called “hunching your shoulders while swimming”. I am still working on that issue, but seem to be making some progress.

On the first day I started this process, my times for 100 m were 2:04 and for 300 m it was 6:19. My best times have fallen down to 1:57 for 100 m and to 6:11 for 300 m. I should emphasize that these are not times I can reproduce at will. My chances are better at doing them at the start of my workouts, but sometimes when my technique clicks somewhere in the middle of a workout it will happen then as well.

My approach to swimming these intervals has changed since I started this program. At that time I always aimed at swimming at a comfortable pace, whereas now I am pushing myself. This raises some confusion in my mind concerning the edict “Never practice struggle”. There are cases when your technique and timing are off that can clearly be called struggle, but if you are pushing the pace and working hard, is this struggle? The question seems relevant for several reasons. First, if my times are improving is this because my conditioning or tolerance to stress is improving or is this because my technique is improving? Or is it some combination of the two? Second, am I more likely to find ways of improving my technique by stressing my system or by swimming in a relaxed fashion? Even as I pose this question, it seems ambiguous to me. The answer probably depends on how I am stressing the system, and here is where the art comes in. There is a subjective call in determining what is “struggle” and what is simply swimming at the edge of your capability. I am still trying to sort this out.

Descending has already clearly stated that he is an advocate of USRPT and any variation from this program is uncharted waters, if I understand him. I am probably too curious a person to stay out of uncharted waters, but I have been playing around with this a lot. First, I am no longer swimming intervals as such. Instead I swim an interval, give myself some time to catch my breath and stabilize and then do it again. The time I give myself is not fixed. I judge this by feeling. At some point I started to feel that it was more stressful to swim 300 m at 2:15/100 with 5 s rest then it is to swim 300m at 2:10 with no rest. The overhead of watching the clock seems to be one of my biggest stresses. Also standing up to rest and then getting back down to restart seems like wasted energy to me. So I am swimming 50s, 100s , and 300s, but not using the clock to determine rest intervals. Descending, in your opinion is USRPT supposed to only improve conditioning or is it the best way to improve technique as well? How? If so, then this seems like an interesting and somewhat opposing viewpoint to “never practice struggle”. I would be interested in any and all thoughts on these issues.
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  #17  
Old 08-22-2015
Zenturtle Zenturtle is offline
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when I try to do fast 50 meters that are too fast to keep total control it feels like crap for the last 10-15 m.
You just want to mcve in certain way and try hard, but its not possible. The strenght and control isnt there.
You dont want your stroke to totally collapse, just getting more sloppy than you would like.
But after doing 10 of those, and after that and a short rest, swimming a little bit slower feels super smooth and relaxed.
I think the mental (and physical) hard trying to move in a certain way also burns neural paths close to the optimal paths.

On top of that , giving almost all you have is very satisfying when the swimming is done.
Not doing it often enough though. You have to psych yourself up to do it.
Thats why swimming in a fast peer group produces such good results for many.
You dont try as hard when you swim on your own.

Last edited by Zenturtle : 08-22-2015 at 07:08 PM.
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  #18  
Old 08-24-2015
WFEGb WFEGb is offline
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Hello Danny,

know all your doubts very well, so I'm not the right person for some hints. Only some thoughts, 2ct

Quote:
My approach to swimming these intervals has changed since I started this program. At that time I always aimed at swimming at a comfortable pace, whereas now I am pushing myself. This raises some confusion in my mind concerning the edict “Never practice struggle”. There are cases when your technique and timing are off that can clearly be called struggle, but if you are pushing the pace and working hard, is this struggle?
If you have 1-2 FPs and focus on them it should not be struggle at least in this special points. Talvi and others wrote, if you change something special or fix it to unchangable it definetely leads to changes in other parts of the stroke. These have to be sorted out piece by piece of the large puzzle. Sometimes one has to be taken off because it belongs to a total different part of the picture. Well, not sure if FP "holding the TT-beeps" is a good FP in this sense...

Quote:
The question seems relevant for several reasons. First, if my times are improving is this because my conditioning or tolerance to stress is improving or is this because my technique is improving? Or is it some combination of the two?
You are improving! Best! TI would state (as I understand) both are interlinked. But you'll get only a real improvement if you'll work in good stroke technique. The limits in conditioning are nearer than those in technique. Stresstolerance might be a pay off of both. Have a look in Suzanne's FastFoward course. Seems to be an ideal interlink of both.

Quote:
Second, am I more likely to find ways of improving my technique by stressing my system or by swimming in a relaxed fashion? Even as I pose this question, it seems ambiguous to me. The answer probably depends on how I am stressing the system, and here is where the art comes in. There is a subjective call in determining what is “struggle” and what is simply swimming at the edge of your capability. I am still trying to sort this out.
So I do. Seems everyone has to find his "edge of struggle". Terry advocates sophisticated pooltimes either for metabolic system and/or nervous system. And sometimes we should allow ourself the only FP "purist meditative enjoyment" resulting in struggle or not....

Best regards,
Werner
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  #19  
Old 08-24-2015
ElminaKamley ElminaKamley is offline
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Originally Posted by Streak View Post
Great job Danny.
I would suggest reducing the rest time in increments until you start failing. The keep the rest time you used just before you failed and do a bunch of sessions at that rest time. Once you can do this easily then you could either reduce further or do a longer distance depending on what you want to achieve.
You are absolute right.
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  #20  
Old 08-24-2015
Talvi Talvi is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zenturtle View Post
when I try to do fast 50 meters that are too fast to keep total control it feels like crap for the last 10-15 m.
You just want to mcve in certain way and try hard, but its not possible. The strenght and control isnt there.
You dont want your stroke to totally collapse, just getting more sloppy than you would like.
But after doing 10 of those, and after that and a short rest, swimming a little bit slower feels super smooth and relaxed.
I think the mental (and physical) hard trying to move in a certain way also burns neural paths close to the optimal paths.

On top of that , giving almost all you have is very satisfying when the swimming is done.
Not doing it often enough though. You have to psych yourself up to do it.
Thats why swimming in a fast peer group produces such good results for many.
You dont try as hard when you swim on your own.
I haven't done this in the pool but I do find I have to do it in OW - I have to get back to where I started! When I start to get physically tired, after about 1500m, I find myself forced to swim more efficiently/relaxedly, to shed unnecessary movements/effort. This for me means getting more horizontal, which leads to more streamline, with all the benefits/insights into the rest of the stroke this gives. Struggle on the other hand, when you're tired, leads to things just getting worse, and in OW that feel to me like bad news!

Danny, congratulations on your numbers :) It sounds great!
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