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  #1  
Old 12-29-2014
andyinnorway andyinnorway is offline
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Default Regardless of SPL - interesting experiment

Today I went to the pool to test how fast I could swim with any given SPL.

I swam sets of 25 with 25 recovery so that all my data was consistent (my pool also has a bit of pump flow in one direction)

I noted down which tempos my SPL went up and didn't repeat any tempos twice.

It was only when I got home and converted the tempos into 25m times that I got a shock

SPL TT TIME
10 1.44 18.24
11 1.32 18.04
12 1.26 18.48
13 1.14 17.86
14 1.08 18.00

The time range was so narrow. I'm not really sure what it tells me, other than perhaps my limiting factor to speed is drag related rather than stroke or power?

I didn't max out on the 14's so there may have been a click or 2 lower. I'll test the other half of my SPL range next swim taking TT down to 0.75
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  #2  
Old 12-29-2014
Zenturtle Zenturtle is offline
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Thats quite a SPL range for about the same speed.
Doesnt surprise me that much though. Ther are a lot of ways to get to Rome.
I dont do much numbers during my swim. Mostly judge stroke experiments and speed by comparing with other staedy speed swimmers.
I also noticed its possible to lenghten out the stroke or shorthen it on purpose and the end result in speed isnt that different. Every stroke style needs some adaptation time.
Only conclusion is that both stroke styles can be about as efficient.
Just a stroke lenght number cant answer all efficiency questions.
I think basic power/drag is the most important factor determiining swim speed. If you shorten your stroke withour inducing much extra drag, you are just powering with the same engine in a different gear.
Within certain limits offcourse, and maybe you experience the differnce between an optimal sprint stroke (shoulder driven) and an optimal long distnce stroke (hip driven) now.
Anyway interesting and fun experiments!

Is SPL14 28 single strokes/25 m? Thats extreme! Cant see anytbing above 25 as being efficient for a avarage male, so if thats the case , the outcome is surprising.
Do all the lenghts feel like a stroke that is under control?

Last edited by Zenturtle : 12-29-2014 at 10:16 AM.
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  #3  
Old 12-29-2014
andyinnorway andyinnorway is offline
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andyinnorway
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zenturtle View Post
Thats quite a SPL range for about the same speed.
Doesnt surprise me that much though. Ther are a lot of ways to get to Rome.
I dont do much numbers during my swim. Mostly judge stroke experiments and speed by comparing with other staedy speed swimmers.
I also noticed its possible to lenghten out the stroke or shorthen it on purpose and the end result in speed isnt that different. Every stroke style needs some adaptation time.
Only conclusion is that both stroke styles can be about as efficient.
Just a stroke lenght number cant answer all efficiency questions.
I think basic power/drag is the most important factor determiining swim speed. If you shorten your stroke withour inducing much extra drag, you are just powering with the same engine in a different gear.
Within certain limits offcourse, and maybe you experience the differnce between an optimal sprint stroke (shoulder driven) and an optimal long distnce stroke (hip driven) now.
Anyway interesting and fun experiments!

Is SPL14 28 single strokes/25 m? Thats extreme! Cant see anytbing above 25 as being efficient for a avarage male, so if thats the case , the outcome is surprising.
Do all the lenghts feel like a stroke that is under control?
SPL is single strokes per length. push off 2.66 strokes always(for me).

e.g.
tt@1.44 10strokes+2.66 push off=12.66*1.44=18.23 seconds
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  #4  
Old 12-29-2014
Zenturtle Zenturtle is offline
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I gueas you mean a stroke cycle and not an arm entry. T am used to counting arm entries. Always between 16-22 myself
10 arm entries (5 strokes on a garmin swim) for a 25 is a long stroke at 18 sec/25m.
If you can do it, applause for you.

Last edited by Zenturtle : 12-29-2014 at 01:21 PM.
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  #5  
Old 12-29-2014
CharlesCouturier CharlesCouturier is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andyinnorway View Post
Today I went to the pool to test how fast I could swim with any given SPL.

I swam sets of 25 with 25 recovery so that all my data was consistent (my pool also has a bit of pump flow in one direction)

I noted down which tempos my SPL went up and didn't repeat any tempos twice.

It was only when I got home and converted the tempos into 25m times that I got a shock

SPL TT TIME
10 1.44 18.24
11 1.32 18.04
12 1.26 18.48
13 1.14 17.86
14 1.08 18.00

The time range was so narrow. I'm not really sure what it tells me, other than perhaps my limiting factor to speed is drag related rather than stroke or power?

I didn't max out on the 14's so there may have been a click or 2 lower. I'll test the other half of my SPL range next swim taking TT down to 0.75
May I ask you in which regard you got shocked?
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  #6  
Old 12-30-2014
andyinnorway andyinnorway is offline
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andyinnorway
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlesCouturier View Post
May I ask you in which regard you got shocked?
I was shocked how fast 10SPL was as it felt cumbersome in balance terms.

I do remember watching an open water race in london last year and one guy seemed to win his wave this way. very slow stroke rate but managed to grab huge distance per stroke. he looked like a big sturdy fisherman pulling in the nets.

like i said i have to complete the second half to see where my max speed is currently sitting.
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  #7  
Old 12-30-2014
CharlesCouturier CharlesCouturier is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andyinnorway View Post
like i said i have to complete the second half to see where my max speed is currently sitting.
I'd also be interesting to assess how fast you can swim uplugged, that is, with the sole purpose of crossing the pool as fast as you can.

I beg to disagree with your conclusion, though I think you expressed it more as a question than a solid statement. If your swim times for 25y are similar at 10spl and at 14spl, then your limiting factor isn't likely the drag, as these times appear to be quite fast. 18.75 sec for 25y is equivalent to about 20.5sec for 25m, at 41rpm (roughly 1.44). That has to be fairly close to Shinji's metrics on the clip that made him famous. Round it up to sub 1:30sec including the turns over 100m, at 41spm, I am very far from that myself.

If the times were significantly different, then this would indicate that at lower stroke count you can't use your weapon of choice (power), as you loose speed between each stroke. Then as the rate increases, the drop in speed associated with the drag would fade away, and times would melt as the rate increases. On the other hand, if the times are kept within a narrow group, then it likely indicates that there's not much speed lost during the glides. If it's the case, then if the speed is relatively slow, you lack power, but not streamline. If the speed is relatively fast, you have enough power and the drag, well, doesn't seem to be an issue neither as the time is fairly the same regardless of the duration of the glide (most vulnerable phase for someone with poor hydrodynamic profile).

Therefore an early conclusion to this interesting first half of the test is that you likely don't have any limiting factor, for you need a whole lot of power and a very streamlined hydrodynamic profile to move forward that fast on such an extreme rate diet. If you can hold say, 1:30 @ 42rpm, then the odds are that you could hold 1:25 at 48 or so. Your CSS pace is likely sub 1:30, as long as you train in a way to make these numbers sustainable over more than say, 200m (the 200 first meters being probably the hardest to go over).

If these numbers don't seem realistic to you, well given your test I'd say then that your main limiting factor is endurance. Your work over shorter distance would have paid off probably more than you think at the mo, and it's time to practice/reassess longer distances, to build the necessary endurance to make your technique "sustainable". At 41spm, you're far from sprinting. Metabolically speaking, you're almost idling (unless you kick very hard). So these numbers should mid/short term become sustainable.

You'd be an ideal candidate to use my favorite approach to this sort of work, that is time trialing on a rate diet. In its simplest form? 400m as fast as you can at 1.4 (just an example). That develops neuro muscular specific endurance required to allow the technique to hold the road over longer durations. Keep this pace until progress in times are no longer achieved. Given that the rate is fixed, progress in time can only be associated with improvement in distance per stroke.

Last edited by CharlesCouturier : 12-30-2014 at 08:48 AM.
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  #8  
Old 12-31-2014
andyinnorway andyinnorway is offline
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Yes it was a question so thanks for some advice. My data is always 25m not yards as that's what we have in the UK.

I had a go at part 2 today just with a niggling dead right leg (first sign of injury since getting off the sofa 4 years ago)

Mostly positive numbers again.

My speed increased a little as my SPL went up
15 (tt@1.02)=18.0
16 (tt@0.96)=17.9
17 (tt@0.90)=17.6
18 (tt@0.84)=17.35

The fun part of today was that below TT0.84 I can hold 18SPL easier than I can hold the stroke rate.

for example at TT0.72, I'm on my SR limit, I drop some part beats on push off and when I breathe, but my SPL holds at 18 which is encouraging.

I'm going to add some lengths at this SR for a few sessions as I think with practice I can get my 25m down to a repeatable 15.84

Charles - I'd find it hard to let my stroke go and you are right about my swimming needing some more CSS/threshold sets, I just don't enjoy that type of training as a rule.

But I'm up for some 400's on stroke rate diet as a gear up for the summer race/event season.

Since my mile PB hasn't moved since my 4th month of swimming I think that's more a reflection of my willingness to pump the heart than a technical plateau.

I'm hoping my Tri club can get some regular swim sessions planned in this year as mentally challenging sets are easier in a group.

Happy new Year everyone - it's Tapas in our house tonight, with everyone cooking one dish.
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  #9  
Old 12-31-2014
Talvi Talvi is offline
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Andy, for the arithmetically challenged (me!) can you explain the experimental design again? You swim a given spl at the different tempos, noting the time 25 takes? The figures then are the tempo at which the spl gave the fasted speed?


And to all you TI friends and your families, a Happy new year. May 2015 bring you many many happy turns!

:)
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  #10  
Old 01-01-2015
andyinnorway andyinnorway is offline
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Almost

the experiment was to click the tempo trainer down each 25m with a 25m relaxed swim back off tempo, and try to hold max DPS.

Take note of the tempo marking when SPL goes +1 and convert to times once home. repeat through full SPL range.

I'll kick 2015 off swimming a set similar to that suggested by Charles the other day.

2x(100,200,300,400) on a stroke rate diet of 42spm trying to hold an SPL of 14/15
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