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  #1  
Old 09-17-2012
tomoy tomoy is offline
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tomoy
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 07:49 AM.
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  #2  
Old 09-17-2012
Josefish Josefish is offline
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Josefish
Default Congrats

Congrats to you for breaking 30 minutes for a mile.
I have been doing open water races every sunday on this summer and couldn't get less than 30 minutes per mile.
I started TI 8 months ago, did a weekend workshop , kept doing the drills, swimming, using the TT and improved quite a lot.
But this summer I find myself in a "plareau" I don't avance anymore. Wasn't able to break the 30 minutes per mile, 35, 32, 33...but not less than that during the whole summer time.
So Im confused about to keep with TI or change to conventional swimming trainning...
In any case congratulations again for achieving this.

Happy laps
Jose
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  #3  
Old 09-17-2012
azamy azamy is offline
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Josefish View Post
Congrats to you for breaking 30 minutes for a mile.
I have been doing open water races every sunday on this summer and couldn't get less than 30 minutes per mile.
I started TI 8 months ago, did a weekend workshop , kept doing the drills, swimming, using the TT and improved quite a lot.
But this summer I find myself in a "plareau" I don't avance anymore. Wasn't able to break the 30 minutes per mile, 35, 32, 33...but not less than that during the whole summer time.
So Im confused about to keep with TI or change to conventional swimming trainning...
In any case congratulations again for achieving this.

Happy laps
Jose
Jose did you read all the info on this thread A 'Formula' for a Faster 1500/1650? Although I am not in a position to give those sets a try but I think the information is extremely useful for swimmers like you who want to increase their speed and decrease the time. If you haven't already checked that thread I recommend you read that and give the practice sets a try.

good luck
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  #4  
Old 09-17-2012
Josefish Josefish is offline
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I will check it Azamy, thank you ;)
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  #5  
Old 09-17-2012
andyinnorway andyinnorway is offline
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andyinnorway
Default if you want to swim faster - swim faster ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Josefish View Post
Congrats to you for breaking 30 minutes for a mile.
I have been doing open water races every sunday on this summer and couldn't get less than 30 minutes per mile.
I started TI 8 months ago, did a weekend workshop , kept doing the drills, swimming, using the TT and improved quite a lot.
But this summer I find myself in a "plareau" I don't avance anymore. Wasn't able to break the 30 minutes per mile, 35, 32, 33...but not less than that during the whole summer time.
So Im confused about to keep with TI or change to conventional swimming trainning...
In any case congratulations again for achieving this.

Happy laps
Jose
Jose,

Sounds stupid but i was discussing my elementary running training with a friend yesterday during lunch as he was a sub 40min 10K runner.

His suggestion to me which I pass on to you and your swimming is if you want to swim faster then swim faster.

That is if you want to swim a 28 minute mile, that's 1.45 per 100m s
so start doing some 100m interval repeats of 1.40 with a 20s rest. Swimming faster than your mile pace will help bring up your mile pace, swimming lots of repeat miles probably wont.

I also think 5x300m sets holding a pace of 5 minutes would really help with 1-2 minutes rest inbetween. Teach your muscles to maintain performance even whilst starting to fatigue. You need to do the 300m sets as this type of endurance building needs a 5 minute set to be effective.

This is something I will be focusing on in the next few weeks.

Good luck.

Last edited by andyinnorway : 09-17-2012 at 11:58 AM.
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  #6  
Old 09-22-2012
CoachSuzanne CoachSuzanne is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Josefish View Post
So Im confused about to keep with TI or change to conventional swimming trainning...
In any case congratulations again for achieving this.

Happy laps
Jose
We'd love to help you...but can you explain in your definition what keeping with TI vs. conventional swim training would mean?

I can assure you, as can many others on this forum, that the 'secret' to getting faster is within everyone's grasp using TI and the training methods we teach...it's fundamental and based in solid science (physics, fluid dynamics, anatomy) as well as being a philosophy
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  #7  
Old 09-22-2012
CoachGaryF CoachGaryF is offline
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Here's how I'd do the math based on 1760 yards in 1 mile:
1760 yards = 70.5 lengths in a 25 yard pool;
To complete 70.5 lengths in 1800 seconds (30 minutes) you need to swim each length in 25.5 seconds;
On each of those lengths you will probably use 3.5 seconds for pushing off and turning (1/2 of turn time is what I would factor into each length);
25.5 - 3.5 = 22.0 seconds of actual swim time per length to break 30 minutes.
To do that holding 17 strokes per length you need to swim at just under a 1:30 TT setting. At 18 strokes the tempo would be 1.22; at 19 the tempo is 1:15. If you want to hit 30 minutes at a 1.35 tempo you pretty much have to do it at 16 SPL. Of course, your push-off and turn time my actually consume more than 3.5 seconds. That means an even faster tempo is required to achieve your goal pace for each of these stroke counts.
If your push off/turn time is 4.5 seconds, that means your actual swim portion of each length goes down to 21.0 seconds. The new tempo goals per SPL:
16 SPL / 1:31
17 SPL / 1:23
18 SPL / 1:16
19 SPL / 1:10

The short answer, as AndyinNorway pointed out, is "if you want to swim faster swim faster." The trick is to manage it in a progressive way. Do you currently have a combination of SPL and TT that allows you to swim at 25.5 seconds per length? Let's say that right now you can do that at 18 SPL and 1.22 TT (using our 3.5 second push-off/turn number.) How long can you sustain that combination? For 50 yards? 200? 500? This will at least give you some insight to where you are now versus your goal. Do you have a combination that allows you to swim faster than your mile goal pace? You will need to do some of our training at that combination. Over time I would like to see two things happen: 1) You are able to sustain your desired combination for longer distances 2) Your combination becomes more efficient, so you can manage 17 SPL at 1:22 TT (one stroke less at the same tempo), or 18 SPL at 1:16 TT (the same stroke count at a higher tempo.)

Stroke mechanics obviously play a role in achieving your goal. To abandon low intensity drill and technique work completely would be a mistake. You can learn to eliminate a little more drag, or develop a more effective catch, or iron out small errors that occur when you breathe.

One other point: I'm a bit concerned that you "peter out" at a 1:30 tempo, which is pretty light. How do you manage your breathing? One breath every two strokes? Every 3rd? Less frequently than that? Here's why:
At a 1.3 tempo breathing every two strokes you get to breathe 23 times per minute (one breath every 2.6 seconds.) At a 1.3 tempo breathing every three strokes you get to breathe about 15 times per minute (one breath every 3.9 seconds.) That's not a lot of air. CPR used to call for 12 breaths per minute just to make sure the guy on the floor doesn't turn into a corpse. 15 breaths/minute is not enough air to sustain aerobic activity. Unless you count eating breakfast as an aerobic activity (I give myself 10 minutes of daily aerobic training credit for eating breakfast--haha!)

Gary
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  #8  
Old 09-22-2012
jenson1a jenson1a is offline
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by CoachGaryF View Post

One other point: I'm a bit concerned that you "peter out" at a 1:30 tempo, which is pretty light. How do you manage your breathing? One breath every two strokes? Every 3rd? Less frequently than that? Here's why:
At a 1.3 tempo breathing every two strokes you get to breathe 23 times per minute (one breath every 2.6 seconds.) At a 1.3 tempo breathing every three strokes you get to breathe about 15 times per minute (one breath every 3.9 seconds.) That's not a lot of air. CPR used to call for 12 breaths per minute just to make sure the guy on the floor doesn't turn into a corpse. 15 breaths/minute is not enough air to sustain aerobic activity. Unless you count eating breakfast as an aerobic activity (I give myself 10 minutes of daily aerobic training credit for eating breakfast--haha!)

Gary
This may be a little off the subject, but what you are saying about 15 breaths/ minute not enoough to sustain aerobic activity, then that probably explains why so many who drill at an extremely low stroke rate (1.4 or more) are breathless after 1 0r 2 lengths--especially if they breathe only every 3rd or more stroke. I typically take a breath every 4 strokes (sometimes 5) and have trouble completing 4 lengths. (TT at 1.65, 1.55, 1.45). Am I overlooking something in your post Gary?

Sherry
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  #9  
Old 09-24-2012
CoachGaryF CoachGaryF is offline
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Sherry,
Breathing once every 4 strokes at the tempos you described means a breath every 6 to 7 seconds. Now you're down to 9 or 10 breaths a minute. I think that has a lot to do with why you can't keeping going. Fuel spent versus fuel taken in are at stark odds with each other. Even at a fairly low heart rate.
Gary
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  #10  
Old 09-24-2012
smat smat is offline
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Josefish, i have posted on this blog before and we are almost identical in times and emotion to TI. I have taken a 2 week break from swimming all together after 100s of hours TI drills. I am also not sure what path to next take.
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