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Old 08-09-2010
terry terry is offline
Head Coach
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 2,305
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Default Terry's Set: 200-yd repeats in OW with TT

Here's the practice I did this morning Aug 9 on the 200-yd +/- line at Lake Minnewaska. Background to this is that, after two months of limited training due to a condition called polymyalgia rheumatica (literal translation: All Muscles Inflamed) I have resumed moderately-ambitious training and will swim a mile race in the Betsy Owens Cable Swim at Lake Placid on Aug 14, my first open water race since Tampa Bay Marathon four months ago.
My goal this week is to tune my nervous system to stay efficient and economical at a relatively brisk tempo for the mile. My conditioning is suspect so I need to find the highest tempo at which I can avoid struggle. And with only a few days until the race, my practice repeats need to be short enough to avoid fatigue.

I thought Suzanne's suggestion to Lennart for a pool training set of rounds of [2 x 200] at several different tempos would work well for me in the lake, because there's a slight current going one way. By doing the same tempo in both directions - with a short rest between, I could average out the difference. Also, following Suzanne's suggestion I decide to do an "inverse tempo pyramid." Thus my set was
2 x 200 @ .98 sec/stroke
2 x 200 @ 1.00
2 x 200 @ 1.02
2 x 200 @ 1.00
2 x 200 @ .98
I would rest 30 seconds between 200s and add my times for each pair, logging a combined 400-yard time, though the 400 would be broken.

Though my tempo would get slower initially, my goal was to swim faster on each successive 400. I would need to increase efficiency on the 2nd and 3rd pair of 200s, to gain speed there, then hold efficiency on the 4th and 5th pairs.

Results in combined 400-yard times (total strokes in parenthesis)
6:14 (381)
6:04 (364)
6:59 (351)
6:56 (356)
6:53 (360)

I calculated total strokes by dividing my 400 time in seconds, by my tempo. This lets me track how various tempos affect my efficiency. Not surprisingly I was most efficient (351 strokes) at the slowest tempo. Happily I was far more efficient on the last pair of 200s than on the first pair. Both pairs were @ .98 tempo, but I took 21 fewer strokes at the end . . . and consequently swam 21 seconds faster. I take that as a sign of improving my neural tuning through mindful repetition.

I.E. When you focus on aerobic training, in a set like this, you'd work harder and feel an increase in fatigue. When you focus on neural training, you sense yourself swimming better because more reps hone the circuit you're practicing.
Terry Laughlin
Head Coach & Chief Executive Optimist

May your laps be as happy as mine.

My TI Story

Last edited by terry : 08-09-2010 at 06:57 PM.
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Old 08-09-2010
Grant Grant is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Sooke, BC. Canada
Posts: 581
Default Tyop error

Hi Terry:
Sorry to hear of your enforced layoff and poly stuff.
In case you want to correct the typos - note your last three 2x200's you have at 6 minutes rather than the 5 minutes you in fact swam.
Is some of the time improvement a result of the loosening up or warmup effect that a lot of us experience?
Good luck on the upcoming race.
May we all swim with ease.

Speaking of Typos. Tried to correct the title but it wouldnt let me after I posted. Looking for a towel to get the egg off my face.
May we swim with ease at the speeds we choose.

Last edited by Grant : 08-09-2010 at 07:22 PM. Reason: typo on title
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Old 08-09-2010
bnichols4 bnichols4 is offline
Junior Member
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 16
Default Imflamation

What is your warm up routine prior to hitting the water? I am assuming you warm the muscles up some first especially with inflammation. I like to do a 5 minute shoulder stretch first, I know I should do more, just curios what your routine may be.


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Old 08-16-2010
LennartLarsson LennartLarsson is offline
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 42


I did following 400 meter (not yards) set today, 8x400. I swam a race of 2,6 K OW yesterday, so I was a bit sore in the end:

1,16 06.44 (348)
1,15 06.38 (346)
1,14 06.37 (348)
1,13 06.35 (350)
1,12 06.36 (354)
1,14 06.38 (349)
1,10 06.38 (362)

All pretty much the same, but it looks like I was at my best this time at TT 1.13 and 350 strokes). To swim at 0.98 would not be possible for me.

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Old 08-17-2010
LennartLarsson LennartLarsson is offline
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 42

Off course the number off strokes is less since I swam in a 50 meter pool. There are turns and push offs...:-)
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