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  #1  
Old 02-22-2014
dprevish dprevish is offline
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Default What tempo is cruising speed

I've been making some really insightful gains in the last couple months and have been curious about the speed at which the TI coached swimmer would spend the bulk of their training time swimming at.
I found a really good article by Terry on "the right stroke": through a formula I was able to figure out that with my current wingspan my cruising speed should be about 14 strokes per length, about the average I'd suspect. I can achieve this, but only at about a 1.4 tempo. This is what I'd think is too slow to be swimming a 1500 or perhaps I'm wrong?
I ask this because I'm finding that when I get my tempo in at about 1.1 or even slightly lower, I feel very fast but still contained. The main thing that it seems to help is my rotation. But am I training at too fast a rate for my level of training?

So what is advice on speed for training for 1500, and what would I expect to race at (tempo)?
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  #2  
Old 02-22-2014
Superfly Superfly is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dprevish View Post
So what is advice on speed for training for 1500, and what would I expect to race at (tempo)?
There are too many variables (physical fitness, height, swimming style, etc.). This is a question that only you can answer.

The best way to get to your answer is to use a tempo trainer to find your max tempo. To do this:
Set the tempo trainer to a tempo that you're comfortable with. If all goes well then set to higher tempo. You want to get to a slightly uncomfortable tempo but without your technique falling apart. That is your max tempo.

I personally swim the majority of my laps at between 10 to 30% lower than my max tempo. Then I swim a few laps at my max tempo. The 10% lower is for building stamina, while the 20 to 30% lower is for focusing on correct technique.

Last edited by Superfly : 02-22-2014 at 02:22 AM.
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  #3  
Old 02-22-2014
CoachDavidShen CoachDavidShen is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dprevish View Post
I've been making some really insightful gains in the last couple months and have been curious about the speed at which the TI coached swimmer would spend the bulk of their training time swimming at.
I found a really good article by Terry on "the right stroke": through a formula I was able to figure out that with my current wingspan my cruising speed should be about 14 strokes per length, about the average I'd suspect. I can achieve this, but only at about a 1.4 tempo. This is what I'd think is too slow to be swimming a 1500 or perhaps I'm wrong?
I ask this because I'm finding that when I get my tempo in at about 1.1 or even slightly lower, I feel very fast but still contained. The main thing that it seems to help is my rotation. But am I training at too fast a rate for my level of training?

So what is advice on speed for training for 1500, and what would I expect to race at (tempo)?
Coach Shinji once told me he considered crusing to be about 1.2s tempo. i think higher than that would be considered easy stroke, like 1.3-1.4s. once you get below 1.2s, the tempo starts getting more demanding. My personal goal was 1.0s tempo race pace but i always ended up at around 1.1s - always more work to be done!

Having said all that, what Superfly says is true and that is highly dependent on the individual and their own preparation. You should always look to what you are capable of at that moment, and look to discover the fastest tempo that you can maintain perfect form over the distance you want to swim. I also like to say that you should always have stretch goals, so if you make it to 1.4s, then train some intervals at faster than that because that helps imprint a faster tempo into your muscles, and thus can make your race pace tempo feel easy.
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Old 02-22-2014
MarkkuS MarkkuS is offline
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I think itīs a mistake thinking a low SPL is your best cruising speed. You are seeking the highest speed for least effort. SPL doesn't show what your effort is. Instead it's your heart rate (=your calorie consumption).

I way of finding your sweet spot is to do a ramp test (example: http://www.swimsmooth.com/ramptest.html)

I was surprised when I found my highest speed with least effort, was at a stroke rate much higher (and higher SPL) then I used to swim.
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  #5  
Old 02-22-2014
andyinnorway andyinnorway is offline
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I agree with Superfly. your cruising speed will most likely be a % of your max and will improve and develop over time (quicken).

I'm in the same boat as Coach David, I aspire to a race tempo of 1.0 but it currently ends up around 1.1

14SPL at tempo 1.4 I would class as Strength training, if you can hold that over 1500m then you must be pretty strong :)
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  #6  
Old 02-22-2014
jafaremraf jafaremraf is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkkuS View Post
I think itīs a mistake thinking a low SPL is your best cruising speed. You are seeking the highest speed for least effort. SPL doesn't show what your effort is. Instead it's your heart rate (=your calorie consumption).
I way of finding your sweet spot is to do a ramp test (example: http://www.swimsmooth.com/ramptest.html)

I was surprised when I found my highest speed with least effort, was at a stroke rate much higher (and higher SPL) then I used to swim.
I think I must be a bit of a numbers geek too like the coach in the video as I found that exercise fascinating. I've just started to use a tempo trainer and it takes some getting used to....as I'm quite a slow mover and get out of breath when i move quicker I started the tempo very slow and found it hard to match the beep. I also found I was actually putting lots of effort in, especially with my legs, to keep any momentum going. So I upped the tempo, and SPL to feel more comfortable. I'm not too fixated on SPL, but do find it hard to bring it down without an excessive glide.....if I have a long slow glide, but working hard, I can reach 22 SPL in a 25m pool (I'm 5'3"), but find 27 SPL more comfortable. What that video showed is that we all have an optimum set of figures and I should think about how it all feels at the various paces/effort and not be influenced by others' statistics. Especially as I'm not looking to compete (except with myself!) but want to have endurance for comfortable effort.
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  #7  
Old 02-22-2014
CoachDavidShen CoachDavidShen is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jafaremraf View Post
I think I must be a bit of a numbers geek too like the coach in the video as I found that exercise fascinating. I've just started to use a tempo trainer and it takes some getting used to....as I'm quite a slow mover and get out of breath when i move quicker I started the tempo very slow and found it hard to match the beep. I also found I was actually putting lots of effort in, especially with my legs, to keep any momentum going. So I upped the tempo, and SPL to feel more comfortable. I'm not too fixated on SPL, but do find it hard to bring it down without an excessive glide.....if I have a long slow glide, but working hard, I can reach 22 SPL in a 25m pool (I'm 5'3"), but find 27 SPL more comfortable. What that video showed is that we all have an optimum set of figures and I should think about how it all feels at the various paces/effort and not be influenced by others' statistics. Especially as I'm not looking to compete (except with myself!) but want to have endurance for comfortable effort.
it is ok to have a longer glide phase, but nothing should ever pause or stop. something on your body must be moving and in the case of the glide phase, it is your arm that is exitting behind you and recovering forward. it should not stop at the end of the stroke so that you "glide".

it is also ok not to worry about SPL. many in TI get caught up in minimizing SPL to the absolute minimum. it's a combination of factors that does this, and training exclusively for minimal SPL may not yield you your goal. practicing wholistic TI will do that eventually over time and you should use SPL as a metric for measuring improvement across a wide range of tempos and distances. or in other words, you'll have a SPL for every distance at a given tempo and thus a target to hit for everyone.

as many have said here, it is highly individual. for some 1.0s is cruising speed, for others it's 1.6s. it doesn't matter what everyone else does, it only matters what your own numbers are.
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  #8  
Old 02-22-2014
tomoy tomoy is offline
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Yeah, lots of variables, but you'll (Dave) probably find it for yourself. You seem to have pretty good awareness of where you're at. You note that it seems too slow, but how do you feel swimming that pace? Can you do it all day (for more than 20 min.?).

I know I'm swimming too fast when I can feel my tank draining. I can tell that I can't keep this tempo up much longer, then ask, how long can I? I'm swimming a good constant speed when that thought does NOT enter my head.

My experience is that (currently!) in order to swim a mile I can't go faster than 1.35 on the tempo trainer. I know that's pretty slow, but I'm a long-limbed kinda guy. Have brought it down gradually from 1.4 TT over the last year. My fastest miles usually start around 1.40 TT, and end around 1.20 TT.

I keep finding small technical issues that help a little. And yes, I do crank it down to get accustomed to a sense of speed. I usually hit conditioning limits though. So 1mi at 1.35 TT. 800M at 1.30tt. 400M at 1.20tt. 200M at 1.10tt. 100M at 1.00tt. That seems to be my general level.

So knowing that, improvement comes when I can nudge down both my tt pace + nudge down my times for those distances... which I have carefully not included here ;-)
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  #9  
Old 02-22-2014
Grant Grant is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tomoy View Post

So knowing that, improvement comes when I can nudge down both my tt pace + nudge down my times for those distances... which I have carefully not included here ;-)
Interesting post tomoy. The quoted section brought a smile to my face which was appreciated as we are in middle of a wet cold stretch.
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  #10  
Old 02-24-2014
CoachSuzanne CoachSuzanne is offline
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This is a great topic. Regarding the stroke rate ramp test, if you head down to the forum here on TI on "Favorite sets & Practices" Terry has a great thread on the Assymetric Tempo Pyramid as compared to the stroke rate ramp test and what you can learn from each of them.

So I wont' repeat that here.

The OP asks about "cruising speed" or pace. An SPL is not a speed or a pace, it's how far you go with each stroke. That can be done at a variety of speeds, or tempos, and is an interesting task. Set your TT at 1.4...14 SPL might be easy. Gradually decrease the tempo to 1.38, 1.36 etc and try to maintain it.

Eventually it will be come very difficult and draining, as it's analgous to cycling in a low gear goign uphill. YOu can only keep it up for so long.

Terry advocates a working SPL range of 3, with beginners working on the upper end of the scale for your height and intermediate & experts workign on the lower range of SPL for your height.

Example: I am 5'3". 3 or 4 years ago my SPL for a 25 yd pool was 17-19 and I swam that at a pace of around 1:40-1:45. During my coach training was the first time I achieved an SPL < 17. I started hitting 16s easily TErry then showed us how to work on balance even more and I was hitting 14, 13, 12 ,and yes...even 11 in a 25 yd pool.

11 SPL at 5'3" is not practical in any sense! But I can do it...the tempo must be about 2.5 seconds per stroke I would guess.

However once I developed that agiliity to consciously choose 11, 12, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19 SPL at will...suddenly I had a whole range of speeds I could swim just by adjusting my recovery.


Today, for comparison, I can swim a single 100 yd at 1:30 with 14SPL...then I need to take a rest. Or I can swim 100yd repeats at 21 SPL at 1:30 and feel refreshed & lively. my comfortable "all day" cruising SPL is more around 17/18 SPL and that's probably at a tempo between 1.08-1.13

My advice to teh OP, allow yourself more strokes...and you'll find you can swim longer and easier and faster. That was Terry's exact advice to me when I lamented I was no longer getting faster at 16SPL. He told me to allow 17 or 18 and see what happened. That advice was directly from Terry...so fully congruent with TI instruction.

Terry & I were swimming together once and as he observed my swim, he said, "See how many strokes you can comfortably fit in" for a 100 and see what happens. The result was 22SPL for a 25 yd pool and a PR at that time of 1:27. (I've since gotten faster).

The idea is to develop options, fluidity, agility in your swimming and PRACTICE them. over time you'll find ranges of SPLS & tempos for different distnaces and different intentions for your practice.
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Last edited by CoachSuzanne : 02-24-2014 at 10:40 PM.
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