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Old 12-04-2008
AWP AWP is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 575
Default A taste of Voodoo

In a previous practice I'd replicated a practice session posted by Terry dubbed 'test set' in reverse. Next practice I'd done a trial run on a pyramid set Terry had followed up with keeping with the 2500yd 'format'. I did not keep times or stick to an interval but only followed the process placing all my attention on ease and fluid movement (including turns). I also wanted to stay acclimated to the breathing pattern of breathing every three strokes especially as distance increased.
Well in my last practice again doing the 2500 yd pyramid it was apparent that after the 75s, going up, I was on too aggressive a pace at this stage of the game for me. I was 'stuck' now at this effort level, wanting to keep a constant. I was however able to stay at 14-15 spl on all adding the 15 when I needed to sneak in a breath before turning ( I've been using the 1-2 breath before the wall when my timing on sl/sc is off. I don't want to tax myself any more than I have to; breathing every 3 plus the turn and push off 'adds' up to less air).

My results:
Distance total per 100 / 500

4x25 (100) 1:20 * / 6:40
4x50 (200) 2:37 1:20 / 6:32
4x75 (300) 3:53 1:18 / 6:30
4x100 (400) 5:19 1:20 / 6:40
4x125 (500) 6:53 1:23 / *
4x100 (400) 5:28 1:22 / 6:50
4x75 (300) 4:05 1:21 / 6:49
4x50 (200) 2:30 1:15 / 6:14
4x25 (100) 1:11 * / 6:00

I paid for the pace, keeping interval, after the 125s on the way down. By the 75s I knew I had taxed myself too much for what I wanted to accomplish; to dial into a 'strong' but effortless ((cruise)) pace that I can improve on in effortlessness and strength as I practice.
I then consciously took it down a notch, regrouped and refocused on an effort I felt was more appropriate, irregardless of times.
At the 100 intervals I took more rest. At this point I really had to concentrate on keeping my stroke long, my legs streamlined while focusing on that light pressure Terry keeps mentioning and low and behold the effort became manageable, even energizing. That and the extra rest helped me refocus and as it turns out enabled me to go faster going into the shorter repeats at an effort level below what I was previously using. I was afraid the 'taxation' would not have allowed me to keep pace or spl (or finish) even at the shorter repeat distance. But I did and then some.
My taste of "Voodoo speed" even if it came with a price. I'll work on this until I get it totally for free!
My average 500 time was 6:34. Realistically too fast a pace to even dream of at the moment for distance swimming. Instead I'l work/start at an average pace of say a :43 per 50 which is approx. a 7min. 500 or a tad more.

The feeling that comes to mind after this set with regards to finding that level is sort of like walking on a balance beam for the first time. The initial attempt you're not quite sure, the second a bit more confident and so on until you find that BALANCE. Balance through the Ps; Patient Purposeful Practice with Positive Persistence.
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Old 12-30-2008
Rhoda Rhoda is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 402

I got a taste of "voodoo speed" this morning. I had warmed up with about 4 x 100m of drills (active balance, skating, zen switches, underswitch), then 500m continuous of swimming in Fistgloves, aiming for various focal points, including relaxed neck and spearing to streamline. After that I took the gloves off to swim 500m slow without, using the same sorts of focal points.
Shortly after starting I could see someone in the next lane setting about passing me, and being the neurotic competitive type that I am, I decided to try to hold her off. She got off the wall a bit faster than me on the third 50, so I briefly sped up for just 6-7 faster strokes without breathing, staying relaxed, then went back down to cruise pace for the rest of the length. From then on I alternated 25m cruise pace, aiming for a stroke count of 22 or less, with fast lengths. On the fast ones, I did increasingly longer fast bits, adding in breathing (every stroke) until I was doing just about the whole length at this pace. I'd start off every one of these faster lengths doing a few strokes at the cruise pace to keep the feel. Except for needing to breath more often, these strokes felt light and fluid and didn't require me to "try hard". My stroke count got up to 22-23 for these.
After about 12 of these it began to get a little harder, so I stopped and did some more drills before cooling down.
By this time my challenger had lost half a length and then stopped altogether. Okay, I really am going to have to find an outlet for this competitive urge. :-D

Last edited by Rhoda : 12-30-2008 at 09:50 PM.
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Old 01-11-2009
terry terry is offline
Head Coach
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 2,305
terry has disabled reputation
Default A Taste of Voodoo

I'm really pleased to see that my example is being emulated. It is so much more interesting to find an easier way to accomplish a given pace, or to hold a particular pace, with the same stroke count, for a longer distance. These are truly demanding puzzles to solve, and because they are may prod you to try counterintuitive things -- such as lightening your hand/forearm pressure. And as you do your body shifts the workload to muscles that are more fatigue-resistant, such as the core.
Terry Laughlin
Head Coach & Chief Executive Optimist

May your laps be as happy as mine.

My TI Story
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Old 01-22-2009
bariae bariae is offline
Junior Member
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 1
Default Endless Pool Mirror Video?

I have many of the TI DVDs and even attended a freestyle weekend workshop a while ago... I just got an endless pool and put one of those rectangular mirrors on the bottom. I'm wondering if any of the new DVDs have video from the perspective of what I *should* see when I'm looking in the mirror... thanks!
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Old 01-22-2009
AWP AWP is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 575

Great question, would love to know if those exist as well.
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