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  #1  
Old 12-18-2012
craig.arnold@gmail.com craig.arnold@gmail.com is offline
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Default Progress and a data point!

The only time I set foot in a Swimming Club I was about 22 and hated it. Timed repeats, drills, kickboards, etc. I had no idea what I was doing, just that I was expected to swim faster than I knew how. The whole thing was hugely stressful and put me off swimming altogether for a number of years. The main reason I like swimming is for the peace of being in the water and moving through it. I soon took up scuba diving as an alternate way of getting that buzz. But swimming clubs. No way! I have resisted invitations to Masters' Swimming over the last few years. I'm frankly a bit scared of even going for a single session - I'm pretty sure I'll hate it as from the description of what goes on there nothing has changed in the last 20 years. Except of course that I swim better now and would be able to keep up with many of the swimmers.

Which all leads to the fact that I have never in my life tried to find out how quickly I can swim 1500m in a pool. So I thought I'd give it a go this morning. Not because the aim of my swimming is to swim faster, in the end it's really not. If I had to make a choice between fast and ugly or slower and calm and meditative then I'll take the second any time. Western Archery v Kyudo if you like.

If I can swim calmly and quicker though then that is a good thing, I am not seeking slowness for the sake of it, it's just that speed is not my main goal - relaxation is, because work has been horrible the last few months. If I swim better of course I know I will go faster too.

I'm carrying a few extra kilos in the run up to Xmas and I've not been doing any fitness work outside of the pool. I was breathing heavily at the end of the 1500. Kind of how I feel after a decent 5k run. Not on the verge of collapse or anything but it was pretty close to as fast as I can go at the moment.

So what time did I do?

20m 12s

I nearly let out a whoop. :) I didn't think I'd be that quick!

I'm fairly sure that's the right time, though it's possible I only did 58 instead of 60 lengths, as there was a bit in the middle when I lost concentration due to some commotion in the lane next to me. Even adding an extra 2 lengths that would still be under 21m.

I think I might be able to hold close to that pace for 3000, but not for 10000. Not yet anyway.

During my little race against myself I found the neurological training I've been doing for the last 8 weeks coming into play many times. There were times where I could feel my catch slipping - mainly around the 1000m mark, so I corrected by spearing a little deeper. There were times where I felt my left hand pushing up and putting a brake on a bit as I rotated to breathe, but I felt it quite soon and corrected. Mostly I was kicking 2B, but there may have been extra flutters in there, I wasn't worried though - I just tried to keep it small and streamlined. I found myself swimming flat at times and had to concentrate on body rotation and swam the last 500 mainly focused on body rotation from the core timing the hip drive and letting the arms take care of themselves. I was quite mindful of a relaxed arm recovery, but I saw very few bubbles off my fingers, even in the last 50m where I was almost sprinting.

It was a very interesting exercise in maintaining a mucher high stroke rate for 1500m.

Once I get my swim watch I'll have proper data, but that was quite an interesting swim this morning.

Gave myself permission to swim long and slow for a 500m cooldown. :)

Last edited by craig.arnold@gmail.com : 12-18-2012 at 11:39 AM.
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  #2  
Old 12-18-2012
CoachSuzanne CoachSuzanne is offline
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Fantastic!!!
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  #3  
Old 12-18-2012
mjm mjm is offline
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Your progess is really amazing. According to your posts at a TI workshop, 17/18 minutes for 1,000 meters, then later 15 minutes for 1,000 meters and now 3 weeks later 20 minutes for 1,500 meters.

That's 1:48/100m, 1:30/100m, then 1:20/100 meters average.

Pretty amazing. Almost a 30 second per/100 meter decrease in 2 months more or less. Some folks would take a year or years to go from 1:48 to 1:20/100m.

All because of neural training? Please elaborate.

mjm
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  #4  
Old 12-18-2012
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That is AWESOME news Craig. And love how you sensed and felt problems at 1000m then made mid course changes to correct. And the last 500m concentrating on hip drive and letting arms go where they may - cool. That requires deep focus and awareness where many swimmers lose that even after 500m and just physically grind through to the end. Eight weeks of neural adaptations and fine motor skills - great. Tough to argue with that success (although I'm sure some will!) CONGRATS!

Happy Swimming!

Stuart
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  #5  
Old 12-18-2012
andyinnorway andyinnorway is offline
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Nice Job Craig,

Those sort of times will get addictive when you see you are getting in the top 5% of an average race entry.
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Old 12-18-2012
tomoy tomoy is offline
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Congrats - that's awesome, and fast! Keep up the good work.
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  #7  
Old 12-19-2012
terry terry is offline
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Craig
That is impressive indeed. I daresay there are not many on this Forum - me included - who can swim under 21 minutes for 1500m -- especially in practice. How many average SPL on that?
I'm just about to post today's practice on my Terry's December Practices thread. I made a really satisfying breakthrough from my recent backstroke times, then swam 550y of free for my final swim of the session. That's 1/3 of a 1650 -- the yards equivalent of 1500m. I maintained 14SPL and my time was 7:56, or a 23:48 pace. I'll repeat that swim regularly, at 14SPL, until I get my time under 7:30, then I'll advance to 1100y (2/3 of 1650) as my benchmark swim.
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  #8  
Old 12-19-2012
craig.arnold@gmail.com craig.arnold@gmail.com is offline
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From the very politely raised eyebrows from people who know about these things I suspect I must have made a significant mistake either on the lap count or on reading the time off my watch.

I let my excitement and enthusiasm get away with me perhaps and didn't engage the skeptical brain enough to think about it. I'm slightly too obsessed with my swimming at the moment; I am on the "normal" side of Aspergers, but not by very much.

My progress hasn't been meteoric in the last 2 months. My 17m/1000 time I mentioned is more where I was a year ago than immediately before the workshop, and in a warmer 20m pool where I feel quite a lot of oxygen deprivation from the turns and struggle a bit with the temperature being too high.

I swam my first OW races this year. Finishing in top 25% in Aug, top 20% in Sept and top 10% in October. (101st place out of ~1110 finishers - I'm not sure what happened to the other 400 who registered for the race.).

The last race was 2 weeks before the workshop. I do feel I was very ready for the workshop and a number of things "clicked" and I'm sure I've improved a fair bit since then.

I also decided yesterday to swim at a much higher stroke rate just to see if I could sustain it. I'm sure my SPL dropped off, probably to 17 or 18, but I think I was swimming 65-70 strokes per minute instead of my normal leisurely 45-50. I didn't mess up many of my turns either, it seems a bit easier when going fast. I was also concentrating on breathing out hard right from the start to avoid oxygen problems.

Even so. If a time of 20.12 walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it's probably a duck. Please replace 20.12 above with "the fastest I've ever swum in my life by far", and the rest stands. I fear I have embarrassed myself.

I will be getting a Garmin Swim watch for Xmas (I dropped a not very subtle hint to my wife last month) so next year I will have far more reliable data.

I was pretty sore in the pool this morning, lactic acid certainly happened in my lats yesterday. :)

Last edited by craig.arnold@gmail.com : 12-19-2012 at 11:59 AM.
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  #9  
Old 12-19-2012
CoachSuzanne CoachSuzanne is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by craig.arnold@gmail.com View Post
From the very politely raised eyebrows from people who know about these things I suspect I must have made a significant mistake either on the lap count or on reading the time off my watch.

I let my excitement and enthusiasm get away with me perhaps and didn't engage the skeptical brain enough to think about it. I'm slightly too obsessed with my swimming at the moment; I am on the "normal" side of Aspergers, but not by very much.

My progress hasn't been meteoric in the last 2 months. My 17m/1000 time I mentioned is more where I was a year ago than immediately before the workshop, and in a warmer 20m pool where I feel quite a lot of oxygen deprivation from the turns and struggle a bit with the temperature being too high.

I swam my first OW races this year. Finishing in top 25% in Aug, top 20% in Sept and top 10% in October. (101st place out of ~1110 finishers - I'm not sure what happened to the other 400 who registered for the race.).

The last race was 2 weeks before the workshop. I do feel I was very ready for the workshop and a number of things "clicked" and I'm sure I've improved a fair bit since then.

I also decided yesterday to swim at a much higher stroke rate just to see if I could sustain it. I'm sure my SPL dropped off, probably to 17 or 18, but I think I was swimming 65-70 strokes per minute instead of my normal leisurely 45-50. I didn't mess up many of my turns either, it seems a bit easier when going fast. I was also concentrating on breathing out hard right from the start to avoid oxygen problems.

Even so. If a time of 20.12 walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it's probably a duck. Please replace 20.12 above with "the fastest I've ever swum in my life by far", and the rest stands. I fear I have embarrassed myself.

I will be getting a Garmin Swim watch for Xmas (I dropped a not very subtle hint to my wife last month) so next year I will have far more reliable data.

I was pretty sore in the pool this morning, lactic acid certainly happened in my lats yesterday. :)
Craig, regardless of your time, your efforts are amazing! No shame in SPL going up as rate increases as well...it's all one grand experiment, right?

Try this after a couple of days...
Just do a 500 yd TT with a similar effort/rate as the 1500 you just tried. Is your speed sub 7 minutes? If so then there s a strong possiblity your time was correct or at least, very close.
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USA Paralympic Triathlon Coach
Coach of 5 time USA Triathlon Triathlete of the Year, Kirsten Sass
Steel City Endurance, LTD
Fresh Freestyle

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  #10  
Old 12-19-2012
terry terry is offline
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PS: Suzanne and I were talking this morning about your progress, Craig. She related to me that, during the workshop two months ago in Windsor, she led the Tempo Trainer exercise and saw that you made really impressive improvements in time during it. So she found it entirely plausible that the awareness you gained then -- and have no doubt built on since -- should have translated into some striking improvements in pace.

What matters most is how much satisfaction you're getting from practice and the way it reinforces Kaizen.
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