Change Focus, Change Results

I swam 3000m today. Started at 9:20am. The pool was 29 degrees C.

WARM UP

5x100m FR/BK-BR alternate.

MAIN SET

4x [4×25, 2×50, 100, 150, 50 recovery] with descending tempo per repeat.

Tempo 1.20 Tempo 1.15 Tempo 1.10 Tempo 1.15
time SPL time SPL time SPL time SPL
25m :22 all 16 :21 all 16 :21 all 17 :21,,,:22 17,18
50m :45 all 16,17 :44 all 17 :43,:44 16,1717,18 :46,:44 1716
100m 1:32, 16,,,17 1:30, 17 1:29, 16,17,, 1:33, 16,17,18
150m 2:22, 16,17,18 2:20, 17,18 2:19, 18 2:24, 18

100m recovery

300m FG hold 18 SPL

100 KK

COMMENTARY

The intent today was to use the TT to push my tempo comfort zone at sprint speeds. I expected to go more anaerobic today and I did. I hit the point where my grip on the water started to fail as I tried to keep up with the beeps.

I examined how different focus points, different emphasis points during the efforts produced different results.

When I focused on ‘going hard’ I found that I would increase SPL but not gain much more speed for the extra effort. If I focused on resting the front arm and gliding (de-emphasizing ‘ going hard’) then I would struggle to keep the tempo. When I accidentally tuned out the beep I would instinctively slow tempo- I could feel my body wanting to zero in on its own more effective rhythm. When I would snap back to attention to the beep I would lose that more fluid rhythm. If I focused on a solid grip (i.e. full hand and forearm holding the water all the way through the pull) then I found the best compromise and results. And this is where I was fatiguing the most, in the shoulder muscle group holding that full grip. This is where I need my workouts to condition me further- but not for shear power and endurance sake, but for drawing from the core more so that those shoulders don’t have to work quite as hard.

After comparing Sunday’s results to todays I am beginning to see the Tempo Trainer as the tool to measure and incrementally push stroke speed, and expand my neuro-muscular system. But it is not the master I want when I attempt to swim efficiently-fast because it provokes my inefficiencies! I need to do an SPL oriented set to develop efficient speed. The TT just exposes what I need to work on. I did indeed swim harder today, but I produced slower, less efficient results.

I had intended to do a 100m timed at the end of the day to measure the effect of the TT restraint, but I was fatigued enough at the end that I realized today’s benefit was in pushing my endurance, not in improving my stroke- so I did not think the 100 would give me anything results to learn from. I would have just been enduring another 100, not excelling in it. So I did a 300m Fistglove to reinforce keeping the grip even in a fatigued state.

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