How Will I Lower My 25m Split?

I started back in the pool in January swimming the 100m in about 1:30. My goal has been to take advantage of pool time to do short work, specifically work on my 100m time, until I return to the Mediterranean for distance work in June.

20-some years ago, in my teens, I had never officially broken 60 seconds for 100 yards. I really don’t know what I am capable of now, at 37, with only 3 days a week available to swim. But I am trying to apply my TI understanding and practice, and my newest tools (the Tempo Trainer and Fistgloves) to discover new potential in the 100m. I’ve set a first goal of breaking 1:17/100m, which would be a 1:10/100yd. Then I will set a new goal from there.

My current PR is 1:20, set last week at the end of a 3200 SPL control set. So I am encouraged to think that I should be able to reach 1:17 in fresh condition.

I’ve hit a plateau on my 25m split however at :20. Obviously, one needs to be able to swim splits equal to or faster than the total time. So I’ve got to be able to swim a lower 25 sprint before I could expect to swim a faster 100m.

Here are my thoughts based on my recent results sprint results and SPL performance.

  1. I must have a full-catch and full stroke
  2. I’ve got to got to slip my body past the gripping hand faster
  3. I’ve got to get narrower, slippier in general

I see 3 things I need to condition:

  1. I need an even more solid pull (full hand and forearm- high elbow catch) the whole way. Maybe power-oriented Slide and Glide, where I am intentionally making my torso work on accelerating my body after each extra long glide (but be careful on the shoulders!) This would be strengthening the catch and pull.
  2. Tempo stretching just to get the system conditioned for faster movements. Gradual exposure to higher tempos to improve economy and resting un-needed muscles.
  3. Experiment to find the optimal 3D body rhythm. At sprint speeds my body rides higher in the water so even my short-axis rhythm has an affect- I notice a slight wave in my body when it’s swimming the best and fastest. I need to find optimal head and lead arm position when I have a shallower draft.
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