Training: lower SPL: Wider Vs Narrow Track

I swam 3392m today at the 32m outdoor pool. Started around 16:15. It was sunny, warm but not hot- fall is here. The water was 28 C.

512m warm up to find what I wanted to work on today.

3x [64/128/192/256/320m] (1 lap, 2, 3, 4, 5)

The objective was to hold lowest SPL, then as I loosened up, find ways to drop it further, if possible.

On #1 I held 21 to 20 SPL (15.3 to 14.6 SPL for a 25m pool)

On #2 I held 20 to 19 SPL (13.8 SPL)

On #3 I held 19 then mid-way got tired and went back to 20 SPL

I experimented to find the best SPL reducing pattern- my well-honed ‘narrow’ recovery/entry/reach proved to be the best, but at the cost of tiring me out quicker. I could not sustain it over 1000m. On the last half of the last set I went back to the wider swing, wider track. This added 1+ SPL but it gave me  pattern I could sustain indefinitely.

This winter, when I am back in the university pool working on sprint work I will have to do some time-trial tests comparing the power and time I get out of these two patterns. I suspect my narrow pattern is better for my 100m goals because of the reduced drag, and over such a short distance I can afford to exert more effort to hold form. BUT the question is in the propulsion part- the wider track, at the catch point, allows my shoulder to rotate out easily, setting up the high elbow catch. I will need to test the power I am getting out of each pattern to see if I can achieve high elbow catch with my lower drag position- I don’t want to be straining to hold a lower-drag position only to lose the gain from a less-effective catch.

I should have been able to reach 18 SPL under best conditions. I seemed to struggle for breath a bit more than usual today. I think I have some underlying fatigue. Everyone has been sick in my home for the last week so it is likely my body is working some overtime to stay on top of it.

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