I swam 1536m at 8:20. Then 1792m at 15:30 for a total of 3328m today. PC 32m outdoor pool was 27 degrees C. Weather sunny, warm. A slight wind in the afternoon.

WORKOUT

Tempo Trainer set

6x 256m (4 laps) with 2x at tempo 1.30, 2x at 1.27, 2x at 1.24. Held SPL 22-24.

7x 256m (4 laps) with 2x at tempo 1.24, 2x at 1.21, 2x at 1.18, 1x at 1.15. Held SPL 23-24.

OBSERVATIONS TODAY:

– The gradual tempo-increase conditioning really works. I was generally tired after the workout, my effort level rose a little with each incease in tempo, but it resulted in a direct increase in speed, rather than a thrashing that slowed me down.

– I need to find out what is making my stroke ‘noisier’ after the first lap- how is a little fatigue drawing my stroke into a more turbulance-creating motion. It may have something to do with the smoothness of my hip drive.

COMMENTARY

The objective today was to condition my brain and body for faster tempo, giving 500m for each tempo setting to let it settle in and become easy before clicking down. I held SPL at 22-24 (about 17-18 on 25m) and drove the stroke from the hips consistently. I felt I accomplished what I was after today.

However, I felt my stroke got ‘noisy’ after my first lap on each repeat. I was usually -1 or -2 SPL on the first length but after the first lap, swimming quiet and long. But after that I just heard more splash and turbulance noise around my head- my recovery arm and hip drive action was not totally smooth, more like a spring loaded toy that sprung to drive the hand in on tempo. I also felt like I rode higher in the water, lighter in the water on the first lap- that may be due to using my shoulders more while fresh. But after the first flip turn I immediately feel the oxygen to my muscles being not quite as abundant and I immediately focus on hip drive, which somehow lowers my position in the water, maybe because I am rotating a lot more deliberatly. Still I had to focus to keep my hips driving the stroke instead of the shoulders. I sure want to dig in and crank out the speed, but it really makes a difference in my sustained strength levels to restrain this and stay focused on hips. I need those shoulder muscles to be fit and ready but to conserve them for the short-range bursts, not long-distance endurance.

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