Today I swam 2600m. The pool was a very nice 28 degrees C- cool enough to make one want to keep moving. I got poor sleep the 2 nights previous, but last night I slept 9 hours hard so I felt awake this morning.


4x 100m, FG/hand alternate for warm-up

1st SET

12x 50m, fast tempo and descend to find my tempo threshold (that point where I cannot maintain the quality of my stroke and keep the tempo)

# tempo Time, SPL # tempo Time, SPL
1 1.00 :42, 19-20 7 recovery
2 0.95 :42, 19-20 8 1.05 :45, 19
3 0.90 :42, 19-20 9 1.00 :43, 19
4 0.85 :41, 19-20 10 1.00 :44, 19
5 0.80 :40, 19-20 11 1.10 :44,19
6 0.75 :41, 19-20 Failed 12 1.10 :43, 19


Last night I planned to do a 6x [4x25m with descending tempo to threshold + 1x100m timed + 50 recovery]. I tried 1x [4x25m at TT 1.10 and came in at :21 with SPL 18 for all. Then 100m timed was 1:30 with SPL 18. But after feeling how my shoulder tendons felt strained in this previous set, I changed the set to something safer for my shoulders.

5x [2x 100m descending tempo, hold SPL at 16, then 50m recovery]

# tempo Time, SPL # tempo Time, SPL
1 1.25 1:33, 16 6 1.15 1:31, 17
2 1.25 1:32, 16 7 1.20 1:32,
15 16 16 17
3 1.20 1:32,
15 16 17 16
8 1.20 1:33,
16 16 16 17
4 1.20 1:32, 16 9 1.25 1:34, 16
5 1.15 1:31, 16 10 1.25 1:33, 16

I was going to do a timed 400m holding SPL to 16, but felt I needed to rest those tendons instead. I finished with a 100m EZ.


Looking at my 12×50 times I bet I could crank out a 1:20 100m at .80 tempo – BUT it would likely hurt my tendons. What I noticed is that I could move my arms down to .80 speed, but under .95 my power source shifted significantly from core to shoulders and that’s when my tendons started to ache. I can’t coordinate the pull from torso/lats smooth and fast enough at those faster tempos. I found my threshold, but I am not conditioned to play around at those tempos yet.

I also noticed how I could hit fast pace for the first length, but then lose time on the flip-turn and push-off, as evidenced by my split estimates. I believe I have a decently tight and snappy flip-and-jump but still the break in momentum at the wall is slower than just swimming the same distance. The quality of each push-off is critical as well as the timing of the grab underwater for that first pull. I guess that a poor push-off and grab timing could cost me 1/3 to 1/2 a second, and I notice that coming up shorter often costs me 1 SPL. The timing is critical because I need to squeeze all the momentum I can out of that jump, yet make my first grab right when the glide has reached it’s peak so I don’t have to use my first strokes to accelerate.

I wonder how much faster I would be in a long-course pool without 2 of 3 flip-turns to slow me down?

It was interesting to note that I can hold SPL at 16 at 1.15 tempo and come in on 1:31, when last week I came in on 1:33 with 17 SPL. The quality of the spear-forward, and the grab (high elbow, forearm and hand holding firm) is critical to time. I was fatiguing fast on the last 4 100s. The 2nd of each repeat were notably harder to hold a solid grip on. That’s a endurance conditioning detail I need to work on.

Using a Tempo Trainer and then doing a “hold SPL @ XX” per varied tempo is a really fascinating set. It exposed the points in my stroke and along the course, where I lose efficiency at higher tempos- hand transition, dropping elbow during the pull, wall-push-off, chin to lead shoulder gap, tight spear-hand entry point, etc. I have very patient hands during the glide, but it’s compromised heavily at these high tempos. When at those higher tempos, since I can’t glide as long (in milliseconds) then I need to glide slippier at the earlier parts of the hand transition, to make a more streamlined entry and transition, in order to make up for what I have to cut off in keeping the tempo.

© 2010, Mediterra International, LLC. All rights reserved. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Mediterra International, LLC and with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Translate »

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

To receive the latest news and updates from Mediterra.

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Discover more from Mediterra Swim & Run

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading

[css] body .gform_wrapper ul li.gfield { padding-bottom:40px; }