Day 10 - June 3, 2009
I am a big fan of the Tempo Trainer (TT) by Finis. I believe one must slow their stroke down (initially) in order to maximize their catch and engagement of the water. By using the TT you can set a specific tempo that will dictate the frequency of each stroke. Far too often I find myself increasing my arm turnover to achieve a higher speed, but my technique quickly fades/deteriorates.
With the TT on board (placed behind my head and under the swim cap) I am forced to glide evenly between each stroke, kick consistently, and execute a High Vertical Elbow (HVE) every stroke. This will equate to several things:
(1) A greater distance traveled per stroke, which means less strokes taken per 25 yds.
(2) A greater ability to engage the water and use the lats, rear delts, and other secondary muscle groups (greater application of force against the water).
(3) Per #2, a higher demand/desire for oxygen initially because more muscles will be recruited per stroke and per a longer glide phase per stroke, which means a lower frequency of incoming air.
(4) Ultimately, a far more efficient swimmer.
Today I set the TT at 1.15 and did 15 x 100 on 30 sec rest. For fun I wore the Finis Freestyle Snorkel as well to further stress the lungs. The data set is below...
1:21.3, 1:19.8, 1:19.1, 1:16.2, 1:17.6, 1:18.0, 1:16.5, 1:16.6, 1:16.5, 1:17.0, 1:18.3, 1:17.4, 1:16.5, 1:16.6, and 1:15.3
The other goal was to hold 12 strokes per 25 through each 100 above. Perceived effort was about a 6 (1-10) or IM pace. It is important to note that one can go about 5 to 10 sec faster if they adopt a 'mindless' approach to swimming and simply thrash the water; increase stroke frequency. The neg here is that the energy cost goes up significantly and you will be reinforcing an inefficient approach to swimming into the nogan. This does not fair well for the triathlete who is eager to 'throw down' on the B and R.
I plan to be at the same TT setting of 1:15 and be at 1:10 sub for IML in August.
Have used up 4 hrs and 50 minute of the 10 total.