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Red60
July 25th, 2007, 04:55 PM
I swam in my first meets last spring, and enjoyed it very much--so much so that I have committed to meet an old friend at SCY nationals next year. I did not go as fast as I'd hoped, and met with a coach in early May. Since then I have been doing little more than drilling. I learned that my timing was poor, and have worked very hard to re-learn my freestyle timing, especially breathing and the timing of my catch. I can definitely feel that I am becoming much more efficient. Progress for sure. I had another session about a week ago, and have been working on that feedback. I'm getting closer.

So here is my question. I am eager to get back to real training, but know that I want the muscle memory firmly established before I gear all the way back up to long sets with little rest, because I don't want my form to decay. That said, I'm getting impatient. 1) Any thoughts about sets/distances/approaches in this transitional phase? and 2) How do you increase your stroke rate once you have rebuilt your stroke and made it longer/fewer/more efficient?

imspoiled
July 26th, 2007, 12:22 PM
So here is my question. I am eager to get back to real training, but know that I want the muscle memory firmly established before I gear all the way back up to long sets with little rest, because I don't want my form to decay. That said, I'm getting impatient. 1) Any thoughts about sets/distances/approaches in this transitional phase? and 2) How do you increase your stroke rate once you have rebuilt your stroke and made it longer/fewer/more efficient?

Red-
I'm not sure you do want to increase your "stroke rate". As you said, you have been working hard to make it "longer/fewer/more efficient". You want to increase your speed and endurance while maintaining that long, efficient stroke.

I understand that you have been doing a lot of drill work, but have you been swimming significantly reduced yardage as well? Drills are a part of training and there is no reason you can't do them on intervals or rest cycles, even as part of a set of long swims to train you to use your speed and incorporate more efficiency.

For example, at our workout on Monday we did a warm-up of approx 900 yds that included various drills (1-arm, fingertip drag, focus on roll, and reduce 1 stroke per length). Then, the main series included this set-- 500 on 7:30 (swim 50 counting SPL, 50 drop one SPL, 50 drop 2 SPL, 100 build by 25s (that's 250 yds) x 2) followed by 3 x 100 on the 1:30 descend, repeat set 3 times. The entire workout that night forced us to think about our stroke efficiency, but we swam 4500 yds and there was not a "slow" (read untimed or easy) set in the workout.

Dana

Red60
July 26th, 2007, 07:34 PM
Dana, thanks for the response. Your suggestions make sense. I work out alone, and have tended to do pretty straightforward sets of 200s 100s and 50s. Since I have been working on my stroke I have struggled a little to maintain good form for longer distances, so I've ended up doing things like 40 x 50, concentrating on different things, on something like 1:00 instead of :50, which I would have done last spring. 100s on 1:30 have seemed impossible, even though that's what I have been used to. So I have to adjust something to get the speed back. The problem I started out trying to correct was a kind of windmilly thing--my arms were in opposite positions. So I had to wait longer to begin my stroke. Now I wait too long, and have to get the "spark plug" firing at the right time. So things feel incredibly deliberate and weirdly tiring. But I do note progress, and my stroke does feel more powerful. I will try to apply your thoughts and gradually work the rest down while working to keep the form. Again, thanks!