Had the day off, so some time to play with the TT.
First a stroke rate ramp test ala Swimsmooth.
10 x 50m, followed by 5 x 100m.
- 50spm -> 15 strokes -> 1.38/100m
- 53spm -> 15 strokes ->1.36
- 56spm -> 15 strokes ->1.32
- 59spm -> 17 strokes ->1.28
- 62spm -> 17 strokes ->1.31
- 65spm -> 17 strokes ->1.27
- 68spm -> 18 strokes ->1.23
- 71spm -> 18 strokes ->1.22
- 74spm -> 19 strokes ->1.22
- 77spm -> 21 strokes ->1.22
- 50spm -> 15 strokes ->1.35
- 53spm -> 16 strokes ->1.36
- 56spm -> 17 strokes ->1.32
- 59spm -> 18 strokes ->1.30
- 62spm -> 18 strokes ->1.32
Followed with 1000m @ 1.43 then 550m @ 1.44.
Keeping in mind that the numbers come from the Garmin Swim watch, so stroke count is not 100% reliable, and times are from when you push the button to when you push the button, so accuracy is not guaranteed to be the same on every lap. However, I did try to keep things the same between intervals.
Taking the data at face value then; I guess this seems to show a “sweet spot” at around 59spm on both 50 and 100 repeats. Also anything over 70spm seems to see my stroke fall apart or enough slippage that the extra strokes don’t help, at least not without some extra propulsion from the kick.
I do seem to be going slower at the moment than I was a couple of months ago. What’s changed in the interim? Well for a start I’m kicking less, even when swimming at a higher stroke rate so that may be limiting my top speed.
The other thing that is different is that I have spent a LOT of time breathing on my left (wrong) side, and I suspect that it’s actually damaged my stroke on the right side.
At any rate, for the moment, with my current build and stroke it seems that ~60spm is the right tempo for me to get the best balance between speed and efficiency. If I can get my racing stroke up to 60spm, or 1.0 on mode 1 that looks to be where I should be for now.
Next step will be to work on stroke efficiency, see if I can drop a stroke or two per length at 60spm and gain a bit of speed.
Mind you, I’ll be pretty happy if I can start to increase my distances at 60spm and get my long-distance pace from 1.40-1.45 down to 1.30-1.35.