First Tempo Trainer session

I’ve had a little bit of elbow pain recently. As a result I haven’t been able to go to the pool and test my newly-arrived Finis Tempo Trainer … until today. I jumped in the pool in the afternoon, did a little warm-up and set out to do a Ramp Test, as inspired by Swim Smooth. This test is meant to give an indication of one’s current most efficient/natural stroke rate. One swims a bunch of 50s with a bit of rest in between, synchronizing oneself with the TT’s BIP-BIP-BIP (the hand should be in front at each BIP). I would do two laps with each different Stroke Rate and then increase it by 3 spm. I recorded the number of strokes, the time per 50m and the perceived effort (all averaged over the two attempts). I had a bit of trouble estimating the Perceived Effort thingy … I might record my heart rate next time instead, looking back at the numbers I’m not too convinced by what I wrote in that column.

Here are the numbers:

Stroke Rate (spm) Stroke Count per 50m Time per 50m (s) Perceived Effort (out of 10)
50 35,5 47 3
53 37 47 3
56 39 45,5 4
59 39,5 44,5 5
62 40 42,5 6
65 41 41,5 6
68 41,5 40,5 7
71 43 40,5 8
74 43 39 8
77 44 38 9
80 47 38,5 9,5
83 47 38 10
86 48,5 38 10,5

What do I get out of thus table? There seems to be two “sweet” spots where I get some free speed without much added effort by just increasing the tempo a bit: somewhere between 62-65 spm and then around 71-74 spm. I think. I’ll do the test once more in a few weeks and try to estimate that Perceived Effort thing more accurately. But anyway, I’ll try to fine-tune this and try and determine which stroke rate(s) suit me best for an efficient watery-promenade or to put myself in optimal record-breaking mode (my records, I’m not touching yours, I promise!).

Any comments on the results or my interpretation? Any advice on how to use my TT the best way?!

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About Sylle

Swimmer specialised in relatively cold water and relatively long distances, English Channel Swimmer 2009, Butterfly across the English Channel in 2013
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