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?!


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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