Sunday, January 22, 2012

Total Immersion Lesson 4 and a New Baseline

When I originally started the Total Immersion plan on December 4th I thought I would wait until I was done with all 8 lessons before re-timing my 500 yard baseline.    I also initially thought I would spend 1 week on each lesson.  That was true for lesson 1 & lesson 2 but lesson 3 I spent 4 weeks on before moving to lesson 4.  I decided that it may be good to see how (or if) I was progressing after 6 weeks of drills.

I was a little worried that all this drilling was going to be a big waste of time.  My workouts for the past 4 weeks have gone something like this:  200 yard WU, 600-1200 yard TI drills, 200 WD.  I have done NO speed work during this time & haven't swam more than 200 yards straight in the last month.

This morning I decided to do another 500 yard baseline.  Here is how today's swim went:  150 WU, 500 Baseline, 50 yard recovery, 200 TI drills, 1000 yard free.

On December 4th my 500 yard time was - 13m15s
Today my 500 yard time was - 12m20s

55 seconds faster!  I was seriously stoked.  6.9% improvement doing drills only!  No speed work.  Shoot, I haven't even done any endurance swims for awhile.  My target for these baselines is to swim as hard as I can yet keep breathing every 3rd breath.  So I feel pretty confident I was pushing just as hard on December 4th as I was today.

Although I am really happy with the improvement I know I still have lots of room for improvement.  There is a TI workshop in February in Cincinnati that I am now seriously considering taking.  I have read all sorts of reviews both for & against the workshops.

From what I can gather the majority of cons are from folks that are already really good & fast swimmers.  Their complaints are around the time it takes to do the drills & the fact that their endurance decreases due to the time spent on drills.  Some stated that their times did not improve.  I have also read that the workshops are intense & they cover a lot of material so it is tough if you are going in cold.

Some of the pros - Some said that although their times did not improve they felt refreshed & ready for the bike.  They did not expend as much energy during the swim.   There were folks that said their stroke count reduced considerably.  FYI - mine seems to have dropped by about 4 strokes per 25 yards.  Embarrassedly it is still 26 per 25 yards.  Again - I have lots of room for improvement.

So in a nutshell, I think this workshop has the potential to really help me.   Since I have already been doing the drills for several weeks I am hoping it will be more refinement than having to learn a bunch of new drills.  The instructors work with you in the water while videotaping your stroke above & below water.  Over the 2 days there are several hours in the pool in addition to classroom work which from the reviews is spent reviewing your videos.  I am going to wait a couple more weeks before I decide whether or not I am going to sign up.

Tomorrow I start Lesson 4 which includes the following drills:

Zipper Skate
Zipper Switch
Double Zipper Switch
Triple Zipper Switch

2012 Nike GTD Swim Total = 9.74 miles


  1. I know someone else who's using the total immersion. I'm gonna have to check it out. Need to get my swimming straightened out! Where are you swimming these days?

  2. I know people who have taken it and swear by it. If you can reduce your stroke count, that is ideal because you are saving energy - doing more gliding than thrashing about. If you can go to the workshop, you definitely should give it a chance!

  3. That is awesome!

    By the way here is a good chance you have already been tagged for the random 11 but add me to the list. :P

  4. Nice work on the swim time!!

    I tagged you for random 11 today too lol!



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