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:
Double Zipper Switch
Triple Zipper Switch
2012 Nike GTD Swim Total = 9.74 miles