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ro63rt
12-02-2015, 09:04 AM
Hi Peeps,

Relying on you fellow TI swimmers to ease my frustrations. Let me start from the beginning, I never had any swimming lessons when I was younger, just something I was never interested in. Now at the tender age of 37 I decided I would like to learn to swim as I'm a keen runner & cyclist with the aim to complete a Tri. I could vaguely swim breast stroke continuously.
Here in my story lies, I got some swimming lessons with a swim teacher in April 2014 for 10 weeks, she got me going with front crawl but I could feel her frustration with my sinking legs & I got the feeling she felt as if I was a lost cause. Fighting for weeks feeling as if I was getting no where I knew they must be more to it than this. This is where I found TI & located a coach up here in Cumbria, England.
So I've now had three two hour lessons & I've improved no end. It really is working, I think maybe I'm just expecting it to come quicker than it is. I'm taking 17strokes per 25m length on average & it takes me approx 1min20secs to do 50m consistently, I'm 5ft7in/171cm.
Currently I can swim the 50m very relaxed & breathing easy, but after that it goes pear shaped. I'm dividing my time 50/50 drills & full stroke. All I want to be able to do is swim a mile comfortably, what's other people's experiences & how long has it took people to get there?

Thank you kindly for your responses now.
Rob

terry
12-02-2015, 11:08 AM
Rob
Welcome. Welcome. Welcome.
You have indeed found your way to the right place.
You made the right decision to seek TI instruction--I'm guessing with Salka Hintikka?
And following that to seek guidance on the TI Forum.

I think the solution to both your breathlessness and your relatively 'unhurried' swimming pace is that you are swimming at both too low a stroke count and too low a tempo.

You can correct both pretty easily.
1. Go to the Free Stuff page (http://www.totalimmersion.net/store/free-stuff) on the TI web site and download our Green Zone height-indexed chart of efficient stroke counts. You'll want the one for 25m.
2. Order a Tempo Trainer (http://www.totalimmersion.net/store/gear-and-accessories/tempo-trainer-pro-664.html#.Vl7blNBl-TA) If it's available through the UK site, or one of our UK coaches, order it there.

Your 25m Green Zone is between 17 and 21 sol for your height. So 17 is the fewest strokes you should be taking. However it seem as if, this early in your development of TI form, you'd be better off working near the top of the SPL range.

Try this experiment on your next visit to the pool.
Step 1: Swim 4 to 8 rounds of 3 x 25. Each round is at 19-20-21 strokes.
Keep repeating this until you can comfortably and accurately make the adjustments in stroke timing that allow you to strike the wall consistently in the target count for that length.

Step 2: When your stroke is well-calibrated to hit those counts, try the following
Swim 4 to 6 x 50m repeats
Odd: 19+20 SPL
Even: 20+21 SPL
How do your time and sense of ease compare at these stroke counts as at your present stroke count?

If I arrive at 'stroking time' by subtracting 8-10 sec for your initial pushoff and turn (guesstimate) simple math, at 34 strokes and 1m20sec for 50m you're stroking at a tempo of about 2 seconds per stroke (one hand entry to the next).

ANYONE--even the most skilled and experienced of those on this Forum would be slow and feeling short of air at a tempo that slow.

That's where the Tempo Trainer comes in. Once you have it, choose Mode 1 and set tempo initially at 1.5 sec. At that tempo, and synchronizing first hand entry following pushoff to 4th beep, find out how many strokes you take. If it's 21 or fewer, then begin pushing left button, to increase tempo. Just .01 sec every 25 or 50 (as 2 x 25 with some rest between) m. Test how many tempo changes you can hold that stroke count.

Please post the results of your experiments, and what you discover, here.

terry
12-02-2015, 01:33 PM
Rob
If you will, how do you arrive at that 50:50 drill-to-swim ratio.

Can you post what you did in a recent, and typical, practice?

ro63rt
12-03-2015, 11:54 PM
Hi Terry,

Thank You for your response, yeah you guessed right it's with Salka!
My 50/50 practice has been going through all drills a couple of times then on to full stroke swimming for a few lengths, then back to drills & full stroke swimming. I tend to swap between the two for the full hours session. I've been going three times a week & seen vast improvements, I'm just a little frustrated it isn't coming quicker than I want it too. My legs were terrible to start off with, I had a great bicycle kick & that's taking some correcting.

I'll try & get hold of a tempo trainer, I've been using my Garmin for the stroke count, I thought I was doing well with 17 with it been at the bottom end of the green on the table. I must say when I was in the pool the other morning my easier lengths had a stroke count of 20. But also I'm having to really focus on concentrating on my swimming & not the people passing me.

Ok so your saying the low stroke count is to low & that's what is making me tired? I'm guessing that's down to momentum of keeping moving. I'm going to talk to Salka about it when I next see her. I was just wanting to see what other people's experiences were on here.

I'll keep you posted, thanks again!
Rob

jenson1a
12-04-2015, 10:06 AM
Rob


I think the solution to both your breathlessness and your relatively 'unhurried' swimming pace is that you are swimming at both too low a stroke count and too low a tempo.

You can correct both pretty easily.
1. Go to the Free Stuff page (http://www.totalimmersion.net/store/free-stuff) on the TI web site and download our Green Zone height-indexed chart of efficient stroke counts. You'll want the one for 25m.
2. Order a Tempo Trainer (http://www.totalimmersion.net/store/gear-and-accessories/tempo-trainer-pro-664.html#.Vl7blNBl-TA) If it's available through the UK site, or one of our UK coaches, order it there.

Your 25m Green Zone is between 17 and 21 sol for your height. So 17 is the fewest strokes you should be taking. However it seem as if, this early in your development of TI form, you'd be better off working near the top of the SPL range.

Try this experiment on your next visit to the pool.
Step 1: Swim 4 to 8 rounds of 3 x 25. Each round is at 19-20-21 strokes.
Keep repeating this until you can comfortably and accurately make the adjustments in stroke timing that allow you to strike the wall consistently in the target count for that length.

Step 2: When your stroke is well-calibrated to hit those counts, try the following
Swim 4 to 6 x 50m repeats
Odd: 19+20 SPL
Even: 20+21 SPL
How do your time and sense of ease compare at these stroke counts as at your present stroke count?

If I arrive at 'stroking time' by subtracting 8-10 sec for your initial pushoff and turn (guesstimate) simple math, at 34 strokes and 1m20sec for 50m you're stroking at a tempo of about 2 seconds per stroke (one hand entry to the next).

ANYONE--even the most skilled and experienced of those on this Forum would be slow and feeling short of air at a tempo that slow.

That's where the Tempo Trainer comes in. Once you have it, choose Mode 1 and set tempo initially at 1.5 sec. At that tempo, and synchronizing first hand entry following pushoff to 4th beep, find out how many strokes you take. If it's 21 or fewer, then begin pushing left button, to increase tempo. Just .01 sec every 25 or 50 (as 2 x 25 with some rest between) m. Test how many tempo changes you can hold that stroke count.

Please post the results of your experiments, and what you discover, here.

Regarding step 1, if swimmer can't swim 3 different Lengths at 19,20, and 21, How does he proceed or is this a part that the swimmer should figure out why not? Any hints?

My take on the TT is that I can set it at 1:20 or 1:40 and spl is the same. No idea why that is.

Also, what is procedure for increasing lengths at same TT setting? Do you increase the rate first or is it better to increase the number of lengths?

Sherry

terry
12-04-2015, 01:45 PM
I must say when I was in the pool the other morning my easier lengths had a stroke count of 20.

That's telling you something. And yes, it's about maintaining momentum. It sounds as if you may achieve 17SPL by introducing small pauses in your rhythm.
Get adapted to 20SPL--able to swim steady reasonably good (for your current level) paces and gradually add distance.
Then to 19 SPL, etc. Eventually you'll reach 17SPL and feel the same. Then you can use the full range of Green Zone counts.

terry
12-04-2015, 01:48 PM
Regarding step 1, if swimmer can't swim 3 different Lengths at 19,20, and 21, How does he proceed or is this a part that the swimmer should figure out why not? Any hints?

My take on the TT is that I can set it at 1:20 or 1:40 and spl is the same. No idea why that is.

Also, what is procedure for increasing lengths at same TT setting? Do you increase the rate first or is it better to increase the number of lengths?

Sherry

Sherry
I'd say you first need to solve the issue you mention last--that your SPL at 1.4 is same as at 1.2.
You're not using the extra time between beeps to increase efficiency and travel farther on each stroke.
More practice going from 1.2 to 1.4 and back again in small steps.

Once you are consistently able to shave 2 to 3 (or more) strokes as you slow tempo by .2 sec, you'll be able to choose different stroke counts and nail them.

CoachSalkaHintikka
12-04-2015, 04:40 PM
Hi Rob,

good to see you here! This forum is great way to get ideas and feedback. Terry is absolutely spot on with saying that for now your stroke count is probably bit too low, and it has created a pause in your stroke.

We discussed this during the lesson as well, and is visible in some of the "end of lesson" videos from last time (not quite sure if I sent you them all?). You can see that whilst trying keep a patient lead arm you also create a pause with the other hand at the hip. When I asked you to ensure to keep the moving hand moving, it also made you patient lead arm bit less patient. But both of these are normal things for our students to go through. You're probably thinking hard as well at the same time it tends to slow things down a bit as well.

In short, you need to have flow without the stroke becoming hurried or tense. Easily said! We'll keep working on this next time :) And discuss the SPL - issue further.

I'm seeing already great improvements and you feel them - just trust the process.

PS. Terry asked if I could post a video of you here for other forum readers to learn from. So if you're happy I'll get a video uploaded on where we started from and where we are now. And I'm sure Terry could give us more steer that way as well!

ro63rt
12-07-2015, 01:45 AM
Hi Salka,

Yeah go ahead & post the video. I guessed from Terry saying that my stroke rate is a little low that it was the pause we talked about. I'm sticking with the process defo as I'm feeling the improvements myself compared to when I started. Even some of the lifeguards at the local pool commented how much I've improved since my first lessons in April, before I found TI. I've just had a couple of really bad swims, so was a little disheartened & impatient. So thought I'd try & ease my frustrations with some feedback on here.

CoachSalkaHintikka
12-07-2015, 09:37 AM
Hi Rob,
I think most of us sometimes get frustrated with the process...And after all, you've only had three sessions.

Anyway, here's a link of Rob swimming. First lesson was end of July, the third mid November. Next one next week! It would be interesting to get views and thoughts from the forum members.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IMlM_QMLBrQ

andyinnorway
01-02-2016, 05:30 AM
Rob,

You'd be on my list for an hour of superman glide practice. :)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JwV7aik6doM

I can't tell how long that pool you're taking lessons in is but it looks around 15m so make a game to see how far along it you can get and also another one to see how many seconds you can hold your push off position for before the legs hit the floor.

You'll learn balance and relaxation together that will carry through to every stroke you take.

RSM
03-11-2016, 01:11 AM
I'm dividing my time 50/50 drills & full stroke. All I want to be able to do is swim a mile comfortably, what's other people's experiences & how long has it took people to get there?


2 years.

Oh, I could swim 1.5k in a session before I started TI, but it was stop and go for over an hour, and an ugly mix of back/breast/freestyle and fighting the water like it was a sparring partner in a boxing ring when you're both 3 years old. Once I learned to swim TI style it took me close to 2 years before I could comfortably swim for 30min with no breaks, which according to my conservative math is 1.5k. Part of that was lifestyle, part of that was getting distracted in the pool, part of that was being unable to count past 3 in the pool, etc. My best is an hour of continuous swim without being exhausted at the end. I had someone I knew swimming in the next lane for that. 45min and still feeling fresh is in now reach any day I have had a good night's sleep. That's 2.5 years in, and the 45min is usually after 30-60min of drills. It depends on lane availability at my pool.

For measuring distance, I find it is much easier to simply have a consistent stroke rate, count your SPL, multiply your SPL by your SR, fudge a margin for the turn (about 1-2 strokes) and give it a rough go for your time in the pool. Be conservative in your estimations. That way you know your minimum distance.

Quick example: My stroke rate is 2s (it's actually ~1.7 for the most part, and closer to 1.5 when I'm actually in the flow), my SPL is 12-13. 13*2s is 26s, add in 4s for the turn (close enough, it's about 2 strokes) and presto 30s for a length. 50m is 1min, 2min is 100m etc.
It is rough, but it lets me not worry about the actual distance or counting to more than 3, and lets me focus on whatever my goal for that length is (hand position, ear hop, breathing precision, reduced force etc. etc.).

CoachSuzanne
03-11-2016, 01:01 PM
Terry your advice on this thread is generous and extremely valuable! If the frustrated swimmers of the world realized the gold mine...in this thread alone...there'd be no more frustrated swimmers!

To the OP, trust the process and try Terry's suggestions. It may take you several weeks to go through them all and get them feeling right but it's the right path. Combined with help from your local TIncoach you'll be swimming the channel in no time

terry
03-11-2016, 01:14 PM
Thank you so much Suzanne for your kind words.
To RSM, if you scroll back a few posts, you may see that my advice is actually for much briefer drill practice, regularly interspersed with whole stroke.

While I agree fully with andy's input that the OP is a 'good candidate for an hour of Superman' I would recommend that hour be divided up into many segments of, say, 4 reps of 6y/m of Superman, alternating with 4 reps of 8-10y/m of a brief Superman followed by 4 to 6 strokes.

The goal should purely be to heighten a particular sensation during Superman--e.g. resting the head's with on a 'cushion' of water, then try to replicate that sensation in whole stroke.

First without breathing, then--when it feels consistent and pronounced--adding just a few breaths . . . and more strokes.

You can do this with the full range of our drills and rehearsals to build a stroke with a considerable degree of the ease and grace shown by Shinji and other TI coaches and 'masterful enthusiasts.'

This approach has worked for thousands and thousands--and has fallen short for relatively few.