A few hours with Coaches McDougal and Cameron
This past weekend I had a saltwater fly fishing event on Coronado Island. I also happened to notice that Dave Cameron was conducting a TI course on Coronado as well. So after my fishing event I headed off looking for the course.
There I found both Stuart and Dave strutting their stuff with a whole bunch of eager students. It was really interesting observing how they go about the course evident in only the couple of hours I was there.
I have some great photo/video from the event and if I get permission will post some of it here. I am sure I counted Dave torpedoing through the water doing 10 SPL for 25 yards! Seeing Stuart practicing what he preaches was also very motivating.
While chatting to Dave he mentioned Dshen so afterwards I went looking for some of his material.
I found this great article which is a great reminder of some of the things we tend to forget
And this led me on to find all of his TI blog articles which make very interesting reading
enough to keep you busy in the pool for many months doing many of the exercises he talks about.
I'm glad you got to experience both Coaches McDougal and Cameron. Both of them have been very transformative in my own training and my knowledge and growth as a TI coach. I am fortunate both visit the SF Bay often!
No problem. I think many of us need to be reminded of the basics from time to time.
Well done on the new blog, great look and feel.
I like the New Recovery Practice video
In fact when I watched Stuart swim during the Coronado session I noticed the straighter arm recovery. Something to experiment with during tomorrows session.
Keep up the great work.
thanks for the link to dshen's recovery video. Just last week I had the opportunity to watch some talented high school swimmers, and I found myself admiring one in particular. His recovery was utterly relaxed, with good momentum as if he was throwing his whole body weight into it, and with a straighter arm than the usual TI elbow-lead. And of course he was very fast and smooth.
I'm thinking now that he was doing pretty much exactly what dshen is talking about in his new recovery videos--more momentum, and the arm straighter because of the faster tempo he was swimming at.
Yep, I'll have to try this out. Thanks!
If you did not see it already, see my report from yesterday's pool session using the straighter arm recovery.
great results--that had to be fun.
I spent today's session playing around with my recovery that way, too, trying to create momentum by "throwing" the arm forward to aid in propulsion, and not worrying about the elbow lead (though keeping shoulder relaxed). No conclusions, but some preliminary impressions:
1) Getting the arm forward so quickly creates a faster SR than I am used to.
2) There seems to be some potential for speed gains. I swam around 500m total before looking at a clock, then was hitting :40-42 on repeat 50s at 17-18 SPL--fast for me. At easier tempos/efforts, holding 16 SPL solid, I was still around :43-44.
3) It seemed to lead to higher SPLs--I was at 16-18 instead of my normal 14-16. But I was going faster, too.
4) The arm comes forward so quickly that I found it took quite a bit of concentration to keep the patient lead arm and not allow the kick to happen too early. When I was disciplined enough to let the pressing motion pass my head before kicking, it worked well. But the assymmetry of a very fast arm "throw" and a patient lead arm/late kick was sure a new feeling.
All in all, it seems worth exploring. I was very successful about keeping more momentum with the recovering arm as it entered the water. That seemed to require more energy up-front than an elbow-lead recovery, but repaid the extra energy investment in speed gains. But I suspect it may take some conditioning to be able to maintain this kind of recovery--I didn't swim anything longer than a 50m today.
Thanks again for bringing this to my attention here--it's going to be fun to explore.
Finding you have the impulse to swim at faster tempos is common, really expected. This is due to removing unnecessary movements in recovery arm that have been eating up that time. Practice at the slower tempos by slowing the stroke cycle without extra recovery arm movements. Then discover faster tempos you can swim at that may have once felt impossible due to those added terrestrial movement patterns with recovery arm.
I had my squad do an asymmetric pyramid I think Joel mentioned in this post or another, running down to really fast tempos to clean up those lingering/added recovery arm destabilizing movements. Note this is a set is not for the novice or those new to TI and is intended for the intermediate and above swimmer that already has a good sense of balance, is swimming longer distances and may be stuck in a tempo plateau.
Leave out stroke count and just concentrate on what tempo(s) really click for you.
On 50's, starting at 1.2 tempo, descend .1 each 50 until you get to .8 or .7, i.e. 1.2, 1.1, 1.0, .9, .8. Just try your best to hit .8
Swim 3 x 50's at the fastest tempo, with plenty of rest between 50's so you can breathe on 4's.
Ascend up the ladder increase tempo 0.5 each 50. Keep going up (slowing tempo) until you reach a tempo that you can easily hold for that 50 and *feels* like everything is clicking given your wing-span/height, skill, and physiology that is personal to you.
Then bump it back down 0.5 (faster) and swim 5 x 100's. Now monitor your SPL and see what it actually is and it should be in the green-zone.
This is a good sweet spot to work from swimming faster or slower tempos depending on the distance you are swimming and which tempos/spl are sustainable. This will set will help two primary things, 1. clean up lingering movements preventing you from swimming at faster tempos, 2. discover the "true" tempo and SPL that just feels like it clicks and feels great for *you*. As a coach observing this process, you can easily see a tempo on swimmer that just is working and you can't help but say "wow - that's it, that's it!" and give the swimmer that feedback. Also as skill improves so will your sweet-spot tempo and SPL. Keep in mind, the lowest SPL is not the objective, rather find the right SPL and tempo that works for you.
Enjoy your tempo journey!
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