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-   -   increase stroke rate (http://www.totalimmersion.net/forum/showthread.php?t=2431)

dzhou01 06-16-2011 11:22 PM

increase stroke rate
 
Recently I started using tempo trainer as recommended by Terry. In one post, he recommended that we start from 1.0, then 1.1,1.2,1.3,1.4,1.5,1.6 and then 1.55,1.50 etc. I found I could not swim at tempo below 1.3- could not keep up with the beeps. Between 1.3 and 1.5, my form was not good and I feel rushed and exhausted. Only at tempo >1.5, I start to feel comfortable, feeling I am swimming TI. By secretly timing fellow swimmers at the pool, I am among the slowest. I am not athletic at all. Do you think if I need strength training such as weight lifting to increase my arms' strength? I feel my arms can't move fast enough in water.

Any suggestions are welcome. Thank you!

westyswoods 06-17-2011 01:28 AM

Stroke Rate
 
Not knowing your physical status it is difficult to suggest any weight training regime.

I will suggest that you do not get too caught up in a correlation of arm strength and stroke rate. What you describe is not at all uncommon if you have been practicing and drilling TI and feel a comfort zone at 1.5 so be it.

I fall into that same category. The main problem is not muscle it is how our neuro circuits are wired. It takes time to unwind that slow tempo and can only be done through a concerted and consistent attempt to reprogram our muscle memory. I was at 1.5 and constantly told many things would fall in place if I picked up the pace.

Recently, a month now, I found a Tempo Trainer I can use and have been working diligently on moving down the scale. At first everything felt so hurried and like nothing was what it should be. I was told this would happen by Coach Dave and needed to keep at it and work through that awkward feeling.

I am happy to say that 1.5 now seems slow and 1.3 is where my comfort zone is. I am even doing some 1.1 -25's. Doing the math a .2 drop equates to between 6 and 8 seconds per lap at a SPL of 16 to 20.

In closing I urge you to set a routine with a TT and expect that hurried out of sync feeling until the body catches up with the mind (TT)

It is always fun to watch others some good, some bad we learn much from them. One of the most valuable things I learn is their swimming style is not for me and I accept it.


Swim Silent and Be Well
Westy

Alex-SG 06-17-2011 05:14 AM

Hi DZhou,

Working with the TEMPO Trainer you can easily get used to those faster Stroke Rates.

1 Year ago my Stroke Rate was SR=1.8. At that time SR=1.5 seemed way too rush, just could not keep up with the Beeps.

My natural rate today is SR=1.5. I can still keep up at SR=1.3 but SR=1.0-1.1 feels impossible.

My advice is to use the Tempo Trainer and gradually increase the Stroke Rate.
EXAMPLE:
Mon: 4 LAPS @ SR=1.60, Then 4 LAPS at SR=1.55, then 4 LAPS at SR=1.50
Tue: 4 LAPS @ SR=1.55, Then 4 LAPS at SR=1.45, then 4 LAPS at SR=1.40
Wed:4 LAPS @ SR=1.50, Then 4 LAPS at SR=1.40, then 4 LAPS at SR=1.35

I am sure within 2-3 weeks you can swim comfortably at SR=1.4.

Let us know how it goes. ALEX

Alex-SG 06-17-2011 05:21 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by westyswoods (Post 20213)
I will suggest that you do not get too caught up in a correlation of arm strength and stroke rate. What you describe is not at all uncommon if you have been practicing and drilling TI and feel a comfort zone at 1.5 so be it.

Swim Silent and Be Well
Westy

Agree with Westy. Ability to stroke faster has nothing to do (in my opinion) with arm strength. As Cathy suggested in an earler post, you just have to learn to get the recovery arm forward faster. You should not have any pause after your pull.

Comfort Zone: Based on what I read in the FORUM do not settle on anything slower than SR=1.5 (even SR=1.4, which is Shinji's slow pace). Unless your are specifically working on balance. Slow Stroke rate means loss of momentume (come to a stop, accelerate again, come to a stop....)
ALEX

haschu33 06-17-2011 08:34 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Alex-SG (Post 20216)
Agree with Westy. Ability to stroke faster has nothing to do (in my opinion) with arm strength. As Cathy suggested in an earler post, you just have to learn to get the recovery arm forward faster. You should not have any pause after your pull.

Comfort Zone: Based on what I read in the FORUM do not settle on anything slower than SR=1.5 (even SR=1.4, which is Shinji's slow pace). Unless your are specifically working on balance. Slow Stroke rate means loss of momentume (come to a stop, accelerate again, come to a stop....)
ALEX

Agree with Westy and Alex-SG. No need for bending iron. Stroke rate doesn't depend on strength. But it depends on energy spent: I've read that doubling your stroke rate multiplies the energy used by power of 2, so you need four times the energy when going down from 1.6 to 0.8 ;-)
If you are comfortable at 1.6 you could go like this (count your strokes):

1.60
1.62
1.64
1.66
1.68
1.70
1.68
1.66
1.64
1.62
1.60
Here your stroke count should be a little lower than when you started
1.58
1.56
1.54
1.52
1.50
After a while you will end here with the same stroke count that you had when you started one second slower. Then you can shift this window slowly downwards. You will see that you get used to the higher rates quite easily.

I used to have my comfort zone at around 1.2 - 1.3, and once in a blue moon walked myself down the TT ladder and usually got stuck at 0.8 where my stroke would break down. But when I was resting at the wall with the TT beeping at 0.8 I saw that there were several amateur swimmers (like me) with bad stroke patterns (unlike me ?!?) who were always swimming with that stroke rate or even faster.

At the moment I swim really slow due to imprinting nice breathing patterns, I am at around 1.6 or 1.7. I had to get used to that slow speed! After doing that for a while going fast feels like an incredible hurry. But I agree that it is very difficult to swim perpetual at that slow rate. When I am in the shallow pool I can see the deceleration in that rather long glide quite clearly by seeing the tiles passing by below me decelarating and accelerating.

Hang on in there ... and enjoy it!

dzhou01 06-17-2011 05:00 PM

Thank you everybody for your warm encouragement. I totally agree with all of you and am happy to learn that no strength training is needed since I don't enjoy that at all.

As Alex-SG said, you just have to learn to get your recovery arm forward faster. I will try that in the pool today. I thought stronger/more powerful arms will help you move your arms faster in water in the pull period. Maybe my arms will get naturally stronger by swimming more?

Grant 06-18-2011 12:57 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dzhou01 (Post 20231)
As Alex-SG said, you just have to learn to get your recovery arm forward faster. I will try that in the pool today. I thought stronger/more powerful arms will help you move your arms faster in water in the pull period. Maybe my arms will get naturally stronger by swimming more?

Hi: 18 years ago I had to give up running because of knee problems. Took up swimming and although I could run marathons I could not swim more than one length (25m) without stopping because of breath issues. My legs were in great shape but my upper body was trash. After swimming for about a year my collar size increased by 1/2inch and as I joked with my wife the garbage got a lot lighter. I did no gym work, it was just that swimming built a better balanced body re strength/fitness. Am sure you will find the same.
enjoy.

Alex-SG 06-18-2011 03:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dzhou01 (Post 20231)
Maybe my arms will get naturally stronger by swimming more?

Absolutely. My 14 year old daughter beats me in arm wrestling and all she does is swim :) ALEX

borate 06-18-2011 07:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dzhou01 (Post 20231)
I totally agree with all of you and am happy to learn that no strength training is needed since I don't enjoy that at all.

I can relate to that. ^_^
Strength training may not be essential, and swimming will increase strength. Still, weight bearing work is recommended to round out an exercise routine.
It helps build bone density, lessening the chances of a fracture. (And take your vitamin D, too.)

About two half-hour sessions per week, under a good trainer, should do the job. That, plus four days of swimming, might prove to be an ideal adult regimen.


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