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Jamesgs 03-22-2018 08:59 PM

As requested, here is a recent training clip:

Tom65 03-23-2018 06:38 AM


Originally Posted by Jamesgs (Post 65073)

(And yes, I admit I am venting with these posts but am really pissed off and disappointed. it is not the money; it is the wasted effort and miss-set expectations.)

The effort in the pool may not be such a waste, you have good cardiovascular performance from your bike riding and running muscles, swim muscles obviously still need miles. Much longer process for an adult than a child I should think. There may be rocket science to swimming at the elite level, but just getting reasonable pace and distance isn't terribly complicated.

IngeA 03-23-2018 08:41 AM

You should restrict to one water sport and not try to learn all at once. That's too much.
Your balance is good, but your head is too high, and you make a banana. Look down to the pool bottom and your back will lengthen too.
Your recovery is quite well and relaxed, but try an earlier entry and a deeper spear. Your stroking arm has a dropped elbow. You should try to catch more water rather with the forearm than with your hand, fistgloves can help to feel the grip ;o)

You wrote, you already swam 1200 yards with fairly easy stroke.

besides the Kaizen-learning-cycle:

unconscious competence
conscious competence
conscious incompetence and
unconscious incompetence

there is another rule wich says:
learning is always up and down. You learn something, you think you mastered it and then comes the point where you think, everything you learnt is gone and you can't do anything against it. You try hard but it doesn't work at all. That's normal and your skill will reappear but of cause this phases are frustrating.

In Ving Tsun I had weeks and months where I had the feeling I was just as far as a novice. The last phase was in autumn. I'm doing VT for 8 years now, 3 times a week, several week ends, basic training at home... and I wasn't able to do basic Drills in a way that is expected in my level.

These regress times will occur from time to time. They mark that you achieved something new. But that new skill is not steady yet. You can't do anything against this regression but having patience and go on until this phase ends. Sometimes a short break can help. A holiday or going to the pool just to relax and play in the water. Trying a new style, butterfly for example and then going back to freestyle calm and serene again.

Another point: I'm also often reluctant correcting all flaws I see in the technique of my students. It makes no sense to work on new focal points on a higher level when the student is just on the way getting the clue on the lower level. Sometimes it's better to wait and correct the technique after the basics have really been imprinted.
In your example: Overrotating of cause is not really good. But there are other things, balance, streamlining, timing... which are more important and which should be imprinted first before working on higher skills.

I can't tell you if this is the normal frustrating "step back" in the normal learning cycle or if you are confused by small focal points that you try to settle too early and before the basic is set.

First I would concentrate on the very basics. Then I would add ONE FP. So in your case: relaxed swimming with slightly over rotation. When you work on your rotation other things will not work that worked before. Never mind, concentrate on the rotation you canít concentrate on several thing at once.

You will have to be patient. Keep in mind that it takes time to imprint a new skill and also that you will not hit the point at once. In your example, you had an overrotation in your stroke. When you try to fix it you will tend to underrotation. That you will correct with overroation. Less than at the beginning, but you will hit the goal after several corrections in the one and the other direction.

And your decision to take lessons with a single coach seems well done. Sometimes several coaches can be inspiring, sometimes itís confusing.

Best regards


CoachBobM 03-29-2018 04:07 AM


Originally Posted by Jamesgs (Post 65073)
CoachBobM -- after 50 yards I am exhausted because I am trying to bring together all the latest, isolated pieces of advise into a single continuous, fluid motion (and am clearly expending energy in many of the wrong places). My approach is to keep it simple by focusing on right side every stroke until I find the basic stroke, and will later focus on bilateral breathing at a later time.

- James

I have since stopped Fast Forward and am taking TI lessons from a single coach to maintain a consistent conversation.

I don't want to give you too much advice if you're currently taking lessons from a TI coach, since the coach can see what you're doing in the water and I can't. But I will pass this along:

21 years ago (about 2 years before I became acquainted with TI), I went to a 1-hour stroke clinic on flip turns. At the time, I already knew how to do freestyle flip turns, and was going in the hope of learning how to do backstroke flip turns (at the time, I could only swim a single continuous pool length of backstroke because I had no idea how to do turns). So I was initially disappointed when the instructor said that they were only going to cover freestyle flip turns. But I was glad, in the end, that I had gone because I identified 7 things that I had been doing wrong in my freestyle flip turns.

The next time I went to the pool, I tried to think about these 7 things every time I did a turn (I was working on 800m freestyle at the time, so I was doing a lot of turns). But I ended up pretty much wasting the entire practice time, because I found that I couldn't think about 7 things at once. So at my next practice, I focused on only 2 of the 7 things, and postponed working on the other 5 until after I perfected those first 2.

From your description, it sounds like you may be having the same problem I did: trying to focus on too many things at once and getting overloaded. Instead, try, on every lap you swim, to have just one thing you're focusing on doing well. You may find that it is best to focus on just that one thing at every practice, and to move on to another focal point when the first one starts to feel comfortable. Or you may find that it works better to vary what the focal point is from lap to lap in each practice.

Let us know how you make out!


John@NewPaltz 04-20-2018 07:39 PM

Hi, the youtube-link didn't work for me, but instead took me to some Micky Mouse video.

I didn't find all that much information about TI fast-forward workshops/training sessions. However, I assume, that they're bringing pace into the equation, while the TI-basics neglect pace to a great extent.
My personal take is: Swimming Pace should indeed be neglected for the first couple triathlons. I must admit that I'm the wrong person to give this advice, because swimming has always been my strongest discipline in triathlon. However, I can definitely give you this piece of advice:
Being in the top 10% of swimmers, but in the worst 10% of cyclists really sucks. :-) It's so much nicer to have it the other way round. In addition, cycling and running have a so much higher impact on your overall result, that you can safely disregard pace for your first triathlon.
Now, pace doesn't seem to by your problem. You say, you're barely able to swim 50 meters disregarding pace.

To me it feels like a great challenge and really interesting to hear, that the TI-method seems broken for you! What I do need to say: If you're taking TI-specific advice from coaches that are not certified TI-coaches, it is kinda unfair to blame the TI-concept. I would rather say, TI-advices from non-TI coaches should be taken on one's own risk.
However, I must also admit that I have heard very critical voices from an experienced TI-coach about the certification process (I'm not a TI-coach myself). So, if you confirmed this critique through your own experience with a certified TI-coach, that should be alarming and even more interesting for the TI-coaches in this forum.

While I'm certainly not in the position to give you technical advice for your swimming, I would like to give you my perspective on the following:
The first goal for your first triathlon should be to get you safe, relaxed and comfortable through the swim leg (in this order). No matter how many coaches you engage, they should all target this goal first. Nothing beats feeling great, fresh and powerful in T1. Feeling dizzy, burnt-out, little sick and short on breath for the sake of a 5 minutes faster swim has a much greater potential of ruining you first triathlon experience.

CoachSuzanne 08-07-2018 10:35 PM

Any update James, or have you left the forum? Feel free to Contact me. Iím very curious about your swim. If you reached a 1200 continuous swim at a jogging pace, thatís a good foundation to start training for a sprint. So with the corrections from a coach who may or may not be TI certified now you can only swim 50 m? Somethings not right about that and thatís why I am curious.

CoachJamesEwart 08-10-2018 07:55 PM

Gassing up?

Originally Posted by Mushroomfloat (Post 65067)
P.S what is your breathing pattern?

Go every 4 max (above this is hypoxic training)

Or ideally every 3 bi lateral

If you are going every 2 and are not a pro or high speed swimmer then you are "gassing up" and won't get beyond 50mtrs (2 lengths)

I swim 2k to 5k comfortably breathing every two and am not gassing up, never gas up. Just relax and breathe naturally and every two is the most natural

Mushroomfloat 08-18-2018 08:20 AM


Originally Posted by CoachJamesEwart (Post 66302)
I swim 2k to 5k comfortably breathing every two and am not gassing up, never gas up. Just relax and breathe naturally and every two is the most natural

Is than a clean 2-5k or wetsuit assisted?

Yes you probably take a sip of air and clear it on the next stroke, most people dont and take too much in and fail to clear co2 which then builds up as gasses them up within 50m or so

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