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  #11  
Old 12-04-2012
CoachMatHudson CoachMatHudson is offline
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Default Virtual Competition With Sun Yang

This is how a virtual competition might work:

Pace is a simple calculation of Stroke Length (SL) x Tempo.

We will use SL because it is a universal measurement - it doesn't matter what length pool you are in. SL is also known as Distance Per Stroke (DPS).

Sun Yang has a certain wingspan and we may consider this his genetic mechanical advantage. I can see there is some discrepancy on the internet as to what his actual wingspan is, but we may use 2.11 meters for our purposes.

You and I have different (likely much shorter) wingspans. Mine for instance is 1.80 meters. I'll use myself as an example for comparison. Obviously, Sun Yang has a bit more wingspan to work with than I do. So how can I possibly compete with that?

Taking some more stats from his 2011 31 July WR 1500m swim in Beijing - he would begin his first stroke at around 5 meter mark (the flags) and then take somewhere between 27 to 28 strokes per 45 meters (50 m - 5 m for pushoff). That translates to a SL of 1.61 meters per stroke.

Wingspan Conversion (WC) is the % of your wingspan you convert into SL.

WC% = SL / Wingspan (use meters or yards consistently)

So Sun Yang was using approximately 76% of his wingspan. So we would call this 76% WC.

And Sun Yang's Tempo over a great portion of that race was around 0.95 - 0.98 seconds per stroke.

If I were to attempt to match his SL I would have to use 89% of my wingspan (my WC) to match him. That is equivalent to me swimming 11 SPL in a 25 m pool, which I can do when tuned up well, and at a fairly slow tempo. Yet, it is quite impractical from an energy standpoint for me to attempt to use that long of a stroke for more than extreme balance and streamline drilling - it requires far too much acceleration in each stroke if I were to attempt faster tempos. My shoulders would start to ache after a few laps, and I still would not be close to matching his tempo. I simply do not have the mechanical advantage to hold that SL at even moderate tempos within a reasonable amount of effort, even with the best training.

But let's say I want to compete with Sun Yang factoring in my mechanical disadvantage compared to him.

The challenge then is this: I calculate my own 76% WC, which would be a SL of 1.36 m. (Translated into a 25m pool that is, for me, just under 14.7 SPL, with a 5m push-off). Then I need to set my Tempo to match his, which was 0.95 seconds per stroke. Then I need to get ready to do this for a full 1500m (simplifying the race to a steady pace the whole way). If I am successful my overall time will still be more than his, BUT mechanically-speaking I will have achieved the same level of stroke efficiency he used to set the WR.

Or in other words, instead of competing with him purely on time- I would compete against him by matching his variables he used to create his WR pace, with my own wingspan factored into the equation as a 'handicap', so-to-speak. Sun Yang had an incredibly efficient (and relative to his opponents, an incredibly relaxed) stroke which saved a great amount of energy, then he spent that saved energy on generating WR breaking speed. Essentially, this is the energy-conscientious strategy behind TI training.

In this way, anyone of us could create a virtual competition with any swimmer we wanted, anywhere in the world. Just get the data or pick the distance, match up the WC% for each swimmer, and set the Tempo to be held and go for it!

Now, this interest in the virtual competition has prompted me to work on developing an age-group handicap factor as well. With this proposed tool we can set up virtual races not just between humans and the gods, but any age human or god, male or female! So watch out young bucks- the mature swimmers among us will be able to prove their stuff definitively without waiting for you to catch up to prove you could still take them on at their age.

In case you are wondering more about how to use this WC% thing:

In my early stages of collecting and analyzing statistics from this perspective I am suggesting that swimmers would do good to aim to use a SL of between 55% and 75% WC. 55% is on the shorter sprint stroke side, and 75% on the distance stroke side. But this is more like picking gears on a bike - as pedaling conditions change so does the appropriate gearing. Even during a swimming race itself we might shift our 'gears' using a small range of SL x Tempo combinations to suit conditions and our energy management strategy. So don't view it strictly as a linear scale expecting to stay fixed at one point. And of course, there are many other biological factors that might make one swimmer more efficient toward the high% range and some toward the mid% range. This just gives us a range to start evaluating our own stroke from to better dial in where our individual range should be (for each event).
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Last edited by CoachMatHudson : 12-09-2012 at 07:12 PM.
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  #12  
Old 12-04-2012
terry terry is offline
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Beautiful description Mat. Wouldn't it be cool to offer a virtual contest centered on this on the TI web site. We'll make it a goal.
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  #13  
Old 12-09-2012
craig.arnold@gmail.com craig.arnold@gmail.com is offline
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I love this idea.

Wingspan = 1.89m.

.76 x 1.89 = 1.43

Assuming a 5m push-off (slightly too much, but anyway - maybe I'll do a single butterfly if necessary).

Gives me almost exactly 14SPL. Which is not too far from what I'm getting in general, at the workshop I was getting 12 down to 1.2, but I've not been using the TT much. This gives me a motivation and a target.

Hold 14SPL down to 0.95 for 1500m. Sounds like a piece of cake!!!

Oh, but I'm 44, 45 soon. How does the age handicap work? Just in case I need a bit of help. :)

Last edited by craig.arnold@gmail.com : 12-09-2012 at 05:17 PM.
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  #14  
Old 12-11-2012
CharlesCouturier CharlesCouturier is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by craig.arnold@gmail.com View Post
Gives me almost exactly 14SPL. Which is not too far from what I'm getting in general, at the workshop I was getting 12 down to 1.2, but I've not been using the TT much. This gives me a motivation and a target.

Hold 14SPL down to 0.95 for 1500m. Sounds like a piece of cake!!!
But... correct me if I'm wrong, but these metrics would translate into sub 20min 1500m at 14spl? That's piece of cake?

**edit**
After calculation, and just to see if I understand you guys principle and your statement.

Here on this clip, I swim 14stroke per 25m (spot on) @ 1.25 (spot on) for 1min22 (spot on). Based on the fact that I glide for 3sec (again, spot on) I calculate that I would have hold 1min 08 for the 100m. Add 2sec for the flip (rounding here), therefore you'd be holding 1:10/100m scm for 14spl @ 1.0 (.95 would therefore be slightly faster).

I probably have the maths all wrong...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=00c4lhZZbK8

Last edited by CharlesCouturier : 12-11-2012 at 08:22 PM.
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  #15  
Old 12-11-2012
craig.arnold@gmail.com craig.arnold@gmail.com is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlesCouturier View Post
But... correct me if I'm wrong, but these metrics would translate into sub 20min 1500m at 14spl? That's piece of cake?

**edit**
After calculation, and just to see if I understand you guys principle and your statement.

Here on this clip, I swim 14stroke per 25m (spot on) @ 1.25 (spot on) for 1min22 (spot on). Based on the fact that I glide for 3sec (again, spot on) I calculate that I would have hold 1min 08 for the 100m. Add 2sec for the flip (rounding here), therefore you'd be holding 1:10/100m scm for 14spl @ 1.0 (.95 would therefore be slightly faster).

I probably have the maths all wrong...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=00c4lhZZbK8
Hey Charles, I wasn't being serious. I seriously doubt I will ever be able to get close over 1500m. :)

I shall have to break out my TT real soon to see if I can hold 14SPL at .95. I think I probably can for 50m at the moment. Just another 1450 to go then. :)

If I can hold 1.30/100 pace for 1500m that's a good starting point, and hopefully achievable in the next year. So 22.30 is my first target. Something that I think may be in my zone of uncertainty. At least it's not definitely something I won't be able to do.

Last edited by craig.arnold@gmail.com : 12-11-2012 at 09:49 PM.
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  #16  
Old 12-11-2012
CharlesCouturier CharlesCouturier is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by craig.arnold@gmail.com View Post
Something that I think may be in my zone of uncertainty.
Oh joy, sweet uncertainty :)

Sorry, I'm sometimes little slow with humor.

14 strokes @ 1.3 probably fits 1:30/100m reasonably well.
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