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  #51  
Old 12-15-2014
Harling007 Harling007 is offline
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Harling007
Default Is sub 20s possible for 25m (for 56 yr old me?)

I would love to swim 18s for a single 25m easily but can't beat 23s trying very hard (not splashing madly - I refuse to do that). I feel that with good form, 2 beat kick this should be possible, reasonably easily but it isn't happening.

I would love to be able to do an 18- 20 minute mile (I can do a 30 minute in the pool) - but 10 minutes less?!

Pipedreams?

SO, will speed come (to me as I) continue doing the drills, and doing tempo trainer and length counting? If so how much can I hope for as age catches up with me? I have never been an athlete. I know speed isn't the bee all, but as a logical puzzle I just don't see how I can get much quicker now - I think I need to move my arms faster while keeping 17-19 stokes per length but easier said than done. People say my stoke looks smooth and rate slow but I can keep up or overtake most who say this. Two beat kick.


Background (more waffle):

Sorry probably a stupid post. I can't do a video, can't afford a coach (and there is no TI near). I have just the video, youtube and thoughtful reflection and love/obsession of swimming.

I am 56yrs old and a late onset swimmer. I have been swimming freestyle since I was 50, I am 5ft 10inches. I have been on one TI weekend four years ago. I have swum a 2.4 mile sea race (about 1.10mins), swum round Brownsea Island in UK (1hr 55mins) for each of the last three years, and in September 2014 swam the length of Lake Windermere (10 miles in 6hrs 20mins - really struggled for some of it towards the end). All wetsuited (I get too cold without one and I am too slow). I feel really pleased with my progress so the question is in the context of wanting to keep improving. In the pool I am quite fast compare to the old(er) ladies and men, and even now some of the triathletes, BUT I have never been able to swim even a single 25m in less than 23 seconds with my best form. It has become easier to do this though.

Recently I have been working on bilateral swimming to even up my stoke, and can do it for 2 hour or more swims ( I know I shouldn't do them, but I love the sensation of swimming unbroken) and shorter distances at up to what feels like 80% of effort then revert to one sided. The good news is my swimming on my preferred time feels even better and I can swim pretty well "flat out" for quite a long time unilaterally. I love swimming, love drills and long swims, and I know I have improved a lot compared to non-freestyle 6 years ago - people have told me they have noticed it, especially recently after the Windermere swim and doing 1 hour sessions daily.

BUT I know??? this is all really slow??? (see other posts by Charles Couterier - 25 second "flat" for 50m which he calls slow - in my/anyone other than Olympians dreams!)

I have tried the tempo trainer, counting lengths, but I can't see how these can reduce my average length time below 23 seconds. I usually seem to manage about 17-19 strokes per length but really struggle to get below 1.20s per stroke on the (unreliable new) tempo trainer - I can set it lower but can't keep up, though it does keep my pace up. For the last four months I have swum on average about an hour every day in the pool, sometimes more and from April to Oct twice a week I swam a mile in the sea as well. Can't do a kick in the sea.

When you watch fast swimmers e.g. Olympians swimming "slowly" but still breaking 20 seconds per length easily, hardly kicking, and looking smooth, they aren't working hard so it MUST be technique (it isn't just height either as short men and women can do it too)? I can't afford the TI programme (I'm not working), but bought the Perpetual Freestlyle video and think I can do the drills.
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  #52  
Old 12-15-2014
Zenturtle Zenturtle is offline
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Without video its hard to tell how much drag you are creating.
If you have low drag even 20 sec/25 m shouldnt need excessive force.(sort off)
Maybe you are a real long distance person.
Lots of 100% short burst of speed is the best way to boost sprint capacity ( like USRPT)
Your body has to adapt to faster swimming. See it as technique on its owm.
What breaks down first when you increase strokerate without dropping too much DPS?

It does take strenght though to swim fast at a low strokecount. I am quite strong, but when I do a few lenghts with full long strokes trying to keep the arm vertical, the strenght is slipping away fast and its really exhausting.
Its the swimming equivalent of lifting heavy weights.
If you are more streamlined/have better technique/good hold on the water, you are moving faster while lifting these heavyweights.

Last edited by Zenturtle : 12-15-2014 at 09:45 PM.
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  #53  
Old 12-16-2014
tomoy tomoy is offline
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Interesting dilemma. I think it's the opposite of mine. I can do easy sprints at a speed I'm happy with, but really struggle to do over a mile non-stop. I'm guessing that 2-3 technical swims per week (sets, not continuous) isn't enough to build much cardio endurance.

Anyway, have you spent significant time with the tempo trainer? I'd define that as a couple weeks of starting at a comfortable tempo, then doing 100 or 200m sets (short) of decreasing tempo (faster beeps). It's one of the best ways to learn to become streamlined at speed. Do a search for the pyramid sets.

First time I put on a tempo trainer, my comfortable tempo was 1.4, and when pushed I was gasping and splashing at 1.15. Probably a year later, I was comfortable at 1.25 and could knock out .80 laps without falling apart. There is no substitute for a tempo trainer. And once you've trimmed the resistance out, it makes the slower tempos even more efficient.

Anyway, keep us updated with your progress.
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  #54  
Old 12-16-2014
jafaremraf jafaremraf is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Harling007 View Post
I would love to swim 18s for a single 25m easily but can't beat 23s trying very hard (not splashing madly - I refuse to do that). I feel that with good form, 2 beat kick this should be possible, reasonably easily but it isn't happening.

I would love to be able to do an 18- 20 minute mile (I can do a 30 minute in the pool) - but 10 minutes less?!

Pipedreams?

SO, will speed come (to me as I) continue doing the drills, and doing tempo trainer and length counting? If so how much can I hope for as age catches up with me? I have never been an athlete. I know speed isn't the bee all, but as a logical puzzle I just don't see how I can get much quicker now - I think I need to move my arms faster while keeping 17-19 stokes per length but easier said than done. People say my stoke looks smooth and rate slow but I can keep up or overtake most who say this. Two beat kick.


Background (more waffle):

Sorry probably a stupid post. I can't do a video, can't afford a coach (and there is no TI near). I have just the video, youtube and thoughtful reflection and love/obsession of swimming.

I am 56yrs old and a late onset swimmer. I have been swimming freestyle since I was 50, I am 5ft 10inches. I have been on one TI weekend four years ago. I have swum a 2.4 mile sea race (about 1.10mins), swum round Brownsea Island in UK (1hr 55mins) for each of the last three years, and in September 2014 swam the length of Lake Windermere (10 miles in 6hrs 20mins - really struggled for some of it towards the end). All wetsuited (I get too cold without one and I am too slow). I feel really pleased with my progress so the question is in the context of wanting to keep improving. In the pool I am quite fast compare to the old(er) ladies and men, and even now some of the triathletes, BUT I have never been able to swim even a single 25m in less than 23 seconds with my best form. It has become easier to do this though.

Recently I have been working on bilateral swimming to even up my stoke, and can do it for 2 hour or more swims ( I know I shouldn't do them, but I love the sensation of swimming unbroken) and shorter distances at up to what feels like 80% of effort then revert to one sided. The good news is my swimming on my preferred time feels even better and I can swim pretty well "flat out" for quite a long time unilaterally. I love swimming, love drills and long swims, and I know I have improved a lot compared to non-freestyle 6 years ago - people have told me they have noticed it, especially recently after the Windermere swim and doing 1 hour sessions daily.

BUT I know??? this is all really slow??? (see other posts by Charles Couterier - 25 second "flat" for 50m which he calls slow - in my/anyone other than Olympians dreams!)

I have tried the tempo trainer, counting lengths, but I can't see how these can reduce my average length time below 23 seconds. I usually seem to manage about 17-19 strokes per length but really struggle to get below 1.20s per stroke on the (unreliable new) tempo trainer - I can set it lower but can't keep up, though it does keep my pace up. For the last four months I have swum on average about an hour every day in the pool, sometimes more and from April to Oct twice a week I swam a mile in the sea as well. Can't do a kick in the sea.

When you watch fast swimmers e.g. Olympians swimming "slowly" but still breaking 20 seconds per length easily, hardly kicking, and looking smooth, they aren't working hard so it MUST be technique (it isn't just height either as short men and women can do it too)? I can't afford the TI programme (I'm not working), but bought the Perpetual Freestlyle video and think I can do the drills.
I'm guessing you're UK based from your post..... Maybe worth telling us your location because there maybe another TI swimmer local to you who you can hook up with to give feedback to each other. Video is good to get, but I know many places won't let you (indoors), but when you go open water (when it warms up) see if someone can get some video of you. You get to see yourself then and it is an eye opener!
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  #55  
Old 12-16-2014
danm danm is offline
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@Harling007
You will never improve without a coach. Sorry to break it to you in such a harsh manner, but this is the simple truth. I am in a similar situation as you; my times are slightly better but lack of improvement is the same. i also swim 1 hour/day (2500-3000meters) and my aim is to improve long distance performance, but it simply doesn't happen. I also do not have a coach or access to one so that's how I know that doing it alone will not bring improvement.
The good news is that I am in excellent physical shape and I feel great ;) My best advice to you is to learn to enjoy that.
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  #56  
Old 12-16-2014
Harling007 Harling007 is offline
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Harling007
Default 20s or less for 25m = 20 minutes for 1 mile

Thanks for the feedback everyone, it is much appreciated. The reason I want to get below 20s for 25 metres, is that basically equates to a 20 minute mile, 25 s per 25m is roughly equivalent to a 25 minute mile etc. I think Terry points out that a more important thing is being able to not get slower over long swims, rather than being "fast". My time of 6hrs 20 minutes for 10 miles meant 38 minutes per mile I think. The winner did it in 4hours 5 minues (but was 20 years younger than me I think), so there is a lot of room for improvement somewhere.

Good luck DanM. I have done Triathlon swimming sessions for the last three weeks and they use speed drills. I can hold my own but within the times mentioned. Fighting against pullbouys etc. is a bit of an issue but I look at it as an interesting diversion. This is the nearest to a coach I have as sessions are quite cheap. I agree about accepting the state but long for more, and the challenge of what is possible. I might ask a guy at the outdoor swimming club for a few informal sessions if he will, but not sure of that (He was a world champion at 15K I believe and has swum the channel 5x).

jafaremraf - I am based in Poole/Bournemouth in UK. No TI coaches in this area (strange really as swimming is really popular) - there is a Swimsmooth coach but apart from the cost not sure about that. I might have to raid some savings....

Zenturtle - I suspect a lot of drag. But I am also not very well built. Bilateral has been really useful, especially in making me aware of how poor my bad side is. When I breathe to the wrong side I can tell I am not yet as "actively" streamlined.

tomoy - I will dust off the tempo trainer. I have been working on cracking bilateral for the last two months and have managed it, so maybe tempo trainer is the next step again. I already feel bilateral has improved my stroke (and others as I said they think I am faster)

Best wishes
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  #57  
Old 12-18-2014
andyinnorway andyinnorway is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Harling007 View Post
Thanks for the feedback everyone, it is much appreciated. The reason I want to get below 20s for 25 metres, is that basically equates to a 20 minute mile, 25 s per 25m is roughly equivalent to a 25 minute mile etc. I think Terry points out that a more important thing is being able to not get slower over long swims, rather than being "fast". My time of 6hrs 20 minutes for 10 miles meant 38 minutes per mile I think. The winner did it in 4hours 5 minues (but was 20 years younger than me I think), so there is a lot of room for improvement somewhere.

Good luck DanM. I have done Triathlon swimming sessions for the last three weeks and they use speed drills. I can hold my own but within the times mentioned. Fighting against pullbouys etc. is a bit of an issue but I look at it as an interesting diversion. This is the nearest to a coach I have as sessions are quite cheap. I agree about accepting the state but long for more, and the challenge of what is possible. I might ask a guy at the outdoor swimming club for a few informal sessions if he will, but not sure of that (He was a world champion at 15K I believe and has swum the channel 5x).

jafaremraf - I am based in Poole/Bournemouth in UK. No TI coaches in this area (strange really as swimming is really popular) - there is a Swimsmooth coach but apart from the cost not sure about that. I might have to raid some savings....

Zenturtle - I suspect a lot of drag. But I am also not very well built. Bilateral has been really useful, especially in making me aware of how poor my bad side is. When I breathe to the wrong side I can tell I am not yet as "actively" streamlined.

tomoy - I will dust off the tempo trainer. I have been working on cracking bilateral for the last two months and have managed it, so maybe tempo trainer is the next step again. I already feel bilateral has improved my stroke (and others as I said they think I am faster)

Best wishes
harling

without seeing you swim I would say you can definitely achieve a sub 20s 25m.

your current limiting factor appears to be a max stroke rate of 50 strokes per minute. If this is so then I would guess there was a bottleneck somewhere in your stroke pattern (perhaps forming the catch on the breathing side - or an over rotation)

So your christmas task is to swim a length of 25m with TT@1.0 without dropping a stroke. This is the same as learning to play piano scales at the speed required for an exam.

I'd set my TT@1.0 straight away (0.99 if you want to go under 20s)

push off 2 beats 1 beat breakout stroke

then swim 4 strokes without breathing but in time with the tempo - reduce rotation or work out what the sticky point in your stroke is - then relax for the rest of the length.

the important thing is to get used to succeeding at each micro task, the first of which is to push off and swim 4 strokes in time with TT@1.0

Level 2 is to do the same with either a 6 stroke single breath or do 4 strokes in time relax for 8 strokes ignoring the TT and then pick it up again for the last 4 strokes.

Level 3 which you might find easier than 1 and 2 is to swim bilaterally but take a double stroke to breathe easy every 3 strokes

Continue to add stages until probably around the 4th or 5th session you can swim a 17SPL single length with TT@0.99 and a 3 beat push off.

You might even find given your strong fitness level (6 miles in 2 hours) you can do a length with zero or 1 breath and hit your goal in the first or second session. but going through the stages will help if you want to take a 20s 25m to a 1.20-1.25 100m.

Hope you enjoy the challenge.
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  #58  
Old 12-18-2014
Harling007 Harling007 is offline
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Thankyou for that really helpful reply Andyinnorway. I'll put your suggestions into practise tomorrow. Your plan looks really challenging and fun.
Today I used the tempo trainer and found I could swim relaxed at 1.2s beeps but was taking 18-20 strokes per length which i could fairly easily maintain for 20 lengths. I lowered it in 0.01s times to 1.15s in 4-6 length sets and that was ok and with a bit more effort was dropping a stroke to 17 per length. I was surprised that the tempo trainer still worked after not using it for a number of months as I got the hang of bilateral.

NB Brownsea island swim is 4.6miles (not 6) for which I took 1hr 55min, but this is very tidal assisted and I faster than I can do in a pool.
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  #59  
Old 12-18-2014
Harling007 Harling007 is offline
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Thankyou for that really helpful reply Andyinnorway. I'll put your suggestions into practise tomorrow. Your plan looks really challenging and fun.
Today I used the tempo trainer and found I could swim relaxed at 1.2s beeps but was taking 18-20 strokes per length which i could fairly easily maintain for 20 lengths. I lowered it in 0.01s times to 1.15s in 4-6 length sets and that was ok and with a bit more effort was dropping a stroke to 17 per length. I was surprised that the tempo trainer still worked after not using it for a number of months as I got the hang of bilateral.

NB Brownsea island swim is 4.6miles (not 6) for which I took 1hr 55min, but this is very tidal assisted and I faster than I can do in a pool.
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  #60  
Old 12-19-2014
Talvi Talvi is offline
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Andy, your advice is really interesting. Can you explain a bit more?

Quote:
push off 2 beats 1 beat breakout stroke, then swim 4 strokes without breathing but in time with the tempo - reduce rotation or work out what the sticky point in your stroke is - then relax for the rest of the length.
So, 2 beats push off, 1 beat breakout stroke, 4 beats to the TT THEN analyse THEN relax?

Quote:
Level 2 is to do the same with either a 6 stroke single breath or do 4 strokes in time relax for 8 strokes ignoring the TT and then pick it up again for the last 4 strokes.
This is the same but getting back in time with the TT for the last 4 strokes?

Quote:
Level 3 which you might find easier than 1 and 2 is to swim bilaterally but take a double stroke to breathe easy every 3 strokes
Do you mean that you breathe to both sides every third stroke? i.e 1, 2, breathe, breathe, 1, 2, breathe, breathe, etc. Sounds really interesting.
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