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  #1  
Old 12-14-2011
ScottMT ScottMT is offline
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Default Found my triceps - is that OK?

I've been doing TI for 2.5 years and until now I have never worried about speed (which is good because I'm really slow...), and I still don't really, but I'm in a Masters swim class and we do timed intervals and it's hard not to try to go faster and keep up with one's lane mates. So far I think I've done a good job of not sacrificing form and trying to hold stroke length and just getting a quicker stroke rate. So in 2.5 years I have never felt my triceps being tired after a swim, until now. During a particularly grueling day with a bunch of 50 sprints I found that in order to pick up my stroke rate I had to get really fast on the recovery but I tried to do this while keeping the lead arm in skate as long as possible. So to do this I focussed on getting the recovering hand out of the water as fast as possible and then keeping a really relaxed recovery arm until it speared again. It was great fun and surprisingly at the end of practice I felt like my stroke length had actually improved with the stroke rate, which was curious. The next day my triceps were sore and when I got in the pool my focus was to find out what had changed in my stroke to make me sore and to give me that feeling of longer stroke length. The answer is that in trying to "get my hand out of the water faster" I was holding onto my pull much longer and continuing the power all the way to my hip and sort of snapping the hand out of the water. Now, a couple days later and a couple more swims, my triceps have adjusted and are no longer sore, it feels like a smooth stroke, and I am noticeably faster with this stroke change (from about a 55 sec 50 yd to 50 sec 50, yeah, still not blistering ....). But is this good in the long run or is it just a terminal speed improvement that will hold me back later on? Thanks for your advice?
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Old 12-14-2011
CoachSuzanne CoachSuzanne is offline
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If you had no TI experience and were not able to describe the way in which you mentally adjust the sets at masters to keep up with everyone, I would say that you are doing someting wrong. ;)

But if you are streamlined & balacned and able to minimize drag, one of the next steps to increasing speed is to increase propusive force...which is fine as long as you don't still have drag to overcome (or much drag).

At some point, if you want to swim fast, you' need to apply some power to the stroke and maybe you've found a sweet spot. 50 sec for 50 yd isn't bad (1:40/100), which is a great pace in general...but are those for the sprints or for easy swimming?
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  #3  
Old 12-14-2011
ScottMT ScottMT is offline
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That is overall average time per 50 in a 6 x 50 yd set with 10 seconds rest between 50s.
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Old 12-14-2011
CoachSuzanne CoachSuzanne is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScottMT View Post
That is overall average time per 50 in a 6 x 50 yd set with 10 seconds rest between 50s.
As fast as you can go for each 50? Have you ever posted a video here?
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  #5  
Old 12-14-2011
ScottMT ScottMT is offline
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Gulp, I must be slower than I thought. :} Here is a video from last spring

http://www.totalimmersion.net/forum/...ead.php?t=2380

but, I feel like I have improved greatly in many areas since then, in particular head position and I'm working on pointing the toes and kicking but flexibility is coming slowly. I'll try to get someone to film me again.
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Old 12-14-2011
CoachSuzanne CoachSuzanne is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScottMT View Post
Gulp, I must be slower than I thought. :} Here is a video from last spring

http://www.totalimmersion.net/forum/...ead.php?t=2380

but, I feel like I have improved greatly in many areas since then, in particular head position and I'm working on pointing the toes and kicking but flexibility is coming slowly. I'll try to get someone to film me again.

No, no, not slow. :) I'm just trying to get an idea. 10 seconds rest for "sprints" is not much rest at all, and is a different type of workout physiology wise than true sprints where you have full time to recovery your anaerobic energy stores (takes about 5-8 minutes!).

So this really represents more of an aerobic pace, not a sprint pace...like I said, 1:40 is good, but I don't know if you can keep that pace for say a 500?

Anyway I peeked at the video and since yous aid you've made lots of improvements (even just on that thread), I think it's time to post another one! :)

Post one of you swimming fast as well.
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  #7  
Old 12-15-2011
haschu33 haschu33 is offline
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ScottMT,

Since I started regularly swimming/learning freestyle I noticed that my triceps grew, but I never had it sore. Anatomically the triceps main function is extension of the elbow. So you will use your triceps every time you spear in the water and stretch your elbow against the water resistance.
Additionally the triceps (the long head of it to be more precise) is participating in retroversion which is moving the arm backwards. This movement I think occurs when you start your recovery and pull your arm out of the water behind your body. Also during the pulll, particularly when you swim with a dropped elbow. The other muscles involved in retroversion is the latissimus dorsi (lats) and the teres major.
Having the muscle sore is a great opportunity to find out where it comes from: just swim with your sore muscles and feel when exactly it hurts and then you know where it comes from ;-)
You can check it out like this: if you stretch out your upper arm in front of you, flex the elbow until it has a 90 degree angle and turn it so it sticks right up in the air, then the muscle underneath your upper arm should be (you never know ;-) ) the long head of the triceps, that one that is involved in retroversion. If only that one hurts but not the muscles underneath your arm more to both sides - which are the short heads of the triceps - it could be from retroversion - pulling your arm back. If the entire package hurts it is more likely that it comes from stretching the elbow. Which is spearing, and maybe a dropping elbow in the pull phase?

I hope Doc Sue doesn't read this slightly silly view from a medical layman that will probably not withstand professional scrutiny ...


hang on in there
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  #8  
Old 12-15-2011
andyinnorway andyinnorway is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by haschu33 View Post
ScottMT,

Since I started regularly swimming/learning freestyle I noticed that my triceps grew, but I never had it sore. Anatomically the triceps main function is extension of the elbow. So you will use your triceps every time you spear in the water and stretch your elbow against the water resistance.
Additionally the triceps (the long head of it to be more precise) is participating in retroversion which is moving the arm backwards. This movement I think occurs when you start your recovery and pull your arm out of the water behind your body. Also during the pulll, particularly when you swim with a dropped elbow. The other muscles involved in retroversion is the latissimus dorsi (lats) and the teres major.
Having the muscle sore is a great opportunity to find out where it comes from: just swim with your sore muscles and feel when exactly it hurts and then you know where it comes from ;-)
You can check it out like this: if you stretch out your upper arm in front of you, flex the elbow until it has a 90 degree angle and turn it so it sticks right up in the air, then the muscle underneath your upper arm should be (you never know ;-) ) the long head of the triceps, that one that is involved in retroversion. If only that one hurts but not the muscles underneath your arm more to both sides - which are the short heads of the triceps - it could be from retroversion - pulling your arm back. If the entire package hurts it is more likely that it comes from stretching the elbow. Which is spearing, and maybe a dropping elbow in the pull phase?

I hope Doc Sue doesn't read this slightly silly view from a medical layman that will probably not withstand professional scrutiny ...


hang on in there
Echo me, my triceps have grown a lot from swimming but I never feel them after a workout. I wouldnĘt extend your stroke by pushing back if it is causing considerable more effort, better to reach further forward to reduce SPL, or do some relaxation drills so you can increase SR and maintain the same workload feeling at a faster rate.

Well done on the 50yds in 50s anyway, good landmark 1 yrd a second.
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  #9  
Old 12-15-2011
ScottMT ScottMT is offline
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Well, I only have to drop 10 more seconds to achieve a USA Swimming "B" time for 10 & under girls ..... So if I adopt the age-counting method of SUBTRACTING one year for every year after 50 I should hit that goal in a few decades and perhaps the 8-year old boy B time a few years later. So there is still hope that I might beat my great great grandkids some day.

Thanks this is valuable feedback. I can hold close to this pace pretty much indefinitely (today I swam 2500 yds with no rests and held about 55 sec/50 and only stopped because I ran out of time). But I feel like I'm struggling if I try to go much faster. I don't get out of air or tired, it just feels like my form gets ragged and I lose that wonderful weightless flying through the water feeling if I stroke at a faster rate. And that feeling is what keeps me coming back to the pool. So, I think I just need to keep gradually pushing the stroke rate and I'm even gonna try a TT to see how that goes.
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  #10  
Old 02-06-2012
ScottMT ScottMT is offline
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Hi jackjames, I've been thinking about posting an update on this topic. At this time I would say that some of my triceps soreness was ok, but in part it might have been sending me a message too. It is natural for muscles to get tired and occasionally sore if they are asked to do more than they are used to, and I think that is ok. But, I think it is also important to remember that everybody's (and every body's) shoulders/arms are different, and what might be ok for others might not be ok for you, given your unique flexibility and strength.

In my case, I think part of the soreness was due to asking my shoulders to function outside of my safe range of motion. If I follow through completely with the pull and take my hand all the way to my hip then my shoulder is pinched when I recover. I was not sensitive enough to notice this at the time because it caused no real pain, just a slight tension, but after developing a full blown case of tendonitis I'm much more sensitive to my limits. At this point, the bottom line for me is 1) I MUST do dryland training for flexibility, strength and injury prevention; 2) go slow after adjusting my stroke, and 3) if I feel weakness or inflexibility in a motion then be very cautious as it might not be right for me, even if an elite swimmer does it.

ps - "Complete conditioning for swimming" by Salo and Riewald is excellent

Last edited by ScottMT : 02-06-2012 at 08:48 PM.
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