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  #31  
Old 05-05-2015
CoachSuzanne CoachSuzanne is offline
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Originally Posted by lloyddinma View Post
Sorry, when I said "here" I meant it as "here on the subject." Not TI.

I think I may have even read a thread or blog by Coach Matt Hudson that affirmed muscle was good if it was applicable.

Thanks.
Without muscle we'd all be rag dolls trying to swim. Muscle not only desirable it's necessary. What's debatable is if strength development helps you become a better swimmer. In most cases not because strength is not the limiter. That doesn't suggest that you shouldn't do muscle work (whatever your favorite flavor of muscle work is...weights, crossfit, whatever)...but that for most folks building muscle isn't going to make them a better swimmer. It may in fact hold them back as they spend time on an area that's NOT the lowest hanging fruit.

Quality of movement is by far the biggest factor in how well, how fast, how far people swim and how much they enjoy it when they do swim. If quality is high, adding strength can be a benefit. Adding strength to low quality movements in swimming typically makes them even lower quality.
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  #32  
Old 05-05-2015
sclim sclim is offline
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Originally Posted by CoachSuzanne View Post
Without muscle we'd all be rag dolls trying to swim. Muscle not only desirable it's necessary. What's debatable is if strength development helps you become a better swimmer. In most cases not because strength is not the limiter. That doesn't suggest that you shouldn't do muscle work (whatever your favorite flavor of muscle work is...weights, crossfit, whatever)...but that for most folks building muscle isn't going to make them a better swimmer. It may in fact hold them back as they spend time on an area that's NOT the lowest hanging fruit.

Quality of movement is by far the biggest factor in how well, how fast, how far people swim and how much they enjoy it when they do swim. If quality is high, adding strength can be a benefit. Adding strength to low quality movements in swimming typically makes them even lower quality.
This is a very succinct yet understandable explanation of why directed muscle strengthening activity is usually not the most productive use of your precious training time! The "low hanging fruit" concept is the kicker. Balance and coordination are for me difficult enough to improve on that I am constantly longing and searching for lower hanging fruit. Good to be reminded, again, that I am already on the most productive path!
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  #33  
Old 05-14-2015
jenson1a jenson1a is offline
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Originally Posted by CoachDavidShen View Post
hey Sherry,

Thought I'd chime in. I thought i saw you post your age in another post, something like 70? If i use the calculation via age on this page:

http://www.brianmac.co.uk/maxhr.htm

for women, and for the running sport, that works out to be a max HR of 140 or 144. If i use your result of 120 relative to 140 or 144, that is 86% to 83% respectively. Either of those results puts you in the hard effort range. However, age based formulas can be inaccurate, but it does give you one possible view of your performance.

as Terry says, those of us who have used HR monitors for a while typically move to an Ratings of Perceived Exertion model pretty quickly as training/racing by HR can have problems. It is better to train a lot and get to know your RPE at certain paces so that you can self-regulate without looking at your HR watch. While swimming, that's really unproductive. You can try the FINIS swimming HR monitor which clips to your ear lobe and you can hear it announce the HR at regular intervals but i have not found it to be worth the trouble.

after reading the responses, my sense is that you are not accustomed to spending time exerting at this level. this can be a mental and physical thing. by mental i mean that you hit this exertion and want to back off because it feels uncomfortable, or you have not built the mental capability to maintain this effort over time. by physical, i mean that your body may not be conditioned to physical exertion at this level and then your body starts telling you to stop, and you stop.

we've talked about breathing. we've talked about TI's mantra of relaxing and having comfort in the water. it may be time to start looking at your mental and physical conditioning to swim continuously for longer distances and periods of time.

now having said all that, i do not know your current abilities and physical make up. it could be problematic on this forum to say - just swim longer and deal with it and eventually you'll get used to it. i would encourage you to continue tackling this all fronts - make sure you are breathing properly and taking in large breaths - if you're taking shallow breaths, you'll eventually go into an oxygen deficit and nobody can sustain that. make sure you have max comfort in the water - are there any times when you don't feel good and you feel agitated? work on those technique wise. if you've fixed all the breathing and technique issues and you still have problems sustaining distance, then it is most likely mental and physical conditioning that needs to be improved.

one last note - your experiment with the snorkel leads me to think that breathing is the main issue with this. you can take in more air with the snorkel so RPE is less. so how can you take in more air without the snorkel? make sure you take quick, deep breaths as soon as you mouth is exposed to air. make sure you have max comfort turning to air and that you're not reaching for air with your head nor have dropped hips, which doesn't sound like your issue. if you like, swim longer with the snorkel and get your conditioning up. if you can swim a distance with the snorkel but you cannot without it, then we know for sure that breathing without the snorkel is the issue.

good luck and report back!
In yesterday's swim, I practiced swimming both with a snorkel and without. I easily swam 8 lengths with the snorkel altho my spl was higher than without it. I swam with a RPE with a level 1 and it felt great. I then swam 4 continuous lengths without snorkel, but probably with more effort.

Question--my snorkel is a regular one, not the swim type. Does it make a great deal of difference? I do know it increases drag with the tube at the side of my head.

Noticed these problems in breathing.
1. Breathing late-could see arm in recovery.
2. Taking in too little air (result of #1)
3. Breathing on left side isn't quite there yet. spl increases

Good part is that I know I am exhaling whenever my face is in water. sometimes it seems it is too forcefully. Huge bubbles and tightness in neck.

I an now focusing on making chin following shoulder to air so I can take an earlier and deeper air. Also working on swim and nod drill, esp. on left side.



Coach Dave You said: it may be time to start looking at your mental and physical conditioning to swim continuously for longer distances and periods of time.


there is a lot of truth in this statement. I am reminded of a thread named "How to Swim FAster" The advice was in order to swim faster, you have to swim faster. (AndyinNorway I believe) Well I guess that in order to swim longer distances, you must swim longer distances.

As for exhalation drills posed by a few, I have to say that I am in Coach Stuart's 30% of women that simply do not sink. And it wasn't for not trying, but thanks anyway.

I have noticed that I can now swim 2 lengths with heart rate at same level as swimming 1. So at least that is some progress.

My goal is to swim more multiple lengths and take a long rest time in between.

tks for all the suggestions

Sherry
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  #34  
Old 05-14-2015
s.sciame s.sciame is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jenson1a View Post

As for exhalation drills posed by a few, I have to say that I am in Coach Stuart's 30% of women that simply do not sink. And it wasn't for not trying, but thanks anyway.
Hi Sherry, good for you then, though I have to admit that it's still hard for me to imagine that an elite female swimmer who belongs to this 30% and masters exhalation is not able to deliberately sink by fully emptying her lungs.

Happy (continuous) laps!
Salvo
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  #35  
Old 05-14-2015
Caro Caro is offline
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It's hard to imagine that an elite female swimmer would be in that 30% group as even elite swimmers tend to be quite low in body fat.
Why do you feel that fully exhaling is a good thing to do? Fully exhaling is very unpleasant and not something one would do when swimming normally. I have tried to sink to the bottom on several occasions and like Sherry I cannot do it on the other hand I've never had any trouble swimming for miles, why torture yourself for something that is totally unnecessary. Most men can sink easily without having to fully exhale, let's face it some men have trouble staying at the surface with full lungs.
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  #36  
Old 05-14-2015
s.sciame s.sciame is offline
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It's just a common drill to help relaxation and breathin skills,
far from being a torture. I didn't invent it, some coach
did and many swimmers (especially beginners) benefit
from it.
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  #37  
Old 05-14-2015
descending descending is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by s.sciame View Post
It's just a common drill to help relaxation and breathin skills,
far from being a torture. I didn't invent it, some coach
did and many swimmers (especially beginners) benefit
from it.
I think it boils down to how you are trained. I have been spending some time on here reading up on total immersion. I bought the series for a friend some time ago and they have been asking some questions. It's really interesting to see where swim training puts emphasis depending on where you look nowadays. I think the way I train would be in complete opposition to most things total immersion does. But that's ok I think there is more than one way to do anything! I'm going to direct them to this forum so they can joiin in!
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  #38  
Old 05-19-2015
sclim sclim is offline
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Hey guys, just to report that I've finally cracked the code on my own swimming shortness of breath mystery.

I was focussing for a while on dropping my SPL, no matter what, and to achieve this I finally used a TT interval of 1.40 then 1.60 seconds; I then was able to achieve consistent SPL of 20 (the mid-point of my green zone), but I was only able to do this for 25m at a time. I then had to stop to rest, being out of breath. I was a little disappointed at this, but I felt that learning to achieve a low SPL was a priority.

I then became a little alarmed at not being able to go further than 25 m at a time, as I have a 1/2 Ironman race in a month, which requires a 1900m swim.

So I started doing more than one length at a time; and started getting very short of breath by the 2nd length.

I then realised that I was holding in my breath completely between breaths, partly as a response to being a sinker, and partly, I don't know, just bad habits?

I was much better swimming with a snorkel, (but this disturbed my stroke mechanics so my SPL went up) which suggested that the breathing pattern was the culprit, not the exertion.

I started to conscientiously exhale between breaths. This was more difficult than I thought it would be, because I never learned it properly at the beginning, like I should have. But I'm slowly getting it. I find my shortness of breath is much, much less. In fact if my attention wonders and I realise I have been holding my breath in the old way, and I'm getting short of breath, all I have to do is make sure I exhale fully on the next breath and get a good inhalation, and within that one good breath cycle my shortness of breath goes away. As a consequence, my distance that I could swim in one continuous set jumped within consecutive days from 25 m to 50, then 100 then 200, then 250, then 500 then 1500 then 2000m. (I'm mildly short of breath in the process, but it's not bad and it doesn't get worse.) I think there is more improvement potential in the future, as I learn to relax. The only disappointing thing is that my SPL has gone up again, but I think the breathing thing is distracting me, and once I learn to relax further, I may get my SPL mojo back.

I am sinking somewhat more during my exhalation, but I don't think this matters as much as being completely winded by my shortness of breath, which now doesn't occur, or at least not nearly as much.
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  #39  
Old 05-20-2015
Zenturtle Zenturtle is offline
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Originally Posted by sclim View Post

I then became a little alarmed at not being able to go further than 25 m at a time, as I have a 1/2 Ironman race in a month, which requires a 1900m swim.

.
HA, HA, HA. I found this very funny Sclim!

I am really happy for you that you finally discovered this bad habit.
You read this all the time when people finally go beyond 25 or 50 m.
Lucky you dont sink that much more when you exhale.
A little extra speed makes breahing easier too, so burning that newfound air keeps the boat going.
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  #40  
Old 05-20-2015
s.sciame s.sciame is offline
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Originally Posted by sclim View Post
I started to conscientiously exhale between breaths. This was more difficult than I thought it would be, because I never learned it properly at the beginning, like I should have. But I'm slowly getting it.
Hi sclim, this is a little rehearsal to check if you exhale all the time when the head is submerged and don't hold your breath even for a tenth of a second: stand in the shallow end of the pool, submerge your head and mimic your favourite breathing pattern (every 2 strokes, every 3 etc.) with the same tempo you usually swim at (use your TT for instance). No need to mimic the stroke, just imagine you're swimming to synch the breath. You should be very comfortable in doing it, and able to easily start exhaling as soon as your head submerges and start inhaling as soon as your mouth returns to air.
Now the important thing: while doing this rehearsal for a while, listen to the bubbles sound when exhaling. Then start swimming and pay attention to the sound: if you inadvertently hold your breath even for a tenth of a second when submerging your head, you'll hear the (sound of) silence and notice the difference immediately. Same if you inadvertently finish exhaling above the water, stealing pretious time for your subsequent inhalation.

Hope it helps,
Salvo
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