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  #1  
Old 04-28-2013
Richardsk Richardsk is offline
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Default Can a slow swimmer learn to sprint?

When I was a boy, I used to run and play games in which running was a big element (Rugby football, mainly). It was very obvious very early on that some people could just run faster than others and no matter how hard one tried, if one was a slow runner one could never catch the fast runners.

When I was at college in the late 'fifties, I was a member of the athletics club (track and field to you Americans) and used to run a bit in what were known as graded sports events, where there was an A, B and C classification. I was always in the C class and usually came last or sometimes if I was very lucky second last in my heat. I didn't mind much, because I just liked taking part, because we natural losers are the most enthusiastic supporters of the doctrine that it more important to take part than to win. The champions look on it the other way round.

I think it was at that time that I came across the doctrine that sprinters are born not made, and although I was just a recreational swimmer at that time, and basically still am, although more devoted to swimming than I was then, I found that it was just as true for swimming as for running, and consoled myself with the thought that at least I could swim long distances (not very long really but they seemed long at the time).

Now as a masters swimmer, I find that I am the slowest in my age group at all distances swum in the pool, but I also find that as the distances get longer the number of people who show up to swim gets smaller, so the longer the event the more chance I have of getting a medal, and I now have a huge collection of medals from events in which I was the only entrant or one of two or three. I suppose when I advance to the 80-84 age group in 2015, if I make it that far, this tendency will get stronger.

I notice that the fastest swimmers in the longer events are also pretty fast in the short events and wonder if increasing my speed in the shorter events would be the most effective way of increasing my speed in the longer events, or whether it might be better to start from the middle and work outwards in both directions, that is to say work on, say, the 200 meters, and by improving both speed and endurance hope that this will also affect both the longer and shorter events. For what it's worth the ratio of my best time in the 200 SC meters this year to the world record time is slightly better the same ratio for the other events, although probably not significantly so.

Has anybody any thoughts on this?
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Old 04-28-2013
CharlesCouturier CharlesCouturier is offline
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Yes I have thoughts on this.

t=b*d^m

This principle is implemented here on this page:

http://www.arhy.org/swim-predict

Second method of calculation. Tell me how fast you'd like to go on any longer distance, I'll tell you how fast your best 100m needs to be in order to achieve this. Then in my case, it's always building pure speed that you need to purchase better performances over longer distance, first.

Simple example, assuming you want to swim 14 flat over 800, you got to get the 100m down to 1:31.

I tend to get to pure speed / neural training development off season, ie quite remote from the triathlon season. And here's an example of how I usually present this sort of work:

http://www.triforums.vo3max.ca/viewt...hp?f=160&t=733
(just read introductory post)

Last edited by CharlesCouturier : 04-28-2013 at 03:25 PM.
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Old 04-28-2013
Richardsk Richardsk is offline
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Very interesting, Charles. It seems I need to improve my 100 time quite a lot. Logically my 200, 400 and 800 should also improve.

I like your butterfly/freestyle sculling drill and will try it tomorrow, also perhaps your nearly armless sculling body rotation, which I suspect I will find quite difficult.
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Old 04-28-2013
CharlesCouturier CharlesCouturier is offline
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You mean my final push drill? This has to be one of my favorites, one of the most useful of the whole collection.

You can perform it with a Tempo Trainer. Just allow any number of beeps, from 3 to say.. 6, between each stroke. Breathe on the side please. No tension in the neck.

Great great drill. Should always be followed by some full stroke swimming, focusing on final push/hand exit.

Try to cross a 25m pool in less than 10 pushes.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bhmedyLwGTI
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Old 04-28-2013
CharlesCouturier CharlesCouturier is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richardsk View Post
Very interesting, Charles. It seems I need to improve my 100 time quite a lot. Logically my 200, 400 and 800 should also improve.
In a linear way!!!

Ie, every second cut over 100m is worth 8 seconds over 800, and 15sec over 1500. First time I presented these ideas to the world (UK), was through this fun thread here:

http://www.tritalk.co.uk/forums/viewtopic.php?p=222847

Then the continuation was this discussion here, where the result of the 50m sprint challenge were reused in a fitness set challenge

http://www.tritalk.co.uk/forums/view...er=asc&start=0

Then a few years after, the topic was brought back on the table, in what turned out to become an award winning thread:

http://www.tritalk.co.uk/forums/view...r=asc&start=30

(though the last one is endless, I doubt you could read it, but I placed it there for reference anyway)
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Old 04-28-2013
Richardsk Richardsk is offline
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Yes. That one. Breathing with body roll more or less like freestyle?
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  #7  
Old 04-28-2013
CharlesCouturier CharlesCouturier is offline
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Yes, so it feels strange a bit to learn, but minimal rotation (just like displayed in the demo) is important.

I discourage anyone to try and flip the head to the side to inhale, without a minimal body rotation to facilitate it. Or else, it can be bad on one's neck.
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  #8  
Old 04-29-2013
Richardsk Richardsk is offline
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Hi Charles

My 50m time is off the scale in your table - lucky to break one minute usually, although last year I managed 57.41 LC and this year 59.41 SC.

Today I tried your push drill but couldn't manage the side breathing. Mostly I just blew bubbles and then occasionally did a little scull for a forward breath. I know it's cheating, but it was a first attempt.

In the form I was doing it it's rather like the classic Biondi drill, except I suppose that in your drill you aren't meant to do a full butterfly type pull, just the scull from the mid section.

Emmett Hines, who is a TI type, has very good articles on sculling on his site:
http://www.h2oustonswims.org/

I imagine you know it well.
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