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  #1  
Old 12-05-2008
jlec jlec is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2008
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jlec
Default Transition from cruise to sprint

Hello,
I am an experienced swimmer with a past of an elite swimmer. I now compete on the french master's contests and am 37.
I have been practicing TI for 3 years now and find it very helpful at medium speed : I have consierably improved my freestyle. When I swim at reasonnable speed (let's say on on 1.10'' for 100 meters for example) I feel balanced and can think on my hand entry, my hip rotation and my body extension.

The problem for me is adapting my new technique for sprint (50 and 100 meters). My swimming mates told me that whenever I sprint I lose my balance : I only breathe on the right side (every two strokes) and my left arm in the air goes on the outside uncontrolled, straight ans splashes the water, which amplifies the "claudication" and makes me lose velocity. My right arm looks good though. They really are impressed on how different it looks from the outside between slow and fast, almost as if they saw a different swimmer.


I suppose I should try to breathe alternatively even during sprinting in order to bring balance to my swimming ? Would that be a solution ? Has anyone any Idea on how I could improve on that ?

Thank you

Jerome (from Paris, France)

Last edited by jlec : 12-05-2008 at 11:55 AM. Reason: solving a technique problem
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  #2  
Old 12-05-2008
CoachBobM CoachBobM is offline
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See whether the following helps:

Start swimming a lap at your medium speed, focusing on balance, hand entry, hip rotation, and body extension just as you normally do, but as you progress through the lap, gradually build your stroke rate, seeing how much you can increase it while still maintaining the same efficient feeling you had at medium speed. Don't push your stroke rate beyond the rate at which you can still stroke efficiently.

As you keep repeating this day after day, you should find that the stroke rate you can reach while maintaining your efficient feeling will gradually improve.


Bob
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  #3  
Old 12-06-2008
terry terry is offline
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Jerome
I coached the sprinters at West Point (US Military Academy - NCAA Div I) for three years with TI methods and results far superior to what that group accomplished in the 10 years prior and 10 years following my time there.

Our program emphatically emphasized training to swim fast, which we did with a purely neuromuscular emphasis during which conditioning "happened." Not one set had an "energy system" focus. We never did a single lactate tolerance set. Also not a single pull or kick set in three seasons.

What we did work on -- at least in the 100 -- was sustainability, which I often say is my focus for long distance open water swimming. In applying this goal to sprinting, our training was consistently focused on developing stroking patterns and race management habits designed to minimize deceleration on the last 25 of the 100.

I got the idea for this after reading, just before I started coaching them, that John Smith had coached Maurice Greene, the American runner, to delay deceleration from the usual 75 meters to 85 meters or later, figuring he would blow by his competition by maintaining his speed as they slowed down. It resulted in a WR and 1996 Olympic championship.

I thought to myself "if they view that as so significant in a race that's over in 9.8 seconds (now 9.69) and happens on land, how huge must the opportunity be in a race that lasts 45 to 55 seconds and happens in water."

That's all mainly food for thought. Here are a couple of specific suggestions for speed work that will help you maintain efficiency.
Swim a series of 25m repeats.
On the odd repeats, swim at your highest efficiency.
On the even repeats, swim at your highest speed.

How much difference in SPL between the two? Can you swim at nearly the same speed in one less SPL? How about in two fewer SPL?

Also how fast can you swim 25m quietly?

If you train in a 25m pool, what is your SPL for highly efficient swimming. Let's assume it's 12 SPL.

It may take a bit of practice to learn to "solve either puzzle" well. After you experiment with these for a bit, I'd be most interested what you learn or how you feel differently as a result.

You might also try this in 50m repeats (also in 25m pool.)
Do a Swim Golf test (add strokes plus seconds for 50m) at 95% speed, 90% and 85%. At which effort/speed do you get the lowest total?
How are your scores affected by doing the series over again, but with a strong focus on swimming more quietly -- including the flip turn?
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  #4  
Old 12-06-2008
jlec jlec is offline
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jlec
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CoachBobM View Post
See whether the following helps:

Start swimming a lap at your medium speed, focusing on balance, hand entry, hip rotation, and body extension just as you normally do, but as you progress through the lap, gradually build your stroke rate, seeing how much you can increase it while still maintaining the same efficient feeling you had at medium speed. Don't push your stroke rate beyond the rate at which you can still stroke efficiently.

As you keep repeating this day after day, you should find that the stroke rate you can reach while maintaining your efficient feeling will gradually improve.


Bob
Hi Bob,
Thanks for the advice. I will try that for sure.

Jerome
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  #5  
Old 12-06-2008
jlec jlec is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 10
jlec
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Hi Terry,
Thank you for the extensive and precise answer. I will follow your advice and will let you know the results.
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  #6  
Old 12-06-2008
jlec jlec is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 10
jlec
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Quote:
Originally Posted by terry View Post
Jerome
I coached the sprinters at West Point (US Military Academy - NCAA Div I) for three years with TI methods and results far superior to what that group accomplished in the 10 years prior and 10 years following my time there.

Our program emphatically emphasized training to swim fast, which we did with a purely neuromuscular emphasis during which conditioning "happened." Not one set had an "energy system" focus. We never did a single lactate tolerance set. Also not a single pull or kick set in three seasons.

What we did work on -- at least in the 100 -- was sustainability, which I often say is my focus for long distance open water swimming. In applying this goal to sprinting, our training was consistently focused on developing stroking patterns and race management habits designed to minimize deceleration on the last 25 of the 100.

I got the idea for this after reading, just before I started coaching them, that John Smith had coached Maurice Greene, the American runner, to delay deceleration from the usual 75 meters to 85 meters or later, figuring he would blow by his competition by maintaining his speed as they slowed down. It resulted in a WR and 1996 Olympic championship.

I thought to myself "if they view that as so significant in a race that's over in 9.8 seconds (now 9.69) and happens on land, how huge must the opportunity be in a race that lasts 45 to 55 seconds and happens in water."

That's all mainly food for thought. Here are a couple of specific suggestions for speed work that will help you maintain efficiency.
Swim a series of 25m repeats.
On the odd repeats, swim at your highest efficiency.
On the even repeats, swim at your highest speed.

How much difference in SPL between the two? Can you swim at nearly the same speed in one less SPL? How about in two fewer SPL?

Also how fast can you swim 25m quietly?

If you train in a 25m pool, what is your SPL for highly efficient swimming. Let's assume it's 12 SPL.

It may take a bit of practice to learn to "solve either puzzle" well. After you experiment with these for a bit, I'd be most interested what you learn or how you feel differently as a result.

You might also try this in 50m repeats (also in 25m pool.)
Do a Swim Golf test (add strokes plus seconds for 50m) at 95% speed, 90% and 85%. At which effort/speed do you get the lowest total?
How are your scores affected by doing the series over again, but with a strong focus on swimming more quietly -- including the flip turn?
A comment on your answer : you never mention alternative breathing as a means of increasing balance while sprinting. Do you imply that it would not help my sprinting ? I tried it but having always breathed on the right side it is a major change in swimming habit for me...
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