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  #1  
Old 07-02-2016
wmeg wmeg is offline
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wmeg
Default So Slow

I swim a lot on my own in open water but occasionally I get to swim with different groups.
I am always one of the slowest swimmers and have to swim flat stick not to be left behind and these are generally not elite swimmers.
I recently had some one on one TI coaching and there was a couple of things to tweak and having attended to those I feel really great in the water but in terms of speed it doesn't seem to do anything.
Swimming by myself it isn't an issue only when I join a group.
The question that I have, is this a general thing among TI swimmers?
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  #2  
Old 07-02-2016
ScoopUK
 
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Were you in a wetsuit? I personally don't find TI as a method of swimming helps me when swimming in a wetsuit. A more shoulder driven stroke with faster turnover works better if your wetsuit offers lots of buoyancy around your hips and legs.

Coach Brett Sutton who has more world champions and olympic medalists in triathlon than any other coach (for example) doesn't even bother teaching people how to be balanced or to feel the water. Every training session incorporates pull buoy and paddles. His philosophy is you can buy balance off the shelf for $300 so why bother wasting time when you could be getting yourself conditioned to swimming 3800 strokes.

This is so un-TI it's probably going to upset some people but check out this video. I've uploaded it to my OneDrive for a while as it's now private on YouTube for some reason. Probably using it as coaching material but I grabbed it while it was public: https://1drv.ms/v/s!At8VkowVsd0j90VZmLyNu85Y0Uoq
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  #3  
Old 07-02-2016
ScoopUK
 
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... obviously the above depends what your goals are. He is of the attitude that triathlon isn't swim, bike, run, it is triathlon so you can't simply adhere to the principles of being a good pure swimmer, good pure cyclist and good pure runner then bolting them together as that doesn't work in multi-sport, especially not if your target for racing involves swimming in open-water with a wetsuit.

I swim more TI-like in the pool as I'm tall with a decent wingspan but I'm not rigid with my stroke. In rough water for example I swim with straight arms to get the arm over the chop into into the water and the pull phase as soon as possible with some momentum.
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  #4  
Old 07-03-2016
wmeg wmeg is offline
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wmeg
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Thanks for your reply @ScoopUK.
Definitely I haven't come across any TI coaches like the guy in the video. Another Aussie ratbag.
Took the message "rhythm and relaxation" into the water this morning and by the end of the swim I seemed to be clipping along. I was in a lake with a 1km course marked by 100m buoys and although windy and choppy I timed some 100ms and it was promising. So focus is on rhythm and relaxation rather than stroke mechanics for the next while.
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  #5  
Old 07-03-2016
ScoopUK
 
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Good stuff. Glad to hear you got something from it. You can tweak the odd thing here and there but being comfortable and feeling like you can sustain it is the most important thing.

I tend to swim somewhat of a lopsided stroke. I breathe only to one side and so I glide more when that hand enters the water whereas on the other side my leading hand isn't so patient and initiates the pull earlier (probably to give me more stability when I breathe). It gives the impression that my stroke is more of a gallop than a rhythmical 1-2, 1-2. To some this is heresy and I must start to breathe bilateral immediately to make my stroke more symmetrical but it's actually very common, even amongst pro pool swimmers.

Basically, don't get so hung up on stroke that it hinders you or detracts from your enjoyment. Also I personally believe 'effortless freestyle' = slow freestyle. It's a myth. You don't get something for nothing.
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  #6  
Old 07-04-2016
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CoachStuartMcDougal CoachStuartMcDougal is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wmeg View Post
I swim a lot on my own in open water but occasionally I get to swim with different groups.

I am always one of the slowest swimmers and have to swim flat stick not to be left behind and these are generally not elite swimmers.

I recently had some one on one TI coaching and there was a couple of things to tweak and having attended to those I feel really great in the water but in terms of speed it doesn't seem to do anything.

Swimming by myself it isn't an issue only when I join a group.
The question that I have, is this a general thing among TI swimmers?
Hi wmeg,

After being coached and you felt great in the water - what felt great? Be as specific as you can. Also - were you (are you) swimming at the same speed feeling great in the water? Given the new feeling in the water - what did you discover that was not so great or causing you problems before seeking coaching?

Stuart
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  #7  
Old 07-05-2016
wmeg wmeg is offline
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wmeg
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Thanks for your reply,
The reason that I had a coaching session was that after swimming in open water for some months and on returning to the pool I saw that I had a high stroke count compared to my green zone which should be 14-18.
I was in the low twenties and I reasoned that this must be why I was so slow to others that I swim with.
I thought that I needed to work on this so I got the latest of Terry's material and went through step by step which gave me marginal improvement.
After that I went for coaching and there were some hip drive issues which I believe I have fixed and with extreme focus I could make 18 SPL but not consistently.
Back in open water now and the other day did a time trial where I did 2k in an hour even though I felt my stroke was good. By this means that I go through the water easily with little wasted effort and splash and can easily do 3-4 km.
For the last couple of days I have upped my stroke rate, swim with more rhythm and try to take any pauses out of my stroke and according to Mr Garmin my 100 rate for yesterdays swim averaged out to 2:7.
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  #8  
Old 07-05-2016
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CoachStuartMcDougal CoachStuartMcDougal is offline
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Hi wmeg,

Thanks for more details.

If you're swimming 2000m in roughly an hour, that puts you around 3min/100m. Hip drive focus won't help you much at this phase, only stability or stabilizing your vessel to swim in the smallest drag profile. You must be dragging hips through the water, drag profile is huge at 3 min 100m pace

At 18 SPL, what tempo range are you working in? Do you use a tempo trainer?

Stuart
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  #9  
Old 07-05-2016
wmeg wmeg is offline
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wmeg
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thanks for your interest CoachStuart, my TT is broken but previously at 1.0 I can do 1:50 in the pool.
I am swimming in a suit and feet are nice and high and I feel very stabled so I don't know why the drag would be so high. Some video would be very helpful in diagnosing the problem.

Warren
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  #10  
Old 07-05-2016
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CoachStuartMcDougal CoachStuartMcDougal is offline
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Ahh - ok, 1:50/100m sounds much better. That's actually a better than average pace (and streamline) for triathletes. It's pretty hard to swim 3min/100m - a lot of wasted effort, certainly not effortless. So possibly the 2000m in an hour includes rest?

A 1:50 pace at a tempo of 1.0 or 60spm would put you around 22-23 SPL in 25m pool - assuming a 5m glide off the wall. Is this where you were before coaching? If not, what changed?

You noted you are swimming in a suit - wetsuit?

Stuart
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