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  #1  
Old 03-01-2012
andyinnorway andyinnorway is offline
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andyinnorway
Default Why should Stroke timing be symmetrical - TT Implications

We are all fans of the TT training and how useful it is to get good metrics on our swimming but since I find it easier to get better times without it I question if a 100% symmetrical stroke timing is desirable or is this a limitation of the TT?

Whichever side we breath to, whether bilaterally or not requires our brains and bodies to perform a more complicated function than on a non breathing stroke. Therefore is not true 'symmetry' allowing the body time per stroke according to the complication of the task?

Even if this is only a matter of boosting the time on a breathing stroke by 5% for an efficient swimmer, if the task is not the same why give them the same time? either one side is getting too little time or one is getting too much? at least compared to what the body would naturally allocate?

Forcing the body to perform rigidly against the TT can disrupt a more fluid natural rhythm?
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  #2  
Old 03-01-2012
tomoy tomoy is offline
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I need to, and will get a tempo trainer soon. But my procrastination comes from the resentment a metronome had on me when a young musician. This begs the question, is swimming an art?

Beethoven often damned the metronome, but was also a pioneer of its use in his scores. So I suspect I will use it, resent it, and still use it, as everyone's experience says it improves their swim.

Perhaps a bit of rubato should be allowed to account for the asymmetry you speak of - or maybe a lot of time with the nodding drill?

:-P
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  #3  
Old 03-01-2012
CoachSuzanne CoachSuzanne is offline
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TT @ 1.15 & SPL of 14/15 in a 25 yard pool creates seamless breathing for me...any delay or hesitation in the stroke would actually make it more stressful.

The timing of the breathing and the execution of it does change as the overall speed of swimming changes...but it only continues to get easier. I wouldn't want to handicap my future progress by allowing a breathing stroke to get more time than a non-breathing stroke...it's only going to allow for additional decelleration, or in the case of some people, additional sinking.

Certainly you can choose not to be symmetric, but I'd hold it up as an aspirational standard that will allow you to make unimpeded forward progress.

My Im wordy tonight.
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  #4  
Old 03-02-2012
Ghul Ghul is offline
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You could set your TT to a stroke cycle rather than the time for a single arm stroke (so 2.8 rather than 1.4 say)...

If the TT is causing you to rush your breathing stroke to keep up with it then that is bad but it may be revealing a flaw in your breathing technique.
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  #5  
Old 03-02-2012
swim2Bfree swim2Bfree is offline
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One option might be to double the TT tempo so it beats for every stroke cycle (2 strokes) rather than every stroke. Then you can be as asymmetrical as you want.

At sub-anaerobic speeds, though, properly executed breathing shouldn't be a hindrance to symmetry.
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  #6  
Old 03-02-2012
CoachNoel CoachNoel is offline
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Default Tempo Interuped by TT?

I believe the TT forces us to realize that breathing has the potential to alter our swim stroke. I've found this to be almost universally true for swimmers progressing through the TI lessons. I think your description is accurate: at first, breathing is a 'complicated function'.

However, you may be confusing the learning progression from the end goal. While a swimmer is in the learning mode, "the breathing stroke may require accommodation". However, for the accomplished swimmer, breathing is seamless to the swim stroke and does not change the swim stroke in any way beyond just turning the head. The timing is not altered.

So yes, while you are progressing, the breathing stroke may require 5% more time and at first this may not be symmetrical timing. You have accurately described the learning curve for all swimmers. Our brains and bodies are required to perform a more complicated function when we add a new skill. The good news is that our brains and bodies can adapt and learn the new skill when we know the desired result.

So my point is, lets not stall at a rough spot in the learning progression. You are now midway in learning progressing to 'seamless' breathing. You just want to progress to the place where breathing does not alter you swim stroke in any way.

I recommend you not force yourself to perform rigidly against the TT at this point. After you've mastered the seamless stroke, the TT will be a good check to know when you have arrived.
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  #7  
Old 03-02-2012
andyinnorway andyinnorway is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CoachNoel View Post
I believe the TT forces us to realize that breathing has the potential to alter our swim stroke. I've found this to be almost universally true for swimmers progressing through the TI lessons. I think your description is accurate: at first, breathing is a 'complicated function'.

However, you may be confusing the learning progression from the end goal. While a swimmer is in the learning mode, "the breathing stroke may require accommodation". However, for the accomplished swimmer, breathing is seamless to the swim stroke and does not change the swim stroke in any way beyond just turning the head. The timing is not altered.

So yes, while you are progressing, the breathing stroke may require 5% more time and at first this may not be symmetrical timing. You have accurately described the learning curve for all swimmers. Our brains and bodies are required to perform a more complicated function when we add a new skill. The good news is that our brains and bodies can adapt and learn the new skill when we know the desired result.

So my point is, lets not stall at a rough spot in the learning progression. You are now midway in learning progressing to 'seamless' breathing. You just want to progress to the place where breathing does not alter you swim stroke in any way.

I recommend you not force yourself to perform rigidly against the TT at this point. After you've mastered the seamless stroke, the TT will be a good check to know when you have arrived.
Perfect answer thanks
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  #8  
Old 03-03-2012
Golden Rectangle Golden Rectangle is offline
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Default Breathing should be fun

I struggled with this for ages, and I think that most novice swimmers do.

You might try breathing a little earlier in the stroke, think of it as turning to breathe at the beginning of the stroke 'shift.' If you wait until the rotation has fully shifted your torso, it will feel slightly more 'natural' but it is probably what is slowing you down.

Your head should be turning for air as the non-breathing arm is still extending, and your face should be going back down, in time with the breathing arm coming forward again.

Challenge yourself to take the breath lower, one goggle, and focus on fully exhaling before your mouth clears the surface, so that you are only inhaling. Many of us waste valuable time because we are still exhaling when we come up to breathe, and have to wait to get the next breath in.

My breathing improved immensely when I extended the laser head idea to the full length of the pool, a laser beam of energy running from one wall to the other, right through my feet, belly and head, all I had to do was rotate to breathe without breaking the edge of the beam, suddenly the breaths were quick, low and effortless. With practice I am starting to take shallower, more relaxed breaths, not trying to pull in 5 gallons of air every time. Which of course is also making this easier, and faster.

The other problem, it seems to me with asymmetrical stroke timing, is that it has to throw us off of a straight line. Whatever we are doing in our stroke, if we are doing more of it to one side than the other, we are going to start swimming in circles.
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  #9  
Old 03-03-2012
Richardsk Richardsk is offline
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I remember reading somewhere that we all walk in circles if we have no points of reference ( as in snow or a featureless desert), and this is probably true of swimming, too. I certainly found that I swam backstroke in rather small circles when I tried it in the sea a few years ago. I also have a very stubborn tendency to swim into the lane ropes in a swimming pool and had to receive first aid for a cut hand at my last gala after banging it on one of those wave-reducing jobs. Breathing to the right (my not so good side) seems to make the problem worse, so there is obviously something to work on there.
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  #10  
Old 03-03-2012
andyinnorway andyinnorway is offline
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andyinnorway
Default Still not convinced

Just watched the british olympic trials at the new aquacentre and apart from the super good specialist freestylers there was evidence of much longer stroke on the streamlined side (i.e. non breathing).

I have also seen this a lot on any masters footage I have found on you tube.

I feel there is something of a gain in lopsiding the stroke that doesn't bring about a comprimise until a very senior level.

It was really obvious on the 4x100IM and these guys are still shifting.
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