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  #31  
Old 12-30-2010
terry terry is offline
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Aero
The positive emotions are unquestionably important. I may need to find a clearer way to express this, but motivation to swim faster, and the way we respond to it, often comes from an emotionally needy place, a sense of frustration or inadequacy.
As Katie articulated so well in her post, the fact that TI provides a logical rationale for its practice methods, and shows multiple concrete ways of measuring your progress, of linking efforts to outcomes, makes it empowering and satisfying.
I'll find a place to distinguish between positive and unproductive emotions.
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May your laps be as happy as mine.

My TI Story
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  #32  
Old 12-30-2010
terry terry is offline
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Default Chapter Six

Chapter Six
How to Not Slow Down


The most dramatic and memorable race at the 2008 Olympics was the final leg of the Mens’ 4 x 100 Free relay between Jason Lezak of the U.S. and Alain Barnard of France. Barnard held the 100-meter world record. Three days later he would win Olympic gold in the 100 meters.

Barnard began the final 100 with a body-length lead and increased it to .82 seconds when he swam the first 50 in 21.27 seconds – a hundredth of a second faster than the world record for 50 meters. Barnard was clearly not suffering from an inability to Go Fast. But he was about to experience the highest-profile Slowing Down problem in swimming history, with its consequences witnessed by a global audience in the hundreds of millions and likely to be talked about for decades.

Make up more than eight-tenths of a second? In 50 meters? Against the world record holder? Improbable, but Lezak somehow closed the gap, reaching the wall a fingernail ahead (and kept alive Michael Phelps’s shot at 8 gold medals.)

Describing Lezak’s swim as herculean barely does it justice, but there’s another description that can help the rest of us ‘crack the code’ of our own speed potential. That description is mathematical. The most revealing way to understand a swim of any speed or pace is via the math of Stroke Length and Stroke Rate.

All of us saw Lezak creeping up on Barnard, but few of us understood how. Even Lezak said afterward "I don't know how I was able to take it back that fast.” But the Math of Speed offers a very simple and clear explanation.

The Math of Speed is based on this equation: V = SL x SR. Velocity equals Stroke Length – how far you travel on each stroke – multiplied by Stroke Rate – how fast or frequently you take them. This equation represents the only path to greater speed that offers absolute predictability. When you work the math effectively, your speed is guaranteed. Any other way of trying to swim fast is just guesswork.

Just as elites can offer us valuable insights by showing us that disappointing results are virtually always due to a Slowing Down problem, they point us toward the best solution when we analyze how they slow down.

V = SL x SR is similar to a more familiar equation V = L x W. The Volume of a square equals Length times Width. Without both Length and Width, all you have is a line. Without Length and Rate, no speed. If one increases and the other decreases similarly, speed is unchanged. If one increases and the other decreases more, you go slower. Those patterns determine winners and losers in swim races.

Elite swimmers (like everyone else) stroke faster in the latter stages of the race. Some of this increase in Stroke Rate is intentional but a lot just happens. As Rate increases, strokes become a little rougher, the water a bit more turbulent. Lungs burn, muscles falter, hands slip. Strokes are faster, but shorter too. Whoever does a better job of maintaining Stroke Length will win.

As Eddie Reese said, the swimmer who slows the least in the last 25 of 100-meter races will win. They do that by holding Stroke Length better than others. In the 1500 meters as well, everyone strokes faster as the finish approaches . Also-rans lose Length and either maintain the same pace or slow down. Winners pull away by holding Stroke Length better than others.
One the climactic lap of the Olympic 4 x 100, Barnard swam the final 50 meters in 25.4 seconds and 46 strokes, Lezak in 24.5 seconds and 34 strokes. Discounting pushoff here are Stroke Length (in meters per stroke) and Stroke Rate (in strokes per second) for each:

Stroke Rate Barnard 1. 8 Lezak 1.4
Stroke Length Lezak 1.5 Barnard 1.1

Barnard was stroking 24 percent faster than Lezak, but Lezak traveled 36 percent farther on each stroke. Barnard was mostly moving water around with his strokes. Lezak passed him and won the race because his strokes were moving him forward.

So the winning strategy – and the secret to speed – is unquestionably to create and maintain Stroke Length. The reason why swimming fast is so difficult is that Length is devilishly hard, while Rate is sinfully easy. Increasing Stroke Rate is a universal, emotional and almost overpowering instinct. Increasing (and maintaining) Stroke Length is an oncommon, strategic, and rational choice.
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Terry Laughlin
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May your laps be as happy as mine.

My TI Story

Last edited by terry : 12-30-2010 at 10:09 PM.
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  #33  
Old 12-31-2010
Grant Grant is offline
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[quote=terry;15831]The positive emotions are unquestionably important. I may need to find a clearer way to express this, but motivation to swim faster, and the way we respond to it, often comes from an emotionally needy place, a sense of frustration or inadequacy.

Very wise observation Terry. When motivation comes from a needy place it is very often soon replaced with an opposing or different need.
Motivation arising from a journey towards mastery, from an experience of wholeness, will have a much smoother, enjoyable pathway.
Happy New Year everyone.
May we swim with ease at the speeds we choose.
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May we swim with ease at the speeds we choose.
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  #34  
Old 12-31-2010
Richardsk Richardsk is offline
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Terry

Pardon my pedantry but the French swimmer you are talking about is Alain Bernard, not Alain Barnard. I do believe I've heard him called Barnard on a video commentary, which may be the source of the error.

Here's a link to his Facebook page:

http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Ala...e/266798238157
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  #35  
Old 12-31-2010
splashingpat splashingpat is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richardsk View Post
Terry

Pardon my pedantry but the French swimmer you are talking about is Alain Bernard, not Alain Barnard. I do believe I've heard him called Barnard on a video commentary, which may be the source of the error.

Here's a link to his Facebook page:

http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Ala...e/266798238157


ped·ant·ry
   /ˈpɛdntri/ Show Spelled[ped-n-tree] Show IPA
–noun, plural -ries.
1.
the character, qualities, practices, etc., of a pedant, esp. undue display of learning.
2.
slavish attention to rules, details, etc.
3.
an instance of being pedantic: the pedantries of modern criticism.


why is that swimmer pointing at that swimmers butt!
i guess he was pointing out the tiny details in his swimmers trunks...
they were truly enjoying themselves too!

slavish attention to detailing!
and always learning from Richards Post!
why wouldn't i be learning ... :) i hope your still learning too!
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  #36  
Old 12-31-2010
johnny.widen johnny.widen is offline
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Default What about complementary exercises

Terry,
reading your interesting chapters and your recent blogs it seems like the best training is by various series of full stroke swimming. Now I am wondering wether you recommend any complementary training like weight lifting? Last year I got a training program from our university fitness coach when I asked him for some exercises tuned for swimming. By, various reasons I haven't used that program for a lengthy period and I now wonder if it is time to start over using it to prepare for next years challenges. It is weight lifting done with modern training machines.

I also used to do Pliates and I recently read the Therese Alshammar changed her training from weight lifting to Pilates and that she thought that was one of the secrets behind her recent success.

-- Johnny
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  #37  
Old 12-31-2010
Rhoda Rhoda is offline
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I'm following this with interest. I joined a Masters swim club here mainly for social reasons - new city, don't know anyone - and find the one workout that I do with them frustrating. There's little warm-up, certainly not enough for a 52 year old. (The older I get, the longer it takes me to warm up.) We're expected to all be on the same point in the workout at the same time, but this assumes that everyone is the same speed for every stroke. So I fall way behind on kick lengths and overtake on front crawl sprint lengths and frequently don't have a clue why it is I'm no longer in sync with the others after starting with them.

Perhaps the most frustrating thing of all is that it is a "workout". No technique work at all. There are a few people who show up for this session who can barely swim. They are advised to put a pool noodle under their hips to keep their legs from sinking and wear fins. That's about it. I gave one of my older T.I. books to one of them, but I don't know if he's read it or gotten anything from it yet. He's a 20-something male, so working hard and getting strong are going to seem more logical to him, I suspect.

Maybe I should just show up for the coffee and donuts afterwards and do my swimming elsewhere. :-D
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  #38  
Old 12-31-2010
Lawrence Lawrence is offline
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Sounds very like the club that use my local pool, Rhoda. Lots of orders barked from a coach, generally limited to specifying stroke and distance, and lots of slightly clueless conversation among club members when resting between sets. I often arrive as they are finishing and am always tempted to ask them: what are you lot actually doing?
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  #39  
Old 01-01-2011
Rhoda Rhoda is offline
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Well, I must admit, in addition to the social aspect, I was secretly hoping to learn some tips for getting faster. I don't think it's going to happen. These people all come from a traditional swim club background, so I don't think they know of any other way to train. Perhaps I should advertise in the paper for fellow T.I. enthusiasts and people interested in trying T.I., and see if we can get together on a casual basis to help each other train. There must be a few in town somewhere.
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  #40  
Old 01-01-2011
Patricia Patricia is offline
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Default The Grownup's book to swimming faster

Pat TI Coach Melbourne

I am glad to see that swimming fast and happiness have been linked as that to me is a feeling many experience. Going fast is fun.

When talking about age in chapter 3 you mention that adults who begin swimming in adulthood will benefit more from neuro motor training . I presume that would be because they do not have years of swimming under their belt and have an existing entrenched motor pattern for swimming that has to be unlearnt. Are you going to address the process of unlearning motor patterns ?

Many do not have the willpower just to stop swimming the way they always have and concentrate exclusively on the new. Does anyone have any tips to help swimmers in this transitional stage?
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