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  #11  
Old 07-22-2015
Richardsk Richardsk is offline
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Any relation to the famous chess master O'Kelly de Galway, who may have been French, like Marshall McMahon.

No. He was Belgian.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alb%C3...elly_de_Galway

These Irish get everywhere. ;-)
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  #12  
Old 07-23-2015
Tom Pamperin Tom Pamperin is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by POK View Post
The link below is the only video of my stroke I managed to get my hands on. It is from a continuous 5km crossing.
Does anyone else see a pause in the stroke as the elbow and hand of my left arm exit the water? Or is it the angle of the video. I don't perceive this pause when I'm swimming. Also, I'd like some comment on my hand entry please.
I don't think I see a pause in the stroke. I do see a little asymmetry--the right arm recovery looks a bit more hand-led than the left, with a noticeably lower elbow. That's probably because you're breathing to only one side (and why I like to breathe to both).

Do you ever do long swims with bilateral breathing? I bet that would give you the chance to move to a higher elbow, elbow lead for the right hand.

Otherwise, it looks great. And 1.04 is a pretty fast SR--way faster than me, that's for sure. How was the Swim Treks trip? Where did you all go?
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  #13  
Old 07-23-2015
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CoachStuartMcDougal CoachStuartMcDougal is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by POK View Post
The link below is the only video of my stroke I managed to get my hands on. It is from a continuous 5km crossing.

Does anyone else see a pause in the stroke as the elbow and hand of my left arm exit the water? Or is it the angle of the video. I don't perceive this pause when I'm swimming. Also, I'd like some comment on my hand entry please.
The video quality isn't great I know. So before head position comes up, I take 15 strokes breathing left, then switch to right.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=utR3RkmeRc4

Paraic
Hi Paraic,

You have a terrific and very fluid - hip driven stroke. I get you at a 1.1(ish) tempo 55spm in the video. Nice tracks and recovery entry, great extension, head position and no lifting head to breathe, really nice. Looks like you have a 4bk, 3kicks on right edge when breathing toward left shoulder, and 1 kick rotating to left edge. There is a slight hesitation in your left recovery, it's very subtle. This looks to be caused by a slightly late breath off the left shoulder. Again this is a very subtle lateness, but doesn't take much to cause an interruption in recovery. Use the focal point "chin follows shoulder" (not chin chases shoulder) to air - think get air with the shoulder and should help remove the slight delay.

Nice work, damn beautiful stroke - keep up the good work!

Stuart
www.mindbodyandswim.net
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  #14  
Old 07-23-2015
POK POK is offline
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Thank you for your input guys.

Tom, you are right - non breathing arm does not have the same recovery as breathing arm, and could be more elbow lead. The 5km crossing was a good chance to work on different things and one of them was left side breathing. I am mainly a right side breather, but even the last few seconds of the video when I start breathing to the right you can see that the left recovery is lower also. Good points to work on, thank you.
We went to the Greek Sporades swimming around Alonnisos, Skopelos and "the 2 brothers" among others.

Stuart, thank you for the input and compliment. Another thing I wanted to try on that crossing was a different kick. In the pool I am sometimes aware that I lose momentum during breathing stroke with a 2bk. So I just wanted to give it a shot. I quite liked it, it was more of a soft kick to maintain stability/maintain momentum than to increase speed.
Perhaps you can also lend your expertise to another point. I don't think it's so visible in the video due to quality, but while I am breathing on the left side the left arm does not initiate catch until the right arm is almost entering the water which is closer to catch-up than I would like (and maybe why I perceive I am losing momentum?). The right arm initiates catch earlier than this while I am left side breathing. Any advice on how to fix this?
I may not be rotating to the same degree on left as on right as I don't have the problem breathing right side.

Many thanks,

Paraic
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  #15  
Old 07-23-2015
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Hi Paraic,

You are very much in the front quadrant on both breathing and non breathing strokes. By "front quadrant" I mean both arms are in the lower quadrant (in water) as you initiate the switch (rotation). If you draw a horizontal line through your head/spine/hips, then a vertical line (90 degs to the horizontal line) through the center of your head separating body into four equal boxes or quadrants, the front quadrant is the front lower box in water. This is often mistaken for "catch up" since catch up or like catch up is really stopping both hands in front, followed by pulling to rotation.

The "catch" is also an overloaded term since it really starts at shaping the arm for max grip and leverage as recovery arm moves forward. The front quadrant position is where you engage the large muscle groups of the core (the lats) and are in the best position for maximum grip and leverage - and hold an arm full (not just a palm full) of water

It looks like, and this is very subtle too, on your left shoulder breath you right arm pulls quicker and are slipping a bit. This is a response to an imbalance due to the late breath. The body doesn't like being in that position, right lead arm triggers by pulling to get you out of it. Getting the breath early with the shoulder will turn off the "pulling" trigger.

Re: Kick. I often use the 4bk in lumpy conditions too and like you said it's for stability preparing for the breath, but only when it feels necessary. Being that you can switch at will between 2bk, 4bk and 6bk your kick timing is timed with rotation connecting the the whole body, platform very stable and balanced - you can swim long distances at a consistent pace. Awesome! I'll look for you to do the EC, Catalina. MIMS in the near future :-)

Stuart
www.mindbodyandswim.net
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  #16  
Old 07-24-2015
POK POK is offline
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Thanks again for the advice Stuart. The left side breathing problem is indeed subtle, but from "following the shoulder" during practice the last 2 days I think I perceive it to be more smooth and fluid. I'll have to get someone to look at it to confirm.
Not sure about any of the big 3 yet. As per my first post in this thread, the goal is to go sub-20 minutes for a 1500m.
If all goes to plan I'll swim 10km and 15km races early next year and then Lake Zurich in July.

Paraic
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  #17  
Old 07-29-2015
POK POK is offline
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Still struggling to adapt to pool swimming after the week of open water swimming, specifically timing issues. For the past week and a bit I have been doing only drill-swim type practices.
Today however, felt far better overall and I am looking forward to kicking on from this tomorrow.

Today practice: restoration & stroke mechanics
LCM
WU 6x100m as always.
8x50 FR drill-swim FR. The first 2 I did only light kick with arms outstretched & single arm outstretched to make sure I had correct balance. Remainder concentrate on hand moving straight back after entry and on hip rotation, keeping legs in the shadow of my body.

Tune: 10x50 TT 1.05 - 0.93 by 0.04, decrease by 0.02

Main 1: broken 400's, rest 15s between broken 400m, rest 45s between rounds

400: moderate pace, perfect technique. Around 1.2 tempo
300 + 100: increase pace, focus on lengthening each stroke. Around 1.15 tempo
2 x 200: increase pace, focus on hand entry. Around 1.10 tempo
4 x 100: increase pace, focus on following shoulder to breathe. Around 1.05 tempo

400 swim down various.

Total: 3500m

The last few days were frustrating as I cannot explain the sudden disappearance of my timing. Today was encouraging, and from tomorrow I think I will concentrate mainly on tempo's between 1.10 and 1.05 until I am satisfied executing repeats at this level.

Looking forward to comments & suggestions.

Thanks

Paraic
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  #18  
Old 08-13-2015
AWP AWP is offline
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POK
Just now reviewing this thread and enjoyed seeing your process, thanks for sharing it and your practices.

I'll share a bit of my last pool practice in this regard, and although brief (approx. 40-45 min.) produced a good sense of efficiency.

I tasked myself to take no more than +1 of my initial repeat during tune-up, and improve on it especially if I felt it a bit high for this exercise.

Tuesday August 11 @ Y indoor 25yd pool
I began with a 200FR w/u followed by 4x100FR t/u and then rounds of 4x50s FR @ each tempo setting... 50BK between rounds.

4x50s @
TT 1.05... :40
TT 1.07... :40
TT 1.09... :40 *here I dropped one stroke!
TT 1.08... :40 * here I kept glimpsing :39 and so decided to tick up tempo by .01 on fourth repeat
TT 1.07... :39! *and stroke count remained!
Next I returned to starting tempo
TT 1.05... :39 * and stroke count remained!
With time running I sensed I'd played this card out so I up tempo by .04 for one repeat
TT 1.01... :38 *and stoke count remained within +1!
Back to starting tempo for next three repeats to see if any 'magic' occurred and...
TT 1.05... :39 *and no real magic but held on to my stroke count and time from last round @ this tempo for an easier repeat average, done!

Warmed down with 1x100 BK/FR

I never took more than 14spl for the entire practice!(w/u and t/u were @ 12-13spl) A big confidence builder and good marker going forward.
I like practicing at the lower end of my range, not to advocate swimming at low stroke counts, but find that I benefit from it going into longer more demanding practices and swims, allowing for more efficient, speedier and 'easier' swimming.
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  #19  
Old 08-27-2015
POK POK is offline
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Hi AWP,

Thanks for your input. I've been neglecting this thread for the past while, but not the swimming.
In fact, I had a change of tactic slightly over the last few weeks. I got some good advice to help me out of a rut I was stuck in concerning improvement in distance per stroke, times, effort & reward. A summary of it:

1) Be hyper attentive to drag any place you can find it: head position, splay of legs as you kick (drag component vs propulsive force), cleanliness of rotation, posture.
- I realised I have a little fishtailing when my kick isn't useful, stability wise or propulsion wise. Spent some time correcting this over several practices.

2) Tinker with timing: the relationship of lead arm to recovery arm changes as tempo increases or decreases.
- After a fair bit of practice and experiment with this it was clear that my stroke timing was well honed for tempo's around 1.00, but not appropriate for faster tempo. Still a work in progress, but slowly getting to a timing I'm happier with and feeling less taxed because of it.

3) Swim outside your comfort zone on shorter repeats. You may find that you can manage 50s on fairly short rest while holding your mechanics mostly together at faster tempos. Don't worry that you can't sustain these tempo/stroke count combos on longer swims yet. Stick to the 25s, 50s, 75s, maybe 100s until you adjust to :02-:05 faster than your current best tempo.

4) Don't be afraid to go fast. What may seem fast and sloppy is often just "unfamiliar." The feeling that you've abandoned your skill set doesn't always mean you HAVE abandoned it. Sometimes it just means your body is unaccustomed to how reliable mechanics feel at higher intensities.

I was grateful for the advice for 2 reasons. The first is that it re-iterated where to turn when one reaches a plateau. The 2nd was that I was overly aware of the perceived effort during practice. So, I'll say it gave me a kick in the behind to get after it.

With all this in mind, recent practices on the whole have been learning/refinement orientated, much harder in places, and rewarding. There have been failures too; and days when I didn't feel up to it at all.

2 recent practices:

The 1st:

6x100 WU
8x50 drill-swim

10x50 tune up

Main:
5 x (3x100 with TT + 1 x 100 active recovery, ignore TT)
TT1.03 - 1.00, and 0.98 on the last.
Rest 10 between 3x100's, rest only enough to change TT after recovery.

A few 100's mixed SD.

It was pretty hard on little rest, but form and stroke counts remained consistent. I learned that I need to be conscious of my breath timing EVEN MORE when I get tired because it falters and I start to breathe too late.

The 2nd:
same WU, drill-swim, tune up

Main:
3 rounds of (8 x (75m with TT + 25m active recovery, ignore TT))
TT0.99,
TT0.97,
TT0.95
There was no rest, take just enough to change TT between rounds.

A few 100's SD.
This was tough and I was knackered after it. But my reward was I haven't felt so connected in the water in a long time in terms of my profile, kick timing, rotation and breathing. And stroke counts held up very well over 75m.

Spent each Saturday over the past few weeks doing only the WU and easy lengths for about 45mins - long stroke, perfect technique etc etc.

Paraic
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  #20  
Old 08-28-2015
AWP AWP is offline
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Paraic
We must be twins!
I could have written those same sentiments and likewise practice similarly.
I totally agree with and have experienced similar nuances while practicing especially your comment on the breath and stroke timings.
I've been hard pressed to get any consistency in practice time (work/family) but have maintained rrcent 'efficiencies'.
In my last go, my main set consisted of a re-visit of rounds of 3x100s (scy) with the TT.
I kept tempo range pretty close as I focused to draw out all those nuances you mentioned in hope of improving "effortlessly" (remembering that to become truly "effortless" takes great effort).
My tempo range was between 1.07 and 1.01 for this exercise and kept me well within my spl range too; this pleased me most. My task going forward, to become comfortable at higher tempo rates and spls and hold same efficiency; duh.
I swam 50BK as active rest between each repeat and round. My times improved from 1:25 @ 1.07 tempo to 1:21@ 1.01 tempo, so happy with improved times while staying within my stroke efficiency range.
Eager to 'hear' more...

Best
Alan

P.S. happy to go over any specifics...always
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