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  #1  
Old 04-28-2016
Streak Streak is offline
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Streak
Default Personal best 100 yards. Thanks Stuart!

I had the pleasure for a second time joining Stuart and Tomoy during one of their coaching sessions in LA last night. Tomoy in the pool helping with demonstrations and Stuart on the side doing his stuff.

There were quite a bunch of folks of all levels at the session.
We covered a few things but the one that bought me a few more seconds was stroking back with the correct arm after the push off from the wall.

When doing a turn I understand that one's body should be at a 45 degrees after the push off from the wall. As you approach the surface one of the outstretched arms will be on the low side and one will be on the high side. Old wisdom was to bring the low side arm forward first.
Stuart had Tom demonstrate last night how doing this almost causes a pause and a bit of a wake in the water. However when bringing the high side arm forward first it was a far more natural with a nice continuity of movement as ones body flattened out.

I don't do tumble turns but still got some benefit from this technique and we believe that this is where I gained a few seconds dropping my 100 time to 1:27!! Some of the other finer points pointed out by Stuart no doubt contributed as well and I left with a better understanding of DSP vs SPL vs perceived effort.

Thanks again to both Stuart and Tom!

Last edited by Streak : 04-29-2016 at 05:37 AM.
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Old 04-29-2016
descending descending is offline
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The reason it can cause a pause is almost certainly done to the delay in the pull of the stroke you are using. I physically cannot use the high arm it will pull air on my break out stroke if I pull from that high side.

I can see how this would work well with TI's stroke though glad it worked for you. Just don't be surprised if you ever mess with stroke timing that your high side breakout stroke goes 'whifffffffff'! This is just one of those things you might find out if you get to racing in a short course pool that walls are where races are won. The longer the race they less racy the action becomes for sure, but Masters racing is won and lost on the walls just like with elites. I lose about 3 feet every stinking turn to the guy that leads lane 1 as I'm in lane 2. His catch is just a little earlier and more effective than mine out front and that fraction of a second he is on the power where I'm still dropping my arm into position costs me huge. We are pretty much dead even b/t the flags, but over a 500 he beats me consistently by about 20 yards. Long course we have great battles.

Last edited by descending : 04-29-2016 at 12:21 PM.
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  #3  
Old 04-29-2016
ti97
 
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Streak here's one of my favorites from Emmett Hines http://www.h2oustonswims.org/article..._position.html

descending >> seen this one? http://www.h2oustonswims.org/article..._the_oafs.html
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Old 04-29-2016
descending descending is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ti97 View Post
Streak here's one of my favorites from Emmett Hines http://www.h2oustonswims.org/article..._position.html

descending >> seen this one? http://www.h2oustonswims.org/article..._the_oafs.html
Oh yes I not only know who Emmett is I've met him! Great swim mind. Short course swimming IS so dependent on solid wall work it's to scratch podiums. Solid turns, streamlines and break outs just have to be worked on all the time. I turn 50 soon and I fight father time the flexibility goes away if we don't keep after it!
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Old 04-29-2016
ti97
 
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descending....just got back from the pool....this thread was a great motivator for me today to "assume the position".....I really could make up some time against the much faster USS age-groupers training in there....but they still skunked me....I got 15 yrs on you btw
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  #6  
Old 04-29-2016
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CoachStuartMcDougal CoachStuartMcDougal is offline
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Hi Joel!

You're welcome! It was great having you out again with the squad - you have improved tremendously since the last time I (we) saw you. Stop by more often!

The jump and flight off the wall, holding a line and tone body is not only great practice for those that race but also adding your skill of balance from middle. Holding that line swimmers will discover flaws in balance since the hands and feet want to move to stabilize the vessel. You did the flight on your right and left edges with face down (off of your stomach). You can also do face up (off your back); push off on your edge, appx 45 degs rotation, face up - and hold that same line. Practicing all of the flight positions (360 degs of them) will build a whole new neural library of balance from the core.

The high side arm start is pretty amazing isn't it? The high side arm start carries the velocity of the flight off the wall to the surface and the first stroke from the hip you easily see (and feel) a surge forward. Starting with the low side arm (pull) you felt the deceleration, like stepping of the brakes. From the deck I see it in the wake as the body exits: high side arm start, narrow V-shaped wake; low side arm start (pull) - wide, bowl shaped wake where velocity is lost, vessel decelerates. It's important to do both so the swimmer feels the deceleration from the low side pull verses the surge in speed from the high side arm start from hip - no deceleration. And it's FUN! :-)

@ Ti97. Those are great pieces from Emmit. He underscores the importance, as well as art and science of the approach, turn, jump, flight and exit whether or not you are racing. And he's right - too often we ignore this 1/3 of our swim in a pool which can set us up for great strokes or not so great strokes for the remaining length.

Stuart
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Old 04-29-2016
descending descending is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ti97 View Post
descending....just got back from the pool....this thread was a great motivator for me today to "assume the position".....I really could make up some time against the much faster USS age-groupers training in there....but they still skunked me....I got 15 yrs on you btw
Keep after it! Walls are something you get to practice a lot in a short course pool so make the best use of them. You really will be surprised where you are in a month if you treat every wall with the thought it deserves. Fast snappy turns(when done quickly they will tax your core), tight coil on the wall, explosive off the wall, tight streamline. The rest of the things from there on our might not fit what you are trying to do, but I'd think all the aforementioned would.

I'm assuming you are breathing on that high side pull right off the wall? That's where we'd differ I don't breathe on the first stroke on the break out, but I will breathe on the 2nd stroke and when I'm really tuckered I will throw some 2:3 breathing in when I need more air.
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Old 04-29-2016
ti97
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by descending View Post

I'm assuming you are breathing on that high side pull right off the wall? That's where we'd differ I don't breathe on the first stroke on the break out, but I will breathe on the 2nd stroke and when I'm really tuckered I will throw some 2:3 breathing in when I need more air.
No, not on first pull.....I do an open turn usually all the time....

so I breathe on the 2nd or 3rd stroke off the wall to try maintaining a streamline.....but after a set of breast transitioning to free, I have to swim a few lengths with 3 breaths to one side then alternate to 3 breaths on the other

Like Streak said -- it's all about a PERSONAL best....the clock is there for mostly me to get in and out of the water....my best part of the day (for many, many years) is right after swimming...

Streak, ya got me going today!!!
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Old 04-29-2016
Streak Streak is offline
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Thanks for all of the comments.
Ti97, I often come here when I need to some inspiration or focal points before my next swim. I am pleased I was able to do the same for you today! We all need to share our experiences both good and bad!

I also hit the pool this morning and tried to consolidate what I learned on Wednesday evening. I tried not to race the clock this time but focus more on SPL and the push off the wall.

Stuart mentioned that one should try and not turn for a breath as one drags the high side arm back but rather use the created streamline for another stroke or two before getting into your breathing pattern. For me that is one sided every second stroke so I still need to practice this without feeling too air deprived specially once I get a little fatigued.

Stuart, thanks for the positive words. It's always nice to know that one is improving.
As mentioned, the video below you did for me 6 months ago has had over 8000 views and growing every day. Looks like a lot of people are benefiting from your instruction.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=79Yp_lgN4mQ

Last edited by Streak : 04-29-2016 at 08:13 PM.
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  #10  
Old 04-30-2016
sclim sclim is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ti97 View Post
Streak here's one of my favorites from Emmett Hines http://www.h2oustonswims.org/article..._position.html

descending >> seen this one? http://www.h2oustonswims.org/article..._the_oafs.html
In reviewing these hints, my first thought might have been that this will only improve my pool times without impacting on my ability to swim faster in open water, which is my main problem and desire to improve upon.

However, in this past week, I've been reflecting on my turning mechanics which have been just terrible, and reviewing in my head the uncertainties I have where to put my hands as I get close to the wall, and how to initiate and actually make the turn. This mostly takes place as I lie there in bed after my alarm goes off, but before I'm ready to leave the bed to go to the pool lol. But it gives me valuable minutes for reflection and mental rehearsal for exactly how I'm going to negotiate the reach for the wall and the grab for the pool lip as I pull myself in for the turn.

As a result I'm starting to turn a lot more briskly now. This has resulted in a marked decrease in my times which means also my SPL, as I'm using a TT on descending 100s.

On reflection, after thinking this was only addressing my lost pride in repeatedly performing a really sloppy turn, I realise it actually has improved my stroke, because it stopped me from being tentative at the end of the length, where my ingrained tendency to feel fatigued and perform a floppy sloppy stroke was allowed to express itself. I also clarified my stroke counting strategy which had been falling into no-man's land at this point. This forced me to come up with an actual real number once I clarified to myself what would count as the last stroke (versus what would count as the strokes or beats involved in making the turn).

So did tidying up my turn mechanics actually improve my swimming as would be seen in improvement in consistent long and efficient strokes with no or less degradation on fatigue (as opposed to faster times in the pool, but no difference in open water)? I think yes, actually, which surprised me.

Another point was that now I'm picking up on my pride in getting and maintaining good (well better than before) measured times in the pool, it is forcing me to swim better and motivating me not to give in to fatigue and to allow my form to degrade as much as it has been doing before. This is a subtle point, which I would not have thought would have had any effect, but it has.

Lastly, the Emmett Hines articles castigating swimmers for poor streamline position on push-off in turns I have now taken to heart, whereas before I would have just dismissed it as a peripheral skill with no relevance to what I really want to get good at i.e. solid open water swimming. Why the change of attitude? Well firstly, I recognise and own the criticism. It's true, initially I have been so exhausted at the wall that I allowed myself to be dis-coordinated and confused in the turn with my body all flayed everywhere. Even as I improved my solidity of turn, it initially seemed "okay" not to have a perfect streamline, after all, a better streamline position wouldn't help my open water swimming anyway, I thought to myself, and besides it was a hassle and slightly painful to get my 68 year old arms tightly applied to my head...

But now, as I'm tightening up the snappy turn and push-off, I'm starting to take a kind of irrational pride in my ability to do it more like the experts do! So now I'm squeezing my arms to my head more, and the discomfort seems more worthwhile, whenever I can get my act together and time it just right. Same for eliminating the back arching -- well blow me, it really does make a bit of difference in glide speed when your trunk is a bit straighter!

All these incremental improvements do make a difference, not just in my pool distance times, but I think, and I'm not 100% sure of this yet, but also in my general swimming proficiency. I think that the attention to getting more glide speed in the push-off does feed over into awareness of swim velocity during regular stroke swimming, and conversely, awareness of involuntary velocity drops when something doesn't go quite right in some part of the body mechanics/stoke cycle. Or maybe it's better awareness of alignment and balance during the passive glide under water off the push-off, which may come to the same thing.

It's amazing where this journey leads as long as one is open to where it might take you!

Last edited by sclim : 04-30-2016 at 12:36 AM.
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