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  #11  
Old 11-20-2014
CharlesCouturier CharlesCouturier is offline
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Werner, the DPS you may be loosing as a result of increasing the rate may as well be cheating DPS. Let me explain. Passed a certain point, it's possible to earn more DPS at the expense of the time, or the pace, or the forward velocity. In this case, as you increase the rate, you're loosing more and more of this not so legit DPS. Things get back to normal in other words.

If this DPS doesn't belong to "you", then I'm afraid it could be difficult to retain it as you increase the rate. When you really own some DPS, then it shouldn't drop by more than a few strokes per length as the rate increases.

Based on what you wrote, I'm not sure that 19 should be a sustainable target. There's nothing wrong in training aiming for this or even below. It should be part of most people's training process at some point. But there's also not much wrong in dropping 3 strokes and moving up to 22spl as you increase the rate and get at or even over your CSS pace (a pace that's theoretically sustainable for 800-1500m).

I'm about to resume swimming. I intend to spend a lot of time pulling big gears (in my case about 12-13spl at a pace of 1min30/100m). But when things heat up, my real DPS is closer to 17 than it is to 13. So right there you have a good 4 stroke gap between when I train for streamlining and when I train for fitness. You'd need to pay me several 1000s of $$ to convince me to hold on to my best possible DPS at all costs. Way too hard on shoulders. And it requires way too much maintenance.

Last edited by CharlesCouturier : 11-20-2014 at 12:19 AM.
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  #12  
Old 11-20-2014
sclim sclim is offline
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Originally Posted by CharlesCouturier View Post
So right there you have a good 4 stroke gap between when I train for streamlining and when I train for fitness. You'd need to pay me several 1000s of $$ to convince me to hold on to my best possible DPS at all costs. Way too hard on shoulders. And it requires way too much maintenance.
Wow, to us inexperienced beginners this sounds like heresy! But it would seem that this is a valuable lesson in "reality" vs "theory only", and certainly, you're the one with the actual experience.

One small clarification, please; when you say "train for streamlining vs training for fitness", would it be expressed better as "training for DPS vs training for speed". I can't believe you can sacrifice streamlining and still get speed -- surely you are only sacrificing the "illegitimate" or "cheating" portion, as you put it, of the DPS, rather than streamlining per se as you crank up the tempo.

And when you say "requires way too much maintenance" are you being literal, i.e. does your shoulder break down and require rest, medication or even eventually surgery? Or is the "maintenance" you refer to meaning only committing to the low stroke rate, attention to perfect drag-less mechanics etc., to get the high DPS, which is only possible at these low tempos, which you are unwilling to do when you aim for faster pace?
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  #13  
Old 11-20-2014
CoachSuzanne CoachSuzanne is offline
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Originally Posted by sclim View Post
Wow, to us inexperienced beginners this sounds like heresy! But it would seem that this is a valuable lesson in "reality" vs "theory only", and certainly, you're the one with the actual experience.
It shouldn't sound like heresy. SPL too low is highly taxing on shoulders and requires force & strength that not everyone can access. In finding your "green zone" comfort range, learning when to "let go" of some SPL in exchange for lowering the force with each stroke sometimes occurs at the expense of creating shoulder pain or overuse injury.

In my experience, muscular men tend to be able to hold a lower SPL more comfortably than a leaner man or woman of the same height/armspan.
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  #14  
Old 11-20-2014
WFEGb WFEGb is offline
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Hello Zenturtle,

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Originally Posted by Zenturtle View Post
atm is arm.
Dont you have video footage. Its a bit a waiste of words only going by your perception.
I guess you are entering to close to the centerline and pulling with dropped elbows.
The coinnection of the pull with body rotation is fixed for a wide range of strokerates.
You are used to very low strokerates. 55-60 strokes/min is still a low strokerate in a non TI world. Cettainly not a rate that is associated with spinning , flailing etc.
Sculling ingrains arm positions that give optimal traction. At any strokerate or speed.

For a mental image. Normally a good traction feels like the arm is laying on a thin layer of ice, Giving more resistance than expected.
If you pull too fast, jerky or out of sync with bodyrotation your arm will break through the thin ice layer and shoot down without traction.
Another example is pulling a car with a very thin rope that is not very strong.
A snooth long pull can get the car going, then follow up going gradually to the next pull etc to keep the car rolling.. Pulling too fast or uncontrolled and the rope will break.
Sorry, didn't get the "arm-connection"...

Video is more difficult in our pools than thaught. Have a camera but mostly it's dark, when coming to pool, and on weekends pools are crowded and most others don't like cameras nearby... Although I'll try to focus more often on wide tracks and vertical forearm at higher SRs. Can be right that elbow slips at higher rates. Today tried with a deeper spear to get the catch ready. The stroke itself felt easier but had to take two strokes more (LCM).

Sculling drills, have an aversion. But this Aversion might show directly the best way...

Syrup fits my feeling for the water better than thin ice. But syrup doesn't become more fluid so your ice example will be better at least. But your pulling car with thin rope is very good. This does fit very well.

Thank you and best regards,
Werner
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  #15  
Old 11-20-2014
WFEGb WFEGb is offline
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Hello Danny,

Quote:
Werner, all I have to offer is stuff you've probably heard before, but I was thinking about your question this morning when I was swimming. It seems to me that part of this is feeling the water, but I think of it more as knowing that your arm and hand are in a position to pull back, not down, when you want to work them. I find that some swimming with my hands closed in a fist helps with this.
Teachers often say with a smile: Education lives from Repetition. And there seems my pull back is critical. Finally, I find that an emphasis on accomplishing as much of the work with body rotation and also shoulder rotation helps make always something new in when anyone tells things you heard before. Yes, I'll take this fist-swimming into my next pooltimes (week after next week). Will see what happens.

Quote:
I also find that timing my rotation so that my shoulder is up before the stroke easier. By shoulder rotation I mean that your shoulders are moving forward and backward to power your stroke as your body rotates. All of this is old stuff, but as you increase the stroke rate, you start to tense up and wind up trying to do more with your arms than with your body. Your timing also starts to get rough.
Shoulder up before stroking. Hmm. Isn't it too early? Think I'm flat when catch is finished and rotation to other side starts synchron with push/stroke.

Shoulders back one side forward other side for me is a reason for fishtailing if done too strong or extensive.

Quote:
So in summary, for me the problem is executing these things at a higher stroke rate as well as I can execute them at a lower stroke rate. This seems like a problem of training your nervous system to execute the same movements faster. This is a different problem from feeling a good grip on the water, so I don't know if any of this is relevant to you...

Will be interested to hear what others have to say.
Same for me, but I'm insecure if in that same movement the focus has to be sharpened for faster SRsin other points of the stroke...

Thanks and best regards,
Werner
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  #16  
Old 11-20-2014
sclim sclim is offline
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Originally Posted by WFEGb View Post
But when shortening the SR to approximately 1.15-1.2, without taking up too many strokes for me the feel starts I become a soda machine and and adding more force/power into stroke has no effect in more pace but than losing energy.
Just to understand you clearly, when you become a soda machine etc., and you are losing energy, this is manifested as a marked rise in SPL, right?

@CoachSuzanne: It only seemed like heresy because I was blindly adhering to only one part of the sacred text! Thanks for pointing me again to the other parts, and balancing out my knowledge.
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  #17  
Old 11-20-2014
WFEGb WFEGb is offline
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Hello Charles,

Quote:
Werner, the DPS you may be loosing as a result of increasing the rate may as well be cheating DPS. Let me explain. Passed a certain point, it's possible to earn more DPS at the expense of the time, or the pace, or the forward velocity. In this case, as you increase the rate, you're loosing more and more of this not so legit DPS. Things get back to normal in other words.
How to find what's legit? Admiring van Hazel's demo, he swims 34 SPL (LCM) with (nearly) any SR. More to my options: I can swim 16SPL (SCM) with pace 2:15min/100m and with 1:45min/100m. Last I can't do for more than 4 laps once a day. That's extreme uncomfortable. There I tend to let the SPL break down (up) to >20SPL or so, but it's still uncomfortable...

Quote:
If this DPS doesn't belong to "you", then I'm afraid it could be difficult to retain it as you increase the rate. When you really own some DPS, then it shouldn't drop by more than a few strokes per length as the rate increases.
What DPS/SPL does belong to me? As a TI-believer I'd say my green zone:14.5-18.5SPL. Lets say 20SPLs are right sometimes for some reasons, but what causes the 22-26SPL gap below 1.2s. (Might be of interest. It seems to get down a little in the last days to 1.14-1.10, but working on that edge seems to be more randomly success or failure.)

Quote:
Based on what you wrote, I'm not sure that 19 should be a sustainable target. There's nothing wrong in training aiming for this or even below. It should be part of most people's training process at some point. But there's also not much wrong in dropping 3 strokes and moving up to 22spl as you increase the rate and get at or even over your CSS pace (a pace that's theoretically sustainable for 800-1500m).
And here the question also: What should be a sustainable target, and how can I work it out? Don't know if I can say my CSS pace is just below 2:00min/100m. But swam it with TT set to 1.44s and with 16-18SPLs. Without TT I'm mostly around 20:15min/1000m also with 16-18SPLs. Loosing the feeling for a constant pace. Laptimes shows extreme difference up to 10s.

Quote:
I'm about to resume swimming. I intend to spend a lot of time pulling big gears (in my case about 12-13spl at a pace of 1min30/100m). But when things heat up, my real DPS is closer to 17 than it is to 13. So right there you have a good 4 stroke gap between when I train for streamlining and when I train for fitness. You'd need to pay me several 1000s of $$ to convince me to hold on to my best possible DPS at all costs. Way too hard on shoulders. And it requires way too much maintenance.
Hmmm... How and when do you decide which gear to take? (Your times from another world than mine but I can imagine the times not how to swim in that way.) Or works it alone without decision? (I'm sure, when not focusing on something - at least hurrying up to the bell - SR would go down and SPL up...)

And a barrier that keeps me away a little: Slow SRs and minor SPLs do feel soooooo goood.... cheated or not....

Thank you very much and best regards,
Werner
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  #18  
Old 11-20-2014
CharlesCouturier CharlesCouturier is offline
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Originally Posted by sclim View Post
Wow, to us inexperienced beginners this sounds like heresy!
First, I'm sorry. I should have been more cautious in making this post. I'm a bit short in time these days and tend to hit reply faster than I probably should.

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Originally Posted by sclim View Post
One small clarification, please; when you say "train for streamlining vs training for fitness", would it be expressed better as "training for DPS vs training for speed". I can't believe you can sacrifice streamlining and still get speed -- surely you are only sacrificing the "illegitimate" or "cheating" portion, as you put it, of the DPS, rather than streamlining per se as you crank up the tempo.
The idea of aiming toward the best possible balance between rate and length is not new, and it's often promoted by Total Immersion coaches. Coach Suzanne didn't miss the opportunity to help me clarify this aspect (seeing that I was probably getting myself into a bad situation lol).

What I meant in my reply by "fitness" (poor word choice I confess), is aerobic fintess in general. Training for speed would be different, although it has an indirect (and probably favorable) impact on aerobic fitness (according to "some" scientific literature at least). And obviously, practicing at a speed which is significantly slower than that you could hold for fitness training, may also contribute to fitness. So this is a continuum we agree.

As a coach with most of my clientele, I like to work on the 3 elements: Technique/streamline, Fitness endurance and speed (i.e. sprint).

I reckon that many people don't wake up in the morning thinking "hey I'm going to train fitness today, and technique tomorrow". Most practice swimming as a hobby, and fitness development may not be a priority. However, as you increase the stroke rate, it becomes harder to avoid entering in into the fitness development sphere (whether one sees himself as training for fitness or not).

Stated otherwise, the aim for the best possible distance per stroke is naturally followed by a will to increase the rate whilst holding on to our DPS. This is just natural, again whether we see ourselves as aiming for better swim fitness or not. It's hard to increase the rate aiming for holding our DPS without increasing the pace, or the speed. And as the pace increases, swimming becomes more demanding fitness wise.

What I meant by practicing to get more streamline would as close as I can get to swimming with stroke count (aiming for the lowest count) in mind, regardless of the resulting speed. In this context, there's likely a "glide" phase (whilst being in skate position); a glide phase which will see your forward velocity slowing down between each stroke. This has a negative impact on speed (this is obvious I think), but has a favorable impact on distance per stroke. My take is that this glide phase gets lost as we increase the rate, and it's normal.

Now strictly speaking, yes you loose some streamlining as the pace (and more importantly, the rate) increases. That'd be for 2 main reasons:
1. Lot of drag resistance occurs as a consequence of a lower body which hangs a bit too low in the water. Balance. Pressing some water down especially in the early stage of the pull phase will impair balance. And as you increase the rate, it's very hard to avoid pressing some water down.

2. Lot of drag resistance occurs as a consequence of loosing a bit of body alignment (posture). It's easier, whilst learning the stroke, to keep good body alignment at lower rate.

So I don't mean that increasing the rate occurs at the cost of all of your hydrodynamism, but rather that increasing the rate will come at the cost of "some" of your hydrodynamism (streamlining).

Now if we try to put numbers on this theory, and anyone is more than welcome to share "their" numbers. I mentioned that my lowest DPS when practicing deliberately with this in mind, is probably 12-13, that is, 12 for the first length and 13 for the others. I can not go much over 100m without loosing a stroke though. So we could say that my max DPS given my vessel, given the time I spend swimming (next to none at the mo), is 12. If I train with fitness in mind, I'll go 15 in a good day, but more often 16-17. That I own, it's mine, it holds the road in most training contexts. So we can talk about a delta of 5 strokes between my max DPS and the avg one when training for fitness. Suzanne can probably do 13-14, but would certainly not try a 750m continuous fitness swim at that rate. What would it become. 18? Maybe 19? Again there, about 5 strokes.

Werner mentioned 18 I think, up to 23. Again there we have a 5 strokes delta.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sclim View Post
And when you say "requires way too much maintenance" are you being literal, i.e. does your shoulder break down and require rest, medication or even eventually surgery? Or is the "maintenance" you refer to meaning only committing to the low stroke rate, attention to perfect drag-less mechanics etc., to get the high DPS, which is only possible at these low tempos, which you are unwilling to do when you aim for faster pace?
Yes, much closer to your 2nd description. Racing (noticed that I am upping the pace there, I'm now referring to race pace) at lower spl, or best dps requires more practice. This is not necessarily an issue when you have a lot of time available to swim. However myself as well as most of my clientele are multisports athletes. I got some dudes in a position to qualify for Kona every year if they want. In Spring/Summer, they are on a 2 swim / week diet. For them, holding their CSS pace (ultimate aerobic fitness pace) is easier at higher rate/lower dps. We're not talking huge differences here. I'm thinking of a guy in particular. Can he hold 19? Yes. But holding this dps whilst racing with only 2 practices per week would be almost impossible. If he can hold his target CSS pace at the cost of 2 strokes per lengths, that's what I call fair trade off. Does he have the talent to refine himself even more? Yes. But we choose to avoid this challenge.

Quote:
Originally Posted by WFEGb View Post
Hello Charles,
Hello Werner, I'll take some time tonight to read your questions more closely, and comment appropriately. I can not claim having all the answers though. My take on this important topic constantly changes, in accordance with the processes I witness around me. For instance, Puff, a registered member here reacts much better in racing with a DPS/Rate balance which tend to learn toward DPS. 6feet3, about 210pounds I think. Thus far, he's met all his targets using a rate which I find a bit slow.

Quote:
Originally Posted by WFEGb View Post
What DPS/SPL does belong to me? As a TI-believer I'd say my green zone:14.5-18.5SPL. Lets say 20SPLs are right sometimes for some reasons, but what causes the 22-26SPL gap below 1.2s. (Might be of interest. It seems to get down a little in the last days to 1.14-1.10,...
Hmm, I couldn't wait trying a quick but "partial" answer here.

Throughout this endless post, notice that I avoided recommending the SS ramp up test. Not that I had any issues with it so far. But in 2011, I ran a very comprehensive and methodical study on how to gradually increase the rate. In short? The first thing which struck me like a runaway train, is that it takes much much more time than 1min rest "in between" to "master a rate which is problematic". That experiment really changed my view on how to handle this. A lot of time may be required. A full week at best!! The SS ramp up test does an excellent job at telling you what your comfortable and productive rate/dps balance is "today", as of "now". But I wouldn't rely on it for establishing what the ideal rate/balance should be in a near future (as part of a continuous development/improvement). So right there in your question I see that this 1.2 scaring beast is now in the process of being "tamed". I'm not surprised that this didn't happen overnight, and wouldn't be surprise if you required at least 2 weeks, if not a full month, if not more to adapt to a rate which is 2 spm higher, etc... That is what Terry (and other good coaches) refer to neural adaptation. It includes fitness adaptation and neuro-muscular adaptataion.

BTW I'm impressed by your numbers Werner. You must be doing a bunch of things right as it ain't easy to perform 100m in 1:45 @ 15-16spl. If your 15 = my 12 (for example) and that I'm close to the "truth" with a delta of 5spl, then 20 is a DPS that you really own. Believe it or not, some of my good candidates for some day racing as elite are about in this neighborhood. And again, to add a striking perspective to this, Xavier Deharnais, the best distance swimmer I am fortunate to speak with on a reg basis (he's part of our elite team)? He races at 17-18!!!!!!!!! (good for 15:24 over 1500m short course). 5'11 (relatively short for a world class athlete), about 155 pounds. Like most world class, he has a hellova push off / pull out (he pulls out way passed the 5m mark)

Last edited by CharlesCouturier : 11-20-2014 at 09:39 PM.
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  #19  
Old 11-20-2014
CoachSuzanne CoachSuzanne is offline
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Originally Posted by WFEGb View Post
Hello Charles,


How to find what's legit? Admiring van Hazel's demo, he swims 34 SPL (LCM) with (nearly) any SR. More to my options: I can swim 16SPL (SCM) with pace 2:15min/100m and with 1:45min/100m. Last I can't do for more than 4 laps once a day. That's extreme uncomfortable. There I tend to let the SPL break down (up) to >20SPL or so, but it's still uncomfortable...
This reminds me of an unintended experiment I did awhile ago. For me 16 SPL is now easily attainable form wise, and is my deafault "tune up" or "cool down" spl. I can go lower as well at will sometimes due to force and other times due to letting rate slow down.

last winter after getting started back on p90x3 fitness routine (message me if you are intersted!) I went to the pool and started swimming without a plan. Immediately I swam 14 SPL with no effort...It felt great and I kept it up swimming a 1:30 100yd (SCY) all at 14SPL. Then I was done. I bonked, I could do no more, I was completely trashed!

The strength I had been building in p90x3 felt great to use, but I had not been implementing that strengt in the pool. Normally a 14 SPL 100 would be on the order of 1:50-1:55, so to do so in 1:30 (faster than my pre-TI PR) meant i was accessing all of the DPS that I owned.

Just interesting how our bodies change over time. There was nothing "right or wrong" babout that experience, but then I was faced with goign to the pool and deliberately giving up SPL to swim at a more sustainable DPS, even for faster times. While I was quite capable of swimmign 14s, 15s or 16s...if I want endurance at any speed faster than a 1:40...I need to give something up. It's an informed tradeoff
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  #20  
Old 11-20-2014
haschu33 haschu33 is offline
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Hi Werner,

I swam very very little for about a year, and visited the forum only a few times... still...

I think I know what you mean, Werner, and I have an idea about it, I don't know if it helps.

When swimming at faster speeds I have to adapt my stroke. At 1.4 you can easily spear, pause a little, then catch, then anchor, then finish the 'pull' with a little snap, get your arm out and start again, and do everything very particular and 'nice'.
At 1.0, or 0.9, or 0.8, or 0.7, this simply doesn't work any more. Maybe not even at 1.2 when you are used to slower rates.
Somehow this never gets mentioned, but I am convinced that the faster the rate is the more you have to shorten the stroke. You can only shorten it at the 'rear end', so no pulling through to the thighs, no accentuated snap, just get your arm out when it is at hip level and bring it swiftly in front. This pulling out early and fast is the handle to adapt to high stroke rates IMHO.
Any little bit of pulling through to the thighs or focusing on 'pull' or grip ruins my stroke immediately and I can feel how I move water backwards and get inefficient.
I can focus on 'anchoring'. But this means only getting a sense of having my 'pulling' arm anchored in the water - for a brief moment and without any sense of moving it backwards. Then it can work.
You can probably calculate how much time is left in a stroke cycle for the pull/anchor phase at a stroke rate of 0.7. It sure is very very little.
The longer the path that your hand travels from catch to the end of the pull/anchor the more likely you have to rush and move water backwards at higher speeds.


With this in mind I once made two consecutive laps of 25m at 0.9 with an SPL of 16. Adding push-off and turn strokes this is roughly 36 seconds for the 50m and a calculated 1:12 for 100m. Regarding my level and the 2bk I used quite fast for me.


I think this might be a typical problem for us TI swimmers. We are so used to a strong focus, clear phases of the stroke movement and so on. Which of course is perfectly ok. But it needs to be changed at higher rates.
My take is: Practice your stroke pattern at slower and more convenient rates, and forget all about it for a while at faster speeds. At faster rates: just go for the feeling. The feeling of rhythm - that is very important. The feeling of ease - equally important. Plus fun, yes, it must be fun! High stroke rates don't work otherwise. Fun brings rhythm and ease.
You can easily forget about your stroke details, just trust that the stroke holds. It does. And when you get inefficient - at least when the soda comes - I am sure a big part of that problem is trying to maintain a 'long' stroke like the one at slower speeds.


Once you get used to faster speeds you can of course get into the focussing game again. Like focus on grip etc.
Of course there is more stuff to it, but for me this is the most important to swim at higher rates.

Hope it helps, otherwise just forget it.



Hang on in there
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