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  #1  
Old 11-21-2014
Danny Danny is offline
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Danny
Default why does it hurt to swim too fast at low SPL?

This question arose in Werner's thread, but the subject there quickly moved into other technical stuff so I'll pose it here separately. According to the coaches, as you up your stroke rate and try to hold your SPL constant, it can start hurting your shoulders. I would like to understand this better.

As your stroke rate increases, your rotation tends to decrease, and this can make it more taxing on the shoulders to get a good catch. Is this the reason?

I view all shoulder stress as occurring in the front quadrant. The more you rotate, the less stress you will have when you start your catch. When I try to sprint (largely a pathetic undertaking..) I focus on rotating faster, but I try to keep the amplitude of my rotation from decreasing as I up the tempo. As a result, I don't think I experience this shoulder stress. Instead, I just notice that my timing is starting to fall apart when I go too fast, and I am getting out of breath. When the timing falls apart, I start trying to do too much of my stroke with my arms, as opposed to with body rotation. This can also hurt shoulders, but I'm not sure.

Can the coaches, or anyone else, clarify?
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  #2  
Old 11-21-2014
CharlesCouturier CharlesCouturier is offline
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Why would it hurt to ride your bike on too big of a gear? (i.e. riding a time trial event at 50rpm for example)
Why would it hurt to run a 10k with a longer stride than you should?
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  #3  
Old 11-21-2014
Zenturtle Zenturtle is offline
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I think youi are right that you can hurt your shoulders even more when your timing gets off in relation to bodyrotation.
But the reason the timing gets off is because its harder to move the arms or engage the coer enough at a higher strokerate at the same DPS. That means you are swimming faster and creating more drag= more torque on the arms.

Another mechanical example:
Moving full trhrottle int too high a gear in your car will wear out the crankshaft and bigend bearings. A bit the same happens in your shoulder bearings.

Last edited by Zenturtle : 11-21-2014 at 08:01 PM.
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  #4  
Old 11-21-2014
sclim sclim is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlesCouturier View Post
Why would it hurt to ride your bike on too big of a gear? (i.e. riding a time trial event at 50rpm for example)
Why would it hurt to run a 10k with a longer stride than you should?
Or, "to run up a sustained incline without reducing stride length or stride rate" (in this case, the only major change being resistive force due to gravity, rather than complicating changes in muscle length and joint range amplitude, or velocity of muscle contraction)?
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  #5  
Old 11-21-2014
Danny Danny is offline
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I understand the analogies people have made, but I am looking for some more detail. For example, I don't think it hurts your shoulders to push hard when your hand is down by your hip. It seems to me that the problem arises in the front quadrant specifically, and I suspect that this is because exerting more force when your shoulder joint is in this position has the effect of pulling the joint out of its socket. The reason I am asking this question is because it seems to me that there may be ways to avoid the problem, even as the stroke rate increases, if one only understands in more detail what the causes are. For example, it may be that you can minimize the stress on your shoulder, even at higher stroke rates, if you maintain the same amplitude of rotation before your catch, so that your shoulder is in a better position to take the stress. It might also help to spear deeper at high stroke rates, although I don't know if this is the case.

The companion question to this is: When we add strokes to our SPL in order to reach higher speed with more comfort, why is it that this no longer bothers our shoulders? Again, I ask this question because I believe that a better understanding of the details of why this happens can help us to reach better compromises between SPL and stroke rate.

Last edited by Danny : 11-21-2014 at 10:15 PM.
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  #6  
Old 11-21-2014
sclim sclim is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Danny View Post

The companion question to this is: When we add strokes to our SPL in order to reach higher speed with more comfort, why is it that this no longer bothers our shoulders? Again, I ask this question because I believe that a better understanding of the details of why this happens can help us to reach better compromises between SPL and stroke rate.
That is a very good question. If you increase the SPL/shorten DPS, you have merely chopped up the work of propelling through the pool length into smaller intervals. If you ignore the change in extra work done by accelerating (because of periodic decelerating), then the total work (force to overcome drag times distance) is the same. These are perhaps all tenuous assumptions.

But assuming there has been no change in all of these parameters, why should the shoulder pain improve? Better (fore and aft) angulation, due to optimised "setting up"? Shortened duration of force so that there is more frequent recovery time, even though the proportion of tension/no tension time remains unchanged?
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  #7  
Old 11-21-2014
WFEGb WFEGb is offline
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Hello Danny,

think there's some deeper truth in your questions. Not the right one to answer, but some thaughts FWIW:

If we're in full speared position and streamlined "ideal", to me it feels totally weak to put any force into any part of the stroke. As you have shown it, all leverage is gone. If we let the hand/arm flow to catch posture the levers become better to put the push to work. Rotation helps to hold hand/arm in hopefully straight line nearer to body's center which also leads to better leverage.

This movement in the FQ -as you pointed out- with weak levers is difficult to hold forceless at higher SRs. So in my POV it needs optimation too to find a best fitting deeper spear and get into good catch faster and with less -better no- force.

Higher SRs with over all good leverage has to be a step forward.

The amplitude of rotation at higher SRs seems also to be more a matter of having enough time. If understood Shinji right, he says the angle of rotation decreases at higher SRs automatically... That's what I find in my strokes too. Referring to above, it should be better for our shoulders if we could increase it. That would fit to haschu33's hint to focus on pronounced rhythm especially at higher SRs.

Solution has to come from someone who knows better. Might be one of infinte compromises we have to find when swimming mindful...

Best regards,
Werner
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  #8  
Old 11-22-2014
CoachSuzanne CoachSuzanne is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlesCouturier View Post
Why would it hurt to ride your bike on too big of a gear? (i.e. riding a time trial event at 50rpm for example)
Why would it hurt to run a 10k with a longer stride than you should?
Brilliant connections...I was trying to think of how to explain it succinctly...you did it.
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Coach of 4 time USA Triathlon Triathlete of the Year, Kirsten Sass
Steel City Endurance, LTD
Fresh Freestyle

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  #9  
Old 11-22-2014
CoachSuzanne CoachSuzanne is offline
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The thing is thtat you shouldn't assume it will hurt your shoulders until it hurts your shoulders.

I've had plenty of folks come to TI workshops that were swimming at a mid to high SPL at a slow tempo. After doing smoe tempo work, like an assymetric tempo pyramid where we slow the tempo then speed it up, most people add strokes as the tempo gets faster.

Some folks are just swimming in a poor zone and their SPL actually continues to go down as they get into their sweet spot. THEN if they proceed faster they may get shoulder pain. Or not...But it takes more energy, like riding a bike up a hill in a big gear. Theere may be a big gear tht you can stand on taht feels good going uphill, but a BIGGER gear does not feel good.

Everyone's gearing is different.
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Suzanne Atkinson, MD
Coach of 4 time USA Triathlon Triathlete of the Year, Kirsten Sass
Steel City Endurance, LTD
Fresh Freestyle

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  #10  
Old 11-22-2014
CharlesCouturier CharlesCouturier is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Danny View Post
I understand the analogies people have made, but I am looking for some more detail. For example, I don't think it hurts your shoulders to push hard when your hand is down by your hip. It seems to me that the problem arises in the front quadrant specifically, and I suspect that this is because exerting more force when your shoulder joint is in this position has the effect of pulling the joint out of its socket. The reason I am asking this question is because it seems to me that there may be ways to avoid the problem, even as the stroke rate increases, if one only understands in more detail what the causes are. For example, it may be that you can minimize the stress on your shoulder, even at higher stroke rates, if you maintain the same amplitude of rotation before your catch, so that your shoulder is in a better position to take the stress. It might also help to spear deeper at high stroke rates, although I don't know if this is the case.

The companion question to this is: When we add strokes to our SPL in order to reach higher speed with more comfort, why is it that this no longer bothers our shoulders? Again, I ask this question because I believe that a better understanding of the details of why this happens can help us to reach better compromises between SPL and stroke rate.
Your questions are all relevant, and the pointers you evoke are sound as well. They're already factored into my practice. The back of the stroke sculling motions added to some of my rotation drills, the final push drill, etc all promote adding power at the back of the stroke rather than in the front quadrant. I must mention though that this is unloading the shoulder articulation, but loading the elbow articulation. So I look for tennis elbow symptoms as well.

TI has a wonderful feature to its stroke which is the skate/catch which is done in a way which is very safe for the shoulder articulation. So I'd say most good coaches/systems take into account that it's possible to lengthen the stroke with little risks as possible.

But the key word in the way your stated your question is "too". This word, I take it for what it means, i.e. "too much". Or here is the question to which I answered: "Why does it hurt to swim fast at an SPL that is too low, in spite of a sound technique when all care were taken to lower chances of injuries". And to better understand how I feel in answering, I'd say that it hurts for the same reason it would hurt to do too much high speed work wearing huge hand paddles. Because when you can hold on to this SPL, this is really how increasing the rate passed a certain point feels (if you're not sacrificing some SPL). In fact, my SPL won't change much with or without hand paddles. Maybe by a stroke/25m but not more.

Now with that stated, again I understand your important questioning. What you mean is that feeling some pain as a result of swimming fast at an SPL which is low (not too low) doesn't mean you can't improve your technique, thus allowing you to reach this SPL, and possibly even lower.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CoachSuzanne View Post
Brilliant connections...I was trying to think of how to explain it succinctly...you did it.
Thanks Suzanne but honestly, it's good that I'm known here because ggrrrr my answers could be seen as almost hostile. This is a sensitive topic. I will try to be more cautious.

Last edited by CharlesCouturier : 11-22-2014 at 04:29 PM.
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