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  #1  
Old 08-18-2015
woodwards26 woodwards26 is offline
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Default Back to basics after my first open water swims

It has taken me 4 yrs since my first TI lessons to venture into open water but have done it this year a 2 mile in Windermere 1 hr 17m and a 3.8k in Derwentwater took me 1hr 38m finishing towards the back.
But it has showed up faults in my stroke after the 3.8 during the week after I had severe neck pain had to go for a massage.
I think it most likely my one sided breathing just to the left in my rush to be able to swim more than a length I focused on being able to keep going rather than bilateral. Breathing to the right just used up energy.
So I have dug out the perpetual motion DVD that I bought 4 yrs ago as a supplement to my coach but never really used it properly before and have started at the begining.
So far done 3 90 min sessions 1 on lesson one 8 lengths of each of the sub lessons . Same for Lesson 2 and the third session combined the lesson 1 and 2 and did 4 lengths of each sub lesson.
It's the same things I was taught 4 yrs ago but I reviewed my videos of the lessons and it just looks like I didn't understand what I was being told to do.
What my 3 sessions have highlighted is that I do an awful job of getting on to that left hand rail. It feels so uncomfortable but better than it was a couple of days ago.
I finished off the sessions with some poor side breathing lengths but still needed to stop each 25 to regain breath and compose myself.
Determined to crack it I will be quite happy if I can just achieve unilateral to my poor side. Previous attempts it has just beaten me as I gave in to the ease I find on the left.
Off to view lesson 3 and memorise it.
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Last edited by woodwards26 : 08-18-2015 at 04:27 PM.
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  #2  
Old 08-18-2015
Richardsk Richardsk is offline
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Hello woodwards26

I have been a TI enthusiast since I read Terry's original book in 2006. Until then I had been a lifetime breaststroker and had never managed more than one length of a 25 meter pool with my attempts at front crawl. I knew in principle how to do it but somehow the utter uselessness of my kick and my failure to control my legs meant that it was always a struggle. A sort of breakthrough occurred when I read somewhere that it had been discovered that many swimmers swam better when they didn't kick at all so I tried that with slightly encouraging results.

Later one of my swimming acquaintances who was working at the time with my wife in a book store mentioned Terry's book so I ordered it and very soon was able to swim a length with something that looked more or less like front crawl. I was also inspired by Terry's book to investigate the existence of a masters swimming club in the vicinity and in fact found one not exactly in the vicinity but close enough to make it worth joining. Before long I had swum in my first swim meet since school days fifty odd years previously, swimming 25m, 50m and 100m Breast, 25m, 50m and 100m Freestyle and a couple of relays.

In 2007 I swam my first Long Course Meet and later in the year took a Total Immersion Course in the four competitive strokes.

I have so far always been a left side breather and attempts to learn to breathe bilaterally were not successful but over the last couple of years I have seen some improvement and now can swim breathing every five or every seven for a couple of lengths. Currently I am working on the plan of swimming whole lengths breathing to the 'wrong' side and I think this is a very promising line of inquiry. I usually find it easier to breathe every four or every six rather than every two on the wrong side and I'm not sure why. I think I need the extra time to prepare my mind for the somewhat unfamiliar movement, whereas on the left side it seems to require little or no thought. Sometimes I have the impression that my right side breath is actually better than the other, although not as easy, but this may be wishful thinking.

So my experience suggests to me that you are on the right track by trying to develop breathing on your poor side.
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  #3  
Old 08-19-2015
woodwards26 woodwards26 is offline
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Default Back to basics after my first open water swims

Thanks Richard
I did lesson 3 tonight and it sure showed up how poor my left hand skate was but it did get a little better by the end of a 90min session.
I too bought the book in 2009 I think and it got me to be able to swim more than just 25metres . Then I had some TI lessons but looking back at them I didn't do enough work on balance.
Basically once I found I could swim I learnt about the catch etc and have as I said just swum a 3.8k in open water but not with ease. It certainly highlighted I have a lot of basics to sort.
I have tried all sorts of drills to sort my right side breathing out. Breathing 3 5 7, breath one length god one bad, Side kicking, with fins ,with pullbuoy etc. The latter two made it easier but haven't corrected it.
From how I felt doing Lesson 3 today no amount of drilling was going to correct my body position on that left rail but it did feel that the laser lead rotation and the skate exercises were beginning to have a noticeable effect in the 90mins today.
I am a little annoyed with myself for not spending more time on the balance drills before today. But will be staying with these first 3 lessons for a little while till I can do them with ease to both sides.
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Old 08-24-2015
CoachBobM CoachBobM is offline
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I was originally taught to breathe on only one side, and when I went to a TI weekend workshop in February of 1999, I wasn't able to swim a length of the pool breathing on my "wrong" side. My muscles memories for breathing on my familiar side were just too deeply engrained. But I came out of the 2-day workshop breathing on both sides, and have been doing it ever since. There is still a slight lopsidedness in my stroke, but it's now nearly symmetric.

The key for me was the interrupted breathing drills, which were far enough removed from whole stroke swimming that my muscle memories didn't kick in, and I could engrain new habits. When I transitioned back into regular breathing, I ended up breathing bilaterally.

I've also found it useful to compare my breathing on my "right" and "wrong" sides, and to eliminate any differences I notice between the two sides.


Bob
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  #5  
Old 08-24-2015
woodwards26 woodwards26 is offline
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Default Back to basics after my first open water swims

Yes you are so right Coach Bob.

I have tried so many times to correct my breathing people said just keep at it but nothing was working whenever I did a length or two of wrong side I was worn out even tho I just did a 3.8k open water albeit slowly 1hr 38m.

However tonight after doing lesson 4 where I did 100m of each step or sub step. As a cool down I did 100m in a 25m pool the first 50 wrong side breathing and the second 50 bilateral it was the easiest I have ever done it so I know I am on the right track.

I spent three 90min plus sessions on Lesson One and Two , Two sessions on lesson 3 (and reviewed lessons 1 and 2 ) and tonight did lesson 4.
I have found my weak spot to be turning back from the interrupted breathing to skate on my poor side so I included more of that and it is getting better with each 25m.

But the cool down swim surprised me it was as easy on my poor side as my good side. I didn't want to push it so I got out feeling good about it.
I will do Lesson 4 again with reviews of the previous lessons on my next session before moving on to lesson 5.
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Last edited by woodwards26 : 08-24-2015 at 11:13 PM. Reason: spelling!
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  #6  
Old 08-27-2015
terry terry is offline
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Woodward26 (what's your given name?)
Two fundamental changes between the Perpetual Motion DVD and our latest release, the downloadable Ultra Efficient Freestyle Self Coaching Toolkit are
1. Much briefer drill reps--but more of them. Rather than, say 25m of Right Skate, followed by 25m of Left Skate, we now advocate 6 to 10 reps of Superman to Skate, alternating one to right and one to left, done in fairly rapid-fire fashion. Travel only 5y/m in Skate each time. Stop as soon as you lose momentum from the push into Superman--before you need to rely on kick to keep going. The point is to consistently and immediately hit your optimal Skate position, not to turn it into a kicking exercise.
2. A far higher percentage of whole stroke mixed in with drills. After 6 to 10 reps of Superman to Skate, do 4 or more short non-breathing swims with same focus, then try 2 to 4 x 25y/m in which you add breathing after first 5 to 6 strokes.

There are many other changes--i.e. we've removed both kinds of Switch drills in favor of a much simpler process. And I think our Recovery/Entry and Breathing sequences are much improved. We'd been testing this new learning process for several years in workshops. People are learning better form faster and easier. I successfully taught 94 y.o. Paul Lurie with it. Four years later he's still improving his times!
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  #7  
Old 08-29-2015
Janos Janos is offline
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Woodward, are you right-handed?

My own theory on this has to do with your leading arm, and whether you are right or left handed.

I have a reluctance to breathe on my right hand side and always start a swim breathing to my left. The reasons for this, I believe, are because of the far greater feel I get from my right hand. When this position is reversed my left hand lacks the subtlety of my right, and I don't get that perceived feeling of extra buoyancy. Because of this, all the pool training I do is with this in mind, and breathe on alternate sides every length.

You can explore the differences in the feel of your catch using the underswith drill. If you are right-handed you will almost certainly favour the extending of your left arm with a right arm catch against the other side.
You then have to train the left arm to have that same feel.

Also, I find that breathing feels easy if I am consciously engaging the torso to maximise every stroke. If you are not following up fully with your hips on arm extension, then you may find that you are just turning your head to breathe, and not giving yourself enough time to get a breath.
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  #8  
Old 08-30-2015
woodwards26 woodwards26 is offline
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Default Thanks Terry

Hi Terry
John Woodward is my real name we met briefly in Manchester and exchanged a couple of e mails.
Thanks for your reply I will buy myself the latest version .
I have been alternating left with right because my left skate was so bad and it helped me compare immediately.
I have posted my progress up to lesson Five on the freestyle forum. But I found the biggest changes have been on the two switch drills lesson five and today I did lesson six which I will repeat tomorrow. I've got this far in 12 90 plus sessions in these last two sessions of switch drillsI have noticed a huge improvement in the way my legs are able to do a compact flutter, my head has stopped leading every movement and I am just on the edge of being able to nudge my hip down.
I have given myself time off from trying to get faster for 10 weeks whilst I master bilateral breathing and after two weeks I know it is working.Today I cooled down doing a 3 stroke bilateral 100m and it felt great .It was far slower than my usual 2m 5s ( which is also slow) but normally I am out of breath after 50m bilateral. I stopped at 100m so as not to practise struggle.
I am annoyed with myself that I have had the DVD for a few years and not used it properly Ian Smith advised me to get it just before he sadly passed away. But I had only used it as a reference rather than working through it in a structured manner.I have asked on forums and swimmers how to sort my one sided breathing and all the time I had the answer sat on my shelves.
Thanks again
Update I have purchased the toolkit and just sorting being able to view on my tablet
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Everything is won or lost inside your own head.

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Last edited by woodwards26 : 08-31-2015 at 01:58 PM. Reason: Update
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  #9  
Old 08-30-2015
woodwards26 woodwards26 is offline
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Default Thanks Janos

Hi Janos
I am right handed .
You are right on all counts. The spear switch drill of lesson five made me realise how much my head and right arm were involved in turning for air to my right side. But once I realised this I was able to fix it from thinking about advice and feel from the previous steps . "The head never leads rotation on the way up" , "Keep a patient relaxed lead hand"
I have to focus on it but the nudge of the hip is now starting to imprint itself .
Previously on a right hand breath my hand was scooping up and elbow collapsing,my head moving over the lead arm and I think the rotation was initiated by my right stroking arm.
Not trained into my muscle memory yet but I'd give myself 7/10 rather than a 2 previously.
John Woodward
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