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Old 07-07-2010
dobarton dobarton is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 61
dobarton
Default Breakthrough?

Greetings,
As some of you know, I'm a runner turned swimmer due to knee failure. Been working on this about a year with TI being a part of it for about 8-9 months (maybe), using DVD and this discussion board for instruction. 6' tall, 170#, about 12% body fat (sinker!!!!).

I can easily swim a 5K in a 25m pool at the gym, takes about 1h47m. My problem has been that in my long swims (over 100m, LOL), I take 20-24 SPL with most being 21-22! Given the numbers I see here, that's awful (Terry reminds me that it's respectable for a beginner and I certainly see many at the pool at 30+)! What's frustrating is that if I'm only doing 25, 50, 100m, I can keep myself at 13-15 SPL.

Yesterday, doing spear switchs, I discovered something. I was paying so much attention to my spearing arm, that I was not paying attention to catch/pull. I had already noticed that with each spear, my head and shoulders go under further. What I had not noticed was that, JUST before spearing, they were coming UP! What goes up, must come down! So, needless to say, I was bobbing up and down the length. Not much... just enough to waste energy. I had been assuming I was spearing too deep (which I was) and that was my only problem. In analyzing, however, it appears that my catch/pull was pushing my body up out of the water just a little. So, I started focusing on pulling with my forearm more parallel to the bottom of the pool and a little closer into my body. Wow, less bobbing!

So today, I swam my mile. Three focal points were present, don't push my body up with my pull, keep the head relaxed and breath over the shoulder. Don't worry about how often I breath, some were three stroke breaths and some were two stroke breaths. Lo and behold, all lengths were 20 or less with many only being 18... WooHoo. Finally a step forward! I was jazzed, so I thought I'd share! Hope you all have a great day!
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  #2  
Old 07-07-2010
Janos Janos is offline
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Join Date: May 2009
Location: Liverpool, England
Posts: 389
Janos
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Hey Dobarton, excellent insight!
I was going to start a thread on this subject, with two links to two vids on youtube. One showing Phelps doing his freeestyle, and the other showing Thorpe. My point being that Thorpe keeps his head still, and coasts elegantly through the water, whilst Phelps is bobbing up and down. I know Phelps is as fast as Thorpe, but he makes it look such hard work!
Like you, I had that breakthrough moment of keeping the head perfectly still, and to not let it bob under the water, with the water pushed either side of my head, not over it. Instant reduction in stroke count, and so much easier to breath.
Also, I think some people take 'relaxing the head' too far, and it goes too low, causing so many issues with breathing and stroke efficiency.

Janos
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  #3  
Old 07-07-2010
splashingpat splashingpat is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 589
splashingpat
Default ,Sinker no more to a sharin' swimmer...

Quote:
Originally Posted by dobarton View Post
Greetings,
As some of you know, I'm a runner turned swimmer due to knee failure. Been working on this about a year with TI being a part of it for about 8-9 months (maybe), using DVD and this discussion board for instruction. 6' tall, 170#, about 12% body fat (sinker!!!!).

I can easily swim a 5K in a 25m pool at the gym, takes about 1h47m. My problem has been that in my long swims (over 100m, LOL),
I take 20-24 SPL with most being 21-22! Given the numbers I see here, that's awful (Terry reminds me that it's respectable for a beginner and I certainly see many at the pool at 30+)! What's frustrating is that if I'm only doing 25, 50, 100m, I can keep myself at 13-15 SPL.

Yesterday, doing spear switches, I discovered something. I was paying so much attention to my spearing arm, that I was not paying attention to catch/pull. I had already noticed that with each spear, my head and shoulders go under further. What I had not noticed was that, JUST before spearing, they were coming UP! What goes up, must come down! So, needless to say, I was bobbing up and down the length. Not much... just enough to waste energy.
I had been assuming I was spearing too deep (which I was) and that was my only problem. In analyzing, however, it appears that my catch/pull was pushing my body up out of the water just a little. So, I started focusing on pulling with my forearm more
parallel to the bottom of the pool and a little closer into my body.
Wow, less bobbing!

So today, I swam my mile. Three focal points were present, don't push my body up with my pull, keep the head relaxed and breath over the shoulder. Don't worry about how often I breath, some were three stroke breaths and some were two stroke breaths. Lo and behold, all lengths were 20 or less with many only being 18... Woo Ho!. Finally a step forward! I was jazzed, so I thought I'd share!
Hope you all have a great day!
Thanks sharin' your swimming insites
and stepping forward and jazzed
You made my day!

I hope one day I can go to the pool
and
just focus on me and not trying to tell others what might be better for 'em!

Last edited by splashingpat : 07-07-2010 at 04:47 PM.
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  #4  
Old 07-08-2010
KatieK KatieK is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Scottsdale, AZ, USA
Posts: 295
KatieK
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Congratulations! It's like that for me too--I keep trying and trying, get frustrated by my lack of progress, back off a little, go at it from a different angle, then suddenly make a breakthrough.

Good job keeping at it thru the frustration.

I've been working on reducing my SPL too. In the past two weeks, I've been focusing on lengthening my body line. I make a point to feel a stretch when I extend the lead arm, right after it enters the water while the other arm is still beginning the recovery. That's having a major payoff for me right now.
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