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  #1  
Old 12-08-2012
tsumrall tsumrall is offline
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Default TI & Sprint Training Questions (CEO help please? :) )

Terry,
I am very interested to see what kind of training you would recommend for a sprinter. I'm particularly curious, given that you created this unique and effective process for learning to swim and you have experience with coaching sprinters.

I discovered swimming kind of by accident in March of 2011. So, I am now 21 months into swimming at 42 years of age. I have been teaching myself. I have been "living" the sport and I want to continue to pursue it as a lifestyle. On that note, I have some ideas that I would like to run past you when the time is right.

I look forward to attending some of your teaching events and possibly becoming a coach.

I will link you to a few video samples on YouTube. I would really appreciate some recommendations for sprint training. I've been using my Tempo Trainer for about 3 months and I would love to see some samples of the most highly effective neural training geared for competing in sprint events.

From my assessment, I have plenty of upside by working on balance and streamline. In sprinting, I'm going to need to pay attention to developing an effective, efficient kick also.

Anyway, any specifics that you or anyone on this forum could provide would be greatly enjoyed and appreciated.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wJ-kNA18dxw

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VkhxAu2tsaI

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a349sPoXhkA

The last link is my first (and only) competition-to-date. I got placed in a heat with a couple of younger guys that were former college swimmers. I am the tall guy with the black/gray/white cap. 28.66 seconds 50 free.

I have since gone just under 27 seconds from a push off in practice, using the tempo trainer.

Looking forward to comments. Thanks everyone!!

Last edited by tsumrall : 12-08-2012 at 08:39 PM.
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Old 12-09-2012
terry terry is offline
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TS
Welcome to the TI Forum.
I watched the video in the final link and have two comments:
1) You breathed immediately after the start. And far too frequently overall for 50y and 28 sec. When I coached the sprinters at West Point we practiced controlled swimming without breathing (for the 50 only; for the 100 I trained them to swim fast while breathing every cycle). I had them periodically swim some moderately fast (not nearly all out) dive-start 50s with only 1 to 2 breaths so they became gradually more comfortable with it.
I'd say the maximum you should breathing in 50y is 3x All the Army sprinters were capable of racing the 50 in one breath - -taken at 35y -- or two breaths, taken at 20 and 40y.
2) For a tall guy 40 strokes is an awful lot for 50y. No matter how fast you moe your arms if you don't move your body forward on each stroke, you won't swim fast. All my Army sprinters were on a strict height-indexed 'stroke budget' on all practice repeats -- including 25y and 50y sprints. Joe Novak took maybe 22 strokes at 6'3". He swam 19.2 on a relay and 20.0 flat start in 1999.

I suspect you swam sub-27 after using TT because that helped you lengthen stroke.
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Last edited by terry : 12-09-2012 at 02:10 AM.
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  #3  
Old 12-09-2012
tsumrall tsumrall is offline
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Default link to Joe Novak article...

Very encouraging...

http://archive.totalimmersion.net/20...ary/novak.html


In one of the other videos I have on Youtube...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ta9HiSIAhSI

2 nights before my first race, I counted 34 strokes and 3 breaths (all 3 on the second 25). I've done 50's in practice before with only 1 breath. A couple of times, I've done 50 with no breath but nearly pee'd in my jammer/nearly passed out. Anyway, in the linked practice run from a push start, I performed the same time as the race 2 days later (28.6), so....

I will pay exacting scrutiny to a very low stroke budget and high feel for the water (drag reduction, streamline and "silky magic") from tomorrow onward; it will be my obsession.

Terry, Thank you for your attention and comments.
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Old 12-09-2012
terry terry is offline
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[quote=tsumrall;33010]A couple of times, I've done 50 with no breath but nearly pee'd in my jammer/nearly passed out. /QUOTE]

That may not be necessary. Swim some 50s on 2 breaths, first at 60%, a bit later at 65%, then 70%, allowing yourself to gradually become comfortable. And don't hurry your stroke to get them done. Swim them super-smoothly.
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Old 12-09-2012
terry terry is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tsumrall View Post
A couple of times, I've done 50 with no breath but nearly pee'd in my jammer/nearly passed out.
That may not be necessary. Swim some 50s on 2 breaths, first at 60%, a bit later at 65%, then 70%, etc. allowing yourself to gradually become comfortable. And don't hurry your stroke to get them done. Swim them super-smoothly.
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  #6  
Old 12-11-2012
tsumrall tsumrall is offline
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Default today...

This morning I swam with the goal of starting to find a baseline/range for SPL...
started 25's,
TT mode 1
TT 1.30, SPLs...13, 12, 12, 12, 12,
TT 1.35, SPLs...11, 11, 10, 11
TT 1.40, SPLs...10, 10, 9
TT 1.50, SPLs...9, 8, 8
...in between each 25 i would stop and practice either SG, Superman Flutter, Skating, Superman Flutter with Sculling-all for about 12.5 yds, to either feel balance, long vessel, fusalage or (in the case of sculling) to feel the water/find the wall to anchor with my pushing arm.

I usually have sprint sessions daily with varying intensity and repitition. However, I'm going to put space in the frequency; maybe sprint sessions 4 days per week. Sprint sessions usually consist of 500-1000 yds of sprinting. The following is a sample structure...
6x 12.5yds, starting each 12.5y every 15 seconds, TT set at .65, long, complete strokes.
Rest 3 minutes.
Repeat and reduce TT by .02 every set.
When I get TT to .55, I drop to 4x12.5yds
When I get TT to .47 that's the last set of this kind.
Then 8 25's on 1:15, as follows:
TT to .65 again (feels real slow and easy now), then move up to .70, then move up in increments of .05-.75, .80, .85, .90, .95, 1.00...this is the cool down. I can't wait to do this set and count strokes. I bet it gets real low.

The big advantages I find to the 12.5y distance...
1. More practice at race pace, less fatigue (until later haha), I hope that pays off in neural adaptation.
2. Memory/Judgement-its only 4-8 strokes for 12.5 yds, so its easy to stroke count everytime and remember on which stroke something felt reaaaally good, so if something feels real good, its easy to remember it and i try to duplicate that feeling.
3. Frequency of Starts with Streamline Dolphin Kick and finishes into a wall is increased

This got me from 28.6 to 26.9 in less than 3 months.

I was going to put some super-slow workouts on days in between these sprint session and use them to focus on stroke-deprivation. I will do that after I finish exploring my lowest SPL/TT setting.

Anyone have any comments on how to improve the workout for a sprinter?

I wonder if Joe Novak is in this forum very often.
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Old 12-11-2012
CharlesCouturier CharlesCouturier is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tsumrall View Post
Anyone have any comments on how to improve the workout for a sprinter?
If 'anyone' includes those who're not following TI approach to sprinting, then I may be tempted to jump in...

First, if the actual performance over 50m as an event is your focus, I'm sorry but I don't believe that the 50m should be paced, or swam in any way other than raising the biggest storm you can raise, ie as much kick and as much stroke rate as you can possibly achieve. In that, the 50 is very different than a 100m for instance, where control over the form will undoubtedly pay off.

Elite SPL over 50m LCM is anywhere in between 30-32 and 40 strokes for the length. So I beg to disagree with Terry a bit (on your actual stroke count assessment).

Last year I've used an approach which consists of sprinting (flat out, no counting strokes there) along with neural swimming over longer distances at much lower rate (ie, around 1.3) whilst time trialing over this same distance at this same rate.

Example. A guy who's best 100m before the process was 1:07.8, initially scored 10min30 over 600m at 48spm (a touchy bit faster than 1.3). Later in the year, he improved at that rate until he reached sub 9min30 over 600m. When he reached this point, his 100m was now down to 1:02.flat (scm I believe). This year we've resumed with the intent of getting down under 60sec for 100m (note that this particular subject began swimming 4 years ago, at age 26 I believe), and on top of what we were doing last year, we're not eating sculling drills, for an even greater ability to generate high torque.

That whole process I called it low rate high torque development. It uses sprint to further boost the potential for generating torque.

So where this approach differs, is in the fact that when sprinting, people are welcome to just... sprint! When working on DPS, they'd do this at much lower speed, much lower rate.

Obviously, if you want to compete and have high hopes, then you will need to assess and improve your starts.

I feel I'm not helping you much here (shedding confusion more than anything else I guess)...

Last edited by CharlesCouturier : 12-11-2012 at 07:06 PM.
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  #8  
Old 12-11-2012
terry terry is offline
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Originally Posted by tsumrall View Post
6x 12.5yds, starting each 12.5y every 15 seconds, TT set at .65, long, complete strokes.
I really like the track you're on. The combination of longer repeats at slower tempos to wire in a more efficient stroke, complemented with some very short reps, at tempo twice as fast -- yet mindfully focused on keeping your strokes as complete as possible -- is rational, thoughtful -- and strikes me as something that will be enjoyable to do.

It's almost exactly like what I had the Army sprinters doing in the late 90s. Joe Novak, for instance, did some 100y repeat sets at 6SPL to learn super-efficiency and hone great balance and stability. At the other end of the spectrum, his fastest repeat sets were at 11SPL, which would probably be about twice the tempo.

We complemented that with repeats of what I called 'speed bursts.' We didn't have TT to rely on at the time, but I instructed them to swim repeats of pushoff, breakout + 6 strokes. My instructions to them were swim at the highest possible rate and power BUT get as far down the pool as possible. They were always striving to squeeze out a further fraction of a yard. That encouraged them to avoid simple churning and MOVE FORWARD on each stroke (like Jason Lezak on the 4 x 100 in Beijing.)

Since starting TI I've been criticized at times for teaching people to swim 'slow but pretty.' However for over 25 years between 1973 and 1999 I had a consistently good record in coaching successful sprinters. I coached an NCAA Small College All American (male) in 50 and 100 Free and an All American 4 x 100 relay when I was still 21. I coached a women's small college national sprint champion and an All-American sprint relay in 1978, a YMCA National 50-100 champion the same year, a World Top-10 male sprinter in 1982 and 1983 and then Joe Novak in the late 90s.

We know speed here.
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Old 12-12-2012
terry terry is offline
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Originally Posted by tsumrall View Post
When you posted this comment the other day I overlooked that you'd included a link to Joe's article. I'd forgotten it was on the site. Definitely worth reading again - even 8 years after he wrote it. Thanks for ferreting it out.

Your curiosity suggests you'll go far with this approach to practice. And I'll invite Joe to drop by this thread. His email address is in the article, so feel free to write him a message and let him know you're aiming to follow in his footsteps -- err, strokes. I know he'll be flattered.
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May your laps be as happy as mine.

My TI Story
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  #10  
Old 12-12-2012
tsumrall tsumrall is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlesCouturier View Post
If 'anyone' includes those who're not following TI approach to sprinting, then I may be tempted to jump in...

First, if the actual performance over 50m as an event is your focus, I'm sorry but I don't believe that the 50m should be paced, or swam in any way other than raising the biggest storm you can raise, ie as much kick and as much stroke rate as you can possibly achieve. In that, the 50 is very different than a 100m for instance, where control over the form will undoubtedly pay off.

Elite SPL over 50m LCM is anywhere in between 30-32 and 40 strokes for the length. So I beg to disagree with Terry a bit (on your actual stroke count assessment).

That whole process I called it low rate high torque development. It uses sprint to further boost the potential for generating torque.

So where this approach differs, is in the fact that when sprinting, people are welcome to just... sprint! When working on DPS, they'd do this at much lower speed, much lower rate.

Obviously, if you want to compete and have high hopes, then you will need to assess and improve your starts.
Charles, I'm glad you replied. I enjoy your posts here, on USMS and elsewhere. They have provoked me to much research, thought, trials and improvements. You are right about the obvious, my starts are beginner'ish and that's an optimistic assessment. Just a daily reminder that I'm not Nathan Adrian yet. Hahahaha

It doesn't appear we are that far off because there is no difference between me swimming at .47-.60 pace with TT and sprinting/"raising a storm". The advantage of the TT in the all out sprint is to make sure I don't deceive myself about going fast when I'm not. It's my trainer. I simply use it to ensure that my hands are in fact turning over as fast or faster than male Olympian speeds AND that I can control the tempo with precision. That gives me the greatest blessing to humankind...the ability to measure everything, ahaha. Wink.

Of course I want to work on high torque and DPS on sprints...I don't want to just churn the water, raise a storm, spend energy and go nowhere fast. Nathan Adrian spoke to that once, saying that he wanted to make sure he was practicing a good grip on the water, not "slipping". The wiring happens when trying to accomplish a certain torgue and length of stroke at the steadily decreasing tempo. Without the TT, I'll say I'm sprinting but I later realize I was just slacking.

Also, it's telling comparison between the practice video taken of me 2 nights before the race and the race. I'd rather swim 28.6 seconds from a push with 34 strokes and 2 breaths than 28.6 from a dive with 7 breaths and 40 strokes and two guys in front of me. To me, the comparison says that I left time in the pool during the race...if I could have swam it with the efficiency of two nights earlier, maybe I would have clocked in at 27 seconds (and not flamed out in the last 25yds) wah wah wah. That was because I was so psyched out to be racing. Boy, I need some experience.

Quote:
Originally Posted by terry View Post
I really like the track you're on. The combination of longer repeats at slower tempos to wire in a more efficient stroke, complemented with some very short reps, at tempo twice as fast -- yet mindfully focused on keeping your strokes as complete as possible -- is rational, thoughtful -- and strikes me as something that will be enjoyable to do...
Terry,
Thank you so much for the encouragement and the ideas to wrap into my practice. My track is exactly as it strikes you...enjoyable to do. I really get lost in the sprint sessions. The faster I go the better it feels and sounds, that's why I pursue speed. The track I'm on is a result of hours of daily reading, video study, trial and error and finally coming to the conclusion that the principles frequently discussed in this forum work for me.

The biggest realization is just the simplest one...The way we as humans experience the world is with the nervous system. Expose it to stimuli and it does the rest. So the input is an experience. The output is related to that experience. From there, you can think and wonder, wonder and think, how much muscle mass does it take for the legs to sink?!?! (Anyone catch that reference to children's book?)

I will reach out to Joe.

Let's keep talking about speed.
-Tom
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