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  #1  
Old 08-04-2017
gallootjs
 
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Default Increasing pace

Hello,

I was wondering about the interplay between pace, arm speed, recovery speed and pressure applied to water. I remember reading that Terry never presses hard during his stroke, so if I want to increase my pace while keeping pressure the same, does that mean I have to shorten my recovery? Or do I change the path the arm takes during propulsion? I'm just trying to determine what adjustments are needed when increasing pace. Thanks in advance!

Johnny
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  #2  
Old 08-04-2017
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CoachStuartMcDougal CoachStuartMcDougal is offline
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Hi Johnny,

Good question. The low side arm pressure remains light, it's removing unnecessary movements with the high side arm that allow faster turnover or tempo without shortening stroke length or stunting the recovery (lifting early). Instead, focus on the path of the high side arm and its speed and not what the low side arm is doing.

Speed comes down to stroke rate x stroke length = velocity measured in yards per second or meters per second. Stoke rate in this context is strokes per minute. Doing a little math gives you choices, not subjective speed or perception of speed with fast turnover or fast arms. Faster turnover doesn't mean you are going faster, often fast arms = slower speed.

Stuart
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Old 08-04-2017
gallootjs
 
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Thanks Stuart! That makes perfect sense.
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  #4  
Old 08-04-2017
Danny Danny is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CoachStuartMcDougal View Post
Hi Johnny,

Good question. The low side arm pressure remains light, it's removing unnecessary movements with the high side arm that allow faster turnover or tempo without shortening stroke length or stunting the recovery (lifting early). Instead, focus on the path of the high side arm and its speed and not what the low side arm is doing.

Speed comes down to stroke rate x stroke length = velocity measured in yards per second or meters per second. Stoke rate in this context is strokes per minute. Doing a little math gives you choices, not subjective speed or perception of speed with fast turnover or fast arms. Faster turnover doesn't mean you are going faster, often fast arms = slower speed.

Stuart
Hi Stuart, not sure your answer made sense to me, so let me ask some questions. If you want to go faster, it seems to me that your stroking arm is going to have to also move faster with respect to the pool bottom and the water that is in it. If you are going to limit the pressure you can exert with that arm, then the only way I can see to increase speed is either (a) improve streamlining, or (b) improve kick propulsion. Maybe what you are saying is that most of us can achieve what amounts to fast speed for us (say, 1:20/100 m) with light pressure on the arm, if we only clean up our act with good balance, streamlining, and exerting pressure backwards and not downwards. Is that what you mean?

Another possibility to interpret what you are saying is that you can increase the pressure exerted on your stroking arm by using your core muscles to do it, so that you don't feel the pressure as much, because you are using larger muscles to exert it. Which of these things do you mean?
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Old 08-05-2017
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Hi Danny,

I'm saying low side arm moves back slower (not faster), really at the same rate the body moves forward. The high side arm really moves fast since after all it's moving through the medium of air, not water. Often swimmers unconsciously pull and pull fast to stabilize the body due to imbalance created by the high side or recovery arm, i.e lingering, hitching at hip, lifting elbow above the spine, leading with hand, etc. I have moved away from "stop pulling" to light pressure press, if anything. But light to firm pressure is quite subjective. Your light pressure could be my firm or very firm pressure. Typically novice swimmers, but even some 20year masters swimmers to help them feel a hold of water and not pushing water back, I use "feather light pressure" or even feel how slow you can move the low side arm back.

Cleaning up unnecessary, stalling and destabilizing movements of the high side arm is a much higher priority. These added movements eat up time. Those having difficulty hitting faster tempos, is due to what's happening with the high side arm, not the low side.

Addressing speed with faster turnover is missing half the equation, but that is our terrestrial instincts. Perception is faster limbs = faster pace, not always. You have to include stroke length or how far the body moves forward on each stroke, i.e. speed = stroke rate x stroke length.

Example (50m pool):

SPL: 36 strokes, SL: 1.25m per stroke
SR: 60 strokes per minute (spm)
Speed: 60spm * 1.25 meters = 75 meters per minute
100m pace: 100/75 = 1.333 minutes or 1:20

Alternatively, with faster turnover:
SPL: 45 strokes, SL 1.00m per stroke
SR: 75 strokes per minute (spm)
Speed: 75spm * 1.00 meter = 75 meters per minute
100m pace: 100/75 = 1.333 minutes or 1:20

It's a couple of choices to serve as an example. I try to give my swimmers several choices depending on the race or distance they're swimming. Personally, I yield to the choice with the lower workload and increase stroke length, both for short and long distances

Hope the helps clear up some misunderstanding

Stu
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Old 08-05-2017
WFEGb WFEGb is offline
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Hello Danny,

think Stuart pointed out the critical points very well. From the pure physical point of view you're very right.

If you always put in the same amount of force/pressure to your lower arm, you'll get into an accelerated movement, and your arm has to move faster to apply the same force... unfortunately (as you said) only up to equilibrium between applied force and water resistance. In this moment a well balanced better active streamline will have its best pay off... (If all other variables are held constant, what's nearly impossible with all these tiny adjustments we are doing unconsciously with different paces.)

A second thought I sometimes find with my students is the supposed direct connection between recovery arm and movement of the lower arm. This will only happen if you're going to windmill, while the direct connection should be recovery and falling/drifting into the catch.

Best regards,
Werner

PS: 1:20/100 is very fast... for me at least...
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  #7  
Old 08-05-2017
Danny Danny is offline
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Hi Stuart and Werner,

Thanks for your explanations, they all make sense to me.

After a month or so without swimming, I am back in the pool only to find that my stroke is in very sad shape. So I am back in the (for me rather common) business of reinventing my stroke. The stroke I will wind up with is going to be different from the stroke I had before my pause, I can see that already. I had been working for a long time on increasing my stroke rate, and I managed to get comfortable with that, but at the price of losing my grip on the water. So I have turned off my TT and I am focusing on getting a good grip on the water and stroking as slowly as I need to in order to do that. Once I get my SPL down, the plan is to slowly start increasing stroke rate, but only if I can stay in the green zone while doing so. Time will tell how well this works for me.

P.S. Werner, 1:20/100 is the stuff my dreams are made of....
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Old 08-05-2017
Streak Streak is offline
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Johnny,
That IS a great question. Something that has always puzzled me.
When I focus on the recovery arm, trying to do everything right and forgetting about my stroking arm my times suffer.
Say, TT at 1:20 doing about 16 SPL.
If I then focus on a firmer pull my hundred time will improve by many seconds.
This could be because my brain is too occupied with the recovery that i'm not setting up the catch properly and maybe dropping my elbow.

If I really focus on my catch I can often do low 1:30's and sometimes even under 1:30 however at a fairly high effort. If I then just focus on my recovery that time will worsen by up to 10 seconds.

Anyway, this is what keeps me coming back for more!
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  #9  
Old 08-05-2017
Danny Danny is offline
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Joel, I am doing battle with this too, and here is my take on it, although I confess that I am still trying to work through these issues. First, it must be noted that a good recovery and a good catch are not independent issues. For me, the secret to a good recovery is to be balanced on my side for the whole recovery. The best way I know to practice this is by skating with one arm extended. If you are relaxed in this position, a good elbow up recovery should become easy. For me, if I am having trouble with this recovery, it is usually because I am out of balance at some point and my body tenses trying to hold on to position. The place where this is most likely to happen is up front when it is time to rotate. So this brings me to the catch.

As my recovering arm moves forward, eventually it passes my head and it is time to switch sides. For me, this should be initiated with the kick. But the main thing I need to pay attention to is to be resting on the other side (where I speared forward) in order to get a good catch. If I start my stroke before my weight has shifted to the other side, I will not be able to get a good grip on the water. The key thing I have been paying attention to lately to get my weight on the other side is my shoulder position relative to my head. When I am resting on one side, my shoulder is extended and my head is resting on my shoulder. More exactly, my shoulder is resting on my lungs and my head is resting on the shoulder. So switching sides means that I have to shift that support structure from one side to the other. If I start the catch before I have done that, then I will not get a good grip on the water.

Not sure if this makes sense to other people, but would be interested to hear.
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  #10  
Old 08-06-2017
Zenturtle Zenturtle is offline
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If a muscle is loaded time after time after time it will adapt to cope with the load.
I guess everybody can see which muscle has adapted to the load, and which load was causing this extreme growth.








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