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  #11  
Old 02-20-2011
5-rise 5-rise is offline
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That's interesting, Terry, to think that some of the sightings might be due less to navigation and more to do with the swimmer needing some visual stimulation.Next time I'm swimming with the Tri club in a local lake, I won't feel like I have to copy everyone else!
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  #12  
Old 02-20-2011
CoachSuzanne CoachSuzanne is offline
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Another analogy I use...perhaps I got it from Terry, but I can't recall...is that of driving at night.

During the daytime, we can see for miles or as far as the sky allows us to. We can see cars, lights, bridges, skylines, etc so far in front of us that it provides no useful information for our current navigation, whith the exception of a horizon line aiding with balance/orientation.

But at night, we can only see tens of feet in front of us, maybe a few hundred on a well lit highway...but we have no trouble driving from say, Pittsburgh to Philadelphia at night, only being able to see 50 feet ahead of us at a time.

I use this analogy when people want to take a sighting stroke and keep their head up so long as ot take in as much visual info as possible and process it all, prior to putting their head back down. The visual information doesn't change...but the longer your head is out, the worse your stroke becomes.

Far better to take a quick peek and put your head back down and let your BRAIN do what it does best...process the information you just gave it. Then peek again if you need to...or take two peeks ina row. But for goodness sakes, there is no need to swim heads up water polo style ot get the visual information you need.


I recall on the day after I first met Terry, I went with a group of soon to be TI coaches and Coach Dave to the Pacific Ocean to swim. We split into groups of 2s & 3s based on speed. We had been swimming for about 10 minutes when this figure emerged from the north swimming along the shorline, just outside of hte breakers. An orange cap and sealline goggles were well hidden from plain view except when occasionally...a subtle lift of the cap and a brief exposure of the googles just as quickly submerged under the water again. Like a sea creature skimming the surface wanting to be lost from sight...and taking the briefest and smallest of glimpses as to what lied ahead above the surface of the water.

It was Terry, swimming just as gracefully, if not moreso, than I had seen him swim in the Outside the Box video I'd watched the day before. there is a difference between watching a video of someone swimming...and swimming WITH someone who has such a nice stroke and understanding of the water. Visualizing that sighting stroke of Terry's is always my "reset" button when things start to fall apart.
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  #13  
Old 02-21-2011
terry terry is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 5-rise View Post
That's interesting, Terry, to think that some of the sightings might be due less to navigation and more to do with the swimmer needing some visual stimulation.
Also on the Outside The Box DVD is a 90-second clip of me swimming in the World Masters Championship in SF Bay in 2006. The water is quite rough. The clip shows me lifting my head only once for the kind of brief, low 'peek' forward that Suzanne describes. While all around me many swimmers are lifting their heads repeatedly, some every stroke cycle! See it here.

I know from having been there that all they saw when they looked forward was a wall of green from the swell in front of them. No useful visual info at all.

Watching that was what provided the revelation that most lifting/looking reflects a kind of 'fear of blindness' in people who are not used to compromised vision. It's certainly not rational or useful.

I didn't look forward because the shoreline - which we were following - was easily visible to the left. So at that point in the race I stopped breathing bilaterally and breathed only to the left to facilitate navigation.

You may also notice that I overtake several other swimmers, and change course as I approach them to avoid swimming into their legs. Not once do I look to see them. I was able to sense their presence because of water disturbance and veered slightly away until I sensed calmer water.

As you might guess, these are highly specialized navigation skills, which are among the many I've sought to develop through mindful practice.
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Last edited by terry : 02-21-2011 at 01:33 PM.
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  #14  
Old 02-21-2011
haschu33 haschu33 is offline
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I am not an OW swimmer (unfortunately, lack of opportunity) but in last year summer I swam a couple of times in a lake in the south of France. Since I never practiced any sighting I looked at the other shore, chose a focal point and swam about a dozen or even twenty stroke without sighting directly to that focal point. When I looked up after those strokes I saw a completely different picture in front of me than I expected - I was completely off course. I couldn't even figure out if I turned to the right or to the left, but it was at least 90 degrees off - or even 180. I think swimming straight without visual reference is quite difficult. But it would be the first thing I would practce if I swam OW. Being able to swim towards your target without much visual control is crucial, isn't it?

Yes, and if I approach other swimmers in the pool I am always amazed how early you sense them without looking forward. There is not only a lot of bubbles but also an surprisingly strong tangible turbulence that follows a swimmer for several meters behind them. Although it might be quite difficult to clearly figure it out in OW and with many swimmers around you.

Are you OW experts able to swim straight when you don't sight in open water?

Last edited by haschu33 : 02-21-2011 at 04:22 PM.
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  #15  
Old 02-22-2011
LBRoberts LBRoberts is offline
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Having not swum for a while I was feeling rather stiff on Saturday and Sunday. So on Sunday afternoon, I headed down to the pool for a gentle swim to help ease the muscles.

The aim of the session was to focus on a high elbow. I began swimming and for the first few lengths managed to focus well with a noticeable flow to my stroke. As the lengths went on my mind sometimes wandered and my form dipped a little and I had to bring the focus back again. This made me realise how often my mind must wander during my swim.

I wonder whether I should aim to focus on one focal point for say 5 lengths and then move to another for another 5 and then revert etc so my mind is kept fresh by new stimuli; or whether I actually just need to improve my concentration? Grateful for thoughts here?

I tred a few lengths closing my eyes underwater to try and mimic the reduced visibility I will face in Open Water. I'm not sure if this is a very good substitute and will probably wait for proper OW practice but it did make me realise I can swim in a straight line without looking at the bottom of the pool

As I arrived home, my wife went into labour (nicely timed!) and I am now proud father of a son (to go with the daughter I already have). 9lbs 6oz so quite a whopper!

Last edited by LBRoberts : 02-22-2011 at 09:19 PM.
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  #16  
Old 02-22-2011
Richardsk Richardsk is offline
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Congratulations, Laurie!

I hope you have a pair of little swimmers there. Look forward to many hours in the baby pool.

I hope to see you at a meet some time.
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  #17  
Old 02-22-2011
roates roates is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LBRoberts View Post

As I arrived home, my wife went into labour (nicely timed!) and I am now proud father of a son (to go with the daughter I already have). 9lbs 6oz so quite a whopper!
Congratulations to all concerned. My son was same poundage at birth - he still big at 6'4", be prepared to be looked down on, ours dwarfs' his grandmother!
Is your daughter a water baby yet?
All the best to you all.
Roger
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  #18  
Old 02-22-2011
LBRoberts LBRoberts is offline
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Thanks for the good wishes.

Daughter has been introduced to swimming but is 2 and a half so at this stage it's been more playing in the water than proper swimming.

I'm not sure what age I should really start seriously teaching her. She needs to have the coordination which she probably has just about got the motor skills for now; but maybe not the attention span?

I'm not sure what the optimal age to teach is?

I am teaching her to lie on her back and kick to get a sense of balance. Not sure I need to do much more yet?
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  #19  
Old 02-28-2011
LBRoberts LBRoberts is offline
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Have bought a wetsuit: http://triuk.com/product/ex-demo-foor-synflex. Will plan to start swimming outdoors at end March.

Also, baby no.2 is settling in well so need to go for a swim this week again. Focal points will again be high elbow position and also tracks.

Last edited by LBRoberts : 02-28-2011 at 03:55 PM.
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  #20  
Old 03-16-2011
CoachKevin CoachKevin is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LBRoberts View Post
Having not swum for a while I was feeling rather stiff on Saturday and Sunday. So on Sunday afternoon, I headed down to the pool for a gentle swim to help ease the muscles.

The aim of the session was to focus on a high elbow. I began swimming and for the first few lengths managed to focus well with a noticeable flow to my stroke. As the lengths went on my mind sometimes wandered and my form dipped a little and I had to bring the focus back again. This made me realise how often my mind must wander during my swim.

I wonder whether I should aim to focus on one focal point for say 5 lengths and then move to another for another 5 and then revert etc so my mind is kept fresh by new stimuli; or whether I actually just need to improve my concentration? Grateful for thoughts here?

I tred a few lengths closing my eyes underwater to try and mimic the reduced visibility I will face in Open Water. I'm not sure if this is a very good substitute and will probably wait for proper OW practice but it did make me realise I can swim in a straight line without looking at the bottom of the pool

As I arrived home, my wife went into labour (nicely timed!) and I am now proud father of a son (to go with the daughter I already have). 9lbs 6oz so quite a whopper!
Congratulations, Laurie from me & Sarah!

Are you swimming long course or short course?

When you get to Serpentine say, "Hi", to Stephanie if you run into her...
Have you considered heading over to Tooting Bec when it opens? You could hook up with the SwimTrek guys for some open water help. Just an idea...
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