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  #21  
Old 03-02-2009
Tridoit Tridoit is offline
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I tend to agree with AWP on balance--today I was at the Y and started swimming next to a guy likely in his fourties with what can only be described as *alarming* freestyle technique. Big splashy windmill straight arm action, and I counted roughly 40 strokes per 25m length--and 0 pushoff at turns. I remember thinking he should be toasted before reaching 100m. We started about the same time, and at the 300m mark (my planned stop), I was only a few yards ahead of him--that was at the 6:26 mark. (Yes I am a bit slow. But in my defense, a relative swimming newbie pushing 60.)

So he continues on while I catch my breath, me with my efficient 17 stroke count per 25m. I continue with my planned ladder set, doing a 200m, then a 100m, then 200m, then 300m--giving myself a luxurious 1min break between each. Then I finish with a 100m and then 50m cooldown. I've noticed this guy hasn't stopped swimming, once. I get out of the pool and walk by and notice he is keeping his legs pretty high with occasional foot splash. But 40 big arm slaps per length? Wow, imo this was an *impressive display of endurance*. I simply could not believe it.

Ok, I've only been swimming a year or so, and am certainly clueless about lots of things TI, but I'm thinking his good balance was his big asset. I can only imagine how fast he could go with good technique!

Btw, I think he finished his swim around 10 minutes or so after I did, probably reaching 1500m or possibly a mile...yes at 40+ strokes per length. Has anyone else seen anything like this?
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  #22  
Old 03-02-2009
shuumai shuumai is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tridoit View Post
...I think he finished his swim around 10 minutes or so after I did, probably reaching 1500m or possibly a mile...yes at 40+ strokes per length.
Were his arms straight underwater as well?

He must have a good kick because his arms must have been slipping through the water, unless he was moving fast.

Next time it might be interesting to randomly check his time per length a few times during a session.

I was doing 16/17 strokes per 25y last time I checked, but that was after kicking to the surface somewhere beyond the flags. I can imagine 20 strokes, but never 40! Not even for me.
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  #23  
Old 03-02-2009
Rhoda Rhoda is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tridoit View Post
...Btw, I think he finished his swim around 10 minutes or so after I did, probably reaching 1500m or possibly a mile...yes at 40+ strokes per length. Has anyone else seen anything like this?
Yes, it sounds like Dave-the-human-washing-machine, with whom I sometimes share a lane when I want to practice for waves and chop in open water.
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  #24  
Old 03-02-2009
freshegg freshegg is offline
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What's even worse is sharing a lane with one of those washing machines, and then catching up with them approaching from behind, and getting blasted in the face with all the suds !

I always think of the old "tortoise and the hare" story when I'm swimming (I'm a tortoise at about 21 strokes in a 25-metre pool). Yesterday I was sharing a lane with a guy half my age, who was zipping by me doing four lengths to every three of mine -- but he stopped to rest every four lengths, while I kept on plodding along. By the time he got out of the pool exhausted after 1000 metres, I had done 1200 metres and was still cruising.

I'll have to think about the advice about increasing my intensity, although I feel like I'm already as intense with my spearing and hip-thrusting as I can be. No matter how intense I feel I am, I don't glide very far.

I have read that the muscles of sprinters vs. long-distance swimmers (runners, too) actually develop different aerobic/anaerobic capacities, so that there is a physiological reason why some people become better at swimming faster for shorter distances while others are better at longer but more methodical distances (I'm not expressing this very well, but I think you know what I mean). So I guess the amount of sprinting vs. distance you incorporate into your training will also affect whether you become more of a hare vs. a tortoise?
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  #25  
Old 03-02-2009
shuumai shuumai is offline
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Originally Posted by freshegg View Post
What's even worse is sharing a lane with one of those washing machines, and then catching up with them approaching from behind, and getting blasted in the face with all the suds !

I always think of the old "tortoise and the hare" story when I'm swimming (I'm a tortoise at about 21 strokes in a 25-metre pool). Yesterday I was sharing a lane with a guy half my age, who was zipping by me doing four lengths to every three of mine -- but he stopped to rest every four lengths, while I kept on plodding along. By the time he got out of the pool exhausted after 1000 metres, I had done 1200 metres and was still cruising.

I'll have to think about the advice about increasing my intensity, although I feel like I'm already as intense with my spearing and hip-thrusting as I can be. No matter how intense I feel I am, I don't glide very far.

I have read that the muscles of sprinters vs. long-distance swimmers (runners, too) actually develop different aerobic/anaerobic capacities, so that there is a physiological reason why some people become better at swimming faster for shorter distances while others are better at longer but more methodical distances (I'm not expressing this very well, but I think you know what I mean). So I guess the amount of sprinting vs. distance you incorporate into your training will also affect whether you become more of a hare vs. a tortoise?
Yeah, doing speed work helps to develop fast twitch muscle while endurance work builds slow twitch muscle. (I think I have some type of generic, discount muscle. hehe)

Do you know the concept of "gears"? That's all detailed in the "Extraordinary Swimming for Every Body" book. Basically, it's increasing the number of strokes per length in order to swim faster. If your usual count is 21 SPL, try increasing to 22-23 SPL to see what happens. If you are still gripping the water as well as before and your stroke length is the same as before, you must end up moving faster.
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  #26  
Old 03-03-2009
mjm mjm is offline
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A least one TI Coach, Emmet Hines from H2ouston Swims, believes that anyone with a stroke count above 15 for a 25 meter pool has stroke efficiency issues that need to be corrected. I'm usually at 17-18 so I still have some work to do. Stroke rates of less that 15 are achievable for me but I consider swimming with any stroke pause as drilling--not swimming.

Swimming speed is stroke rate(SR) times stroke distance(SD). I am not aware of anyone that disagrees with this. The problem for most, including me, is that when one increases SR, the SD decreases.

Some swimmers: 1. use a tempo trainer to time strokes at discrete intervals and slowly evolve a faster SR while still retaining all, if not most, SD; or 2. use swim golf to determine their best SR and time for 50 meters and practice that "optimum" combo; or 3. consult a coach or video to detect flaws: low hips, crossover stroke, dropped elbow, etc. I have tried 2 and 3, may consider 1 and rethink 3 again. For self coaches, improving speed might be the most frustrating element of swimming. --mjm
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  #27  
Old 03-03-2009
AWP AWP is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mjm View Post
For self coaches, improving speed might be the most frustrating element of swimming. --mjm


Or, at least, takes the most patience and awareness of "eliminating" skills and effort levels.
The TT is a good tool for this.
Working on sustainability (stroke discipline) ie. staying with a spl throughout a ladder or pyramid set, also works for highlighting those eliminating skills and effort levels which will hopefully lead to that "voodoo speed". Now just add a stroke or two to see what happens!
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  #28  
Old 03-04-2009
freshegg freshegg is offline
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I can get my SPL down to 17 or 18 (25-metre pool) if I really make myself pause and glide between strokes, but then as far as I'm concerned it's a drill, not whole stroke. Plus, it's reeeeeaaallllllyyyyy ssslllllllooooooowwwww. At 21 SPL, I feel like I'm at least swimming whole stroke, but there ain't much gliding between strokes. I can make myself go faster at 23 or more SPL, but that increased speed seems to be the result only of more effort, not improved efficiency. I guess I just have to keep trying to achieve that optimum combination of the glide that comes from the lower SPL with the somewhat increased propulsion that comes from the higher SPL, but without requiring that extra effort.

Does anyone else have trouble actually counting their SPL? So many times, I'm halfway through the length and I forget how many strokes I've taken. I think, "oh, sh*t, was that 8 or 10?" LOL But then, the same sort of thing happens no matter what I'm trying to focus on. I start to swim and say to myself, "OK, I'm going to focus on relaxing my head today" And then before I've even finished the first length, not only have I forgotten to keep focusing on relaxing my head, I can't even remember what it was I had decided to focus on in the first place !! Maybe I should see a gerontologist LOL.
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  #29  
Old 03-04-2009
shuumai shuumai is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by freshegg View Post
I can get my SPL down to 17 or 18 (25-metre pool) if I really make myself pause and glide between strokes, but then as far as I'm concerned it's a drill, not whole stroke. Plus, it's reeeeeaaallllllyyyyy ssslllllllooooooowwwww. At 21 SPL, I feel like I'm at least swimming whole stroke, but there ain't much gliding between strokes. I can make myself go faster at 23 or more SPL, but that increased speed seems to be the result only of more effort, not improved efficiency. I guess I just have to keep trying to achieve that optimum combination of the glide that comes from the lower SPL with the somewhat increased propulsion that comes from the higher SPL, but without requiring that extra effort.

Does anyone else have trouble actually counting their SPL? So many times, I'm halfway through the length and I forget how many strokes I've taken. I think, "oh, sh*t, was that 8 or 10?" LOL But then, the same sort of thing happens no matter what I'm trying to focus on. I start to swim and say to myself, "OK, I'm going to focus on relaxing my head today" And then before I've even finished the first length, not only have I forgotten to keep focusing on relaxing my head, I can't even remember what it was I had decided to focus on in the first place !! Maybe I should see a gerontologist LOL.
Yeah, counting is always an issue for me, too.

Doesn't efficiency just mean your effort isn't wasted as much?

Check out Grant Hackett. He's a gold medalist at the 1500m event. He seems to be pumping a good amount of air. It would be interesting to know his tempo compared to our tempos. But then, SPL and tempo should be different at 50m as opposed to 25m and 25y. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f6qIhkuzTx0&NR=1

Last edited by shuumai : 03-04-2009 at 02:31 AM.
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  #30  
Old 03-04-2009
daveblt daveblt is offline
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I usually count hand hits, each time my hand enters the water is one stroke .

Dave
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