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  #11  
Old 08-25-2015
descending descending is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by truwani View Post
This is exactly my point: I also have the impression the better the swimmers the less you see bilat breathing, making me conclude 'if they do not do it, why should I bother?'
If you are only going to swim in the pool and race shorter distances? Zero reason. I just kind of got the feeling most people here are open water and ultra focused on their swim pursuits. If you are planning on being in the open water there will come a time you regret not having bilat skills at some point. It's a when not an if. There has never been a time I really needed it in a pool.

It can help new swimmers build a better catch and pull on their non breathing side though as they typically fall down on that arm and collapse, drop the elbow and have a stall in propulsion. If you have a solid catch and pull on both sides already this isn't an issue.
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  #12  
Old 08-29-2015
woodwards26 woodwards26 is offline
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Default My Bilateral Journey

Thanks to Larry C for starting this thread I am hoping Larry that the advice you seek will be to get yourself a copy of the perpetual motion dvd rather than a few drills .I am now a couple of weeks and 8 swim sessions into focused working with it even tho I have owned it a few years!

My Quest to conquer Bilateral which I believe will improve my swimming and speed .I believe this because without the ability to breath bothsides my left hand skate is pretty awful.I breathe just to my left.
My definition of bilateral would as well as breathing every 3 include alternating sides ie one length one side and one length the other.
My motivation to crack it after having tried several times is that I swam a 3.8k Epic Swim in Derwentwater on 1st August in a slow 1hr 38m I got out feeling fine but from the next day and the next week had severe neck pain on my left hand side. During the swim it would have helped with sighting but the neck pain is the thing that has made me want to crack it.

I have had the Perpetual motion DVD some years but not used it in the serious way I intend to these next few weeks Documenting it here will commit me further and I hope help anyone else who is strugling with bilateral.(That assumes I work hard enough on it). My goal is just to be able to breath either side with the same ease if I achieve 3 stoke bilateral that will be a bonus.

Anyway my quest started on Monday 17th August .I have given up my weekly swim squad place for 10 weeks to go back to basics by working through the Perpetual Motion DVD and hope to return to squad with it sorted. I am 62 and had my first swimming lesson ever in 2011.

So now the update 12 days in I have been to the pool 9 days around 1hr30 mins each time , had one day off and done two open water swims one was 4 x750m all good side breathing at around 17mins per 750,The second yesterday was 2x750 and1x400 the 400 I tried poor side breathing allthe way and needed to sop a lot but it took me 19 mins for 400m 2mins longer than 750s on my good side.

The nine days of pool sessions have been just The Perpetual motion DVD and I have now just completed Lesson Five.The first 3 days were spent on lessons 1 and 2 ,it needed 2 days for lesson 3, 2 days for lesson 4,one day for lesson 5 and one day today to review all 5 lessons.All Days I would do 50m Superman Glide before starting.

Pool Days 1 to 3
Lessons 1 and 2 Superman Glide,Laser Lead Flutter,Superman Glide to Swim, Superman Glide To Superman Flutter, Superman Glide to Swim --Laser Lead Rotation,Laser Lead Rotation to Skate,Superman Glide to Skate,Skate Stroke Skate,
I swim in a 25m Pool and SG took me five push offs 4 took me to the 5m flags by the end of day 3 four push offs took me to a metre from the end of the pool so frustrating !
The most frustrating was when I added flutter I needed an extra push off so that showed off how poor my kick is.
Skating on my left side was poor I just couldn't seem to get in the right position for ages I have blamed this on my flexibility but the drills showed me it was actually I rotated too much so my left arm came across the centre line. I was trying to correct this by moving my arm out hence feeling strain and blaming my flexibility. Once I lessened the rotation to being just off my stomach the position was easier to maintain but it needed focus as my natural inclination still had me over rotating.
At the end of day two I was beginning to get a sense of a relaxed head and hands but felt I needed a third day of recap before moving on to lesson 3.
Day 3 I was in the pool over 2hrs trying to nail it.
The day after was my open water day I didnt try to do any wrong side breathing but I did focus on relaxed head imagining a cushion in the water I was resting it on. Also trying to keep my hands on the tracks relaxed with my fingers pointing down. I ignored speed just focusing on balance and relaxed head and hands.

Pool Days 4 and 5
Lesson 3 Breathing Easily : Laser Lead Rotation to air , Side Pause Rotation , Skate - Interrupted Breath - Skate , Stroke with Interrupted Breathing.

The first 25m Of each step were hard and then got progressively easier.
Again my left side breathing was ok but breathing to my right was a struggle. On that poor side when I was off my back to get back into skate position was so hard.
Towards the end of Day 4 I noticed I was using my head and a jerk movement with my shoulder to try to rotate back down to just off my stomach.also my legs were doing all sorts of large movements to try and start the rotation off. I didn't fix it but with this awareness I got it better.
The next day was my day off from Swimming

Pool Days 6 and 7
Lesson 4 : Rehearse Spear Switch ,Imprint Spear Switch Position In Skate, Pre Switches plus Switch.Interrupted Switches,Interrupted Switches with Interrupted Breathing.
Day 6 was a good day I could feel it coming together and especially when in spear positon on my poor side I felt comfortable. As a cool down I did 2 lengths of whole stroke poor side breathing and two lengths of 3 stroke bilateral and they felt like the best I had ever done.
I revisited on Day & expecting great things and tried a couple of lengths of poor side breathing to start and it was awful .Just as if I had forgotten everything!
I revisited interrupted breathing paying attention to let my head lag my body on the way up and did a couple of lengths of Superman Glide before starting the lesson properly.
I noticed on my switches I was starting the rotation with my stroking arm a fraction before my hip pushed down and again this was more noticeable on my poor side.I then concentrated more on the the hip and eased back on the force I was applying through my stroking hand. I am not sure whether I should be applying any force at this stage in the drill but backing it off helped me use hip drive.
On the day I came away fed up that I had a poor start with my attempt with poor side breathing to start.But on Reflection I should have given myself more credit for the good lengths.

Pool Day 8
Lesson 5 Rhythmic Movement and Breathing This lesson takes the Switches from Lesson 4 and makes them continuous and introduces continuous breathing,It ends with Switches plus strokes with a continuous breath.

This was a good day it consolidated lesson 4 the last drill felt a bit like a doggy paddle drill which I have never been any good at. But this felt like it was all coming together again and the previous bad day was forgiven.
I finished off with two lengths of bilateral 3 stroke and they went really well so I got out whilst it felt great.

The next day we did a 6 mile walk and later it was my weekly open water where I thought I would see if I could do some poor side breathing. the course is a full circuit 750m and a smaller 400m. I set off thinking i would start off poor side but the murky water put me off after a couple of strokes and I reverted to my good side. I did a couple of 750m circuits again just conentrating on one thing at a time Relaxed Head,wide track arms ,Relaxed finger down hands and my hip driving the hands to the right place (not that i could see my hands !)
I usually do 4 laps but I was a bit annoyed with myself for not doing any poor side breathing so I decided I would at least swim to the first buoy about 150m just poor side breathing. after about 10 strokes it was a bit of a struggle and Terrys advice of doing short segments and not to practice struggle came into my head. So I stopped but instead of going back to good side breathing I relaxed myself and did short swims stopping to reflect before another few strokes. When i got to the buoy I negotiated with myself to do the short 400m course all poor side and then get out. I think the guys in the support boats thought I was having trouble as I kept stopping but I continued the full 400m but it took me 19m 42s 368m according to my watch when the earlier thoughtful non stop relaxed swim took 19m 48s for 773m .But it is the first time I have percivered for so far and overcome the egoist inside me as others watched me having to keep stopping.With a little more confidence and focus I think I should have been able to get round non stop.My pb for the long course is 15m59s but a normal swim is either side of 17mins. my goal is to introduce bilateral and do it with ease in 14m 59s

Pool Day 9 Today August 28th
I thought I would just review all 5 lessons and I did 50m of every part of each lesson but with a bias towards my poor side. I started with a couple of lengths of 3 stroke bilateral which went well but I couldn't have done another 2 comfortably.
The pleasing thing was my superman glide I found myself under the 5m flags after my third push off so an easy fourth push off took me the full 25m . At day 3 the fourth push off left me 1m from the wall.
Also my left side skate had become more aligned most of the time i was going into the what felt like the right position.
My flutter kick has also improved it has become compact and my legs are or at least feel like they are drafting behind my body.
But the biggest thing I noticed was on my poor side in interrupted breathing I could rotate both up and down just using my body. All the head and weird leg movements were gone .
So today was an excellent day.
I celebrated with a two length show off Sprint 3 stroke Bilateral ! a brief stop and a slow two length 3 stroke Bilateral. after a couple of hrs of people watching me do drills I felt the need to show I could swim. Not Very Mature but I am only 62!
So Lesson 6 beckons I need to watch it and write up my notes which I laminate and take to the pool hopefully tomorrow.

Whenever I have asked for help the advice has usually been just keep doing some bilateral and poor side breathing it will eventually click.But I think I have had a fundamental flaw that only starting from scratch will cure.

Cheers and well done if you got this far in my ramblings
John Woodward
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Last edited by woodwards26 : 08-29-2015 at 01:57 AM. Reason: Hadn't Finished properly before posting
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  #13  
Old 08-29-2015
andyinnorway andyinnorway is offline
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John,

I found adding some focused breastroke lengths into my sessions really helped me to fully release the head for freestyle as the feedback on breastroke is so immediate.

Get the head down, kick and watch the tiles move on the floor. You see a big difference between a good stroke and a bad one.

8x25 breastroke concentrating on released head, followed by some 'released' freestyle, it feels great.
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  #14  
Old 08-29-2015
woodwards26 woodwards26 is offline
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Default Thanks Andy will try

Thanks Andy I will give it a go
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  #15  
Old 09-03-2015
woodwards26 woodwards26 is offline
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Since my last post I have swum 3 times . I did two sessions of lesson 6 Swing switch .The first one was not that great I was still using my lead arm especially moving from my right to left rail plus my head was becoming involved in the rotation.But the second session almost fixed it to an 8 out of 10 level I guess.
Then I had two days off and tonight I thought I would just swim but use and review all I had learnt so far. I spent an hr in the water and banned myself from any unilateral to my good side. I did 25m,50m ,100m swims plus one 150m totalling 1750m where i either did 3 stroke bilateral or poor side unilateral. each set I would focus on just one point that I thought needed to improve.
The result was an enjoyable evening with no struggled lengths it felt really good.I feel like I am balanced in a way I have never been before. I had my garmin on and it says my pace was 2m38s per 100 and 12 strokes per length 18spm inc turn time so 24 counting both arms. I did a cool down where I counted strokes and ove 4 lengths they were 23 22 22 21 . My usual good side bilateral 100m pace over an hrs pool swim is 2m 16s and 26 strokes per length 23spm inc turns so but I can't say its without a bit of struggle.

I think I can now say that the fix to bilateral is go back to basics and use something like the perpetual motion dvd. I think I am now up to 14 swims and 2weeks 4 days into the 10 weeks I have given myself to sort so well pleased.

I had initially posted on the outside the box forum but came over here when I saw Larry C asking for advice on bilateral.

Terry replied on that thread heres his reply I have taken his advice on board and purchased the toolkit and will be amending my next sessions acordingly.


Quote:
Originally Posted by terry View Post
Woodward26 (what's your given name?)
Two fundamental changes between the Perpetual Motion DVD and our latest release, the downloadable Ultra Efficient Freestyle Self Coaching Toolkit are
1. Much briefer drill reps--but more of them. Rather than, say 25m of Right Skate, followed by 25m of Left Skate, we now advocate 6 to 10 reps of Superman to Skate, alternating one to right and one to left, done in fairly rapid-fire fashion. Travel only 5y/m in Skate each time. Stop as soon as you lose momentum from the push into Superman--before you need to rely on kick to keep going. The point is to consistently and immediately hit your optimal Skate position, not to turn it into a kicking exercise.
2. A far higher percentage of whole stroke mixed in with drills. After 6 to 10 reps of Superman to Skate, do 4 or more short non-breathing swims with same focus, then try 2 to 4 x 25y/m in which you add breathing after first 5 to 6 strokes.

There are many other changes--i.e. we've removed both kinds of Switch drills in favor of a much simpler process. And I think our Recovery/Entry and Breathing sequences are much improved. We'd been testing this new learning process for several years in workshops. People are learning better form faster and easier. I successfully taught 94 y.o. Paul Lurie with it. Four years later he's still improving his times!
Hope to report back in a week or so that it's that its a 9 out of 10
John Woodward
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  #16  
Old 09-05-2015
CoachBobM CoachBobM is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by larryc View Post
I've been breathing only to the right side for a couple of years (usually after four strokes -- left arm, right arm, left arm, breathe on right arm). I've done this for several reasons:
-- Water would go into my ear if I tried breathing to the left
-- My left shoulder/arm don't have the range of motion that my right arm does, partly because of an old arm injury and partly because it just doesn't
-- My (very good) swim coach told me he only breathes to the right and that it's OK
-- It just felt better

Now, I want to breathe bilaterally (every 3 strokes). After playing around with this a little bit, I'm convinced I could swim much better / farther / more relaxed if I could get this. I've bought earplugs to keep water out of my ears.

Problem? I can barely do it. When I try breathing to the left, my right spearing arm collapses completely, my head jerks up out of the water, and the swim falls apart. Breathing to the left just doesn't come naturally to me (and that's an understatement).

What drills, etc. can I do to get this where it needs to be?
If you substitute interrupted breathing for regular breathing, do you have any problem doing that bilaterally (e.g., on every third stroke)?


Bob
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  #17  
Old 09-08-2015
woodwards26 woodwards26 is offline
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Default My bilateral journey

To supplement the perpetual motion and toolkit sessions I am doing I have booked some lessons with Jai Evans. Super excited that he will help me finally sort my bilateral. First lesson next Tuesday .
Currently just finished my second go at lesson 7 moving the energy forward and as has been the pattern the first session was difficult and the second found its way into my brain.
I did a few 100s to finish off but stopped if I felt my form was breaking down . The stop helped me think why it was breaking down. In my case I think as I think my stroke rate drops alarmingly so that there is far too long between breaths. To test this I got my tempo trainer out and set it at 1.20 ( 50 spm) to make sur I kept the rhythm going. I played around with times above and below to see the difference . It certainly made my breathing easier as it instilled a rhythm .
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  #18  
Old 09-17-2015
Talvi Talvi is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by truwani View Post
This is exactly my point: I also have the impression the better the swimmers the less you see bilat breathing, making me conclude 'if they do not do it, why should I bother?'
Isn't this a bit like comparing an F1 with a production car?

For "average" swimmers (whatever that means) balance and symmetry must surely be key? Checkout fish! Pretty symmetrical. Besides your observation that symmetry is good for your body generally, it's also good for the head, brain, and proprioception, and better proprioception = better ability to improve technique. (it stops what's lop-sided feeling like it's balanced)

For me the pursuit of bilateral breathing highlights the flat spot in my stroke but as Larry already swims 3/4 strokes head down he must be very aware of his "basic" stroke. Bilateral breathing (as opposed to switching sides) feels like something I should be able to do. But I run out of breath breathing every third.

I wonder if breathing every fourth might in some way be easier than every third. I never thought but it could be a stepping stone? Something I'll try!

Although (since startying TI anyway) I've always swum equally breathing on both sides (100m to the left and then 100m to the right), the difference between the two sides is still crazy. Times etc are similar but it's the feel of it that's different (try crossing your arms the opposite way). What seems to be the case is that after getting into left side breathing (my weaker side) then my right side stroke seems much improved!

I'm right handed so my right arm is stronger, but although I kick a ball with my right foot I don't run or walk with a lope so why should my swimming not be balanced too?

ps
I also try to ski equally between the two sides. Maybe all this comes from my background in tai chi and yoga! Be one with the water etc?
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  #19  
Old 09-18-2015
jenson1a jenson1a is offline
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Woodward

A little off the subject, but I will ask anyway. Woodward made the statement:

. To test this I got my tempo trainer out and set it at 1.20 ( 50 spm) to make sur I kept the rhythm going.


I am questioning the 50 spm part. I understand that 60 sec/1.2 = 50 spm. But when it comes to swimming in a pool, you usually have a 3 beep pushoff and at a tempo of 1.2 that = 3.6 seconds in which there are no strokes taken. And if you are swimming multiple lengths, you not only have more pushoffs, but also the time that it takes you to do the turn. In my case, sometimes I am so bad at the turn that the turn and pushoff takes about 8 beeps. So now between the first pushoff and then the second, I have a total of 11 beeps. (At a tempo of 1.2 *11 = 13 seconds in which there are no strokes taken.) No strokes taken also means no breath either.

So I guess what I am asking is what is the purpose of calculating how many strokes per minute when it doesn't actually mean the real spm?

Sorry if I am digressing, but hope someone can answer the purpose of spm

Sherry
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  #20  
Old 09-19-2015
woodwards26 woodwards26 is offline
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Hi Sherry
I am not an expert but we are both right. Your method would be strokes per minute including the time taken for turns / stops etc. This is what the fancy swim watches like garmin measure . They simply count the total strokes and divide it by the time taken from pressing go to pressing stop.
But the TT say set at 1.2 or 50 strokes per min will beep every 1.2 secs allowing you to time your strokes while swimming but not on turns to the beep. It the therfore gives you a while swimming stroke rate. And enables you to keep to a constant rhythm.
It is a great tool
John Woodward
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Last edited by woodwards26 : 09-19-2015 at 04:30 PM. Reason: Pressed submit too soon
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