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  #21  
Old 11-05-2010
CoachBobM CoachBobM is offline
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Last month, I set a new Personal Best time in 100y backstroke. At the same meet, I also swam 50y backstroke, but my time for that event was actually below average for me.

I had a vague recollection of something like that happening once before, so I checked my records and found that, sure enough, at a meet in February of 2008 I swam a Personal Best time in 100y backstroke, but I only got a mediocre time in 50y backstroke at the same meet. What is even more interesting is that at my next meet, just 2 months later, I swam 50y backstroke again and set a Personal Best time in that event (a time that I still haven't broken, though I came close to equaling it in the fall of 2009). At the second meet, 50y backstroke was the only backstroke event I did.

My conclusion was that there's a significant amount of "gear shifting" involved in switching from a 100y event to a 50y event, and I still haven't learned how to do it during a meet.

In April of 2009, Fred Bosquet set a new world record in 50m freestyle with a time of 20.94 sec. A few months later, new world records were set in 100m, 200m, 400m, and 800m freestyle. The times were:

100m - 46.91 sec (=23.46 sec per 50m)
200m - 102.00 sec (=25.50 sec per 50m)
400m - 220.07 sec (=27.51 sec per 50m)
800m - 452.12 sec (=28.26 sec per 50m)

The average pace at which Zhang Lin of China swam the 800m freestyle when he was setting his world record was a pace that wouldn't even put a 14-year-old in the top 50 swimmers for his age group in 50m freestyle in my state (New Jersey). Fred Bosquet's pace for the 50m freestyle was 20% faster!

If you've got to increase your pace by 20% when going from a distance event to a short distance sprint, it stands to reason that your stroke at the faster pace isn't going to look exactly the same. And trying to change suddenly from the slower paced stroke to the faster paced stroke isn't likely to work.

A drill you can try that may help with this is to gradually increase your pace while keeping your "golf score" constant.

Swim a length at your distance pace while timing yourself and counting your strokes. The sum of your Stroke Count and your time in seconds is your golf score.

Next, try to increase your SC by one while keeping your golf score the same. If you fail the first time, try again. If you succeed, try it again, increasing your SC again. See how high you can get your SC while keeping your golf score the same. What you will be doing is teaching your body how to swim at a faster pace while keeping your technique efficient.


Bob

Last edited by CoachBobM : 11-05-2010 at 07:34 AM.
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  #22  
Old 11-18-2010
flarae flarae is offline
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flarae
Default Question that requires honesty

I have read the above posts and found them all interesting, however, to get down to the bare bones of it, I would like to ask the following:
When speeding up a stroke (freestyle in this case) do you:
1. move the hands faster?
2. move the hands forward of the ear upon entering the water?
3. pull the water harder?
4. kick a faster, harder kick instead of the 2 beat kick?
5. rotate the hips faster?
6. rotate the hips less?

I am a 66 year old competive Masters swimmer, who got back into swimming four years ago. My only competitive swimming prior to that was way back in high school.

I dropped 32 seconds off my 500 yard after reading "Total Immersion, The Revolutionary Way to Swim Better, Faster and Easier." My 200 yard improved 27 seconds.

But.............my 50 has increased 3 seconds and my 100 has increased 4 seconds. I can't seem to get my head around what I have to do.

Would love to take a class, expecially one that featured freestyle and butterfly.

Thanks, will appreciate any comments.
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  #23  
Old 11-23-2010
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MatHudson MatHudson is offline
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Location: Antalya, Türkiye
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Hey Flarae,

I waited to see if anyone else would chime in (we're all waiting on each other?) but I will splash a reply first...

Quote:
I have read the above posts and found them all interesting, however, to get down to the bare bones of it, I would like to ask the following:
When speeding up a stroke (freestyle in this case) do you:
1. move the hands faster?
2. move the hands forward of the ear upon entering the water?
3. pull the water harder?
4. kick a faster, harder kick instead of the 2 beat kick?
5. rotate the hips faster?
6. rotate the hips less?
The over-simplistic answer to each is "YES". But HOW each of these adjustments are made is critical to ensure that a 'faster movement' of a body part directly results in the body slipping through the water faster. Too often swimming 'harder' does not result in a reasonable increase in speed for all the effort expended. Hence, our appreciation for how TI has put intelligence into our training.

Which aspects of the stroke are adjustable and how requires more detailed explanation. We can continue in another post if anyone is interested.

Quote:
I dropped 32 seconds off my 500 yard after reading "Total Immersion, The Revolutionary Way to Swim Better, Faster and Easier." My 200 yard improved 27 seconds.
You've obviously tapped into the TI skills at tempos suitable to your longer swims. Since we practice these initial skills at slower tempos they are easier to integrate into slower tempo whole-stroke swims.

Quote:
But.............my 50 has increased 3 seconds and my 100 has increased 4 seconds. I can't seem to get my head around what I have to do.
But as we increase stroke rate (which we naturally associate with swimming 'faster') we increase the complexity level for these skills. If you are relatively new to TI I would guess you hit 'over-load' for your neurological system. The technique has not failed. It takes time to train our systems. Every swimmer has a SR threshold where an increase in tempo past that point results in exhaustion without any reasonable increase in speed, or even a decrease. The good news is that every swimmer can improve this threshold with some intelligent training.

I see in TI two aspects to the technique:
1) TI as a technique for how to swim well (the actual motion of swimming)
2) TI as a technique for how to train the swimmer to swim well (the process of teaching/learning this skill)

It is my experience that the more a TI swimmer looks to break through their perceived boundaries in distance or in speed, learning Part 2 of the TI approach becomes paramount. In other words, you've discovered #1 and then quickly ran into a challenge that points you to #2 for the solution. You've tapped into improvement in those longer swims, now you get to discover the TI pathway to help you bring that improvement into sprint swims.

For example, take that improved stroke you've developed at slower tempo and carefully, gradually bring it with you into faster tempos. Lot's of slow drilling to strengthen the neuromuscular pathways of that improved stroke, then doing sets where you incrementally increasing SR while holding your SPL, or hold SR and improve SL. There are many interesting combinations.

At some point in your training, a Tempo Trainer may come in handy. But I'd recommend dozens and dozens if not hundreds of hours enjoying the deep imprinting process of drills and slower tempo work because the deeper the imprinting of the stroke, the more resilient that stroke will be under stress- whether distance, speed, or fatigue. Sprint work will strain your ability to hold good form, so making it easier and easier to hold form will be critical as you work on trying to move faster. And of course, Stroke Counting is one of our fundamental measurements- you'll want to practice this before taking on tempo work so that increased tempo can be evaluated properly.

I've bonked (i.e. had my energy suddenly bottom out) after 6km in long OW swims with more km to go, but because my stroke (form and SL) is so deeply imprinted it did not fail even though I was no longer able to accelerate as I usually do (and I am going sub-1.00 sec tempo here). But when working on my 100m sprints I know precisely at which tempo my stroke begins to fail despite being fit, fresh, eager, and not even maxing out on heart rate. Water resistance increases exponentially as our velocity increases so the faster we desire to go the more critical it is that we perfect our form and are able to hold it at sprint speeds. According to our TI understanding, this is much more about neurological training than cardio-muscular training.

So with all that said, YES, your rhythm and form will adjust for the unique conditions of sprint swims. We need to consider how to improve those 6 points. But the question now is HOW?
__________________
- Mat Hudson

Certified Total Immersion Instructor
Mediterra International Swimming

Email me at: mat@mediterraswim.com
Check out my TI training blog: smoothstrokes.wordpress.com
And our company website: www.mediterraswim.com
And our TI description in Turkish: www.titurkiye.com
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  #24  
Old 11-23-2010
westyswoods westyswoods is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Rio, Wisconsin
Posts: 564
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In my mind there are 2 distinct aspects to the phrase "The TI Technique" that we refer to:

1) TI as a technique for how to swim well (the actual motion of swimming)

2) TI as a technique for how to train the swimmer to swim well (the process of teaching/learning this skill)

I see these 2 aspects as powerful fronts on which to make great swimming more accessible to more people. We offer not just a better way to swim, but a better way to train to get there, both in strategy and mindset, that allows swimmers to pursue excellence in swimming their entire life.

#1 is what we offer that is naturally suitable to the multitude of swimmers. TI is more practical and more enjoyable to the multitude of swimmers who otherwise, under traditional approaches, would not find swimming so easy or enjoyable.

#2 is what we offer that is, to me, truly revolutionary and has potential to take many of those in the multitude of swimmers to elite levels, who otherwise would not be able to reach their truest potential under the traditional strategy and mindset.

Matt,

Enough said, your words could not be more reflexive of my thoughts. So well put a simple Thank You for them.

Swim Silent and Be Well
Westy
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  #25  
Old 11-23-2010
westyswoods westyswoods is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Rio, Wisconsin
Posts: 564
westyswoods
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Opps,

A technical question, how do I get a quote from another member highlighted and put in one I am writing. That was my intent with Matts in my previous post.

Swim Silent and Be Well
Westy
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  #26  
Old 11-23-2010
borate borate is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 533
borate
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Quote:
Originally Posted by westyswoods View Post
Opps,

A technical question, how do I get a quote from another member highlighted and put in one I am writing?
If you want to include only a portion or quote of a post...
Select (highlight) that portion, click EDIT|COPY
Then, in your post, position the cursor and click EDIT|PASTE

To make it a quote, select the text again and click the "quote"
icon in the toolbar. It is the fourth from the right.

If you want to create a link to an entire post...
Log in. Then select the desired forum and thread.
Click the DISPLAY MODES button (near the top-right) and choose "hybrid mode." At the top of the page all the posts will be shown as a thread tree.
Right-click the blue-colored link of the specific post you want and choose COPY LINK LOCATION.

In your post, position the cursor and click EDIT|PASTE. An example, a comment by MatHudson...
http://www.totalimmersion.net/forum/...4968#post14968

Last edited by borate : 11-23-2010 at 05:17 PM. Reason: correction
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  #27  
Old 11-24-2010
CoachBobM CoachBobM is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 647
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flarae View Post
I have read the above posts and found them all interesting, however, to get down to the bare bones of it, I would like to ask the following:
When speeding up a stroke (freestyle in this case) do you:
1. move the hands faster?
2. move the hands forward of the ear upon entering the water?
3. pull the water harder?
4. kick a faster, harder kick instead of the 2 beat kick?
5. rotate the hips faster?
6. rotate the hips less?
The main things I focus on when I try to speed up my SR are:
1) recovering my arm more quickly
2) maintaining the same feeling of streamlining and minimal drag that I had when my SR was lower.
I'm also sometimes conscious of driving more with my hips. Undoubtedly, there are other things that also change, but they're not what I'm focusing on.

My natural tendency when I'm trying to increase SR is to become sloppier about how I do things, so my primary focus is on not becoming sloppy.


Bob
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