Total Immersion Forums  

Go Back   Total Immersion Forums > Freestyle
FAQ Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 07-15-2015
sclim sclim is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 1,499
sclim
Default Wet Suit altering, among other things, my Kick

I have posted about the difficulties, mostly new realisation of unexpected tension in OW lake swimming since starting twice a week in July.

This is related, but not exactly the same. For some reason, my kick has gone odd. In the pool my 2 beat kick had progressed to the point that on the right I could often get a nice hip driven smooth kick that propagated in a nice delayed fashion (I think) quite long after the right arm pull has finished, resulting in a pleasant smoothing of the velocity peaks, and a nice glide phase. On the left kick I was less smooth, and complicated by the tendency of the left heel to break the water surface, which I'm sure is caused by unnecessary knee bending. However, I'm working on that.

In the lake in my wet suit I'm floating higher, so both kicks have a tendency to entrap air and cause an audible "plooom" (air cavitation) sound. I have been able to control it better on the left, and even to keep my knee straight during the preparation and snap, resulting in a nice grab of the water and forward thrust. But I can't seem to do the same on the right. My timing or physics is off, and I can't get either a hip drive going or a grab in the water for satisfying forward thrust.

Even before I was fully aware of this problem and before I started specifically working on it, I realise now something odd was happening with my legs, because my abs and thighs were somewhat sore after the first few lake swims, so I must have been kicking differently and harder as a result of the altered buoyancy, and resultant lack of effective kick feel in the water.

Last edited by sclim : 07-15-2015 at 12:03 AM. Reason: Trying to make the meaning clearer
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 07-15-2015
CoachStuartMcDougal's Avatar
CoachStuartMcDougal CoachStuartMcDougal is offline
coach
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 1,353
CoachStuartMcDougal
Default

Hey Sclim,

The wetsuit ... friend or foe? Depends on the wetsuit, some are so thick (5mm+) and buoyant in stomach and leg panels, a swimmer feels like a cork - difficult to drive/pivot the hips with the balloon holding you back. I used to cut the legs just above the knees to reduce buoyancy and help feel hip drive through legs. I found the Synergy Shorty (sleeveless, cut above the knees) had thinner panels 2-3mm, about 1/3 the buoyancy of most wetsuits. Although still a bit corky, you can certainly get those hips working and hold your pool stroke (not a wetsuit stroke) in open water. Here's the link to the Synergy "Quick John": http://www.synergysport.com/product_...sp?prdID=17453

Stuart
www.mindbodyandswim.com

Last edited by CoachStuartMcDougal : 07-15-2015 at 12:26 AM. Reason: link to synergy suit
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 07-20-2015
sclim sclim is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 1,499
sclim
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by CoachStuartMcDougal View Post
Hey Sclim,

The wetsuit ... friend or foe? Depends on the wetsuit, some are so thick (5mm+) and buoyant in stomach and leg panels, a swimmer feels like a cork - difficult to drive/pivot the hips with the balloon holding you back. I used to cut the legs just above the knees to reduce buoyancy and help feel hip drive through legs. I found the Synergy Shorty (sleeveless, cut above the knees) had thinner panels 2-3mm, about 1/3 the buoyancy of most wetsuits. Although still a bit corky, you can certainly get those hips working and hold your pool stroke (not a wetsuit stroke) in open water. Here's the link to the Synergy "Quick John": http://www.synergysport.com/product_...sp?prdID=17453

Stuart
www.mindbodyandswim.com
OK, I'm still on the steep end of the learning curve here. What you are saying is that many wet suits are too buoyant. Not only do I find this a novel idea, but I am astounded that it may apply to even me, the quintessential sinker.

Is it barely possible that as a bad sinker, I may be restored to "OK" buoyancy with this suit, but have not learned to control this new-found buoyancy? I notice you make a distinction between pool stroke and wetsuit stroke. This is new information for me and I am anxious to learn the specifics, if there is a possibility that I may not need to cut my wetsuit legs down.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 07-20-2015
andyinnorway andyinnorway is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 1,680
andyinnorway
Default

I think there is a big difference between a surf wet suit and a swim wet suit.

I've only ever owned a blue seventy helix which is a premium tri suit and too fragile to buy again.

The advantage of the price point is that I keep my pool stroke in it but it gives me a better balance profile in the water.

After 4 years its very ripped and sad looking but still working.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 07-20-2015
CoachStuartMcDougal's Avatar
CoachStuartMcDougal CoachStuartMcDougal is offline
coach
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 1,353
CoachStuartMcDougal
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by sclim View Post
OK, I'm still on the steep end of the learning curve here. What you are saying is that many wet suits are too buoyant. Not only do I find this a novel idea, but I am astounded that it may apply to even me, the quintessential sinker.

Is it barely possible that as a bad sinker, I may be restored to "OK" buoyancy with this suit, but have not learned to control this new-found buoyancy? I notice you make a distinction between pool stroke and wetsuit stroke. This is new information for me and I am anxious to learn the specifics, if there is a possibility that I may not need to cut my wetsuit legs down.
Hi Sclim,

Yes most wetsuits are very (too) buoyant and unfortunately the adult onset swimmer/triathlete becomes easily dependent on the wetsuit since 1. lifts your hips (like a pull buoy), and 2. because of #1 much easier to swim longer distances since the swimmers hasn't learned (or is aware of) developing the skill of balance. The wetsuit will make up for a lot of stroke errors, most swimmers are completely unaware of. The wetsuit companies love this since they sell a lot of high dollar wetsuits built on this swimmer dependency. Ask a triathlete to swim open water without a wetsuit, and you would think the world is coming to an end as we know it :-)

Body types are very personal, natural buoyancy different from swimmer to swimmer. I'm certainly much like you, a "heavy hipper", subtle errors in position, it's down periscope for me, while others with more natural buoyancy, subtle errors don't cause as much of a problem. You are not a "bad sinker" since you are still learning the art and skill of balance for *your* body type.

As you have noticed swimming with and without a corky wetsuit, you are aware of the position of your high legs, grabbing more air with the added buoyancy. I notice most swimmers wearing a wetsuit often turn the legs off completely, swimming/crawling arms only, much like using a pull buoy. Any time I wear my shorty, I really have to focus on driving from the hips and narrower recovery entry - where it's much more natural (pool stroke) swimming without a wetsuit. So just like you, I have to modify my pool stroke to match the added buoyancy of the wetsuit, and is why I rarely swim with one even in temps below 60deg. I wear a wetsuit mostly when I'm coaching a swimmer in open water with cooler temps where I find myself doing more observing and not doing much swimming.

Stuart
www.mindbodyandswim.net
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 07-27-2015
sclim sclim is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 1,499
sclim
Default

I appreciate your point about a buoyant wetsuit making up for the balance deficiencies of a sinker. Being in this category, and having partially learned to balance, I still find the wetsuit a speeder-up for my swimming, despite the frustration of partially losing my "grab" in the water of my leg kicks.

As the purpose of swimming in this situation in my case is to do as well as I can in the triathlon, I would still continue to use the wetsuit, even if the lake was warm enough to discard it. So, I have the choice -- to learn to drive the kick deeper to improve my time further, or to accept the minimal kick effect, and maybe exploit it to save my legs during the swim for the bike and run. I guess there may be an intermediate hybrid option that might be an optimised point.

BTW I did my second Half IronMan yesterday (Calgary) and shaved 30 minutes off my bike time, coming in second in my age group. My swim time didn't improve much from my previous try, but maybe my minimal leg work in my wetsuit paid off somewhat?
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 07-27-2015
CoachStuartMcDougal's Avatar
CoachStuartMcDougal CoachStuartMcDougal is offline
coach
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 1,353
CoachStuartMcDougal
Default

Congrats Sclim! 2nd in age group - nice!! It could be that your swim, even though same time as last year, was done with even less effort, greater efficiency, and with that energy savings, allowed a pr on your bike.

Most will swim faster in a wetsuit due mainly to the hips being high which reduces the drag profile, as well as any stroke errors don't have as much of an affect on body position, i.e. if I look forward 20 degs, my hips will drop only a few inches wearing a wetsuit, without a wetsuit my hips easily drop over a foot. Head position is and always will be one of my priority focal points.

One way to wean off dependency on artificial buoyancy of the corky wetsuit is use those neoprene short pants, 1/4 the buoyancy of a full. Also those those stuck on using pull-buoy, to help wean off the buoy, wear the rubber pants that have enough buoyancy to lift the hips and feel stable, but still use whole body movement, not shut off the hips and legs.

Often the pull-buoy and even the wetsuit creates a zombie or camel swimmer, kicking down on the wrong leg/foot on every stroke. Notice any swimmer swimming freestyle with a buoy, legs in bondage, as one hip rotates down, the same side leg rotates down with hip. It's an unnatural movement, looks and feels awkward, disconnected. In order for a swimmer to be balanced and connect the core, hip down is followed by opposite leg down, i.e. left hip rotates down, right leg follows kicking down.

Stuart
www.mindbodyandswim.net
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 07-28-2015
Tom Pamperin Tom Pamperin is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 712
Tom Pamperin
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by sclim View Post
BTW I did my second Half IronMan yesterday (Calgary) and shaved 30 minutes off my bike time, coming in second in my age group. My swim time didn't improve much from my previous try, but maybe my minimal leg work in my wetsuit paid off somewhat?
Excellent! I bet a non-overt kick had something to do with cutting that much off your bike. Great job--hope you had fun.
__________________
Tom
www.tompamperin.com
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 07-28-2015
MaryGreen MaryGreen is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 4
MaryGreen
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by sclim View Post
BTW I did my second Half IronMan yesterday (Calgary) and shaved 30 minutes off my bike time, coming in second in my age group.
My congratulations! It's great result especially if the wetsuit doesn't fit you properly. I currently have this Speedo wetsuit. I chose it because of a low price mostly, but I can say it's rather good, at least I like it. Good luck in your future achievements!
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 07-29-2015
sclim sclim is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 1,499
sclim
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by MaryGreen View Post
My congratulations! It's great result especially if the wetsuit doesn't fit you properly. I currently have this Speedo wetsuit. I chose it because of a low price mostly, but I can say it's rather good, at least I like it. Good luck in your future achievements!
Thank you. No, the wet-suit fits perfectly and feels really good on. It's a very expensive high-end one, but it was the only wet-suit brand where the "Men's Extra Small" actually was Extra Small to fit my small stature (162cm height, 50.5k wt). But the bonus is really thin neoprene at the shoulders and cuffs, really comfortable shoulder movement and easy to put on and take off.

The problem, as I alluded to in my thread description, is that I am floating in an unaccustomed (for me, a sinker) leg high position, so my kick has too much proximity to the surface, and entraps air. I have yet to adjust to this position, but I'm sure I will -- it's just a matter of experimentation until I don't hear the "ploom" sound as I kick, then practice until it becomes automatic. Or maybe get used to a somewhat reduced kick intensity, (or varying it according to the circumstances) to take advantage of the resting of the legs to save them for the following bike ride and the run.
Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are Off
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT. The time now is 09:13 PM.


Powered by vBulletin®
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.