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  #11  
Old 07-07-2011
solothesailor solothesailor is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richardsk View Post
Hi Haschu

- - -
In the very early days of the Australian crawl, as it was first known,
- - -
Thanks. Very interesting. Here's some illustrative video clips and voice-over of the historical developments:
http://aso.gov.au/titles/documentari...n-crawl/clip1/
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  #12  
Old 07-07-2011
Richardsk Richardsk is offline
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Thanks solo, that's wonderful. I can remember swimmers swimming single arm overarm when I was a boy. I even used to do it myself. I tried to swim side stroke again a few days ago, but I seem to have lost the knack. My legs tire after a few strokes.

I never could figure out the trudgen, though, and in spite of more than fifty years of trying to swim crawl I only began to make progress when I stopped using my legs and made the final breakthrough after reading Total Immersion by Terry.

There's still a lot of work to be done but progress is being made.
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  #13  
Old 08-27-2011
haschu33 haschu33 is offline
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Reviving this thread from the underground...

Earlier on Terry adviced this to me:

Quote:
Originally Posted by terry View Post
...
1) Energize your rotation to breathing. Use the energy of the arm spearing forward to take you to air. For a left breath, it's the right arm spearing to full extension that propels you to air. Tune in to this dynamic
Right arm spears forward . . .
Moving left shoulder back . . .
Follow left shoulder with your chin.

2) Body rotation by itself isn't quite enough to clear your mouth. After you've corrected rotation - OFF your stomach, but short of being ON your side - your head needs to roll a bit farther independently. And following the breath, your head will start the return a moment before torso.

Try these and let us know if it makes a difference.
I worked on my breathing strokes for months now. Swimming at slow paces (~1.6 on the TT scale). My idea was a) following the details that Terry gave and b) only staying in a speed zone where I could do 'good' breathing strokes in order not to imprint bad strokes any further but only to imprint good ones.

That worked quite well. I have quite stable breathing strokes now. And I get air and not water. My bad breathing side (left) is not a bad side anymore. Although both sides still feel different, my left side breathing is not worse than my right side breathing. I can basically breath whenever I want to either side. That alone is worth all that effort.

Still, I noticed that in breaststroke I have a completely relaxed breathing pattern, with good timing, and extremely effortless. While in freestyle I get tense, get pressure in my belly and I am always glad to get to the wall.
I wondered why this is the case and didn't find any useful answer.
So I thought to pick up this advice:

Quote:
Originally Posted by terry View Post
...
To extend your freestyle whole-stroke, alternate with a length of breaststroke, focusing on getting into a fully extended, full-streamlined (i.e. head hanging between shoulders) position during the glide. Then take that imprint and sensation of balance, minimized resistance, noise or bubbles back to freestyle.

Swim 25FR25BR until you can swim 1km or more, easily recovering from any sense of breathlessness that occurs during the 25FR during one length of BR. Then progress to 50FR25BR until you can do a sustainable 1km that way. And so on -- 75FR25BR . . .100FR25BR -- until it's no longer necessary to swim BR
So I went to my lovely 50m community outside pool, due to the weather almost completely deserted.
After warmup I decided to do a 1000m swim with 50m FR, 50mBR, 50mFR and so on. I usually swim only one length and then stop, once I did 4 laps in a row. So this was completely new for me.
I set myself a time goal, almost set it to 20 min., but remembered KK's advice about the unrealistic goals and set it up to 30 min.
I finished the whole thing in 26 minutes. My avarage stroke count for the freestyle was around 40. It was tough, everytime at the wall I wanted to stop, but kept going. I used the BR to relax my breathing, but found out later that I was able to relax my breathing during the FR strokes as well. The last lap I did FR as well, so I did 6 laps FR and 4 laps BR.

I felt very well afterwards, and did some TT swims with slow times. Breathing was a lot, lot easier.
I will go for the 100mFR, 50mBR, 100m FR,...
Since my breathing got easier through this set, I think that one factor is a psychological/physiological one: Both the mind and the neurons need to get the experience that easy breathing is possible. As usual both adapt to that.

I am very happy, that was a good swim. It proves that Terry's advice is right on, and it proves that the basic TI principle I am following does work: establish good strokes at slow paces until they are stabely imprinted and then speed up, the stroke will keep itself together.


Hang on in there...
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  #14  
Old 08-28-2011
Mike from NS Mike from NS is offline
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haschu33,

This post is great... just about inspirational .....! I missed the second suggestion Terry had made to you; and I will take this plan with me in the morning. ("My" summertime pool is an outdoor 25M one --- got to love the outdoor pools!) I'm to the point that I feel if I could get the breathing working with consistency many other things would fall more quickly into place. I realize that it is considered lesser than good form to press the head down, but I'm finding I get a better breath focusing on maintaining a lower head. ( Comes from Nod & Breathe Drill, perhaps.) I must rotate better and not disturb balance with a raised head. Another thing that is helping is placing the focus on the exhale rather then the inhale, as was suggested by Terry. A slow pace, breathing enough rather than taking each breath as if my last, and lower head have helped. I will combine these things with your success from Terry's suggestion to alternate strokes to help embed relaxed breathing and see what happens.

The sad thing is, "my' outdoor pool closes next week for the summer.

Mike
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  #15  
Old 08-28-2011
haschu33 haschu33 is offline
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Thanks, Mike, but...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike from NS View Post
haschu33,

This post is great... just about inspirational .....! I missed the second suggestion Terry had made to you; ...
that suggestion was made to Alex and hides itself at the very end of the post: See here
and I happily picked it up from there.

Just a correction: 1000m is 20 laps in a 50m pool, so I did 11 laps FR and 9 laps BR and not 6 FR and 4 BR.

Some points:
Breathing is my main impediment for progress since quite a while. On the other hand developing breathing is progress itself.

One of the points that made the breathing issue so nasty was that at the moment I turned my head for breathing all my focus was on that breathing action, like where is the surface, do I get enough air, don't I suck in water, and so on, and this prevented me from having my focus on something else. Another reason to practice breathing strokes at slow to very slow speeds, it makes this part easier. On the other hand it is easier to loose balance in the slow strokes, and there is no very distinct bow wave to breathe in when swimming slow. And I did a lot of nodding drills, I would start with that at every session.
In BR I noticed that I do very good exhales, I empty my lungs quite much and can completely relax in the exhale. In FR breathing every second stroke is a faster rhythm than the BR breathing rhythm, breathing every third comes closer to the BR rhythm. But in BR when exhaling there is only the gliding, which is relaxing in itself. While in FR there is stroking throughout the exhale when breathing every third stroke. It is a little more difficult to have a relaxing nice exhale when breathing every second stroke because the time is quite short, and it is a little more difficult to have a relaxing exhale when breathing every third (or fourth) stroke because there is 'action' in between.

I guess it takes adaptation to develop a relaxed breathing rhythm. And meanwhile I do belive that a relaxed breathing rhythm - and having enough O2 - is the basis for a relexed stroke. More so than a relaxed stroke pattern.

The other thing is the 50m pool which proved to be very helpful. In 25m I can manage to get through with only a few breaths, so I can do laps at 0.9 or 0.8 TT times, but I breath only a few times, and if I don't get enough air it doesn't matter because the lap is finished quite soon. In 50 m this doesn't work any more. I hated the 50m pool in the beginning, it gave me the feeling that my reputed progress was an illusion. But after getting used to the 50 m the transition to swim longer distances is a lot easier.


Anyway,

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike from NS View Post
...

The sad thing is, "my' outdoor pool closes next week for the summer.

Mike
'My' outdoor pool remains open through September and then I have 3 or 4 25m outdoor pools in the nearby city of Hamburg open all year long. It is so lovely to swim in a 25 degree (C) pool in the middle of winter with an air temperature of -5 (C). Fog and steam is hovering over the illuminated water and you feel like an alien in no-whereland, or like Alice in Wonderland.

Hang on in there...

Last edited by haschu33 : 08-28-2011 at 09:07 AM.
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  #16  
Old 08-28-2011
terry terry is offline
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Haschu, Mike, et. al.
When you share your experiences with the various distance-building measures here, you help me enormously. Because it's been over 45 years since I felt limited in swimming freestyle for distance by basic concerns like getting air (I began swimming distance freestyle for my HS team at age 15) reading the accounts of people solving such problems right now give me useful insight.

As I mentioned earlier in this thread, breaststroke was the 'universal endurance stroke' for centuries because of 3 elements
1) The head-up. hips-down position that's natural for humans was 'correct' half the time when swimming breast, but incorrect all the time for crawl. A completely balanced position is un-natural and counter-instinctive.
2) The simultaneous arm/leg action of breast allows a restful pause in each stroke cycle. The alternating arm/leg action of crawl resulted in ceaseless stroking -- in fact, as a novice, slowing or pausing your strokes feels like a threat to well-being. And ceaseless stroking leads to rapid exhaustion.
3) Finally, the stroke rate one employs in crawl will naturally be about double that of breaststroke. And since stroke rate is also respiration rate, that imposes two challenges to breathing.
- Faster breaths tend to be shallower, which leads to an increase in CO2 retention and breathlesslness
- Fitting in a quick breath seamlessly--let alone getting to the point where you can make it feel unhurried, even lazy--is a high level skill.

That tells me that when pursuing the strategy of building distance by alternating breast and crawl lengths you should use the Breast segments to imprint the following Focal Points or sensations, then strive during the Crawl segments to maintain them.
Balance Enjoy the feeling of head hanging weightless between arms, with hips and legs feeling light.
Lengthening. Extend bodyline fully and mindfully maintain your submerged glide. Let buoyancy return you to the surface - which will strengthen balance sense. Begin your stroke a nanosecond before your head would break the surface purely from buoyancy. Stroke as lightly and gently as you can - think of using your hands only to 'help your head emerge.'
Exhale fully. Keep blowing bubbles throughout that unhurried glide.
Don't try to empty your lungs; rather use breathing to enhance relaxation and to keep you centered mentally.

Pick one Focal Point and make it your reference for both breast and crawl. Then move to the next. Keep swimming crawl so long as the Focal Point you've chosen feels relatively good.
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  #17  
Old 08-28-2011
terry terry is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by solothesailor View Post
Here's some illustrative video clips and voice-over of the historical developments:
http://aso.gov.au/titles/documentari...n-crawl/clip1/
I loved this visual history. I'm going to recreate it with high-def video and quality surface and underwater studies, including slow-mo and stop-action.
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  #18  
Old 08-28-2011
terry terry is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike from NS View Post
The sad thing is, "my' outdoor pool closes next week for the summer.
Ditto here. The outdoor 50m Ulster County Pool where I've done all my 'boxed-in' swimming this summer, closes Labor Day, as does the 25m New Paltz Town pool where we shoot TI videos.
Not because we won't continue to have lovely outdoor swimming weather but because the lifeguards return to school.
However, I'll keep swimming outdoors at Lakes Minnewaska and Awosting until I leave for Turkey and Israel on Oct 18.
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  #19  
Old 08-28-2011
Mike from NS Mike from NS is offline
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Haschu & Terry,

I get enormous help from the things (and videos) offered from people on this site. This summer I've managed 50 visits (most noontime for an hour and other 90 minute sessions on the weekends) out of the July and August swim season. As you say Terry -- lots of great outdoor swimming weather left but the lifeguards here go back to school and university shortly. We have a really great bunch of kids as guards here and just hope they return next summer. About 100 feet to the right is the shore of Bedford Basin and the anchorage for many sailboats. Great location in all ways! My salt water / beach swimming will begin for a month or so now. The temp is up to 68F which is warm for the Atlantic here.

These 50 visits (almost daily and sometimes twice a day) have helped my swimming development a fair bit. Little else has been accomplished this summer ! As recently as June, reaching the other end (25 M) might happen or might not. Now it is a given that I will reach it and not completely winded. Also, I have been able to reduce fin dependency a great deal, and begin learning the open turn. My goal for the summer was to greatly lessen my fin dependency -- I have accomplished that by about 85%. I was complimented by a couple of strong swimmers the other day on my "progress". And that length actually felt really good as well. I hadn't realized they were watching! What I had done was take my time - but with a continuous flow to the stroke, and kept my head low and trried to focus on the exhale.

I had hoped to use the methods of freestyle for a length breast as recovery today .... but Irene has had different thoughts on that. Tomorrow I hope. Time is running out quickly.

Thanks for the replies with all that great info which I will study and practice.
Mike
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  #20  
Old 08-28-2011
Mike from NS Mike from NS is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by haschu33 View Post
'My' outdoor pool remains open through September and then I have 3 or 4 25m outdoor pools in the nearby city of Hamburg open all year long. It is so lovely to swim in a 25 degree (C) pool in the middle of winter with an air temperature of -5 (C). Fog and steam is hovering over the illuminated water and you feel like an alien in no-whereland, or like Alice in Wonderland.
I'm hoping to get to Sunday River in Feb for some skiing .... and I'm looking forward to swimming in their outdoor pool there in the steamy conditions you mention. Did this last October in the moonlight of a cold night there. I was the only person in the pool ... it was truly magical!
Mike
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