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  #1  
Old 01-08-2015
s.sciame s.sciame is offline
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s.sciame
Default how fast is your backstroke compared to your freestyle?

Hi all,
I was wondering how fast is your backstroke compared to your freestyle. For me there's a huge difference: at freestyle I cruise at 1:44/100m for 1500m (SCM), while at backstroke I cruise around 2:15/100m or worse.

I have to admit that most of my time I swim fs and just do a few laps of bk only during warmup and cool down. Anyway, since watching the TI backstroke DVD I felt like my form improved a lot - for instance I can hit the same SPL I hit in fs or even less with a slightly longer push off, or I'm also able to glide with almost no kick, so I don't think balance is that bad - but my times didn't.

For sure my bk stroke rate is much slower than my fs stroke rate because I'm not used to turn the arms in reverse way, anyway I was curious to know if other freestylers here experience the same huge gap.

Thanks in advance,
Salvo
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  #2  
Old 01-14-2015
s.sciame s.sciame is offline
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does anybody read/post anything in this channel? It seems underused...
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  #3  
Old 01-22-2015
CoachBobM CoachBobM is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by s.sciame View Post
Hi all,
I was wondering how fast is your backstroke compared to your freestyle. For me there's a huge difference: at freestyle I cruise at 1:44/100m for 1500m (SCM), while at backstroke I cruise around 2:15/100m or worse.
Interesting question!

From the numbers you gave, it appears that your ratio of backstroke to freestyle times is about 1.30 (I'm assuming that you're actually comparing times for equivalent distances, since even Olympic athletes can maintain a faster pace for, say, 200m than for 1500m).

The longest distance I've ever timed myself for in backstroke is 200m, since this is the longest backstroke distance used in pool meets. My own ratio of backstroke to freestyle times for this distance is about 1.18. My ratio is higher for shorter distances, but that may, in some degree, have to do with the relative efficiency of backstroke starts versus forward starts (i.e., in a forward start you can travel much farther before you enter the water, and air is 880 times less dense than water), since for shorter distances, the start constitutes a higher percentage of the race.

I can only guess at the reason(s) for the difference in my times. I suspect that one factor may be the assist I get from gravity by doing a high elbow recovery in freestyle. I'm not sure that there's any way to get a comparable benefit from gravity in backstroke.


Bob
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  #4  
Old 05-12-2015
descending descending is offline
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Funny you should bring that up b/c today was IM day! It was short course yards not LCM. We were doing 150's with a mix of cruise, build and finishing 25 sprint. I've made some changes recently and taken a lot more rotation out of my backstroke and have gained a lot more leverage. I only have some 25 yard sprint back legs for you, but I had 5 under 16 seconds which is about as fast as I hope to go off a push. Not sure what how much of that is swim speed or improved underwater dolphin though I have been working those hard all winter. My fastest 100 back in h.s. was a 59.high can't recall the exact time was just psyched to break a minute. Fastest free was a 51.12. Fastest 100 scy free off a push is right at a minute now so maybe 58 off the blocks. If I could do a 1:10 100 back off the bar I'd be happy.
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Old 06-23-2015
Zenturtle Zenturtle is offline
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I have seen the light in my backstroke yesterday.
Speed at the same effort level jumped from about 1.40-100m to 1.30-100m.
Its hard to describe what caused the difference, but the main words that come to mind are
- traction
-relaxation
-long pulling paths
-continuous connection with the water.
Its actually a blessing to not being able to see what you are doing and being able to breathe whenever you want.
That makes focussing on the stroke easier.
I used to loose some traction on the last half of the stroke.
Slipping and loosing connection between bodyspeed and armspeed feels bad.
This becomes more apparant when you hit another swimmer in another lane and suddenly push off from this solid object.
Wow, so thats how much I am slipping.
More concentration at the rear part of the pull and avoiding slipping at all costs made a big difference.
To get to a better hold at the back I had to change the front.
Deeper and stretching further up front.
This together with relaxed elastic arms resulted in more traction at the end. And I had to close the fingers more.
Slingshot the relaxed recovery arm over from the shoulder and shoot it right into catch position.
Gently but firmly pulliing on that wet strand of paper just on the edge of tearing it off.
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  #6  
Old 06-25-2015
s.sciame s.sciame is offline
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Wow, at this pace you overtake most of freestylers :-)
The only swimmers I've seen cruising at bk at 1:30
and not looking chased by a shark are the competitive
ones who typically have flexible ankles and propulsive
6bk, and actually it is commonly said that good backstrokers
are also good kickers.

But, as far as I know, your 6bk is not very propulsive,
right? So is it still possible to get to 1:30/100m with an
adult kick? Cool.

Also, doesn't your longer pull slow down your stroke
rate? What's your SR and SPL at bk by the way?
My SR at bk is much much slower than at fs (at 50spm
I already feel rushed), that's why I'm trying to rotate
less and shorten the pull path...

Salvo

Edit: before knowing what a pace clock is, I used to think that backstroke was an easy stroke to master and fly was difficult and hard, now it is the other way around!! ;)

Last edited by s.sciame : 06-25-2015 at 08:17 AM.
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  #7  
Old 06-25-2015
Zenturtle Zenturtle is offline
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its not cruising pace, more semi sprint 100s.with about 30 sec rest.
Hard effort, on and a little over the edge of keeping technique under control.
And it was a good day when I felt fitt.
It was a little longer stroke than usual, but that could be expected with more focus on traction and reach.
I havent counted strokes for months to be honest.
Getting everything in the stroke synced with focus on little proplulsive slippage, is another way of getting the rest of the body to help and minimising of drag is also maximising traction. This also has to lead to optimum stroke lenght (not maximum) Cant do much more than that.
I have to get the legs up by getting the front down.
Leg kick mostly goes together with end of armpush and simultanuous throwing the arm over.
Imagine throwing a kettlebellweight with a straight arm over your right shoulder backwards.
Left leg kicks down, left hip hops over an imaginary fence, right shoulder and arm finish the throw.
Some unconscious kicks in between.
Couldnt do it again yesterday sadly.

Last edited by Zenturtle : 06-25-2015 at 06:32 PM.
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  #8  
Old 06-26-2015
descending descending is offline
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I finally did some race effort backstroke in practice today. A 50 and a 100. 29.40 on the 50 felt great to go sub 30 was shocked, but my underwater work has improved a lot this year and that was most of it. 1:06.something for the 100scy so clearly faded as my kick on the back needs some work very out of sync. Pretty excited as I hadn't done a 100 back for time off the bar in maybe 10 years and smoked what I thought I would do. Freestyle mid season we did some block work last week and did a 56.high 100scy free. So, my back is right at 10 seconds slower than my free for a 100 right now. 30 years ago the margin was ~ 9 seconds b/t back and free. Wish I'd of had the freestyle technique I have now back then we were still stuck on the S-pull.

Last edited by descending : 06-26-2015 at 11:42 PM.
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  #9  
Old 06-28-2015
s.sciame s.sciame is offline
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Thanks for the sharing, descending. Your underwater at bk
is longer than it is at freestyle, right? If you had to
compare only the stroking part, do you think the
difference between the 2 strokes would be more
than 10s, maybe 15?
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  #10  
Old 06-28-2015
descending descending is offline
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Yes my break out on back is further than on my stomach b/c I'm still pretty fast on my back underwater. Just don't have the flexibility to keep my streamline and dolphin as tight when face down, hence it's slower than my freestyle.

For an all out sprint with a shorter break out on my backstroke, say exactly the same as my freestyle. Yes the difference would be a bit more I would think.
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