Total Immersion Forums  

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

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 03-22-2011
Richardsk Richardsk is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 1,380
Richardsk
Default Superman glide and breaststroke

Superman glide, it seems to me, is a very useful adjunct to breaststroke. Recently I have been making sure to start every length of freestyle with a superman rather than a conventional streamline with one hand on top of the other, so as to transition neatly into a roll to the non-breathing side. Then I started doing the same for breaststroke as a preparation for the pull-down and between strokes as the glide position. I have noticed that Leisel Jones keeps her arms at shoulder width in the glide, possibly to facilitate a fast outsweep and insweep.

Anyway, probably as a result of this emphasis, and also as a result of implementing one of Terry's hints - to leave the feet slightly separated to aid in lateral balance, I find I can now do a 25 length in five strokes plus pull-down and first breast kick, whereas my previous best was six strokes. Obviously this is a very slow length and the glides are extended until a marked deceleration is felt, which puts it definitely in the drilling category rather than swimming. It does allow time to really think about the pull and kick, though.

I wonder if it will be possible to work down to four strokes.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 03-23-2011
tab tab is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 171
tab
Default

At one time, only a month ago, I would not have thought I could have made the length of the pool in 6 strokes, after the pull down. Now while really trying to focus on lengthening my self, I can. My pull down is weak, with improvement there I believe I can do it in Five. Now I know it is possible. My usual slow stroke down the alley is 7 or 8 while practicing the SG. If I am feeling a little heavy in the water I will do a couple quick stokes to keep up momentum. I usually swim for an hour, toward the end of the hour after mixing things up, the heavy feeling goes away. I should try the stroke per length test first thing and at the end to see if there is a difference. I contribute this easier feeling to my comfort level, tense or something at first, and more relaxed toward the end. Breathing comes easier as well, at the end. Sometime it is hard to get out of the water.

My daughter says I cheat, due to more undulation and a wimpy frog kick.

So what is the minimum?
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 03-23-2011
Richardsk Richardsk is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 1,380
Richardsk
Default

I don't know what the minimum is but I have heard of people doing it in three strokes. With a dive I think I can probably do it in four. I must try that today. That would be a dive from the edge not a dive from the blocks. There's footage on youtube of Lochte doing it in three strokes from a dive - just fooling around with some kids.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 03-23-2011
terry terry is offline
Head Coach
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 2,305
terry has disabled reputation
Default

In the last two weeks I've revisited a previous practice which I always felt improved my breaststroke -- the BRST version of "Gears" practice.

I use a 4-stroke range, from 6 to 9 SPL in a 25-yard pool. I begin counting after I surface from the underwater pulldown stroke.

At 6 SPL I gain a more acute sense of the importance of having a great streamline during the glide between strokes, and of controlling depth so I am always moving forward. It's critical that I be barely - but securely - below the surface. Too shallow and I'll encounter surface drag. Too deep and my momentum will be somewhat diverted vertically (diving and climbing) rather than concentrated to move me forward.

I might be able to make 5SPL, but haven't tried to drop my stroke count that low because I really feel I'm maximizing the efficiency gains at 6 while also optimizing momentum. At 5SPL I think there's a chance that inertia would rise to the point where I'd become less efficient through having to regenerate momentum with my next stroke, rather than pick it up from the previous stroke.

A good analogy is pushing a child on a playground swing. If you push at precisely the right moment on the return, it takes virtually no effort to keep her going. If you push even a nanosecond too early or too late, you need to work noticeably harder. Similarly there's a precise right moment in your breast glide to initiate the next stroke. Both for transfer/conservation of momentum and for coming through the surface moving forward.

At 9SPL, the highest count in my effective range, my focus is on keeping a sense of length and impeccable timing. Good speed but retaining the sense of silky smoothness I inculcate at lower SPLs.

At the intermediate stroke counts - 7 and 8 SPL - I focus on honing my sense of seamless transitions in timing. At all SPL I want to have a sense that I begin the next stroke at exactly the right time - just before natural buoyancy will bring my head through the surface.

If I stroke too soon I will waste the last bit of forward/upward momentum, replacing 'free' natural force with muscular force that has an energy cost. I also increase the likelihood of overcompensating and lifting too high.

If I stroke too late, I'll also fail to make optimal use of the momentum that's moving me forward and bringing me back to the surface. There's a precise moment when added force from the new stroke combines with momentum from the previous stroke for maximal propulsion with minimal effort -- and to direct the resultant thrust forward.

As you know I'm a big believer in measuring. So I time myself for 50-yd repeats at all four counts. Right now my fastest push 50 at 6SPL (12 strokes total) is 51 sec. My fastest at 9SPL (18 total strokes) is 45 sec. I'm aiming to improve my Swim Golf best scores at all four counts.

I also practice seamless transitions from one count to the next. I might do a series of 50s @ 6+7, 7+8, 8+9. Or I might do a continuous 200 (50 each @ 6-7-8-9) or anything in between.

And finally this is not just to spice up my practice. I practice to rehearse what I've found is a simple and highly effective strategy for race-pacing. I like to race the 200 BR and have found that by simply adding a stroke each 50, I finish far stronger than most people. Helpful in the 400 IM too.
__________________
Terry Laughlin
Head Coach & Chief Executive Optimist

May your laps be as happy as mine.

My TI Story

Last edited by terry : 03-23-2011 at 11:35 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 03-23-2011
Richardsk Richardsk is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 1,380
Richardsk
Default

Hi Terry

There's plenty of food for thought there and ammunition for future practices. I did try the dive today but my dives were not good (something else to work on) and so I didn't manage the dive assisted four-stroke length. I did manage five, though, which I couldn't do from a push today - I must have used up too much mojo yesterday. My freestyle also exhibited less of that exotic quality.

It is interesting that your 50yd times are quite similar to my 25 meter times, and better, which shows that many years of grabbing and evading water molecules pays off.

The evading is the interesting bit, I find, but so is the grabbing.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 03-23-2011
terry terry is offline
Head Coach
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 2,305
terry has disabled reputation
Default

Richard
Based on my range of 6 to 9 SPL for 25 yds of Breast, I'd suspect your most effective range for 25m (estimating your height from photo's on your FB page at perhaps 170cm?) to be 9-12. Not that I'm discouraging you from striving for lower. Rather that the best transfer of momentum is likely to occur in the higher range. This will also be influenced by your breakout point. I'd estimate I break out from the underwater pulldown at 7 to 8 yds.

As I noted in the earlier post a key marker or timing cue for catching the momentum provided by buoyancy, combined with the residual forward glide from the previous stroke, is that you initiate the new stroke just before surfacing. If your head has already broken the surface when you stroke, you'll need to exert more muscular force.
__________________
Terry Laughlin
Head Coach & Chief Executive Optimist

May your laps be as happy as mine.

My TI Story

Last edited by terry : 03-23-2011 at 09:18 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 03-24-2011
Richardsk Richardsk is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 1,380
Richardsk
Default

Thanks for the suggestions, Terry

I wasn't able to swim today because of extraneous circumstances but I'll experiment more tomorrow. The idea of adding a stroke a length appeals to me - maybe starting at eight rather than six, which is really too slow.

I used to be 5'11" in height but I seem to have shrunk with age ( I gather it's common) so I'm probably between 5'9" and 5'10" now. I look shorter because I'm rather wide bodied - that's my story anyway.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 03-25-2011
Richardsk Richardsk is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 1,380
Richardsk
Default

Today I found I could do 25m in five strokes relatively easily so after a few of those I tried the experiment of taking one more stroke ( or so) per length and managed to go from 6 to 9 quite successfully . As far as I remember it went 6, 8+ (eight strokes with a long glide at the end) 8 and 9. I intend to play with this a lot more as it seems to offer great scope for developing a better sense of pace.
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 01:44 PM.


Powered by vBulletin®
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.