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  #21  
Old 02-25-2015
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CoachStuartMcDougal CoachStuartMcDougal is offline
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Originally Posted by sclim View Post
At 1.40 seconds, so far, I have been unable to keep my hips and legs up. (with a wetsuit on, the difference is ridiculous -- I could swim at whatever tempo I want no problem). I'll think about this some more and see how to improve my balance at slow tempos.
Swimming at the slow tempos are where errors, especially in balance, magnify greatly--of which wetsuits and pull buoys only mask (errors). I would say, join the club of heavy hippers (that includes me) :-).

Some focal points to stay balanced at slow tempos, wide tracks, extend forward from shoulder (tall body), swing elbow wide, drag fingertips. The slower tempos often trigger pausing recovery hand at hip (don't hang onto hip waiting for the beep), over rotation, tension in neck - each make the body unstable and "hip heavy"

Stuart
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  #22  
Old 02-25-2015
Tom Pamperin Tom Pamperin is offline
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Originally Posted by jenson1a View Post
Tom

RE: fist gloves, you said I like the Fistgloves because they desensitize the hand much more than just holding them in a fist--I felt MUCH more sensitive and aware of my catch after taking the gloves off

Just wondering, are the fist gloves any different than the gloves that Finis sells. They have spots for your fingers and when on the hand, your hand looks like a duck's foot. Mine are so old, that the name is worn off. I guess fist gloves are a misnomer in the fact they are more like mittens? Anyway, just wondering about the use of actual gloves

Sherry
Sherry,

the Fist Gloves are sold on the TI website. Basically they are just latex gloves (like disposable painting gloves) shaped to fit a fist--thunb but no fingers. You do have to be careful pulling them on and off or it's easy to tear them--always do that with hands wet and in the water and you shouldn't have problems.

I'm not familiar with the Finis ones--the Fistgloves do help hold your hand in fist shape, which (along with desensitizing) is the whole point. Another glove might help with desensitizing even if not fist shaped, though--might be worth trying it. It's really cool how "alive" your hand feels when you take them off. Good for building feel of the water for sure.

Tom
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  #23  
Old 02-25-2015
Tom Pamperin Tom Pamperin is offline
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Originally Posted by CoachStuartMcDougal View Post
Swimming at the slow tempos are where errors, especially in balance, magnify greatly--of which wetsuits and pull buoys only mask (errors). I would say, join the club of heavy hippers (that includes me) :-).

Some focal points to stay balanced at slow tempos, wide tracks, extend forward from shoulder (tall body), swing elbow wide, drag fingertips. The slower tempos often trigger pausing recovery hand at hip (don't hang onto hip waiting for the beep), over rotation, tension in neck - each make the body unstable and "hip heavy"

Stuart
Yes, I had to really fight the tendency to pause the hand at the hip during recovery.

I may be lucky with less sinky hips--I wasn't trying for any particular tempo, just really pushing SPL, and those were the tempos I got when I checked later. I swim more around 1.5 for my extreme slow drills/repeats these days.
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  #24  
Old 02-25-2015
sclim sclim is offline
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Originally Posted by Tom Pamperin View Post
FYI, when I started using a TT (right after working extensively on SPL without one), I think I was quite a bit slower--maybe 1.65-1.7 was my natural comfort zone. So maybe forcing yourself to slow down even more is what you need to do (at first) to lower your SPL?

I found it was easier to get faster tempos after a solid SPL base than it would have been to work on tempo and SPL at the same time. Once your stroke is solid, all it takes is time and mindful practice to move to faster tempos. But it may be impossible to get to low SPL numbers without slowing down much more?

Anyone have thoughts on that?
Well, this morning I turned the TT down to 1.40 seconds. I put in the first 25m with fists, and got SPL of 24-1/2. I figured my forearm awareness and position seemed to be good, so concentrated on full stroke and low SPL. First open hand length got me 23 strokes. All the rest dropped down to 22 or even slightly less sometimes, and 21 once. Quite a bit of improvement from 24 @ TT of 1.18 sec.

But I couldn't do them continuously; I was doing 25m at a time, which I sort of considered cheating if I couldn't sustain it -- but I will try these for a while, and work on getting the same low SPL with as little physical effort as possible.
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  #25  
Old 02-26-2015
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Mat Hudson has a blog on this. Metrics 103: Pace construction

Tried to get the url and I think it got directed to something else

If you go to his website mediterraswim.com and I hope this is the right link

http://mediterraswim.com/2014/05/12/metrics

Sherry-103-pace-construction/

Last edited by jenson1a : 02-26-2015 at 11:04 AM. Reason: typed in the wrong url
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  #26  
Old 02-26-2015
Tom Pamperin Tom Pamperin is offline
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Originally Posted by sclim View Post
Well, this morning I turned the TT down to 1.40 seconds. I put in the first 25m with fists, and got SPL of 24-1/2. I figured my forearm awareness and position seemed to be good, so concentrated on full stroke and low SPL. First open hand length got me 23 strokes. All the rest dropped down to 22 or even slightly less sometimes, and 21 once. Quite a bit of improvement from 24 @ TT of 1.18 sec.

But I couldn't do them continuously; I was doing 25m at a time, which I sort of considered cheating if I couldn't sustain it -- but I will try these for a while, and work on getting the same low SPL with as little physical effort as possible.
It took me a looong time to hold my best SPL for more than 25m. Eventually I could do it for 50m, then for 100m, then (after 2 months, maybe, of intensive work on this), for the 4 x 25, 3 x 50, 2 x 75, 1 x 100 set.

Achieving it comes first--that's not cheating. When you have it, you train to hold it for longer distances. That's how it seems to work for me, anyway. Sounds like you're on your way--very cool.
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  #27  
Old 02-26-2015
Tom Pamperin Tom Pamperin is offline
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Originally Posted by jenson1a View Post
Mat Hudson has a blog on this. Metrics 103: Pace construction

Tried to get the url and I think it got directed to something else

If you go to his website mediterraswim.com and I hope this is the right link

http://mediterraswim.com/2014/05/12/metrics

Sherry-103-pace-construction/
Thanks--I really like Mat's blog, lots and lots of good stuff (thanks, Mat!) I'll check this one out.

Edit to add: sounds like I've arrived at the same conclusions as Coach Mat, who commented after that blog entry (hope it's ok to share this here!):

Quote:
I highly recommend carefully working on a small SPL improvement goal first (just hold it for one length!), then adding distance (now do it for 4 lengths, then 20 lengths, then 50…), then start adding Tempo constraints (with distance intervals). Reading about this will only make partial sense, but once you start feeling the concepts in your own body as you train for these specific kinds of motor control it will make a lot more sense. Then you can go back through the process with more body-understanding, not just intellectual, and customize the process more to your self.
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Last edited by Tom Pamperin : 02-26-2015 at 08:52 PM.
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  #28  
Old 02-27-2015
sclim sclim is offline
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Originally Posted by Tom Pamperin View Post
It took me a looong time to hold my best SPL for more than 25m. Eventually I could do it for 50m, then for 100m, then (after 2 months, maybe, of intensive work on this), for the 4 x 25, 3 x 50, 2 x 75, 1 x 100 set.

Achieving it comes first--that's not cheating. When you have it, you train to hold it for longer distances. That's how it seems to work for me, anyway. Sounds like you're on your way--very cool.
Thanks for the specific reassurance, and also the encouragement. Despite my stated philosophical stance -- "it is what it is", etc., I must admit I was getting a little discouraged. Nice to be recommended a well thought out, pre-tried and doable strategy. I certainly will latch on to it and beat it to death.

One specific point, if I may. Sometimes I am aware of "trying" very hard, i.e. physically really leaning on the pull or kicking quite hard to achieve the lower range SPL that I am getting now. I seem to think that perhaps this is counter productive, as the skill to be developed is not developing the powerful muscles, but rather refinement of balance and coordination and subtlety of firing of the same muscles that I am already using. If this is so, then I should really consciously avoid the hard muscular work when I am striving for consistently low SPL. Am I correct?

Oddly (or perhaps not so oddly, to those who have seen and done this before) I sometime am able to get the same low SPL without the huge effort described in the last paragraph, but I am unable to say exactly how I dod so well.
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  #29  
Old 02-27-2015
Tom Pamperin Tom Pamperin is offline
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Originally Posted by sclim View Post
One specific point, if I may. Sometimes I am aware of "trying" very hard, i.e. physically really leaning on the pull or kicking quite hard to achieve the lower range SPL that I am getting now. I seem to think that perhaps this is counter productive, as the skill to be developed is not developing the powerful muscles, but rather refinement of balance and coordination and subtlety of firing of the same muscles that I am already using. If this is so, then I should really consciously avoid the hard muscular work when I am striving for consistently low SPL. Am I correct?

Oddly (or perhaps not so oddly, to those who have seen and done this before) I sometime am able to get the same low SPL without the huge effort described in the last paragraph, but I am unable to say exactly how I dod so well.
This all sounds so familiar it made me laugh! I remember muscling my way through 25m repeats just to achieve a lower SPL number, pulling harder, pushing off longer. It was usually the only way I could do it at first. But sometimes it was surprisingly easier, just as you describe.

I'm not sure I ever became conscious of what caused the difference, exactly. But eventually it smoothed out mostly on its own, and I got the SPL number much more easily (then it was time to work to add distance at the same SPL).

So, sorry--I don't remember any big secret or "Aha!" moment. Just lots of stubborn repeats, paying attention to every sensation I could and trying to repeat the ones that seemed to coincide with better results. It was a gradual, but fairly continual, process for me.

Keep us posted on how it's going, though. I bet you'll see noticeable improvements building up quickly enough to keep you motivated.
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  #30  
Old 02-27-2015
sclim sclim is offline
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Originally Posted by Tom Pamperin View Post
This all sounds so familiar it made me laugh! I remember muscling my way through 25m repeats just to achieve a lower SPL number, pulling harder, pushing off longer. It was usually the only way I could do it at first. But sometimes it was surprisingly easier, just as you describe.

I'm not sure I ever became conscious of what caused the difference, exactly. But eventually it smoothed out mostly on its own, and I got the SPL number much more easily (then it was time to work to add distance at the same SPL).

So, sorry--I don't remember any big secret or "Aha!" moment. Just lots of stubborn repeats, paying attention to every sensation I could and trying to repeat the ones that seemed to coincide with better results. It was a gradual, but fairly continual, process for me.

Keep us posted on how it's going, though. I bet you'll see noticeable improvements building up quickly enough to keep you motivated.
Many thanks for the great encouragement -- your familiarity with the situation is a great confidence booster! I know now that I'm on the right track, and specific improvement, that is lowered SPL eventually with no extraordinary brute muscular force, will occur; so I'm definitely in it for the long haul.

Will definitely provide updates as they occur.

PS: Thanks also for providing the reference to Coach Mat's in-depth blog article on precisely this same question. It was highly illuminating and made so much sense, now that he carries the logic of each approach for increasing speed to its natural conclusion. I have read Coach Mat's articles before on specific other topic/problems, but have not gone backwards scouring all topics. Maybe I should! But the meat from this topic will keep me fully occupied for weeks, maybe months to come.

Last edited by sclim : 02-27-2015 at 05:36 AM.
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