Tips on Turning a Masters Workout into a Total Immersion Workout
Just wrote this blog post on Tips on Turning a Masters Workout into a Total Immersion Workout.
Hope you all find it useful - please let me know what you think or have more tips!
My quick impression of all this would be that it looks like a good set of tips. Just don't forget the 3 other strokes ;-)
Now on a more philosophical note...
I wonder (just wondering, not questioning) about the idea that *every* single session be done total TI way.
Isn't it permitted to sometimes just forget about it and just swim?
Here's what I mean here. You have squad training (regardless if it's a Master Squad, or a Tri Squad, or any other squad), and personal training like that done in public pool sessions. The group I am in charge of is given the possibility to swim up to 3 times / week in squad. However, as a head coach, I strongly discourage our people to do this. I think it's good to keep at least 1 but preferably 2 sessions per week by your own. During these, one can go total TI (if it's what they would like). During a group session? Just go with the group.
The philosophical wondering here is: Aren't you worried of creating a fence between TI and traditional swimming? Can't a TI Swimmer just... swim once in a while?
Anyway, the more I think about it, after having read your list a few times, the more I believe that you're tackling on something interesting. I am just not sure that your list prioritizes the right thing.
For instance. Is it really mandatory to count strokes on every lap + remembering all that? Once you crossed reference stroke count with swim time, what's the point of remembering all that data?
On the other hand on your list, I wish I saw a Drill table of equivalence. This could be very very important and productive.
What I mean here is something as follow:
Freestyle Catchup Drill == translates into ==> Whatever TI Drill
Breast 2k 1p Drill == translates into ==> Breast whatever TI Drill
Because this could be the biggest challenge the TI swimmer faces when exposed to a bunch of traditional drills (that don't work very well, we agree). How to substitute these for TI valid replacements, which could produce similar forward speed (so that your TI swimmer stays with the group), etc.. Again there, do not underlook Individual Medley, because that's what Masters train!
Maybe one last thing about the philosophical point I raised. One of the great value in swimming with Masters is to share good quality time with other people. Having fun. Making jokes, sharing stories, belonging to this group. If you act in a way to isolate yourself, denying all work promoted by the coach, that you behave like a TI freak animal that does his thing, not sure you're actually belonging to this group, and not sure you'll have as much fun.
Article: Well put and I like all the ideas presented.
Charles in fact it is not, nor is it suggested to do at all times. But without some sort of efficiency check, there is no way to tell if improvement has happened. Time and strokes are some of the best indicators of improved efficiency in the water. I would venture the majority of people coming to TI (myself included) wanted to a) learn to swim, or b) learn to swim better. "Swim golf" is a game played in TI that makes 50s a lot of fun for me as I'm challenging myself to get better and having fun doing it.
For sure, anyone can swim without counting or timing, and they should. But since TI (at least as far as I can tell from my reading two books by Terry) is focused on Kaizen, one must have a way to tell if one has improved over the course of their training. In fact, I would venture to say that those who jump into TI fully, make improvement part of the fun.
At some point we all meet the genetic wall, and those good enough go to competitions. At competitions if someone is counting their strokes during the swim, they aren't experience the psychological event called flow. High level athletes don't count, they do. They may know how many it will take them, but they sure aren't counting during the event. You'll see plenty of posts of "hey I finally did this" when it comes to events and so far many don't have any counting along with them.
I don't know about the rest, but I have a great time at the YMCA pool with people too, even though I'm not a Masters swimmer (who knows, maybe someday!). They see me with my TI cap on and we get into great conversations about what I'm doing versus what they are doing, and some even ask me how they can improve. My own training recognizes my faults and some of the ones they are making, and I always tell them to come here and learn more as I'm still learning.
In fact I even tried your NAD butterfly drills and they helped too!
Excellent post Coach David. The best point is remaining metally engaged (on your own) during sets at masters. You've given great suggestions which will encourage TI Swimmers to join masters group, this is important.
The only thing I suggest adding is to find ways to compliment what the coach is calling out on deck, become a lane leader & encouraging others. I don't normally draw attention to myself by deviating too much from the coach's plan/workout. When the pull buoys come out, I swim with legs quietly drafting behind the torso like I have a buoy on and work on balance and timing up front. If paddles come out, I gently note, "rotator cuff injury" it's a bit too much pressure on shoulder - and go without. If it's a kick set, I do superman and push the board with my head. When there are 20, 30+ swimmers, any slight deviation gets lost in the noise, and I'm still with the group. And often I'll go to slower lanes and draft off the slower swimmers and see how my stroke holds up, and faster lanes to and try to hang on to their wheelhouse. Coaches seem to like this diversity too
The masters coach wants swimmers to keep coming back to workouts, that's a priority. Complimenting their practice, cooperating, encouraging others, it becomes fun - coaches love swimmers at masters like this, at least all I've encountered. And doing so, you get noticed in a positive way rather than as adversarial "TI". Also, masters workouts is where I've gotten many private students too - wooohooo! :-)
Anyway, this is something I have little more difficulty to cope with, because I use last arm that pulled to figure out my stroke count. Depending on the pace, it's pretty accurate.
Also after second thought I remembered these sessions proposed by Terry in his practices thread, and a lot have tables of distance/time/sl so I better understand the need for pen and notepad...
I agree with the remaining of your post. I'm also pleased with Stuart's recommendations as again they aim at making the TI animal more likable :P
Seriously, it makes the TI swimmer more compatible with a group having some people that may have existing doubts on TI in general.
I remain convinced that a drill translation table is a +. I am a Master Swimmer coach, and I couldn't care less that someone does a different drill than that I wrote on the board, as long as (ideally) it fits the lane. Sometimes there can be lots of swimmers in a lane, and it's better then that most swims similar speed. If you throw in a slow spear switch during, for instance, a catch up drill session, then it's distracting for both the coach and the rest of the lane. Any translation table should therefore consider matching speed (and equipment to a much lesser extent), and stroke (by respect for the coach, again ideally, and depending on the goals of the set/workout).
I really like your mention about trying drills. I'm a big defender of the idea that drills should be demilitarized, should belong to everyone.
And.. Speaking of the NAD fly. For those who persist in carefully learning the drill, this is hot in Master Squad context. Because this drill will typically be a bit faster than kicking with a board. So any kick sets can be done at this, which ++ups to your fly effective, productive volume. I mean this is absolutely fantastic for minding your own business without disrupting the lane. And you also give a hell of a show.
I usually lead the faster kicking in any master squad when using NAD fly. It's great session. 10x100m kick? Bring it on baby.
Better still, that's just half of the story. I had this gesture approved by FINA World once, so was allowed to use it in a 200m bf race. Rulling was later reversed, and I didn't mind, as I am not gifted enough genetically to make a real point. The point in question is to figure out if benefit of breathing every cycle during kicking for 15m offset the benefit of being underwater. If I could develop a swimmer to swim say... a minute flat at 100m NAD, then this guy can use this in a SCM 200m BF race, and create a commotion LOL
Anyway, one can do 15m NAD 10m fly systematically, it is more than comfortable. Therefore most fly sets can be done in this manner, you can do NAD-breast arm which makes it a bit faster, and NAD-fly arm is... butterfly LOL
Great stuff all thanks!
Am stewing over the drill translation list - great idea!
No I am not suggesting that EVERY set is a TI set - only those that you want to turn into one and for however long you want to keep doing it. If you want to swim every set TI style -that's cool too.
Will think on the other comments and get back to you all. Thanks again!
Have not read david's original post yet...David I'd suggest you post an excerpt here on your TI blog as well...it will then go out with teh next TI newsletter...and can bring more traffic to your site.
But I like the ensuing discussion.
I have a some former collegiate swimmers that come to my masters practice. I have to be certain I am giving them tasks they enjoy that also beneits their swim. One day I gave a triplet of descents. 3 rounds, 3 repeats each, descend each round. I let THEM choose the range of efforts...so if they wanted to keep it easy they could, if they wanted to sprint the final repeat of each they could. Repeats started at 100yd and ended at 300yd. So it looked like this:
3 x 100
3 x 200
3 x 300
Within each 3x, the repeats got faster. The only requirement for the ex-collegiate swimmers was that they choose a tempo & SPL combination they felt comfortablew ith that would result in the faster time. Both of them have rock solid SPLs for 25yd for any given effort, as charles is describing. So I had them simply descend their tempo trainer by .02 to .03 each repeat.
The results were eye opening. I mean predictable...but they felt something different in their stroke that they never really felt before. While Mir's SPL stayed at 9 the entire set, as she descneded the TT she dropped 3 seconds per 100 precisely the whole way through.
What she felt was where she applied pressure in the stroke was different. at each tempo. and while she could execute that prior, she had never thought about it prior, or really drawn any awareness to that effect.
So there are many ways to coach a set like that, 3 rounds of 3x descending repeats (of any length). A TI approach is about more than just the stroke, it's about being mindful of how you create that speed. And for every swimmer, it will be a different solution. There is something for everyone in it.
I like that post above!
To really measure efficiency it would be fun to get a fixed power (low) tow line and take times for a 50m glide, that would give a great reading on the efficiency of a swimmers body position?
FYI the post was more directed towards a student of TI, who also wants to swim in a Masters workout, but maybe didn't know how to integrate TI methods into a workout given by a typical Masters coach.
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