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CoachDavidShen 04-17-2013 04:41 PM

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!

CharlesCouturier 04-17-2013 07:20 PM

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.

gdmv77 04-17-2013 09:47 PM

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!

CoachStuartMcDougal 04-17-2013 09:57 PM

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! :-)

Happy Swimming!

Stuart

CharlesCouturier 04-18-2013 01:51 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by gdmv77 (Post 35736)
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.

Yeah exactly. There are times where it's appropriate, and times where your mind is free, and just fancying knowing about this metric.

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

CoachDavidShen 04-18-2013 02:11 AM

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!

CoachSuzanne 04-18-2013 04:47 PM

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.

CharlesCouturier 04-18-2013 05:14 PM

I like that post above!

andyinnorway 04-18-2013 07:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by gdmv77 (Post 35736)
Time and strokes are some of the best indicators of improved efficiency in the water.

Strokes for me have become a choice of gears rather than efficiency since I can pb+2 seconds my 50m with all stroke rate combos from 1.2-0.8, just as on my bike I can do a 1km sprint in any of my top 4 gears with decreasing cadence?

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?

CoachDavidShen 04-18-2013 08:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CoachSuzanne (Post 35746)
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.

Good suggestion. I am not sure I have the right TI coach level to be able to post there. I'll check.

Quote:

Originally Posted by CoachSuzanne (Post 35746)
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.

Great stuff here from a coach's point of view.

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.

terry 04-18-2013 09:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CharlesCouturier (Post 35734)
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?

Charles
If I were to substitute a different phrase for practice in the 'total TI way' would you agree it would be desirable to practice in this way every single time -- no exceptions?

Here's the phrase:
Always observe principles of Deliberate Practice.

It's been observed by Anders Ericsson PhD, Daniel Coyle, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi PhD, George Leonard, Malcolm Gladwell, Joshua Foer and many more that people in a wide range of fields who are committed to this kind of practice improve more and experience a higher degree of fulfillment.

Knowing this, why would any thinking person not commit fully to Deliberate Practice?

Speaking for myself -- yet borrowing a phrase from Hadar Aviram (who will swim Tampa Bay Marathon on Saturday) -- I 'never swim a stroke in vain.'

terry 04-18-2013 09:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CoachDavidShen (Post 35730)
Just wroteTips on Turning a Masters Workout into a Total Immersion Workout

David
Total Immersion Workout is an oxymoron.
I urge you to banish the word 'workout' from your swimming lexicon.
Deliberate Practice . . . TI Practice

CharlesCouturier 04-19-2013 02:09 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by terry (Post 35757)
Charles
If I were to substitute a different phrase for practice in the 'total TI way' would you agree it would be desirable to practice in this way every single time -- no exceptions?

Here's the phrase:
Always observe principles of Deliberate Practice.

That I'm in 'total' agreement :)

And in fact I'd like to thank Coach Chen as I might (real certainly will) do the same sort of translation recommendations. It's more the drill equivalence that interests me. Of course it would be to allow the participants to my training day to more easily be able to continue with the stuff they discovered during the day.

It has been a pain thus far, as very often when I see participants a few weeks after, they often complain having difficulty to integrate this in club sessions... bah ok club deliberate practices lol

It's brilliant.

I do respect though those who just don't like to swim deliberately. And there are a few. They're not my favorites, that's obvious, but the cool thing is that you can throw boring stuff at them at it makes no diff. They're like bots lol

Question (off topic, but since some among the greatest coaches are following this thread lol):

Which 3 drills are you the most proud of, which 3 drills would you say are the most important, and why?

terry 04-19-2013 11:46 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CharlesCouturier (Post 35766)
It's more the drill equivalence that interests me.

As TI methods have evolved, it's become increasingly difficult to find 'drill equivalencies' because
1) Conventional drills aim for different impacts. TI drills are broken down far more finely, targeting mini- and micro-skills. E.G. There's a sequence of 4 activities to improve recovery and entry.
2) We no longer advocate very much of the former style of practicing drills in repeat sets of, say, 25 or 50 y/m. We now think drills achieve greater impact more quickly when done quite briefly in a concentrated manner to heighten awareness of a particular sensation then transfer it to whole stroke. These just don't conform to traditional set structure.

E.G.
4 x Superman Glide (probably 6m each rep)
4 x SG + 4-6 strokes (probably 12m each rep)
4 x 25 Whole Stroke
Do this sequence with focus on Hanging Head.
Repeat the sequence 1-2 more times with related Focal Points, using it as a Tuneup for an equally structured Mindful Swimming series.

As for drills I consider highest impact, top 2 are easy
Superman Glide - affects your psyche as much as your movements
SG to Skate - changes your concept of the swimming body from Upper/Lower body to 'streamlinable' Right/Left side.

After that, I'd have many possible candidates, depending on the stroke. I think the Catch the Wave variants for Butterfly and Breaststroke are real game-changers -- far more than any drills I did when my work focused on coaching competitively from 72 to 88.

CharlesCouturier 04-19-2013 02:40 PM

Thanks Terry.

Could Superman Glide be integrated in some full stroke laps?

For instance, in this context the drill would go as:

Swim 4 strokes breathing on one side, 4 strokes breathing on the other, then Glide (Superman) for a short while before resuming the full stroke.

Or should SG always begin with a push from the floor or the wall?

CoachDavidShen 04-19-2013 04:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by terry (Post 35758)
David
Total Immersion Workout is an oxymoron.
I urge you to banish the word 'workout' from your swimming lexicon.
Deliberate Practice . . . TI Practice

You're right - will change once I get back to my computer!

CoachDavidShen 04-19-2013 04:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by terry (Post 35757)
Charles
If I were to substitute a different phrase for practice in the 'total TI way' would you agree it would be desirable to practice in this way every single time -- no exceptions?

Here's the phrase:
Always observe principles of Deliberate Practice.

It's been observed by Anders Ericsson PhD, Daniel Coyle, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi PhD, George Leonard, Malcolm Gladwell, Joshua Foer and many more that people in a wide range of fields who are committed to this kind of practice improve more and experience a higher degree of fulfillment.

Knowing this, why would any thinking person not commit fully to Deliberate Practice?

Speaking for myself -- yet borrowing a phrase from Hadar Aviram (who will swim Tampa Bay Marathon on Saturday) -- I 'never swim a stroke in vain.'

I hadn't had a chance to come back to this thread to answer CharlesCouturier more fully, but I agree here in that if your swim technique is not at a high or refined level, it is too easy to re-burn in bad habits unless you focus on improvement EVERY time you get in the water.

I've had clients who train with me, then thank me for pointing out stroke deficiencies and for the menu of corrective actions and improvements. Then I see them a few months or a year later and they are back to swimming the way I first saw them! Some have told me that they were delighted to have increased speed, ease, etc. in the beginning, and when they come back they complain of loss of speed, ease, etc.

So the danger of "just swimming" when you're learning is that it is too easy to regress or lose all that neuromuscular swim training. Until these great swim habits become real habits, one must keep a laser focus on burning in good habits and removing the current habits or else the currently resident habits will just overpower the new ones you're trying to burn in.

My hope is that once I pick up a TI student, that I not only turn them into great swimmers, but also turn them into great learners and make them realize that with focus and dedication, attention to details, and building an awareness of self of when you are "on" and when you are "off" that they can not only become great swimmers but actually can learn something new and do anything in their lives, no matter how young or old they are.

CharlesCouturier 04-21-2013 10:47 PM

I understand entirely what you mean, and I confess sometimes having similar concerns.

It's just unclear for me at this time as to how to handle this.

swim2Bfree 04-22-2013 04:52 AM

CoachDavidShen, how is your 10K training going?

http://www.totalimmersion.net/forum/...ead.php?t=2927

CoachDavidShen 04-22-2013 04:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by swim2Bfree (Post 35870)
CoachDavidShen, how is your 10K training going?

http://www.totalimmersion.net/forum/...ead.php?t=2927

ha! miserably - i have 2 new kids in the house now and long distance endurance sports are out of the picture for many years most likely!


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