Total Immersion Forums

Total Immersion Forums (
-   Freestyle (
-   -   Catch timing experiment (

Ron Bear 08-08-2016 08:04 PM

Catch timing experiment
For years, I have been using TI catch timing (TI) because:
1) I learned to swim using the TI method.
2) I knew that professionals are very flexible and I assumed I lacked the flexibility to pull off professional catch timing (P).

After reading about P on this forum (Thanks Zenturtle!), I decided to give it a go. I am sure there are subtleties of both P and TI that I have yet to master, but the essential quality is that P is catch and then roll while TI is roll and then catch. Anecdotally I had seemed to notice that P was faster for me at the beginning of my practice while I was still fresh, but at some point late in the workout I was better off switching to TI. I wanted to do an experiment to really nail this down.

The Experiment:
1) Ten fifties at the end of the workout alternating TI and P.
2) All with tempo trainer set to 1.3.
3) I did this experiment four times on consecutive work days; Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Monday
Experimental Limitations:
1) I didn’t write anything down, just observed while still fresh in memory
2) My watch has hundredths, but my old eyes just couldn’t make them out in the dim indoor pool, so I only observed times to the nearest second.

1) P was consistently faster than TI. You might say “Duh!”, but the question wasn’t “Should professionals be using TI timing?” The question was “Can I benefit from professional timing?”
2) Most P laps were sandwiched between two TI laps that were one or two seconds slower, and most TI laps were sandwiched between two P laps that were one or two faster. Occasionally I caught myself doing a single TI catch on a P lap or vice versa and I just threw those laps out. But I can still make this very strong statement: Every single P lap was adjacent to a TI lap that was one or two seconds slower than the P lap had been.
3) Every single day I sped up as I went. TI started at 52 seconds on the first day and 50 seconds every other day and ended at 48 seconds every day. P started at 50 on the first day and 49 every other day and ended at 47 on the first two days and 46 on the last two days.
4) The first day, I noticed that my TI laps (years of practice) were very smooth and my P laps (fairly new skill for me) were somewhat ragged. After a single practice (actually during that single practice) both strokes felt smooth for the next three days.

1) P works for me now and I will make that my focus. I don’t believe I can generalize that result to everyone else, but I have achieved a level of skill or flexibility or something that means I will now start to abandon TI catch timing.
2) TI catch timing will now act as a drill for me. Note that I got faster when tired where I usually get slower. I think the reason that happened is that I always had some small portion of my mind thinking about the catch. But even if the thought is wrong, the fact is still valid and I will continue to mix in TI timing as long as it has a positive effect on my P laps.
3) Altering TI and P seemed to work magic for me that neither does in isolation. I would be thrilled if some of you on the forum tried it and found that it worked magic for you.

Ron Bear

Zenturtle 08-08-2016 10:00 PM

you dont happen to have underwater footage of your 2 different timings?
The most important thing is that the rest of the body is connected to the anchoring arm.
It can feel rotate/catch for you, or catch/rotate without showing much difference for an outside observer.
For one swimmer the difference is rather subtle, for others it maybe is clearly visable.

Did you feel a difference in the timeline of forward propulsion?
If you draw with a paintbrush a line on the paper and the with of the line is a mark for the forward propulsion you are feeling, is there a difference in this line between the 2 approaches?
For me, its best when the line on the paper never stops. The line gets thinner and thinner before the actual catch happens, but the point of the brush never totally leaves the paper, is pushed into the paper harder from the start of the catch where the line gets thicker, then it thins out again etc etc.

Did you feel a difference in the load of the triceps?

haradoo 08-09-2016 11:44 AM

Excuse my ignorance - what's P?

Ron Bear 08-09-2016 01:53 PM

I was using P to stand for "Professional catch timing" so that I wouldn't have to type Professional catch timing over and over. Sorry I didn't make that more clear.

No video, sorry. It feels to me like the brush makes a fatter splat right after catch with P timing than with TI. I have read that the P timing makes less of a dead spot and therefore more of the continuous thin line you describe, but that is not what I feel. I feel that having already formed the catch prior to spearing, I can really fall forward against the traction of the well planted catch.

fooboo 08-09-2016 02:32 PM

You are right. P is faster. What it takes?
Forearm is in not so funny angle down. Catch uses arm and
shoulder. TI has no shulder problem and uses upper arm,
shoulder, thorax and butt muscles. Why is it slower? Well...
I swim slower since I do it more relaxed. I spend my time
thinking and observing around the bottom of the lake/pool.
No fish. P asks you to be rude. To work. To stop thinking.
I stopped P since I had shoulder problem. TI solved it. Faster?
So far, yes. But, if I strugle, who knows.
Best regards.

Ron Bear 08-09-2016 08:04 PM

I hadn't realized that part of the reason for TI timing is to avoid shoulder problems. Good thing to keep in my hip pocket if I start having problems.

ti97 08-10-2016 01:33 PM

ZT - can you post the forum link to P timimg?

Ron Bear 08-10-2016 08:58 PM

I went searching for the thread (and failed). Then I came back here and realized you had actually asked Zenturtle for the thread. Hopefully his search-foo is better than mine. I did find this thread which at least has a picture much what like got me on this adventure.

The thumbnail clearly shows a couple of famous swimmers with the (right)catch fuller formed and the body still rolled right side down. In other words catch first, then roll. That same thread discusses how catch first (what I called P) can be hard on your shoulders.

Zenturtle 08-10-2016 10:09 PM

There are some stills on elite catch timing here, but its difficult to say for sure what is good for everybody.
I was absolutly against the shown very late catch relative to bodyroll, but for Sclim it seemed to work well.
A lot of people pull to early in a sort of survival reflex to get to next breath and its not so easy to get rid of that reflex.
Overdelaying the catch could work out well in that case, just as entering extra wide to end up entering in front of the shoulder.
So without seeing good footage its impossible to say whats right or whats wrong for somebody.

CoachSuzanne 08-10-2016 11:04 PM

I'm not aware of an official distinction between "TI" and "P" as described in this thread but I would love to see video ... not of other swimmers but of TI forum participants experimenting.

Did you experience your tempo changing as you experimented with your catch? If so, had you tried that tempo before and what did it feel like? or are these two timings done at the same tempo?

All times are GMT. The time now is 06:57 AM.

Powered by vBulletin®
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.