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andyinnorway 04-01-2013 05:34 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dprevish (Post 35224)
Coach Bill and all,

I must give you a full scoop as I've mislead you all. I had just read the last post from Coach Bill about a half hour ago and decided to put the proof to the pudding. I called my wife into the room and told her I wanted her to log the push ups that I could do in 20 min. After the first few I was told to stop as she said I was not locking my elbows; she was right. She actually had to video me to let me see. Prior to today I was busting out the 7-800 by myself as part of my P90 core and ab training three days a week. I would usually start the first set counting about 190-200 and as far as the time in push up, was about 2 / second. That should have been my tip off. I was shocked when I saw the video.
So...I had her reset the timer, gave myself a short 1 min. break and then told her to hit the start and time 20 min worth.
The first set was only 89 and then the last part of the 20 min. I could only rack up a total of 286. Those were full push ups (my wife made sure!)
Amazing the difference that I did not know.
Anyhow...I feel humbled...and also pretty pumped (just downed a bit of protein)!
Anyway, sorry to have steered in the wrong direction. You are spot on about the first 100. The other sets got progressively smaller as you can see.

Your wife sounds more helpful than my 2 year old. I started my tabata test yesterday and did 25, 25, 19 and then got sat on. Game over.

WFEGb 04-01-2013 08:24 AM

Hi Andy and deprevish,

was it just an isolated test you did, or did it affect your swimming afterwards (1 or 2 days)?

Regards,
Werner

dprevish 04-01-2013 10:23 PM

Test
 
Andy,

Yes, I remember the toddler days myself, the added weight of a kid on your back changes the exercise just a bit!

Werner,

I don't know for sure, but I think that that it's negligible when I swim after such a workout. It may make for some sore muscles, but does not inhibit my swimming that I can tell. Like I had mentioned before, it's just part of core work to keep me stable in the triathlon training that I'm doing.
I seldom get sore when I'm done swimming even for an hour or two except for the traps ; maybe that is an indicator of lack of a good catch technique??
Or maybe I need to join the Masters again as I was in a couple years ago, that was a good thrashing. Not much here in south central WY along that lines.

WFEGb 04-01-2013 11:48 PM

Hi Dave,

Quote:

I seldom get sore when I'm done swimming even for an hour or two
This is really enviable (for me at least)! I swim 30-45min quite slow to hold my wretched Stamina.

Regards,
Werner

dprevish 04-02-2013 01:46 AM

Soreness
 
Werner,

Once I achieve the "perpetual motion swimming" that I am striving for I may feel more of a burn an soreness afterwards. I found it in running and it's a great relaxer, somewhat of an equilibrium achieved between effort and pace. The feeling that you can go on for miles.
I think when I get dialed in on breathing right again it will turn into this; hoping so soon at least. It seems to be a bit of a challenge making the transition to breathing in good TI form.

CoachSuzanne 04-03-2013 02:00 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CharlesCouturier (Post 35218)
OK.


So. Far from being perfect. But you can already notice the TI catch shape, ie made of a simple spear. This isn't what I wanted her to do. It was her answer to my requests, and I was cool with it (as it immediately resulted into a much better arm alignment). That stroke was too high for her, natural SR being more in the low 50. But time speaks for itself: 3:30 for 200m.

Yes, it's very much better than in the before and you did a fantastic job in such a short period of time.

I would like to suggest on your next opportunity that you shift focus to a proper recovery with elbow leading...this will open up the lats which are really never opened and never properly accessed here.

The elbow remains bent and the forearm appears to enter in a "blocking" motion, as if you were defending yourself from a blow to the head with your forearm. The subsequent extension is simply sweeping to the side and pressing down.

Were she my student, I'd take the rate back down to 50 ish SPM, and work on her recovery and entry, while keeping core engagment between hips & shoulders as this will set her up for continued improvement on her pull.

Good work Charles, keep up the good case studies and descriptions!!

andyinnorway 04-03-2013 04:23 AM

Charles,

I had a little thought pertinent to this thread yesterday after my first swim in ages.

You were wondering why elite swimmers struggle to swim as slowly as most people swim at max pace, so I tried to think of a similar situation and I found one.

Paper aeroplanes. If someone gave you a competition winning glider and asked you to throw it only 15 feet it would be very hard, just as hard as trying to get a child's first effort to fly at least 15 feet.

So somewhere in your question aerodynamics or for us hydrodynamics are a large part of your answer. So my thought for the day next time will be, if my swimming profile was a paper aeroplane, what would it look like? :)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lsjdGLwZ1a8

CharlesCouturier 04-04-2013 01:47 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CoachSuzanne (Post 35266)
Yes, it's very much better than in the before and you did a fantastic job in such a short period of time.

I would like to suggest on your next opportunity that you shift focus to a proper recovery with elbow leading...this will open up the lats which are really never opened and never properly accessed here.

What do you have in mind exactly here Sue? Targeting what's happening on hand entry by better shaping arm recovery?

I donno, I agree of course. But she has no control once the hand enters. She paddles laterally, etc. She's a huge sculler. At 1.4, she pulls as large as a breaststroker.

And besides, I donno. I may rather trade for straighter recovery in her case I'm not sure yet.

Good point though, I'll keep this in mind as an option.

Quote:

Originally Posted by CoachSuzanne (Post 35266)
The elbow remains bent and the forearm appears to enter in a "blocking" motion, as if you were defending yourself from a blow to the head with your forearm. The subsequent extension is simply sweeping to the side and pressing down.

Yeah exactly. That truly pissed me off as we couldn't undo this (in 60min). So I fear she's back to square 1 next time I see her.

I'm definitely going to settle this dryland though. In other words, there will be a recovery dimension to part of the solution.

Quote:

Originally Posted by CoachSuzanne (Post 35266)
Were she my student, I'd take the rate back down to 50 ish SPM, and work on her recovery and entry, while keeping core engagment between hips & shoulders as this will set her up for continued improvement on her pull.

I donno, I want a clean hand/arm entry then clean catch pull through. Imprinting you call that? That's urgent now, this has to change within the next 2 weeks. She has to put mind to it, lots of mind. Arrrgggrrrr.... Shouldn't take forever.

Sorry for the style of coaching, that's a student part of our tri program, so this is not your usual client/coach relationship lol

CoachSuzanne 04-04-2013 05:33 AM

Charles, I see/sense your frustrations.

maybe I can make a video to demonstrate what I mean or maybe I already have.

you need to separate the stroke from the recovery /entry. She is sculling because she is "stroking" and that is interfering with her brain's abilitity to change the entry portion.

She's blind to changing the end of her entry becuase she thinks she must scull as part of her stroke.

I my recovery lessons we might cover swing skate & swing switch. When those are correct it eliminates most of the scull at least form the midline to the extention. There may still remain an outsweep but it's a start!

I have made several videos while I was in Kona. I'm sure one or two address this.

craig.arnold@gmail.com 04-04-2013 11:02 AM

Hi Charles,

Big improvement obviously from first to second.

I think you can help her here with one of the platforms Terry talks about. Visualization - simply getting her to imagine a good spot to push her hand to, like a "target" hanging in the water at 45 degree angle (adjust as necessary but she won't hit 45 degrees because her instinct is to go flat).

Every stroke concentrate just on hitting that target with her fingertips. Then don't stroke, but rotate through the core to the next target. Make that her ONLY focus point for a number of lengths, then alternate that focus point with simply swimming.

If she's an athlete she'll have no trouble maintaining a SR in the 60 region.

I will make another post which refers to your first post in the thread.

Regards,
Craig

CharlesCouturier 04-05-2013 04:31 PM

Thanks so much for your help thus far.

I will keep you inform of how things go, as I should see her some time next week.

In the mean time, the case described in this thread is solved. I shall go with Aquanex, ie purchasing it.

Quote:

Originally Posted by mjm (Post 35151)
Charles: interesting question. This company measures power and velocity in swimming: http://teamtermin.com/

Just hanged up with the creator of this system. Great enjoyable 45min chat over several matters. They really have a good system! Unfortunately it can't be purchased, it wasn't meant to be. Hardware quality is so high that it makes the idea of reselling the kit virtually impossible.

However I save this important contact as a reference for serious testing, more specifically on testing aimed at managing (eliminating) drag resistance.

craig.arnold@gmail.com 04-08-2013 03:41 PM

Back to the original post...
 
A few thoughts about this...

Thought number one
The human swimming problem is that:
1. We can neither breathe underwater nor hold our breath very long whilst exercising.
2. We don't have fins.

Thought number two
Front crawl is only a recent invention. It is probably very easy for a champion breast-stroker to swim as slowly as they like - everything from pootling along next to a granny to flat out racing.

A horse cannot gallop slowly. A race horse's minimum speed at a gallop is different to the minimum gallop speed of a Shetland Pony. So my contention is that it is simply that with different physiology and different streamlining each person has a "comfort zone" with front crawl that has a minimum and maximum speed.

Thought number three
The absolute fastest a human can swim as far as I know is completely underwater doing the backstroke dolphin kick. Why this is not permitted in "Freestyle" is a mystery to me.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z4py9HjKuvQ

Thought number four
Is Michael Phelps a better human swimmer than Tanya Streeter? I personally think not. I certainly know who I'd rather watch. :) Check out the BBC documentary videos of her swimming with sharks and whales. Availability online depends on your region, but most can be seen on youtube.

Thought number five
As I have been swimming longer distances I have realized my shoulders cannot cope with the higher speeds. I have had to adjust my stroke to cope with greater distances. And it's slower, a deeper spear and a more gentle catch but at the end of 4km I am not hurting and don't hurt the next day.

I'm sure that could be improved by having bigger hands, or thicker wrists, or being taller, or mostly by losing 20kg, but I have the body I have.

Thought number five
A few weeks ago I was swimming next to a swimmer that was doing maybe 1.25/100 pace. Thing is he couldn't swim. He could barely make a length. His stroke wasn't much better than doggy paddle. But he about 25 years old, was 6'6" with incredibly broad shoulders, lean, powerful, huge hands and very long arms. I couldn't decide whether I wanted to coach him or just shoot him.

Swimming my stroke he would have been doing under 1.00/100. Cest la vie.

voice of raisin 04-09-2013 02:18 PM

charles, very interesting thoughts on speed.

would it be as difficult to get slow swimmers to swim as fast as elites, as it would be to get the latter to slow down comfortably?
does the bridge to this gap exist, or are they two worlds apart?

i'm a relative beginner to swimming and TI (2:20m/100m - try that, u elites!) and my early thoughts on this is the speed is capped largely physiologically, with a smattering of personality. ie fast swimmers are born, not made.

what led me to this thinking is my personal experience. i'm currently training with a bunch of wannabe triathletes. We couldnt swim well prior to TI, (except for one of us). TI brought vast improvements in our ability to last the course, but even a year on, the most improved one managed to shave only 15s off his initial 2min/100m timing. The common background among us is we used to do sports very regularly (mostly rugby,soccer and handball in amateur leagues) until we decided, due to age, that we need to do something less strenous, so that's how we discovered triathlons and subsequenly TI. (btw We also found that we have great difficulty keeping our feet up in the water). Its this that led me to believe (hopefully wrongly) that there is only so much that you can do if you are of a certain physiological profile. whatever techniques you employ will only bring marginal improvements to speed.

At the other end of the scale are the elites with the ideal body profile, who, as Craig above observed, goes a lightning 1:10min/100m even dog-paddling! so common in the elite world.

i guess this thinking would be shattered if either of these happens:
an elite does a real slow lap
or
a slow swimmer (one who starts off above 2:00m/100 AFTER TI) halves his time within a year with proper technique

back to the one in our group who could swim well prior to TI. He swam a lot as a kid, but gave up when he kept missing out on podiums at age-group races, and switched to other sports. It struck me as a natural selection process that sorts out people with the right shape. That's my thoughts. Also, when i mean physiology, its not just limited to the obvious features such as height and width but also stuff like bone density, fast twitch muscles etc. a science i think the former east germans and chinese have mastered when they selected kids for gym/swim olympic schools.

summary: i think the fast can't swim slow and vice versa because we are born that way. c'est comme ca. *shrugs*

CharlesCouturier 04-09-2013 03:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by voice of raisin (Post 35400)
charles, very interesting thoughts on speed.

would it be as difficult to get slow swimmers to swim as fast as elites, as it would be to get the latter to slow down comfortably?
does the bridge to this gap exist, or are they two worlds apart?

Arrgggrrr you! My mind was getting quiet now, slowly putting all that aside (joking, I think about this every day lol). Can't afford the system right now, unless I find a reliable plan to pay it back.

I believe it's possible to slow an elite down to these paces, and I *dream* of recording what their force requirement will then be to move at these paces. I also wish I will die believing that it's possible to take just about any one (young age) to a high level of performance in the pool. I refuse to believe that it's impossible to untie the mystery that - as of now - bring a lot of people to believe that you can not reach a high level of performances unless you started off at early age.

Quote:

Originally Posted by voice of raisin (Post 35400)
i'm a relative beginner to swimming and TI (2:20m/100m - try that, u elites!) and my early thoughts on this is the speed is capped largely physiologically, with a smattering of personality. ie fast swimmers are born, not made.

That statement could mean a few things, so it's hard for me to comment.. We'd need to first define what fast means.

Em I, with a pb over 100m free that's just slightly below 60sec, considered fast? I often use myself as very good example of upper limit of athletic mediocrity. With a poor vo2max and very bad articulation, I wasn't born to swim under 55 over 100m free. In that sense, fast swimmers are born, not made. But I'm bad at just about everything though.

Quote:

Originally Posted by voice of raisin (Post 35400)
what led me to this thinking is my personal experience. i'm currently training with a bunch of wannabe triathletes. We couldnt swim well prior to TI, (except for one of us). TI brought vast improvements in our ability to last the course, but even a year on, the most improved one managed to shave only 15s off his initial 2min/100m timing. The common background among us is we used to do sports very regularly (mostly rugby,soccer and handball in amateur leagues) until we decided, due to age, that we need to do something less strenous, so that's how we discovered triathlons and subsequenly TI. (btw We also found that we have great difficulty keeping our feet up in the water). Its this that led me to believe (hopefully wrongly) that there is only so much that you can do if you are of a certain physiological profile. whatever techniques you employ will only bring marginal improvements to speed.

I'd narrow down the requirements for swimming mostly to 4 things:
- Proprioception (ability to perform perfect gestures)
- Flexibility (ability to have the range of motion required to easily perform those gestures)
- Feel for water (ability to turn these gestures into something productive propulsion wise using anchor points)
- Neuromuscular specific adaptation (from central nervous system component down to the actual working muscles)

I believe that anyone that can match an elite swimmer in these department will be swimming fast. How many slower athletes are actually stretching every day? How many slower swimmers still are taking private lessons with no video (underwater) support?

Now on a philosophical note, well I'm a huge fan of these new approaches to learning how to swim, TI, SS et al. But in the back of my mind, I also belong to the traditional world somewhat, and until I don't fully understand swimming, I will continue believing that the process under which children usually go through to become swimmers remain the best possible process to achieve fast performances. Among other things, most kids learn to swim fast, before swimming long. So sprinting will remain a very very important component for me in trying to bring the adult to par with your natural born swimmer.

Quote:

Originally Posted by voice of raisin (Post 35400)
At the other end of the scale are the elites with the ideal body profile, who, as Craig above observed, goes a lightning 1:10min/100m even dog-paddling! so common in the elite world.

stating that they reach that speed whilst kicking with a board would not be exaggerated neither. Not long ago at our U sports center, we hosted a bunch of fast kids. One of them did 5:30 over 400m kick! (with a board, no cheating). Kid was 13yo.

Quote:

Originally Posted by voice of raisin (Post 35400)
a slow swimmer (one who starts off above 2:00m/100 AFTER TI) halves his time within a year with proper technique

Well I brought one guy from a PB slower than 1:30 (age 27yo) down to 1:02.8 in 2011, ie 2 years only after he began swimming seriously. This guy will certainly go under 60sec soon.

My fastest guy at the mo began at age 17 (which is atypical). You can tell... He's not as natural as a guy same talent that had began much earlier. But still, he has some national standards etc...

Quote:

Originally Posted by voice of raisin (Post 35400)
back to the one in our group who could swim well prior to TI. He swam a lot as a kid, but gave up when he kept missing out on podiums at age-group races, and switched to other sports. It struck me as a natural selection process that sorts out people with the right shape.

Traditional swimming world still pay too much attention to the *group*, not enough to the *individual*.

Quote:

Originally Posted by voice of raisin (Post 35400)
That's my thoughts. Also, when i mean physiology, its not just limited to the obvious features such as height and width but also stuff like bone density, fast twitch muscles etc. a science i think the former east germans and chinese have mastered when they selected kids for gym/swim olympic schools.

summary: i think the fast can't swim slow and vice versa because we are born that way. c'est comme ca. *shrugs*

Allow me to disagree here ;-)

WFEGb 04-13-2013 06:50 PM

Hallo Charles,

Quote:

...
- Proprioception (ability to perform perfect gestures)
...
- Neuromuscular specific adaptation (from central nervous system component down to the actual working muscles)
...
It's a bit academical, but I think proprioception includes also the ability to know where each part of our body is in every moment of the stroke. To know and feel that snap or kick was scissored, or the wrist is higher than the shoulder when spearing, that push crossed the center line and so on... (If I remember right you called it proprioception glitch anywhere) May be all these can only be learned if the predisposition is right. And for the mortals: What can be trained in which way to get best results...

Regards,
Werner

CharlesCouturier 04-14-2013 07:37 PM

For those interested into these matters:

A number of things (one leading to the other) has allowed me to establish a great collaboration with an outstanding physiologist. The sort of guy that sits in your Spinning class room for years, that remains low profile, in spite of holding a Ph.D in exercise physiology (which is quite rare in this part of the country), and who has migrated to teach medicine/pharma sort of physiology.

I had to use his precious advices among other things to establish cycling testing protocols etc... This morning was our last spinning session of the season. We were casual chatting in the locker room and he mentioned something absolutely striking.

This could lead me to believe that there's some truth in this sort of statement:
Quote:

Originally Posted by DD_l_enclume (Post 35178)
You fast swimmers have been shaped early. And you have something we are all chasing but that we will never reach.

Now let me be very clear. It remains one of my *thing* to try and bring hope to those late starters having big ambition. I invest time and money in order to achieve this.

The point that the physiologist brought to my attention this morning is in regards to studies on genetics. He's well passed the point to remain motivated with exercise physiology. He now teaches physiology of germs, bacterias, teaches a bit of genetics etc...

He mentioned that *they* (these guys you know) are currently researching on the genetic modification that one can experience throughout his own life. OK, let me step back a bit further. One day I listen to a documentary on tv, it talks about genetics, ie more specifically about how genetic background can be altered (for better adaptation) from one generation to the next. That was kind of new. We had long thoughts that the human being was the product of adaptation, but long term adaptation. In the documentary, a lady in a developing world had wide big female hips. Like normal hips. But she had suffer malnutrition all her life. Since she had been underfeed all her life, her daughter was born with much narrower hips. That was an example of genetic modification taking place from one generation to the next.

Now they're studying about this sort of adaptation that can take place, at the genetics level, but within one single life.

They've found out that some genes had their gene expression (epigenetics) modified as a result of early childhood behavior. It may as well be that beginning sports, in our case swimming, at early age could trigger changes in one's epigenetics.

The example the physiologist first used as an example was studies on the impact (epigenetics) on breastfeeding. My intention is not to trigger a debate here, or to tell women what to do. They've found out that they've found out that people that were breastfed did react better to stress hormones such as catecolamine hormones and cortisol, etc...

This could partly explain why it's so difficult to match natural born swimmers' performance level if you were unfortunate enough to miss the train at earlier age.

How fascinating.

WFEGb 04-14-2013 10:07 PM

Hi Charles,

Quote:

...This could partly explain why it's so difficult to match natural born swimmers' performance level if you were unfortunate enough to miss the train at earlier age....
But it's even more interesting how far we not natural born swimmers can teach our brain and body to get as far to the best personal swim art and times as possible, isn't it. And discouraged or not, I'm sure you and TI (with or without the differences) show some students (including me) a very feasible way. Thanks!

Best regards,
Werner

dprevish 04-15-2013 03:32 AM

Early training
 
Charles,

As I mentioned before (with the violin analogy) that practice, correct, mindful practice using good form, balance etc., that is, will lead to subtle but noticeable changes over time. By the way, practice incorrectly and a person has to overcome this ingraining of the neur system blunder for frustrating hours relearning it right! At any rate the more the hours I had found the greater the gains over time. It was the same with the classical guitar. I played the guitar for 5 years until a teacher got a hold of me and lead me. With the guitar it was the same: several weeks of half hour to hour a day would not show the proportionate gains as the weeks that I'd lock myself in my room and play for 2-5 or more hours a day. Many years later now in my mid-40s people think that it is a gift...not so much when I attest to the thousands of hours under my belt. So I believe in the time in for change to happen really matters!
So I think still the same with the swimming; or so I'll see.

But the early training theory has some real merit I think as it is true that my mother was an accomplished pianist and literally was playing to me and all us four siblings in the womb. So all my brother and sisters play and sing, lots of fun and very rewarding. One thing I will say is that my mom taught me how to practice and how to listen to music for what was in it. So she structured a pattern for us to follow. Plus she would play into the night sometimes and basically we were immersed in it our whole lives.
Couple that with your point and other thoughts are that we know that there is a childhood link to swimming ability when started at an early age.
Also keep in mind that children it is proven can more easily learn a second or third language than as we age.
My thought is that it all adds up to a very practical application understanding, not so much but some for the genetics, but so much more for the nurture I'd say. Now we are into psychology and mind you, I'm just taking some interesting but not definitive angles, but inductively it makes sense to me.
Anyway, just some thoughts.

CoachSuzanne 04-15-2013 04:01 AM

Last week I witnessed an amazing display of deliberate practice. One of my swimmers, been workign wiht him for a year now, half iron, ironman athlete. Swimming is very difficult for him...he kicks only (and loudly) with his left foot for both right and left arm entry. His right leg does no work at all. I'm not even sure how he moves forward.

Last week I insisted that he find his right leg in the pool. He said he cant even feel what it's doing while he swims. So I told him to swim 25 yards focusing ONLY on his right leg kicking and left arm entering simultaneously.

He pushed off the wall and took one stroke then glided (he's not a glider...he was thinking). I saw another big splash then nothing (he's still face down in the water). Finally one more SPLASH and then he stopped. Stood up and put his face in again. SPLASH pause...thinking. SPLASH.

I got distracted by another swimmer then heard SPLASH SPLASH SPLASH SPLASH SPLASH all the way back on his return trip. I looked and he had created his own drill kicking ONLY with the right leg and stroking ONLY with the left arm. He decided to force himself to learn it.

I was pleased not so much with the end result of his swimming, but with his thinking process...he knew he was not a natural and he created his own drill, he had stopped and thought and he had begun the process of sorting this out in his own mind. I guess what surprised me was what he said when he arrived back at my end.

"I can't do it".

After all that work and thought, his decision was "I can't". Had he been working alone, or from a book or following a training plan online for his race, he would NEVER explore these opportunities for exporation of his stroke. He's a fraid he'll lose too much time and fitness. What he doesn't realize is that he's going to be able to go faster with literally half as much energy as he is currently using.

It frustrates me to have to spend my energy "Forcing" someone who wants to improve to experiment with his stroke. But it's a different mindset of possibility that he is just starting to open up to.

Anway I thought it somewhat relevant to the themes here of missing the early swim gene-turn-on opportunities. He's very similar ot another swimmer in my masters group...both fantastic runners. This fellow just ran a sub 1:30 Half Ironman run last weekend after a 45 minute swim. Such a disparity!!


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