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  #21  
Old 11-02-2016
Danny Danny is offline
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Hi Salvo, when I watched your recent film, I saw something you may have in common with me, and I'm not sure how serious this is, but I'll point it out and let the experts weigh in with their judgement. In a recent blog post, Terry discussed how much of your head should ideally be out of the water
http://www.totalimmersion.net/blog/c...8b7a9eafec009d
It seems to me that yours (and mine) tend to be more out of the water than the proscribed amount in this blog. I also recalled a post made by ZT of Michael Phelps swimming at a relaxed pace, and ZT commented that Phelps' head becomes completely submerged at the start of his stroke, even though it comes out of the water at a later point.

So I started experimenting with keeping my head completely submerged during my stroke. The immediate result was several different things: my stroke count dropped, my times in both sprinting and longer distances improved, and my difficulty breathing become much worse. I'm still experimenting with all of this, but here are my thoughts at the moment. When your head is deeper you either have to rotate more to breath or you have to undulate (which is what I think that Michael Phelps is doing). For the moment, I have opted for the undulation, although this is completely messing up my stroke and I am still playing with it, but the results feel promising. Clearly the above two options are only part of a continuum. How much rotation and how much undulation you use is a personal matter, but your mouth is going to have to come out of the water to breath. As far as undulation goes, it is all a question of timing. You have to time the start of your catch with your undulation, so that your head is submerged during the part of your stroke where you get the most propulsion, and you can control the frequency of the undulation with your body. When the timing is right, it feels very efficient and smooth, but this is a whole body motion that I still need to work on.

Maybe others will have input on this subject.
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  #22  
Old 11-02-2016
andyinnorway andyinnorway is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by s.sciame View Post
Andy, congrats for your 10k! Where was it held? I remember you were training for the 50m, you then chose a slightly longer event I see ;)

Thanks for the interesting tips: about the lateral movement, I'm already integrating more snorkel swimming into my sessions and I should also consider to vary the breathing pattern as you suggest (every 4, maybe every 3 like I once used to do).

About the other tip, I'm not sure I got you right: by "putting the hand in a position with a click rather than a legato movement" do you also mean hitting the water more powerfully (like with a straighter arm recovery for instance)?

The day I took the 2 videos above I also recorded this one, where I swim at a faster pace with more oomph in the spearing section of the stroke (see the way back, the way out is too splashing):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bj9TtRV86vE

Is this less legato than the previous videos or do you mean something else?

Salvo

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2b1Fiw9uekM

Thorpe's rotation and spear is designed to get to the 'destination' in an instance, a bit like the bang of a drum rather than the bow of a violin string.

A way to practice crispness in the stroke is to think sprint stroke at slow stroke rate, and thus a longer than normal glide. The opposite way to do it is to try to find a glide portion in a high stroke rate. both drills not normal stroke

hope that makes sense, not the best explanation.
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  #23  
Old 11-04-2016
WFEGb WFEGb is offline
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Hello Salvo,

really jealous about your fairly fast pace. Your stroke looks leisurely and athletic and although with "rounded edges".

Lets have a flashlight to the first still (I find it most times a little bit unfair to take stills and discuss them, but they'll often show some things...): Your head is aligned ideal splitting the surface. Your spearing arm seems a little bit flat to me. Not visible is if hips and shoulders are locked in line, maybe your shoulder is a bit faster what leads you to a left elbow slightly behind the often talked scapular plane... Your left (upper) leg seems to went out of your all around good streamline (the lower leg is still in streamline...).

The second still shows something having problems for myself, so I'm "glad" to find I'm not being the only one with. It's a non(!) breathing stroke, but you're lifting your head. This will be something like to anticipate putting power into your arms, but it leads to put the brakes on. your right speared elbow is in the water while the hand just cuts the surface. Also your tendence to apply power into your stroke shows a tiny bit leading left elbow in a place, where elbow and hand may show in straight line down to pool bottom. (You're working with other kick-patterns, but also with them, I think it's not the best to kick with a foot out of surface...)

Your (too?) far reaching and is shown together with the questioned foot out of surface in still 3. It also shows a very patient lead arm.

So my suggestions for good or bad:
- Search whre you can take some power (tension) out of your movement an put more "feel for the water" in. Think to focus in a relaxed an always aligned head even (or most!) in the non breathing strokes will help.

- Try what happens if you put your "mail slot" nearer to your head, slitting in with your fingers a little bit earlier and go on with your spear when your elbow enters the water.

- Focus in patience of the lead arm more on a patient elbow. Let your lower arm drift into the catch and try to put as less power as elbow and lower arm can do vertical to pool bottom.

- Put a focus into swimming as plank with alignment of hip and shoulder to help your elbow staying in the scapular plane.

And most important: Go on with your good work and enjoy it!

As always for what it's worth, but with best regards,
Werner
Attached Images
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File Type: jpg Salvo-2.jpg (51.4 KB, 9 views)
File Type: jpg Salvo-3.jpg (53.6 KB, 6 views)

Last edited by WFEGb : 11-04-2016 at 09:50 AM.
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  #24  
Old 11-04-2016
s.sciame s.sciame is offline
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Thanks very much guys for your replies:

@Danny:
yes, I know that undulation, I played with it for some time too but in the end it doesn't work much for me over long distances. However that movement is quite close to a sighting stroke, so it could be a valuable style to aid sighting in open water.
As a result of these experiments, my head still bobs up and down too much, I'm trying to fix it with a lot of snorkel swimming.

@Andy:
thanks for the clarification. By the way, today I was alone in my lane so I swam in the center all the time and "painted" the black line with my head and kept my pulling hands quite centered too (as if they had to draw the borders of the black line). Really liked it!

@Werner:
thanks for the detailed analysis! For sure I should keep my kick more narrow and the legs straighter. I'm doing some band swimming to fix this.
In the 2nd picture I guess it was a breathing stroke: in that length I breathed to the left every 2 strokes, so I was about to breathe then. Anyway, regardless of breathing or not, I don't like to raise the head and I'm trying to fix this flaw with
1)snorkel swimming
2)looking down + split screen view when I turn to breathe.
About this: "your right speared elbow is in the water while the hand just cuts the surface". Yes, another flaw. I'm left handed and I enter better with the left arm. My right arm has less coordination and my right shoulder is more flexible, that's why I reach far I guess. However I consider this a minor flaw.



Last week Chloe McCardel finished her 21st English Channel cross, which is also her 8th cross this year and came just a few days after the 7th (...!). No doubt she has a super efficient stroke and I often watch her as a model to follow. Here she is:

https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=1295618050471199

Light 6 beat kick (sometimes kicking air), stroke rate around 60-63SPM, she reaches quite far and her head bobs up and down even if she doesn't sight (ok, in open water you need to look forward sometimes to skip jellyfishes).
These "flaws" don't hold her back at all. The main difference I see between my stroke and hers from above water (under water for sure it's another story) is that she exits her hand at thighs with extended elbow. I'm still cutting too short at finish, this reduces DPS.

Thanks again everyone,
Salvo
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  #25  
Old 11-05-2016
Danny Danny is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by s.sciame View Post

@Danny:
yes, I know that undulation, I played with it for some time too but in the end it doesn't work much for me over long distances. However that movement is quite close to a sighting stroke, so it could be a valuable style to aid sighting in open water.
As a result of these experiments, my head still bobs up and down too much, I'm trying to fix it with a lot of snorkel swimming.
Salvo, I have always had trouble with sighting in open water. Thanks for the tip! I will give it a try, but I'll have to wait until next summer.
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