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Old 04-07-2017
Tom Pamperin Tom Pamperin is offline
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Default Form/Technique Improval with Faster Pace

One thing I've noticed as I've been pushing myself some on pace for the past few weeks is that my form feels significantly different--better--at higher speeds.

In particular, I feel like my hips/legs ride higher in the water. I've also noticed my breathing seems to be better integrated into the stroke, keeping my head lower. I also seem to have better breathing because my need for air is matched more exactly to the time available for a breath--I think I may have been taking in too much air at slower speeds.

There also seems to be a stronger diagonal connection between spearing arm and kicking foot. In fact, one of my main perceptions of my fast(er) paces is that my body is stretching out along that diagonal line, with enough core tension to hold my body a little more rigid so a slightly deeper spear and shoulder position ("proud chest" feel) is able to lift my hips and give me better balance, as if my body were a see-saw.

Very interesting stuff. Has anyone else had the experience that some time spent swimming at faster paces seems to improve form? Any ideas about why such a thing might happen? Just curious--my 2bk certainly seems to work much better at faster speeds, coming more from the hip and core connection.
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Old 04-07-2017
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CoachGeorgeRandall CoachGeorgeRandall is offline
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Hi Tom,
That's interesting and awesome that your technique improves at faster tempo's. For me I find swimming at a slower tempo I have more time to focus and make improvements to my stroke and apply those improved FP's at a faster tempo. Swimming faster increases drag exponentially so that's great you are able to be faster in the water without sacrificing your efficiency.
Great Job!
George
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Old 04-07-2017
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Hey Tom,

Yes - I run my squad through all ranges of tempos outside their comfort zone (very slow to very fast), often dropping down to .70 tempo, then climb back up to comfort or sustainable zone. What the quick tempos (much faster than skill level) do is clean up added/unnecessary terrestrial movements that creep in at the sustainable tempos, as well as super charge the neural system maturing those connections. When a swimmer is stuck in a tempo such as 1.15 and 1.10 feels just too brisk - going to quick tempos .7, .8 and then climbing back up - the 1.10 tempo begins to feel much comfortable/sustainable than it did going down the ladder to the fast tempos.

Swimmers feel like they fall apart at fast tempos, but observing from the deck, it's amazing to see how well their stroke holds up looking as if they swim those fast tempos all the time - swimmer perception vs reality

Stuart
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Old 04-07-2017
Danny Danny is offline
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Guys, I don't swim nearly as fast as any of you, but I have been practicing at different tempos, so I wanted to throw in my perceptions of what happens to me, for whatever it's worth. When I push my tempo to the max, I start working more with my shoulders, as opposed to my whole body. I can feel this, because my shoulders and arms get tired from the work. I'm not sure I understand why this is, but my vague feeling is my hips can't keep up with the fast stroke rates as well as my shoulders, so at some point the hips (in order to keep up) aren't rotating as much, and more of the burden falls on the shoulders. (Worst case scenario is that the hips actually get out of sync with the shoulders, but then everything falls apart.) Lately (based on Stewart's advice) I have been working on increasing my stroke rate, although I am far from what you guys can do. I was swimming at about 1.4 s/stroke and started working on a range between 1.2 s/stroke and 1.3 s. I am finding that with practice, my hips can learn to move faster and this takes a lot of the burden off of my shoulders. In other words, I am stroking with my whole body, instead of working primarily from the shoulders. And that makes the process much easier. I hope that with time, I will actually be able to get down to stroke rates much lower than 1.2 s without leaving my green zone in SPL, but only time will tell...
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Old 04-07-2017
Danny Danny is offline
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Stuart, when you have your students swimming at 0.7 s/stroke, what distances are they swimming at that stroke rate? When I work between 1.2 s and 1.3 s, I am usually swimming 300 yd/m. If I restrict my attention to 50's I can get down much lower.
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Old 04-07-2017
Tom Pamperin Tom Pamperin is offline
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Ok--I just noticed the "Improval" in the thread title, which as far as I know isn't actually a word. Sheesh. And I'm a writer.

Thanks for the input, everyone. I felt the same "improval" today doing some race pace training (:43/50m), with a 4-2 breathing pattern (got this from Gary on another Forum thread) helping me keep SR up. I definitely feel like my shoulders and chest are a bit deeper in the water, lifting my hips and giving me better balance and less drag.
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Old 04-07-2017
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Danny View Post
Stuart, when you have your students swimming at 0.7 s/stroke, what distances are they swimming at that stroke rate? When I work between 1.2 s and 1.3 s, I am usually swimming 300 yd/m. If I restrict my attention to 50's I can get down much lower.
Hey Danny,

Good question. Only 50y repeats, sometimes 25y (quick) repeats with enough rest to hit the next 50y at 100% mentally and physically - razor sharp focus. Generally drop down each 50y by .1 tempo, 1.1, 1.0,0.9,0.8,0.7 - and sometimes doing several 50's at fast .7 or .8, before heading back up the ladder, .75, .80, .85, .90, ... and continue up until swimmer's back in green-zone SPL.

This is relative to the swimmer. If you're swimming at 1.3 tempo now, dropping down to 1.0 in increments of .1 is a good start. I wouldn't expect you to try to get down to .8 or .7, at least not at the moment. Usually have a range (faster and slower) about +/- .4 tempo from your sustainable/comfortable tempo (and spl) where you swim a longer distance, 300, 500, etc

Stuart
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Old 04-09-2017
sclim sclim is offline
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This is fascinating. It may be old hat to some, and maybe I've even heard it before myself. But I have just reached a point in my abilities (recently arrived at low SPL at very slow tempos) where this information is starting to be of relevance, and it may now be useful to start playing with speeding up my tempo, even if this gets me temporarily into some relative inefficiency.
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Old 04-09-2017
sclim sclim is offline
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I have just came home today from a 10 k (road) race that I run every spring. I improved dramatically from last year's time, but that may be because last year's performance was shortly after adopting a low carbohydrate diet, which, although it improves endurance vastly beyond 3 hours of competition, may reduce VO2max slightly to the point where 10k running races are slightly degraded. I think in this year that has since passed my metabolism has slowly adapted back to help to recover my higher end performance. It's not quite as good as my 2015 time, but then, I am 2 years older. And I did have a somwhat intense swimming session yesterday.

But what really has blown me away has been that all this discussion on technique in improving swimming speed in this TI forum has really got me thinking hard about technique in running. I tend to be a technique geek anyway, and bore all my running buddies to tears. But I thought I had optimized the technique aspect of my running all that I could, and that further optimization was unlikely to happen. But today, during the race, even at pretty close to maximal effort, I was able to have the presence of mind to get a grip on myself and adjust posture, to relax somewhat, to adjust my gait to a smoother more relaxed, slightly higher cadence cycle that I had practiced in training, and found myself getting more efficient in real time, getting some breath back while maintaining speed, or even speeding up a bit without paying more fatigue penalty. I ran a perfectly paced race, hitting the 5k mark in exactly half my 10 k time! This all is very TI in spirit, and I think I have got the idea and ability to put it into practice during countless TI drills where focus is essential despite the distraction of physical and mental fatigue and where some of the newly learned mechanical movements are quite difficult to get just right.

Even in running, the secret of getting faster is to maintain form/technique (or even improval, Tom) despite faster pace.

TI really is the gift that keeps on giving!

Last edited by sclim : 04-09-2017 at 10:45 PM.
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Old 04-09-2017
WFEGb WFEGb is offline
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Hello Sclim,

GREAT! another example, that TI is changing your life...

Quote:
But what really has blown me away has been that all this discussion on technique in improving swimming speed in this TI forum has really got me thinking hard about technique in running.
You know there were combined courses for TI-swimming and Chi-Running?

Don't know what's planned this year, but Mat should know about.

Best regards,
Werner
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