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  #11  
Old 05-08-2015
sclim sclim is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Pamperin View Post
I swam these without any conscious intention to swim harder or faster, just to tuck/level my pelvis by tightening my abs, and the faster times just happened. It felt different, and better. A fairly casual 2BK, going for a pace on the 400s that I think I might be able to sustain on my 10-miler. I dropped from a 2:57 to 2:55 200m, and from 6:48 to a 6:44, then a 6:38 400m.

But then, I have not done an all-out 200m or 400m to test what my real PB is--I think I will be routinely doing them faster as my training goes on. I've been holding back on speed in my swimming, I think, with those 10 long miles always in mind (I almost never get a 50m under :40 these days); and these repeats came near the end of a 4000m session.

I didn't have any soreness of my abs afterward--but I do engage those muscles when I run (3 x week) and do yoga, so it wasn't turning on a new muscle (which might lead to soreness). I had just never mindfully and intentionally engaged them while swimming.
By my way of thinking, you can't always reliably say you used the same muscle groups therefore they weren't overused or used in a different way if you used them in a different activity. However, in your situation that actually was the case. So it seems like it was really one of those "something for nothing" great bargains that don't come around very often!

I tried to incorporate this focal point in my laps this morning. I must say I was trying a whole bunch of things in quick succession, so my recollection of the outcome is a little hazy; but it did seem to make alignment more secure. Oh, I remember now -- I was trying to breathe exclusively on my bad side -- my left -- and after several breaths I started to lose ease and to struggle for breath, breaking my body axis in a reflexive move to get my head higher for more reliable air availability. By thinking firm longitudinal line and firm rotational connection between shoulder girdle and hip girdle this seemed to tidy things up and I was able to breathe easily again without lurching for air; which means, I guess my balance returned as a direct result of core engagement and axial discipline.

Last edited by sclim : 05-08-2015 at 01:12 AM.
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  #12  
Old 05-16-2015
Tom Pamperin Tom Pamperin is offline
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I've been continuing to focus on core activation as I swim, and it's going well. Not only am I doing a "level your pelvis" kind of lower abs activation, though--I think I'm actually using the upper abs more now--it feels like I'm tightening up a band of muscle immediately below my ribs, and it is really helping reduce drag.

Good stuff for sure--try it out if you haven't.

Tom
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  #13  
Old 05-16-2015
Zenturtle Zenturtle is offline
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Working on the balance again.
Going from superman float to non kick forward movement while retaining the float experience.
Only possible with proud chest-upper back pulled back (feels indeed a bit like Toms band around the lower ribcage) and straigh flat lower back.
Frees up the movement range of the shoulders, and helps move into easy straight forward or slightly wide arm extension too.
This body tone gives better awareness of how the weight in front of the lungs helps to pivot the legs up.
For the pivoting to work, there has to be a rigid lever from front to back,pivoting around the lungs.
Think of a bird with a proud chest and extended toned streamlined shape following that. Legs only used as rear end stabiliser wings.

Last edited by Zenturtle : 05-16-2015 at 09:36 AM.
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  #14  
Old 05-24-2015
CharlesCouturier CharlesCouturier is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boyzie View Post
I normally average 16 strikes in a 25m pool with a very gentle push off. I'm 6'4". Today I actively concentrated on really engaging my core. I was amazed at the results. I dropped my stroke from 16 to 12-13!

AR there any other small changes that people have found that have resulted in improvements like this.
Getting rid of a scissor kick if you have one, or improving body position if your lower body sits too low can sometimes also result into breakthrough progress.

Congratulations, well done!
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  #15  
Old 07-31-2015
rosceaux rosceaux is offline
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Thank you for such a great post. I dug this up after getting frustrated by my lack of progress and always feeling out of breath after a single lap (and the jump from a length to a lap has only come recently).

Mirroring my new focus on form in my running, I saw this post and tried engaging my lower core in the pool. What a difference! I immediately went from 15/17 strokes per length to a consistent 13. I was also able to swim 3 lengths consecutively and minimize my "catch-up" breathing. All this with no increase in effort.

While I still have a long, long way to go, my laps felt much smoother, almost as if I am more slippery. I look forward to any drills that the TI coaching staff will have in store for us in the future.

I am now wondering if the ramifications from a non-activated core is having a greater effect on taller people. I am 6'2" and pretty gangly. That's a lot of limbs dragging through the water.

Thanks for the original posts and all the comments.

Mike

Last edited by rosceaux : 07-31-2015 at 02:16 PM.
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  #16  
Old 08-20-2015
EmbracingKaizen EmbracingKaizen is offline
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My times for "effortless TI" at 50m FR longcourse have been stuck at 1:00-1:11; swimming without effort, I've been unable to break 1:00.

Today, engaged my core using Tom Pamperin's "level pelvis" description, and my times for same distance of "effortless TI" dropped roughly 10 seconds to 0:52-0:57.

Also swam a PB for 50m FR of 0:45 (longcourse, w/o dive, dropped 2 seconds).

Post-swim, I feel physically different than usual: better aligned, dramatically less nasal snot and I'm warm (usually, I'm chilled); my core is indeed happily tired. I'm 5'10.5 and 165lbs. Next time I'll count SPL.

Thank you for this thread!!
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  #17  
Old 08-20-2015
Tom Pamperin Tom Pamperin is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EmbracingKaizen View Post
My times for "effortless TI" at 50m FR longcourse have been stuck at 1:00-1:11; swimming without effort, I've been unable to break 1:00.

Today, engaged my core using Tom Pamperin's "level pelvis" description, and my times for same distance of "effortless TI" dropped roughly 10 seconds to 0:52-0:57.

Also swam a PB for 50m FR of 0:45 (longcourse, w/o dive, dropped 2 seconds).

Post-swim, I feel physically different than usual: better aligned, dramatically less nasal snot and I'm warm (usually, I'm chilled); my core is indeed happily tired. I'm 5'10.5 and 165lbs. Next time I'll count SPL.

Thank you for this thread!!
Congrats on some great results--that discovery process is what keeps TI interesting to me. I haven't been swimming much at all since my big event in July--can't wait to get back at it in September.
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  #18  
Old 08-23-2015
descending descending is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boyzie View Post
I normally average 16 strikes in a 25m pool with a very gentle push off. I'm 6'4". Today I actively concentrated on really engaging my core. I was amazed at the results. I dropped my stroke from 16 to 12-13!

AR there any other small changes that people have found that have resulted in improvements like this.
And at some point you will learn how to take even more load off your lats and transfer that to your core now that you have some insight into the core and it's ability to do work in the water. It's more evident while sprinting, but the first part of my body that fatigues racing a 500 is my core, not my lats. Lungs burn from the outset, but when I'm connected from head to toe swimming from the bottom up my catch and pull are very passive compared to my torso and core input. The core is the motor to fast swimming. Stay tuned into this feeling b/c this is what can begin to separate you from other swimmers versus the clock. When I look at the adult swimmers and triathletes at the pools I frequent I'm always watching. Of the say 75 routine swimmers I see maybe 3 of them know how to power from the core it's not easy to find. Congrats!
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  #19  
Old 08-25-2015
Streak Streak is offline
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Yesterday I was trying to find a way to level the pelvis. I was really not sure if I was getting this right I then remembered the light clenching of the butt cheeks which I tried for a few hundreds.

I am not sure if this changed my DPS by making me more streamlined or if it was too uncomfortable to hold so I tried to finish the 4x25 faster but I did 2 or 3 sub 1:30 hundreds with my best being 1:27. I have never swum this fast without fins before.

I was a little tired after these 100's so it was not a casual pace. In my next session I need to slow the temp a little while clenching to see what the effect will be.
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