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  #1  
Old 11-18-2016
sixtiesguy
 
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Default Newbie to TI But Exhausted!

Since August, I self-taught the TI technique via watching Terri vids and reading one of the books, and especially watching Shinji Takeurchi You Tube swimming videos and Shinji's translated YouTube videos on efficient and graceful freestyle, to the point I almost memorize Shinji's "script".

...I swim for fitness, and usually just combine indoor swimming at the gym with a spinning class, or cardio kickbox class, or a strength functionality machine....,my problem with my Shinji-on-the-brain freestyle continues to be exhaustion and stamina. I know many who say they can swim breaststroke continuously for 20 minutes and yet after one length of freestyle they have to take a quick breather. That's me. Breast stroke, 20 minutes, no prob...freestyle, 25 yards at a time. Shinji vids says it might be muscle tension, simply not relaxing. Thoughts? Many thx

Sixties Guy
struggling some 60 miles outside of NYC (no TI instructors)
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  #2  
Old 11-19-2016
novaswimmer novaswimmer is offline
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Can you define 'exhaustion' more specifically?

In other words, do your muscles get fatigued? Or, do you mean you run out of breath and are gasping after 25 yards?

Breast stroke to me is the more strenuous of the two strokes -- from an energy-expenditure aspect.

So, I'm guessing you are not getting enough air in freestyle? With breaststroke, you breathe every stroke, so every 1 to 3 seconds or so?

And how often are you breathing in freestyle? Every other stroke? Every fourth stroke? Every third?

Edit: Of course your problems could be centered around a seriously inefficient stroke and excess drag. You are compensating by working too hard.

Last edited by novaswimmer : 11-21-2016 at 04:17 PM.
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  #3  
Old 11-20-2016
tomoy tomoy is offline
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Welcome to the forum SixtiesGuy. I can relate. I used to do breast stroke forever but flail and fail to exhaustion in 25Y of freestyle. I think it is a common experience. Breast stroke has rhythm built-into it. You do one arm stroke/recovery and one kick with a glide every 2-3 seconds. Think about how little motion that is, and how much glide.

With freestyle, inexperienced swimmers will beat their arms every 1 second and kick 3-5 times per second and have zero glide. Put all of that together and you get much more energy spent and less distance covered for free (glide).

Take heart, you have plenty of room for improvement :-) We'll probably need to see you by video somehow. There is no one thing that will just fix your stroke. But the TI principles: balance, streamlining then propulsion (in that order of importance) are not just nice poetic words. They very precisely frame the sequence of things to learn to improve your freestyle stroke in a very quick way (it beats "trying harder" by far).

So I recommend the DVD series. Yes it's money, but so is time wasted failing to improve. I'm sure the Academy is even better. And I know that the best is personal coaching.

All my best wishes for your journey!
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  #4  
Old 11-22-2016
sixtiesguy
 
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THX....Yes, the TI mantra of balance, streamline and propulsion... balance to me implies a good strong core to keep the Superman balance......but as I say, I'm watching Shinji not for any speed, but for that elegant glide, those 12 strokes for 25 meters....and in terms of streamlining, I watch Shinji's elbows as they point up to the ceiling before they gently enter the water and elongate to the front quadrant...I don't have any muscle memory for this kind of precise movement, and yeah, sometimes I think that I can't relax and swim being aware each time a stroke wasn't right, I tend to reach rather than move my elbows high and enter the water at a sharper angle....and I just need to take 15 second breathers after every 25 yards because I tighten up (and also I then need to breathe more often, every other switch).

Breast stroke, which I learned some 50 years ago, comes somewhat naturally, and I have muscle memory and all, and can do it endlessly until bored to tears.
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  #5  
Old 11-22-2016
WFEGb WFEGb is offline
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Hello Sixties Guy,

let me throw in some thaughts.

Quote:
......but as I say, I'm watching Shinji not for any speed, but for that elegant glide, those 12 strokes for 25 meters....
We are all fascinated by Shinji's Video and most of us didn't learn FS by just trying to imitate him. There are several steps before...

Quote:
....and in terms of streamlining, I watch Shinji's elbows as they point up to the ceiling before they gently enter the water and elongate to the front quadrant...
You should never try pointing your elbows up to ceiling. A leading recovery elbow on wide circles swang most far from the body with fingers drawing a line on the surface will be parts of the pretty difficult relaxed recovery movement... TI has a drill sequenze for learning and imprinting this...

Quote:
...sometimes I think that I can't relax and swim being aware each time a stroke wasn't right,..
One of TI's statements/Dogmas: Take only a single point in your stroke, focus just on this, don't be worried about any other part in your stroke. Coach Mat pointed out more than hundret FPs for example...

Quote:
....and I just need to take 15 second breathers after every 25 yards because I tighten up..
Take what you need! I'd suggest to take 5sec more to reset your brain to your FP... Another TI-Dogma especially for FS-beginners: Never get out of breath and never struggle. Becoming breahtless is an automatism leading to struggle at once...

Last but not least I'd recommend tomoy's hint:
Quote:
So I recommend the DVD series. Yes it's money, but so is time wasted failing to improve. I'm sure the Academy is even better. And I know that the best is personal coaching.

All my best wishes for your journey!
From me too! Don't foget to enjoy it!

Best regards,
Werner
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  #6  
Old 11-22-2016
sixtiesguy
 
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Thanks. When I first became interested in swimming some laps the TI way last August, I watched one of Terri's DVDs on FS, and also read one of his earlier books. I read Terri's newsletters. Now that many of Shinji's instructional videos on YouTube have been translated, I'm watching them as well. So, I watch his "famous" 2008 video as a visualization tool, an aspirational tool.

By referring to Shinji's "elbow to ceiling" I was calling attention to the bent elbow, which Shinji chooses to use as his main picture on his Facebook page...that is not a natural arm movement for me right now, I want to increase the angle my hand drops into the water...

I'm hooked on spin classes, and cardio kickbox classes, and I do enjoy ancillary 30 minute swim for fitness, but to get past this "getting tired after one length" phase of TI newbies, I think that focusing more on some core exercises in the gym using the stability ball---such as kneeling and doing medicine ball twists, and doing leg lifts while face down on the ball to help hip extension---may be important although it's not really stressed in any TI stuff I've seen....
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  #7  
Old 11-22-2016
Danny Danny is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sixtiesguy View Post
Thanks. When I first became interested in swimming some laps the TI way last August, I watched one of Terri's DVDs on FS, and also read one of his earlier books. I read Terri's newsletters. Now that many of Shinji's instructional videos on YouTube have been translated, I'm watching them as well. So, I watch his "famous" 2008 video as a visualization tool, an aspirational tool.

By referring to Shinji's "elbow to ceiling" I was calling attention to the bent elbow, which Shinji chooses to use as his main picture on his Facebook page...that is not a natural arm movement for me right now, I want to increase the angle my hand drops into the water...

I'm hooked on spin classes, and cardio kickbox classes, and I do enjoy ancillary 30 minute swim for fitness, but to get past this "getting tired after one length" phase of TI newbies, I think that focusing more on some core exercises in the gym using the stability ball---such as kneeling and doing medicine ball twists, and doing leg lifts while face down on the ball to help hip extension---may be important although it's not really stressed in any TI stuff I've seen....
As an old guy myself, I want to voice the opinion that you don't need that much core strength to do a proper recovery. If you're already doing all this fitness stuff, I'm pretty sure that this is not your problem. When I focus on doing a proper recovery, I also focus on stroking underwater so that my hand is always trailing behind my elbow, the only exception being a brief transitional period at the front of the stroke. If your hand comes out of the water trailing your elbow, it will feel more natural to keep it that way during the recovery. A lot of people (including me) have a tendency to pull so hard underwater that the elbow gets behind the hand, and this is the start of the "dropped elbow" which means you have lost your grip on the water and you're wasting energy. If you slow down your underwater pull and focus on keeping the hand behind the elbow, things will go a lot better. Sometimes it helps to think that you are stroking with your shoulders, not with your arms. It is your shoulders and upper body that should be moving the stroke.
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  #8  
Old 11-22-2016
WFEGb WFEGb is offline
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Hello sixtiesguy,

Quote:
...I think that focusing more on some core exercises in the gym using the stability ball---such as kneeling and doing medicine ball twists, and doing leg lifts while face down on the ball to help hip extension---...
You know Shinji's dryland- exercises? One and two; maybe they'll direct you more to your TI-wishes...

Best regards,
Werner
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  #9  
Old 11-23-2016
sixtiesguy
 
Posts: n/a
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Danny View Post
As an old guy myself, I want to voice the opinion that you don't need that much core strength to do a proper recovery. If you're already doing all this fitness stuff, I'm pretty sure that this is not your problem.
As a fellow old guy, you might wonder why, someone like me who was taught some 50 yrs ago "Red Cross crawl style" and now is called straight arm crawl, is bothering so much with learning TI style for my fitness purposes. I guess I like punishment (ha), but also bc TI makes sense to me, although fellow older guys at the pool swim straight arm.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Danny View Post
When I focus on doing a proper recovery, I also focus on stroking underwater so that my hand is always trailing behind my elbow, the only exception being a brief transitional period at the front of the stroke. If your hand comes out of the water trailing your elbow, it will feel more natural to keep it that way during the recovery. .... Sometimes it helps to think that you are stroking with your shoulders, not with your arms. It is your shoulders and upper body that should be moving the stroke.
I see, so I appreciate your helpful comment, and let me make sure I understand your recovery technique: you don't keep the hand and elbow parallel for as long as possible, letting the hand extend beyond the elbow only during the very last phase of the recovery, when the hand is at your hip basically....rather, you are letting the elbow lead the way and I assume that this also helps you avoid shoulder shrug, or pinching, which can be injurious...can you confirm this for me? Also, I agree that TI land exercises I'm intending to pursue should emphasize shoulder flexibility and lats! Happy TG!

Sixties Guy
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  #10  
Old 11-24-2016
lloyddinma lloyddinma is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sixtiesguy View Post
Since August, I self-taught the TI technique via watching Terri vids and reading one of the books, and especially watching Shinji Takeurchi You Tube swimming videos and Shinji's translated YouTube videos on efficient and graceful freestyle, to the point I almost memorize Shinji's "script".

...I swim for fitness, and usually just combine indoor swimming at the gym with a spinning class, or cardio kickbox class, or a strength functionality machine....,my problem with my Shinji-on-the-brain freestyle continues to be exhaustion and stamina. I know many who say they can swim breaststroke continuously for 20 minutes and yet after one length of freestyle they have to take a quick breather. That's me. Breast stroke, 20 minutes, no prob...freestyle, 25 yards at a time. Shinji vids says it might be muscle tension, simply not relaxing. Thoughts? Many thx

Sixties Guy
struggling some 60 miles outside of NYC (no TI instructors)
Hi SG,

I think many of us have TI models. I have been and am still somewhat a disciple of Shinji. Lately. I have been very aggressive with trying to improve my SPL. A little frustration led me again to Terry's "SPL: What's the Right count? " article. Badically, he encouraged improvement but also admonished taking into consideration your current skill level, by relaxing and trying to improve at the same time.

Regarding the breaststroke question, I have had the same experience. It hit me that in the breaststroke you breath every cycle/stroke. This is so unlike freestyle, where many of us breath every 3 strokes. This is in addition to the comments already pointed out by everyone here.

Indeed, I now know the most important aspect of swimming is relaxation.

All the comments made here are on point. Today, I tried using my snorkel to swim as opposed to using it for my skatedrills. I went without exhaustion. That tells me most of the stamina and endurance issues are more breathing related to a large degree.

Anway, welcome to the forum.

Happy Holidays Everyone!
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