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  #11  
Old 12-09-2014
Talvi Talvi is offline
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A coach here told me that sprint training helps distance swimmers but distance swimming doesn't help sprinters.

Comments?

Perhaps forgettiing everything and learning to thrash up and down a bit (I don't believe I have a snowflake in hell's chance of actually sprinting) would be helpful?
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  #12  
Old 12-09-2014
Richardsk Richardsk is offline
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I understand that there is a direct relationship between time for , say 50m and time for 1500m. If you improve your 50m time, all other things being equal, you should improve your 1500 time.
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  #13  
Old 12-09-2014
sclim sclim is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlesCouturier View Post
What I meant is that whilst sprinting, a lot of water is pushed downward early into the stroke, which kills balance. Upperbody gets higher over the water. Strong flutter kick compensates and therefore elevates the lower body as well. In other words, the balance when sprinting is artificially kept thanks to a strong "elevating" flutter kick.

Cool thing is that all this is a way to lower the drag resistance which would otherwise increase if the whole body was kept lower in the water.

What I'm describing can be monitored by looking at how exposed the back of a sprinter ends up being
OK, got it -- the sprinter is actually reducing his drag, but these specific sprint technique mechanisms (elevating the front end by pushing down early in the arm stroke, and elevating the back end by a vigorous flutter kick) are impractical for long distance swimming.
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  #14  
Old 12-09-2014
CharlesCouturier CharlesCouturier is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sclim View Post
OK, got it -- the sprinter is actually reducing his drag, but these specific sprint technique mechanisms (elevating the front end by pushing down early in the arm stroke, and elevating the back end by a vigorous flutter kick) are impractical for long distance swimming.
Absolutely impractical, not economical at all. I just want to point out the fact that elevating the upper body is occurring whether one wants it or not. It could be minimized by lowering the head, but then you end up pushing a massive wall of water. So this is a big flaw.

Here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E4YiGdf_3dg

Non Lopers generally keep a relatively high position over the water. Lopers (like Phelps, lane 3) tend to move up and down. They raise on their strong arm pull, and fall on the weak side. MacEvoy, the winner, doesn't Lope much. He's a good example of what I meant by "sprinting doesn't obey the the same rules when comes to balance".

Last edited by CharlesCouturier : 12-09-2014 at 06:53 PM.
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  #15  
Old 12-09-2014
Janos Janos is offline
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Touche? Perhaps, but unless something has been lost in translation, I think the video was trying to show us that the svelte accomplished swimmer with superior technique would overcome the stocky guy who was trying to power down the pool.
Also, I think it is misleading to talk of this innate 'gift'. The 'gift' that a lot of good swimmers possess is that they started swimming competitively at a young age. Once basic swimming technique has been acquired, there is long process of learning, as we feel our way to superior technique and position in the water. This takes a long time for many people, and rightly so. So adult learners should not lose heart over this. Anything is possible, so don't give up, ever, especially in the face of faux elitism.
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  #16  
Old 12-09-2014
Danny Danny is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Janos View Post
Touche? Perhaps, but unless something has been lost in translation, I think the video was trying to show us that the svelte accomplished swimmer with superior technique would overcome the stocky guy who was trying to power down the pool.
Also, I think it is misleading to talk of this innate 'gift'. The 'gift' that a lot of good swimmers possess is that they started swimming competitively at a young age. Once basic swimming technique has been acquired, there is long process of learning, as we feel our way to superior technique and position in the water. This takes a long time for many people, and rightly so. So adult learners should not lose heart over this. Anything is possible, so don't give up, ever, especially in the face of faux elitism.
I suspect the video was put out there for fun, and even my non-swimming family seemed to enjoy it, so I would say it succeeded. We just tend to take everything seriously on this website and get all tied up in knots about technique. So here's a personal story about racing, which would be even more entertaining if it had been filmed, but it wasn't so I'll just tell it.

My daughter's boy friend is about my height, 40 yrs younger, and 30 lbs heavier than I am. The weight difference is all muscle, and he is in very good shape. Some time ago I got in a 50 m pool with him and couldn't resist the temptation to challenge him to race me. He's a lousy swimmer, so that was the one advantage I had over him. The races ran a sequence very similar to the one you see in the Norwegian film, where he is the Norwegian record holder and I am the fat guy. First we did 100 m and he beat me by a wide margin. I won't embarass myself by estimating the time I turned in for 100 m, but I saw right away that my advantage over him was only in distance, not in speed. So I started handicapping him by increasing the distance of the race. On 300 m, he still beat me, but the margin of victory was significantly smaller. So my last race (similar to the one in the film with the helmet) was for 500 m. The pool is shallow enough to stand in, so my opponent would swim way out ahead of me and stand up to catch his breath until I approached. Then he would start swimming again. It turns out I lost this one too, but by less than 1 s.

I am still looking forward to a rematch, this time in open water that's deep enough so that you can't stand up. Time will tell.
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  #17  
Old 12-09-2014
CharlesCouturier CharlesCouturier is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Janos View Post
Touche? Perhaps, but unless something has been lost in translation, I think the video was trying to show us that the svelte accomplished swimmer with superior technique would overcome the stocky guy who was trying to power down the pool.
Also, I think it is misleading to talk of this innate 'gift'. The 'gift' that a lot of good swimmers possess is that they started swimming competitively at a young age. Once basic swimming technique has been acquired, there is long process of learning, as we feel our way to superior technique and position in the water. This takes a long time for many people, and rightly so. So adult learners should not lose heart over this. Anything is possible, so don't give up, ever, especially in the face of faux elitism.
Just to set the records straight. Henrik Christiansen is a top Jnr athlete. He is certainly the best freestyler in Norways. He swam 1:52.some LCM over 2, and 15:40 over 15.

Absolutely no one in this world can break a national record without being exceptionally gifted. To the best of my knowledge, he broke 3, and that over a very wide range of distances.

And as I said, I guess we'd have to define what a gift is. In this case he is overall very good. For some, what I consider as being a gift is just an exaggerated genetic profile, which puts the subject at either end of the sprint/distance spectrum.

Funny because this clip reminds me something similar taking place in my backyard in Montreal. A former professional hockey player (George Laraque, for those who follow Ice Hockey) challenged a young UCI female cyclist for a 1.6k uphill race... LOL
The girl had time to go up the hill, go down, get George, and finish the climb with him. Maybe she should not have, because this motivated him to climb as fast as he could. The poor goon ended up in hospital (heart). I LOVE these events. They make good press, and they allow general public to have a better idea of what a pro/elite really is.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6JALD7cS_JY
http://pedalmag.com/lexvslaraque-alb...alized-photos/

Anyone with a bit of luck, goodwill and time will make it to regional elite level. Very few will ever make a national team. Where I agree with you though, is that anyone who really wants it should really give it a serious go. Cause you never know if you're going to become the winning combination. Been wondering about these things lately as I have to participate to talent identification here in QC. Impossible to tell as they grow as you never know if it's a matter of being slightly ahead of time development wise, or if a certain edge say at age 17 will be kept until blowesome. In other words, it's possible that another 17yo inferior to Christiansen physically speaking continues growing after Christiansen stalled. So you never know, and should never give up as long as fun is there and that health/studies aren't at stake.

Last edited by CharlesCouturier : 12-10-2014 at 01:15 AM.
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  #18  
Old 12-10-2014
s.sciame s.sciame is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlesCouturier View Post
Well this is an excellent question, and one which will allow me to add some nuances.

I wrote that it requires no particular talent to swim 30s. That doesn't mean it's not fast. Anyone who's not "there yet" shouldn't worry, unless you're young and aiming for competing at a relatively high level.

And that statement is only valid for pure sprinting, i.e. unplug the TT, forget about technique for 50m and swim as if you were pursued by a shark, with a 6b flutter kick and aiming for the highest possible rate.

Now, I still have an issue teaching sprinting to distance folks having no previous significant swimming background. I think I can state that aside from a few rares cases, I fail. Even my most motivated folks do not achieve the speed I believe they should. I am yet to understand why. They mostly end up hanging a bit below 35sec and a bit below 1:15 for 100m. That's not enough.

This is very frustrating, as most of these contenders are far more gifted than I physically. Even out of shape, I can swim 30 and 1:05. With minimal training it becomes 28.some / 1:02.some roughly. I still don't understand, and blame it on the mystery of swimming. I'm sincere here.

Now an important thing related to my statement, this is all dependent on age and gender. I haven't ran (though I should I guess) any statistics on a significantly large volume of data (although I could). In order to make an opinion as to how your performances (in general) compare to that of others competing in the same Age Group, our Canadian Masters database does an excellent job http://mymsc.ca/Competition.jsp#results
Most meets are regional scope. You may use La Coupe de Montreal as an example, since it provides with a fair sample.

Now the interesting bit in your question, how to use the SDI to guide you. 1.05 is fairly flat as an index. It usually means either of 3 things: a) Maybe your sprinting isn't real sprinting, therefore your index is artificially flat for lack of being able to go optimally fast over 50/100m, b) technique prevents you from going faster or c) you're in a heck of a good distance swimming shape.

Note that a) and b) are very similar. If your index is flat because of A or B, then I believe it becomes very important to do just like Andy, and set a very good focus on developing sprinting. Your distance performances will likely inherit from this work, although the index might never get back to such a flat value, without getting into a great distance shape.

If your index is flat because of c), then it's another story. And there working on the shorter more intense end of the spectrum could literally be counter productive for the distance side. If you ended up building fitness on top of a faulty technique (i.e. building C on top of A), then it's as if you didn't have C.

In other words, as you may imagine, Sprint/Distance Index tries to tell you what your balance between anaerobic and aerobic is. At some point, work becomes mutually exclusive. If you improve the distance end, the sprint end will deteriorate, vice versa. But it may take a while before you reach this point, since most carry significant technique flaws preventing them from swimming faster. One final thing I may add, I am yet to use Weight resistance as a means to improve sprinting performances. Maybe that's why I keep failing, I donno.
,

Thanks Charles for the insightful answer. No worries here, on the contrary it's amazing how much potential is yet to discover. And, about the mistery you mention, that makes swimming even more fashinating to me. For the record, I'm a 37yo self coached, no swimming background, mostly interested in ow swimming, and I swim just because it's a continuous discovery, a day by day wonderful journey.

As for the flat SDI, I guess I fall into a) - never do any all out sprints - and, to a lesser extent, into b). Your advises led me to a hot question:

Aerobic vs neuromuscular training: which is better for an avg folk who is currently worth 26min on a 1500? Maybe you would think that it's pointless to "train" at 1:45/100m or slower and one should better get first at 35s/50m and only then start building endurance. But I see that by consistently doing aerobic sets (with a clean stroke and steady SPL), my times slowly but continuosly improve, no shortcuts, no magic. Instead I feel like neuromuscular sets (e.g. ATP) never really worked for me. I know it sounds unpopular here, but that's my honest experience.
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  #19  
Old 12-10-2014
Zenturtle Zenturtle is offline
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Are you able to monitor your techniique duriong your aerobic sets and correct it during the swim?
I think if you are able to steer the technique in the right direction during your swim and keep awareness of how your stroke is developing the risk of doing garbage miles is small and the positive endurance building works in the positive direction for you.
You slowly improve your technique and endurance this way I guess.
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  #20  
Old 12-10-2014
CharlesCouturier CharlesCouturier is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by s.sciame View Post
,

Thanks Charles for the insightful answer. No worries here, on the contrary it's amazing how much potential is yet to discover. And, about the mistery you mention, that makes swimming even more fashinating to me. For the record, I'm a 37yo self coached, no swimming background, mostly interested in ow swimming, and I swim just because it's a continuous discovery, a day by day wonderful journey.

As for the flat SDI, I guess I fall into a) - never do any all out sprints - and, to a lesser extent, into b). Your advises led me to a hot question:

Aerobic vs neuromuscular training: which is better for an avg folk who is currently worth 26min on a 1500? Maybe you would think that it's pointless to "train" at 1:45/100m or slower and one should better get first at 35s/50m and only then start building endurance. But I see that by consistently doing aerobic sets (with a clean stroke and steady SPL), my times slowly but continuosly improve, no shortcuts, no magic. Instead I feel like neuromuscular sets (e.g. ATP) never really worked for me. I know it sounds unpopular here, but that's my honest experience.
This is another excellent question. I don't mean to teach anyone what to do here, but as far as I'm concerned, as a coach, I address all of this, with a shift in focus as the season progresses. For example, since I'm coaching distance people mostly, as we get close to our competition season, there will be less and less neuromuscular training. However at this time of year, the poor folks get bombed with this sort of set.

Generally speaking, I like to work on 3 different axis in the same time:

1. Neuromuscular, or pure speed if you may
2. Streamline/efficiency, mostly done through time trialing at an artificially low rate (I like to go down to one's natural rate minus 12rpm), so similar to Total Immersion approach, though I'm well aware that TI means and is far more than this sort of work
3. Endurance fitness

And one of the big reasons why I like this approach, is that it's very difficult to "stall" in all of the 3 areas. Therefore in spite of a temporary plateau in the endurance side, pure speed may continue to progress. Then if pure speed plateaus, then endurance may continue to progress, etc...

This old dusty thread here gives a concrete example of how #1 and #2 are developed, in this context: http://triforums.vo3max.ca/viewtopic.php?f=245&t=733

I still use very similar toolbox as of today.

In this case, every sessions sees a bit of sprinting with a bit of streamline/efficiency work. Endurance fitness is entirely left aside in this case. I may add, at the risk of being unpopular (again, like you I'm just trying to be honest), that sprinting for me = forget about technique. Find back the kid in you, just beat the hell out of the water. I'd never recommend using a TT for sprinting.

Last edited by CharlesCouturier : 12-10-2014 at 10:28 PM.
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