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  #71  
Old 01-10-2015
CharlesCouturier CharlesCouturier is offline
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Originally Posted by sclim View Post
In other words, do the Triathletes swim with a faster turnover and a lower propulsive efficiency because of the inadequacy of their recent and limited swimming training, experience and proficiency? Or does this group swim like that because they have adapted successfully to the different requirements of this swimming phase of this sport?
In short, yes your proposal is inline with how I see this. Briefly, and I hope not triggering a debate here (you'll rarely see me stating this), the more refined the stroke, the more time it takes practicing it. By practicing, I include the past, and the present.

Yes it makes perfect sens to isolate triathletes from other swimmers, as they need to share their time across 3 sports, swimming certainly not being the most important of the 3! I have people that are trying to migrate to full patch pro level on WTC circuit, that have to rely on 1 or 2 swims/week during the summer (off a 15-18hr/week program when combining the 3 sports).

There are 2 categories of muscles involved in swimming. Those larger muscles groups responsible for getting you to move forward (lats, pecs, triceps, quadriceps) and those responsible for allowing you to do so, in the most efficient way, that is, maintaining the technique which allows for sustaining a stable stroke/count per 25m. These are often smaller (rotators' cuff muscles, etc). It's the later (surprisingly) which pose more problems, and require more practice time. Without a fair investment in time, they tend to get tired rapidly.

Add to this, 2 things: Triathletes generally didn't begin swimming at early age. Beginning at early age allows for a much better adaptation to swimming. During the growth, your body "thinks" that it's very important to develop itself in line with the swimming demand. it leaves indelible footprints. Also, triathletes are good (i.e., their potential is set) according to how they perform globally across the 3 sports. Swimmers are good according to how they perform in the water. I am 5'10 with 6'1 of arm span, with huge hands. When I wear hand paddles, it doesn't improve my DPS since I was fortunate enough to have an upper body which provides me with a lot of grip (naturally that is). Some triathletes, in spite of being very successful in their sport, have short arms, small hands, stiff ankles, poor swim proprioception, etc... If they had chosen swimming, they'd be "no-names". As triathletes, they can make it up to the top (when you can easily run 2:40 on a Marathon, and ride 180k at 40k per hour, it doesn't matter much that you exit to T1 in 58-60min...You're still worth sub 8:30 over an Ironman.
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Originally Posted by sclim View Post
I realise this may be an unfair question because you didn't define the 2 groups yourself, in which case I apologise. But if you have some insight as to what he's talking about, I would love to try and understand it!
All that's left to understand in Couzen's paper, and which is hard to get is Delta Efficiency.

In short, it implies that the gross efficiency (which is very simple to understand, it's simply the ratio between mechanical work produced over overall calories spent) varies along with the cadence, or stroke rate. Best way to explain this is to use Couzen's analogy with Cycling. If you sit on a trainer, and let the backwheel loose, and start pedaling at 30rpm (very low), you're not efficient obviously as you produce no watts. As you increase the cadence, efficiency gets worst and worst. The faster you pedal (with no resistance, therefore producing no watts), the higher the energy cost. Because there's a cost associated with turning the legs. A leg is heavy. And in spite of not producing any mechanical work, you're using metabolic energy. Therefore, at Zero watt, the lower the rate, the higher the gross effiency. If you spin at 1rpm (that is, one pedal stroke per minute), your gross efficiency will be very close to your metabolic baseline (cost of breathing, digesting, thinking, living in other words).

OK. At Zero watt, you're more efficient at 1rpm. Now, at 300w. Are you more efficient at 1rpm? Probably not. At 300w you are getting more and more efficient as the rate increases. This idea of seeing one's gross efficiency varying according to cadence is what Couzen refers to as Delta Efficiency.

Now back to the pool. Some people have expressed over time here on TI-Forums that increasing the rate gets them out of breathe. Imagine you are suspended in the air, and therefore that you don't force against the water. Just having this body which rotates and move (performing the swim gestures, no pressure at all, just like a bike on a turbo trainer with no resistance at all), does require energy/fitness. Couzen's proposal is simply that triathletes can recycle fitness earned on bike/run much more easily to achieve this theoritical higher rev zero pressure swimming. Their delta efficiency is better at higher rev because the fitness gain earned on bike/run would more easily transfer then, compared to trying to develop and maintain a sophisticated, 0.7x sort of stroke.

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Originally Posted by sclim View Post
Incidentally, Charles,
you're a very effective interviewer and facilitator!
Well I don't know about that, but this interview is something I won't forget. It was improvised (after I managed to find the courage to reach out for Tom and ask him).

Last edited by CharlesCouturier : 01-10-2015 at 05:19 PM.
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  #72  
Old 01-10-2015
Zenturtle Zenturtle is offline
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Great stuff Charles. Makes complete sense.
Its getting boring perhaps, but the delta efficiency can explain some of the efficiency but there is still a weird combination of actions in a koper happening.
Looking at the armstroke the loper is triathlete at one side of the body and swimmer with the other half.
At top power both sides possibly can give the same total efficiency (where the lines cross in Couzens article), but we keep the extra up down movement the lope creates which should give extra resistance.
And why should a swimmer prefer to combine a Jackyl and Hyde personality? ;-)

Funny we have about the same ape index and height.
My problem is alsoo not lack of traction, but lack of strenght in the smaller muscle group department.(and some other technique issues ;-)
Hate paddles.

edit:
The 2 persons in one body maybe isnt as weird as it sounds. We have left/right devided brains which each specialize in different tasks. Running and biking are relatively easy compared to swimming, so possibly the asymmetry is more likely to come out in a more complex movement pattern.
Beside the pure mechanical devision in one side of the body having better strenght and proprioception, can an emotiona/non rationall brain asymetry be linked to swimming movements?
If we add the breathing asymetry to the basic body asymmetry, is this enough to explain the existence of the loper species?
If someone would take the time to compare the facial symmetry of lopers versus perfect symmetrical style swimmers, I wouldsnt be surprised there is some corelation.
Now I am going to check the faces of lopers ;-)

Last edited by Zenturtle : 01-11-2015 at 08:14 AM.
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  #73  
Old 01-11-2015
sclim sclim is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlesCouturier View Post
Yes it makes perfect sens to isolate triathletes from other swimmers, as they need to share their time across 3 sports, swimming certainly not being the most important of the 3! I have people that are trying to migrate to full patch pro level on WTC circuit, that have to rely on 1 or 2 swims/week during the summer (off a 15-18hr/week program when combining the 3 sports).
Charles: I can see how this makes unmistakeable sense for a late-learner swimmer coming from a running and biking background -- he has no childhood years of proprioception and small muscle development to pull him through during the low swimming practice time phase.

However, I am curious about, let's say an athlete coming from a longstanding pure competitive swimming background -- to make it really black and white, let's say this swimmer was a 1500m specialist, so has the skills and strength to do 1500m in a pool with slower cadence and longer strokes than your average triathlete. This accomplished distance swimmer switches to Triathlon, struggling to learn good biking and running. Now, in the swim part of the race, does he swim the 1500m exactly like he used to in the pool, except maybe backing off on the power a little to save enough gas for a decent bike and run?

Or does the demands of the other disciplines dictate that he increase his stroke cadence and shorten his stroke, maybe not as much as the other triathletes who were previous non-swimmers, but in a similar manner as them?
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  #74  
Old 01-11-2015
CharlesCouturier CharlesCouturier is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sclim View Post
Charles: I can see how this makes unmistakeable sense for a late-learner swimmer coming from a running and biking background -- he has no childhood years of proprioception and small muscle development to pull him through during the low swimming practice time phase.

However, I am curious about, let's say an athlete coming from a longstanding pure competitive swimming background -- to make it really black and white, let's say this swimmer was a 1500m specialist, so has the skills and strength to do 1500m in a pool with slower cadence and longer strokes than your average triathlete. This accomplished distance swimmer switches to Triathlon, struggling to learn good biking and running. Now, in the swim part of the race, does he swim the 1500m exactly like he used to in the pool, except maybe backing off on the power a little to save enough gas for a decent bike and run?

Or does the demands of the other disciplines dictate that he increase his stroke cadence and shorten his stroke, maybe not as much as the other triathletes who were previous non-swimmers, but in a similar manner as them?
I unfortunately don't have enough ground experience yet to answer this question, although I'd say that it's reasonable to believe that training on half, or a third of the volume they used to rely on may translate into an inability to swim like they used too, metric wise.

What makes this question difficult to answer (somewhat) is that the athlete in your scenario would likely not swim as fast (over 1500m) as a triathlete than he used to as a swimmer. And what makes it even more difficult is that they wouldn't mind at all, especially if their level is sufficient enough to exit with the first pack, or better in front of them.

Now speaking of the demand. I can't find the thread back (I remember having created a thread on this topic on here), but once I was looking at a triathlon coverage, elite, full coverage. Conditions were choppy. I caught the whole thing at the beginning of the coverage. The 4 categories involved were elite-m, elite-f, u23-m, u23-f. I pull out my tempo trainer just to see the minimal rate I could spot among these 4 crowds. TBH, I was anticipating that the slowest stroker would probably rev at about 70-75rpm. To my big surprise, I couldn't spot anyone under 80rpm. Honestly? That was a bit of a shock.

I don't think this would be typical of a race occurring in flat conditions though, as then you'd probably see the most refined swimmers using a longer stroke. However that day, it seems that to be competitive with the rest of the pack, given the conditions, the "demand" was for an avg rate above 80rpm, with no one under this.

In our province, 2 of the fastest swimmer (elite triathletes) are well above 6feet tall. One of them is showing a rather longish stroke, the other is not. Both usually exit with the lead pack. The one with the longer stroke is no match at all with the other, when comes to triathlon performance (one is doing "ok" province wide, the other is regularly scoring top10 U23, and is on our national team). Does it mean that the one with the longer stroke is spending too much time improving/maintaining swimming? I don't know.
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  #75  
Old 01-11-2015
CharlesCouturier CharlesCouturier is offline
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Originally Posted by Zenturtle View Post
Funny we have about the same ape index and height.
And therefore the same issue finding shirts with long enough sleeves? At 150p, it's always been a challenge for me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zenturtle View Post
The 2 persons in one body maybe isnt as weird as it sounds. We have left/right devided brains which each specialize in different tasks. Running and biking are relatively easy compared to swimming, so possibly the asymmetry is more likely to come out in a more complex movement pattern.
Beside the pure mechanical devision in one side of the body having better strenght and proprioception, can an emotiona/non rationall brain asymetry be linked to swimming movements?
Yes I think so
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zenturtle View Post
If we add the breathing asymetry to the basic body asymmetry, is this enough to explain the existence of the loper species?
That is certainly part of the explanation
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Originally Posted by Zenturtle View Post
If someone would take the time to compare the facial symmetry of lopers versus perfect symmetrical style swimmers, I wouldsnt be surprised there is some corelation.
At least at a much lower level (i.e., regular joes), there's a strong correlation between not being able to popeye on both sides, and the stronger/weaker breathing side. That's one distinct and easy to notice form of asymmetry.
Now I am going to check the faces of lopers ;-)[/quote]
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  #76  
Old 01-11-2015
sclim sclim is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlesCouturier View Post
And therefore the same issue finding shirts with long enough sleeves? At 150p, it's always been a challenge for me.

Yes I think so
That is certainly part of the explanation
At least at a much lower level (i.e., regular joes), there's a strong correlation between not being able to popeye on both sides, and the stronger/weaker breathing side. That's one distinct and easy to notice form of asymmetry.
Now I am going to check the faces of lopers ;-)
[/quote]

I think your emoticon, in the context, should have been :-/ or :-\ or even :-?
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