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  #11  
Old 06-30-2015
WFEGb WFEGb is offline
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Hello Streak,

impressed of your progress in so short time!!! (Espacially for me, looking around 1:55-2:10min/100m as long time plateau when swimming longer terms than 300m...)

Do you have a hint how to find inconsistencies which pay off most?

Best regards,
Werner
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  #12  
Old 06-30-2015
Streak Streak is offline
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Wie geht's Werner?
I think what made the most difference for me was to stop counting anything except overall time per 100 and to just swim following the best TI basics as possible. I found counting anything was not allowing me to concentrate on all the elements of my stroke and when I did try and count I started swimming to the count rather than counting the swim!!

I also found out that if I increase my tempo I swim faster!! Who would ever have thought that? There is a tempo (I believe for all of us) at which we things just work better. Sometimes that tempo is a bit faster than we think.

I think my head position is now quite good and stable as is my kick timing. My catch and recovery need some work to stop slipping water. I tend to over power.

The best tool to find where I was going wrong was to post video here for comment.

However in any 100 that I do it's rare to have each 25 the same or close to the same times (if the Garmin is to be believed) some are really fast and some are really slow but the average is OK. I am still trying to find what it is I am doing on the faster ones so I can repeat.
This is why I keep on going back to try and find out.
Once I get there I will then stop looking for extra speed, balance and streamlining and just concentrate on getting fitter by doing lots of drills.

Before every session (I swim 3x per week) I read the forums (not only this one) and watch some videos to get some inspiration.

I like get some balance and to try things that suit my body and my (slightly reduced) lung capacity. Everyone punts early vertical for-arm. I took it too literally and it was uncomfortable. My stroke is little like Terry's with a less extreme EVF.

TI does not advocate the use of fins. I have found them very useful to get my kick timing right and when dragged behind me in the draft of my stroke gave me the feeling of what that would be like. Each 100 after using the fins is usually a good one.

So, while in the beginning I took things very literally I am now experimenting a bit to see what works the best for me.

I don't know if this has answered your question in any way.
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  #13  
Old 06-30-2015
Talvi Talvi is offline
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Nice conversation!

Streak, don't believe the Garmin. The turns screw things up. The only reliable info is the time between button presses and, hopefully, the distance. If you think aabout it, computing the momenjt the turn is made is very hard. The algorithm looks for a change in the pattern and then estimates when the turn actually occurred. I have the same issue as you with lap data. Bottom line is that if two or more laps are at a blinding speed or SPL then the data is probably correct, otherwise bracket and average.

You use Aqua fins I believe (you recently advised me to get a pair). Do you find them better than normal (long) fins?

Your approach of forgetting about counting is what I have been finding works. Focus on feeling rather than on thinking! Close down that monkey chatter and go with the flow :D


Werner hiya ... wow, so many questions :D

The concept of a "basic stroke" came from a post ZT wrote about me a day or so ago. The search for that, as he wrote, best describes the position I am in I think. I want to improve my technique to bring me to a sub 2:00 CSS. I think that speed emerges from a "good-enough-basic-stroke". SR and SPL I now believe are almost irrelevant in the search. First find the stroke and then tune it.

So, what do I think a "good-enough-basic-stroke" is? First an foremost I think it is good breathing, and that this comes from finding your head position and the timing of your breath. I have found my head tends to be too low in the water and that I take my breath too late. I have found (though this will no doubt break the spell now!) that swimming for at least a few strokes turning my head more so I am looking at the ceiling helps correct the timing for when I turn just enough to cut the surface. Of course this must all be done with a position that is lying on the surface of the water otherwise everything will need to be relearned when the longitudinal position improves.

The stroke must have a relaxed full extension, made up of a fully extended, arrow straight body, and spearing arm and exiting arm integrated with no bending moment being induced. This must be achieved with no or minimal tension.

The acid test of the basic stroke for me is a pendulum rotation, transitioning from skate to skate, finding the tracks, and using the impact of buoyancy change and gravity. When it works it feels like being on a swing. There should be no stalling and only a minimum of effort going into maintaining the rock 'n roll.

The catch and the whole of the underwater and over water stroke imo fit in around these setting out points.

All of the above is I think to do with feel and not measurment. Once the basics are found and reliable they can then be tuned, for instance to get more extension, earlier and better catch, better transition from underwater to above water stroke phases, finer tuning of and more effective kick, and so on. The first goal is consistency. Being better athletically can provide a workaround poorer technique I think.

I'm not a fan of Kaizen, outside of the factory processes for which it was devised, and think that a significant part of my problem at the moment is a fixation on detail at the expense of feeling (yes ZT you were right dammit!!!). It seems to me that all the elements of the stroke are so connected that beyond an "elementary stroke" (one giving the ability to swim say 500m+) the focusing on one element at a time just produces an endless circling which can only be broken through some external intervention i.e regular coaching or regular video feedback.

I am only just starting to appreciate these things, so my monkey chattering continues to dominate in the pool, but it has always been that my swimming is best in my first lap, either of a session or after a short break, before my analysis begins. I have considered tiredness to explain this and it doesn't fit as this variability is present throughout the session. Personally I need to go for the feeling of the whole more than for corrective measures of the various elements. I'm going for the appreciative inquiry route rather than for kaizen.

Phew!
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A psychological disorder is: "Any personal construction which is used repeatedly in spite of consistent invalidation."
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  #14  
Old 06-30-2015
s.sciame s.sciame is offline
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Hi all,
it seems this thread has moved from how to know the aerobic range of exercise to what Talvi and others are supposed to do at the pool. No problem, just wanted to share some thoughts.

Swimming is about technique and fitness, not technique only. Terry says that fitness happens, but it happens if you swim. If instead you do only aquatic yoga, fitness won't happen. If you swim single lengths or few 50s with plenty or rest, fitness won't happen. And perhaps technique will get stalled too.

Any technical improvement which is not repeatable is not a real improvement. A technical improvement is real if it can be repeated not only in the next length/rep/set, but also the next times you go to the pool without side effects. For instance, if your DPS is better than 6 months ago but your SR is worse and you cannot swim farther and faster than you used to, you didn't improve. And the worst thing is that if you never swim, you don't even realize where you were 6 months ago and where you are now.
Being able to swim a few lengths in the lower green zone won't guarantee that one day you'll swim faster and farther. Again, if you never start to swim, it's not going to happen.

Another thought: technique will never be good enough. If you wait your technique to be good enough to start considering that fitness is part of swimming and perhaps you should start swimming, you could wait forever. In the meanwhile of this long wait, you could happen to see other swimmers with far from a perfect stroke swimming farther and faster.

To get back to the original question of this thread: imho if one swimmer is able to swim 400m continuously, he could only benefit from doing the css test or find some other way to know his/her aerobic/sustainable pace. You can do then whatever you want when you go swimming, but you'll have a clear and objective picture of yourself, of where you are now and not where you could be if and when.

Even for those not interested in long distance swimming or aerobic training, comparing your css to your max speed could also be an indicator of how well you can sprint vs how much out of shape you are.

Finally, even for those not interested in long distances nor in sprinting, knowing exactly you sustainable speed is an objective way to assess how efficient you are and therefore how good your technique is (because efficiency and good technique are of course related to speed: a swimmer who is efficient but slow does not exist).

Sorry for the long post :)
Best regards,
Salvo
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  #15  
Old 06-30-2015
Talvi Talvi is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by s.sciame View Post
Hi all,
it seems this thread has moved from how to know the aerobic range of exercise to what Talvi and others are supposed to do at the pool....
LoL true Salvo :D The original question asked about the reduction on cardiovascular effort that horizontality caused and how to modify usual aerobic calculations (age and sex dependent) :D

I don't agree with you about technique etc though. Yoga does produce a form of fitness (there is not only one form). Moreover, good technique maximises the beneficial effect of exercise. The reverse is perhaps even more true.

When I used the term "good enough" it was not meant to be taken in an absolute and literal way. We are here always trying to describe something that in the end can only ever be felt. Good enough refers for me to good enough to begin fine tuning. In carpentry "good enough" could be used for the finish produced by each grade of sandpaper for instance that is good enough to then be worked on by the next grade.

However there is a good enough that is relatively absolute and that is the level that is good enough for you. It's relative because it is not fixed but absolute because when you attain it you know. Whether you push on or remain at that point is up to you. Etc etc.

As I wrote earlier, I know my 400m pace but cannot do a CSS test as the terms warm up etc have no real meaning in my practice. I also know what my "max" speed (and SPL) is over say 100m or 50m. Problem is these data are VERY variable (+/- 25%). In the end how much do I care and what use are they?

You say: "a swimmer who is efficient but slow does not exist". This seems demonstrably untrue except for the relativity of the terms "efficient" and "slow" i.e compared to what? Do veteran olympians for instance have inefficient technique? Then I crave their inefficiency. Are they slow? Then I crave their slowness. Efficiency is a simple concept until you start to unpack it.
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A psychological disorder is: "Any personal construction which is used repeatedly in spite of consistent invalidation."
~ George Kelly

"The water is your friend.....you don't have to fight with water, just share the same spirit as the water, and it will help you move."
~ Aleksandr Popov

Last edited by Talvi : 06-30-2015 at 10:50 AM.
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  #16  
Old 06-30-2015
s.sciame s.sciame is offline
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s.sciame
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Talvi View Post
Yoga does produce a form of fitness (there is not only one form). Moreover, good technique maximises the beneficial effect of exercise. The reverse is perhaps even more true.
Yep, by the way I'm a fan of hatha yoga and I used to practice it enough some years ago. However with "aquatic yoga" I meant drilling and swimming single lenghts with much rest in between. This developes focus and skill but not fitness.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Talvi View Post
As I wrote earlier, I know my 400m pace but cannot do a CSS test as the terms warm up etc have no real meaning in my practice.
You can do it: consider warmup just the 1st 15 or 20 minutes of your practice. Then swim your best 400m. Then rest as much as you need, do other 5 or 10 minutes of easy laps. Then swim your best 200m. That's it.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Talvi View Post
You say: "a swimmer who is efficient but slow does not exist". This seems demonstrably untrue except for the relativity of the terms "efficient" and "slow" i.e compared to what?
I mean, take for instance 2 swimmers, A and B. Both are well trained and can swim 2 hours non stop at 2:00/100m and feel fresh when they exit. Are they equally efficient? Maybe, maybe not. Now ask them to swim at 1:45/100m. Swimmer A gets tired after some minutes, swimmer B can go on without any problems. Or ask them to swim their best 1500m: swimmer A hits 27 minutes, swimmer B hits 25 minutes. Who is more efficient?
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  #17  
Old 06-30-2015
Streak Streak is offline
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Talvi, it's the alpha fins that I use. Very light and buoyant and not much bigger than and shaped like your foot. I have not tried using any other type of fin.

These fins allow me to drag my legs behind me without them sinking to get the feeling of a well drafted kick without kicking. The next set I them introduce a small flick to get the timing and rotation right.
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  #18  
Old 07-06-2015
WFEGb WFEGb is offline
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Hello Streak,

inzwischen geht's wieder ganz gut. Danke der Nachfrage :-)

Sounds you've found your way to visible improvements. Congratulations and thank you for sharing it.

My experience advocates yours: Fastest is a little faster than we think. If I will swim a (for me) fast time for distance I have to use a well set TT. Without seems I'm too lazy and don't reach an over all constant pace. Or pace is constant and slower than it could be. With TT I just have to hold my SPL plus-minus (counting became nearly unconsciously...)

I do like a more or less rigid program. Last year I went through Suzanne's nine(12) weeks Fast Forward. My pace didn't improve noteworthy, but I found incidentally an active recovery stroke. Great for me!

Last weeks I worked with faster TT-Settings (wrote about in my thread about Fixing the Grip). No big steps in improvement, but on the way I found a slow recovery stroke breathing (only) every three. Once more great for me!

Seems if we work in special parts, we have to be aware if it pays off at a completely different location. So searching for the swimmer's Philosopher's Stone which pushes my times effortless from 2min/100m to 1:30min/100m will be good when "searching" mindful with open mind in all directions...

Best regards,
Werner
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  #19  
Old 07-07-2015
Talvi Talvi is offline
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Hei Werner

I searched for that thread of yours: "Fixing the Grip" but couldn't find it :( Would you provide a link to it please?

Thanks
__________________
A psychological disorder is: "Any personal construction which is used repeatedly in spite of consistent invalidation."
~ George Kelly

"The water is your friend.....you don't have to fight with water, just share the same spirit as the water, and it will help you move."
~ Aleksandr Popov
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  #20  
Old 07-07-2015
WFEGb WFEGb is offline
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WFEGb
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Hello Talvi,

my last post in:

http://totalimmersion.net/forum/show...t=7444&page=11

Please understand right: I did not find this Philosopher's Stone, but would like to find... :-)

Best regards,
Wermer
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