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Old 05-10-2010
TrophyHusband TrophyHusband is offline
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TrophyHusband
Default beginner with just a few questions

before i get to the questions, i'll give a little background. i taught swimming in highschool, but i've never had lessons myself. i've never been on a swim team. i've never had anyone tell me the right way to swim or point out anything i've been doing wrong.

i am now 35 year old and have recently come to the realization that my swimming needs drastic improvement. last summer i was getting fed up with being fat and out of shape. i signed up for a triathlon and got a membership at the ymca. after my triathlon, i signed up for a half marathon, but still went to the pool once a week to cross train. the half marathon was in february and once that was over i started training for a 5k run/5k swim that is coming up in two weeks.

the training schedule i came up with for the half marathon worked so well that i used the same structure for my swim training. it has not given me the same results. i'm confident that i can finish my upcoming race, but i don't think i can swim it any faster now than i could in february.

last week i went to the library and checked out total immersion (2004 version). it quickly explained why my slow deliberate warmup laps were the fastest laps of the workout. it also explained why i could swim so hard that i was exhausted after 25 yards but still not swim much faster. it also pointed out a bunch of things i have been doing right, which was a bit of a disappointment as my speed is slow. (virtually every other swimmer at the pool effortlessly flies past me)

now to the questions.

total immersion is a book that i need to own and be able to refer to for a long time after i read it. i've noticed from reading here that a few things have changed since the 2004 version. would it be best to keep going with the book i have (i'm on chapter 8), or stop reading it and buy easy freestyle?

in the meantime, i'm not sure if i'm doing lesson 1 right. this whole "pressing the buoy" thing is proving a little difficult. i find that when i try to lay on my lungs more, my head goes further under water so that water is actually flowing over my goggles. also while in the sweet spot, my hips are still 2 to 3 inches below the water. i never get the feeling that i'm swimming down hill. am i doing this right? i do feel relaxed and stable. there is not struggle or tension, i just feel like my torso isn't parallel to the surface. (it may be though, how can i tell?)

how should i approach my upcoming race? i don't have time to get proficient at total immersion by then, but i don't want to spend 5 kilometers repeating bad habits.

also, the book talks about 20 strokes per 25 yard length being an important benchmark. i can repeatedly do it in 17 strokes, and sometimes 16. i did several 50 yard repeats and came in at 34 strokes every time and the time was between 52 and 54 seconds. i was very surprised at this, but it raises a couple of questions. am i gliding too far after pushing off the wall or between strokes to give me an artaficially low stroke count? if not, should i still try to eliminate a couple more strokes or just right into making the strokes i have faster?
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Old 05-10-2010
dshen dshen is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TrophyHusband View Post
total immersion is a book that i need to own and be able to refer to for a long time after i read it. i've noticed from reading here that a few things have changed since the 2004 version. would it be best to keep going with the book i have (i'm on chapter 8), or stop reading it and buy easy freestyle?
regarding the above, i have been following TI since at least then when I took their first beginning seminar. I can definitely say the teachings have changed since then and have become more refined. I would highly recommend getting the Easy Freestyle DVD as it contains some new exercises and thinking that was not present back then.

I would also go to Youtube and look up Shinji Takeuchi (tiswimwest) or just search on Total Immersion and you'll find a multitude of videos demonstrating the techniques.

Last edited by terry : 05-11-2010 at 02:06 AM.
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Old 05-10-2010
westyswoods westyswoods is offline
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Welcome to the TI world. My time is short now so this will be brief. My thoughts parallel dshen's in I would suggest getting the most recent DVD, as much of the terminology and teaching techniques have evolved over the last six years. I took a TI workshop a little over two years ago and had the opportunity to observe a workshop just last month. The basic premise and techniques are the same but the terminology and content is vastly different. In my humble opinion the evolution has been for the good.

Your stroke count and rates are not of critical importance right now. It is an issue of balance and streamline body position in the water. I for one have a tendency to swim uphill and have to continually work on balance. I would very strongly suggest that if possible have someone video tape some of your swimming. It will give you an invaluable sense of what is actually happening. Post on this site and the feedback will be priceless. I am sure your other concerns will be taken up others on this forum.

Got to go and Happy Trails To You
Westy

Last edited by terry : 05-11-2010 at 02:05 AM.
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Old 05-11-2010
terry terry is offline
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We haven't taught "press the buoy" for nearly 15 years. That exercise worked best for balance in strokes you do on the breast - butterfly and breaststroke. But it was far less effective for freestyle, in which your goal is to swim "off your stomach. The Easy Freestyle DVD has the most current presentation of our skill-building process. Lesson One teaches balance. Lesson Two teaches body-shaping for drag avoidance. When you've mastered those two lessons, all the more advanced skills come with far greater ease.
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Old 05-11-2010
TrophyHusband TrophyHusband is offline
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thanks guys. i'll pick up "easy freestyle" and get familiar with the latest terminology. I'm sure i'll have more questions later.
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