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  #1  
Old 04-24-2012
JohnOWS JohnOWS is offline
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JohnOWS
Default In over my head?

(The pun is totally intended.) A swimming friend recommended TI a few years back, and recently, after having signed up for a one-mile open water race, I purchased the book Total Immersion: The Revolutionary Way to Swim Better, Faster, and Easier (Revised and Updated). Only after getting through most of the lessons in the book did I come to visit the website and see that the version of the book I have is not offered anywhere on the site.

My questions are: are the things I'm learning and practicing from the book still part of the TI approach? Most of the instructional products seem to use the term "perpetual motion". I don't think that term is used anywhere in my book. Is the current TI method consistent with what I'm learning from the original book?

I ask because I have certain questions about things I'm struggling with, but I don't even know if they questions will be relevant or make sense anymore.

Anyone have any thoughts? Thanks in advance.
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  #2  
Old 04-24-2012
CoachDavidShen CoachDavidShen is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnOWS View Post
(The pun is totally intended.) A swimming friend recommended TI a few years back, and recently, after having signed up for a one-mile open water race, I purchased the book Total Immersion: The Revolutionary Way to Swim Better, Faster, and Easier (Revised and Updated). Only after getting through most of the lessons in the book did I come to visit the website and see that the version of the book I have is not offered anywhere on the site.

My questions are: are the things I'm learning and practicing from the book still part of the TI approach? Most of the instructional products seem to use the term "perpetual motion". I don't think that term is used anywhere in my book. Is the current TI method consistent with what I'm learning from the original book?

I ask because I have certain questions about things I'm struggling with, but I don't even know if they questions will be relevant or make sense anymore.

Anyone have any thoughts? Thanks in advance.
I first encountered TI back in 2003 when i started training triathlon. And then I didn't come back to it until 2009, 6 years later when I found that TI had changed a lot.

Many things from the old book and DVDs are still valid, but many have evolved quite a bit. Someday we'll have to put up a translation from the old materials to the new materials!

For now, why don't you post some questions and we'll tell about whether we still talk about that or not?

I would also encourage you to attend a workshop - you'll see a lot of new and more recent teaching concepts introduced...
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  #3  
Old 04-24-2012
JohnOWS JohnOWS is offline
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JohnOWS
Default Zipperskate?

Okay; thank you very much for responding so quickly.

I'll start with a question about a drill in the book called Zipperskate. Terry mentions that some people will sink while doing this, but if so, they should try to sink in a horizontal position with armpit same level as hips and feet.

I have a sinking issue, but keeping my weight forward, my head and shoulders sink. I'd guess by the time I roll back to Sweet Spot, my head is anywhere from 6" to 8" below the surface. It takes a moment or two to break the surface in order to take a breath.

It doesn't seem to pose too much of a problem once I get into Zipperswitch (and now, into Overswitch). I don't feel like my head is sinking (nor my hips and feet for that matter) when I begin to switch, but I'm just wondering if I'm doing something fundamentally wrong, something that, if improved, will make everything else that much easier.

I'm a bit nervous about this open water swim and hope I can begin grooving a nice TI stroke for the next five weeks to prepare.

Thanks again.
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  #4  
Old 04-24-2012
midebeer@xtra.co.nz midebeer@xtra.co.nz is offline
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midebeer@xtra.co.nz
Default workshops

I have been using TI for several months (books a videos) and would love to attend a workshop. Are there any in New Zealand or close by ? this morning at the pool another swimmer with a TI cap on said he attended a workshop in Melbourne.

Many thanks

Mary
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  #5  
Old 04-25-2012
CoachDavidShen CoachDavidShen is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnOWS View Post
Okay; thank you very much for responding so quickly.

I'll start with a question about a drill in the book called Zipperskate. Terry mentions that some people will sink while doing this, but if so, they should try to sink in a horizontal position with armpit same level as hips and feet.

I have a sinking issue, but keeping my weight forward, my head and shoulders sink. I'd guess by the time I roll back to Sweet Spot, my head is anywhere from 6" to 8" below the surface. It takes a moment or two to break the surface in order to take a breath.

It doesn't seem to pose too much of a problem once I get into Zipperswitch (and now, into Overswitch). I don't feel like my head is sinking (nor my hips and feet for that matter) when I begin to switch, but I'm just wondering if I'm doing something fundamentally wrong, something that, if improved, will make everything else that much easier.

I'm a bit nervous about this open water swim and hope I can begin grooving a nice TI stroke for the next five weeks to prepare.

Thanks again.
Sorry for the slow reply - I had to dig those books out of storage so that I could take a look at what you may be reading.

I looked in TI: The Rev Way to Swim Better, Faster, Easier and didn't find Zipperskate in there. I did find it in the Triathlon Swimming Made Easy book.

These days we don't do the Zipperskate as taught back then. You tended to lay too much on one side and your hand draws too closely alongside your body which causes a non-optimal arm path which can cause shoulder problems.

Also, when you're on your side, you tend to sink much easier than if you had a more flat/only slightly angled body position. Still, when your arm is drawn forward, it can tip your forward body into the water and you start sink when the weight of your arm is added to the front of your body.

These days to drill, we start by launching into Superman Glide. Then we do the drill. To end a drill, we don't roll back to Sweet Spot very much any more. We just hold the position for a moment to feel what it was like and then just stand up when our balance gets compromised (usually, except for the people who have amazing natural balance in the water).

For this type of drill, we do more of a swing of the arm versus drawing the arm up your body. It should draw a wider arc around, in order to maintain your shoulder's position in a safer path internally rotating and not rotating in an awkward path which could cause muscle/joint damage. You can drag your arm with your elbow first at water level, then wrist, and then fingers. Touching part of your arm/hand to the water gives you better feedback as to where your arm is moving. Then you can graduate to recovering the arm completely out of the water and hopefully it is tracing the correct path.

There are a ton of little details along with this description. One suggestion would be to have someone video you doing this drill and post it on Youtube for us to comment on. That would help a lot.
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  #6  
Old 04-26-2012
JohnOWS JohnOWS is offline
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JohnOWS
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CoachDavidShen View Post
Sorry for the slow reply - I had to dig those books out of storage so that I could take a look at what you may be reading.

I looked in TI: The Rev Way to Swim Better, Faster, Easier and didn't find Zipperskate in there. I did find it in the Triathlon Swimming Made Easy book.

These days we don't do the Zipperskate as taught back then. You tended to lay too much on one side and your hand draws too closely alongside your body which causes a non-optimal arm path which can cause shoulder problems.

Also, when you're on your side, you tend to sink much easier than if you had a more flat/only slightly angled body position. Still, when your arm is drawn forward, it can tip your forward body into the water and you start sink when the weight of your arm is added to the front of your body.

These days to drill, we start by launching into Superman Glide. Then we do the drill. To end a drill, we don't roll back to Sweet Spot very much any more. We just hold the position for a moment to feel what it was like and then just stand up when our balance gets compromised (usually, except for the people who have amazing natural balance in the water).

For this type of drill, we do more of a swing of the arm versus drawing the arm up your body. It should draw a wider arc around, in order to maintain your shoulder's position in a safer path internally rotating and not rotating in an awkward path which could cause muscle/joint damage. You can drag your arm with your elbow first at water level, then wrist, and then fingers. Touching part of your arm/hand to the water gives you better feedback as to where your arm is moving. Then you can graduate to recovering the arm completely out of the water and hopefully it is tracing the correct path.

There are a ton of little details along with this description. One suggestion would be to have someone video you doing this drill and post it on Youtube for us to comment on. That would help a lot.
First, let me say thank you for all the input and help.

Second, for your background, here are the drills that I worked through after reading the book (the drills in my book begin on page 105).

1/ Basic Balance
2/ Sweet Spot
3/ Hand-lead Sweet Spot
4/ Skating Position
5/ Underskate
6/ Underswitch
7/ Double Underswitch
8/ Triple Underswitch
9/ Zipperskate
10/ Zipperswitch
11/ Double Zipperswitch
12/ Triple Zipperswitch
13/ [referenced on page 143, but no Drill 13 listed]
14/ Overswitch [basically swimming]

Since I've now reached Overswitch and am trying to groove my new stroke into muscle memory, below are the "focal points" Terry cites for Overswitch that I "take" mentally into the pool now when I practice (pp. 147-48). Please let me know if these are consistent with what you would teach now. If not, maybe I can groove some of the new ideas into my stroke instead:

1/ Look down so water flows over the back of the head.
2/ Lean in (swim downhill) so your hips and legs feel light.
3/ Hug the surface. Take hand out of water for briefest period; put it back in beside goggles.
4/ Pierce the water. Slip through smallest possible space above and below surface.
5/ Soften your recovery and bring hand forward as slowly as possible.
6/ Cut a hole...with fingertips and slip entire arm cleanly and steeply until it's below your head.
7/ Lengthen your vessel. Feel hand float forward with no hurry.
8/ Time switches consistently.
9/ Move as silently as you can.

Again, Coach, I appreciate all your time and insights.
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  #7  
Old 04-27-2012
CoachDavidShen CoachDavidShen is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnOWS View Post

1/ Look down so water flows over the back of the head.
2/ Lean in (swim downhill) so your hips and legs feel light.
3/ Hug the surface. Take hand out of water for briefest period; put it back in beside goggles.
4/ Pierce the water. Slip through smallest possible space above and below surface.
5/ Soften your recovery and bring hand forward as slowly as possible.
6/ Cut a hole...with fingertips and slip entire arm cleanly and steeply until it's below your head.
7/ Lengthen your vessel. Feel hand float forward with no hurry.
8/ Time switches consistently.
9/ Move as silently as you can.

Again, Coach, I appreciate all your time and insights.
OK some slight changes here and there, or not!

1/ Look down so water flows over the back of the head.

you should be careful not to interpret this as driving the head down to keep the upper part of your body down and your hips from dropping. we say more to just relax the neck and to hang the head down, letting and feeling the water support the head. what this typically results in, though, is the top of your head is actually touching or above the water slightly so it's not fully submerged...

2/ Lean in (swim downhill) so your hips and legs feel light.

in general yes you want to achieve a downward tip of the body as you swim, keeping the hips high. to lean in, we say press the pec into the water, which is the part of the pec that is just to the inside of the armpit, by the shoulder joint. we used to say press the armpit but don't say that much any more because it was more applicable when we advocated swimming on one's side, which we don't do any more. the body angle is more about 30 degrees, definitely not more than 45 from the horizontal (where 90 is fully on one's side of the body). so therefore, we press the pec area near the shoulder versus the armpit.

3/ Hug the surface. Take hand out of water for briefest period; put it back in beside goggles.

we teach balance now, which means staying as horizontal on the surface of the water as possible.

during recovery, we don't necessarily say briefest period; it depends on your tempo so the time out of water will vary.

for hand entry, we don't say right by the goggles. if you look at shinji's videos on youtube, the entry tends to be more forward of the goggles. rather, we try to make sure that you arm has a 90 degree at the elbow, and that the elbow is as far forward as possible in an elbow led recovery. the 90 degree angle means that your arm is cocked and ready to slide forward in the water to help drive the next long streamline forward, and channeling energy forward also.

4/ Pierce the water. Slip through smallest possible space above and below surface.

we still advocate this one!

5/ Soften your recovery and bring hand forward as slowly as possible.

this statement seems contradictory to 3/ - suffice to say that recovery is when you can achieve higher tempos because moving your hand through air is much easier than through water, and therefore could mean that you're moving your hand very fast depending on the tempo, or slowly if the tempo is slow.

6/ Cut a hole...with fingertips and slip entire arm cleanly and steeply until it's below your head.

first part yes, second part refers to the depth of the spear. generally we start with a deeper spear which can help those with balance problems achieve a more horizontal position in the water. in more advanced students, we start moving their spear more horizontal once their balance is more natural.

7/ Lengthen your vessel. Feel hand float forward with no hurry.

yes still valid.

8/ Time switches consistently.

yes definitely and use the tempo trainer to help train this.

9/ Move as silently as you can.

yes, no bubbles made, no extra motion, and all energy is channeled forward and not in any other wasteful direction. this manifests itself as very quiet, no-splash swimming with minimal or no bubbles at all.

hope this helps!
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  #8  
Old 04-30-2012
Flanker7 Flanker7 is offline
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Flanker7
Default

I am far behind both of you but have a question. I am really stuggling with the balance. My legs drop to the bottom of the pool regardless of what I do unless I have a noodle. Ideas please as I really want to use TI
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  #9  
Old 04-30-2012
JohnOWS JohnOWS is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 7
JohnOWS
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by CoachDavidShen View Post
OK some slight changes here and there, or not!

1/ Look down so water flows over the back of the head.

you should be careful not to interpret this as driving the head down to keep the upper part of your body down and your hips from dropping. we say more to just relax the neck and to hang the head down, letting and feeling the water support the head. what this typically results in, though, is the top of your head is actually touching or above the water slightly so it's not fully submerged...

2/ Lean in (swim downhill) so your hips and legs feel light.

in general yes you want to achieve a downward tip of the body as you swim, keeping the hips high. to lean in, we say press the pec into the water, which is the part of the pec that is just to the inside of the armpit, by the shoulder joint. we used to say press the armpit but don't say that much any more because it was more applicable when we advocated swimming on one's side, which we don't do any more. the body angle is more about 30 degrees, definitely not more than 45 from the horizontal (where 90 is fully on one's side of the body). so therefore, we press the pec area near the shoulder versus the armpit.

3/ Hug the surface. Take hand out of water for briefest period; put it back in beside goggles.

we teach balance now, which means staying as horizontal on the surface of the water as possible.

during recovery, we don't necessarily say briefest period; it depends on your tempo so the time out of water will vary.

for hand entry, we don't say right by the goggles. if you look at shinji's videos on youtube, the entry tends to be more forward of the goggles. rather, we try to make sure that you arm has a 90 degree at the elbow, and that the elbow is as far forward as possible in an elbow led recovery. the 90 degree angle means that your arm is cocked and ready to slide forward in the water to help drive the next long streamline forward, and channeling energy forward also.

4/ Pierce the water. Slip through smallest possible space above and below surface.

we still advocate this one!

5/ Soften your recovery and bring hand forward as slowly as possible.

this statement seems contradictory to 3/ - suffice to say that recovery is when you can achieve higher tempos because moving your hand through air is much easier than through water, and therefore could mean that you're moving your hand very fast depending on the tempo, or slowly if the tempo is slow.

6/ Cut a hole...with fingertips and slip entire arm cleanly and steeply until it's below your head.

first part yes, second part refers to the depth of the spear. generally we start with a deeper spear which can help those with balance problems achieve a more horizontal position in the water. in more advanced students, we start moving their spear more horizontal once their balance is more natural.

7/ Lengthen your vessel. Feel hand float forward with no hurry.

yes still valid.

8/ Time switches consistently.

yes definitely and use the tempo trainer to help train this.

9/ Move as silently as you can.

yes, no bubbles made, no extra motion, and all energy is channeled forward and not in any other wasteful direction. this manifests itself as very quiet, no-splash swimming with minimal or no bubbles at all.

hope this helps!
Coach Shen: thanks again; this is all very helpful.

Under the "Free Stuff" section of the website, there is a document available for download called "Perpetual Motion Freestyle in 10 Lessons." Will this be a good supplement to what I've already learned from the book we've discussed?

That is to say, is it closer to current way of teaching TI?

Best case scenario, the information in that download is consistent with, but more current than, the TI approach I've learned from the book. I can use the download document to refine what I've already learned.

Thanks in advance.
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  #10  
Old 04-30-2012
CoachToby CoachToby is offline
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Default Balance issues

Flanker7. Effortless balance is a combination of relaxation, posture and proper kick mechanics.

Start by practicing Superman Glides, focusing on relaxing (especially hands, arms, neck) and gently reaching forward (feel a slight stretch in the lats). This will encourage correct posture - ie. not flexed at the hips.

Start introducing a gentle flutter kick, focusing on maintaining your posture. Do this by kicking from the hips - ie. get your femurs moving up and down and keep your knees relatively relaxed. It may help to think of pushing the backs of your knees to the surface (keeping the leg straight), then allowing the knee to flex as you kick forward and flick the toe.

When you start getting the hang of it, try rotating to skater briefly, focusing on maintaining a sense of good posture and floating legs.

I hope this helps.

T
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