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  #11  
Old 06-06-2012
CoachSuzanne CoachSuzanne is offline
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Originally Posted by swim2Bfree View Post
The truly "sustainable" swim stroke is one that is tailored to the individual swimmer, and which facilitates both optimal speed and joy in the process. That is why Janet Evans is still swimming in her 40s, and still qualifying for Olympic Trials.

Personally, I do not find it joyful to practice a stroke that is ill-suited to my body.
No one is asking you to do so.

I laugh everytime I think about this thread, it's clear you just want to pick a fight. Using TI without thought, it's certainly possible to try and force a stroke that isn't suited. But a good coach & teacher can adapt the fundamentals of TI, which include a basic understanding of fluid dynamics & biomechanics, to any swimmer.

Referring again to the phot I posted of Janet...that body position, ie the extremely hyperflexed extended shoulder in abduction, isn't a stroke that should be taught to anybody...because you don't know if they'll be swimming 25 years later until you cross their fingers and hope they haven't torn up their shoulders in each passing year.

Janet swims incredibly well in spite of her form...she's a exception, clearly. Her speed is a factor of rate & legth, just like anyone else's speed. Us shorties need to adopt a faster stroke rate and allow extra strokes as being OK...but it's even more vital to protect shoulder health, and as a coach, I'd never encourage a youth try and emulate Janet's form. Rate? maybe...but not until after they are able to sustain good mechanics at half, or even a third of her rate.

I've got more swimmers to teach in the morning, so good night.
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  #12  
Old 06-06-2012
andyinnorway andyinnorway is offline
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I have watched video footage of Janet in the past and not understood how she got down the pool, let alone at Olympic pace.

However, a year later, this time when I saw her underwater I realized how precise she is at creating precise tank track like vertical paddles in constant motion.

above the water it looks like the is windmilling, below the water its totally different.
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  #13  
Old 06-06-2012
haschu33 haschu33 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swim2Bfree View Post
...

Personally, I do not find it joyful to practice a stroke that is ill-suited to my body. I am neither a 6-foot-6 Chinese man, nor a 5-foot-4 woman with a million dollar smile :)
It takes a long time to find out what kind of stroke is ill-suited to our bodies. When the shoulder is down the drain it is too late. So better to start with something that is obviously not harmful.


The smile will suit your body even when your are not a 5-foot-4 woman ;-)
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  #14  
Old 06-06-2012
Richardsk Richardsk is offline
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To me, the amazing thing about the footage of the open water swim at Beijing in swim2Bfree's link is the very rapid turnover of all the swimmers. Surely a more Sun-like stroke would be less exhausting, or is the leisurely impression a mere illusion and can a rapid turnover be just as economical as a slow one?
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  #15  
Old 06-06-2012
andyinnorway andyinnorway is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richardsk View Post
To me, the amazing thing about the footage of the open water swim at Beijing in swim2Bfree's link is the very rapid turnover of all the swimmers. Surely a more Sun-like stroke would be less exhausting, or is the leisurely impression a mere illusion and can a rapid turnover be just as economical as a slow one?
Sun Yang reminds me of George in Of Mice and Men. put 8 tonnes of Gravel in a pile and ask a big guy and a small guy/girly to move it to the back yard manually with a shovel. George and Sun Yang will get the job done quickest with a big shovel (long slow stroke), Lenny and lots of the elite women will get it done quickest with a smaller shovel but they will move quicker.

TI teaches you how to bend your knees and keep your back straight and how to relax your muscles whilst carrying the stones, for me, its not about the shovel size.
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  #16  
Old 06-10-2012
CoachSuzanne CoachSuzanne is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andyinnorway View Post
Sun Yang reminds me of George in Of Mice and Men. put 8 tonnes of Gravel in a pile and ask a big guy and a small guy/girly to move it to the back yard manually with a shovel. George and Sun Yang will get the job done quickest with a big shovel (long slow stroke), Lenny and lots of the elite women will get it done quickest with a smaller shovel but they will move quicker.

TI teaches you how to bend your knees and keep your back straight and how to relax your muscles whilst carrying the stones, for me, its not about the shovel size.
Nice analogy Andy. I used to use a bigger shovel when I first was studying TI. Being a 5'3" woman, when I reached an SPL of 14-16 and started increasing my rate faster than 1.3, the big shovel was a limiter for me. When Terry & I swim side by side in a 50m pool and have the same stroke count...one of us has the wrong sized shovel. (cool that we can do so, but one of us is limiting ourselves). Turns out it's me.

Since recently practicing tempo of 1.15-1.2 range my shovel is a little smaller (not much) but I'm moving faster still. I currently feel my limiting range for long distance swimming is in the neighborhood of 1.2 @ 17-18 SPL, where prevoiusly my limiter was 1.3 @ 16 SPL.

As I continue to get faster and push my tempos to 1.0 and 1.1 my count will probably go up a bit still...but at the present, the jump in SPL up to 20-22 does not feel good and is sloppy.

The nice thing is that I still have the range of swimming as low as 12-13 SPL by focusing on balance, streamlining and a great catch with a gentle push while streamlining. The range of options is wonderful.
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  #17  
Old 06-13-2012
CoachToddE CoachToddE is offline
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Late to this thread but i'll pipe in anyway.

Richard thanks for the recap of the coming Olympics 1500 and the links to both Janet Evans and the OW swimmers. I'll come back to this in a moment.

But first,

Quote:
Originally Posted by swim2Bfree View Post
The truly "sustainable" swim stroke is one that is tailored to the individual swimmer, and which facilitates both optimal speed and joy in the process. That is why Janet Evans is still swimming in her 40s, and still qualifying for Olympic Trials.

Personally, I do not find it joyful to practice a stroke that is ill-suited to my body. I am neither a 6-foot-6 Chinese man, nor a 5-foot-4 woman with a million dollar smile :)

It's true, though - an individually tailored stroke is less "teachable" in a mass production setting.
The reason Janet has this stroke is because it is suited to her. During her formative (age group and college days) she had the best coaches trying to adapt her stroke to the more traditional style of swimming. Because she felt they were ill-suited to her body she kept her straight arm recovery and openly admits that she is not a natural swimmer but one that worked very hard with what she had to get the results she accomplished. This is more to Coach Suzanne's point that coaches have to adapt to what a swimmer can execute and be comfortable with while trying to achieve optimum results.

As I teach clinics I see all types of capabilities that can execute what we are trying to achieve as the ideal stroke. But as with everything no two individuals are alike nor are their abilities to include flexibility and coordination. The only difference in all the individuals will be in the recovery execution and how close can we get it to be Shinji like. Coach Suzanne also pointed out that on the video you hear the announcers talking about her underwater portion of the stroke as being the most important. I read an article (I'll have to find it now) that did analysis on the elite swimmers and how their stories varied. It stated that there are varying differences in the recovery of the arm to re-entry but, the one thing they all had in common was the underwater portion of the propulsion--getting into an early vertical forearm (EVF), arm extension and elbow pushed forward as far as possible and executing the power phase from this extended through to finish.

I went back and looked closely at the clips Richard linked to and if you watch her recovery you will see that the elbows are never lifted up but swing out similar to what TI changed their recovery instruction to in the late 90's early 2000's. The difference is that her arms are kept straight out and not relaxed as in the marionette style. This is why she has never blown out her shoulders. The still shot that Coach Suzanne posted does not really show well her body rotation and the angle of outsweep the elbow is taking in relation to the body. More in the sagittal plane (elbow swing travel) vs the frontal plane (lifting of the elbow). If you compare her style to that of the OW swimmers in the other video you will see a lot of similarities in their style. I saw maybe one or two where they were actually lifting elbows (and not much of a lift). Practically all had similar straight arm swinging styles and at high tempos. I put the TT on and Janet's matches at .60 even at the end of her race, and the OW water swimmers were around .63 at approx 1 hour 45 minutes into the race.

Just my two cents.
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  #18  
Old 06-14-2012
Richardsk Richardsk is offline
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I should point out that it was swim2Bfree who linked to the Janet Evans and Beijing 10k videos.

There is more recent video of Janet Evans on youtube, still swimming more or less the same style and if she does well at the US Olympic trials there will no doubt be more footage to wonder at, but I think it is unlikely that she will make the team.

David Davies failed to make the British team for the 10k in the Serpentine but he did make the team for the 1500 so he has a chance, but I think Fogg is more likely to be a finalist.

I wonder if Mellouli will be swimming the 1500 again? He pulled off a surprise victory in the 10k in Portugal just like he did in the 1500 at Beijing.
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  #19  
Old 06-14-2012
CoachSuzanne CoachSuzanne is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CoachToddE View Post
Late to this thread but i'll pipe in anyway.

R
shoulders. The still shot that Coach Suzanne posted does not really show well her body rotation and the angle of outsweep the elbow is taking in relation to the body. More in the sagittal plane (elbow swing travel) vs the frontal plane (lifting of the elbow).
Todd, thanks for your insight! If you watch the video footage, the right and left arms have very different behaviors. The right arm sweeps out in the plane of the back...her breathing side. The left arm definitely behaves in a way that should not be taught or emulated. (IMHO)
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Suzanne Atkinson, MD
Level 3 USAT Coach
USA Paralympic Triathlon Coach
Coach of 5 time USA Triathlon Triathlete of the Year, Kirsten Sass
Steel City Endurance, LTD
Fresh Freestyle

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  #20  
Old 06-14-2012
CoachToddE CoachToddE is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CoachSuzanne View Post
Todd, thanks for your insight! If you watch the video footage, the right and left arms have very different behaviors. The right arm sweeps out in the plane of the back...her breathing side. The left arm definitely behaves in a way that should not be taught or emulated. (IMHO)
Thanks for the reply. I have watched the video and in stop motion as much as possible and, in my humble opinion, I think what appears to be different behaviors is complicated by the fact that when she recovers with her left arm she is lifting her head and front of her body almost appearing to sight breath. I still think that her arm recovery is not as high as one might think do to this and has a slight elbow lift which admittedly changes the relationship of the head of the humerus in the shoulder joint. I also agree that this style should not be taught or emulated due to undue stress (if you've swum any tarzan drills or played water polo you can attest to this) and possible damage. Also, there is no proof that a straight arm recovery is faster than the relaxed arm elbow lead recovery. What is IMHO?
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