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Old 10-02-2012
CoachBillL CoachBillL is offline
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 62
Default Thicker water happens

I first heard about "thicker water" from Terry in open water camp four years ago. I think it is like satori -- to be experienced, not sought for. Terry's stroke thought was to hold onto the water "as gently as possible" -- I found this elusive and returned to it for months -- I could only really hold the thought for 50 or 75 yards, and I still find it takes more concentration than most other focus points. But if you keep trying, eventually, it's magic, and the water really does get thicker. (The thick, resistant water, like swimming in jello, that results from extensive fatigue, is quite a different thing, in my experience.)
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Old 10-03-2012
CoachSuzanne CoachSuzanne is offline
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 2,453

Originally Posted by DD_l_enclume View Post

But that comment from Coach Suzanne seems to go in the opposite direction : when she "feels" the water, it looks like a bad day for her (higher SPL).

Are you two describing the same thing ?
Maybe I didn't describe it well. On these post kettlebell high SPL days, what Im' feeling is that my rotator cuffs are not doing their job and I'm slipping water because they are fatigued. THe water definately feels heavy and thick...but it's gone too far that my rotator cuff cannot do it's job.

That's what I don't want to imprint when I feel that way. I have no doubt that strengthening the rotator cuff will overall improve my swim but I prefer not to do it on the same day
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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Old 10-03-2012
CharlesCouturier CharlesCouturier is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 1,244

I think Suzanne and I were experiencing the exact same thing, a drop in performances in general, but we experienced it from a very different angle. I was having the head coach of a varsity level club yelling at me as I was slowing down, almost to the point I could barely hold 6min for 400.

But for sure, my stroke count probably went to the roof as well, but sorry I was too busy crying, didn't think about getting an update on my SC.

Like I said in a thread recently, I no longer count my strokes (for ages). If I flip on left arm, it's always 16, except early into a set. But when I bonk, I probably go up to 18-20 maybe even worst. So I can no longer count strokes anyway probably, as I really lost the habit of counting like 1-2-3-4-5 etc...

But in the end, both Suzanne and I did experience an extremely solid water feeling. As a sports professional, I can not recommend anyone to create this condition, health first. Bonking is not a good thing, brain feeds on glucose alone, and a lot of it comes from the liver (where it's stored as glycogen before being converted back to glucose to go up the blood stream to the brain). Bonking could lead to liver glycogen almost depletion.

I have a female triathlete that passed out on the bike this summer. Literally. Someone turned off the light for 3 seconds, just enough to crash (not a nice way to wake up).

But my point was, that it gets you to feel water like never before. Sirup that is. It's like swimming with huge paddles.

Now doing a bit of weights before swimming, that I recommend anyone to try, and see if you like. You'll likely swim slower, but may feel the water better. Then it's up to everyone to see if they like or not.

Last edited by CharlesCouturier : 10-03-2012 at 02:24 AM.
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Old 10-03-2012
Mike from NS Mike from NS is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 551
Mike from NS


Back on 07-13-2009, I asked a question about "heavy water" or thick water. There is a 2 page thread about the subject. Others had the same feeling that it felt like swimming in jello or hair gel.

This thread may not apply here however.

If you're not swimming; then you should be skiing......

Last edited by Mike from NS : 10-03-2012 at 07:01 PM.
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