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  #31  
Old 09-14-2012
Danny Danny is offline
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Charles a lot of what you say makes sense to me, but there is one difference which may just be vocabulary. You talk about raising your head, and I think of this as arching my back and actively seeking the surface. When your head goes up, your hips go down and the downward motion of the hips raises your body closer to the surface. I started out trying to do fly the way I understand Terry to be teaching it. If I understood this correctly, he says wait for buoyancy to bring your chest up. This allows you to glide a lot. But then I discovered that by actively seeking the surface by arching my back it feels like I use less energy. One more anecdote. I got a 15-year old competitive swimmer to watch my butterfly and she asked if I have trouble arching my back. Young people seem to have a lot more flexibility, but I would like to see what she says now that I am actively trying to do this. Maybe at some point I'll get another chance to show her. Anyway, actively seeking the surface seems to save energy for me. At the end of my workout I try 1 length of butterfly and I am usually tired, so it doesn't go so well. Then I say to myself, on the way back, pick up the pace a little. When I pick up the pace all of a sudden it feels easier.
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  #32  
Old 09-14-2012
CharlesCouturier CharlesCouturier is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Danny View Post
Charles a lot of what you say makes sense to me, but there is one difference which may just be vocabulary. You talk about raising your head, and I think of this as arching my back and actively seeking the surface. When your head goes up, your hips go down and the downward motion of the hips raises your body closer to the surface. I started out trying to do fly the way I understand Terry to be teaching it. If I understood this correctly, he says wait for buoyancy to bring your chest up.
What? Did he say this? Did he feel this?

This is one of the best possible feelings you can get at fly, and you got to do it. And it can be accelerated, and it can be accelerated quite fast. I race a 50m at 112spm (half cycles, but still...). And I get drunk by this feeling all the way through.

Frankly, it is very very well expressed, Terry is an astonishing communicator. I'm afraid I'm going to have to quote this.

My best analogy so far was to refer to the feeling I get with the upper body? The chest? As all of a sudden becoming made of the same material as Wine Bottle tops? You know these funny tops you got to remove with a remover? It's made of Liege (in french). I get the feeling that my upper body becomes like this. It just goes up by itself. No energy required to surface.

That's why I was so pissed to see the HC of our National team letting a female 200m specialist (fly) breathing every 2. No need for that when your fly is well balanced. I tested it. 30.03 without breathing (2 our 3 breaths), 30.3 breathing every cycle.

Fascinating. Search for this mate, that's awesome.

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Originally Posted by Danny View Post
This allows you to glide a lot.
There I disagree a bit, the glide depends on what follows, ie how well aligned your body is (to get streamlined) when you push your first downbeat kick. The patient thing... (see? too well expressed for me, I'll have to practice a bit) helps you NOT loosing momentum when you surface, and that spending as little energy as possible on second downbeat.

Those who have a poor balance.

Here. YOu want your typical fly? 80% of masters probably swim this way.

Fly is out of balance, lower body is always too low. Stronger kick is required to balance back to the surface. However, most do wait too long upon hand entry. They glide. And they don't display patient second kick. Therefore they spoil the second kick which occurs way way too early, arms haven't reached exit phase yet, this will make the recovery harder.

And since the balance is bad at the first place, they spend tremendous effort just recovering arms. Same ol same ol same ol same ol....

Tell me how slow you can swim the fly, while not loosing balance, and I'll tell you how good you really are.

I think it rocks that you should have discovered this. Congrats! By the way, *try the nad*, you can probably do it.

Last edited by CharlesCouturier : 09-14-2012 at 01:58 AM.
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  #33  
Old 09-14-2012
Danny Danny is offline
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Charles,

First of all, I am probably misquoting Terry, so don't take my quotes too seriously. Second, I am confused by what you say. If I understand you correctly, you are saying that you should wait for buoyancy to bring your chest up after your hands go in, but that you can also accelerate this process. I don't understand that, can you explain?

I did try the NAD this morning, and I like it. The best drills are ones that start to make you aware of issues you may not have been thinking about, and this one is definitely doing that for me. My goal is to do the NAD so that I can smoothly throw in an arm stroke at any point I desire without disturbing the cadence. The first thing I realized is that my shoulders need to move forward before I can initiate a stroke, so I started concentrating on moving the shoulders forward, even if I am not stroking. There are, of course, other issues too. The nice part is that, after doing this a while, a lap with arm stroke starts to feel pretty good. I also sense that my body is set differently when I stroke from when I don't, so I am trying to understand those differences and eliminate them.

I also like the advice to rush the recovery so you can relax the stroke. In fact, I recently came to the conclusion that this helps my freestyle too. "Rushing" the recovery should probably not be taken too literally. For me it probably means keep the motion continuous without any hesitation. In both freestyle and fly a good catch is worth a lot and that takes me some time to set up.
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  #34  
Old 09-14-2012
CharlesCouturier CharlesCouturier is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Danny View Post
Charles,

First of all, I am probably misquoting Terry, so don't take my quotes too seriously. Second, I am confused by what you say. If I understand you correctly, you are saying that you should wait for buoyancy to bring your chest up after your hands go in, but that you can also accelerate this process. I don't understand that, can you explain?
This is an excellent question, that triggers a relatively simple answer after all.

OK. If we're both right in thinking that the upbeat preceding the second kick is any help for triggering the change of direction that the upper body experiences from downward to upward, then we can probably tie this great upper body buoyancy (balance) feeling, at least in part, to this.

Now as you swim slower, the body undulation rate is much slower than when you sprint. The first impact is that you have to be patient before issuing the 2nd kick. And so since the upperbody that floats is tied to this, it's only normal that there be a bit of a "be patient with the upper body to surface" dimension.

Now, as you swim faster and faster, the body undulation rate does increase quite significantly. When it reaches 100spm (half cycles here), there's no longer "be patient" with anything. In fact, it's quite the opposite. You have to make sure that the limbs action do not come in the way to stroke rate right?

There, the upbeat preceding the second kick still contributes to this upper body change of direction. But as you no longer wait for anything, this is how this feeling can be accelerated.

Here, could be more obvious if we look at some clips.

First, my slowest...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5MVseXW2f5c

When I swim this slow, the undulation rate is very very low, in the neighborhood of 44 strokes per minute (half cycles). Must be very patient before even thinking to surface...

Then my fastest butterfly...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1S1UQus-oYQ

There, it's the opposite. First it's worth mentioning that when I swim that fast, I do feel the NAD (as if it's was a heart beating) much more than when I'm slow. And in fact, during this particular race, I was only feeling the NAD. It's all I was focusing on. As you can see, it provides the stroke with a very efficient undulation, explaining that I could touch the wall in top position in spite of a terrible start and turn.

So in short, the answer to your question is that this feeling can indeed be accelerated as a result of the pressure that the feet experience when pressing against the water during the upbeat increasing. As the pressure increase, the support does too, which increases the buoyancy effect. As you increase the rate, the support increases too.

Last edited by CharlesCouturier : 09-14-2012 at 01:20 PM.
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  #35  
Old 09-14-2012
Danny Danny is offline
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Charles,

Which is more tiring for you, swimming the really slow fly or swimming the fast one? For me the slow one is more tiring, up to a certain point. Going at top speed is stressful, but the balance is hard work when you go slow. The same is true for freestyle.

I am an old man (63) and I can do multiple 25 yd lengths of fly, if I get a little time to breath in between each length. One of my goals is to get this thing to the point where I can relax enough to go up and back without pausing for a breather. I expect you will say that the NAD is the way to go, and I am inclined to agree with you at this point. Whatever happens, I expect the process will be interesting.

This morning I tried to swim fly while keeping my arm pull very soft, as you suggested, to do as much as possible with my body. The first length went OK, but on the second one, it started falling apart. So I still have things to work on.
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  #36  
Old 09-14-2012
CharlesCouturier CharlesCouturier is offline
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For me, effort perceived as well as all other indicators (breathing, heart rate etc) go up along with swim speed, this is true for all strokes, including the fly.

I'm a special fly swimmer, in that I spend a lot of time swimming the full stroke. In 2010, my training regiment involved between 4000 and 6000m per week, 70% of which was performed at Fly, full stroke, as I was preparing for the 50/100/200bf. I did not swim any freestyle that year really. In other words, I prepare fly events with fly training. Not with Freestyle training.

Very often, I show up to the pool, and book a full session at fly, that's warmup/mainset/cooldown. No drill, just plain full stroke swimming.

Fly is very hard to balance at slower speed.

To be honest, I can't confirmed having taught this sort of fly to people 60yo and more. Not by lack of interest, but simply because no one registered to our Perfecting your Butterfly class yet.

If you could get some footage, then I could certainly help you more. It would have to be your slowest possible effort. If you put some energy to it, it's already more difficult to see through the stroke.

Here, that's my slow butterfly back then. Not my slowest possible fly, but just normal slow, ie perpetual but still demanding pace.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ehug9w8cPU

I was trying to assess the width of my hand entry at the time of recording this clip. Notice that my bum can't surface. A bunch of coaches and instructors of various levels keep bugging me with that. I just can not push my hips up to the surface at that speed, without breaking the balance.

Last edited by CharlesCouturier : 09-14-2012 at 09:38 PM.
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  #37  
Old 09-14-2012
CharlesCouturier CharlesCouturier is offline
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The king of fly drills to learn to swim slower:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yLyfwqJgUTw

Teaches how to get rid of any dead spot. That said, my fly style has no dead spot. It's crucially important. Some have mentioned in this thread that the dead spot be important for them, I can't help in this regards, as my studies point in the direction of eliminating it at all costs.

What I mean here, is that some think that gliding is easier when you swim slow fly, I believe it's kind of the opposite. And I can not help anyone who wants to glide, as my whole stroke/teaching methods implies swimming with no dead spot at all, not even the slightest one.
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  #38  
Old 09-15-2012
Danny Danny is offline
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Thanks for your advice Charles. The part of Michigan where I live and swim is not exactly a center of swimming culture. The school where I swim is only open for general lap swim for selected hours because they can't afford a full time life guard. A while ago Suzanne suggested to me that I should film myself, but I have been unable to figure out how to get that done, perhaps because I am so old that I don't know anyone with a smart phone. (Or, to be more precise, the people I know with smart phones aren't willing to come down to the pool at 6 in the morning to film me.) I try to look at the positive side of this situation. It forces me to spend a lot of time trying to feel how I am swimming and, if I am lucky, perhaps my ability to sense my own problems is sharper because I have nothing else to rely on.

The exercises you have given me are fun to play with and, in the end, I am doing this for the fun of it. So I will continue to play with them and try to figure out what I am doing, even though I can't film myself. I'll get back to you with progress reports, that is, assuming that I make some progress.
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  #39  
Old 09-15-2012
CharlesCouturier CharlesCouturier is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Danny View Post
Thanks for your advice Charles. The part of Michigan where I live and swim is not exactly a center of swimming culture. The school where I swim is only open for general lap swim for selected hours because they can't afford a full time life guard. A while ago Suzanne suggested to me that I should film myself, but I have been unable to figure out how to get that done, perhaps because I am so old that I don't know anyone with a smart phone. (Or, to be more precise, the people I know with smart phones aren't willing to come down to the pool at 6 in the morning to film me.) I try to look at the positive side of this situation. It forces me to spend a lot of time trying to feel how I am swimming and, if I am lucky, perhaps my ability to sense my own problems is sharper because I have nothing else to rely on.

The exercises you have given me are fun to play with and, in the end, I am doing this for the fun of it. So I will continue to play with them and try to figure out what I am doing, even though I can't film myself. I'll get back to you with progress reports, that is, assuming that I make some progress.
We don't live that far apart. Should you ever plan to come down town Montreal some day, let me know. We can have a session.
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  #40  
Old 09-15-2012
Danny Danny is offline
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Thanks Charles. I'm posting a comment right now in the freestyle forum that is intended for you. Check it out!
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