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  #1  
Old 07-01-2015
Danny Danny is offline
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Default a bunch of minor questions

Nothing too focused in this message; just a bunch of minor questions that someone might have input on.
1) My high school pool has gone into summer hours and I can only make it down there twice a week for less than an hour. Normally I swim 3 to 4 times a week, and my swimming is deteriorating, although I am not sure if this is from loss of conditioning or loss of technique. At first I noticed that my times and stroke counts were good at the beginning of my workout, but then deteriorated rather quickly, which points to conditioning. But then I noticed that my times were worse at the beginning as well, although my stroke count seemed OK. Not sure what all of this means, but it is depressing. I am trying to back off and focus on technique, and it feels like all the old problems I have ever had are now creeping back into my swimming. Any thoughts?
2) Now I am on vacation, and I have access to a 50 m pool every day for 2 weeks! The down side is that the pool is full of paddlers and I have to swim slalom to get around them. You know youíre in trouble when around half of the people in the pool are wearing glasses, summer hats, or both. Itís not so bad if you have to swim around one of them, but when you get three across and they are holding an animated conversation while they swim then itís kind of tough. So I am going to concentrate on only swimming distance with little to no focus on drills. For me this has meant 2100 m in intervals of 300 with less than a minute rest in between. Not monitoring the rest too carefully, itís mostly just to get the water out of my googles and look at my swim times. I am trying to find a rhythm, and it feels difficult. Would welcome any suggestions.
3) Last, but not least, a lot of people on this forum talk about measuring times with a Garmin or a pool clock. I have opted for a much simpler solution, but I would like to hear opinions from others on it. I spent $25 on a water-proof digital watch with a stop clock. It doesnít count strokes for me, but it gives me rather exact times, and itís easy to check quickly underwater when I turn at a wall if I want intermediate input. As for counting strokes, I have the same feeling that I have heard others express on this forum. There is too much of a tendency to swim the stroke count instead of just to monitor it. As I approach the wall, if my count is off, I canít control the tendency to start pulling harder or gliding longer to make my count, and this is bad. So I am counting strokes only intermittently, while trying to figure out why my timing is so bad. Any thoughts as to the pros and cons of a water-proof watch vs. a Garmin?

I wish you all a good summer!
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  #2  
Old 07-01-2015
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CoachStuartMcDougal CoachStuartMcDougal is offline
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Hi Danny,

Good questions, here are some thoughts

1) If you are deteriorating toward the end of a set or session, try to evaluate earlier. Conditioning and technique are not mutually exclusive, but focusing on what's going on (or wrong), increased drag profile, using more energy will yield far greater results. If your stroke count starts falling apart, don't react by instinctively by pulling harder, but rather *stop* and take a moment to think about what's causing the problem. Then do a single reset length with a focus to get your count back in your zone. I don't obsessively count strokes, but if I'm doing sets of 100's, i.e. 10x100, I count the 1st and last lengths. If 50m pool, then I count the second length on odd 100's. Or if your 50m pool has a 25m line, only count from the line. In any case, use SPL as a metric not a trigger to add more effort.

2) Haaa! SUP's and swimmers together - that's a first. Consider it an opportunity. Catch one of them and see if they will paddle next to you for a length and watch your recovery entry, check hips crowning surface each stroke, maybe pace together, etc. Ask them for feedback. I'm certain many paddlers will enjoy doing that too. And likewise, give the paddler feedback too since much of paddling is similar to freestyle, i.e anchor the paddle and drive the vessel past it. Using the core to drive vessel (SUP) past the paddle and not pulling the paddle with shoulders :-)

3) I don't like my swimmers to wear garmins in the pool since they get more fixated on the watch then their stroke. Stop watch and counting strokes is best. As noted in 1) counting strokes gives you immediate feedback of something going right and wrong. If going wrong, suddenly adding 2 or 3 strokes (outside of your range), stop and evaluate, don't muscle through the end of the set for the sake of completing the set.

Hope that helps

Stuart

Last edited by CoachStuartMcDougal : 07-01-2015 at 04:13 PM.
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Old 07-01-2015
Danny Danny is offline
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Hi Stuart,

Thanks for your reply and your suggestions. Here is my self-diagnosis, for whatever it's worth. My coordination between core and armstroke has deteriorated, and I seem to be often out of position when it's time to catch. Particularly on the right side, this results in a dropped elbow, among other things. So I am trying to get the core in phase with the catch and having some trouble. I also have to keep reminding myself to extend my shoulder when I spear and I also have to keep reminding myself to get my hip up on the side where the catch is about to start. Extending the shoulder and rotating the opposite hip up may be two different manifestations of the simple fact that my body has disconnected from my arms. These are things that were much more automatic to me a month ago when I was swimming more often.

Of course swimming slalom around people makes this somewhat more difficult, but I suppose every challenge is an opportunity! My hope is that after swimming on a regular basis during vacation I will be able to report back that I have regained some of my lost ground. In any event, I will let you know. Thanks again!

By the way, what does SUP stand for? Paddlers can do some things that maybe you can't do, so perhaps this is worth thinking about. For example, can you swim freestyle with glasses or a hat on? Can you converse with your neighbor while swimming freestyle? I thought not... :o)

Last edited by Danny : 07-01-2015 at 08:25 PM.
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Old 07-01-2015
borate borate is offline
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As I see it, the hip would be high on the opposite side of the hand about to start the stroke, as the same-side hand leaves the water at the hip and heads into recovery.

Last edited by borate : 07-01-2015 at 10:59 PM.
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  #5  
Old 07-02-2015
andyinnorway andyinnorway is offline
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Hi,

Closed fist swimming is always a winner in a busy pool.

If you also swim open water it's a good chance to practice a lot of sighting strokes to smooth them out.
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Old 07-02-2015
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Danny View Post
Hi Stuart,
By the way, what does SUP stand for? Paddlers can do some things that maybe you can't do, so perhaps this is worth thinking about. For example, can you swim freestyle with glasses or a hat on? Can you converse with your neighbor while swimming freestyle? I thought not... :o)
Hi Danny,

SUP stands for Standup Paddle Board, so I'm assuming this is a paddler in your pool. Aside from the hat, glasses, drink glasses and conversation - theory and physics are similar to swimming. When you plant or anchor the paddle, it's also called the "catch". The more vertical the paddle, the straighter and faster the vessel or SUP. The goal is to anchor the paddle and drive the vessel past the paddle using your core, not pulling the paddle back with shoulders. So believe it our not, you have a lot in common with the paddlers in the pool (assuming they're on SUP's) and possibly a great opportunity. I'm a paddler too and have my own SUP, but never got an opportunity to zoom around in a pool with swimmers :-) But I use my SUP to escort and coach swimmers in open water.

Stuart
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Old 07-02-2015
s.sciame s.sciame is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CoachStuartMcDougal View Post

Conditioning and technique are not mutually exclusive
I like it! :-)

Salvo
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  #8  
Old 07-02-2015
Danny Danny is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CoachStuartMcDougal View Post
Hi Danny,

SUP stands for Standup Paddle Board, so I'm assuming this is a paddler in your pool. Aside from the hat, glasses, drink glasses and conversation - theory and physics are similar to swimming. When you plant or anchor the paddle, it's also called the "catch". The more vertical the paddle, the straighter and faster the vessel or SUP. The goal is to anchor the paddle and drive the vessel past the paddle using your core, not pulling the paddle back with shoulders. So believe it our not, you have a lot in common with the paddlers in the pool (assuming they're on SUP's) and possibly a great opportunity. I'm a paddler too and have my own SUP, but never got an opportunity to zoom around in a pool with swimmers :-) But I use my SUP to escort and coach swimmers in open water.

Stuart
Hi Stuart,

I'm afraid there was a misunderstanding here. I was referring to DP's not SUP's. Here DP stands for dog paddler. The only body part that is not submerged is the head. There are still some positive aspects to swimming in a pool full of DP's. For example, many female DP's complain if you splash water on their hair, which they want to keep dry. So you need to have a very clean hand entry as you pass them. No splash with the kick either.

Andy,

Closed fist swimming for 2000 m seems like masochism to me, but maybe that's because my technique is so bad. As far as practicing sighting strokes, I have to admit that this was a main irritation, because I felt like my head position was off. The DPs are actually nice folks, and I noticed after a while that they were proactively getting out of my way when they saw me coming, but that was mainly the ones coming toward me. Anyway, it seemed to take some of the strain out of my neck. I was grateful for the chance to look at the pool bottom.

Last edited by Danny : 07-02-2015 at 06:57 AM.
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  #9  
Old 07-02-2015
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Haaaarrrrrrr! Dog Paddler - got it. All of us SUP'rs are called "paddlers" too, at least on the west coast of California. Well they (DP's) won't provide much opportunity other than course correction, and some friendly conversation provided you don't get their hair wet :-)
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