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Old 12-12-2008
FrankJ FrankJ is offline
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: london
Posts: 56
Default multiple strokes


I have started practicing TI for 3 months, and I am still learning to be comfortable with freestyle. However, I also wanted to practice backstroke and breastroke, to add variety to my swimming and in general because I feel it might be good and fun. I was wondering what experience other TI people have with the right time to integrate new stroke in the routine.

On the one hand, just doing the progression from freestyle drills to whole stroke takes all of the time in my session (and I can go to the pool only 2-3 times a week for 1 hour max). Sometimes, I tried alternating 1 lane freestyle with one lane breastroke or backstroke (or the corresponsing drills), but I feel that it 'breaks the flow', so to speak.

What is your experience with this? Should I wait till I'm very comfortable with freestyle (it might take months ar years)? Any useful hints on how to organise practice for more than 1 style?

Thank you,

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Old 12-12-2008
roates roates is offline
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 46
Default multiple strokes

Hi Frank,
For what it's worth, I started TI over two years ago and for the first six months really only progressed through drill for at least 80% of the time and 'swimming' the remainder doing multiple overswitches, spending alot of time sweet spot breathing. Changing the focus was the key to keeping it interesting - 2 per sessions and certainly no more than 3!
I tried to forget all swimming I'd ever done in the past.
I then did some backstroke drilling and swimming.
This I then combined into Long Axis Combo - 3 strokes Freestyle - rotate - 4 strokes Backstroke- repeat. I covered multiple lengths of the pool doing this, it also made me feel good because I felt I was doing some distance. Its only now that I'm doing some Breaststroke, and still don't really enjoy it.
I'm completely hooked on Freestyle even though the rhythmic breathing is a bit erratic but getting better. I can now cover a decent distance with out panic. And the times are slowly coming down.
Patience is the key to all this learning, water is not our natural element.
Using fins occasionally, also helped break up sessions.

All the best
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Old 12-12-2008
shuumai shuumai is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: New Jersey, USA
Posts: 1,077
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Each stroke has something different to teach about ones relationship to the water. Working on more than one is also a good way to avoid boredom and frustration. Be mindful to not divide your focus between them, but to shift your focus between them. Give full attention to one stroke for part of a session, then move to the next.

In my first three months of swimming, including 11 non-TI lessons, I worked on four strokes. We only talked about butterfly in the class, but I worked on it independently. (Butterfly has been my goal from the beginning.) Granted, I'm not a master of any of the strokes, but I can 'approximate' them. My stronger strokes are the crawl and breaststroke. I'm still working on the butterfly and neglecting the backstroke.

After 11 months, I can do the following events, distance-wise:

500 crawl
200 back
100 breast
50 fly

My ultimate goal is to /finish/ a 400IM, then to do it well, then to do it fast. I have no plans of swimming beyond 500 yards at a time, especially using a single stroke.
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Old 12-12-2008
dwdvagamundo dwdvagamundo is offline
Junior Member
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 16
Default Multiple strokes

What works for me is to warm up with drills for each of the strokes and then focus on one stroke or at most two related strokes (free--back or breast--fly) for the rest of the session. I've found that trying to do all four in one session doesn't allow adequate time to imprint the skill I'm working on in any of the strokes.
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Old 12-12-2008
naj naj is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: San Francisco, CA
Posts: 624

Frank, I asked this same question recently and found that doing drills for other strokes helps me avoid boredom. That being said though, I doubt I'll ever get bored of freestyle I think its the most graceful of all strokes (In my opinion). But I am slowly beginning to do the breaststroke drills and fly. My goal is to do endurance freestyle races and open water stuff. I'm fortunate that a TI coach lives in my city and coaches open water swimming.

Over time I to hope to do a 400 IM when I progress further, so learning the other strokes the TI way is a great motivator for me.
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