Total Immersion Forums  

Go Back   Total Immersion Forums > Freestyle
FAQ Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 07-31-2012
gbjj gbjj is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 3
gbjj
Default Freestyle Woes..

Progress has been very slow for me, I have the TI book, however, I feel as though it's not the same as the DVD's. At this point after a few months I'm still unable to swim steady for as long as I would like. I struggle with gasping for air. I can barely make 2 lengths of the pool without stopping for a rest. It's not that I'm in bad shape, I do Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and can can wrestle for non-stop forever...which is extreme cardio... this is clearly ( at least to me) an issue of breathing and effeciency...

Latest Discovery:

Keeping my recovering arm tucked by my side as I pull. When I first did this it was a miracle, I almost spun myself over. It made the roll absolutley effortless. I started working on this today in conjuction with ensuring when I would reach out I would not reach towards the center of my body line.

I am discovering that keeping my elbow close to my side it almost spins me over like a barrell. It's imperitive that my leading hand has to be out in front of my shoulder away from the centerline...

Does anyone have any tips or drills for working on this....
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 07-31-2012
tomoy tomoy is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 585
tomoy
Default

My first recommendation when hearing about people gasping to do a lap, is to force yourself to slow down.

Standing at the edge of the pool, you can probably inhale for 1s and exhale for 3s, over and over, for 2 minutes. Next, sink into the water for those 3s, stand up to inhale, then exhale underwater for 3s and repeat. Next, float face down doing the same thing. You should still be able to do it almost continuously. As long as the water isn't short circuiting your nervous system.

The big step is to do that in Superman Glide. If you find you can't keep the relaxed breathing pattern, ask yourself what's getting tight/flexed that would force the demand for more oxygen.

The same goes for underwater switch, etc. As you add each piece of the stroke, it shouldn't be taking much more energy.

In my experience most people who have a hard time with the struggle for air are kicking furiously when they really need to work on just floating balanced in the water. So that's a lot of SG and Skate work.

Good luck!
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 08-01-2012
tony0000 tony0000 is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Detroit, MI
Posts: 124
tony0000
Default

Gbjj,

I hear what you're saying. I also get winded after a lap even though I'm in reasonably good cardio shape. I, of course, don't know whether we have the same issues. My issue is that I can't "just float" in the water as tomoy suggests. (BTW, thanks for your thoughts tomoy!) Even though I try to maximize the time my arms are in front, my legs still sink. A constant flutter kick would keep them up, but not a two-beat kick. So I have to pull forcefully to create hydraulic lift for the legs. But given bilateral breathing and stroke rate of around 1.5s, I'm not getting enough air to support my excursion.

My approach is to experiment with a swim snorkel to try to determine whether I need to cut down on my oxygen use through a more relaxed swim or try to increase my oxygen intake through better breathing technique. You might want to try this (if this makes sense).

Tony
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 08-01-2012
tomoy tomoy is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 585
tomoy
Default

Hi Tony - 2 quick questions.

How many inches below the water is your lead hand in Skate position?
How much are you rotating?

Even though you may be a sinker, try not to think of it as a black and white thing, i.e. some sink, others don't. It's more often a question of how quickly vs how slowly as one inhales and exhales, and there are things you can do sink less quickly. Being flat in the water, both horizontally and laterally, gives you greater surface area for the water to support, so that's something to focus on.

Spear lower to balance front with back. Rotate less to balance right with left. I don't know what other issues you may be facing which pull you down, but that's a starting point.

p.s. I wouldn't be above breathing on the same side one way down the pool, then the other side on the way back. Gotta get enough air. And until you can conserve energy, it's a fact. Gotta breathe!

Last edited by tomoy : 08-01-2012 at 08:45 AM. Reason: breathing bit
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 08-01-2012
gbjj gbjj is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 3
gbjj
Default

Well, this morning's workout was a little better so to speak, I worked on the Superman glide for a few minutes before swimming and doing the breathing excercises. It seemed to help or at least make me more aware of relaxing.

My Focus this morning was on my underwater turns, keeping elbow close. I had several instances where my underwater turns where effortless, it seemed like perfection, but still struggled greatly with my breathing.

Today I ended up quite a lot just breathing on one side all the way up and down the pool almost every stroke, it caused me to lose a lot of my focus on form.

What seems to really help me immensly at this point (and ingrain in my mind the need to keep 1 arm out in front at all times) is to never retrieve my arm until my returning arm is next to it. I work on this quite a lot and it really slows my stroke rate down ( Keeps it at about 13 from one end to the other ). This is the 1 excercise I have been very consistent about using since I first started learning TI. I Always have 1 arm out in front of me, Reach and as soon as both hands are together in front of me then retrieve 1 arm.

I have a friend who has been swimming for a while, I watch him swim ( he typically knocks out 1-2 miles) a lot and he seems to never rest, however; he seems so innefficient and his stroke rate is so high ( and he swims with a snorkle, I refuse to use the snorkle, it's a matter of principle at this point lol, I will learn!!). Mine is half as much as his and I make it from one end of the pool to the other in less time than him, I know I'm on the right track, but sustainability is my issue.. I'm really looking forward to getting past this small sticking point. All I am really looking for at this point in my journey is to be able to swim for 30-45 minutes without resting.

at this point I'm going to order the perpetual motion in 10 easy steps DVD so I can have quality instruction and a great reference point to be able to work from.

.... I'll have much more to say on this but for now... I struggle greatly, but still manage to get a good workout in every morning and I enjoy the heck out of it as well...
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 08-01-2012
tony0000 tony0000 is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Detroit, MI
Posts: 124
tony0000
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by tomoy View Post
Hi Tony - 2 quick questions.

How many inches below the water is your lead hand in Skate position?
How much are you rotating?

Even though you may be a sinker, try not to think of it as a black and white thing, i.e. some sink, others don't. It's more often a question of how quickly vs how slowly as one inhales and exhales, and there are things you can do sink less quickly. Being flat in the water, both horizontally and laterally, gives you greater surface area for the water to support, so that's something to focus on.

Spear lower to balance front with back. Rotate less to balance right with left. I don't know what other issues you may be facing which pull you down, but that's a starting point.

p.s. I wouldn't be above breathing on the same side one way down the pool, then the other side on the way back. Gotta get enough air. And until you can conserve energy, it's a fact. Gotta breathe!

Thanks for your suggestions (and encouragement), Tomoy! Today's swim went much better. To answer your questions:

When I swim, my lead hand is about 10 inches below the water. I'm not sure how much I am rotating, but I try not to rotate more than necessary. For example, when I breathe to my right I try to keep my left lead hand stationary in its target point, and to resist the temptation to drop it. But likely room for improvement here in practice.

Also, when swimming today I kept in mind your suggestions about trying to keep flat to avoid sinking and breathing on one side, alternating lengths. Very helpful. I'm now swimming at a 1.3 stroke tempo and and covering 25y in 17-18 strokes. I'm stopping briefly at the end of a lap, but feeling that the stress on my body is tolerable, and that aerobic and anaerobic systems are about equally stressed (as it should be).

Hopefully someday I'll get back to bilateral breathing. If nothing else, it makes it easier to keep the stroke symmetric. But I guess I can always try breathing 6, then 5, then 4, then 3, etc. times before alternating.

Tony
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 09-21-2012
gbjj gbjj is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 3
gbjj
Default

Update:

I did purchase the freestyle DVD, initially I thought, hmmm.. only 10 lessons, I can get through these quite quickly. On the contrary, I found that once I started working on them I found it quite enjoyable just slowly drilling them over and over... I've had the DVD for a while now and have not even finished watching the whole thing.. great stuff.

As for my Swimming, I am now quite comfortable swimming indefinetly, and I have no idea when the transition happened. Yesterday I recorded a 2000 Meter swim at 29 minutes and felt really great, nice pace. Then did drills and sprints for another 15 minutes after that...

I do find that I breath every time to the right, and it's very awkward at this point to breathe to the left... so I work on that.... and currently I'm up to the point of working on the switch drill and integrating that with my wide recovery..
Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are Off
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT. The time now is 12:50 AM.


Powered by vBulletin®
Copyright ©2000 - 2023, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.