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2012-02-13 7:40 PM
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Subject: RE: Heard Joe Friel speak... what he said about swim mechanics

Funny that you posted this. I noticed this during any ows I've done.....my "pool" form goes all to hell and I went toward more of what you described.  I just assumed this was caused by racing with a higher turnover rate.  Good to know that I've accidently fallen into some correct ows form

 

Michael



2012-02-13 7:45 PM
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Subject: RE: Heard Joe Friel speak... what he said about swim mechanics

(3) Once you have flung your arm all the way out, and you have entered at 11:00/1:00, you immediately take your hand, and point your fingers straight down. What a lot of people do, is start to pull through with a straight arm, which pushes the water down (so you don't propel yourself forward), then the fingers point down, and the elbow comes up. The fingers/hand need to point down immediately after entering the water, so the elbow is high and the pull starts when your hand immediately enters the water, versus that lag time. Overall I found it to be very interesting and I'm certainly going to think about some of what he said during my next swim training session. I know I'm great in a pool and slower in open water. I want to get faster in open water, so why not try? Hope this was informative!

I've started using paddles recently during my swim drills and if your not doing this you will notice right away.....pushing the water down while using paddles will be greatly emphasized and you'll learn quickly to - fingers down and pull yourself forward.

 

Michael

2012-02-13 7:52 PM
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Subject: RE: Heard Joe Friel speak... what he said about swim mechanics
gsmacleod - 2012-02-13 6:09 PM

KSH - 2012-02-13 7:52 PM

To me, how you pull your hand through the water, under the water, is part of the recovery. Then there's how your hand exits the water after the pulling portion.


Ok now I'm totally lost. I think you need to tell me how you define the recovery phase.

Shane


So the catch is what I'm talking about when I say the hands need to be pointed down, immediately entering the water.

And... I was wrong... but yes, the recovery is where the arm comes out of the water. So I didn't help this discussion at all today.

The pull is what happens after the catch. Starts around the head and goes behind the body, if that is where your arm exits.

There. Sorry for the confusion. I wasn't thinking too much today when I was posting at work.

Now I have it all cleared up.

And I got focused on the "recovery" being the "pull" because of the diagram that was posted.



Edited by KSH 2012-02-13 7:57 PM
2012-02-13 8:16 PM
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Subject: RE: Heard Joe Friel speak... what he said about swim mechanics
This thread should come with a warning label: "Caution! Reading this may leave you more confused than informed." Seriously, this thread could really overwhelm a beginner.
2012-02-13 8:19 PM
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Subject: RE: Heard Joe Friel speak... what he said about swim mechanics

TriMyBest - 2012-02-13 9:16 PM This thread should come with a warning label: "Caution! Reading this may leave you more confused than informed." Seriously, this thread could really overwhelm a beginner.

That's funny, because that's what I was thinking all day.  I thought I knew something.  Now I don't know if I know or I don't know.  Ya know?

2012-02-13 8:55 PM
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Subject: RE: Heard Joe Friel speak... what he said about swim mechanics
TriMyBest - 2012-02-13 8:16 PM

This thread should come with a warning label: "Caution! Reading this may leave you more confused than informed." Seriously, this thread could really overwhelm a beginner.


It should. !!!!!



2012-02-13 8:59 PM
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Subject: RE: Heard Joe Friel speak... what he said about swim mechanics
This thread is like a bad relationship...communication all whacked! Glad we are all on the same page now as far as terminology.
2012-02-14 6:48 AM
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Subject: RE: Heard Joe Friel speak... what he said about swim mechanics
joker70 - 2012-02-12 8:52 PM

There's been much discussion about high stroke rate vs. gliding ie, Total Immersion. The extended arm entry goes along with the high stroke rate style. Total Immersion teaches you to slip your hand and arm through a slot in the water just past your head, creating as few bubbles as possible.

For open water swimming, the high stroke rate has shown to be more powerful. But IMO it takes a huge amount of swim training to build the endurance and strength to be proficient with the high stroke rate method. Many triathletes who can't put in a high amount of swim training utilize the slower gliding method to "just get through" the swim leg, saving energy for the bike and run.


The above is a great comment! Reading this thread, I have felt conflicted....I used to be a "high stroke rate" swimmer, basically "mashing" my way down the lane, but I would come out of the water pretty wasted and I felt it for the rest of the race. As I moved up to distances beyond Olympic, I felt the need to go to TI style, because it saved me for the bike leg and run leg.

Now, Im wondering if, at least for the Olympic distance or sprints, that maybe high stroke rate is the right way to go....your time is important at those distances, and maybe there is enough in the tank (now) to use that style.

Great blog!....food for thought for all of us.....

Phil
2012-02-14 6:58 AM
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Subject: RE: Heard Joe Friel speak... what he said about swim mechanics
KSH - 2012-02-13 5:59 PM

tjfry - 2012-02-13 5:00 PM

I am just going to briefly add that there are many things that I would disagree with what Friel is suggesting about swimming. I just don't have time to address them all. Thought I'd chime in though.


Um, you need to tell us what you disagree with.

I'm not taking "sides" on this issue. Seriously. I'm just passing along what I heard. Obviously, everyone has their own beliefs and experiences.

Here's all I know... is that I go to SMU and I see competitive swimmers and they have a long straight arm (out of the water), and they are slapping their hand into the water (swimming fast too)... I watch pro triathletes on TV in open water and they are doing the same thing (swimming fast!).

So when Joe Friel says that a straight arm out of the water is best used for OWS and the old way of having a high elbow out of the water and slipping the hand in half way, is more for competitive swimmers (and dare I say from some of my own personal observations- the old school way of competitive swimming)... I'm going to certain consider it to be a viable option to try out the next time I'm in the pool.

With all of that said, I'm pretty sure everything that was said has nothing to do with TI.



Hi Coach Karen,

I totally agree with you on this: when I watch the ITU events on TV, I am amazed at how the swim portion is conducted; there is no holding back -- no one is swimming "pretty"...everyone is grabbing water as hard and as fast as they can for 1500 meters....it has conflicted with what I had read about TI-style hand entry, conserving energy, etc....

Im coming around to the fact that if you want to swim fast, you need to go HARD....and particularly with the undulating nature of OWS, it cannot be too smooth -- you have to grab water as efficiently as you can, but you have to focus on reach, not form.

I, for one, am going back into the pool in the next 48 hours, to try both styles, with the same RPE (rate of perceived effort/exertion)......I will gladly submit my observations on both...totally unscientific, but I look for any excuse to make my swim training sessions interesting!

Regards,

Phil
2012-02-14 7:07 AM
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Subject: RE: Heard Joe Friel speak... what he said about swim mechanics

scholar - 2012-02-14 6:48 AM As I moved up to distances beyond Olympic, I felt the need to go to TI style, because it saved me for the bike leg and run leg. Now, Im wondering if, at least for the Olympic distance or sprints, that maybe high stroke rate is the right way to go....your time is important at those distances, and maybe there is enough in the tank (now) to use that style. Great blog!....food for thought for all of us..... Phil

I think it is probably best to just develop one style and stick to it.  It would seem confusing and counter-productive to simultaneously practice two different forms of the same basic stroke.

2012-02-14 10:41 AM
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Subject: RE: Heard Joe Friel speak... what he said about swim mechanics
scholar - 2012-02-14 5:48 AM

The above is a great comment! Reading this thread, I have felt conflicted....I used to be a "high stroke rate" swimmer, basically "mashing" my way down the lane, but I would come out of the water pretty wasted and I felt it for the rest of the race. As I moved up to distances beyond Olympic, I felt the need to go to TI style, because it saved me for the bike leg and run leg.

Now, Im wondering if, at least for the Olympic distance or sprints, that maybe high stroke rate is the right way to go....your time is important at those distances, and maybe there is enough in the tank (now) to use that style.

Great blog!....food for thought for all of us.....

Phil


Here is a video showing Shinji Takeuchi swimming "TI Style" at stroke rates varying from 1.4 sec/stroke (42 strokes per minute) to 1 sec/stroke (60 strokes per minute). He's closer to the camera. You can see that he looks pretty much the same across that range, the biggest difference, is that he moves faster at 60 SPM vs 42 SPM. As I said before, it's not either or...there is a whole range of tempos between 40 and 80 SPM.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SUkf1FI4Toc


2012-02-14 11:31 AM
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Subject: RE: Heard Joe Friel speak... what he said about swim mechanics
This "TI Style," while pretty and smooth, is not conducive to fast swimming.  The finger tips basically dragging the water and the zipper style of swimming has been replaced by more of a modified to straight arm recovery.  I don't want to get into a TI debate because I believe it is an excellent program for newer swimmers and the founder is a world class athlete.  But, it is not conducive to faster swimming.  
2012-02-14 11:36 AM
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Subject: RE: Heard Joe Friel speak... what he said about swim mechanics

AdventureBear - 2012-02-14 8:41 AM

As I said before, it's not either or...there is a whole range of tempos between 40 and 80 SPM.

It would also be good to note...fast OWS'ers usually have stroke rates between 90-110spm....

2012-02-14 12:03 PM
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Subject: RE: Heard Joe Friel speak... what he said about swim mechanics
H20 Killer - 2012-02-14 9:07 AM

I think it is probably best to just develop one style and stick to it.  It would seem confusing and counter-productive to simultaneously practice two different forms of the same basic stroke.



Agreed; I think that any triathlete will be better served trying to be a better swimmer than worrying about the minutiae of the differences between pool and OW swimming. In most cases, if you are fast in the pool you'll be fast in OW.

Shane
2012-02-14 12:49 PM
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Subject: RE: Heard Joe Friel speak... what he said about swim mechanics

gsmacleod - 2012-02-14 10:03 AM
H20 Killer - 2012-02-14 9:07 AM I think it is probably best to just develop one style and stick to it.  It would seem confusing and counter-productive to simultaneously practice two different forms of the same basic stroke.
Agreed; I think that any triathlete will be better served trying to be a better swimmer than worrying about the minutiae of the differences between pool and OW swimming. In most cases, if you are fast in the pool you'll be fast in OW. Shane

Praise the lord, Hallelujah!

2012-02-14 1:46 PM
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Subject: RE: Heard Joe Friel speak... what he said about swim mechanics
Fastyellow - 2012-02-14 10:36 AM

AdventureBear - 2012-02-14 8:41 AM

As I said before, it's not either or...there is a whole range of tempos between 40 and 80 SPM.

It would also be good to note...fast OWS'ers usually have stroke rates between 90-110spm....



I could have predicted that response.

For the last time velocity = stroke rate x distance per stroke.

you can have a high stroke rate with short choppy strokes or a low stroke rate with long strokes and they can be the same speed.

OR GET THIS>>>

Something in the middle! Faster stroke rates, sacrificing some stroke length but still resulting in overall high speed...

you can call the stroke anything you want...what I"m trying to get across is that it isn't one or the other, fast or slow. Long strokes don't make slow swimming...slow long strokes make slow swimming. Fast strokes don't make fast swimming...fast long strokes make fast swimming.

And while I've provided ample science based rationale others on this thread just want to hit things with hammers. "Do this because it's taught this way" is hardly a persuasive argument.

you can be as fast as you want...but if you look at only one aspect you're going to be stuck at mediocre.

Pick up your stroke rates, but keep long strokes. Build a long stroke but not at the expense of stroke rate. Once your technique is pretty good (doens't need to be perfect), keep building your stroke by adding conditioning to that technique...but if you give up any of these...technique, length, rate, conditioning...you'll be leaving some ability and potential untapped.

And please remember..we are on beginner triathlete...the majority of people coming here won't be swimming in compeition with front of the pack ITU swimmers at 90-110 SPM. You have to build up to that level, not just jump in and start swimming at that rate. You can...but you'll be sacrificing some things if you do.


2012-02-14 2:01 PM
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Subject: RE: Heard Joe Friel speak... what he said about swim mechanics

I do keep that in mind...and for beginner swimmers, rate is far more important than DPS.

DPS is far more important to elite swimmers.

Obviously a beginner swimmer will not have the DPS of an elite swimmer swimming at the same stroke rate....otherwise, they would be, well, elite.

2012-02-14 2:45 PM
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Subject: RE: Heard Joe Friel speak... what he said about swim mechanics
H20 Killer - 2012-02-14 11:31 AM

This "TI Style," while pretty and smooth, is not conducive to fast swimming.  The finger tips basically dragging the water and the zipper style of swimming has been replaced by more of a modified to straight arm recovery.  I don't want to get into a TI debate because I believe it is an excellent program for newer swimmers and the founder is a world class athlete.  But, it is not conducive to faster swimming.  


Straight arm style of swimming is what I'm talking about here. I see all the newer competitive swimmers doing it.

I know after 25 years of swimming the same way, it's probably time for me to shake things up. So I'm going to try it out and see how it goes.

TI is great for beginner swimmers. Very much so!

2012-02-14 3:11 PM
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Subject: RE: Heard Joe Friel speak... what he said about swim mechanics
Fastyellow - 2012-02-14 1:01 PM

I do keep that in mind...and for beginner swimmers, rate is far more important than DPS.

DPS is far more important to elite swimmers.

Obviously a beginner swimmer will not have the DPS of an elite swimmer swimming at the same stroke rate....otherwise, they would be, well, elite.



Now we are really getting to something that we can discuss. This gets to the heart of how new movements are learned, changed and integrated. But since I'm pretty sure I'm going to be attacked for anything I write(not by you) I'll just let it go.
2012-02-14 4:54 PM
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Subject: RE: Heard Joe Friel speak... what he said about swim mechanics

KSH, regarding point 1:

  • It seems logical that you should change your over-water stroke depending on water conditions.
  • If the water is sweet and flat, I use my normal, high elbow stroke. Conditions are same as in the pool.
  • If the ocean is swelling or rolling, it's almost impossible to use my normal stroke simply because the wave will meet my hand before I'm ready to insert it into the water. However, on the return, if the water is pushing me forward, my normal stroke works just fine.

That's why we train in OWS. The ocean is in motion and you've got to gain experience adapting to varying conditions.

I have no comment about lake swimming because I refuse to swim in a lake. Salt water is the only OWS for me.

As far as point 3, I never pull down with a straight arm. I wasn't aware that most people did. Not that it matters or will change anything for me. I do what works for me.

2012-02-14 5:02 PM
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Subject: RE: Heard Joe Friel speak... what he said about swim mechanics

gsmacleod - 2012-02-14 12:03 PM
H20 Killer - 2012-02-14 9:07 AM I think it is probably best to just develop one style and stick to it.  It would seem confusing and counter-productive to simultaneously practice two different forms of the same basic stroke.
Agreed; I think that any triathlete will be better served trying to be a better swimmer than worrying about the minutiae of the differences between pool and OW swimming. In most cases, if you are fast in the pool you'll be fast in OW. Shane

I would also like to confirm through personal experience that if your slow in the pool you'll be slow in OW.  Laughing



2012-02-14 5:57 PM
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Subject: RE: Heard Joe Friel speak... what he said about swim mechanics
AdventureBear - 2012-02-14 1:11 PM
Fastyellow - 2012-02-14 1:01 PM

I do keep that in mind...and for beginner swimmers, rate is far more important than DPS.

DPS is far more important to elite swimmers.

Obviously a beginner swimmer will not have the DPS of an elite swimmer swimming at the same stroke rate....otherwise, they would be, well, elite.

Now we are really getting to something that we can discuss. This gets to the heart of how new movements are learned, changed and integrated. But since I'm pretty sure I'm going to be attacked for anything I write(not by you) I'll just let it go.

 

Beginner swimmer here.

In (almost)  every sporting activity that I have learned, I was taught the mechanics of that activity, slowly, to incorporate 'proper' form. Repeat ad nausea .... until  as some levels of proficiency is are achieved, along with a corresponding increase in speed and or power to achieve greater levels of success/performance in an upward rising spiral of perfection...    

Be it the forehand volley of tennis, the layup in basketball,  a golf swing, a defense move in martial arts....... the process of learning has been the same.  Is swimming any different? Should we not learn the correct form, slowly and proficiently at first, then once mastered, focus on speed?

Just curious, as this focus on rate first for beginners seems to go against the norm for learning a new skill-set.



Edited by triosaurus 2012-02-14 5:58 PM
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