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2014-05-07 10:28 AM
in reply to: CoachT

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Madison, Wisconsin
Subject: RE: Encouragement for beginner swimmers
Originally posted by CoachT

Agree; working exclusively on technique requires building fitness/conditioning, swimming lengths. Wrapped with a client this morning after an hour of straight technique work; and told him he had also just swam a 1750m workout as well. He was impressed enough with that, aside from he did it all while learning a solid technique.


I am going to continue to disagree with you and that an hour of straight technique work is a waste of time.

I have coached myself from a 1:40/100 yd swimmer to a 1:15/100 yd swimmer with minimal drill work, and taken other swimmers times down as well.

Swim hard, swim often, always focus on stroke mechanics each stroke, swim with better swimmers. For triathletes that are time crunched, drill work is something that can be set aside.

Not saying anyone is right or wrong here just what is the best path for many athletes.


2014-05-07 10:53 AM
in reply to: bcagle25

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Raleigh
Subject: RE: Encouragement for beginner swimmers
Originally posted by bcagle25

Originally posted by writingrunner

Thanks for sharing this! I completely agree, and I am about in your situation. I've only been swimming for four years, after coming from a running background, and it wasn't until this year that I felt like I was "good" at it. Totally right about the perseverance and the drills. One other thing I would add is strength -- having a strong core has helped me so much in maintaining that balance in the water.

Also, I NEVER get in the pool without the intention to work on form. There are no "lazy laps" where I just got up and down for the sake of endurance. I'm ALWAYS thinking about form. This has greatly helped.

As a note, I started swimming 2:20+/100 m, and this morning's workout involved me swimming 100 repeats on 1:30. I was hitting them at 1:18! Granted, I felt unusually good today, but it goes to show that just because you didn't grow up swimming doesn't mean you'll never learn. It all comes down to hard work.


^ Yup, if you focus on your form every single stroke that is one of the best things you can do for yourself.

No need to drill for 100's of yards of drilling. Just a couple laps of drilling then swimming to translate the drills over is plenty.

Being consistent and frequent year round will lead to biggest improvements. So don't take huge breaks in the pool. No more then 48 hours between trips to the water for non-swimmers. Swimming 4-5x a week of 2-3k each time is better then 2x of 2k and one big swim of 4-5k.

Swim hard often, learn to suffer and feel uncomfortable in the water, and swim with people better then you, great medium for immediate feedback.

And my favorite quote that I think really rings from from Paulo Sousa "Technique goes a long way in swimming, but it's nothing without fitness. Working on your fitness works on technique. The opposite is not true."

Translation: If you can swim 25 yards with good form, its not your technique that is your limiter its your fitness, work on your fitness. I think this is a huge part that many people see as being the opposite.


I agree with this. It's gotten to the point now that I can swim well for 100 yds, but I can't keep that pace for more than 300 yds. My form breaks down b/c I get tired. To me this seems much more like a fitness issue than a technique one.
2014-05-07 10:56 AM
in reply to: bcagle25

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Champion
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Sarasota, FL
Subject: RE: Encouragement for beginner swimmers

Originally posted by bcagle25
Originally posted by CoachT Agree; working exclusively on technique requires building fitness/conditioning, swimming lengths. Wrapped with a client this morning after an hour of straight technique work; and told him he had also just swam a 1750m workout as well. He was impressed enough with that, aside from he did it all while learning a solid technique.
I am going to continue to disagree with you and that an hour of straight technique work is a waste of time. I have coached myself from a 1:40/100 yd swimmer to a 1:15/100 yd swimmer with minimal drill work, and taken other swimmers times down as well. Swim hard, swim often, always focus on stroke mechanics each stroke, swim with better swimmers. For triathletes that are time crunched, drill work is something that can be set aside. Not saying anyone is right or wrong here just what is the best path for many athletes.

The boldface pretty much describes my situation.  While I recognize the value of drills, if I only have an hour at the pool I try to blend my technique work into my regular training sets.

I compare it to when I go to the driving range to hit golf balls.  I'll pick one or two swing thoughts and focus on those through my entire session.

Tonight when I swim I'm planning on focusing on my high elbow catch during all my sets.

Mark

 

2014-05-07 10:57 AM
in reply to: CoachT

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Raleigh
Subject: RE: Encouragement for beginner swimmers
Originally posted by CoachT

You assume right as this I reinforce constantly: "when swimming you are constantly evaluating your technique and thinking about your form each and every stroke." And every length. And every set. Always.



Random thought: I've noticed over time that swimmers (as in collegiate swimmers) have tremendous mental stamina in everything that they do. I think this is why. Focusing on technique for that long (2+ hours a day) is HARD work mentally.
2014-05-07 11:05 AM
in reply to: RedCorvette

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Madison, Wisconsin
Subject: RE: Encouragement for beginner swimmers
Originally posted by RedCorvette

Originally posted by bcagle25
Originally posted by CoachT Agree; working exclusively on technique requires building fitness/conditioning, swimming lengths. Wrapped with a client this morning after an hour of straight technique work; and told him he had also just swam a 1750m workout as well. He was impressed enough with that, aside from he did it all while learning a solid technique.
I am going to continue to disagree with you and that an hour of straight technique work is a waste of time. I have coached myself from a 1:40/100 yd swimmer to a 1:15/100 yd swimmer with minimal drill work, and taken other swimmers times down as well. Swim hard, swim often, always focus on stroke mechanics each stroke, swim with better swimmers. For triathletes that are time crunched, drill work is something that can be set aside. Not saying anyone is right or wrong here just what is the best path for many athletes.

The boldface pretty much describes my situation.  While I recognize the value of drills, if I only have an hour at the pool I try to blend my technique work into my regular training sets.

I compare it to when I go to the driving range to hit golf balls.  I'll pick one or two swing thoughts and focus on those through my entire session.

Tonight when I swim I'm planning on focusing on my high elbow catch during all my sets.

Mark

 




Exactly, its about prioritizing your training. If your stroke is in the shape or you have never swam, then working on drills and technique might be what is needed, but if you are proficient enough to swim then you can skip a lot of that drill work on swim hard, often and still get the same if not better value out of your training.

This brings to to something else that boggles me. If you want to improve your swim stroke, mechanics, etc take the headphones out. That is another stimulus to distract you from the task at hand.
2014-05-07 11:09 AM
in reply to: writingrunner

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Madison, Wisconsin
Subject: RE: Encouragement for beginner swimmers
Originally posted by writingrunner

Originally posted by CoachT

You assume right as this I reinforce constantly: "when swimming you are constantly evaluating your technique and thinking about your form each and every stroke." And every length. And every set. Always.



Random thought: I've noticed over time that swimmers (as in collegiate swimmers) have tremendous mental stamina in everything that they do. I think this is why. Focusing on technique for that long (2+ hours a day) is HARD work mentally.


My friend said this between swimmers and triathletes

"Swimmers are like horses, just keep beating them and they will keep going. Triathletes are like freight trains, it takes them awhile to get going but once they do they won't stop until they derail themselves"

A lot of my friends were on the swim team in college (UW-Milwaukee) they are some of the most mentally strong athletes I have ever known. Also they went in 1 of 2 directions post college, never in the pool again or olympic trials, just depended on who was burnt out.


2014-05-07 2:00 PM
in reply to: bcagle25

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Subject: RE: Encouragement for beginner swimmers
Swim hard, swim often, always focus on stroke mechanics each stroke, swim with better swimmers. For triathletes that are time crunched, drill work is something that can be set aside.

^^^^^

I agree with this 100%. We are kind of mixing things up here due to the nature of online discussion. An hour of straight drill work in absolutely necessary for my beginner triathletes, and unfortunately even some who have even done multiple IM's already and have slugged their way thru the swim.

Once technique is wired it is ZERO drills. None. Just sets and intervals. I mentally reinforce drills on myself (and encourage this) but as I wrote above I do not execute any of them during workouts. I work to get my swimmers swimming correctly, off drills and TRAINING. In Olympic training for open water (10km) drills are almost non-existant most of the year.
2014-05-07 5:47 PM
in reply to: bcagle25

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Kenmore, Washington
Subject: RE: Encouragement for beginner swimmers
Originally posted by bcagle25

Originally posted by pnwdan

Context. ST is not BT and that tweet is not about people who cannot swim 1k.

How could someone not get fitness benefits from focusing on technique? Working on technique requires many many laps of drills.


Right, and I made the disclaimer that if you can swim 25-50 yard with good form then its your fitness, if that isn't applicable to you then never mind.

Doing many laps of drills is not good enough of a stimulus to build your aerobic fitness and allow you to swim closer to your threshold in longer sets.


Your disclaimer is not reasonable. If you can swim 25-50 yards with good form then you can swim 1000. If you break down after a few hundred yards you have bad form that is causing you to overexert yourself or not get enough air. You might think your form is good for those 25-50 yards, but it is not. If it was good it wouldn't break down so fast.

Just my $0.02. I am a noob and I am biased towards my own experience. I got myself from gasping after 200y down to swimming as long as I want over a few months with lots of drills. Drill 50 then swim 50, drill 100 then swim 100. Repeat x10, do it twice a week. Learned to swim in 80k yards.
2014-05-08 8:47 AM
in reply to: pnwdan

Master
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Northern IL
Subject: RE: Encouragement for beginner swimmers

Originally posted by pnwdan
Originally posted by bcagle25
Originally posted by pnwdan Context. ST is not BT and that tweet is not about people who cannot swim 1k. How could someone not get fitness benefits from focusing on technique? Working on technique requires many many laps of drills.
Right, and I made the disclaimer that if you can swim 25-50 yard with good form then its your fitness, if that isn't applicable to you then never mind. Doing many laps of drills is not good enough of a stimulus to build your aerobic fitness and allow you to swim closer to your threshold in longer sets.
Your disclaimer is not reasonable. If you can swim 25-50 yards with good form then you can swim 1000. If you break down after a few hundred yards you have bad form that is causing you to overexert yourself or not get enough air. You might think your form is good for those 25-50 yards, but it is not. If it was good it wouldn't break down so fast. Just my $0.02. I am a noob and I am biased towards my own experience. I got myself from gasping after 200y down to swimming as long as I want over a few months with lots of drills. Drill 50 then swim 50, drill 100 then swim 100. Repeat x10, do it twice a week. Learned to swim in 80k yards.

Another way to look at that is if one starts a set with decent form, but it breaks down due to the exertion level then there was not the fitness needed to hold it at that speed for a longer period of time.

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