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2015-04-16 1:43 PM
in reply to: Goosedog

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Subject: RE: Underwater video from my coach
Except that all the emphasis on technique with this coach for three years has only resulted in marginal speed gains.

I think I'm lacking in the fitness and strength to apply the technique.


2015-04-16 3:19 PM
in reply to: jennifer_runs


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Subject: RE: Underwater video from my coach

Originally posted by jennifer_runs Thanks guys. I'll keep at it. I'll stick with this group-- I will only be attending three more sessions-- but then do more work on my own or with a different group just for fitness. If my coach videos me again I'll post later. I do get discouraged when I hear about people who claim to "instantly" improve by huge amounts of time when the fix one little thing, but I know those are often overstated claims. I also expect it's somewhat like running in that improvements often seem to come in big steps but after a lot of consistent work. One thing I've never liked in my coach's philosophy is that he tends to de-emphasize fitness. He says, "if it were all about fitness, many of you should be much faster than me" (because we have some pretty fast runners and cyclists in the group). But that is forgetting about fitness specificity. I know I need more swim fitness.

 

 For triathletes, swim fitness is might be THE biggest determinant of speed once you're faster than a beginner, and particularly when making the jump from BOMOP to FOP, which are big time gains, like 15-40sec/100or more. 

 

One of the biggest myths in swimming that holds MOP/BOP swimmers back is that 'it's all technique, not fitness.' And then these people point to these alleged 12 year old girls who are "so weak", but so fast. Yet they fail to mention that these super fast 12 year old girls practice 5-7x, sometimse 10x/wk, and nearly all of it super hard, AND they've been doing it for years. Sure, they have great technique, but these girls would still crush triathletes even if you destroyed their hydroflow with drag suits, made them swim Tarzan head-out-of-water, and even with one arm tied to their waist (for real!

 

You (@ OP) still have to work on technique as priority #1-3, but just as food for thought, even with PERFECT technique, with the slow cadence and low power of your stroke, you would still unlikely to be faster than 2:00/100m. You need fitness to swim fast, just like bike/run, but you do have to take some care that you don't ingrain a really bad stroke in an effort to get there.

2015-04-16 4:05 PM
in reply to: yazmaster

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Subject: RE: Underwater video from my coach
Originally posted by yazmaster

Originally posted by jennifer_runs Thanks guys. I'll keep at it. I'll stick with this group-- I will only be attending three more sessions-- but then do more work on my own or with a different group just for fitness. If my coach videos me again I'll post later. I do get discouraged when I hear about people who claim to "instantly" improve by huge amounts of time when the fix one little thing, but I know those are often overstated claims. I also expect it's somewhat like running in that improvements often seem to come in big steps but after a lot of consistent work. One thing I've never liked in my coach's philosophy is that he tends to de-emphasize fitness. He says, "if it were all about fitness, many of you should be much faster than me" (because we have some pretty fast runners and cyclists in the group). But that is forgetting about fitness specificity. I know I need more swim fitness.

 

 For triathletes, swim fitness is might be THE biggest determinant of speed once you're faster than a beginner, and particularly when making the jump from BOMOP to FOP, which are big time gains, like 15-40sec/100or more. 

 

One of the biggest myths in swimming that holds MOP/BOP swimmers back is that 'it's all technique, not fitness.' And then these people point to these alleged 12 year old girls who are "so weak", but so fast. Yet they fail to mention that these super fast 12 year old girls practice 5-7x, sometimse 10x/wk, and nearly all of it super hard, AND they've been doing it for years. Sure, they have great technique, but these girls would still crush triathletes even if you destroyed their hydroflow with drag suits, made them swim Tarzan head-out-of-water, and even with one arm tied to their waist (for real!

 

You (@ OP) still have to work on technique as priority #1-3, but just as food for thought, even with PERFECT technique, with the slow cadence and low power of your stroke, you would still unlikely to be faster than 2:00/100m. You need fitness to swim fast, just like bike/run, but you do have to take some care that you don't ingrain a really bad stroke in an effort to get there.




Yes, thanks.

I have another tri friend who used to remind me how important fitness was (along with technique), but what a lot of people forget is that improving technique and fitness is iterative. Improved technique will help fitness which will in turn help technique.

So.... I need to stop talking about it and get in the pool more. I'm looking forward to when the outdoor pools open here next month.
2015-04-16 4:47 PM
in reply to: #5108164

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Subject: RE: Underwater video from my coach
Jennifer, go to USMS.org. At the bottom of the page there's a link
to an article about strengthening the catch. Within that article is a link to some dry land exercises you might want to try.
2015-04-16 4:51 PM
in reply to: jennifer_runs

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Subject: RE: Underwater video from my coach

Originally posted by jennifer_runs Except that all the emphasis on technique with this coach for three years has only resulted in marginal speed gains. I think I'm lacking in the fitness and strength to apply the technique.

The isolation of fitness and technique is a fallacy many seem to fall into. It's not one or the other, but how they are put together. There were many comments about what's going on up front. Also noted was soreness in the shoulders areas from trying to improve the form up here. And note the comment about the former swimmers coming back and doing rather well despite being out of shape. Putting this all together, the fitness you need is specific to being able to improve your swim form. Seems like the range of motion needed is a bit troublesome. So yes it's technique, but yes there is some fitness that goes along with it to develop said technique. You'll gain some pulling power lower down in the stroke along the way, but you really want to pull better. To really get better, the improved fitness has to come on top of better technique.

2015-04-16 5:49 PM
in reply to: brigby1

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Subject: RE: Underwater video from my coach
Originally posted by brigby1

Originally posted by jennifer_runs Except that all the emphasis on technique with this coach for three years has only resulted in marginal speed gains. I think I'm lacking in the fitness and strength to apply the technique.

The isolation of fitness and technique is a fallacy many seem to fall into. It's not one or the other, but how they are put together. There were many comments about what's going on up front. Also noted was soreness in the shoulders areas from trying to improve the form up here. And note the comment about the former swimmers coming back and doing rather well despite being out of shape. Putting this all together, the fitness you need is specific to being able to improve your swim form. Seems like the range of motion needed is a bit troublesome. So yes it's technique, but yes there is some fitness that goes along with it to develop said technique. You'll gain some pulling power lower down in the stroke along the way, but you really want to pull better. To really get better, the improved fitness has to come on top of better technique.




Recent TP article on fitness/technique

http://home.trainingpeaks.com/blog/article/is-fitness-more-importan...

to the OP. I wouldn't try to do changes in isolation. There is enough wrong with your stroke that just trying to fix your catch or close your fingers or......is not enough. Find someone that is going to look at it a little more holistically. There are a lot of things going wrong there.

I am sure there are people in Vancouver.




2015-04-16 5:50 PM
in reply to: Goosedog

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Subject: RE: Underwater video from my coach
Jennifer,

What can really help you get that high elbow form is this dry land drill https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sr570KZvyBQ

Sheila told me doing this 3 times a week for 10-15 minutes will eventually pay dividends. It doesn't work overnight but you've gotta work at it. 80% of your swim improvements will come from your underwater pull.

Not that it's huge but I noticed your feet come apart at times. You want to keep your feet close together, that will help a little. I had the same problem so when I'm swimming I try to touch my toes during the kick (if you feel your toes brush against one another you know you're more or less streamlined in the bottom half at least).
2015-04-16 5:53 PM
in reply to: jennifer_runs

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Subject: RE: Underwater video from my coach
Originally posted by jennifer_runs

I'm almost embarrassed to post this but I will in hopes that some of you can offer me pointers. I know I look pretty bad in this video, and I can sort of visualize what I should be doing better, but any tips on what I should focus on? My coach says I'm crossing over too much with my left arm (watch arm) when I'm breathing, but that seems like only a small part of the problem.

BTW-- I'm on the left in this video, coming toward the camera. My regular pace for 100m is about 2:20-2:30.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/cxoxq8xnih22gqk/Jen_TS10_12April15_underwa...

Here's another one from a previous week's practice:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/zwudnx36sb5lvq4/Jen_TS_2015_week6_main_foc...


So one thing you are doing really well is rotating fairly evenly from one side to another. Don't discount this...a lot of people can't do that. This means that you're setting yourself up to have a nice streamline on each side.

A few things to improve. Number one to me is core from crown of head through your feet. Your head looks like it's pushed down in the water which just makes anything you do with the arms extremely awkward, as if you are swimming "behind your head". Notice also when you rotate to breath, your entire core folds and creates a "C" shape towards the breathing side.

Both of these things destroy streamline. I think your #1 issue to focus on therefore is "vessel shaping" and not pulling, or fitness. Yes those things are important as well but I see this as the lowest hanging fruit in terms of making some improvements quickly, although it may not be teh easiest thing to work on because you are conditioned to how you currently feel in the water.

I think you could benefit from from very simple "head lead" flutter kicking even with fins, hands at side and focus on being on a skewer, connecting your ribs to your pelvis through core muscle engagement and pplaying with head position by letting the head first "float" on it's own without pushing it under, and try to align your cervical spine with the rest of your body. Rotate using your kick to get air while keeping the body torpedo like in shape.

That's where I would start.
2015-04-16 7:05 PM
in reply to: reecealan

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Subject: RE: Underwater video from my coach

Originally posted by reecealan Jennifer, What can really help you get that high elbow form is this dry land drill https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sr570KZvyBQSheila told me doing this 3 times a week for 10-15 minutes will eventually pay dividends. It doesn't work overnight but you've gotta work at it. 80% of your swim improvements will come from your underwater pull. Not that it's huge but I noticed your feet come apart at times. You want to keep your feet close together, that will help a little. I had the same problem so when I'm swimming I try to touch my toes during the kick (if you feel your toes brush against one another you know you're more or less streamlined in the bottom half at least).

 

Interesting video, but I have a question about what she's doing. She says that you shouldn't be bending the wrist at all, and keeping it straight will force your elbow up. Is this just for the sake of doing the dryland exercise or is she suggesting that you should swim that way too? In this video for example, it says exactly the opposite- that you should bend your wrist at the beginning to catch the water:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=hiNkAMU8syI#t=108

 

anybody want to weigh in on that?

2015-04-16 7:55 PM
in reply to: marcag

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Subject: RE: Underwater video from my coach

Originally posted by marcag
Originally posted by brigby1

Originally posted by jennifer_runs Except that all the emphasis on technique with this coach for three years has only resulted in marginal speed gains. I think I'm lacking in the fitness and strength to apply the technique.

The isolation of fitness and technique is a fallacy many seem to fall into. It's not one or the other, but how they are put together. There were many comments about what's going on up front. Also noted was soreness in the shoulders areas from trying to improve the form up here. And note the comment about the former swimmers coming back and doing rather well despite being out of shape. Putting this all together, the fitness you need is specific to being able to improve your swim form. Seems like the range of motion needed is a bit troublesome. So yes it's technique, but yes there is some fitness that goes along with it to develop said technique. You'll gain some pulling power lower down in the stroke along the way, but you really want to pull better. To really get better, the improved fitness has to come on top of better technique.

Recent TP article on fitness/technique http://home.trainingpeaks.com/blog/article/is-fitness-more-importan... to the OP. I wouldn't try to do changes in isolation. There is enough wrong with your stroke that just trying to fix your catch or close your fingers or......is not enough. Find someone that is going to look at it a little more holistically. There are a lot of things going wrong there. I am sure there are people in Vancouver.

Er, kind of, but not quite. Think more along the lines of finding and developing that technique. Particularly in the overhead range of motion. Myself, for example, couldn't hardly get my arm straight out in front without a good deal of effort. Everything was rather tight up there and I didn't have very much power to sustain it. My forearm didn't really get fully vertical until my elbow was straight to the side of my shoulder. Now it's notably farther forward. Was this improvement due to technique or from fitness? There are legit points for both of them, and my contention was really that trying to pinpoint such a thing (as many tend to attempt) is more a red herring. The important part was to do the activities to improve this. So while the result was better technique it took both applying technique and pressing fitness in the right ways to make this improvement. This is the "how" that matters more than trying to categorize every single thing done.

2015-04-16 8:06 PM
in reply to: yazmaster


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Subject: RE: Underwater video from my coach
Originally posted by yazmaster

One of the biggest myths in swimming that holds MOP/BOP swimmers back is that 'it's all technique, not fitness.' And then these people point to these alleged 12 year old girls who are "so weak", but so fast. Yet they fail to mention that these super fast 12 year old girls practice 5-7x, sometimse 10x/wk, and nearly all of it super hard, AND they've been doing it for years. Sure, they have great technique, but these girls would still crush triathletes even if you destroyed their hydroflow with drag suits, made them swim Tarzan head-out-of-water, and even with one arm tied to their waist (for real!

 

You (@ OP) still have to work on technique as priority #1-3, but just as food for thought, even with PERFECT technique, with the slow cadence and low power of your stroke, you would still unlikely to be faster than 2:00/100m. You need fitness to swim fast, just like bike/run, but you do have to take some care that you don't ingrain a really bad stroke in an effort to get there.




Totally agree. There's a youtube video somewhere of a top triathlete racing against an "average" swimmer who is a reporter. It's intended to be funny as the top triathlete is given various outfits to wear such as shoes, motorbike helmet, a ball gown etc and he still kicks the other guys ar$e. So yeah technique is important, but as the video exemplifies, you can still be quick without it. I swim low 1.20s/100m and I could probably find 10-15 things wrong with my stroke.


2015-04-16 8:20 PM
in reply to: jennifer_runs


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Subject: RE: Underwater video from my coach
Originally posted by jennifer_runs

I do get discouraged when I hear about people who claim to "instantly" improve by huge amounts of time when the fix one little thing, but I know those are often overstated claims.


In all my years of swimming, I can't say I've seen one swimmer dramatically improve in a short space of time, unless we're talking beginner swimmers. Because really an average swimmer will have 20 - 30 things wrong with their stroke, there isn't one fix that will make them dramatically quicker, you need to fix, say 10 major things and these take time. So I'd take what these people say with a pinch of salt.

Regarding your other post about your session where you worked on your elbow and didn't feel any quicker. At first you may go slower, it could take you a few weeks because it's not just about your arm moving through the water at a different angle, you need to understand why it's doing that, you need to get a feel for it and one day it will all click. You should be feeling much more resistance and if done right you should start feeling it in your lats and triceps.
2015-04-16 8:25 PM
in reply to: trijamie


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Subject: RE: Underwater video from my coach
Originally posted by trijamie

Originally posted by reecealan Jennifer, What can really help you get that high elbow form is this dry land drill https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sr570KZvyBQSheila told me doing this 3 times a week for 10-15 minutes will eventually pay dividends. It doesn't work overnight but you've gotta work at it. 80% of your swim improvements will come from your underwater pull. Not that it's huge but I noticed your feet come apart at times. You want to keep your feet close together, that will help a little. I had the same problem so when I'm swimming I try to touch my toes during the kick (if you feel your toes brush against one another you know you're more or less streamlined in the bottom half at least).

 

Interesting video, but I have a question about what she's doing. She says that you shouldn't be bending the wrist at all, and keeping it straight will force your elbow up. Is this just for the sake of doing the dryland exercise or is she suggesting that you should swim that way too? In this video for example, it says exactly the opposite- that you should bend your wrist at the beginning to catch the water:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=hiNkAMU8syI#t=108

 

anybody want to weigh in on that?




I bend my wrist.
2015-04-17 7:36 AM
in reply to: jennifer_runs

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Subject: RE: Underwater video from my coach
Tri coach or swim coach???
2015-04-17 9:11 AM
in reply to: jennifer_runs

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Subject: RE: Underwater video from my coach
Originally posted by jennifer_runs

Except that all the emphasis on technique with this coach for three years has only resulted in marginal speed gains.

I think I'm lacking in the fitness and strength to apply the technique.


I've always like the quote (seen over on ST), "Swimming is 100% fitness and 100% technique."

It is very hard to have one without the other. As you get fitter, you can maintain good technique longer. As you get better technique, you can swim more and improve your fitness.


I learn well from reading books and implementing what I have read. For me, reading Total Immersion, Swim Speed Secrets, Swimming Fasterm SwimSmooth, etc has really helped.

I have also taken a lot of swim lessons from a lot of different people and there is no substitute for good, on-deck, swim coaching.
2015-04-17 9:28 AM
in reply to: wannabefaster

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Subject: RE: Underwater video from my coach
Thanks everyone. Lots of good tips here.

My coach is just for swimming-- I've done various classes with him and now a "training" group.

I don't have a tri coach, but I would love to have someone-- I joke that I really need a "life" coach.


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