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guyster
September 2nd, 2008, 02:50 AM
All,

I swim with a masters group a few times a week.

In full stroke freestyle over 800m I keep pace with a number of my peers, but lose about 50m over 800m when we switch to arms only w/ pull buoy.

Clearly an opportunity for improvement - but I'm a little stumped. My kick is not strong - frankly I struggle on kick sets.

I'd be interested in any thoughts on what I might be doing wrong (or doing so right when I add the legs).

I shoud probably add, I've been working on this for some time and its baffled a fair few coaches!

Guyster.

Lump
September 2nd, 2008, 09:24 AM
Not making sense here. If you keep up swimming, then fall back pulling, it has nothing to do with your kick....its you upper body, since you don't kick on a pulling set.

To improve your pull/strength throw on some paddles. You can also add ankle locks (or pull tube/strap, etc) to REALLY make sure you don't use your legs when pulling. That will build your upper body strength in the water as well.

Kicking comes with time. My philosophy is the more kicking heavy your team/coach is the better. Growing up my team ALWAYS did 1000-2000 of our workout doing kicking sets.

LindsayNB
September 2nd, 2008, 11:42 AM
One simple explanation might be that rather than there being a problem with your pull there is a problem with your peer's kicking. It's not uncommon for men especially to be faster over long distances with a pull buoy, especially if they have a weak or poorly integrated kick or compensate for poor balance with a strong kick. With a poor kick the legs can take so much energy that they can't keep up the same pulling effort over long distances. And with poor body position that is corrected by the pull buoy they can swim further faster with the corrected position combined with the energy savings from not kicking. Not that I'm speaking from personal experience or anything...

So maybe the issue is not so much you slowing down on long pull sets as your peers speeding up, relatively speaking.

On the other hand, perhaps your peers are picking up their pull tempo while you are not.

Having times and stroke counts would help with the diagnosis.

Lump
September 2nd, 2008, 11:49 AM
I've always been faster pulling than swimming in practice (buoy & paddles).

TheGoodSmith
September 2nd, 2008, 11:53 AM
Guyster,

Stick an inner tube on with your buoy for a while. Try to make it worse with more resistance. Then when you take it off after a few weeks, you will feel faster.

One step backward then two steps forward.



John Smith

guyster
September 3rd, 2008, 02:20 AM
Thanks all, some good ideas here. I'm taking at a crack at the paddles and inner-tube. The journey continues...

Guyster.

quicksilver
September 3rd, 2008, 08:08 AM
I'm faster with the buoy on distance sets as well. Probably because the legs are relaxed and don't burn up as much oxygen.

But to answer your question...you may not be rolling from side to side with the buoy attached. Even a wimpy 2 beat kick allows for core rotation which connects your hips to the arm movement. So you don't have to be a strong kicker to swim faster.

It's the leverage from each leg beat which gives your arms and torso something to lean into when they pull back.

My guess is that you're swimming flat with the buoy...and with little rotation.
Next time with the buoy, try rolling more, with a simulated kick, and see what happens.

Those inner tubes remind me of the Medieval swimming days.
When coaches said "pain is good". Man were they brutal. :eek:

Lump
September 3rd, 2008, 10:38 AM
, try rolling more, with a simulated kick, and see what happens.

Those inner tubes remind me of the Medieval swimming days.
When coaches said "pain is good". Man were they brutal. :eek:

Yep, they are like doing drylands in the pool. Real killers, especially fly!

I recently asked my mother, who runs the ATL area Kastaway Swimwears, if she had any. It took her awhile to figure out what I was talking about. She didn't sell them, they are onto "ankle locks/straps" now. I used it the other day and I still want the big heavy resistance of the tube. I guess I enjoy the pain!?

elise526
September 3rd, 2008, 09:34 PM
Pull buoys have their good and bad points. Using them too much can be a good way to destroy the rotation in your stroke. Use a junior-sized one only on free and do not use one on backstroke.

The main benefit of pull-buoys is to give someone the proper feel of good body position. Too many, however, get dependent on it and never acquire good body position without it. Lots of the times it is used by poor kickers who can't keep up without it.

Watch it in combining a pull buoy and paddles as this puts a serious strain on the shoulders. If you must do it, keep the distances short. Better for masters swimmers to use each (paddles or pull buoys) without the other.

marksman
September 4th, 2008, 10:49 PM
I can see how some swimmers who have very strong kicks, and may rely too much on their kicks, would want to isolate their arms to build upper body strength.

That being said, I tend to see a lot of swimmers who already have strong upper bodies, but weak kicks, using them as a sort of crutch. Perhaps they should drop the buoy set and consider a kick set.

elise526
September 5th, 2008, 12:19 AM
I can see how some swimmers who have very strong kicks, and may rely too much on their kicks, would want to isolate their arms to build upper body strength.

That being said, I tend to see a lot of swimmers who already have strong upper bodies, but weak kicks, using them as a sort of crutch. Perhaps they should drop the buoy set and consider a kick set.

An excellent point in regards to the use if you rely too much on your kick. I'm guilty of that and am one of those that can benefit from a few sets with the pull buoy.

It just seems I see so many that use it as a crutch. Anybody that has an addiction to a pull buoy should never criticize those that wear a wetsuit in open water swims. It's one thing to gain an advantage in a race. It's another thing if a swimmer can't stand it if he/she is not "winning" every set in practice and has to resort to the pull buoy.

My favorite quote from a swim coach: "If a swim toy makes you swim faster in practice than you do in a race, then throw it away." Still, it is fun to keep a few of the toys around so that I can pretend that I am fast.

geochuck
September 5th, 2008, 09:43 AM
Some people are sinkers and the body may be in the wrong position when you are using a pull buoy. Your legs could be dragging. If I were you I would put the pull buoy between your ankles and use a rubber band to keep it in place.

craiglll@yahoo.com
September 5th, 2008, 10:00 AM
Get rid of the pull buoys. i just cross my ankles and go. I have been asked if I am a paraplegic several times. I usually say yes. Not having the pull buoys allows my hips to roll better. When I pull breast it really improves the my body motion. It allows my shoulders to "lead" the stroke.

geochuck
September 5th, 2008, 10:07 AM
I do the same thing no artifical devices for me just googles for trainning and a swim suit. I don't even cross my ankles but hold the ankles together.

Get rid of the pull buoys. i just cross my ankles and go. I have been asked if I am a paraplegic several times. I usually say yes. Not having the pull buoys allows my hips to roll better. When I pull breast it really improves the my body motion. It allows my shoulders to "lead" the stroke.