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knelson
November 26th, 2008, 03:36 PM
Interesting video on floswimming. Sean Hutchison at King Aquatics is having his team wear tech suits during workout: http://www.floswimming.org/videos/coverage/view_video/234221/84660-everyday-is-suit-day

Looks like Ande is on the cutting edge again.

BillS
November 26th, 2008, 05:08 PM
I saw that yesterday, and thought about asking Ande in Ask Ande whether he thought his technique had changed any in response to the suit.

I'll do it here: Ande, you wear the suits quite a bit compared to folks who only suit up for the big events. Have you changed your technique in response to what you feel the suits do for your stroke? If so, how?

I was happy to see some validation by Sean Hutchison of my feeling that the suits add floatation, although we all know they aren't supposed to.

ehoch
November 26th, 2008, 05:26 PM
Great interview - one of the best I have seen on floswimming.

You have to practice in the suits - the difference in body position is just too big. All over sudden you can take that 3r or 4th dolphin kick off the wall. Breaststroke feels totally different and the Freestyle kick does come down at a different angle.

What about the backstokers pushing the 15 m mark under water - I bet they have to take one or 2 kicks less with the suit on. Also - I usually have a very even stroke count in short-course races - taking one stroke less per lap changes my turns / breathing and rythm.

pwb
November 26th, 2008, 05:36 PM
You have to practice in the suits - the difference in body position is just too big. All over sudden you can take that 3r or 4th dolphin kick off the wall. Breaststroke feels totally different and the Freestyle kick does come down at a different angle.
...
Also - I usually have a very even stroke count in short-course races - taking one stroke less per lap changes my turns / breathing and rythm


I've never practiced in my B70 suit ... just got it before the recent Ron Johnson meet ... but I noticed the strokes per lap difference when I raced.

I am going into full taper mode next week for the Colonies Zone meet at Rutgers and will be swimming every day in a 25m pool to focus on stroke count/turns/etc. I'll definitely suit-up for the fast portions of my swims.

The only thing that bums me out about doing so is the "25 swims" comment Dean (B70 rep) with respect to the lifecycle of the suit.

knelson
November 26th, 2008, 11:47 PM
What about the backstokers pushing the 15 m mark under water - I bet they have to take one or 2 kicks less with the suit on.

Excellent point. I never thought of that.

Chris Stevenson
November 27th, 2008, 05:43 AM
What about the backstokers pushing the 15 m mark under water - I bet they have to take one or 2 kicks less with the suit on. Also - I usually have a very even stroke count in short-course races - taking one stroke less per lap changes my turns / breathing and rythm.

In practice it takes me about 20 kicks to go wall-to-wall underwater. With a B70 on, it is more like 18, as determined in the meet warmup. To be safe on the start, I usually take one fewer kicks when I wear the suit:9 instead of 10.

I am not sure that it is necessary, though: with the 9 kicks it has always taken me 6 strokes to hit the first wall, and sometimes even 7 (in SCY). Those stroke counts means I've played it pretty safe, maybe too much so (5 strokes would mean I pushed it).

I don't know that I completely buy everything the coach is saying, but it is probably worth throwing a good suit on in practice occasionally (particularly during taper) to settle these kind of issues. In backstroke, at least, it might prevent a DQ.

The one thing that bothers me in all this is the buoyancy issue. That is basically the crux of the coache's argument that the most efficient technique may change when wearing the suit: that body position is significantly affected. FINA supposedly tests these suits and finds them to be non-buoyant, but most swimmers who wear them report that they feel more buoyant.

Which is true? Until that question is answered, the rest is just hand-waving.

I'd love to see some tests to show how much of a difference in "real" buoyancy (body position) these suits actually make, both passively and while swimming. Is the difference enough that the most efficient stroke changes significantly? I am not familiar with all the high tech testing toys that they can play with in the swimming world, but if they aren't looking at this sort of thing -- it seems a pretty important question to me -- what the heck ARE they doing? Maybe I'm overestimating the kinds of tools they have at their disposal.

ande
November 27th, 2008, 06:47 AM
it's important to rehearse racing and race conditions in practice
be used to the suit you're going to wear in your races

after watching the video seems like they wear one the whole time
not sure if I agree with that



Interesting video on floswimming. Sean Hutchison at King Aquatics is having his team wear tech suits during workout: http://www.floswimming.org/videos/coverage/view_video/234221/84660-everyday-is-suit-day

Looks like Ande is on the cutting edge again.

The Fortress
November 27th, 2008, 10:58 AM
This is all well and good, but how practical is it to wear your B70 in practice unless you have money and time to burn? I might wear an old B70 in practice, i.e., the 25+ swims version. But I'm just unwilling to "waste" a new tech suit in practice. (By "waste" I mean wear and tear on the suit; I'm not disputing the benefits of practicing with a suit.) I'm sure it would help my backstroke turns at meets. But, for now, I throw on fins for race pace feel. Fins are not that bad a substitute for the B70 body position boost.

Otherwise, it seems like you'd have to own and use 2 B70s or $800 of equipment, which would have to be replaced pretty frequently at the 25 swim "turn into a pumpkin" time.

Rich Abrahams
November 27th, 2008, 11:32 AM
This discussion brings something up I've always wondered about. If it makes sense in practice to more closely simulate race conditions - especially mimicking race technique, body position etc. - why would anyone wear a drag suit that has to have the opposite effect? I don't buy the arguement that it increases resistance. Speed increases resistance. Why don't runners use heavy hiking boots to train? That would certainly increase their resistance. Even during easy practices, why does it make sense to alter body position or other aspects of technique for thousands of meters? I do think there is a place for adding resistance to challenge and enhance power output such as power rack or stretch cords, but I just don't see the benefit of going 3,000 meters in a drag suit. Do people do it because it's just part of swimming culture?

FlyQueen
November 27th, 2008, 12:05 PM
Rich I think the drag suit idea (or at least as I have understood it) has to do with feel. You have to work harder to get your body through the water with a drag suit on. When you take it off you feel (and are) moving through the water faster and easier. I think if it really alters your body position or stroke it's not a good idea.

Chris Stevenson
November 27th, 2008, 12:10 PM
This discussion brings something up I've always wondered about. If it makes sense in practice to more closely simulate race conditions - especially mimicking race technique, body position etc. - why would anyone wear a drag suit that has to have the opposite effect?

Good point; I don't know. I had a coach who used to love to have us wear cutoff jeans extensively, early in the season -- they had pockets and got really heavy. I always hated them with a passion, especially in butterfly (which he loved) because I felt like my hips sank, changing my stroke a lot.

Like you, I can see the point in a more limited context, like sprints to work on power, but not for long or multiple sets.

I pretty much think that tennis shoes are similar (I know CreamPuff likes them); they change my stroke too much to use all that much, except maybe on sprints.

ehoch
November 27th, 2008, 12:50 PM
I think the drag suit thing is part of the swimming culture - same as swimming 2000 yard+ sets with paddles. Don't think there are many other sports who would think about using something equal to paddles in the respective sports.

About the practical aspects of wearing suits in practice -- just wear your older suit -- you can't really wear a $400 suit in practice all the time.

About the 25 swims issue - I think the biggest issue is that the suits stretch out and you will not have the tight fit any more - something that you may not want in practice to begin with.

Agree about the coach overstating this a little bit - it's almost like he thinks of it like a new swimming stroke developing.

Overall I think it's funny that the entire swimming world is up in arms about the suits giving a few tenth of advantage when in the past swimming has changed many rules to have the same effect - Breaststroke dolphin kick - backstroke turn - breaststroke head under water. There was nobody thinking it was "changing the sport" at that time.

FlyQueen
November 27th, 2008, 01:32 PM
Good point; I don't know. I had a coach who used to love to have us wear cutoff jeans extensively, early in the season -- they had pockets and got really heavy. I always hated them with a passion, especially in butterfly (which he loved) because I felt like my hips sank, changing my stroke a lot.

Like you, I can see the point in a more limited context, like sprints to work on power, but not for long or multiple sets.

I pretty much think that tennis shoes are similar (I know CreamPuff likes them); they change my stroke too much to use all that much, except maybe on sprints.


I like using tennis shoes on occasion, too. I don't use them a ton but like to use them from time to time. It makes me work a ton harder to get my hips and feet up and I feel like my legs are getting stronger and I feel like I fly after I take them off.

knelson
November 27th, 2008, 01:39 PM
Do people do it because it's just part of swimming culture?

I think so. My opinion is many swimmers and coaches are almost a little afraid of swimming too fast. That sounds weird, but what I mean is everyone wants to gear up for that one big meet. It's almost as though, if you do something to swim fast before the big meet you're letting the genie out of the bottle early. Like you've only got so many good fast swims in you or something.

Redbird Alum
November 27th, 2008, 01:50 PM
...
Overall I think it's funny that the entire swimming world is up in arms about the suits giving a few tenth of advantage when in the past swimming has changed many rules to have the same effect - Breaststroke dolphin kick - backstroke turn - breaststroke head under water. There was nobody thinking it was "changing the sport" at that time.

Difference here is that they are changing the sport due to equipment, as opposed to technique. Would we feel the same about the equipment issue if it was something designed to deliver air to the swimmer so "breathing" as we know it was obsoleted and the swimmer could hold maximum form in the water?

The Fortress
November 27th, 2008, 02:02 PM
I think so. My opinion is many swimmers and coaches are almost a little afraid of swimming too fast. That sounds weird, but what I mean is everyone wants to gear up for that one big meet. It's almost as though, if you do something to swim fast before the big meet you're letting the genie out of the bottle early. Like you've only got so many good fast swims in you or something.

Wow, if I trained that way, I'd suck.

I agree with ehoch. The suits are just another change. There have been eqiupment changes before. I think it's the cost of the suit for growing age groupers that bothers people the most.

quicksilver
November 27th, 2008, 02:14 PM
Yes it makes sense to get a feel for the suit, but all the time?

I always thought that wearing a body suit was akin to shaving down.
If you were to shave down for every practice, where's the benefit on race day?

knelson
November 27th, 2008, 02:58 PM
I always thought that wearing a body suit was akin to shaving down.
If you were to shave down for every practice, where's the benefit on race day?

Good example of my point. If you shaved down every day, you'd get that same (hydrodynamic) benefit every day. I do think that part of it is psychological, however. You want to feel different on meet day and wearing a suit or shaving down does that.

But the tennis analogy Hutchison uses is a good one. Maybe I'm wrong, but I doubt pro tennis players practice with small wood racquets and then switch to oversized, carbon fiber racquets for tournaments, so why should swimmers train in different suits than what they race in? Back in the old days we could say fairly confidently that suit choice wouldn't have much effect on your body position, but I don't think you can say that today.

...that said, I don't plan to wear a technical suit in workout any time soon. I really doubt it makes that much difference.

Allen Stark
November 27th, 2008, 09:16 PM
The one thing that bothers me in all this is the buoyancy issue. That is basically the crux of the coache's argument that the most efficient technique may change when wearing the suit: that body position is significantly affected. FINA supposedly tests these suits and finds them to be non-buoyant, but most swimmers who wear them report that they feel more buoyant.

Which is true? Until that question is answered, the rest is just hand-waving.

I'd love to see some tests to show how much of a difference in "real" buoyancy (body position) these suits actually make, both passively and while swimming. Is the difference enough that the most efficient stroke changes significantly? I am not familiar with all the high tech testing toys that they can play with in the swimming world, but if they aren't looking at this sort of thing -- it seems a pretty important question to me -- what the heck ARE they doing? Maybe I'm overestimating the kinds of tools they have at their disposal.

The difference is in the air these suits trap.Take a Nero Comp and wring it out carefully underwater.It will now slowly sink.Now wring it out carefully in the air and set it in the water and watch it float.The material sinks so FINA says "legal' but the suits float in competition conditions.

LindsayNB
November 27th, 2008, 11:16 PM
The difference is in the air these suits trap.Take a Nero Comp and wring it out carefully underwater.It will now slowly sink.Now wring it out carefully in the air and set it in the water and watch it float.The material sinks so FINA says "legal' but the suits float in competition conditions.

It seems like the trapped air theory ought to be reasonably easy to test scientifically, is there a reason no one has done so?

knelson
November 27th, 2008, 11:35 PM
My guess is that every suit traps air to a certain extent. It's just that the body suits have more material, thus trap more air. The hydrophobic materials used might increase this somewhat, too.

ehoch
November 30th, 2008, 01:03 PM
Here is my warning on suiting up for practice - especially during taper.

"watch your pace swims" -- 50s / 75s / 100s never felt so easy. It's like drug, you just want more. Yesterdays workout --

- 3x100 easy Free - wow I am going 2-3 seconds faster than usual - whoops the last one is already at 500 pace.

- I wonder how my IMs feel -- 4x50 - one of each stroke at 400 pace.

- The breaststroke just feels amazing - 3x50 Breast descending - the last one was the fastest 50 breast ever in practice.

- How about a 75 back - wow that feels good.

- hmmm - I have not really done any real sprints - how about some 25s from a push -- 3x25 all out from a push.

- maybe I can work on some IM transitions - 3x100 IM -- I forced myself to stop when the second one came in way too fast.

I am suposed to be tapering :cane:

pwb
December 2nd, 2008, 01:15 PM
Here was my "taper reason" for donning the B70 today in workout: about 4 or 5 days before a big meet, I start to feel like crap in the water. Though this always used to happen to me back in my younger days of serious competitive swimming, I had forgotten about this feeling since coming back to Masters ... mainly because up until this fall, I've never really trained enough as a Masters swimmer to warrant much of a taper. Over this fall, though, I ramped up the intensity and duration of my training to the point where I felt like I needed a real taper.

I got out of yesterday's morning workout and was feeling bummed with how bad I felt and getting worried about whether or not I'd swim fast this Friday, a mere four days later. I figured I needed a little edge this morning just to get me through these "slow feeling" days and added the B70 and my Aqua V cap. The result was exactly what I needed: I didn't feel too fast like Erik referenced, but felt better ... enough so to get my mind back on track.