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geochuck
February 22nd, 2010, 05:05 PM
I just watched a great video entitled Swim Slow to Be Fast. I found it to be very interesting and sound advice. It is primarily meant for Tri Atheletes and distance swimmers..

tomtopo
February 23rd, 2010, 09:05 AM
George,
I didn't read the article but slow motion, drill work, is the best way to promote effective stroke changes. It's also necessary to perform isometrics and other exercises to help strengthen the necessary recruitment muscles. Even slight changes in a pulling pattern may take thousands and sometimes tens of thousands of correct repititions before muscle memory is acquired. It's the old adage, practice doesn't make perfect, perfect practice makes perfect and slower, not faster, helps.

sjstuart
February 23rd, 2010, 09:48 AM
Even without opening this thread, seeing the title was enough to get a(n almost totally random) song stuck in my head. All morning I have been humming
You gotta be cruel to be kind...
... in the right measure...
I'm pretty sure the last time I heard that song was at my neighborhood pool as a 12-and-under, the summer that it was all over the radio.
...cruel to be kind...
...is a very, very, very good sign
Since I'm now obligated to say something on-topic, I'll point out that many triathletes have the mantra that long, slow distance training is only good for training you to race slow.

...cruel to be kind...
...means that I love you...
Many are tempted to carry their run & bike training plans over to the pool, without realizing that drag trumps aerobic fitness in the water. I agree that some "slow" work on technique can often pay bigger dividends than thrashing through another sprint set.
...baaayyy beee...
...you gotta be cruel...
...you gotta be cruel to be kind

__steve__
February 23rd, 2010, 09:51 AM
You gotta be fast to be fast
When your a sprinting

tomtopo
February 23rd, 2010, 10:05 AM
There isn't one single world class triathlete, elite master swimmer or world record holder who has poor technique. Few coaches will deny that the key to fast swimming is training fast but unless you have an effective swimming technique the only thing you'll reach by training faster is mediocrity. The beginner or poor swimmer should use a majority of their training time on improving their technique and when they get more proficient add more yardage and more sprinting. I know most of us get it so I'll leave it at that.

orca1946
February 23rd, 2010, 10:10 AM
Get it right in technique before you make speed !

pdjang
February 23rd, 2010, 10:30 AM
When I swim slow, I swim mindfully - that is, I concentrate on what I am feeling and what I doing. I'll usually focus on performing a certain action (the catch, minimizing lateral movement - e.g. excessive core motion, etc).

Swimming slowly without being mindful of what one is doing is fine and has it's place. Swimming is a wonderful activity to do if you have a problem to solve or just to let your mind go (e.g. wander).

However, swimming slowly without being observant is not the way to improve technique. Improving technique for adults is a necessary condition for performance gains.

My objective from swimming slowly is to ingrain the neuro-muscular patterns that one "learns" while swimming slowly so that they can be transfered when maximum speed is the goal.

It's a zen thing.

__steve__
February 23rd, 2010, 10:46 AM
Two questions:

If you do train for shorter distances (50, 100, 200), what % of training in distance should be at maximum effort? I do about 1.4% at max effort, i.e, 11000 M a week total, about 150 M a week at or just below top speed.

How slow is slow? For me, slow swimming with perfect stroke is too slow to maintain any required cardiovascular conditioning when greater than 100

smontanaro
February 23rd, 2010, 10:52 AM
Where is this article? I haven't seen any links. Google only turns up this thread.

S

geochuck
February 23rd, 2010, 10:55 AM
Here is the link http://www.triswimsecrets.com/access/ I enjoyed his thoughts and understand his idea. It is essential to have technique first to have speed. Sprinting is not his game. He is a drill guy and you may know my thoughts about drills. But I give him credit and will support many of his views.

joel schmaltz
February 23rd, 2010, 11:07 AM
One of our coaches always told us....

"You have to learn to swim slow before you can learn to swim fast."

Drill sets are awesome if you can really pay attention to what you are doing.

Allen Stark
February 23rd, 2010, 01:05 PM
Two questions:

If you do train for shorter distances (50, 100, 200), what % of training in distance should be at maximum effort? I do about 1.4% at max effort, i.e, 11000 M a week total, about 150 M a week at or just below top speed.

How slow is slow? For me, slow swimming with perfect stroke is too slow to maintain any required cardiovascular conditioning when greater than 100

I do lots of slow swimming early in the season and every workout during warmup.I think you are going to need to do more fast swimming to get fast, IF your technique is good.I also find it easier to focus on breaststroke and fly technique at race pace.About 25% of my workouts are race pace,but 200 speed is race pace one day and 100 speed another and sprints another,and some days I mix it up.The rest of the workout is warmup,warmdown,recovery swims and drills.

BigNoodler
February 23rd, 2010, 01:59 PM
There isn't one single world class triathlete, elite master swimmer or world record holder who has poor technique. Few coaches will deny that the key to fast swimming is training fast but unless you have an effective swimming technique the only thing you'll reach by training faster is mediocrity. The beginner or poor swimmer should use a majority of their training time on improving their technique and when they get more proficient add more yardage and more sprinting. I know most of us get it so I'll leave it at that.

I forgot. How are we defining an elite masters swimmer? Thx.

This thread title caught my attention in that I do think there is something to it. . . I completely loafed (meaning I purposely went slow and did not worry about speed at all) my 200 IM (10th event of a 2 day meet) and just focused on technique. Went my best time of 2:15 (yeah, nothing to write home about I know). Husband caught on video and my *great techinque* was still probably about a 3 on a scale of 1 to 10 an improvement from my usual 1 or 2). So there is something about swimming slow - or rather, not focusing on speed at all and just thinking about walls and technique. . .

smontanaro
February 23rd, 2010, 02:36 PM
I forgot. How are we defining an elite masters swimmer?

I don't know, but I can give you a lower bound: someone faster than me. I'll leave it for others (faster than me who believe they are not elite) to raise the lower bound further.

:)

S

swimcat
February 23rd, 2010, 02:44 PM
i always do my drills in workout thoughtfully. well i try. when i swim slow or in survival mode (like today, i have vertigo) i actually do well.
i have never, never ,, never been able to turn over my arms in backstroke hence my old nickname ester.

tomtopo
February 23rd, 2010, 09:50 PM
Anyone in their age group that finisihes in the top 20 at Nationals in most events, is certainly an ellite swimmer

Swims With Twins
February 24th, 2010, 10:06 PM
A good read is Amanda's article in the ASCA newsletter volume 2009 number 08.

Leonard Jansen
February 25th, 2010, 03:30 PM
In racewalking, the Russians have always taken their elite young walkers and never let them take a step unless it is "perfect." They will stop someone in the middle of a workout and have them refocus on technique if it is deteriorating. They contend that speed can always be added once technique is there but the easiest way to get good technique is to do so at the very beginning when there is less to unlearn. The consistency of their results over the last 50+ years is a strong testimony to that approach.

-LBJ

ande
February 25th, 2010, 04:22 PM
To be fast,
you must swim fast


i just watched a great video entitled swim slow to be fast. I found it to be very interesting and sound advice. It is primarily meant for tri atheletes and distance swimmers..

rtodd
February 25th, 2010, 08:58 PM
Did not read or see the article, but I think you can swim with a slow stroke rate to be fast. Dave Cromwell illustrates this well in this race. He holds a 51.4 sec 100 yd pace with 9 strokes per length. This is a good example showing how slowing down your stroke rate does not necesarally means swimming slow.

http://www.floswimming.org/videos/swimming_race/play/7422-

SolarEnergy
February 25th, 2010, 09:05 PM
I just watched a great video entitled Swim Slow to Be Fast. I found it to be very interesting and sound advice. It is primarily meant for Tri Atheletes and distance swimmers.. This coach's target audience is mainly made of triathletes coming to the sport from a non swimming background. There's a lot of doe to be made with this clientele. So it's a smart choice.

Very often, these guys think that swim training is same as run or cycling training. The purpose of this clip is to insist on the importance of developing a good technique, which in turn improves newbies' swim efficiency.

That said though, most of the best sprinters I've known (100/200 specialists, not the 50 ones which are often different animals) shared one thing in common. Even when they perform their base mileage, they remain pretty race pace **stroke** specific.

It's possible to achieve this since swimming is a glide based cyclic activity. (like speed skating or cross country skiing if you will). The idea is to try to generate a lot of torque on each stroke, so that muscular adaptation be significant, even when swimming at slower pace (well, for these guys swimming their stuff on a 1:20/100M pace is slowish).

Herb
February 25th, 2010, 09:06 PM
Few coaches will deny that the key to fast swimming is training fast but unless you have an effective swimming technique the only thing you'll reach by training faster is mediocrity. The beginner or poor swimmer should use a majority of their training time on improving their technique and when they get more proficient add more yardage and more sprinting

This is exactly where I am at. I can keep plowing through the water and focusing on sprint speed but I've finally realized there are fundamental flaws in my stroke that I need to correct. I've got less than two months left in the season and I have come to the realization that I probably won't reach the goal times I had set for myself. :frustrated:

I don't know how quickly I can incorporate drastic changes and see a real benefit in time because it does seem like I need to swim slow to learn it because otherwise I would naturally revert to my bad habits.

geochuck
February 26th, 2010, 08:38 AM
You can swim fast with a slower turnover. By time standards now my 100M was very slow 6 or 7 seconds slower then the fastest sprinters are swimming now. I was faster for a 100 when I was 38 years old then I was in 1955 and 1956 at 22-23 years of age.

I always had a slow turnover when I sprinted. I think the idea behind Swim Slow to be Fast is get the technique down pat and you will be faster in the longrun.

To thrash away, and splash away is really not the way to go. Just imagine how fast you could be with a combination of technique and swimming fast.

It takes proper body position, a proper kick, and a good technial arm stroke to be fast. It must be a combination of all.

__steve__
February 26th, 2010, 10:08 AM
I think you got to swim both slow and fast to be FAST.

I read that Popov spent much of his time swimming slow (by his standards), but his coach would have him do race pace sprints, off the blocks randomly with no preparation. Didn't matter if it was at the end of practice or in the middle of breakfast, he had to be on the blocks ready to sprint even without warmup.

rtodd
February 26th, 2010, 11:29 AM
sprinting without a warm up is dumb.

thewookiee
February 26th, 2010, 11:45 AM
sprinting without a warm up is dumb.

Dumb enough to help him to double olympic golds in the 50/100 free and oldest man to ever win the 100 meter free at the world championships in 2003.

I think popov and his coach know a little bit more about how to prepare to swim fast than we do.

rtodd
February 26th, 2010, 11:50 AM
To be honest, I never tried it swimming. I can tell you from experience that you can't run a sprint from the blocks without getting hurt. It is a 100% certainty that something will tear, hopefully a muscle, not a tendon. This is/was my perspective when I read your commnet regarding Popov. Perhaps in swimming you can't generate the stratospheric loads on the tendons and muscles that track sprinting can.

tomtopo
February 26th, 2010, 11:51 AM
This is exactly where I am at. I can keep plowing through the water and focusing on sprint speed but I've finally realized there are fundamental flaws in my stroke that I need to correct. I've got less than two months left in the season and I have come to the realization that I probably won't reach the goal times I had set for myself. :frustrated:

I don't know how quickly I can incorporate drastic changes and see a real benefit in time because it does seem like I need to swim slow to learn it because otherwise I would naturally revert to my bad habits.

If you can find a coach who can look at your stroke and then give you a stroke patter improvement, I'd think I'd start from there. Change is often tedious and more often than not your times will get worse but if you're confident in the change, you should go for it. Again before you make a change, have a coach watch you swim in a race or at race pace then give you some things you can change. When you get the suggestions put them into a priority order and attack them accordingly. Good luck! Coach T.

thewookiee
February 26th, 2010, 11:57 AM
To be honest, I never tried it swimming. I can tell you from experience that you can't run a sprint from the blocks without getting hurt. It is a 100% certainty that something will tear, hopefully a muscle, not a tendon. This is/was my perspective when I read your commnet regarding Popov. Perhaps in swimming you can't generate the stratospheric loads on the tendons and muscles that track sprinting can.

I have a feeling that popov and his coach wouldn't do anything to cause harm to his tendons. They probably did some sort of dryland movements to get the blood circulating and muscles warmed-up so that he wouldn't injury himself.

__steve__
February 26th, 2010, 01:45 PM
sprinting without a warm up is dumb.
Yes it is. I would definately break body parts.

I'm sure if the ruskie was called to the blocks for a random sprint he would loosen up a little prior to starting, but it was designed for mental toughness and to be ready to do a race pace any time.

http://www.usaswimming.org/USASWeb/ViewMiscArticle.aspx?TabId=308&Alias=rainbow&Lang=en&mid=439&ItemId=555