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jessed
September 28th, 2011, 04:05 PM
Just curious if sprinters spend more time kicking as a percentage of their overall workouts compared to distance swimmers? Can and do distance swimmers have to spend less time?

lefty
September 28th, 2011, 04:34 PM
Just curious if sprinters spend more time kicking as a percentage of their overall workouts compared to distance swimmers? Can and do distance swimmers have to spend less time?

As a percentage, sprinters might do a little more kicking than distance. But I am pretty certain that elite level distance swimmers spend a fair amount of time kicking.

pwb
September 28th, 2011, 04:56 PM
"Kicking?" asked a perplexed d-person, "Is that what you do to get an open water drafter off your tail?"

"No, no, no," explained the sprinter, "Kicking is actually part of freestyle, a key propulsive force where you move your legs and feet up and down, stirring up the water and pushing your body forward."

"You must be joking," sighed the d-person as they pushed off for another set of 15 x 500 on 0:05 rest, laughing yet again at the crazy, half-baked ideas those wacky sprinters come up with.

aquageek
September 28th, 2011, 05:13 PM
Just curious if sprinters spend more time kicking as a percentage of their overall workouts compared to distance swimmers? Can and do distance swimmers have to spend less time?

The only things sprinters do more of is whining and hot tubing, often simultaneously.

Chris Stevenson
September 28th, 2011, 05:15 PM
Modern distance swimmers are often pretty good kickers. Old farts like Patrick usually are not.

Kicking is always going to be more important to sprinters than distance swimmers.

thewookiee
September 28th, 2011, 05:18 PM
Modern distance swimmers are often pretty good kickers. Old farts like Patrick usually are not.

.

Ouch. Talk about digging into a guy.


Freestyle kicking? What's that? Backstroke kicking I get understand, freestyle not so much.

pwb
September 28th, 2011, 05:34 PM
Modern distance swimmers are often pretty good kickers. Very true.


Old farts like Patrick usually are not.Alas, also very true. I do actually try to kick these days, though ... a big step forward for me.

The Fortress
September 28th, 2011, 06:02 PM
The only things sprinters do more of is whining and hot tubing, often simultaneously.

And only D types flaunt their leg tassles like a badge of honor.

Paul Smith
September 28th, 2011, 06:13 PM
If anyone has any doubt that elite distance don't train there kick at a high level watch the last 100 of this:

Sun Yang sets World Record in 1500m Free - from Universal Sports - YouTube

I still remember watching Thorpe in his heyday with a monster 6 beat transform the 400 free: Ian Thorpe 2000 Sydney 400m FreeStyle Final - YouTube

rtodd
September 28th, 2011, 06:14 PM
I think distance swimmers kick pretty hard, even 6 beat for a whole 1500. I've also seen strong 6 beat kicking off every wall for 12.5 in 500's. I guess the idea to carry push off momentum. Doesn't Larsen Jensen kick a LCM 50 in 30? this doesn't asnwer your question, so I am also curious what the kicking breakdown is for distance and sprints.

pwb
September 28th, 2011, 07:05 PM
If anyone has any doubt that elite distance don't train there kick at a high level watch the last 100 of this:

Sun Yang sets World Record in 1500m Free - from Universal Sports - YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PJtgTjU1RBE)

I still remember watching Thorpe in his heyday with a monster 6 beat transform the 400 free: Ian Thorpe 2000 Sydney 400m FreeStyle Final - YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UQF0Q8q0ymA&feature=related)


I think distance swimmers kick pretty hard, even 6 beat for a whole 1500. I've also seen strong 6 beat kicking off every wall for 12.5 in 500's.

Chris, Paul, Rob are ALL correct -- modern distance swimmers kick hard and a strong 6 beat kick is almost required for success these days. One of the few exceptions on the scene now is Ryan Cochrane of Canada, who swims more of an 'old school' stroke. This old fart was trained in the 70s and 80s where we believed things about freestyle and distance swimming that have been since debunked, such as:


Look forward and have the water line just above your goggles, and
Distance swimmers can only 2 beat kick

To my recollection, it was Jeff Kostoff's arrival and strong kick that started to debunk point #2 ... but even in the 80s, I think a lot of people still thought his ability to do that was more of an aberration (rather than the way the sport would move forward) in the same way that many people dismissed Janet's stroke as something only she could do.

Today, if I were training to be an elite distance swimmer, I'd focus on a very strong kick. Heck, I'm just training to be a semi-elite 40-something Masters swimmer and I'm focusing on my legs and my kicking in a way I never did in the past ...

... but, even with that, I don't put anywhere near the emphasis I think sprinters do and should do.

funkyfish
September 28th, 2011, 10:24 PM
I've always had a crappy kick, and I consider myself a sprinter. I have noticed that as I forced myself to train my legs/kick more, my sprinting improved. Don't know how it's affected my distance swimming, as, well, I don't swim long distances. :D
Once in a blue moon I might swim 1000yds continuously to test my counting ability…and to remind myself that I'm not a distance swimmer.

jaadams1
September 28th, 2011, 10:33 PM
Alas, also very true. I do actually try to kick these days, though ... a big step forward for me.

Patrick did have a fairly nice kick when I saw him accelerate away from me in the 3rd 100 of the 400 Free last weekend. But still...it's not a sprinters kick! :)

I can kick myself when needed...but only when needed. I don't waste my time in workouts to worry about much kicking. Occasionally maybe...like when pigs fly!

Fresnoid
September 28th, 2011, 10:56 PM
I've always been a pure distance guy and will avoid kicking if at all possible. My ankles simply do not bend and I get no propulsion from flapping my feet. When we do get a kicking set, I'll cheat enough to stay with group and grimly wait until I can use my arms again.

robertsrobson
September 29th, 2011, 04:14 AM
Seems to me like since shiny suits, maybe before, in elite swimming there's no real 'distance' swimming. At least in the mens' events. Even the 1500 is at best middle distance and there is a lot of power involved, including the kick. The 200 is basically a long sprint, and the 400 not far off.

chowmi
September 29th, 2011, 09:43 AM
The difference is that for most masters swimmers, it is built into the model that we don't get to do all the fun stuff - kicking, 15 x 100's, hours in the weightroom, etc that we would LIKE to do as if we had all the time in the world.

I think, especially for focused swimmers - meaning, those targeting and being very specific about what they are training for - like you could write down as your mission statement, then you are also having to make choices in what you do, and also what you leave off - rather than eliminate, because it's not that you eliminate kicking, it's that if you do 15 100's, you simply won't have enough hours in the training time to do kicking over say, a mid or long D set, since perhaps the conditioning element is more important.

I don't think people kick less 'cause they don't need it - everyone needs it, it is simply that they need or want to do something else - and emphasis is on the latter - since we do this for fun - and maybe it's more fun and more meaningful to do 15 x 100's. I agree 100% that doing 100 sets on an agressive interval and doing them WELL is a great set. I love it! For someone else, not me! See, this is what I mean! Everyone has to pick and chose in masters. (Yet there will also be a rotating group of those that can do it all, even in masters.)

Next i'd like to address recovery. We've heard this ad naseum but it is really, really, really hard to do! If the mirror image of training is the recovery portion, how do you know what is the right Recovery Workout or Recovery Period for YOU? (That's a rhetorical question). If we are all training DIFFERENTLY, as you can clearly see from the Forts to Knelson to Chris Stevenson to all the other workouts posted, then it should follow that we don't or shouldn't RECOVERY TRAIN the same, either. I think that is the real key. We can measure training in so many ways, from time to yardage, etc, but measuring the right recovery is very, very difficult. What's the right balance? (Another rhetorical question).

So back to the thread - it's not that D swimmers need less kicking than anyone else, whether it's a 2 or 6 beat don't mean you would train less kick as a 2 beater - it's just that with scarce resources (ie, your time), you have to pick & chose! The question I would have as a D swimmer or any swimmer is, and not just limited to kicking, is what should I be doing more of, or differently, in order to swim faster? What will make the biggest incremental difference? And......IS IT WORTH IT? DO I WANT TO GO THAT STEP? OR AM I GOING TO MAKE THE CONSCIOUS CHOICE TO NOT DO XYZ 'CAUSE IT'S JUST NOT WORTH IT? And I have answered yes and no to that question when posed on different events. 50 free - yes, always yes. Every other event - sometimes yes, often no.

robertsrobson
September 29th, 2011, 10:17 AM
Michelle, you've summed up masters swimming very well to me. Training principles designed for and tested on elite and aspiring elite swimmers are interesting but don't equally apply to us. I've been told, for example, that we shoudl be doing 30% of our work on kick. Whether you agree with that number or not, if you're training 4 hours + per day, then you can afford to to everything that might help your performance (as long as you get the rest and nutrition part right too). If you train for 3 hours a week, spending chunks of time on kick means spending less on something else so we need to make our own judgements about the relative value of all possible choices.

__steve__
September 29th, 2011, 10:36 AM
There's alot of drills that emphasize the kick yet also stress other aspects such as balance and streamline. One such drill is the streamline flutter kick barrel roll drill (SFKBRD). Start off flutter kicking with arms at fwd streamline. Then, to take a breath you just roll on to your back (inhale), keep rolling to return to the belly. I do 25M with 4 CCW rolls then return going CW. These blast the legs since it's your sole propulsion but also teach streamline roll, balance, and rhythm.

One rhetorical question to add, if a drop dead distance swimmer was forced to swim 25M AFAP (or else), would he 2-beat kick it?

knelson
September 29th, 2011, 10:40 AM
I think the answer is "not necessarily" and I agree with chowmi's assessment. If distance swimmers are doing less distance kicking in practice it's probably because they are spending more time on long aerobic sets, but that isn't always the case. Coaches also tend to vary quite a bit on kicking. I've had some coaches who have kick sets in every workout and some that rarely have kick sets. My current coach only puts kick sets in the secondary workouts, so unless you're doing doubles you'll virtually never do a kick set.

The Fortress
September 29th, 2011, 10:50 AM
I think the answer is "not necessarily" and I agree with chowmi's assessment. If distance swimmers are doing less distance kicking in practice it's probably because they are spending more time on long aerobic sets,

True. But at some point perhaps a stroke overall is a comparatively better use of your time than more long conditioning sets.

Fresnoid
September 29th, 2011, 12:04 PM
I think the answer is "not necessarily" and I agree with chowmi's assessment. If distance swimmers are doing less distance kicking in practice it's probably because they are spending more time on long aerobic sets, but that isn't always the case. Coaches also tend to vary quite a bit on kicking. I've had some coaches who have kick sets in every workout and some that rarely have kick sets. My current coach only puts kick sets in the secondary workouts, so unless you're doing doubles you'll virtually never do a kick set.


I wanna join your team

The Fortress
September 29th, 2011, 12:25 PM
No firm answers from anyone yet.

Just speculation.



As a sprinter and SDK specialist, I spend approx 40-50% of my workouts kicking. I'm quite sure no D master swimmer does this.

I'm not sure of the relevance of asking for someone who is TT in both D and sprints when the OP was asking for a comparative analysis of the two disciplines.

knelson
September 29th, 2011, 12:32 PM
As a sprinter and SDK specialist, I spend approx 40-50% of my workouts kicking. I'm quite sure no D master swimmer does this.

But most sprinters probably don't either. You're an anomaly!

It's been my observation that most masters swimmers don't like kick sets and many that do kick use it as recovery. Social kicks, etc. I haven't really noticed a sprint/distance dichotomy, but I think a lot of masters teams train at least middle distance so it's possible the lack of kicking is related to the non-sprint mindset overall...if that makes sense.

The Fortress
September 29th, 2011, 12:55 PM
But most sprinters probably don't either. You're an anomaly!

It's been my observation that most masters swimmers don't like kick sets and many that do kick use it as recovery. Social kicks, etc. I haven't really noticed a sprint/distance dichotomy, but I think a lot of masters teams train at least middle distance so it's possible the lack of kicking is related to the non-sprint mindset overall...if that makes sense.

Makes sense. I'm sure there are some sprinters training with masters groups with a little-kicking-mid-D mindset. But some of them may modify workouts (chowmi, Ande). And some train alone or with a training partner so they can customize workouts and do true race pace work (Rich Abrahams, Jim Corbeau).

And there would likely be less shoulder pain and angst if, in general, masters kicked more.

Allen Stark
September 29th, 2011, 01:19 PM
No firm answers from anyone yet.

Just speculation.

Let's hear from someone who is (or was)
Top Ten at BOTH the 1500 and a 50 in the same season.......

Better yet: In the same meet !
An easy answer to that question would be to ask Laura Val how much she kicks, (she broke the WR in the 50 and the 1500,and all distances between, in the same race.)

chowmi
September 29th, 2011, 01:36 PM
No firm answers from anyone yet.

Just speculation.

Let's hear from someone who is (or was)
Top Ten at BOTH the 1500 and a 50 in the same season.......

Better yet: In the same meet !


There is no firm answer to any of these forum posts! If there was a magic formula, we'd all be doing it by now. Same for the elites. Not everyone is a foodie, not everyone can train for a living like the sponsored pros, some are still in high school, yet there are many great swimmers all in the mix. Same for masters!

Nice that you brought this up - not for the thread topic, but it is a fun way to challenge oneself! It's not a meaningful goal or statistic for me, but i'll be the first to suport those that attempt something different! Whether it's the longevity, consistency, sheer number, ranking number handicap, and on and on for top tens - it is quite interesting.

Here you go:

#3 TT 50 free (plus 2 split requests)
#10 TT 1500 free

2007 SPMA LCM champs

same meet.

http://www.spma.net/meetresults/2007/2007_mvn_lcm_regional_results.pdf

In my case, no relevance to the issue of how much kicking for distance vs. sprinters. Ditto for multi years of top ten in 100 to 400 IM. Emphasize one, spillover benefit to other swims.

For everyone else, do what you NEED to do, but only to the extent that you WANT to do. But whatever you do, you have to BELIEVE in what you are doing. I suspect our thread starter is leaning towards, Yes, D swimmers don't need to spend as much time kicking! If that is the answer you are looking for, then you've already answered it for yourself! I neither agree nor disagree, but only because I have no idea what your swimming need are. The real question is: Are the things that I AM doing the things that I SHOULD be doing to get WHERE I WANT TO BE?

chowmi
September 29th, 2011, 01:53 PM
But most sprinters probably don't either. You're an anomaly!

It's been my observation that most masters swimmers don't like kick sets and many that do kick use it as recovery. Social kicks, etc. I haven't really noticed a sprint/distance dichotomy, but I think a lot of masters teams train at least middle distance so it's possible the lack of kicking is related to the non-sprint mindset overall...if that makes sense.

I don't think it's specifically a NO Kick! mentality, it's more a Must Get In 3000 in 1 Hour! Mentality. The broad swath of non-pool competing swimmers want to get in a certain amount of distance, either because they are training for longer open water swims, or because the yardage in itself is a goal. They aren't concerned with leg strength for that last 1/100 of a second. So the workouts have tended to become more swim/pull in nature. Kicking simply takes up a lot of time. Same for drills and other sets that focus on stroke improvement.

This is simply the way it is. DAMM doesn't exist so that I have people to race and do MY sets on my Quest for 23.99. There are 600+ paying members with other goals. tee hee!

Chris Stevenson
September 29th, 2011, 02:02 PM
It's been my observation that most masters swimmers don't like kick sets and many that do kick use it as recovery.

I don't know about "like," but along the lines of your comment: I think many (most?) masters swimmers think kick sets are not useful precisely *because* they don't work them very hard. "Swim sets get the HR higher, they hurt more, so they must be better for me." It is rare to find a masters swimmer who puts the same or greater effort into a kick set that they do into a swim set.

(To be fair, it is also still rare to find age-groupers who do this even with their coach exhorting them to do so.)

I also think many masters swimmers simply get discouraged with a perceived lack of progress, or they think that they can never be good kickers so why bother.

I can understand the feeling that the lessons of elites (or "mere" age-groupers) don't necessarily apply to masters swimmers with limited training time and reduced recovery capacity. But I also think that high-intensity kick sets can have a lot more "bang for the buck" than another swim set precisely because most masters don't do enough of them.

Before doing yet another set of 10 x 100 on 1:20 (or whatever), think about doing a hard kick set instead. If you are always doing the same thing in training, your improvement will be incremental at best.

Chris Stevenson
September 29th, 2011, 02:08 PM
They aren't concerned with leg strength for that last 1/100 of a second.

This is what I think is wrong, though. I don't think being an excellent kicker is a "cherry on top" kind of thing, I think it gives a strong advantage over a weak kicker in most events. *Certainly* that's true in my chosen events; admittedly, probably less of an advantage in distance events.

Paul Smith
September 29th, 2011, 02:12 PM
There is no firm answer to any of these forum posts

That's why its a forum and not a workout where a lot of coaches wouldn't even get into a debate on this topic (that would be me)....whether you're swimming for fitness or to compete you train multiple muscle groups and energy systems. To ignore or downplay the importance of training utilizing the bodies largest muscle groups is a mistake-IMHO.

The folks who I have seen that want to focus on "swimming" yardage are most often (again IMHO) the people who should most often spend more time focusing on technique and using kick sets at times for recovery and at others to maximize high intensity speed work (disclaimer, I'm an advocate of Grant Hackett's coach who felt that regardless of the distance "everything was about speed")...which AGAIN IMHO is often ignored or downplayed by the so called "distance" swimmers!

JimRude
September 29th, 2011, 02:34 PM
To ignore or downplay the importance of training utilizing the bodies largest muscle groups is a mistake-IMHO.

Word.


(disclaimer, I'm an advocate of Grant Hackett's coach who felt that regardless of the distance "everything was about speed")

Double Word.

That Guy
September 29th, 2011, 02:56 PM
We Are U.S. Masters Swimming - Promotional Video - YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=be4BeIzqP7Q)

Beautiful images, pleasent music, powerful words.

No mention of "competition......"

I wonder if Masters is just "evolving"
away from competition altogether ?

Remember that the target audience of the video includes those for whom "competition" might have a negative connotation. Maybe that comes from their age group or college days, or maybe it's fear of the unknown. Masters meets are different, but you probably have to see one to really understand that it's very low-key, the oldest swimmers get the biggest cheers, and almost everyone is just having fun. So to me, downplaying "competition" in the video was the right call.

thewookiee
September 29th, 2011, 03:01 PM
So to me, downplaying "competition" in the video was the right call.

Agreed. There is more to masters swimming that competition.

chowmi
September 29th, 2011, 03:09 PM
This is what I think is wrong, though. I don't think being an excellent kicker is a "cherry on top" kind of thing, I think it gives a strong advantage over a weak kicker in most events. *Certainly* that's true in my chosen events; admittedly, probably less of an advantage in distance events.


I agree with your correction. It should probably read ....whether it is kicking, drill, or sets that emphasize technique which may in the near term be much more difficult and accumulate less yardage, but will make the difference for those that care to go 1/100th of a second faster. Something like that. Not just kicking and certainly not saying it's the cherry on top.

In fact, it's the cherry that kicks off more fruit, heh heh. Bad joke. I always think of kick improvement as the triple bang (or more!). You get faster by better kick alone. Then your body is ever so slightly better aligned, so you have less resistance. Then, because you are better aligned and have less resistance, you can more fully activate your arms and then your arms are actually "stronger" without lifting any more weight or doing more yardarge! Last, with a better kick & core, you use K&C to kick, balance, and breath rather than your arms, at least incrementally more, so that also frees up your arms to do more of just one thing - pulling you through the water rather than balance & breathing. It's like getting stronger arms just by improving your kick!

knelson
September 29th, 2011, 03:47 PM
I don't think it's specifically a NO Kick! mentality, it's more a Must Get In 3000 in 1 Hour! Mentality....So the workouts have tended to become more swim/pull in nature. Kicking simply takes up a lot of time. Same for drills and other sets that focus on stroke improvement.

Totally agree. And I'll admit when I'm writing my own workouts and have to squeeze them into an hour I rarely kick more than about 500 yards.

aquageek
September 29th, 2011, 03:53 PM
...using kick sets at times for recovery...

At times? How about, "at all times for recovery."

Paul Smith
September 29th, 2011, 03:57 PM
Totally agree. And I'll admit when I'm writing my own workouts and have to squeeze them into an hour I rarely kick more than about 500 yards.

Stay away from Mesas the nexct two weeks! Interesting timing of this thread as this week we started a two week "kicking" boot camp! Goal is to average about 1000yds per workout....that 10 minute kick for distance set went over real well with our Tri's by the way!

BUT...I will say that the majority of those folks who train with us have accepted the fact that we train all 4 strokes and kick...a lot...and maybe the biggest issue for them is I never tally yardage!!

ande
September 29th, 2011, 03:59 PM
The answer is: "It depends."

How do you define "Distance?"

What are your goals?
What events are you preparing for?

How important are they to you?

How often do you train?
times per week

How much time do you spend in the pool when you train?
minutes per day

All distance swimmers can benefit from an efficient and effective kick.

The further your swim event is, the less intense your kick should be.

If you're going to use a muscle, and move a limb,
it might as well contribute to your forward motion.

Elite distance swimmers need a powerful kick.
They need great technique, conditioning and ability.

Almost all elite swimmers 6 beat kick 200's
most 6 beat 400's
many on 800's and
some on 1500's
Every single one of them 6 beat kick the last 200, 150, 100 or 50 of their races. Most do kick sets everyday.

Watch those youtubes Paul shared.

Whether master distance swimmers should do kick sets or not?
it depends on your abilities, goals, and training.
If I was training for the 400, 500, 800, 1000, 1500 or 1650, and wanted to get as good as I could, when it comes to kicking I definitely would.
I would also get in the habit of 6 beat kicking the last 100 of fast far swims.

How bad do you wanna to be good?

thewookiee
September 29th, 2011, 04:07 PM
Swimming fast at meets, or placing well,
seem to take a back seat.


What is wrong with that attitude?

aquageek
September 29th, 2011, 04:13 PM
t...and maybe the biggest issue for them is I never tally yardage!!

I agree with this. Fortunately most [good] coaches have moved away from doing yardage simply for yardage sake.

guppy
September 29th, 2011, 09:55 PM
No.

[QUOTE=pwb;252749]Chris, Paul, Rob are ALL correct -- modern distance swimmers kick hard and a strong 6 beat kick is almost required for success these days. One of the few exceptions on the scene now is Ryan Cochrane of Canada, who swims more of an 'old school' stroke. This old fart was trained in the 70s and 80s where we believed things about freestyle and distance swimming that have been since debunked, such as:


Look forward and have the water line just above your goggles, and
Distance swimmers can only 2 beat kick

As an even older fart, I trained in the '60s with a 6-beat kick throughout the distance events.

Celestial
September 30th, 2011, 09:13 AM
I also think that high-intensity kick sets can have a lot more "bang for the buck" than another swim set precisely because most masters don't do enough of them.

Before doing yet another set of 10 x 100 on 1:20 (or whatever), think about doing a hard kick set instead. If you are always doing the same thing in training, your improvement will be incremental at best.

I'm an old Distance person, who now does mid-D because I just don't enjoy the 1500 anymore. But I remember being told that people could tell I was a natural D swimmer because of my stupid 2-beat kick. Great. I see so many good D swimmers 6-beat power kick their way through a 1500 that a 2-beat kick has got to be totally "last year"!
The group I train with (a USAS team) does a minimum of 1000 kick each AM, usually 100's on the 2:00 - which I can barely make after about 4. I like to put on my zoomers because a) I keep the interval easier, and b) believe it or not, for some reason I actually work harder (on my flutter kick) with them on! Today our 2nd kick set was 8 x 100 on 2:00 - and I put on my zoomers for the last four. Question to you guys, was this a mistake? Should I leave them off? Or go ahead with this because I'm working harder on my kicking?

And BTW - for those of us who have achy joints (RA) - I find that kicking with a kickboard does NOT help my shoulders one bit - it actually makes things worse for my shoulders and my neck. So if my shoulders hurt, I either do breast, or put on my zoomers. (Luckily that doesn't happen too much!)

The Fortress
September 30th, 2011, 10:19 AM
The group I train with (a USAS team) does a minimum of 1000 kick each AM, usually 100's on the 2:00 - which I can barely make after about 4. I like to put on my zoomers because a) I keep the interval easier, and b) believe it or not, for some reason I actually work harder (on my flutter kick) with them on! Today our 2nd kick set was 8 x 100 on 2:00 - and I put on my zoomers for the last four. Question to you guys, was this a mistake? Should I leave them off? Or go ahead with this because I'm working harder on my kicking?

And BTW - for those of us who have achy joints (RA) - I find that kicking with a kickboard does NOT help my shoulders one bit - it actually makes things worse for my shoulders and my neck. So if my shoulders hurt, I either do breast, or put on my zoomers. (Luckily that doesn't happen too much!)

Yes, use your fins if you're really working the set. Fin work transfers if you're doing it at high intensity.

Don't use a kickboard if it bothers your shoulders. I rarely do, only if I feel like breathing more.

I agree with everything Clydesdale and Chris have said. But it's really about what X swimmer wants out of training. If you really want to improve and swim faster, then kicking is one place to start. But it won't happen overnight; it's a long term overhaul.

pwb
September 30th, 2011, 10:19 AM
And BTW - for those of us who have achy joints (RA) - I find that kicking with a kickboard does NOT help my shoulders one bit - it actually makes things worse for my shoulders and my neck. Very true. There's also a school of thought that kicking with a kickboard is not as beneficial as without because your body position with a board is not similar to your body position while swimming. I do both, but I do think, for flutter kick, you're better off kicking without a board, arms at your side and practice core rotation with your head in your swimming position -- face down, kick X kicks on your right side, rotate to left side while keeping kick going strong, kick X kicks on your left side, breathe while on your side, lather, rinse, repeat.

knelson
September 30th, 2011, 11:08 AM
Question to you guys, was this a mistake? Should I leave them off? Or go ahead with this because I'm working harder on my kicking?

What do you think? Are you starting to kick faster without fins or not? I'd say if your kick times are not improving then maybe the Zoomers aren't helping.

lefty
September 30th, 2011, 12:05 PM
An easy answer to that question would be to ask Laura Val how much she kicks, (she broke the WR in the 50 and the 1500,and all distances between, in the same race.)

I think, if you are going to do a comparative analysis, you want someone who was a TT sprinter (or distance) in one season, switched focus and was TT
in the new discipline. You cannot train for distance and sprint in the same season. Laura's feat is because she is a BA, not because she trained for the 50 and 1500 (which isn't possible).

I was TT in the 50 6-7 years ago, switched disciplines completely and was TT in the 1500 last year. I was not talented enough so that I could have made TT in the 1500 6-7 years ago and I certainly could not put up a TT time in the 50 now.

In short I kick less now than before. I don't think I can now kick in yards what I kicked in meters 6 years ago even though my overall conditioning is better. Mostly because Kirk is right, I try and squeeze XXX yards into XXX minutes and know that I can only do it if I don't kick (yesterday I did a 400 warmup and 6x600s. Probably a stupid set now that I think about it). Maybe a kicking boot camp is in order. I really like this idea.

This is a good thread. It exposed a couple of the weaknesses in my own training...

rtodd
September 30th, 2011, 01:34 PM
Here is a strong kick on the last 50 from a distance swimmer. Maybe he does not 6 beat kick during the race, but he knows how at the end, which leads me to believe it is part of his training.

Sun Yang sets World Record in 1500m Free - from Universal Sports - YouTube

aztimm
September 30th, 2011, 03:44 PM
Remember that the target audience of the video includes those for whom "competition" might have a negative connotation. Maybe that comes from their age group or college days, or maybe it's fear of the unknown. Masters meets are different, but you probably have to see one to really understand that it's very low-key, the oldest swimmers get the biggest cheers, and almost everyone is just having fun. So to me, downplaying "competition" in the video was the right call.

I swam in 2 meets this year and 1 meet last year. I'm nowhere near a top 10 swimmer, and even something like a national qualifying time is a distance away for me.
My goal for meets is simply to see if/how I'm improving--or not--and if/how I want to continue my training. I'll race in whatever makes the most sense according to the meet schedule; usually the max# of events, while getting at least a little rest, ranging from 50s to 1500, nearly any free or breast. But I mostly consider myself a distance swimmer.
Comparatively, I train swimming 4-6 hours/week (-v- maybe 10 hours/year at a meet), and when people ask me about masters swimming, I don't even really consider meets.


As for this kicking thread...
I actually swim with Paul's group. I'll tolerate some of this kicking stuff, when it makes sense for me, and go along with it. However, as a marathon runner, I quite liberally adjust my sets so I'm not overworking my legs when the energy is needed at another time (or when I'm not quite recovered from a training run). I'll confer with my lanemates and/or move to another area so I'm not in the way.
Not sure where this whole kicking bootcamp idea came from, but as I'm running a marathon in 9 days, I've participated only slightly. I think it was Wednesday when I completely blew off much of what was assigned, but I stayed out of the way of those who didn't (my blog has what was assigned, and what I did).

Michael Blatt
September 30th, 2011, 06:26 PM
I always think of kick improvement as the triple bang (or more!). You get faster by better kick alone. Then your body is ever so slightly better aligned, so you have less resistance. Then, because you are better aligned and have less resistance, you can more fully activate your arms and then your arms are actually "stronger" without lifting any more weight or doing more yardarge! Last, with a better kick & core, you use K&C to kick, balance, and breath rather than your arms, at least incrementally more, so that also frees up your arms to do more of just one thing - pulling you through the water rather than balance & breathing. It's like getting stronger arms just by improving your kick!

My (perhaps) antiquated view of the importance of the kick in freestyle speed agrees with Michelle's statement. The kick doesn't provide much in the way of propulsion, but is very important in keeping the body balanced & aligned so the upper body can be as efficient as possible in providing propulsive force.

My conclusion would be that kick sets would then be tailored to the sprint/distance swimmer the same way swimming/pulling/drill sets are. So the sprint vs. distance issue would be more about intensity & rest than it would be amount of time.

Just my 2 cents (as a confirmed sprinter who managed TT in all 6 freestyles this year) ...

Chris Stevenson
September 30th, 2011, 08:51 PM
You cannot train for distance and sprint in the same season. Laura's feat is because she is a BA, not because she trained for the 50 and 1500 (which isn't possible)


I don't agree.

Just have to train right......

I believe what lefty probably means is that it is not possible to simultaneously fully optimize (ie, reach max potential in) both 50 and 1500, not that a talented swimmer can't have very respectable times in both. I agree with him.

knelson
September 30th, 2011, 09:34 PM
Let's face it. Most superb sprint freestylers could easily make Top Ten in the 1650 or 1500. They just choose not to.

There are some great distance swimmers in USMS, but there are a lot more who make top ten in the distance events because they're willing to actually swim the events. Not saying these folks aren't deserving--I consider myself one of them!

couldbebetterfly
September 30th, 2011, 09:51 PM
There are some great distance swimmers in USMS, but there are a lot more who make top ten in the distance events because they're willing to actually swim the events.

:applaud: That's the only way I can make TT!

And ITA, I'm sure a lot of sprinters could swim a TT time in the longer events, but I'm also glad they don't:D

Celestial
October 1st, 2011, 11:00 AM
What do you think? Are you starting to kick faster without fins or not? I'd say if your kick times are not improving then maybe the Zoomers aren't helping.

Good question! Depends on the day, of course - But generally, fly kick has not improved (was always fairly good) but flutter most definitely has improved. (BTW - that question was way too insightful - wasn't sure I was up to really examining myself!) However, I have also noticed that my fly itself (whole stroke) definitely improves when I do a few fly drills w/zoomers prior to a fly set. Not so with freestyle.

annekobbermann
October 1st, 2011, 05:10 PM
"Kicking?" asked a perplexed d-person, "Is that what you do to get an open water drafter off your tail?"

"No, no, no," explained the sprinter, "Kicking is actually part of freestyle, a key propulsive force where you move your legs and feet up and down, stirring up the water and pushing your body forward."

"You must be joking," sighed the d-person as they pushed off for another set of 15 x 500 on 0:05 rest, laughing yet again at the crazy, half-baked ideas those wacky sprinters come up with.


This made my day. I sometimes have to actually remind myself to kick when swimming freestyle. :)

orca1946
October 4th, 2011, 11:04 PM
Our team does a kick set EVERY practice, usually in all 4 strokes!

Fresnoid
October 5th, 2011, 01:00 AM
Our team does a kick set EVERY practice, usually in all 4 strokes!

Note to self - Never, ever visit orca's team when I'm traveling.

philoswimmer
October 5th, 2011, 12:14 PM
I always think of kick improvement as the triple bang (or more!). You get faster by better kick alone. Then your body is ever so slightly better aligned, so you have less resistance. Then, because you are better aligned and have less resistance, you can more fully activate your arms and then your arms are actually "stronger" without lifting any more weight or doing more yardarge! Last, with a better kick & core, you use K&C to kick, balance, and breath rather than your arms, at least incrementally more, so that also frees up your arms to do more of just one thing - pulling you through the water rather than balance & breathing. It's like getting stronger arms just by improving your kick!

I've been playing around with trying to keep a six-beat kick throughout my workout, and I'm starting to come to this view myself. My body position and overall stroke feels much better, although at first it felt quite funny (it seemed as though I had to slow my arms down a bit). It doesn't even have to be a very hard kick to get some benefit from it. But I am really starting to think that in addition to kicking sets, one has to practice kicking while swimming. You can't simply do kicking sets and hope that it will translate to your swimming.

lefty
October 5th, 2011, 04:15 PM
I believe what lefty probably means is that it is not possible to simultaneously fully optimize (ie, reach max potential in) both 50 and 1500, not that a talented swimmer can't have very respectable times in both. I agree with him.


That is exactly what I meant, thanks for clarifying.

Allen Stark
October 13th, 2011, 10:23 PM
There is an interesting article on developing distance swimmers in the new issue of "American Swimming."The author ,Richard Shepard opines that while one probably can't win the Olympics without a 6 beat kick that some kids are never going to be as fast with a 6 beat kick as with a 2 beat kick and that you are doing them a disservice to force them into a 6 beat kick.

lauraval
October 17th, 2011, 03:51 PM
BA? Whatever do you mean?