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hysterium8
January 26th, 2018, 11:53 PM
Hi, I'm a high school swimmer currently in sophomore year and started swim last February/March. I am currently 6'0" and weigh about 138 pounds. I am currently on a club swim team separate from high school swimming and have a lot of ambition and dedication to swim. I've started swim with around 38 second 50 free (scy) at the start of my swimming career and currently have a 26.9 second 50 free, which i've reached recently, but the meet I swam in felt like I could've went faster. My seed time for the meet was 29.5, and had around a 3 second drop. During this meet, I think I probably breathed maybe around 5 times.
Personally, I think that I'm a fast kicker. Usually in practice, if we are doing kick sets like 6x25 kick w/ kickboard, I can usually make it around 16 seconds with about 80% effort. But my arms are really floppy, and get tired really easily when im doing main sets in swim practice. I usually swim really fast compared to other kids with gears like pulling gear or fins, but lack a lot comparing how fast I go with the gear.
There's a time trial meet for school about a month later and I'm trying to drop as much time as possible, possibly around 1.5 seconds at least. Are there any secrets, ways to reach that goal?
Thanks:)

Windrath
January 27th, 2018, 12:24 AM
What does your coach tell you work on when you ask him/her how to get faster? If you have not asked your coach how to get faster, that is where you will find the answers to your question.

In a 50 Free, the start & turn are huge because they can account for as much as 30-35% of the race distance. Being as good as possible in these two areas is crucial. The less you breathe, the faster you will go. 5 breaths is alot in a 50. The top swimmers do not breathe at all.

The key piece any of us would need to know is how many strokes per length you are taking. I consider more than 15 strokes as too many for someone your height. Taking alot of strokes creates drag which slows you down alot.

Good Luck talking with your coach.

67King
January 27th, 2018, 07:28 AM
The top three things you can do are:
1. Talk to your coach
2. Talk to your coach, and
3. Talk to your coach

Did I mention talk to your coach? Seriously, talk to your coach, and lay out some actions you can take. If you are seeking advice elsewhere, you will frustrate your coach enormously, as it may counter his philosophy. A coach's worst nightmare is having a swimmer who is being "coached" by others. It is usually parents, but coming on here and getting advice is not much different, even if we are an educated group.

And while you don't have a lot of time, I'd start loading up on the protein. 6' and 138 sounds very thin to me. Anything you can do to add muscle will help

Karl_S
January 28th, 2018, 07:51 PM
Hi, I'm a high school swimmer currently in sophomore year and started swim last February/March. I am currently 6'0" and weigh about 138 pounds. I am currently on a club swim team separate from high school swimming and have a lot of ambition and dedication to swim. I've started swim with around 38 second 50 free (scy) at the start of my swimming career and currently have a 26.9 second 50 free, which i've reached recently,
First of all, congratulations on the very good progress! Dropping 12 seconds in the 50 free in less than a year is admirable. I'm sure you recognize though that the lowest hanging fruit has already been picked and that's why you came to this forum to seek advice to get faster.


Personally, I think that I'm a fast kicker. Usually in practice, if we are doing kick sets like 6x25 kick w/ kickboard, I can usually make it around 16 seconds with about 80% effort.

You didn't give us the interval, (holding 16s is a lot tougher if the interval is :30 than if the interval is 1:00) but in general 16s is actually pretty good for a 25 kick, especially given that you haven't been training very long. This, and your body proportions, hints that you may have pretty good potential. Nobody can know for sure until you give it your best shot, but it sounds promising. Keep thinking of yourself as a fast kicker, work to get even better, and take advantage of that weapon.


But my arms are really floppy, and get tired really easily when im doing main sets in swim practice.
I think you have identified a key here. Note also the comment:

And while you don't have a lot of time, I'd start loading up on the protein. 6' and 138 sounds very thin to me. Anything you can do to add muscle will help
You are 6'0", weigh 138 lbs and feel that your arms are "floppy" and tire easily in swim sets. It sounds to me like you need strength training. There are lots of things you can do, both in the pool and out, and yes, be sure you are getting enough protein so your body has access to the resources it needs to build strength. If you are male and of a normal age for a HS sophomore you should be near PHV and your body should respond well. The only problem I see is this:


There's a time trial meet for school about a month later and I'm trying to drop as much time as possible, possibly around 1.5 seconds at least.

One month isn't much time to build muscle, especially given that you will want to rest some the final week before you try to go fast. Still, while it isn't much time to build muscle, neuro-muscular conditioning can be improved, at least some, on a relatively short time scale, so strength training is still worth doing. On the other hand, going out and trying to invent a strength training program by yourself one month from your time trial sounds like a recipe to get injured. Have you talked to your coach or trainer about this?


Are there any secrets, ways to reach that goal?
Thanks
As far as I know there are no secrets. Excellent strokes and consistent, sustained, targeted training is what works.



In a 50 Free, the start & turn are huge because they can account for as much as 30-35% of the race distance. Being as good as possible in these two areas is crucial. The less you breathe, the faster you will go. 5 breaths is alot in a 50. The top swimmers do not breathe at all.

Great comment. Don't neglect working starts and turns. Depending on how good they are now, there may be a lot of time to steal there. Here is my comment about breathing: Pretty much all the oxygen you are going to use in a 50 race is already in your body when the gun goes off. Breath only enough so that the distraction of needing to breathe isn't impacting your ability to swim fast. (one breath down and 2 back works for many swimmers.)


The key piece any of us would need to know is how many strokes per length you are taking. I consider more than 15 strokes as too many for someone your height. Taking alot of strokes creates drag which slows you down alot.

Another good comment. Your SPL will tell a lot about how efficient your stroke is. Even better than telling us your SPL, post a video.


Ok, now I want to give my 0.02$ about this:

What does your coach tell you work on when you ask him/her how to get faster? If you have not asked your coach how to get faster, that is where you will find the answers to your question.
...
Good Luck talking with your coach.
and this:

The top three things you can do are:
1. Talk to your coach
2. Talk to your coach, and
3. Talk to your coach
...
If you are seeking advice elsewhere, you will frustrate your coach enormously, as it may counter his philosophy. A coach's worst nightmare is having a swimmer who is being "coached" by others. It is usually parents, but coming on here and getting advice is not much different, even if we are an educated group.

Nobody is going to advocate not talking to, and listening to, your coach. Of course that's the first place to go. The fact that you have dropped 12s in your 50 free in less than a year suggests that what your coach is having you do is pretty darn good!

On the other hand, I hope you feel welcome to seek advise here. There are thousands, if not tens of thousands, of years of competitive swimming experience represented here. It shows that you are really trying to take charge of your own swimming by coming here with questions. As a college professor, let me tell you that EVERY successful student seeks information beyond that provided by the professor. I know a large number of young swimmers around here as well and the best ones, (those with futures cuts, sectionals cuts, trials cuts, those being offered scholarships, etc.) almost invariably are "coached" by one or more people beyond their primary team coach. They are students of swimming. They seek information about swimming, and strength training, and nutrition, and psychology, and race tactics from all over the place. They go to stroke clinics where an army of coaches try to tweak their strokes. They work with a personal trainer. They read books about nutrition. They watch YouTube videos of elite, Olympic and professional swimmers and try to emulate their strokes. They talk with their team-mates and exchange ideas about how to practice better. They go to older siblings, parents or relatives who are/were swimmers for advice. With all this information, they form a plan to get better, try it, and find what works for them.

One last comment, if you haven't found it already, Ande's "swim faster faster" thread is a fantastic resource. Check it out here:
http://forums.usms.org/showthread.php?4229-Ande-s-Swimming-Tips-Swimming-Faster-Faster&highlight=faster+faster

Good luck! Check in and tell us how you are doing.