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Draconis
January 26th, 2006, 12:17 AM
I have been swimming very irregularly recently. For 2 weeks, I've been swimming one day, then not swimming for about 2 or 3 days straight, then another day swimming, and another 2 or 3 days of rest. This is mainly due to the homework load.
So, something weird happened. For the first week, I was going smoother than I had ever done when I was practising regularly, and I could feel that I was faster. I had a higher turnover rate and still managed to do lengths with fewer strokes. My strokes felt awesome.
Then, the second week, it was the very opposite. I started feeling like my stroke was falling apart, and it began to become non-smooth.
So, why did I swim better the first week? And also, why did I suddenly swim worse the second week?

One more thing: I'm confused about the stroke mechanics of breaststroke now. Due to extremely unluckiness, I chose to start practising the hip moving-forward movement and the arching-back-force-transfer 2 weeks ago. Well, now, because of the 2 week episode, I feel all strange. Right now I'm either swimming a high-amplitude wave breaststroke with head up and arching and hollowing back, or a low-amplitude head-down style. I couldn't incorporate the body movement into my low amplitude breaststroke, and I couldn't do it vice versa either. So, can anyone please tell me what the correct body movement of breaststroke is? And how I can practice to achieve that?

Sorry for the long post, and thanks for any replies!

globuggie
January 26th, 2006, 07:32 AM
Here's my guess:

Week 1 felt good because you were more rested than usual - like you should in a taper. The extra rest gave your muscles time to fully recoved, so you were stronger and faster than usual. By Week 2, you were losing your feel for the water. Your stroke lost some of its efficiency, so you felt much slower.

Jeff Commings
January 26th, 2006, 10:20 AM
Originally posted by Draconis
I'm confused about the stroke mechanics of breaststroke now. Due to extremely unluckiness, I chose to start practising the hip moving-forward movement and the arching-back-force-transfer 2 weeks ago. Well, now, because of the 2 week episode, I feel all strange. Right now I'm either swimming a high-amplitude wave breaststroke with head up and arching and hollowing back, or a low-amplitude head-down style. I couldn't incorporate the body movement into my low amplitude breaststroke, and I couldn't do it vice versa either. So, can anyone please tell me what the correct body movement of breaststroke is? And how I can practice to achieve that?

You just started learing two weeks ago. It's not going to click in that time. It took me six months to learn an entirely new way of doing breaststroke about 10 years ago, and even now it's constantly changing. Breaststroke is the one stroke that requires so much thought because of timing and drag issues.

Your body will reject the "correct" way to swim while you're learning, and want to go back to the "wrong" way. Stick with the way you want to swim, and don't fret over your body and mind fighting against each other. What's the right and wrong way? Your body will tell you. Or someone who can watch your stroke regularly.

Bob McAdams
January 27th, 2006, 01:50 AM
Originally posted by Draconis
For the first week, I was going smoother than I had ever done when I was practising regularly, and I could feel that I was faster. I had a higher turnover rate and still managed to do lengths with fewer strokes. My strokes felt awesome.
Then, the second week, it was the very opposite. I started feeling like my stroke was falling apart, and it began to become non-smooth.
So, why did I swim better the first week? And also, why did I suddenly swim worse the second week?

I've had this sort of thing happen a number of times over the years, and not just in breaststroke (though as Jeff noted, it can happen more easily in breaststroke because there's so much to think about).

It happened to me a year or two ago in freestyle. I started logging the fastest freestyle lap times I had ever done, but then after a few weeks I seemed to lose it and my times fell back to their old levels. Unfortunately, I had no meets in between these two events! :(

The short answers to your questions are:

You swam better because you started doing something right that you had been doing wrong.

You swam worse because you stopped doing something right that you had been doing right the previous week.

To complicate things even more: The thing you stopped doing right might or might not be the thing you started doing right the previous week.

The good news is that, as you go through experiences like this over and over, you will gradually start to understand what makes you fast or slow in the water, and if you keep at it, you will ultimately learn to control these things at will, so that you can achieve an optimal performance at every meet.


Bob