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swimming4fun
September 29th, 2006, 09:11 AM
I am trying to improve my freestyle. I have been working on balance,timing,counting strokes.
When watching videos of world classs swimmers, I noticed that on swimmers like Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte, that their arm in the water is fully extended(straight) and angled below the corresponding shoulder. It looks as though the arm that is about to catch the water is angled to where it points towards where the pool wall and pool bottom meet. Not pointed directly down but not pointed directly straight out from the shoulder to the wall.
It seems like most of the best freestylers have their extended arms pointed below their bottom shoulder at an angle before the pull. This also appears to only happen once they have finished the rotation to that side.
Has anyone else noticed this or am I way off?

Thanks,
David

KaizenSwimmer
September 29th, 2006, 03:54 PM
David
Good observation...and an important one. The most advantageous position for your arm, as you prepare to catch and stroke is Fingers below Wrist and Wrist below Elbow. It puts your arm in a better position for traction and your shoulder in a more stable position before you apply any force.

And two easy ways to ensure you get it into that position are:
1) Visualize a mail slot about 12 inches forward of your shoulder. Try to slide your hand and forearm through that slot on entry. Hand will be relatively easy. Forearm will take care.
2) Try to enter your hand/arm without a sound.

You'll have to swim rather easily to become aware of how well you're doing either. Be patient with that until it starts to feel a bit more natural, then you can go a bit faster and see how quietly you can do so.

Let us know if these exercises have any beneficial effect.

swimming4fun
September 29th, 2006, 04:12 PM
Terry,

Thank you for your reply and suggestions. I will start working on your recommendations tonight.
I was struck by what I saw on the swims. The better freestylers had that angle on their entering arms, while swimmers that were less efficient drove their arms straight forward,even scooped them back towards the surface.
Looking forward to trying these ideas.

Thank You,

David

KaizenSwimmer
September 29th, 2006, 04:16 PM
swimmers that were less efficient drove their arms straight forward,even scooped them back towards the surface.

Exactly. With powers of observation and intuition like that you ought to consider coaching.

The scooping-up that you observed is an indicator of poor balance. The swimmer is using the hand as a "brace" rather than to extend the body line and cultivate a grip.

swimming4fun
September 29th, 2006, 04:28 PM
Thank You for your kind words. There was another item I observed. Having read that you want to pierce the water, upon entry, I have attempted to form a straight line from finger tips to elbow. My purpose was to enter the water cleanly.
The end result was less than pleasant. My arms always tensed up and when trying to go faster, it felt as though I wouldn't pierce the water but slam the water.
I observed that the elite freestylers had more of a relaxed entry. So relaxed that there appears to be a slight bend at the wrist, a bend that makes the wrist looks limp, not straight and rigid.
That relaxation looks like it allows the swimmers to enter the water smoother, at faster speeds, instead of slamming the water.
That is what I observed.

David

geochuck
September 29th, 2006, 04:33 PM
I really do not like this word piercing it sounds like you are shooting an arrow into the water. A piercing action to me is an action that violates newtons third law. To quicken your pace all you have to do is roll the shoulders faster.

swimming4fun
September 29th, 2006, 04:50 PM
I am not here to start a war of words between anyone. I am just stating my observations from what I saw the elite do and what I do, then ask for feedback.

George, you said to quicken you pace, all you have to do is roll your shoulders faster? Correct? What about the rest of the body? Do the hips/core roll as well or do they stay more stationary?

Thank you for your feedback.

David

geochuck
September 29th, 2006, 04:56 PM
Everthing else will automatically follow suit. When I do this I also breathe faster automatic. Your hand enters and has to get to the finish faster automatic. Your kick gets faster automatic. If the shoulders roll faster everthing is faster.

fanstone
September 29th, 2006, 05:18 PM
I enter front quadrant with both hands in front at the same time. I tend to pull back straight without the S movement. I only breathe on the left side. I try and exit with a push with an imaginary thumb stroking my thigh. I am 55 and am not about to do breathing on both sides. I do however "fake" and roll the right shoulder up most of the time. Presently I am doing 33 seconds for the 50 meters short course. Questions:
1- Should I try and do the S (sculling) with my hand and forearms even though risking going past my midline?
2- Should I exit my hand all the way down from the thigh or should I try and exit around the waist as I have read somewhere some swimmers do?
3- Should I try and swim clean and with technique and with a constant kicking motion, even when swimming the 50 meters? In other words will I be faster going all out with fast turnover of arms or is it better to swim as if I were swimming longer, however with an obvious better effort. Thanks, I race the 50 (and 100) tomorrow at 15:00 (3 hours left of GMT) and hope to get answers and use them...billy fanstone

geochuck
September 29th, 2006, 05:52 PM
Really the S stroke is actually an I stroke as far as I am concerned. But it is altered in everyway concieveable.

I put my hand in on the centerline as I extend the arm, the hand drifts out slightly and down, about 8" off center then the forearm rotates to get the little finger almost directly below the thumb and press back to the center. When I reach the catch I max it, I keep the hand on the center of the line making sure the hand and fore arm precedes (do not let the elbow precede the forearm) the elbow but the elbow is locked, the hand comes close to the body, until I get to the crotch there it extends naturally as the elbow lifts and the hand rolls out.

I am sure that others may not like this explanation but it is the best I can do in five minutes.

fanstone
September 29th, 2006, 06:36 PM
Thanks George. That is basically what I try and do. To avoid crossing the centerline with my hand I tend to push the whole arms outward and then I start the I movement. This is my right arm. My left arm come straight down and backward due to my "imbalanced" stroke where I favor my right arm as I breathe to the left. By straight I obviously mean with the slight angle at the elbow. On a thread of Ande's there was the advice to make sure and push with your hand backwards towards your thigh. This is where I have a difficulty. I tend to do as you do, and start recovery from the crotch. Thanks, let's see what other will say. You didn't say if I should stick to perfect technique or could I go all out for it in the 50 meter race? billy fanstone

geochuck
September 29th, 2006, 06:51 PM
We must roll both shoulders when the head is under water look towards the left wall this may help with the rotation. My stroke for a 50 or 100 was just as long as when I swam a marathon race I just rotated faster. It is too late to worry about tomorrow. I would do a little bilateral breathing in the future or just breathing right one length and breathe left another length which will help with ballance.

KaizenSwimmer
September 30th, 2006, 08:18 AM
Having read that you want to pierce the water, upon entry, I have attempted to form a straight line from finger tips to elbow. My purpose was to enter the water cleanly.
The end result was less than pleasant. My arms always tensed up <snip>

I observed that the elite freestylers had more of a relaxed entry. So relaxed that there appears to be a slight bend at the wrist, a bend that makes the wrist looks limp, not straight and rigid.

Once again, you've made an important observation. This one at a much subtler level. Elite athletes in all sports combine two qualities in their movements that are far less likely to be seen in the movements of "average" athletes.

One is high level mechanics. Each of your previous posts referred to this area. The other is something that could fairly be described as "artistry" which is far subtler but no less important. Coaches have often described artistry in great swimmers with the term "feel of the water."

It's never been a particularly well-defined term - most definitions have focused on the ability to discriminate between areas of high pressure -- "quiet water" which affords a "good grip" and areas of low pressure or turbulence which cause one's stroke to slip.

But in watching athletes like Tracy Caulkins, Alex Popov, Michael Phelps and Katie Hoff over the years, with a level of interest that borders on wonderment, I've seen they do so much more than just "feel" the water. Where a lesser athlete will often overpower the water or swim in such a way that the effort far exceeds the results, the great athletes never do it. They apply just the right amount of power at just the right moment to get the maximum result.

They also are better than the rest of us at knowing which muscles to "turn off" while others fire up. Both because an absence of tension in antagonist muscles better accommodates the action of the agonist, and because having non-productive muscles in a state of tension wastes energy.

25 years ago I spent countless hours watching videos of elite swimmers of that era - the Aquaforum series on all the strokes produced by Don Gambril. Tracy Caulkins - the Katie Hoff of the time, but even better (she had American or World records in every stroke and discipline) was featured on every stroke. On the Backstroke tape for instance, the contrast between Betsy Mitchell and Tracy was stunning. Betsy held the WR in 200M at the time, was a very powerful athlete and her pull was almost brutal in its power. Just grabbed the water and muscled it straight back. Tracy held the AR in 200 yds and was slender and supple. Her underwater stroke was a thing of beauty in the way her hands were highly active, constantly making minute adjustments in pitch to control each molecule of water completely.

Popov's video - and watching in real life - displayed a remarkable capacity to keep his recovery and entry utterly relaxed at high speed, but then to fire up those muscles as soon as his hand was in position to create traction.

Phelps when swimming fly lands far more softly than other swimmers.

When Natalie Coughlin broke the American record in 100 Back, going 49.9, the other 7 swimmers in that NCAA final were all an unheard of 3 seconds or more behind her when she touched the wall. And yet the water in her lane was barely disturbed, while the water in theirs was churned up.

I could go on and on. While elite swimmers display that kind of artistry instinctively, swimmers like you and I can learn it, but only if we recognize it as beneficial and explicitly pursue it. And that pursuit is a lifelong thing.

Striking a balance between your goal of piercing the water -- which requires you to shape your body to cut through the smallest possible hole in the water -- and avoiding unproductive tension, can be quite a challenge. Particularly because swimming in a highly conscious way -- which is essential when making subtle changes in technique -- often leads to some level of tension in the affected muscles and it take some time to learn to let that go. But keep working on it.

KaizenSwimmer
September 30th, 2006, 08:24 AM
I am not here to start a war of words between anyone. I am just stating my observations from what I saw the elite do and what I do, then ask for feedback.

Don't feel uncomfortable about expressing your thoughts. Everyone's point of view is valid, and the words they use to express their experience of swimming will reflect different ways of interpreting that experience. So long as they have meaning to you, they're fine.

KaizenSwimmer
September 30th, 2006, 08:27 AM
I really do not like this word piercing it sounds like you are shooting an arrow into the water.

I interpret piercing to mean "shape your body to fit through the smallest hole in the water" not "shoot an arrow into the water."
When one considers that water is 880 times denser then air and the greatest source of energy consumption is drag, active streamlining makes perfect sense.

geochuck
September 30th, 2006, 09:22 AM
I interpret piercing to mean "shape your body to fit through the smallest hole in the water" not "shoot an arrow into the water."
When one considers that water is 880 times denser then air and the greatest source of energy consumption is drag, active streamlining makes perfect sense.
Thanks for clearing that up Terry. :hug: Making the smallest hole in the water has been in my vocabular for 60 years when I helped teach swimming on Friday nights in Hamilton. All the competitive swimmers in Hamilton would go to the pool and teach large group swimming lessons with our coach Jimmy Thompson.

See my coach http://swimdownhill.com/_wsn/page17.html

bud
October 2nd, 2006, 02:28 PM
I am trying to improve my freestyle. I have been working on balance,timing,counting strokes....
This is the 1st thread I can recall where someone specifically emphasized the idea of better swimming (or athleticism in general) by learning to activate the muscles you need while deactivating the ones you donít need at the time. If you want some specialized training on this concept I strongly recommend an earnest study of Yoga.

The 1st thing I look at in any swimmer is how relaxed their recovery is. I find this to be a tell-all sign, especially in front crawl. Tension between the upper and lower body is a big factor too, but harder to see (yet easy to feel if you pay attention).

This link leads to a page that includes an incredibly detailed analysis of Ian thorpís free technique.
http://www.swimmingworldmagazine.com/articles/swimtechnique/articles/200007-01st_art.asp
This nugget is what really gets my attention:
"The fact that Thorpe takes five-tenths of a second to accomplish this movement in a 1.5-second total stroke cycle demonstrates the importance of this positioning movement to the stroke."

A recent thread here included a link to this site where I found the following article. It advocates slowing down to get faster/better, which is pretty much the core of my swimming philosophy.
http://www.svl.ch/svl_swim_like_a_fish.html

HTH

Have Fun!

geochuck
October 2nd, 2006, 02:46 PM
Olympic athletes tend to be genetically blessed with large variations in fast and slow twitch fibers that perfectly suit their sport. Olympic sprinters have been shown to possess about 80% fast twitch fibers while those who excel in the marathon may have 80% slow twitch fibers.

KaizenSwimmer
October 2nd, 2006, 03:17 PM
[QUOTE=bud;64012]1st thing I look at in any swimmer is how relaxed their recovery is. <snip>

This nugget is what really gets my attention:
"The fact that Thorpe takes five-tenths of a second to accomplish this movement in a 1.5-second total stroke cycle demonstrates the importance of this positioning movement to the stroke."[QUOTE]


Great stuff
1. Yoga is extremely valuable as a way for swimmers to improve kinesthetic awareness, learn "functional flexibility" and appreciate the value of mindful practice.
2. The ability to do a super-relaxed, unhurried recovery is the key to achieving better Stroke Length
3. The article you cited is one of the best I've ever read on swimming. I saved a copy on my hard drive several years ago and sent the author a complimentary message. What he refers to Thorpe doing in a remarkably unhurried manner above is the first third of the armstroke. I've used the terms "patient hands" and "patient catch" to refer to it.

Thanks for posting the link.

swimming4fun
October 2nd, 2006, 10:14 PM
I finished reading the article that Bud linked from Swimming World. After reading the article three times, I feel as I must go back to medical school for a degree to understand a lot of the points.

If someone has time, will you please put the article into simplier terms? When the author starts mentioning "addicution/abducition,etc,etc" it does get confusing for me, at least.

The article seems like it was well thought out and is informative, if I could have a better understand of the concepts.

Thanks,
David

KaizenSwimmer
October 2nd, 2006, 11:34 PM
If someone has time, will you please put the article into simplier terms? When the author starts mentioning "addicution/abducition,etc,etc" it does get confusing for me, at least.

I found Silvia's "Big Four" a tough slog the first time I tried to digest it.

The 'Big Four,' as Silvia named it, are:
1. Inertial shoulder girdle elevation and upward scapular rotation
2. Shoulder joint medial rotation and elbow flexion
3. Shoulder joint adduction and downward scapular motion
4. Inertial round-off and release (partial supination and shoulder joint lateral rotation).

But, farther down in the article, Adams also describes how Thorpe and the other Australians have applied these principles in becoming dominant in middle-distance and distance freestyle.

I interpret them as follows (but welcome others to reinterpret):
1) Inertial shoulder girdle elevation and upward scapular rotation. Drive fingers down and elbow forward and outward as you extend the hand. The tipping-outward of the elbow (often described in a fashion I find to be a bit misleading as "reaching over the barrel") lifts the scapula, linking the arm to the power of back muscles.
2) Shoulder joint medial rotation and elbow flexion refers to the action of rotating the hand/forearm lever back under the elbow, while the elbow and upper arm remain relatively stable - i.e. the forearm moves back at a greater rate than the upper arm. The angle of elbow flexion increases as this happens.
3) Shoulder joint adduction and downward scapular motion means that shoulder and arm muscles are used mainly to maintain the arm in a leveraged position, while trunk/core muscles move the body over the arm's anchor point. As this occurs, the elbow moves from a tipped-out position toward the body.
4) Inertial round-off and release means that rather than the commonly heard advice to "push past your hip" (which would require straightening the elbow) you should end backward pressure on the water before reaching the hip and while your elbow is still bent. The Australians finish their strokes with a bent elbow, rather than straightening the elbow to "push past the hip" to gain an inertial, free swinging and non-muscular recovery.

Indeed, research done at Stanford supports this position, noting that no useful propulsion occurs past the hip.

geochuck
October 2nd, 2006, 11:42 PM
Terry you bring back great memories I sat through a few of his lectures, he coached a friend of mine Bill Yorzyk. His lectures were very simple and used a lot of hands on hands stuff, he pulled me out his group and had me come on stage with him and he manipulated my arms and shoulders to demonstrate. He loved to be called Coach.

KaizenSwimmer
October 2nd, 2006, 11:49 PM
I never had the privilege of meeting him personally but I did know that he coached Yorzyk from being a non-swimmer as a freshman at Springfield to winning the Olympic gold medal in 200 Fly in 1956.
They applied many of the principles described in the Big Four to revolutionize how Fly was swum at the time.

Another example of a coach analyzing an event and innovating in his training.

KaizenSwimmer
October 2nd, 2006, 11:53 PM
His lectures were very simple and <snip> he manipulated my arms and shoulders to demonstrate.

His written principles read like a text for an advanced course in biomechanics , but your anecdote shows he knew how to make applications clear with practical methods.

geochuck
October 2nd, 2006, 11:56 PM
Fly was in the learning stage at that time. Bill later came to swim at University of Tornto I raced Bill Yorzyk and Jack Nelson who was another non swimmer turned flyer, he came 3rd at the same Olympics. I was only a 100 flyer.

geochuck
October 3rd, 2006, 12:02 AM
Just remembering another time he called me up on stage with others, he was explaining body structure I forget what he called my structure but he mentiond my flab in the middle.

Doc Councillman explained things even more simple than Silva. Doc took videos of me swimming, he asked why I bent my arms underwater so much. He coached George Breen were the 2 beat kick came from. Breens kick was almost a scissor kick and he had a huge crossover stroke. He won the heats for the 1500m at those same Olympics but lost the final to a swimmer with a slower time. Councillman said to me during the race that Breen was not finishing his stroke.

bud
October 3rd, 2006, 06:15 AM
I finished reading the article that Bud linked from Swimming World. After reading the article three times, I feel as I must go back to medical school for a degree to understand a lot of the points....
I know the feeling, Iíve had the same reaction. But I at least got the idea that shoulder positioning is of fundamental importance. After reading this article a few years ago I began experimenting with different shoulder positioning before Iíd start my front crawl pull. All of this made me a bit more aware of differences regarding which muscles can be activated in the pull, especially those going down into the core of the body.

I thought I had a pretty good idea of how core body muscles are used in free, back, and breast until I began a detailed study and practice of butterfly. In the first year or two of this process I made giant leaps in understanding how core body muscles apply to swimming. I highly recommend getting a proficient understanding of fly to anyone who is serious about improving their swimming efficiency.

Iíve always tried to get propulsion past the hip in my front crawl stroke. I guess I need to rethink this. Thanks to Terry for the more digestible breakdown of ďSilvia's ĎBig Fourí", Iíve pasted it to my notes with Adamsí article.

KaizenSwimmer
October 3rd, 2006, 07:15 AM
I thought I had a pretty good idea of how core body muscles are used in free, back, and breast until I began a detailed study and practice of butterfly.

I've spent 40 years trying to achieve a feeling of relaxation in Fly. Nothing I'd taught my swimmers over the years worked for me. I'd still end up so tired even at the end of a 25 that ever swimming a 200 seemed hopelessly out of reach.

Last September I studied underwater video of Michael Phelps in frame-by-frame and picked up two hints that seemed promising:
1) Similar to Marshall Adams' comment on how long Popov spent cultivating his catch (.5 sec in a total stroke time of 1.5 sec), and Wayne McCauley's observation on how long Amanda Beard spent streamlined head-between-arms in each stroke cycle (nearly three times as long as she spent in any non-streamlined position), I was struck by how much time Phelps spent in a legs-streamlined position while allowing his chest to sink after landing.
2) He didn't pull back but anchored his hands and moved his body over them -- releasing and exiting as soon as his upper chest was over his hands -- which harkens back to Adams observation about the Australians not pushing back in Free. This promoted the same inertial, relaxed recovery -- which seems even more critical in Fly.

So I began working on "just sinking" after landing and on anchoring my hands, then using core muscle to move forward over anchored hand -- with my hand-on-water pressure being maintained for the briefest possible instant.

In April while training in Coral Springs I did a 200 Fly for the first time in my life. It was so easy I did another 2 minutes later. Both were slow - 3:18 and 3:12 - but I now have Fly goals for the first time in my life and plan to swim the 200 Fly at Federal Way in May, with a goal of swimming 2:40.

The Fortress
October 10th, 2006, 10:23 PM
Terry:

One of my teammates told me tonight that I was doing exactly what you described as undesirable -- pushing my hands past my hips on freestyle. He said it causes me to overrotate and may be contributing to my shoulder problems. He's probably right; I know an early exit is now the preferred method. My question is, is there any drill to help learn this technique or should I just practice giving up on the stroke sooner and exiting with a bent elbow? I'd really rather just swim fly and back, but since fly is tough on my shoulders, I guess I have to learn to do freestyle correctly....

Thanks. Leslie

KaizenSwimmer
October 10th, 2006, 11:18 PM
is there any drill to help learn this technique or should I just practice giving up on the stroke sooner and exiting with a bent elbow?

Leslie The best drill I could recommend would be my version of single-arm freestyle. Actually I have two of them:
1) Swim single arm with the other arm at your side. Breathe toward the opposite side - i.e. if stroking with your right arm, breathe to the left side.
When doing this drill concentrate mainly on moving your elbow in a circle at the back end. It should almost feel like a bicycle crank. As far as breathing goes, rotate for a breath only after you see the stroking hand re-enter the water. Then leave the hand there until your head is returning from the breath. See the hand, roll to breathe, see the hand, stroke. But your main focus is on feeling the elbow move in a circle or C-curve at the back end.

2) Single-arm "drill" #2: Swim whole stroke (i.e. using both arms) but give your full attention only to the right arm on odd lengths, only to the left on even. Concentrate on feeling the same thing you did on the above single arm drill.

A good sequence would be
25 Single arm right
25 Swim - concentrate on right arm
25 Single arm left
25 Swim - concentrate on left arm

I'd give it a good 10 cumulative hours - which could be spread over several weeks - in order to feel like the exercise is beginning to influence your habits.

If you have any questions or anything worth reporting, please check back.

KaizenSwimmer
October 10th, 2006, 11:35 PM
He said it causes me to overrotate

PS: That may also be from recovering with elbows swinging behind you. If you can get someone to video from head on, check to see if your elbows stay outside your bodyline on recovery or if they cross toward your spine. If the latter, that would cause over-rotation.

aquaFeisty
October 11th, 2006, 09:57 AM
Hi Terry,

My coach is a big fan of the single arm drill you described (arm at side). I HATE this drill, which definitely means that I need to work on it more. :D Thanks for the additional explanations - gives me some more to think about next time I work on it.

FYI to Leslie,

Don't be surprised if when you first try this drill it is very slow... especially if you're used to drilling one-arm freestyle with the other arm out in front. However, you'll probably feel like you're flying compared to your caterpillar drill. :D

Carrie

gull
October 11th, 2006, 12:54 PM
3) Shoulder joint adduction and downward scapular motion means that shoulder and arm muscles are used mainly to maintain the arm in a leveraged position, while trunk/core muscles move the body over the arm's anchor point. As this occurs, the elbow moves from a tipped-out position toward the body.


Actually, adduction means that the humerus is moving toward the midline of the body (the "insweep").

I don't agree with the concept that the arm is functioning as a lever in a liquid medium, with forward motion generated by the trunk/core muscles.

KaizenSwimmer
October 11th, 2006, 01:40 PM
Actually, adduction means that the humerus is moving toward the midline of the body (the "insweep").

I don't agree with the concept that the arm is functioning as a lever in a liquid medium, with forward motion generated by the trunk/core muscles.

I didn't mean to infer strictly that the arm functions as a "lever."
By "maintain the arm in a leveraged position" I meant that the shoulder muscles work best when used to stabilize the arm in a position where it does an effective job of trapping as much water as possible -- as opposed to using those muscles to accelerate the arm back toward the hip.

When we use those muscles that way, then we get more out of the more powerful and fatigue resistant muscles of the core, rather than relying on the weaker and more fatigue-prone muscles of the arm and shoulder.

IMHO the most valuable contributor to forward propulsion - unmentioned in the Big Four - is the weight shift. As you trap the water with your right hand and forearm, your left side is raised at or above the surface where it has a lot of potential energy. As you spear the left arm forward, that side drives down "catapulting" you past your grip. No muscular force can match that.

SearayPaul
October 11th, 2006, 09:30 PM
This is all very intersting for me. I am not a gifted athelete or speller so all of this is difficult for me. Four days ago I tried some of this in practice and was amazed at how my times went down, 3 seconds per 50, and stayed consistant for my hour. The next day my abdominal muscles were tender from the new technique. I then missed two days and went back to the pool and for the life of me could not get a good stroke or feel for the water. I could tell that my old stroke was back and was extremely ineffecient.

I am going to swim tomorrow and hope someone has a suggestion. This may be a case of I thought I was doing what I read but....

Have a great day

Paul

KaizenSwimmer
October 12th, 2006, 09:05 AM
Four days ago I tried some of this in practice and was amazed at how my times went down, 3 seconds per 50, and stayed consistant for my hour. The next day my abdominal muscles were tender from the new technique.

Please provide more detail. What did you focus on doing differently? What sensations told you something was different?

One morning in July 2004 I got my first inkling what it felt like to really connect leg-drive with the hand-spear of the opposite hand, using my 2-beat kick. I'd never felt "connected" in that way before. I could clearly sense that every muscle fiber between my right hand and left foot - a LOT of tissue even given that my musculature is unimpressive - was firing at once.

The sense of power (I called it Diagonal Power - relating to how it crossed my midsection from right to left) was unprecedented. But so was the realization that I'd need to condition myself to swim with that many motor units -- including all the largest muscle groups in the body -- firing on every stroke. After 10 x 50 I felt as if I'd done a weightlifting workout.

So I knew I'd need to practice it relentlessly in a highly focused way in order to sustain it during a distance race. Subsequently I've learned how to make it work more economically by better discrimination of firing levels and more acute sense of timing. Not to mention millions of strokes of training on which I endeavor to have that happen every time.

Bottom line there's no fatigue involved in doing so now.

This is also an illustration of sorts of how multi-faceted training needs to be. Neuromuscular training just as critical as aerobic. I don't believe I have any greater aerobic fitness now than I had the day before I made that discovery,but I'm swimming MUCH faster. My aerobic conditioning has adapted to the new movement pattern, while my attention has been fully on the movement pattern.

LindsayNB
October 12th, 2006, 09:59 AM
As you trap the water with your right hand and forearm, your left side is raised at or above the surface where it has a lot of potential energy. As you spear the left arm forward, that side drives down "catapulting" you past your grip. No muscular force can match that.

I'm confused by this description as it conflicts with my knowledge of physics. Does potential energy really play a significant role here? Is muscular force really outmatched in this situation or is it more a matter of which muscles you are using? Perhaps momentum is involved in the way it is when one "cheats" lifting weights?
:confused:

SearayPaul
October 12th, 2006, 10:35 AM
The day that I swam so well,by my standerds, I was concentrating on rotating from the hips. I had been rotating from the shoulders which was not generating any power and was throwing my timing off in addition to causing pectorial pain.

To perform the rotation I would use an extra beat in my kick to initate the turn. I would purposely hold my arm out for the catch and then pull thru anchoring my pull using my abdominal muscles. I also increased my intervals to an even minute for each 50 and did no distance over a 100, except for my warm up. This was very easy to use 1 miniute intervals.

Suggetions?

Paul

geochuck
October 12th, 2006, 10:39 AM
Am I reading corectly here that we should throw out the fulcrum theory in swimming??? Silvia told me the arms above the shoulders even when they are at your hips. What I call the fulcrum theory.

KaizenSwimmer
October 12th, 2006, 10:39 AM
Yeah. A simple way to keep the hips involved that may feel less like "work." When you count strokes, rather than register that with hand entries, count hip drives instead.

If your balance and coordination are good, you shouldn't need an extra kick. Not sure if you're a 2-beat kicker like me, but I drive my left foot and right hip at the same time.

Generous rest intervals are helpful at first but if a stroke change is truly making you more economical, you should soon be able to do the new technique on short rest without fatigue.

KaizenSwimmer
October 12th, 2006, 11:13 AM
I'm confused by this description as it conflicts with my knowledge of physics.

Better not to interpret my "impressionistic interpretation" of how I swim and teach as if you'd read it in a physics text. It's a product of constant self-experimentation in the water, developing language to describe what I feel that includes relating it to things that may resonate with others.

Explained another way:
1. The muscles in our arms and shoulders are relatively small. It makes sense to me that their best use is to hold the limb in position, rather than accelerate that limb against resistance.
2. If you can effectively anchor -- i.e. make your hand "stand still" rather than move back -- you have a "lever" of sorts to provide traction while you use some other means (than pushing water back) to move forward.
3. Weight shifts are the most powerful form of athletic movement and are present in every sports movement from throwing or hitting anything to roller blading or x-c skiing to running, even high-jumping using the Fosbury Flop.
4. We have the potential to use them in swimming, side-to-side weight shifts in free and back, front-to-back weight shifts in fly and breast.
5. When you understand swimming this way you practice it with different consciousness -- e.g. in another thread I suggested counting strokes by counting hip drives rather than hand entries. Another way of expressing it is that I used to feel like I used my arms and legs to drag my body through the water. Now I always aim for a feeling of swimming WITH my body. (PS: I think this may be close to the sensation that great "natural" swimmers have instinctively. It took me 1000s of hours to get it...but I've always been a slow learner.)
6. When you get it right you can, at times, feel like a "perpetual motion machine." This has been key to my ability to hold a pace in distance swimming. By holding it with weight shifts, rather than pulling and kicking, I am far more fatigue-resistant.
7. When one adopts this consciousness then one's perception of training changes as well. Rather than constantly conditioning for the "ordeal" of pulling and kicking, one thinks of it as constantly "tuning" to make the weight shifts work better -- or to avoid breakdown as you increase speed.

geochuck
October 12th, 2006, 01:37 PM
You can do all the weight shifting you want but if you do not exert pressure on the water with the hands and arms you will not move forward.

gull
October 12th, 2006, 05:51 PM
1. The muscles in our arms and shoulders are relatively small. It makes sense to me that their best use is to hold the limb in position, rather than accelerate that limb against resistance.
2. If you can effectively anchor -- i.e. make your hand "stand still" rather than move back -- you have a "lever" of sorts to provide traction while you use some other means (than pushing water back) to move forward.
3. Weight shifts are the most powerful form of athletic movement and are present in every sports movement from throwing or hitting anything to roller blading or x-c skiing to running, even high-jumping using the Fosbury Flop.
4. We have the potential to use them in swimming, side-to-side weight shifts in free and back, front-to-back weight shifts in fly and breast.


This is one of your concepts which I have to question. "Weight shifts" occur in other sports because we are on solid ground, not in a liquid medium. I do not believe the same principles apply to swimming. Again, Silvia referred to shoulder adduction--active movement of the humerus toward the midline--not "anchoring" the arm in the water. I think the emphasis on "weight shifts" is misleading and erroneous.

On the other hand, physics was never my best subject.

Peter Cruise
October 12th, 2006, 06:39 PM
I think part of the problem here is one of communication, not physics. Coaches strive to get across to swimmers what they want done and how they want it done- by analogy rather than blackboard proof and one swimmer's response to a successful analogy is another's puzzled look & poorly done drill. I think Terry is trying to describe something that works for him (& others) by analogy rather than set up a kinesiological study.

geochuck
October 12th, 2006, 06:59 PM
We all talk of this imaginary wall I always use it when teaching. But is really not there and we cannot really hold it but we can push on it and if we push too hard we do slip a little but the actual pounds per sq. in. pressure during the catch to finish phase is between 22 to 25 lbs per sqare inch, so you must push on the water. Not with your toe movement but the leverage of the back muscles through to the hands.

KaizenSwimmer
October 12th, 2006, 09:22 PM
I think the emphasis on "weight shifts" is misleading and erroneous.

Okay propose -- and practice -- an alternate idea.

Forums make for interesting chat at times, but in the end, you have to leave your keyboard, get in the pool and swim...guided by whatever works for you.
I never take a stroke without thinking intently about it, and I never stop trying to improve on it. Some of what I try doesn't work. Fortunately some does. I pursued countless unfruitful notions in my early years...which has helped me refine my experiments in my latter years.

Being a teacher and writer, after working things out empirically in the water, I explain it to myself and others as best I can. Up to now those explanations have worked well enough, often enough, to make me think I'm generally on the right track.

So, when you swim, what do you think about and feel? Which sensations or focal points are most productive?

KaizenSwimmer
October 12th, 2006, 09:24 PM
if you do not exert pressure on the water with the hands and arms you will not move forward.

Did you miss this? >>2. If you can effectively anchor -- i.e. make your hand "stand still" rather than move back -- you have a "lever" of sorts to provide traction while you use some other means (than pushing water back) to move forward.>>

geochuck
October 12th, 2006, 09:37 PM
No I did not miss that, you are allowed to tell it anyway you wish. But being a person who has raced 200 miles a year and trained a few more and have been told by the great coaches you have mentioned before and a few others, and discovering my own feel for the water. I think I am allowed to state what I think and I do not have to accept what you say as gospel. The 22 to 25 lbs pressure per sq inch is from a person who knows the egineering and mechanics of the crawl stroke.

KaizenSwimmer
October 12th, 2006, 10:52 PM
I think I am allowed to state what I think and I do not have to accept what you say as gospel.

Yes George, you're allowed to state what you think.
No George, you don't have to accept what I say as gospel.
Feel better now?

Then maybe we can get back to the question of the stroke. Your last comment inferred that I suggested "all you have to do is weight shift." My post was quite clear that you have to achieve traction with hand and forearm first.

LindsayNB
October 12th, 2006, 11:36 PM
I think part of the problem here is one of communication, not physics. Coaches strive to get across to swimmers what they want done and how they want it done- by analogy rather than blackboard proof and one swimmer's response to a successful analogy is another's puzzled look & poorly done drill. I think Terry is trying to describe something that works for him (& others) by analogy rather than set up a kinesiological study.

I agree that an explanation of how it should feel is usually more useful than getting too technical, my point is that using technical language, such as referring to potential energy due to a raised shoulder, is counterproductive if it isn't correct. Sorry to be pedantic, I found the followup explanation much more illuminating. And I am trying to apply this stuff to my own swimming so I am grateful for Terry's ongoing participation on the forums.

gull
October 13th, 2006, 07:39 AM
Did you miss this? >>2. If you can effectively anchor -- i.e. make your hand "stand still" rather than move back -- you have a "lever" of sorts to provide traction while you use some other means (than pushing water back) to move forward.>>

I know enough physics to know that this is not what is actually occurring. I assume you are saying that this is what it feels like.

Certainly you need to rotate in the long axis strokes, but I don't believe you can effectively "weight shift" in a fluid medium (like, say, a golfer or a baseball pitcher).

SolarEnergy
October 13th, 2006, 07:55 AM
Certainly you need to rotate in the long axis strokes, but I don't believe you can effectively "weight shift" in a fluid medium (like, say, a golfer or a baseball pitcher). I believe we can use "weight shift" in a fluid medium.

I came to this conclusion more than a decade ago; I only heard about TI last year.

In fact, we can use weight shift to various extent in all strokes. Lateral weight shift will best be felt swimming backstroke (at least as far as I'm concerned).

Finally, I think it's possible thanks to the liquid nature of water.

thewookiee
October 13th, 2006, 08:09 AM
The 22 to 25 lbs pressure per sq inch is from a person who knows the egineering and mechanics of the crawl stroke.

How do you know when you are putting 22-25 lbs per sq inch of pressure? Is there a test determine when you have hit this range? How was it determined these numbers are the amount of pressure you believe a person should be putting on the water?

gull
October 13th, 2006, 10:00 AM
I believe we can use "weight shift" in a fluid medium.

Perhaps we're discussing different things. Terry has used the analogy of a baseball pitcher, a skater, a golfer, etc. I do not believe this analogy holds water (pun intended). Look, why do the astronauts train under water? Because the physics is different.

SolarEnergy
October 13th, 2006, 10:49 AM
Perhaps we're discussing different things. Terry has used the analogy of a baseball pitcher, a skater, a golfer, etc. I do not believe this analogy holds water (pun intended). Look, why do the astronauts train under water? Because the physics is different. I don't particularly like the baseball pitcher analogy neither. On that angle, I concur with Maglischo's latest statement on this topic (found in the 3rd edition of his book).

Feet and even hips are so far from the real anchor points in freestyle (namely hands).

Really, I like to use a much simpler analogy to qualify weight shift in swimming freestyle. That of starting a relunctant gazoline fueled "lawn mower". The body twist we typically use to add more power to our motion would equate to the upward body motion while swimming free style.

And for the downward body motion, given that I synchronize it with the downsweep occuring while catching, I would compare it to the action of wedging a waterpolo ball (or a water polo opponent ;) )

geochuck
October 13th, 2006, 10:54 AM
If I were a scientist I would gladly tell how they found a desired Lbs per sqare inch. In the 50s he checked the propulsion by a mechanical hand when the fingers are open or closed. He said it was the same except with the fingers closed your hand and forearm has tension. Sorry I was not there to see it. He told me the maximum force you can apply is actually 23lbs per square inch but when I explain it I use a range of 22 to 25 so I lied but I do say max it, but don't over do it. If over 23 your effort is of no value. I guess it is similar to how they measure propulsion from the screw on a propelor. But this is for the topic we are not on a marathon swim.

I would ask him but he is dead.

geochuck
October 13th, 2006, 11:16 AM
I think we are now entering a time that we should throw away all the books from the guys like Councilman, Maglischo etc etc - a new day is comming when they release the data on the new supersonic torpedos being developed, we will be flying through the water higher than the speed of sound.

Mswimming
October 13th, 2006, 11:37 AM
I don't particularly like the baseball pitcher analogy neither. On that angle, I concur with Maglischo's latest statement on this topic (found in the 3rd edition of his book).

Feet and even hips are so far from the real anchor points in freestyle (namely hands).

Really, I like to use a much simpler analogy to qualify weight shift in swimming freestyle. That of starting a relunctant gazoline fueled "lawn mower". The body twist we typically use to add more power to our motion would equate to the upward body motion while swimming free style.

And for the downward body motion, given that I synchronize it with the downsweep occuring while catching, I would compare it to the action of wedging a waterpolo ball (or a water polo opponent ;) )

I think the weight shift is more of an observation of what is going on that what is really happening. What preceeds that "weight shift" is the body twist. Look at a pitchers back foot. The toes and knee turn in and point toward the plate just before the hips rotate and generate power. Hitting a baseball is the same thing. Toes and knee turn in, hips rotate, arms and hands follow with more force.

I don't see how swimming is all that different. Its harder to see since your upper body is also involved in setting the movement up rather than just following your core. While your kick and opposite arm set up the anchor for the body twist, your hand and forarm are setting up the catch. Then your hips rotate to increase power through the pull.

My experience is far less than those here, but it seems pretty simple to me. Perhaps I am wrong about this?

Kevin

gull
October 13th, 2006, 11:38 AM
But a baseball player is pushing his foot against a solid surface.

geochuck
October 13th, 2006, 11:55 AM
Hey gull it may work if you apply 23lbs per sqare inch pressure. I still believe the leg movement is to keep the legs in the pocket and not to cause drag.

SolarEnergy
October 13th, 2006, 12:20 PM
I think the weight shift is more of an observation of what is going on that what is really happening. This is possible, especially for the upward body motion *power* (if any :rolleyes: ).


But a baseball player is pushing his foot against a solid surface. You know, I can't rule out the possibility of being wrong.

As Mswimming says, it may be more a feeling or an observation more than what's really happening.

On the downward body motion the weight shift can be real indeed though. But most of the time I don't really use it (I prefer to glide a bit more, which breaks the potential synchronization between downward body motion and the catch).

KaizenSwimmer
October 13th, 2006, 01:00 PM
As will many of you, I've had years of participating in various on-line forums. The discussions can often be enlightening, but are seldom well-suited to discussing aspects of technique because of the radically different ways any two people may interpret the same language.

Years ago I lost interest in the r.s.s newgroup because I tired of endless angels-on-the-head-of-a-pin discussions that shed no light on how or why movements work or don't. And the longer they go on, the more theoretical and abstract they seem to become.

Sometimes those discussions revolved around something construed as "TI philosophy" where the initiator seemed intent on using one or another technique ("front quadrant swimming" was a favorite) as a straw man to set up and gleefully knock down.

The lesson I've taken from those experiences has been to suggest that those who find themselves unable to agree on one theory or another consider as an alternative what we call "outcome based swimming" where the best outcome is revealed by mindful experimentation with no predetermined assumption about what you may learn.

geochuck
October 13th, 2006, 01:23 PM
It seems to me it is your way or no way, but am I reading wrong again.

Swimming is not all about feel of the water, or what the angle of the toe is. Some are not flexible some are very flexible. I want you to stay here and it is not a bashing or against the TI system as far as I am concerned. I like most of your stuff it is gleaned from some of the greats, Lindsay loves the super tech stuff, there are other things that are important.

Desire, even a terrible looking swimmer who breaks all the rules of physics, with their cross over strokes and their terrible kicks can become winners.

It seems to me a critic of anything you say is a bash, well it is not. It maybe that you come accross as a know it all that you have a few critics. Even at my age I am still learning.

Leonard Jansen
October 13th, 2006, 01:25 PM
But a baseball player is pushing his foot against a solid surface.

Just an observation: Water is not solid but it does have a resistance to it. Admittedly far less than pushing against a solid, but it will allow to you briefly use force against it before it moves away.

It seems to me that both sides of this debate aren't so far apart except in terminology and its usage.

The five things you should never discuss in polite company: religion, politics, cats vs dogs, Ginger vs. Maryanne and swim technique.

-LBJ

KaizenSwimmer
October 13th, 2006, 01:33 PM
It seems to me it is your way or no way,

No George. More than once you have "loosely" interpreted something I've posted. When I reply to correct your misinterpretation you yelp indignantly that I'm expecting "everything I write to be taken as gospel" or "it's my way or no way."

It really doesn't matter to me what you believe or teach, since that's your own business, and I feel no obligation to try to persuade you otherwise. But I don't think it's too much to ask to be quoted or cited accurately.

geochuck
October 13th, 2006, 01:47 PM
It really doesn't matter to me what you believe or teach, since that's your own business, and I feel no obligation to try to persuade you otherwise. But I don't think it's too much to ask to be quoted or cited accurately. An accurate quote but a (bits and peices quote). I don't care what you teach either and I feel no obligation to persuade you otherwise. I am not even asking you to get out of town.

scyfreestyler
October 13th, 2006, 01:49 PM
Beat that dead horse! :shakeshead:

I am far from a swimming expert but this topic is being overanalyzed. There is no right or wrong, black or white, on or off in swimming. More than one style of swimming or variation of technique can grasp a WR at any given time. Case in point, Phelps and Crocker. Both are neck and neck in the fly races but yet they swim the stroke differently. For instance, Phelps goes against "the experts" and breathes every stroke. He is doing it "wrong" according to many but yet he is in WR territory.

What works for one might not work for another.

geochuck
October 13th, 2006, 01:51 PM
The five things you should never discuss in polite company: religion, politics, cats vs dogs, Ginger vs. Maryanne and swim technique.

-LBJ I did not think we were in polite company.

cantwait4bike
October 13th, 2006, 02:10 PM
I have learned alot from Terry's posts versus George's which seem to only reflect on the theme of "we always did it that way". If someone posts we pea at the swallow end of the pool before our sprint workouts, I'm sure a comment would be coming about how they did it in 1955. Nobody really cares how they use to do it.

For those of us who swimming is just a little appetizer before the real sports start, Terry's comments seem to help how to expend as little energy as possible. :rofl:

SolarEnergy
October 13th, 2006, 02:14 PM
Just an observation: Water is not solid but it does have a resistance to it. Admittedly far less than pushing against a solid, but it will allow to you briefly use force against it before it moves away.

It seems to me that both sides of this debate aren't so far apart except in terminology and its usage.
Well summarized Leonard. Thanks.

And yes the reason why I continue to believe in core body rotation generated power is the one you just mentionned : Water does have enough resistance to have solid anchor points in it.

Thanks (nice to meet you by the way)

gull
October 13th, 2006, 02:27 PM
Years ago I lost interest in the r.s.s newgroup because I tired of endless angels-on-the-head-of-a-pin discussions that shed no light on how or why movements work or don't. And the longer they go on, the more theoretical and abstract they seem to become.

So my attempt to engage you in a serious discussion regarding one of your theories (and theories are meant to be challenged) prompts this dismissive response? Are we to assume that you are unable to explain how a swimmer can "weight shift" in a manner analogous to a land-based athlete (who has the benefit of a solid surface)? This is a concept which you have emphasized here on this forum and elsewhere (in your books); now it is an "angels-on-the-head-of-a-pin discussion" because it is being questioned. If we are discussing swimming technique, it is not a trivial point. Does our power derive from our shoulders, as many believe, or should we focus on "weight shift" as you are proposing?

Howard
October 13th, 2006, 02:56 PM
I have learned alot from Terry's posts versus George's which seem to only reflect on the theme of "we always did it that way". If someone posts we pea at the swallow end of the pool before our sprint workouts, I'm sure a comment would be coming about how they did it in 1955. Nobody really cares how they use to do it.

For those of us who swimming is just a little appetizer before the real sports start, Terry's comments seem to help how to expend as little energy as possible. :rofl:

Well put.

I hope I'm never in the swallow end of any pool.

geochuck
October 13th, 2006, 03:00 PM
I have learned alot from Terry's posts versus George's which seem to only reflect on the theme of "we always did it that way". If someone posts we pea at the swallow end of the pool before our sprint workouts, I'm sure a comment would be coming about how they did it in 1955. Nobody really cares how they use to do it.

For those of us who swimming is just a little appetizer before the real sports start, Terry's comments seem to help how to expend as little energy as possible. :rofl:
Easy to understand your thoughts as I understand you are really not intersted in swimming. It is not a sport to you. Expend little energy win none.

!955 was not the end I raced til 1998 and have coached and taught to this day and have kept up the tech side and learning still. But the kick does not control the whole stroke.....

Mswimming
October 13th, 2006, 03:36 PM
So my attempt to engage you in a serious discussion regarding one of your theories (and theories are meant to be challenged) prompts this dismissive response? Are we to assume that you are unable to explain how a swimmer can "weight shift" in a manner analogous to a land-based athlete (who has the benefit of a solid surface)? This is a concept which you have emphasized here on this forum and elsewhere (in your books); now it is an "angels-on-the-head-of-a-pin discussion" because it is being questioned. If we are discussing swimming technique, it is not a trivial point. Does our power derive from our shoulders, as many believe, or should we focus on "weight shift" as you are proposing?

I'm not following your argument. Is it a problem with his use of the phrase "weight shift" or is it that you don't think you can use your hips to generate power when you swim freestyle?

Kevin

gull
October 13th, 2006, 04:42 PM
The short answer is that I don't subscribe to Terry's unconventional theory that the hips (and trunk) are the source of power and propulsion in freestyle. I am oversimplifying and will be accused of misquoting. I do agree that core strength is important, as is rotation.

scyfreestyler
October 13th, 2006, 04:48 PM
Had to post this...sorry.

geochuck
October 13th, 2006, 04:52 PM
Had to post this...sorry.
I take it you do not have any new good or bad :laugh2: theory to present.

scyfreestyler
October 13th, 2006, 05:08 PM
I take it you do not have any new good or bad :laugh2: theory to present.
My theory is that there is more than one way to swim fast.

geochuck
October 13th, 2006, 05:13 PM
You are right I like your theory. An old saying is true for swimming.

There is more than one way to skin a cat.

Sorry cat lovers.

KaizenSwimmer
October 13th, 2006, 05:33 PM
Are we to assume that you are unable to explain how a swimmer can "weight shift" in a manner analogous to a land-based athlete (who has the benefit of a solid surface)? This is a concept which you have emphasized here on this forum and elsewhere (in your books); now it is an "angels-on-the-head-of-a-pin discussion" because it is being questioned.

Look, don't take it personally. I was in no way referring to you or to this discussion. I was referring to endless dissection of minutiae on rss many years ago.
But I've already written hundreds, maybe thousands, of words on this thread to describe how I experience the freestyle stroke. I don't really think I can add anything further to it. It's really quite okay with me that you don't subscribe to it. You swim your way and I'll swim mine. Perhaps improvement profiles may settle the question.

Besides I have a video edit that I must complete this week AND would like to be in the pool doing "reality swimming" by 6pm, so I can catch the Mets at 8.

By the way, last night I swam a series of 6 x 100 (scy) Free repeats on 1:15 for the first time in my life (following 10 on 1:25 and 8 on 1:20). WooHoo.

geochuck
October 13th, 2006, 05:36 PM
Gull you have now been dismissed.

gull
October 13th, 2006, 06:44 PM
Yes, George, and now I will "go gentle into that good night."



Nope, not gonna happen. We will rejoin this battle another day.

cantwait4bike
October 13th, 2006, 07:27 PM
Easy to understand your thoughts as I understand you are really not intersted in swimming. It is not a sport to you. Expend little energy win none.

!955 was not the end I raced til 1998 and have coached and taught to this day and have kept up the tech side and learning still. But the kick does not control the whole stroke.....

Actually I've haven't loss a race since 1987 using the expend as little energy as possible swimming.....and I am still interested in swimming faster with less energy which Terry's comments seem to always help.

ps. its 1955 not !955:wave:

geochuck
October 13th, 2006, 07:44 PM
Congrats to you and good luck in the future, I am glad you found Terry's info so very important in your journey, I am sure you could never have done it without his help. I have never said that anything he says is false, but as I state I am also allowed to voice my opinions. If they are not helpful to you don't read my posts.

May I also add I enjoyed your girlie cyclist post that you took down.

I think you made a typo too (Actually I've haven't loss a race) (the I've should not be there and loss should be lost) !955 a typo error I am sure you have never made one oops. I must change it thanks for the tip on my erronious ways. If you ever have another typo in a post I will not even mention it. If you check all my posts I am sure you could find many.

SolarEnergy
October 13th, 2006, 08:59 PM
By the way, last night I swam a series of 6 x 100 (scy) Free repeats on 1:15 for the first time in my life (following 10 on 1:25 and 8 on 1:20). WooHoo. Congrats that is a hell of a set. This pace is certainly worth a top 10 at our national in (what I suspect as being) your age group.

And I would agree that it is possible to have a normal sized body swimming freestyle pretty effortless at this speed. Those who can't probably already know about the importance of drilling.

Problem is that at these speeds, for most of us, technical deterioration quickly kicks in, probably as a result of small muscles fatigue (those small muscles responsable for maintaining proper technique). We quickly loose distance per stroke and must start applying greater loads of efforts in order to keep the pace.

Challenge is to mainain a steady distance per stroke throughout the set.

geochuck
October 13th, 2006, 09:13 PM
Leslie it is not that dificult to swim crawl it is only the way it is explained on this thread. Too many words. When I took a class in writing the professor said too wordy and that is what we have here.

newmastersswimmer
October 13th, 2006, 09:47 PM
And yes the reason why I continue to believe in core body rotation generated power is the one you just mentionned : Water does have enough resistance to have solid anchor points in it.

originally posted by Solar Energy

I will say that this seems to be the most logical conclusion made here (along with leonard Jansen, Terry, and others). I personally feel that wieght shifting in swimming is very similar to weight shifting on land ....just not as pronounced in many ways b/c liquid does not supply the same level of resistance as solid ground does....None-the-less I really think Terry is onto something here and its NOT just an illusionary "feeling"....often the reason there's a feeling (i.e. sensual clues from actually experimenting with these things in the water) is b/c there is an actual physical principal behind that sensation. Of course this is only my two cents worth (take it or leave t of course).

Kirk where are you when we need you?? Why don't you use your engineering background to chime in on this debate here?

Newmastersswimmer

newmastersswimmer
October 13th, 2006, 10:00 PM
Problem is that at these speeds, for most of us, technical deterioration quickly kicks in, probably as a result of small muscles fatigue (those small muscles responsable for maintaining proper technique). We quickly loose distance per stroke and must start applying greater loads of efforts in order to keep the pace.

Challenge is to mainain a steady distance per stroke throughout the set

posted by Solar Energy

I have been focusing a lot on this very aspect myself....I like to have a longer swim somewhere in my workouts (sometimes wearing hand paddles and sometimes without paddles)....I start of slow and try to really tune into the feeling of "smooth efficiency" and catching as much water as possible....long underwater dolphin kicking and tight streamlining off of every turn until I feel I have reached a comfortable "groove".....then I gradually try and pick up the pace every 100 or so untill I am moving at a rate that is beyond anerobic threshhold to maintain for too long ....while still trying to maintain the same overall "groove"...the same distance per stroke...streamlining...etc...

Newmastersswimmer

p.s. I really like your forum name Solar Energy.....I am a big supporter of Solar Energy myself....My feeling is that we should put more focus on utilizing Solar Energy in more creative ways (and environmentally safe ways) as opposed to many of the other directions being explored today....there is soooo many possibilities for doing this.....Why put so much into nuclear energy (or more specifically fusion such as cold fusion research ...etc) when we have a naturally occuring thermonuclear power plant at our disposal that has enough thermonuclear fuel to supply all of our energy needs and much much more for millions and millions of years?? Anyway, for all those of you who may think I went "way off topic" with these final remarks, ...We were discussing "energy efficiency" in this thread right?....just not exactly in the same way as I'm referring to here....just a small accidental oversight on my part is all ..so relax...LOL!!

geochuck
October 14th, 2006, 08:12 AM
5 am in the morning must be important or did I just need a coffee.

This is how to do it. Thorpe http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8p3-SrrgS1o&mode=related&search= I think I can see how imporant his big toe is in this swim.

SolarEnergy
October 14th, 2006, 08:36 AM
I start of slow and try to really tune into the feeling of "smooth efficiency" and catching as much water as possible....long underwater dolphin kicking and tight streamlining off of every turn until I feel I have reached a comfortable "groove".....then I gradually try and pick up the pace every 100 or so untill I am moving at a rate that is beyond anerobic threshhold to maintain for too long. I use pretty much the same approach. Slow first with longish glides (exagerated at first, "catchup like"), then I reach some sort of a "sweet spot" speed/distance per stroke ratio. After a while I can really feel the involvement of the latissimus dorsi muscles (back muscles).

Thanks NMS, I can relate to your approach to freestyle, as much as I relate to your take on energy efficiency, in the pool as well as in the real life.

gull
October 14th, 2006, 09:33 AM
Thanks for the video, George. Could be the camera angle, but in that view it appeared that Thorpe's shoulder was adducting, and his arm was actually moving (dare I say propelling him?) through the water. Someone really should tell him not to waste so much energy on his nonpropulsive kick.

geochuck
October 14th, 2006, 09:38 AM
Gull I thought it was a great video. I also noticed the bubbles made by his hands, do you think they were anchored in one place or was he exerting too much pressure?

gull
October 14th, 2006, 09:41 AM
I noticed that, too. Could be spontaneous bubble formation on a stationary underwater object.

Alternatively, he might actually be exerting a lot of pressure wiith his hands.

Don't try this at home.

SolarEnergy
October 14th, 2006, 03:56 PM
On the downward body motion the weight shift can be real indeed though. Gees I'm lucky. I found an example of what I meant here. Click on watch video.

This swimmer is syncrhonizing his catch with downward body motion. When swimming like this, I think it's truly possible to use (partial) weight shift on the catch to ease up the first part of the pull through phase.
http://www.goswim.tv/drilloftheweek_comments.php?id=3602_0_20_0_C#

Disclaimour : I have no opinion on the content of the article per se. I only provided this link to show a potential example of what I'd call weight shift in swimming.

LindsayNB
October 14th, 2006, 04:46 PM
Congrats that is a hell of a set. This pace is certainly worth a top 10 at our national in (what I suspect as being) your age group.

And I would agree that it is possible to have a normal sized body swimming freestyle pretty effortless at this speed. Those who can't probably already know about the importance of drilling.

Problem is that at these speeds, for most of us, technical deterioration quickly kicks in, probably as a result of small muscles fatigue (those small muscles responsable for maintaining proper technique). We quickly loose distance per stroke and must start applying greater loads of efforts in order to keep the pace.

Challenge is to mainain a steady distance per stroke throughout the set.

I guess this is another one of those terminology issues. To me the word "effortless" implies a lack of effort which implies not taxing or fatiguing. If you are working hard enough to for fatigue to be causing stroke deterioration aren't you applying some effort? If effortless means something other than without effort is there another way to describe what your describing?

I am honestly not trying to be pedantic, it is just that when people describe swimming as effortless I don't know what they mean if they aren't referring to swimming relatively slowly. :dunno:

geochuck
October 14th, 2006, 05:01 PM
I have yet to see anyone win without effort. Everyone told me it looked effortless. I told them I only swim fast enough to win (lied) it was all out. It may have looked effortless but it was not.

LindsayNB
October 14th, 2006, 05:09 PM
Actually George's video of Thorpe is interesting, I think you could support two different theories of swim timing by watching the timing of his left and right pulls. In one case his catch starts as he finishes the opposite pull, in the other he is well into his recovery before starting his catch. I've never really known how to deal with conflicting advice on whether to swim with continuous propulsion like kayaking or with some glide/a bit of catchup. Maybe Ian decided to go for a little of both? ;)

KaizenSwimmer
October 14th, 2006, 07:34 PM
If effortless means something other than without effort is there another way to describe what your describing?

Effortless swimming is among the goals we have proposed for improvement-minded swimmers. We've used this phrase mainly to differentiate from the "no pain, no gain" philosophy others embrace. However I add the caveat "it takes great effort to become effortless." Even so, “effortless swimming” has become one of the straw men set up then knocked down by those inclined to scoff at TI.

Think of it this way: Effort-less means less effort for the same outcome than previously -- an open-ended goal that one could pursue without ever exhausting possibility.

An important distinction would be to think in terms of levels of effort, which would be determined by one's goals. Those who swim mainly as a healthful activity can achieve their goals with a " rate of perceived exertion" (RPE) of anywhere from 1-4 on the standard RPE scale of 10.

Swimmers with performance goals need a mix of training that uses a wider range of RPEs, but may choose at times to remain at the low end. I did several years of training during which I never exceeded an RPE of 4 or 5, because I felt I needed to build new habits of efficiency. Early this year, as I prepared to enter the 55-59 age group, I began doing more training in the 6-7 range.

I recently set a goal of winning a World Masters championship in the 3K. With this as a prod, I now do more training at an 8 to 10 RPE than in about 15 years...but I want those peak efforts to feel more "effort-less" than ever before in order to keep them from limiting what I might do in the future.

Here are notes from my training log of my main sets on Tuesday and Thursday this week:

TUESDAY NIGHT
Main Set: Swim 5 x 500 FR 1-3 on 6:45. Rest 2:00. 4-5 on 6:30. 14-15SPL on 1-3, 15-16 SPL on #4, 16SPL on #5

From the beginning of the set I was planning for the last two repeats. I held 6:23 on the first three with an RPE that ranged from 4 to 5. Based on that, I set my goals at 6:22 and 6:21 for the last two, mindful that I’d have only 8 seconds rest between them.

I raised my RPE to the 6-7 range on #4 and went the 6:22 I was looking for. I took a few quick breaths, then started the final 500 at an RPE of 8. After the first 100, I could already feel “muscle deterioration” setting in. When this happened in college, I simply gritted my teeth and went as hard as I could.

But I knew that I could not sustain an RPE of 9 or 10 – and any semblance of form – for the next 400. Instead I slowed my catch a tiny bit to firm up my grip and concentrated more intently on synchronizing catch and hip drive, while driving my hips more strongly. By the final 100 I was definitely at 9-10 but with the effort centered in my core, rather than arms and legs I was able to sustain it without losing control. I came in at 6:20

THURSDAY NIGHT
Main Set: 24 x 100 Free with 50 Recovery between rounds.
10 on 1:25 – cruise and descend at 1:20-:17 and 13-14 SPL
8 on 1:20 – as relaxed as possible at 1:14-1:15 and 14-15SPL
6 on 1:15 max sustainable effort at 1:10-1:11 and 16SPL

I had never in my life swum a series of 100s on a 1:15 interval – most of the time between ages 50 and 54 my 100 repeats were closer to 1:20 on intervals above 1:30. Still I felt that by executing precisely, I could make this set.

I swam the first 18 x 100 entirely to set myself up for the final 6. I used every possible ”trick” of stroke or turn to be “effort-less” and build confidence. My RPE was 4-5 on the first 10 and 6-7 on the next 8.

When I began the final set I knew I had no margin for either error or caution. I began at an RPE of 8-9, swimming with near-maximum hip drive and rigorous form on every stroke, and tried to nail every turn.

I was aware of the thin line between effective effort and ineffective effort on every stroke. And the key to staying on the right side was staying just below maximum and not wavering in focus for a moment.

I was at an RPE of 10 for the last two. Completing the set provided a huge boost of confidence about my ability to combine effort and execution that way in races to come.

KaizenSwimmer
October 14th, 2006, 07:42 PM
Maybe Ian decided to go for a little of both? ;)

Asymmetry is seldom a conscious choice. Ian's not the only elite swimmer who has a bit of "lope" in his stroke. My interpretation is that they have different balance characteristics on each side, because of breathing habits developed in their earliest swim years and never fully eradicated.

There are certain things elite swimmers do that are worthy of emulation. Other things they "get away with" because talented swimmers are often also "geniuses at compensation."

Most of us are not geniuses at compensation so it's important to be able to distinguish between those things they do that you should emulate and those you shouldn't.

SolarEnergy
October 15th, 2006, 08:56 AM
I am honestly not trying to be pedantic, it is just that when people describe swimming as effortless I don't know what they mean if they aren't referring to swimming relatively slowly. :dunno: You're right to question or correct me on the way I used 'effortless'.

It was a bad choice.

What I was trying to say, is that it's possible to swim those pace (1:15) with a RPE score relatively low given that we're able to maintain a good technique. Thanks to bringing my back in the right lane !

geochuck
October 15th, 2006, 09:50 AM
I finally found out that effortless swimming is not effortless or am I misquoting again?

1:15y repeats relates to 1:28m very good. Not Olympic time yet but good, especially after all those other repeats. I have almost lost my relationship to yard swimming thanks for this swim time converter I can - http://www.ilswim.org/timeconversion.htm

One other thought can we use body surfing to help us get faster, Matt Mann told me to catch the bow wave and swim downhill. Found this very interesting article on catching the wave. http://education.guardian.co.uk/print/0,3858,4970727-108233,00.html

LindsayNB
October 15th, 2006, 01:28 PM
George, I suspect that surfing your own bow wave is a physical impossibility, as you speed up to get past your bow wave your bow wave would also speed up. And the only energy in your bow wave is what you put there so what would there be to gain?

I would guess that swimming downhill is a sensation associated with swimming with elevated hips not a propulsive physical reality like bodysurfing where you are utilizing the energy invested in the wave by external forces.

On the other hand, if you truly believe that you can outswim your bow wave the attempt at doing so may make you faster. Similar to trying to outrun your shadow I guess. ;)

geochuck
October 15th, 2006, 01:37 PM
Yes you are right, maybe. The hand can be and is in the bow wave and is in the bow wave similar to the body surfer who has his hand out front rather than like the surfer who has his hands at his sides. So I will try to catch that bow wave and get it under my chest. I may never do it but at least I can try. I already know my hand is in my bow wave and it helps.

LindsayNB
October 15th, 2006, 01:41 PM
Terry, thanks for the explanation of what you mean by effortless. I still think it is unfortunate terminology, but at least I know what you mean by it.

The thought that those people who swim so much faster than I do while making it look effortless would be truly depressing if they were literally doing it effortlessly! I'll continue to work on my efficiency so I'll swim at slower speeds with less effort and be swimming faster when I am using maximum effort. :)

Paul Smith
October 15th, 2006, 01:59 PM
One of the interesting things to me is how very different we all are in how "connect" to various terminology. In reading all of Terry's posts over the last month or so I'd have to say that the vast majority of the metaphors/explanations he uses resonate fo me.

Effortless: Rather than "attack" this phrase, scoff at or dismiss I'd think people who have interest in geting better would explore it. I know that for myself and every elite swimmer I've ever spoken with this is a sensation that thy felt when the had theyre absolute best swims.....it is often however refered to as being in the zone. When I have been there....it was not without effort...in fact it was with just intense effort that I was almost physically ill afterwards.....however in the race the sensation was incredible and indeed had elemants of being effortless.....

Weigth shift: Something that several very respected college coaches I know have described in a lightly differnet way but still the same thing. I focused more on it this morning and found that yes indeed....the "length" that I acheive in both free and back is an actual subtle shift deriving from my hips and creating a "reach" that gives th appaearnce of catch up free. I tried to think in terms of weight shift in water vs. on land and the sensation to me of free/back was most similar to hitting a volleyball over a blocker....elevation, extension and hip/shoulder/arm drive thru....

Hand Anchoring: again misleading if interpreted "literally" but in my case for fly/free (haven't gotten there ith back yet...but working on it)...it is an absolutey accurate analogy.....my sensation is that I swim thru my hand vs. drive my hand thru.....when in reality there is absolute force being generated...the "plant" that takes place is actually in motion but the appearance and sensation is what Terry describes.

I do question everything and in TI still have some things I'm not sure about....but I can't deny that what I "hear" on many of these descriptions from Terry is what I see in myself.

Matt Shirely.....I know you've fallen off your chair in reading this because of all the good debates you and I have had...!! :thhbbb:

KaizenSwimmer
October 15th, 2006, 10:18 PM
however in the race the sensation was incredible and indeed had elemants of being effortless.....

The best race I had in my four years of college was also the easiest of all of them. It was utterly inexplicable - it was a dual meet in early December 1969.I was tired from training intensely and was coming down with a cold. I was racing a good friend who I trained with in the summer and who "owned" me in training. But something mystical happened that day in the 1000. Where I was always behind in the early stages this day I was right with the leaders at the 100 and then began pulling away without trying. I ended up lapping the field and did a time I never matched again. For the rest of the meet I sat on the bench trying to figure out what happened and thinking "what if I'd gone hard."

I had a Flow State experience that day which I did not understand until 30 years later when I read "Flow - The Psychology of Optimal Experience" by Mihalyi Czikszentmihaly.

I've had the opportunity on a half-dozen occasions to ask world record holders how it felt to set a WR. Aaron Peirsol said "When I touched the pad I felt like I could have just kept going." Each of them described the experience in words that expressed the same thing. Their swims didn't hurt; they felt great. I wouldn't automatically chalk that up exclusively to taper and fastskin. When I swam my mystical race in 1969, I had none of that going for me.


That has led me to wonder whether the emphasis on "pushing through pain barriers" in training is well placed. Since the best swims we are fortunate to have are flow state experiences to a remarkable degree, it seems to me an equally strong argument could be made for training to achieve flow states as often as possible in practice.

In fact, I've been doing just that for years and I now have
"flow experiences" in races on a fairly regular basis - especially in OW. Want to learn more? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Csikszentmihalyi

KaizenSwimmer
October 15th, 2006, 11:22 PM
Hand Anchoring: again misleading if interpreted "literally" but in my case for fly/free (haven't gotten there ith back yet...but working on it)...it is an absolutey accurate analogy.....my sensation is that I swim thru my hand vs. drive my hand thru.....when in reality there is absolute force being generated...the "plant" that takes place is actually in motion but the appearance and sensation is what Terry describes.

In 1969 or 1970 Doc Counsilman filmed Mark Spitz at IU with an underwater camera. He attached lights to Spitz's hands and had him swim against a grid backdrop so his hand movements would show up clearly. When he developed the film he was stunned to see that Spitz's hands exited the water ahead of where they entered. After observing that, Doc theorized the idea of "lift" vs. "drag" propulsion for the first time. "Lift" has since been discounted as an explanation, but all the same there's no question that Spitz could not have been pushing water back but had found a way to make his hand stand still (anchor) and move his body past it.

When I swim I always have a picture in mind of an ideal stroke - a blending of elements I've seen in quite a few elites. I also have an intuition for how I'd likely feel if I were ever to achieve that ideal. At moderate speeds, I can come tantalizingly close to it. Every minute of my training is an exercise in maintaining that sensation more consistently, for greater distances and at higher speeds. Conditioning "happens" but, in my mind, that's secondary to movement-honing.

I also have a clear picture and sense of everything that's NOT that ideal -- from years of swimming that way and from video of thousands of "strugglers." I can also see how my Masters teammates swim and only one comes anywhere near to what I see on video of Thorpe, Hackett et. al. The elites trap and hold a large volume of water, maintain a highly leveraged position throughout the stroke, and make no bubbles. My teammates spend a lot of energy making bubbles and stirring up the water. Most never achieve the leveraged foream position or lose it quickly. So I'm highly conscious throughout practice of "avoiding entropy."

As a guidance system, I use focal points for entry, extension and catch.
Quiet entry so the water stays undisturbed where I grip it.
Patient catch to make sure I trap and control the water before stroking.
Hold as large a volume of water as possible behind my hand and forearm (I visualize a Swiss ball inside the arm). Try not to let a single bubble escape.
Use my whole body as a unit -- and relatively light arm pressure - to move past my anchored hand.

This afternoon our main set was 3 x 1000. On #1 I felt just the way I want for the first 250 or so, but could sense gradual, small losses of form over the final 750, despite every effort to hold it.
On #2 I aimed for a feeling of a very stable angle between upper arm and forearm as well as more consistent synchronization of leg-drive with catch. I didn't swim "harder" but could feel more "sensation" of my body doing work, but doing it well. I dropped 20 seconds.

I have sensed that my major muscle groups are not prone to breakdown in the course of a training set like that -- or in a race. Losses of form virtually all occur in small muscle groups - those that keep the hand and forearm at optimal pitch, and keep the elbow from collapsing. Being small, those muscles generally cannot handle high rate, high pressure stroking. But with patience and a lot of low-pressure imprinting they can gradually improve.

The intense concentration tasks like that require is exactly the kind of activity that produces flow states.

aquaFeisty
October 16th, 2006, 07:45 AM
The books by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi are really good. I like Finding Flow - about getting into the zone during everyday life and would highly recommend it.

I am not anywhere remotely near an elite swimmer, but I too have had a race where everything just seemed to click. It was the 100 breast (sorry, I know this is a freestyle thread!), which is usually the most painful of the breaststroke races for me. I dropped nearly 2 seconds from my best time (1:20 mid down to 1:18.8). I hardly remember anything about the race except that I felt smooth, in control, and like I could have kept going.

aquaFeisty
October 16th, 2006, 07:50 AM
I should note, though, that my fastest 100 free was a VERY painful experience!!!

:D

gull
October 16th, 2006, 08:54 AM
If these terms are all intended as "metaphors," I have no problem. Let me elaborate:

1. "Effortless." Of course that is the feeling we strive for. But I believe that training for competition is anything but.

2. "Weight shift." Of course there will be weight shifts if you are rotating properly. But this is not the primary source of propulsion in freestyle. And as I have posted before, I do not believe you can use the analogy of a baseball pitcher, who has the benefit of a solid surface to push against.

3. "Hand anchoring." Of course your hand isn't really stationary; this is just a feeling, right? Unless of course you truly beliieve that you are moving forward because of weight shifts. Who here believes that?

SolarEnergy
October 16th, 2006, 09:20 AM
1. "Effortless." Of course that is the feeling we strive for. But I believe that training for competition is anything but. Effortless is a quest more than a metaphor I believe.

When looking at elite swimmer performing their warm ups off 1:20/100m, question is : If I could have their technique, what would the RPE (rate of perceived effort) be for me at the same speed?


But this is not the primary source of propulsion in freestyle. I donno. Hard to tell. You must be right I donno.


3. "Hand anchoring." Of course your hand isn't really stationary; this is just a feeling, right? Unless of course you truly beliieve that you are moving forward because of weight shifts. Who here believes that? Hand anchoring probably refers to one's ability to have a solid feeling under tha palm of the hands, and to develop the feeling that the body is moving forward rather than the hand going backward.

KaizenSwimmer
October 16th, 2006, 09:21 AM
Unless of course you truly beliieve that you are moving forward because of weight shifts. Who here believes that?

Have you considered the possibility you might benefit if you were to devote a bit more energy to plain curiosity and a bit less to being disputatious?

Please show me in which post I said you move forward because of weight shifts without including the essential element of traction from the hand and forearm.

I have also noted several times that much of the language I choose is intended to get people to consider the possibility of alternative explanations, to those most of us grew up with, for how swimming works. The traditional ways of thinking are so ingrained that it's difficult to get any "traction" against them without speaking/writing emphatically and employing the occasional metaphor.

Can anyone really believe, for instance, that swimming can ever truly be "effortless?" It is however an effective way to stake out a clear distinction in approach from "No Pain, No Gain" (we did t-shirts that said "No Brain, No Gain), "That which does not kill me makes me stronger" and "PTA: Pain Torture Agony" all of which I've seen on too many swimming t-shirts to count.

Once you have someone's attention, you can then point out that the most memorable swims we are fortunate to have in a lifetime - whether those represent a 1:18 100 Breast at one level or a World Record at another - are indeed characterized by a feeling of effort-less-ness, not by brave tolerance of punishment...and pose the question of whether that should guide our choices in training.

KaizenSwimmer
October 16th, 2006, 09:32 AM
I should note, though, that my fastest 100 free was a VERY painful experience!!!:D

Then you should consider the possibility that you haven't yet swum your BEST 100 Free.

I've mentioned before that I coached the sprint group at West Point from Sept 96 to March 99 and that we devoted most of our time to learning and practicing movement economy - longer strokes, less reliance on stroke rate, better blending of pull and kick into a harmonious whole.

A moment when it was strikingly clear how much their swimming was being transformed was during the prelim session of the Patriot League championship in Feb 97. Joe Novak anchored the 400 Medley Relay in qualifying. He had done 49.1 the previous year as a plebe in the same meet and did not make any Army relays. He split 43.9. When I calculated his split and read it to the split-taker, the other cadets sitting within earshot exclaimed "No way! That looked too slow!" The next season he split 43.1 to make up a body-length deficit anchoring the free relay against Navy. The Navy swimmer looked like he was going much harder. He also looked like he was standing still.

When you get it right, you might swim a time that will surprise -- maybe even shock -- you, and wonder how you managed to do it without hurting.

geochuck
October 16th, 2006, 09:36 AM
I think I will have my first coffee of the day 6:30 am here a little late rising. I watched a short film last night Mao Swims in the Yangtze River he was an amazing very bad swimmer at 73. I did notice he was doing a head up dog paddle, He was weght shifting to take advantage of the river current. It looked as if he were anchored to the bottom for quite a while but really started to move once he took advantage of the Flow (of the river).

gull
October 16th, 2006, 09:41 AM
Have you considered the possibility you might benefit if you were to devote a bit more energy to plain curiosity and a bit less to being disputatious?


This is a discussion forum. If you don't want your ideas to be challenged, you shouldn't post here. Anyway, I was responding to Paul's post. I guess you didn't find his post disputatious since he agreed with you.

And if I lacked curiosity, I would not have bought one of your books, read it cover to cover, and tried the drills.

geochuck
October 16th, 2006, 10:00 AM
I read once that the hand during the catch phase should move into dead water as pressure was being applied, should I belive this or not??? I read this 50 years ago it must not be good we better through it out or maybe not..

geochuck
October 16th, 2006, 10:19 AM
This is Mao swimming.

gull
October 16th, 2006, 10:38 AM
I don't care for his head position, but it certainly does look effortless.

geochuck
October 16th, 2006, 10:41 AM
I don't care for his head position, but it certainly does look effortless. Do you think he is anchored or is he in the Fow motion?

aquageek
October 16th, 2006, 11:06 AM
When you get it right, you might swim a time that will surprise -- maybe even shock -- you, and wonder how you managed to do it without hurting.

One thing I enjoy about this forum is that I can take bits and pieces of advice to improve my swimming, or to wreck it completely.

But, Terry, sometimes your posts come across as a bit preachy and holier than thou. It's quite obvious you have a passion and certainly some expertise in swimming. However, I also think it is entirely possible to swim quite fast, be in as much or little pain as possible, and have no interest in TI, and that's completely fine.

Personally, some pain "hurts so good."

LindsayNB
October 16th, 2006, 12:02 PM
In 1969 or 1970 Doc Counsilman filmed Mark Spitz at IU with an underwater camera. He attached lights to Spitz's hands and had him swim against a grid backdrop so his hand movements would show up clearly. When he developed the film he was stunned to see that Spitz's hands exited the water ahead of where they entered. After observing that, Doc theorized the idea of "lift" vs. "drag" propulsion for the first time. "Lift" has since been discounted as an explanation, but all the same there's no question that Spitz could not have been pushing water back but had found a way to make his hand stand still (anchor) and move his body past it.


While not disputing that zero slippage is what you should aim for and what you want it to feel like, I think your conclusions are as erroneous as Doc's were. The key words here are "enter" and "exit" not "catch" and "release". Consider the catchup drill, the hand enters the water, moves forward slightly if it wasn't fully extended at entry and then, along with the rest of the body, moves forward a large distance as the opposite arm executes the pull, then moves forward some more as the swimmer continues to kick as the opposite arm recovers, it then makes the catch and pulls. Even a not very skilled swimmer can probably slip less than the distance the hand has moved forward since entry. I am not suggesting that Spitz was swimming in this fashion but illustrating that the analysis is flawed by failing to take into account the contribution of the opposite arm and the kick. When an explanation violates basic principles of physics the explanation needs to be reexamined. The people who argued for lift over drag and talked about Bernoulli would have been wise to check with someone in their physics or engineering departments who could have told them that the hand is not shaped in a way that allows Bernoulli's principle to apply. They might also have observed some swimmers and noted that no one was approaching race speed while doing their sculling drills. They might also have done some experiments on the magnitude of forces generated by sculling and compared that to the forces needed to move a body through the water at race speed.

I suspect that the "value" of the "vault over your arms", in addition to setting up hand and arm positions for maximum drag/minimal slip is that this mental image causes people to picture a movement in which they make use of their lats. When you picture pulling yourself up on the edge of the pool or vaulting over a lane line you intuitively tense your lat muscles.

On the issue of power from hip rotation, it is interesting to consider butterfly, where there is no long axis rotation. Is there a totally different explanation for the very similar arm action based on short axis rotation? Or is the rotation more about positioning than transmission of power? I think it was in Swimming Fastest that the author cited a study that showed that the "kinetic chain" may be a viable "feel" but that it isn't feasible in terms of physics.

Again, I'm not disputing the utility of the anchored hand "feel", its just that if you get to the point where one actually believes that Spitz's arms were moving forward during the pull then that leads one off in a wrong direction, witness the whole lift based swimming dead end.

And again, I am not being adversarial, I am just attempting to explore this topic.

aquaFeisty
October 16th, 2006, 02:27 PM
Then you should consider the possibility that you haven't yet swum your BEST 100 Free.

I've mentioned before that I coached the sprint group at West Point from Sept 96 to March 99 and that we devoted most of our time to learning and practicing movement economy - longer strokes, less reliance on stroke rate, better blending of pull and kick into a harmonious whole.

A moment when it was strikingly clear how much their swimming was being transformed was during the prelim session of the Patriot League championship in Feb 97. Joe Novak anchored the 400 Medley Relay in qualifying. He had done 49.1 the previous year as a plebe in the same meet and did not make any Army relays. He split 43.9. When I calculated his split and read it to the split-taker, the other cadets sitting within earshot exclaimed "No way! That looked too slow!" The next season he split 43.1 to make up a body-length deficit anchoring the free relay against Navy. The Navy swimmer looked like he was going much harder. He also looked like he was standing still.

When you get it right, you might swim a time that will surprise -- maybe even shock -- you, and wonder how you managed to do it without hurting.


I sure hope I haven't swam my fastest 100 free. But as for a not-painful 100? Hmmm... maybe, maybe not. I think a 6-beat kick creates pain and I think a 6-beat kick is essential to a fast 100. My last breakthrough on the 100 free was when I decided to take it out fast, with my 6-beat sprint kick, and trust that I would survive the 2nd 50. I had been stuck at 1:03-high since the age of 13 and that approach took me to a 1:01-high (at the age of 26 or 27). And that hurt.

In addition to trying to train more consistently, I am working on stroke efficiency, turns, etc to get my time lower, but I think there might still be some pain involved in that faster time. And that's just peachy... provided the time improves!! :)

geochuck
October 16th, 2006, 02:32 PM
I sure hope I haven't swam my fastest 100 free. But as for a not-painful 100? Hmmm... maybe, maybe not. I think a 6-beat kick creates pain and I think a 6-beat kick is essential to a fast 100. My last breakthrough on the 100 free was when I decided to take it out fast, with my 6-beat sprint kick, and trust that I would survive the 2nd 50. I had been stuck at 1:03-high since the age of 13 and that approach took me to a 1:01-high (at the age of 26 or 27). And that hurt.

In addition to trying to train more consistently, I am working on stroke efficiency, turns, etc to get my time lower, but I think there might still be some pain involved in that faster time. And that's just peachy... provided the time improves!! :) I am sure I have swam my fastest and do not intend to try to swim any faster.

aquaFeisty
October 16th, 2006, 02:47 PM
The slower you were when you were younger, the easier it is to go faster now! :D

I am not a former Olympian (unlike some very computer-savvy 73 year olds on this site) so I hope to go faster!! George, I can only dream of times like you swam! (Even if I adjust the times to account for the fact that I'm a girl!) :)

KaizenSwimmer
October 16th, 2006, 03:15 PM
preachy and holier than thou.

What a peculiar way to characterize a post in which I urged someone to believe in the possibility of dramatic improvement...transformation even.

aquageek
October 16th, 2006, 03:22 PM
What a peculiar way to characterize a post in which I urged someone to believe in the possibility of dramatic improvement...transformation even.


I said "sometimes" but you left that out. I was also referring to your body of work, not a single post in particular. Do you acknowledge other views, or no views at all, or just fun views, on swimming? Or, is your approach the only view you will consider? What if you just love to swim and occasionally will tinker with a thing here or there?

SolarEnergy
October 16th, 2006, 03:24 PM
On the issue of power from hip rotation, it is interesting to consider butterfly True that.
Butterfly is also much more energy consumming, hence the limited distances that people are typically able to swim. Breaststroke (no rotation)? It's a much slower stroke, and one where kicking contribution is huge.
Really, I donno.

If that much power was generated from body rotation, could we expect backstroke to be faster than it is? Well... food for thoughts.


I think it was in Swimming Fastest that the author cited a study that showed that the "kinetic chain" may be a viable "feel" but that it isn't feasible in terms of physics. Not sure if science can really rule in or out the potential contribution of body rotation.

It's funny you should mention Swimming Fastest. Because one of the main highlight of this edition, as far as freestyle is concern, was that the author admitted having been wrong in with his "anchor theory". You certainly remember its two previous editions (Swimming Faster, Swimming Even Faster). He was the biggest defender of the "Lift theory" in accordance to which the hand does't travel backward at all. Not even one inche. The underlying theory was that swimmers actually move their hands from side to side, in some sweeping motions, using them as propelor blades creating solid lifts. Maglischo, the same way that Terry does at the moment, did promote the "anchor" theory for roughly 2 decades. His main opponent was Rushall if I'm not mistaken. Well Maglischo only recently (2003) retracted in the very first pages of Swimming Fastest.

And to tell you the truth Lyndsay, I expect him to retract on the body rotation power statement as well (page 80). He got distracted by the "hip" thing (power generated by the hips). And that's unfortunate I find. Because while I have difficulty to see how power can be generated from the hips, I definitely see or feel that the back muscles (latissimus dorsi) benefit from this body rotation. Again I'll refer to my relunctant fuel "Lawn mower". When we need to start it for the first time of year, with the huge cloud of blue smoke, we naturally give it a huge body twist. I see a analogy with swimming the free style, though I might be wrong.

KaizenSwimmer
October 16th, 2006, 03:28 PM
I think a 6-beat kick creates pain and I think a 6-beat kick is essential to a fast 100. My last breakthrough on the 100 free was when I decided to take it out fast, with my 6-beat sprint kick, and trust that I would survive the 2nd 50.

Do you suppose Matt Biondi (insert name of any fluent-stroking world class swimmer) felt pain when swimming with a 6-beat? Obviously I can't speak for him or others, but I'll bet they felt fantastic. You could too -- and when you do I'll bet you swim a time that you might now find inconceivable.

What I see world class swimmers do is "tune" the kick so it blends seamlessly with everything else. When they do they're not any more aware of one element than the others - nor is the observer. When that happens, it doesn't hurt. When it hurts, it's very likely that you're over-kicking.

What was the split differential in that best time 100, on which you "survived" the 2nd 50? Did you fall off much more than 2 seconds from 1st to 2nd 50? If so, you may want to experiment with a different race strategy just to see what happens -- and how you feel -- when you split the two 50s 1.5 to 2 seconds apart.

Why in that range? Because the majority of 100 yd/m Free finalists at national and international championships are within that window. The percentage of winners and record holders who split within that range is even higher. Check the splits for current American and World records on the USA Swimming website.

If you want to split within that range you need to do a bit of planning. It doesn't come naturally. Practice, rehearse, visualize, etc until it's burned into your mind:muscle connection. Then swim your plan when you race.

geochuck
October 16th, 2006, 03:38 PM
I am of the theory don't believe anything you read and half of what you see. Most of the swim books I have read almost fall into the first category and can't believe everthing I see when I watch swimmers like Thorpe and Hackett wow what swimmers they are.

KaizenSwimmer
October 16th, 2006, 03:51 PM
Do you acknowledge other views?

You seem not to have noticed that I've referenced Johnny Weismuller, Bill Bachrach, Howard Firby, and Doc Counsilman in recent weeks.

As well I've learned a tremendous amount and been powerfully influenced by many unexpected sources. I get invaluable insights literally every day from posts on the TI Discussion Forum and from many of my students. I'm not operating from a fixed set of assumptions but from observation and interpretation and personal experimentation that is ongoing.

In the event, exactly what would you have me do differently?

knelson
October 16th, 2006, 04:21 PM
I am not suggesting that Spitz was swimming in this fashion but illustrating that the analysis is flawed by failing to take into account the contribution of the opposite arm and the kick.

Thanks for pointing this out because this always bugged me, too.

There's one thing I'm absolutely positive about in swimming: the only way to accelerate forward is to apply a force against the water. The only way to swim faster is to either increase this force, decrease the resistance to this force or both.

mattson
October 16th, 2006, 04:46 PM
There's one thing I'm absolutely positive about in swimming: the only way to accelerate forward is to apply a force against the water.

You can push off the wall: no force against the water. :thhbbb:

LindsayNB
October 16th, 2006, 04:59 PM
I think it was in Swimming Fastest that the author cited a study that showed that the "kinetic chain" may be a viable "feel" but that it isn't feasible in terms of physics.
Not sure if science can really rule in or out the potential contribution of body rotation.

Oops, I forgot to say that the study I am thinking of dealt with the "kinetic chain" as it relates to butterfly/undulation/dolphin kick. Sometimes people talk about starting the undulation in your chest and "whipping" a wave down through your body to your feet, if I recall correctly the study showed that the physics of this in an aquatic medium don't work. Which is not to say that you shouldn't move in a way that looks like a wave moving down your body, just that the energy won't be transmitted down your body in the way that it is when you whip a wet towel or throw a baseball for example. In this case the wave moving down the body is a concise way of describing the desired movement and feel, no problem there, it is the explanation of "why" that I believe is off the mark. Another problem I see with that model is it doesn't fit with a two-kick style fly.

I know that rotation works for me, I'm just not ready to buy the statement that the "power is coming from the hips" as a literal statement, I suspect the power is coming from the lats. Perhaps when my stroke improves I'll get the feel of power coming from my hips.

scyfreestyler
October 16th, 2006, 06:16 PM
I am starting to think that I should take bits and pieces from everbodies posts and write my own book about swimming called "Take It Or Leave It".

SolarEnergy
October 16th, 2006, 07:12 PM
Oops, I forgot to say that the study I am thinking of dealt with the "kinetic chain" as it relates to butterfly/undulation/dolphin kick. Sometimes people talk about starting the undulation in your chest and "whipping" a wave down through your body to your feet, if I recall correctly the study showed that the physics of this in an aquatic medium don't work. Now wait a second (not aggressive, I'm curently smiling).

Now don't tell me power comes solely from the ankles.

It at least come from the knee extention, but what about the hip movement. When we say butterfly kicking requires good abs, does some of this power ultimately getting transmitted to the feet indirectly as well? Where's the limit and who can tell?

I know that rotation works for me, I'm just not ready to buy the statement that the "power is coming from the hips" Me neither I'm like you on that. Probably a sound advice from a pedagogical perspective, but I can't feel it that much.

And you know, I don't buy this counter argument according to which being in a liquid environment prevent for such a transfert. I just think that being "anchored" by the hands, it makes more sense (at least to me) to focus more on shoulder rotation rather than hips.

I donno how the proponents of hip rotation explain this phenomenon. But as a shoulder proponent my take is very simple. I use upward body rotation to help bringing the arm backward. On the upsweep, the shoulder's position goes from deep to far back. Just there I think we benefit from rotation. don't you think?


I suspect the power is coming from the lats. Me too. Power comes from there, and fatigue comes from everywhere.

LindsayNB
October 16th, 2006, 10:59 PM
One way to think of this is to consider a simple pendulum. In the absense of friction or drag a pendulum, once started will continue to swing back and forth indefinately. If you immerse the pendulum in a very viscous fluid it will settle to the bottom and stop. In a less viscous fluid it will swing past a ways but will swing less each stroke until it stops.

With a free swinging pendulum if you move the hinge at the top back and forth with the correct timing you can cause the weight at the bottom to swing back and forth. But if the pendulum is in a very viscous fluid you can't build momentum this way, the fluid just absorbs the energy you put into the system.

I believe that undulation in the fly works the same way, energy you put into the chest or hips is not transmitted down to the feet, it is absorbed by the water, you have to power each segment of the body/pendulum to produce the desired undulation and movement below the knees, which is the only part that is producing significant forward propulsion.

If you do a simple geometric analysis of the movement of your upper leg during butterfly the downward movement of the upper leg doesn't produce forward propulsion because there is no backward component to the movement, but the downward movement can help lift your hips and it positions your knees below your ankles so that the downward movement of your lower legs does have a propulsive backward component to it. Even with no transmission of energy the movement plays an important role in making the whole stroke work through positioning.

Butterfly seems to me to be a wonderous dance of many body parts, each playing a role, not all the roles are propulsive, some just position other body parts, and the lovely thing is that a complicated and intricate series of coordinated movements can be described simply as a wave moving down the body.

SolarEnergy
October 17th, 2006, 07:52 AM
I believe that undulation in the fly works the same way, energy you put into the chest or hips is not transmitted down to the feet, it is absorbed by the water, you have to power each segment of the body/pendulum to produce the desired undulation and movement below the knees, which is the only part that is producing significant forward propulsion.
So in your opinion, the power generated from the quad muscles (responsable for lower leg extention) is sufficient for having a body moving under water at speed that excess any other stroke? That leaves me with a question though :
Why is it impossible to match this speed with underwater flutter kick?

aquageek
October 17th, 2006, 08:24 AM
In the event, exactly what would you have me do differently?

Here are a couple of ideas that may benefit both your business and interested swimmers.

First, pay for a sponsored link on the USMS Home page. Maybe you already do this. I really believe you should pay for the marketing you do on this site.

Second, much as Ande does, have you own discussion thread devoted to TI and your theories. That way folks could drop by whenever they want, pose questions, etc. Ande's "blog" of sorts on this forum has been quite useful over the past year or so.

KaizenSwimmer
October 17th, 2006, 09:11 AM
I'm just not ready to buy the statement that the "power is coming from the hips" as a literal statement.

It's probably best not to take that statement -- or many others -- as literal. Doing so hems you in to narrow, formalistic interpretations which are of interest more as intellectual exercises than as a way of changing someone's stroke for the better.

"Power from the hips" has been a "buzz phrase" in swimming since around 1990. I used it regularly myself 10-15 years ago, but have since changed the language I emphasize - for two reasons:
1) Strictly speaking, there isn't enough muscle in the hips to actually generate power -- the hips act more of a "force-coupler" (I hope some engineer doesn't take me to task for misusing this term...but I trust you know what I mean), the action of which can connect a sizeable amount of mass - and muscle - in the upper torso with that in the lower torso.
2) Where, exactly, are the hips? Any two people might interpret differently. Since my aim is to get people to swim more "with the body" -- and less with the arms and legs -- I've opted for phrases that encourage "broader thinking."
E.G. For freestyle, my preferred term is "draw energy from the high side." Which means to shift your consciousness away from pushing water back --the pulling arm is always on the low side of your body -- to spearing-forward with the entering arm, while "holding on to your place in the water" with the other. (For backstroke that formulation doesn't work as well since there's not as much overlap between the two arms so we use different phrases to achieve a similar effect - one of which refers to the hips.) Why the high side? Because gravity working on mass will magnify any action taken on that side. If you focus on the low side you're limited to using whatever muscle is available.

For fly and breast, I've used similar language centered around the idea that when you want to increase the power of your movements, drive your chest down more powerfully as you land, When you want to increase the ratedo it by moving your midsection (chest-hip rocking action) faster, rather than moving your arms and legs faster.

In the end, any phrase or label you choose is inherently imperfect, subject as it is to interpretation, then translation from language center to neuromuscular control to movement, with countless opportunities for error.

Any phrase I write or speak is one born of a process:
1) experiment until I find the movements or emphases that feel better or produce measurable (stroke count, swim golf score, effort level at a given speed, etc.) improvement.
2) create vocabularly that describes my personalexperience of that movement.
3) test that language with students.
4) drop words or phrases that don't resonate; opt for those that "click" with the most people.

Do they necessarily work well for everyone? No. When they don't I try another. Far more preferable are: (1) "problem-solving exercises" that allowing them to make discoveries themselves, and (2) visual communication, a demonstration or video. But writing or speaking limits what's available to mainly language.

In any case, none of this is an idle exercise. I make these choices all day, every day. Yesterday as a case in point:

From 10am to 3pm I did a final edit on a butterfly video due for release next month, during which I was focused on making sure that every carefully considered word I spoke on the soundtrack was synchronized with a movement sequence so each would reinforce the other.

From 4:30 to 5:30 I worked with a 42 y.o. woman who went 23.9 for 50 Free in HS 25 years ago and is returning to competitive swimming after a long hiatus, hoping to swim well in sprints as well as be competitive in USMS LD events. After video analysis, we spent most of the hour on exercises designed to help her slow her catch enough to let the core body come into position to power the stroke. We were working in an Endless Pool and the measure of "success" was whether she could slow her Stroke Rate (measured by timing 10 strokes) while swimming in a current of constant velocity, while she studied the extension, catch and first third of her stroke in the bottom mirror. The first couple of focal points we tried didn't quite click. The third one did -- at which point I asked her how she would describe the experience.

From 6-8 pm I swam with, and coached, a group of 12 yo's on the age group team we coach in New Paltz. After having them attempt to swim 3 descending 100s and seeing that every one of them went slower on #2 than on #1 -- even after I emphasized they should swim easily on #1, I stopped the set and asked them why they went slower. "I got tired." I asked why. "I'm not in shape." So I had them all run from the wall to the backstroke flags and back to experience resistance. We then talked about how resistance is probably the main thing making them tired. I had them watch me swim halfway down and back, then comment on what they saw me do that they thought might reduce resistance. Then we swam a short ladder set 25+50+75+100. My only instruction was to try to imitate one thing they observed me do and think about how their swimming felt different as a result. After the 25 I asked them to describe what felt different. "Smoother, longer, easier." Then we did the 50, after which I asked them to grade themselves on the two laps. Mostly they gave themselves an A on the 1st 25 and a B on the 2nd. So we focused on the idea that their job on the 75 was to try to stay as close to the feeling they achieved on the first lap as possible. Etc.

This is getting very long, but my hope is to make the case that improving your swimming is an organic process, the goal of which is to figure out the movements that work best, develop a system that helps you distinguish between ineffective and effective movements and then try to use effective movements as consistently as possible in training. Language is one tool, and certainly the least effective, in that process.

While things I've written have, for instance, caused "spirited" debate over what position your head should be in, the non-negotiable position for it is "engaged in thinking about your stroke."

The Fortress
October 17th, 2006, 09:25 AM
Geek:

I don't agree with your last post. Ande's blog focuses mostly on his workouts and his individual progress with some responses to questions. I'd rather hear Terry's suggestions on a particular stroke question raised by a thread than searching through what could be a long blog on lost of topics.

My strokes are not "effortless" (and I don't have a 2 beat kick) but I sure would like to improve or modify them -- especially if doing so saves my shoulders. I get more info from this website than from my coach. So I appreciate the input and weigh over all the suggestions, knowing that some might not be right for me and some could really help.

Leslie

aquageek
October 17th, 2006, 09:34 AM
Geek:

I don't agree with your last post.

It was just a suggestion, you don't have to like it. Personally, I find this forum is beginning to feel somewhat hijacked by TI stuff. It is for that reason that I suggested a stand alone discussion thread, much like Ande's, which has proven very successful.

"Effortless" strokes, two beat kicks, whatever. Just make sure you are applying them appropriately to what you do and not part of the Kool-Aid cups that are being passed around. You can love to swim in a thousand different ways.

KaizenSwimmer
October 17th, 2006, 09:38 AM
First, pay for a sponsored link on the USMS Home page. Maybe you already do this. I really believe you should pay for the marketing you do on this site.

Second, much as Ande does, have you own discussion thread devoted to TI and your theories. That way folks could drop by whenever they want, pose questions, etc. Ande's "blog" of sorts on this forum has been quite useful over the past year or so.

Both very good suggestions. I have already expressed to Mel Goldstein my interest in having TI become a corporate sponsor of USMS in 2007. Partially because I have a strong personal interest in Masters. Partially because Masters swimmers are the heart of the demographic we are most interested in - "boomers who take swimming seriously" - and likely to be influential to the broader swimming population in their community.

In doing so, both Mel and I acknowledged the potential for perceptions of conflict of interest. It's an interesting phenomenon that the involvement of Speedo, Tyr or other sponsors is viewed as normal corporate activity, while our actions are sometimes viewed as impure or slightly suspect...because our "business" happens to be swim instruction. (When Rob Copeland and Mark Gill asked me to chair the Fitness Committee for 07, we had the same discussion.)In any case, we have already decided to set aside budget to be a USMS sponsor.

Ande's blog is obviously popular and has drawn a strong response. In my posts here I'm already blogging in a similar way, on a variety of forums. I asked myself whether I should propose a thread devoted to TI discussion, but was hesitant to do so, reluctant to provoke a reaction that such a thread might have a "corporate" taint.

With you suggesting the same, I wonder whether my reluctance has been misplaced.

As for the "marketing" I do on this site, my posting does virtually nothing to move the needle on our revenues, because the audience reading these posts numbers in the dozens to low 100s. Strategically speaking it's a poor use of my time. I do it purely because I enjoy discussing swimming and it helps me gauge whether a turn of phrase is more likely to resonate or misfire.

The Fortress
October 17th, 2006, 09:43 AM
Geek:

I'm sure you tell from my prior posts that I am not just drinking from Kool-aid cups." I have a brain.

Now I agree with your last paragraph (and what you said about triathletes on another thread). There are many different ways to swim and to work out. For example, I am not changing to a 2 beat kick -- I'm a sprinter -- and I'm going to keep kicking sets in my training regimen. And I don't believe swimming TI will "save" my shoulders. I have to swim around them -- sometimes with fins, which I know you don't like. But with them I can still swim and be fit, loving it the way you suggest. I was just saying I'm not adverse to listening to other people's ideas.

Leslie

KaizenSwimmer
October 17th, 2006, 09:48 AM
Butterfly seems to me to be a wonderous dance of many body parts, each playing a role, not all the roles are propulsive, some just position other body parts, and the lovely thing is that a complicated and intricate series of coordinated movements can be described simply as a wave moving down the body.

This statement is eloquent, artful and accurate. Well said.

KaizenSwimmer
October 17th, 2006, 10:04 AM
So in your opinion, the power generated from the quad muscles (responsable for lower leg extention) is sufficient for having a body moving under water at speed that excess any other stroke?

It's indisputable that the quads can generate greater power than nearly any other muscle - otherwise 60 yard field goals would be impossible.
However, unlike field-goal kicking, swimming requires the same action performed repeatedly and tirelessly many times without pause, so you must balance power with fatigue.

As a large muscle in the extremities the quads are highly prone to fatigue. So one should try to minimize knee bend -- because higher amplitude movements require more power -- and not overuse the quads. It's core muscle that controls hip/knee bending and integrates the quads with upper body muscle so that's your midsection is critical. (This is also why in another post I said that I emphasize setting your stroke rate for Short Axis strokes in the midsection, rather than the extremities.)

Simple exercise to experience/improve this: Timed vertical dolphin kicking. Try to complete 16 to 20 cycles in 10 seconds. You'll need to use compact, high frequency dolphins to accomplish that and will learn how higher levels of "tone" in the midsection is essential to completing more dolphins. When you can feel it, experiment with using the same sensation on your pushoff-dolphins.

KaizenSwimmer
October 17th, 2006, 10:07 AM
Geek:

I'm sure you tell from my prior posts that I am not just drinking from Kool-aid cups." I have a brain.

There's nothing original about this phrase. It's been used many times before to suggest those enthused about TI are cultlike rather than passionate and engaged. It's an insult to their intelligence and infers we encourage mindless devotion rather than examined swimming.

geochuck
October 17th, 2006, 10:29 AM
Terry before you came on this site, I told everyone what I thought. You have a very slick promotion plan, your plan is a copy of everthing we have done in the past to become good swimmers. Not much new in there, I even stood up and said to the others to take it easy. Now you are making me sick with your attitude - MY WAY OR NO WAY.

KaizenSwimmer
October 17th, 2006, 10:42 AM
Now you are making me sick with your attitude - MY WAY OR NO WAY.

Well, George, no one can accuse you of not being consistent. You never tire of this phrase.

Time to start a new thread: Count the ways Terry makes me sick.
Have fun with it.

thewookiee
October 17th, 2006, 10:46 AM
- MY WAY OR NO WAY.

George, have you had enough coffee this morning? Where in any posts has Terry said it was "His way or no way"

He has said that not everything he writes or does works for everyone. He has said that if you don't like his terms or the way he practices, then don't try his way.

All he has asked people to do, before knocking/taking issue with his way of thinking is to try it sometime and try it with an honest effort.

If his methods don't work, then stick to what works for each individual swimmer.

But he has never said it "his way or no way"

geochuck
October 17th, 2006, 10:47 AM
That would probably the longest thread on the site.

geochuck
October 17th, 2006, 10:55 AM
George, have you had enough coffee this morning? Where in any posts has Terry said it was "His way or no way"

He has said that not everything he writes or does works for everyone. He has said that if you don't like his terms or the way he practices, then don't try his way.

All he has asked people to do, before knocking/taking issue with his way of thinking is to try it sometime and try it with an honest effort.

If his methods don't work, then stick to what works for each individual swimmer.

But he has never said it "his way or no way"

He implies it. I do not disagree with everything he says, I just don't agree with every thing he says. Am I not able to say what I think? Then he bit quotes and leaves out the whole quote.

LindsayNB
October 17th, 2006, 11:13 AM
So in your opinion, the power generated from the quad muscles (responsable for lower leg extention) is sufficient for having a body moving under water at speed that excess any other stroke? That leaves me with a question though :
Why is it impossible to match this speed with underwater flutter kick?

To form an informed opinion on that I would want to know the force needed to move a body through the water at race speed totally submerged and on the surface. I have certainly read that wave drag on the surface is a lot bigger than the drag forces under water, but I can't remember any quantification of the difference. If the difference is big enough then the hypothesis would seem reasonable. It would be interesting to get the relative speeds of underwater streamlined dolphin kick versus on the surface dolphin kick. The quads are pretty large muscles and when I watch the downbeat of the lower leg during underwater SDK the movement is very fast, much faster than arm movements. So the hypothesis seems plausible enough to warrant gathering the experimental evidence.

As for dolphin kick versus flutter kick I would not find it surprising that the alternate kick in flutter created enough turbulance in the water to reduce the forward propulsion significantly. I mean you have your two legs, right beside one another, one moving up and one moving down, there has got to be some interference and loss of efficiency there. That's pure conjecture though.

thewookiee
October 17th, 2006, 11:16 AM
Then he bit quotes and leaves out the whole quote.


You are allowed to think what you want and then say it, just like everyone.

As for the phrase that I have quoted from you, it seems like a lot of people on this particular thread do the exact same to Terry as well. So that is the pot calling the kettle black.

I don't think it is accurate to say he is implying it is his way or no way. Terry has stated, very patiently, that the way he swims, the way he teachers others to swim or trains others to swim, come from his experiences. His experiences have led him to use certain terms/phrases to help others relate to what he is saying.

Terry's way of swimming and thinking have allowed him to swim as well or better than he ever has in the past. He wants people to keep an open mind when it comes to swimming and to improvement, realizing that the possiblities are endless. If that is implying anything, it is saying that if you close your mind, then you limit your potential.

George, you keep telling us how you swam decades ago, saying "this is how I did it" So, wouldn't it be fair to say that you believe it should be your way or no way?

thewookiee
October 17th, 2006, 11:31 AM
Here is a question for anyone that has a motor boat or knows physics. It has been mentioned that one's feet cannot anchor in water, since there is not a solid foundation.

Here is my question, how does the propeller of a motorboat send the boat forward? Would it be fair to say that the kicking motion of the legs, tied into the constant rotation of the body, create a similar action?

Thoughts?

geochuck
October 17th, 2006, 11:33 AM
I certainly did it my way and it did not always workout the way I wanted it to. I am happy that Terry and you have found a direction to go. I was lucky I was considered a natural swimmer, my legs always went to the surface when I did a front float even when I was 172 lbs. I found away around a lot of obstacles. I will still say there are a lot of ways to skin a cat (not an original statement gleaned from the past) I did not train enough I had my reasons. I even suggested from my website Total Immersion. Even at my age my legs don't work well but I can still swim the rest of my body is flexible.

A friend of mine 96 years old came up to me last summer and said "George how fast would you have been if you trained harder" I said we will never know.

geochuck
October 17th, 2006, 11:36 AM
Here is a question for anyone that has a motor boat or knows physics. It has been mentioned that one's feet cannot anchor in water, since there is not a solid foundation.

Here is my question, how does the propeller of a motorboat send the boat forward? Would it be fair to say that the kicking motion of the legs, tied into the constant rotation of the body, create a similar action?

Thoughts? Councilman adressed that big motor the swim stroke, the little motor - the legs can slow you down.

aquaFeisty
October 17th, 2006, 11:41 AM
My, my it is getting feisty on this thread.

Terry, you asked about my splits on the 100 free. I will tell you that I have NEVER split closer than 2.83 between the 1st 50 and the last 50 (that split was my fastest 100 free: 29.48, 1:01.79). My worst split was 4.63 (this was my SECOND fastest 100 free: 28.64, 1:01.91). That worst split was my last event on the last day of 2003 Nationals... and I figured why not take it out and just see what happens out of curiousity. I believe if this had been my first event of Nationals, I would have gone a lot faster with the same take it out philosophy. Before I broke 1:03, I used to go out smooth (without a 6 beat kick) in 30, come back in 33. Still a 3 sec differential. Last season, being undertrained and post-partum, I went 1:02.16 (out in 29.61, differential of 2.94). Still 3 seconds.

My 50 is 27.8. That 28.64 is not an unreasonable first 50 time. All my best 50 times and my best 100 times have been with a strong 6 beat kick.

Splits and discussion aside, I believe it is possible to improve my 100 time. However, in order to do that, the key thing (for me) is GET MY BUTT TO THE POOL! Gull posted something to the effect that you can work on technique but you still have to put in the time and hard work in the pool. (Sorry I didn't go back and find the quote, Gull, but I think that was the gist of it.) Until I bust my butt in practice, with the 6 beat kick that I plan to use during a race, the times aren't going to improve. No, I won't throw technique out... quite the opposite. I'm going to work on the technique I want to use while sprinting. The test will be next spring.

scyfreestyler
October 17th, 2006, 11:48 AM
Why are people so defensive about different swimming ideas? :dunno: Seriously? I just don't get it. If you don't like Terry's methods then ignore his posts but why turn it into some sort of "my way or the highway" thing? It makes very little sense to me why somebody would take something that is supposed to be fun and turn it into a heated argument in which personal insults are made. I generally try to apply two criteria to any subject in order to determine if I should bother being angry...#1 does it affect me or my family, #2 is there any money in it. Clearly this subject matter does not qualify for anger!

SolarEnergy
October 17th, 2006, 11:53 AM
Why are people so defensive about different swimming ideas? :dunno: Seriously? My little theory (sorry... an other of my theories;) ) is that we learn be arguing.

That's why I never take a argument over a debate on the wrong side. I'm flattered to be challenged.

gull
October 17th, 2006, 11:56 AM
Terry has been openly critical of mainstream coaching and the conventional wisdom with respect to training techniques and philosophy. And I mean critical. While USMS includes fitness swimmers, many of us do compete. And many of us read and ask questions. I think George is referring to the defensive (and at times dismissive) tone of Terry's posts on this forum in response to criticisms of his own methodology, which I find a bit ironic.

aquaFeisty
October 17th, 2006, 11:57 AM
Matt:

I like your criteria.

Leslie:

I think you nailed it. Even when I train enough yardage, I do not train enough FAST yardage. I think it's at the very top of Ande's tips... if you want to race fast, train fast.

aquageek
October 17th, 2006, 11:57 AM
Why are people so defensive about different swimming ideas? I generally try to apply two criteria to any subject in order to determine if I should bother being angry...#1 does it affect me or my family, #2 is there any money in it. Clearly this subject matter does not qualify for anger!

Excellent question and interesting comment at the end. I think the reason there is some skepticism, and some other stuff also, is that we see rather passionate arguments about swimming end with "...and visit my website, and this is how I teach it in TI, etc." So, is the message about swimming or a product?

What I found interesting about your quote is your #2 above, the money statement. There is money in this discussion, someone's living to be honest.

Historically on this forum there have been a small handful of subjects that get folks all riled - the late bloomin', the noodlin', the TI-in' and confusion over gull's avatar.

The Fortress
October 17th, 2006, 12:01 PM
Arguing is good, Solar Energy. Debate can produce clarity. But I agree with SCY freestyle on the personal insults. Not necessary. As I said before, we are all free to accept or reject ideas.

geochuck
October 17th, 2006, 12:03 PM
I am not angry. I agree with so many things Terry says I have done them all before he even talked about them. I discarded the things that did not work for me and used the the ones that worked for me. I think that there are only 3 things that I really disagree with, the leg kick and hip controlling the rotation, anchoring the hand thing is not well explained it does move and change position do be in fresh water and is not really anchored but I do use the imaginary wall to explain when teaching, I also believe you have to swim with intent in all of your workouts.

scyfreestyler
October 17th, 2006, 12:06 PM
My little theory (sorry... an other of my theories;) ) is that we learn be arguing.

That's why I never take a argument over a debate on the wrong side. I'm flattered to be challenged.


Oh, I agree for the most part. I was mostly reffering to the posts that bordered on personal attacks. That type of discussion only serves to block any learning that might have taken place. :shakeshead:

thewookiee
October 17th, 2006, 12:14 PM
Gull,

I compete as well. I think this board is a great place for an open exchange of ideas. Personally, I don't like to attack anyone. I like talking too and trying to get along with people. Maybe I was a bit too harsh with George. But it gets old seeing a person saying one thing that sounds like he agrees and then another blasting it in almost the same breath.

I found your quote saying that Terry has often been critical of training and philosopy(sp?) interesting. Would it be fair to say that other coaches, like Dave Salo and Mike Bottom are also openly critical of the traditional methods of training?

Personally, I have no problem with practices that are long and tough, just so long as the coach tells us why we are doing this set for this purpose.

geochuck
October 17th, 2006, 12:29 PM
Chuckie and I are loading the Motorhome, getting the propane system checked, waiting for the furnace guy to come to check the heating system here at home to make sure it works while we are in Mexico. For the next six months I will have sparodic time to be on the internet that may make some very happy.

When I am in Mexico I am checking out the guy who makes the Swim Station a swim machine that goes in a pool. http://www.swimstation.com.mx/
English version http://ca.search.yahoo.com/language/translatedPage?tt=url&text=http%3a//www.swimstation.com.mx/&lp=es_en&.intl=ca&fr=sfp

gull
October 17th, 2006, 12:40 PM
Would it be fair to say that other coaches, like Dave Salo and Mike Bottom are also openly critical of the traditional methods of training?


Innovators? Perhaps. Openly critical? That's not my impression, at least from what I've read. But then again (and I hesitate to say this), they're not trying to sell something, per se. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

SolarEnergy
October 17th, 2006, 12:53 PM
Thanks Lindsay and Terry and all for your comments. They've been very highlightning.

Lindsay, I like your take as much as your consistancy. Though your conclusion goes against that of Sanders et al (Wave characteristics of butterfly swimming, 1995), you're not the only one disputing them.

Your take is appreciated even though I don't share it 100%.

For the record here's the conclusion of the aforementionned study.

In fact, the phase relationships among adjacent segments suggested that energy gained by raising the CM was transmitted caudally and contributed to a propulsive 'whip-like' action. Abstract available here http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&list_uids=7852446&dopt=Abstract

Again you're not the only one disputing this theory. Maglischo prefers to think of undulation as being a reversed wave starting from feet traveling up the the head :rolleyes:

Thanks again guys.

geochuck
October 17th, 2006, 12:57 PM
Firby wrote on the two wave theory. This is a person Terry mentioned and I had many a discussion with.

Peter Cruise
October 17th, 2006, 03:26 PM
I would be neither annoyed or upset if any swim coach, whether of a large program or tiny, came to these forums and shared ideas; engaging in a dialogue that is open to discussion. It is part of what I want to see here (as well as human interest stuff) and that has been, at times, what this thread has consisted of. Other times, there has been 'way too much reading between lines, doubting other's sincerity or good intentions and general innuendo.
Earlier on, I mentioned that much of these (& other) technique discussions revolve around finding the analogy that works for you. I have taken some of Terry's analogies, tried them on, and then adapted them to my mental landscape (weight-shift for me becomes a pivot for example)and used that in my workouts. This is not about whether you become an unblinking acolyte of a swimming guru, this is about technique, for gawds sake.

Do try to be more civil.

gull
October 17th, 2006, 03:37 PM
Do try to be more civil.

That's not as entertaining.

geochuck
October 17th, 2006, 03:39 PM
I have really tried to be civil but it is very difficult.

aquageek
October 17th, 2006, 03:57 PM
Do try to be more civil.

Would that include references to the lard bomb and cousin marrying that pops up now and again on this forum, or just to TI?

LindsayNB
October 17th, 2006, 04:17 PM
Solar, I too have enjoyed the discussion and debate, thanks!

On a related topic I have a question that has been puzzling me for some time: the wave down the body ending in a whip of the legs theory would seem to me to predict that the kick occurring as the hands exit the water ought to be the stronger kick as it is the one that flows out of the whole body undulation. Any yet, if you watch video of a one-kick fly swimmer they just "drag their legs" for this kick and then do a more vigorous kick timed along with the hand entry. This seems very odd to me, do you have any theories on why this would be?

Peter Cruise
October 17th, 2006, 04:28 PM
Geek- you and I have a continuing discussion, in which 'civility' has no application. But we are, by our own rules, and would not strafe someone else in the same manner. I'm not trying to spoil anyone's fun, but this thread has resembled bear-baiting at times.

Peter Cruise
October 17th, 2006, 04:31 PM
By the way, kudos to Lindsay- a very thoughtful contributor who has brought a breath of fresh air to Canadian masters swimming.

FlyQueen
October 17th, 2006, 06:02 PM
In watching videos of the world fastest swimmers I have noticed that there arms are like anchors. It's unreal their arms seem to stay in one place and their bodies move forward. Go to youtube and search for some swimming videos, there's tons of crap on their, but some great stuff, too.

I heard this theory alikend to climbing a ladder once. Your arms are basically staying put while your body moves forward. Obviously there you are getting your movement from your legs, but you get the idea.

I have enjoyed reading the different ideas posted here.

FlyQueen
October 17th, 2006, 06:07 PM
Would it be fair to say that other coaches, like Dave Salo and Mike Bottom are also openly critical of the traditional methods of training?



Yes, depending on who you ask. Add Terri McKeever to that list as well.

KaizenSwimmer
October 18th, 2006, 09:02 AM
Terry has been openly critical of mainstream coaching and the conventional wisdom with respect to training techniques and philosophy. And I mean critical.

I've mentioned several times how our critics set up straw men for one or another aspect of our approach because they can't find an objectively verifiable basis for doing so. Here's a classic example. For those unfamiliar with the term, here's a definition.

>>Straw man (http://forums.usms.org/)

The straw man fallacy is when you misrepresent someone else's position so that it can be attacked more easily, knock down that misrepresented position, then conclude that the original position has been demolished. It's a fallacy because it fails to deal with the actual arguments that have been made.>>

Evidence of how effective it can be is that no one actually questioned Gull's false assertion. Indeed several later validated it by noting that Dave Salo, Mike Bottom and Teri McKeever were also "openly critical of mainstream coaching." I've attended clinic talks by all three and can't recall any of them being "openly critical" either. They described what they do and why without inferring that what others do is "wrong." You're welcome to draw your own conclusions.

Each week I download the posts I've made and save them in a file, so I'm familiar with every word I've written here. I've consistently been careful to describe my guiding principles in language such as "departs from traditional or mainstream approaches." That's a simple statement of fact without rendering a judgement. The fact that I've made such a choice can be seen to infer that I find something lacking in other approaches, but there's a significant difference between that and being "openly critical." If I didn't see room for improvement in how swimming is practiced and taught, what would be the point of publishing anything?

In the last two months my posts have included references to seven other coaches - Doc Counsilman, Howard Firby, Bill Bachrach, Ernie Maglischo, Eddie Reese, Dave Marsh and Jack Bauerle. Six of those references were admiring and complimentary. One was a neutral observation -- that Ernie (as well as Doc) were coaching, studying and observing swimmers from the "highly talented" end of the spectrum, when they wrote their books, while I was coaching, teaching and studying swimmers from the "highly challenged" end of the spectrum, when I wrote mine and that might account for the different interpretations we arrived at with regard to cause and effect in swimming.

And even that fairly innocuous and objective comment was met with a complaint from George that I was "dissing" them.

Indeed 10 years ago I could have fairly been characterized as openly critical of the mainstream and of making overly muscular assertions for how TI was "better." When I realized that provocative language created unnecessary resistance to more objective content, I began to exercise more discretion.

What have my posts here consisted of? Detailed accounts of what I do and think about when practicing and teaching. Thorough explanations of the process by which I arrived at the principles I'm guided by. Suggestions to swimmers for drills or exercises to address problems they were experiencing. Open ended questions on the indispensability of the pace clock, or kicking sets. So where's the "open criticism" in all that?

Here's another example. While giving a talk in 2004 at the ASCA World Coaching Clinic I spoke about several examples of USA National Team relays being outswum by Australian relays, not because the Australians were necessarily faster, but because they employed a particular race strategy - carefully controlling the first 50, then passing or pulling away from the US swimmer in the 2nd 50 -- as famously happened on every leg of the mens 400 FR in the Sydney Olympics. This was in the context of a talk on using stroke count as an element in race strategy, and how to practice it in training. In the same talk I gave examples of how Amanda Beard, Brendan Hansen and Kaitlyn Sandeno had used such a strategy masterfully to break American or world records. Even so, someone posted a complaint on the USS forum that I "trashed" USA National Team swimmers.

Some people hear what they're predisposed to hear, regardless of the facts. For one reason or another TI does incite strong opinions. Perhaps because some see their sacred cows as being challenged.
However, despite George, Gull and Geek's repeated assertions that I'm unwilling to be "challenged" on things I write, I have never been reluctant to justify or explain anything I propose. Far from expecting what I say to be "taken as gospel" my attitude is: "This is what we observe while swimming and teaching and the conclusions we've drawn. You're welcome to try it and come to your own conclusions. If you find it helps you, great. If you don't agree, that's your own business."

I'm happy to spend an hour or more in a typically busy day contributing to interested discourse about swimming, but it's a lousy use of my time to repeatedly have to respond to straw men or participate in discussions when they devolve into simple disputatiousness.

PS: In the thread about swimming devices I posted a note about the change in username from Totalswimm to KaizenSwimmer.

aquageek
October 18th, 2006, 09:49 AM
Terry/Kaizen/Totalswimm:

Have you ever considered that you brashness and emphasis on your product is what causes people to be so polarized about TI? In your essay above you have taken on the mainstream swimming community, a few of us on this forum, and a few coaches. Then, again, it's all wrapped up with a TI plug.

To me, it's your reluctance to acknowledge that greatness, or mediocrity in my case, can be achieved using methods other than TI that rubs me a little wrong.

KaizenSwimmer
October 18th, 2006, 10:03 AM
you brashness and emphasis on your product
<snip>
To me, it's your reluctance to acknowledge that greatness, or mediocrity in my case, can be achieved using methods other than TI that rubs me a little wrong.

Thanks for making my point for me. Whenever TI or the TI site is mentioned in a post you squawk - "It's marketing."
Let's count the number of times others have turned the focus of a thread to TI when I've not mentioned it at all.
Let's count the number of times I've actually mentioned the TI website in a post - perhaps 3 times in 300 posts. George has mentioned his site many more times. Yesterday one poster included links to his site about a half dozen times in a single post. Not a peep from you. Double standard.

It's undeniable that anything I write is seen as a "TI position." Okay there it is. Is my posting on here "marketing" of a sort? Yes it is. George acknowledged that his posts are as well. Can't be avoided. So what do I do - stop posting?

And indeed I have acknowledged many times that people have achieved greatness following conventional methods -- as well that far more people have been limited to mediocrity thereby - me being a prime example.

But when so many others are already asserting that, exactly what do I contribute to the discussion by repeatedly doing so?

Time for you to make an acknowledgement: Anything about TI sticks in your craw. And that's fine with me. But it would be perverse for me to allow that to influence anything I do.

This is my last post ever on such subjects.

geochuck
October 18th, 2006, 10:07 AM
I think I will changre my name also. Any suggestions? I have to give thought to this because my wife and I do everthing together as a team.

The geo is the short form of my name George.

The chuck part is the short form of my wifes nick name Chuckie. Her real name is Mary Charlotte.

I think I will stay with geochuck.

Terry I think I liked the old name.

KaizenSwimmer
October 18th, 2006, 10:10 AM
Terry I think I liked the old name.

Glad you liked it. I didn't dislike it, but couldn't get onto the forum with it for some reason. The new handle makes a statement about my optimism for future progress, which I like too.
Enjoy your trip down to Mexico and your sojourn there.

geochuck
October 18th, 2006, 10:29 AM
I will be going here http://www.costalegre.ca/Tenacatita.htm Johhny W made a couple of movies at Tenacatita bay. All of my little clinics are full as I want them to be. I will be changing my web site completely so there will be no products for sale just free swim stuff, videos of swimmers, workouts, history, etc etc.

My other web sites are the money makers anyway, but I will not mention them here.

gull
October 18th, 2006, 12:39 PM
Here is how I began my post:

"Terry has been openly critical of mainstream coaching and the conventional wisdom with respect to training techniques and philosophy. And I mean critical."

To which you responded::


Indeed 10 years ago I could have fairly been characterized as openly critical of the mainstream and of making overly muscular assertions for how TI was "better." When I realized that provocative language created unnecessary resistance to more objective content, I began to exercise more discretion.


It appears that we agree on this point. But I also went on to say the following:

"While USMS includes fitness swimmers, many of us do compete. And many of us read and ask questions. I think George is referring to the defensive (and at times dismissive) tone of Terry's posts on this forum in response to criticisms of his own methodology, which I find a bit ironic."

To which the response was:


I'm happy to spend an hour or more in a typically busy day contributing to interested discourse about swimming, but it's a lousy use of my time to repeatedly have to respond to straw men or participate in discussions when they devolve into simple disputatiousness.

Characterizing our posts as "straw men" or "disputatous" simply because we question your methodology is indeed dismissive.

SolarEnergy
October 18th, 2006, 03:17 PM
On a related topic I have a question that has been puzzling me for some time: the wave down the body ending in a whip of the legs theory would seem to me to predict that the kick occurring as the hands exit the water ought to be the stronger kick as it is the one that flows out of the whole body undulation. Any yet, if you watch video of a one-kick fly swimmer they just "drag their legs" for this kick and then do a more vigorous kick timed along with the hand entry. I see what you mean. It's an interesting aspect. It could be interpreted like a proof of Maglischo's position (reverse wave). That is the bf swimmers properly anchor the feet, then on this solid ground simply dive forward the same way we dive from the side of the pool, or push from the wall.

But I find it may be an oversimplification of something a bit more complexe. Swimmers that are literally dragging their legs on the second kick show a great balance in doing so. And most important, that second kick occurs in the same time as the peak propulsion of the stroke. One would wonder about the importance of kicking hard when acheiving peak velocity anyway.

And in some other cases, whilst (oups... where are we, in the US?) while some swimmers look as if there just dragging their feet, we don't know about the true efficiency of this kick, which's purpose should mostly be to keep the lowerbody at the surface anyway.

I donno. More food for thoughts I guess. Thanks for this.

newmastersswimmer
October 18th, 2006, 04:04 PM
I have to say that I am really perplexed by Geek and Gull's constant complaining about this so called TI marketing onslaught they perceive from Terry's postings. This is a SWIMMING related forum isn't it? Terry has devoted himself to the study of swimming. I see absolutely nothing wrong with referencing his TI materials in his postings when he deems that it is directly relevant to the discussion at hand. In each of his postings where he makes a reference to TI, he carefully relates the reference directly to the relevant topic of discussion doesn't he??....b/c that is what his materials are all about. This is no different than what every other person who ever wrote a book or article on something does when they are also discussing a topic that is directly relevant to thier personal writings.....In fact I will go so far as to say that it is almost unavoidable for those people that find themselves in a similar position as Terry does here on this forum. I personally have never had any problems with it.... nor have I had any problems with the many other posters who do the exact same thing.....including George. Bottom Line: If someone has written on a subject that is being openly discussed, then it seems unreasonable to not be able to reference that written material when it is directly relevant to the discussion....So I just don't get these complaints?

So Please do us all a favor Geek and Gull.....Stop the whining please! If you don't like the comments made by Terry then please go to a different thread.

I hope I'm not going to get punished by the Mods now for speaking out like this??....I've tried to sit back and stay out of this, but I guess its just getting under my skin now and so I'm speaking out about it. I apologize to anyone I may be offending here.

My Two Cents Worth, (Which is usually worth far less than 2 whole cents BTW!...LOL!)

Newmastersswimmer

geochuck
October 18th, 2006, 04:20 PM
Newmastersswimmer

I am changing my websites and will be changing everything around so when I refer anything on this site it will be directed to another website I am setting up www.georgepark.com so no one can say I am marketing here. I have I believe never tried to market but I do have a busines and is related to swimming.

poolraat
October 18th, 2006, 04:36 PM
I agree with newmasterswimmer. And as one who started swimming just before turning 50, I welcome any and all advice. Something that works for me may not work for others and vice versa. So throw your ideas and advice out there. As far as these guys that don't agree with each other, if one doesn't agree with the advice or philosophy of the other they should start a new thread where they can discuss (or "dis") all they want.

geochuck
October 18th, 2006, 05:13 PM
Poolrat

Terry did not start this thread he posted on it. Telling us what he thinks the problems are. I posted what I believe. Gull and Geek told what they thought. We talked about TI before Terry ever came on. He defends himself and his theory. I try to defend my beliefs. It would be a very dull site if everyone agreed with Terry, Gull, Geek or me.

I believe everyone has the right to say what they want as long as they are not obscene. Terry has the right to disagree with anything I say. I am a big boy and take anyting that is handed out and I do retaliate and Terry does also. If we could not comment that would be boring (and I am never bored).

As far as selling goes Terry make all you can your service is not free but you are giving free advice here. I also charge for my services but give free advice also.

Last week I tried to give away some books I had for cost and my post was removed. Why not leave it to the Moderators.

If they want me to disappear I will, if they want Terry to disappear he was not here before and I am sure he can do without the aggravation.

Geek and Gull are great posters and if they were to disappear it would be a shame.

It does Gile me when people defend the way Terry does sometimes, but I can also understand it.

gull
October 18th, 2006, 05:29 PM
So Please do us all a favor Geek and Gull.....Stop the whining please! If you don't like the comments made by Terry then please go to a different thread.


I don't care how (or where) he markets his product and makes a living. My posts on this and other threads have questioned his ideas and training methodology, which is entirely appropriate for a discussion forum on a swimming website. If he does not want to be challenged, he shouldn't post here.

The Fortress
October 18th, 2006, 05:42 PM
I am against boredom.

I like free advice.

Everyone should be challenged.

Being cult-like is boring.

I wish I knew more about freestyle mechanics so I could chime in properly!

No one should leave the thread.

That's my :2cents: .

newmastersswimmer
October 18th, 2006, 06:17 PM
I don't care how (or where) he markets his product and makes a living. My posts on this and other threads have questioned his ideas and training methodology, which is entirely appropriate for a discussion forum on a swimming website. If he does not want to be challenged, he shouldn't post here.

posted by Gull

Well if that is so, then I am guilty of associating your posts and Geeks posts together as the same in some way? Certainly Geek has made it clear in many of his recent postings that he takes offense to the fact that Terry is here to market TI.....and that this is inappropriate in some way? I could understand perhaps if Terry posted a comment like "BTW you can buy my book at Amazon for $39.95 ....and there you can learn more about my philosophy of swimming"....or something to that effect.....BUT I can not find a single posting of Terry's anywhere that has any comments remotely like that.
Terry's advice is free here (as George pointed out). I don't care about your (or anyone else's ) arguments about whether or not there is any value in what Terry says.....That kind of arguing is o.k. by me....I might chime in and lend support to one of several competing theories to add to an already existing argument....BUT when geek starts accusing Terry of shamelessly marketing TI it kinda gets under my skin....So I apologize if I accused you of something that you never did....See what happens when you run with the wrong crowd for too long Gull?!....(just j/k of course)...LOL!! Its not like I disagree with everything Geek has to say.....I have sided with him before on other issues.

Newmastersswimmer

aquageek
October 18th, 2006, 06:39 PM
I have sided with him before on other issues.

Newmastersswimmer

Do it more often, it can be fun.

The Fortress
October 18th, 2006, 06:50 PM
Geek:

I agreed with you about evil triathletes and that evil sport called "soccer." I even confessed that, like you, I am quite positive that I am not always swimming "effortlessly."

aquageek
October 18th, 2006, 07:16 PM
As long as we're playing all nicey mcnice, except that moonshine drinkin' hillbilly from TN, let me admit that the best time I ever had in the 100 free was an undiagnosed case, until Terry diagnosed it inadvertently, of effortless swimming. That term definitely resonated with me. If only that feeling could be bottled.

And, as much as it pains me to admit, I have learned a great deal about overall health and fitness from my triathlete training buddies. If it weren't for them I wouldn't have started three day a week dryland training this year. Before you assume I'm drunk, I still won't buy a heartrate monitor.

gull
October 18th, 2006, 07:20 PM
I said I didn't care how (or where) he markets his product. But he is marketing it. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

Critics of established dogma can be equally dogmatic. And yes, I include myself in that category, too (at least when it comes to TI).

geochuck
October 18th, 2006, 07:33 PM
:smooch: :hug: :smooch: :hug: :smooch: :hug: :smooch: :hug: :smooch:

The Fortress
October 18th, 2006, 07:48 PM
Nah, I'm not buying one of those stupid gadgets either.
Nicey McNice

thewookiee
October 18th, 2006, 09:23 PM
, I still won't buy a heartrate monitor.

I always find it enteraining to watch someone swim with a heartrate monitor. The spend forever getting it on their body, getting it plenty tight to stay on, swim one length of the pool and spend another 15 minutes re-adjusting because it slipped down.

Ok, time to go hit the moonshine again and walk around barefootl

The Fortress
October 18th, 2006, 09:43 PM
Wookie:

So, you're the hillbilly Geek slurs. I was a wonderin'.

I'm gonna go steal my son's (sorry, Geek, he's a triathlete) copy of TI Swimming and actually read it so that I know exactly what y'all :argue: fools are talkin' about.

Leslie

geochuck
October 18th, 2006, 11:47 PM
Hey Geek

I just bought a heart rate monitor bacause you said you would not. When I wake up tommorrow I will check to make sure my heart is still beating

Leonard Jansen
October 19th, 2006, 07:31 AM
Hey Geek

I just bought a heart rate monitor bacause you said you would not.

I wouldn't buy a colonoscope. Your move...

-LBJ

geochuck
October 19th, 2006, 08:26 AM
Sounds wonderful I will see what size they come in I had to give my heart rate monitor to my wife it was too small.

newmastersswimmer
October 19th, 2006, 10:27 AM
So, you're the hillbilly Geek slurs. I was a wonderin'.

posted by the fortress (AKA Leslie from VA) in reference to the wookie

I'm not sure the wookie is who Geek was referring to as the moonshine drinking hillbilly from TN.....but who knows? I was actually thinking of another Tennessee poster on this thread as the target of those remarks?

newmastersswimmer

p.s. I noticed that a couple of posters have undergone forum name changes lately....such as you Leslie....Is this the new trend now? Maybe I should be the hillbilly moonshiner from TN then? I noticed that Geek has changed his supposed "real name" now. I have been called other forum names before....I was especially fond of Agua Del Diablo ....my code name for tequila (my favorite beverage). I guess the "Diablo" in Geeks new name made me think of that.

SolarEnergy
October 19th, 2006, 11:14 AM
I always find it enteraining to watch someone swim with a heartrate monitor. The spend forever getting it on their body, getting it plenty tight to stay on, swim one length of the pool and spend another 15 minutes re-adjusting because it slipped down.

Ok, time to go hit the moonshine again and walk around barefootl This can easily be corrected by adding custom made shoulder straps to you hr strap (for what HR data is worth anyway).

Guys may look (or at least feel) as if they were wearing a bra though, but aside from that it works perfectly.

Very useful trick for triathletes wanting to gather TRIMP data over their whole training program (which is recommended... at least by me :rolleyes: )

thewookiee
October 19th, 2006, 11:22 AM
We don't really know if Geek was talking about me or newmasterswimmers. Heck, being called a hillybilly is a step up from what people called me when I was in school in DC.
I bet geek is a really nice guy though. I would love the opporunity to go over to north carolina to swim in a meet with him sometime.

Did anyone else read that David Marsh is leaving Auburn at the end of the year? wow!!

The Fortress
October 19th, 2006, 11:35 AM
Newmastersswimmer:

Yeah, Geek was probably referring to you, although the wookie seems to like TI too, which would draw the Geek's ire.

I think you should definitely change your name. Unlike me, it doesn't seem like you are a "new" masters swimmer anymore.

So Geek has falsified his real name?! (He probably doesn't want some hillbilly looking up his times for that supposedly effortless 100 free.) I'm changing my name, man. I did change my user name on George's suggestion. I feel that I am becoming unmindfully cult-like about that very un-boring 73 year old. :notworthy:

Alison

geochuck
October 19th, 2006, 12:13 PM
Leslie opps I mean The Fortress

Congratulations on changing your name to such strong name. I have some strong names in mind for some of the others on the forum but I am afraid of being barred for life if I put them in here.

But back to freestyle.

Are we really talking freestyle or front crawl because I saw some swimming other strokes in a 100 freestyle race.

The Fortress
October 19th, 2006, 12:17 PM
George:

It's Alison to you.

"Front crawl" seem like what my 6 year old should be doing. When and why did the terminology switch from "front crawl" to "freestyle." Was it really just to accomodate those who wanted to swim some funky stroke?

Alison

geochuck
October 19th, 2006, 12:36 PM
When I was a little guy (first race 5 years old) we called it freestyle because that what was marked on the entry form and any stroke was accepted. My coach never called it freestyle he called it front crawl, he also called back stroke as we see it in most races back crawl, we had lots of swimmers doing double arm backstroke - with a froggy style kick namely, a guy who swam for U of California I think his name was Dave Ross he held the Canadian records for the 100 and 200 backstroke.

My coach had pictures of machines in his office at the pool of mechanical machines that had straps on them. you attached the straps to the wrists and ankles and the machine would take you and force the body to do the correct movements. I visited his daughter last time I was in Hamilton she still has those pictures.

aquageek
October 19th, 2006, 12:51 PM
Did anyone else read that David Marsh is leaving Auburn at the end of the year? wow!!

Not only that, he is coming to the aquatic center about 2 miles from my house here in Charlotte, where both of my kids swim. This is tremendous news for us here.

newmastersswimmer
October 19th, 2006, 01:25 PM
I wouldn't buy a colonoscope. Your move...

posted by Leonard Jansen

You wouldn't???.....I thought everyone had at least 2 or 3 of those things??

BTW It is nice to see you are back to stay (at least for a while it seems) Leonard. I'm sorry if you ran into a brick wall recently (as you mentioned on another thread)...but its good to have you back again and I hope things are better now? I need all the geek support I can get around here (not referring to "The Geek" here....just geeks in general).

Newmastersswimmer

Paul Smith
October 19th, 2006, 01:34 PM
"Not only that, he is coming to the aquatic center about 2 miles from my house here in Charlotte, where both of my kids swim. This is tremendous news for us here."

Geek....that is great news....now he can recruit foreign kids and not face NCAA violations!:thhbbb:

aquageek
October 19th, 2006, 01:39 PM
Geek....that is great news....now he can recruit foreign kids and not face NCAA violations!:thhbbb:

You just can't let it go, can you? It's like a little voice in your head that you can't control. Seek psychiatric help immediately. Take two noodles and call me in the morning

Paul Smith
October 19th, 2006, 01:50 PM
You just can't let it go, can you? It's like a little voice in your head that you can't control. Seek psychiatric help immediately. Take two noodles and call me in the morning

I also here he has found "religion" in TI principles and will be requiring all the kids on the team to "drink the cool-aid".....the good news here is he will be offering scholorships to the kids as he did at Auburn but will most likely turn around and ask them to give them up after a year so he can divy up the $$$ for new foreign kids......no problem for you as I see your last name is "Diablo" so I'm guessing your kids will be fine! :joker:

bud
October 19th, 2006, 05:37 PM
I am sure I have swam my fastest and do not intend to try to swim any faster.
one of my favorite t-shirt slogans reads:

"The older we get, the faster we were."

. . . .

The Fortress
October 24th, 2006, 03:47 PM
Bud:

This quote is contrary to Terry's new name of KaizenSwimmer. Is he on vacation or did all the obnoxious boys on this thread unduly tax his patience? :dunno:

geochuck
October 24th, 2006, 03:53 PM
Gee I did not know we had any obnoxious people on here, since when is dicussion obnoxious??? I always held my togue and try not be obnoxious.

KaizenSwimmer
October 24th, 2006, 04:00 PM
Bud:

This quote is contrary to Terry's new name of KaizenSwimmer. Is he on vacation or did all the obnoxious boys on this thread unduly tax his patience?

I was on vacation. I went to Sarasota FL Oct 18-22 to swim in a 5K in the Gulf. Had only a dialup connection there. Been busy catching up with neglected work since returning.

That quote is familiar, but indeed contrary to the Kaizen attitude.

The race - the Tropical Splash, hosted by the Venice YMCA, is worth adding to your OW calendar. They also offer 1k and 3K. I'll probably attend again next year.

The Fortress
October 24th, 2006, 04:03 PM
George:

I love your typos. I will try not to be obnoxios as well. Discussion is not obnoxios. We all agreed on the fact that most of our "discussion" was in the "righful challenge" sector. But there might have been a little stuff that dribbled into obnoxios. Maybe he needed a mental break from "discussion."

The Fortress
October 24th, 2006, 04:05 PM
Terry:

So glad you're back. How did you do in the 5K? What was the water temperature down there?

geochuck
October 24th, 2006, 04:10 PM
George:

I love your typos. I will try not to be obnoxios as well. Discussion is not obnoxios. We all agreed on the fact that most of our "discussion" was in the "righful challenge" sector. But there might have been a little stuff that dribbled into obnoxios. Maybe he needed a mental break from "discussion."
I let my fingers do the walkng and forget to ask Chuckie how to spell and if you catch me in the morning you really have to watchout. To many letters are close together and it is hard when you just pluck a finger at a time like I do in the dark.

KaizenSwimmer
October 24th, 2006, 04:20 PM
Alison
The water temp was a bit below 80. I had what I felt was an excellent race. Drafted well off a younger, faster woman on the first 400m or so, til she slackened her pace a bit then passed another four or five swimmers on the way to the turnaround. Passed only one more on the 2nd half - him after following him way outside. Then I didn't see anyone in passing range the rest of the way.
I won the 55-59 age group in 1:24, but I think the course was a bit long as the overall winner was around 1:16, which would be a more typical 5k time for me, in races where the winner is under 1:10.
The course could have been better marked as they had a large yellow buoy only every 750m or so, with small orange buoys at about 400m intervals.

SolarEnergy
October 24th, 2006, 07:24 PM
Congratulations Terry !

LindsayNB
October 24th, 2006, 10:27 PM
For the record here's the conclusion of the aforementionned study.
Abstract available here http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&list_uids=7852446&dopt=Abstract

Again you're not the only one disputing this theory. Maglischo prefers to think of undulation as being a reversed wave starting from feet traveling up the the head :rolleyes:

It would be interesting to see the whole article because it is dangerous to draw conclusions from an abstract. But that hasn't stopped me yet! :D

I question whether you can draw conclusions about transmission of force based on timing, as they seem to be doing. Not only is it clear that you can produce the same movement and timing based on power applied at each link or transmission of power down links but you would expect the timing to be the same for an efficient swimmer. Any variance from the timing that would transmit a wave down the body would result in segments working against one another.

Actually I wonder if people doing one kick fly are swimming as though they are transmitting force down the chain, but the "looks like they are dragging their legs" or "half kick" is the actual result; and actively powering the chain is necessary to produce an apparent kick. There, a unified theory! ;)

KaizenSwimmer
October 24th, 2006, 10:30 PM
If you're following the wrong person, you could be in trouble....

I take responsibility for getting well off course - I may have been 60m too far offshore by the time I realized how far left we had gone.

That won't happen often as there are usually more caps visible in the vicinity.

When preparing to pass someone in a longish race I usually draft them for a while, in part to gauge how they're doing and in part to save some energy to make my pass so decisively as to discourage them from drafting me back.

While following him closely (staying alongside his lower legs) I stopped looking for course markers for a long period. I could see him lifting his head regularly and assumed he WAS looking for course markers. When I finally did sneak a peek, I saw we were way outside so I immediately left him and veered right. He kept heading off course for some time.

After that, to sight more effectively, each time I passed a buoy I took time to sight beyond the next buoy to highly visible markers on shore - a building or copse of trees - that would be easier to see in a "snapshot" peek, when the buoy wasn't.

That kept me on course the rest of the way though there were no more caps to sight on for the final mile.

KaizenSwimmer
October 24th, 2006, 10:37 PM
Actually I wonder if people doing one kick fly are swimming as though they are transmitting force down the chain,

Those who can swim fly effectively with a single kick are usually swimmers who have impeccable balance. The single kick works best when synchronized with the landing. When you get this right you feel as if the "toe flick" helps drive the hands forward on landing, adding to the momentum of the arms, head and torso hitting the landing zone at the same moment.

When using the single kick, you should aim to keep your thighs as close to the surface - and your legs as streamlined - as possible from the landing through outsweep, until your hands turn inward to begin the insweep.

At that moment your focus should be on returning your body to full extension is quickly as possible.

Frank Thompson
October 25th, 2006, 03:16 PM
Alison
The water temp was a bit below 80. I had what I felt was an excellent race. Drafted well off a younger, faster woman on the first 400m or so, til she slackened her pace a bit then passed another four or five swimmers on the way to the turnaround. Passed only one more on the 2nd half - him after following him way outside. Then I didn't see anyone in passing range the rest of the way.
I won the 55-59 age group in 1:24, but I think the course was a bit long as the overall winner was around 1:16, which would be a more typical 5k time for me, in races where the winner is under 1:10.
The course could have been better marked as they had a large yellow buoy only every 750m or so, with small orange buoys at about 400m intervals.

Terry:

Congratulations on your swim. Just a quick ? I noticed that the overall winner was Rick Walker, who is 56, with a time of 1:14.45, which is excellent regardless of age. Is he not listed as the winner of the 55-59 age group because he wore a wet suit? That looks strange that he would be the overall winner and not the age group winner.

[url]http://home.earthlink.net~dixiezone/Results/0610TropicalSplash.pdf

geochuck
October 25th, 2006, 03:24 PM
Why a wet suit??? 80 degree water.

KaizenSwimmer
October 25th, 2006, 07:06 PM
I noticed that the overall winner was Rick Walker, who is 56, with a time of 1:14.45, which is excellent regardless of age. Is he not listed as the winner of the 55-59 age group because he wore a wet suit? That looks strange that he would be the overall winner and not the age group winner.

Thanks for pointing me to the results - though that link didn't work. I went from usms to dixie zone to their results page.
I knew that Rick was 1st overall, but thought he must be 50-54 when they announced me as 1st in 55-59.
I expect they disqualified overall winners from receiving age group awards. In an ocean mile on Long Island Labor Day weekend, I was 2nd overall and top 3 overall got awards for that but were excluded from awards in their age group.

The Fortress
November 2nd, 2006, 09:21 AM
One of my teammates, who likes and is a freestyler, told me that he had intentionally switched to a straight arm recovery on free on the advice of a college coach. I thought this was old school. Is anyone else teaching this?

LindsayNB
November 2nd, 2006, 10:41 AM
One of my teammates, who likes and is a freestyler, told me that he had intentionally switched to a straight arm recovery on free on the advice of a college coach. I thought this was old school. Is anyone else teaching this?

The important question to ask here is did the coach say that this particular swimmer should try a straight arm recovery or that all swimmers should use a straight arm recovery? Lately there has been a lot of coaches saying that some swimmers do better with a straight arm recovery, far fewer saying everyone should do it.

Frank Thompson
November 2nd, 2006, 11:44 AM
One of my teammates, who likes and is a freestyler, told me that he had intentionally switched to a straight arm recovery on free on the advice of a college coach. I thought this was old school. Is anyone else teaching this?

Fortress:

Rather than take a trip down memory lane and start a long post about this, I will link you to another thread for you to read and see how the people in the USMS community feel about this subject. Some of the responses were taken from an article in Swimming Technique that was written 2 years ago by Bill Volckening, who is the current Editor of USMS Swimmer.

http://forums.usms.org/showthread.php?t=3301&highlight=straight+recovery

The Fortress
November 2nd, 2006, 01:40 PM
Lindsay: It was for the particular swimmer. It sure seemed to work for him. He almost beat Jim McConica at Nationals last May.

Frank:

Thanks. I went back and read that thread. I wasn't clear on what to take from it though. I am a flyer (or former flyer) and have always been a bit naturally straight armed on free. But I have had people constantly hammering away on me as a youth and master swimmer to bend my elbows more. I am told this will reduce shoulder problems. I am told it is the only proper way. When I sprint, as I'm purposefully "not thinking" during a race, I tend to lapse back into my prior habits and have more of a straight armed recovery, probably to increase turnover. But I sure seem to go faster that way. Hmmm...

tomtopo
November 6th, 2006, 05:57 PM
The following websites may help you.
http://www.swimmingcyclingrunning.com/Videos/HackettBrilliant.mpeg
http://www.svl.ch/ElbowsHigh/
http://www.svl.ch/CrawlAnalysis/
http://swimdownhill.com/_wsn/page3.html
http://youtube.com/watch?v=ub-_LlqR23g&search=ian%20thorpe
Good luck, Tom

KaizenSwimmer
November 6th, 2006, 07:14 PM
I have had people constantly hammering away on me as a youth and master swimmer to bend my elbows more.

On the stroke or the recovery?

geochuck
November 6th, 2006, 07:53 PM
If I do a straight arm recovery I feel strain and tightness in the Deltoideus Muscle http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deltoid_muscle