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rtodd
October 15th, 2006, 02:17 PM
I'm new at the butterfly stroke and struggle to do 6x33yds with a freestyle return(100 ft pool) in one workout. I do these with a full recovery (3 min). After that I'll have to switch to some other stroke because I'm pretty much shot.

What are typical workouts and distances that strong flyers do that I should try to build to? I'm thinking that 10x50's would be a great goal?

dorothyrde
October 15th, 2006, 03:03 PM
Others may not like this, but as a person who learned fly after age 40, what I found helpful was using fins so I could feel it better. I would do some without, and then when I got more fatigued, I used fins. Or when learning the 400 IM, I used fins on the fly and did the rest without. At the time, it was the only way I could do it.

geochuck
October 15th, 2006, 03:08 PM
Others may not like this, but as a person who learned fly after age 40, what I found helpful was using fins so I could feel it better. I would do some without, and then when I got more fatigued, I used fins. Or when learning the 400 IM, I used fins on the fly and did the rest without. At the time, it was the only way I could do it. I wish I had thought of fins when I was learning the stroke. More than likely the best suggestion you will get.

The Fortress
October 15th, 2006, 05:57 PM
George and Dorothy:

I agree. I used fins to re-learn fly and I use them now to train fly because of a cranky shoulder. I think it helps teach you to get your body in the right position and do the stroke correctly. (Geek would disagree, I know.) There is no sense at all in doing the stroke incorrectly or looking like a car wreck when you are fatigued. That will just teach you to do the stroke wrong. Or maybe cause an injury.

Also, depending on your goals, you don't have to train that much fly to actually do it well in meets. The world's best Ian Crocker is on record as saying he trains almost 90% free! Start slow and build up. I never do more than a 100 fly consecutively in practice. I finally after 15 months of training did 10 x 50 flys in practice the other day. It was fun, but I felt it the next few days. I mix in fly/backs or other do lots of 100 IMs generally.

SolarEnergy
October 15th, 2006, 06:06 PM
I know I am fairly atypical, but still want to see if I'm alone in my camp.

I can swim as much butterfly as I want, limited by the time available. I treat this stroke like any other and I can warm up swimming it as well.

Any volume in excess of 200m is done on a 55sec/50m pace though, pretty much the same speed as breastroke. In fact, these strokes are very much alike, except that I can't lower a 50m breaststroke under 30s of course.

Anyone else approaches butterfly this way?

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Fins to learn butterfly, great suggestion. That will make you save a great deal of time in learning to synchronise all the components with ondulation.

The Fortress
October 15th, 2006, 06:09 PM
Solar:

How old are you and do you have a history of shoulder problems?

Are you talking about doing a 50 fly on a 55 second pace as part of 200? I can't do fly slow. I would sink.

I think you're atypical, but hopefully people will chime in.

SolarEnergy
October 15th, 2006, 06:12 PM
I think you're atypical, but hopefully people will chime in.
Yeah I know. I'm a strange animal.

I should mention that at this pace, my bf is pretty deep, even if I want to avoid it. I do all I can to stay at the surface, but still. It's fairly deep.

I'm 38.

geochuck
October 15th, 2006, 06:30 PM
There is butterfly and there is butterfly, I would drown at 55 per 50, I guess that is why I only do 25s in practice now.

waterhugger
October 15th, 2006, 07:26 PM
The best advice I can give is to relax and slow down.
Use as much as possible your core body muscle, be easy on your arms, follow the natural frequency of your "wave".
Control your breathing, slow down if you are running out of O2. It might take few tries to get the right rhythm and speed but it can be done...

SolarEnergy
October 15th, 2006, 07:34 PM
Slow with fins and there you go !

geochuck
October 15th, 2006, 07:38 PM
The last 50m fly I did was a 36 sec 10 sec slower then my best 50m fly.

KaizenSwimmer
October 15th, 2006, 10:00 PM
Anyone else approaches butterfly this way?.

I'm pretty similar. Until this year I was unable to swim more than 25 or 50 without becoming too tired to continue. Now I swim relaxed 100s and the occasional 200.

I used to use fins and certainly felt much better while I had them on - I could almost pretend I could do Fly while I had them on. Unfortunately the "fin effect" disappeared as soon as I took them off and I'd revert to form. Since I experienced no lasting effect I looked for ways to achieve relaxation and "sustainability" without them.
I ended up hitting on a style of Fly I call "butterfly for boomers."
I land wide enough to easily sink my chest between my arms.
I stay long and streamlined -- trying to leave my forearms at the surface -- as I sink.
I keep sinking (my chest) until I feel my hips at the surface.
I try to anchor my hands - rather than pull them back -- and use core muscle to move past them.
I keep my chin in the water and look down as I breathe.
I "hug" the water on recovery and do a single kick - more of a "toe flick" as I land forward.

I don't have a very supple lower back and this approach has compensated for that.

The Fortress
October 15th, 2006, 10:15 PM
All the things Terry suggested are excellent and you should do them with or without fins. Pretend you're landing your chest on a pillow and keep your arms as relaxed as possible above the water. Terry is also right that you can get used to "flying" through the water with fins and then feel deflated when you take them off. So don't use them all the time. When I'm getting ready for a meet, I take them off and do 25s repeats without them to get back in the groove. Or expect that it might feel a little different when you take off the fins so your expectations about your times are in line. (Personally, I think it's about 10 seconds a 100 for SCY fly.)

I think the most important thing is not to do the stroke incorrectly. This is really crucial for fly, I think. And it is what people way more experienced than me say too. If you need fins, use them for awhile to learn the stroke. I'm a novice, but seem to do OK in meets even though I am a fin user, and my fly times have improved each meet. Sometimes it feels different than with fins, but people actually compliment me on my fly form (unlike free where I am ragged on about overrotating and whatnot). People give me grief all the time about fins, but they have many advantages. Getting better at fly and learning all the items on Terry's list is one of those advantages. Even George agrees. Which means he is living in 2005, not 1955.

Edward The Head
October 16th, 2006, 11:02 AM
I can swim as much butterfly as I want, limited by the time available. I treat this stroke like any other and I can warm up swimming it as well.

I can swim a good amout of fly as well, though I don't warm up with it at all. Except maybe some kick.


Any volume in excess of 200m is done on a 55sec/50m pace though, pretty much the same speed as breastroke. In fact, these strokes are very much alike, except that I can't lower a 50m breaststroke under 30s of course.


Do you mean 200m total, or 200m swims? We have a group that does fly once a week and we get in 1000-1500 depending on time. We do 200m on five minutes, though we come in anywhere from 3:15-4. I could probably do them on a four minute interval, but I'm sure no one else would want to. I try and keep my 50s on a :45 pace, though I do get tired near the end. I do wish I could do a 50 meter fly under 30 seconds though. Hell I wish I could do a 50 free that fast. Though I can get low :32 or so.

FlyQueen
October 16th, 2006, 12:54 PM
I personally have never used fins for fly ... I went from never having swum it to having it be "my stroke" in about 7 months. I love fly. I can't swim slow fly but I can swim relaxed fly. Glide a litte longer, focus on finishing your stroke all the way back past your hips, get your hips up.

One thing I would suggest is if you have to break stroke either glide and add an extra kick while streamlined (if you are sharing a lane and passing next to someone) or going into breaststroke. DO NOT swim free. IF you HAVE to go to one arm fly make sure you breathe forward not to the side.

As meet season gets closer I swim in excess of 100 fly continuous because I have to confidence wise. I don't do 200 fly repeats but I will swim a 200 or even 300 straight. That forces you to focus on getting your hips up, gliding, and finding that easy speed.

The Fortress
October 16th, 2006, 02:17 PM
Heather makes a good point. If your shoulders can take it, swimming longer distances of fly helps make the shorter distances seem really short and boosts your confidence. And relaxed fly is essential for IMs.

SolarEnergy
October 16th, 2006, 04:38 PM
Do you mean 200m total, or 200m swims? No no I'm talking about a set of 200s. My butterfly sweetspot is between 45s/50 to 55s/50. Within that range I believe I cover most level 3 and 4 spectrums (tempo and threshold, even VO2Max intensities).




We have a group that does fly once a week and we get in 1000-1500 depending on time. Funny because back in the days I was working as a full time coach, I was in charge of a special class called "Butterfly Unleashed" (or equivalent in french). It was the same principle. Once a week people would come to this class to swim bf only for an 80minutes.


We do 200m on five minutes, though we come in anywhere from 3:15-4. I could probably do them on a four minute interval, but I'm sure no one else would want to. I try and keep my 50s on a :45 pace, though I do get tired near the end. Same for me. Near 45s pace, I am fairly high in the aerobic spectrum. I would certainly not be able to perform a kilo at that pace, and probably never will (not anymore).


I do wish I could do a 50 meter fly under 30 seconds though. Hell I wish I could do a 50 free that fast. Though I can get low :32 or so. There you go. We all need our little orange carrot 2inches away from our nose don't we?

rtodd
October 17th, 2006, 11:28 AM
Thanks for the info.

I ordered fins a week ago. Still waiting for them. It sounds like some people can do a "relaxed" fly for extended sets and others need to do fly at a good pace.

I will try the fins so I can extend my workouts and build endurance. On non fly days I will try a length or two without fins to maintain the feel.

SolarEnergy
October 17th, 2006, 12:58 PM
Thanks for the info.

I ordered fins a week ago. Still waiting for them. It sounds like some people can do a "relaxed" fly for extended sets and others need to do fly at a good pace.
It has a 'little bit' to do with one's ability to accept to look ridiculous. When learning to find a speed allowing for long butterfly sequences to be swam, one's stroke doesn't look like a butterfly, but rather like a caterpillar :laugh2:

Anyway. Good luck and have tons of fun with your fins !

Edward The Head
October 17th, 2006, 01:05 PM
Funny because back in the days I was working as a full time coach, I was in charge of a special class called "Butterfly Unleashed" (or equivalent in french). It was the same principle. Once a week people would come to this class to swim bf only for an 80minutes.

I still wonder why I do this, but then again it's the only workout I look forward to. I do wish we would do more 50s and 100s though.


There you go. We all need our little orange carrot 2inches away from our nose don't we?

I'm pretty sure that I'll not be breaking :30 ever. I'm not a sprinter, I've been doing the same 50 yard free since high school. My 100s and 200s though have really come down. This year I was hoping to break a 3 minute 200 meter fly, came in at 2:46, so I was happy.

BillS
October 17th, 2006, 01:06 PM
I've been working on fly for about a year and a half now. I used fins a bit at first, but ditched them fairly early on. They help keep you moving forward, and help keep your hips up, which is good at the very beginning. But ultimately I felt that I ended up swimming too differently with them on than with them off, and prefer to just gut it out without them now. I stick to short distances (<100), and quit or switch to one arm when I start to fall apart. I do not consider myself proficient, but I can get through a fly leg in a workout or IM now, and actually enjoy swimming the stroke. When everything is working right, it's a beautiful thing.

Here's an old thread with some good advice, especially from MattS.
http://forums.usms.org/showthread.php?t=4628&highlight=learning

Good luck.

SolarEnergy
October 17th, 2006, 01:39 PM
I'm pretty sure that I'll not be breaking :30 ever. I'm sure you can. Don't breathe maybe?


I'm not a sprinter, I've been doing the same 50 yard free since high school. My 100s and 200s though have really come down. This year I was hoping to break a 3 minute 200 meter fly, came in at 2:46, so I was happy. wow 2:46 over 200 and you're struggling lowering the 50 U30s? umm.. atypical to say the least.

2:46 is amazing over 200m. Congrats !!

The Fortress
October 17th, 2006, 02:15 PM
Edward the Head: (this is a weird nickname)

Wow! 2:46 in LCM is very nice. Great job. I have the opposite problem. I wasn't a pure sprinter when I was young at all. I was more the fly/back/IM type with a decent 50 free that I swam every once in awhile. Now, as a master, I'm a good sprinter and my 100 times drop way off. It's a bit of cognitive dissonance for me. I'm sure I just don't train enough (3 kids; husband who travels). I have the same 50 fly time as you, but I'm pretty sure I could never do your 200 time --- without fins or a motor attached. In fact, I wouldn't even attempt the event. Kudos.

The Fortress
October 17th, 2006, 03:58 PM
BillS:

Thanks for sharing that previous fly thread. I went back and read it. Funniest quote: "Once the stroke falls apart swimming fly is as helpful as getting drunk at practice." :rofl:

I'm nor sure why everyone hates fly drills. I still like them. And the one arm drill really helps me warm up fly.

I also noticed all the people having trouble with allergies. I have terrible allergies. It's CA, man. That place sucks for allergies! :shakeshead: It nearly killed me last August. Try singular before you race. That helps with congestion/wheezing more than claritin/allegra (although you need to take that too).

Leslie


Leslie

geochuck
October 17th, 2006, 04:00 PM
Several have told me I had an allergy to water.

The Fortress
October 17th, 2006, 04:05 PM
Sometimes I feel I have an allergy to water too. My shoulder certainly does.

Actually, my doctor tells me that one cannot technically be allergic to chlorine. It's an annoying allergan/irritant.

rtodd
October 17th, 2006, 07:27 PM
To BillS,

Thanks for the thread link. It is a great thread. This pretty much answers alot of my questions!!

For a 40 year old, what would be a good 50 fly if my free is 27?

BillS
October 17th, 2006, 07:57 PM
For a 40 year old, what would be a good 50 fly if my free is 27?

A good time would be within about 3 seconds of your free, i.e. 30.

But I can't do that. To give you a rather humiliating frame of reference, I swam my first ever SCY 50 fly as the first event in a pentathlon. I took it out nice and easy and swam it in 34.56. Later, I swam a 26.10 free as the 4th event. And in the funniest race of the day, I negative split a 100 IM, with the breast and free 50 faster than the fly and back. It's not supposed to be that way.

But I had a great time, and it was a kick to have at age 45 completed a couple of events that I had never done before. That's what I love about master's competition -- it's low key enough that you can try new things and laugh at yourself for the effort.

Edward The Head
October 17th, 2006, 08:00 PM
I'm sure you can. Don't breathe maybe?

wow 2:46 over 200 and you're struggling lowering the 50 U30s? umm.. atypical to say the least.

2:46 is amazing over 200m. Congrats !!

That's actually a SC time, I didn't get a chance to swim any LC this season. I maybe close to a top 10 this year, it will be close, and I have one more chance to lower it. As for the 50s, I'm really not a sprinter. The best 50 free I've ever done was a :26.15, yards, in a relay. I will have a chance a another 50 this year as well so I'm gong to push it. I actually perfer the 100s and 200s though. I'm not sure what's wrong with me.

SolarEnergy
October 17th, 2006, 09:37 PM
That's actually a SC time, I didn't get a chance to swim any LC this season. I maybe close to a top 10 this year, it will be close, and I have one more chance to lower it. As for the 50s, I'm really not a sprinter. The best 50 free I've ever done was a :26.15, yards, in a relay. I will have a chance a another 50 this year as well so I'm gong to push it. I actually perfer the 100s and 200s though. I'm not sure what's wrong with me. What's your best 100m? I'll try to tell you if your time over 50 is consistant or not.

bud
October 17th, 2006, 09:42 PM
I have had a lot of success using a dolphin kick drill to improve my performance and endurance in fly. Simply dolphin kick on your back with your arms straight out in front of you.

For me the kick in this position is not quite the same as actually doing the stroke, but finding the sweet spot here has helped me in my fly stroke. I really pay attention to generating a supple, whole body kick, while also elongating my body. These are all things I need in my fly practice.

If you can do this kick drill well for 100m, then you should be able to do a 50 fly w/o a lot of stress.

I especially like this drill because it helps me to stay conditioned for fly if my shoulder is bothering me, and I can breathe anytime I want.

Watch old guys do fly. They typically do a long, deep stroke. It is better to keep the stroke shallow, but being able to do long, deep, slow strokes can bail you out in an event (like a 400IM or 200 Fly) if you know how to do them. You may not set any speed records, but you will still get the points.

SolarEnergy
October 17th, 2006, 09:50 PM
I agree this is the master drill imo. Not only on the back though. I have always been in love with bf kick on belly, no board, with the whole ondulative motion. It has to be exactly as if you were swimming the butterfly.

All participants find this one relaxing. Then you add an arm. Things are still pretty smooth. Then you add the other and all the faces turn to red.

Bf kick on belly no board, no matter where you leave the arms, as a synchronization drill (breathing) and a balance drill (arms on the side.. or in the front that's just different) is far more important and productive than swimming bf with fins in my opinion. Even though I like fins too.

geochuck
October 17th, 2006, 10:01 PM
I found it was easy to beat the club crawl swimmers in 25 yards or 50 yards doing just the dolphin kick in practice.

The Fortress
October 17th, 2006, 10:25 PM
Bud and Solar Energy:

I love this drill/kick thing too. I could dolphin kick on my back for hours. So great for the core. I do it on my side and front too. Definitely a nice rest for the shoulders.

The Fortress
October 18th, 2006, 12:45 PM
For those of you who are anti-fin, this was on the goswim website that Lindsay recommended as the drill of the day: ;)

Butterfly is the type of stroke that requires specific training. You need to swim ENOUGH butterfly to strengthen the specific muscles for the stroke. But if you train A LOT of butterfly, there's a good chance that you will train yourself to have a slow stroke cadence, and this is not effective for racing. The question is: How do you learn to slam race-pace butterfly, especially early in the season?

http://www.goswim.tv/pMachinePro/images/uploads/images/fastfinfly.jpgWhy Do It:

By putting fins on your feet, you can learn to increase the speed of your body, and can add more resistance to your legs. Fins allow you to experience race-pace stroke dynamics and hydro-dynamics. They not only help you swim faster, but also build strength in your legs.

swimmieAvsFan
October 18th, 2006, 01:00 PM
fins have their uses. like last night. i was working with the minis (8 and unders) that i coach and we were working on butterfly. for kids that little, it's much easier to work on things like proper timing, getting arms out of the water instead of dragging across, etc when wearing fins. the kids absolutely love when they get to put fins on, and they know they have to work hard or we coaches will make them take the fins off.
but masters is different. far too many people either use them as a crutch or to be lazy... when masters use fins properly, they are a good training tool. but how many people use them to try and keep up with a lane, when it would be more advantageous to leave the fins off and slide down a lane? tons. and that's detrimental to improvement, IMHO...

The Fortress
October 18th, 2006, 01:16 PM
I just use them when/because my shoulders hurt, but I, nonetheless, always get yelled at or teased about it.

The other day in practice, we did a stroke/kicking fin set and my teammates said "now the playing field will be level." I still kicked their butts. Last night, I got a cramp in my calf. Someone said, "it's those damn fins." I don't even think that was true -- I think it was because I ran earlier in the day. It goes on and on. (I will note that a world record holder on my team is absolutely non-plussed by it and always gracious. Maybe he's secure enough to not be bothered?)

My husband can't understand why people rag on me over fins when they know I have shoulder problems. (Like Peter Cruise, I will probably be managing them for the next 20 years.) I can never really answer that question for him. He thinks it's because people have such big egos that they get pissed off if you happen to go faster than them, even though everyone knows it's artificial speed. Maybe it is just jealously or sour grapes. I think every team should have a lane for people with shoulder problems so they are not endlessly ragged on for not doing "real swimming." Geez. I work very hard and try to stay out of everyone's way. I'm worried enough about avoiding pain, I don't need someone's outsize ego or preachiness on top of it. Sorry, just a sore spot for me. :frustrated:

swimmieAvsFan
October 18th, 2006, 01:37 PM
again i say, fins have their uses...
leslie, you're a perfect example of people using them with a specific purpose in mind, namely keeping your shoulders healthy. there's nothing wrong with that. i have issues with the people who are using them to to keep up with a lane that's too fast for them (a crutch) or who "just don't like kicking", or who see no value in working on kicking, etc (laziness)... i personally pride myself on being able to beat most fin wearers when i'm fin-less. :D

swimmerlisa
October 18th, 2006, 02:03 PM
I just use them when/because my shoulders hurt, but I, nonetheless, always get yelled at or teased about it.
My husband can't understand why people rag on me over fins when they know I have shoulder problems. (Like Peter Cruise, I will probably be managing them for the next 20 years.) I can never really answer that question for him. He thinks it's because people have such big egos that they get pissed off if you happen to go faster than them, even though everyone knows it's artificial speed. Maybe it is just jealously or sour grapes. I think every team should have a lane for people with shoulder problems so they are not endlessly ragged on for not doing "real swimming." Geez. I work very hard and try to stay out of everyone's way. I'm worried enough about avoiding pain, I don't need someone's outsize ego or preachiness on top of it. Sorry, just a sore spot for me. :frustrated:

Hey Leslie- I know exactly what you're saying about getting ragged on. As the swimmer with chronic shoulder problems - I know that everyone at practice would just roll their eyes when they had to do a pull set, and I'd put my fins on to kick instead of paddles and a buoy. I think it's because they think that they are working harder than I was, and that they were jealous I could "slack off", when in reality I had to work twice as hard through the pain. I also think some of them didn't believe I was really in pain, that I just wanted to use fins since that could be considered easier. Either way, it all boils down to jealousy and ignorance. If any of them had gone through the shoulder problems you and I do, they'd understand.

Peter Cruise
October 18th, 2006, 02:56 PM
Leslie- with such philistines, there are a few zen-ish phrases that can quiet sniping lanemates right down...'punch your lights out'...'I'm hearing those voices again, the ones that make me go berserk'...seriously, try taking one or two loudmouths aside and explain how much they are affecting your enjoyment of swimming- maybe, just maybe they'll shut up & gradually it will fade away.

dorothyrde
October 18th, 2006, 02:57 PM
fins have their uses. like last night. i was working with the minis (8 and unders) that i coach and we were working on butterfly. for kids that little, it's much easier to work on things like proper timing, getting arms out of the water instead of dragging across, etc when wearing fins. the kids absolutely love when they get to put fins on, and they know they have to work hard or we coaches will make them take the fins off.
but masters is different. far too many people either use them as a crutch or to be lazy... when masters use fins properly, they are a good training tool. but how many people use them to try and keep up with a lane, when it would be more advantageous to leave the fins off and slide down a lane? tons. and that's detrimental to improvement, IMHO...

Since I don't swim with a group, not me. Fins really, really helped me at the beginning when I was just learning. I rarely use them for fly sets now.

swimmieAvsFan
October 18th, 2006, 03:29 PM
Since I don't swim with a group, not me. Fins really, really helped me at the beginning when I was just learning. I rarely use them for fly sets now.

ah ha! you've hit the nail on the head with my personal fin philosophy... you, leslie, swimmerlisa, and some others seem to have a balanced look at when fins are appropriate, and when they are not. i'm betting leslie and swimmerlisa don't use theirs for every single kick set, that you're not wearing them every time you do fly in practice, etc etc etc. unfortunately, too few masters have this enlightened approach to responsible fin use. ;)

peter, is "punch your lights out" really a zen phrase???
;)


(yay! this post morphed me into a "very active member"!)

dorothyrde
October 18th, 2006, 03:36 PM
There is one person who swims when I do that wears fins the whole time they swim. I always wonder why, but then figure to each their own and at least he is getting his exercise.

The Fortress
October 18th, 2006, 03:50 PM
Mollie:

Sorry. Thought you were comparing me to an 8 year old. I don't usually kick with fins unless it's a fin kick set. I'm definitely not lazy. I had thoughts of puking last night. I usually do fly with fins unless it's before a meet. My experience is that, when I get too enthusiastic and do lots of fly without fins, I really suffer. I never use fins for breaststroke. :) But a breaststroker friend of mine told me that they are coming out with breaststroke fins. Then breaststrokers can get ragged on when they become fin addicts. :laugh2:

Peter:

I may use "punch your lights out" one day. They might believe me. Since I'm always doing weights for my shoulders, I have pretty toned arms -- even though I use fins! :lolup:


SwimmerLisa:

I think you're right. They don't really believe you're in pain. Or they don't realize how painful the pain can be. (They say, we're sore too.) Or they don't realize the injury can be chronic and require constant mangement. Everyone thinks it should vanish immediately if you're getting "proper" treatment and doing your home care. But, unfortunately, as you know, you can try to do everything right, but the pain can still come back. I'm sure there are more stroke modifications that would help (I'm not TI perfect, for sure), but I still think those are easier said than done. And I'm tired of hearing people say, "Why don't you just have surgery?" I don't have a tear, that's why. And I don't have a wife. And I can't stand not to exercise.

Thanks guys. Leslie

swimmieAvsFan
October 18th, 2006, 04:23 PM
Mollie:

Sorry. Thought you were comparing me to an 8 year old. I don't usually kick with fins unless it's a fin kick set. I'm definitely not lazy. I had thoughts of puking last night. I usually do fly with fins unless it's before a meet. My experience is that, when I get too enthusiastic and do lots of fly without fins, I really suffer. I never use fins for breaststroke. :) But a breaststroker friend of mine told me that they are coming out with breaststroke fins. Then breaststrokers can get ragged on when they become fin addicts. :laugh2:


oops! i had no intention of my post being interpreted like that! the reason i mentioned the minis is because they are a good example of when fins are appropriate (ie learning new strokes). :)
and it's good to hear you're not one of the lazy finners. i swam with far too many of them in PA, so i'm very opinionated when it comes to fins... :laugh2:

dorothyrde
October 18th, 2006, 04:53 PM
You can compare me to the little kids, since I learned fly in the last 4 years:applaud: It is one of the hardest things I learned, but also one of the things I am most proud about, who know a 40 something non-swimmer could be a flier!

swimmerlisa
October 18th, 2006, 05:02 PM
You can compare me to the little kids, since I learned fly in the last 4 years:applaud: It is one of the hardest things I learned, but also one of the things I am most proud about, who know a 40 something non-swimmer could be a flier!

:woot:

That's awesome, Dorothy! That takes a lot of dedication and practice. :D

The Fortress
October 18th, 2006, 05:04 PM
Dorothy:

I swim alone a lot too. During the school year, my kids hog all my time, so it's hard to get to practice. (That's why I don't want to get ragged on when I show up ready to work hard.) But your point is right. Who cares why that guy is wearing fins all the time? As we've seen, chances are he's either (1) lazy, (2) has achy shoulders, (3) is trying to learn something new, and (4) maybe doing a drill that requires fins.

Mollie:

Lazy is bad. I guess maybe I'd be irked too if someone was cruising along with fins the whole practice and was never even breathing hard. I assure you I am gasping for breath quite often. When I use fins, I expect my times to be much faster and push myself as hard as possible, really working on my SDKs. Were those people on your college team doing that (cruising along, lane jumping with fins)? Do they train much with fins in college?

I have noticed masters swimmers are a little touchy about their lanes. it took awhile before someone said I had "earned" my spot. Jeepers. It's masters swimming. What is it that evil John Smith says -- it's not whether you're FAST but whether you're FAT.

Congrats on being "very active." :D

The Fortress
October 18th, 2006, 06:47 PM
SwimmerLisa:

Just one more thing. As far as I'm concerned those big old paddles they use nowadays beat fins anytime. So when the people you swim with pull them out, they shouldn't be glaring at you. I'm actually relieved when we do freestyle pull sets because then I am relieved of any residual fin-using guilt. I just say: "Go ahead. Paddles beat fins." :thhbbb: We, of course, CAN'T use paddles because of our shoulders.

Leslie

aquaFeisty
October 18th, 2006, 08:02 PM
Ok, all you folks that can butterfly kick for days on end amaze me! After an entire season of at least 2 dolphins off each flipturn, I have a decent underwater fly (on tummy, side, back, whatever). But the instant I surface, oooh it is ugly. It's like I go from a continuous motion to a start-and-stop one. Any ideas? Any ways to work on a better transition to the surface? FYI, I am NOT a flyer... but I would like to have a semi-decent 100 IM and not negative split the thing.

On a side note, I avoid paddles like the plague...

The Fortress
October 18th, 2006, 08:19 PM
AquaFeisty:

Almost every practice I do by myself I do 10-16 x 25 underwater dolphin kick with fins. This gives you that extra liter of oxygen and really helps you work on SDKs. Transitions are sometimes tough for me too. But on a 100 IM, you just turn on your back and start those SDKs again. I wish I could negative split an IM. Last time I swam the darn thing, I went 29/37. Despite a strong core from all that SD-ing, I have no breaststroke kick!

aquaFeisty
October 19th, 2006, 07:39 AM
Thanks, Leslie. I will do some underwater 25's next time I swim by myself. I'll probably skip the fins though... I'll just go as far as possible underwater and then surface and do easy free. Thus avoiding the ugliness of my at-the-surface kick. I bet it's core strength weakness that's a big part of my issue. In which case... gotta just suck it up and do some more dolphin kicking. :p

I have nothing against fin wearers, but I avoid them (fins, not the fin-wearers, LOL) because I have such a crappy kick that if I wear fins after about half a length I start kicking from knees down only. The sensation of being able to point my toe is just too much of a temptation!

As for your 100 IM, I'd take a 1:06 - even with your splits! My best is only a 1:13... out in 37, back in 36... yep, gotta love that backstroke!

The Fortress
October 19th, 2006, 09:12 AM
AquaFeisty:

Yep, you're loving the backstroke and I'm loving the breaststroke.

Doing the SDKs without fins is just as good, maybe better and then doing easy free. Try to keep increasing how far you get.

I'ts funny, though, when I wear fins, I don't kick from my knees down. I tend to suck in my stomach straighten my legs and use my core. (In fact, a friend of mine from NC taught me the "suck in the stomach" drill to help keep your body in a more streamlined position.) I guess everyone is different. I know a lot of people who dislike fins (not because of their egos) but they just don't the way fins make them feel. Those same people seem to like paddles though... Glad you're staying away from those shoulder killing things!

swimmerlisa
October 19th, 2006, 09:29 AM
Leslie, you're right about paddles/fins! :-) I have those same feelings!

Aquafeisty: there are a couple of drills you can do to make that transition smoother. One way is to use a kickboard, but stretch your arms out all the way to hold it. This will mean you have to hold your head up to breathe. You can first start out with as many kicks as you can take with your head down, feeling the undulation and motion, then when you bring your head up to breathe, take a forward breath to simulate bfly swimming. As your body gets more used to the motions, start using a kick similiar to what you'd use when swimming bfly. Two or three beats, breathe, two or three beats, breathe. Another drill is 6:1 Butterfly. You could start with fins, or go without. Take one butterfly pull, followed by six strong kicks. Anyway, those are just a few drills I like to do. I also like Leslie's suggestion - underwater bfly kick is great for expanding your lungs and building muscles. Hope that helps. :)

poolraat
October 19th, 2006, 06:59 PM
I find this discussion interesting as I am relatively new to the fly (about 2 years). I tried fins at first and they helped some. Even now I will use them occassionally if I want to get the feel of swimming at race pace without expending the effort. For the most part I do all my kick sets without fins (unless I feel lazy or am short on time). I haven't tried the underwater kicking. Will it help me get my 50 under 30?
And, pardon my ignorance, but what is SDK?

The Fortress
October 19th, 2006, 07:13 PM
Poolrat:

SDK is the acronym for "streamline dolphin kick." Underwater dolphin kicking is key for all your starts and turns. (If you happen to not be super tall as well, it's better to go as far as you can underwater, if you're efficient at it.) I think it also just helps to build core strength and give you the undulating feel of fly. I think it would help on any length of fly, maybe even more on the long ones where you want to take fewer strokes cuz you're just getting tired. I do quite a lot of it as well as race pace fly and kicking fly on my back as Bud was describing, and I went a 28.8 in SCY last May. Underwater SDKs also gives you that extra liter of oxygen so you're not breathing as much in the 50. Good luck getting under 30!!

poolraat
October 19th, 2006, 08:06 PM
Thanks. I've been doing dolphin on the start and turns on my backstroke and just this year added it to my free. I hope it helps me improve in the sprints. I've only seen improvement in my 200 & 500 free in the past 18 months.

BillS
October 19th, 2006, 08:21 PM
This may seem a little counterintuitive, but for drill I prefer pulling fly with a buoy to using fins . . . the buoy keeps the hips up in more or less the desired position, and doesn't affect the kick dramatically. To me, it feels more like the real thing than swimming it with fins, and you can break the stroke down and think a bit because your hips aren't heading to the bottom on each cycle. Doesn't seem to unduly stress the shoulders, either.

The Fortress
October 19th, 2006, 08:35 PM
Bill:

That is a very interesting suggestion I never thought of that. I always assumed that any sort of pulling was hazardous for the shoulders...

Poolrat:

It could be that your sprints aren't improving cause you're not doing any speedwork in practice? If you just do long stuff in practice, it's tough to do fast sprints in meets. And its hard to be really good at both the sprints and distance stuff. Just a thought. There was a recent thread on improving your sprinting from a few weeks ago that you might want to look at. It was loaded with good advice from talented swimmers in the know. I've only been at this masters thing for about 16 months now, so I think you'll keep improving too.

aquaFeisty
October 20th, 2006, 08:19 AM
SwimmerLisa and, ummm, "Allison",

Thanks for the dolphin kick tips. I will definitely try the 6 kicks - one pull thing. And yeah, the 25's of SDK will be good. I know I can SDK a lot faster than I can flutterkick underwater (like coming out of a flipturn)... Now I just need to remember to do it in a 50 free, too!

The Fortress
October 20th, 2006, 10:05 AM
AquaFeisty:

Geek is lying about his real name, so I thought I would too! I'm going to try that 6 kicks one pull thing too to help with my transitions.

swimmerlisa
October 20th, 2006, 10:10 AM
leslie and aquafeisty: you can also do 6:1 backstroke - that drill really helps me with my rotation, because with the 6 kicks, you can really get your hips turned and maintain perfect head position. If you like it on fly, you should try it for back, too. :-) good luck!

aquaFeisty
October 20th, 2006, 10:52 AM
well, duh me... I've done lots of 6-kick freestyle, but never thought to do it on my back. My usual backstroke drill of choice is single arm by 2, then switch (R,R,L,L,R... etc) 6-kick back is a great idea... and a sneaky way to force me to do some more kicking!! thanks!

swimmerlisa
October 20th, 2006, 11:13 AM
Yay! Im happy you are excited about the drill for backstroke! I recommend rotating right arm to left arm every stroke - it's a best similator for the real thing, and will help you with rotation and transitions. Let me know how it goes. All this talk of backstroke really makes me wish I was in the pool and not at work right now! :cool:

rtodd
October 20th, 2006, 02:29 PM
WOW!!!!!!!

put the fins on and man, crazy difference. I was " flyin". Unbelievable. This will be a big help in training. I could stay right on the surface and I was moving in huge chunks. Calfs cramped up later in the workout. Great for underwater SDK sets.

I can't see how fins won't make someone faster as long as they come off frequently to imprint proper race mechanics.

I am using the red zoomers which are very small. Any bigger and my ankles would explode.

The Fortress
October 20th, 2006, 03:09 PM
rtodd:

That's so excellent! I get cramps sometimes too. It's muscle overload. The zoomers are good for not becoming an addict. But the longer fins are actually good for building ankle strength and flexibility. keep at it. Have fun.

Muppet
October 28th, 2006, 09:43 PM
For folks new at butterfly, a good drill I've used in teaching is a kick-heavy butterfly cycle: 4 kicks for every arm-pull.

One of the hardest things for a new fly swimmer to do is get both arms out of the pool, especially when exhaustion sets in at the end of each 25. This drill lets the swimmer focus on the arm movement w/o as much of the tired effects. An added side effect of this drill is that with the extra kicks per cycle, the swimmer has added energy (from the extra kick) helping push forward the body and aid in getting those arms out of the water.