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Alphathree
November 3rd, 2006, 01:38 PM
At first, I was on vacation and I saw my girlfriend swim a few laps and thought, "Gosh, I should really take some lessons and learn how to do that."

Then it was, "I should really do some online research to complement my lessons."

Then, "I might as well start participating in some of these swimming forums."

Then I needed more time to practice, so I started going to rec swims. I'm now getting a SECOND instructor for a different perspective in addition to my on-my-own rec swim time.

And all the time I'm not in the pool, I'm watching videos, reading forums and articles, learning about top swimmers, going out to buy goggles (tonight), and generally wanting to get back in the water and practice...

All this and I can barely frakken swim a length in anything other than backstroke! Jesus. I'm taking "addictive personality" to new levels here. What on earth did I do with my life before three weeks ago?

And what implications does this have for the rest of my life? The first 23 years on dry-land are looking more and more like a write-off in comparison to the satisfaction I get from being in the water -- when it isn't in my nose, ears, mouth, and eyes, that is.

I spent a lot of time on dry land practicing my dancing and these days, I teach it. Because my dancing is automatic -- I "just do it" without thinking -- I can't really remember what it was like NOT to be able to do it.

In the same sense, I've had a lot of people say to me, "You're just learning to swim now? I can't imagine what it would be like NOT to be able to swim." I think I can relate.

swimmerlisa
November 3rd, 2006, 01:43 PM
welcome to the world of swimming! :drink:

your post made me laugh. sounds like you're a natural and if you keep at it, you should be quite the swimmer. it's so cool you're so motivated and doing this at this time in your life, for you, for fun. :cool: that's what masters swimming is all about, i'm learning. :cool:

Alphathree
November 3rd, 2006, 02:17 PM
I just bought the revised version of Total Immersion but apparently it's only good for freestyle.

Are the principles applicable to any stroke?

islandsox
November 3rd, 2006, 02:29 PM
Alphathree,

Slow down and take it easy and try to enjoy it. Learning to swim correctly is not something that is learned in weeks, months, or sometimes years. You need a good coach. Short of that, you need to find someone who swims well (and you probably can tell because of your research), and have them work with you. Swimmers are good at helping those with poor stroke because we know how hard it is on a person who swims "badly." If you see a "good swimmer" in the water, talk to them.

Not everyone is a good coach; many think they are, but I have met more "coaches" who teach the four strokes totally incorrectly. I think they must have "read" it somewhere rather than had good stroke development in their life. Keep doing your research and watch those online videos. Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words.

Also, regardless of your dryland conditioning, you have to get into swimming conditioning. It is a totally different thing with breath control, stroke timing, body balance. The better swimming conditioning you are in, the better your stroke may become because it won't be so "difficult."

If you want to get into swimming conditioning but are afraid your stroke will develop incorrectly until you get some good advice, try doing underwater drills. There is a drill called Under/Over. If you have not heard of this, let me know and I'll try to explain it in 10 words or less. These are anaerobic and build a swimmer's lungs to almost equal that of a small pony. Also, freestyle speed kick with a board. Do 25's. Maybe one fast 25, one slow 25, etc. You can certainly improve your swimming conditioning with kicking drills until you find someone who can truly help you.

Is there a master swimming program in your area? They almost always have workouts for those less experienced, as well as lanes dedicated to those swimmers. When I had my shoulder surgeries, I had to join those lanes for several months as I could not use my arms.

Swimming is like golf, it is technique and it takes time to find that proper technique for you.

In the meantime, keep asking those great questions here as you have been doing. As a lifelong swimmer, I am in awe that you are not only interested, but are trying to find ways to improve your water skill. Regardless of what anyone else around you might say. Swimming can be beneficial to you for the rest of your life. I am 58 and I can tell you, I will be swimming until my heart stops, even if someone has to help me onto the starting blocks when I reach age 85. And when my life is over, I want to be buried in a two-piece Speedo and put in a tupperware bowl and set adrift in the sea.

Oops, sorry this is long.

Like Nemo, Keep on Swimming :groovy:

Donna

swimmerlisa
November 3rd, 2006, 02:31 PM
I just bought the revised version of Total Immersion but apparently it's only good for freestyle.

Are the principles applicable to any stroke?

I don't use TI nor do I endorse it's teachings. The person best suited to answer that question is KaizenSwimmer/Terry Laughlin, who is a TI advocate.

If you are antsy, you could look online for the answer to your question.

The Fortress
November 3rd, 2006, 02:36 PM
Swimming is like golf
Donna

This is such a horrible thing to say ....:eek:

islandsox
November 3rd, 2006, 03:10 PM
Sprinter Girl,

Not really, it's technical as is swimming correctly. And I didn't mean putt-putt golf we take our kids to. You know, smooth movements, make the most out of the swing, or pull in swimming. I see people swinging with all their might at a little golf ball, and I have seen people swimming with arms flailing about and kicking out of the water: all that used up energy to not hit that little ball, nor do they swim very far very fast but they sure are pooped!!

The Fortress
November 3rd, 2006, 03:30 PM
Swimming is like golf. Donna.

Donna:

Yes, it is so horrible. Defaming even.

OK, I agree on technique part. But, come on, swimming is an endurance sport. Golfers don't get "pooped." Last time I checked, there were some mighty unhealthy looking guys out on the golf course. And I'm not just talking about country clubs. Now that weight-lifting Woods guy is an exception.

Alphathree
November 3rd, 2006, 03:37 PM
islandsox (http://forums.usms.org/member.php?u=4898): thanks for the thorough response.

I can't really "slow down" -- I'm a jittery person and I always need something to occupy me physically and mentally. So aside from sex, sleeping, and eating, swimming just happens to be "it" right now and for the foreseeable future. =)

I'm actually scared to death of talking to anyone in the water other than my instructor.

In fact, two guys laughed at me today when, after several laps of kicking drills, I got really tired and started sinking and my recovery wasn't, shall we say, graceful? Anyway, I didn't take it too personally, but it doesn't make me want to talk to any of those people. Who am I to disturb their swimming?

(And yes, I'm normally a very easy-going and social person.)

Keep in mind that up until a few years ago, I would literally feel sick to my stomach at the smell of chlorine... not out of fear of water, but because it represented this skeleton in my closet that I had never really dealt with. It was really hard for me to get into a pool for the first time not because the water bothered me, but because there was nothing productive I could do with it -- and I knew everyone else could.

In high school I had to drudge through these swimming "lessons". (Note: "lesson" = "okay, everyone get in and do ten laps"). That didn't help.

Since I've started this little journey of mine, I've been casually pinging people -- "hey, are you much of a swimmer?" Having walked around on the planet for 23 years thinking everyone I passed could swim 10 beautiful freestyle laps with ease, it's been interesting to find out that, in fact, many people are very weak swimmers or can only just barely stay afloat.

It's changed my mental map of reality. Just imagine how you'd feel if you thought absolutely everyone else could do this simple thing that you couldn't. Now that I find out that's not the case-- a) it isn't all that simple and b) everyone else can't necessarily do it very well -- it's been a real mind-screw.

Anyway, maybe my new, second instructor will be better. I've decided that I want to be in the pool once a day. Any more than that doesn't give my muscles time to rest. Any less and I get restless. The next four weeks I will have five -- yes, you heard right, five -- private lessons per week with my two instructors. I think of the privates as times when I can experiment and practice and have someone point out my mistakes without all the pressure of having a dozen other swimmers zipping around the pool confusing me.

I'd like to be able to passably swim freestyle, backstroke and breaststroke and hopefully tread water by Christmas because I'm going to Mexico for a few weeks. I might not reach all of my goals, but I'm going to (almost) die trying.

As for TI: I'm a very technically-minded person and I come from an engineering background.

For example, when I teach dancing, I will spend as many 1-hour lessons as necessary explaining to people what it means to have their shoulders and lats engaged, their arms relaxed, their fingers engaged, and their center of mass back on their heels. People just want to learn "the steps," but I insisted that they do it well.

From what I understand about TI, it takes the same approach for swimming. I think I "get" where the author is coming from on that. I don't want to be fast -- I have no plans to compete. I want to be effortless. In the same way, I dance not to be showy (some people are performance dancers), but to FEEL GOOD while I do it.

So there's my life philosophy. And holy cow, did my post ever get long. If you read this far, congratulations. :blah:

The Fortress
November 3rd, 2006, 03:48 PM
As for TI: I'm a very technically-minded person and I come from an engineering background.

Alphathree:

I wish my husband had your great attitude. He is a great athlete, but thinks he can't swim a single length of the pool.

If you are a techno-whiz, I suggest you consult KaizenSwimmer or Lindsay's posts. You could also watch clips from GeoChuck's numerous links.

Concho Pearl
November 3rd, 2006, 03:50 PM
Alphathree congratulates on turning to the sport of swimming.

Nothing works better than getting in the pool and swimming. You can read, watch videos and get on forums which do help, just remember nothing works better that pratice, pratice pratice.

Since you just started here a few pointers I tell all my first timers. Keep you feet in the water while kicking, if your splashing to much your only catching air not water. Keep your kicks under the water.

Are you breathing on your side yet in freestyle or moving you head side to side with your head out of the water? If so try to work on keeping your face in the water and breathing on the side while one hand is out in front catching the water and the other arm is just coming out and over, this when you will want to turn your head to breath so you don't catch water in your mouth. If you move your head side to side out of the water your just making your self tired.

Also, what I do to make sure during pratice I'm getting a good solid stroke is, the hand that enters the water I make sure my thumb grazes my thigh when I pull.

Remember the more splash you make the more air your catching. Catch the water instead. Good luck keep us posted.

Alphathree
November 3rd, 2006, 03:54 PM
Alphathree congratulates on turning to the sport of swimming.

Nothing works better than getting in the pool and swimming. You can read, watch videos and get on forums which do help, just remember nothing works better that pratice, pratice pratice.

Since you just started here a few pointers I tell all my first timers. Keep you feet in the water while kicking, if your splashing to much your only catching air not water. Keep your kicks under the water.

Are you breathing on your side yet in freestyle or moving you head side to side with your head out of the water? If so try to work on keeping your face in the water and breathing on the side while one hand is out in front catching the water and the other arm is just coming out and over, this when you will want to turn your head to breath so you don't catch water in your mouth. If you move your head side to side out of the water your just making your self tired.

Also, what I do to make sure during pratice I'm getting a good solid stroke is, the hand that enters the water I make sure my thumb grazes my thigh when I pull.

Remember the more splash you make the more air your catching. Catch the water instead. Good luck keep us posted.

Thanks for the breathing tip. I've tried twelve thousand and one methods of breathing with a kickboard and none of them work. I think no matter how I shake it, the kick board will mess me up.

I might try what you say, but gliding with one arm forward, one arm back, and just breathing, then take a single stroke, and try the other side...

The problem is that without the kickboard, I tend to sink too much in the water and when I turn to take a breath, my whole head is in the water.

Allen Stark
November 3rd, 2006, 07:54 PM
Breathing is much easier when you are going faster. One thing I've suggested to beginners(with mixed success,great for some not for others) is get a snorkle,preferably center-mount. Then you can swim without turning your head to breath. Good luck. If you are going to have something consume your life swimming is the best thing.

islandsox
November 3rd, 2006, 08:26 PM
Well, shoot, no one said anything new would be easy. Of course swimming is endurance as well as technique. I just want our friend who is having some difficulty to know she is not alone in trying to learn to swim properly.

But once mastered to whatever level will give a person great confidence and will benefit the body beyond belief. I have won a thousand races and lost a thousand races, but now that I am almost 60, my health--because of swimming--is twice that of people I know. I guess my racing days are over (I live in a place where I only do a one mile ocean swim once a year.

BUT, I plan on an 18 miler in about a year and a half (must be crazy).

I think one of my most momentus moments was 2 years ago swimming in Half Moon Bay here in Roatan. And I was just swimming around the inlet (half-mile). I went around it several times and when I came to shore several people were standing there. Their comments were: I have never seen such a beautiful, graceful swim and so quickly.

I realized that I had been swimming like I always do, but to others, it seemed magical. Of course I was proud, but I instantly remembered how I got it to be what it is. Great coaching, lots of yardage, and finally it had come full circle. I truly don't mean this to be a bragging right, it just meant so much to me that people "saw" what years and years of swimming can do for a person. Sure, I am slower now, who wouldn't be? And the most strange part of this is I am quite large now, I am not a skinny minny by any means, but the technique I learned has stayed with me.

I am forever grateful for having great coaches in my early years. When I get tired, I dig deep and find that technique all over again.

Swimmer for life,
Donna

Concho Pearl
November 3rd, 2006, 09:03 PM
Breating with the kickboard can be tricky because your cann't roll, like you would breathing for freestyle. Try to bring your arms out of the water above your head, not off the the side, bending your elbows as your arm comes out.

Some people prefer or favor breathing on one side over the other. I'm a left sided breather, try it both ways can choose what is comfortable for you.

Again try this, if you are, lets say a left sided breather, when your right arm come out and stretched out to enter the water and make the pull, you would then sightly roll your shoulders to the right, turn your head and breathe, you should be able to start to see your left arm starting to come around, this is basicly you window of opportunity to breathe without getting a mouth full of water.

Catch some air put your face back into the water and at that time your left arm should be coming over the hit the water to make the next pull.

Most people I teach learning how to breathe in freestyle will, do this and say wow, that worked, it does take time to cordinate everything and that just comes with practice.

Alot of people just learning also will tend to side breathe fine, but then lift there head up and look forward then, put there head in the water. Because it takes alot of practice, this is okay for now, but try to not look forward, just turn breathe, turn face back into the water.

There are alot of people that can't swim or can't swim well, like my husband's friend says the most he swims is when he looses his beer off the floatee and he has to paddle to get it. Swimming is the only sport that can save your life. People shouldn't laugh but applaud you for your effort to want to learn. I walk past our workout room at the "Y" and just see it packed full of people working out, and in the pool there is just one or two of us lap swimming, I think to my self why don't they swim, it's the perfect exercise, but then I think, maybe it's because they don't know how or can't swim all that well. I applaud you keep ,up the good work!!

KaizenSwimmer
November 3rd, 2006, 09:43 PM
As for TI: I'm a very technically-minded person and I come from an engineering background.

Congratulations on acquiring an entirely healthy obsession. I hope this becomes for you what they call a virtuous addiction. I've been swimming obsessed for 40 years now, ever since joining my HS team in 1966. I had failed to make the cut for the undistinguished team at my Catholic grammar school two years earlier and only made the HS team because it was the first year and they took everyone with a pulse. But I got the fever and haven't been cured since.

If you have my earliest book, while its focus is nominally freestyle, it's really about how human bodies behave in the water and how to use that information to minimize the impediments -- poor support, high resistance and little traction -- and maximize the advantages -- near weightlessness and fluid dynamics. The balance and alignment drills will apply reasonably well to the backstroke you're already swimming, and you can use that or Freestyle as your laboratory for exploring those questions yourself.

Here are a few ideas you can apply to any stroke:
1) Get all the air you need, when you need it. Unless you do, you'll be too distracted to focus on anything else.
2) Focus on head spine alignment - especially when breathing.
3) Shape your body to fit through a smaller "hole" in the water. Drag is the greatest limiting factor in swimming.
4) When thinking about your arms, give more attention to lengthening your body than to pushing water back.
5) When thinking about your legs, let them be relatively relaxed and passive. To the extent you make kicking a conscious activity, focus on keeping your legs inside the "shadow" of your body.
6) If you're looking for an all-encompassing mantra you couldn't do much better than "Move like Water." A simple way to do so is to minimize bubbles, noise and splash at whatever speed.
7) Stay passionate.

Others may offer different advice, but this is the best and most succinct I have for you.

Alphathree
November 4th, 2006, 08:55 AM
Congratulations on acquiring an entirely healthy obsession. I hope this becomes for you what they call a virtuous addiction. I've been swimming obsessed for 40 years now, ever since joining my HS team in 1966. I had failed to make the cut for the undistinguished team at my Catholic grammar school two years earlier and only made the HS team because it was the first year and they took everyone with a pulse. But I got the fever and haven't been cured since.

If you have my earliest book, while its focus is nominally freestyle, it's really about how human bodies behave in the water and how to use that information to minimize the impediments -- poor support, high resistance and little traction -- and maximize the advantages -- near weightlessness and fluid dynamics. The balance and alignment drills will apply reasonably well to the backstroke you're already swimming, and you can use that or Freestyle as your laboratory for exploring those questions yourself.

Here are a few ideas you can apply to any stroke:
1) Get all the air you need, when you need it. Unless you do, you'll be too distracted to focus on anything else.
2) Focus on head spine alignment - especially when breathing.
3) Shape your body to fit through a smaller "hole" in the water. Drag is the greatest limiting factor in swimming.
4) When thinking about your arms, give more attention to lengthening your body than to pushing water back.
5) When thinking about your legs, let them be relatively relaxed and passive. To the extent you make kicking a conscious activity, focus on keeping your legs inside the "shadow" of your body.
6) If you're looking for an all-encompassing mantra you couldn't do much better than "Move like Water." A simple way to do so is to minimize bubbles, noise and splash at whatever speed.
7) Stay passionate.

Others may offer different advice, but this is the best and most succinct I have for you.

Thanks a lot.

With respect to kicking, I have to "think" about keeping my legs straight otherwise I start kicking from the knees... but I have a feeling that all that thinking causes me to tense up my legs more than necessary.

I know my ankles should be floppy and the movement should come from the hips. If those two things were true, should I just let my knees do what they do, or should I focus on keeping them semi-locked?

EDIT: Incidentally, I have the revised (2004?) edition of "Total Immersion."

EDIT #2: In watching some videos, I think most swimmers seem to be driving from the hips and relaxing the entire leg. This makes sense to me and when I practice it on dry land in my chair, it feels better than the slight knee-locking I was doing.

My instructor told me to lock my knees and point my toes -- meaning my ankles and knees are "tight" -- well, that worked horribly for me. And as I experiment with my kicking drills more and more, the single determining factor of how fast I move is not how fast I kick or how much I point my toes or lock my knees, it is how relaxed I am and how much I drive from the hips.

geochuck
November 4th, 2006, 09:49 AM
Your instructor may have been telling you that you had a runners kick and trying to get it accross to you the toes should point. The foot should be relaxed, ankle relaxed, kick from the hip and not let the knees lock.

Don't be too hard on the instructor he or she may see things we can not see in the written word.

Alphathree
November 4th, 2006, 10:42 AM
Your instructor may have been telling you that you had a runners kick and trying to get it accross to you the toes should point. The foot should be relaxed, ankle relaxed, kick from the hip and not let the knees lock.

Don't be too hard on the instructor he or she may see things we can not see in the written word.

Thanks. She's a very nice girl and a talented swimmer and a lifeguard. But the feedback I get from her is very generic.

I think she learned to swim so long ago that she doesn't really know how to break down what she knows.

While she has given me some basic skills in the water, I'd say you folks on this forum have contributed at least as much to my improvement over the past few weeks.

Originally I probably wasn't pointing my toes very much -- but that's because I was tense and nervous. So I started forcefully pointing my toes.

I think what's going on is that I was using my legs like wooden paddles rather than rubber fins...

I'm really eager to try some kicking laps later today with this leg-relaxation in mind, and also the tip from someone else to point my arms ahead of me rather than at my sides when I'm not doing the strokes. I'm probably 7 and a half feet long with my arms outstretched and toes pointed... I think taking up that position in the water will feel really good and promote good body position.

geochuck
November 4th, 2006, 11:56 AM
Flat footed standing on the floor with both hands straight over my head I measure 8'5" when I extend one arm in the water with my toes pointed a I am probably close to 10 feet long I will have to check that.

Alphathree
November 4th, 2006, 02:01 PM
Well I just got my goggles...

They fit VERY tightly... trying to figure out how to loosen the strap just a bit =)

KaizenSwimmer
November 4th, 2006, 02:32 PM
Thanks a lot.

With respect to kicking, I have to "think" about keeping my legs straight otherwise I start kicking from the knees...

Thinking about keeping them straight is similar to thinking about keeping them inside your body's shadow. Think about kicking with a "long" leg. Lead forward with your toes and back with your heels. Practice some with a vertical kick to learn the feeling.

Avoid tension or a sense of having your leg locked.

LindsayNB
November 5th, 2006, 01:11 PM
One point about coaches, they often give you advice this is not literally true but is aimed to correct something that you are doing wrong.

slowfish
November 13th, 2006, 07:01 PM
Alphathree,


If you want to get into swimming conditioning but are afraid your stroke will develop incorrectly until you get some good advice, try doing underwater drills. There is a drill called Under/Over. If you have not heard of this, let me know and I'll try to explain it in 10 words or less. These are anaerobic and build a swimmer's lungs to almost equal that of a small pony.
Donna

i could totally use lungs of a small pony! could you try and explain in 10 words or less?

thanks

KaizenSwimmer
November 14th, 2006, 11:34 AM
These are anaerobic and build a swimmer's lungs to almost equal that of a small pony.

This is one of those things that has the feel of folklore, rather than science, to me. I can't claim detailed understanding of pulmonary function but I'm instinctively skeptical that one can increase pulmonary capacity by doing underwater swimming. I'm sure one can increase breath-holding capacity, but what's the benefit to doing that - other than in racing the 50 Free and it doesn't sound as if that's alphathree's goal right now. If it was I'd suggest he practice swimming 25 and 50 freestyle repeats with limited breathing frequency, rather than underwater swimming. But you don't see any elite swimmer holding their breath while racing.

There are two aspects of UW swimming which make it "contraindicated" as doctors say.
1) It's dangerous. Many people have passed out, and some have drowned, while trying to extend their limits in doing so.
2) Our Masters group used to do Under/Overs frequently. I didn't see the point so I did other drills during this time -- which allowed me the vantage point to observe that most of those doing it were practicing awkward, inefficient movement, mainly fighting buoyancy. This made the exercise doubly pointless.

The Fortress
November 14th, 2006, 11:43 AM
This is one of those things that has the feel of folklore, rather than science, to me. I can't claim detailed understanding of pulmonary function but I'm instinctively skeptical that one can increase pulmonary capacity by doing underwater swimming. I'm sure one can increase breath-holding capacity, but what's the benefit to doing that - other than in racing the 50 Free and it doesn't sound as if that's alphathree's goal right now. If it was I'd suggest he practice swimming 25 and 50 freestyle repeats with limited breathing frequency, rather than underwater swimming. But you don't see any elite swimmer holding their breath while racing.

This distinction is what I've experienced. I don't feel that swimming underwater "increases pulmonary capacity." I do feel like it is decent practice for holding my breath though. But I don't usually do it for that specific purpose. I usually do underwater SDKs to practice my SDKs for fly. Hopefully, I am not being too awkward. Hopefully, it will help my 50 free as a nice side benefit.

swimmerlisa
November 14th, 2006, 11:48 AM
I really try to practice a few 25s underwater each practice to work on my SDK and holding my breath. I do them both on my front and on my back. I think it helps my speed underwater, my tight streamline, abs, and legs. I think it's great to at least be able to hold my breath underwater for a 25, it ensures I can get the most of my underwater after turns and off the start, and it is comforting to know I won't be huffing and puffing when I come up for air with the first stroke.

SwimStud
November 14th, 2006, 12:04 PM
Kicking out of the water is why I do breaststroke...I need to get some coaching for crawl. I am just not good at it lol.
When you grow up beating out the crawlers with your breaststroke though you tend not to worry about crawl...my sister could crawl.

I'll have to grab a float and work on the kicks one of these night when there are less people wanting to swim

geochuck
November 14th, 2006, 12:43 PM
Holding breath so many of the greats have done it. Emil Zatopek the great runner did it during training and every great swimmer has done it at one time or another. It may not be of benifit as some may say but I am going to continue swimming underwater and holding my breath.

The only thing I would say is not to overdo it it can be dangerous. Holding your breath doing a 50 free or underwater is not harmful unless you have trouble doing it and it could be helful.

The Fortress
November 14th, 2006, 12:52 PM
[quote=geochuck;67729]Holding breath so many of the greats have done it. Emil Zatopek the great runner did it during training and every great swimmer has done it at one time or another. /quote]

Well, I'm feeling pretty jolly to be in Emil Zatopek's company. That man practically invented interval training for runners. I'm still going to work on breath holding periodically. Ande says we don't really need any in a 50, and I'm still taking 3....

P.S. George, you do have to admit that Emil Zatopek had about the most awkward looking running style ever. He won based on hard work, mental discipline and high pain tolerance.

Leonard Jansen
November 14th, 2006, 01:37 PM
Well, I'm feeling pretty jolly to be in Emil Zatopek's company. That man practically invented interval training for runners. I'm still going to work on breath holding periodically. Ande says we don't really need any in a 50, and I'm still taking 3....

Actually, the scientific basis of interval training was first promoted by Gerschler and Reindell (sp?) in Germany in the mid-1930's. Their main claim to fame was the production of Rudolph Harbig, who demolished the 800 m record using their principles. (Harbig was killed in WWII.) Zatopek was, perhaps the most extreme famous example, however, of the strict interval principle of training. Intervals as the sole focus of training lost favor in the late 1950's/early 1960's when Arthur Lydiard's system first became popular. Lydiard's system was later eclipsed by the periodization principle, which first came out of Russia in 1964. Periodization is the current "last word" on training, in terms of physiology.

As to breath-holding: This was popular in track in the 1950's as a "next step" in the interval system, particularly in the so-called "Hungarian school" of training (coaches like Mihail Igoli). However, later studies showed that the only significant benefit was for anaerobic tolerance (e.g Perhaps for a hard 50 in swimming with fewer breaths.). It does NOT really help with aerobic development (i.e. no "lungs of a pony") and it does decrease capacity for muscular exertion as one's O2 gets depleted.

-LBJ

The Fortress
November 14th, 2006, 01:51 PM
Leonard:

Are you a runner and encyclopedia in addition to being a gourmet chef? This was most impressive. Still sounds like those undewater SDKs are helping my 50s though based on your last paragraph.

It is spelled "Reindell," BTW. They got an assist on this from Bannister's sometime British coach, Stampfl. I think actually Bannister may have used some interval training to help break the 4:00 mile barrier, and then Zatopek subsequently did intervals in large volumes at different intensities? At least that's what I recall offhand from reading The Lore of Running awhile ago.

geochuck
November 14th, 2006, 02:44 PM
I was a lucky guy Roger Bannister, John Landy and Emill Zatopek met a had good conversations with all.

Roger the loner. John Landy the friendly guy who used to run the sand dunes I was in the hospital the day he stepped on the broken coke bottle and cut his foot a few days before Bannister and Landy ran the miracle mile.

Zatopek certainly the runner that all runners worshipped.

swimmerlisa
November 14th, 2006, 02:45 PM
hey george, are you in mexico yet?

poolraat
November 14th, 2006, 02:50 PM
I think actually Bannister may have used some interval training to help break the 4:00 mile barrier,...

If I remember correctly (I read his book as a teenager), Bannister's basic workout was 10 x 440 with each being at 60 sec. I don't recall the rest interval.

geochuck
November 14th, 2006, 02:58 PM
hey george, are you in mexico yet?Leaving in about an hour Chuckie and I were sick for a couple of weeks but better now and heading out today. Lunch then put the coffee maker in the mohome and drive. Thurs or Friday we will cross the border at Lukesville (2000 miles from home) Arizona, then overnite campground in Navajoa then to Melaque (1200 miles).

geochuck
November 14th, 2006, 03:02 PM
If I remember correctly (I read his book as a teenager), Bannister's basic workout was 10 x 440 with each being at 60 sec. I don't recall the rest interval. I watched Bannister doing 220 and 440 repeats on the track, he loved to just run on the grass at University of BC. It was very giving and spongey.

SwimStud
November 14th, 2006, 03:11 PM
Leaving in about an hour Chuckie and I were sick for a couple of weeks but better now and heading out today. Lunch then put the coffee maker in the mohome and drive. Thurs or Friday we will cross the border at Lukesville (2000 miles from home) Arizona, then overnite campground in Navajoa then to Melaque (1200 miles).

Phew! For a minute I thought Lisa meant you were swimming down!!:rofl:

swimmerlisa
November 14th, 2006, 03:14 PM
:joker: that would be some swim.

Leonard Jansen
November 14th, 2006, 03:20 PM
Leonard:

Are you a runner and encyclopedia in addition to being a gourmet chef? This was most impressive. Still sounds like those undewater SDKs are helping my 50s though based on your last paragraph.

It is spelled "Reindell," BTW. They got an assist on this from Bannister's sometime British coach, Stampfl. I think actually Bannister may have used some interval training to help break the 4:00 mile barrier, and then Zatopek subsequently did intervals in large volumes at different intensities? At least that's what I recall offhand from reading The Lore of Running awhile ago.

I was a runner/racewalker/coach before injuring myself in a fall and having to learn to swim at a late age to keep active. I'm also a voracious reader for things I am interested in, like training theory. (Right now it's particle physics...)

Actually, Zatopek mostly preceeded Bannister. Zatopek medaled in the '48 (10k gold, 5k silver) & '52 (5k, 10k, marathon gold) Olympics (and got 6th in the marathon in '56, I believe), but Bannister's 4 minute mile was in 1954.

Bannister's method of training was to do a good # of intervals, but his training was actually of less volume and greater intensity than Zatopek's - It had to be because he had a medical student's schedule. People don't realize that much of Zatopek's training, even though in interval format, actually had the net benefit of distance training. He might do 50X400 meters, but the intensity was lower, with shorter rest, than say, most swimmers would consider a true interval. (BTW, as originally defined, the word "interval" actually refered to the time BETWEEN efforts, and was based on heart rate; not time.) Zatopek would, during bad winter days, put clothes in the bathtub and "run" in place stepping on the clothes to wash them.

I don't think Franz Stampfl worked with G&R - he would have been quite young in the mid-30's (approx early 20's) and I think he left Austria for Australia by the mid-30's, too boot.

-LBJ

newmastersswimmer
November 14th, 2006, 03:28 PM
I was a runner/racewalker/coach before injuring myself in a fall and having to learn to swim at a late age to keep active. I'm also a voracious reader for things I am interested in, like training theory. (Right now it's particle physics...)

posted by Leonard Jansen

Particle Physics eh? Another Dr. Mattson type I suppose.....Maybe its time you found an interest that presents some kind of a mental challenge instead of all these mindless endeavors you keep falling into LBJ....Just a thought thats all.

BTW Have they found the ever elusive graviton yet??....LOL!!....Particle colliders just aren't powerful enough yet I guess??

The Fortress
November 14th, 2006, 03:39 PM
Whew! You are an encyclopedia. I like reading, but I can't do particle physics and I mix up dates. It's my mommy alzheimers. I didn't mean Stampfl had worked with them, but had been doing similar training things. I know that Alain Mimoun beat Emil Zatopek in the '56 Olympics! Zatopek was kind of old by then. (I've watched that Olympiad series with Bud Greenspan.)

I'll try again. I think that Herb Elliot smashed the Landy/Bannister times with workouts harder than Zatopek's? 17 sub-4:00 minute miles in 2 years. Then came Peter Snell. Then came Jim Ryun and Kip Keino and Marty Liquori. Then came John Walker and Filbert Bayi. Then came the three great British milers: Coe, Ovett and Cram. Steve Scott also ran around this time. Then came Nouriddine Morcelli. Then came El G.

Remember, if I got it wrong, it's due to MMA (multi-tasking mommy alzheimers)

I think we've hijacked this thread....

geochuck
November 14th, 2006, 03:49 PM
Herb Elliot always talked about his sand dune running. He was a great runner.

I remember him in the cafeteria eating lots of steaks and fish. He used to put away a lot of icecream and whipping cream.

Had my first cafe latte at that cafeteria

The Fortress
November 14th, 2006, 03:55 PM
My son told me that Herb Elliot once saved his coach when he was caught in a rip tide. Herb "grabbed his hair and swam for four hours until the *%##**& ocean gave up."

The Fortress
November 14th, 2006, 03:58 PM
Herb Elliot always talked about his sand dune running. He was a great runner.

I remember him in the cafeteria eating lots of steaks and fish. He used to put away a lot of icecream and whipping cream.

Had my first cafe latte at that cafeteria


Was this in Port Sea?

geochuck
November 14th, 2006, 04:14 PM
Cardiff, Wales, 1958 British Empire and Commonwealth Games. At St Athens air base near Cardiff.

KaizenSwimmer
November 15th, 2006, 08:14 AM
Still sounds like those undewater SDKs are helping my 50s though based on your last paragraph.
This is a key distinction. There IS an underwater segment in swim racing, up to 15m. The key to getting value in your practice is to practice the precise skill you need to do well underwater, rather than just doing underwater laps any old way, which is what our Masters coach had us doing.

The Fortress
November 15th, 2006, 08:53 AM
This is a key distinction. There IS an underwater segment in swim racing, up to 15m. The key to getting value in your practice is to practice the precise skill you need to do well underwater, rather than just doing underwater laps any old way, which is what our Masters coach had us doing.

Quite correct! (I couldn't agree with the lung capacity idea either. I know my aerobic endurance needs a lot of work and it won't happen without more long tough sets on tough intervals.)

Unfortunately, as you know, the listed masters practices have to accomodate a wide range of swimming preferences/abilities and thus are not always what you yourself would choose to do. But, like you, if it doesn't interrupt a set or cause a lane problem, I will substitute something I need to work on. And I very frequently do backstroke on freestyle sets because of my cranky shoulders, which allows me to focus on SDKs anyway.

P.S. Back on topic, swimming has taken over my life and I've only been at it 17 months.

geochuck
November 15th, 2006, 09:01 AM
I still like to do some 25 & 50 underwater swims used to do 75s but stopped doing 75s 40 years ago.

When we do 25 all out repeats, it is kick 15 underwater sprint the last 10 yards and occasionally do the 15 underwater on 50s short course.

cwilson
March 31st, 2008, 05:46 PM
Breathing is much easier when you are going faster. One thing I've suggested to beginners(with mixed success,great for some not for others) is get a snorkle,preferably center-mount. Then you can swim without turning your head to breath. Good luck. If you are going to have something consume your life swimming is the best thing. I have definitely found breathing to be easier when I am going faster...I find it hard to slow down. I think I'll try the snorkel to see if it helps get my endurance and breathing rhythm sorted out.

Jeffy_101
March 31st, 2008, 06:36 PM
Alphathree: We're in the same boat in terms of where we are with our swimming. Like you, I'm fanatical about it but trying to be realistic too. I just send you a PM.

Jeffro

ViveBene
March 31st, 2008, 09:38 PM
Alphathree: We're in the same boat in terms of where we are with our swimming. .

Jeffro
Or at least where he was in November 2006.:)

Regards, VB

Jeffy_101
April 1st, 2008, 12:40 AM
oops, didn't check the date...

:rolleyes:

:joker: