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okoban
December 17th, 2006, 05:25 PM
I am a 38 year old man swimming 3-4 times a week. I will attend a contest in early June this year. It is 200 meters free in a 50 meter pool. Last year I swam this race in 3 minutes and 3 seconds. This year my goal to be around 2 minutes and 45 seconds. I take 30 strokes and 40 seconds for 50 meters (in a 25meter pool) and I take 35 strokes and 40 seconds in a 50 meter pool (these are my sprint scores). I think my main problem is my stroke rate which is very slow. How can I increase it? Whenever I try to increase my stroke rate, my strokes becomes shorter and I lift my head up. My normal workout is 400-500 meters warm-up, 1600-1800 main set and 400-500 meters cool-down. My questions are:
1. Is there a ready to use workout program that you can recommend me?
2. How can I increase my stroke rate without deteriorating my style?
Thanks a lot in advance
:help:

joesflyer
December 17th, 2006, 06:00 PM
okoban,
First I assume your technique is prety good. 15 strokes per length is good. You will find that as you increase your stroke rate you will lose some technique. I guess it's a trade off. I would try repeat 100s on 1:30 or less. As you swim them break up the lengths in your mind so that the first length is a sprint, 2nd length focus on stretching out the arms and reaching, 3rd you'll push that kick and 4th you'll bring it home stretching out and keeping your head down the last 3 strokes. I think that by breaking it up you get a fresh perspective for each length. When you feel you're making progress try the same for a series of 150's. When you get to the 200s try breaking it up in your mind to 4 50's and think about them like your 100's. I would try maybe 3 200's in this fashion. Then you might warm down with 2 200's broken up with 75 free sprint, 50 relaxed, 25 sprint, 25 relaxed, 25 sprint. You could substitute different strokes here like, 75 free, 50 breast, 25 free, 25 breast, 25 free.

I don't have a regular workout but if you incorporate this into your current yardage you might have some success. Good luck. Andy

LindsayNB
December 17th, 2006, 06:22 PM
I think my main problem is my stroke rate which is very slow. How can I increase it? Whenever I try to increase my stroke rate, my strokes becomes shorter and I lift my head up.
2. How can I increase my stroke rate without deteriorating my style?

What happens to your time if you let your stroke count go up by a few? Are you faster, slower, or the same? Trading more strokes for faster times is the norm, a faster time with a higher stroke count is not a deterioration!

Doing a 2:45 for 200 will be quite challenging if your top speed for a 50 is 40s. You will likely have to find a way to lower your 50 time before starting work on the 200.

haffathot
December 17th, 2006, 09:41 PM
Have you had anyone observe your stroke? It's taking you about 1 1/4 seconds/stroke; that's a lifetime. Assuming that you flipturn, adding only three strokes when you take out the wall seems odd too.

Things to ask yourself:

Are your arms tired when you finish a 50 sprint?
Are your legs tired when you finish a 50 sprint?
How many breaths do you take in a 50 sprint?
After completing a stroke, are you executing a long glide?
Are you tagging up your arms?
Are you utilizing your hand and forearm as a single paddle or just pulling with your hands?
Are you kicking, and how much per every stroke?
Are your legs scissoring, bending at the knees, or separating width-wise when they kick?
What are your times with flippers?
What are your times with paddles?
Although your average is 1 1/4 seconds/stroke, what is your time per stroke during a breath as compared to during a non-breath stroke?
Are you lifting your head out of the water or flipping all the way on your side or back during breaths or just turning your head?
Eyes down or forward when you are swimming?
What's your 50 sprint time with just legs in streamline?
What's your 50 sprint time with just arms and your legs limp or crossed?

That's all I can think of right now, but the answers to those questions should put you on the right track.

okoban
December 18th, 2006, 05:58 AM
First of all, thanks a lot to three coaches for the help.
Andy, your advices seems very helpful, I will surely apply all of these.
Lindsay, when my stroke count goes up, my stroke length decreases causing nearly the same speed and much more fatique.
Sean, here are the answers to your questions:
Are your arms tired when you finish a 50 sprint?
No, I can do a lot of 50's on 42-43 seconds with a rest interval of 1/1
Are your legs tired when you finish a 50 sprint?
No, they are not, but I know that I am more focused on my stroke and my kicks are a bit ignored. I can do 50 meter kick in 60 seconds best. I can do 200 kick in 4minutes and 20 seconds.
How many breaths do you take in a 50 sprint?
I take 9-10 breaths.
After completing a stroke, are you executing a long glide?
Yes, I think I can not do my rotation quickly.
Are you tagging up your arms?
It is the technique described in Mr Hines's book.
Are you utilizing your hand and forearm as a single paddle or just pulling with your hands?
Yes coach, you've got the point, I think just use my hands.
Are you kicking, and how much per every stroke?
3 kicks per stroke.
Are your legs scissoring, bending at the knees, or separating width-wise when they kick?
I think my kicks are proper (maybe not powerfull).
What are your times with flippers?
My 50 sprint becomes 5 seconds better.
What are your times with paddles?
No improvement in speed, stroke count decreases by 4 strokes per 50.
Although your average is 1 1/4 seconds/stroke, what is your time per stroke during a breath as compared to during a non-breath stroke?
No difference, I can breath from both sides easily and in the workouts (if not a sprint set) I use 3 strokes per breath.
Are you lifting your head out of the water or flipping all the way on your side or back during breaths or just turning your head?
I try to flip all the way on my side during breaths.
Eyes down or forward when you are swimming?
Down.
What's your 50 sprint time with just legs in streamline?
5 seconds worse than a normal sprint with a pull buoy.
What's your 50 sprint time with just arms and your legs limp or crossed?
I don't know.
Thanks again

haffathot
December 18th, 2006, 11:56 AM
No, I can do a lot of 50's on 42-43 seconds with a rest interval of 1/1

hand and forearm as a single paddle ... I think just use my hands.
A long glide? Yes, I think I can not do my rotation quickly.

tagging up ... It is the technique described in Mr Hines's book.
with paddles? ... No improvement in speed, stroke count decreases by 4 strokes per 50.

When you pull, you should not rely on just your hands to do the pulling. You should keep your hands and forearms in line as much as possible, so you can maximize the force exerted by using your hands and forearms as one. Further, you should keep in mind that when you pull, though stroke rate is very important, the object of the stroke is not to get your arms from one location to the next but to get the water from one location to the next. So, simply moving your arms fast won't cut it (literally). You need to ensure that every muscle in your arms is pushing that water as hard and as quickly as it can. There is a phenomenon that is witnessed in teaching people back flipturns. They come up with their number of strokes it takes them to get from the backstroke flags to the wall, and then they try to execute their first back flipturn. Almost always, such a swimmer will find him or herself miles away from the wall when the stroke number comes up. Why? It's because the force exerted per pull changed. They may have moved their arms just as fast, but without exerting the same amount of force, they just couldn't go as far with the same number of strokes. (It's generally because the swimmer consciously changed the force to compensate for a fear of hitting the wall.) Glide in freestyle I think is a controversial topic. However, this is my thought on the matter. As one pulls underwater, there is a tendency to not complete the stroke before pulling up the elbow. I think this is because the overarm recovery is faster to get to the finish point than the underwater pull is. Rather than follow the lead of the overarm, follow the lead of the underwater arm. Finsih out that pull. Doing so, you will find that there is a bit of a glide with the overarm. Use that time to stretch the overarm as far forward as possible. However, as soon as your underwater arm has completed a full stroke and is fairly straight-elbowed again, the arm-stroke cycle must remain continuous. There should be no point where both arms are at rest. Freestyle is a perpetual-motion stroke. When one leg is kicking down, the other must be recovering up. When one elbow is at 12 'o' clock, the other must be pulling past 6 'o' clock. When one's at 9, the other must be at 3. Tagging your hands up at the glide point of the overarm is a good drill, but it is not good competition. Your arms must always be antipoles. 1/1 work to rest is too much. If you want to get faster, you should challenge yourself. For instance, you could do 10 50 sprints on a minute (wherein the minute per 50 contemplates that any leftover time on the clock after a 50 is your rest time before the next 50). Your forearms (and legs) should feel completely spent after that. Do a 100 free at 75% to rest, then get back to work.


Are your legs tired ... No, they are not, but I know that I am more focused on my stroke and my kicks are a bit ignored. I can do 50 meter kick in 60 seconds best. I can do 200 kick in 4minutes and 20 seconds.
3 kicks per stroke.
I think my kicks are proper (maybe not powerfull).
with flippers? ... My 50 sprint becomes 5 seconds better.
just legs in streamline? ...5 seconds worse than a normal sprint with a pull buoy.

It sounds as if your legs do a fairly good job when isolated. Knees should be straight but allowed to sway a bit like saplings in the wind. Toes pointed. You should try to keep feet from breaking the surface very much. You get nowhere kicking air. Kicks also shouldn't extend very far down. Legs' contribution to the stroke is as much thrust as it is maintaining streamline. Breaking streamline significantly with exaggerated kicks will hurt your speed and efficiency. Again, keep in mind that the purpose of the kicks is not to displace body parts but to displace water. As such, be sure to put the appropriate amount of force into each kick. Kicking workouts should exhaust your legs quickly. 3 kicks per stroke is solid, but I've heard of elite swimmers with six-kicks. Small, powerful kicks will allow for more kicks per stroke. After doing the set above, repeat the set at 75 second intervals for another 10, but with just legs (flippers if necessary) and in streamline position. Then another 100 free at 75%.


with just arms and your legs limp or crossed? ... I don't know.

Try it. Everyone uses buoys, which are great for keeping your legs in streamline while you pull. However, if you don't have the buoy, then your legs will naturally sink. The only way to get them back up into streamline is by increasing velocity -- pulling harder. It's sink or swim. Because you are new at the drill, give yourself 75 second intervals for another 10 50 sprints, but this time with just arms and legs limp or crossed. Then another 100 free at 75%.


I take 9-10 breaths.
time per stroke during a breath ... No difference, I can breath from both sides easily and in the workouts (if not a sprint set) I use 3 strokes per breath.
I try to flip all the way on my side during breaths.

3 strokes/breath is textbook, not competition. In a 50 free, many won't breathe at all. Try to drop your number of breaths. Breaths suck up time as well as air. Don't get dizzy or knock yourself out, but is only two breaths/length too much to ask? Also, I tend to advocate that swimmers twist their shoulders a bit to breathe, but not their trunk. I've heard some coaches argue a complete turn to the side, though. So, make your own call, there. Turning completely on one's side disrupts the streamline effect too much, I think. By turning completely on one's side, it seems to me that the same physics apply as on one's breast, just turned 90 degrees to the side. Whereas, twisting only the shoulders takes one shoulder above the water entirely, taking it out of the equation, and allows for better elbow lift while at the same time allowing the other arm to extend out for just a little more reach. Turning completely on one's side will sink one's equilibrium too much, negating one's ability to keep the upward-facing side over the water and out of the equation. While hypoxic workouts have come under fire as not successfully building vo2max, they still do train swimmers to swim hypoxically during a sprint, which is useful. Do 10 50 sprints on 60 in this order:
1st 50: 3 strokes/breath
2nd: 5 strokes per preath
3rd: 7 strokes per breath
4th: 5 strokes per breath
5th: 7 strokes per breath
6th: 5 strokes per breath
7th: 3 strokes per breath
8th: 3 strokes per breath
9th: 5 strokes per breath
10th: 5 strokes per breath
Then do a regular 100 free at 75%.


Eyes down


good.

So, the workout I recommend is:

stretch 5 min.
200 choice warmup
10 50 sprints on 60
100 free at 75%
stretch 1 min.
10 50 streamline kick sprints on 75
100 free at 75%
stretch 1 min.
10 50 just-arms sprints (no buoy) on 75
100 free at 75%
stretch 1 min.
10 50 sprints hypoxic. specifically consisting of:
1st 50: 3 strokes/breath
2nd: 5 strokes per preath
3rd: 7 strokes per breath
4th: 5 strokes per breath
5th: 7 strokes per breath
6th: 5 strokes per breath
7th: 3 strokes per breath
8th: 3 strokes per breath
9th: 5 strokes per breath
10th: 5 strokes per breath
100 free at 75%
stretch 1 min.
200 choice cooldown
stretch 5 min.

That's 2800 yards of freestyle sprinty goodness. If you find that some of the times are completely unrealistic, you are your own coach. Adjust the interval times as you require. Same if they are too generous. Also, remember, the way you practice is the way you compete. Everything you do, you should do with an eye toward honing your skills. So, you should implement the tips I mentioned as you swim. Bad practice is bad form. If you are going to practice the way you always do rather than working toward skill improvement, then you are just drilling bad form into your head and muscle memory. I would not recommend doing this same workout every day, but twice or even thrice a week between other workouts would be useful.

--Sean

okoban
December 18th, 2006, 02:36 PM
Thanks Sean, it is much more than I expected. I will try the workout today and post a reply. You're great. I hope that it will be helpful for some other swimmers facing the same problem.

okoban
December 19th, 2006, 08:11 AM
Hi Sean, I did the practice this morning. My legs and arms were totally finished after the workout.
I swam in a 50 meter pool,
In the first set, (free spirint) my average was 45 seconds (42 to 47) and 40 strokes (but I had to have an extra rest of 30 seconds after 5th spirint)
Second set (kick spirint) average 65(60 to 68) seconds, I had an extra rest of 20 seconds after 5th.
Third set (just arms, no pull buoy), average 52 seconds and 50 strokes
4th set (3-5-7 strokes per breath), 50 seconds and 45 strokes, but I did this set in 75 seconds (you did not mention about the rest interval for this, but if you would say 60 seconds, I would be in hospital now:rofl: )
Total 2,800 meters of workout took me 75 minutes.
In the stretching part (in the pool during the rest intervals) I just stretch my arms from shoulder; is this what you mean or some other stretching?
I will do this set once or twice a week and share the results in here. By the way I hope some other members do the similar sets and share the results with us (I'm so lonely in Istanbul to share my workouts)
:dunno:

haffathot
December 19th, 2006, 09:27 AM
75 min for 2800 meters. That's not a bad run.

Sounds like you could drop the just arms portion to 65 seconds.

75 seconds for the hypoxics seems a bit too generous. Maybe try 70 instead.

When I say stretch, I mean stretch whatever needs stretching. Presumably, after an arms drill, you'll need to stretch your arms, for instance. But you may also feel the need to stretch your legs. Vice versa for the kick drills. And for the drills utilizing arms and legs, I would presume that you would stretch arms and legs. Be sure not to shortchange yourself on the stretching. When you are running through an aggressive workout, stretching can make all the difference between getting out and not getting out of bed the next day.

Also, remember to work on the things that I mentioned earlier while you swim. A workout is limited in how well it can drive home a lesson, so you have to be sure that you have the personal discipline to drive the lesson home yourself while you swim.

Good work. Glad to hear that your arms and legs are getting a good workout. Be sure not to run the workout for two consecutive days. No matter how good one's form, overuse of the same body parts in the same motions day after day will lead to overuse injuries. That's why I recommend that you only do it twice or three times a week on non-consecutive days. Work on something else on the days between. Endurance. The glide strokes. IMs. Something.

--Sean

okoban
December 21st, 2006, 05:33 AM
Hi Sean (and other friends reading, especially Andy and Lindsay)
I did the same practice this morning second time. My legs were exhausted and my arms were better.
I swam in a 50 meter pool (again),
In the first set, (free spirint) my average was 45 seconds (42 to 47) and 38-42 strokes (and no need to have an extra rest)
Second set (kick spirint) average 68(63 to 72) seconds, I did the first 5 sets in 75 seconds, last 5 in 80 seconds. I am really upset, but to train kick-set in a 50 meter pool is horrible. I am exhausted after the 4th 50.
:dunno:
Third set (just arms, no pull buoy), average 50 seconds and 50 strokes; very fast stroke rate for me, I am amazed (I did it in 70 seconds, not in 65 as you suggested; please mercy me, I have a kid !!!
4th set (3-5-7 strokes per breath), 50 seconds and 45 strokes, and I did this set in 70 seconds.
Total 2,800 meters of workout took me 72 minutes (excluding 5 minute stretching parts at the beginning and at the end).
I have 3 questions:
1.do you recomment me to drink water during this workout (I do it in early morning)
2.the other workout days, I also use hand paddles; shall I swim relaxed with them or accelerate sometimes (any harm to my shoulder?)
3.shall I use fins in the other workouts and if yes shall I fore my legs 100% (any harm to my ankles?)
I also plan to use Andy's approach in some part of my 'other days workouts' as:
repeat 100s on 1:30 or less. As you swim them break up the lengths in your mind so that the first length is a sprint, 2nd length focus on stretching out the arms and reaching, 3rd you'll push that kick and 4th you'll bring it home stretching out and keeping your head down the last 3 strokes. I think that by breaking it up you get a fresh perspective for each length.
Thanks for your comments

Larry_55
December 21st, 2006, 01:19 PM
What a great post. The detail is much appreciated.

haffathot
December 21st, 2006, 06:28 PM
1.do you recomment me to drink water during this workout (I do it in early morning)

Absolutely. When you work out in swimming, as with any other sport, keeping hydrated is critical. If you can, try to drink water only during stretch periods. Always bring a reliable water bottle with you to a pool. Virtually all pools allow water-filled water bottles, but, if you can, perhaps an electrolytic drink (gatorade, powerade, etc) would be even better.

2.the other workout days, I also use hand paddles; shall I swim relaxed with them or accelerate sometimes (any harm to my shoulder?)


overuse injuries occur because of repetitive motion. for instance, it's not necessarily that you type too fast or type too slow, it's that you are always typing that causes you to get an overuse injury in your hand (carpal tunnel, for instance.) switch up the strokes a bit on the other days if you can. if you insist on swimming freestyle on every outing, then i would probably recommend that you operate at least at 75% on non-sprint days. however, i can't stress enough that there is definite benefit in practicing all the strokes, even if you are focused on one.

3.shall I use fins in the other workouts and if yes shall I fore my legs 100% (any harm to my ankles?)


fins help to better your leg technique, and they give your legs a good workout. they make you go faster when you have them on, but they don't make the workout easier. the muscles in your legs that cover the natural structure of your legs are overloaded by the extra work they have to do to support the prosthetic part of your body (the flippers) that do not have muscle tissue covering them. In flutter kicking, ankles and knees should not be so prone to overuse injuries as perhaps hips. it's the hip joints that are doing all the grinding. however, i hear an awful lot more about shoulder injuries than i do about any other kind of injuries in freestyle swimming. knee injuries occur in breaststrokers, but such injuries can be minimized by practicing (granny's) wedge kick instead of the whip kick or, instead, the W kick advocated on breaststroke.info. dolphin kick in streamline would be a good drill to practice on non-sprint days (since dolphin kick in streamline is a preferred method to start a length of freestyle, a length of butterfly, and (on its back) a length of backstroke). using flippers during such a drill would help you get the rhythm better. be careful of becoming reliant on flippers. they are addictive. i always have my swimmers take off flippers during the workout so that they can (1) keep in the habit of swimming without them and (2) squeeze the last bit of energy out of their legs as they try to cope with swimming without flippers after they burned their legs out swimming with them.

I also plan to use Andy's approach in some part of my 'other days workouts' as:
repeat 100s on 1:30 or less. As you swim them break up the lengths in your mind so that the first length is a sprint, 2nd length focus on stretching out the arms and reaching, 3rd you'll push that kick and 4th you'll bring it home stretching out and keeping your head down the last 3 strokes. I think that by breaking it up you get a fresh perspective for each length.

it is, indeed, hard to keep focused and motivated on long sets. breaking up sets with smaller goals for each length or each 50, or each 100, is a well-respected way of keeping things interesting. it also helps to workout different things witout burning out any one right away.

--Sean

okoban
December 23rd, 2006, 12:19 PM
Hi Sean,
I did an 'easy' workout today in SC.
70 minutes, 2600 meters.
A couple of hundred meter drills (free)
Some breaststroke (easy and gliding)
Kick set 4x50 on 1:15 (w/o board)
4x100 medley (moderate speed) on 2:30 (1:50 each)
4x100 free (moderate speed, Andy's focus points) on 2:15 (1:45 each)
Freestyle with hand paddles (focus on pull)
Back, breast and free easy and long sets
I drank water and powerade (1 liter, like an old truck :rofl: )
I forgot to use fins :(
I need to do the last part of pull faster (my stroke does not accelerate at the end of the pull), I am working on it.
I will jog tomorrow
Have a nice weekend
I really appreciate your efforts, thanks.
:notworthy:

haffathot
December 24th, 2006, 02:47 PM
that definitely sounds like a fairly easy workout.

two points:

first, if you can't feel your pull at the end of your stroke, be sure that you are, in fact, finishing your pull before pulling up your elbows. many swimmers will pull up their elbows at 7 or 8 'o' clock. Be sure that your elbows don't come up before your hand points to 9 'o' clock.

second, be careful with hand paddles. they are good at strengthening hand pulls, but more focus these days is on the hand and forearm as a single unit. be careful not to adapt your stroke to emphasize the hand pulls to the detriment of the hand and forearm synchronous pull.

Check out the following video (particularly around 3:08)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LnSDw373gMc

Now, Dr. Haljand seems to be advocating the I-Pull to the S-Pull in this video, and that's the way I'd swim it. But, more importantly, note that he has her press with her palm AND elbow (which is the end of the forearm). Also notice that he always keeps the hand and forearm inline. He deliberately worked to ensure that she kept her hand and forearm working as one tool. Hand paddles are good tools, but just be careful that they don't teach you to move your hands and forearms as separate units.

Just so you don't think this guy is a kook-job (crazy person):
http://www.swim.ee/biography/index.html

If you celebrate, have a very merry Christmas.

okoban
December 26th, 2006, 05:00 AM
Hi Sean, I did my third sprint workout this morning.
I have one good and one bad news:
Good news is, that I did the
just arms and hypoxics sets in 65 seconds (instead of 70)
(just arms in 50-52sec., hypoxics in 48-50 sec.)
Bad news is that,
In the sprint sets I had to have a rest of 30 extra sec. after the fifth. I did it to achieve the 40-44 sec. target that I set (10th one was in 47, all the others were below 45).
And the kick set: I can manage the first 4-5 50s on time, then I slow down (I did the last 5 in 70-75 sec+ 5 sec interval). I've completed the kick set 30 sec. later than normal time.
I have 2 questions:
I did an easy swim 12 hours before this set (I swam easy set on 19:00 to 19:45 and did the sprint set in 7:00 to 8:10). In the night shift :laugh2: I swam approx. 2,000 meters with 80% performance; a lot of free 40s, a few breast and back 40s (there was waterpolo training in the pool, I used the back of the pool).
First Q: Should I rest at least 24 hours before doing this sprint set?
Second Q: There is a trade off. When I am getting tired in the middle of a set (lets say in the first sprint set I try to be lower than 45), shall I stop for a while for an extra rest and continue lower than 45 or shall I continue w/o an extra rest and do my best (then, I will swim the last couple of lengths in 45 to 48sec.)
I am working on my stroke correction and the video you sent really makes sense, thank you.
Merry Christmas Sean, we celebrate our Holly Bayram nearly at the same time this year, thanks
:wave:

haffathot
December 26th, 2006, 01:04 PM
Mutlu Bayramlar! (Thanks (or blame) to Google for that)

I don't think you need a full 24-hour rest before running one of those sprint workouts. You just need to not do sprint workouts on consecutive days.

With sets like I have assigned, the only time to rest is the time left over after achieving a distance goal (like a 50 free). If there is no time left over, then you mark the time in your head and immediately continue on, trying to meet the time for the next set. If you find yourself missing time goals on cosecutive departures, then check the time and adjust the time goals as necessary. on the spot. try to only add as much time to the goals as you absolutely need.

Although you should be working to decrease the time spent on each 50, adjustments don't have to be time decreases. Time increases can be useful when you just can't make the original set goal.

Sounds like you're doing some good work, though.

--Sean

okoban
December 28th, 2006, 10:05 AM
Hi Sean,
Your Turkish is excellent, I am amazed when I saw 'mutlu bayramlar', thank you!!
This morning I did the sprint sets for the 4th time.
Each time I am getting more experienced and your comments really make sense.
This time, I did not have extra rest during my sets; the only change I did was kick sets: (from 75 to 80 sec). It helped a lot and I completed the sets on time.
I did the most sprint sets between 40 to 45 sec. (2 or 3 sets 45 to 50).
Kick sets on 80 sec intervals (first 5 in 65 to 70, last 5 in 70 to75)
just arms and hypoxics sets in 65 seconds (just arms in 50-52sec., hypoxics in 45-50 sec., but I cheat on 7str/breath parts sometimes).
During my sets, there were young swimmers training and I told to their coach. He will record my strokes (over and under water) and make comments (next friday). It will be very interesting and I am excited!!!
If I can manage, I will put the video over here.
During the stretching (dryland exercises 1-2 by Barbara Hummel in goswim.tv), I realized that there is a 'click' on my right shoulder, but no pain. I hope there will be no problem. During the last 2 weeks, I increased my weekly yardage from 7-8K (low-medium intensity) to 10-11K (low-medium and high intensity).
My best wishes, Oguz

haffathot
December 28th, 2006, 05:56 PM
My Turkish is non-existent, but my online research skills are pretty good.

You sound like you are progressing nicely. It would be very interesting to see your strokes on video.

I just reviewed those exercises, and those are good exercises that do not encourage overrotation or any dangerous joint activity. All i can think of that might be causing the clicking, aside from something preexisting, is that perhaps you are rushing through the stretches instead of taking them slow as you should. Moving through the exercises too quickly can cause you to swing your arms back further than a normal range of motion. that is dangerous.

That's a nice yardage increase.

Best regards,

--Sean

okoban
January 1st, 2007, 02:42 PM
Hi Sean,
Today I did the sprint set for the 5th time.
In the first sprint set, I did all of the 50s under 45sec. with one exception (47).
Kick set in 80second intervals.
Just arms in 49-52 seconds.
Last one (hypoxics) in 48 to 50 seconds (2-3 cheats in 7s).
I think I will not be able to increase my speed without impoving my technics.
Tomorrow I will run, thursday I will do the set again.
Here are my questions:
1. you said 'perhaps you are rushing through the stretches instead of taking them slow as you should'. Do you mean the 1 minute stretches between the sets or the stretching before the exercises. I do the stretching before the exercises properly at least 6-7 minutes. In 1 minute stretches, I try not to take much more time. May I take 2-3 minutes?
2. you said 'Moving through the exercises too quickly can cause you to swing your arms back further than a normal range of motion. that is dangerous.' Is it related to rests between sets or stroke mechanics (accelerate the stroke through the hips?).
Thank you

haffathot
January 2nd, 2007, 07:06 AM
When I say rushing through the stretches, I don't mean that you don't spent a good portion of time on stretches, just that, per each individual repetition, you may be rushing through that maneuver. For instance, when you have your arms outstretched in front of you and together, do you sling them back or slowly stretch them back inline with your shoulders? If you sling them back, you may be moving your arms beyond proper alignment with your shoulders and actually a bit behind your body. Over many repetitions, such a movement could possibly be creating unnecessary wear on your tendons and/or joints.

Also, on non-sprint workout days, you may want to, somewhere in the beginning of the workout, race your 200 to see how you are progressing. Racing your 50 would be a good idea on other days too. Just not necessarily on the same practice day.

--Sean

okoban
January 3rd, 2007, 12:25 PM
Sean, I did what you suggested today. Although it is mid-season I am better than last year's race season.
I tried 200 free in 50m. pool, I did it 2 seconds faster than my personal best. On top of it, I felt better during and after the swim (my conditioning is good).
I also did 50m. in 38seconds (1 second better than my personal best).
I found a coach near the pool to have a look at my strokes. Her comment is, my strokes are not fully stretched back (I take out my arms from the water before completing the full-cycle). I have to work on late stage of the push (my hands past my hips). She said start, turns and kicking is good enough.
Friday I will have my swimming video. There must be a lot of points to correct. I will share it in here if I can (technically).
Thanks, Oguz

haffathot
January 5th, 2007, 08:31 AM
Sounds like you are doing better. Good work. I had warned you about completing your stroke before lifting your elbow for recovery. I'd still be very interested in seeing the video.

--Sean

okoban
January 6th, 2007, 06:35 AM
Hi Sean,
I just came home from the pool. The head coach in my club recorded my freestyle. One good and one bad news:
Bad news is: Unfortunately there were so many recordings in that tape, so he could not give it to me. Next time, when I think I corrected my errors, I will bring my own casette for recording and post it here.
Good news: We watched the video together for half an hour back and forth from every angle and discussed my errors. My errors are so obvious.
My strengths: (I hope I can explain it clearly) Hi elbow recovery, body roll to both sides, head position, arms stretched out in front.
Weaknesses: 1. My hands enter the water with a wrong angle on the reverse side (going north, my body is in the middle of US, my left hand enters the water in N.York). The coach said my hi elbow style could trigger this error, the angle of my elbow in the recovery should not be that steep (at least that part looks like Popov's style, I don't wanna lose it anyway :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:
2. In the last part of the pull, I turn my hands inwards and lose the water that I already grabbed. You know that I do not push enough at the last part of the pull (and sometimes I do not complete my stroke, but in the recording I completed my strokes :D )
3. In the last part of the pull, when my hands reach the shoulder level, my hands enters the borders of other side (my left hand goes to NY, my rigt goes to LA)
4. My kicks are very large
I will try to fix those errors and within a couple of weeks we will record it again. At least I learned where to focus. When I come to my first question (how to increase my stroke rate), I think I found the answer. My strokes are longer than they should be and the beginning and ending parts are just waste of time (no propolsion at all). (going to north, my right hand enters the water in Seattle, comes to NY, goes to LA). I understood that my hands like to travel between west and east, but they will learn to travel north to south instead, I hope they will like it.:lolup: :lolup: :lolup:
If you are not tired of my questions, we might continue, if you want to quit, please say it. I've learned a lot from you, thanks, thanks and thanks again.:notworthy:
Oguz

haffathot
January 7th, 2007, 12:32 PM
1. My hands enter the water with a wrong angle on the reverse side (going north, my body is in the middle of US, my left hand enters the water in N.York). The coach said my hi elbow style could trigger this error, the angle of my elbow in the recovery should not be that steep (at least that part looks like Popov's style, I don't wanna lose it anyway


Imagine a slice right down the middle of you, bisecting your nose vertically. This slice extends in front and behind you. It's a track, like on a monorail. When you swim, you should stay on the track. Your hands, when they enter, should not cross the track. Some recommend that the hands come in at a spot above the shoulder and in a slight bit, but I would recommend that the hands enter right next to the track, for improved streamlining.

2. In the last part of the pull, I turn my hands inwards and lose the water that I already grabbed. You know that I do not push enough at the last part of the pull (and sometimes I do not complete my stroke, but in the recording I completed my strokes )

Think of that part of the pull as phase two of the pull portion of the armstroke. Don't think of it as the finishing of one long duty to pull, but as a separate duty to pull.

3. In the last part of the pull, when my hands reach the shoulder level, my hands enters the borders of other side (my left hand goes to NY, my rigt goes to LA)

Are you turning completely on your side? I would recommend that only your shoulders do any large-scale shifting of body position. As one arm reaches for the extra little bit, the other begins to lift itself (elbow first) from the water. This naturally lends itself to the reaching shoulder dipping down a bit and the lifting shoulder rising up a bit. Your torso below the shoulders and everything thereafter should strive to stay on the breast-side down. I do know some coaches that do advise that swimmers flip completely to the side with every pull, but I don't think that pursuing this sort of stroke would help resolve your problem. (These coaches believe that the improved streamline positioning caused by turning to a side (you are thinner on your side) makes up for any massive (existing) streamline disruption that one would create by constantly thrashing side to side like that. I heartily disagree, but I'm not a kinesiologist. (Neither are they.))

4. My kicks are very large

Kicks that come all the way out of the water push air, for zero propulsion; a waste. Kicks that kick greater than (I'd say about) 10 degrees below the water line take too long to recover back to the water line and ruins your (from a lateral view (<) of the complete stroke) streamlining (as opposed to from an overhead (^) view). This is also a waste. Ideally, you need small, fast, forceful kicks that keep your legs more together than apart.

I don't mind helping you out at all, Oguz.

--Sean

okoban
January 8th, 2007, 02:56 PM
Hi Sean,
I did my 6th sprint workout today.
It was the best. My times are nearly the same, but I was more confident, I tried to keep good technique, not rush my pulls, and I finished all of them in time (even without cheating in hypoxics).

You said: Imagine a slice right down the middle of you, bisecting your nose vertically....the hands enter right next to the track, for improved streamlining.

This explanation was really helpful, I always thought about it and I think I managed it.
Think of that part of the pull as phase two of the pull portion .....

Sometimes I touched my thumb to my trunk at the end of my strokes to make sure to complete my strokesAre you turning completely on your side? I would recommend that only your shoulders do any large-scale shifting of body position.


I practiced the drills in the book 'fitness swimming by Emmett Hines', therefore I am turning nearly completely on my side when I swim slow, in sprint, I turn less (some hip rotation and more shoulder turn).

I did smaller and faster kicks in swimming and in kick sets. I realized that (as you said) smaller and faster kicks are better for my balance in swimming.I feel more powerful, thanks a lot:groovy: :groovy: :groovy:

haffathot
January 8th, 2007, 05:36 PM
touching your trunks with your thumb is a good drill, but don't confuse it for part of the real stroke.

I would recommend that you try not to bob your hips too much while you swim freestyle.

--Sean

geochuck
January 9th, 2007, 08:26 AM
Down load your video on Google videos so we can all take a look.

okoban
January 10th, 2007, 02:30 PM
Hi George,
I will put my swim video on the net, but the records are in a casette that the coach could not give to me (a lot of other recordings in the casette). I will request to have another recording within a couple of weeks on a DVD format (I will work to correct my errors first). I will be glad sharing it with you coaches. Thanks for your interest.

okoban
January 14th, 2007, 01:06 PM
Hi Sean,
I did my 7th spriny set today.
In fact, I tried it 2 days ago, but I was tired and could not finish it.
Today's set was good enough. My times are not so different than the previous ones, but I managed to finish the first 4 kick sprints in 1:15 and the others in 1:20. Kick set is the most difficult one to me.
At the end of the workout I tried a 50 sprint and I broke my record by 2 seconds: 36 seconds is the new record :lolup: (slow enough to laugh at).
There was a coach training the kids and she said my strokes are a bit better but still weak at the finish (end of stroke).
So, I did a 10 minute additional set in 25 meter pool with hand paddles focusing on my stroke finish.
My target is to be lower than 35 in this month for 50 sprint.
Thanks, Oguz

okoban
January 20th, 2007, 09:14 AM
I'm doing 4 workouts a week (1 or 2 sprint sets). It is very obvious that if I'm tired and didn't sleep enough, I can't finish the sprint sets within target. I did some easy workout today focusing on stroke finish and hand entry. I tried a 50 sprint and broke my record again (35 seconds is my new record). I think I can improve my 50 till I reach 31-32 seconds within a couple of months. At the start of my workout, my daughter filmed my strokes, but I could not save it in Youtube (I've tried everything and in the end it is erased completely:frustrated: ). Tomorrow I plan to go swimming again, I will try another recording.

geochuck
January 20th, 2007, 05:48 PM
Just watching a couple of short videos, Thorpe the underwater shot is as close to an I stroke that I have seen.

http://www.eliteswimming.com/free5.shtml

haffathot
January 20th, 2007, 11:23 PM
Oguz,

35 seconds, from where you were, is a very nice drop of time. However, no amount of effort at swimming progress is worth depriving yourself of a REM cycle or two each night. When you feel up to it, you should try sprinting a 200 free to see where you are these days on that. I would recommend doing this early in your workout.

geochuck,

So far as I understand, Thorpe is the very incarnation of the I Pull, according to kinesiologists.

--Sean

okoban
January 21st, 2007, 09:30 AM
Hi Sean,
you are right that I am forcing myself a bit:agree: , but you know no pain no gain:blah: .
In the end, I managed to download a video:drink: , but it is poor quality (dark and no zoom). Last couple of strokes are a bit clear.
George, the link you sent is very helpful, thanks.
Any questions and comments?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fwfbCBu88Zk

haffathot
January 21st, 2007, 10:37 AM
be careful with the application of the "no pain; no gain" cliche. too much of the pain does no one any good.

i watched the video. you aren't finishing your arm strokes; you are pulling your elbow up before the finish of the arm thrust, and your reach for more water ends at the tip of your nose. i also think that you are exaggerating your high elbows a bit too much.

think about your arm recovery like this:
when you recover your arms, there are three options: 1) whipping your arms way out of the water windmill-style; 2) recovering under the water; and 3) going somewhere in between.

1) if you pull your arms completely out of the water (windmill-style), you put too much weight on your body and consequently sink to a new equilibrium (unless you compensate by pulling and kicking harder).
2) if you recover your arms under water, the force of your hands driving forward to the starting point of the pull will act as a push back; in effect, you will be taking a measure of pushing back for every two measures of pulling back. this would mean that your net profit from the use of your arms would be one measure of distance forward, as opposed to two without an underwater recovery costing a measure of distance.
3) so, it is the compromise that best suits the most efficient form of recovery. as one arm finishes, the other arm reaches. then, the finishing arm raises its elbow just enough to get the entire forearm and hand outside of the water and then proceeds to the starting point while the starting arm begins its pull. the lifting of the elbow out of the water does cause the body to sink somewhat to a new equilibrium, but half so much as would be the case if the recovery was performed windmill style. fingertips may drag a bit in the water causing a bit of pushback, but probably not 1/20th of the pushback one would suffer with an underwater recovery.

Thus, when performing an arm recovery, you have to think about the consequences of your style. yes, your arms during recovery do need to come out of the water, but they also need to stay as low as they can to prevent any unnecessary sinking. yes, coaches tell you to get your elbows up, but that is because they fear more the underwater recovery effects (coupled with the added detriment of a wider streamline that one might be tempted to perform in order to keep the elbows low) than the effects of diving to a deeper equilibrium point. rightly so. however, if you can get your elbows to lead your arm completely from the water while keeping the arm low to the water without creating a much wider streamline, then you're golden. it's a lot to consider, and that's why styles vary so much. however, i can tell you that a short reach, with a sort finish, and ultrahigh elbows is not an efficient armstroke.

a thought: are you bending your wrist as you recover? (i couldn't tell) if your wrist is straight as it recovers, then that would require that you pull your elbows up higher to get your arms out. by bending your wrists as the arm recovers, the elbow won't have to get so high to get the arm out.

overall, though, your stroke wasn't that bad. the critiques i am making of your stroke are more the criticisms i would offer a swim team swimmer, not a recreational swimmer. in other words, your stroke is a very competitive looking stroke overall.

--Sean

okoban
January 22nd, 2007, 02:16 PM
Thanks a lot coach,
your critics are really meaningful. Maybe I mentioned before that I've applied the drills (hours and hours by myself) in the book 'fitness swimming' by coach Hines a couple of years ago. Before that, my style was worse. After applying the drills, my swimming golf score decreased by 20% (it is the most useful book I've ever read). I learned to stretch my arms in front, hip-snap, head position and hi elbow recovery.
I did not realise that my hand entries were wrong and I am trying to fix it now. On the other hand, those drills do not include the stroke finish (Coach Hines does not care about the pull), so I am also trying to finish my strokes at the hips.
I was really enjoying my swimming till I started competing and saw that I can not go faster.
Now, with your help I understand that it is because:
My hand entries are not proper
My pull is not complete (finishing early)
I have a very large S shape pull instead of an efficient I pull
My kicks are too large and not powerful enough
I did not have enough sprint sets in my workouts
I will work hard to change those bad habits, but it will take some time. I think I should not take my sprint sets out of my workouts but minimize them to once (maybe twice) a week and focus on refining my technique.
Thanks Sean you are a great coach:applaud: , if I born again I hope I would start swimming in your supervision
My best wishes

KaizenSwimmer
January 22nd, 2007, 02:57 PM
Oguz
I'm joining this discussion a bit late and I see Sean has given much generous advice. Since your initial question was about increasing stroke rate, I'll offer a bit of perspective on that.
I recently answered a similar question posed on the TI Discussion Forum. Here's the question:

>>I would love it if I could make the transition from 1:25 to 1:30 per 100 yards to 1:15. Do you think shortening my stroke could do it?

I guess another way to ask this, do many 50 year olds with only average fitness swim at 1:15 with "too long" of a stroke?

(I am not saying too long of a stroke length, I am referring to where my hand comes out of the water)>>

I replied as follows:

Great question and great clarification. The effective strong length is forward, not rearward. Pushing past your hips and down your leg doesn't add any useful propulsion -- mainly it makes your triceps more tired and limits your stroke rate.

Extending forward -- and beginning your stroke more patiently -- brings two benefits:
1) less wave drag
2) more traction.
Both increase your speed potential.

How much stroke length is "too much" is also a great question. Virtually every untutored swimmer on the planet has "too short" a stroke. They all have ample stroke rate, but there's usually too much slip, too little grip or too much wavemaking in those strokes.

To compensate for years of swimming with "too short" a stroke, we move them toward swimming -- for a while -- with "too long" a stroke. Too long for speed, but well suited for sustained relaxed, more economical -- even mindful -- swimming. You trade "present speed" for "future speed."

The goal of that practice is to build an efficiency foundation so sturdy that you can later choose to "trade" some of that stroke length for speed -- and STILL have a more-than-usually-efficient stroke.

You sharpen your "trading skills" with a particular kind of practice. Call your "too long" stroke (i.e. maximizes ease and flow, but limits speed) N and spend time practicing smooth transitions from N to N+1, N+2, N+3. When you learn to swim SMOOTHLY at those higher counts, you should also find yourself swimming much faster, without undue fatigue.

This is a more "organic" way to gain speed -- or increase stroke rate -- than by trying to consciously shorten your stroke, say by stopping it at mid-ribcage.

My N count in a 25-yard pool is 12SPL. When I decide to swim a lap at 15SPL, my focus isn't on taking shorter or faster strokes, but on fitting in 15 unhurried strokes before the next wall. As I do that my body naturally makes adjustments that produce more speed. But that speed feels much more sustainable than when my intention is to turn over faster or work harder.

haffathot
January 22nd, 2007, 07:51 PM
I will work hard to change those bad habits, but it will take some time. I think I should not take my sprint sets out of my workouts but minimize them to once (maybe twice) a week and focus on refining my technique.
Thanks Sean you are a great coach:applaud: , if I born again I hope I would start swimming in your supervision
My best wishes

In terms of keeping yourself strong, twice a week seems plenty. As I mentioned, you want to make sure you never do sprints on two consecutive days. Three times a week is intense. Once isn't too bad.

In terms of technique -- as I have mentioned -- there are drills one can do for achieving better technique, but drills can only go so far. For instance, if you are practicing the thumb-drag drill (wherein one scrapes one's (recovery arm) thumbnail against his or her side during arm recoveries as a means of assuring near proper elbow technique), it becomes, after a while, a stroke unto itself. One always needs to remain mindful that the lesson learned during the drill has to be reincorporated into the whole stroke. While swimming slowly allows one to focus more, it also allows one to suffer through inefficient strokes. I've seen people that swim their laps doing the thumb drag every time. That's not efficient. If you are sprinting, it becomes obvious that while your recovery hand should stay close to the side and keep from going under during the recovery, the thumb drag exaggerates that lesson by bringing the hand in closer and with more effort than is practical for a sprint.

Moving forward, how about you have a cycle of three workouts? First, a drill day. Second, an endurance day. Third, a sprint day. If you are practicing only freestyle, then do a free drill day, a free endurance day, and a free sprint day. If you want to keep well-rounded in the strokes, then you may want to break down your three-day cycle into something like:

Day 1: 3/4 time fly skill drills and 1/4 time free drills
Day 2: 3/4 time fly endur./fly endur. drills and 1/4 time free endur.
Day 3: 1/2 time fly sprints and 1/2 time free sprints

Day 4: 3/4 time back skill drills and 1/4 time free skill drills
Day 5: 3/4 time back endur./back endur. drills and 1/4 time free endur.
Day 6: 1/2 time back sprints and 1/2 time free sprints

Day 7: 3/4 time brst skill drills and 1/4 time free drills
Day 8: 3/4 time brst endur./brst endur. drills and 1/4 time free endur.
Day 9: 1/2 time brst sprints and 1/2 time free sprints

Day 10: free skill drills
Day 11: free endur./free endur. drills
Day 12: free sprints

Day 13: 3/4 time I.M. skill drills and 1/4 time free drills
Day 14: 3/4 time I.M. endur./I.M. endur. drills and 1/4 time free endur.
Day 15: 1/2 time I.M. sprints and 1/2 time free sprints

or something similar. And the difference between a skill drill and an endurance drill is that a skill drill is designed to enhance skill sets (like the thumb drag drill), whereas an endurance drill is designed to get more lengths of a hard stroke out of you without killing you (like single arm, single arm, double arm butterfly).

I hope that makes sense.

Best wishes to you as well.

--Sean

okoban
January 23rd, 2007, 03:44 PM
[quote=KaizenSwimmer;75389]Oguz


You sharpen your "trading skills" with a particular kind of practice. Call your "too long" stroke (i.e. maximizes ease and flow, but limits speed) N and spend time practicing smooth transitions from N to N+1, N+2, N+3. When you learn to swim SMOOTHLY at those higher counts, you should also find yourself swimming much faster, without undue fatigue.

This is a more "organic" way to gain speed -- or increase stroke rate -- than by trying to consciously shorten your stroke, say by stopping it at mid-ribcage.

Hi Terry, I also read your book in those days when I was shifting to front-quadrant swimming. Your book also helped me a lot to understand the philosophy behind efficient swimming. I want to thank you and Mr Hines for that (I used to write a good comment in Amazon 8 yrs ago for his book). I was a bit younger:( those days, but I was a finance manager:snore:
Now I am a bit older, but happier to be in operations:blah:
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful:
http://g-ec2.images-amazon.com/images/G/01/x-locale/common/customer-reviews/stars-5-0.gif The best book to learn efficient freestyle swimming, June 11, 1999
Reviewer: A reader
I am a 30 year old finance manager who used to swim for more than 20 years especially in freestyle.I learned swimming in a swimming school when I was a child and I also read some books to swim better, but all of these books did not add anything to my swimming efficiency. After reading 'Fitness Swimming' I realised that there is a concept called 'efficient swimming'. I started the excersises in Jan.1999 and I am still working on the skill drills to improve my technique.Within 5 months my strokes per length reduced by 25% without slowing down the pace. I strongly recommend this book to everyone who want to learn swimming or improve freestyle technique.I want to thank the coach to give me hundreds of valuable lessons free at charge.

Regarding your quote above, I am exactly doing it with Coach Sean's advices. Now I am faster, my strokes length is still not bad.
I know you wrote a new book; why don't you or coach Hines consider writing another book like 'part 2' of the previous books (adding speed and stroke refinement after achieving front-quadrant swimming). I think you should consider it. Personally I like the step by step method of coach Hines. When I finish each part, I feel like graduated from a class.
Thanks for your advices. I read your comments throughout the forum and benefit a lot.

okoban
January 23rd, 2007, 04:28 PM
In terms of keeping yourself strong, twice a week seems plenty. As I mentioned, you want to make sure you never do sprints on two consecutive days. Three times a week is intense. Once isn't too bad.

Moving forward, how about you have a cycle of three workouts? First, a drill day. Second, an endurance day. Third, a sprint day. If you are practicing only freestyle, then do a free drill day, a free endurance day, and a free sprint day. If you want to keep well-rounded in the strokes, then you may want to break down your three-day cycle into something like:

Day 1: 3/4 time fly skill drills and 1/4 time free drills
Day 2: 3/4 time fly endur./fly endur. drills and 1/4 time free endur.
Day 3: 1/2 time fly sprints and 1/2 time free sprints

Day 4: 3/4 time back skill drills and 1/4 time free skill drills
Day 5: 3/4 time back endur./back endur. drills and 1/4 time free endur.
Day 6: 1/2 time back sprints and 1/2 time free sprints

Day 7: 3/4 time brst skill drills and 1/4 time free drills
Day 8: 3/4 time brst endur./brst endur. drills and 1/4 time free endur.
Day 9: 1/2 time brst sprints and 1/2 time free sprints

Day 10: free skill drills
Day 11: free endur./free endur. drills
Day 12: free sprints

Day 13: 3/4 time I.M. skill drills and 1/4 time free drills
Day 14: 3/4 time I.M. endur./I.M. endur. drills and 1/4 time free endur.
Day 15: 1/2 time I.M. sprints and 1/2 time free sprints

or something similar. And the difference between a skill drill and an endurance drill is that a skill drill is designed to enhance skill sets (like the thumb drag drill), whereas an endurance drill is designed to get more lengths of a hard stroke out of you without killing you (like single arm, single arm, double arm butterfly).

I hope that makes sense.

Best wishes to you as well.

--Sean
Coach, you changed my swimming habit dramatically. Now I can not cruise in slow pace (I think I will learn to shift gears in time). I start slowly, but after a couple of strokes later I can't stop my body going faster. I am trying to focus on completing my strokes and a proper hand entry. When I use hand paddles and fins together (max. speed) I can fine tune my hand entry and body position. (At least my hands are not travelling through the US map west to east:rofl: , I am trying to apply I-pull).
I tried another 50 and did it in 35 seconds (again) I will try a 200 on weekend (I will beat 3 minutes this time); when doing a 50 sprint to break my record, if I take 5 breaths throughout the length, I think I can do 33 or 34sec. (I take a lot of breath like I am doing 100m.)
You are right that my super hi elbow recovery style is due to a lot of skill drills, but if I can manage a proper hand entry, I think I will not need to erase this habit.
I will apply your suggestion about my work-outs. I will skip butterfly part out, my butterfly is not good enough to cover 3/4 of the workout.
Is it OK if I do (as an exemple):
Day 4: 3/4 time back skill drills and 1/4 time free skill drills
400 warm-up (free/back/breast)
1,500 work-out (drills from below site)
http://www.goswim.tv/drilloftheweek_comments.php?id=1012_0_20_0_C#
400 cool down (free/back/breast)
Day 5: 3/4 time back endur./back endur. drills and 1/4 time free endur.
w/u and c/d parts are the same as above,
w/o part:
200X4 back on 4:20,
200X2 free on 4:00
200X4 back on 4:10
Day 6: 1/2 time back sprints and 1/2 time free sprints
Our famous sprint set, but first 5 of the 50 sprints are back (or shall I do even numbers free, add numbers back), second 5 are free (same rotation for kick set and just arms). What about hypoxics in breast and back?
In sprint sets, I plan to do 65 sec. for back and 70 sec. for breast per 50.
Thanks coach

haffathot
January 23rd, 2007, 06:40 PM
The 15-day workout plan is to give you an idea of what I think should be your focus for more well-rounded strokes. Basically, no matter what strokes you are working, you should find a balance between the competing tools of practice: endurance work, skill work, and sprints. Working exclusively on any one of those three will keep you from being a well-rounded swimmer. Too much endurance work, and you'll find that you can't sprint and that you have lazy strokes. Too much sprint work, and you'll find each 100 in a 500 set facing a precipitous time drop and that you have sloppy strokes. Too much skill work, and you'll make yourself an inefficient swimmer. Similarly, too much of any one stroke is always at the expense of the others. Also, because all strokes share certain aspects, mastery of any one aids in attaining mastery in every other.

As I am not there physically to watch you swim, you are, ultimately, your own coach. You do what your conscience tells you is appropriate. However, do not set your workouts toward what your comfort level is so much as toward what your needs are. In backstroke, hypoxics are neither possible nor practical. In breaststroke, you need your head to surface, but you do not need to breathe every time you surface. As with butterfly, I recommend that you breathe every other or every third stroke. On the non-breathing strokes, be sure to keep your head and chin tucked down as you surface from and then reenter the water. Throwing your head back to take a breath slows down your stroke, rhythm, and aerodynamics.

4+ minutes for a 200 is a bit long. You may want to shave those times down a bit. As free is the fastest stroke, your sprint goals for the other strokes will have to be your free sprint goals adjusted to give a bit more time. The times you suggest are good to kick things off, but, like with free, keep track of your capabilities and keep honest. If you feel that you could do with less or more rest, adjust the time goals.

Also, with regard to your butterfly, competitive breaststroke is actually harder to complete than butterfly. I read in some study that Olympic breaststrokers are actually stronger in upper body than Olympic butterflyers. So, if you would rather skip butterfly than breaststroke because of the effort involved in performing butterfly, then you are either performing breaststroke or butterfly wrong. In both, your body should be undulating through the water (where the water is ------, you are ~~~~~~). If your breaststroke or butterfly is more of a flat style (with peaks and falls over the water but not much underwater action: |\|\|\|\|\|\), then you really need to update your stroke.

Good luck,

--Sean

okoban
January 25th, 2007, 12:57 PM
Sean, I find it interesting that you said breaststroke is as hard as butterfly. It is possible to swim breaststroke as slow as you wish, but in butterfly, you need to have a minimum pace (OK you are the coach, I will add butterfly skill drills in my drill set).
Thanks to a meeting downtown, I did the sprint set today at 17:45 to 19:00 and it was better than an early morning workout.
I plan to test my 200 in the weekend and do the skill drills of fly/breast.
:wave:

okoban
January 29th, 2007, 01:09 PM
Hi Sean (and everybody reading),
I did all the backstroke drills I know in the weekend workout. I also tested my 100 free in the 50m. pool (1:20). My 50 butterfly is 37 sec (A note to new readers: I know it is slow, but I started swimming when I was 30).
My plan in the morning is to do 2/3 backstroke, 1/3 free endurance sets. This is the backstroke week, I love it. I will do 200s of each (approx. total of 2.6K). In the main sets I will do 200s back (normal, W fins, W hand paddles, W fins+hand paddles) and rest 20 sec. among the intervals. If I feel great (early in the morning???) I might test my 200 free to beat 3 minutes.
Sean, it is really a great idea to split the week to endurance, sprint and drill days.
Best
Oguz

haffathot
January 29th, 2007, 01:57 PM
i find that breaking up consecutive practice days into sprint, endurance, and drill days is good psychologically as much as physiologically.

okoban
January 30th, 2007, 03:17 PM
Absolutely coach. Doing sprint sets in most of the workouts was really stressfull. Today in the morning I did a 2.8K of a backstroke dominated endurance sets. I did 200s in 50m pool:
400 w/u
normal backstroke 3:35 R:20sec
with hand paddles: same time, 15% less strokes R:20 sec
with fins: 3:10 R:30 sec
with fins+hand paddles 3:10, less strokes R:30sec
200 free (80%) 3:30
R:2 min. stretching
same set as above
400 c/d
I think my backstroke technique is a bit better than my freestyle.
I also did some back drills in w/u and c/d including half-full Powerade bottle on my head (I was still faster than the guy in the next lane:joker: )
I will try my 200 free in the weekend to beat 3min.
Thursday morning I will do sprint sets if I feel good enough (50% back/free)

okoban
February 3rd, 2007, 06:07 AM
:shakeshead: :shakeshead: :shakeshead: I could not beat 3min in 200 free.
:banana: :banana: But I broke my record by 2 seconds; new record is 3:01.
I broke another record in 50 free by 1 second (0:34)
My stroke rate is fast enough, but (I think) I should work a lot for the last phase of the push. Accelerating the pull through the hips is something very important for increasing the speed.
I did a lot of drills today (breast, butterfly and back).
It seems that I will beat 3 minutes within a couple of weeks.
I will also start counting my strokes again especailly in sprint sets.

haffathot
February 9th, 2007, 05:59 PM
that's fantastic, oguz. the last parts of pushes or kicks are always so critical and at the same time so forgotten. for instance, a lot of the power in the breaststroke kick comes from the final phase of the kick, but that's exactly where many people start to let up on the force they put into the kick. similarly, a lot of power comes from the last phase of the pull in freestyle, but so many people take that as the time to let up on the force a bit and begin thinking about recovery instead of finishing the pull.

I've thought about your problem finishing your pulls and think this drill might be most appropriate:

While standing up, let your shoulders slouch and arms hang loose. Take a mental note of exactly where your index fingers on each hand touch your legs. Then run a few 50 free drills wherein you make sure that -- with every pull -- the index finger of the pulling arm strikes that part of your leg that you previously touched while slouching. After every 50, assess your success, and then run the drill again. Do about 5 50 frees like that. Try to run this entire drill a couple of times in the coming week. See if that helps.*

--Sean

* Just remember that it is just a drill to help you become conscious of finishing your pulls, not proper swim technique. In the proper stroke, you would not be striking your thigh with every pull.

okoban
February 11th, 2007, 01:29 PM
Coach, I used to do the drill you mentioned for backstroke (with the thumb), I will do it for free also, thanks for the advice.
I did the famous sprint set yesterday in SCM pool. It was easier than LCM. I finished all the parts within target time including the kick set in 75sec.
Tuesday mornings I do the drills, Thursday mornings I do the endurance sets. I like all of them.

haffathot
February 11th, 2007, 02:47 PM
sounds good. sc is always easier than lc (y or m).

okoban
February 20th, 2007, 04:14 PM
Today I did my workout in the 50LCM pool. It was OK. To give an idea about my psychology, there were appox. 20 young swimmers in the other lanes and I was the only person over 20. One of the youngsters is Caglar Gokbulut which will attend the world swimming championships in March. He is 17 and swims 800 and 1500. It is not so much fun to swim with these guys. I feel like I am driving a truck.:lolup: But it is surely better to have some people in the pool. I used to swim alone for two weeks when they were in the swim camp down in Marmaris. I'm glad they're back.

haffathot
February 20th, 2007, 05:44 PM
it certainly isn't fun swimming with others that are way above your level, but you have to take what you're given. and, although it would have been optimal to be swimming with other swimmers only slightly better than you, swimming with someone, regardless of skill, is better than swimming with no one.

--Sean

okoban
February 24th, 2007, 11:43 AM
I started to apply Kevin Williams's workouts this week. Today I did 16th of February workout. I understood why he posted 'Oh no he didn't' on top of the workout. I did it in 50LCM pool. It was fun, but very challenging.
I think I will do some of them, they are really well designed and creative.

okoban
March 3rd, 2007, 02:47 PM
I did our famous sprint sets today in SCM pool. It was very good. All of the 50 swims were under 44 seconds (first 5 of them in 41), I could finish kick sets within 75 seconds. I did just arms and hypoxics parts in 60 seconds too. I think my strokes are better too. I try to finish all of them properly. I will test my 200 again. I think this time it will be lower than 3 seconds.

haffathot
March 7th, 2007, 09:20 AM
have you tested your 50 free time recently?

okoban
March 9th, 2007, 07:13 AM
Hi coach,
I tried 50meters in LCM pool this morning.
After a short warm-up, I did 34 seconds (blocks)
After a couple of hundred meters more swimming (hand paddles)
I did another 34 seconds (blocks)
I can't go any faster
I will try 200 this weekend. Logically I should do 37+42+45+45=2:49, but I think I will do 2:55 to 3:00. What do you think?

haffathot
March 9th, 2007, 11:59 AM
well, if you are doing a 34 on a 50 starting from the blocks, then that would also likely be your first 50 split on a 200 from a block start. from there, i'd guess a 37, 42, 40, maybe. Typically, people gain time on the second and third 50s, and then lose a bit of time that is still more time than the first (or sometimes second) 50 on the last 50. That'd be a total time of 2:33. when people time themselves, a lot of times self-doubt gets involved in the final time. that's why i am thinking that you might drop as far as 5 seconds between the 2nd and the 3rd 50. i realize that your latest record in the 200 is a 3:01, but if you are pulling a 34 in the 50, then there is no reason that -- after enough endurance training -- you wouldn't be able to come in under a 2:46, let alone a 2:49. be sure to have someone time each of your splits for each 50. you really need to find out where you are losing your time -- especially if you come out with a time above 2:46. A 34 on each 50 would bring you to a 2:16. Obviously, fatigue takes its toll in adding time, but 45 seconds is a whole lot of time. Now, when you are first training, the cost of fatigue will be high, but -- after training hard for some time now -- the cost of fatigue should be much lower than 45 seconds on a 200. A 2:46 would place the fatigue cost at 30 seconds -- still very high, but a 1/3 overall drop in fatigue cost. So, in short, I am cheering for you to get a 2:33, but I would accept a 2:46 as very good progress.

--Sean

LindsayNB
March 9th, 2007, 02:44 PM
Oguz, purely out of curiousity, how many breaths did you take in the 34s 50m?

okoban
March 9th, 2007, 05:27 PM
Coach, thanks for your detailed explanations. It is really meaningful and to the point. I will forget about my latest record and focus on kicking hard and complete strokes this weekend.
Lindsay, I focused on two things during the sprint:completing my strokes properly and kicking hard. I did not count my strokes, but I guess it should be around 40 strokes and 6-7 breaths (I know I should be breathing a bit less).

okoban
March 12th, 2007, 12:29 PM
The greatest coach of all (Sean)
This weekend I did not feel well, didn't go to pool. I swam today and tried a 100. I did 1:20 again. It is becoming clear that I can not keep my pace high enough:wiggle: :woot: . So, I will first try to swim 100 at 1:15 before trying 200. When I achieve this, I will try 200.
I'm a slow turtle.

haffathot
March 12th, 2007, 04:12 PM
but if you swim a 1:20 on the first 100, then that means that -- if you are getting a time of 3 min on the 200 -- that your second 100 is 1:40. That's 20 seconds added for fatigue! Ack! 20 seconds is a full quarter of your 100 free time! what is happening on that second 100?

--Sean

okoban
March 16th, 2007, 12:06 PM
Yeah!!!:applaud: I finally did it.
I am under 3 minutes in 200 free (2:58). It means I am 3% better than last year. Thanks coach.
Coach, regarding your question: You are absolutely right. I am not swimming, but drinking :coffee: in the last 50. My times in 200 today was: 39/43/46/50.
I really suffered in the last 50, I was exhausted. My stroke count was something like 38/41/44/50. In the first 100, 3 breaths per stroke, last 100, mostly 2 br per stroke. Do I need more endurance training and weight lifting to be around 2:50? I do very little weights and some push-ups 2-3 times a week.

haffathot
March 16th, 2007, 12:19 PM
most swimmers that take up swimming late in life are weak kickers. i would cross-train in some running at least twice a week. if running isn't your thing, then start off walking for a few miles a day until you can run a little bit. then progressively increase your running.

okoban
March 19th, 2007, 04:43 PM
I like to run and I will start this week. The weather is fine over here. I think I can run on wednesday and bike on sunday. Swimming on tuesday, thursday and saturday. I will also increase my dryland exercises a little bit (twice a week). Thanks for the advice.

islandsox
March 19th, 2007, 09:46 PM
Okoban,

I have read your thread and all of the replies and boy are you getting lots of advice, a lot of it very good. But I have a question: why do you think you NEED to increase your stroke rate to swim faster? Especially since it is a 200 that you will be doing? A longer stroke can be more powerful depending upon the water grabbed (catch), holding it through the stroke, until the finish which really should be at the thigh. Anyone who says it should not be finished there is basically telling you that it takes too much strength from the triceps, which is true, but this is the exact reason you should do it. I don't believe in avoiding the finish because of weak triceps; one should work on making them stronger. I truly think anyone who says this doesn't really get it. Triceps are crucial to stroke finishes before the recovery into the next stroke pull. Why shouldn't the triceps be strong enough to carry through the process of finishing the stroke? This makes no sense to me; it is a lazy person's way out. and short changing the swimmer.

I wish you the best in your race and you obviously are really into swimming and swimming well. You are always searching for ways to improve yourself and asking all the right questions. Swim technique is crucial, but so IS conditioning and interval training and speed endurance can give you that.

You go!!!

donna

okoban
March 22nd, 2007, 04:46 PM
Thanks a lot for your comments Donna. I really enjoy swimming and Coach Sean guided me very well. At first I did not know what was wrong in my swimming. Then, asking a lot of questions, doing a lot of exercises and so forth, I understood that:

my kicks are too large and weak,
my reach is not proper (overreach)
my pull is ineffective (very large S shape)
my pull is not complete
and as you said my arms are not powerful enough to complete the pushSean's advice for the sprint sets helped me a lot to increase my speed. Now I realized that the second part of my 200 free is problematic. I will continue working for my endurance and sprint sets as well as a little bit of drills. I hope to swim 50 sprint in LCM pool in 32 seconds and 100 in 75 seconds. If everything goes well till the race time, I think I can swim 200 free in 2:50-2:55 range. I also started to do running and cycling.
Your advice for triceps is interesting, I did not know that it is that important. I made a quick search and I will talk to the gym guy about it.
EXERCISE #1 - Bodyweight Tricep Extensions - 2 sets of 8 to 12 reps
EXERCISE #2 - In-Set Superset of Lying Tricep Extensions and Close Grip Bench Press - 3 sets of 6 to 8 reps
EXERCISE #3 - Bench Dips - 2 sets of 10 to 12+ reps
Thanks again for the encouragement, I will do my best in the race (2 months to go)
Oguz

haffathot
March 24th, 2007, 06:07 PM
okoban,

donna's right about strong triceps being crucial to good armstroke finishes. i tend to tackle issues one at a time, so i went after legs first, but -- if you've got the time -- you could certainly benefit from a few triceps exercises. while free weights are superior in many ways to universal and nautilus weights, the nautilus and universal weights tend to be safer for novices. so, until you have gotten the hang of working your triceps on these machines, i would stay away from any free weight exercises. bench dips are a great exercise for triceps. just don't overdue your arms workouts, or you won't feel in any shape to swim thereafter.

--Sean

okoban
March 27th, 2007, 04:25 PM
OK coach, I will not overdo these exercises. Just 2 months to go for the meet. I will gradually increase the weights under proper supervision. Thanks for your comments.:)

geochuck
March 31st, 2007, 01:03 PM
Just to remind you you should have body roll. Here is a picture of me at the 1956 Olympics. Shoulder roll not a recent invention.

Also note George had triceps way back then.

okoban
March 31st, 2007, 04:31 PM
George, your triceps looks so strong. I will try to build some for me too. I do not have any problem for body roll. Today I tried another 50 and did another 34 seconds (2 breaths only). I voted for your site, it is very well designed. Thanks for the advice.

geochuck
April 1st, 2007, 08:04 PM
34 not bad you are getting there. I just watched your video it seems that you are crossing over a little too much both arms. I have a friend who is developing an arm stroke machine. He is sending it to me I will try it out. It is an adaptation of a theraputic knee machine for building up the legs after knee replacements.

okoban
April 5th, 2007, 04:04 PM
You are right about my strokes. I'm still working to have a more proper stroke. It will take some time. I'm so happy to have comments from you.:wave:

okoban
April 26th, 2007, 04:19 PM
Sean, 1 month left for the meet (200 free). What kind of a program do you recommend? I do one jogging and 3 pool workout sessions per week (1 hour each).

haffathot
April 26th, 2007, 09:58 PM
you should work on skill development more in the beginning of the month and then speed in the latter part of the month. the last two days before the meet, i would swim very, very easy workouts. during those final two weeks of practice when you are working on speed, i would begin each practice with a warm up followed by a timed 200 at top speed. have someone record your 25 splits. just being conscious of on which 25s you are slowing down should help to motivate you during successive 200s on other days.

Good luck!

--Sean

okoban
May 3rd, 2007, 03:23 PM
I started to work on drills and some endurance sets this week. I will test my 200 a couple of times before the meet.
I have a question:
swimmnig freestyle, 4 or more strokes per breath, shall I exhale throughout all the strokes or hold my breath till the last stroke?
Assume I am doing 4 stroke per breath; shall I;
a) stroke1:inhale, str.2 and 3:head inside the water, hold my breath, str.4:exhale completely
b) stroke1:inhale, str.1,2 and 3 exhale continuously
c) other?

Thanks for your advice Sean

haffathot
May 3rd, 2007, 10:05 PM
try to pick an odd number of strokes -- like three or five -- so that you can alternate your breathing.

in terms of breathing, a continuous breath underwater. however, you must pace your rate of exhalation so that you don't hyperventilate. Go a steady but comfortable pace for your blowing bubbles. What I always tell my adult lessons is to think of your bubble-blowing as fuel usage. You want to burn fuel at a pace that gets you where you need to be. Driving everywhere at ludicrous speeds will deplete your gas too fast, so you drive at a rate that maximizes your fuel usage without sacrificing too much in the way of speed. Basically, pace your bubbles so that you have a steady stream of bubbles from the start of the bubble blowing to the finish right before the inhalation. Going again with the fuel metaphor, you don't get more gas when you are on empty or -- worse -- below the empty indicator. Similarly, make sure you still have a few bubbles that you could blow left in your lungs at all times.

when you test your 200s, make sure you get splits for every 25.

Best of luck,

--Sean

okoban
May 26th, 2007, 11:56 AM
Hi Sean, I am so happy.
:bouncing:
The event for 200 free (50LCM pool) was today and I did 2minutes and 53 seconds (third place in 30-39 years category). This is my best time ever and 10 seconds better than last years race. In other words, 5% improvement within 5 months when I started asking questions in this forum. My wife made a recording of the race and I will try to put it in youtube.
Thanks a lot for your help. You are a great coach.:applaud:

haffathot
May 27th, 2007, 10:37 AM
Congratulations!

I am glad that you have improved so much. However, I would suggest that you keep training, since I think that you could do even better next time.

Great work!

--Sean

okoban
May 29th, 2007, 04:06 PM
I'll keep on working. Next time

I will do a bit more dryland exercise to be stronger (2% effect on my overall speed)
improve my stroke technique (1%)
stonger kicking (1%)
improve my endurance (1%)I think I can improve my time another 5% within 1 year time and beat 2minutes and 45 seconds.:violin:

haffathot
May 29th, 2007, 04:18 PM
i think you might be underestimating what you can do with your endurance, but it seems like you otherwise have a very good plan ahead.

best of luck,

--Sean

okoban
July 3rd, 2007, 03:44 PM
I will attend an oper water event within 10 days. It is approx. 4 kilometers. I made my training for 200 free throughout the year. Now I swim 1:50 per 100 for an hour in LCM pool. Shall I continue with it or shall I do something else?

geochuck
July 7th, 2007, 01:49 PM
Okaban

Great improvement I would say keep going. Work on getting your hundreds down to 1:40 then it starts to come easy.

okoban
July 9th, 2007, 01:18 PM
George, when I try it in 1:40, I can do it for 30-35 minutes, not more.:dunno: I might try it and have a 1 min. break, then continue as much as I can.

okoban
July 16th, 2007, 02:24 PM
:wine:Thanks a lot, I became 2nd in the race in 36-40 years category. The race was 6.5 kilometers and there were some strong positive (from start to finish) currents and my time was 59 minutes something.

haffathot
July 16th, 2007, 02:46 PM
that's about 54 secs per 100 meters. That's very good!

as for the target time you should set for your 100 meter sets, you should try to drop your time target but keep the same number of repetitions of that time. if you can do 1:50 for an hour and 1:40 for 35 minutes, you should try pushing yourself to do 1:47 for an hour. As that becomes easier to hit, go down to 1:45, etc.

--Sean

geochuck
July 20th, 2007, 10:36 AM
And here I thought I had found the way to improve my stroke technique. But it does not http://www.saebo.com/home.html

okoban
July 20th, 2007, 02:15 PM
George, I am confused. Do you really need to improve your stroke technique? Did you really try this gadget and how?

geochuck
August 1st, 2007, 09:44 AM
I did not try this device. I was searching for stroke technique and came up with this device.


The trick is not to increase your stroke rate.

It is to get more from your stroke.

My wing span is 78.5 inches which is 1.9939 meters finger tip to finger tip.
I am 6 feet 3 inches tall = 1.90500 meters

I push off the wall and swim a fifty meter swim it takes me 25 strokes in a 50 meter pool. My time for the stroke count is 35 seconds. that is a 60 golf score. Now remember I am 74 years of age. I have slowed down.

I have done 20 strokes for a 50m in a 25m pool. 30 seconds which was a score of 50.

okoban
August 3rd, 2007, 04:58 PM
George whatever your age is, you are a great swimmer:bow:. I have a long way to go to be a good swimmer. But I work hard to achieve my goals. This year my goals are: (in a 50m pool)
200 free 2:35 (my best is 2:53)
100 free 1:11 (my best is 1:20)
50 free 31 seconds (my best is 34)
50 fly 32 seconds (my best is 34)
I started to work on dryland exercises to become more powerful. I started working on SDK, turns, stroke technique and that kind of technical stuff. My heavy training season will start in November and my race is in late May. What do you think about my goals and what would you recommend me to do?
I am 38y/o, 1m75cm tall, 71 kg.

geochuck
August 4th, 2007, 06:11 PM
Sounds like you have agood plan in place. Good luck.

okoban
August 30th, 2007, 03:07 PM
When I started this topic, I started as:
I am a 38 year old man swimming 3-4 times a week. I will attend a contest in early June this year. It is 200 meters free in a 50 meter pool. Last year I swam this race in 3 minutes and 3 seconds. This year my goal to be around 2 minutes and 45 seconds. I take 30 strokes and 40 seconds for 50 meters (in a 25meter pool) and I take 35 strokes and 40 seconds in a 50 meter pool (these are my sprint scores). I think my main problem is my stroke rate which is very slow. How can I increase it? Whenever I try to increase my stroke rate, my strokes becomes shorter and I lift my head up. My normal workout is 400-500 meters warm-up, 1600-1800 main set and 400-500 meters cool-down. My questions are:
1. Is there a ready to use workout program that you can recommend me?
2. How can I increase my stroke rate without deteriorating my style?
Thanks a lot in advance

First of all, thanks a lot to all the people helped me out for this (especially to Coach Sean). Now my 50 meter score is 20% better (31.6 seconds versus 40 seconds) with 40 strokes. 200 free was 10 seconds better than the previous year and my goal is to be far better. I had a bronze in 50 butterfly (33.6 seconds), bronze in 200 free and silver in an open water event. I really appreciate your help, thanks a lot.

haffathot
August 31st, 2007, 09:02 PM
you've obviously worked quite hard and deserve all you have attained.

best,

--Sean

okoban
October 31st, 2007, 04:20 PM
My latest 50 meter race in 29 Oct 2007. I am at the second lane with blue cap. The guy close to you swimming fast is an ex-olympian Ahmet Nakkaş.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-gQmEdzeeOs

haffathot
November 1st, 2007, 11:24 AM
Well, the Olympian beat you by just plain old moving faster. His arms recovered faster, and his kick rate was faster the whole way through. As for Lane 1, you had that guy the whole way down but then lost a good deal of your lead on the flipturn. You really need to improve that flipturn. Although I couldn't see him as well, it looked like Lane 4's skills were comparable to Lane 1's. Your time on the way down was a 14, but, ideally, your time should be more like a 13 or (like the Olympian's) a 12. Whereas the Olympian maintained his speed all the way back, to likely finish out with about a 25, you finished out at about 32. That's about a 17 second return trip. Part of that, no doubt, is the fault of your flipturn, but part of it also seems like it might be fatigue. If you can improve your flipturn and reduce your fatigue on the way back, you could be looking at a 29 in no time.

On the whole, though, good work.

--Sean

okoban
November 1st, 2007, 04:15 PM
Thanks for the comments coach. This season I am working on my weaknesses (flip turn, strong 6 beat kick for sprints and SDK). I just opened the season 2 weeks ago and this year I plan to train 4 to 5 times per week instead of 3, but reduce the yardage per workout. It is good that I have some things to work for. I hope that I can make below 30 for 50 meters this year. I will still be working on 3 main issues as you said: technique, speed and endurance. Hope to see you in Istanbul in July for the Bosphorus Challenge.

haffathot
November 1st, 2007, 04:46 PM
Because of the Iraq issues, I am pretty sure that if I took a trip to Bosporus I would be forevermore flagged by the US for a small room in customs accompanied by a thorough cavity search every time I opt to fly and have my emails particularly targeted for evaluation, unfortunately. So, unless things improve in Iraq and between our two countries, I don't think at this time that I will be there in July. I would rather not be treated by my own government as a suspected terrorist for the rest of my life simply because I wanted to meet a friend in Turkey and swim a meet there. I love America; I just wish it was still the land of the free and the home of the brave. Fear shouldn't trump freedom... :bitching: But, to circle back to swimming:

Your stroke technique seems very much improved. It's stroke rate that is a particular hindrance to you now. Your arms need to recover faster, and -- as you have noted -- you need to move up to a six-beat kick if you can. And in a 50 free, the flipturn is even more important than it is generally, and it's generally a huge predictor on the outcome of the race.

--Sean

okoban
November 5th, 2007, 02:59 PM
Coach, your comments are very helpful as always. I am working on the turns, stroke recovery and stronger kicks. I also work on SDK. I will make my annual program with the help of a coach in my pool (head swimming coach of Enka). His name is Suha Tokman, lived in the US for more than 2 decades. I made a search and foud an English article about him:
http://archive.mailtribune.com/archive/2003/0224/sport/stories/01sport.htm
I will keep posting about my experiences in the forum.
Oguz

haffathot
November 5th, 2007, 03:34 PM
sounds good, Oguz!

--Sean

okoban
January 11th, 2008, 05:08 PM
Coach, we made an annual plan with Mr. Tokman.
4-8-8-5-3 weeks for introduction, aerobic, anaerobic, pre-race and taper periods. Now I am at the aerobic phase. My yardage per week increased to 25,000 meters (theoretically). I can do 20,000 per week by doing 5 workouts per week. My plan is to do 25,000 for 3 weeks and decrease to 20,000.
We made this plan, he wrote some sample workouts for me, but his schedule is so heavy that he could not have time to work with me. I know that I still have some problems with my swimming technique. I made 2 sessions with another coach. We focused on technique. My faults are:

In freestyle, my stroke finish is not good enough (same old problem)
In freestyle, I have super high elbow recovery squeezing my shoulders
In freestyle, I sometimes drop my elbow in pull phase
He also said my style is a bit for endurance swimming and if I want to be better in sprint, I shall swim with less catch-up style and my hands shall enter the water at 11 and 1 instead of 12 and 12.
In backstroke, I do not know the start
In backstroke, my right arm overreaches
In backstroke, my legs are not following the body steadily (they swing a bit to the left and right like a snake)I am tired of writing my faults.:doh:To be continued:rofl:

okoban
January 27th, 2008, 03:25 PM
In LCM pool, my latest scores are:
31:50 for 50 free
35:10 for 50 butterfly
I will test 100 free, back and 50 breast, backstroke.
In March, there will be masters races to elect Turkish team. I will attend it to see my best performance. If I can do it, I want to join the world masters in Perth.

okoban
March 26th, 2008, 04:09 PM
In August 2007, I wrote about my goals for this season as:
200 free 2:35 (my best is 2:53)
100 free 1:11 (my best is 1:20)
50 free 31 seconds (my best is 34)
50 fly 32 seconds (my best is 34)

2 weeks ago in masters meet in Istanbul I did: (SCM)
200 free 2:33 (2 seconds better than my goal), silver medal
100 free 1:08 (3 seconds better) bronze medal
50 free : I did not try
50 fly: 34 seconds (2 seconds more to go) GOLD
100 back: 1:25 GOLD
Yesterday I made 1500 meters in LCM in 25 minutes as 15x100 @1:40 (2 minutes better than my best)
How did I do these imporovements?
My stroke finish is better (not early exit)
Hi elbow throughout the pull phase (as much as possible)
Not so hi elbow in recovery
Beter kick
Better hand entry (11 and 1 o'clock instead of 12 each)
Those points were all coach Sean wrote before. I did 6-7 sessions with a coach in my pool and it worked well also. I think I have more to go in the tank. Thank you Sean for your guidance.:wave:

ViveBene
March 26th, 2008, 10:24 PM
Congratulations on time drops!:applaud:
Does this mean you will go to Perth?

Regards,
VB

okoban
March 27th, 2008, 03:08 PM
I wish I could. My times are OK for Perth, but unfortunately I will not. I am working in a new venture which I can not leave for a week.:sad:I wil keep training for local meets and OW events.
Here is my 100 free race.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hd39vaCLIoE

haffathot
April 4th, 2008, 03:27 PM
Congratulations, Oguz! Your freestyle has really come a long way! 1:03 is a very respectable time! Great job taking the gold in the 50 Fly!

When you say high elbow through the pull phase, what exactly do you mean, though? Is your hand pushing under you or to the side of you?

--Sean

okoban
April 12th, 2008, 11:15 AM
My hand pulls under my body, but not passing to the other side (each hand stays at their side)

haffathot
April 14th, 2008, 11:00 AM
Oh, alright! You had me worried for a moment, there.

With regard to pull technique, I think we mainly discussed completing your pulls; in other words, the follow-through.

However, how you pull underwater is also very important. There are currently two main styles of freestyle pull: the S-Pull and the I-Pull.

The S-Pull is when you start your pull from about the 1 'o' clock position (assuming the right arm) and continue your pull toward the outermost point of your streamline at about the 2:30 clock position, your hand then sweeps inside toward your belly-button, but before you reach your belly-button, you then sweep your hands out to the finish point of your arm stroke (thumb next to the thigh). It is called the S-Pull because the shape of the pull path when using your left arm makes a letter 'S.' (a backwards letter 'S" for the right arm.)

The I-Pull is when your arm pulls underneath you in a straight line before finishing in a sweep to the thigh. The flat of your thumb nail should approximately pass under the center of your forehead, between your eyes, in line with your nose, between your two front teeth, past your chin, between your pectorals, to your belly-button, and then sweep out to the thigh. If the flat of your thumb nail were a razor, it would split your body in halves. However, the flat of the thumb nail should be about a hand's length away from your body at all times until finishing to the side of your thigh.

In any case, both pulls benefit from you using your hand and forearm as a single unit, an oar of sorts. Your hand cannot pull as much as your hand and forearm in unison, so try to keep your wrist from breaking form. Fingers should be together. Yes, you can get more pull from having your fingers spaced slightly apart from each other, but maintaining that form requires a great deal more self-discipline than just keeping your fingers together. Master pulling with your fingers together before attempting a slight spacing between fingers for a web-effect.

As far as which pull is better, they both have their benefits and drawbacks. It is my understanding that the S-Pull is much better at conserving your energy while providing the power you need to move forward. The I-Pull is more wasteful of energy, but it provides more power than the S-Pull and gets you to recovery position much faster. My recommendation is the I-Pull for most events. If it works for Ian Thorpe, it works for me. The only time I would consider recommending the S-Pull would be in long events where exhaustion is a major factor, events like the 500 and above. If you just don't have the power to perform the I-Pull with consistent power throughout the long events, then an S-Pull might be right for you in those events.

Learn both, but I would stress perfecting the I-Pull if I were you.

--Sean

okoban
April 15th, 2008, 04:08 PM
Coach, thanks a lot for this comprehensive explanations. I will translate it into Turkish and post in my blog page. http://blog.milliyet.com.tr/Blogger.aspx?UyeNo=737850

I am trying to do 'I pull' as much as I can. This increased my stroke count by nearly 1 stroke per 25meters but I am faster now. My plan is to work heavily on my flexibility and stroke technique at the beginning of next season.
When I train hard with hand paddles, I have no pain on my shoulders which indicates that my stroke technique is far better than it was 2 years ago.
I will focus on the points you mentioned in my warm-ups and cool downs. I think I focused too much on freestyle. My new favorite event is 200 IM. I am doing 20-25% of my workouts as nf. I enjoy a lot.
Thank you :wine:

haffathot
April 16th, 2008, 01:43 PM
Well, that your number of strokes per length increased is to be expected. Your hands are traveling in a straight line underwater, so of course it is faster than the underwater path that waves in and out.

I.M.s? Very nice! I am a big fan of butterfly and breaststroke (the cyclic strokes). They've always just struck me as much more exciting than the perpetual motion strokes (freestyle and back).

--Sean

okoban
April 30th, 2008, 10:39 AM
Dear Sean, I have translated your recommendations about freestyle stroke technique into Turkish in my Blog page
http://blog.milliyet.com.tr/Blog.aspx?BlogNo=106902
an in my Internet site.
www.yuzuyoruz.com (http://www.yuzuyoruz.com)
From now on, you are a famous coach in Turkey too !!!
Thanks a lot:bouncing:

haffathot
April 30th, 2008, 11:03 AM
Oguz,

You are a funny guy.

Thanks.

--Sean

okoban
June 7th, 2008, 02:35 PM
I'd like to make a summary here. One and a half year ago I've started this thread with this (bold):

I am a 38 year old man swimming 3-4 times a week. I will attend a contest in early June this year. It is 200 meters free in a 50 meter pool. Last year I swam this race in 3 minutes and 3 seconds. This year my goal to be around 2 minutes and 45 seconds. I take 30 strokes and 40 seconds for 50 meters (in a 25meter pool) and I take 35 strokes and 40 seconds in a 50 meter pool (these are my sprint scores). I think my main problem is my stroke rate which is very slow. How can I increase it? Whenever I try to increase my stroke rate, my strokes becomes shorter and I lift my head up. My normal workout is 400-500 meters warm-up, 1600-1800 main set and 400-500 meters cool-down. My questions are:
1. Is there a ready to use workout program that you can recommend me?
2. How can I increase my stroke rate without deteriorating my style?
Thanks a lot in advance

Now I am nearly 40 and I can swim 50 meters free within 28.8 seconds, 100 free in 1:05, 200 free in 2:34. I can even swim 100 meters butterfly (1:14), 200 IM (2:50).
How did I achieve this?
1. I've joined this wonderful forum, had a lot of valuable advice
2. I had a great coach (Haffathot) giving me technical details, training programs and anything I asked for
3. Increased my weekly yardage to approx. 14K on average
4. Worked on each 4 swimming styles
5. Had 10 technical correction sessions from a great Turkish coach
6. Read and applied most of Ande's 'swim faster faster tips'
7. Changed my pool to a superior one
8. Enjoyed all my workouts

I think I can further improve. Thanks to everyone for generous advices.:wine:

geochuck
June 9th, 2008, 09:29 AM
I have heard all the Turkish Swimmers are heading to Worcester, MA to be coached by Sean. Is that a rumour or is it true.

Be sure that there are some belly dancers included in the group.

okoban
June 20th, 2008, 04:58 PM
George, first of all, you know belly dancers rotate their hips too, but a bit different than swimmers.;)
Secondly, we would love to have some swimming lessons from Sean. Maybe someday, he might come here for a visit.
I will attend an OW swim event 7.1kilometers. From a small Greek island Meis to Turkish land (Kas, Antalya). Approx. 100 swimmers will attend the meet. I have 7 days to go. What shall I do for the remaining time?

haffathot
June 20th, 2008, 05:04 PM
Secondly, we would love to have some swimming lessons from Sean. Maybe someday, he might come here for a visit.
I will attend an OW swim event 7.1kilometers. From a small Greek island Meis to Turkish land (Kas, Antalya). Approx. 100 swimmers will attend the meet. I have 7 days to go. What shall I do for the remaining time?


7 days left? Well, you can still fit a few workouts in at least until the end of the week. Around the fifth day, you should take an easy practice day. The day before (the sixth day), no practice, and eat some pasta that night. Eating well throughout the week will also help significantly. Make sure you get to the race well rested. Else, with just one week to go, there really isn't too much you can do.

--Sean

geochuck
June 21st, 2008, 10:24 AM
Good luck in your swim.

Good advice from Sean.

We have to roll those shoulders but true not like a belly dancer rolls the hips although pretty close to that. I miss watching the belly dancers, the Turks influenced the world with great belly dancers. There would never have been belly dancers in Egypt if it had not been for the Turks. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vFY-HDXZM4E

okoban
July 19th, 2008, 02:33 AM
In that 7.1K swimming marathon, I did 2 hours and 6 minutes and 1st rank in my age group. Water temperature was exactly the ideal pool temparature but there was waves coming from the left side (around 2 feet high). It was not easy to breath from the left side but I did my best to keep up bilateral breathing. Other difficulty was, there were no signs on the way and we all needed to find our ways by looking at the mountains behind the sea side. It was tough but I am happy that I attended it. Tomorrow there will be famous Bosphorus marathon which I will attend and it will be my last race this season. I have dozens of things to do in my new job that I will not be able to continue training regularly. But it was a very good season anyway. :cheerleader: http://www.turkishnoc.org/tr/Faaliyet/bgz/2008/Bgz2008.htm

haffathot
July 19th, 2008, 12:58 PM
Congratulations on a very good season, Oguz! Good luck at the new job!

--Sean

remas2010.2010
October 31st, 2017, 08:51 AM
:wine:Thanks a lot, I became 2nd in the race in 36-40 years category. The race was 6.5 kilometers and there were some strong positive (from start to finish) currents and my time was 59 minutes something.