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The Fortress
December 31st, 2006, 10:05 AM
To quote Gull: What is the right mix of technique and endurance for a Masters athlete (who wants to be competitive, say, at Nationals) with a finite amount of time to train?

Timed Finals
December 31st, 2006, 01:05 PM
I think that it depends upon the time of season. Towards the beginning of your training season endurance is of most importance, but as you get closer to race season you will have built up your endurance, so sprinting is more important to racing fast. With a finite amount of training time, you have to make what works best for you. If you only have 30 minutes per day, focus almost all of that to building your endurance to start out... As you get closer to the Nationals, maybe 10 minutes or so should be endurance.

Allen Stark
December 31st, 2006, 01:49 PM
As you know I do relatively low yardage(200-2400) supplimented with weights and bike and stability ball exercises.15 wk before a taper meet I increase intensity until my main sets are all race pace. Then I taper for the meet for 3 wk. I generally have 3 taper meets per yr.(SCY,SCM,and LCM.) thats about 45 wk. in a year,maybe a little more if I try to taper for 2 SCM meets or maybe a little less if there isn't 15 wk between LCM Nationals and my SCM meet. That leaves about 7 wk. per year when I focus on endurance and rehabing my shoulders and knees. This is that time of year and now I am doing long slow swims with fins working on streamlining and on not straining my shoulders. I also do no breaststroke kick for at least a month to rest my knees.

Peter Cruise
December 31st, 2006, 04:48 PM
Allen- no way- you should be pounding those knees all year. You should also take up all forms of extreme sports as well...

Paul Smith
December 31st, 2006, 04:51 PM
First I think it depends on what your training for? 50/100? 1000/1650/400Im? Very differant programs.

I also think its a VERY individual thing...both mentally and physically. My training is almost exactly the same as what Alan describes (Alan.....have you been "scouting" me?! :) )......I try and use my time in the pool with an emphasis on quality and rely on a spin bike for my "yardage" if you will....

Either way I encourage people to step out of their comfort zones and try something differant from time to time.....Fortress, maybe you want to join John, myself and Rich Saeger for one of the next nationals when we'll all become breaststrokers?! Hey....at the least it would be some good humor and interesting beer bets!!

SwimStud
December 31st, 2006, 06:30 PM
Allen- no way- you should be pounding those knees all year. You should also take up all forms of extreme sports as well...

Ha ha ha:laugh2:
Peter Cruise: He don't say much, but when he does...

I reckon my freestyle is extreme...extremely bad!

islandsox
December 31st, 2006, 09:29 PM
I, too, think it may depend on what the swim event will be and how far out the timeframe is for one to train to be competitive at the Nationals. I believe that Nationals usually start in May (?) and run through the summer. I know that many Masters clubs have the season kick-off swims such as the Pacifica Relays in northern California in early February.

I think that in those early months in the winter, a swimmer (especially if they have been out of the water for a bit), would do well with 75% long swims working on turns and technique but still on the clock. This will build a good baseline aerobic base. But as the swim event gets closer, say March 1 at latest, they absolutely have to turn their attention to faster swims and shorter distances to train both their anaerobic base and the slightly higher stroke turnover to coincide with the aerobic base (minimum of 50/50). A swimmer needs both both energy systems finely tuned. Like George said; to swim fast you have to train fast. Race-pace training is a wonderful tool. It is certainly better to emulate fast swimming in training so there are no physical surprises during a swim event. This gives a swimmer an opportunity to get used to it all and either how good or bad it may feel on race day. But "power swims" always use a swimmer up 100%, but within a few minutes, Voila, they are recovered and elated.

In my past, I would swim 1000 yds, 500's, 400's to build aerobic/endurance. I would then start swimming pyramids, descending sets, race-pace work (4 or 6 50's; 4 or 6 100's, etc., etc.) and sprint sets.

And a swimmer can maintain good technique even in those shorter, more-fast sets; things might have to tighten up a bit, but it is doable and better to do it in practice, than on the day of the event. And if none of the above works, start mix and matching all kinds of sets; there will be great benefit from them regardless of the order.

Now I will have to take my own advice here as I start seriously training within the next couple of weeks. I hope I am not waaaa'ing to yall too much in the next couple of months!!!:p I'll try not to!!!

Donna

The Fortress
December 31st, 2006, 09:35 PM
[/quote]Fortress, maybe you want to join John, myself and Rich Saeger for one of the next nationals when we'll all become breaststrokers?! Hey....at the least it would be some good humor and interesting beer bets!![/quote]

Paul:

You spin your extra yardage, and I run it. I guess you, Allen and I are largely in the same sprinter-type speedboat, except when you shift to middle distance events than you have to train more than us.

I guess you didn't read the "Why do masters swimmers hate breaststroke thread." :rofl: I actually signed up for the 50 breast at SCY Nats last May having made cuts. I thought it would be a good warm up, but decided to sleep in instead. My fly/back events were the better for it, I believe. If Allen could teach me breaststroke my 100 IM might be even remotely evenly split .... Evil-GoodSmith must be really bored these days if all he does is freestyle.

Scott:

Welcome to the forum! I've listened to your podcasts. Gull, the originator of the designated topic is a middle distance freestyler. I am a whimpy sprinter focusing on 50s and 100s especially fly/back. I suspect you know about Paul and Allen.

KaizenSwimmer
January 1st, 2007, 07:10 AM
That leaves about 7 wk. per year when I focus on endurance and rehabing my shoulders and knees.

That gets it about right. Physiologists say that, for a trained athlete (not a formerly sedentary one), it takes about eight weeks of training to build aerobic conditioning sufficient to support the more performance-related training that will follow it. After that you can't move the needle on aerobic fitness very much. So the question becomes, what is the role of aerobic training after that point.

Jonty Skinner wrote, in a 2003 article in American Swimming mag that the most important function of aerobic training thereafter was to assist in restoration/recovery from the physical stresses of more intense training.

This suggests that one should be mindful of doing those sets in such a way that they do promote recovery and don't compromise your readiness to do the more race-specific training properly.

poolraat
January 1st, 2007, 10:54 AM
I have 18 weeks (+ taper) to prepare for nationals. Any suggestions on how much endurance/speed work I should do? How much time should I spend on stroke work? I borrow the workouts from the workout site and modify them to fit my needs.

Paul Smith
January 1st, 2007, 01:04 PM
Poolrat......we need some more details:

- what events? current best times for them?
- racing how many events over how many days?
- your age?
- base intervals & times able to hold for a set of "10 pace" 50's and "10 pace 100's"

Allen Stark
January 1st, 2007, 01:27 PM
Paul,yes I've been scouting you ,I want to be just like you when I grow up.LOL

poolraat
January 1st, 2007, 01:52 PM
Poolrat......we need some more details:

- what events? current best times for them?
- racing how many events over how many days?
- your age?
- base intervals & times able to hold for a set of "10 pace" 50's and "10 pace 100's"

Paul,
I'll be 55 next month.
50's & 100's in free, back & fly. Looking at the schedule it's 2 events /day over 3 days. I'll pm my times. As far as base intervals, I'm a bit out of shape now b/c my pool has been closed since the 1st week of Dec and won't reopen until next Monday.
The last "test set" I did was 20 x 75...53-54 on 2:00 (In mid Nov).
When I'm in good shape I'll hold 100's at 1:15 on 1:45, 50's at 35 on 55. (free, other strokes slower w/ more rest)
Since I workout alone, I'm sure I don't swim nearly as fast as I would with a group but the nearest master's group is ove 200 miles from me and the local age group team swims while I'm at work.

Caped Crusader
January 1st, 2007, 03:07 PM
From a 2005 issue of Splash magazine regarding Eric Vendt.

Training for Endurance:

When training for the mile, endurance is key. Vendt uses endurance as his building blocks and also focuses on stroke work to help his 400 IM, the event in which he has won two Olympic silver medals. These days, he trains 50 percent endurance and 50 percent stroke work. He doesn’t want to give up too much distance training because that’s where he gets his strength for the back end of the IM.

Vendt says that in switching strokes in the IM, you need to have easy speed, great endurance and good racing sense. He likes to make his move towards the end of the race and prides himself on having the fastest last 200 in the world.

“I've always believed that if I was even with someone with a 100 to go, I would win,” Vendt says. “That sense of confidence comes from years of training endurance.”

Vendt’s favorite sets:
1.) 500 free @ 5:00 and 400 IM @ 5:00. Repeat the set five times, make the free interval, descend the IMs (Vendt went a 3:44 on the last 400 IM).

2.) 30 x 1000's @ 10:30 (Yes, you read that right). For the first 16 repeats, Vendt held his time under 10 minutes, but then fell apart physically and mentally. He found his way back, and on the last one, he went a 9:58.

Paul Smith
January 1st, 2007, 04:03 PM
Allen.....I figured as much....now that you know the Fortress, John & I are going to become breaststrokers your shaking in your speedo!! :rofl:

Poolrat....got your info and sent a reply.....one thing I suggested was to "poach" from Ande's blog....he's training with more of an emphasis on the 50/100 this year.....back to his roots as evil-smith says!

Taper longer than 10 days however.....I'm 47 and needed all of the 3 weeks I took going into worlds this year to get back the "snap" and have fresh legs!

poolraat
January 1st, 2007, 04:23 PM
Poolrat....got your info and sent a reply.....one thing I suggested was to "poach" from Ande's blog....he's training with more of an emphasis on the 50/100 this year.....back to his roots as evil-smith says!

Taper longer than 10 days however.....I'm 47 and needed all of the 3 weeks I took going into worlds this year to get back the "snap" and have fresh legs!

Got your message. Thanks Paul.

Caped Crusader
January 1st, 2007, 10:08 PM
That gets it about right. Physiologists say that, for a trained athlete (not a formerly sedentary one), it takes about eight weeks of training to build aerobic conditioning sufficient to support the more performance-related training that will follow it. After that you can't move the needle on aerobic fitness very much. So the question becomes, what is the role of aerobic training after that point.

This suggests that one should be mindful of doing those sets in such a way that they do promote recovery and don't compromise your readiness to do the more race-specific training properly.

7 weeks might be right for Allen; he's a sprinter. But what about distance swimmers like yourself and others (like me). Paul says we need a very different program.

islandsox
January 1st, 2007, 10:35 PM
I'm sorry, I don't understand why a swimmer has to constantly be mindful. Doesn't it ever become natural? Natural is so much better. And I know this may take more time for some, but come'on, let the mind go and let the body take over. The swimming experience might actually become a pleasant sensation if it is not so over-analyzed if the swimmer has been working on stroke mechanics. It can't be very pleasant if a swimmer is constantly "mindful", nor very natural at all. If a swimmer has learned the stroke mechanics needed to help them, and have drilled themselves to oblivion, let it go and give it a try without thinking about it. Pleasurable swimming with drills that have been engrained, well, let your body do what has been taught; don't think about it so much. Good grief.

Donna

chaos
January 1st, 2007, 11:03 PM
I'm sorry, I don't understand why a swimmer has to constantly be mindful. Doesn't it ever become natural? Natural is so much better. And I know this may take more time for some, but come'on, let the mind go and let the body take over. The swimming experience might actually become a pleasant sensation if it is not so over-analyzed if the swimmer has been working on stroke mechanics. It can't be very pleasant if a swimmer is constantly "mindful", nor very natural at all. If a swimmer has learned the stroke mechanics needed to help them, and have drilled themselves to oblivion, let it go and give it a try without thinking about it. Pleasurable swimming with drills that have been engrained, well, let your body do what has been taught; don't think about it so much. Good grief.

Donna
Now I will try to respond in a friendly, non-confrontational, kinder/gentler 2007 way.
If someone has achieved total satisfaction with their technique, and believes that thinking about it all the time is unpleasant; I would say that person is truly blessed. I on the other hand, if I am fortunate to live to 100, would be happy to consider myself a student of human aquatic propulsion to my last day.
Others talk about a song they need to think about while engaged in a long swim to help pass the time. When I am swimming, its what I want to be doing, so thinking about is not a drag. Thats not to say that I don't notice the non-stroke related details: sunrise, sunset, sea-life, etc. I guess we all need to find the joy of it in our own way.

The Fortress
January 1st, 2007, 11:52 PM
Now I will try to respond in a friendly, non-confrontational, kinder/gentler 2007 way.
If someone has achieved total satisfaction with their technique, and believes that thinking about it all the time is unpleasant; I would say that person is truly blessed. I on the other hand, if I am fortunate to live to 100, would be happy to consider myself a student of human aquatic propulsion to my last day.
Others talk about a song they need to think about while engaged in a long swim to help pass the time. When I am swimming, its what I want to be doing, so thinking about is not a drag. Thats not to say that I don't notice the non-stroke related details: sunrise, sunset, sea-life, etc. I guess we all need to find the joy of it in our own way.

Dave:

2007. Yes, what happened to the champagne? I think Donna was responding to a comment from Terry, not you. I'm just going to comment on your comment.

Who wants to think about something 24/7? You need a change of topic occasionally. Or a mental break. Or perhaps "pleasure." After all, as Paul points out, we are just masters swimmers and need to have a life.

Maybe Donna was just objecting to the word "mindful," which we have heard a lot lately. There are other equally apt synonyms that might break up the linguistic monotony. I myself enjoy Peter's purple prose.

I also think, after intensive drilling, something can become "natural." Don't you, honestly? Isn't that the point of doing the drills, to instill muscle memory? While you're looking at the sunset and not necessarily being "mindful," I bet your stroke is lovely. I think your "intense focus" on swimming will ensure that. Plus, you don't want to be focusing on stroke technique during a race. It should be second nature by then.

I personally use my ipod whenever I run. I don't need a break from "pain," which is a word you TI guys vociferously object to. (So you shouldn't mind a return comment on "mindful.") My ipod songs just give me a nice rhythm and I get in a groove. (I think there's a recent study actually on the fact that songs can increase/enhance the quality and intensity of exercise.) And it puts a smile on my face as I'm enjoying the day (or the sun, rain, cold, frost) on my run. I can't use an MP3 in the water. I already have wandering mind problems and have trouble keeping track of lengths over 200 or so ... I try to be "mindful," and I do a lot of drills, but I too prefer a different word than "mindful," which has become a tad over familiar and cliche. Do you have a new word?

Allen Stark
January 2nd, 2007, 02:03 AM
Obviously somethings that work for one person don't work for another. I think I was the one to first use mindful in the forums and I'm certainly not TI. I enjoy trying to think about what I'm doing pretty much all the time when I swim.If what you are doing works for you keep it up. If it's getting stale or you've reached a plateau try something else.
Paul I am spying on you to learn how to sprint free since everyone is changing to breaststroke now.

Allen Stark
January 2nd, 2007, 02:29 AM
I've been thinking some more about the mindful question. I do relatively short sprint/breaststroke oriented workouts. Before my wife got into Martial Arts she used to love distance swimming.She said she got into a reverie and found it very relaxing. Anytime I do over a 400 I find it boring. Different strokes for different folks.

chaos
January 2nd, 2007, 08:09 AM
Dave:
I can't use an MP3 in the water. I already have wandering mind problems and have trouble keeping track of lengths over 200 or so ... I try to be "mindful," and I do a lot of drills, but I too prefer a different word than "mindful," which has become a tad over familiar and cliche. Do you have a new word?

How about focused? Present? In the moment?............too zen?

dorothyrde
January 2nd, 2007, 08:15 AM
I think it is easier to not have to think about what you are doing in the water if you start at a younger age. When starting as an adult, nothing is natural, water is a very foreign element. I find if I don't think about what I am doing every minute in the water, then things go downhill fast. How do I know? Because I don't think about what I am doing in the water every minute!

Anyway, this thread is about endurance training and building up to nationals in 18 weeks.....back to topic.

The Fortress
January 2nd, 2007, 08:42 AM
How about focused? Present? In the moment?............too zen?

He, he, he. Are you guys doing mindful yoga up there in New Paltz too? I guess "focus" or "concentrate" is OK. Just change it up a bit;constantly being told to be "mindful" is a bit preachy to my ears that's all. "In the moment" is kinda "zen" for me, I'm guess. Is "zen" a TI word too? I know "art" is. Different strokes for different folks, as Allen said.

I see the benefits of zen, and I'm sure I'd live longer if I was more zen and meditated more, but I'm generally too hyper. I sure wish I could be more "zen" amidst chaotic traffic, which I'm about to go encounter on the way to my allergy shot ...:coffee: I will try to "focus" on my stroke mechanics a bit while I am doing a bit more endurance work this afternoon. I'm sure my mechanics have gone to hell this last month. And since I'm supposed to be working on breaststroke, I'll have to really focus or I'll go so slow that I fall asleep ... I'm going to break out my new monofin too, so I'll have to concentrate on that. I'll probably be exhausted after all this intense focus ....

I would just like to add that I do have a book on ashtanga yoga and have been known to do poses around the house to the great amusement of my children. However, they are not more flexible than me, so I do not take much crap.

poolraat
January 2nd, 2007, 12:06 PM
I find that for me, I need to be "mindful" or "focused" (or whatever word you want to apply) while I swim or my stroke gets sloppy. But I don't have a lot of years of swimming experience to imprint the proper stroke mechanics. In fact, I sometimes think I'm more like the age group swimmer that started at 6 or 7 and going into the teen years is just starting to "come around". Perhaps that's why my 14 yr old son and I are at about the same level, since we started together.

slowfish
January 2nd, 2007, 01:19 PM
I'm a triathlete and my technique has much to be desired (see my other question on videos of real swimmers).

Given that my stroke is more correct when i swim sprints, would it make sense for me to spend my off season working on short fast stuff in the hopes that i could clean up my technique? Starting spring or summer, endurance is going to be more important for me since the swim's in the tris i'll be doing range from 800-1500 meters.

I'm just not sure if doing alot of endurance stuff is making me a stronger swimmer or just making me a really good bad swimmer.

thanks a bunch
slowfishie

Allen Stark
January 2nd, 2007, 01:35 PM
Slowfiish,since you aren't training to sprint I wouldn't recommend you sprint,but I would recommened you shorten your distance in your intervals.I'd say start with 50s at your "swim pretty" speed(the speed at which your stroke looks the best.) Make the interval some thing comfortable at first(on the min. on the 1:30 what ever works for you). Depending on your conditioning now do 1 0r 2 sets of 5-10. As that gets easier shorten the interval. When you can "swim pretty for a 100 start adding 100 sets. Then go to 200 sets. When you are doing 200s start trying to "swim pretty" faster. I think it is important to go a speed and distance so that you can keep good technique,but the more you practice the longer you can do that.

KaizenSwimmer
January 2nd, 2007, 01:46 PM
This suggests that one should be mindful of doing those sets in such a way that they do promote recovery and don't compromise your readiness to do the more race-specific training properly.

To a reader not quite so anxious to peevishly dissect any post I make, this would infer nothing zen at all, but a highly practical consciousness of adjusting effort, repeat length, etc so the training in question is restorative not fatiguing.

In my first 30 years of swimming I did too much training-to-train-more. My focus since age 50 has been training to race well. In recent years I've learned I need to be far more conscious of recovery-oriented training to be physically prepared for sets that simulate the stroke length and rate at which I'd like to race. That actually takes more discipline and restraint than does pushing myself.

To be more specific: I'd like to swim in the range of 5:30-11:30-19:00 for 500-1000-1650 free four months hence. Proving that I can push myself through a set of 5 x 500 on 6:45, descending 6:30 to 6:20 will do little to prepare me swim at those speeds. But cruising a longish set like that, in a non-fatiguing way at 13-14 SPL, on Tuesday night, could help me be ready for a set of 100s at 1:10 or under and 15SPL on Wed or Thurs night that trains the neural patterns it requires to swim my goal times.

As I do the 5 x 500 I'm not after aerobic conditioning. I'm thinking of physical recovery and further imprinting some small but critical skill -- perhaps a firm anchor with elbow slightly above wrist -- that I hope will hold up when my stroke rate and HR increase one or two nights later.

OR after doing the 5 x 500 one week I may conclude that 500 repeats compromise the recovery and imprinting and decide to skip the Masters workout on a subsequent Tuesday night (when we ALWAYS do 500s) and do a longish set of shorter repeats at mid-day. Mindfulness also means trying to use a rational process for managing one's physical efforts.

gull
January 2nd, 2007, 02:16 PM
How important do you think it is to try sets with the "shortest-fastest" intervals, something many of us did on a regular basis at one time?

Muppet
January 2nd, 2007, 02:19 PM
I utilize endurance training for both my sprints and my 500s... my feeling is that the longer you can swim at top speeds in practice, the easier those 50s and 100s will come in meets, especially the back half where you keep turning on the afterburners. And then applied to the 500, pick your pace and keep going fast! and then feel like the horse afterwards. :dedhorse:

slowfish
January 2nd, 2007, 02:21 PM
Thanks Allen,

That makes sense and the direction i have been starting to take. but i feared that my endurance was going to take a hit if i knocked out the longer yardage and swims (300s+). however given that my stroke gets pretty ugly at the end of long sets, i think i need to work my way up with a prettier stroke.

KaizenSwimmer
January 2nd, 2007, 03:59 PM
How important do you think it is to try sets with the "shortest-fastest" intervals, something many of us did on a regular basis at one time?

I enjoy such sets and find them useful for two different kinds of training. When doing a longish set of 100 repeats I find I do a better job by breaking them into rounds - i.e. 15 x 100 done as 5 rounds of 3 or 3 rounds of 5.

I give myself a better chance of rehearsing speed, SL, SR that I'd like to swim in the race if I try to maintain for a reasonable number of repeats. So it might be 5 rounds of 3 x 100 with the first 3 to 4 rounds at 1:20 and the final one or two on 1:15, with a 25 or 50 at recovery pace between rounds. I might swim the rounds on 1:20 at a lower SPL (14-15), and allow myself another stroke on the 1:15.

The other kind of training I enjoy on these is to see how easily I can sustain a continuous set of 12 to 15 or more 100s on 1:20, at a steady 1:14. But it's this kind of set about which I have to be careful in order to be ready to swim the 100s under 1:10. It's emotionally rewarding and endorphin-producing to complete the former set, but probably won't have a sufficiently restorative effect. For the next 10 to 12 weeks I'll prioritize my readiness to do race rehearsals.

KaizenSwimmer
January 2nd, 2007, 04:06 PM
i feared that my endurance was going to take a hit if i knocked out the longer yardage and swims (300s+). however given that my stroke gets pretty ugly at the end of long sets, i think i need to work my way up with a prettier stroke.

Consider defining swimming endurance as "Your ability to repeat effective swimming movements for a duration and intensity of your choosing." Guided by that definition you'll probably make different choices about how to build endurance.

Like you my primary goals are for open water swimming. I think a good deal about how I'd like my 1-mile to 5K races feel then try to replicate that feeling as much as possible in my training. Obviously I can only do that for briefer bouts than the race itself.

In triathlon swimming, your goal is to avoid fatigue and an elevated heart rate -- i.e. to "save heartbeats" for the bike and run. So your rehearsals for the swim leg should be aimed at maintaining the fastest non-fatigued pace you can. Will that be more likely to happen on 5 x 300 or on 5 rounds of 3 x 100, with brief rest within rounds and a bit more rest between rounds?

islandsox
January 2nd, 2007, 07:31 PM
In my first 30 years of swimming I did too much training-to-train-more. My focus since age 50 has been training to race well. In recent years I've learned I need to be far more conscious of recovery-oriented training to be physically prepared for sets that simulate the stroke length and rate at which I'd like to race. That actually takes more discipline and restraint than does pushing myself.

This is well and good, but it is mentioned from the point of view of a person over 50. Younger people can train much differently. Swimmers in their 20s and 30s and even 40s may not need to swim mindful with emphasis on restorative swims. They may have the physical capabilities to reach for the sky, so to speak. For many, not all, age becomes a factor so discipline is more important than being able to train as a younger swimmer might.

And to Slowfish, I have been swimming the one mile triathlon swim for, now, this will be my 6th year and I am almost 59. I never look at it as a one-mile swim, I break mine down into 4x400 swims and train accordingly. If a swimmer can do repeat 400s or even 200s relatively quickly with minimum rest, then the mile will more seem like a pleasant experience. But you have to train at lower yardage and higher intensity with rest, of course, to get there. Swimming a mile does not necessarily produce a fast mile. And when I had a great 800m free back in the Masters Nationals some 11 years ago or so, I had never swam the 800 free in total; I always broke it up into intervals.

So, I think and it is my opinion only, that endurance is necessary, but to produce a solid swim of a mile or less at a faster time, interval training is a must. A swimmer must get used to swimming fast in training because when race day comes about, they are better prepared if they choose to "take it out."

Donna

Caped Crusader
January 2nd, 2007, 09:35 PM
To a reader not quite so anxious to peevishly dissect any post I make, this would infer nothing zen at all, but a highly practical consciousness of adjusting effort, repeat length, etc so the training in question is restorative not fatiguing.

That's very peevish of you. I don't think Islandsox was trying to dissect your post. She was merely saying that some things come naturally after awhile. I believe they do and your recent post reflects that "imprinting" process.

Mindful: attentive, alert to, aware of, cognizant of, conscious of, heedul, observant of, vigilant, watchful, focused on, etc.

If you get real jazzed up, you can use hep to or plugged in.

I also agree with Allen's wife's use of "reverie." It's a nice peacful feeling when you get in the zone and just go. Great stress reliever.

Lots of variety in word choice.

Caped Crusader
January 2nd, 2007, 09:44 PM
And to Slowfish, I have been swimming the one mile triathlon swim for, now, this will be my 6th year and I am almost 59. I never look at it as a one-mile swim, I break mine down into 4x400 swims and train accordingly. If a swimmer can do repeat 400s or even 200s relatively quickly with minimum rest, then the mile will more seem like a pleasant experience. But you have to train at lower yardage and higher intensity with rest, of course, to get there. Swimming a mile does not necessarily produce a fast mile. And when I had a great 800m free back in the Masters Nationals some 11 years ago or so, I had never swam the 800 free in total; I always broke it up into intervals.

So, I think and it is my opinion only, that endurance is necessary, but to produce a solid swim of a mile or less at a faster time, interval training is a must. A swimmer must get used to swimming fast in training because when race day comes about, they are better prepared if they choose to "take it out."Donna

This is good advice. Most tris work on their swimming a lot in the off-season. Good time to work on technique and build some endurance because, come spring, swimming usually gets the back burner. If you can't do longer swims/intervals without stroke difficulties, start with the sets of 200s or so that Allen recommends. When your start to improve, you can do longer intervals/sets and then gradually knock down the interval time and pick up speed. At some point, you might want to do a benchmark swim at your target distance of 800 or 1500. Then go back to the interval training and take aim at your benchmark again.

KaizenSwimmer
January 3rd, 2007, 07:00 AM
Younger people can train much differently. Swimmers in their 20s and 30s and even 40s may not need to swim mindful with emphasis on restorative swims. They may have the physical capabilities to reach for the sky, so to speak.

The article I referenced in making this comment was written by Jonty Skinner and directly primarily at the coaches of USA swimmers in their teens and 20s. Because their ability to stress the body through workloads and work intensities is proportionately higher than that of a 50 y.o. their need for restoration will be directly proportional to their capacity to create stress.

What is different is their resiliency allows them to bounce back more quickly from stress than a 50 y.o.. It doesn't eliminate the need for restoration.

KaizenSwimmer
January 3rd, 2007, 07:02 AM
That's very peevish of you. I don't think Islandsox was trying to dissect your post.

Point made, thank you very much. I wasn't referring to Islandsox. Another poster referred to my word choice as preachy.

The Fortress
January 3rd, 2007, 07:39 AM
Point made, thank you very much. I wasn't referring to Islandsox. Another poster referred to my word choice as preachy.

That must have been me, then. But I was responding to a post by Dave in response to a post by Islandsox, not to a post by you. There was no "dissection" going on. You gotta lighten up!! I said to Dave jokingly:

He, he, he. Are you guys doing mindful yoga up there in New Paltz too? I guess "focus" or "concentrate" is OK. Just change it up a bit;constantly being told to be "mindful" is a bit preachy to my ears that's all. "In the moment" is kinda "zen" for me, I'm guess. Is "zen" a TI word too? I know "art" is. Different strokes for different folks, as Allen said.

I see the benefits of zen, and I'm sure I'd live longer if I was more zen and meditated more, but I'm generally too hyper. I sure wish I could be more "zen" amidst chaotic traffic, which I'm about to go encounter on the way to my allergy shot ...:coffee: I will try to "focus" on my stroke mechanics a bit while I am doing a bit more endurance work this afternoon. I'm sure my mechanics have gone to hell this last month. And since I'm supposed to be working on breaststroke, I'll have to really focus or I'll go so slow that I fall asleep ... I'm going to break out my new monofin too, so I'll have to concentrate on that. I'll probably be exhausted after all this intense focus ....

I would just like to add that I do have a book on ashtanga yoga and have been known to do poses around the house to the great amusement of my children. However, they are not more flexible than me, so I do not take much crap.

That doesn't sound all that peevish to me. I saw the benefits of "zen." I owned up to owning a yoga book. In fact, I was really poking fun at myself regarding my recent poor training and my sub-par breaststroke. The only posts of yours that I recall having dissected are when you (1) make incorrect statements regarding the origin of shoulder injuries, or (2) peevishly call sprinters "turners" instead of "swimmers." I can't really dissect your endurance posts, as I am not a distance swimmer. I can only ask questions ... In fact, I agree that trying to use a rational process for managing one's physical efforts is good. Poking fun at your word choice is just forum humor, inane though it may be.

Maybe a joke is called for. Here a good one. You'll especially like the first part ...

Laws of Competitive Swimming
UNIVERSAL LAWS AFFECTING COMPETITIVE SWIMMERS
(much like Sir Isaac Newton’s laws of motion)
*Law of Competitive Gravity*
When left unattended, a swimmer will gravitate to the worst technique possible.
*Law of Inertia*
A swimmer at rest will tend to remain at rest unless acted upon by an outside force. A swimmer in motion will tend to rest as soon as possible unless acted upon by an outside force.
*Conservation of Matter*
Matter or Mass can neither be created nor destroyed, except by 11-18 year old females, when it can magically appear in the most inopportune places and quantities imaginable.
*Opposition Principle*
When asked to kick rapidly, swimmers tend not to; when told not to kick, swimmers tend to kick rapidly.
*Space, Time Continuum*
When swimming Breaststroke or Butterfly in practice, swimmers hands are attracted to the turning wall, each hand at a different speed, at different times, at different points not in the same plane.
*Laws of Acceleration & Momentum*
The law of acceleration may only apply for 3 minutes after coach reminds swimmer it is important, then the law of Momentum becomes dominant soon to be replaced by the law of Inertia.
*Law of Static Levels*
Swimmers will automatically seek their own comfort level and tend to attract others to so the same.
* Mind over Matter*
The mind can overcome many obstacles during competition but the same does not usually apply during practices.
*Law of Finite Attraction*
Even after carefully explaining the efficiency and effectiveness of an ideal stroke rate, within 3 minutes swimmer will invariably lose the ability to count strokes and think about any related concept. See similar anomaly under Law of Acceleration.
* Relativity *
The position of the swimmer’s body in relation to the position it is supposed to be in, may vary up to +or- 100%.
*Vertical and Horizontal Telemetry *
When rotated 90 degrees from the vertical to supine or sublime position, the brain loses most of its ability to function.
*Historical Principle of Babylon*
Within 3 minutes of the start of coach speaking, the swimmers begin hearing unrecognizable tongues. See similar anomaly under Law of Finite Attraction.
*Fluid Mechanics*
The amount of fluids the bladder can retain is directly proportional to the difficulty of the middle of the current practice set. The same principle seems to apply to ripping caps and broken goggle straps, but no scientific evidence connecting the 3 has been documented.

Caped Crusader
January 3rd, 2007, 08:53 AM
thank you very much.

You're welcome.

Is 5 x 500 really a recovery set? Seems like a lot of yardage to me.

Caped Crusader
January 3rd, 2007, 08:58 AM
T*Law of Finite Attraction*
Even after carefully explaining the efficiency and effectiveness of an ideal stroke rate, within 3 minutes swimmer will invariably lose the ability to count strokes and think about any related concept. See similar anomaly under Law of Acceleration.

Good joke, Fortress. Good response too. People tend to get testy when they're dissed. Better to make light of it if possible. Sometimes it's not, of course. I bet your shoulders are hurting just reading about those 5 x 500s of "recovery." And you didn't even mention them ... decent of you. :rofl: (There, I even used an emoticon.)

The above joke explains why one should seek the open water. No counting.

islandsox
January 3rd, 2007, 09:02 AM
To be more specific: I'd like to swim in the range of 5:30-11:30-19:00 for 500-1000-1650 free four months hence. Proving that I can push myself through a set of 5 x 500 on 6:45, descending 6:30 to 6:20 will do little to prepare me swim at those speeds. But cruising a longish set like that, in a non-fatiguing way at 13-14 SPL, on Tuesday night, could help me be ready for a set of 100s at 1:10 or under and 15SPL on Wed or Thurs night that trains the neural patterns it requires to swim my goal times.

As I do the 5 x 500 I'm not after aerobic conditioning. I'm thinking of physical recovery and further imprinting some small but critical skill -- perhaps a firm anchor with elbow slightly above wrist -- that I hope will hold up when my stroke rate and HR increase one or two nights later.

OR after doing the 5 x 500 one week I may conclude that 500 repeats compromise the recovery and imprinting

First, I want to commend you on the goals you have set for the distances above. What I would like to know is why you don't think that pushing yourself on 6:45 with descending times of 6:30 and 6:20, would not benefit your 500? Isn't the objective to swim it faster but with more comfort, so wouldn't working it harder eventually provide that for you? As we work harder, would it not make sense that it won't feel or be as difficult to reach 6:30 and 6:20? And how would you then train to reach these times if you choose to not push yourself through them? If you have a magic bullet, please share.

And one more question if you don't mind: what is restorative/recovery about 5x500s? That seems a bit like an oxymoron to me for that is 2,500 yards of more shoulder roation (extra volume), unless a swimmer is swimming an average of 10,000 yds a day, only then would 5x500s be recovery and that is even a stretch.

Thanks,
Donna

Muppet
January 3rd, 2007, 11:12 AM
OR after doing the 5 x 500 one week I may conclude that 500 repeats compromise the recovery and imprinting and decide to skip the Masters workout on a subsequent Tuesday night (when we ALWAYS do 500s) and do a longish set of shorter repeats at mid-day.

Why would anyone want to skip 5x500? That's My kind of set!!!

:banana: :banana:

Muppet
January 3rd, 2007, 11:14 AM
The above joke explains why one should seek the open water. No counting.

Amen, brother. Its one lap, baby!

Speaking of open water, I just registered for the Chesapeake Bay 4.4 mi Swim Lottery. Here's hoping I get in!

Allen Stark
January 3rd, 2007, 11:18 AM
50 LCM also involves no counting(unless you're counting strokes) and is a lot more fun IMHO.

The Fortress
January 3rd, 2007, 11:29 AM
Amen, brother. Its one lap, baby!

Speaking of open water, I just registered for the Chesapeake Bay 4.4 mi Swim Lottery. Here's hoping I get in!


Muppet:

Good luck getting in! Those 5 x 500 sets will help you in the OW! Does everyone automatically get into the 1 mile race?

Allen:

50 LC is my favorite race too!! Then you don't have to count or turn. :agree: You just swim fast.

KaizenSwimmer
January 3rd, 2007, 11:47 AM
Is 5 x 500 really a recovery set? Seems like a lot of yardage to me.

The situation is this. On Tuesday nights our Masters group does 5 x 500. It wouldn't be my choice to repeat this week after week. To avoid its potential for monotony I've done it many different ways, often making it an exercise in SPL control, in pace control to develop "clock in the head" etc, or simply to imprint some aspect of technique.

For a number of years it didn't impede me from the goals I was pursuing because I made steady progress in:
1) lowering my repeat times
2) lowering my intervals
3) reducing the difference between repeat #1 and #5 in a descending set.

My racing goals were relatively modest and this training was sufficient to help me progress toward them.

Last year and this, I significantly raised my sights, and the kind of swimming I'm capable of on this set doesn't always relate to my current goals.

In several posts I've referenced an article Jonty Skinner wrote three years ago for American Swimmer mag (ASCA pub). He wrote mainly about the 100m Free, but was making a point I think applies pretty well to longer events too. His point was mainly that cardio conditioning has far less to do with what happens on race day than neural conditioning but most swimmers train as if cardio was the difference maker.

He referenced the 400m in Track and Field as a comparison to the 100m in swimming. While the two events use identical energy systems, T&F training is radically different. They spend a much greater percentage of training time replicating the neural programs used in the race and -- after a base phase of 8 weeks or so -- use their aerobic conditioning mainly to promote restoration for the race-replicating stuff. He points out that aerobic conditioning changes little in a trained athlete beyond the first 8 weeks of stimulus in a new season.

To quote Skinner: "Just training 'hard' won't cut it; training should be very rate (neural) oriented and complement the exact neural function athletes wish to achieve in competition. The athlete should be primed to train the exact neural function without having to shed any lasting fatigue from the cardiovascular loading period. Cardiovascular loading shouldn't be at a level that compromises technique and efficiency."

Reading this made me take stock of how I trained -- specifically to question the sets that felt good emotionally (i.e. validating my ability to "tough out" challenging sets) and endorphinally -- but fall far short of the speeds at which I hope to race. Unquestionably I get satisfaction from descending a set of 5 x 500 on 6:45 from 6:30 to 6:20, but the motor recruitment patterns occurring at that speed aren't close enuf to the patterns needed to put together a string of three 5:45s in a 1650.

Some swimmers think they can condition their way to a faster time. My thinking is more aligned with Jonty's.

And if doing that set leaves residual fatigue that keeps me from the neurally specific training I might wish to do the next night, then it's done me more harm than good. If my Masters coach persists in giving that set each Tuesday night I need to evaluate whether and how I do it. Some weeks I might decide I can find a way to do it that produces some benefit. Other weeks, it won't fit into my plan.

geochuck
January 3rd, 2007, 12:04 PM
I like 5x25mx8 gives me a little over 1000m. Thats the max for me.

Caped Crusader
January 3rd, 2007, 12:21 PM
TTo quote Skinner: "Just training 'hard' won't cut it; training should be very rate (neural) oriented and complement the exact neural function athletes wish to achieve in competition. The athlete should be primed to train the exact neural function without having to shed any lasting fatigue from the cardiovascular loading period. Cardiovascular loading shouldn't be at a level that compromises technique and efficiency."

Yes, this makes some sense. I've also seen neural training discussed at www.xtri.com/article-p.asp?id=277 (http://www.xtri.com/article-p.asp?id=277)

gull
January 3rd, 2007, 12:48 PM
Is 5 x 500 really a recovery set?

It can be--it depends on how you swim it.

Terry's point, which is a good one, is that it's very difficult to swim race pace 500s in practice. And if your recovery sets are too fast, you'll be depleted going into the race pace sets.

KaizenSwimmer
January 3rd, 2007, 03:45 PM
And if your recovery sets are too fast, you'll be depleted going into the race pace sets.

I should submit my wordy posts to you for editing before submission.
Well and succinctly said.
And shorter repeats can be more restorative than longer ones.

KaizenSwimmer
January 3rd, 2007, 03:46 PM
it's very difficult to swim race pace 500s in practice.

Though if the race is sufficiently long, it could work: 5-10K, Hour Swim, MIMS, English Channel.

Peter Cruise
January 3rd, 2007, 04:12 PM
Leslie- the 'Laws' post is already a big contender for most creative for 2007. Bravo!

A well-designed workout should be a coach's symphony. Any part of that workout that prevents the rest of the symphony from being swum as designed renders the balance as just so much noise.

FlyQueen
January 3rd, 2007, 04:21 PM
That must have been me, then. But I was responding to a post by Dave in response to a post by Islandsox, not to a post by you. There was no "dissection" going on. You gotta lighten up!! I said to Dave jokingly:

He, he, he. Are you guys doing mindful yoga up there in New Paltz too? I guess "focus" or "concentrate" is OK. Just change it up a bit;constantly being told to be "mindful" is a bit preachy to my ears that's all. "In the moment" is kinda "zen" for me, I'm guess. Is "zen" a TI word too? I know "art" is. Different strokes for different folks, as Allen said.

I see the benefits of zen, and I'm sure I'd live longer if I was more zen and meditated more, but I'm generally too hyper. I sure wish I could be more "zen" amidst chaotic traffic, which I'm about to go encounter on the way to my allergy shot ...:coffee: I will try to "focus" on my stroke mechanics a bit while I am doing a bit more endurance work this afternoon. I'm sure my mechanics have gone to hell this last month. And since I'm supposed to be working on breaststroke, I'll have to really focus or I'll go so slow that I fall asleep ... I'm going to break out my new monofin too, so I'll have to concentrate on that. I'll probably be exhausted after all this intense focus ....

I would just like to add that I do have a book on ashtanga yoga and have been known to do poses around the house to the great amusement of my children. However, they are not more flexible than me, so I do not take much crap.

That doesn't sound all that peevish to me. I saw the benefits of "zen." I owned up to owning a yoga book. In fact, I was really poking fun at myself regarding my recent poor training and my sub-par breaststroke. The only posts of yours that I recall having dissected are when you (1) make incorrect statements regarding the origin of shoulder injuries, or (2) peevishly call sprinters "turners" instead of "swimmers." I can't really dissect your endurance posts, as I am not a distance swimmer. I can only ask questions ... In fact, I agree that trying to use a rational process for managing one's physical efforts is good. Poking fun at your word choice is just forum humor, inane though it may be.

Maybe a joke is called for. Here a good one. You'll especially like the first part ...

Laws of Competitive Swimming
UNIVERSAL LAWS AFFECTING COMPETITIVE SWIMMERS
(much like Sir Isaac Newton’s laws of motion)
*Law of Competitive Gravity*
When left unattended, a swimmer will gravitate to the worst technique possible.
*Law of Inertia*
A swimmer at rest will tend to remain at rest unless acted upon by an outside force. A swimmer in motion will tend to rest as soon as possible unless acted upon by an outside force.
*Conservation of Matter*
Matter or Mass can neither be created nor destroyed, except by 11-18 year old females, when it can magically appear in the most inopportune places and quantities imaginable.
*Opposition Principle*
When asked to kick rapidly, swimmers tend not to; when told not to kick, swimmers tend to kick rapidly.
*Space, Time Continuum*
When swimming Breaststroke or Butterfly in practice, swimmers hands are attracted to the turning wall, each hand at a different speed, at different times, at different points not in the same plane.
*Laws of Acceleration & Momentum*
The law of acceleration may only apply for 3 minutes after coach reminds swimmer it is important, then the law of Momentum becomes dominant soon to be replaced by the law of Inertia.
*Law of Static Levels*
Swimmers will automatically seek their own comfort level and tend to attract others to so the same.
* Mind over Matter*
The mind can overcome many obstacles during competition but the same does not usually apply during practices.
*Law of Finite Attraction*
Even after carefully explaining the efficiency and effectiveness of an ideal stroke rate, within 3 minutes swimmer will invariably lose the ability to count strokes and think about any related concept. See similar anomaly under Law of Acceleration.
* Relativity *
The position of the swimmer’s body in relation to the position it is supposed to be in, may vary up to +or- 100%.
*Vertical and Horizontal Telemetry *
When rotated 90 degrees from the vertical to supine or sublime position, the brain loses most of its ability to function.
*Historical Principle of Babylon*
Within 3 minutes of the start of coach speaking, the swimmers begin hearing unrecognizable tongues. See similar anomaly under Law of Finite Attraction.
*Fluid Mechanics*
The amount of fluids the bladder can retain is directly proportional to the difficulty of the middle of the current practice set. The same principle seems to apply to ripping caps and broken goggle straps, but no scientific evidence connecting the 3 has been documented.


This is my favorite post EVER! Seriously, fantastic! :woot: I'm copying it and showing it to my teammates, if that is alright, I promise to cite it appropriately ...

islandsox
January 3rd, 2007, 04:37 PM
I like this one the best:

"*Vertical and Horizontal Telemetry *
When rotated 90 degrees from the vertical to supine or sublime position, the brain loses most of its ability to function."

Just goes to prove that mindful and neural is hard to do and it is especially hard to do using Kilmartin's 4-stroke theory on free.:rofl:

Donna

The Fortress
January 3rd, 2007, 06:55 PM
I should submit my wordy posts to you for editing before submission.
Well and succinctly said.
And shorter repeats can be more restorative than longer ones.

I agree with absolutely every little thing that you said. ;)


Hey guys: Thanks for the kudos regarding "The Laws," but I cannot claim authorship. Darn. It's just in my email joke bag. I just though it was a good one. Shows what slugs we can all be ...

islandsox
January 3rd, 2007, 09:26 PM
He referenced the 400m in Track and Field as a comparison to the 100m in swimming. While the two events use identical energy systems, T&F training is radically different. They spend a much greater percentage of training time replicating the neural programs used in the race and -- after a base phase of 8 weeks or so -- use their aerobic conditioning mainly to promote restoration for the race-replicating stuff. He points out that aerobic conditioning changes little in a trained athlete beyond the first 8 weeks of stimulus in a new season.

To quote Skinner: "Just training 'hard' won't cut it; training should be very rate (neural) oriented and complement the exact neural function athletes wish to achieve in competition. The athlete should be primed to train the exact neural function without having to shed any lasting fatigue from the cardiovascular loading period. Cardiovascular loading shouldn't be at a level that compromises technique and efficiency."

Reading this made me take stock of how I trained -- specifically to question the sets that felt good emotionally (i.e. validating my ability to "tough out" challenging sets) and endorphinally -- but fall far short of the speeds at which I hope to race. Unquestionably I get satisfaction from descending a set of 5 x 500 on 6:45 from 6:30 to 6:20, but the motor recruitment patterns occurring at that speed aren't close enuf to the patterns needed to put together a string of three 5:45s in a 1650.

Some swimmers think they can condition their way to a faster time. My thinking is more aligned with Jonty's.

I will first say that I do believe that we all agree technique and hard training is the best way to achieve faster swim times. And, I don't know of any swimmers who think they can condition their way to a faster time; at least I have never met any. So maybe "some" is a handful.

Serious interval training enables a swimmer to chart improvement but more importantly, it develops sense of pace and with a sharp sense of pace (a built-in speedometer so to speak), a swimmer can guage the speed they are traveling at any point in a race. Without it, you can't be sure of yourself or your strategy in tough competition.

Swimming hard for 100 meters is like running fast for a quarter of a mile, and it requires an endurance that has been carefully built up over a long period of time, not 8 weeks. In training, probably the most important single factor is building endurance to sustain race day.

I am worried that people may think that recovery repeat 500s = endurance. I think that higher intensity interval training 500s= endurance and/or shorter distance repeats: those 100s, 50s, 200s, etc.

Like I had mentioned several threads ago, all these studies even by Champions seem to be in great disagreement with one another and I would just hate to see a new fad begin based on study after study after study which is primarily opinion even if they are being written by people in the field of biomechanics. I took a look at some of the tests, and was shocked that one of them was for 1.07 meters. Sometimes, this reminds me of the Apollo 13 Nasa mission and they had all these life-threatening problems, one after the other, and all of those scientists had answers on paper, but had not tried them.

My bottom line is: no junk yardage, good technique, don't need mindful swimming, intensity interval sets, and some very long swims each week. And I truly believe based on experience, that a swimmer who pushes past the pain barrier, well it is right there that separate the great competitors. No amount of technique will save me at that point because we all already have it, but a solid endurance base built up over time, with intensity intervals in practice will give me a much better chance at being a great competitor. I believe training should be 50/50. And I believe that strength training is a must, but not necessarily ditching swim practices for other types of training. Swim training is different from running training; just stop swimming for awhile and try it; a lot of swimming aerobics is lost. It's an entirely different type of training because of the lack of gravity.

Do I want to do this today at almost 60? Nope. Been there, done that.

Donna

The Fortress
January 4th, 2007, 03:16 PM
I will first say that I do believe that we all agree technique and hard training is the best way to achieve faster swim times. And, I don't know of any swimmers who think they can condition their way to a faster time; at least I have never met any.

all these studies even by Champions seem to be in great disagreement with one another and I would just hate to see a new fad begin based on study after study after study which is primarily opinion even if they are being written by people in the field of biomechanics.Do I want to do this today at almost 60? Nope. Been there, done that.Donna

It is interesting that you bring up the "fad" phenomenon. GoodSmith started a thread on this topic some time ago. In in, he opines that "technique" is the subject of "fads" (everyone copies the latest greatest fast person), but that truly fast swimming is based on talent, genetics, aerobic capacity, workout intensity, etc.

http://forums.usms.org/showthread.php?t=5164&highlight=swimming+sport+fads

chaos
January 4th, 2007, 03:39 PM
It is interesting that you bring up the "fad" phenomenon. GoodSmith started a thread on this topic some time ago. In in, he opines that "technique" is the subject of "fads" (everyone copies the latest greatest fast person), but that truly fast swimming is based on talent, genetics, aerobic capacity, workout intensity, etc.

http://forums.usms.org/showthread.php?t=5164&highlight=swimming+sport+fads

When a certain technique is employed by the vast majority of world-class swimmers; is that a fad?

The Fortress
January 4th, 2007, 03:56 PM
When a certain technique is employed by the vast majority of world-class swimmers; is that a fad?

Well, Dave, as you might have noticed if you actually read (rather than just reacted to) my post, I wasn't claiming anything was a "fad." I was just referencing GoodSmith's thread and his opinion. Nothing more. So you might answer your own question and educate us all.

Having not thought deeply about this topic, I would say off the top of my head that some things are more fad-y than others. I'm sure all world class swimmers are good streamliners, and streamlining has been around forever. But other things are a bit faddish, like breaststroke. First it's flat, then it's wave action, then it's windshield wiper, then it's high like Amanda Beard, then it's low like Leisel, then the dolphin kick is added, etc. I seem to recall a discussion in the GoodSmith's thread that front quadrant swimming might be a bit faddish or more suitable for some distances than others. Butterfly has gone from undulating to flat. The debate about the relative importance of propulsion vs. drag reduction continues to evolve.

I also thought GoodSmith was discussing changes over time, not just your question of "when a certain technique is employed by the vast majority of world-class swimmers; is that a fad?" I guess theoretically it could be if the next generation of world-class swimmers were employing a different technique.

chaos
January 4th, 2007, 04:18 PM
[QUOTE=The Fortress;73158]Well, Dave, as you might have noticed if you actually read (rather than just reacted to) my post, I wasn't claiming anything was a "fad." I was just referencing GoodSmith's thread and his opinion. Nothing more. So you might answer your own question and educate us all.
QUOTE]
read your post, read smith's post, thank you very much.

i think much of what you describe re breast stroke is evolution not fad. wheras some strokes evolve with rule changes, others evolve with technical advances.
i guess to me the word fad implies that the benefits of something will be abandoned after a short period. i don't think that applies to certain examples cited.:2cents:

geochuck
January 4th, 2007, 04:26 PM
How much stretching should we do? I just met a Watsu instructor, he said he could limber me up in 5 minutes and that I would not have to train any more just 5 minutes a day of Watsu http://www.watsu.com/

I do not believe him...

FlyQueen
January 4th, 2007, 04:27 PM
There's a difference between trying to mirror the world's best and figuring out how you swim best. There are tons of fads in training or maybe pendlum swings is a better analogy? There are times like in the 70s when it was all about cranking out the yardage, no matter the technique. Then it became more about finesse, and I think there seems to be a return to yardage cranking.

Michael Phelps may take a breath every stroke on fly, but that hardly means it is the most efficient way for everyone to swim it. Doing that just because he does is following a fad. Figuring out that for a 100 you will swim faster if you breath every 3 is not. You have to do what works for you, I think that was the point.

The Fortress
January 4th, 2007, 04:28 PM
[quote=The Fortress;73158]Well, Dave, as you might have noticed if you actually read (rather than just reacted to) my post, I wasn't claiming anything was a "fad." I was just referencing GoodSmith's thread and his opinion. Nothing more. So you might answer your own question and educate us all.
QUOTE]
read your post, read smith's post, thank you very much.

Well, if you read my post than why fire back that response at me? Thank you very much.

The distinction between a "fad" and an "evolutionary" change is semantics. I guess we could resort to the dictionary.

Here's a likely "fad:" Everyone trying out Michael Phelps' breathing pattern in fly. I bet many will give it a whirl and, after a short bit, reject it. That's what I did. I'm sure there are many more examples like that, but right now I have to go pick up my kid at swim practice, so I will leave it for others to elucidate.

Aw, look, while I was busy writing, my baby sister gave the same example as me. :rofl:

FlyQueen
January 4th, 2007, 04:38 PM
Nobody messes with my family ... ;)

People tend to get caught up in semantics a lot on here and attack instead of asking for clarification ...

I'm trying to think of a way of clarifying the breaststroke example, but I can't quite word it correctly ...

chaos
January 4th, 2007, 04:47 PM
trying to swim in any way like michael phelps (as if i could) is just smart.
i breathe every stroke on a 200 fly (if i didn't need to breathe so much, i might be a sprinter)

fad :A fashion that is taken up with great enthusiasm for a brief period of time; a craze.

evolution:A gradual process in which something changes into a different and usually more complex or better form.

semantic?

FlyQueen
January 4th, 2007, 04:55 PM
The problem with that is the reason Phelps breaths so much is because of the mechanics of his stroke. He is so powerful and has such a strong undulation that for him it makes the most sense. If you do the 200 fly and breathe every stroke power to ya' I'll stick with my 50s and maybe the 100 ...

Fads in the swimming world take longer and stay around longer than clothes do because it is an action and it takes longer to do and train and then see the results. It's not buying a tube top wearing it once then tossing it ...

Peter Cruise
January 4th, 2007, 04:59 PM
A 'fad' that I remember from the hoary depths of my early swimming memories: W-a-ay back, Chet Jastremski dropped sprint breastroke times by a then jaw-dropping amount. Breathless swim coaches studied 8mm images of him swimming (largely above water, complete with sun-reflections) and saw that he was swimming a very different kick than the then 'frog' kick and had their swimmers imitate it. Many young swimmers blew groins, knees etc. trying to swim 'just like Chet' without realizing that Chet had some sort of gymnastics background (as I recall) and had the flexibility to accomplish something close to the now-accepted kick we know. That was a fad and a dangerous one.

KaizenSwimmer
January 4th, 2007, 05:43 PM
The problem with that is the reason Phelps breaths so much

Strikes me as odd to describe breathing more frequently -- and swimming fast while doing so -- as a "problem." Isn't it instead an invaluable advantage in the 200 Fly -- as it was for Summer Sanders in 1992?

Not only that but I've seen the NCAA record in the 100 scm fly broken on two occasions - once in the men's meet, once at the women's meet. Both swimmers breathed every stroke. Problem?

Richard Quick speaking at the 1999 ASCA clinic on why he worked so intently with Jenny Thompson on her breathing technique leading up to her breaking the world record the previous month, said "Don't hide your breathing problem by not breathing. Fix it."

That seems a more accurate use of the word problem.

Every-cycle breathing: Evolution or fad?
Well one thing's certain: it's a "free" way to gain more endurance -- and wasn't that the original theme of this thread.

islandsox
January 4th, 2007, 05:54 PM
When a certain technique is employed by the vast majority of world-class swimmers; is that a fad?

Hi Dave,

It is. And the reason I say this is within a year or two, that technique may then be changed again based on an even better swimmer. Fad may not be the right word, but what it implies is coaches don't have the answers, so they try things out based on great swimmers' performances. I think most coaches would not call this "fad", they would call it "new science", but whatever it is called, it is all still very experimental as new crops of swimmers pop up.

I remember back in the 60s and 70s, we were ripping up the pool with mega-yardage, I'm talking mega yardage. Then in the 80s, the yardage theory lost momentum and science took over (better stroke mechanics.) And some people have stayed with this combination, and some, in the 1990s reverted back toward mega-yardage again. The reason is no one really knows exactly what works so the ongoing debates and experiments continue. Fad? Maybe.

There was a backstroker in the 68 Olympics, Kay Hall, I believe, and she did this really unusual stroke thing underwater. Instead of pushing down with the hand at the end of the stroke, she pushed upward (palm facing sky), so everyone rushed to change all their backstrokers hand movements. Well, the problem encountered within a couple of years was this: bicep tears. So, it had to be abandoned. Like Michael Phelps, Kay's arm movement was great for her, but really bad for others. Fad? Maybe.

And I want George's stretch-man.

Donna

The Fortress
January 4th, 2007, 06:18 PM
fad :A fashion that is taken up with great enthusiasm for a brief period of time; a craze.

evolution:A gradual process in which something changes into a different and usually more complex or better form.

semantic?

Very peevish of you. ;)

I believe "fad" was John's word, not mine.

Nonethleless, it's still somewhat semantic. I would point out that "fads" can be a subcategory of "evolution." "Fads" are part of the evolutionary "process." When a "fad" is temporarily embraced and then exposed as unworthy, that assessment furthers the process of evolution. Then, the hunt is on for a new technique or compromise position between "fad" and old/new technique in an attempt to find a "more complex and better form."

As to breaststroke, I would like to hear a breastroker weigh in because I think some of breaststroke "innovations" I previously listed seem to fall into the subcategory of "fads" or "short lived components" of evolution. For example, that super high breaststroke where Amanda Beard came out of the water almost to her belly button. Not universally embraced or used "by the vast majority of world class swimmers."

As to Phelps, I guess I gotta defend my family. At least on sprint butterfly, the "vast majority of world class swimmers" are not breathing every stroke. So, right now, it's still in the "fad" category, and might be a "problem" for some. (BTW, I believe my baby sister was using the word "problem" to describe the analysis in Dave's post, not Phelps' fly.) Maybe folks are still deciding whether it suits their style or not. Maybe they'll adapt the "fad" and breath every cycle for certain portions of certain races. It sure doesn't work for me on the 50. Nope, not at all. It's a real "problem" for me, and I've timed myself both ways. I do breathe more on a 100, but not every single stroke.

As to the "endurance" aspect of fly, which Terry kindly reminded us was the original theme (not that such a reminder is relevant; evolutionary thread tangents are commonplace), I got no problem with breathing every stroke on a 200 fly. That's probably how I'd swim it now to attempt to stave off immediate oxygen debt. That's not how I swam it when I was young and in shape though. But I'm good with breathing every stroke on distance fly. I'm mindful that that's probably good for many masters swimmers and maybe some world class ones too. Still not gonna try it out though. I'd lose count and I've been spending too much time on technique and not enough on engine building for that race. ;)

knelson
January 4th, 2007, 06:36 PM
I think the great swimmers have an inherent feel for what makes them swim fast. Hydrodynamic proprioception if you will. They adapt their strokes to what makes them swim fast. The rest of us then try to emulate them because they are swimming so fast. Problem is it doesn't work quite as well for us because we just can't feel what's making us fast the way they can. We don't have that constant feedback while swimming.

Allen Stark
January 4th, 2007, 06:46 PM
Read Wayne's articles"what went wrong with the wave Breaststroke" and"What went right with the wave breaststroke" at breaststroke.info. Thats a good description of a fad in breaststroke(the what went wrong.) People for years were taught not to roll on free. Was that a fad or a blind end on the evolution tree? Was teaching that propulsion was primarily lift generated a fad or will we look back at say that thinking it was primarily drag generated a fad? I do agree that fad is not a good word to describe changes from one technique to another,paradigm shift?? It is certainly true in the history of swimming that sometimes"everyone" is doing some action and a few years later that concept seems quaint. Dave,since you are with Terry in wanting to revolutionize swimming I would think you would agree with that.

Warren
January 4th, 2007, 07:10 PM
I got a question.

Which is better for endurance?

waking up not eating breakfast and run 5 miles and eat after or eating breakfast before and running 5 miles. If you dont eat you have no energy and get tired faster and work harder. If you eat you are energized and run faster. What do get more out of?

The Fortress
January 4th, 2007, 07:46 PM
I got a question.

Which is better for endurance?

waking up not eating breakfast and run 5 miles and eat after or eating breakfast before and running 5 miles. If you dont eat you have no energy and get tired faster and work harder. If you eat you are energized and run faster. What do get more out of?

Warren:

Speaking as a swimmer/runner, I would say that this is more of issue of stomach tolerance than endurance. I do not run or do any other form of exercise first thing in the morning before the :coffee: . But my husband and son frequently run while I am still snoozing. They do not eat anything beforehand. They have a few sips of water. Otherwise, you could get cramps or worse. I think once you adjust to regimen you're fine. Of course, you could run later in the day, which is much more civilized.

islandsox
January 4th, 2007, 08:00 PM
Warren,

I would like to add this: if you are hungry, eat and wait a bit. If not, you probably still have fuel from dinner that has been processed and your body will respond.

Why not 6-8 ounces of a sports drink if in doubt?

Donna

KaizenSwimmer
January 4th, 2007, 09:01 PM
Dave,since you are with Terry in wanting to revolutionize swimming I would think you would agree with that.

I think Dave would agree with me that what we are interested in doing is, rather than revolutionize swimming, to rationalize it. And hopefully with a more examined, rational approach, there might be fewer evolutionary dead ends and fads.

islandsox
January 4th, 2007, 09:35 PM
I'm sorry, rationalize it? Rationalize what? I guess my lightbulb is off; isn't revolutionizing something based on a person's own rationalization? I just don't understand the statement, that's all.....

Are you saying guesswork based on opinion, or a person's own experience? I'm not trying to be mean, I am just really confused by this, that's all......Maybe it is too "deep water" for this person. (sigh)

I will say this, I am surprised that there are not a thousand fads out there about how to swim well; only a dozen or so, and it seems to change about every decade. And swim times are fast nowadays, so some people have figured it out even if it is only a handful and they have figured out what makes them fast for them, not what some report said. We are all unique and need to find our own way within guidelines that we know work. We all have different "vessels" and we will part that Red Sea accordingly. Or, in my case, I will be a slow barge to Utila.

Donna

Caped Crusader
January 4th, 2007, 09:54 PM
[quote=KaizenSwimmer;73213]If you don't want to revolutionize swimming, then don't don't use words lilke revolutionize and transformation in your goods...

deleted my post by accident. crap.

Caped Crusader
January 4th, 2007, 10:11 PM
Nobody messes with my family ... ;)

People tend to get caught up in semantics a lot on here and attack instead of asking for clarification ...

I'm trying to think of a way of clarifying the breaststroke example, but I can't quite word it correctly ...

You're quite the loyalist, FlyQueen. Very admirable. Semantics and rationalizations often dominate forums. I guess it provides fun and wordplay/swordplay for everyone. I can make no comment on the evolution of breaststroke. I detest the stroke just like your odd avatar. Having said that, it seems like the breaststrokers are the nicest, most civil bunch on this forum. Flyers are very loud, boistersous, and sandpaper-y, but I will :drink: with them.

geochuck
January 5th, 2007, 08:00 AM
I don't think anyone will make any drastic changes to swimming until the new technology of the super fast torpedoes is developed, they are going to be surounded by air pockets so they will travel underwater at speeds faster than sound. So the transformers and revolutinizing folks better get working on making bigger pools so no one gets injured or get a faster moving endless pool.

Breaststroke was revolutionized by the nose clip (nose plugs).

Chet J http://www.ishof.org/Honorees/77/77cjastremski.html I met Chet in the 50s and he was really unhappy he could not do the 56 Olympics.

FlyQueen
January 5th, 2007, 08:57 AM
I think the great swimmers have an inherent feel for what makes them swim fast. Hydrodynamic proprioception if you will. They adapt their strokes to what makes them swim fast. The rest of us then try to emulate them because they are swimming so fast. Problem is it doesn't work quite as well for us because we just can't feel what's making us fast the way they can. We don't have that constant feedback while swimming.

VERY well said/written ...

Forums are a funny/tricky thing. It's hard to know the tone that people are using and sometimes posts come across as far more rude than they are intended to be.


Warren, look at Ande's blog Jagermiester explained eating in the am before a workout. You most definitely have fuel from the night before.

Terry, I am not at all saying that you can't swim fast fly breathing every stroke. I am aware that Thompson did this and then broke the record. But think about the process Richard Quick (who knows far more about the sport than probably any masters coach) reconstructed her stroke making the breathing every stroke work for her. The mechanics of her stroke were changed so that breathing every stroke became most efficient for her.

Remember for every rule there is an exception, or a few. And even Phelps will take two strokes when breathing from time to time. What about Crocker? The fastest flyer ever doesn't breathe every stroke.

My point was simply following what the best of the best do isn't going to work. Trying to take what they do and tweak it for your body type, physical ability, fitness level, etc does make sense.


My own personal little story for this I have a slightly wider recovery. I had one coach tell me I need to get a higher elbow, )because isn't that so engrained in all of us?) another coach said that because I'm short that a slightly wider recovery will work better for me.

Another example, underwater SDK. For some an advantage, others who struggle with it are better off doing a couple kick or flutter kicking and just getting to the surface, Jason Lezak comes to mind. Others gain their advantage by underwater kicking - Coughlin, Peirsol, Phelps, Crocker ...

FlyQueen
January 5th, 2007, 08:59 AM
You're quite the loyalist, FlyQueen. Very admirable. Semantics and rationalizations often dominate forums. I guess it provides fun and wordplay/swordplay for everyone. I can make no comment on the evolution of breaststroke. I detest the stroke just like your odd avatar. Having said that, it seems like the breaststrokers are the nicest, most civil bunch on this forum. Flyers are very loud, boistersous, and sandpaper-y, but I will :drink: with them.

Thanks for the compliments - loud, boisterious, sandpapery ... haha ... that's fine with me, it's who I am.


I usually defend people that I A- think are fabulous and B - think are just being misunderstood.

geochuck
January 5th, 2007, 09:10 AM
Fly Queen do you do Butterfly or Butterfrog??? I am just being silly.

I do not think there is a place for butterfrog for anyone younger than me. Butterfrog only really existed before 1956.

KaizenSwimmer
January 5th, 2007, 09:12 AM
don't use words lilke revolutionize and transformation in your goods. "Rationalize" can mean many things, postive and negative.

rationalize

Pronunciation: 'rash-n&-"lIz, 'ra-sh&-n&-"lIz
transitive verb
1 : to bring into accord with reason;; to substitute a natural for a supernatural explanation of; to attribute (one's actions) to rational (http://www.m-w.com/dictionary/rational) and creditable motives
2 : to free from irrational parts
3 : to apply the principles of scientific management to (as an industry or its operations) for a desired result (as increased efficiency)

These are the first three -- meaning most frequently used or widely accepted -- definitions for rationalize. Which of them do you deem negative?

Yesterday in a post I wrote "Some swimmers tend to think they can condition their way to better performance. My thinking aligns with Jonty's." I'd originally written "Most swimmmers..." but thought better of it, knowing it would provoke a protest by Donna that would only serve to muddle and divert the point intended -- even though it's patently true. So I edited myself before posting. No matter she still felt compelled to quibble.

Such responses to my word choices are precisely what I meant by "peevish dissection" of my posts -- which inevitably drew peevish ("querulous in temperament or mood; perversely obstinate") responses from the usual suspects.</I></I>

In the last two days I've written hundreds of words here, the preponderance of which -- on subjects like warmup and how to do a breastroke drill, etc -- constituted advice intended to help people swim better, to enjoy it more, even to rationalize their approach to it.

What are you contributing by diverting discussion from the stuff that actually informs swimmers and their thinking?

The Fortress
January 5th, 2007, 10:07 AM
rationalize

Pronunciation: 'rash-n&-"lIz, 'ra-sh&-n&-"lIz
transitive verb
1 : to bring into accord with reason;; to substitute a natural for a supernatural explanation of; to attribute (one's actions) to rational (http://www.m-w.com/dictionary/rational) and creditable motives
2 : to free from irrational parts
3 : to apply the principles of scientific management to (as an industry or its operations) for a desired result (as increased efficiency)

These are the first three -- meaning most frequently used or widely accepted -- definitions for rationalize. Which of them do you deem negative?

Yesterday in a post I wrote "Some swimmers tend to think they can condition their way to better performance. My thinking aligns with Jonty's." I'd originally written "Most swimmmers..." but thought better of it, knowing it would provoke a protest by Donna that would only serve to muddle and divert the point intended -- even though it's patently true. So I edited myself before posting. No matter she still felt compelled to quibble.

Such responses to my word choices are precisely what I meant by "peevish dissection" of my posts -- which inevitably drew peevish ("querulous in temperament or mood; perversely obstinate") responses from the usual suspects.</I></I>

In the last two days I've written hundreds of words here, the preponderance of which -- on subjects like warmup and how to do a breastroke drill, etc -- constituted advice intended to help people swim better, to enjoy it more, even to rationalize their approach to it.

What are you contributing by diverting discussion from the stuff that actually informs swimmers and their thinking?


INCLUDE HUMOR IN THE REVOLUTION

Geez. You and Dave are on a roll on this thread. Even my "Laws" joke didn't make you laugh...

This is a classic example of the pot calling the kettle black. You can be just as peevish as those bad guy "usual suspects" when people disagree with you. Your response to Allen was defensive and picked on a single word from a single sentence in his otherwise informative post. Same with your response to the Caped One, who appeared to just be reminding you that you yourself use the word "revolutionary." Dave's response to my mere referencing of GoodSmith's thread was similarly peevish and seemingly written in attack-mode. And you pulled one word from one of my posts and ranted about it. In fact, it seems like you are often defensive if anyone dares to quibble with you or your vision.

I have my Websters open and the third definition for "rationalize" is "to devise self-satisfying but incorrect reasons for one's behavior."

I also don't believe rationalizing swimming will eliminate "fads" and "dead ends." You'd have to change human nature to accomplish that feat.

As to quibbling, that is just forum talk. As a trad swimmer, Donna is allowed to quibble with you. You quibble with and diss others too, even the more unconventional sorts doing lots of TI-type stuff like me. In fact, I believe the first sentence of a recent post of yours contained the word "quibble" before imparting information. Sometimes people just fixate on certain words like "vessel" or "engine" or "mindful" or, most recently, "neural." That word has been in all your posts recently. I actually wouldn't mind hearing a little more about how the neural muscle memory thing works better than generic endurance sets, so a better explanation of that would help inform my swimming.

And please lighten up and don't take everything so seriously. :joker: I believe Tall Paul recently reminded us that it's only MASTERS swimming. Even Dave can joke around. George just admitted to being "silly." Like FlyQueen, some of us folks are perfectly OK with being "loud, boisterous and sandpaper-y." Not everyone is contemplative, mindful and examined when providing hundreds of words of information -- and I think the "usual suspects" provide plenty of information too. If you only want high art and decorum and no humor or swordplay, you should probably stick with the TI forum where you can dictate the rules of discussion. :thhbbb:

geochuck
January 5th, 2007, 10:23 AM
The neural muscle memory thing does not have to be repeated every day, once you have it it no longer has to be repeated. I feel sorry for any one who has to memorize everyday.

The Fortress
January 5th, 2007, 10:41 AM
The neural muscle memory thing does not have to be repeated every day, once you have it it no longer has to be repeated. I feel sorry for any one who has to memorize everyday.

I guess you'll be joining the "usual suspects" since Donna agrees that good technique becomes natural over time and does not need to be constantly memorized. :joker:

KaizenSwimmer
January 5th, 2007, 11:31 AM
The neural muscle memory thing does not have to be repeated every day, once you have it it no longer has to be repeated.

Congratulations on having achieved the perfect stroke. I don't expect to ever get there.
Even Tiger Woods hasn't gotten there. Indeed Matt Biondi after several world records and 7 Olympic medals said he'd only learned about 10% of what there was to learn.

FlyQueen
January 5th, 2007, 11:31 AM
I think good technique does indeed become habit, so does bad technique. I also think that EVERYONE needs to be reminded of good technique from time to time so that they don't develop bad habits, I mean Coughlin & Phelps drill daily so ...

FlyQueen
January 5th, 2007, 11:32 AM
Congratulations on having achieved the perfect stroke. I don't expect to ever get there.
Even Tiger Woods hasn't gotten there. Indeed Matt Biondi after several world records and 7 Olympic medals said he'd only learned about 10% of what there was to learn.

Your posts come off as rather rude frequently is that your intention or is it an email/message board lack of actual tone thing?

The Fortress
January 5th, 2007, 11:56 AM
Congratulations on having achieved the perfect stroke.

This is not what I meant by lighten up.
Try some of these :thhbbb: :banana: :rofl: :joker: :groovy: :dedhorse: . Even Dave uses :thhbbb: to great effect. I don't mind getting a :thhbbb: once in awhile.

No one would ever claim to have the perfect stroke. I know I don't. That's why I'm the drill queen. And that's why we're trying to decide how much time should be spent on perfecting the stroke and how much time should be focused on endurance training if one wants to do well at nationals. That was Gull's original question, which you very nicely said was "to the point." I guess Gull used to be one of the "usual suspects," but now he's "to the point." I have also seen Gull use humor on many occasions.

KaizenSwimmer
January 5th, 2007, 12:28 PM
Your response to Allen was defensive and picked on a single word from a single sentence

I think Allen probably understood that I wasn't protesting his characterization but using it as an occasion to point up a useful distinction...if only to me and no one else.

A revolutionary can simply be a bomb-thrower. It can also be someone who helps bring about positive change. I grasped that Allen meant more the latter than the former. But I also hoped to clarify that my object is not simply to bring about change for change's sake -- which is not unimportant, considering how often my posts are perceived as attacks on prevailing practice.

In saying that my intent is more accurately to "rationalize" swimming I was saying that I try to provide a rational basis upon which any swimmer can base any decision or answer any question. Is that revolutionary? Depends on your point of view. My experience over 40 years of swimming, coaching and observing is that, while there have always been many good information sources, a good deal of the decision-making that goes on every day by millions of people in thousands of pools is heavily based on "folklore," custom, or imitating what others do.

If I can seem humor-deprived, guilty as charged I suppose. I'm thought to have a decent sense of humor in "real life." But I don't write about swimming for self-amusement or as a hobby. It's my profession, even my "calling." Is it a fair assumption that you might post differently on a legal forum than you do here?

Just because it's a Masters forum doesn't suggest to me that my approach should be any less serious. I and a good number of the people I swim with several evenings a week are far more purposeful and examined in our approach than the age groupers Dave and I also coach.

So when the point of a thread gets muddled by unproductive semantical scraps I feel like its informational potential has been hurt.

FlyQueen
January 5th, 2007, 12:36 PM
I think Allen probably understood that I wasn't protesting his characterization but using it as an occasion to point up a useful distinction...if only to me and no one else.

A revolutionary can simply be a bomb-thrower. It can also be someone who helps bring about positive change. I grasped that Allen meant more the latter than the former. But I also hoped to clarify that my object is not simply to bring about change for change's sake -- which is not unimportant, considering how often my posts are perceived as attacks on prevailing practice.

In saying that my intent is more accurately to "rationalize" swimming I was saying that I try to provide a rational basis upon which any swimmer can base any decision or answer any question. Is that revolutionary? Depends on your point of view. My experience over 40 years of swimming, coaching and observing is that, while there have always been many good information sources, a good deal of the decision-making that goes on every day by millions of people in thousands of pools is heavily based on "folklore," custom, or imitating what others do.

If I can seem humor-deprived, guilty as charged I suppose. I'm thought to have a decent sense of humor in "real life." But I don't write about swimming for self-amusement or as a hobby. It's my profession, even my "calling." Is it a fair assumption that you might post differently on a legal forum than you do here?

Just because it's a Masters forum doesn't suggest to me that my approach should be any less serious. I and a good number of the people I swim with several evenings a week are far more purposeful and examined in our approach than the age groupers Dave and I also coach.

So when the point of a thread gets muddled by unproductive semantical scraps I feel like its informational potential has been hurt.




MASTERS implies fun ... If every single stroke I took was mindful and I was always building my engine and swimming neurally I'd go nuts. I swim now because well I am VERY competitive by nature I also love the team atmosphere and want to have fun swimming ...

Leave the serious stuff for the elite USS swimmers ... RELAX a bit ... have fun, you'll find you have much more fun here if you don't take yourself so darn seriously!

The Fortress
January 5th, 2007, 12:53 PM
I grasped that Allen meant more the latter than the former....

My experience over 40 years of swimming, coaching and observing is that, while there have always been many good information sources, a good deal of the decision-making that goes on every day by millions of people in thousands of pools is heavily based on "folklore," custom, or imitating what others do.

So when the point of a thread gets muddled by unproductive semantical scraps I feel like its informational potential has been hurt.


I'm glad you're so good with "grasping" and "intuiting" what others mean. If this was true, maybe you would realize that others are also competent enough to "grasp" things or hold valid opinions even without 40 years of coaching experience. As for the boo boos and scraps hurting "information potential," I'm not concerned. Sometimes humor and relaxation from "examination" can relieve stress too, as you know from reading Dave's article -- which you peevishly pointed out endorsed "mindfulness," thereby reducing the informational value of that thread. :thhbbb: To quote Tall Paul, "anyone who's swimming MASTERS should not be coping an elitist attitude."

As to legal forums, I am sure they must exist, but I have no desire to go there. The law can be a dull profession at times. (I'm sure swim coach is more exciting and rewarding.) Or maybe they're all cattily discussing the recent scandal about the former Chief Justice Rhenquist's drug addiction, revealed through recent FOIA requests. I don't know. I'd rather pop on and off of my hobby website while working on my profession. Variety is the spice of life.

SwimStud
January 5th, 2007, 01:02 PM
I'm glad you're so good with "grasping" and "intuiting" what others mean. If this was true, maybe you would realize that others are also competent enough to "grasp" things or hold valid opinions even without 40 years of coaching experience. As for the boo boos and scraps hurting "information potential," I'm not concerned. Sometimes humor and relaxation from "examination" can relieve stress too, as you know from reading Dave's article -- which you peevishly pointed out endorsed "mindfulness," thereby reducing the informational value of that thread. :thhbbb: To quote Tall Paul, "anyone who's swimming MASTERS should not be coping an elitist attitude."

I grasped my goggles to roughly and now the nosepiece broke. I tried the smaller size but they fly off when I dive now :(

I think I will get these (see link)...since they are as graceful and sleek as breaststroke...not that Fly Queen or Sprintress here would grasp that....

:thhbbb: :rofl:

http://www.speedousa.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/products.detail/categoryID/3972420e-5fd6-447f-879d-04fe697584f9/productID/489d2657-1701-47e5-a716-e4faffc5e4eb/

Caped Crusader
January 5th, 2007, 01:15 PM
Well, I just sat down with my Lance crackers for lunch and I see that it's pick on Terry day. I think he can take it. So I will just say that he failed to grasp the point I made in my last post about his goods bearing the revolutionary label. But I guess he was too busy making that distinction "for himself." It's a very examined man who takes the time to re-imprint his own distinctions.

You go girls! You flyers are loud today. I hate emoticons, but I'll give ya one. :groovy:

Rich: Are you looking in the mirror at yourself? Those are mirrored goggles, dude, for swimming outside.

Quite an avatar Sprintress. Where'd you get that one?

The Fortress
January 5th, 2007, 01:35 PM
I think I will get these (see link)...since they are as graceful and sleek as breaststroke...not that Fly Queen or Sprintress here would grasp that....:thhbbb: :rofl: / (http://www.speedousa.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/products.detail/categoryID/3972420e-5fd6-447f-879d-04fe697584f9/productID/489d2657-1701-47e5-a716-e4faffc5e4eb/)

I grasped your meaning. Another diss on us sprint flyers. :rofl: How much grief can we take in one day. I was so busy attempting to grasp all the meanings of this thread that I just failed to grasp my Diet Coke properly and it has now spilled on my keyboard...

So Rich, what's your take on proper ratio of technique to endurance training. Have you grasped an opinion from the thread or from your own training?

The clutzy sprintress.


Caped:

My lovely avatar came from a book entitled "The Princess Knight." It's about a little girl who wants to be a knight like her brothers instead of learning how to knit and play the harp. I bought it for Lil Lil Fortress to encourage her to grow up and be loud and boisterous and form her own opinions.

poolraat
January 5th, 2007, 01:51 PM
I think I will get these... (see link)

Rich,
Get the mirrored ones. That way you can be like "the man with no eyes".

SwimStud
January 5th, 2007, 02:03 PM
Rich: Are you looking in the mirror at yourself? Those are mirrored goggles, dude, for swimming outside.

No Dude...if the competition can't see my eyes...they can't know what I have in mind...and hey maybe I wanna "look around" during my pullout practice. I told you about T-back Girl....


ISo Rich, what's your take on proper ratio of technique to endurance training. Have you grasped an opinion from the thread or from your own training?

Forkless, are you trying to imply I am not a serious swimmer, and that my jests really indicate a lack of mindfulness?
I'd say 50/50 s a good starting point. Say 800YDs of each.
Then after a decent standard is achieved, working toward a meet maybe60/40 towards endurance/techinique (all aspects of the race) 1200/800 (don't reduce the "base" amount).
Post season /meet go back to 50/50 1000Y of each or something.
You can do this on a per session basis or alternating days.
The key practice your technique and look to add the speed to good technique. Intensity in your endurance work, not yards.

Now GURUS off all persuasions, can anyone tell me what part of excuting proper technique is not connected to building endurance? I can swim a mile of breaststroke really badly and slowly. I can swim a beautiful 50/100/200 nice and slow too. Sprint wise I have got my 25 under my belt with speed and grace...after that it begins to slow or get real sloppy.
I see all this as yin and yang (or whatever) one without the other is only half.

Any how:
Big dramatic thread today
Kaizen vs All-comers, 15 3 minutes rounds, of gruelling, muscle wrenching, mindful, grasping, Speedo straining wrestling!

I love to have a bit of humour...

Peace out..Rich
"One Love"
"Can't we all get along?"
"Shut-up!Just shut-up! You had me at hello!"
"Nobody puts baby in the corner!"
"I just can't quit you"

etc etc etc

The Fortress
January 5th, 2007, 02:17 PM
Forkless, are you trying to imply I am not a serious swimmer, and that my jests really indicate a lack of mindfulness?

Now GURUS off all persuasions, can anyone tell me what part of excuting proper technique is not connected to building endurance?
etc etc etc

Ballet Dancer on the Fly:

I think "you had me at hello."

And no, I think you're a right serious swimmer who is gonna give me a good whipping soon in the elegant stroke you love and I suck at. And I stick up for my family. Your jests reflect a clever mind, however unmindful they appear. :joker: By "Forkless" are you indicating that my parries have no point? :laugh2:

I do believe, however, that there are some technique drills you could do that have nothing whatsoever to do with building endurance. (Endurance doesn't happen just by swimming up and down the pool anyway.) Try the caterpillar drill. That'll take you a half an a hour or so per 50 if done properly. The point of many drills is to do them slowly, not quickly. Anything done real slowly is not real likely to result in mega-endorphins and sore muscles and expanded lungs. Having just purveyed relevant information, I will now

Peace out, Forkless

SwimStud
January 5th, 2007, 02:31 PM
Ballet Dancer on the Fly:

I think "you had me at hello."

And no, I think you're a right serious swimmer who is gonna give me a good whipping soon in the elegant stroke you love and I suck at. And I stick up for my family. Your jests reflect a clever mind, however unmindful they appear. :joker: By "Forkless" are you indicating that my parries have no point? :laugh2:

I do believe, however, that there are some technique drills you could do that have nothing whatsoever to do with building endurance. (Endurance doesn't happen just by swimming up and down the pool anyway.) Try the caterpillar drill. That'll take you a half an a hour or so per 50 if done properly. The point of many drills is to do them slowly, not quickly. Anything done real slowly is not real likely to result in mega-endorphins and sore muscles and expanded lungs. Having just purveyed relevant information, I will now

Peace out, Forkless

I think I mean that swimming hard on endurance too is a technique. In ballet you do everything in slow motion and quarter distances until you build up the strength, flexibility and skill to perform the real deal. I would reccomend it to anyone here as a crosstrain. Balance, coordination, timing, strength and awareness of what your body is doing are found in both activities. Furthermore, and Terry will like this, to me if there was ever a sport that is close to ballet it is swimming at it's most elegant and powerful.

Caped Crusader
January 5th, 2007, 03:14 PM
A revolutionary can simply be a bomb-thrower.

If I can seem humor-deprived, guilty as charged I suppose. I'm thought to have a decent sense of humor in "real life."

So stop throwing bombs. This forum is real-life too, so you can have a sense of humor.

What is the latest, faddy thinking on kicking for long distance free? Is it a 2 or 6 beat kick?

FlyQueen
January 5th, 2007, 03:19 PM
So stop throwing bombs. This forum is real-life too, so you can have a sense of humor.

What is the latest, faddy thinking on kicking for long distance free? Is it a 2 or 6 beat kick?

I believe the latest EVOLUTION (geez, get the wording right ...) is 6 beat, at least for Hackett and Jensen and anyone who can hold a 6 beat kick for more that 85 yards ...

geochuck
January 5th, 2007, 03:29 PM
Congratulations on having achieved the perfect stroke. I don't expect to ever get there.
Even Tiger Woods hasn't gotten there. Indeed Matt Biondi after several world records and 7 Olympic medals said he'd only learned about 10% of what there was to learn.
Thanks Terry I did not realize that you have seen me swim lately, I have not quite attained perfect yet but stll trying.

I have seen some of your recent videos and must say I am amazed at your progress. However it did take you 40 years... To me you have not attained perfect yet but I can see the gradual improvement. Will you please let me know when your butterfrog DVD is ready, I am getting anxious.

I suggest however not to memorize any bad habits I think it would be better for you to try and get the perfect stroke before grinding into memory any mistakes.

KaizenSwimmer
January 5th, 2007, 03:46 PM
Leave the serious stuff for the elite USS swimmers

In recent weeks I've begun to correspond and collaborate on a regular basis with Jonty Skinner, the Performance Science Director for the USAS National Team. He takes his work seriously because it can impact on Katie Hoff's chances of winning an Olympic medal and whether more Katie Hoffs get discovered and developed. Jonty and I speak the same language and are in virtually total agreement on how swimming works and how swimmers ought to train. He encounters a degree of resistance and skepticism at times, because his message is untraditional. Still no one ever suggests he should "lighten up."

I just returned from teaching an hour-long lesson to a 59 y.o. woman named Jeannie. Jeannie is a Ph.D. psychologist with a thriving practice in Manhattan who also writes very successful books on relationships. She's never swum competitively, and though I've encouraged her to enter a Masters meet, may never do it in the future. But for the hour she spends with me every week -- and the two or three hours she spends swimming in Manhattan between lessons -- she's unconditionally serious and committed. She -- and I -- also laugh a lot during her lessons, which says that fun and serious aren't mutually exclusive.

She gets extraordinary satisfaction out of her swimming -- she was positively over the moon about learning butterfly at 59 and tells me that swimming is the most fulfilling thing she does. Needless to say, she's grateful that I take her interest, needs and goals as seriously as any elite coach does their athlete.

I don't take myself too seriously. I take my work very seriously. I don't expect every Masters swimmer -- or even a significant number -- to share that level of passion. But to suggest that because it involves adults and non-elites, it doesn't merit seriousness is to devalue the rewards and benefits of passion and committment for any person in any endeavor they consider worthy.

I've said many times I don't feel any compulsion to "convert" those who are perfectly content with their way of swimming or who see things differently than I. But ne"lighten up?" Not gonna happen.

FlyQueen
January 5th, 2007, 03:53 PM
In recent weeks I've begun to correspond and collaborate on a regular basis with Jonty Skinner, the Performance Science Director for the USAS National Team. He takes his work seriously because it can impact on Katie Hoff's chances of winning an Olympic medal and whether more Katie Hoffs get discovered and developed. Jonty and I speak the same language and are in virtually total agreement on how swimming works and how swimmers ought to train. He encounters a degree of resistance and skepticism at times, because his message is untraditional. Still no one ever suggests he should "lighten up."

I just returned from teaching an hour-long lesson to a 59 y.o. woman named Jeannie. Jeannie is a Ph.D. psychologist with a thriving practice in Manhattan who also writes very successful books on relationships. She's never swum competitively, and though I've encouraged her to enter a Masters meet, may never do it in the future. But for the hour she spends with me every week -- and the two or three hours she spends swimming in Manhattan between lessons -- she's unconditionally serious and committed. She -- and I -- also laugh a lot during her lessons, which says that fun and serious aren't mutually exclusive.

She gets extraordinary satisfaction out of her swimming -- she was positively over the moon about learning butterfly at 59 and tells me that swimming is the most fulfilling thing she does. Needless to say, she's grateful that I take her interest, needs and goals as seriously as any elite coach does their athlete.

I don't take myself too seriously. I take my work very seriously. I don't expect every Masters swimmer -- or even a significant number -- to share that level of passion. But to suggest that because it involves adults and non-elites, it doesn't merit seriousness is to devalue the rewards and benefits of passion and committment for any person in any endeavor they consider worthy.

I've said many times I don't feel any compulsion to "convert" those who are perfectly content with their way of swimming or who see things differently than I. But ne"lighten up?" Not gonna happen.

Terry you are contradicting yourself ... we are just trying to find the balance between fun and uptight. I take my swimming very seriously. I train hard, I spend a lot of time researching stroke mechanics and training methods, and have thrown my heart and soul into the sport. BUT the bottom line is it's something we all do for fun

KaizenSwimmer
January 5th, 2007, 03:55 PM
However it did take you 40 years... To me you have not attained perfect yet but I can see the gradual improvement. Will you please let me know when you butterfrog DVD is ready, I am getting anxious.

As you note, I have always been a slow learner when it comes to sports. I was frustrated about that as a kid. In baseball I got stuck in right field where I'd present the least liability. In basketball, I played defense but was never a scorer. In cross-country I finished last out of hundreds in a major HS invitational. In soccer I sprained my ankles through clumsiness. And in swimming I got cut from the first team I tried out for at age 12 and qualified only for the "novice" championship (swimming against freshmen) as a HS senior.

As an adult I've realized it can be an advantage. It's taught me patience. It's helped me relate to other slow learners. And it's given me hope that I can keep learning year after year after year.

After spending March to August focused on distance free, for the 1500/1650 and the OW season, I decided to train as a 400 IMer for balance Sept through Dec. The progress I made was thrilling. Two weeks ago, in the middle of a 3600-yard IM set with Dave I swam the fastest 400 IM -- meet or practice -- since 1994. You can imagine how exciting that was.

The new DVDs are out and the Fly disk has a ButterFrog section. Thanks for asking.

FlyQueen
January 5th, 2007, 04:02 PM
Terry can you explain Skinner's involvement with Hoff? Paul Yetter is her coach and she seems to be flourishing, first woman to ever qualify for OT's in every event ... she must be doing something right. I've never heard that she does any TI training either. I mean I don't train with the kid, but I haven't heard that.

What exactly were you trying to say?

geochuck
January 5th, 2007, 04:15 PM
Terry I am happy for you and your times.

I also have a love for teaching. I taught so much that I did not really swim for 25 years. But the one thing I did do was keep up with the technology. When I started back it was very easy to make a few changes in my stroke because when I was not swimming with purpose - I incorporated the stroke changes during my lessons.

I am an easy learn and only have to do it once to make a change.

I am not a perfect swimmer I do not swim over 1000m a day I don't want to. I think my long swims are over and If I race again it will be 50 or 100 fly and free.

islandsox
January 5th, 2007, 04:45 PM
Oh my, our power goes out here for half a day, and this thread turns another corner--into deeper water.:eek:

Terry, I know the definition of rationalize, I did not understand your usage of it as it pertained to swimming. Quibble, that's not what I was doing, but any time I question any thing you write, and I do do that a lot because both of my having been swimming for over 50 years and having been through the best of the best coaching, much of what you write seems 1) either not new to swimming and you write as if it is something brand new you yourself invented or studied through reports, or 2) I think your advice--SOMETIMES--is not sound. And I'd better clarify that last statement: it is I and only I that think that, and I have a right to believe what I choose, just like you.

I ask questions after you write something because you have confused me or not better explained your words. Thus, my question about rationalizing, so instead of explaining in 20 words or less, you copy the spelling and definition and post it, I guess to teach me or embarrass me, but it does neither.

I will really go out on a limb here and say that I have found my perfect freestyle stroke---for me at this age----it is as perfect as it will get; it will get no better. This is not bragging, this is telling people that I have reached the peak of my own mountain technique wise. I know my limits. Endurance? That has more long-range possibilities with mega-yardage which some don't believe in doing, but with my "perfect stroke", I should have little downtime. And I will very much need endurance, big time, since I will be swimming over an 18 mile swim. Endurance has to be first and foremost for something of this magnitude. And now comes the big question (oh, dear, should I?).....how much mega-yardage and at what intensity? This takes the "endurance" part of this thread to another level, but I know I will not be doing recovery 500s to obtain endurance; that to me will only give me a very small amount of overall general conditioning, and general conditioning will not be enough for the kind of swim I have planned.

And, I do believe I have contributed some things to this forum with sound examples based on swimmers' performances years ago and within the last 10 years, and the difference between you and I is I do it as general information to be shared with my peers and they are my peers. I want to also give people some things to think about, but to me it is only a sharing of information; I am not trying to teach them.

I think that there are many swimmers who do not have to think about their stroke and technique all of the time. No one really knows when this happens automatically, but granted, it happens with more pool time. I think a swimmer should be more focused on pace than thinking about technqiue once it starts to become a natural component. And it does happen. I hope you find your best technical stroke, too. It will come.

But I don't want to go through my 60s, 70s, 80s, still trying to find it. I have decided I now have it and will swim with it the rest of my life. And the reason I know I have it is this: I swim relatively quickly, I swim with a very low stroke rate, and I use very little energy.

Donna

geochuck
January 5th, 2007, 05:02 PM
Donna

You may find something that you would like to incorprate into your swimming and I am sure you will add it if you feel it is right for you. Never say never - but again this is your right to do it your way and not be criticqued on anything.

It could be rolling more to make it easier to breathe in rough water or something else, that is your decision.

Good luck in your upcoming swim.

The Fortress
January 5th, 2007, 05:08 PM
fun and serious aren't mutually exclusive.

But me "lighten up?" Not gonna happen.

These appear to be correct.

It's possible to joke around on a forum and still be a serious swimmer. Many of us put a lot of time and effort into it.

It just seems like not only do you not like criticism, you don't even like to be questioned.

The Fortress
January 5th, 2007, 05:34 PM
Swimming for over 50 years and having been through the best of the best coaching,

I hope you find your best technical stroke, too. It will come.

Donna:

Nope. 40 years of coaching trumps your 50 years of swimming and good coaching when it comes to opining on technique and endurance. Who cares if you trained with Mark Spitz and Don Schollander?

Your technique does sound pretty fab with that long, smooth stroke with a low SPL. Much better than my own unsound high SR/lots of SDK technique. And of course, sprinting is a lesser sport. But, I'm glad despite our manifest differences, you're still my friend in the deep water. :wave:

Caped Crusader
January 5th, 2007, 05:52 PM
Thanks Terry I did not realize that you have seen me swim lately, I have not quite attained perfect yet but stll trying.

I have seen some of your recent videos and must say I am amazed at your progress. However it did take you 40 years... To me you have not attained perfect yet but I can see the gradual improvement. Will you please let me know when your butterfrog DVD is ready, I am getting anxious.

I suggest however not to memorize any bad habits I think it would be better for you to try and get the perfect stroke before grinding into memory any mistakes.

Best zing all day. Kudos George.

Caped Crusader
January 5th, 2007, 06:02 PM
As you note, I have always been a slow learner when it comes to sports. I was frustrated about that as a kid. In baseball I got stuck in right field where I'd present the least liability. In basketball, I played defense but was never a scorer. In cross-country I finished last out of hundreds in a major HS invitational. In soccer I sprained my ankles through clumsiness. And in swimming I got cut from the first team I tried out for at age 12 and qualified only for the "novice" championship (swimming against freshmen) as a HS senior.

As an adult I've realized it can be an advantage. It's taught me patience. It's helped me relate to other slow learners. And it's given me hope that I can keep learning year after year after year.

After spending March to August focused on distance free, for the 1500/1650 and the OW season, I decided to train as a 400 IMer for balance Sept through Dec. The progress I made was thrilling. Two weeks ago, in the middle of a 3600-yard IM set with Dave I swam the fastest 400 IM -- meet or practice -- since 1994. You can imagine how exciting that was.

This all sounds a little revenge of the nerds to me. I've seen it at work in other settings too. You weren't good when you were young, but now that you're older and wise, you've used guile to get better and some of the best have dropped out. So now you can play with the big boys like Jonty. You might have noticed, but Donna is one of those big boys. She's got the creds. And I don't believe respect is due only to people with creds.

I guess I'm glad I had some success in sports as a youth. I might not be more patient, but I don't have a tude either. And as an adult, I still find plenty of things "thrilling" -- like runing my first marathon, running my son's first 10K with him, or competing in my first OW swim. Good stuff.

You could go back and answer the question I posed several pages ago. You said, agreeing with Allen Stark -- another big boy because he's a world champion -- that 7 weeks of endurance was plenty. I questioned that, noting that if you were doing distance swimming, perhaps as big boy Paul noted, a different program was in order. So I asked your views. Certainly relevant to the topic of the thread.

The Fortress
January 5th, 2007, 06:12 PM
George:

I don't mind about people referring to teaching. That's great stuff. You should brag; you should help others. Especially if such pithy instruction helps them swim 2 lengths of the pool. :)

geochuck
January 5th, 2007, 06:35 PM
Fortress I to refer to teaching people and we should not fault Terry for telling us about it.

Look at post #4 http://forums.usms.org/showthread.php?t=6321&highlight=park+taught I ocassionally brag to.

nkfrench
January 5th, 2007, 06:41 PM
Once I had a discussion with my meet director over a Masters meet. She was critiquing somebody saying to the effect that they should just lighten up, it was "just" Masters swimming.

The individual in question was in fact in the swimming profession and his livelihood depended on having some respect as a competitor who could "walk the walk". So why should he "lighten up" when her decisions (which were breaking some USMS rules) could affect his status as an expert ?

As serious as amateur competitors can be, it takes it up to an entire new level if swimming is how you support yourself & family.

LindsayNB
January 5th, 2007, 06:45 PM
Sometimes, when dealing with disagreements it is helpful to completely cut out all references to one's "opponent" and just make one's point based purely on its merits. Getting personal just creates an unpleasant atmosphere that isn't fun for anyone.

My :2cents:

Caped Crusader
January 5th, 2007, 06:53 PM
Once I had a discussion with my meet director over a Masters meet. She was critiquing somebody saying to the effect that they should just lighten up, it was "just" Masters swimming.

The individual in question was in fact in the swimming profession and his livelihood depended on having some respect as a competitor who could "walk the walk". So why should he "lighten up" when her decisions (which were breaking some USMS rules) could affect his status as an expert ?

As serious as amateur competitors can be, it takes it up to an entire new level if swimming is how you support yourself & family.

I don't understand your point. Was the coach asking him to do something illegal? Explain.

It's also a different thing to lighten up on a discussion forum as opposed to lighten up on the job. And if lightening up means to stop criticizing others, isn't that a good thing? Or is someone making their living in swimming always right and given free rein to criticize with their own criticism beyond challenge?

As for "walking the walk," no one's stopping Terry. We've heard about his workouts, his times, and his LD records often. The workouts in particular are pretty interesting. So we believe he is a successful masters swimmer. I believe there are other coaches and former coaches on this forum as well as Terry. Yet they don't seem to draw fire. I don't think it's only because of Terry's purportedly revolutionary theories (which a lot seem to like), I think it's because of the way he conveys them. So, whilst he is making his living, he should be more mindful of how he comes across in his profession. He also might wonder if this is the best place to go off on a shoulder or other "crusade" when he already knows that most people don't agree with him on this issue. (No one agreed with him on shoulders as I recall.) It makes one wonder if he is taking his profession seriously when he intentionally courts controversy and then acts defensely when it's at his door. He seems to almost like being the victim of frequent attacks, which makes one wonder again if he's provoking them. It's possible, also, that even though swimming is his profession, that sometimes he's right and sometimes he's wrong. Just saying it's possible now.

Caped Crusader
January 5th, 2007, 07:01 PM
Sometimes, when dealing with disagreements it is helpful to completely cut out all references to one's "opponent" and just make one's point based purely on its merits. Getting personal just creates an unpleasant atmosphere that isn't fun for anyone.

My :2cents:

This is very true, Lindsay. Unfortunately, the ability to hit the quote button makes it readily apparent who you are referring to. So how much is solved?

I think it was Terry, BTW, who first referred to the "usual suspects." So, I'm not sure who you're referring to in your post (perhaps it's all), but if you're defending him, some people find his manner the cause of unpleasantry. :2cents: Perhaps your comment about "opponents" refers to Fortress' post, but, if so, she seemed like she very much wanted not to be his "enemy" with all her numerous and repeated TI-loving posts.

nkfrench
January 5th, 2007, 07:57 PM
It's also a different thing to lighten up on a discussion forum as opposed to lighten up on the job. And if lightening up means to stop criticizing others, isn't that a good thing? Or is someone making their living in swimming always right?

Discussion forum, book, clinic, swim meet -- it can still be all about somebody's expertise in their profession.

If lightening up means to stop criticizing others, that's fine. I'm talking about the flip side where somebody's being attacked. What "isn't a big deal" to you can be a big deal to somebody whose professional expertise is attacked.

Can we recognize the differences in what's at stake, follow the rules, and play nice ? We don't have to agree.

The case I mentioned was a professional just asking for fair treatment per the rules and was insulted by a meet director who trivialized him while denying him his rights. She just did not understand that there is a big spectrum in Masters swimming between casual and committed people.

Caped Crusader
January 5th, 2007, 08:10 PM
Discussion forum, book, clinic, swim meet -- it can still be all about somebody's expertise in their profession.

If lightening up means to stop criticizing others, that's fine. I'm talking about the flip side where somebody's being attacked. What "isn't a big deal" to you can be a big deal to somebody whose professional expertise is attacked.

The case I mentioned was a professional just asking for fair treatment per the rules and was insulted by a meet director who trivialized him while denying him his rights. She just did not understand that there is a big spectrum in Masters swimming between casual and committed people.

I still don't understand the gist of your post. Is Terry the only one being attacked here? It didn't seem so to me. He doesn't just "criticize" either. I've seen him with pistol in hand. And does it follow that the rest of us are of no moment and can therefore be attacked?

I didn't say it "wasn't a big deal to me" not to get attacked. Although it isn't. I'm just a new OW swimmer. But it does seem like no one really wants to be attacked, even the joksters. It also seems like it might be a "big deal" to some people here who are personally, not professionally, attacked. Are personal attacks really any better or somehow more justified because someone's in a profession? Not following this line of thinking.

I still think Terry sets himself up a revolutionary crusader with his self-professed "grandiosity" complex. Since this is a discussion forum (not a swim meet with a rules handbook), then he is open to comment and criticism and possible "attack" about his crusades if he launches them on this forum and derides other theories. It's better to be civil about it of course, but I don't see why Terry is immune just because he's a professional.

Donna is a past Olmypian, teaches swimming and is undertaking a swim to raise money for charity. Is she entitled to less deference than Terry?

And I still don't understand your point about the professoinal being insulted at his meet. What rights was he denied that trivialized him? Why was he trivialized? I agree that some masters swimmers are more committed than others. So what? Masters swimming is not a profession. It is a pasttime and passion and voluntary thing. But even if it were or if "walking the walk" were considered part of a "profession," does that make any difference in who attacks who? I don't believe so. This whole notion is odd to me. Sounds like you just got hot about the guy you knew who was apparently not treated right. But I still think everyone is entitled to equal treatment here, with special deference accorded no one.

islandsox
January 5th, 2007, 08:33 PM
Hey, George,

Even though I have found my "perfect stroke", I may actually, during the very long swim, make some changes to survive what the ocean may throw at me. So, I will never say never. Not only may I have to roll more, I may even have the wonderful opportunity of skipping breaths!! What fun, can't wait.!!

But overall, I am very comfortable with how I swim, it feels "good" and "natural" for now. But in a general way, I don't plan on any more technical changes; only changes when the ocean gets angry, if she gets angry, on my long one.

I hope to raise monies for Alzheimers because my mom is in the last stage of this dreadful disease. I plan on building a website shortly for the contributions that some companies in the states have signed up for.

So starting January 15th, right after my 59th birthday, training starts for the long swim and will continue up to 3 weeks before the swim as I will be tapering. This is probably going to be the most difficult thing I have ever done; the training will probably be more difficult (both physical and mental) for 18 months in duration, so the swim itself may actually be a relief.

So I am going after mega-distance and intensity training and interval training for a very long time. But I have to do this; I just hope my mom is still alive before the swim takes place, but if not, it will be in her honor.

And Terry, you have a lot to offer people in the way of knowledge but please remember, sometimes it is not as important to be right as it is to be happy. Being humble, to me, is what makes a champion.

How about it folks? back to endurance training vs technique, or with one of my latest replies, how much endurance is enough? Of course that will depend on the distances....Let the discussion continue.

Your friend,
Donna

geochuck
January 5th, 2007, 08:36 PM
Back to Endurance Training - I just got out of the pool 8 x 100 at aerobic speed and 2 x 25 butterfly. Thats all the endurance I could muster today.

islandsox
January 5th, 2007, 08:53 PM
My first endurance set might only be 4x325's due to zero aerobic base. It's gonna hurt big time. But I have to leap to 3 miles pretty quickly and then build from there (uh-oh:help:).

Donna

geochuck
January 5th, 2007, 08:53 PM
How about it folks? back to endurance training vs technique, or with one of my latest replies, how much endurance is enough? Of course that will depend on the distances....Let the discussion continue.

Your friend,
Donna
Donna it sounds like you are on track and know what you are in for. If there is any way that I can help let me know. I was teaching a lady how to swim over the last few days who has Alzheimers she was a swimmer before and it took several days for her to get some of her swimming back. It is a terrible ordeal for the person and the family.

Caped Crusader
January 5th, 2007, 09:24 PM
How about it folks? back to endurance training vs technique, or with one of my latest replies, how much endurance is enough? Of course that will depend on the distances....Let the discussion continue.Your friend,Donna

Well, now we're talkin.' To get the ball rolling, could you please answer my question in post #117.

islandsox
January 5th, 2007, 10:15 PM
Hey there, Crusader,

I'll give it a shot based on your reply (#117) to this thread. Well, I already found out that Terry may have accidentaly contradicted himself. In the post above yours (#116), he states that he was training for a 1650 and spent March through August training for it (that's 5 months), and then switched to wanting to do the 400 IM (3 months). This far exceeds the studies he quoted from Skinner and which he agreed, that 8 weeks was plenty for endurance. I have to imagine that he was working on something else than endurance.

It just is not. A swimmer can never have enough endurance, even if the swim is a 200 free. Endurance allows a swimmer to develop pace, and without pace there can be no strategy; well, sound strategy, for the swimmer has to know that when the going gets tough, his conditioning will kick in. Endurance is built through interval sets with lots of rest; intensity sets with little rest, and long swims still on the clock.

When I used to talk to Don Schollander, we had great talks about this in length, and the importance of how tremendous endurance helps everything else that may happen, or that it keeps a swimmer from dying at the end of an extremely fast race (best times). When the body does not have endurance, technique is of little importance at that particular time.

An example, which may or may not be relevant to others here is this: how could I possibly try to swim 18 miles without doing a pile of yardage? I would absolutely croak at about the 4 or 6 or 8 mile mark. I have to have the endurance to sustain 18 miles. I'd better have a good engine to go along with my technique or I will fail, miserably. I can't be in condition for a 5 mile swim, it must be much further.

Now, the question of today may be this: how to go about developing that endurance? Technique will only delay the inevitable: no engine-- if I have not endurance trained.

For the 1650, I swim it as 4x400s with that little 50 left over and I train that way and I swim it that way. For 18 miles, I will add one mile a month throughout training and get accustomed to that, along with doing 2 to 3 mile test swims for time. The faster I can do them, the more endurance is built.

I just don't believe that a swimmer can ever have too much endurance; for me, it is that magic bullet. And then if a swimmer has good technique, they will succeed with more ease than not.

And I know that doing recovery swims regardless of the distance is not the answer; a swimmer has to push themselves (swim fast) to get fast. I honestly believe that Terry is wrong about this and even though he believes it strongly, he may be misleading people based on his opinion without foundation (experience). He even states that he did poorly as an early swimmer, and is even learning now. But I suppose people need to try it both ways and figure out what works best for them; after all, we are all different "vessels" but we have to have a pretty darn good engine to move our vessel forward quickly.

I consider endurance as a good, solid baseline to which everything else is then built. Oh, so I don't get slammed here, I'd better put in that I am using these examples for a swimmer with some good technique.

Donna

The Fortress
January 5th, 2007, 10:19 PM
Back to Endurance Training - I just got out of the pool 8 x 100 at aerobic speed and 2 x 25 butterfly. Thats all the endurance I could muster today.

Lucky you. I didn't do any endurance training today. :mad: And I'm assured I have bad technique. I'm really sunk. I'm going to take LBJ's advice and become an OW swimmer. Or maybe go back to running. I take that much less seriously.

Rich:

I hope you at least warmed down. Very important. Gets that lactic acid out. Did you sit in your hottub after? Maybe when the congestion is done with us, we actually do a whole 200. But it's do or do not. No try. So I didn't today.

SwimStud
January 5th, 2007, 10:46 PM
Well I did another stint in the pool today...300-400 warm up
6x100
4x50
and out
The firsst 100 was meant to be a 200 but I had to stop to cough.. I guess the congestion hasn't quite finished with me...I have figured out that I turn about as fast as a Greyhound...Greyhound Bus that is...

200Breast..7 turns..I am DOOMED!! LOL

LindsayNB
January 5th, 2007, 10:50 PM
This is very true, Lindsay. Unfortunately, the ability to hit the quote button makes it readily apparent who you are referring to. So how much is solved?

Once things leave the friendly zone I would advocate avoiding the quote button. ;)

==============

Personally, as has been said by several people in several threads, I think the soundest most general advice is to figure out what you need to do to improve and then do it. I think a lot of unnecessary controversy arises if you replace the first half of that prescription with what people perceive to be one prescription for everyone - even if it is the right prescription for 95% of the population.

As a fledgling flyer I believe I need to improve my endurance so that I can swim enough good quality fast fly to imprint it. I have swum enough slow/distance fly that I can do a 200 fly, albeit very slowly, even when I'm not in good shape, but I want to improve my fast fly, and I don't think I am going to get there any other way than swimming a lot of (relatively) fast fly, and I think that means getting in better shape.

Recently I took a couple seconds off my 100m free by realizing that my 50m split was way too slow compared to my 50m race and going out a lot faster. I also realized that I tend to drop my left elbow when I get tired near the end of the race. In this case I made a big improvement without getting in better shape.

So, I would recast the original question to: How do I tell if lack of endurance training is limiting my improvement? Or more generally how do I tell what I most need to work on?

I also think it is interesting to look at the world of running when pondering people's appetite for unmindfull endurance-oriented activities. ;)

islandsox
January 5th, 2007, 11:22 PM
Lindsay,

The only one constant thing I know is this: without exeptional conditioning to withstand a given swim distance, technique will not save you. The body has to have great conditioning, exceptional conditioning, so that the technique can be used throughout the distance without fail. Technique is a wonderful thing, but endurance is primary to deliver that technique throughout a swim. And when a swimmer has both, a swim becomes a power swim for them with great reward, both in time, physical feelings and sensations, and completion of the swim without losing the technique they worked so hard to develop.

A question now is this: how to get that endurance, what kinds of training. I have my answers for myself, I am sure many others do, too and maybe people will start sharing how they build endurance.

And it may even be stroke-specific.

Donna

The Fortress
January 5th, 2007, 11:34 PM
I also think it is interesting to look at the world of running when pondering people's appetite for unmindfull endurance-oriented activities. ;)

Very funny Lindsay. :rofl: You could just say you disagree with running, instead of zinging it. I guess even the most mindful among us can't resist a good zing. What's the matter? Bad knees like Terry? I find running to be very restorative; I used to get into a "reverie" (I know I've heard that word somewhere) and go much further than I should have. Man, I get socked either way. No good to be a sprint swimmer; unmindful to be a distance runner. Can't win with this mixed group of joksters and examined thinkers.

It sounds like you're doing more speedwork, not endurance though. Congrats on that 100 free. Good luck on your fly too. As you know, I think race pace fly is fun. Gotta do some high quality intense sprint sets, as you already know.

You always recast my questions in a more lucid manner. So let's just stick with your question and proceed onward.

As to that recast question, personally, I would say that I know I need to do more endurance work if I want to swim a respectable 200. I'd like to do a decent 200 IM. But I don't have much interest in doing a slow painful one in a meet. Not that I don't realize it will be painful. Oh crap, no one likes that pain word here... Not that I don't realize it will create uncomfortable sensations. I just know that limited yardage won't get me there.

knelson
January 6th, 2007, 12:36 AM
How about everyone quit trading barbs and get back to discussing swimming here. Sound good?

Allen Stark
January 6th, 2007, 12:42 AM
With all this discussion I felt I had to say something,but I wasn't sure what until I read Kirk's post and say YES!!!!!!

The Fortress
January 6th, 2007, 12:46 AM
How about everyone quit trading barbs and get back to discussing swimming here. Sound good?

You could just proceed to discuss aspects of endurance swimming and not lecture. For example, I asked for 200 IM tips.

Allen Stark
January 6th, 2007, 01:12 AM
Sorry Fort. I have nothing against levity,things had just gotten too personal for my taste. As to training for the 200 IM,my jocular response would be to say lobby FINA to change the IM to require whip kick on each leg. My serious answer would be to spend part of each workout working on one of the strokes and one workout working on all 4. Figure out the goal split for each 50 and practice the stroke section of each workout at that pace.Do enough oneach one until you feel that pace and have the endurance to keep it up for a set of 100s. Work especially on your worst stroke. I'd guess that 5X100 each stroke and 5X100 of broken IM's "mindfully" would be sufficient as part of your regular workout.

The Fortress
January 6th, 2007, 01:21 AM
Sorry Fort. I have nothing against levity,things had just gotten too personal for my taste.

Mine as well. I'm sure most feel that way. No one likes to be attacked. Even people not in the profession.

Thanks for the 200 IM tips.

Paul Smith
January 6th, 2007, 10:36 AM
Pauls most recent endurance training:

Wednesday:
- drive 5 hours from Phoenix to Vegas, set up trade show booth for 2 hours

Thursday:
- wake up at 4am, get dropped off at airport for 6am flight to Denver
- arrive Denver 8:30am, attend to 2 meetings
- arrive home at 2pm.....shovel and snowblow snow for 3 hours

Friday
- 1am, wake up to see 6 inches of new snow on the ground
- 2am, shovel snow
- 3am.....drive thru blizzard to airport in hopes of catching an earlier flight back to Vegas......by 5am roads are shut down and schools closed from snow
- 7:30am, make it onto flight after deicing delays make it to Vegas by 9am
- Laura picks me up....go to hotel, nap for an hour..go to trade show
- 6pm...take clients out for dinner and gambling till? :drink:

Saturday
- 6am.....wake up check some emails, post on forum....get in car and drive 5 hours back to Phoenix........:coffee:

Water? I don't need no stinking water! :rofl:

The Fortress
January 6th, 2007, 11:08 AM
Pauls most recent endurance training:

Wednesday:
- drive 5 hours from Phoenix to Vegas, set up trade show booth for 2 hours

Thursday:
- wake up at 4am, get dropped off at airport for 6am flight to Denver
- arrive Denver 8:30am, attend to 2 meetings
- arrive home at 2pm.....shovel and snowblow snow for 3 hours

Friday
- 1am, wake up to see 6 inches of new snow on the ground
- 2am, shovel snow
- 3am.....drive thru blizzard to airport in hopes of catching an earlier flight back to Vegas......by 5am roads are shut down and schools closed from snow
- 7:30am, make it onto flight after deicing delays make it to Vegas by 9am
- Laura picks me up....go to hotel, nap for an hour..go to trade show
- 6pm...take clients out for dinner and gambling till? :drink:

Saturday
- 6am.....wake up check some emails, post on forum....get in car and drive 5 hours back to Phoenix........:coffee:

Water? I don't need no stinking water! :rofl:

:rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:

I don't need no stinking water either. Just good drugs.

I guess life interferes with everyone's endurance training...

dorothyrde
January 6th, 2007, 11:10 AM
Pauls most recent endurance training:

Wednesday:
- drive 5 hours from Phoenix to Vegas, set up trade show booth for 2 hours

Thursday:
- wake up at 4am, get dropped off at airport for 6am flight to Denver
- arrive Denver 8:30am, attend to 2 meetings
- arrive home at 2pm.....shovel and snowblow snow for 3 hours

Friday
- 1am, wake up to see 6 inches of new snow on the ground
- 2am, shovel snow
- 3am.....drive thru blizzard to airport in hopes of catching an earlier flight back to Vegas......by 5am roads are shut down and schools closed from snow
- 7:30am, make it onto flight after deicing delays make it to Vegas by 9am
- Laura picks me up....go to hotel, nap for an hour..go to trade show
- 6pm...take clients out for dinner and gambling till? :drink:

Saturday
- 6am.....wake up check some emails, post on forum....get in car and drive 5 hours back to Phoenix........:coffee:

Water? I don't need no stinking water! :rofl:

I think shoveling snow at 2 am counts as endurance training, and probably intervals as well!

geochuck
January 6th, 2007, 11:12 AM
Paul what do you sell from the trade show.

It seems the endurance shown getting ready could be called cross training.

I find that just getting up in the morning feels like endurace training sometimes but after a pot of coffee I am good to go. The pool here in Mexico is a little quieter and I can get in and swim without being jumped on now.

The Fortress
January 6th, 2007, 12:53 PM
I ran across this article awhile ago that relates to endurance training for young age groupers. It opines that there is a window of opportunity for kids that closes if substantial aerobic conditioning or over-distance training is postponed. It stesses the importance of an endurance base in kids under 10. What do others think?

http://www.swimmingcoach.org/articles/9803/9803_1.htm

LindsayNB
January 6th, 2007, 02:05 PM
For the record, I have absolutely nothing against running, I ran for many years and enjoyed it immensely, I only stopped due to knee problems. I think the knee problems were due to living out here in the boonies where the shoulders on the road have a fairly steep grade. My only point was that for me, and for many, running was not a mindful activity in the way Terry is mindful when swimming, but running is very popular. I wasn't concentrating on perfecting my running technique, I was just enjoying being out of doors moving. I am not articulate enough to really capture it in words but I think there is a natural joy in physical movement, whether it be running or swimming or dancing or.... There is also a joy and satisfaction in improving and doing something better than before, but I think that is something different.

geochuck
January 6th, 2007, 02:33 PM
Lindsay more injuries are caused by not thinking at all times, whether running, biking or swimming. Take care of the body by defensive activities, I would never let anyone give me a friendly punch in the arm part of my preparation to swimming. When I ran I was very selective where I ran the same on the bike. But accidents do happen like stepping in a pot hole at the 1958 Commonwealth Games the day before the 110 yards and breaking my ankle. They tapped me and injected me with novacane and I raced but not well.

Allen Stark
January 6th, 2007, 02:54 PM
I get the ASCA newsletter and magazine and would say this article is typical. It says what they do,offers a a few hypotheses and no evidence. They seem to believe there is a window owing to common experience. Common experience is not nothing but it is not hard data. Where are the studies? Maybe there is a window,but starting when and for how many. If there is a window it would almost certainly follow a bi-modal curve with different peaks for male and females. If it were "8-10" it would almost certainly close for some at 8 and not open for others until 12. If it exists what is the minimum and what is too much. Other than Swimming Science Journal does anyone know of a swimming periodical that sights studies and gives data. Sorry about the rant,I'm just tired of conventional wisdom being passed off as science. The window may exist,if so prove it.

Allen Stark
January 6th, 2007, 06:40 PM
I just did a computer search of aerobic capacity in children. I am not great at computer searches so I may have missed something,but I found no references to a window in journals with scientific data. Does anyone have a reference to any studies.

Allen Stark
January 6th, 2007, 07:58 PM
I am not sure why I don't like the article on training 8-10 year olds so much,aside from it's total lack of data. I'm sure this type of training is very good for many,perhaps most swimmers. However,it is a fact(for which I have seen data) that USS is trying desparately to recruit more boys. It has been said in that same journal that boys like to race. Then this article proposes a non-racing,anti-sprinting formula. My fast twitch muscles(and probably my testosterone)recoil from this. I know more than a little about child developement,cardiovascular systems,and energy metabolism and I can't see a mechanism for this window. None the less if there is data backing up this hypothesis I'd love to see it.(Data is not the same as saying"it works for X Olympian so it must be right.)

The Fortress
January 6th, 2007, 08:15 PM
I am not sure why I don't like the article on training 8-10 year olds so much,aside from it's total lack of data. I'm sure this type of training is very good for many,perhaps most swimmers. However,it is a fact(for which I have seen data) that USS is trying desparately to recruit more boys. It has been said in that same journal that boys like to race. Then this article proposes a non-racing,anti-sprinting formula. My fast twitch muscles(and probably my testosterone)recoil from this. I know more than a little about child developement,cardiovascular systems,and energy metabolism and I can't see a mechanism for this window. None the less if there is data backing up this hypothesis I'd love to see it.(Data is not the same as saying"it works for X Olympian so it must be right.)


I didn't really like the article too much either. There is a difference between yardage for 10 & U kids and 13 & O kids. I know that GoodSmith complained in one thread that kids were showing up for college with no "engines" from too much focus on technique. But when is the real engine building supposed to start? 10 & U seems kinda young, like you would risk burnout. And I thought the focus was supposed to on technique then anyway. Plus, if you're doing distance at that age where do you have to go if you're, for example, an early maturing girl whose growth tails off in early adolescence? But that is all just supposition on my part. As you say, it would be nice to have "hard" data.

My son the runner says he has seen the theory espoused in the swimming article in some running books he has read. I'm sure they weren't scientific, but I might check them out.

It sounds like that article has gotten your goat! Thank you for keeping us up to date about any emerging computer research or thoughts!

dorothyrde
January 7th, 2007, 07:46 AM
I have heard reference to this from a coach our team had once. He said that for girls, the window was up to age 12-13, depending on when they hit puberty, and for boys, 14-15, depending on when they hit puberty. Therefore, 10 and unders really have time to work on technique, before they hit the endurance sets.

Another thought, if you have a 10 and under doing heavy yardage, they have nowhere to go when they get older. Kids who have gone to college from our team, have seen this. Our team never had pool space to do doubles during the school year, HS does it, in the summer we do it, but not during the winter. What our kids see, is the kids coming into college from doing doubles since age 12, year round, really don't drop time, because basically, they cannot train any harder than they have. Obviously, I am not talking about the elite, but the rest of the swimming kids, the other 99%.

Also, long endurance sets at 10 and under are probably a good way to send those kids to soccer and other sports, because it would not be fun.

geochuck
January 7th, 2007, 08:16 AM
At our swim school we taught our swimmers to swim, technique correct. We would enter swim meets against the big clubs that did the grind them down workouts. My kids were 6,7, and 8 and swam 2 times a week, for 45 minutes and they would beat the 10 year olds from the big clubs. The rush from the Hamilton swim club to grab these little swimmers was on after the meets. Most were out of swimming within a year. I told the parents they should be brought along slowly and not buried with work but the parents only saw Olympic Gold in the future.

I soon stopped entering the young swimmers in the meets.

SwimStud
January 7th, 2007, 02:08 PM
At our swim school we taught our swimmers to swim, technique correct. We would enter swim meets against the big clubs that did the grind them down workouts. My kids were 6,7, and 8 and swam 2 times a week, for 45 minutes and they would beat the 10 year olds from the big clubs. The rush from the Hamilton swim club to grab these little swimmers was on after the meets. Most were out of swimming within a year. I told the parents they should be brought along slowly and not buried with work but the parents only saw Olympic Gold in the future.

I soon stopped entering the young swimmers in the meets.

George sadly this epidemic is with us still in nearly all parts of kid's lives. They are barely kids these days form the pressure and workloads they have. It's a rarity to find coaches with your mentality. I am grateful my daughters football coach is like you, teach them to play well rather than teach them to win. In the long run a better techinically trained child will more likely evolve into a better skilled athlete. Power can be brought on in the teens with plenty of time to spare.

KaizenSwimmer
January 8th, 2007, 10:55 AM
Also, long endurance sets at 10 and under are probably a good way to send those kids to soccer and other sports, because it would not be fun.

Speaking from the perspective of having coached a thousand or more kids since 1972 , the most critical factor I've observed in creating a foundation for long-term success is how well you can engage their attention, imagination and intrinsic motivation, which arose mainly from giving them a learning experience.

Training designed primarily to "increase endurance" -- often applied by coaches with little imagination themselves -- usually tends to numbing repetition (Mon: "20 x 100 - Ready, go" Tues: "10 x 200 - Ready go.") Such training results in one-dimensional neuromuscular stimulus -- and an impression by the kids that "swimming well requires tolerance of tedium."

Child development experts are unanimous in saying that sports/physical activity experiences through age 12 should focus on skills acquisition and development of a well stocked "library" of motor programs. Endurance should be incidental, rather than the express goal.

It's also worth noting that surveys done of USA National Team members over the last 20 years or so have demonstrated that the experiences of most as 10 and unders were characterized by relatively modest volume and intensity. The kids who were worked hardest during those ages -- and were ranked highest -- often dropped out of swimming before reaching maturity, and as in seen in other sports more and more frequently, as a result of injury.

The Fortress
January 8th, 2007, 11:12 AM
Speaking from the perspective of having coached a thousand or more kids since 1972 , the most critical factor I've observed in creating a foundation for long-term success is how well you can engage their attention, imagination and intrinsic motivation, which arose mainly from giving them a learning experience.

Training designed primarily to "increase endurance" -- often applied by coaches with little imagination themselves -- usually tends to numbing repetition (Mon: "20 x 100 - Ready, go" Tues: "10 x 200 - Ready go.") Such training results in one-dimensional neuromuscular stimulus -- and an impression by the kids that "swimming well requires tolerance of tedium."

Child development experts are unanimous in saying that sports/physical activity experiences through age 12 should focus on skills acquisition and development of a well stocked "library" of motor programs. Endurance should be incidental, rather than the express goal.

It's also worth noting that surveys done of USA National Team members over the last 20 years or so have demonstrated that the experiences of most as 10 and unders were characterized by relatively modest volume and intensity. The kids who were worked hardest during those ages -- and were ranked highest -- often dropped out of swimming before reaching maturity, and as in seen in other sports more and more frequently, as a result of injury.

That's great to hear. I did ask my daughter's coach about this topic quickly. He thought that, for girls (who tend to mature more quickly than boys), the "window," for lack of a better word, was around 12. He called 12 the "make or break year."

I've heard a couple other views. I recall a prior head coach of another area team saying a couple years ago that doing multiple sports was good while younger (developing all the motor skills, etc.), but by 13, if they were serious, he wanted swimming to be their only sport. Another team I know won't let kids 13 & O advance up the rung or into the senior groups unless swiming is their only sport.

Paul Smith
January 8th, 2007, 06:19 PM
OK....managed to workout two days in a row....what a shock!

Today's "recovery/endurance" workout

6 x 100's (25d/75s) @ 20 seconds rest
6 x 3:00 swim for distance (went 250 yards on each)
6 x 2:00 swim for distancs (150's)
6 x 1:00 swim for distance (75's)
warm down

head to airport and fly to Bay Area for two days....and no water again! :shakeshead:

geochuck
January 8th, 2007, 08:31 PM
Today

8 x 125 with 25 sec rest first 25 butterfly (no butterfrog) last 100 crawl

Tomorrow

8 x 125 with 25 sec rest first 100 crawl last 25 butterfly (no butterfrog)

The Fortress
January 9th, 2007, 11:09 AM
Today
8 x 125 with 25 sec rest first 25 butterfly (no butterfrog) last 100 crawl
Tomorrow
8 x 125 with 25 sec rest first 100 crawl last 25 butterfly (no butterfrog)

I've been training a lot too. I opted to swim the one hour postal all fly like KNelson suggested ... did 4700 ...














in my head as I was practicing visualization. :rofl: I actually did a few laps of fly yesterday. A few. No butterfrog as well. Some breaststroke. I have to get ready to race richjb someday. Maybe I'll do your 8 x 125 set today. No butterfrog.

FlyQueen
January 10th, 2007, 11:13 PM
I've been training a lot too. I opted to swim the one hour postal all fly like KNelson suggested ... did 4700 ...














in my head as I was practicing visualization. :rofl: I actually did a few laps of fly yesterday. A few. No butterfrog as well. Some breaststroke. I have to get ready to race richjb someday. Maybe I'll do your 8 x 125 set today. No butterfrog.



OHHH, I love your new quote ... I've heard that one before but it is fabulous!!

Anyway ... I wanted to comment on mindful swimming. I notice that when I swim mindfully I tend to swim crappily. The more I just relax and let my body do what it knows how to do the more efficiently I swim - I am both faster and seem to swim "easier" when I don't concentrate on my stroke too much. We did 2 x 300 this evening and I was far ahead of a teammate that usually beats me on a set like that. Then we did 8 x 100 at 85% on 1:30. My times were absolutely pathethic ... my stroke felt terrible, I kept trying to think about it and how to fix and what was wrong, but it just got worse.

I find this is also true with fly and backstroke. The more mindful I am the more I struggle ... it's very :dedhorse:

Allen Stark
January 12th, 2007, 01:53 AM
Heather,now you have me confused about mindfulness.As the great philosopher Yogi Berra said"you can't hit and think at the same time". When I am swimming a workout I try to focus on one or 2 things at a time. If I think too much I don't swim well,but I think I need some awareness to improve.There must be some balance. As I noted earlier,during one of my best swims ever,my 100 breast at Worlds,I had no awareness of thought for the first 80M.

KaizenSwimmer
January 12th, 2007, 07:09 AM
As the great philosopher Yogi Berra said"you can't hit and think at the same time". When I am swimming a workout I try to focus on one or 2 things at a time. If I think too much I don't swim well,but I think I need some awareness to improve.There must be some balance.

Allen's mention of balance highlights a key distinction in mindfulness. Different kinds of actions require different approaches. And one must practice mindfulness to be effective at it. It's not a "no-brainer."

In hitting you connect a bat with a small round object approaching at up to 100mph and arriving in the hitting zone a fraction of a second after it leaves the pitcher's hand. Hitters must make an educated guess about how to swing long before the ball arrives and produce an automatic response. They earn $10 million a year if they guess right only 3 of every 10 times. With the financial stakes so high, smart hitters no longer rely on instinct. They practice hitting as both science and art.

Hitting - as with golf and tennis swings or a throwing action of any kind - is a ballistic action, and as such cannot be guided or adjusted once launched. So the athlete gives incredible attention to setup and initiation. Last summer I read a Sports Illustrated article about Albert Pujols, the most dangerous hitter in the major leagues. He described his process for practicing his stroke, for four to six hours a day in the offseason and an hour or two in-season. (Tony Gwynn was a first-ballot choice for the Hall of Fame yesterday because he did the same. So do Tiger Woods and Michelle Wie.)

For instance, how he pulls his lead elbow at the moment of initiation is one of literally dozens of "swing thoughts" he considers critical. So he'll take hundreds of swings seeking to access a subtle detail of that moment then groove that fleeting sensation into an utterly unvarying habit.

In swimming, racing a sprint comes closest to that way of being mindful. In a race lasting 20 to 50 seconds, at nearly 2 strokes per second, you can't think-and-do. A sprinter's movements need to be grooved in the same way Pujols are. They should also be rehearsed with all the mental power you can summon prior to the race. But even that rehearsal should focus on just one highly specific aspect or sensation, or you'll be "paralyzed."

However when I race for six minutes to eight hours - often at less than a stroke per second -- I have the luxury to think effectively while doing and to make midcourse corrections. And, like Allen, to do the same on every practice repeat -- even during 25s. Even so, Mindful Swimming is still a skill that becomes truly effective only through patient and examined practice.

For years I could only execute one narrow "stroke thought" well -- for instance an imaginary "target" to which I spear my hand on entry in freestyle. During 25 years of "unexamined" swimming (ages 12 to 37) that spot was in front of my head - i.e. crossover. When I saw video of myself and recognized my error, it took six months of "mindfulness" to undo a habit wrought by millions of previous strokes to the point. This simply got me to the point where my hand consistently went where I wanted it to when I wasn't thinking about it. It did not ensure I'd maintain that when racing.

Later, through further video study, I became aware that my fingertips were even with my wrist when they got to that spot -- or above my wrist as I took a breath. Seeing Popov, Thorpe, Hackett et. al. online I'd realized that every elite freestyler tipped the hand down as they made the catch. So I spent another six months focusing almost exclusively on that.

I could name another three to five refinements of the catch and initiation of my freestyle stroke that have undergone similar examination and grooving. Every instance has brought a measurable improvement in performance, allowing me to avoid the age-related declines in speed experienced by most of my peers. My engine is as vulnerable to aging as theirs, but my vessel has improved with time to offset that.

When I began to practice swimming skills the way Pujols and Woods practice their skills, I had to learn the discipline to block out other thoughts and to concentrate on a narrow detail for dozens, then hundreds, of strokes. Only recently have I found myself able to combine two closely related thoughts -- for instance driving my opposite foot at the moment my hand arrived at that memorized position.

The point I made earlier much in this thread is that while I'm training my nervous system in this manner, my aerobic system also gets trained. During the years I concentrated on my aerobic system, my nervous system was still being imprinted -- to direct my hand to the center with fingers up.

The aerobic system doesn't "make mistakes" if you let its training "happen." The nervous system -- as confirmed by watching underwater video of thousands of swimmers -- does.

geochuck
January 12th, 2007, 07:26 AM
Terry do you think you will ever slow down or is it you have never reached your potential. Will you as you age eventially become slower. I know that if I had kept up competing I would have improved after 39 years of age but when does the aging process catch up and then show decline in speed and flexability.

The Fortress
January 12th, 2007, 08:49 AM
Tony Gwynn was a first-ballot choice for the Hall of Fame yesterday because he did the same. Mindful Swimming is still a skill that becomes truly effective only through patient and examined practice.

As to baseball, how can you mention Gwynn without mentioning Cal Ripken?! Ripken had an even higher percentage of the vote, I seem to recall. Gwynn is great, but what about the ironman? I think he had some "mental endurance" as well as physical endurance. You gotta take that reference to Barry Bonds out of the next edition of your TI book too. Mets suck. :thhbbb:

As for swimming, there are times to think and times to just go fast. I agree with Allen though, I can't think about too much at once. Maybe it's the sprinter short attention span problem.

Why are you using those initial caps as in "Mindful Swimming" and "Continuous Improvement?"

geochuck
January 12th, 2007, 09:53 AM
Dave sometimes we enjoy the wonderful things around us. Oh to swim down a river and see amazing things but suddenly a bunch of logs show up in the river heading for a sawmill. Technique goes out the window and it is a fight for survival.

I have swimming on my mind but it does not consume everthing I do. Oh for the waterproof Ipod and to be able to stroke to the beat of the music.

I hope the music beat is 54 strokes to the minute or my desired pace. I know my hand enters correctly without thinking, I know I have it in the right position to get hold of the water in the catch phase witout thinking, I know I have the right shoulder roll and can get my air without thinking, I know where my hand comes out at the finish without thinking.

LindsayNB
January 12th, 2007, 10:25 AM
In swimming, racing a sprint comes closest to that way of being mindful. In a race lasting 20 to 50 seconds, at nearly 2 strokes per second, you can't think-and-do.
...
However when I race for six minutes to eight hours - often at less than a stroke per second -- I have the luxury to think effectively while doing and to make midcourse corrections.
...
For years I could only execute one narrow "stroke thought" well -- for instance an imaginary "target" to which I spear my hand on entry in freestyle.
...
When I saw video of myself and recognized my error, it took six months of "mindfulness" to undo a habit wrought by millions of previous strokes to the point. This simply got me to the point where my hand consistently went where I wanted it to when I wasn't thinking about it. It did not ensure I'd maintain that when racing.

Later, through further video study, I became aware ... So I spent another six months focusing almost exclusively on that.

I could name another three to five refinements of the catch and initiation of my freestyle stroke that have undergone similar examination and grooving.
...
Only recently have I found myself able to combine two closely related thoughts -- for instance driving my opposite foot at the moment my hand arrived at that memorized position.

In other posts you have mentioned it taking 11 years to get where you are.

All this leads me to wonder if some of the controversy around TI derives from incorrect expectations about the time frame in which the TI approach will result in dramatic changes and improvements in performance? Especially in the shorter distance events. I think a lot of people try something like the TI approach for a few months and look for big performance improvements in their races, and dismiss the TI approach if that doesn't happen. Probably relatively inexperienced swimmers do make dramatic improvements quickly, but the long-time competitive swimmer, such as Terry, may take a lot longer. This is even more so for sprint oriented swimmers where what is automatic is what happens in the race, versus distance and open water where there is more opportunity for conscious adjustments during the race.

On top of that, especially for inexperienced swimmers, without video or a coach to correct errors in percpetion of what one is doing versus what one is really doing, there is a lot of room for the self-coached swimmer to end up practicing the wrong thing. We have a few swimmers at our pool who learned to swim from a book, and it is painful to watch them swimming along in slow motion ingraining a radical crossover and other stroke flaws. In my personal experience a book just can't do what a coach can, certainly not without regular video taping. Really I think that every pool catering to lap swimming ought to have a video setup.

None of this is to say that having a technique oriented coach, and being focused on technique when training is not absolutely the way to go, it is just a conjecture on the source of some of the resistance to the TI approach.

More directly on topic, one of the things I am experiencing in my own swimming is dealing with different "gears", in order to practice and imprint my "higher gears" I need be able to do a lot of repeats with enough rest that I can maintain form and speed. I did two "swim camps" over the holidays with much higher volume than we get in in our 55min workouts, and I think that has helped me to be able to maintain form on the sets we've been doing, in fact I think I've actually been able to improve my form as the sets progress. I am definately one of those swimmers that benefits from the 20x50 or 12x100 sets, I hate it when the coach gives us mixed up sets where I can't get in the groove before we're changing stroke or drill or to kicking or whatever. For free at least I'm actually faster than most of the people in the next lane up, but I won't move up because they insist on going on intervals where they get practically no rest, turning everything into one long medium intensity swim. The other problem is that I suck at everything other than free :-)

Caped Crusader
January 12th, 2007, 10:42 AM
For the record, I have absolutely nothing against running, I ran for many years and enjoyed it immensely, I only stopped due to knee problems. I think the knee problems were due to living out here in the boonies where the shoulders on the road have a fairly steep grade. My only point was that for me, and for many, running was not a mindful activity in the way Terry is mindful when swimming, but running is very popular. I wasn't concentrating on perfecting my running technique, I was just enjoying being out of doors moving. I am not articulate enough to really capture it in words but I think there is a natural joy in physical movement, whether it be running or swimming or dancing or.... There is also a joy and satisfaction in improving and doing something better than before, but I think that is something different.

I agree that there is natural joy in physical movement. I think running is not as technique-oriented as swimming and there are at least 5 or 6 different strokes in swimming (although I only partake in one). But any runner who is "serious" as Terry is "serious" about swimming has to be mindful if they want to train properly or continue improving. Periodization training is not easy. Bad technique in running can also lead to injuries. So, improving in running is just as hard and mindful as improving in swimming. Just my view. As Rich said somewhere, it's just an opinion, and can therefore be tossed aside. At the moment, I'm not overly concerned with continuous improvement. I'm just trying to find some joy and continue building my engine.

I don't think "endorphins" should be considered a bad word either, as may have been implied. Endorphins = joy, just as continuous improvement can = joy.

geochuck
January 12th, 2007, 10:46 AM
Lindsay you are with me I suck at everything but fly and crawl.

I also see others that suck in crawl and fly. I did not always suck in breaststroke and backstroke but I now refuse to swim either one. Breaststroke because of the kick and my knees. Backstroke because I get seasick swimming backstroke with goggles on.

Caped Crusader
January 12th, 2007, 10:47 AM
On top of that, especially for inexperienced swimmers, without video or a coach to correct errors... The other problem is that I suck at everything other than free :-)

Me too, as to the second sentence. I am wondering how many people really have access to video cameras as part of masters training. I am not aware of many masters teams that do this. I would be curious to see how many people have this benefit. It seems like it would be very useful, but I bet it doesn't happen much.

Caped Crusader
January 12th, 2007, 10:53 AM
Terry do you think you will ever slow down or is it you have never reached your potential. Will you as you age eventially become slower. I know that if I had kept up competing I would have improved after 39 years of age but when does the aging process catch up and then show decline in speed and flexability.

I am a very disciplined person. I try never to miss a workout, and I work out every day unless I'm really ill. I am trying to fight the aging thing with great gusto. But I'm not as fast now as I was when younger and I'm more prone to injury. There is an inevitable decline in speed and flexibility even if you try very hard to avoid it. Now, if you're willing to swim lots of different events, or ones you've never tried before, then you can perhaps get some PBs. Or if you weren't training properly before and fix something, then you can improve. But if you're doing everything reasonably correctly and being reasonably mindful, you're going to hit a speed cap at some point.

geochuck
January 12th, 2007, 11:03 AM
So easy to video. Sure an underwater camera is great I have 2. But a regular digital camera will give you some great above water shots in movie mode . One shot swimming directly towards the camera, a side view, a view from the back swimming away from the camer and a view from a 45 degree angle swimming towards you.

Then analyze with a low priced video analysis program like Sportsmotion cost about $200 http://www.sportsmotion.com/

poolraat
January 12th, 2007, 11:20 AM
... Really I think that every pool catering to lap swimming ought to have a video setup.

Like I see this happening at our pool:rofl: :rofl: :rofl:

You should see the looks I get when I bring my own camera.

The Fortress
January 12th, 2007, 11:22 AM
So easy to video. Sure an underwater camera is great I have 2. But a regular digital camera will give you some great above water shots in movie mode . One shot swimming directly towards the camera, a side view, a view from the back swimming away from the camer and a view from a 45 degree angle swimming towards you.

Then analyze with a low priced video analysis program like Sportsmotion cost about $200 http://www.sportsmotion.com/

It's easy to do, but I don't see any masters coaches doing it! My team doesn't. I wish it did. I guess I could drag Mr. Fortress to the pool and have him film me. Everyone would think it was quite odd -- not that I care! But if I'm working out on the weekend, he's usually at home or en route somewhere with the kidlets. Maybe I'll have to go to a TI clinic for some really decent video feedback and coaching. Terry, do I have to learn butterfrog at your clinics or can I skip that part? ;)

Poolraat: Nice signature. No mouse traps in my house, however. I have a cat that I'm allergic to that takes care of any mice.

SwimStud
January 12th, 2007, 11:37 AM
Like I see this happening at our pool:rofl: :rofl: :rofl:

You should see the looks I get when I bring my own camera.

It's not the camera; it's the winking at the ladies and yelling "Action!" that causes the looks!

I asked MrsRichjb to "make me a star" for your amusement the other day but she said she didn't think the Y lets you film. I guess she would feel silly making a movie. I'll have to ask and maybe sneak in just before closing so there are no "extras" trying to steal the show...

Caped Crusader
January 12th, 2007, 11:39 AM
It's not the camera; it's the winking at the ladies and yelling "Action!" that causes the looks!

I asked MrsRichjb to "make me a star" for your amusement the other day but she said she didn't think the Y lets you film. I guess she would feel silly making a movie. I'll have to ask and maybe sneak in just before closing so there are no "extras" trying to steal the show...

The Ys and their stupid rules stink. Not even a bottle of water there ...

SwimStud
January 12th, 2007, 11:44 AM
It's easy to do, but I don't see any masters coaches doing it! My team doesn't. I wish it did. I guess I could drag Mr. Fortress to the pool and have him film me. Everyone would think it was quite odd -- not that I care! But if I'm working out on the weekend, he's usually at home or en route somewhere with the kidlets.

Hey..I'll meet you somewhere around halfway...you film me and I film you!

"OK baby that's it...gimme more pout with that butterfly!"

:joker: :applaud: :woot: :groovy: :banana:

OK I got a little overexcited.

:shakeshead: :rofl:

The Fortress
January 12th, 2007, 11:52 AM
Hey..I'll meet you somewhere around halfway...you film me and I film you!

"OK baby that's it...gimme more pout with that butterfly!"

:joker: :applaud: :woot: :groovy: :banana:

OK I got a little overexcited.

:shakeshead: :rofl:


I'm sure there must be a Y somewhere halfway. Maybe we can sneak in some :drink: to have during and after our swim. But who's going to critique your breaststroke? I guess I can tell you whether you're timing the dolphin kick on your starts and turns correctly or whether there's drag on your streamline. But that's about it. Would you try out my monofin ... just for fun? Might help the abs so you'll look like Submariner. If you put your butterfrog on youtube for us all, I'm sure George would be willing to take a look. He's pretty good with that stuff. ;)

SwimStud
January 12th, 2007, 12:00 PM
I'm sure there must be a Y somewhere halfway. Maybe we can sneak in some :drink: to have during and after our swim. But who's going to critique your breaststroke? I guess I can tell you whether you're timing the dolphin kick on your starts and turns correctly or whether there's drag on your streamline. But that's about it. Would you try out my monofin ... just for fun? Might help the abs so you'll look like Submariner. If you put your butterfrog on youtube for us all, I'm sure George would be willing to take a look. He's pretty good with that stuff. ;)

Oh I love it when you talk "monofin" to me... :D

Well I guess I'd leave my breaststroke to the experts here. My goal after the meet is this: Swim a mile of crawl (6week schedule with Wren) Then get the technique sorted out. (I know many will say get the technique first but it's coming along--I have improved). I'm not looking to compete for crawl anyhow. I am too "square" not long and lean enough.
I do OK but yeah I need a good coaching session.

The Fortress
January 12th, 2007, 12:07 PM
Oh I love it when you talk "monofin" to me... :D

Well I guess I'd leave my breaststroke to the experts here. My goal after the meet is this: Swim a mile of crawl (6week schedule with Wren) Then get the technique sorted out. (I know many will say get the technique first but it's coming along--I have improved). I'm not looking to compete for crawl anyhow. I am too "square" not long and lean enough.
I do OK but yeah I need a good coaching session.

Oh I love it when you talk "engine-building" to me ...:D

And I see you are mocking "squares." You don't have to be "long and lean" to do free. Even the short types like Allen, FlyQueen and myself have been known to do the 50 free, although we pass on the 500.

I really think you should work on Mrs. Richjhb to film you. Maybe I'll have Rude Hormonal Fortress film me doing SDKs with my monofin. Have to head off soon to lift some weights and use that device.

gull
January 12th, 2007, 12:55 PM
I'm not sure why posters have a problem with the concept of "mindful" (or "Mindful") swimming. Bobby Hackett once said that he never swam a length of the pool without thinking about his technique. What I really like about swimming is that for one hour out of the day I am not thinking about work and other responsibilities. I try to focus on what I'm doing--not just technique, but also pace, how I want to swim the set (which we try to plan in advance), energy management, etc. When I'm distracted I have a poor workout and feel like I wasted an hour.

geochuck
January 12th, 2007, 01:12 PM
It is a sales gimmick - by many selling swim lessons or promoting there so called specialized programs.

midful http://thesaurus.reference.com/browse/mindful%20

Everyone knows when you swim it takes some thought processes and these thought processes are not private domain unless you register the name.

I applied today to register mindfulswimming.com and it is available, any takers go get it and blow your mind.

islandsox
January 12th, 2007, 03:52 PM
From Lindsay's comment:

"In other posts you have mentioned it taking 11 years to get where you are.

All this leads me to wonder if some of the controversy around TI derives from incorrect expectations about the time frame in which the TI approach will result in dramatic changes and improvements in performance? Especially in the shorter distance events. I think a lot of people try something like the TI approach for a few months and look for big performance improvements in their races, and dismiss the TI approach if that doesn't happen. Probably relatively inexperienced swimmers do make dramatic improvements quickly, but the long-time competitive swimmer, such as Terry, may take a lot longer. This is even more so for sprint oriented swimmers where what is automatic is what happens in the race, versus distance and open water where there is more opportunity for conscious adjustments during the race.

On top of that, especially for inexperienced swimmers, without video or a coach to correct errors in percpetion of what one is doing versus what one is really doing, there is a lot of room for the self-coached swimmer to end up practicing the wrong thing. We have a few swimmers at our pool who learned to swim from a book, and it is painful to watch them swimming along in slow motion ingraining a radical crossover and other stroke flaws. "
----------------
I think what Lindsay wrote is very important as it partly deals with how much time is really too much time, if there is such a thing. I am a believer in constantly tweaking things about my stroke if "this" or "that" starts to happen, but with many hours in the pool and having had most of these experiences to deal with and learn to swim better when they occurred, I absolutely never have to be "mindful." And I have tried to think back as to when I had to swim mindful and when I did not. I'd have to say 30 years ago or so. And part of the reason for this is I, too, am a quick learner, I could feel back then the right or wrong way to swim for optimum results, and I made those changes usually in one swim practice. They became "normal" to me within an hour or so. But I also had world class coaching which is ever important.

And I do believe that many people can be mislead by quick fixes in the swim training world; I experienced a small group down here at our triathlon who knew they would be fast and they were not. They had learned how to swim TI and had been doing so for one year. My point is people can interpret swim technique to mean automatically quick fixes for them, and then suffer great disappointment when they do not reach their goals. This group of girls could not break 1 minute for a 50 free, so their mile swim was not an enjoyable event for them. Now I don't know if they were told they would do well because they were TI'ing, or just expected they would. But they were talking about constantly being aware of their stroke all through the race.

Sometimes, I truly believe that things can be over-analyzed and swimming can be one of those for some people. I believe in letting the body enjoy the water and perform to the best of its training at that moment; trust your training; trust your technique; and let go and swim. I am not sure that being mindful will help you get to the finish line any faster.

Donna

The Fortress
January 12th, 2007, 04:05 PM
I'm not sure why posters have a problem with the concept of "mindful" (or "Mindful") swimming. Bobby Hackett once said that he never swam a length of the pool without thinking about his technique. What I really like about swimming is that for one hour out of the day I am not thinking about work and other responsibilities. I try to focus on what I'm doing--not just technique, but also pace, how I want to swim the set (which we try to plan in advance), energy management, etc. When I'm distracted I have a poor workout and feel like I wasted an hour.

Are you the same guy who felt "dismissed" on the "freestyle stroke question" thread? :thhbbb:

I don't think it's a huge deal really. As George said, all of us think "intently" about swimming -- or we probably wouldn't bother to post on a swim forum. It's pretty hard, and definitely undesirable, to swim workouts frequently without thinking about stroke technique, especially if you want to improve. I think about it fairly continually. But sometimes other random thoughts intrude. Like: Am I going to make this interval? ... What stroke should I do when the coach posts a "stroke (choice)" set on the board? ... Why didn't I bring a water bottle to practice? ... My shoulder is starting to hurt on this fly set ... I just gotta breathe out of this turn ... I can't wait to sit in the hottub ... I hope my children will be in bed when I get home ... I think I might need a new suit ... Are we on #8 or #9 in the set? How many lengths have I swum? Do I really have to swim another 400 free? Etc. Plus, I do think you can overthink things sometimes, resulting in more confusion,

Today, I swam a short workout with only 2 thoughts in my head:
1. How am I going to breathe with this nose clip on and why does it keep falling off?
2. I suck. I'm really out of shape and I can't even weight lifts anymore.

Those two thoughts pretty much won out. The only constructive thing I did was practice underwater SDKs with my monofin -- which was indeed quite fun.

Personally, and this is just my own opinion, so it can be tossed out, I think when you repeat the same words over and over ("revolutionary" or "mindful" or "neural" or "effortless" or "imprint") or use initial caps, it starts to sound just a bit like a campaign slogan. Since we're probably all pretty intelligent, I assume we can be mindful without being told to be Mindful. Ande gives great advice all the time without using a mantra. Just a thought. It doesn't reflect at all on Terry's body of work. He's done great things and transformed some people's lives by helping them do things they never thought possible. So that's a noble cause. And if he can make the world safe for children so that they don't develop shoulder problems, I'm all for that. I'd trust him to coach my kids, for sure. That's the real bottom line.

Caped Crusader
January 12th, 2007, 04:42 PM
I'm not sure why posters have a problem with the concept of "mindful" (or "Mindful") swimming. Bobby Hackett once said that he never swam a length of the pool without thinking about his technique. What I really like about swimming is that for one hour out of the day I am not thinking about work and other responsibilities. I try to focus on what I'm doing--not just technique, but also pace, how I want to swim the set (which we try to plan in advance), energy management, etc. When I'm distracted I have a poor workout and feel like I wasted an hour.

I think there are several reasons:

1. Some people are "naturals." They have an innate sense of pace and feel for the water. They may not feel like they need to be mindful all the time.

2. Some people, like George and Donna, feel that, after a lifetime of swimming, they've already "imprinted" things and don't need to be mindful.

3. Some people are doers and some are thinkers. So doers might not even want to be mindful.

4. Some people just prefer to engine build. That's OK. Whatever floats your boat.

5. Some people have referred to what TI itself calls its "mindset." You have to sort of buy in to the TI "philosophy" to make it work. People who prefer to have free will at all times, like me, might not want to adopt a "mindset." No big deal.

6. Some people are really just joking with Terry, and they know it gets his goat. Maybe they want to see if he will "lighten up." He says he won't, and that's fine. That's his free will.

7. Some people, perhaps like Fortress, like to pick and choose different pieces of advice. If they use a kickboard or pull buoy or fins, they are criticized under TI principles. It could be that some aspects of TI are good for an individual swimmer and some are not. Every swimmer is different. If they want to kick, like Ande, let them kick. If they want to use fins for their shoulders, like Fortress, let them do that. If they want to use a pull buoy to give their knees a break, fine. In other words, an individual, who is probably already mindful, may use their mind to determine what suits them best. If they do this, and then are told they are not mindful, it might grate on them.

Can't think of anything else.

geochuck
January 12th, 2007, 05:05 PM
May I suggest we now do purposeful swimming. I am swimming now with purpose - a goal to be achieved. http://thesaurus.reference.com/browse/purposeful

My new cliche' - purposeful swimming.

FlyQueen
January 12th, 2007, 05:10 PM
What I meant when I said was that the more I thought the worse I swam was that I truly believe that sometimes your body can fix things automatically. It just makes adjustments and finds a way to make your stroke the most efficient. If you over think you start to fight the water rather than work with the water. Perhaps this isn't true of everyone.


Maybe if I stopped trying to think of the 800 things I do wrong while swimming breaststroke it wouldn't be so terrible ... something to work on ...

dorothyrde
January 13th, 2007, 08:07 AM
With me, there are some things if I think to hard about, then the stroke falls apart. Like breaststroke, if I DON't think about my kick, I get lazy, don't finish it, and my timing starts to get off. so for my breaststroke to work the best it can, I have to think more about my kick then pull. My pull needs work, but when I concentrate more on that, it really is bad. On fly, it is the arms I need to work on, because the kick seems to flow for me. Not to say my kick is great, but it works better than the rest of the stroke!

Someone last night commented on how nice my form is, and I was thinking, but I do this on my turn, and this on my stroke, and how bad this is, and then thought....maybe I am thinking too much!

Paul Smith
January 13th, 2007, 10:07 AM
I find that I'm usually very aware in almost all workouts of what I'm doing/not doing....the last couple of months I can't seem to make a correction to my left hand entry (breathing side) and I sense more of a "lope" than I usually have.....its only about an inch differance...but not good and very hard to correc right now for some reason.....

In general I will take 11 strokes per 25yds swimming at 200/500 pacing...if I'm broken down, not concentrating or fading at the end that can go to 13....and I know I need to refocus.

In a meet situation if I'm aware or thinking in any way about my technique its because I'm struggling.....not something I like to do if at all possible!

SwimStud
January 13th, 2007, 09:05 PM
Today, I swam a short workout with only 2 thoughts in my head:
1. How am I going to breathe with this nose clip on and why does it keep falling off?

LOL:laugh2:

Caped Crusader
January 14th, 2007, 02:11 PM
LOL:laugh2:

What are you going to do if you ever have to wear one? They do sound awful. I might use ear plugs though.

Here's my endurance training. Went for my usual five mile loop this morning. Going lapswimming later -- after I go to Home Depot, Circuit City, drive one kid to a sleep over, pick another up from a playdate, install new speakers and printer cartridges, wash the car... Not thinking about a thing. Not worrying either. Just living life.

SwimStud
January 14th, 2007, 02:27 PM
What are you going to do if you ever have to wear one? They do sound awful. I might use ear plugs though.

Here's my endurance training. Went for my usual five mile loop this morning. Going lapswimming later -- after I go to Home Depot, Circuit City, drive one kid to a sleep over, pick another up from a playdate, install new speakers and printer cartridges, wash the car... Not thinking about a thing. Not worrying either. Just living life.

Jeez you need a wife to do that stuff for you. There's beer to drink and football to watch man y'know...

My wife is now feeling anxious about my new "hawtnessity." A lot of the "moms" have been commenting to her about my accent. Now I'm getting buff she's starting to feel the heat to keep up...well good she need to work out for the health and strength benefits, so hopefully I'll be setting a good example for her--don't get me wrong she's beautiful as she is.

I don't need any :argue: LOL

Nose clips..c'mon man I look a big enough ass in jammers. No nose-clips or swim hats for me. It's not like I'm gong to the olympics is it? I'd shave my head and grow gills before using a cap or nose clip.

The Fortress
January 14th, 2007, 08:35 PM
My wife is now feeling anxious about my new "hawtnessity." she is.

Nose clips..c'mon man I look a big enough ass in jammers. No nose-clips or swim hats for me. It's not like I'm gong to the olympics is it? I'd shave my head and grow gills before using a cap or nose clip.

It's amazing what engine building can do for one's body. Your wife will no doubt start thinking you're having an affair soon. Just don't buy her flowers, or she will be really convinced.

I have news for you though. When you go to your first masters meets virtually all men will be wearing those caps. Have fun sporting gills and a bald head instead. :thhbbb:

SwimStud
January 14th, 2007, 09:40 PM
It's amazing what engine building can do for one's body. Your wife will no doubt start thinking you're having an affair soon. Just don't buy her flowers, or she will be really convinced.

I have news for you though. When you go to your first masters meets virtually all men will be wearing those caps. Have fun sporting gills and a bald head instead. :thhbbb:

I'm too tired for an affair...unless someone has some re-bulland viagara to spare...
...I have an idea: I'll by her flowers then one of you can phone me and hang up when she answers!!

I don't do flowers...well rarely. I won't be ripped off.
St Vals, never...Anniversary once or twice...Birthday...seldom.
I get her flowers out of the blue...I just decide to send them to her at work so all the girls get jealous and tell her how lucky she it...that really get's her goat! LOL

KaizenSwimmer
January 14th, 2007, 10:36 PM
Will you as you age eventially become slower.

I lost speed significantly from age 41 through my mid 40s, as work demands reduced my practice time. Then my times stayed relatively stable through my early 50s. I still was training lightly - even when I swam MIMS in 2002 - but steady progress in efficiency compensated for aging.

Since I prioritized racing and performance again in the last two years my times have improved significantly and continuously. My training volume isn't that much higher, but it's much more thoughtful and "urgent." Also Dave Barra, my training partner, has been getting steadily faster and has pulled me along.

My current goals are to post at least one new personal best each year from 56 to 59 and to improve to the point where I'm competitive with the top swimmers in my age group at the World Masters in the 3K.

When the aging process does inevitably take a toll on my times, my goal will be to lose speed more slowly than my peers so I can improve my national and world rankings as I progress through the age groups. Graham Johnston's records in the 60, 65, 70 and 75 age groups present daunting -- and inspiring -- targets. Since he was an Olympian in his youth and I was a wanna-be, I'll have to be very resourceful, to "get in his draft."

KaizenSwimmer
January 14th, 2007, 10:44 PM
Maybe if I stopped trying to think of the 800 things I do wrong

When you first practice mindfulness, your brain can handle one thought at a time. As soon as you introduce a 2nd, you usually do neither well.

And rather than dwell on what you're doing wrong, focus on what you want to do right. In Breaststroke breathing, head position, direction of movement and timing of movement are all critical.
1) Position - chin barely above the surface and look at the water about six inches in front of your nose...but without really seeing it.
2) Direction - after breathing, extend your head forward - as subtly and smoothly as you can.
3) Timing - have your head arrive in streamline at the exact moment your hands reach full extension.

Choose one and focus on it for 8-10 x 25s or 4-5 x 50s. Block out all other thoughts. There are another 10 or 12 focal points worth thinking about in Breaststroke, but this small sample will give you the idea of how fine the detail can get.

KaizenSwimmer
January 14th, 2007, 10:52 PM
If they use a kickboard or pull buoy or fins, they are criticized under TI principles.

Where has there been criticism of any person on this Forum for using such equipment? I have stated an opinion that most use of swim aids is unexamined and not beneficial. Anyone is welcome to hold a different opinion. I'll still offer what I consider examined thinking about those choices.

KaizenSwimmer
January 14th, 2007, 11:07 PM
As to baseball, how can you mention Gwynn without mentioning Cal Ripken?! <snip> You gotta take that reference to Barry Bonds out of the next edition of your TI book too. <snip>

Why are you using those initial caps as in "Mindful Swimming" and "Continuous Improvement?"

I mentioned Gwynn because the yogi quote was about hitting. I am as much a Ripken fan as a Gwynn fan.

Thanks for the reminder about removing Barry Bonds. I wrote that in 95 when he was young, slender and all-natural.

I use caps because I've used those phrases as chapter or section headings in books and articles. I swam with the Rochester Area Masters this morning, on my way home from doing a clinic in Buffalo. Had breakfast afterward with Bruce Gianniny and Dana Woody, two accomplished distance swimmers. We mostly talked about the influence of attitude on achievement.

I said that I see my mission as teaching people how to become overachievers. Teaching better stroke technique is a small part of that. Attitude and mindset are more important than stroke mechanics in achieving goals. Thus I often capitalize phrases that embody attitude.

Peter Cruise
January 14th, 2007, 11:26 PM
Terry- re equipment: for the past few years I have preferred to not use them, they have nestled unloved in my swimbag since.
However, I got back into the water this week after 2 months out of the water, no exercise at all (life has been throwing some curveballs). I was struck by how fish-like my first laps were; unfortunately fish-like as in those sitting in cellophane at the market. Everything was off: timing, balance, distance-per-stroke etc. To make a long story short, I was having real trouble wrapping my mind around finding a positive point to start working from, so in frustration I climbed out and fetched my unloved padddles and buoy. Within a few laps, enough balance and resistance feel re-established to discard them again and begin working well again. I was also having trouble with my breastroke kick, so I tried my old half-sized kickboard (less buoyant) so I could better isolate my kick angles and pitch. Again, just a few laps enabled enough sensory info to discard the board and make progress. The next day I was able to swim with our club and keep up in the fastest lane, so I credit that judicious use of equipment with facilitating that.

FlyQueen
January 14th, 2007, 11:28 PM
So hard to explain things on a forum ... do I think about my stroke when I swim? Yes ... I also find that sometimes, more often than not actually, if I just relax and let my body go I swim better - faster, easier, with better technique. I still think about my stroke from time to time. I HAVE to think about breaststroke technique of else I would drown while attempting it ... I also have to think about rotation in back. For free and fly I tend to do better when I just swim without focusing too much on stroke technique, but rather just enjoy the feel. Then IF a coach has a critique I try to focus on that, sometimes it makes it crappier sometimes it helps, sometimes it sucks for awhile then gets better ... like when I changed my breathing ...

I am ALWAYS open to feedback and advice and try my best to put it into place, but sometimes I think it is most helpful to just let my body do what it knows how to do. I do NOT claim to have a perfect stroke. I am always wanting to improve. I think I go more off of feel when swimming then I do off of thought. Does that make sense?

Paul Smith
January 15th, 2007, 09:45 AM
Nick Brunelli is one of the US's top sprinters who underwent major shoulder surgery last year. He's been charting is progress on Gary Hall's website (www.theraceclub.net) and recently started posting some of his workouts as well. I've been very fortunate to have been able to train with his coach as well as swim with and be coached by Nick.....I enourage people to check it out....its very relevant to this discussion and offers some insight into the mix of quality swimming, mileage and technique based training of one of the best....below are two of his workouts:


njBrunelli
Joined: 19 Mar 2006
Posts: 69
Location: tempe Arizona
Posted: Fri Jan 05, 2007 7:25 pm Post subject:

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I am kicking with a board using flip turns. Board kicking gives me no pain. I just started using a board before christmas.

Friday Jan 5th

AM yards workout main set:

8 x 100 at 85% went 59s
6 x 100 at 90% went 55's
4 x 100 at 95% went 53's
2 x 100 at 100% went 51's

all on 1:45 perfect stroke!!

The goal of the set was to not break perfect stroke even though I could have gone faster with a crappy stroke.
_________________
"Adversity causes some men to break; others to break records"


__________________________________________________ _______
njBrunelli
Joined: 19 Mar 2006
Posts: 69
Location: tempe Arizona
Posted: Mon Jan 08, 2007 12:44 am Post subject:

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friday Jan 6th PM

yards
warm up 2000 kick/drill/swim/builds

6 x 25's all out from the blocks on about 3 min

1st 9.5
2nd 9.3
3rd 9.3
4th 9.2
5th 9.2
6th 9.3

this was a test set for the shoulder on dives and everything went well!

-nick brunelli
_________________
"Adversity causes some men to break; others to break records"

The Fortress
January 15th, 2007, 09:45 AM
I use caps because I've used those phrases as chapter or section headings in books and articles.

Attitude and mindset are more important than stroke mechanics in achieving goals.

Attitude is more important than virtually anything else in life, I find.

You might keep those initial caps in books then. :thhbbb: Although they certainly do deserve their own chapter...

KaizenSwimmer
January 15th, 2007, 05:37 PM
I think I go more off of feel when swimming then I do off of thought. Does that make sense?

Perfect sense. Everything in swimming has to come down to self awareness. You can't look at a watch or check your HR while swimming. You can't see what you're doing. What's left is proprioception and kinesethetic awareness.

Whatever language I put into "stroke thoughts" or focal points I try to express it in kinesthetic terms and when I put them into action what I'm really after is a heightened awareness.

I have four different focal points for the freestyle recovery and entry. Three of them are "Marionette Arms" "Ear Hops" and "Mail Slot Entry."

Someone watching would probably have difficulty telling which I'm thinking about, but those thoughts cause me to experience my recovery differently and to be able to work on it in a very subtle way.

I've even been able to refer to all three in some of my distance races -- though only one at a time. Sometimes something I see a rival doing -- like swinging the arms high or entering with a smash or splash -- will remind me to "check in" on one of them.

Caped Crusader
January 15th, 2007, 10:47 PM
Where has there been criticism of any person on this Forum for using such equipment? I have stated an opinion that most use of swim aids is unexamined and not beneficial. Anyone is welcome to hold a different opinion. I'll still offer what I consider examined thinking about those choices.

You've stated many times that you dislike swim devices. It appears (who knows for sure) that the majority of swimmers on this forum are using them to some degree. Does that make them "unexamined?" For example, is someone thinks kicking helps build leg strength, which they hypothesize is in turn beneficial to their swimming, is this "unexamined?" Maybe in their propicience, it is beneficial to them. I don't do a lot of it myself, but I wonder how many people here would really want to give up kicking completely? And it seems like some kicking, like the SDK-ing stuff some refer to, may really work.

KaizenSwimmer
January 16th, 2007, 08:43 AM
It appears (who knows for sure) that the majority of swimmers on this forum are using them to some degree. Does that make them "unexamined?" For example, is someone thinks kicking helps build leg strength, which they hypothesize is in turn beneficial to their swimming, is this "unexamined?"

Not just the majority on this Forum, but the majority in any pool you may visit.

What does "examined" mean? Here's an example.

I was a visiting swimmer with a Masters group in Rochester NY on Sunday. They did 5 x 100 fin-kicking on 1:40, during which I opted to swim 5 x 100 FR at 12 SPL with a focus on synchronizing leg-drive with arm-spear.

While I substitute other activity for such sets, I do understand the thinking behind it -- it makes your legs stronger. But I see the strength it develops as useful almost exclusively for...fin kicking. I use my legs while swimming freestyle --and even while swimming butterfly -- very differently. And since I view the purpose of swim training as "practicing the skills that win races," I choose not to do a set that is probably most useful for winning a fin-kicking race.

The closest racing activity to what happened during that set would be underwater dolphins on pushoff. The main place I'd use such a kick in a race would be during the Fly and Back legs of a 400 IM or during a 200 Fly or 200 Back. However I've learned through experimentation that I strike the best balance of mechanical advantage and energy cost in those races by doing one precisely-timed dolphin to boost my breakout speed.

Doing a single integrated leg drive represents a dramatically different pattern of muscle recruitment than doing the rhythmic and repeated 50 or so lower-power dolphins in each 100 repeat. It's even very different from the high-intensity, high-rate 3 to 8 dolphins you might do in racing a 50 or 100 Back. The most specific neural training for the dolphins you do on pushoff is...doing those on pushoff as well as you possibly can during your whole-stroke repeats -- or perhaps by practicing a set of pushoff/SDK/breakouts with a recovery swim to the other wall. (Which is an activity I've regularly included during warmup for college and age group swimmers -- even instructing them to "race the swimmer next to you to the line" to heighten the rehearsal aspect.)

IMHO a fin-kicking set trains a muscle-recruitment pattern for a non-essential activity. It probably yields slightly more swim-specific leg strength than a weight training session, but not as much as training with the precise neural pattern you'll use in the race. How could fin kicking be made more specific? A series of underwater 25s, during which you use the exact movement pattern you use during a race -- but with fins increasing the load on the same muscles -- would be of far greater value than a series of 100 repeats. Even less specific would be a 400 or 500 continuous fin kick.

That's an example of how I "examine" my swim training. It's closer to the way training is done in track and field and martial arts than how it's typically done in swimming.

I present such examples as an alternative to traditional thinking. That doesn't make it an explicit or even implicit criticism of the other way.

The Fortress
January 16th, 2007, 08:54 AM
So, in essence, a fin-kicking set IMHO trains a muscle-recruitment pattern for a non-essential activity. It probably yields slightly more benefit to your swimming than a weight training session, but not as much as training with the precise neural pattern you'll use in the race.

Terry:

Now, as a sprinter, I'm not doing just one dolphin kick off the wall obviously. But I was wondering about this statement. I don't do a lot of stand alone kick sets in practice (unless I'm consigned to it from shoulder issues), but I do quite a bit lot of SDK-kicking for my fly/back sprints on my back or stomach with or without fins/monofin. (BTW, I really feel my "core" and abs more when I put on that monofin!)

I notice that on the "nose clip" thread, Frank Thompson stated that he had heard/thought that fin-kicking (I'm assuming this was doing SDKs as he was referring to how far one could go underwater in backstroke) could help with underwater SDK-ing in a race situation. I would particularly think it would help more in sprints than in longer races. But what do you think? No muscle/neural memory from all that SDK-ing? I think Quicksilver also commented on a backstroke thread that there might be some muscle memory value.

Also, when you speak of synchronizing the leg drive with the arm spear, are you speaking of kicking with the left leg when the right arm goes in? I have heard that is a very effective "cruiser" technique, but I absolutely can't do it. Not that I've put a lot of time into learning it, as I'm mostly sprinting. But it seems hard to learn.

Paul Smith
January 16th, 2007, 09:00 AM
I find that fins are useful in 3 ways:

- When used to help achieve race pace speed on sprint swim sets
- To offset shoulder problems on swim sets I'll often kick instead w/fins
- To alleviate boredom

SwimStud
January 16th, 2007, 09:01 AM
So, in essence, a fin-kicking set IMHO trains a muscle-recruitment pattern for a non-essential activity. It probably yields slightly more benefit to your swimming than a weight training session, but not as much as training with the precise neural pattern you'll use in the race.

That's an example of an examined approach to swim training. It's closer to the way training is done in track and field and martial arts than how it's typically done in swimming.

I present such examples as an alternative to traditional thinking. That doesn't make it an explicit or even implicit criticism of the other way.

Without poo-pooing those that use devices. I'm reluctant to use things that I cannot use in a race. I tend to feel that it then becomes a mental barrier too, you have to learn to do without the device or swim without it. JMHO too. Certain activities designed for pain relief or what-not are omitted from this.

Terry--I may have not grasped your meaning correctly, or found it a tad ambiguous (probably due to my reading). Are you saying that training with devices is like a martial arts application, or focusing on each tiny aspect of the stroke is like martial arts? I think you meant the latter, but wanted to get an example if it's the former.

As I've said dancing and martial arts are in my past. In everything you do there you learn slowly and incrementally until it flows. Then you add power and speed usually quite easily. It's also why I tend to not fully agree with the only swimming at race-pace approach, for myself at least. Swimming correctly, and slowly is not a waste of effort to my mindset. The patterns of movement are being learned.

It is not to say anyone is wrong if they feel only race pace is needed. I guess I may have developed a trait for "walk and run" learning however which has given me a mental "switch" that I throw come "game time."
My martial arts instructior said I was "a good technician" with my moves. I guess we are all wired differently to a point.--however you train though, you can only take what you believe to work for YOU into the pool. Not believing, or perhaps refusing to belive in anything you're trying to implement is futile. I remain open to a bit of everything.

KaizenSwimmer
January 16th, 2007, 09:07 AM
But what do you think? No muscle/neural memory from all that SDK-ing?

Also, when you speak of synchronizing the leg drive with the arm spear, are you speaking of kicking with the left leg when the right arm goes in? I have heard that is a very effective "cruiser" technique, but I absolutely can't do it. Not that I've put a lot of time into learning it, as I'm mostly sprinting. But it seems hard to learn.

I addressed your first question in the 6th and 7th grafs. If you increase load on the muscle -- while doing the specific activity you intend to train -- you train the CNS to recruit more motor units. Can happen during a series of 12 1/2 SDKs with or without fins, or a set of 25 SDKs with fins (for most swimmers doing 25s without fins that would degenerate into a survival exercise) Doesn't happen during 5 x 100 or a 500 because you change the pattern too much to "make" those sets.

Yes the leg-drive/hand-spear synchro is for 2-beat kicking. Last significant male sprinter to race this way was Jonty Skinner when he broke the WR in 100m in 1976. There are still a few female sprinters, but not the top ones.

However I get a great deal of "speed" for my events by synchronizing that, and it's far less fatiguing than the busy legs that used to characterize my freestyle before I began "examined" practice devoted to integrating leg drive, hip drive and hand spear.

The Fortress
January 16th, 2007, 09:11 AM
I find that fins are useful in 3 ways:

- When used to help achieve race pace speed on sprint swim sets
- To offset shoulder problems on swim sets I'll often kick instead w/fins
- To alleviate boredom


I use them for all these reasons too. I like #3 best. :rofl: So do you think fins or fin-kicking or SDK-kicking help with SDKs in races?

Rich:

I'm not sure anyone swims race pace all the time, especially if it's early in the "season." Even Allen, with his limited yardage, says at this time of year, he's focusing somewhat more on "endurance" stuff. I swam my 3000 last night with no race pace whatsoever. Even did some of that slow and correctly stuff. I'm just focusing on regaining my form somewhat.

SwimStud
January 16th, 2007, 09:14 AM
Rich:

I'm not sure anyone swims race pace all the time, especially if it's early in the "season." Even Allen, with his limited yardage, says at this time of year, he's focusing somewhat more on "endurance" stuff. I swam my 3000 last night with no race pace whatsoever. Even did some of that slow and correctly stuff. I'm just focusing on regaining my form somewhat.



I remember somone (on the forum here) kind of critiquing (politely) others for swimming long sets at a slow rate. They cited muscle memory learning to go at that pace. I just have a different opinion on that is all.
They could have just been goofing though and I was obtuse.

geochuck
January 16th, 2007, 09:20 AM
The muscles should memorize the actions required at high speed not low speed. I think if the body only memorizes in slow motion you wil get slow motion swimming.

KaizenSwimmer
January 16th, 2007, 09:29 AM
Are you saying that training with devices is like a martial arts application, or focusing on each tiny aspect of the stroke is like martial arts? I think you meant the latter, but wanted to get an example if it's the former.

As I've said dancing and martial arts are in my past. In everything you do there you learn slowly and incrementally until it flows. Then you add power and speed usually quite easily.

I teach swimming as you were taught dance and martial arts. I try to ferret out the component skills for each stroke and break them down into the most fundamental movements and positions. I start with the simplest, most-easily learned skill and encourage students to practice it patiently and mindfully until they have reasonable understanding and awareness, before progressing to the next step.

I suggest to students that they hold off on practicing the whole-skill until they can do it with only minor errors -- or until it feels as good as the mini-skills they've mastered. Whole-skill practice is essential for integrating the mini-skills, but it's critical to limit your duration or speed to avoid letting "struggle" intrude on your practice.

I tell them that both endurance and speed will be mainly a factor of the evolution in your skills and coordination. To swim "faster" you need to be able to keep the movements coordinated at higher movement rates. When you gain that ability and can practice at higher movement speeds, your body will shift to a different mode of energy metabolism. That's what I mean by letting conditioning "happen."

In my teaching and practice I've generally found that training devices "contaminate" the essential "connection" I'm trying to achieve with the water.

I constantly get feedback from musician, martial artists, dancers practitioners of other movement arts - Feldenkrais, Alexander Technique -- that learning TI is exactly like the way they were taught in those fields.

SwimStud
January 16th, 2007, 09:33 AM
The muscles should memorize the actions required at high speed not low speed. I think if the body only memorizes in slow motion you wil get slow motion swimming.

Yes I agree if you only do slow George. Maybe I should have added that.
I do both, and am currently going at speed in the run up to a meet. I know I have to work on some aspects of my stroke, but right now I have planned to go with what I got. Techincal work begins in Feb. :) I do love a long slow mile of breaststroke as a mind cleanser though.

My only evidence to support my theory is that nobody turns up for ballet class or jujitsu and goes into a move "at full tilt" first time out. Even once high performance has been accomplished...walking through can be used quite effectively. It's hard to make an adjustment at full speed. So often, breaking down the move and reworking it back up is a great way to improve. Maybe the non impact of swimming changes this a bit. I guess I don't know enough in depth about swimming to be 100% on it.

Like I said though, you have to believe in your method; you will definitely fail if you don't. I also remain open to being shown new ideas etc.

The Fortress
January 16th, 2007, 10:31 AM
I remember somone (on the forum here) kind of critiquing (politely) others for swimming long sets at a slow rate. They cited muscle memory learning to go at that pace. I just have a different opinion on that is all.
They could have just been goofing though and I was obtuse.


:thhbbb: :thhbbb: :thhbbb:

I agree with George, Swim Stud. I'm sure I've said many times that you have to do some race pace swimming. Of course you have to, for optimum results. This applies especially to sprinters. I'm just saying I'm not sure one can do it 24/7. Some days I don't do it even when I know I should because my tiredness or laziness trumps my knowledge that I should be more Mindful in the exactness of my training and follow Ande's tips more carefully. But I'm not a machine; I'm mostly a middle aged mommy. And even Terry agrees you need both endurance and speed. So right now, I'm just focusing on getting some base swimming fitness back after a bit of lay off. I consider this a vessel/engine building effort, although I do think that excessive endurance is overrated, at least for me. Then, when I have a somewhat better engine, I will bust out my nasty FINS and do some explosive speed training ... along with my SDK training. Sprinting all the non-breaststroke strokes is more fun than just breaststroking. JMHO. :thhbbb: But I'm happy to cheer you on. :applaud: Maybe I'm not sufficiently Mindful because I never did martial arts or dancing when young ... I was too busy swimming.


Here's another random thought on endurance training and the relative importance of engine vs. vessel training. At my last meet, I was chatting with a very good flyer. He's completely recovered from shoulder surgery 3 years ago and is churning out unbelievably times even in the 200 fly. He said he has cut his workouts way back and does a lot of race pace sprinting and lots of 25s and has had one of his best years ever. I found this heartening. But I am still amazed he can do a 200 fly without more training.

Terry:

I'm glad those underwater 25 SDKs are helping then! I kind of thought they were. I do have to agree that using the monofin is akin to a weight workout. I tried to go running Sunday after using the big fin a lot on Saturday and I had total dead leg plods.

What about fartlek kicking? Do you think that's of any value? I thought that type of training worked both the aerobic and anaerobic neural/energy pathways. I know a couple very good swimmers that will do 10 minutes continuous fartlek kicking.

The Fortress
January 16th, 2007, 11:10 AM
When you first practice mindfulness, your brain can handle one thought at a time. As soon as you introduce a 2nd, you usually do neither well.

And rather than dwell on what you're doing wrong, focus on what you want to do right. In Breaststroke breathing, head position, direction of movement and timing of movement are all critical.
1) Position - chin barely above the surface and look at the water about six inches in front of your nose...but without really seeing it.
2) Direction - after breathing, extend your head forward - as subtly and smoothly as you can.
3) Timing - have your head arrive in streamline at the exact moment your hands reach full extension.

Choose one and focus on it for 8-10 x 25s or 4-5 x 50s. Block out all other thoughts. There are another 10 or 12 focal points worth thinking about in Breaststroke, but this small sample will give you the idea of how fine the detail can get.


This is why there are 800 things that can go wrong.

I'm conflicted on breaststroke. If you suck at it and you have limited practice time, should you spend scads of time trying to improve it? With all these things to focus on, it appears that it would take significant time and yardage for a stroke overhaul... Or, given time limits, should you forget about it and continue vessel/engine building the strokes you enjoy and excel at?

I'm not really sure what to do on this issue. I would just like to be able to do a semi-decent 25 breast for my 100 IM. That's my only breaststroke goal at the moment. Aside from working on my underwater push off and streamline, I'm just not sure how to go about achieving that very limited goal with the zillions of things that need correction ... I guess I need a quickie Brendan Hansen/Allen Stark breaststroke clinic ...

SwimStud
January 16th, 2007, 11:16 AM
:thhbbb: :thhbbb: :thhbbb:

I agree with George, Swim Stud. I'm sure I've said many times that you have to do some race pace swimming. Of course you have to, for optimum results. This applies especially to sprinters. I'm just saying I'm not sure one can do it 24/7. Some days I don't do it even when I know I should because my tiredness or laziness trumps my knowledge that I should be more Mindful in the exactness of my training and follow Ande's tips more carefully. But I'm not a machine; I'm mostly a middle aged mommy. And even Terry agrees you need both endurance and speed. So right now, I'm just focusing on getting some base swimming fitness back after a bit of lay off. I consider this a vessel/engine building effort, although I do think that excessive endurance is overrated, at least for me. Then, when I have a somewhat better engine, I will bust out my nasty FINS and do some explosive speed training ... along with my SDK training. Sprinting all the non-breaststroke strokes is more fun than just breaststroking. JMHO. :thhbbb: But I'm happy to cheer you on. :applaud: Maybe I'm not sufficiently Mindful because I never did martial arts or dancing when young ... I was too busy swimming.



Is this an attempt to draw me out? :thhbbb: I never said race pace was not needed. Forty, you have helped me so much with training :smooch: and have heard of the results. It wasn't you or George that said slow swimming was relatively pointless (I can't recall the thread)...and whoever said it wasn't arguing just opining.
I never claim martial arts or dance makes me better at anything. I said maybe it programmed to switch on and off a bit. I merely said that the evidence for my own beliefs is what I've seen and done in the past.
Fins and paddles are fine if that is your belief system--it isn't wrong.
For me if I use them I will then have to learn to wean off them--so I tend not to bother. I am also not a sprinter though I don't think I am a slouch at a 25 either.
Nevertheless I'd rather stretch and practice jumping (possibly balletically) to build exlposive power in my legs (OK now I just need to follow through on that). If I never lift another weight other than that of my body I won't be upset.

I have heard many opinions about weight training one of which was... "Don't bother with a gym until you can do a large amount of strength exercises using just you own body." Not saying I 100% agree with this.
To me it does seem that for many gym goers however, (good true form) press-ups, pull-ups, leg lifts, squat-thrusts, burpees and the like are just so taxing it's somewhat easier to go to the gym and isolate. There may of course be other benefits of using equipment, rehab, chronic injury avoidance etc.
Now if you're doing power lifting as some sort of cross-train then yes you'll need weights.

Blimey, where's my kevlar?

Lastly your a swimmy-mommy...that's hawter than anything else! So you go swim how fast, and with what equipment you like. :cool:

Very truly in my way with the women on this forum,

SwimStud

*snicker*

Leonard Jansen
January 16th, 2007, 11:21 AM
That's an example of how I "examine" my swim training. It's closer to the way training is done in track and field and martial arts than how it's typically done in swimming.


Amen.

My boring $0.02, said before:

I suspect that at top swim programs the theory and methodology of training is of similar quality to that in the top Track programs. However, it has been my observation that, as is the case in T&F, when you get away from the top programs the soundness of the theory and subsequently the training basis deteriorates steeply. Add to it that swimming has a rampant monkey-see-monkey-do mentaility ("Since top swimmer X does it, I should do it too."). One size does NOT fit all and yet we continue to act as though it does. With regard to training, I strongly suggest that anyone with some time (and a high threshold for pain) read Bompa's "Theory and Methodology of Training". Doing so might end many of the "holy wars" that go on here.

WRT technique, I strongly recommend that you view the movie "Karate Kid" (The first one - the sequels were awful.) The part where the old man makes the kid paint the fence/wash the car is spot-on and is analogous to the way that top T&F programs teach kids various technique skills.

As to coaching: I used to give my racewalkers a copy of "Zen in the Martial Arts" and tell them that once they understood everything in the book, they would no longer need me as a coach.

-LBJ

SwimStud
January 16th, 2007, 11:23 AM
I'm not really sure what to do on this issue. I would just like to be able to do a semi-decent 25 breast for my 100 IM. That's my only breaststroke goal at the moment. Aside from working on my underwater push off and streamline, I'm just not sure how to go about achieving that very limited goal with the zillions of things that need correction ... I guess I need a quickie Brendan Hansen/Allen Stark breaststroke clinic ...

For a modest fee...I can give you the "poor man's version" in a private lesson ;) ;) ;)

you started it!!

chaos
January 16th, 2007, 11:27 AM
I'm conflicted on breaststroke. If you suck at it and you have limited practice time, should you spend scads of time trying to improve it?

Perhaps not scads of time, but developing a "decent legal" breaststroke will open up quite a few opportunities. when all your favorite events are clumped too closely together, you can throw in a 400 im (and guarantee a pr)

SwimStud
January 16th, 2007, 11:36 AM
:D
One size does NOT fit all ...

WRT technique, I strongly recommend that you view the movie "Karate Kid" (The first one - the sequels were awful.) The part where the old man makes the kid paint the fence/wash the car is spot-on and is analogous to the way that top T&F programs teach kids various technique skills.

-LBJ

OK that settles it... Leonard and I vs all comers in the USMS "kumite."
Leonard do you want to be Jean Claude van-Damme, or shall I?
:D

The Fortress
January 16th, 2007, 11:37 AM
Is this an attempt to draw me out? :thhbbb: I never said race pace was not needed. Forty, you have helped me so much with training :smooch: and have heard of the results. It wasn't you or George that said slow swimming was relatively pointless (I can't recall the thread)...and whoever said it wasn't arguing just opining.

I never claim martial arts or dance makes me better at anything.

Lastly your a swimmy-mommy...that's hawter than anything else so you go swim how fast and with what equipment you like. :cool:

Very truly,

SwimStud

*snicker*

Just thought you were doing your usual :thhbbb: . :dedhorse: :joker: . I'm sure many, many folks are race pace advocates. My fly friend included.

I actually think martial arts or any body awareness activity will probably help swimming. Swimming is a "feel" sport and engine building is not in itself sufficient.

It's probably better not to use fins too much, especially if you don't need to. Since you're doing breaststroke mostly and don't have shoulder issues, likely not needed. So why bother? Save the $$. Frankly, as I've said, I mostly use regular fins to save my shoulders,relieve boredom, help with SDKs, and help with the glutes/abs. I also think if fins makes swimming more enjoyable and you don't feel like being Mindful, go for it. To each his own and to each his own swimming goals. I just don't think dissing is necessary. In my own masters experience, which is admittedly virtually nil, most elite/Mindful masters swimmers don't tend to like fins. I was once told, in a joking but not so joking way, that fin users with chronic shoulder issues should get out of the fast lane. Not so nice.

I actually don't recall ever touching fins when I was a youngster and more Effortlessly hawt. Tee-hee. And you're right, better to make some attempt to be a hawt mommy than to be a couch potato! :smooch: Since blondes have more fun, ;) , I will also be eradicating any encroaching gray hairs.

SwimStud
January 16th, 2007, 11:41 AM
To each his own and to each his own swimming goals. I just don't like being ragged on for using them when it's generally a shoulder thing. Seems to be a fairly common occurence. In my own experience, which isn't that much, most elite/Mindful masters swimmers don't tend to like fins. I was once told, in a joking but not so joking way, that fin users with chronic shoulder issues should get out of the fast lane. Not so nice.

I actually don't recall ever touching fins when I was a youngster and more Effortlessly hawt. Tee-hee. And you're right, better to make some attempt to be a hawt mommy than to be a couch potato! :smooch: Since blonds have more fun, ;) , I will also be eradicating any encroaching gray hairs.

Just to finish off the hug properly...I would never-ever disparage use of fins for medical, injury prevention, or even purely self enjoyment reasons. It's just a personal choice for me. I make no judgements.

Nose clips however, are fair game... ;)

The Fortress
January 16th, 2007, 11:54 AM
Add to it that swimming has a rampant monkey-see-monkey-do mentaility ("Since top swimmer X does it, I should do it too."). One size does NOT fit all and yet we continue to act as though it does. With regard to training, I strongly suggest that anyone with some time (and a high threshold for pain) read Bompa's "Theory and Methodology of Training". Doing so might end many of the "holy wars" that go on here.-LBJ

LBJ:

We are always happy to have your :2cents: and your great humor.

Are you saying swimming is a "fad" sport?:rofl:

I really, really think the point that "one size does not fit all" is the most accurate thing said on this thread so far.


Dave:

My breaststroke is perfectly legal, just ugly. At least I've never been DQ'd doing it (only when I'm crawling out of the pool after having lost my goggles). Swimming a 400 IM would yield a PB, to be sure, but it would also insure that I didn't swim another event that day unless I completely cruised it. (No point in that. No fun.) I'll watch you and Terry swim it at Zones instead.

And I haven't checked the order of events for Zones yet. I'm just hoping I can even find the time to attend the meet, after all. But, in fact, I will be pissed if the 100 IM and 50 back are "clumped too closely" as they were at the Sprint Classic when I had a sub-par backstroke race. You distance swimmers just have no sympathy for us poor sprinters. :thhbbb: When I swam with my TI-type coach before I joined a team, he told me many things. One was that I should be doing that 2-beat drive/entry thing that Terry does. I wish I could. He also said I would "rock" if I could put in 25,000 a week. That's his prescribed "tipping point." I ain't gonna get there in this decade. I have read that Laura Val trains that much in her decade though. Which perhaps, in part, explains her great times.

The Fortress
January 16th, 2007, 12:24 PM
I make no judgements.

Nose clips however, are fair game... ;)

Always a good policy. :agree:

I lost my first nose clip the first time I tried to use it. :rofl: I swam yesterday without one and seemed to go underwater just as far. We'll see how my sinuses hold out the next few weeks. The warm wet weather and ensuing mold are killing me now ...

:hug: :hug: :hug:

Allen Stark
January 16th, 2007, 01:07 PM
I want to clarify my(still evolving) position on race pace. In this part of the season I am doing long slow stuff.As my shoulder allows I'll be doing some "swim pretty" breaststroke.In Feb. I'll start adding race pace work. I swim 4 days a week and 1 day is sprints,1 day is 100 pace,one day is 200 pace and one day is some of everything. As the season progresses the % of swim pretty decreases,but never goes to zero. To save my knees and for variety I don't do all breaststroke. Warm-up,warm-down is mostly free and as my shoulder allows I like to swim some fly as well as breaststroke pull/dolphin kick with fins. This seems to work for me,your results may vary.
Fort and Rich and anyone,if you can post a video I'll make suggestions.

some_girl
January 16th, 2007, 01:11 PM
Jeez, Terry, you can be so literal. I've gotten a lot out of kicking with fins, and not much of it (if any) has to do with leg strength or what is neccessarily the obvious point of the activity. I've improved my backstroke walls immensely; gotten great feedback on my head position (the faster I'm moving, the better I can feel where my head ought to be); and strengthened my abs using the same movement I need for my fly. Maybe because you swim butterfrog and don't kick hard off the wall, it is better for you practice your two-beat kick when people do the fin set, but as you aren't inside people's heads, I don't know that you can guess the "mindfulness" from the activity.

SwimStud
January 16th, 2007, 01:20 PM
Fort and Rich and anyone,if you can post a video I'll make suggestions.

I hope to do a vid at some point..Mrs Richjb won't do it though.

Caped Crusader
January 16th, 2007, 02:08 PM
Jeez, Terry, you can be so literal. I've gotten a lot out of kicking with fins, and not much of it (if any) has to do with leg strength or what is neccessarily the obvious point of the activity. I've improved my backstroke walls immensely; gotten great feedback on my head position (the faster I'm moving, the better I can feel where my head out to be); and strengthened my abs using the same movement I need for my fly. Maybe because you swim butterfrog and don't kick hard off the wall, it is better for you practice your two-beat kick when people do the fin set, but as you aren't inside people's heads, I don't know that you can guess the "mindfulness" from the activity.

As usual, some_girl has some_thing valid to say.

It seems like some_girl was making some of the same points others have made in different threads and here. Fins: great walls, great abs, great fly, great for sprinting, great as a temporary fix or shoulder support.

But the real point, and one which most seem to agree upon: using a device is not necessarily unmindful and it's not one size fits all.

Rich: I think you should use some of that persuasive SwimStud stuff on the wife to persuade her. If not, maybe Allen can post a video of how it should be done for all you Detesters of Breaststroke.

SwimStud
January 16th, 2007, 02:12 PM
.

Rich: I think you should use some of that persuasive SwimStud stuff on the wife to persuade her.

What kind of movie are you after Caped.... :eek:

The Fortress
January 16th, 2007, 11:46 PM
What kind of movie are you after Caped.... :eek:

How about one with that nice grab start you're doing while simultaneously flirting with the life guards, falling in and subsequently suing the Y? It'll help to have video for the lawsuit, although you may want to leave out the flirting.

Can the lifeguard film you, if Mrs. Richjb won't?

Some_ girl is dead on.

Caped Crusader
January 17th, 2007, 10:39 AM
It is a sales gimmick - by many selling swim lessons or promoting their so called specialized programs.

Well, it's apparently a good one then. Just ran across a book called "Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die." The key to stickiness is SUCCES: Simple, Unexpected, Concrete, Credible, Emotion-evoking, and embedded in Stories, all with initial caps. The review of this book, while lauding the ideas, noted that the "mindful" (I kid you not) authors needed to modify SUCCES with WIT, Worthwhile, Important and True.

Anyway, it gave me a laugh.

The Fortress
January 18th, 2007, 01:05 PM
I want to clarify my(still evolving) position on race pace. In this part of the season I am doing long slow stuff.As my shoulder allows I'll be doing some "swim pretty" breaststroke.In Feb. I'll start adding race pace work. I swim 4 days a week and 1 day is sprints,1 day is 100 pace,one day is 200 pace and one day is some of everything. As the season progresses the % of swim pretty decreases,but never goes to zero. To save my knees and for variety I don't do all breaststroke. Warm-up,warm-down is mostly free and as my shoulder allows I like to swim some fly as well as breaststroke pull/dolphin kick with fins. This seems to work for me,your results may vary.
Fort and Rich and anyone,if you can post a video I'll make suggestions.

Allen:

I'm scared to post a video of my breaststroke! It would likely be too humiliating when all the breaststrokers anaylzed it. I think I need to work on streamlines that get me closer to that 15 meter mark so I don't have to do much of it for the 100 IM I'm swimming without you.

When is you're next meet? I'm assuming from the above that it's in March? I've been doing some longer slower stuff lately. (Longer is a relative term). I did a little speed work yesterday, but generally I'm saving that for February as well. My next meet, assuming no ill-timed cold or shoulder issue is in late March. So I think I'm on about the same training regimen as you. Well, except for completely different strokes. :rofl:

Caped:

It gave me a good laugh too.