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JT12
October 18th, 2007, 12:34 AM
Hi Everyone,

Iíve been snooping around for some time, but just now getting around to posting. Iím looking for some advice in regards to ďhitting a wallĒ.

Iím eventually looking to join up with a Masters team and enter competitions. 50 and 100 Free would be the focus first and grow from there as I get in better shape and work on other strokes. But first, Iím trying to push myself on my own due to a busy schedule.

Anyhow, Iíve hit a wall with the 100 free that I canít seem to break through. I swim in a 25 meter pool and from a push off the best I can do is 1:00.xx. My current schedule is about to start lightening up, so Iím hoping to formulate a plan of attack in hopes of breaking that 1 minute barrier.

I consistently swim 11-13 strokes per length (depending on intensity), which, as far as I can find, seems to be ok. My flip turns have actually become decent over the past few months, but Iím restricted to a glide and then flutter kick off the wall as a dolphin kick seems to slow me down (though Iíve been working on it as well). My kick, however, seems to be the real problem. I do 25m repeats on the :45 with a kickboard and usually come in at 28 seconds. My ultimate goal would be to eventually kick a 100 SCM with a kickboard in 1:20. But this seems soooo far off!! My PB 50 SCM kick is 47.xx and my PB 100 SCM kick is 1:49.xx. If I remember correctly, I think I take between 38 and 40 kicks per 25M (does this seem excessively high?). Iím not sure if Iím not getting enough distance per kick or if my kick rate is just way too slow, or both.

Iíve read of couple of threads by Ande regarding kicking and collected some good ideas, such as doing 4x (3 x 25 swim on :45 and 1 ALL OUT kick for time). I also think Iím going to commit to his recommendation of kicking 25s until I get under 20 seconds, then focusing on 50s until I get under 45seconds, and so on. In the past, I think Iíve jumped to quickly to the 50s and 100s.

Does anyone have any other kicking sets like this that have worked well for you? Iím beginning to realize that I must go to the pool with these sets in mind, otherwise, when it comes to kicking, Iím just not good at making it up as I go. I also end up swimming more and kicking less. Right now, Iím putting in between 5,000 and 6,000 meters a week. Iím guessing that 800 to 1,500 of that is kicking, either with a kickboard or just 1 arm extended and kicking on my side.

Finally, part of my workout program includes weight lifting. Iím currently including leg press, leg extension, and leg curls in my routine. Anyone know of any exercises beyond these that have benefited them with the flutter kick? Iím unfortunate to have a weak lower body and I feel like this is hurting me. Itís amazing how much effort it seems to take just to get my lanky legs kicking at full speed. Anyone actually gotten into squats and seen improvement, or does pool-only work seem best?

Sorry for the long post and thanks in advance for any responses.

JMiller
October 18th, 2007, 12:54 AM
Check my Fun and Fast post in the Work-outs section

knelson
October 18th, 2007, 01:44 AM
I consistently swim 11-13 strokes per length (depending on intensity), which, as far as I can find, seems to be ok.

That's not just OK, that's exceptional for short course meters.

Your kick does sound a little bit weak. The 1:20 goal for a 100 is good. Keep up the kicking. I don't think counting kicks is worth doing. You want a tight, fast kick. I see no point in trying to reduce the number of kicks per length.

Also work on your starts if you can and your turns. Try to do lots of turns at race speed. The timing of turns is much different when you're sprinting compared to when you're swimming more slowly.

geochuck
October 18th, 2007, 08:54 AM
I did not see any times for swimming 25m or 50m. All I see are kicking times. To me the kick is not important contrary to others who think it is. One minute is a good start for the 100 meters.

Also did not see how fast you swim your 25s with the 11 to 13 strokes. Are you counting each stroke or complete cycles (two strokes as one).

With all your concern about kicking how far do you kick underwater when you do your 11 or 13 strokes. When I do stroke counting I only do 2 little dolphin kicks then surface and count my strokes.

Kick board for kicking???? Most believe that is a no, no.

JT12
October 18th, 2007, 10:36 AM
That's not just OK, that's exceptional for short course meters.

Your kick does sound a little bit weak. The 1:20 goal for a 100 is good. Keep up the kicking. I don't think counting kicks is worth doing. You want a tight, fast kick. I see no point in trying to reduce the number of kicks per length.

Also work on your starts if you can and your turns. Try to do lots of turns at race speed. The timing of turns is much different when you're sprinting compared to when you're swimming more slowly.

I think counting the kicks per length for me was more about trying to figure out if I was feeling the water correctly. I donít feel like my kicks are very propulsive. Maybe Iím expecting too much propulsion when I should be focused on just kicking faster, like you said.

One thing Iíve noticed is that when I keep my legs straight I have a harder time kicking faster. Do you slightly bend at the knees when kicking?

Redbird Alum
October 18th, 2007, 10:44 AM
One thing Iíve noticed is that when I keep my legs straight I have a harder time kicking faster. Do you slightly bend at the knees when kicking?

JT -

Absolutely! While the kick still is primarily driven from the thigh/hip, the knees do bend slightly and the foot is like a flipper extension. Some people here will curse the suggestion, but try using flippers with a locked knee versus a pliant one and you will understand immediately how the knee should be involved. Then take the flippers off and learn to feel the water on your own two feet.

JT12
October 18th, 2007, 10:45 AM
I did not see any times for swimming 25m or 50m. All I see are kicking times. To me the kick is not important contrary to others who think it is. One minute is a good start for the 100 meters.

Also did not see how fast you swim your 25s with the 11 to 13 strokes. Are you counting each stroke or complete cycles (two strokes as one).

With all your concern about kicking how far do you kick underwater when you do your 11 or 13 strokes. When I do stroke counting I only do 2 little dolphin kicks then surface and count my strokes.

Kick board for kicking???? Most believe that is a no, no.


I usually swim 50s from a push off in :28 with full effort. It seems like it would be faster given that the 100 SCM is 1:00, but itís not. I donít actually know what my 25 is. To be honest, I more often than not swim that with a pull buoy to focus on stroke and breathing less. On those, I comfortably come in at :15 on :30 second repeats. From there, I reduce to 20 second repeats (but I can only handle about 4 of those in a set).

Concerning the stroke counting, the 11-13 count is based on each arm stroke, not stroke cycle. If anything I probably donít kick enough underwater since I donít have a developed dolphin kick. As soon as my glide starts to lose momentum I switch to a flutter and breakout almost immediately.

JT12
October 18th, 2007, 10:54 AM
JT -

Absolutely! While the kick still is primarily driven from the thigh/hip, the knees do bend slightly and the foot is like a flipper extension. Some people here will curse the suggestion, but try using flippers with a locked knee versus a pliant one and you will understand immediately how the knee should be involved. Then take the flippers off and learn to feel the water on your own two feet.

Thanks, Redbird! I've never once tried flippers as I've always been afraid of things that make me go faster (but what you say makes sense as I can imagine that I'd need to bend at the knees more to get more propulsion with fins due to the extra surface area). I'll have to look at this closer during my next swim, but I may be so worried about not creating any extra drag that I'm not allowing myself to bend the legs enough.

aquaFeisty
October 18th, 2007, 11:12 AM
Jason, I've got the same goal as you: a sub-minute 100 free (though I am a lot slower since my goal is for scy!!!) My kick is pretty cruddy too. With a kickboard, I can manage to come in around 1:55 for a 100; my best ever 25 kick is a :20. So I can get some propulsion... it's just HUGELY inefficient.

What has helped me the past 2 seasons is switching to a 6-beat kick during all my free swimming sets (warmup, main set, cooldown, whatever). In this way, I'm practicing the kick all the time... and really, in the end, it's the kick incorporated into your swim that determines how fast you go! Plus, by 6-beat kicking all the time, I get used to the extra O2 draw that turning 'on' the legs during a race gives you.

FYI - I am still trying to improve my just-kicking times too.

Good luck! I hope you smash through that minute.

geochuck
October 18th, 2007, 11:22 AM
What time do you do the 100m with a racing dive, is the 1 minute with a push off?

Is the 28 seconds done with a stroke count of 11 to 13 strokes per 25? That would be a pretty darn good golf score of 50 or 54.

Stiff leg kicking is not good we need to flex the legs.

Blackbeard's Peg
October 18th, 2007, 12:16 PM
some suggestions...

Your flipturns could be negatively impacting your sprints...
practice your starts and turns, and go fast during your turns
SDK off your turns
start in the middle of the pool for 50s and 100s

other ideas...
swim fast 125s, 150s and 200s a lot in practice
swim 125s, etc, building to to a sprint for the last 50
build your endurance so you can swim through the pain rather than succumb to it at the end of your race
mix up your workouts to include back breast and fly - it is like in-water crosstraining
read ande's "swim faster faster" thread. there are a LOT of good tips on there

knelson
October 18th, 2007, 02:22 PM
Kick board for kicking???? Most believe that is a no, no.

Perhaps "some" do, but I would hardly say "most." Every team I've ever been on has allowed, and not actively discouraged, kicking with a board.

Old Navy
October 18th, 2007, 02:32 PM
Perhaps "some" do, but I would hardly say "most." Every team I've ever been on has allowed, and not actively discouraged, kicking with a board.

I know of at least one team that discourages the use kick boards. Kicking without a bard promotes better body position and, at least in my experience, builds a stronger kick.:2cents:

hofffam
October 18th, 2007, 03:05 PM
I gotta say - 11-13 strokes per 25M length is exceptional. I don't see that very often except with very good age group swimmers or elite Masters. Usually means very good stroke mechanics and perhaps some height.

I think your weight training routine should be OK - but you didn't way what kind of sets, weights, and repetitions you are doing. If you want to add power and strength you must lift relatively heavy (but safe) weights. If it is easy to do 12 reps the weight is too low.

Another thing to consider is to add an endurance component to your dryland. Something like cycling, elliptical, or running.

JT12
October 18th, 2007, 04:00 PM
Jason, I've got the same goal as you: a sub-minute 100 free (though I am a lot slower since my goal is for scy!!!) My kick is pretty cruddy too. With a kickboard, I can manage to come in around 1:55 for a 100; my best ever 25 kick is a :20. So I can get some propulsion... it's just HUGELY inefficient.

What has helped me the past 2 seasons is switching to a 6-beat kick during all my free swimming sets (warmup, main set, cooldown, whatever). In this way, I'm practicing the kick all the time... and really, in the end, it's the kick incorporated into your swim that determines how fast you go! Plus, by 6-beat kicking all the time, I get used to the extra O2 draw that turning 'on' the legs during a race gives you.

FYI - I am still trying to improve my just-kicking times too.

Good luck! I hope you smash through that minute.

Aqua, good luck with your goal as well. I completely understand the hugely inefficient part. Iíve also just recently found that easing up on my pull and forcing my kick to work more during swims is helpful, but boy does it wear me out quickly.

JT12
October 18th, 2007, 04:04 PM
What time do you do the 100m with a racing dive, is the 1 minute with a push off?

Is the 28 seconds done with a stroke count of 11 to 13 strokes per 25? That would be a pretty darn good golf score of 50 or 54.

Stiff leg kicking is not good we need to flex the legs.

Unfortunately, I donít have access to a pool with starting blocks, so everything I do is timed from a push off. The Mission Viejo Nadadores have a great complex nearby, but the pool is not open to the public as far as I know.

The :28 seconds is usually done with 12-13 strokes (irritatingly enough, it's usually 12.5) I donít know if itís my timing or what, but I often end up with this awkward half stroke right before the turn. I usually donít have enough room to take that full 13th stroke, but need to keep my speed into the wall. This usually isnít an issue except when sprinting.

JT12
October 18th, 2007, 04:09 PM
I gotta say - 11-13 strokes per 25M length is exceptional. I don't see that very often except with very good age group swimmers or elite Masters. Usually means very good stroke mechanics and perhaps some height.

I think your weight training routine should be OK - but you didn't way what kind of sets, weights, and repetitions you are doing. If you want to add power and strength you must lift relatively heavy (but safe) weights. If it is easy to do 12 reps the weight is too low.

Another thing to consider is to add an endurance component to your dryland. Something like cycling, elliptical, or running.

While I like to think my stroke as gotten pretty good, Iím sure being 6í4.5Ē is what is mostly responsible for the stroke count. Also, after having a co-worker poke fun at my "ape arms", I now know my wingspan is a good few inches more than that.

As for lifting weights, I typically limit myself to 3 sets, sometimes 4, but hardly ever go over 8 reps per set. I keep the weights heavy enough that I usually fall into the 6-8 rep range. The weight lifting has done great things for my pull, so thatís why Iím hoping it will help with the kick as well. It makes swimming afterwards that much harder, but I think itís worth it.

Also, Iíve tried running before in combination with swimming, but I really hate it Ė Iíd rather stare at the bottom of the pool any day!!!

MAC swimmer
October 18th, 2007, 04:30 PM
Hi Everyone,

Iíve been snooping around for some time, but just now getting around to posting. Iím looking for some advice in regards to ďhitting a wallĒ.

Iím eventually looking to join up with a Masters team and enter competitions. 50 and 100 Free would be the focus first and grow from there as I get in better shape and work on other strokes. But first, Iím trying to push myself on my own due to a busy schedule.

Anyhow, Iíve hit a wall with the 100 free that I canít seem to break through. I swim in a 25 meter pool and from a push off the best I can do is 1:00.xx. My current schedule is about to start lightening up, so Iím hoping to formulate a plan of attack in hopes of breaking that 1 minute barrier.

I consistently swim 11-13 strokes per length (depending on intensity), which, as far as I can find, seems to be ok. My flip turns have actually become decent over the past few months, but Iím restricted to a glide and then flutter kick off the wall as a dolphin kick seems to slow me down (though Iíve been working on it as well). My kick, however, seems to be the real problem. I do 25m repeats on the :45 with a kickboard and usually come in at 28 seconds. My ultimate goal would be to eventually kick a 100 SCM with a kickboard in 1:20. But this seems soooo far off!! My PB 50 SCM kick is 47.xx and my PB 100 SCM kick is 1:49.xx. If I remember correctly, I think I take between 38 and 40 kicks per 25M (does this seem excessively high?). Iím not sure if Iím not getting enough distance per kick or if my kick rate is just way too slow, or both.

Iíve read of couple of threads by Ande regarding kicking and collected some good ideas, such as doing 4x (3 x 25 swim on :45 and 1 ALL OUT kick for time). I also think Iím going to commit to his recommendation of kicking 25s until I get under 20 seconds, then focusing on 50s until I get under 45seconds, and so on. In the past, I think Iíve jumped to quickly to the 50s and 100s.

Does anyone have any other kicking sets like this that have worked well for you? Iím beginning to realize that I must go to the pool with these sets in mind, otherwise, when it comes to kicking, Iím just not good at making it up as I go. I also end up swimming more and kicking less. Right now, Iím putting in between 5,000 and 6,000 meters a week. Iím guessing that 800 to 1,500 of that is kicking, either with a kickboard or just 1 arm extended and kicking on my side.

Finally, part of my workout program includes weight lifting. Iím currently including leg press, leg extension, and leg curls in my routine. Anyone know of any exercises beyond these that have benefited them with the flutter kick? Iím unfortunate to have a weak lower body and I feel like this is hurting me. Itís amazing how much effort it seems to take just to get my lanky legs kicking at full speed. Anyone actually gotten into squats and seen improvement, or does pool-only work seem best?

Sorry for the long post and thanks in advance for any responses.

11 Strokes/length is crazy good!! How can I be more like you?!? At best I can do 15 WHILE I am sprinting. 1:00 from a push is in the money at most meets seems to me.

JT12
November 8th, 2007, 10:54 PM
Thought I’d update this in regards to my progress in case anyone has been thinking of incorporating weight training into their swimming routine – specifically for purposes of leg development. Also, to say thanks for the tips I received.

At the time of my original post I was doing 25M repeats on about :28 seconds with a kickboard and on 45 sec intervals. Today I went the following times:

25SCM Kick (from push-off, no kickboard) 20.xx
25SCM SDK (from push-off) 16.00

I was so surprised by an SDK time of what looked like :15.30 that I thought I might have misread the clock. So I went for time again at came in at :16 seconds. I’m now a believer in how fast the SDK can be and I hope to improve it much more. I still, however, am having trouble incorporating it off of turns. As for my flutter kick, I think I can do better on that, but I’m having trouble finding the right position in the water. I don’t seem to really minimize the drag until about a quarter a way into it. Regardless of this, I’ve notice a fair increase in explosiveness in my flutter kick, it doesn’t seem as hard to get my legs moving as it did before.

I attribute these improvements to my leg routine. After my original post I began a 3-day-a-week lifting program. The primary reason for this new and more focused routine is to build leg strength for purposes of improving my kick in the pool. Previously, I’ve been very lazy with leg exercises in the gym (because they hurt!), but I’ve also neglected 1 key compound exercise – the squat.

While I’ve only been working out legs once a week, I really punish them. In fact, I am forced to hold onto a guard rail to practically crawl out of the weight room. Surprisingly, I’m coming to love the feeling. My leg day has been as follows:

Barbell Squats (free weight only, meaning no Smith machines)
Leg Extension
Leg Press
Hack Squats

I’m completely surprised by the definition these exercises have already produced in my quads after only 3 actual leg days so far. The growth probably has just as much to do with allowing proper recovery and keeping a very clean diet that is currently tailored towards muscle growth (more of a bodybuilder’s diet instead of a swimmer’s diet). The downside is that it’s typically been taking 4 days for the soreness to subside. As a result, my time spent in the pool has dropped, but has been more technique and kick focused than ever before.

Anyhow, just thought I’d share. It’s exciting to set out a plan and see improvements.

phdude
November 8th, 2007, 11:51 PM
I don't remember seeing this from anyone else, but the main thing I would focus on is your training volume. 5,000-6,000m is a good amount for a practice, not a typical week! Sprinters seem to be doing less volume than they were 20 years ago, but this is still a very low number. I guess this would work if a huge percentage of your training was all out sprints. In my opinion in order to improve you'd need to get this up to at least 10k/week as a minimum.

Syd
November 8th, 2007, 11:54 PM
Kudos to you for that 16 second SDK. I am working on exactly the same areas as you are now. I can't go under 20 for a 25m SDK - yet. And my fastest 25m flutter kick is a 21.xx.

I have weak legs, too. I just hate lifting weights though. I have been promising to do it for ages, but just can't bring myself to walk up the stairs from the pool deck and go into the gym. Your story might just be the inspiration I need!

Syd

JT12
November 9th, 2007, 12:49 AM
I don't remember seeing this from anyone else, but the main thing I would focus on is your training volume. 5,000-6,000m is a good amount for a practice, not a typical week! Sprinters seem to be doing less volume than they were 20 years ago, but this is still a very low number. I guess this would work if a huge percentage of your training was all out sprints. In my opinion in order to improve you'd need to get this up to at least 10k/week as a minimum.

I agree that the volume is very low. However, while attempting to gain strength and mass in my legs, it's more important at the moment that I take in enough clean calories per day -- without burning them off in the pool -- to encourage growth. That's why my time is the pool now is spent dealing with a laundry list of what I think are my weakest areas (swimming wise). As strength gains are seen, I will move into a muscle maintenance phase where I increase the swimming volume as you suggested. Eventually, I will join a master's program that will likely force me into a third phase of even higher swimming volume, and little emphasis on weights, in preparation for meets.

JT12
November 9th, 2007, 01:15 AM
Kudos to you for that 16 second SDK. I am working on exactly the same areas as you are now. I can't go under 20 for a 25m SDK - yet. And my fastest 25m flutter kick is a 21.xx.

I have weak legs, too. I just hate lifting weights though. I have been promising to do it for ages, but just can't bring myself to walk up the stairs from the pool deck and go into the gym. Your story might just be the inspiration I need!

Syd

Syd,

I finally accepted the fact that I naturally have puny legs. Lots of kicking in the past has helped my kicking endurance, but I've never really had any power back there. They always just seem like they're along for the ride. And let's face it, kicking in the pool does help with kicking in the pool, but it doesn't do much for true leg strength. My goal is to build strength in the trunk so that I'll have better command of my legs in the pool.

By the way, at my gym I don't think I've seen anyone besides myself in both the weight room and the pool (which is a good feeling for me). It's odd that's there's not much crossover here. I started swimming my senior year in high school and it was when my coach started making us lift weights before swimming that I realized what a benefit this combination is (even if its extremely taxing at times). I will say, however, that I'm very cautious with my lifting to avoid stressing muscles and joints that get stressed in the pool - such as the shoulders. I keep a sharp eye towards maintaining flexibility and increasing functional strength.

Michael Heather
November 9th, 2007, 01:16 AM
You originally said that you wanted to join a Masters program. Judging by what you have reported about your performance, you are far ahead of most people in training yourself. Why are you waiting to join a club? Mission Viejo is probably the closest program to you. Mark Moore is a fine coach who will help you with any stroke/speed work you may want to explore.

Sometimes the extra added attention of teammates will get you to do things you would not have considered when training by yourself. Good luck!

NotVeryFast
November 9th, 2007, 04:22 AM
It's interesting, your times are quite similar to mine, my best from a push off in training is 1:02.4 for SCM 100, best in a race is 59.4.

Like yours, my kick is also not so good, 1:44 for SCM 100 kick, 44 for SCM 50 kick. I can do 40 for SCM 50 SDK, popping up to breathe as necessary before submerging again. I think the kick is vital for sprinting, because with small training fins I can do SCM 100 kick in 1:12, which some people can do without fins! If I swim 100 free with fins I can do 57 from a push off, so I assume if I could improve my kick without fins from 1:44 to 1:12 I would take 5 seconds off my 100 free and be racing sub 55.

You must be achieving your times very differently to me, as I take more like 20 strokes per length for a max effort 100, but I'm about 7" shorter than you! For interest, Andrew Manley, who recently set a new Masters WR in the 30-34 age of 50.24 for SCM 100 free, looks to be stroking very long and slow compared to most people, but even he takes 17-18 strokes per length.

You must only be taking a stroke per second or something like that, which is very slow. I think if you increased your weekly training meterage you could get your stroke rate up and swim faster. I know it's tempting to try to increase power through weights, but I've always personally found I swim faster the more time I spend in the pool. Any time in the gym is time I could be spending in the pool instead. I got a lot faster when I stopped going to the gym and started swimming 25-30km a week instead.

geochuck
November 9th, 2007, 08:51 AM
It sounds like your kick is pretty well developed. I would worry more about the big motor at the front end. This is where your speed will come from.

I my self, if I was working on SDK I would not come up for a breath you will ruin the streamline.

What I would suggest is do your SDK and combine it with the break out to the swim. The break out is more important than coming up for a breath and going back to an SDK.

MAC swimmer
November 9th, 2007, 09:51 AM
Kudos to you for that 16 second SDK. I am working on exactly the same areas as you are now. I can't go under 20 for a 25m SDK - yet. And my fastest 25m flutter kick is a 21.xx.

I have weak legs, too. I just hate lifting weights though. I have been promising to do it for ages, but just can't bring myself to walk up the stairs from the pool deck and go into the gym. Your story might just be the inspiration I need!

Syd

Question: Am I understanding that you are doing an underwater SDK from one side of the pool to the other in 16 seconds? (SCY)

ande
November 9th, 2007, 10:47 AM
sounds like you're on the right track
apply swim faster faster tips too
Keep us posted on your progress

ande


Hi Everyone,

I’ve been snooping around for some time, but just now getting around to posting. I’m looking for some advice in regards to “hitting a wall”.

I’m eventually looking to join up with a Masters team and enter competitions. 50 and 100 Free would be the focus first and grow from there as I get in better shape and work on other strokes. But first, I’m trying to push myself on my own due to a busy schedule.

Anyhow, I’ve hit a wall with the 100 free that I can’t seem to break through. I swim in a 25 meter pool and from a push off the best I can do is 1:00.xx. My current schedule is about to start lightening up, so I’m hoping to formulate a plan of attack in hopes of breaking that 1 minute barrier.

I consistently swim 11-13 strokes per length (depending on intensity), which, as far as I can find, seems to be ok. My flip turns have actually become decent over the past few months, but I’m restricted to a glide and then flutter kick off the wall as a dolphin kick seems to slow me down (though I’ve been working on it as well). My kick, however, seems to be the real problem. I do 25m repeats on the :45 with a kickboard and usually come in at 28 seconds. My ultimate goal would be to eventually kick a 100 SCM with a kickboard in 1:20. But this seems soooo far off!! My PB 50 SCM kick is 47.xx and my PB 100 SCM kick is 1:49.xx. If I remember correctly, I think I take between 38 and 40 kicks per 25M (does this seem excessively high?). I’m not sure if I’m not getting enough distance per kick or if my kick rate is just way too slow, or both.

I’ve read of couple of threads by Ande regarding kicking and collected some good ideas, such as doing 4x (3 x 25 swim on :45 and 1 ALL OUT kick for time). I also think I’m going to commit to his recommendation of kicking 25s until I get under 20 seconds, then focusing on 50s until I get under 45seconds, and so on. In the past, I think I’ve jumped to quickly to the 50s and 100s.

Does anyone have any other kicking sets like this that have worked well for you? I’m beginning to realize that I must go to the pool with these sets in mind, otherwise, when it comes to kicking, I’m just not good at making it up as I go. I also end up swimming more and kicking less. Right now, I’m putting in between 5,000 and 6,000 meters a week. I’m guessing that 800 to 1,500 of that is kicking, either with a kickboard or just 1 arm extended and kicking on my side.

Finally, part of my workout program includes weight lifting. I’m currently including leg press, leg extension, and leg curls in my routine. Anyone know of any exercises beyond these that have benefited them with the flutter kick? I’m unfortunate to have a weak lower body and I feel like this is hurting me. It’s amazing how much effort it seems to take just to get my lanky legs kicking at full speed. Anyone actually gotten into squats and seen improvement, or does pool-only work seem best?

Sorry for the long post and thanks in advance for any responses.

JT12
November 10th, 2007, 01:10 AM
You originally said that you wanted to join a Masters program. Judging by what you have reported about your performance, you are far ahead of most people in training yourself. Why are you waiting to join a club? Mission Viejo is probably the closest program to you. Mark Moore is a fine coach who will help you with any stroke/speed work you may want to explore.

Sometimes the extra added attention of teammates will get you to do things you would not have considered when training by yourself. Good luck!

I hear Mark is a great coach. Right now itís just a schedule issue. I start work at 6AM and am also in school full-time. The 7-8:30 evening practice is all I might be able to make, but thatís really too late. Even there, Iíd be lucky to make it twice a week, which isnít enough to justify the $55/month fee. So Iíve kind of resigned to trying to improve on my own until my schedule lightens up enough that I can really take advantage of the Master's workouts.

JT12
November 10th, 2007, 01:14 AM
You must only be taking a stroke per second or something like that, which is very slow. I think if you increased your weekly training meterage you could get your stroke rate up and swim faster. I know it's tempting to try to increase power through weights, but I've always personally found I swim faster the more time I spend in the pool. Any time in the gym is time I could be spending in the pool instead. I got a lot faster when I stopped going to the gym and started swimming 25-30km a week instead.

I did 25 sprints from a push off today, all were 13-14 seconds and I never went over 13 strokes per length. So yea, I guess it is about a stroke per second. Itís probably a matter of increasing stroke rate to the point that the distance covered per stroke doesnít suffer.

Concerning the weights, I donít plan on stopping the lifting because I think itís important to see through my intuitions and figure out what works best for me. My experience has been just the opposite of yours. Iíve noticed that my pull weakens when cutting out weights, even if drastically increasing time spent in the pool. The weight lifting and swimming is not new to me, but what is different is the new emphasis I'm putting on leg development.

JT12
November 10th, 2007, 01:16 AM
Question: Am I understanding that you are doing an underwater SDK from one side of the pool to the other in 16 seconds? (SCY)

MAC,

Yes. I push off and do the SDK with no breaths for 25 SCM (not SCY). Today I went a strong 15 seconds.

tomtopo
November 10th, 2007, 07:46 PM
JT,

I suggest that you workout opposite muscle groups and a series of twelve exercises done in a progressive manner that include muscles that improve ankle strength and flexibility.

These muscle groups represent opposite muscle groups that will help you maintain flexibility and body symmetry:
Stomach
Lower Back
Biceps
Triceps
Quads/ Thigh
Hams/ Back of the upper legs
Shoulders
Lats
Calf muscles -Gastrocniemius and Soleus
Chest
Upper Back
Forearms - Gripping

Two websites that you can look through so you can develop your own exercise routine, - tailored specifically for you are listed below. I think you'll enjoy it.

http://www.exrx.net/Exercise.html
http://www.exrx.net/

Strength and endurance is important to a good kick but without improvements of your ankle flexibility it's really an uphill battle. Try to find time and use a rolled-up towel under your toes then sit on your heels. Your ankle flexibility can also be improved upon by simply taking your hands while youíre sitting and stretching them. There are muscles that control you ability to maintain ankle flexion and the websites above will help them.

Good luck!

Glenn
November 10th, 2007, 07:57 PM
Jason,

Go over to Mission Viejo and join the masters workout! It is open to averyone.

http://mastersmvnswim.org

jim thornton
November 10th, 2007, 10:46 PM
Hi, Jason. I just gotta ask--1) how old are you, 2) did you swim in college at all, or just your senior year in high school, 3) what were your best times in competition in the past for the 50, 100, and any other YARD events you focused on?

You sound like the kind of person who, if you had started swimming at 5-8, could be a household name at this point!

JT12
November 11th, 2007, 01:38 AM
JT,

Two websites that you can look through so you can develop your own exercise routine, - tailored specifically for you are listed below. I think you'll enjoy it.

http://www.exrx.net/Exercise.html
http://www.exrx.net/

Strength and endurance is important to a good kick but without improvements of your ankle flexibility it's really an uphill battle. Try to find time and use a rolled-up towel under your toes then sit on your heels. Your ankle flexibility can also be improved upon by simply taking your hands while youíre sitting and stretching them. There are muscles that control you ability to maintain ankle flexion and the websites above will help them.

Good luck!

Excellent tip!!!

Iíve heard of others doing this, but forgot all about it. Iím going to checkout the website links you provided.

JT12
November 11th, 2007, 01:51 AM
Hi, Jason. I just gotta ask--1) how old are you, 2) did you swim in college at all, or just your senior year in high school, 3) what were your best times in competition in the past for the 50, 100, and any other YARD events you focused on?

You sound like the kind of person who, if you had started swimming at 5-8, could be a household name at this point!

Hi Jim,

It's hard to say whether or not I might have gotten good enough to swim in college. I like to think it would have been possible, but who knows. I'm just glad I discovered swimming as a worthwhile long-term activity.

Iím just about to turn 29. I spent all my youth playing baseball and was well on track to putting myself through college as a pitcher until I suffered an arm injury my sophomore year in high school. As a result, I was forced to spend all of my Junior year chasing girls. By my Senior year I wanted to get back into a sport, but my arm had not healed to the point that Iíd be able to get my fastball back anytime soon, if ever Ė enter swimming.

Like most people I knew how to swim, but not swim. As soon as I learned how to breathe without swallowing water it became a lot of fun. I started swimming late August/early September, and by December I was fortunate enough to swim at State (Florida, 5A) on both the 200 and 400 freestyle relays. Not a single member of our relay team had more than 4 months swimming experience. All of us missed qualifying for individual events, but together we were competitive enough to make State in relays. Needless to say, we got spanked pretty badly at the State meet, but we still had fun. One thing I remember was being slightly embarrassed because it was clear that others expected us to be so much better since three of the four of us were between 6í4Ē and 6í6Ē. They just didnít know we had so little experience.

I donít remember my exact times, but after 3-4 months I was going 24s is the 50 Free and 58s in the 100 (obvious signs of poor conditioning here). I then followed my coach to swim with his year round team where he put me on weights along with more swimming. After a few months of this, I dropped to high 22s for 50 yards and 54.xx for the 100. This was as far as I was able to take the serious training, as I had to begin working after school in place of swimming if I had any intention of moving away to college. But at least I never had the chance to get burned out!