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View Full Version : Chris Stevenson - undulating kick instead of flutter



JMiller
December 11th, 2007, 09:13 PM
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pdjang
December 11th, 2007, 09:41 PM
I wrote to Chris this morning and he was kind enough to quickly reply (greatly appreciated as this is finals week for most universities):

Philipp,

Thanks for the kind words. It so happens that (the person who wrote the article, and a masters swimmer) filmed the races and posted them on YouTube and FloSwimmer. Here are the links:
50: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z_lpoBVMfac (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z_lpoBVMfac)
100: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ea959rYb_s (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ea959rYb_s)
200: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O-Jgs8CXATo (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O-Jgs8CXATo)

The races are filmed from different angles so one might be better than the other.

I think Dave actually mis-spoke. Although I do a dolphin kick on my freestyle, I don't believe I do in backstroke, it just appears that way from above the surface. You'll see, I have a lopsided stroke. I've never done underwater video so I don't know for sure.

Revolutionary? I don't know about that. I think the times are mostly a result of my underwater SDK, something I work on a lot. Probably the most unique aspect of my swim is that I have an exaggerated roll: I can pretty much see my shoulder when I swim. I like it because it gives you leverage and involves the entire core in the stroke.

Good luck in your efforts; I'm not planning on going to SC Nationals but am planning on LC Nationals; feel free to introduce yourself.

Chris


*****************************************
Chris Stevenson, PhD
Assoc Professor of Chemistry
Coordinator, Environmental Studies
University of Richmond, VA 23173

Chris Stevenson
December 11th, 2007, 11:26 PM
He also went 100 back (57.47) and 50 back (26.80).
That's a really fast 50 back for a 44 year old...

Hey! I'm a young 43...don't be adding an extra year...! :cane:

JMiller
December 12th, 2007, 12:35 AM
Hey! I'm a young 43...don't be adding an extra year...! :cane:

Hey, right on!!! Chris, you're my hero... WAY TO GO MAN!!

quicksilver
December 12th, 2007, 09:52 AM
Awesome swimming.

pdjang
December 12th, 2007, 10:54 AM
"Probably the most unique aspect of my swim is that I have an exaggerated roll: I can pretty much see my shoulder when I swim. I like it because it gives you leverage and involves the entire core in the stroke."

Hey Chris,
I tried the exaggerated roll this morning and it sure felt great. I don't know if it faster yet, but I definately feel the additional momentum and leverage from the core rotation. I found that exaggerating the recovery ("reach for the ceiling") caused an undulation that is similar to what was described as a dolphining motion. I'm also a big fan of SDK - anything to decrease resistance!

Again, thanks for sending the you tube links - watching your swims was very inspiring.

V/R,
Philipp

The Fortress
December 12th, 2007, 10:58 AM
Beautiful starts. Barely a ripple. Nice swims!!

What Chris refers to as "lopsided" or an "exagerated roll" actually looks comparable to the Phelpsian lope on freestyle.

ande
December 12th, 2007, 11:33 AM
congratulations

I look forward to watching Chris' swims when I get home
it's good he's 43, that might mean I have one year of protection before he turns 45,
the 200 backs are some of the softest records in the
45 - 49 age group

SCY
050 Back Steve Wood 03-25-07 24.81
100 Back J Clay Britt 05-14-06 52.88
200 Back J Clay Britt 05-14-06 1:58.75

SCM
050 Back Clay Britt 12-03-06 27.24
100 Back Clay Britt 12-03-06 58.48
200 Back Frtiz Lehman 03-29-03 2:13.36

LCM
050 Back Steve Wood 08-13-07 28.60
100 Back Steve Wood 08-10-06 1:01.73
200 Back Fritz Lehman 08-17-03 2:19.07

ande

JimRude
December 12th, 2007, 11:43 AM
... is this the Chris Stevenson that used to swim age-group in the San Jose area in the 1970s? If so, I swam for Santa Cruz Aquatic Team at the same time...

Chris Stevenson
December 12th, 2007, 12:11 PM
... is this the Chris Stevenson that used to swim age-group in the San Jose area in the 1970s? If so, I swam for Santa Cruz Aquatic Team at the same time...

Yep, it sure is. Geez, what a memory! I swam for a number of teams -- Morgan Hill, Sanata Clara, Golden Hills, San Jose Aquatics -- before we moved overseas when I was 12. I don't know why my parents kept changing clubs. A little while back Pablo Morales visited the NOVA pool in Richmond on a recruiting trip; I missed him but subsequently we traded emails and reminesced about the old days (we were age-groupers together on SCSC). I don't think I've seen him in person since NCAAs our senior year.

Philipp, I glad the roll feels good for you. It is probably most useful in the 200, it is hard to get a good turnover going with an exagerrated roll. When I swim against fast guys, my coach always tells me that -- comapred to them -- it look like I'm swimming a 200 even in the sprints.

Ande, fair warning: Eric Ericson (who was a 4-time backstroke all-american in college) was motivated by losing his records, he said he was going to try to put some out of reach before I aged up. He is 45. I don't know how much he is training or anything, but he still looks fit! But who knows, maybe he was blowing smoke. Awesome talent, though; when he was in his 30s he could still do 50+ 100 back even with almost no training.

Good luck to everyone in their swiming; Ande, I enjoy peeking in on your training log every now and then. My own coach is a big believer in race-pace training too. (We do lots of "test sets" like 5 x 200 on 7 minutes, where he records our times and charts our progression. Brutal.)

Chris

Fritz
December 12th, 2007, 12:59 PM
congratulations

I look forward to watching Chris' swims when I get home
it's good he's 43, that might mean I have one year of protection before he turns 45,
the 200 backs are some of the softest records in the
45 - 49 age group

SCY
050 Back Steve Wood 03-25-07 24.81
100 Back J Clay Britt 05-14-06 52.88
200 Back J Clay Britt 05-14-06 1:58.75

SCM
050 Back Clay Britt 12-03-06 27.24
100 Back Clay Britt 12-03-06 58.48
200 Back Frtiz Lehman 03-29-03 2:13.36

LCM
050 Back Steve Wood 08-13-07 28.60
100 Back Steve Wood 08-10-06 1:01.73
200 Back Fritz Lehman 08-17-03 2:19.07

ande

I'll try not to be offended since two of them are mine.

ande
December 12th, 2007, 01:19 PM
one of my SFF tips is: Don't rile your nemisis

at some point even the most talented amongst us have to break down and really train

50 point in his 30's is pretty awesome

glad you enjoy my blog
5 x 200 on 7 minutes is brutal,
what did you go on them?
months ago when we did 5 x 200 on 4:00
I was saving my legs, just 2 beat kicking then switching to 6 beat on the last 25 or 50, more rest might allow me to swim them more aggressively

I'm a fan of test sets, they hurt but they make us grow and improve

ande



Ande, fair warning: Eric Ericson (who was a 4-time backstroke all-american in college) was motivated by losing his records, he said he was going to try to put some out of reach before I aged up. He is 45. I don't know how much he is training or anything, but he still looks fit! But who knows, maybe he was blowing smoke. Awesome talent, though; when he was in his 30s he could still do 50+ 100 back even with almost no training.

Good luck to everyone in their swiming; Ande, I enjoy peeking in on your training log every now and then. My own coach is a big believer in race-pace training too. (We do lots of "test sets" like 5 x 200 on 7 minutes, where he records our times and charts our progression. Brutal.)

Chris

swimshark
December 12th, 2007, 03:51 PM
I had the awesome pleasure of watching these records break in person. Hey, I'm even in the background of the 200 race. I also had the pleasure of meeting Chris' mom and dad. So sweet! They enjoyed my snacks and I enjoyed watching their excitement as their son broke those records.

Congrats again Chris. See you with Dave in Oregon?

Alison

Chris Stevenson
December 12th, 2007, 04:10 PM
I'll try not to be offended since two of them are mine.

Ha! Ande, talk about riling your competition...! Fritz, I know you've been injured lately and hope you are able to train as you like now. I'm coming down to Raleigh to visit this weekend and am planning on a RAM practice; hopefully I'll see you and Kim there.

Chris

Chris Stevenson
December 12th, 2007, 04:17 PM
5 x 200 on 7 minutes is brutal,
what did you go on them?


Ande,

We do this set probably every 5-6 weeks (we have other test sets too). Last year I always did backstroke, I started out averaging 2:03 and got down to a 2:00 average by the end of the year. This year I resolved to do these sets fly. I've only done two so far; I missed the last set because I was tapering. I averaged 2:09 and then 2:07. I hope to get under 2:05 by summertime.

First time fly really really hurt. Read 'em and weep (I nearly was): 2:05, 2:05, 2:08, 2:12, 2:14. I haven't hurt that badly in 20 years; it is definitely bad news in a 200 fly when you're dead in the water by the 100. (Second time I was much more controlled, only a 2-second spread in times.)

Chris

Chris Stevenson
December 12th, 2007, 04:24 PM
Congrats again Chris. See you with Dave in Oregon?
Alison

Thanks, Alison. My mother definitely needed the distraction, her brother is in very poor health right now.

Right now, Oregon is indeed the plan, subject as always to final approval by She Who Must Be Obeyed. I believe Dave will go too (similarly, if Liz lets him). SC Nationals are during exam week, so no go for me. I'll point toward Colony Zones instead (always such a pleasure to be crushed by Michael Ross).

Chris

mbmg3282
December 12th, 2007, 09:42 PM
In addition to riling up Fritz's by calling his 200 back record soft Ande, you missed the fact it was one of the greatest 200 back races in Masters. It was at long course nationals at Rutgers. It was the only time I have seen 4 swimmers go under the World Record in the same heat. Not only were they all in the same heat, but each of them held the lead at some point in the race if I remember correctly.

To really appreciate the unique stroke that Chris has, one should watch him sprint freestyle. It just doesn't seem natural and it is confusing how he goes so fast looking like that.

JMiller
December 12th, 2007, 10:58 PM
Ande,

We do this set probably every 5-6 weeks (we have other test sets too). Last year I always did backstroke, I started out averaging 2:03 and got down to a 2:00 average by the end of the year. This year I resolved to do these sets fly. I've only done two so far; I missed the last set because I was tapering. I averaged 2:09 and then 2:07. I hope to get under 2:05 by summertime.

First time fly really really hurt. Read 'em and weep (I nearly was): 2:05, 2:05, 2:08, 2:12, 2:14. I haven't hurt that badly in 20 years; it is definitely bad news in a 200 fly
Chris

Is that SCY, or SCM??

If it's SCM, then you went really fast for the fly in work-out
Not bad for a young 43...

The Fortress
December 12th, 2007, 11:01 PM
To really appreciate the unique stroke that Chris has, one should watch him sprint freestyle. It just doesn't seem natural and it is confusing how he goes so fast looking like that.

Any youtube vids of this? Is it loping like his backstroke?

Chris: Do you ever go to any of the Colonies Zones meets?

Uh, let's not forget Clay. He's a competitive type too!

Sam Perry
December 13th, 2007, 01:08 AM
I'll try not to be offended since two of them are mine.

Welcome back Fritz. Brought you out of hiding, if that comment didn't nothing would!

Chris Stevenson
December 13th, 2007, 05:26 AM
Is that SCY, or SCM??

If it's SCM, then you went really fast for the fly in work-out
Not bad for a young 43...

Chuckle...SCY. (Averaging 2:00 in 200 SCM back would be quite a feat.)

That's why I'm doing the test sets fly this year, I've lost A LOT of fly endurance since the college days.

Chris Stevenson
December 13th, 2007, 05:37 AM
Any youtube vids of this? Is it loping like his backstroke?

Chris: Do you ever go to any of the Colonies Zones meets?

Uh, let's not forget Clay. He's a competitive type too!

Yes, he certainly is.

I missed Colonies this year -- I went to the Raleigh meet instead -- but I went the year before. I hadn't gone before, though many of my teammates had. For five years or so I didn't go to many swim meets, although I trained for fitness reasons. I spent much more time on the bike than in the water, though. But I guess I rediscovered my love of racing...I think I'm old enough now that I no longer mentally compare my times to what I did in college.

No Youtubes of the free, thank goodness. Mark is being too kind in describing my freestyle as fast. I can't sprint it very well, mostly keeping to middle distance events where I am adequate. It is loping but I definitely throw a fly kick in there somewhere. I don't think I use my legs very efficiently in the stroke, but you know...old dogs, new tricks, etc.

swimshark
December 13th, 2007, 07:24 AM
Thanks, Alison. My mother definitely needed the distraction, her brother is in very poor health right now.

Right now, Oregon is indeed the plan, subject as always to final approval by She Who Must Be Obeyed. I believe Dave will go too (similarly, if Liz lets him). SC Nationals are during exam week, so no go for me. I'll point toward Colony Zones instead (always such a pleasure to be crushed by Michael Ross).

Chris

I'm glad I could be a good distraction for her. She was so sweet.

I hope to see you and Dave in Oregon.

Alison