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JMiller
December 14th, 2007, 03:49 AM
Hypothesis on specialized training models

*Warning* this may bore some
members, please privately message
me to find the solution for you.

With 18 swimming events, fulfilling
the maximum potential in each discipline
requires specific training models.

Also, with the variety of body types,
the training program needs to vary
from person to person. For example,
Dara Torres might not have the
same level of success in a program
designed for Michael Phelps, and
vice versa. So, in order to maximize
either side of the spectrum, a
multi-faceted approach is required.

The point is, one program works very
well for a particular type of person,
and not so good for another. So which
program is better? Neither, that answer
depends on the athlete in question.

So you see, a coach can have success with
either program, and the athlete with a
predisposition for that type of training
will rise to the top.

I need to dispel any myths that one program
is better than another. This only makes
arguable sense when talking about a
particular athlete. So please, the traditional
methods do have merit when training particular athletes.


Although, the Nystrand versus Popov debate is another
example for the need towards flexible technique
analysis. Ultimately, it comes down to the
specific strength and weaknesses of each
particular athlete.

The point is, the depth of potential may
be a higher number than we previously assumed,
and that my friends, is an opportunity.
Happy Swimming,
Jonathan R. Miller:wave:

Chris Stevenson
December 14th, 2007, 08:22 AM
Not boring, I kind of like my swimming high brow in small doses. (Although I do not keep up with current research in exercise physiology and all that, so my thinking is probably oh so 1980's).

If I'm reading your hypothesis correctly, you are simply stating that there are a lot of variables in training and that there are many paths to success. Am I understanding you correctly?

I don't know many who would disagree but I still think there are some universal truths in training that apply broadly. Otherwise where does that leave us? All training must be completley individualized to a particular person and event? Not always very practical, though it can certainly be done to some degree; sprinters have been wimping out of -- excuse me, "pesonalizing" -- workouts for decades, after all.

Still, there are going to be incompatibilities, such as the 20K/day vs the quality/technique schools of thoughts. Or disagreements on the importance of kicking.

Your thoughts?

spudfin
December 14th, 2007, 08:50 AM
Jonathon
I just finished a book by the Dutch physiologist Jan Olbrecht on periodization training and the use of blood lactate levels as a marker for training intensity and volume. He asserts the same thing you are suggesting. Once we reach the top margins of individual performance then that is where the variance in an athletes biochemistry becomes really important. What I took from him was that in order for a coach to squeeze that last 1 or 2 percent from an athlete he/she had better study that athlete and individualize their training. The mass approach works to a point but drops off at the top. His data supports what you are suggesting. In fact we are looking at blood testing program for out senior age groupers but wonder if we have the time and expertise to gather and analyze the data properly. Interesting post.
Regards
Spudfin

knelson
December 14th, 2007, 11:08 AM
Jonathan,
Why do you add line breaks to your posts? Just curious. I find it makes them very difficult to read. I feel like I'm reading a poem or something.

ViveBene
December 14th, 2007, 11:36 AM
Jonathan,
Why do you add line breaks to your posts? Just curious. I find it makes them very difficult to read. I feel like I'm reading a poem or something.

It's haiku-inspired!

"With 18 swimming events
Fulfilling the maximum potential in each discipline
Requires specific training models."

[soft gong sounds in background]

"I need to dispel any myths
That one program is better than another."

I'm confused about what you are responding to. Is there such a myth?

Regards, VB

david.margrave
December 14th, 2007, 12:10 PM
It's haiku-inspired!


isn't haiku supposed to be 5-7-5 syllables?


Lactic tolerance
Adenosine triphosphate
Physiology

ViveBene
December 14th, 2007, 01:18 PM
isn't haiku supposed to be 5-7-5 syllables?


Lactic tolerance
Adenosine triphosphate
Physiology

Now that's pretty. But haiku is based on equal syllabic stresses (or the equivalent in ideograms -- does anybody know?), whereas English of COURSE does not HAVE such a THING.

There is no real haiku form in English, only people amusing themselves.

And that's fine with me. But it also means you can make up your own rules, like TEGWAR,* in Bang the Drum Slowly (speaking of baseball, as we were).

*TEGWAR: The Exciting Game Without Any Rules.

Regards, VB

JMiller
December 15th, 2007, 09:47 PM
Not boring, I kind of like my swimming high brow in small doses. (Although I do not keep up with current research in exercise physiology and all that, so my thinking is probably oh so 1980's).

If I'm reading your hypothesis correctly, you are simply stating that there are a lot of variables in training and that there are many paths to success. Am I understanding you correctly?

I don't know many who would disagree but I still think there are some universal truths in training that apply broadly. Otherwise where does that leave us? All training must be completley individualized to a particular person and event? Not always very practical, though it can certainly be done to some degree; sprinters have been wimping out of -- excuse me, "pesonalizing" -- workouts for decades, after all.

Still, there are going to be incompatibilities, such as the 20K/day vs the quality/technique schools of thoughts. Or disagreements on the importance of kicking.

Your thoughts?

Haha... First, let me say it is an honor to have discussions with my hero... A WR is a WR is a WR... Well Done Chris Stevenson... Although, you could have given us an arm-pump, or even a smile, or something like that on the video... ;-) How about a WAAHHHOOO!!!! just a thought...

Anyways...

You're right, for age-group programs there are universal "truths" about training that can "whip" aspiring athletes into quasi-respectable swimmers... Although, as we age, specialized programs may be more suitable, and we can probably even afford a personalized program/trainer.

The thing is, we all have different weaknesses and strengths... We can become reasonably "fast" with a standard program, but if you want to pass that level you must target your personal weaknesses specifically.

The debate about kicking is silly really, almost willy nilly, because we all know the show don't flow without kicking mo-jo...

The question is, how does the vast majority reach that same level of proficiency in their under-water kick? It simply won't happen if you don't have the appropriate range of motion in your ankles...

See this link,
http://forums.usms.org/showpost.php?p=115560&postcount=26

Happy swimming,

Chris Stevenson
December 15th, 2007, 10:44 PM
Haha... First, let me say it is an honor to have discussions with my hero... A WR is a WR is a WR... Well Done Chris Stevenson... Although, you could have given us an arm-pump, or even a smile, or something like that on the video... ;-) How about a WAAHHHOOO!!!! just a thought...

Anyways...

You're right, for age-group programs there are universal "truths" about training that can "whip" aspiring athletes into quasi-respectable swimmers... Although, as we age, specialized programs may be more suitable, and we can probably even afford a personalized program/trainer.

The thing is, we all have different weaknesses and strengths... We can become reasonably "fast" with a standard program, but if you want to pass that level you must target your personal weaknesses specifically.

This requires specialized training programs. **(BONG, or was it GONG)** That post was edited by the powers that be, (thanks)

Anyways, some people don't get the concept of pausing, but I prefer to use this literary technique...

The debate about kicking is silly really, almost willy nilly, because we all know the show don't flow without kicking mo-jo...

The question is, how does the vast majority reach that same level of proficiency in their under-water kick? It simply won't happen if you don't have the appropriate range of motion in your ankles...

See this link,
http://forums.usms.org/showpost.php?p=115560&postcount=26

Happy swimming,

I've already taken much grief from coach and friends for the stone-face act at the end of the swims..."Did your dog just die? Did you smell something funny?" I guess I'm just not a fist-pump kind of guy, especially in front of a camera.

Definitely agree about the ankle flexibility thing; I had already seen your link from other posts and look forward to sharing it with others who have that limitation. Much better than the usual advice of "just use fins." (My own ankles are as flexible as I want them, any more would probably destabilize them or something).

Tried a new drill today, kicking with shoes on. Bizarre! Definitely makes you realize how much of the kick is below the ankles. Seriously, it doubled my kick times. You take them off and feel like you have fins on.

Specialized training may be the way to go (see: Torres, Dara) but consider the plight of the masters swim coach. You have a mix of abilities and backgrounds (some who have been swimming since a young age, some who started as adults), a mix of swimmers and triathletes, a mix of those who compete and those who simply want fitness, those who want stroke critique and those who just want to pound out the yardage. Sheesh...I'm glad I'm not a coach.

JMiller
December 15th, 2007, 11:30 PM
Definitely agree about the ankle flexibility thing; I had already seen your link from other posts and look forward to sharing it with others who have that limitation. Much better than the usual advice of "just use fins."

Chris,

Thanks for your endorsement...

You don't have to sit on your ankles, but try the bike with your toes pointed, using toe straps... even if only for 8 minutes/3xweek. You'll be impressed with your ability to keep a stable frequency at a lower amplitude in the water.

Although, you're already a WR holder because of your under-water abilities... What program have you been doing?

I've dreamed of coaching in the past, but like you've stated, there are many variables involved...
Plus, there is the question, what is the best environment for my particular style/skill-set? I've made a living from sales, and these experiences have enabled me to think that more can be done to attract a broader interest in swimming from the general public. Hence the unique writing style, and pictures... I'm really just trying to network at this point.

To be honest, I'm really happy to be having a conversation with a WR holder... Let me do the WAAHHHOOO!!
Thank-you...

Chris Stevenson
December 16th, 2007, 04:21 PM
Chris,

You don't have to sit on your ankles, but try the bike with your toes pointed, using toe straps... even if only for 8 minutes/3xweek. You'll be impressed with your ability to keep a stable frequency at a lower amplitude in the water.

Although, you're already a WR holder because of your under-water abilities... What program have you been doing?

To be honest, I'm really happy to be having a conversation with a WR holder... Let me do the WAAHHHOOO!!
Thank-you...

I might give the bike thing a try, I already have one set up on a trainer at home for the winter (I'm a cold weather wienie about riding outside). However, I already point my toes way too much in my pedal stroke -- considered bad form, though it seemed to work okay for Lance -- and your exercise would probably tend to worsen a bad habit.

Very flattering words, but it seems like there are a lot of very fast swimmers (including WR holders) on this forum; I'm not sure that I have any particularly valuable insights. I am not tall nor do I have large hands/feet, but I have been blessed with great flexibility and have had a fast kick since childhood. I gather from your other messages that you've had to work hard to develop your kick, so it would seem to me that you have more valuable experiences to offer.

What program do I use? I average about 4000/day for maybe 5 days a week (it would be more yardage if I made it to practice on time, but I usually miss about 500 of warmup). These are 1.5 hour practices, so there is usually plenty of rest in most sets. We almost always do at least one kick set and one quality set in a practice, plus about 4 different types of test sets every 5-6 weeks. Fridays is always a broken mile freestyle. Otherwise I tend to do a lot of strokes (fly, back) when I practice because I get bored with free.

When I want to improve conditioning more (such as now, after a taper) I will jump in with the high school kids once a week and go more, usually 6500 or so. At one point I would practice with the senior group (8000+ per workout) but I can't recover from those practices like I used to and I was actually swimming slower. The "senior silver" group is fine for me at this point; I have to make some concession to age, I suppose.

Even for coaches who acknowledge the benefits of a strong kick, the actions don't always match up with the rhetoric. Too often I see coaches give kick sets sandwiched between two very challenging swim sets. Swimmers tend to take such sets as recovery unless the coach really rides them about it (and sometimes even then). Most practices have 1-2 sets that are clearly the main sets of the workout. How often is one of these a kick set? How often are test sets kicking sets? Not often enough, in my opinion. It isn't enough to be able to kick 25-50 fast because legs tire more quickly than arms (and suck up the oxygen supply) when one kicks aggressively.

And swimmers often fall into the trap of thinking that they are non-kickers, and then either not working kick sets or always wearing fins/zoomers. As you have demonstrated for yourself, anyone can train to be a fast kicker if one places a priority on it.

Happy swimming,

Chris