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Thread: Swim Slow to BE Fast

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    Very Active Member geochuck's Avatar
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    Swim Slow to BE Fast

    I just watched a great video entitled Swim Slow to Be Fast. I found it to be very interesting and sound advice. It is primarily meant for Tri Atheletes and distance swimmers..
    Last edited by geochuck; February 22nd, 2010 at 05:31 PM.
    Keep it simple George Park
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    Re: Swim Slow to BE Fast

    George,
    I didn't read the article but slow motion, drill work, is the best way to promote effective stroke changes. It's also necessary to perform isometrics and other exercises to help strengthen the necessary recruitment muscles. Even slight changes in a pulling pattern may take thousands and sometimes tens of thousands of correct repititions before muscle memory is acquired. It's the old adage, practice doesn't make perfect, perfect practice makes perfect and slower, not faster, helps.

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    Re: Swim Slow to BE Fast

    Even without opening this thread, seeing the title was enough to get a(n almost totally random) song stuck in my head. All morning I have been humming
    You gotta be cruel to be kind...
    ... in the right measure...
    I'm pretty sure the last time I heard that song was at my neighborhood pool as a 12-and-under, the summer that it was all over the radio.
    ...cruel to be kind...
    ...is a very, very, very good sign
    Since I'm now obligated to say something on-topic, I'll point out that many triathletes have the mantra that long, slow distance training is only good for training you to race slow.
    ...cruel to be kind...
    ...means that I love you...
    Many are tempted to carry their run & bike training plans over to the pool, without realizing that drag trumps aerobic fitness in the water. I agree that some "slow" work on technique can often pay bigger dividends than thrashing through another sprint set.
    ...baaayyy beee...
    ...you gotta be cruel...
    ...you gotta be cruel to be kind

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    Very Active Member __steve__'s Avatar
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    Re: Swim Slow to BE Fast

    You gotta be fast to be fast
    When your a sprinting

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    Re: Swim Slow to BE Fast

    There isn't one single world class triathlete, elite master swimmer or world record holder who has poor technique. Few coaches will deny that the key to fast swimming is training fast but unless you have an effective swimming technique the only thing you'll reach by training faster is mediocrity. The beginner or poor swimmer should use a majority of their training time on improving their technique and when they get more proficient add more yardage and more sprinting. I know most of us get it so I'll leave it at that.

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    Very Active Member orca1946's Avatar
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    Re: Swim Slow to BE Fast

    Get it right in technique before you make speed !

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    Very Active Member pdjang's Avatar
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    Re: Swim Slow to BE Fast

    When I swim slow, I swim mindfully - that is, I concentrate on what I am feeling and what I doing. I'll usually focus on performing a certain action (the catch, minimizing lateral movement - e.g. excessive core motion, etc).

    Swimming slowly without being mindful of what one is doing is fine and has it's place. Swimming is a wonderful activity to do if you have a problem to solve or just to let your mind go (e.g. wander).

    However, swimming slowly without being observant is not the way to improve technique. Improving technique for adults is a necessary condition for performance gains.

    My objective from swimming slowly is to ingrain the neuro-muscular patterns that one "learns" while swimming slowly so that they can be transfered when maximum speed is the goal.

    It's a zen thing.

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    Very Active Member __steve__'s Avatar
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    Re: Swim Slow to BE Fast

    Two questions:

    If you do train for shorter distances (50, 100, 200), what % of training in distance should be at maximum effort? I do about 1.4% at max effort, i.e, 11000 M a week total, about 150 M a week at or just below top speed.

    How slow is slow? For me, slow swimming with perfect stroke is too slow to maintain any required cardiovascular conditioning when greater than 100

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    Farewell Lily smontanaro's Avatar
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    Re: Swim Slow to BE Fast

    Where is this article? I haven't seen any links. Google only turns up this thread.

    S

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    Very Active Member geochuck's Avatar
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    Re: Swim Slow to BE Fast

    Here is the link http://www.triswimsecrets.com/access/ I enjoyed his thoughts and understand his idea. It is essential to have technique first to have speed. Sprinting is not his game. He is a drill guy and you may know my thoughts about drills. But I give him credit and will support many of his views.
    Last edited by geochuck; February 23rd, 2010 at 11:06 AM.
    Keep it simple George Park
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    Very Active Member joel schmaltz's Avatar
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    Re: Swim Slow to BE Fast

    One of our coaches always told us....

    "You have to learn to swim slow before you can learn to swim fast."

    Drill sets are awesome if you can really pay attention to what you are doing.

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    Very Active Member Allen Stark's Avatar
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    Re: Swim Slow to BE Fast

    Quote Originally Posted by __steve__ View Post
    Two questions:

    If you do train for shorter distances (50, 100, 200), what % of training in distance should be at maximum effort? I do about 1.4% at max effort, i.e, 11000 M a week total, about 150 M a week at or just below top speed.

    How slow is slow? For me, slow swimming with perfect stroke is too slow to maintain any required cardiovascular conditioning when greater than 100
    I do lots of slow swimming early in the season and every workout during warmup.I think you are going to need to do more fast swimming to get fast, IF your technique is good.I also find it easier to focus on breaststroke and fly technique at race pace.About 25% of my workouts are race pace,but 200 speed is race pace one day and 100 speed another and sprints another,and some days I mix it up.The rest of the workout is warmup,warmdown,recovery swims and drills.
    "To strive,to seek,to find,and not to yield" Tennyson
    Allen

  13. #13
    BigNoodler
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    Re: Swim Slow to BE Fast

    Quote Originally Posted by tomtopo View Post
    There isn't one single world class triathlete, elite master swimmer or world record holder who has poor technique. Few coaches will deny that the key to fast swimming is training fast but unless you have an effective swimming technique the only thing you'll reach by training faster is mediocrity. The beginner or poor swimmer should use a majority of their training time on improving their technique and when they get more proficient add more yardage and more sprinting. I know most of us get it so I'll leave it at that.
    I forgot. How are we defining an elite masters swimmer? Thx.

    This thread title caught my attention in that I do think there is something to it. . . I completely loafed (meaning I purposely went slow and did not worry about speed at all) my 200 IM (10th event of a 2 day meet) and just focused on technique. Went my best time of 2:15 (yeah, nothing to write home about I know). Husband caught on video and my *great techinque* was still probably about a 3 on a scale of 1 to 10 an improvement from my usual 1 or 2). So there is something about swimming slow - or rather, not focusing on speed at all and just thinking about walls and technique. . .
    Last edited by BigNoodler; February 23rd, 2010 at 02:09 PM.

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    Farewell Lily smontanaro's Avatar
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    Re: Swim Slow to BE Fast

    Quote Originally Posted by BigNoodler View Post
    I forgot. How are we defining an elite masters swimmer?
    I don't know, but I can give you a lower bound: someone faster than me. I'll leave it for others (faster than me who believe they are not elite) to raise the lower bound further.



    S

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    Very Active Member swimcat's Avatar
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    Re: Swim Slow to BE Fast

    i always do my drills in workout thoughtfully. well i try. when i swim slow or in survival mode (like today, i have vertigo) i actually do well.
    i have never, never ,, never been able to turn over my arms in backstroke hence my old nickname ester.

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    Re: Swim Slow to BE Fast

    Anyone in their age group that finisihes in the top 20 at Nationals in most events, is certainly an ellite swimmer

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    Participating Member Swims With Twins's Avatar
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    Re: Swim Slow to BE Fast

    A good read is Amanda's article in the ASCA newsletter volume 2009 number 08.

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    Very Active Member Leonard Jansen's Avatar
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    Re: Swim Slow to BE Fast

    In racewalking, the Russians have always taken their elite young walkers and never let them take a step unless it is "perfect." They will stop someone in the middle of a workout and have them refocus on technique if it is deteriorating. They contend that speed can always be added once technique is there but the easiest way to get good technique is to do so at the very beginning when there is less to unlearn. The consistency of their results over the last 50+ years is a strong testimony to that approach.

    -LBJ
    "Excitable boy" they all said.

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    Re: Swim Slow to BE Fast

    To be fast,
    you must swim fast

    Quote Originally Posted by geochuck View Post
    i just watched a great video entitled swim slow to be fast. I found it to be very interesting and sound advice. It is primarily meant for tri atheletes and distance swimmers..

  20. #20
    Very Active Member rtodd's Avatar
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    Re: Swim Slow to BE Fast

    Did not read or see the article, but I think you can swim with a slow stroke rate to be fast. Dave Cromwell illustrates this well in this race. He holds a 51.4 sec 100 yd pace with 9 strokes per length. This is a good example showing how slowing down your stroke rate does not necesarally means swimming slow.

    http://www.floswimming.org/videos/sw...ace/play/7422-

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