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Thread: The Breaststroke Lane

  1. #201
    Very Active Member Jimbosback's Avatar
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    Re: The Breaststroke Lane

    Quote Originally Posted by Allen Stark View Post
    Another drill,this one an easy seeming one.Simply swim a length using the minimum number of strokes.REALLY work on streamlining at all times,but especially on the pull out and after each kick.The pullout part is especially important do those of you with a slow BR.For many swimmers the best way to swim BR is to do as little actual swimming as possible so for yhou the longer the pullout the better.Can you get it down to pullout plus 3 strokes for 25?2? 1?.0?1 stroke after pullout is as good as I can do in a 25 yd pool.
    This is a real awareness drill.As you are slowing down really focus on maximum streamlining.
    I need to do more of this, though I do a lot of stroke counting in other ways. I haven't done a max dps in months. Curious to see where I am, as I am now going underwater in 4 for 25 yds.

  2. #202
    Very Active Member Allen Stark's Avatar
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    Re: The Breaststroke Lane

    This is kind of like the last one.
    1,2,3 sec drill
    Swim a length with a 1 sec. glide,then a length with a 2 sec. glide then one with a 3 sec. glide.Time each one and put the same effort into each pull and kick.What do you notice.Is the 3 sec glide OK or much worse.If much worse you need to work on your streamline &/or kick
    "To strive,to seek,to find,and not to yield" Tennyson
    Allen

  3. #203
    Very Active Member Allen Stark's Avatar
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    Re: The Breaststroke Lane

    You probably know about the 2 kick/one pull and 1 pull/2 kick drills.The 1 pull/2 kick is especially good in my opinion as it gets the glide/streamline drilled well,but I have come up with a variation I really like:
    200 yd-1st 25 4 pull/1 kick
    2nd 3:1
    3rd 2:1
    4th& 5th 1:1
    6th 1:2
    7th 1:3 and
    8th 1 pull:4 kicks.
    I like this because I have to think about what I am doing and I really like that in a drill. The pull heavypart helps me with rhythm and the kick heavy part with streamlining/gliding.
    "To strive,to seek,to find,and not to yield" Tennyson
    Allen

  4. #204
    aka Elaine-iaK & Aqua Dog ElaineK's Avatar
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    Re: The Breaststroke Lane

    I have a question I could have asked Allen in my PM, today, but I wanted to post it here, because I think it would be of general interest to other breaststrokers:

    In my meet today, I did a PB in my 50 yd. breaststroke of :39.69, beating my Nationals time (:42.45). So, I was happy with that, of course, except for the stroke count. I went out 13 (bad!) and came back at 16! My goal is to keep my stroke count to 11 or 12 on my 50's, but the fastest I have been able to go and keep that stroke count is :44 from a push off start. The faster I go, the more strokes it takes. In my fastest push off start, I did a :42, but my stroke count was 14. So, this leads me to my question: How do I go about getting faster AND keep my stroke count down?

    F.Y.I.: I also did PB's in my 100 breaststroke (took 2 seconds off Nats.) and in my 200 breaststroke (dropped 7+ seconds off Nats.), but my stroke count went up on those races, as well. My 200 yd. went from a stroke count of 10-11 up to 12-16, gradually increasing throughout the race. Looking back on the video, was, well, .

    Any advice from my fellow frogs would be most appreciated!
    http://ElaineiaKsTravels.wordpress.com

    ~ Believing in your dreams can be far more rewarding than living by your limitations ~Karla Peterson

  5. #205
    Very Active Member Allen Stark's Avatar
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    Re: The Breaststroke Lane

    While stroke count is important it is not nearly as important as speed.The 2 problems with fast turnover are fatigue and stroke inefficiency(spinning your wheels.)
    To increase DPS work on REALLY streamlining your arms during your kick.Each stroke squeeze your biceps against your head.While there is no real glide in the 50,you want to make sure you get into streamline for every kick.Also do the drills to eliminate dead spots and the 1,2,3,sec drills.Good job though,great time drops
    "To strive,to seek,to find,and not to yield" Tennyson
    Allen

  6. #206
    Active Member Zulu's Avatar
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    Re: The Breaststroke Lane

    I'd say, also try the Separation Drill. Completely separate your stroke and kick. Do not start your kick until you complete your pull and are recovered back into streamline. Do not start another pull until your kick is done and your toes are pointed back behind you. You can focus on the fine points of the pull and kick independently. Gradually, bring the timing closer. I saw it on another site and used it in my Sunday practice (Sunday is drill day).

  7. #207
    Active Member Zulu's Avatar
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    Re: The Breaststroke Lane

    ...and kudos on the improvement too!!!

  8. #208
    aka Elaine-iaK & Aqua Dog ElaineK's Avatar
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    Re: The Breaststroke Lane

    Quote Originally Posted by Allen Stark View Post
    While stroke count is important it is not nearly as important as speed.The 2 problems with fast turnover are fatigue and stroke inefficiency(spinning your wheels.)
    To increase DPS work on REALLY streamlining your arms during your kick.Each stroke squeeze your biceps against your head.While there is no real glide in the 50,you want to make sure you get into streamline for every kick.Also do the drills to eliminate dead spots and the 1,2,3,sec drills.Good job though,great time drops
    Thanks, Allen! Although repetive GOOD streamlining starts to aggravate my left clavicle area* of my shoulder if I do too much during workouts, I have to really concentrate on doing it during the 200 breaststroke "race" I do each day after warm-up, as well as in actual races. I often THINK I am doing it, but I'll look at the video and still see some bend in the elbow, even if I can feel my biceps touching my ears. I worked hard to get great flexibility back after my surgery and I stretch often, but I just really need to concentrate extending my arms. I'll get Bruce to do some more filming and see if I can nail this once and for all...

    Thanks for the great advice! I know you told me that at Nationals, but, like I said, looking back over the videos, I'm still not getting it good enough!

    *I had Thoracic Outlet Syndrome. The surgeon had to make a 4" incision at the base of my neck, from the front to the back of my clavicle, in order to get to the first rib. The center section of the rib was removed ("First Rib Resection") to open up the space to relieve the crushing of the nerves, veins, and arteries running between the clavicle and first rib, to the thoracic outlet, then down my left arm. Forumites: Although I didn't develop the problem from swimming (I wasn't swimming at the time I developed T.O.S.), I have heard of a few cases of professional baseball players (pitchers) developing it and needing this surgery. Mommas, don't your babies grow up to be pitchers! (Or, in my case, don't let your babies who have long necks, long arms, and a slim build grow up and do ANYTHING requiring repetitive lifting of anything with your arm extended!)
    http://ElaineiaKsTravels.wordpress.com

    ~ Believing in your dreams can be far more rewarding than living by your limitations ~Karla Peterson

  9. #209
    aka Elaine-iaK & Aqua Dog ElaineK's Avatar
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    Re: The Breaststroke Lane

    Quote Originally Posted by Zulu View Post
    ...and kudos on the improvement too!!!
    Thanks Zulu! And, thanks for the suggestion! I'll try it tomorrow.
    http://ElaineiaKsTravels.wordpress.com

    ~ Believing in your dreams can be far more rewarding than living by your limitations ~Karla Peterson

  10. #210
    Very Active Member swimcat's Avatar
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    Re: The Breaststroke Lane

    if swimming slow such as warm up I take 8-9 strokes a 25. I havent' swam much breasstroke or fly in 2yrs. (rotator cuff). Anyway, racing I am unsure and i just don't count anymore. I try to get the most out of each stroke. If you want to get stronger. yikes, do weights.(squats for kick, and biceps for pull) and remember breasstroke and fly are lots and lots of core work. (disclaimer not that the other strokes aren;t ). If i slack off on core work like i have been doing and eating the wrong stuff, I cannot swim breasstroke or fly.

  11. #211
    aka Elaine-iaK & Aqua Dog ElaineK's Avatar
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    Re: The Breaststroke Lane

    Quote Originally Posted by swimcat View Post
    if swimming slow such as warm up I take 8-9 strokes a 25. I havent' swam much breasstroke or fly in 2yrs. (rotator cuff). Anyway, racing I am unsure and i just don't count anymore. I try to get the most out of each stroke. If you want to get stronger. yikes, do weights.(squats for kick, and biceps for pull) and remember breasstroke and fly are lots and lots of core work. (disclaimer not that the other strokes aren;t ). If i slack off on core work like i have been doing and eating the wrong stuff, I cannot swim breasstroke or fly.
    Thanks, swimcat. I do cross train in the gym twice/wk for 11/2 hours doing weights, core work, etc. I'm working on getting stronger. The best I can do is 7 strokes/ 25yd. and I also do that as part of my warmup.

    Counting my strokes during a race has been a good wake up call. My stroke count definitely tells me what I'm doing right or wrong! If I can hold 10-11 throughout my 200, I'm a happy camper. But, of course, I would like to be able to do that AND improve my times. I just need to keep working on my streamline...
    http://ElaineiaKsTravels.wordpress.com

    ~ Believing in your dreams can be far more rewarding than living by your limitations ~Karla Peterson

  12. #212
    Very Active Member Allen Stark's Avatar
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    Re: The Breaststroke Lane

    Next drill.I hate this one but it is a good one if,like me ,you have trouble keeping good form on the last pullout of a 200.
    Every turn in a 200(or 100 or 50) take 2 pullouts before you surface instead of one.
    Don't rush it,make them both real,full pullouts.If you can't do that don't keep on as it is better to not than to practice bad form,instead go back to 1 pullout per turn and try again later.
    "To strive,to seek,to find,and not to yield" Tennyson
    Allen

  13. #213
    Very Active Member orca1946's Avatar
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    Re: The Breaststroke Lane

    I've been to many clinics ti improve my stroke - I think that you that are good at it are born into it!

  14. #214
    Very Active Member Allen Stark's Avatar
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    Re: The Breaststroke Lane

    There is some truth to that in that the ankle flexibility needed for optimal BR probably has some genetic component and is pretty much the opposite for what is optimal for the other strokes.That said you can always do things to be more efficient and faster.The worse your kick the more important it is to not lose the momentum from your pull etc.
    "To strive,to seek,to find,and not to yield" Tennyson
    Allen

  15. #215
    Won Slowest Swimmer Award bzaks1424's Avatar
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    Re: The Breaststroke Lane

    Quote Originally Posted by Allen Stark View Post
    There is some truth to that in that the ankle flexibility needed for optimal BR probably has some genetic component and is pretty much the opposite for what is optimal for the other strokes.That said you can always do things to be more efficient and faster.The worse your kick the more important it is to not lose the momentum from your pull etc.
    I know I could just google this - but I'd rather hear it from the "master of breast stroke" as you've been called... What are some great exercises I can do at my desk while @ work to help work on my ankle flexibility? My understanding is that this will increase my abilities in all strokes and not just breast stroke (however, if I'm going to attempt to beat Elaine, I need all the help I can get!)
    "Fran operated under the assumption that one’s ability to cope with the travails of daily life fluctuates in direct proportion to one’s willingness to work through hurt." -Ian Prichard

  16. #216
    Very Active Member Allen Stark's Avatar
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    Re: The Breaststroke Lane

    Quote Originally Posted by bzaks1424 View Post
    I know I could just google this - but I'd rather hear it from the "master of breast stroke" as you've been called... What are some great exercises I can do at my desk while @ work to help work on my ankle flexibility? My understanding is that this will increase my abilities in all strokes and not just breast stroke (however, if I'm going to attempt to beat Elaine, I need all the help I can get!)
    The easiest and probably safest is to simply work on getting your feet into the BR catch position and holding it,attempting to turn your toes out as far as possible.Do this for about 30 sec. at a time several times per day.
    "To strive,to seek,to find,and not to yield" Tennyson
    Allen

  17. #217
    Won Slowest Swimmer Award bzaks1424's Avatar
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    Re: The Breaststroke Lane

    Quote Originally Posted by Allen Stark View Post
    The easiest and probably safest is to simply work on getting your feet into the BR catch position and holding it,attempting to turn your toes out as far as possible.Do this for about 30 sec. at a time several times per day.
    During this time, I want to keep my knees as close together as possible, right?
    "Fran operated under the assumption that one’s ability to cope with the travails of daily life fluctuates in direct proportion to one’s willingness to work through hurt." -Ian Prichard

  18. #218
    Very Active Member Allen Stark's Avatar
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    Re: The Breaststroke Lane

    Quote Originally Posted by bzaks1424 View Post
    During this time, I want to keep my knees as close together as possible, right?
    Not necessarily.During the stroke you want to have your knees about 2 fists apart at the catch,but for the stretch I don't think it matters(I never thought of that and am just playing with it now to see and I seem to get a good stretch regardless of my knee position.)
    "To strive,to seek,to find,and not to yield" Tennyson
    Allen

  19. #219
    Won Slowest Swimmer Award bzaks1424's Avatar
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    Re: The Breaststroke Lane

    Quote Originally Posted by Allen Stark View Post
    Not necessarily.During the stroke you want to have your knees about 2 fists apart at the catch,but for the stretch I don't think it matters(I never thought of that and am just playing with it now to see and I seem to get a good stretch regardless of my knee position.)
    I suppose I have some work to do .... I took this from my camera phone about 5 minutes ago.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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    "Fran operated under the assumption that one’s ability to cope with the travails of daily life fluctuates in direct proportion to one’s willingness to work through hurt." -Ian Prichard

  20. #220
    Very Active Member philoswimmer's Avatar
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    Re: The Breaststroke Lane

    Congrats on the great improvement, Elaine -- that's awesome!

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