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Thread: The Backstroke Lane

  1. #241
    Very Active Member rxleakem's Avatar
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    Re: The Backstroke Lane

    Was it a mixed race? The one next to you on the right side looks like a female
    Thanks. Yes, it was mixed heat. For all the mini meets I've been too, we have swum them mixed and regardless of age. Big meets are not mixed.
    ..<))><

  2. #242
    Age Grouper in Training jaadams1's Avatar
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    Re: The Backstroke Lane

    Quote Originally Posted by rxleakem View Post
    Thanks. Yes, it was mixed heat. For all the mini meets I've been too, we have swum them mixed and regardless of age. Big meets are not mixed.
    I've done a ton of masters meets over the past 2-3 years, and the only one I've ever done that was separated was the USMS National Meet. I guess it's not worth separating the sexes unless the meet has many many hundreds of participants. The PNA Champs has 250-300 or so I believe, spread over 2 days, but it's combined men and women.
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  3. #243
    Farewell Lily smontanaro's Avatar
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    Re: The Backstroke Lane

    I plan to swim some meet (s) next season. I've been working on my backstroke, but ignoring starts so far. As I've aged (I'm 58) my back has gotten more "touchy". Dolphin kick can set it off if I'm not careful. What sort of accommodation might I make for starts?

    Also, the pool I practice at has a fairly large stainless steel edge - extending several inches below the surface. How in the world am I supposed to get any "grip" there?

    TIA,

    Skip

  4. #244
    Age Grouper in Training jaadams1's Avatar
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    Re: The Backstroke Lane

    Quote Originally Posted by smontanaro View Post
    I plan to swim some meet (s) next season. I've been working on my backstroke, but ignoring starts so far. As I've aged (I'm 58) my back has gotten more "touchy". Dolphin kick can set it off if I'm not careful. What sort of accommodation might I make for starts?

    Also, the pool I practice at has a fairly large stainless steel edge - extending several inches below the surface. How in the world am I supposed to get any "grip" there?

    TIA,

    Skip
    You could always do a start like you're doing backstroke repeats in practice. One hand on the wall, drop under, and streamline kick. I do it quite frequently, and it can be viewed on video at a meet earlier this year.
    [nomedia="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PhAJkagwn0M"]2-19-12 - Kirkland, WA - 200 Back - YouTube[/nomedia]

    I'm in the green cap in Lane 5.

    I do this type of backstroke start if the pads or wall are extremely slick. I don't usually grab the starting block handles either on a normal start...usually just the gutter.
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  5. #245
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    Re: The Backstroke Lane

    From the video it does not look like this start is a disadvantage to you thanks to your strong SDK.

  6. #246
    Age Grouper in Training jaadams1's Avatar
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    Re: The Backstroke Lane

    Quote Originally Posted by fatboy View Post
    From the video it does not look like this start is a disadvantage to you thanks to your strong SDK.
    For the first 25 at least. After that backstroke takes over and SDK starts drowning. Need to work on that a little.
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  7. #247
    Very Active Member jaegermeister's Avatar
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    Re: The Backstroke Lane

    Quote Originally Posted by jaadams1 View Post
    For the first 25 at least. After that backstroke takes over and SDK starts drowning. Need to work on that a little.
    I'd be very happy with that time. Looks like the suffering was limited. You must've worked hard on your legs.

  8. #248
    Farewell Lily smontanaro's Avatar
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    Re: The Backstroke Lane

    This thread really needs a bump!

    Way back in 2010 rtodd asked:

    Quote Originally Posted by rtodd View Post
    How do you practice starts to gradually work up to proficiency without hurting lower back? Are there any start drills? I'd like to race backstroke, but am afraid of the start hurting my lower back.
    Nobody responded. :-(

    I am going to swim my first ever SCM meet Sunday, and my first meet of any kind except postal swims since Jan 2010. I'm swimming 50/100/200bk and 50/100fr. I will probably not humiliate myself with my freestyle starts (though they will likely not be all that good), but it's been 40-ish years since I practiced backstroke starts at all. My main concern is whether or not my back can take the stress of flinging myself back in an attempt to not do a butt flop.

    I will probably try a few practice starts after practice Saturday morning. I read completely through this thread, so might try both block and gutter grab. Would appreciate some feedback on potential back issues.

    Skip

  9. #249
    Very Active Member moodyrichardson's Avatar
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    Re: The Backstroke Lane

    I use the block at meets, but I really do get a better start from the gutter. My teammate gave me this tip. I've found I get a better start without straining my back if I throw my hands a bit out and to the side, instead of straight over my head. My hands still come back together to streamline underwater, but I get more power and a faster start this way.

  10. #250
    Very Active Member rxleakem's Avatar
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    Re: The Backstroke Lane

    I would agree that there are fewer forces to tweak the back when starting from the gutter. Not as explosive, but adequate. I'd use the gutter first and see how it goes.
    ..<))><

  11. #251
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    Re: The Backstroke Lane

    Quote Originally Posted by smontanaro View Post
    ...might try both block and gutter grab. Would appreciate some feedback on potential back issues.
    You could have someone time you to 10m and experiment with both the block start and the gutter start. When the coach suggested it I thought she was crazy but she insisted that a fair percentge of backstrokers, including some very good ones, are faster with the gutter start. Well we did the experiment and she was right! The average difference was about 0.3s for me, and none of my block starts were faster than even my slowest gutter start. We repeated the experiment a year later, the difference was smaller, but the qualitative result was the same.

  12. #252
    Very Active Member ElaineK's Avatar
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    Re: The Backstroke Lane

    Does anybody have a good video showing an effective gutter start? I would be interested to see it- and, copy it! I'm not a backstroker, but every once in awhile I race 50 backstroke for the heck of it.
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  13. #253
    Age Grouper in Training jaadams1's Avatar
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    Re: The Backstroke Lane

    Quote Originally Posted by ElaineK View Post
    Does anybody have a good video showing an effective gutter start? I would be interested to see it- and, copy it! I'm not a backstroker, but every once in awhile I race 50 backstroke for the heck of it.
    [nomedia="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PhAJkagwn0M"]2-19-12 - Kirkland, WA - 200 Back - YouTube[/nomedia]

    Not good, but I do this when the walls or pads are extremely slippery (or playing around). I use a "normal" gutter start 90% of the time though.
    I don't really lift up at all at the signal, just prep for my explosion backward into my streamline and dolphin kick like mad.


    Here's another one I found, but it's from a distance:
    [nomedia="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JuKrhbs_9BQ&feature=relmfu"]11-20-11 Cheney, WA USA-S 200 Back - YouTube[/nomedia]


    And a 3rd one, this one is better for a view of the start:
    [nomedia="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SU3ZNK-57jY&feature=relmfu"]3-26-11 200 Back.mp4 - YouTube[/nomedia]


    A 4th one, which shows my gutter start vs. That Guy's block start, and we are basically in the same position at the 25 meter point of the race, showing that the start position doesn't necessarily dictate the race:
    [nomedia="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D2LQxtpti-k&feature=relmfu"]6-12-11 200 LCM Back - Corvallis, OR - YouTube[/nomedia]
    Last edited by jaadams1; October 25th, 2012 at 08:52 PM.
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  14. #254
    Very Active Member ElaineK's Avatar
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    Re: The Backstroke Lane

    Thanks James! Great job on those starts, too!
    http://ElaineiaKsTravels.wordpress.com

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

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    Farewell Lily smontanaro's Avatar
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    Re: The Backstroke Lane

    Thanks for those videos James.

  16. #256
    Age Grouper in Training jaadams1's Avatar
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    Re: The Backstroke Lane

    Quote Originally Posted by ElaineK View Post
    Thanks James! Great job on those starts, too!
    Quote Originally Posted by smontanaro
    Thanks for those videos James
    No problem! It's nice to be able to go back and see how I did at certain times of the year, or how I swam a certain race one year.
    "Don't be upset by the results you didn't get with the work you didn't do." - K.A. Benthin

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  17. #257
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    Re: The Backstroke Lane

    Quote Originally Posted by ElaineK View Post
    every once in awhile I race 50 backstroke for the heck of it.
    I raced 50 back for the heck of it on the weekend (first time in almost 25 years). My race goal was "don't be embarrassing" (my squad is very freestyle-based). To my astonishment, I swam a time that would have made the final in our state open swimming championships this year (it includes multi-disability events).

    Much to my frustration, I can only swim one day of this season's state champs (they inconveniently clash with paratriathlon nationals ). 50 back is not on the program for the day. 100 back is. Backstroke turn... help!
    Swimmer & triathlete with cerebral palsy

  18. #258
    Very Active Member ekw's Avatar
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    Re: The Backstroke Lane

    Quote Originally Posted by determinedtri View Post
    Much to my frustration, I can only swim one day of this season's state champs (they inconveniently clash with paratriathlon nationals ). 50 back is not on the program for the day. 100 back is. Backstroke turn... help!
    Bummer! Rio 2016 for paratriathlon?

    I do practically all my kick sets kicking on my back, which allows me plenty of practice with my backstroke turn. Maybe that would work, even though your squad is mostly freestyle based?
    "Librarians are hiding something." - Stephen Colbert

  19. #259
    Active Member determinedtri's Avatar
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    Re: The Backstroke Lane

    Quote Originally Posted by ekw View Post
    Rio 2016 for paratriathlon?
    That's the plan. First stop, 2013 Paratriathlon World Championships in London. It's our first Australian Paratriathlon National Champs this year - we're quite a few years behind the UK, US and Canada that way.

    I didn't know the Paralympics were a thing as a teenage swimmer in the 80s - joined a club at 13, gave up 2 years later thinking I was crap. My 80s PBs are semi-crap by the standards of today, but looking at finals times from 1992 (when they switched to the current classification system), it seems I was one of the fastest in the world back then. We just weren't training like Paralympians do today (ie like elite athletes). You can only get so far in junior development squads, or segregated disability land, training 3 times a week.

    Quote Originally Posted by ekw View Post
    I do practically all my kick sets kicking on my back, which allows me plenty of practice with my backstroke turn. Maybe that would work, even though your squad is mostly freestyle based?
    And there's nothing to stop me swimming backstroke for part of a speed set. Very few people in my squad are interested in form strokes, but the coaches would get what I was doing (they saw that race and they can do the same calculation I did re state champs - they've trained other people to the Paralympics in swimming, so the multi-disability race stuff makes sense to them).
    Swimmer & triathlete with cerebral palsy

  20. #260
    Active Member habu987's Avatar
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    Re: The Backstroke Lane

    Hey folks,

    Back in the day, I was a backstroker and butterflier. Used to be mid 50s for both 100s and in the 2:00-2:05 ballpark for the 200s. After a good while out of the water, I started swimming again last summer. My backstroke was horrible all last short course season (swam the 100 back twice, with the first time being a 1:11 and the second, at the end of the season, being a high 1:06). Since May, I've spent quite a bit of practice time working solely on my backstroke, trying to get my technique and speed/power back to an approximation of what it used to be. On top of that, I've spent a good deal of time with one of the other coaches on my team, working one on one with her to have someone improve my back.

    Could y'all take a look at this video of my 100 back from the end of October [nomedia="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dI_gZRwW4G8"]My 100 back - Sprint Classic at GMU - 10/28/12 - YouTube[/nomedia] (I'm the one with the tattoos)?

    Since September, I've dropped down to a 1:02 from that high 1:06 in the 100 and am aiming for a ~:58 in the 100 at Nats. My technique has come a long way since last season, but I've still got plenty to work on.

    From the video, here's what I see, and I'd like to hear what y'all think, too.

    -My flip speed is pretty pokey. That's something I've been working on since that meet, so I'm pretty confident that it's faster now.
    -I need to continue working on my SDK--I'd like to eke more out of it at the 50 and 75 turns. I used to hit the 12.5 off my turns consistently back in the day and would like to work back out to that point.
    -I can't tell how good my flutter kick actually is. Since I rotate at the hips, my feet spend most of the time pointing everywhere but up. When I'm doing flutter kick on my back in practice, I've got a fairly powerful kick, but I can't tell how well that translates to actually swimming back.
    -My head naturally sits pretty far back in the water. My coach from 10 years ago had me curl my head forward almost to the point where my chin was on my chest and that helped back then, but I'm currently having problems remembering to do that consistently while racing.
    -I think I still need to work on my catch. This was one of the main things that was wrong back in the spring--I had a garbage catch back then and I've made big strides since then, but I can't help but think I could still catch and push more water than I am now, and more efficiently, too.

    Whatcha think?
    Last edited by habu987; December 12th, 2012 at 04:12 PM.

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