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Thread: The Butterfly Lane

  1. #81
    Very Active Member SolarEnergy's Avatar
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    Re: The Butterfly Lane

    Quote Originally Posted by LindsayNB View Post
    The second question is whether the same style can also be suitable for shorter distances. Solar says yes. I'm still working on it.
    Hi Lindsay!!

    For the record, I would say that there's a significant difference in stroke mechanics between slow and fast fly. But like you said, there's also a huge difference between recovery or warm up paced free style and full blown 6beat kick 50m sprint.

    Just my

  2. #82
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    Re: The Butterfly Lane

    Quote Originally Posted by no200fly View Post
    Here is an interesting video about the Spitz/Russell 100 fly duel at the 68 Olympics:

    http://www.tsdhof.org/video-doug%20russell.html
    Thanks for posting- very interesting

  3. #83
    Participating Member rdeclercq's Avatar
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    Re: The Butterfly Lane

    I will go on a tangent here with a similar scenario...medication/drugs. At the first onset of a headache (and I'm talking of a simple head ache, not a deper migrain progblem), do you immediatelyl pop a couple extra-strength pain relievers or do you wait it out to see if the head ache goes away and then maybe take one?

    When you say, "I need fins in order to swim fly," you are no longer using fins as a tool but an aid.

    Now, I'm not saying if you disagree with my "conventional wisdom" then you have a drug problem!

    Good luck to everyone swimming this weekend. I'm flying up tonight and will (only) be swimming the 50 Fly on Saturday morning.

    -Rob
    Swim hard - Tri harder

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    Re: The Butterfly Lane

    Quote Originally Posted by rdeclercq View Post
    I will go on a tangent here with a similar scenario...medication/drugs. At the first onset of a headache (and I'm talking of a simple head ache, not a deper migrain progblem), do you immediatelyl pop a couple extra-strength pain relievers or do you wait it out to see if the head ache goes away and then maybe take one?
    If you want to swim in the butterfly lane, you need to be able to ignore stuff like this. The other day I tweaked my neck somehow, but swam right through it, and then lifted, and then biked to work. The tweak figured out that it wasn't welcome, and went away on its own.

  5. #85
    Distance Man tjrpatt's Avatar
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    Re: The Butterfly Lane

    here is a good/short fly set that I do solo and I have the room to do it.

    Yards
    4 x 50s fly on :40
    Delware Valley Vice Chair, Top Ten Recorder, DV LMSC Records
    http://forums.usms.org/blog.php?u=2837

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    Re: The Butterfly Lane

    Tough set today. It wasn't super-tough physically since it's not very dissimilar from what I do regularly, but tough mentally.

    150 fly on 4:00 (went 1:44)
    125 fly on 3:30 (went 1:26)
    100 fly on 3:00 (went 1:07)
    75 fly on 2:30 (went 48)
    50 fly on 2:00 (went 30-high or 31-low)
    25 fly AFAP (went 13-high or 14-low from a push. 12 SDK's, 7 strokes, no breaths)

    Mentally, it was tough to sprint at the end of the 100 and the 75, with the 150 and 125 already weighing on my shoulders. Internal dialogue, minus expletives: "The intervals are long so you can go fast, NOW GO FAST!" I should have been quicker on that 50 too. I see lots of room for improvement the next time I do this set. I think I can and should finish 46-29-13. Then again, the next time I try something like this, I might start at 175 or 200...

  7. #87
    Very Active Member bud's Avatar
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    Butterfly... taking "breaks" in events

    Quote Originally Posted by swimmj View Post
    ...I have taken a :05 - :10 break at the 3rd turn on my first 100 fly as a master - and finished 2nd and got the team points I was going for....
    My first real "Ah-Ha!" moment for fly came before I was bold (or healthy) enough to really even try it (in my 40's). It certainly was one of the sparks. It came during a local USMS LMSC LCM championship (my first LCM meet ever).

    There was this guy who looked to be in his 70's, possibly older, rather frail, and did not move too fast anywhere, even on deck. I was stunned to see him start the 100 fly. It was nothing spectacular at all to look at, but it was legal. When he reached the turn he clung to the wall a bit, and pushed off for the finish. I turned to my coach at the time and asked quite surprised, "Can you do that?" she calmly looked me square in the eye and said, "Yes. And that was probably the difference between him finishing that event, or not." I bet he scored a 1st, and a bunch of points for his team. Definitely got me to thinking.

    Fugio, ergo sum.

  8. #88
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    Re: The Butterfly Lane

    I'm at peak training until it's time to taper for NW LCM Zones July 10-11. Here's the set I did this morning:

    3x100 fly on 2:30 @ 200 pace (went 1:09, 1:08, 1:08)
    4x75 fly on 2:00 @ 200 pace (went 51, 50, 50, 50)
    5x50 fly on 1:30 sprint 2nd 25 (went 33, 32, 32, 31, 31, 31) OOPS I did an extra 50
    6x25 fly on 1:00 sprint (went 14's and 15's)

    The first three 50's, I wasn't really sprinting the 2nd 25 like I was supposed to. But I eventually got there. I was happy to be able to sprint at all at the end of such a long fly set, especially after doing similar-length sets on Sunday and Monday.

    So the set was supposed to be 1000 fly total but I did 1050. Didn't realize it until I was walking out of the building.

  9. #89
    Very Active Member swimmj's Avatar
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    Re: The Butterfly Lane

    Quote Originally Posted by That Guy View Post
    I'm at peak training until it's time to taper for NW LCM Zones July 10-11. Here's the set I did this morning:

    3x100 fly on 2:30 @ 200 pace (went 1:09, 1:08, 1:08)
    4x75 fly on 2:00 @ 200 pace (went 51, 50, 50, 50)
    5x50 fly on 1:30 sprint 2nd 25 (went 33, 32, 32, 31, 31, 31) OOPS I did an extra 50
    6x25 fly on 1:00 sprint (went 14's and 15's)

    The first three 50's, I wasn't really sprinting the 2nd 25 like I was supposed to. But I eventually got there. I was happy to be able to sprint at all at the end of such a long fly set, especially after doing similar-length sets on Sunday and Monday.

    So the set was supposed to be 1000 fly total but I did 1050. Didn't realize it until I was walking out of the building.
    Okay, and I was feeling like I had a good day going 650 meters of fly, mixed up with free and in a 400 IM. I bow to the north and am impressed.

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    Re: The Butterfly Lane

    Quote Originally Posted by swimmj View Post
    I had a good day going 650 meters of fly, mixed up with free and in a 400 IM
    Great job swimmj!

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    Re: The Butterfly Lane

    When I do the 50 fly I feel like I am going really fast, but I am actually going slow. I finally have the endurance to go all out (and put my head down for 3 or 4 strokes - I am faster that way) yet my time is only 31. My kick is very weak - is it possible that could be four seconds or so?
    This was by far my best stroke as a kid and I can't believe I suck so bad now. My other theory is that most of butterfly development occurs in high school or beyond after more muscle development?

  12. #92
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    Re: The Butterfly Lane

    Quote Originally Posted by Herb View Post
    When I do the 50 fly I feel like I am going really fast, but I am actually going slow. I finally have the endurance to go all out (and put my head down for 3 or 4 strokes - I am faster that way) yet my time is only 31. My kick is very weak - is it possible that could be four seconds or so?
    This was by far my best stroke as a kid and I can't believe I suck so bad now. My other theory is that most of butterfly development occurs in high school or beyond after more muscle development?
    Keep working on that kick. It's the locomotive in fly. I do see some people swim fly seemingly with nothing but their arms. I once watched in amazement as an Olympian swam the fly leg of a 400 LCM IM that way. His DPS was terrible and his stroke count was astronomical, but nevertheless he was moving reasonably fast. I have no desire to swim fly that way though. Dolphin kick!!!

  13. #93
    Very Active Member orca1946's Avatar
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    Re: The Butterfly Lane

    I at 64 , have mastered the slow be sure method of 200 fly.

  14. #94
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    Re: The Butterfly Lane

    Quote Originally Posted by orca1946 View Post
    I at 64 , have mastered the slow be sure method of 200 fly.
    I, at 49, have mastered nothing at all. But I do keep trying.
    At this point in the development of our society, there is virtually no writing which has not been plagiarized at least in part from another. I read that somewhere.

    This was no boating accident.


  15. #95
    Very Active Member debaru's Avatar
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    Re: The Butterfly Lane

    I, at 55, have finally begun to "master" butterfly, thanks to the expert coaching I received at SwimFest '10 last weekend.

    Prior to last weekend, I had never been able to swim an entire pool length of butterfly, but that is no longer the case. Now that I'm back home, I plan on swimming at least one length during my twice weekly workouts, and building from there. I have a long way to go, but at least I've finally begun the journey.
    I would give up chocolate, but I'm no quitter.

  16. #96
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    Re: The Butterfly Lane

    I got this from my old coach. He made a couple of his own add-ins.
    He was a butterflier and the one who got me into the 200.

    For the Athlete Who Has It All
    By KEVIN HELLIKER
    Like many fitness swimmers, I can go mile after mile of freestyle without stopping. But a single lap of the butterfly stroke leaves me gasping.
    Of the four strokes swum in competition, butterfly is almost universally regarded as more exhausting than freestyle, breaststroke or backstroke. And therein lies its allure. In an age of ultramarathons, Ironman triathlons and crowds chugging up Mount Everest, long-distance butterfly swimming is becoming a new and less-crowded frontier for fitness fanatics. It's also hugely advantageous, because fly swimming, as it's known, requires enormous strengthening of every muscle in the body, particularly the core muscles in the abdomen and back.
    The butterfly is a notoriously difficult stroke, but Tom Boettcher is one of a growing number of fanatics who are learning to swim it for miles. He gives WSJ reporter Kevin Helliker some tips for improving his stroke.
    Tom Boettcher, a high-tech entrepreneur in Chicago, recently swam butterfly from Alcatraz Island to San Francisco, a distance of 1.5 miles, across choppy waters. And summer after summer he competes in the Big Shoulders 5K—a 3.1-mile race in Lake Michigan—swimming every stroke butterfly. "There are times when I'm utterly wasted at the end, and times when I could swim an extra mile or two, depending on how choppy and cold the water is," says the 45-year-old.
    Swimming 500 meters or more of non-stop butterfly can place an athlete in a truly elite, if unofficial, club. For context, consider that while the longest Olympic freestyle event is 6.2 miles, the longest stretch of butterfly performed in the Games is 200 meters, or one eighth of a mile.
    Nobody knows how many swimmers are flying for distance these days, and there's no distance-flying regulatory body to set standards such as whether wetsuits can be worn in open-water swims. But the mere sight of a swimmer doing mile after mile or lap after lap of butterfly in competitions otherwise teeming with freestylers garners attention of the sort that merely finishing an Ironman triathlon no longer generates. Dan Projansky has won publicity in half a dozen newspapers and magazines for his long-distance open-water races swimming butterfly. "Everybody seems to think I'm a kook," says Mr. Projansky, 52, an insurance salesman in northern Illinois. It is also said that he gets lucky far more often he did before.
    People who swim freestyle, the most popular stroke in the U.S. which is also known as the front crawl, are taught to glide through the water in a fashion that creates the sensation of swimming downhill. In the butterfly, however, both arms come forward simultaneously and pull the chest above the top of the water while the feet perform typically a two-beat dolphin kick. More than any other stroke, the butterfly feels akin to swimming uphill.
    "There's a huge surge of propulsion as the arms pull you forward, then a deceleration during the recovery," says Steven Munatones, a former coach of U.S. Olympic distance swimmers. "Compared with the consistent acceleration of freestyle, fly is like giving a vehicle the gas and then the brakes, gas and then brakes. It's very taxing."
    As hard as it can be to swim butterfly over long distances, the fundamentals of the stroke can be mastered in a single lesson with a good coach. Swim instructors highly recommend it because the butterfly burns more calories and strengthens more muscles than any other stroke. Fifteen minutes of butterfly can provide similar benefits to 30 to 45 minutes of freestyle, says Mr. Boettcher.
    Also, so few adults master the butterfly that swimming a single length of it can confer a certain status upon a swimmer. "In a lap pool full of fitness swimmers, one lap of butterfly will turn heads," says Mr. Munatones. "It gives people the impression that you're a more-talented swimmer." An instant legend so to speak....
    Helping to inspire today's distance fly swimmers is a recent fitness-world emphasis on strengthening the body's core muscles. Great butterfly swimmers have always boasted powerful torsos. As a world-record-setting teenage girl, "I had such a strong core that I had to wear boy's pants," says Mary T. Meagher, who won three gold medals swimming butterfly at the 1984 Olympics. Now a 45-year-old mother outside Atlanta, Ms. Meagher garnered the nickname Madam Butterfly for having held two world records for nearly 20 years—an achievement that ranks among the greatest in sports history.
    To strengthen his core, Mr. Boettcher, the distance flyer, says he spends two hours training on dry land for every hour he spends in the pool. The author of a book called Core Training, Mr. Boettcher uses tai chi, ballet and Pilates, as well as exercises such as sit ups, "in order to swim the butterfly optimally." In the water, he trains for hours underwater, propelling himself forward like a dolphin, arms at his side.
    A different strategy for distance fly has been developed recently by Terry Laughlin, the 59-year-old founder of Total Immersion, a national swim-improvement program. Mr. Laughlin, who has been a competitive swimmer since childhood, says he found early on that he could swim mile upon mile of freestyle, but barely muster more than 50 yards of butterfly. Frustrated, he spent hours in the pool performing drills that he hoped would expand his fly range. But "that goal eluded me for 40 years," he says.
    Five years ago, Mr. Laughlin says he was studying video footage of Olympics champion Michael Phelps when he noticed that after the young man's chest hit the water, "he simply held a streamline, for a nanosecond, while allowing himself to sink." Employing a similar technique, Mr. Laughlin found that it reserved his strength. Accepting that his torso was less flexible than when he was younger, he also began substituting the frog-like kick of the breaststroke for the butterfly's dolphin kick, even though this movement would be outlawed in college or Olympic competitions. Now, Mr. Laughlin swims butterfly "with no fatigue nor any reason to stop other than a desire to do something else," he says

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    Re: The Butterfly Lane

    Quote Originally Posted by debaru View Post
    I, at 55, have finally begun to "master" butterfly, thanks to the expert coaching I received at SwimFest '10 last weekend.

    Prior to last weekend, I had never been able to swim an entire pool length of butterfly, but that is no longer the case. Now that I'm back home, I plan on swimming at least one length during my twice weekly workouts, and building from there. I have a long way to go, but at least I've finally begun the journey.
    Great stuff! Track how much fly you swim each workout and try to improve it over time. As your conditioning for the stroke improves, you will be able to do more distance per fly swim (25's, 50's, etc) and more fly per workout.

  18. #98
    Very Active Member debaru's Avatar
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    Re: The Butterfly Lane

    Quote Originally Posted by That Guy View Post
    Great stuff! Track how much fly you swim each workout and try to improve it over time. As your conditioning for the stroke improves, you will be able to do more distance per fly swim (25's, 50's, etc) and more fly per workout.
    Thanks, That Guy! I swam a 25 both mornings this week. It's the last thing I do before warming down, but I was wondering whether it would be better to do my butterfly practice after my initial warm-up, when I'm fresher? Also, by how much per week should I realistically increase my distance during my workouts?

    I'm in pretty good swimming shape, so I'm thinking at the very least I need to add more SDKs to my kicking workouts (my group swims freestyle exclusively) and butterfly drills to help with conditioning my "fly" muscles.

    I appreciate the encouragement and any tips you can share.
    I would give up chocolate, but I'm no quitter.

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    Re: The Butterfly Lane

    Quote Originally Posted by debaru View Post
    Thanks, That Guy! I swam a 25 both mornings this week. It's the last thing I do before warming down, but I was wondering whether it would be better to do my butterfly practice after my initial warm-up, when I'm fresher? Also, by how much per week should I realistically increase my distance during my workouts?

    I'm in pretty good swimming shape, so I'm thinking at the very least I need to add more SDKs to my kicking workouts (my group swims freestyle exclusively) and butterfly drills to help with conditioning my "fly" muscles.

    I appreciate the encouragement and any tips you can share.
    When to swim different parts of a workout (warm-up, main set, drills. kicking, race pace swim, etc) seems like a personal preference thing to me. Do what works for you. As for the rest, take a long term and conservative view. Set a goal to improve by some reasonable % in the next year, two years, five years, etc. If you get there sooner than expected, then that's a great problem to have, and you then get to recalibrate your goals for the better. The flip side of that is that on this forum, typically when I see people post that they think they can improve something by X% in the next Y weeks, it generally doesn't happen because the timeframe was too short and/or the % improvement was unrealistic.

  20. #100
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    Re: The Butterfly Lane

    Had an idea last week to try some long distance fly as a personal challenge and a great way to cross train for the finswimming and freediving competition that I do (core strength, efficiency).

    Thought I'd give a 10k open water race with fly a go next summer. Did the 10k two years ago freestyle.

    Here in Vancouver, we have a 137.5m pool. On Wednesday I tried to see what I could maintain, and managed only 50-60m of fly at a stretch, before lapsing into freestyle. I think the lack of walls is definitely a factor as they do give you rest and the chance to reset your stroke. I did this over 1000m and felt rather discouraged.

    Last night after coaching, I jumped into the pool and without really much fuss on my part swam 500m fly non-stop in the pool.

    After last night's swim, I am quite excited. It is definitely a different style of fly that got me through the 500m without much difficulty. Long glide in streamline and the smallest head tilt to get air. And crucial was getting my chest lower than my shoulders (ie. arching the upper back) on every stroke. It wasn't particularly fast, but encouraging.

    The long glide seems especially important for letting your muscles stay out of the red zone as even a second helps to recharge them for the next stroke.

    But given the small margin for error on breathing (head lift/hips falling), swimming in chop sounds grueling!

    I've found this thread after searching for others who have trained in long-distance fly. Some helpful stuff on this thread. Thanks to everyone.

    Anyone try longer swims? Anyone stumble across long-distance fly training and technique experiences on the web?

    If you've heard of any references that I could look up beyond what is here, that would be a great help.

    Thanks!
    Pete
    "Learn from the Sea"

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