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Thread: The SDK Lane

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  1. #1
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    The SDK Lane

    We love to SDK. It's the 5th stroke. It takes skill, strength, flexibility, conditioning & mental toughness.
    For many it's the 2nd fastest stroke, but it's not a legal stroke.
    We wish it was legal. We wish there weren't 15 m restrictions in races.
    We count our kicks because kicks count.
    We train to SDK faster. Some call SDKs underwaters or dolphins.

    What are you doing to improve your SDK?

    How many do you take in each race?

    [ame="http://www.usms.org/forums/showthread.php?t=10130"]Help! My SDK is Horrible![/ame] has many tips & a program to get faster.
    Here's a [ame="http://www.usms.org/forums/showpost.php?p=205738&postcount=134"]helpful post[/ame] in it.

    What are your SDK times?
    15, 25, 50, 75, 100, 150 & 200?


    Spend some time in the SDK lane & you'll be kicking faster before you know it.


    [ame="http://www.usms.org/forums/showthread.php?t=16584"]the breastroke lane[/ame]


    [ame="http://www.usms.org/forums/showthread.php?t=16601"]The Middle Distance Lane[/ame]


    [ame="http://www.usms.org/forums/showthread.php?t=16587"]The Backstroke Lane[/ame]


    [ame="http://www.usms.org/forums/showthread.php?t=16588"]The Butterfly Lane[/ame]


    [ame="http://www.usms.org/forums/showthread.php?t=16618"]The SDK Lane[/ame]


    [ame="http://www.usms.org/forums/showthread.php?t=16591"]The Taper Lane[/ame]


    [ame="http://www.usms.org/forums/showthread.php?t=16586"]The Distance Lane[/ame]


    [ame="http://www.usms.org/forums/showthread.php?t=16589"]The IM Lane[/ame]


    [ame="http://www.usms.org/forums/showthread.php?t=16585"]The Sprint Free Lane[/ame]


    [ame="http://www.usms.org/forums/showthread.php?t=16619"]The Pool Deck[/ame]
    Last edited by ande; May 6th, 2010 at 10:55 PM.

  2. #2
    sprint diva The Fortress's Avatar
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    Re: The SDK Lane

    Wohoo! My fav lane!

  3. #3
    Very Active Member FlyQueen's Avatar
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    Re: The SDK Lane

    I like this lane, too!

    Only reason I'm doing the 50 back at nats - lots of chance for SDK!
    "I don't race to see who is the fastest, I race to see who has the most guts."

  4. #4
    sǝssɐןb ɹǝʇʇǝq ʇǝb That Guy's Avatar
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    Re: The SDK Lane

    When I started swimming again about 4.5 years ago, I was only taking 2-3 SDK's off each wall. I've slowly developed the ability to take more of them. I mention this because I've had other swimmers ask me how I stay underwater so long. There's no secret - just do as many SDK's as you can off every wall. Over time, you will improve!

    In training, I'm up to 10+ off every wall in backstroke, usually 7 or 8 in freestyle, and 7+ in butterfly. In short course races, the amount of SDK's I take decreases throughout the race - I take 12 off the start regardless of the event, but might be down to 6 or 7 off the final wall for a longer race. In long course, I try not to decrease as much.

    In the 400 IM, I've learned not to take more than 4-6 SDK's to start the backstroke. Any more will lead to lactic acid issues. I'm not sure why this is true in the 400 IM and not the 200 fly, since I swim the first 100 of those events exactly the same, but there it is. In a short course 400 IM, I try to build the number of SDK's that I take throughout the backstroke, say 4-5-6-7.

    One interesting effect of all the SDK training is that long breastroke pullouts don't faze me anymore. I did a 200 SCY breastroke in January and was surprised to beat some breastroke specialists in my heat because I outlasted them on the pullouts, especially in the second 100. In long course, they would destroy me!

  5. #5
    Very Active Member SolarEnergy's Avatar
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    Re: The SDK Lane

    In other words, during a 100m SC(whatever yards or meters), during the second 50 you take between 6 and 10 SDK off each walls?

    Same for the 200 BF?

    How many meters do you travel under water with 6-10 SDK?

    SDK habits during any duration backstroke event don't interest me at all. Just the butterfly.

  6. #6
    sǝssɐןb ɹǝʇʇǝq ʇǝb That Guy's Avatar
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    Re: The SDK Lane

    Quote Originally Posted by SolarEnergy View Post
    In other words, during a 100m SC(whatever yards or meters), during the second 50 you take between 6 and 10 SDK off each walls?
    Yeah.

    Quote Originally Posted by SolarEnergy View Post
    Same for the 200 BF?
    For some reason I specifically remember that in one of the 200 flys that I raced this year, I took 7 SDK's off the final wall. So, yeah.

    Quote Originally Posted by SolarEnergy View Post
    How many meters do you travel under water with 6-10 SDK?
    I'm not sure. Maybe 8 meters from a pushoff?

    Quote Originally Posted by SolarEnergy View Post
    SDK habits during any duration backstroke event don't interest me at all. Just the butterfly.
    OK.

  7. #7
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    Re: The SDK Lane

    I still kick off the wall in turns at meets. I have one coming up Sat and plan to SDK off the wall as a trial.

    Just started rotating my turns to the opposite side a couple weeks ago and found that this allowed a much more usable SDK position (left shldr doesn't bend too much).

    Will there be a "Start Lane"?

  8. #8
    Very Active Member SolarEnergy's Avatar
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    Re: The SDK Lane

    Quote Originally Posted by ande View Post
    How many do you take in each race?
    That!!!!
    Is a very good question.

    How many do you take in each race (Short Course)
    Over 50m (requires your SDK to be faster than your top Fly Speed)
    Over 100m (especially during the second 50)
    And (I can't wait to get your answers) Over 200?

    How many of you guys are taking 15m x 8 over a 200 SC?

  9. #9
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    Re: The SDK Lane

    Each swimmer is different
    Do what works for you & train to improve.
    Test your ability

    Michael Ross & Chris Stevenson are 2 of the best masters SDKers, they are great ones to watch & model yourself after.

    Chris often SDKs, follow his blog He's great at breath control & maintains high kick counts on longer sets.

    Leslie The Fortress SDKs often, follow her blog


    here's my SDK kick counts for SC races

    50 fr 4 - 6
    50 fl 8 - 10
    50 bk 10 - 12
    50 br 1 off each wall

    100 fr 3 or 4
    100 fl 6 to 8
    100 bk 8 to 11
    100 IM fl 8 - 10, bk 10 - 12, br 1, fr 3 to 4

    200 IM fl / bk 4 or 5 off each wall, br 1, fr 3 or 4
    200 fr 3 or 4


    Quote Originally Posted by SolarEnergy View Post
    That!!!!
    Is a very good question.

    How many do you take in each race (Short Course)
    Over 50m (requires your SDK to be faster than your top Fly Speed)
    Over 100m (especially during the second 50)
    And (I can't wait to get your answers) Over 200?

    How many of you guys are taking 15m x 8 over a 200 SC?

  10. #10
    Very Active Member swimshark's Avatar
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    Re: The SDK Lane

    I had ankle surgery this past Nov and now have a ganglion cyst in the same spot. I'm happy to be able to do 1 SDK in free and usually 2 in back. I started with a new team last June while I was in a walking boot and couldn't kick at all. I feel like 1 to 2 SDK is a huge improvement.

  11. #11
    Very Active Member SolarEnergy's Avatar
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    Re: The SDK Lane

    Quote Originally Posted by ande View Post
    Each swimmer is different
    Do what works for you & train to improve.
    Test your ability

    Michael Ross & Chris Stevenson are 2 of the best masters SDKers, they are great ones to watch & model yourself after.
    Do any of these two compete in both 100fly and 200fly?

    So far, the fastest fly swimmer I came across on this site is Born2Fly I believe, a swimmer to whom I can relate since he does compete in the 200mfly event. Not much SDK though...

    I consider SDK into Backstroke races as being a completely different animal.

    Quote Originally Posted by ande View Post
    100 fl 6 to 8
    How far from the wall does this bring you? And more importantly, what's your breathing pattern during the 100? Can you SDK 6-8 then perform the full stroke portion breathing every 2?

    During the 200fly, what's your sdk count?

  12. #12
    sprint diva The Fortress's Avatar
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    Re: The SDK Lane

    Quote Originally Posted by SolarEnergy View Post
    Do any of these two compete in both 100fly and 200fly?

    So far, the fastest fly swimmer I came across on this site is Born2Fly I believe, a swimmer to whom I can relate since he does compete in the 200mfly event. Not much SDK though...

    I consider SDK into Backstroke races as being a completely different animal.

    How far from the wall does this bring you? And more importantly, what's your breathing pattern during the 100? Can you SDK 6-8 then perform the full stroke portion breathing every 2?

    During the 200fly, what's your sdk count?
    Mike and Chris are both national record holders in fly. Mike does only the 50-100. Chris does the 100-200 and hates the 50. He SDKs quite a bit in his 200, but I'm not certain of the # he takes. I'm sure he'll come along and answer. I know he doesn't breathe every other stroke though; he adds a lot of singles even in a 100 fly. I don't swim the 200 fly. If I take too many SDKs in a 200 back though, I go into oxygen debt and crash.

    SDK for back and fly are very different. I take many more in backstroke. My 100 fly might be 10-8-8-7. Forgot to count last time I swam it.

    Here's how a good SDK can help you in a race, and I was playing it very safe with the 15 meter mark after Chris suffered a costly DQ in the 200. 50 back from LC Nats: [nomedia="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S_QnCTP2n2w&feature=player_embedded"]YouTube- Leslie's 50 LCM Backstroke National Championship Performance[/nomedia].

    Here's a recent SCY 50: [nomedia="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kBjKjaq8IKs"]YouTube- MVI 1033[/nomedia].

    Hopefully, Chris can post some footage for you too.
    Last edited by The Fortress; April 29th, 2010 at 03:37 PM.

  13. #13
    Very Active Member SolarEnergy's Avatar
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    Re: The SDK Lane

    Quote Originally Posted by The Fortress View Post
    Chris does the 100-200 and hates the 50. He SDKs quite a bit in his 200, but I'm not certain of the # he takes.
    Interesting. I am anxious to read Chris Racing strategy over 200.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Fortress View Post
    If I take too many SDKs in a 200 back though, I go into oxygen debt and crash.
    That is my concern. Not nearly as much of a problem for backstroke events where you can, in theory, inhale sufficient levels of o2 to hopefully repay the o2 accumulated deficit within the 25.

  14. #14
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    Re: The SDK Lane

    Do any of these two compete in both 100fly and 200fly?
    chris, yes
    mike, no but he does the 200 bk & is in great shape for the 200 fr & IM so he's bound to have a decent 200 FL

    How far from the wall does this bring you?
    not sure
    It takes me 12 kicks to go 15 m at race pace


    what's your breathing pattern during the 100 FL?
    every other

    Can you SDK 6-8 then perform the full stroke portion breathing every 2?
    sure, no problem

    During the 200fly, what's your sdk count?
    I haven't done a 200 fly since I don't know when.
    I may do one next year, I went 1:53 in college, split it 53 1:00
    did one years ago in masters think I was 2:07, pretty sure I can go close to 2:00 if rested fresh & feeling good
    I'd probably save my legs, go out easy & attempt to split it well

    when I was 18 I went 2:17 LCM out in 1:00 back in 1:17
    200 fl & I aren't friends.

  15. #15
    sǝssɐןb ɹǝʇʇǝq ʇǝb That Guy's Avatar
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    Re: The SDK Lane

    Quote Originally Posted by ande View Post
    when i was 18 i went 2:17 lcm out in 1:00 back in 1:17
    ow ow ow ow ow my brain hurts make it stop

  16. #16
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    Re: The SDK Lane

    Since we're at the beginning of a new season
    I thought I'd bump all the lanes to see which one is winning

  17. #17
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    Re: The SDK Lane

    I need to spend A LOT more time in this lane!
    About a year ago I decided that to be more competitive needed to learn how to do SDKs. I am trying to use it predominantly for backstroke, but also for butterfly. (So far, there is no way my SDK is faster than my freestyle, so I just get to the surface and start swimming.) To date, I can do 6 SDKs off every wall backstroke in warmup and 3 in the main workout. (In a race it is like 5 on the start and 3 off the turns.) For fly I do 3 SDKs off every wall, but I don't swim a lot of fly. A few times per week I do sets of repeat 25s doing SDK as far as I can and then ez stroke for the rest of the 25. On a good day I can do about 12 SDKs and that gets me.... I am embarrassed to say... just past 7 yards out. This seems like a miserable performance to me. The only good news is that there is NO danger of being DQ'ed for going past the 15m mark! I guess it is better than the 0 SDKs that I could do a year ago, but I am wondering how many more years it is going to take before the SDK thing starts to be an advantage for me. I have a plan to do better this season. Hopefully progress will be swifter.

    I'd like to hear others' experiences. From when you started to try SDK for the first time, how did it progress for you?

  18. #18
    Won Slowest Swimmer Award bzaks1424's Avatar
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    Re: The SDK Lane

    We had to do shooters the other night with fins. I normally NEVER use fins, but this night was kind of fun. I did my first 25 completely underwater just doing SDK. It was the coolest experience ever until I realized I wasn't watching where I was going and crashed in the bulkhead.
    "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

  19. #19
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    Re: The SDK Lane

    Great discussion.

    Just curious...how do you determine how many kicks from the wall the mean velocity of the SDK and your mean regular swimming velocity intersect? Or do you believe that your mean SDK velocity is always higher than your mean regular swimming velocity?

  20. #20
    Very Active Member Speedo's Avatar
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    Re: The SDK Lane

    I'm not proficient at SDKs, but have incorporated them in the last year and do 2-3 off of every wall in practice. But something I have noticed- they feel much better in practice than they do in a race.

    If you want to use them effectively in a race, you have to practice them at race pace. Otherwise, you'll just be shakin your groove thang down there.

    I intend to do more 50s (in short course) where the swim is close to race pace, but the walls are at 50 free race pace. These drills will have gobs of rest, as the intent is to concentrate on technique and feel at speed.

    I'm sure there are other ways to improve your SDKs in a race and not just in practice, but this is something I intend to work on.

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