Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 59

Thread: Made a big change, would appreciate feedback

  1. #1
    Active Member dsg10715's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2018
    Posts
    26

    Made a big change, would appreciate feedback

    Just for context, I started swimming five years ago and I'm 42 years old. After a lot of floundering I got down to 1:50 per 100, and I do about 3000 meters a workout. I used to just swim it out, now I'm working on intervals and actually trying to push myself in a semi intelligent way.

    I am haunted by my kicking problems, inasmuch as they're weaker than my arms and I tend to always move from side to side. I came to the conclusion this morning in my workout that breathing on only one side on every second stroke was forcing me to angle out every stroke and compounded my problems with keeping straight and letting my kicking propel me forward as opposed to side to side.

    I started working this morning on breathing on alternate sides on every third stroke and while I have to re-train my lungs to accept the breathing differently and get comfortable one goggling the non dominant side, I immediately saw a big change in how I was gliding through the water and felt like I was swimming a bit with a pull buoy.

    I had back surgery two years ago and for 18 months only swam with a buoy which probably made my problems a lot worse because I wasn't working on my core but was getting stronger with my pull, and wasn't addressing my weak kicking problem and facing up to the challenge of breathing on one side was pulling me a bit askance every stroke.

    Anyways here's the question for you pros. Am I thinking about this problem right?

    I tried to post the workout I need today. When I was working half through on breathing side to side I felt I had to go a lot slower to accommodate the new breathing technique and get comfortable with turning to the left, as well.

    Any feedback would be really helpful. I know it's going to take a long time to put the breathing, catch and kicking pieces back together but I really want to get down into the 1:30's per 100 just for me, and I know without some great kicking I will never ever get there.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Screenshot 2018-12-06 at 10.01.27.png 
Views:	49 
Size:	269.2 KB 
ID:	11751  
    Attached Files Attached Files

  2. #2
    Very Active Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    Beaverton, Oregon
    Posts
    375

    Re: Made a big change, would appreciate feedback

    DSG10715,

    I am not clear as to what you think the problem is. Sounds like you think the problem is that you are not going in a straight line when you swim?

    As with most posts regarding how to swim faster or eliminate a "problem," it is next to impossible to offer anything constructive without video (side, front, above). Dropping 20-30 seconds faster is going to be about your pulling technique and eliminating drag.

    Look forward to seeing a video.

    Paul
    Last edited by Windrath; December 6th, 2018 at 12:27 PM.

  3. #3
    Active Member dsg10715's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2018
    Posts
    26

    Re: Made a big change, would appreciate feedback

    Okay I will make a video. I definitely think the straight line is an issue for me and Im trying to conquer it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Windrath View Post
    DSG10715,

    I am not clear as to what you think the problem is. Sounds like you think the problem is that you are not going in a straight line when you swim?

    As with most posts regarding how to swim faster or eliminate a "problem," it is next to impossible to offer anything constructive with video (side, front, above). Dropping 20-30 seconds faster is going to be about your pulling technique and eliminating drag.

    Look forward to seeing a video.

    Paul

  4. #4
    Very Active Member Calvin S's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Little Rock, AR
    Posts
    269
    Blog Entries
    714

    Re: Made a big change, would appreciate feedback

    Quote Originally Posted by dsg10715 View Post
    I am haunted by my kicking problems, inasmuch as they're weaker than my arms and I tend to always move from side to side.
    I think you hit on a big issue in the second paragraph. You may be moving side to side because you are not using your legs enough to drive you forward (as opposed to just using them to stay afloat!). You also mention core strength as being an issue. Strengthening your core will allow you to rotate (increasing your Distance Per Stroke) but without the side-to-side "shimmy". I noticed two things in the sample workout you posted:

    1) no kicking (to work on that leg strength)
    2) almost no drilling (to focus on technique)

    A super helpful drill (for me) to work on your rotation (and kick!) is Bow and Arrow (B&A) drill (also sometimes called 3/4 "three-quarter" drill). Do you have a snorkel? Do you have fins? Both of those will help tremendously with it. Using the snorkel and fins, push off the wall and start your first freestyle stroke. As you recover out of the water with that arm, you want to pause (3-4 seconds) with the arm in the forward position, about three quarters of the way through your stroke, or basically looking like you are drawing an arrow back in a bow. The snorkel helps keep head position perfect (also side breathing on this drill is very difficult when learning it) and the fins help stabilize your kick. The drill will also quickly tell you where you drop your kick in your stroke, because when you stop kicking in the B&A position, you will sink like a stone.

    Here is the best video I could find of it (I don't have someone available to videotape me doing it otherwise I could show you). Eventually you can try dropping fins.



    As for the leg strength, I would recommend working in more freestyle kicking with a board. Although I regret to inform you that there is nothing more soul crushingly boring than freestyle kicking with a board in a long course meters pool.

    PM me if you have a question I am happy to help.

  5. #5
    Active Member dsg10715's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2018
    Posts
    26

    Re: Made a big change, would appreciate feedback

    thanks Calvin. very helpful and I'm going to try the drill tomorrow. Sounds like I should just work in 500+ meters a day with the kick board and that's the only way I will get stronger. Pursuant to Paul's advice, I received my first action camera today from Amazon and am going to figure out filming myself and editing it together so I can show you all where I am really screwing up so I can forge a regimen that works on all these problems, and makes me better. I have been struggling with the bilateral breathing on the 3 strokes, so am focusing on switching sides on alternate laps and trying to get my non dominant side working. Going to be a long road but really excited to tape myself and see where I am really going wrong.

  6. #6
    Very Active Member __steve__'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    s c
    Posts
    2,535
    Blog Entries
    756

    Re: Made a big change, would appreciate feedback

    similar to bow and arrow drill above, this is the roll over drill with the great Alex Popov



    very difficult to perform, try 15m at first then work up.

    Only way to kick better is to kick more. If you get burned out with kick board you can use a front snorkel and manage several more 100s
    Last edited by __steve__; December 15th, 2018 at 01:58 PM.

  7. #7
    Very Active Member orca1946's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    schaumburg, il - U S A
    Posts
    7,571

    Re: Made a big change, would appreciate feedback

    Do you go to the gym to add leg muscle?

  8. #8
    Very Active Member Calvin S's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Little Rock, AR
    Posts
    269
    Blog Entries
    714

    Re: Made a big change, would appreciate feedback

    Quote Originally Posted by orca1946 View Post
    Do you go to the gym to add leg muscle?
    #1 way to get a stronger kick is to always lift legs.

    #SkipArmDay

  9. #9
    Active Member dsg10715's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2018
    Posts
    26

    Re: Made a big change, would appreciate feedback

    Thanks guys, yes, i think my legs are very weak. Did 500 meters on kickboard today and it was 16.40 min to do that.

  10. #10
    Very Active Member __steve__'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    s c
    Posts
    2,535
    Blog Entries
    756

    Re: Made a big change, would appreciate feedback

    thatís not bad really

  11. #11
    Active Member dsg10715's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2018
    Posts
    26

    Re: Made a big change, would appreciate feedback

    I will not be happy till i do 1:20 per 100 confidently and consistently. Long long way to go. Excited to tape myself and take the bark off where I am going wrong.

    Interestingly enough, I didnt kick for two years after back surgery and only swam with a pull buoy and once I tried to move from a lame two beat kick to keep afloat my times have gotten a lot worse. Probably because my kicking is so scheiŖe its creating major drag everywhere and putting cogs into the machinery. But i got to bite the bullet or i will get nowhere fast.

  12. #12
    Very Active Member orca1946's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    schaumburg, il - U S A
    Posts
    7,571

    Re: Made a big change, would appreciate feedback

    Keep on working on it.

  13. #13

    Re: Made a big change, would appreciate feedback

    Do you go to the gym to add leg muscle?


    mobdro
    Last edited by Jordan769; December 23rd, 2018 at 11:36 PM.

  14. #14
    Active Member dsg10715's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2018
    Posts
    26

    Re: Made a big change, would appreciate feedback

    Thanks. Not yet. Focusing on kicking 500-600 meters a day with board or snorkel and./or flippers and working on trying to kick harder when swimming, will tape it and see where I start from once everyone critiques.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jordan769 View Post
    Do you go to the gym to add leg muscle?


    mobdro

  15. #15
    Very Active Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    Beaverton, Oregon
    Posts
    375

    Re: Made a big change, would appreciate feedback

    dsg10715,

    Am I reading your post correctly? Are you saying you will not be happy till you do 1:20/100 kicking or swimming? And, is this goal with or without fins?


    Quote Originally Posted by dsg10715 View Post
    I will not be happy till i do 1:20 per 100 confidently and consistently. Long long way to go. Excited to tape myself and take the bark off where I am going wrong.
    Kicking 1:20 per 100 (without fins) is very fast - for anyone. It requires a fast kick tempo, very good ankle flexibility, and some endurance.

    Will await your reply before venturing further.

    windrath

  16. #16
    Active Member dsg10715's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2018
    Posts
    26

    Re: Made a big change, would appreciate feedback

    Sadly I know I am mortal. 1:20 per 100 is my goal for freestyle, not kicking.

    I am buying a GoPro and will get myself filmed, edit it properly and then post here.

    Quote Originally Posted by Windrath View Post
    dsg10715,

    Am I reading your post correctly? Are you saying you will not be happy till you do 1:20/100 kicking or swimming? And, is this goal with or without fins?




    Kicking 1:20 per 100 (without fins) is very fast - for anyone. It requires a fast kick tempo, very good ankle flexibility, and some endurance.

    Will await your reply before venturing further.

    windrath

  17. #17
    Very Active Member __steve__'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    s c
    Posts
    2,535
    Blog Entries
    756

    Re: Made a big change, would appreciate feedback

    Quote Originally Posted by Windrath View Post
    dsg10715,

    Am I reading your post correctly? Are you saying you will not be happy till you do 1:20/100 kicking or swimming? And, is this goal with or without fins?
    Kicking 1:20 per 100 (without fins) is very fast - for anyone.
    Even swimming a set of 1:20ís is a challenge for me at least

    Just from my exp, improving kick at any distance starts with body position/streamline, UWís, 15m times, 25m times, then finally 50m times. Go easy on the dolphin kick if it aggravates your back

  18. #18
    Very Active Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    Beaverton, Oregon
    Posts
    375

    Re: Made a big change, would appreciate feedback

    dsg10715,

    Thanks for the clarification. Now knowing your goal and a little of your background, I suggest you consider the following:

    a) Stop spending alot of time kicking since your goal is swimming faster. The primary sources of swimming speed is upper body and reducing drag. And, too often people who kick alot don't kick when they swim - kind of a waste.

    b) Get rid of the pull buoy (PB). They alter body position, do not make a big difference in building upper body strength, and make it easy to let lower back/glutes/hamstrings relax and do nothing. And, if your goal is to swim faster, you want to get used to using your legs and get those muscles used to maintaining a streamline position.

    c) Get rid of the snorkel - most of the time. I believe the snorkel is also a crutch that makes it easy to forget how to breathe properly.

    d) Get rid of the fins when swimming because they are also a crutch. They make you think you are better than you are.

    We have a guy at our pool who swims for 2 hours every day (fins, snorkel, and pull buoy). One day he decided he would try to swim without any of the stuff. He thought, since he swam so much, he could. He could not swim 5 strokes without stopping because he had no idea how to breathe, how to keep his toes pointed, and how to maintain a horizontal body position. He gave up after 10 minutes.

    That is why I don't like toys that make it easy to feel good when it does no good.

    Good luck and look forward to the video.

    Paul

  19. #19
    Very Active Member Calvin S's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Little Rock, AR
    Posts
    269
    Blog Entries
    714

    Re: Made a big change, would appreciate feedback

    OP canít get his speed up until he works on fixing his stroke, which as he referenced in the first post, is hampered by weak kicking. People that swim all day using just fins and a snorkel or just a buoy or just kicking with a board will obviously not get better, but all of your aforementioned toys could be utilized by the OP in the right places to help with his stroke:

    Kicking work will strengthen his legs and help eliminate some of his ďside to sideĒ motion.

    Snorkel also would be great for working on head position and body position.

    Iím a big believer in toys. Thatís not to say I think everyone has to use them to get better. But I would say the OP needs to try things and see for himself.

    Personally I disagree with the previous posterís opinion, but if it works for him, thatís great. Again, for me, fins, snorkel, and buoy are integral parts of my training, and I do two practices a week that are focused specifically on kicking. I realize that isnít for everyone and I may be an exception, but given the OPís stroke issues, I would recommend the use of some toys in certain situations.

  20. #20
    Very Active Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    Beaverton, Oregon
    Posts
    375

    Re: Made a big change, would appreciate feedback

    Calvin S,

    I should probably start a new post about the "benefits" of toys, but will leave it for now. I have coached masters for almost 40 years, high school/club for 15, and college for 8.

    I did not say that toys are not worthwhile - if used properly and the way they are intended. BUT, the vast majority of masters use toys so they do NOT have to work on their weaknesses. When the going gets tough, most masters swimmers will add a PB because their legs are tired or they put on fins because they can keep up without kicking as hard or they use a snorkel because it means they can breathe whenever they want. Toys can be crutches that make you feel better about your swimming than is reality. This is my point to the OP (dsg10715).

    DSG10712 has a goal of swimming 1:20 per 100 pace. Spending alot of time kicking with fins will NOT help him achieve that goal. Swimming with a snorkel and pull buoy will NOT help him achieve that goal. The only thing that will help him achieve that goal is swimming (that includes some level of kicking) and figuring out a breathing pattern.

    I would even argue that spending 2x per week on kicking is less effective than spending the same amount of time swimming with a very hard kick and a little more time to recover. I am simply a very strong advocate of training the way you want to race. I prefer to tell swimmers to do 50s with a strong kick than having them do kick sets followed by swim sets and they drag their legs.

    OP asked for suggestions and I stand by my recommendations based on personal experience as well as coaching experience. The challenge for OP is it sounds like he is self-coaching which makes improvement much more challenging.

    Merry X-Mas to all masters swimmers!!

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. 200 IM SCM video. I need some feedback.
    By Rodrigo8_4 in forum General Swimming-Related Discussions
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: June 18th, 2010, 02:06 AM
  2. feedback!
    By swimnstar11 in forum General Swimming-Related Discussions
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: February 25th, 2008, 07:43 PM
  3. feedback please?
    By swimnstar11 in forum General Swimming-Related Discussions
    Replies: 27
    Last Post: January 29th, 2008, 10:16 AM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •