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Thread: 500 free improvement needed

  1. #21
    Participating Member
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    Feb 2019
    waconia, mn

    Re: 500 free improvement needed

    I think the head positioning is really making a difference.

    Masters coach also suggested the same head position change yesterday BTW.

    At last Saturdays meet during the 1650, I swam in a lane next to a lady from our team that avg. 42.4 sec/50 in the mile. I went about 44.1 sec/50.
    Yesterday at practice I was in a lane next to her again. During the 200s, when I would keep my eyes/head position at bottom of pool, after about 4 to 5 strokes, I would gain about 1/2 a body length. If I looked at the guys feet ahead of me, we would be even again after 4 to 5 strokes.
    I can't tell where my hips were at but I do think when my head is down I feel my ankles on the surface some, and dont ever feel that when I'm looking for feet.

  2. #22
    Participating Member
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    Feb 2019
    waconia, mn

    Re: 500 free improvement needed-added video 3/29/19

    Someone had requested some video clips.
    I don't have a side view yet. taken during set of 10x100s on 1:50. Going about 1:16-1:17
    1st is the full last 100. 2nd is shorter from the middle of set.

    Could not find a way to store this on USMS. Let me know if this works for anybody. My video player starts funny when I run them.!ApJUMQl1sh_KhCesbAxJaKCiiYYj!ApJUMQl1sh_KhCj5eSTeLoZ-hgmI

    There is an odd left foot snap out to the left about every 4-6 kicks.

    Thanks for input.
    Last edited by pstephen5; March 29th, 2019 at 09:51 PM.

  3. #23
    Very Active Member JPEnge's Avatar
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    Sep 2017
    St Louis, MO
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    Re: 500 free improvement needed

    Ok, so not the best angle, but the two things I see are:

    1) You need to make your kick smaller and more controlled. That big amplitude kick is out of rhythm with your rotation and causing your lower body to slew back and forth a bit. Hence the left foot snap that puts you back in rhythm temporarily.

    2) On the catch, you need to bend your arm in order to pull the hand straight back on the pull. As it is now, your first movement on the catch is to push your hand down, which gives momentum up instead of forward.

  4. #24
    Very Active Member Calvin S's Avatar
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    Aug 2009
    Little Rock, AR
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    Re: 500 free improvement needed-added video 3/29/19

    Quote Originally Posted by pstephen5 View Post
    There is an odd left foot snap out to the left about every 4-6 kicks.
    I think that is what is part of what is causing you to shimmy. Looks like your upper body isn't moving in sync (rolling) with your lower body. They are sort of moving like two separate parts instead of as one continuous rolling motion. Pull looks good. No crossover, and no pulling way outside the body line. But your hip shimmy is definitely slowing you down in the water. Also have you considered kicking off walls? Even one dolphin kick is better than none.

    I always tried to preach "free speed" to my swimmers:

    - tight streamlines
    - kicking off walls
    - fast turns
    - fast starts

    three out of the four above don't require any sort of fitness, just practice and sticktoitiveness. I would even say the kicking off walls doesn't require too much fitness, just practice. The fitness comes in if you want to MAXIMIZE your kicking off the walls.

    EDIT: Cause Jeff is more of a sprinter than me and beat me to it. Agree about the catch. I missed that on the first two watches.

  5. #25
    Very Active Member Swimspire's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2013

    Re: 500 free improvement needed-added video 3/29/19

    Great to see that you were able to get some GoPro videos of your stroke! Overall you're a good swimmer, and in order to make the improvements you wish to achieve, you need to work on fine-tuning the efficiency of your pull and your kick - working on the finer details of your stroke to increase speed and maximize the energy you are putting in.

    In terms of the upper body, as mentioned you could get more out of your pull by aiming for an earlier catch - more of an early vertical forearm. As you'll see in the screen shot below, you start out with a straight arm and only really start the catch at the midway point of your pull. Start the catch early, just after extending your arm. Here's a good drill to work on the early vertical forearm.

    You also have a slight tendency to cross over with the left arm at the beginning of the pull, as displayed in the screen shot. Make sure that your hand enters the water in front of the shoulder, not in front of the nose.

    You can also work on improving your kick - as others have noted, your left foot is too wide and too far outside of the body, especially when you extend your right arm (see screen shot).

    Finally, your push off the wall can be improved - and over a 500 swim, you can take quite a bit of time off if you get more distance off the wall on the push before beginning the dolphin kick.

    Working on these issues - in addition to improving overall conditioning and speed - will help you get where you want to be in terms of 500 free improvements! Good luck!

  6. #26
    Very Active Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2019

    Re: 500 free improvement needed-added video 3/29/19

    (I love this thread. Just sayin'. I'm learning a lot. Thanks.)
    Current PRs: 25m-:16.8/50m-:36.0/100m-1:19.5/200m-2:55.5/400m-6:14/800m-12:50/1600m-26:37

    My main swimming goal: Sub6min 400m before the end of 2020.

  7. #27
    Participating Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    waconia, mn

    Re: 500 free improvement needed-2nd meet update

    So first results are in from MN state championship SCY meet. Two day meet.
    Day1: 50free, 100Br, 200free, 100IM, 1650free
    Day2: 200MRel (fly), 400FRel, 500free, 100back, 50Br, 200FRel
    1650 at end of D1, 500 early D2. Honestly I hoped for more improvement, but I worked on changing the 'catch' quite a bit and worked too much last couple of weeks (70+ hours, short sleep) before meet too. Here are graphs of the 1st and 2nd 1650 and 500:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    50 free's: from mid 28's last time to mid 27's for all of them this time (sprinting is fun, never really did that much before)
    100 free relay split: 1:03.19
    200 free splits: 31.62, 36.62, 37.68, 35.23 (happy with these but hadn't swam this before)
    500 free: 6:52.74 to 6:48.30
    1650 free: 24:14.29 to 23:43:54
    non-freestyle swims I was very happy with

    I'm a little disappointed because I had a great heat to try to go after a 6:30. There were 3 people right around 6:30 and I couldn't keep up with them. I did feel really short of breath again around 200 mark, just like first time.
    I did get a chance to swim on a couple of relays before the 500 that I needed to sprint in (swam 50 fly and 100 free). Can't really blame that. The 100 free I didn't think I swam wide open and got a 1:03.19 (30.59/32.6) so I was really looking forward to the 500.

    My coach more than once has told me to not watch everyone around me and swim MY race. I know what a 40 sec 50 feels like now. Got to listen to her like Paul W. told me.
    (tip of the cap to her: 7/7 first places, 6 state records, even with my bugging her about little things, like where to put my toes on backstroke start, all meet).

    This is the revised base AM practice I've used for the last month from your input:
    500 swim wup
    400 pull wup
    300 kick 75%
    6x50s S/P technique on :60 (stress the new catch, 12 strokes / length swim, 13 strokes / length pull, 3 dolphins off wall EVERY start/turn)
    10x100s S on 1:50, 1:16-1:17s
    4x50s S/P tech. on :60 (38-40 secs.)
    10x50s S on :50, 35-38's
    4x50s S/P tech. on :60 (38-40 secs.)
    6x100 IMs swim on 1:15(error) 2:15
    8x25s no breathers (fly/free/underwater)

    PM practices starting last week:
    M/W: 1650 moderate, work technique, turns. 10x50s on :60 (:40s), technique, not speed
    T/R/F: walk two miles, lift shoulders / back / chest then Torres stomach routine
    (at meet talked to a hall of fame swimmer in MN that is 70 and went a 22:09.95! 1650 free, really believes in some weight lifting)

    I will put up video with the NEW catch in a day or two. I'm not faster with it yet, but it does seem like less energy and has reduced the strokes / length when I concentrate on it. Still feels awkward, kind of like I'm slipping.

    Thanks again.
    Last edited by pstephen5; April 26th, 2019 at 06:52 PM.

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