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Thread: Stoke work and quality swims when muscles are fatigued?

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    Stoke work and quality swims when muscles are fatigued?

    Hi all. My question also ties in to swimming sets past point when stroke begins to deteriorate. Iím trying to get back in shape and am currently swimming 100s free on 1:35 as my challenge sets and upping the number. Usually doing them at 1:27-1:31. 6 is where I feel in command but 8 is just toughing it out and 10 might be possible if I didnít die first. So my question is should I swim those last 2-4 for the lactate training? Or privilege keeping stroke intact and do less? As a returning member after long break here, I get this may have been discussed at length, so apologies if that is case.

    But my real question is the value of doing stroke emphasis work *after* the hard set. It makes sense to me, but Iím not sure if it does to anyone else, coaches, physiologists, etc. What I have begun to do is a 100 easy after the challenge set and then swimming 4x100s at same time I was holding (1:30ish), 50 easy and leaving again on 2:45 interval. I do these really focused on form, tightening core, lowering stroke count (from 14 to 13 for at least first 50) working tuns, etc. I think swimming a controlled ďeasy fastĒ stroke after muscles are fatigued must be of some value, but I only remember doing stroke and DPS type swimming early in workouts under a variety of coaches. But Iím 62 and havenít had masters coach for 15+ years, so maybe thinking has changed?

    I guess the questions are ultimately if we ever train past point of stroke falling apart and how best to train once weíve reached that state. Put another way, which approach to 10 100s (10 straight or 6+4) should predominate in any given period of training?
    Last edited by Flow Phaser; December 6th, 2019 at 04:04 PM.

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    Re: Stoke work and quality swims when muscles are fatigued?

    When I am at that point, and I have been getting over that hump for hte past month after an illness took a good bit out of me, I have found that if I have time, I'll increase my rest interval to a point where I can still make the reps with acceptable form. Purely anecdotal, no coaching experience or anything, but I'd rather get the reps in than call it a day. If I know that I'll be time constrained, I'll do what I can, and increase the interval for the last few reps until I need to warm down and go on about the day.

    Again, anecdotal, not going to argue if a more experienced person contradicts me.

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    Very Active Member Allen Stark's Avatar
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    Re: Stoke work and quality swims when muscles are fatigued?

    I think training at the point your stroke is failing occasionally, maybe once a week can be useful. I don't think it helps to push it too far, adding one extra stroke per length OK, two probably not. It's not good practicing to flail, but I think it is good to get comfortable with how the end of a race feels.
    "To strive,to seek,to find,and not to yield" Tennyson
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    Re: Stoke work and quality swims when muscles are fatigued?

    I train 4-5 times per week, with one of those practices being with the senior group of the age group team I coach. That practice is with the distance group (led by an old school high yardage distance coach) and I'm by far the slowest. I'm about as far from a distance swimmer as you can get and those practices inevitably drive me to some sort of muscle failure by the end of the main set. While I tend to hate every second while I'm toiling away at those practices, so far this season they've really helped me tighten up the back end of my 200s.

    Doing one practice a week to the point of muscle exhaustion and technique breakdown is well worth it for me, but I would never want to do more than one of those per week as the downsides (not to mention my ability to keep shoulders more or less healthy) would easily outweigh the benefits of training for the back portion of my 200s.

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    Re: Stoke work and quality swims when muscles are fatigued?

    You've gotten some good advice already. Another idea for you, is to maybe alternate a fast one and a steady one with good form? For instance do 10x100's. Evens are on 1:40 odds on 1:55. Focus on speed on the evens and the odds focus on form? You get the best of both worlds?
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    Re: Stoke work and quality swims when muscles are fatigued?

    Try to work past the perfect stroke to fatigue. Like in lifting, you need to stress the muscles to make them grow.

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    Re: Stoke work and quality swims when muscles are fatigued?

    Quote Originally Posted by orca1946 View Post
    Try to work past the perfect stroke to fatigue. Like in lifting, you need to stress the muscles to make them grow.

    finally a smart answer!!!

    the rest of you:

    weeds you weeds

    OFF IN THE WEEDS!!!

    you think Alain Bernard (the CURRENT WORLD RECORD HOLDER in the 100 FREE) didnt have his stroke fall apart? he got run down when he had a lead!!! exactly who on the planet should have been able to catch him? he was the fastest man alive in that event!

    Last edited by sunruh; December 9th, 2019 at 04:37 PM.

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    Re: Stoke work and quality swims when muscles are fatigued?

    Thanks everyone for the thoughtful responses. It makes sense that you have to get to fail state some. I guess figuring out the frequency of that kind of work is key. Plus, save 5 secs rest, are you failing for 400 yards straight, or are you failing at end of swim repeatedly? That is, rest enough to swim in control for 60-75 yds but failing at the end repeatedly.

    As for stroke-focused swims at end of workout, Iím continuing to mess with it, in particular lowering stroke count while concentrating on EVF while cruising a crisp pace with the theory that that is reinforcing good habits more than when muscles are fresh.

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    Re: Stoke work and quality swims when muscles are fatigued?

    Quote Originally Posted by orca1946 View Post
    Try to work past the perfect stroke to fatigue. Like in lifting, you need to stress the muscles to make them grow.
    But unlike in lifting, there is no "failure" point. So how do you "know" when you hit that point? To elaborate, as I do a set with a lot of reps, my stroke count will gradually increase, and my time will gradually increase. I may finish a set of 40 50's one second slower than I started, at up to 2 strokes per length more. But even then, I'm doing fewer UDK's, so that impacts the DPS.

    I can see in fly, you can have a hard failure where you jsut can't do the stroke legally, but - and I am NOT trying to be a smart alec - how do you determine this in others?

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    Re: Stoke work and quality swims when muscles are fatigued?

    It kinda is the same thing as lifting, the difference is gravity doesnít overcome the fatigue. In swimming isnít this called lactate production training?

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    Very Active Member Allen Stark's Avatar
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    Re: Stoke work and quality swims when muscles are fatigued?

    If you know in a race what your UDK count for the last length should be, do enough lengths with that number of UDKs to get a stroke count. When your stroke count gets over 2 more than that in the workout, that is too tired(ish, YMMV).
    "To strive,to seek,to find,and not to yield" Tennyson
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    Re: Stoke work and quality swims when muscles are fatigued?

    if you count your strokes in a race, you have already failed

    and soon will fail in a bigger way

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    Re: Stoke work and quality swims when muscles are fatigued?

    I work with two 19.1 50 freestylers at the University of Denver. They both count their stokes ( which are 7 and 11)
    Quote Originally Posted by sunruh View Post
    if you count your strokes in a race, you have already failed

    and soon will fail in a bigger way

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    Very Active Member Allen Stark's Avatar
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    Re: Stoke work and quality swims when muscles are fatigued?

    I count my strokes every length every time. I don't have to think about doing it anymore. It just happens when I race, and it is useful information for me. Especially in a 200 BR, if my stroke count is high or low the first 50, I can adjust.
    What is the problem with counting strokes?
    "To strive,to seek,to find,and not to yield" Tennyson
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    Re: Stoke work and quality swims when muscles are fatigued?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rich Abrahams View Post
    I work with two 19.1 50 freestylers at the University of Denver. They both count their stokes ( which are 7 and 11)
    they count their strokes in a race?
    of a 50?

    hmmm maybe thats why Caeleb Dressel is so far ahead
    17.63 vs 19.1
    what do they think of his swim as they watch from the bleachers?
    1.5seconds in a 50

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    Very Active Member scyfreestyler's Avatar
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    Re: Stoke work and quality swims when muscles are fatigued?

    Quote Originally Posted by sunruh View Post
    if you count your strokes in a race, you have already failed

    and soon will fail in a bigger way
    Didn't Phelps count his strokes? If my memory serves, he used that to his advantage in a 200 Fly when his goggles filled with water.

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    Very Active Member Allen Stark's Avatar
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    Re: Stoke work and quality swims when muscles are fatigued?

    Quote Originally Posted by sunruh View Post
    they count their strokes in a race?
    of a 50?

    hmmm maybe thats why Caeleb Dressel is so far ahead
    17.63 vs 19.1
    what do they think of his swim as they watch from the bleachers?
    1.5seconds in a 50
    I don't understand your antipathy toward stroke counting. I find it very helpful.
    "To strive,to seek,to find,and not to yield" Tennyson
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    Re: Stoke work and quality swims when muscles are fatigued?

    Quote Originally Posted by sunruh View Post
    they count their strokes in a race?
    of a 50?

    hmmm maybe thats why Caeleb Dressel is so far ahead
    17.63 vs 19.1
    what do they think of his swim as they watch from the bleachers?
    1.5seconds in a 50
    So what do you do a 50 free in?

    FWIW, there are ZERO people swimming anywhere near a 19.1 who will be enrolling in college next year. Fastest guy is a 19.70. There were only 9 in the NCAA's last year who were faster than 19.1. They would have been watching Dressel from the pool deck, as they would have been in the B-Finals, tied as the 9 seed. The winner was an 18.63.

    As an engineer, I personally don't see how anyone could ever improve if they don't quantify their performance. If you don't have any idea how many UDK's or strokes you take, how can you know what the optimal balance is? Or in fly or back, how can you even be sure you get up before the 15M mark (if you are capable of taking it that far)? How do you know when to initiate your turn on backstroke unless you are doing some form of counting, etiher from the flags or the whole way down?

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