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Thread: Ande's Swimming Tips: Swimming Faster Faster

  1. #361
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    Tucking the chin in is a good solution, but I want to be able to swim backstroke like the best of them. Notice that Piersol, Coughlin and other great backstrokers can swim in the middle of the lane without moving their head. How do they do it?'

    I don't want to just swim in the middle of the lane. I want to swim in the middle of the lane with the best technique anyone has ever seen.

    But maybe that just isn't possible. It's like asking a non-breaststroker to turn her feet out when she kicks. Won't happen.

  2. #362
    Very Active Member valhallan's Avatar
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    Tucking your chin may help, but it will probably slow you down when the hips drop. I think all backstrokers just develop a third eye after a while.

    Being a backstroker myself, I've never really thought too much about catching my bearings, especially when we circle swim. Peripheral vision may be the best way to stay aware of the lane lines and the wall. It can be easier to get a side glance rather than a downward view at the feet, which will cause a momentary hiccup in your stroke.

    Are you the same Jeff C. who has some very fast top 10 times in both the breast and back events.

  3. #363
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    Originally posted by valhallan
    Are you the same Jeff C. who has some very fast top 10 times in both the breast and back events.
    Yes.

    I know it's odd that a breaststroker is also a backstroker. But there it is.

  4. #364
    Very Active Member Peter Cruise's Avatar
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    Jeff- I was going to say I've never had a problem swimming straight doing backstroke outdoors (must mean my wallowing is even on both sides) except I remembered this:
    Years ago, I drew Lane 1 for a 50m LC back & I was determined to get an explosive start off the wall, very diligently working on such at home pool, but due to lateness, laziness & inertia never actually tried one in the pool of this particular meet. You can predict what happened- one of my feet slipped & I veered off to the wall, all the while responding to my hotwired mental command "Sprint!". The gutter was one of those ones that are flush to the pool surface & overflow goes over the side (in other words, you could walk on it) and for what seemed forever, I sent huge directed splashes onto coaches, judges & spectators before I managed to lurch my way out of the gutter & on my way. Come to think of it, that may have been the last time I swam backstroke outdoors...

  5. #365
    Very Active Member SwiminONandON's Avatar
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    Jeff, Natalie whacked the lane line a few times at Worlds in either 01 or 03, can't remember which. She still gets teased about it ... even the best of the best struggle with this ... I know Lenny Krayzelburg has said that it was difficult ... good luck and if you figure it out let us know ...

  6. #366
    Very Active Member Bob McAdams's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Jeff Commings
    Now that I swim outdoors I have found that I subconsciously relied on the ceiling for swimming backstroke. I'm trying to swim straight and not bounce from lane line to lane line, which makes for a 105m backstroke instead of a 100m backstroke.

    I don't know what causes this to happen. My pulling pattern on both arms feels equal, so why do I drift to the lane line?
    An important question is whether your leading arm is straight. Keep in mind that "straight" means in line with your shoulder. If your fingertips are in line with the top of your head, this will pull you to one side.

    Your best bet for checking yourself is to watch the lane lines. When you're streamlining underwater, the lane lines will be above you, so it should be easy to stay in between them. After you surface, watch them out of the corners of your eyes. I'd even skip wearing goggles if it made it easier to see the lane lines.


    Bob

  7. #367
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    Originally posted by Bob McAdams
    I'd even skip wearing goggles if it made it easier to see the lane lines.
    No goggles outdoors??!!!!??

    Yikes!

  8. #368
    Very Active Member geochuck's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Jeff Commings
    No goggles outdoors??!!!!??

    Yikes!
    If i swim backstroke I never wear goggles indoors or out doors. I do lots of kicking on my back, if I wear goggles on my back I get sea sick.
    Keep it simple George Park
    Swimsuit Sale http://www.swimdownhill.com/index.html

  9. #369
    Very Active Member knelson's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Sam Perry
    I just stay against the lane rope in a race and do my best not to hit it.
    With the caveat that I'm a horrible backstroker, that's my technique, too. I figure the extra distance created by circle swimming is a lot better than weaving all over the pool.

  10. #370
    Very Active Member valhallan's Avatar
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    Originally posted by geochuck
    ... if I wear goggles on my back I get sea sick.
    That's very funny coming from the man who swims across the ocean just for a warm-up.

    But even more so...Jeff has been under a minute for 100 meters back as a masters swimmer...and asked for some tips on improving his technique.

    I think if they ever placed backstoke flags along the length of the pool, the navigation problems will be solved.

  11. #371
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    Swim Faster Faster: Tip 99 Make a few Practices that are like Meets

    Swim Faster Faster: Tip 99 Make a few Practices that are like Meets

    If you're preparing to compete.
    You need to simulate race conditions.
    This will
    1) get you used to going fast,
    2) allow you to rehearse race strategy and splitting,
    3) let you feel the burn.

    If a meet isn't available or convenient
    Make a few Practices that are like Meets

    here's what you do in the practice:

    Show up
    warm up
    shower and rest
    swim a race for time
    warm down
    rest
    swim another race for time
    warm down
    rest
    maybe swim another ...
    warmdown and leave

    get psyched for your fast swims
    really go for it

    The more you do your race the better prepared you'll be when your big event arrives.

    If you plan to compete do one practice like this a month
    though the more you do it the better you'll be.

    If you're a sprinter, you can get very fast from training this way and you don't need to go very far in each practice.
    In 1991 and 1992 I did these type of practices 2 - 3 times a week and swam lifetime best times. It worked for me, it could work for you too. You won't believe it when it does.

  12. #372
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    Originally posted by valhallan
    That's very funny coming from the man who swims across the ocean just for a warm-up.

    But even more so...Jeff has been under a minute for 100 meters back as a masters swimmer...and asked for some tips on improving his technique.

    I think if they ever placed backstoke flags along the length of the pool, the navigation problems will be solved.
    The lane I usually swim in when we do long course workouts has the short course flags running the length of the lane, so I use that as a guide.

    But last Saturday I swam in a different lane in the middle of the pool, and that's where I noticed my problem.

    Just because I go under 1:00 in 100 back LC doesn't mean I can't learn to swim faster faster! I swim that race mostly through sheer force of will. I'd like to do it by sheer force of will AND great technique.

  13. #373
    Very Active Member valhallan's Avatar
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    I used to go a minute for that event myself,...over twenty years ago. And the *sheer force* is not exactly with me these days...although, I have been doing my weekly homework in the pool to see where it's hiding.

    I'm with you though on trying to hone the skills no matter what level of accomplishment. The 70% technique and 30% effort ratio is my current philosophy... along with practicing what ande preaches.

    Ande you are the swimming guru. After tip 101 it's time to publish a book.

  14. #374
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    thank you val

    I hope to assemble them soon
    I thought they'd be more useful here for everyone than on my pc just for me.

    Ande

    Originally posted by valhallan
    I used to go a minute for that event myself,...over twenty years ago. And the *sheer force* is not exactly with me these days...although, I have been doing my weekly homework in the pool to see where it's hiding.

    I'm with you though on trying to hone the skills no matter what level of accomplishment. The 70% technique and 30% effort ratio is my current philosophy... along with practicing what ande preaches.

    Ande you are the swimming guru. After tip 101 it's time to publish a book.

  15. #375
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    Swim Faster Faster: Tip 100 IF

    Swim Faster Faster: Tip 100 What IF

    Today I swam a 100 LCM Fly in a meet. After it was over I asked myself,
    I wonder what I could go in the 100 fly if I stayed healthy and trained for it for a year?
    What could I swim it in next year?

    I feel real sure I could go faster.
    Maybe even break a 1:00.

    Think about your swimming
    Find something that fascinates you and focus on it.
    If you train hard you just might amaze yourself with what you accomplish.

  16. #376
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    Swim Faster Faster: Tip 101 What Suit Suits You

    Swim Faster Faster: Tip 101 What Suit Suits You

    When you watch elite swimmers you'll notice they favor different kinds of suits.

    Ian Thorpe wears a full body suit.
    Phelps, Hansen and Piersol wear mid thigh jammers.
    Ian Crocker wears a waist to ankle fast skin.

    Some swimmers change the suits they wear from one event to another.

    Few of us have the budget to buy every suit under the sun.
    Some suits might work better for you than others.

    I often wear a hi neck body skin.

    Experiment if you can and figure out what works best for you.

  17. #377
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    I think I'm one of the few men in the world who still wears an Aquablade brief for racing. I just like the feel of the water.

  18. #378
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    Swim Faster Faster: Tip 102 Don't Do Stupid Stuff

    Swim Faster Faster: Tip 102 Don't Do Stupid Stuff

    I have a buddy who wretched his back putting 400 pounds of sand in the base of his sons mobile basketball goal. He had plenty of funds to hire people to do the job. Now he's seeing a physical therapist, a chiropractor, and popping pain pills, as he struggles to return to normal.

    One careless moment made it difficult for him to train like he used to.

    The summer after my freshman year in college, I hurt my back goofing around. It became the first injury in life that lingered for more than a year.

    Don't Do Stupid Stuff, in a careless moment you can injure yourself and spend the next few months or years trying to get better.

    Be careful when you work or play outside the pool.

    Be careful when lifting heavy objects or doing new activities.

    Stay injury free.

  19. #379
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    Swim Faster Faster: Tip 103 Prelim Final Meets

    Swim Faster Faster: Tip 103 Prelim Final Meets

    99.99% of masters meets and many age group meets are timed finals which means swimmers swim their events once and that establishes the times and rankings for the meet. If a swimmer is in a timed final meet she has one chance in each event.

    Championship type meets tend to be prelims / finals. This means swimmers swim in the morning then swimmers who place top 8, 16, or 24 get to swim again at night. The swimmers goal is to place top 8 or 16, swim a fast time then improve their place and time at night. Sometimes swimmers make mistakes in the morning and they'll get a chance to correct them at night.

    Relays
    When swimmers swim a prelim relay their goal is to swim fast and safe. Which means exchanges need to be obviously legal but swims need to be fast enough to make finals and swim again.

    If a swimmer fails to make finals, they either didn't swim fast enough or they got disqualified. Swimmers can only earn point in finals.

    Swimmers who qualify 1st through 8th (the final heat) stay in those places and same thing for swimmers who qualify 9th - 16th, (the consolation final heat.) Occasionally a swimmer will make a mistake in the prelims and fail to qualify for finals.

    Most events at the Olympics and world championships are done
    prelims, semi finals, then finals.

    In prelims the swimmers who place top 16 get to swim again at night. Then swimmers who place top 8 at night get to swim again. In the finals the next day.

    If swimmers tie for 8th or 16th, they can do a swim off or one swimmer can concede.

    Some swimmers can strategize and hold back a little till their final swim. Other swimmers have to completely go for it in the morning in order to qualify for the next round.

    If you're facing a prelim final meet you'll need to train to swim fast, several times over several days. You might need to look at the schedule and figure out which events and strategies make sense for you.

    Elite swimmers often rest and sleep between prelims and finals. If they can't sleep they take it easy.

  20. #380
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    Re: Swim Faster Faster: Tip 102 Don't Do Stupid Stuff

    Originally posted by ande
    Swim Faster Faster: Tip 102 Don't Do Stupid Stuff

    I have a buddy who wretched his back putting 400 pounds of sand in the base of his sons mobile basketball goal. He had plenty of funds to hire people to do the job. Now he's seeing a physical therapist, a chiropractor, and popping pain pills, as he struggles to return to normal.

    One careless moment made it difficult for him to train like he used to.

    The summer after my freshman year in college, I hurt my back goofing around. It became the first injury in life that lingered for more than a year.

    Don't Do Stupid Stuff, in a careless moment you can injure yourself and spend the next few months or years trying to get better.

    Be careful when you work or play outside the pool.

    Be careful when lifting heavy objects or doing new activities.

    Stay injury free.
    There is significant value in this tip. Unfortunately I speak from firsthand experience as well.

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