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Thread: Need help on Freestyle

  1. #1
    Participating Member love2swim's Avatar
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    Need help on Freestyle

    I have always been a good breaststroker. I can swim breaststroke for 1-2 miles without stopping with no problem. But I can't swim freestyle for a long distance. I have to stop and take a 30 second break for every 100 yards. Does anyone know what my problem is? Perhaps I don't have the correct technique? I have noticed when I am swimming freestyle, I don't feel as relax as when I am swimming breaststroke. Perhaps just lack of practice? Please help.
    By the way, have anyone tried TI swimming? Is it worth it to take the TI workshop? Thank you all for your help.

  2. #2
    Very Active Member scyfreestyler's Avatar
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    Re: Need help on Freestyle

    How is your breathing technique in freestyle? That would be my first suggestion knowing that you have good endurance in a stroke in which you can breathe every stroke.

    TI is good and it might do somebody like yourself a lot of good. A DVD might be just what the doctor ordered.

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    Very Active Member okoban's Avatar
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    Re: Need help on Freestyle

    I reduced my stroke count by 20% with the same speed by applying TI.
    I used to have the similar problem like yours in freestyle. Longer strokes gives you a bit more time to breath. I'm trying to make sure to exhale completely in the water before I turn to breath; that helps me to cruise more. That's one reason (I think) that you do not face this problem in breaststroke (due to longer strokes). But, ofcourse I would recommend you to have a coach if possible to correct your freestyle.
    Enjoy your newfreestyle

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    Very Active Member FlyQueen's Avatar
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    Re: Need help on Freestyle

    Quote Originally Posted by love2swim View Post
    I have always been a good breaststroker. I can swim breaststroke for 1-2 miles without stopping with no problem. But I can't swim freestyle for a long distance. I have to stop and take a 30 second break for every 100 yards. Does anyone know what my problem is? Perhaps I don't have the correct technique? I have noticed when I am swimming freestyle, I don't feel as relax as when I am swimming breaststroke. Perhaps just lack of practice? Please help.
    By the way, have anyone tried TI swimming? Is it worth it to take the TI workshop? Thank you all for your help.
    Are you fulling exhaling under water? You should breathe out under water. Sorry if that sounds obvious, but I know a lot of people that don't realize this. The next thing to do would be as was suggested to figure out your breathing pattern. Try every 2, every 3, 4, and 5 and see what is most comfortable. I advocate breathing 2/3/2, but I need to do that to balance my stroke out.

    Also, congrats on swimming that far breaststroke, I would rather than swim that much breaststroke. Also, word of warning that much breaststroke can start to reek havoc on your knees!

  5. #5
    Participating Member love2swim's Avatar
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    Re: Need help on Freestyle

    Thank you all for your valuable inputs.
    I only breath on the right; I breath every other stroke. I think you guys have pointed out one of my problems, which is I don't breath out under water prior to take the next breath; yeah, this could be one of the reasons why I feel tired when I swim freestyle. But the strange thing is when I swim breaststroke, breath or w/o breath under water do not make any different for me???
    Should I buy TI training DVD and try it first or should I just sign up for the lessons? I heard people told me that when you learn TI techniques, you have to un-learn everything that you have learned; is that true? This might be tough for me, since I have been swimming for 25 years.
    Again, thank you all for your inputs.

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    Very Active Member FlyQueen's Avatar
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    Re: Need help on Freestyle

    Ah the endless TI debate ... I personally, do not adhere to it, others do ... there doesn't seem to be any one right answer in this sport ... I'd take lessons, that way someone can actually watch your stroke and tell you what you are doing right and what to change just my

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    Very Active Member dorothyrde's Avatar
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    Re: Need help on Freestyle

    Can you get the TI book from the library, and start there so you can see if it helps without shelling out money? Lessons are good, or even ask someone who looks like they know what they are doing to watch you. Our age group coach has the National team in the water some mornings with the lap swimmers, and I have noticed her helping someo of them when they ask her for help.

  8. #8
    Very Active Member islandsox's Avatar
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    Re: Need help on Freestyle

    I agree with Dorothy and Heather about this one. Before I would put forth money to re-learn a swimming technique, I would first look to someone at your pool that swims well, swims long, and swims easy. Many swimmers will want to help others and often feel privileged to try to help another swimmer. If not, there probably is a coach at your pool, whether it be a Masters or Age Group coach and they will give you advice and information about addressing your needs.

    I would try this route first before I invested money and time on any "new way." What you need to find is your best method of swimming regardless of the title of the technique. And many swimmers do develop their own style of swimming through the months and years, and it serves them well.

    And I do agree that not exhaling your air when your face is in the water will lead to hyperventilation and not being able to breathe well which leads to fatigue.

    Where do you live?

    Donna

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    Re: Need help on Freestyle

    Let me first begin by telling you right off the bat, I invented an EVF training device so I'm a proponent of Early Vertical Forearm training. So the information I'm giving is biases.

    I love the streamlining information TI shows you, it's important and I have been teaching it before TI was coined. I show the TI DVD to my students and they repeat the drills and I try to have them know them by their names. There are many TI drills that are awesome and I've been coaching for over thirty years and use many. TI is great but TI is TI, one of many valuable teaching tools.

    With that being said, I'm a propulsive nut and being able to acquire an Early Vertical Forearm position, to me, is synonymous with going fast. I've come across some spectacular underwater videos from a website showing that an EVF is common to every stroke, even the breaststroke. Please look at these, because seeing is believing ( I'll put them at the end of this thread). Next, in an interview of eleven coaches at the recent Senior Nationals held in Irvine CA., who were asked what is the first thing they'd empahsize when teaching the freestyle, nine said the "catch" (EVF)!

    Lift forces that were first introduced my Dr. James E. Councilman in 1970 showed that the hand didn't simply move backwards but in a out to in motion from the outside of the shoulder, toward the midline and then out toward the hip. His research also showed that great swimmers began their stroke with a hand and arm motion that looked as if the swimmer extended their arm over a barrel (the catch). In fact, great swimmers like Mark Spitz entered and exited their hand in the same space, meaning the body was moved over the hand, thus the term catching water (holding it and moving the body over it).

    The difficulty of learning the catch made many coaches, even to this day, think of the catch as an innate gift. Today we know that this critical skill, like all skills, can be learned and improved by anyone able to learn.

    If you are capable of learning, you can learn how to swim faster by improving your EVF. The idea of the EVF or catch has been around forever but the equipment and strategies that effectively train the critical skill are just emerging. You can greatly improve your time in all strokes by learning how to improve it. Good Luck, Coach T.

    P.S. And I didn't say improving your streamling and your kick and other things weren't important, -- I'm saying, if there's one thing you must key on if you want to swim faster, it better be your EVF.

    Seeing is believing -- If you want to swim fast, work to improve your EVF!

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    Last edited by tomtopo; December 22nd, 2006 at 03:17 PM.

  10. #10
    Participating Member love2swim's Avatar
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    Re: Need help on Freestyle

    Thank you Coach T. for those video clips. I watched them and they are very helpful.
    Islansox, I live in Southern California, a suburban town called Northridge (30 minutes NW from Los Angeles).
    I used to swim 18-20 strokes for 25 yard length. After reading you guys' inputs, I went to the pool last night and tried to exhale under water and relax my body, I reduced number of strokes down to 15-16 and I don't feel as tired as I used to. Wow, what an improvement. Your inputs are so valuable. Again, thank you all for your inputs. I have learned a lots from this forum.

    Swim for life!

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