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Re: Guppy Challenge, Week-7 (Critique my swim vids) [Holger] [ In reply to ]
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here's what i like:

- your hands enter right in front of your shoulders.
- you seem to have nice plantar flexion (when you point your toes). that bodes well for being able to kick well. someday.

here are the challenges:

- the fact that you swim faster with a buoy i attribute to 2 things, 1 good, 1 bad. the good thing: if you don't fishtail, that means you're good in the side-to-side plane. you don't fishtail. great. there's something we don't need to fix.

- your legs sink. you can see that in the video. swimming with a buoy floats your legs. you're out of balance in that plane. front to back. you need for your feet to break the water when you kick. lots of drag. which means, lots of speed when you fix that.

- what your hands do after the catch.

here's you:



here's grant hackett:



notice how grant hackett's entire arm is parallel to the water, hand up there, just under the surface of the water, until he starts the pull.

you, on the other hand - and you are typical of most swimmers - let your arm drift down, and nothing much starts to happen until you arm is underneath your body. the amount of actual pull you get, when you're pulling water back, is pretty minimal.

what you want is to set the pulling surface while it's in front of your body. catch, glide, hand on the surface, then set the pulling surface and pull straight back with that entire pulling surface (elbow to fingertip). pull straight back with that big paddle. don't think about S-patterns or any of that. just yank that paddle straight back.

i think you are on the cusp of a breakthrough. you really have fixed most of the bigger problems. you need to:

1. kick faster
2. get your feet up on the surface
3. pull with a much more efficient technique: your forearm needs to look more like a canoe paddle and less like a ferris wheel.

i have heard some people talk about swimming downhill. you can google that if you want to, you'll see some videos. it's a rhetorical device, but i like that for you. you are swimming uphill. your head and chest is up, your legs are down. if you think about swimming downhill, maybe that'll get your head down and your legs up. in the end, of course, you'll just be level, which is what we want, but i think the downhill motif might help you make some headway.


Dan Empfield
aka Slowman
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Re: Guppy Challenge, Week-7 (Critique my swim vids) [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
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Slowman wrote:
"How does opacity relate to triathlon?"

it isn't. it's just a word i made up. (we were on the subject of things i made up.) a lot of other people have also made it up. i don't know that it's an official word. it's notable how many dictionaries do not contain that word.

Nah, sorry but you did not invent the word opacity which has been in existence for at least 45 yrs or more. It is used in air pollution control as a measure of how thick the smoke is coming out of an air pollution source. EPA has been using this concept since the early '70s.

From Merriam-Webster:

Definition of opacity
plural opacities

  1. 1a : obscurity of sense : unintelligibilityb : the quality or state of being mentally obtuse : dullness

  2. 2 : the quality or state of a body that makes it impervious to the rays of light; broadly : the relative capacity of matter to obstruct the transmission of radiant energy

  3. 3 : an opaque spot in a normally transparent structure (as the lens of the eye)



"Anyone can be who they want to be IF they have the HUNGER and the DRIVE."
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Re: Guppy Challenge, Week-7 (Critique my swim vids) [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
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Getting into the water today I could really feel my leg splay. Did warmup including 1 arm drills and band, really focusing on kicking down. When I then went into my main set, 20x100yd, everything felt so much smoother than I'm used to! I ended up having my fastest avg for this workout on 5s less RI than I normally do despite feeling awful, thanks Slowman! I will definitely keep focusing on this.

With regard to my pull I tried to focus on not bending the wrist. Pull felt stronger but arms started going out quicker, upper foreams especially. Just need to keep building strength there?

I hope to get more footage this weekend at more angles. Thanks again!
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Re: Guppy Challenge, Week-7 (Critique my swim vids) [ntc] [ In reply to ]
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"everything felt so much smoother than I'm used to! I ended up having my fastest avg for this workout on 5s less RI than I normally do despite feeling awful, thanks Slowman!"

i'll send you my bill.

"Pull felt stronger but arms started going out quicker, upper foreams especially."

exactly. if you don't pull very much water, you don't get tired, but you don't go very fast. you're using your muscles now. you're grabbing real water. it's going to take a couple of weeks to get used to that, and then i suspect you'll start to see more speed.


Dan Empfield
aka Slowman
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Re: Guppy Challenge, Week-7 (Critique my swim vids) [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
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Following up: I can do a one-arm drill without kicking (at least on one side) and make continuous forward progress. I checked with our backstroker, and he said no problem.

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"i disagree with your analysis [or judgment], nevertheless you have the responsibility of moderating this board so i honor your authority to make the moderating decisions."
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Re: Guppy Challenge, Week-7 (Critique my swim vids) [klehner] [ In reply to ]
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"Following up: I can do a one-arm drill without kicking (at least on one side) and make continuous forward progress."

to be clear, the point of this drill is to do it, it's to do it with one specific technical element maintained. the key to this drill is that one technical element. you achieved success doing the drill the way i describe? i haven't tried it, but if you can do this without kicking, i would think that is evidence of exceptional posture in the water.


Dan Empfield
aka Slowman
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Re: Guppy Challenge, Week-7 (Critique my swim vids) [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
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Slowman wrote:
"Following up: I can do a one-arm drill without kicking (at least on one side) and make continuous forward progress."

to be clear, the point of this drill is to do it, it's to do it with one specific technical element maintained. the key to this drill is that one technical element. you achieved success doing the drill the way i describe? i haven't tried it, but if you can do this without kicking, i would think that is evidence of exceptional posture in the water.

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bear in mind my prerequisite here - what i consider the important element of this drill - that the off arm be straight in front, fingers pointing toward the far wall, arm and hand just below the surface of the water, hand absolutely immobile (i.e., just as it is after the catch and extend, right before the pull if EVP is the goal).

I can't imagine any other way to do that drill that would make sense.

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"i disagree with your analysis [or judgment], nevertheless you have the responsibility of moderating this board so i honor your authority to make the moderating decisions."
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Re: Guppy Challenge, Week-7 (Critique my swim vids) [klehner] [ In reply to ]
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"I can't imagine any other way to do that drill that would make sense."

i agree. i think the drill is worthless otherwise. but the specific element that i stress in this drill is nothing i've ever heard anyone else mention. accordingly, it's not a discipline i see emphasized when this drill is executed, especially by newbies.


Dan Empfield
aka Slowman
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Re: Guppy Challenge, Week-7 (Critique my swim vids) [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
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Critique my swim!
I've been following the guppy challenge (missed last week due to the flu) and getting a lot out of it (thanks!). Adult onset lap swimmer; currently swimming about 1:40 to 1:45/ 100m in distance swims, 1:30 for a 100m TT. Slow (weak) when kicking only.
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Re: Guppy Challenge, Week-7 (Critique my swim vids) [Flowerpot] [ In reply to ]
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"Critique my swim!"

your stroke isn't perfect. but here's what your stroke says to me: you are an adult onset swimmer who is paying a lot of attention to the dance steps. you understand them almost perfectly. you understand this dance perfectly. you just need rhythm. and rhythm comes with time.

i really like your stroke, bearing in mind when you began swimming. yes, i want your legs a bit higher. to the fellow above who i exhorted to "swim downhill", i say the same to you. your head is high and your legs are low, so you're angled up a bit.

if you look at the video of grant hackett that i so often refer to (you'll find it in a couple of posts in this thread, you'll see that on one side, during the catch, he almost dives into the water, forces himself into the water, and the lower you are in the water from the chest forward the higher you are out of the water from your waist down. i don't remark on this as an expert, simply as an observer. adult onset swimmers have as their most often telling feature a body that is too high in the water from the chest forward, too low from the waist down.

but that's it. otherwise, what you need are yards, and time. to me, the very best thing you can do is, once or twice a week, push yourself out to more and more yardage. not all at once. add 300 yards to your most recent longest swim. if you topped at at 2,400 yards, take once or twice a week and push that up to 2,700 yards, the next time 3,000 yards, 3,300 yards. just add distance to that main set. instead of swimming guppy yardage in the main set, swim tarpon yardage, and then tuna yardage. not every workout. just once or twice a week. you'd be amazed how much more you get out of your routine if 1 or 2 workouts a week are 4,000 yards instead of 2,500 yards.

i think you're going to be a rockin' good swimmer.


Dan Empfield
aka Slowman
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Re: Guppy Challenge, Week-7 (Critique my swim vids) [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
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More of a general reply but what is the trick to embedding the videos?

Check out https://elrenoroguetriathlon.yolasite.com
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Re: Guppy Challenge, Week-7 (Critique my swim vids) [LSchmitt] [ In reply to ]
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if they're on youtube, you hit the share button and copy and paste the URL here. it'll start with https://youtu.be/ and then there'll be a code after that identifying the specific video. just copy it, paste it here, it'll automatically populate with the video.


Dan Empfield
aka Slowman
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Re: Guppy Challenge, Week-7 (Critique my swim vids) [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
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Sorry for the length - this is 5 minutes long but I don't know how to break it down and edit it. But has above water and under water from numerous angles. I know there's plenty to work on - any and all feedback is appreciated.

Thanks.


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Re: Guppy Challenge, Week-7 (Critique my swim vids) [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
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Note: We did some video yesterday as well and parts of it were pretty difficult to see but I was dropping both of my arms a fair amount before starting the stroke so today's video still has some of this but not remotely close to as bad as it was yesterday but that was only because I had already seen some video of what I was actually doing versus what I thought I was doing.
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Re: Guppy Challenge, Week-7 (Critique my swim vids) [skid777] [ In reply to ]
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first, here are the two observations that stick out as i watch your stroke, from the shoulders forward:

when you breathe on your right, you have a crossover with your very next stroke (your right hand). that hand needs to be in front of your shoulder. let me rephrase. it needs to be in front of the shoulder that hand is attached to.



when you breathe on your left, your right hand does takes the scenic route way out to the side. you don't do this when you breathe on your right. and your other hand doesn't do this when you breathe on the left. this is the only time your hand does this and it's only when you breathe on your left. watch your video, you'll see it.



that out of the way, i'd say you look pretty darned good for a guppy. your kick is there for the ride, not adding anything. now, i know that this is a point of debate. we have quiet, 2-beat kickers that really swim fast, but i would argue that those kicks, even if there are only 2 of them per stroke, are forceful and come at precisely the right time in the cycle of the stroke. they're affirmative acts.

your kick (as is the case with most guppies) isn't affirmative. it's like the bell rings, you move toward the center of the ring, and you approach the boxing match by raising a finger and saying, "excuse me, could we discuss..." and at that point the other guy's fist knocks you out. your kick needs to be affirmative, not passive or ambivalent.

if you watch grant hackett, his kick is reasonably quiet, but right at the point his hand enters the water that foot comes down hard and fast. in my opinion this is how he generates propulsion to keep him going during the extend phase. i would treat my kick as if it had a purpose. a function.

then there's setting that pulling surface. again. grant hackett. from the elbow to the fingertip, that is your pulling surface. that is your paddle. that needs to be perpendicular to the water you're pulling. look at your video of you, and see for yourself when that is happening and when it is not.

i have a vasa ergometer. you can get one for yourself. or a vasa trainer. or you can get some surgical tubing, anchor it to something, stand in front of it, bend at the waist, and pull with a high elbow and a early vertical forearm. you can practice this and because you're out of the water you can observe yourself doing this. it's not simply a strength exercise, it's a way to practice setting that pulling surface, and then pulling straight back.

note that when you do this the elbow is high at the beginning of the pull phase; your forearm and hand are below the elbow. i think when you do this right, there is even a point during the stroke when your upper arm is part of the pulling surface. the goal here is to marshal as much pulling surface as you can, and force it straight back against the water for as long as you can. guppies tend to push down on the water, then back (a little) and then they truncate the stroke and pull their hands out of the water. very little time is spend pulling straight back with as much surface area as you can. this is your task.

otherwise, you look very good considering the background i assume you (don't) have as a pure swimmer. you have nothing but upside.


Dan Empfield
aka Slowman
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Re: Guppy Challenge, Week-7 (Critique my swim vids) [LSchmitt] [ In reply to ]
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johnny fuggin weissmuller you are! very nice. now you have no excuses. now it's just swim like a demon and you'll get faster.

that second video is a nice view of what it looks like to draft. but you pick up 3, 4, 5sec per 100. if you find the right feet to swim behind it's a minute at least in an ironman. a little bubbly. a little bumpy. but definitely faster than breaking your own water.


Dan Empfield
aka Slowman
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Re: Guppy Challenge, Week-7 (Critique my swim vids) [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
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You have no idea how excited I am to hear this! I have never really cared about the swimming portion so never even tried that much on it. With this challenge I decided I would devote some time to it and see what happened. Since starting, I have dropped my 1000 time from 18:20 to a 15:55 this week which still isn't FOP but I am getting somewhere and hope to find some more. Thank you again for doing this and to everyone else who has provided comments and tips for all of us to implement.

Check out https://elrenoroguetriathlon.yolasite.com
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Re: Guppy Challenge, Week-7 (Critique my swim vids) [LSchmitt] [ In reply to ]
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here is what i would like you and everyone else to do. imagine yourself getting out of T1. now, start your watch. wait 3 minutes. imagine people flowing past you into T1. imagine yourself getting panicky as these people flow past you, person after person. and then folks from the next wave start to come out, and they go by you. another 45 seconds go by, and the first person from the next wave shows up. you're still standing there. then you hit the 3-minute mark. you get to take off on your bike.

the old you is that guy. the new you is that guy except now you don't have to stop and wait and let all those people flow past. imagine the folks you're coming out with - people you never see except at turnarounds.

that's the progress you've made.


Dan Empfield
aka Slowman
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Re: Guppy Challenge, Week-7 (Critique my swim vids) [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
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Any tips on filming in a busy pool? Is it even possible? Would you feel concerned / weirded out if someone is filming next to you when you are swimming and catching you?
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Re: Guppy Challenge, Week-7 (Critique my swim vids) [LSchmitt] [ In reply to ]
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Your stroke is coming along!


One thing I see you and others doing is what is called "putting on the brakes". I think it might be an unintended consequence of people trying to keep the hand near the surface as part of the 1-arm drill. Yes, the hand needs to be near the surface but you still want to come in at an angle. As Andy Potts says..."When swimming, try to keep your fingertips down through the entire stroke. So fingertips need to stay below your wrist, your wrist needs to stay below your elbow. And keep your fingertips pointed down."


Here's a pretty good write-up about what I'm talking about. http://www.feelforthewater.com/...usive-wrong-can.html


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Re: Guppy Challenge, Week-7 (Critique my swim vids) [JoelO] [ In reply to ]
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So it looks like my wrist/hand is pointed slightly up at the top end of the stroke. What you and the article you linked are saying is my wrist/fingertips should be pointed slightly down correct?

Check out https://elrenoroguetriathlon.yolasite.com
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Re: Guppy Challenge, Week-7 (Critique my swim vids) [bloodyshogun] [ In reply to ]
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"Any tips on filming in a busy pool? Is it even possible? Would you feel concerned / weirded out if someone is filming next to you when you are swimming and catching you?"

i don't know. it's easier to ask forgiveness than permission.


Dan Empfield
aka Slowman
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Re: Guppy Challenge, Week-7 (Critique my swim vids) [JoelO] [ In reply to ]
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"Here's a pretty good write-up about what I'm talking about."

the only bone of contention some might take with the link you provide is in the initial drawing. mr. smooth. if you talk to the guys at finis they are absolutely adamant about no bend at the wrist. yes, you need to push back (not down), but that's accomplished by making the bend happen at the elbow, rather than beginning with a push back from the wrist. the hackett video is a case in point.

t's not a mountain i'll die trying to take, because i don't feel sufficiently qualified. just, this is what i read. and see.



Dan Empfield
aka Slowman
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Re: Guppy Challenge, Week-7 (Critique my swim vids) [LSchmitt] [ In reply to ]
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Correct. Enter the water at an angle and make sure the fingertips stay below the wrist as you complete your extension.
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Re: Guppy Challenge, Week-7 (Critique my swim vids) [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
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I agree, not the best illustration. Hand/wrist should be flat.
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