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Brett frommTeam TBB on swimming
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http://www.teamtbb.com/...ask=view&id=1322

Curious about your comments on this concept. I as a very new, poor swimmer want to learn the best way. At 56 , I don't have 10 years of 20K per week in me, especially if most of that 20K, will be inefficient.

Yes, he is successful with his predominantly Ironman focused athletes, and has tons of swim coach experience. However, it seems like most other coaches just have you hammer out sets of 50s or 100s and supposedly at some point you will discover good form.

Help!

Cervelo R3 and Cannondale Synapse, Argon18 Electron Track Bike
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Re: Brett frommTeam TBB on swimming [cervelo-van] [ In reply to ]
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Besides the fact that the article / blog was nearly unreadable, I'm not necessarily buying his thesis.


But this thread is timely - I just got back from my first private swim lesson. DING - the lightbulb came on for me tonight. Holy cr@p, what a difference. In a 30 minute lesson, the coach said I went from 22 strokes per length to 18. At one point as I was doing some of the drills, I was literally smiling under water 'cuz the difference was that noticeable.


Yes, I suppose just getting in the pool with all the toys can make you "faster", but is it the "best" or even a "better" answer? I guess that is the question.

Chicago Cubs - 2016 WORLD SERIES Champions!!!!

"If ever the time should come, when vain and aspiring men shall possess the highest seats in government, our country will stand in need of its experienced patriots to prevent its ruin." - Samuel Adams
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Re: Brett frommTeam TBB on swimming [Power13] [ In reply to ]
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Power13 wrote:
But this thread is timely - I just got back from my first private swim lesson. DING - the lightbulb came on for me tonight. Holy cr@p, what a difference. In a 30 minute lesson, the coach said I went from 22 strokes per length to 18. At one point as I was doing some of the drills, I was literally smiling under water 'cuz the difference was that noticeable.

That's awesome! What were the time gains you made in that session alone?
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Re: Brett frommTeam TBB on swimming [The Authority] [ In reply to ]
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Oh, I have no idea. Besides the fact that my swim fitness sucks right now, we were just working on mechanics, etc. Did a bunch of drills and then she would have me swim 25m...lather, rinse repeat. The real test will obviously be when I try a full workout and how long I can maintain the new, improved mechanics.

I currently swim ~ 2' / 100m. She claimed with the improvements today I should expect to see 1:40 / 100m. yeah, I'll take 5 min over an OLY swim!! We'll see......

But I am very encouraged...like I said, the light bulb came on for me. I just hope it stays on!!

Chicago Cubs - 2016 WORLD SERIES Champions!!!!

"If ever the time should come, when vain and aspiring men shall possess the highest seats in government, our country will stand in need of its experienced patriots to prevent its ruin." - Samuel Adams
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Re: Brett frommTeam TBB on swimming [Power13] [ In reply to ]
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Power13 wrote:
Oh, I have no idea. Besides the fact that my swim fitness sucks right now, we were just working on mechanics, etc. Did a bunch of drills and then she would have me swim 25m...lather, rinse repeat. The real test will obviously be when I try a full workout and how long I can maintain the new, improved mechanics.

I currently swim ~ 2' / 100m. She claimed with the improvements today I should expect to see 1:40 / 100m. yeah, I'll take 5 min over an OLY swim!! We'll see......

But I am very encouraged...like I said, the light bulb came on for me. I just hope it stays on!!

Would be interested to see if that's in fact true.

I highly doubt you'll drop from 2'/100m to 1:40 unless you really ramp up your swim fitness AND technique simultaneously, and in a really major way. Unless your 2:00/100 was a sandbag meaning it was your pace after a major time off with no real practice getting back into the game, and that you reallly had the potential to easily swim near 1:40/100 even without the lesson just by getting a few pool sessions in.
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Re: Brett frommTeam TBB on swimming [lightheir] [ In reply to ]
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Dunno...we'll see. My 2:00 / 100m time is pretty spot-on for my swim times. I suck, no doubt about it. But I am also a self-taught swimmer....and I have always suspected my technique could be improved.

Agreed that 20' / 100m is huge....we'll see if I can get there. The reality is that I'll be thrilled with 1'50".

I guess my overall point was that I'm not certain that Sutton's idea of "Forget technique" is the right one.....some simple changes made a huge difference for me, and I didn't have to slap at the water for tens of thousands of meters to see improvements.

Chicago Cubs - 2016 WORLD SERIES Champions!!!!

"If ever the time should come, when vain and aspiring men shall possess the highest seats in government, our country will stand in need of its experienced patriots to prevent its ruin." - Samuel Adams
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Re: Brett frommTeam TBB on swimming [Power13] [ In reply to ]
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Power13 wrote:
I guess my overall point was that I'm not certain that Sutton's idea of "Forget technique" is the right one.....

You didn't understand what Sutto said. It's not about forgetting technique. It's about learning the technique and gaining the fitness you need in order to achieve your triathlon swimming goals.
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Re: Brett frommTeam TBB on swimming [The Authority] [ In reply to ]
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The Authority wrote:
Power13 wrote:

I guess my overall point was that I'm not certain that Sutton's idea of "Forget technique" is the right one.....


You didn't understand what Sutto said. It's not about forgetting technique. It's about learning the technique and gaining the fitness you need in order to achieve your triathlon swimming goals.


Fair enough....like I said, the thing was damn near unreadable. ;-)

I'll go back and read it tomorrow.

Chicago Cubs - 2016 WORLD SERIES Champions!!!!

"If ever the time should come, when vain and aspiring men shall possess the highest seats in government, our country will stand in need of its experienced patriots to prevent its ruin." - Samuel Adams
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Re: Brett frommTeam TBB on swimming [Power13] [ In reply to ]
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Power13 wrote:
Dunno...we'll see. My 2:00 / 100m time is pretty spot-on for my swim times. I suck, no doubt about it. But I am also a self-taught swimmer....and I have always suspected my technique could be improved.

Agreed that 20' / 100m is huge....we'll see if I can get there. The reality is that I'll be thrilled with 1'50".

I guess my overall point was that I'm not certain that Sutton's idea of "Forget technique" is the right one.....some simple changes made a huge difference for me, and I didn't have to slap at the water for tens of thousands of meters to see improvements.

-----

Yes but you have to understand Sutto's Aussie slang..We over-exaggerate everything so when he says " slapping the water" it probrably isn't nearly as bad as what you might imagine...

I believe swim fitness is a huge issue with age groupers and if they can push themselves harder in workouts by using toys then go for it. and no everyone,I'm not saying technique doesn't matter..

---
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Re: Brett frommTeam TBB on swimming [Power13] [ In reply to ]
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Is this swimlabs? Or something similar? I'm amazed at what those guys can do. I've had several of those moments myself. I just had to brag that two weeks ago this happened to me and I dropped 5 seconds off of my 100yd times. Unfortunately that doesn't translate so well to LCM but I'm hoping it will soon ;)
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Re: Brett frommTeam TBB on swimming [The Authority] [ In reply to ]
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"But the strength of my swim program was rammed home to me while on camp with a few of our true believers, who have improved their swim immensely since ditching the technique method for the toys method."

"Meanwhile another 47 min non-wetsuit IM swimmer joined the fray in the form of Mathias Hecht. Now Mathias’ stroke makes Stephen look like Michael Phelps, it is off balance, breathes on the wrong side, gets nearly as many strokes in as Stephen."

"People, I can only tell you the way it is. You race in a wetsuit most of the time. Get the paddles on, pull buoy between your legs and just get after it. As Bella says, “I used to spend an hour and a half fussing about trying to do all the perfect technique contortionist things in the water gliding and stretching. But once I just got in, got on with it, stopped thinking about technique"

Where exactly did he say anything about learning the technique. He openly advocates ditching technique for paddles, pull buoy and band.
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Re: Brett frommTeam TBB on swimming [Power13] [ In reply to ]
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Power13 wrote:
Besides the fact that the article / blog was nearly unreadable, I'm not necessarily buying his thesis.


But this thread is timely - I just got back from my first private swim lesson. DING - the lightbulb came on for me tonight. Holy cr@p, what a difference. In a 30 minute lesson, the coach said I went from 22 strokes per length to 18. At one point as I was doing some of the drills, I was literally smiling under water 'cuz the difference was that noticeable.


Yes, I suppose just getting in the pool with all the toys can make you "faster", but is it the "best" or even a "better" answer? I guess that is the question.

Just send me 1000 USD over the internet and I will give you a secret technique to swim without any strokes. Not fast but "efficient" : www.stupid-ripoff.com (BTW you will need a top secret training toy for it: www.kickboard.com)

The only problem is, that there are no races, where efficiency is converted in the minutes you will loose ...
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Re: Brett frommTeam TBB on swimming [Power13] [ In reply to ]
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Power13 wrote:
Dunno...we'll see. My 2:00 / 100m time is pretty spot-on for my swim times. I suck, no doubt about it. But I am also a self-taught swimmer....and I have always suspected my technique could be improved.

Agreed that 20' / 100m is huge....we'll see if I can get there. The reality is that I'll be thrilled with 1'50".

I guess my overall point was that I'm not certain that Sutton's idea of "Forget technique" is the right one.....some simple changes made a huge difference for me, and I didn't have to slap at the water for tens of thousands of meters to see improvements.

What were the actual improvements that you made that cut off nearly 15-20sec per 100m instantly?

Short of a huge leg drag in the water, there are very few technique changes I can see that you can accomplish in one single swim session unless you're a truly atrocious swimmer (like 2:30/100m pace) that will offer this kind of gain. Heck, even 5 sec/100 is an enormous gain even for a true 2:00/100 swimmer.
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Re: Brett frommTeam TBB on swimming [Power13] [ In reply to ]
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Agreed re unreadability. Not to be too much of a grammarian, but I wonder if there's a lesson in the text: does he think that writing 'technique' (especially punctuation) is also of limited use?

I don't want to swim like he writes.
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Re: Brett frommTeam TBB on swimming [kennyDalglish] [ In reply to ]
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In reply to --

"Where exactly did he say anything about learning the technique. He openly advocates ditching technique for paddles, pull buoy and band."

==========================

Actually, he has said elsewhere that the toys themselves lead to technique. For example, paddles aren't for strength, they shape your armstroke over time. There's more to it than that but you'd have to scour the forum and articles at teamtbb.com to get the rest. (I'm not affiliated.)





-------
Joe

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Re: Brett frommTeam TBB on swimming [climbslow] [ In reply to ]
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So folks know, Sutton is dislexic. Therefore, grammar and spelling B are not his strengths. Turning out athletes to be winners is.

RE: His thesis. I agree 95% with what he says. But I will argue you need a baseline level of technique before you can pull it off. You just can't show up and bash out 4K sets.

When I started in 1999 in this sport my 1500M was 30 minutes. In twelve months it was 23 flat. I swam 3 times a week/9K tops. For the past 5 or 6 years I have stay around 21 flat. The work to go any faster is offset by the amount of time it will take to do so vs. dedicated to biking and running. So 21 flat it is.

RE: baseline technique. Depends on what weaknesses you have. For me I had a huge crossover issue and my legs flayed a part like a parachute. To correct we did 3 drills:

- kicking on the side
- 1 arm swimming
- swimming right up against the side of pool to point where my elbow hit the wall every stroke.

All to get me on my side like, as the coach said then "a knife through the water". Once we got that nailed down as good enough, it was pull buoy, bands, and straight swim sets with the words "shut up and swim" It was this work that Sutton speaks to.

So, it will depend on what your technique weakness is to what drills to perform to get good enough form to then ramp up the swim sets.

IMO anyway.

@rhyspencer
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Re: Brett frommTeam TBB on swimming [cervelo-van] [ In reply to ]
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From what I gather,and considering the athletes he works with, he is talking about how to turn a 70 min. ironman swimmer into sub 58...not a total beginner
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Re: Brett frommTeam TBB on swimming [rhys] [ In reply to ]
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Rhys, what you wrote and what Sutton wrote in his piece really ring true with me. I'm more or less an adult onset swimmer with pretty decent technique and ability for what it is - it's good enough to use your wording. I made an effort to improve a little bit of technique last year (keeping elbows high, catch and pull). I also made a concerted effort to swim without "toys" like a pull buoy and do sets. You know... those 100/200/400m sets that make you supposedly faster. My times were slower and my swim fitness was worse. I'm going back to the pull buoy and straight swim sets. It just worked better for me (n=1). I'm fine with that considering I'm only doing one non-wetsuit swim this year and it's an Olympic race. My other races are three 70.3's and IMAZ.

Favorite Gear: Dimond | TriRig | Desoto Sport | Hoka One One
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Re: Brett frommTeam TBB on swimming [lightheir] [ In reply to ]
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lightheir wrote:
Power13 wrote:
Dunno...we'll see. My 2:00 / 100m time is pretty spot-on for my swim times. I suck, no doubt about it. But I am also a self-taught swimmer....and I have always suspected my technique could be improved.

Agreed that 20' / 100m is huge....we'll see if I can get there. The reality is that I'll be thrilled with 1'50".

I guess my overall point was that I'm not certain that Sutton's idea of "Forget technique" is the right one.....some simple changes made a huge difference for me, and I didn't have to slap at the water for tens of thousands of meters to see improvements.


What were the actual improvements that you made that cut off nearly 15-20sec per 100m instantly?

Short of a huge leg drag in the water, there are very few technique changes I can see that you can accomplish in one single swim session unless you're a truly atrocious swimmer (like 2:30/100m pace) that will offer this kind of gain. Heck, even 5 sec/100 is an enormous gain even for a true 2:00/100 swimmer.

Well, given that I am an atrocious swimmer......

The biggest change was in my catch - my left arm was entering flat and I was pushing straight down at first. We worked on changing the angle of entry and the catch. Lots of one-armed drills, etc. to highlight the deficiencies in my stroke.

Am I expecting to get in the pool and immediately start hitting 1:40? Hell no. But I feel like it is a realistic goal.
You are guys are focusing way too much on an off-hand comment she made vs. the overall point I was making. We weren't timing anything, I wasn't doing extended sets, etc. But the difference was noticeable and significant. The point is that changing my technique made a huge difference.

Chicago Cubs - 2016 WORLD SERIES Champions!!!!

"If ever the time should come, when vain and aspiring men shall possess the highest seats in government, our country will stand in need of its experienced patriots to prevent its ruin." - Samuel Adams
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Re: Brett frommTeam TBB on swimming [rhys] [ In reply to ]
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rhys wrote:
So folks know, Sutton is dislexic. Therefore, grammar and spelling B are not his strengths. Turning out athletes to be winners is.

So? He's writing for the masses. If he has a known impediment, write out what he wants and give it to an editor to rewrite. It's called professionalism.

If he writes a blog like this that could be helpful, but hardly anyone understands it because the writing is bad, what was the use of the post in the first place?

John



Top notch coaching: Francois and Accelerate3 | Follow on Twitter: LifetimeAthlete |
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Re: Brett frommTeam TBB on swimming [The Authority] [ In reply to ]
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The Authority wrote:
Power13 wrote:

I guess my overall point was that I'm not certain that Sutton's idea of "Forget technique" is the right one.....


You didn't understand what Sutto said. It's not about forgetting technique. It's about learning the technique and gaining the fitness you need in order to achieve your triathlon swimming goals.

I suffered through a re-reading of the article. I stand by my original assessment.

Chicago Cubs - 2016 WORLD SERIES Champions!!!!

"If ever the time should come, when vain and aspiring men shall possess the highest seats in government, our country will stand in need of its experienced patriots to prevent its ruin." - Samuel Adams
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Re: Brett frommTeam TBB on swimming [Devlin] [ In reply to ]
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what was the use of the post in the first place?

__________

Probably to create debate, just like this thread!

@rhyspencer
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Re: Brett frommTeam TBB on swimming [Power13] [ In reply to ]
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I had one of those epiphanies in my first or second year of racing - when I was self taught and before I did any masters.

I took a swim lesson and the person told me I had to "grab the water."

Boom. 1:45/100y working my ass off to 1:20/100y fairly easy.

It is amazing how something completely fundamental slides by us (or at least me) for so long.

Andy
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Re: Brett frommTeam TBB on swimming [kennyDalglish] [ In reply to ]
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kennyDalglish wrote:
"But the strength of my swim program was rammed home to me while on camp with a few of our true believers, who have improved their swim immensely since ditching the technique method for the toys method."

"Meanwhile another 47 min non-wetsuit IM swimmer joined the fray in the form of Mathias Hecht. Now Mathias’ stroke makes Stephen look like Michael Phelps, it is off balance, breathes on the wrong side, gets nearly as many strokes in as Stephen."

"People, I can only tell you the way it is. You race in a wetsuit most of the time. Get the paddles on, pull buoy between your legs and just get after it. As Bella says, “I used to spend an hour and a half fussing about trying to do all the perfect technique contortionist things in the water gliding and stretching. But once I just got in, got on with it, stopped thinking about technique"

Where exactly did he say anything about learning the technique. He openly advocates ditching technique for paddles, pull buoy and band.

Paddles, pull buoy, and band are technique tools. However, unlike drills, *with adults* the former actually effect changes that stick. In other words, if you bang out long sets with a band, you learn good body position and to hold the water for the length of your stroke. Likewise paddles force a proper catch, so over time, they ingrain the muscle memory.

Drills are great for kids (even through HS I'd wager), but after that, you need to use tools - what Brett calls "toys" - to force technical changes. Once you are 20-something, you just don't have the neural plasticity to adapt with drilling, especially given the amount that most triathletes swim.

Brett advocates using tools that force you to change your technique as opposed to drills that try to encourage you to do so. I'm not sure that 100% of every set with paddles and a pull buoy is the best way, but I don't think Brett necessarily advocates that. Maybe -Tex can enlighten us. But I do think that 100% of every set with paddles and a pull buoy is a MUCH better and more productive approach than 100% "technique" focus, drilling, etc. which I how I see a lot of people wasting their time in the water.

I think the basic message is that hard sets with paddles and pull buoy should form the core of your swim sessions, not "drills." And I wholeheartedly agree with that. Swim hard, swim a lot, and use tools to make sure that your technique is good. I.e., especially if you are tired from running and/or biking, paddles and a pull buoy can turn a set that would have been a disaster into a productive workout. Sometimes - a lot of times - your legs are just fried. And you can either slog through or you can use tools to keep your technique solid.

"Non est ad astra mollis e terris via." - Seneca | rappstar.com | FB - Rappstar Racing | IG - @jordanrapp
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Re: Brett frommTeam TBB on swimming [Devlin] [ In reply to ]
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Perhaps it's because I've spent years reading horribly written emails from my dad, but I've read articles/emails written by professional writers that are worse than brett's blog.
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Re: Brett frommTeam TBB on swimming [sentania] [ In reply to ]
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sentania wrote:
Perhaps it's because I've spent years reading horribly written emails from my dad, but I've read articles/emails written by professional writers that are worse than brett's blog.

Pedant.

John



Top notch coaching: Francois and Accelerate3 | Follow on Twitter: LifetimeAthlete |
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Re: Brett frommTeam TBB on swimming [Devlin] [ In reply to ]
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Thanks ;)
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Re: Brett frommTeam TBB on swimming [cervelo-van] [ In reply to ]
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I am a swimmer that loves pads and I have had great IM swim times against pros that would kill me 50 or 100m Intervals so I understand what he is saying. (IMC 2005 1:07, IMC 2009 53min) Fastest 100 even recorded 1:14.

As for that athlete that took their stoke count from 22 to 18 in a 25 meter pool in one session. You have to ask yourself if swimming slower with less force applied will help you become a better swimmer, does biking a slow rpm with less force (going slower) make you a better cyclist if you can feel the full pedal stroke. Rather then the faster quicker top loaded pedal stroke.

http://www.anthonytoth.ca
Fit Club Personal Training
First Rule of Fit Club: NEVER QUIT!
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Re: Brett frommTeam TBB on swimming [Rappstar] [ In reply to ]
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This makes sense. Yesterday I did a fair bit of the main set with paddles buoy and band. The time went down for the interval substantially and the DPS (measure of efficiency of my body in the water). What happened and I guess consistent with the other thread about Paulo's advice was that my fitness ran out first.

That is I got to a point in the workout where my Stroke count was not sustainable and my stroke efficiency was also all over the place. Did some recovery, drill and kick and did the same set again (8 * 200) and was better at the start of the set but fatigued this time a bit quicker.

The toys did give some instant technique without having to think about DPS, you are just doing more DPS, getting the fitness to maintain a high stroke rate is another challenge and I guess that this is the bit where sutton and Paulo are saying just swim.
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Re: Brett frommTeam TBB on swimming [kennyDalglish] [ In reply to ]
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Whats a good paddle for volume sets?
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Re: Brett frommTeam TBB on swimming [Rappstar] [ In reply to ]
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Quote:
Paddles, pull buoy, and band are technique tools. However, unlike drills, *with adults* the former actually effect changes that stick. In other words, if you bang out long sets with a band, you learn good body position and to hold the water for the length of your stroke.

Stupid question of the day: is the band something you tie around your ankles to keep from kicking (w/ a buoy? w/o a buoy?), or is it something you tie around your waist and a stationary object on the shore?
I've tried nearly everything else, might as well include this. Once I figure out what "this" is...
Thank you.
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Re: Brett frommTeam TBB on swimming [cervelo-van] [ In reply to ]
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TBB would be doing their swimming right if they ditched the pullbuoy and paddles. They do way too much swimming with the toys(paddle, pullbuoy)...if they hammered out that amount of yardage and 90% was just swimming, then the bad swimmers on TBB would get better.
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Re: Brett frommTeam TBB on swimming [cobalt] [ In reply to ]
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Your bare hands
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Re: Brett frommTeam TBB on swimming [cobalt] [ In reply to ]
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not sure I think a smaller paddle might be better, the one I have (need to check the name) is probably a bit big, so fatigue a bit faster. But get the feel of catching and pulling more water.

I'm not an expert at this (swim low 1 hour on 6-9 K a week) upping to 15 K a week to try and get an improvement
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Re: Brett frommTeam TBB on swimming [caf0] [ In reply to ]
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caf0 wrote:
Quote:
Paddles, pull buoy, and band are technique tools. However, unlike drills, *with adults* the former actually effect changes that stick. In other words, if you bang out long sets with a band, you learn good body position and to hold the water for the length of your stroke.

Stupid question of the day: is the band something you tie around your ankles to keep from kicking (w/ a buoy? w/o a buoy?), or is it something you tie around your waist and a stationary object on the shore?
I've tried nearly everything else, might as well include this. Once I figure out what "this" is...
Thank you.

http://thetriathlonbook.blogspot.com/...-have-forgotten.html

Search the forum for "ankle band."

Easy - cut up bicycle inner tube. Tie around ankles so it is "snug" (but not like cutting off blood flow). Trim the excess. Go swim. Report back. Don't be alarmed if you believe you are going to drown. That's normal. Smile

"Non est ad astra mollis e terris via." - Seneca | rappstar.com | FB - Rappstar Racing | IG - @jordanrapp
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Re: Brett frommTeam TBB on swimming [Rappstar] [ In reply to ]
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Rappstar wrote:
caf0 wrote:
Quote:
Paddles, pull buoy, and band are technique tools. However, unlike drills, *with adults* the former actually effect changes that stick. In other words, if you bang out long sets with a band, you learn good body position and to hold the water for the length of your stroke.


Stupid question of the day: is the band something you tie around your ankles to keep from kicking (w/ a buoy? w/o a buoy?), or is it something you tie around your waist and a stationary object on the shore?
I've tried nearly everything else, might as well include this. Once I figure out what "this" is...
Thank you.


http://thetriathlonbook.blogspot.com/...-have-forgotten.html

Search the forum for "ankle band."

Easy - cut up bicycle inner tube. Tie around ankles so it is "snug" (but not like cutting off blood flow). Trim the excess. Go swim. Report back. Don't be alarmed if you believe you are going to drown. That's normal. Smile

Do you have to be swimming fairly fast to keep those legs up with that ankle band? Or should you be able to pull it off, say at 1:45/100 pace?
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Re: Brett frommTeam TBB on swimming [lightheir] [ In reply to ]
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Quote:
Do you have to be swimming fairly fast to keep those legs up with that ankle band? Or should you be able to pull it off, say at 1:45/100 pace?

If you don't hear from me tomorrow, the answer is: you have to be swimming fairly fast.
Please tell my family I loved them very much (no lifeguards where I'm heading).
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Re: Brett frommTeam TBB on swimming [Devlin] [ In reply to ]
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seriously, you are really trying to find something to pick on him for it seems. I'm sure there is something we all aren't great at, and really? you think he should spend money and time to hire someone to reread his stuff for professionalism? professionalism to him can be producing winners.
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Re: Brett frommTeam TBB on swimming [Rappstar] [ In reply to ]
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Quote:
http://thetriathlonbook.blogspot.com/...-have-forgotten.html
Search the forum for "ankle band."

Easy - cut up bicycle inner tube. Tie around ankles so it is "snug" (but not like cutting off blood flow). Trim the excess. Go swim. Report back. Don't be alarmed if you believe you are going to drown. That's normal. Smile

Thanks for the blog pointer - good reading (too interesting to just search). If I can report back, that's a good sign :)
I honestly don't think it will be that tough, despite my being an extremely slow swimmer. I have good swim fitness; I'm just really slow. I'll find out tomorrow morning exactly how wrong I am...
Thank you.
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Re: Brett frommTeam TBB on swimming [lightheir] [ In reply to ]
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The faster you swim, the easier it is, but the real key is not speed in the water, it's your ability to consistently apply pressure throughout the length of the stroke. I.e., to catch well and also to finish well. That being said, it's a rare person who both catches well and finishes well who can't swim faster than 1:45/100.

If you are a slow swimmer, start out doing 25s. You can also start the "cheater" way, which is to use a band and also a pull buoy. That will get you used to the drag of the band, though it's best value to your stroke mechanics will come when you swim band only. Paddles & band is also a good way to ease the transition.

But when I was introduced to the band, it was the basic way - put it on and figure it out. Survival is a powerful motivator...

"Non est ad astra mollis e terris via." - Seneca | rappstar.com | FB - Rappstar Racing | IG - @jordanrapp
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Re: Brett frommTeam TBB on swimming [cervelo-van] [ In reply to ]
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Did he mention anything about all the 11 year old girls in bikinis he has hanging around with him?

customerjon @gmail.com is where information happens.
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Re: Brett frommTeam TBB on swimming [cobalt] [ In reply to ]
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Barely bigger than your hand is a good start. TYR Catalyst or Strokemakers. Yellow catalysts are good. Green Strokemakers are good. Use finger and wrist straps...at least my opinion. Let's not have another should you use wrist straps or not.


Brandon Marsh - Website | @BrandonMarshTX | RokaSports | 1stEndurance | ATC Bikeshop |
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Re: Brett frommTeam TBB on swimming [-Tex] [ In reply to ]
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-Tex wrote:
Barely bigger than your hand is a good start. TYR Catalyst or Strokemakers. Yellow catalysts are good. Green Strokemakers are good. Use finger and wrist straps...at least my opinion. Let's not have another should you use wrist straps or not.

The paddles are designed to color match. I.e., green strokemakers ~= green catalysts. Yellow ~= yellow.

I think green is the appropriate starting point for most triathletes; red #0.5 if you are "small." I'm biased towards strokemakers now, but I started with catalysts. Joel thought I swam better with the strokemakers. I found them to be very comparable - green was in fact pretty much the same between the two, as was yellow. I've used #3 red in both paddles, but that was a disaster as I certainly wasn't prepared to move paddles that big when I did.

Wrist strapper. And here I had such high opinions of you...

"Non est ad astra mollis e terris via." - Seneca | rappstar.com | FB - Rappstar Racing | IG - @jordanrapp
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Re: Brett frommTeam TBB on swimming [Rappstar] [ In reply to ]
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Rappstar wrote:
The faster you swim, the easier it is, but the real key is not speed in the water, it's your ability to consistently apply pressure throughout the length of the stroke. I.e., to catch well and also to finish well. That being said, it's a rare person who both catches well and finishes well who can't swim faster than 1:45/100.

If you are a slow swimmer, start out doing 25s. You can also start the "cheater" way, which is to use a band and also a pull buoy. That will get you used to the drag of the band, though it's best value to your stroke mechanics will come when you swim band only. Paddles & band is also a good way to ease the transition.

But when I was introduced to the band, it was the basic way - put it on and figure it out. Survival is a powerful motivator...

Sold. If it's coming from the mouth of Jordan Rapp, I'm doing it. Even if I drown in the process. Thanks for the advice - am looking forward to a few upcoming weeks of total embarrassment in the pool. I'll have to warn the lifeguards before I start...
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Re: Brett frommTeam TBB on swimming [Rappstar] [ In reply to ]
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I use red catalysts. I have a pair of yellow as well, but I seldom use those. I feel like the yellow help me keep my turnover, so in one of these posts where you mentioned the band and paddles, I might use yellow. I have always thought that the yellow strokemakers were much bigger than the yellow catalyst...the Mrs.-Tex seems to think that the red catalyst and yellow strokemakers are similar. Whatever :)

Wrist strap...I've done both ways. I don't know, I'm not really 'that' passionate about it! Some are though. I guess I have one leg over each side of that fence.


Brandon Marsh - Website | @BrandonMarshTX | RokaSports | 1stEndurance | ATC Bikeshop |
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Re: Brett frommTeam TBB on swimming [Rappstar] [ In reply to ]
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Triathletes love to buy crap to make themselves faster. Fact is, 10-20% of a swim workout should include pool toys, max. It's better to do drills and focus in technique without aids. Pull bands, paddles and buoys are more to help with conditioning than technique. At least, that's how most swimmers use them.
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Re: Brett frommTeam TBB on swimming [Chuck Finley] [ In reply to ]
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Chuck Finley wrote:
Triathletes love to buy crap to make themselves faster. Fact is, 10-20% of a swim workout should include pool toys, max. It's better to do drills and focus in technique without aids. Pull bands, paddles and buoys are more to help with conditioning than technique. At least, that's how most swimmers use them.

You need to re-read Brett's post. "Conditioning" is really all that matters (for triathlon). Conditioning *IS* technique, at least in the context of what we are actually discussing - which is open water swimming for the sport of triathlon. Though certain elements of it seem to carry over the sport of open water swimming in general, perhaps due to the incredible distance and non-ideal conditions encountered. It's precisely because bands, paddles and buoys are conditioning tools that they are of value. At least, that is assuming that you actually used conditioning to mean fitness/strength/endurance/whatever-synonym-you-want.

Simply put, it doesn't matter too much "how swimmer's use them." As numerous swimmers on this board have pointed out, it's not about being fast in the pool. It's about being moderately quick (a 48min IM swim is ~1:16/100m pace; that is not "fast" in the strict swimmer sense of the word) in open water. As was pointed out several times in the DPS/SR thread, certain elements of that continue to elude you. Rather than being so convinced of your own correctness, why not consider that the coachES (it's more than just Sutton) who advocate this approach have produced many of the most successful triathletes of the past 20 years. And that many of the most successful triathletes from the decade prior to that, when coaches didn't really exist yet, also employed this approach.

Anything Brett Sutton writes is worth reading once. When it's something that Joel Filliol, Dave Scott, and countless others ALSO embrace, it's worth reading several times.

"Non est ad astra mollis e terris via." - Seneca | rappstar.com | FB - Rappstar Racing | IG - @jordanrapp
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Re: Brett frommTeam TBB on swimming [Chuck Finley] [ In reply to ]
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chuck, my experiment. did the pull buoy, paddle stuff. Go from 1:4X to 1:2x. Take paddles of and swim 100's on 1:31-1:33. In one week. When I took the paddles off I intentionally though about nothing just let the programming of the previous work take over
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Re: Brett frommTeam TBB on swimming [Ultra-tri-guy] [ In reply to ]
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I'm amazed that this topic has become so complicated but then again this is ST where so much gets missed in the interpretation of what people are trying to say....

Yes a good technique would be ideal but if you don't have the fitness to hold your form in the water then all the drills in the world won't help you once you are out in a wavy lake or rough ocean trying to fight for space with a group of triathletes who are flapping around all over the place trying not to drown....

There is a lot more to open water swimming than trying to get people to look pretty in the pool.


-------
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Re: Brett frommTeam TBB on swimming [rhys] [ In reply to ]
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rhys wrote:
So folks know, Sutton is dislexic.

Ahh.. so that's the reason he gets 15 & 51 confused
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Re: Brett frommTeam TBB on swimming [Devlin] [ In reply to ]
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Spend a bit of time reading the Team TBB forum and you'll realize that the blog post was already edited by another party. You'll also soon become fluent in Suttonese which is part of the fun in reading his thoughts. You will also probably learn more about how to be successful in triathlons than you would if you downloaded the entire history of Slowtwitch forums into your brain (a chilling thought I know).
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Re: Brett frommTeam TBB on swimming [avagoyamug] [ In reply to ]
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Does it hold true as well for non wet suit races? i read his blog and it seems most just jump in and swim straight sets, saves a lot of time as you bypass the talking or looking around during the rest breaks...

"Pain is NOT temporary,you remember every bit of it"
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Re: Brett frommTeam TBB on swimming [dennism] [ In reply to ]
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There was a group of a few guys I trained with during the summer of 2009 (mostly WCS top 10 racers) that would start every swim set with 400m flat out.
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Re: Brett frommTeam TBB on swimming [dennism] [ In reply to ]
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dennism wrote:
Does it hold true as well for non wet suit races? i read his blog and it seems most just jump in and swim straight sets, saves a lot of time as you bypass the talking or looking around during the rest breaks...

I think his basic point is that when you are limited on time, you cut out the "fluff" and get to the important stuff. Again, -Tex can give insights, but I don't believe that Sutton disregards warm-up. It's just something that gets cut short if time is precious. Likewise, I do think there is a benefit to jumping in and going hard, because that's very often the reality at races. There are numerous races where warm-ups are either truncated or not allowed. So being prepared for that is a good thing.

- practice going hard from the start every so often

- a warm-up is fine, as long as doing a warm-up doesn't detract from the volume of the main set. And obviously don't spend forever warming-up, doing drills, etc. But I doubt Sutton would object to 10-20min of warm-up for a "typical" swim session. 500-1000 w/u, 3000-5000 main-set, 200-300 cool down. But the main set is what makes you fast, so if you are short on time, cut the other stuff before you cut your main set.

As far as the between set crap that is a regular occurrence at plenty of swim practices? That's a clear waste of time and you don't need a coach to explain how eliminating that is useful...

"Non est ad astra mollis e terris via." - Seneca | rappstar.com | FB - Rappstar Racing | IG - @jordanrapp
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Re: Brett frommTeam TBB on swimming [KingJulian] [ In reply to ]
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Comparing what the top group for wcs does is irrelevant for pretty much everyone besides them. Thats the one of the most important parts of the race for them. If you miss that group by 20 secs you may never catch the bike pack. For any other race its just 20 secs its not that big of a deal.

-----------------------------------------------------------
De Soto Sport Athlete
Formerly Draketriathlon
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Re: Brett frommTeam TBB on swimming [dennism] [ In reply to ]
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I haven't read and re-read all the posts, so I am not sure exactly what you are asking about regarding 'non wet suit' races. A couple of things though, and Rappstar has made some very good comments on this an the other swim thread. So, this post has some excess comments in there.

- One poster said something about using toys for conditioning. That essentially proved the point about simply getting fit enough to swim the distance and swim the distance hard. And, a lot of posters will post having you believe that is not the case. That drilling and a lot of time working on technique will get you to the swim finish just as as quickly. A pull buoy and sometimes paddles help a relatively inefficient swimmer get where they can take 1500 or 4000 or however many strokes that are needed to get to the finish. that is often overlooked, and shouldn't be discounted.

- Regarding warm-ups. At times we did some hard swimming from the get-go. Basically dive in and time trial. Other times our warm-ups were anywhere from 500-1000. The get in and go sessions were a break from what I had done in swimming 'most' of the time before Brett and TeamTBB. They were not entirely new as I did a little bit of ITU racing in 2005 and 2006...so you had to just get in and go. And, you can't warm-up in a lot of swims. Most of the times, we did have a warm-up. And, if it was to be a 'hard' swim day and pool time was short, we did swim harder in the time alloted.

- The Mrs.-Tex and I swim with a masters team here in Austin...two of them at times, but not at the same time! The biggest difference in the two teams is after the warm-up. Warm-ups are usually about 1k. One team is generally a focused main set of 2k+ or so. The other is made up of several smaller main sets of 500-600...your typical masters session. Triathletes are definitely better served by the first one. Get in, get your warm-up done and keep it short. Then, knock out the main set with no chat breaks, no social time, etc. Don't 'dork' around. Be focused.

- There are times when an entire session that is little more than a warm-up can be good...if you have the time to do that.

Now, off to swim a bit. I'm going to ride to the pool so I get to do a swim/bike brick after. But, I can't remember which thread that one was in!


Brandon Marsh - Website | @BrandonMarshTX | RokaSports | 1stEndurance | ATC Bikeshop |
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Re: Brett frommTeam TBB on swimming [Grant.Reuter] [ In reply to ]
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Grant.Reuter wrote:
Comparing what the top group for wcs does is irrelevant for pretty much everyone besides them. Thats the one of the most important parts of the race for them. If you miss that group by 20 secs you may never catch the bike pack. For any other race its just 20 secs its not that big of a deal.

Especially when you consider that I also know a group of guys that are/were top-10 ITU racers, and they did NOT start every workout with an all out 400. In fact, they rarely did workouts where they didn't take a "normal" warm-up of 600-1000m. I.e., it's clearly not "necessary" to train like that be an elite WCS racer. Taking what one group does as optimal is pretty questionable when there are plenty of equivalent athletes that do not train in that fashion.

"Non est ad astra mollis e terris via." - Seneca | rappstar.com | FB - Rappstar Racing | IG - @jordanrapp
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Re: Brett frommTeam TBB on swimming [Rappstar] [ In reply to ]
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Quote:
Tie around ankles so it is "snug" (but not like cutting off blood flow). Trim the excess. Go swim. Report back.


Reporting back:
The inner tube wouldn't stay tight so I used an exercise leg band ("monster walk") that I had brought along. Wrapped it around twice and it worked great.
First 25y I felt like a jelly fish with my legs hanging down, but it got better from there.
Surprisingly harder than the regular pull sets with no toys (no buoy, no paddles).
I went 1000y with the band (after 600y warmup swim, followed by another 2700y alt paddles/swim); after a while I could pretty much forget I was banded.
I could have gone 2000y; I couldn't have made 4000y banded. It was a good workout.
Interesting thing was swimming after the band workout - my legs felt high in the water. Whether they were actually higher than normal, or just higher than with the band, I don't know.

How much of the band and how much of the paddles should we be doing each week? How long before we should see improvement (as a 1:50-1:55/100y swimmer whose technique has no obvious gross flaws according to various Masters coaches)? <edit>For me the answer is not just swim more - I've just completed my 5th month of 50-55 miles/month. </edit>

Trying to figure out whether I give up on the swimming thing, add this new approach to my existing Masters etc workouts, or focus on this alone.

Thank you.
Last edited by: caf0: Dec 29, 11 10:01
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Re: Brett frommTeam TBB on swimming [Rappstar] [ In reply to ]
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Yes start with swimming just 25s, you probably will not make a 50 at first. I find it key to try and relax. You will not drown and keeping your body relaxed will help a lot here.
Start with band and buoy first then ditch the buoy.

I have work my way up to 200 yards at a time. Great upper body workout :)



Looking like a color blind super hero!
Damn triathlon.
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Re: Brett frommTeam TBB on swimming [caf0] [ In reply to ]
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Quote:
The inner tube wouldn't stay tight so I used an exercise leg band ("monster walk") that I had brought along. Wrapped it around twice and it worked great.
First 25y I felt like a jelly fish with my legs hanging down, but it got better from there.


http://www.amazon.com/...e-Lock/dp/B005LSGF82
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Re: Brett frommTeam TBB on swimming [caf0] [ In reply to ]
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caf0 wrote:

Reporting back:
...
I went 1000y with the band
...
after a while I could pretty much forget I was banded.
I could have gone 2000y; I couldn't have made 4000y banded. It was a good workout.


You're a freakin' jerk and everyone hates you.

On a more serious note, if you can swim 2000y with a band on your first time out and your masters coaches have said that your stroke has no obvious flaws, it probably IS a fitness thing (based on your 1:50/1:55 100SCY time). That sort of time would normally indicate to me that you have no catch; but I'm having difficulty wrapping my head around how someone with no catch can swim that "easily" with a band. Is that time an easy cruising long distance per 100 time, or a hard effort (not sprint) standalone 100 time?


<If you're gonna be dumb, you gotta be tough>
Get Fitter!
Proud member of the Smartasscrew, MONSTER CLUB
Get your FIX today?
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Re: Brett frommTeam TBB on swimming [Khai] [ In reply to ]
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Quote:
You're a freakin' jerk and everyone hates you.
On a more serious note, if you can swim 2000y with a band on your first time out and your masters coaches have said that your stroke has no obvious flaws, it probably IS a fitness thing (based on your 1:50/1:55 100SCY time). That sort of time would normally indicate to me that you have no catch; but I'm having difficulty wrapping my head around how someone with no catch can swim that "easily" with a band. Is that time an easy cruising long distance per 100 time, or a hard effort (not sprint) standalone 100 time?

Maybe I've grown accustomed to swimming with my legs dangling?
Really, I don't know why I can't swim fast. I've been beating my head against this wall for 2 years now.
Yes, I'm slowly getting faster. I'm still stuck in the slow lane despite huge (for an AG triathlete) effort.
My all-out sprint 100y time is 1:42 (open turns since my flips are slower). My 500y TT is 9:23 (1:52.6/100y) and 1000y TT is 18:59 (1:53.9/100y).

If it is a fitness thing, then I don't know how to get more fit. I've been going to 3-5 Masters/week while swimming over 50miles/month (20-35000y/week) since August. I'm still very slow.
Don't hate the chick in the slow lane.
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Re: Brett frommTeam TBB on swimming [caf0] [ In reply to ]
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In that case maybe you really don't have a catch... Seek out a good coach for a few 1-on-1 lessons. I took a few several years back and once I learned how to catch water my swimming improved a tonne. I probably would have eventually figured it out if I just logged huge mileage in the pool, but a coach was able to demonstrate to me how to catch water - and more importantly, what it felt like. I didn't spend much time at all doing drills other than as part of her assessment - the change was very apparent. Of course once I learned the difference, making the change to swimming like that required a bit more strength from previously underutilized muscle groups and again, much more fitness. So fitness still is the answer. Once I learned how to swim. :p


<If you're gonna be dumb, you gotta be tough>
Get Fitter!
Proud member of the Smartasscrew, MONSTER CLUB
Get your FIX today?
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Re: Brett frommTeam TBB on swimming [Khai] [ In reply to ]
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Quote:
In that case maybe you really don't have a catch... Seek out a good coach for a few 1-on-1 lessons. I took a few several years back and once I learned how to catch water my swimming improved a tonne. I probably would have eventually figured it out if I just logged huge mileage in the pool, but a coach was able to demonstrate to me how to catch water - and more importantly, what it felt like. I didn't spend much time at all doing drills other than as part of her assessment - the change was very apparent. Of course once I learned the difference, making the change to swimming like that required a bit more strength from previously underutilized muscle groups and again, much more fitness. So fitness still is the answer. Once I learned how to swim. :p

I may not have a catch. I have taken three 1-on-1 lessons, though. Two lessons from one coach were worthless imo (a list of 30 random things to work on, including making "s" shapes and breathing less - maybe the others were really good but he told me to just pick 2 and those were my 2). The 3rd was "Your stroke doesn't look that bad". My favorite Masters coach doesn't think lessons will help me, I just need to get stronger and work on feel. So ........

Maybe I check out the swimsmooth catch dvd.

Ok, I'm unfit :)
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Re: Brett frommTeam TBB on swimming [caf0] [ In reply to ]
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Caf0, I was in the same position as you a few years ago , logging 20 plus K weeks week after week and still swimming 37 min half Im swims and 1:15 Im swims.

While I am trying the conventional wisdom do what TBB and Paulo say and it is working for me now. The change I made was find a good swim coach, not an OWS or tri coach.

Did two sessions in her squad per week and one of my own, never swam more than 3500 metres in on session. When the Im build was getting into it I often did only two sessions per week, swam 1:04 in the IM

Did 30 mins in my half IM of the back of two sessions. Now these were not 3000 metres of drill.

500 warm up. 500 With some drill other strokes kick ie 150, 50 kick, 50 drill, 50 swim. 1500 ish main set the rest play with the toys, band pull, fins, cool down.

I don't know what is right or wrong, but two sessions to get 7 and 11 mins faster respectively and be faster on the bike and run as I was less tired seemed like a good idea.

I'm having a go at this up the volume and use the swim aids to see where I get, but there is more than one way to skin a cat
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Re: Brett frommTeam TBB on swimming [Rappstar] [ In reply to ]
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Thanks R and Tex, i only have an hr or two to swim 2-3x a week after work and i will try anything to maximize the time as those 2 hours really just an hr of swimming then the walk to the pool and back takes an hr tops. as early in the season which starts next week for us here in asia, i will give this a go and see where i stand. 17 years already and not a bad swimmer over here but not good enough. Building for a long race next year which is why i would want to maximize the training. appreciate the insights.
i work nights over here so i get off at work at 6am and the pool opens at 8 and closes at 4:30pm.

"Pain is NOT temporary,you remember every bit of it"
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Re: Brett frommTeam TBB on swimming [dennism] [ In reply to ]
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Best of 'luck'. Just mix it up. Don't limit yourself to endless sets of 100s and 200s with short rest. Do some short stuff really hard with long rest. Make sure you have different speeds. It's truly harder to swim really slow than it is to swim fast. So, make your quality quality and your easy easy.


Brandon Marsh - Website | @BrandonMarshTX | RokaSports | 1stEndurance | ATC Bikeshop |
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Re: Brett frommTeam TBB on swimming [caf0] [ In reply to ]
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caf0 wrote:
Quote:
Tie around ankles so it is "snug" (but not like cutting off blood flow). Trim the excess. Go swim. Report back.


Reporting back:
The inner tube wouldn't stay tight so I used an exercise leg band ("monster walk") that I had brought along. Wrapped it around twice and it worked great.
First 25y I felt like a jelly fish with my legs hanging down, but it got better from there.
Surprisingly harder than the regular pull sets with no toys (no buoy, no paddles).
I went 1000y with the band (after 600y warmup swim, followed by another 2700y alt paddles/swim); after a while I could pretty much forget I was banded.
I could have gone 2000y; I couldn't have made 4000y banded. It was a good workout.
Interesting thing was swimming after the band workout - my legs felt high in the water. Whether they were actually higher than normal, or just higher than with the band, I don't know.

How much of the band and how much of the paddles should we be doing each week? How long before we should see improvement (as a 1:50-1:55/100y swimmer whose technique has no obvious gross flaws according to various Masters coaches)? <edit>For me the answer is not just swim more - I've just completed my 5th month of 50-55 miles/month. </edit>

Trying to figure out whether I give up on the swimming thing, add this new approach to my existing Masters etc workouts, or focus on this alone.

Thank you.

Do you kick with the band, or leave your legs completely immobile? I'm about your speed and am interested in giving the band a go.

(I think fitness is my limiter - my stroke turnover is significantly slower than anyone going sub 1:30)
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Re: Brett frommTeam TBB on swimming [cervelo-van] [ In reply to ]
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This & the other swim thread have got me interested, so I'll be doing some band sessions soon. (Already love my buoy & paddles.) But not sure if fitness is my limiter in swimming. If I kill myself I can go just under 1:40 in a 100 but can do 1:50s on 1000s without much trouble. Seems to me I should focus on upping my short distance speed first. Just reasoning by analogy with running (which I know better): if I could do a 10K or more at nearly my 1 mile all out pace, I'd work on upping the mile pace.
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Re: Brett frommTeam TBB on swimming [lightheir] [ In reply to ]
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Quote:
Do you kick with the band, or leave your legs completely immobile? I'm about your speed and am interested in giving the band a go.

No kicking. It isn't possible to flutter with your ankles tied tightly together. I suppose you could do a bit of a dolphin, but I think the intent is for them to be of no assistance.
I'm giving it a go. I've tried about everything; I have nothing to lose. I have until May.
Best of luck to us both!
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Re: Brett frommTeam TBB on swimming [Rappstar] [ In reply to ]
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To me, you are saying is that endurance is important. I cannot disagree. Triathlon is basically a running race with some other stuff to distract and wear people down.

By the way, that was a really, really long response.
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Re: Brett frommTeam TBB on swimming [Supersquid] [ In reply to ]
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Thanks for the pointer - I picked one up. The double-wrapped leg band was a bit tight for distance.
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