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QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming
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It's that time of year - or it should be - when chlorine substitutes for cologne. You should reek of it. Paulo Sousa tweeted an excellent summary on the matter. It's rare that you find really, really good summations in 140chrs or less. This was one, so I felt compelled to share it.

"Technique goes a long way in swimming, but it's nothing without fitness. Working on your fitness works on technique. The opposite is not true."


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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Rappstar] [ In reply to ]
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Agreed.

Why does Paulo tweet helpful stuff, but on ST he only demeans people?
Maybe he will make a New Year's resolution to be a better ST citizen!?
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Rappstar] [ In reply to ]
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>Working on your fitness works on technique. The opposite is not true.

I challenge this. A lot of people work on fitness without any improvement in technique, and it is possible to work on technique while improving fitness. (For example doing 1:20 100's with the "fist" drill to work on feeling the drag through the forearm)

Do some people place a misguided emphasis on technique as a backdoor way of avoiding the hard reality of hard hours in the pool? Sure.
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Rappstar] [ In reply to ]
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Swimming in December? No thanks. Pretty big waste of time for most folks...
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [trail] [ In reply to ]
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Yes, just as many will use variations of this excuse to avoid volume and/or intensity on the bike or run.
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Rappstar] [ In reply to ]
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So as a noobie swimmer, I'll play the DNG card (Dumb New Guy) and ask how working on fitness works on technique.

If I have a cr@ppy technique, it seems I can improve my overall swim fitness and still have the same cr@ppy technique. Yes, I have become a "better swimmer" because my fitness has improved, but my technique still sucks.

Or to put it in bike terms, I can have a terrible position on the bike (i.e. my "technique") and still become a better cyclist through training. But if I improve my position AND my fitness, I can realize much larger gains, no?

Or is Paulo's position that my technique will improve automatically simply by swimming more...i.e. a prolonged "trial & error" process? If so, why not fast forward and have someone help with your technique?

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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Rappstar] [ In reply to ]
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That's very true. Swimming is complicated because you can't implement good technique without good fitness. On the other hand swimming is "unnatural" enough for us that not everyone can figure out the right technique by just working on their swim fitness so it can sometimes be a bit of a catch 22 situation.




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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Rappstar] [ In reply to ]
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Rappstar wrote:
It's that time of year - or it should be - when chlorine substitutes for cologne. You should reek of it. Paulo Sousa tweeted an excellent summary on the matter. It's rare that you find really, really good summations in 140chrs or less. This was one, so I felt compelled to share it. "Technique goes a long way in swimming, but it's nothing without fitness. Working on your fitness works on technique. The opposite is not true."


"Working on your fitness works on technique."
Uh, not really. Actually, it is false.

Just swimming more is definitely not going to have very much of an impact on improving technique. Actually, it can (and often does) have exactly the opposite effect. Just "working on your (swim) fitness" alone readily reinforces bad technique, as you will be repeatedly practicing (1000s and 1000s of times) incorrect and inefficient movement.

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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [DarkSpeedWorks] [ In reply to ]
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DarkSpeedWorks wrote:
"Working on your fitness works on technique."
Uh, not really. Actually, it is false.

So you are confident enough in this, to say that it is false, despite Brett Sutton and Paulo saying it is true?

hmmm



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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [jackmott] [ In reply to ]
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PLEASE don't put that Paulo guy in the same sentence as Brett Sutton. It's offensive to Brett!!!
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [DarkSpeedWorks] [ In reply to ]
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I would contend that it is right.

If you've done your due diligence to get your stroke "good enough", by simply improving fitness and utilizing some "toys" your body will gradually improve it's technique.

This statement is like anything else, it assumes you've done some reasonable background work to get "good enough"...
Last edited by: sentania: Dec 28, 11 8:53
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [DarkSpeedWorks] [ In reply to ]
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DarkSpeedWorks wrote:
Actually, it can (and often does) have exactly the opposite effect. Just "working on your (swim) fitness" alone readily reinforces bad technique, as you will be repeatedly practicing (1000s and 1000s of times) incorrect and inefficient movement.

To make another parallel, I see this all the time on the driving range. Guys with gawd-awful horrific swings that are just beating the ground into submission. They make no changes to their swings, no attempts to "fix" their flaws and are basically trying to make their awful swing work for them by forcing themselves to work around their problems (which is horribly unreliable).

Guys just beating a bucket of balls on the range are looking to have their volume (i.e. fitness) replace their technique. It usually doesn't work because they are ingraining very poor mechanics.

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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [sentania] [ In reply to ]
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sentania wrote:
I would contend that it is right.

If you've done your due diligence to get your stroke "good enough", by simply improving fitness and utilizing some "toys" your body will gradually improve it's technique.

This statement is like anything else, it assumes you've done some reasonable background work to get "good enough"...

That is a big qualifier that is not present in Paulo's tweet, though.

Maybe he just ran out of characters?





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"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: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Power13] [ In reply to ]
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Power13 wrote:
Guys just beating a bucket of balls on the range are looking to have their volume (i.e. fitness) replace their technique.

No, that's just working on (bad) technique. Your analogy is TERRIBLE.
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Power13] [ In reply to ]
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I place that qualifier before everything I read about training, you'd be a fool not to.

Edit to add: For example, one rule of thumb says you should ride an Ironman at 73% of FTP. Well if you haven't trained appropriately to ride that hard, boom goes the dynamite.
Last edited by: sentania: Dec 28, 11 8:57
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Power13] [ In reply to ]
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I think part of the explanation is that swimming and it's movement patterns are so specific that it's very hard to maintain technique improvements for any length of time unless you have some swim fitness to start with.




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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [jackmott] [ In reply to ]
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jackmott wrote:
DarkSpeedWorks wrote:

"Working on your fitness works on technique."
Uh, not really. Actually, it is false.


So you are confident enough in this, to say that it is false, despite Brett Sutton and Paulo saying it is true?

hmmm

You bet. If you carefully you read my post above, yes, I am very confident in my statements because I've seen it personally more times than I can count. Why a so-called experienced tri coach would say the opposite baffles me. But, in any case, I am good with sticking my neck out and saying the emperor has no clothes.

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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Power13] [ In reply to ]
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I think the "assuming your technique is good enough" qualifier is missing from paulo and brett's technique because it just isn't in their worldview.

They may never run into those 2:00+ per hundred people that really just need to learn how to swim before they proceed.


Power13 wrote:
sentania wrote:
I would contend that it is right.

If you've done your due diligence to get your stroke "good enough", by simply improving fitness and utilizing some "toys" your body will gradually improve it's technique.

This statement is like anything else, it assumes you've done some reasonable background work to get "good enough"...

That is a big qualifier that is not present in Paulo's tweet, though.

Maybe he just ran out of characters?






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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [DarkSpeedWorks] [ In reply to ]
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Perhaps because you haven't seen people really work that hard? I mean like 30k meters a week swimming in a fast lane where you are forced to really really push yourself all the time. Maybe that is where you start to self discover technique?


DarkSpeedWorks wrote:
You bet. If you carefully you read my post above, yes, I am very confident in my statements because I've seen it personally more times than I can count. Why a so-called experienced tri coach would say the opposite baffles me. But, in any case, I am good with sticking my neck out and saying the emperor has no clothes.



Kat Hunter reports on the San Dimas Stage Race from inside the GC winning team
Aeroweenie.com -Compendium of Aero Data and Knowledge
Freelance sports & outdoors writer Kathryn Hunter
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [The Authority] [ In reply to ]
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The Authority wrote:
Power13 wrote:

Guys just beating a bucket of balls on the range are looking to have their volume (i.e. fitness) replace their technique.


No, that's just working on (bad) technique. Your analogy is TERRIBLE.

Really? Funny 'cuz working on (bad) technique was exactly my point.

Huh....

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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Power13] [ In reply to ]
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Golf has no comparsion to swimming. If you are a better swimming than someone who needs a noodle to complete a swim than you are going to get faster by swimming harder and using the tools (paddles, bouy, bands) that can help reinforce good technique rather then spending the same amount of time doing drills. I've gone both routes. Hard work is always the answer. You can always incorporate adjustments to improve your technique but that is just the supplement to time and work.

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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [jackmott] [ In reply to ]
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jackmott wrote:
Perhaps because you haven't seen people really work that hard? I mean like 30k meters a week swimming in a fast lane where you are forced to really really push yourself all the time. Maybe that is where you start to self discover technique?

Nope.

You know what happens when you swim 30,000 m per week with poor technique? Most of time, you get worse technique.

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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [TravisT] [ In reply to ]
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TravisT wrote:
Golf has no comparsion to swimming. If you are a better swimming than someone who needs a noodle to complete a swim than you are going to get faster by swimming harder and using the tools (paddles, bouy, bands) that can help reinforce good technique rather then spending the same amount of time doing drills. I've gone both routes. Hard work is always the answer. You can always incorporate adjustments to improve your technique but that is just the supplement to time and work.

First of all, I am not saying "just do drills" nor am I saying don't use "toys". But if you have fundamental flaws in your stroke, simply going for volume doesn't seem like it will fix these issues, unless as I said you end up improving through "trial & error". If that is the case, it seems horribly inefficient.

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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [DarkSpeedWorks] [ In reply to ]
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DarkSpeedWorks wrote:
jackmott wrote:
Perhaps because you haven't seen people really work that hard? I mean like 30k meters a week swimming in a fast lane where you are forced to really really push yourself all the time. Maybe that is where you start to self discover technique?

Nope.

You know what happens when you swim 30,000 m per week with poor technique? Most of time, you get worse technique.

I would think you might also get a shoulder injury.
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Power13] [ In reply to ]
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Power13 wrote:
But if you have flaws in your stroke, simply going for volume doesn't seem like it will fix these issues

You got it.

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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Power13] [ In reply to ]
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Its really simple. Join a masters, swim 20k+ a week pushing yourself out of your comfort zone and listen to any comments from the coach on deck and make necessary adjustments as needed during the sessions. Day in day out. You'll get faster.

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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [TravisT] [ In reply to ]
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TravisT wrote:
Its really simple. Join a masters, swim 20k+ a week pushing yourself out of your comfort zone and listen to any comments from the coach on deck and make necessary adjustments as needed during the sessions. Day in day out. You'll get faster.

Agreed. But that isn't the same as saying "Fitness improves technique." In the example above, you have a coach giving you comments on your technique, in addition to substantially increasing your volume. The two go hand in hand. If I get in the pool and just splash around for 20K a week by myself, that doesn't mean I am going to improve my technique, does it?

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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [jackmott] [ In reply to ]
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It is interesting that you, of all people, would buy into this. A perfect analogy to the swimming dilemma is a cyclist who thinks more training and a "bigger engine" is what it takes to overcome crappy aerodynamics of your equipment or position. Sure, a bigger engine will help. But someone with less fitness and a smaller engine can still come and kick your ass if they know exactly what they are doing with regard to proper positioning and proper bike equip.

In the end, of course, both are important, fitness and technique. But just more fitness won't get you the technique improvements you need. Nor will drills, nor will 99% of swim toys.

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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Power13] [ In reply to ]
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Power13 wrote:
TravisT wrote:
Its really simple. Join a masters, swim 20k+ a week pushing yourself out of your comfort zone and listen to any comments from the coach on deck and make necessary adjustments as needed during the sessions. Day in day out. You'll get faster.


Agreed. But that isn't the same as saying "Fitness improves technique." In the example above, you have a coach giving you comments on your technique, in addition to substantially increasing your volume. The two go hand in hand. If I get in the pool and just splash around for 20K a week by myself, that doesn't mean I am going to improve my technique, does it?

You sure talk a lot for someone that is doing 2min/100m.
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [TravisT] [ In reply to ]
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Hard work is the only way for most of us who didn't grow up swimming. It took me months of swimming up to 8000 on some days to drop my times down ten seconds per 100. I'm still not a natural swimmer, but I'm relatively fast for a non-swimmer triathlete. And not all of that was intensity. A lot of it was purely aerobic work in Zones 2 and 3. If you look at what some top distance swimming coaches are recommending for beginning distance swimmers, it is for them to swim 4-5k per main set with technique and sprint work supplementing the swimming. Why, because the philosophy is that moderately intense aerobic work improves fitness while smoothing out technique and developing the endurance needed to swim fast at comfortable RPE. Once that base is established, hard work must be incorporated to hone in on pacing. Why don't some people on this forum go read something written by the best coaches in the world?
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Power13] [ In reply to ]
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I agree I just think the focus should be on the hard work and volume over just drilling technique. The paddles/bouy/band combo really do help force good form and allow you to work much harder while improving technique at the same time rather then just countless drills. For me it comes down to what my goals are. I'm not a pure swimmer competeting in a pool. I'm racing triathlon in open water where perfect form is sometimes difficult to maintain so fitness and a big engine are going to serve me better then having a perfect glide.

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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [The Authority] [ In reply to ]
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The Authority wrote:
Power13 wrote:
TravisT wrote:
Its really simple. Join a masters, swim 20k+ a week pushing yourself out of your comfort zone and listen to any comments from the coach on deck and make necessary adjustments as needed during the sessions. Day in day out. You'll get faster.


Agreed. But that isn't the same as saying "Fitness improves technique." In the example above, you have a coach giving you comments on your technique, in addition to substantially increasing your volume. The two go hand in hand. If I get in the pool and just splash around for 20K a week by myself, that doesn't mean I am going to improve my technique, does it?


You sure talk a lot for someone that is doing 2min/100m.

What talking? I'm asking questions......All I'm doing is trying to understand different training philosophies so I can improve.

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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Rappstar] [ In reply to ]
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I think it's interesting that every time someone gives advice like this, everyone assumes that the prescription is simply "volume." It isn't. It's APPROPRIATE volume.

And yes, to reference Sentania, there is some basic level of ability that is required. I.e., if your best 100m for time is, let's say, slower than 2:00/100yds, then you simply need to learn how to swim. In other words, if you really, fundamentally, cannot swim, then - duh - don't get in and try and bang out big volume. Get some basic swim instruction. There's a difference between fundamentals and "technique work." If you truly lack the fundamentals then you need them.

I'll explain, simply, for the people who fail to grasp the nuances by way of example.

If you are able to swim 200yds at a speed that you would be VERY happy being able to swim for 2000yds, the way to get there is NOT by doing drills. It is by working on your fitness. Most often, the "technique problems" that occur going from 200->2000 are that people lack the fitness to hold their stroke together. So in that sense, as you work on fitness, you work on technique, because you limit how much your stroke breaks down.

Simply put, the ability of people to simply *maintain* their stroke - a lack of fitness - is a MUCH more significant limiter than any dramatic technique flaw. Even at the highest level, triathlon swimming is not particular fast. For example, an hour swim for Ironman is pretty fast. An hour swim for 3800m means you are going more than 50% slower than the speed of a world class OW swimmer. Think about that.

Ironically, no one seems to miss this connection with running. Very few people waste as much time doing running drills as they do with swimming drills. Nobody - well, very few people - think that drills are the key to a ~3hr Ironman marathon (also 50% slower than elite level). But plenty of people seem to think they can drill their way to a ~1hr IM swim...


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Last edited by: Rappstar: Dec 28, 11 9:37
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [TravisT] [ In reply to ]
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TravisT wrote:
I agree I just think the focus should be on the hard work and volume over just drilling technique. The paddles/bouy/band combo really do help force good form and allow you to work much harder while improving technique at the same time rather then just countless drills. For me it comes down to what my goals are. I'm not a pure swimmer competeting in a pool. I'm racing triathlon in open water where perfect form is sometimes difficult to maintain so fitness and a big engine are going to serve me better then having a perfect glide.

OK, I see where you are coming from...so would this be a fair synopsis? By using various tools when swimming (paddles, buoys, etc) you can train both endurance / fitness AND technique?

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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Rappstar] [ In reply to ]
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Rappstar wrote:
It's that time of year - or it should be - when chlorine substitutes for cologne. You should reek of it. Paulo Sousa tweeted an excellent summary on the matter. It's rare that you find really, really good summations in 140chrs or less. This was one, so I felt compelled to share it.

"Technique goes a long way in swimming, but it's nothing without fitness. Working on your fitness works on technique. The opposite is not true."

Translated since everyone seems to think that it's a statement about only learning better technique.

You can have perfect technique, but if your fitness sucks, you will fall apart after a few hundred meters due to fatigue. The better your fitness is, the easier it is to work on the technique and improve it. So, enhancing your fitness enhances your ability to work on your technique. The opposite is not necessarily true. So, even if your technique is horrible, get to the point where you can swim adequately enough that you are not fighting the fatigue at the same time you are fighting the learning curve of getting better technique.

John



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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [The Authority] [ In reply to ]
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You're not fooling me.

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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Power13] [ In reply to ]
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Power13 wrote:
TravisT wrote:
I agree I just think the focus should be on the hard work and volume over just drilling technique. The paddles/bouy/band combo really do help force good form and allow you to work much harder while improving technique at the same time rather then just countless drills. For me it comes down to what my goals are. I'm not a pure swimmer competeting in a pool. I'm racing triathlon in open water where perfect form is sometimes difficult to maintain so fitness and a big engine are going to serve me better then having a perfect glide.


OK, I see where you are coming from...so would this be a fair synopsis? By using various tools when swimming (paddles, buoys, etc) you can train both endurance / fitness AND technique?

The best synopsis would be to read what Rappstar just wrote. Pretty much sums it up.

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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [TravisT] [ In reply to ]
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Actually, golf does have an analogy to swimming. In this case, it would be this:

imagine a golfer whose game is suffering because he tends to miss a lot of putts and slice a lot of drives whenever he walks 18 instead of taking the cart. The suggestion, according to most people here, is that he ought to spend a lot of time focusing on his technique to really hone in his swing so it is absolutely ingrained and doesn't abandon him.

The more obvious - and correct - prescription is to get said gentleman to get his fat ass off the couch, maybe hit the treadmill, spend less time at the 19th hole, etc. What's funny is that this isn't just a hypothetical. This is exactly what happened when Tiger Woods started kicking the shit out of everyone. Golfers started to realize that fitness was an important part of the game. They couldn't simply finesse their way to longer drives and lower scores. They needed to be fitter. And, in that exact same scenario, working on fitness worked on their technique, because on the fourth day of tournament play, they were driving just as far, their strokes were just as solid, etc.

Where the analogy starts to break down is that - for AG golfers - taking ~100 swings once a week, fatigue isn't likely to be a major issue. For the typical AG swimmer, the fatigue difference between swimming 50yds and 5000yds is massive.


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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Rappstar] [ In reply to ]
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Quote:
the fatigue difference between swimming 50yds and 5000yds is massive

Speaking from recent experience, the fatigue difference between 3000 yds and 5000 yds is massive, the difference 50 and 5000 is just plain rediculous.
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Rappstar] [ In reply to ]
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Rappstar wrote:
I think it's interesting that every time someone gives advice like this, everyone assumes that the prescription is simply "volume." It isn't. It's APPROPRIATE volume.

And yes, to reference Sentania, there is some basic level of ability that is required. I.e., if your best 100m for time is, let's say, slower than 2:00/100yds, then you simply need to learn how to swim. In other words, if you really, fundamentally, cannot swim, then - duh - don't get in and try and bang out big volume. Get some basic swim instruction. There's a difference between fundamentals and "technique work." If you truly lack the fundamentals then you need them.

I'll explain, simply, for the people who fail to grasp the nuances by way of example.

If you are able to swim 200yds at a speed that you would be VERY happy being able to swim for 2000yds, the way to get there is NOT by doing drills. It is by working on your fitness. Most often, the "technique problems" that occur going from 200->2000 are that people lack the fitness to hold their stroke together. So in that sense, as you work on fitness, you work on technique, because you limit how much your stroke breaks down.

Simply put, the ability of people to simply *maintain* their stroke - a lack of fitness - is a MUCH more significant limiter than any dramatic technique flaw. Even at the highest level, triathlon swimming is not particular fast. For example, an hour swim for Ironman is pretty fast. An hour swim for 3800m means you are going more than 50% slower than the speed of a world class OW swimmer. Think about that.

Ironically, no one seems to miss this connection with running. Very few people waste as much time doing running drills as they do with swimming drills. Nobody - well, very few people - think that drills are the key to a ~3hr Ironman marathon (also 50% slower than elite level). But plenty of people seem to think they can drill their way to a ~1hr IM swim...

This is becoming highly muddled.

What you are saying above is that if you want to swim faster for longer (i.e., get more endurance) you need to swim more?
Well, of course, yes.

But that, even if you swim faster than 2 min per 100, that swimming more yards per week will alone improve your technique?
Nope. Or, if yes, not by any significant amount.

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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Rappstar] [ In reply to ]
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swimming at all seems like a very bad idea. wouldnt it be better to work on the portion of triathlon that youre the worst at whether that be s/b/r or weight loss?
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [trail] [ In reply to ]
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Agree with challenging this. Going to the pool and getting in 'junk miles' won't necessarily improve technique IMO. Individuals looking to improve in the pool need to aggressively pursue both.

-------
http://www.y-rocket.blogspot.com/
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [DarkSpeedWorks] [ In reply to ]
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doing endless drills doesnt help technique.

focusing on one aspect of the stroke for over a hundred thousand yards > every drill ive ever seen a triathlete do.
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [DarkSpeedWorks] [ In reply to ]
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DarkSpeedWorks wrote:
Rappstar wrote:
It's that time of year - or it should be - when chlorine substitutes for cologne. You should reek of it. Paulo Sousa tweeted an excellent summary on the matter. It's rare that you find really, really good summations in 140chrs or less. This was one, so I felt compelled to share it. "Technique goes a long way in swimming, but it's nothing without fitness. Working on your fitness works on technique. The opposite is not true."


"Working on your fitness works on technique."
Uh, not really. Actually, it is false.

Just swimming more is definitely not going to have very much of an impact on improving technique. Actually, it can (and often does) have exactly the opposite effect. Just "working on your (swim) fitness" alone readily reinforces bad technique, as you will be repeatedly practicing (1000s and 1000s of times) incorrect and inefficient movement.

It does. And here's why. Sometimes it's only when you become exhausted that you find the maximum efficiency. You may be one of those people with very poor body awareness and a very inactive subconscious who cannot improve through tens of thousands of repetitions. But most people do. I'm sure it's highly variable though from person to person based on factors unseen (wiring in the brain I guess).

Through mass volume I've improved running mechanics, my cycling pedal stroke, my power and speed in martial arts techniques and I'm pretty sure the same will be true regarding swimming as I put in the time.
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [ In reply to ]
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To answer an earlier question, Paulo really doesn't tweet helpful stuff. 99% of his posts are Lavendar Room material. One of my to-do's is to declutter my Twitter feed, and his is one that's getting the axe.
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [DarkSpeedWorks] [ In reply to ]
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I'll add another name to this argument....Gerry Rodrigues

I had a private lesson with Gerry about 3-4 months ago. I was expecting to get all this technical info on what I was doing wrong and how I could magically drop 10 secs/100 by improving my horrible technique.....(it's not that bad but you get the gist of what I was looking for.)

My advice after an hour of 1 on 1..."yup, you're good enough...just go swim lots"

Sure he identified some problems here and there....but the basic takeaway was just go swim.


-------------------------------
I'm faster in Kilometers!
Wattie Ink Triathlon Team
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Rappstar] [ In reply to ]
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Rappstar wrote:
I'll explain, simply, for the people who fail to grasp the nuances by way of example.

If you are able to swim 200yds at a speed that you would be VERY happy being able to swim for 2000yds, the way to get there is NOT by doing drills. It is by working on your fitness. Most often, the "technique problems" that occur going from 200->2000 are that people lack the fitness to hold their stroke together. So in that sense, as you work on fitness, you work on technique, because you limit how much your stroke breaks down.

Simply put, the ability of people to simply *maintain* their stroke - a lack of fitness - is a MUCH more significant limiter than any dramatic technique flaw. Even at the highest level, triathlon swimming is not particular fast. For example, an hour swim for Ironman is pretty fast. An hour swim for 3800m means you are going more than 50% slower than the speed of a world class OW swimmer. Think about that.

Ironically, no one seems to miss this connection with running. Very few people waste as much time doing running drills as they do with swimming drills. Nobody - well, very few people - think that drills are the key to a ~3hr Ironman marathon (also 50% slower than elite level). But plenty of people seem to think they can drill their way to a ~1hr IM swim...

Please keep your comments to 140 characters or less.
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Rappstar] [ In reply to ]
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I love it how people enjoy arguing about stuff like this. Analyze it, dissect it, debate it anyway you want to, but Paulo is absolutely accurate in his tweet. 100% on the spot.

RP
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [The Authority] [ In reply to ]
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The Authority wrote:
You sure talk a lot for someone that is doing 2min/100m.
ST would have about 10 posts per day if people who didn't know anything or were slow, stopped posting.
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [DarkSpeedWorks] [ In reply to ]
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I doesn't seem like you actually read the Brett Sutton blog. He's saying that most adult swimmers either don't swim enough or are already unable to truly adapt the technique changes that drills encourage. By utilizing paddles and a pull buoy you are forced to make these adaptations. Ie- you can get in and hammer away for an hour and get a lot more out of it than just working on technique (which you may or may not be doing correctly in the first place).
I know my problem in races is that my form erodes as the swim gets longer.

____________________________________________________
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Robert Preston] [ In reply to ]
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Robert Preston wrote:
I love it how people enjoy arguing about stuff like this. Analyze it, dissect it, debate it anyway you want to, but Paulo is absolutely accurate in his tweet. 100% on the spot.

RP

Why do people always say this about Paulo's advice? "He's right, just trust whatever he says and stop thinking." Even if he is right, people want to know why. Without him actually expounding on his statements (which is rare), all we have is quibbling debates like this to help ourselves out.
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Rappstar] [ In reply to ]
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Why is it so challenging for people to grasp that before you hammer out mega swim sets you SHOULD have a certain degree of competency. And if you don't have that competency you should learn it from a professional.

Did these same people also attempt to do interval bike sets on the open road before learning how to balance on a bike? That is basically what is being suggested.

If you are swimming a 2:00/100SCY - you need to learn how to swim. Perhaps that is harsh, but it is reality. If that is truly your top end sprinting speed...something is really truly wrong with your technique. Simply put you need a coach to help you make the appropriate adjustments. And those adjustments will be big.

Once you've reached level of competence and confidence in the water then you graduate to actual swimming. And at that point Paulo is 100% correct.

I did drills in highschool swimming. I didn't do them in college after the first 2-3 weeks of the season when we were all getting back into the swing of things or perhaps as an easy warm down set. I don't do them now. Some of the pansies I swim with like to do some 50's drill as part of the warm-up, I just swim them. I have rarely found them helpful.

What I did find helpful, even in college, was a coach standing over me with a kickboard in his hands screaming at me that if I continued to be lazy and drag my hips he was going to bash me. Which is why I always tell people...if you are a bad swimmer, go get an experienced coach. (not someone like me who just swam in college).

The other solution to dragging your hips is tying your feet together with no pull bouy. If there is no shallow end, you'll learn quick enough, or you'll sink to the bottom and die. buh-bye.

If your catch is bad, paddles will make sure you know it and you'll correct things pretty quick as well. Here's a tip...if the paddles feel like they are going to be ripped off your hand with every stroke...adjust your stroke.

Drills do not provide that level of feedback. Plain and simple.

So what Paulo said is right. It just assumes a certain level of competency.

________________
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [BeachboyWI] [ In reply to ]
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BeachboyWI wrote:

or you'll sink to the bottom and die. buh-bye.

hehe....;)


-------------------------------
I'm faster in Kilometers!
Wattie Ink Triathlon Team
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [DarkSpeedWorks] [ In reply to ]
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But that, even if you swim faster than 2 min per 100, that swimming more yards per week will alone improve your technique?
Nope. Or, if yes, not by any significant amount.[/quote]
This is obviously an argument that will go endlessly in circles and no one's mind is going to change. You've clearly drawn your line in the sand and you say you've based it off experience and what you've seen. I am in the extreme opposite camp and agree 100% with Paulo/Rappstar/Sutton. I was helping coach a tri club with a range of ability. When we went over video I felt like a broken record. They had a multitude of sins but what every one of them did wrong was their hand position on the catch as they slid their hands through the water. My masters team at the time split a long course pool with the UW swim team (prior to the fold of the program). My lane was immediately next to one of their lanes and I watched them swim with great interest. I also watched above water after workout. I have looked at video tape of many many swimmers and what was surprising to me was that they do the same things the beginners do. Many of them crossed over, there was straight arm recovery, bent arm, wide ranges of kicks and on and on. What they all did spectacularly well was their body position in the water and their catch. From my own experience, I can say that swimming 1:20 base feels different than 1:30 base. Swimming 1:10 base much different than 1:20. Swimming 1:00 base much different than 1:10. I've spent time at all of these levels without a single conscious thought to technique but just getting in and swimming more. Position improves, breathing improves, hand position improves. All things that we can try to replicate through drills and coaching but can't be sustained because we just simply don't have the strength to do it. As our strength and fitness improve, so does our technique. I spend most of my time bike racing now and I have no illusions that my slower base swimming time is not because of a deterioration in technique, but because I'm swimming about half the volume I used to swim.
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [DarkSpeedWorks] [ In reply to ]
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DarkSpeedWorks wrote:
This is becoming highly muddled.

Mmmm...no, it never was.

Quote:
What you are saying above is that if you want to swim faster for longer (i.e., get more endurance) you need to swim more?
Well, of course, yes.

But that, even if you swim faster than 2 min per 100, that swimming more yards per week will alone improve your technique?
Nope. Or, if yes, not by any significant amount.

Forest. Trees. Think a little harder and re-read Rapp's statement.

John



Top notch coaching: Francois and Accelerate3 | Follow on Twitter: LifetimeAthlete |
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Rappstar] [ In reply to ]
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this is a perfect segue to my invitation, jordan, to join me on my intended birthday set: 55 x 100yd repeating on 1:30. should be a piece of cake for you. followed maybe by an MTB ride over the backbone if i do this down in the valley. i'm figuring out when/where to do it. right now i'm thinking santa clarita aquatics center, but, maybe closer to you. we'll see. sometime around the end of jan, beginning of feb.

Dan Empfield
aka Slowman
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Rappstar] [ In reply to ]
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Like with any sport, you've got to be conscious of what proper technique is, while swimming and developing fitness, a lot can be learned by knowing what should happen, even if you don't always do it yourself. Just repeating the same bad actions over and over again will not improve technique, but knowing what you do wrong and learning how to fix it, will ultimately end in "mastering" the skill. You've got to be ready to experiment and see "what happens if I do this". If I'm in the pool more, I will get better. If I move the interval from the 1:30 to the 1:25 your going to learn, but if you're uneducated in proper technique this goes nowhere. I could(and did previously) thrash all about in order to swim faster, what I learned was how to thrash, not how to swim. But after coach review, self education and the like I've learned rather then thrash to lengthen out my stroke, maybe raise my cadence, work on high elbow, or pulling all the way through the stroke. So now when a workout is tough I don't thrash but I focus on proper technique and that has ultimately lead to me being faster in the water.

The other part of his statement where he says "working on your fitness works on technique. The opposite is not true." If I go and slow down my stroke in order to work on technique, I am not building fitness. I am building technique. While I do still do drills when swimming, they are not the highlight of my workout, rather a piece of the warmup, something that is added to get the yardage up. You will become faster with proper technique, that much is true. Just having a smooth technique though, does not make you an automatic top swimmer, that is fitness. A lot can be said for your bodies unconscious learning of something as well. The more you are in the pool the more you will learn.
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [TravisT] [ In reply to ]
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Its really simple. Join a masters, swim 20k+ a week pushing yourself out of your comfort zone and listen to any comments from the coach on deck and make necessary adjustments as needed during the sessions. Day in day out. You'll get faster.

Exactly! and after doing that for a solid year and gaining 2-3 minutes in an IM, you will say, "... what a waste of time. I should have been biking..."





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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Rappstar] [ In reply to ]
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>Ironically, no one seems to miss this connection with running. Very few people waste as much time doing running drills as they do with swimming drills.

What's the irony? Most of us learn to use our legs for mobility at a very young age, and develop substantial technical proficiency in running. Thus running drills tend to pick at marginal benefits in technique (though certain Newton/barefoot-philes might disagree with me)

For both running, and swimming, though, I'd suggest that improvements in technique and fitness are a constant leapfrogging process, with each reinforcing the other. About 95% of my "technique" time is done in the middle of strenuous sets where I'm just mentally focusing on something without doing a "drill." Working on technique doesn't necessarily mean lollygagging back and forth.
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [cjathey] [ In reply to ]
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The sutton article is not saying that technique in unimportant. It's saying that doing drills to develope technique is a waste of time. This whole argument is totally off track.
Sutton is advocating the use of "toys" to enforce these technique changes. The benefit is that you can still get in and hammer out a solid swim set while being forced to work on you catch with paddles or body position with the band.
This Tweet was based on the TeamTBB blog post. No one is saying you should just get in and thrash around for 4k and you'll be a top level swimmer.

____________________________________________________
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [eganski] [ In reply to ]
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eganski wrote:
You're not fooling me.

I thought it was a nice deflection as well.


Steve

http://www.PeaksCoachingGroup.com
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [trail] [ In reply to ]
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If we take what Sutton/Paulo/Rapp are saying and apply it to running, we get proficient at running, simply by running more. Most humans learned how to walk and run long before they became triathletes, so this makes sense. On the other hand, many triathletes perhaps have not graduated fromthe equivalent of walking to jogging to running from a swim "perspective". They need to learn how to swim first before improving their swim endurance...then everything that Sutton and Paulo are saying definitely applies.

Dev
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Mallen4574] [ In reply to ]
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I wasn't arguing, merely explaining.
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [DarkSpeedWorks] [ In reply to ]
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DarkSpeedWorks wrote:
Nope.

You know what happens when you swim 30,000 m per week with poor technique? Most of time, you get worse technique.

Or in other words: Practice Makes Permanent.
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [JoeO] [ In reply to ]
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JoeO wrote:
DarkSpeedWorks wrote:

Nope.

You know what happens when you swim 30,000 m per week with poor technique? Most of time, you get worse technique.


Or in other words: Practice Makes Permanent.

To an extent, but with my running, moving from 30-35 miles/wk to 60+ the past two months, has made me more efficient as well as faster. My fitness has allowed me to stride as I'd like without breaking down.

Brent

DFRU - Detta Family Racing Unit...the kids like it and we all get out and after it...gotta keep the fam involved!
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
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Slowman,

Don't you have an article somewhere about how minimum fitness is necessary for good technique? I don't know where to look for it, but wasn't it on the main page several years ago?

salmon - not because I'm a fish
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [devashish_paul] [ In reply to ]
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>...then everything that Sutton and Paulo are saying definitely applies.

Agree 100%. I just think that if they spent a few months teaching the "Prepare For Your First Sprint Triathlon" class at the local tri club, they might temper their broad generalizations about training efficacy. They're preaching to people similar to those they deal with on a daily basis, which are the top ~.01% to top 10% of triathletes.
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Pedalsaurus-Tex] [ In reply to ]
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Pedalsaurus-Tex wrote:
Its really simple. Join a masters, swim 20k+ a week pushing yourself out of your comfort zone and listen to any comments from the coach on deck and make necessary adjustments as needed during the sessions. Day in day out. You'll get faster.

Exactly! and after doing that for a solid year and gaining 2-3 minutes in an IM, you will say, "... what a waste of time. I should have been biking..."

This statement is a bunch of crap.

If you #1 fixed technique issues and then #2 swam 20k per week, you should be getting much more than 1-3 min out of the deal. Especially if you are starting at a 2:00/100 pace.

My first years in swimming in HS, I had never swam before. I started at the 500 and was swimming that in maybe 9 minutes at my BEST. (A bit faster than 2:00/100yds) By the end of that season...4.5 months, I was swimming it in 7:30's. Why? Technique and fitness. If I had only done drills I would not have been that fast.

I made the decision to swim year round after that seasono as I fell in love with swimming. By the time my sophomore year came (1 full year) around I was swimming 6:30's. At the end of that season I was below 6:00 and by the end of my senior year I was swimming 500's close to 5:00.

Do the math...after 1 year of being coached and swimming a fair amount (5x per week, 3-4k as I was slow) I dropped 3:30 in my 500yd swim. If I am doing my math correctly (1 mile = 1650) that is close to a 23 minute drop.

And while I do have a certain degree of natural talent when it comes to swimming, I am really...nothing special in the water. there are many, many people on this board that would put me to shame in the water.

I am not saying it is reasonable for people to expect a 20 minute drop in one year. Especially as an adult since it gets tougher. I was a kid when I saw that drop. But in all seriousness...if people would actually dedicate themselves to swimming. Get a coach that would watch and help them quite a bit at first, but then taper off as you improved and then actually swim on a consistent basis, there is no reason you can't see big improvements in the 10-20 minute range up front. If nothing else you'd become competent enough to add the yards and use the tools and see more improvements from there.

The people that flounder about in the pools never improving but doing drills all the time will never get better doing what they are doing. Of that there is little doubt. But actually taking the APPROPRIATE steps to improve can lead to some pretty significant gains pretty quickly. And those gains are the type that stay with you forever.

Lets not forget the overall triathlon improvement from coming out of the water that much earlier and getting in nutrition and fluids, etc.

Yeah, you may not be able to win the race in the swim...but you can very easily lose it.

________________
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [dfru] [ In reply to ]
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dfru wrote:
JoeO wrote:
DarkSpeedWorks wrote:

Nope.

You know what happens when you swim 30,000 m per week with poor technique? Most of time, you get worse technique.


Or in other words: Practice Makes Permanent.


To an extent, but with my running, moving from 30-35 miles/wk to 60+ the past two months, has made me more efficient as well as faster. My fitness has allowed me to stride as I'd like without breaking down.

Brent

Admittedly, pithy little sayings like the one I repeated above never capture the whole truth. But I have also seen far too many slow runners with really bad form become faster runners with really bad form after training a lot. Your body can become much more efficient at any form. (Not saying this is you, just that form isn't the only limiter)
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [TravisT] [ In reply to ]
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If there are folks out there doing 20K+ a week swimming plus what it takes on the bike and run to race a fast Ironman, well then hells bells, I will call them divorced/single and broke.

I swim 8 or 9K a week tops and swim 57mins in wetsuit. Double my time in the pool would get me what, an extra 2 minutes in the water? It's a triathlon; not a swim race.

IMO.

@rhyspencer
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [rhys] [ In reply to ]
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rhys wrote:
If there are folks out there doing 20K+ a week swimming plus what it takes on the bike and run to race a fast Ironman, well then hells bells, I will call them divorced/single and broke.

I swim 8 or 9K a week tops and swim 57mins in wetsuit. Double my time in the pool would get me what, an extra 2 minutes in the water? It's a triathlon; not a swim race.

IMO.

Divorced/single/broke and fast. That said I definitely don't swim that much every week all year around. That's what it'll take for me to make a big jump in speed though. My swim needs some work so I'm doing a big block of swimming in the offseason that's 20-30k a week. Its a trade off of time spent on my bike though since I'm happy with my riding comparatively. Once I've (hopefully) made some gains I'll be back to swimming 10-12k a week during the season to maintain. Also, you already swim IM under an hour. I don't and need to put in more work to get there.

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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Rappstar] [ In reply to ]
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I like to compare swimming to xc-skiing. If you stared young you will always have an advantage since both are technical and you need to feel/know what is correct. Also, you cannot expect to be good in either swimming or xc-skiing by just working on drills. Why? The first thing you will lose when you get tired is your form/technique.

Since both are technical you always have to work on keeping or improving your technique. But if your fitness is holding you back you need to work out. The fitness will help you to keep the form; good form will not help you to be fit.

If you have the best engine and the best technique you can do what Petter Northug is doing, increase the speed in the end of the race and still keep a good form J
This is how he builds fitness
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fg5fKfSuluw&feature=related

This is how he use the fitness
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WU1auIU_Epk

Some good video of Alistair Brownlee and swimming, he has fitness
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t71f1QAmIl8

Last edited by: Halvard: Dec 28, 11 12:35
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Rappstar] [ In reply to ]
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Quote:
There's a difference between fundamentals and "technique work." If you truly lack the fundamentals then you need them.

I think that you are wise to make a distinction between various level swimmers and what their "limiting factor" is, but I think that you might employ too narrow aview, like Coaches Sousa and Sutton, about what entails technique development, and more importantly, "proper technique". I wrote a much longer blog on this topic today (https://www.findingfreestyle.com/?q=hammertime), but the gist is as follows:

What Paulo and Brett Sutton both have in common, in my opinion, is that they rebel against the classical view of "proper technique". I understand this. When confronted with schools of instruction that put forth Michael Phelps freestyle stroke as the optimal, and then focus on drills that ingrain "long and strong", they correctly in my view, reject that line of reasoning for most open water endurance swimmers. For their rejection of this view of technique, however, they outwardly offer little antidote beyond the hammer (and a few toys), and thus throw the baby out with the bath water. To me, they imply that drills are either: a) irrelevant to the open water distance swimmer, or b) irrelevant for the purpose of enhancing an athletes condition. Let me be clear, for all athletes and to varying degrees, the hammer works: increasing training volumes CAN improve technique, and in some circumstances it IS just as simple as cranking out some more -- humans are ADAPTATION MACHINES, we do it very, very well. But we CAN optimize our adaptation with proper application of training technique.

If I were a betting man, I would bet that both coaches Sousa and Sutton would see effective hand-speed as a worthy technique, and one that can and should be trained in the context of a conditioning set. So, what aspects, besides hand speed and endurance can make someone successful in open water, and ALSO be part of a sucessful conditioning regimen? I would love to hear their thoughts on this, but for me and mine, it's:
- rhythm,
- free and plentiful air exchange,
- ability to sight,
- ability to turn the legs on and off at will,
- ability to change speeds as the race demands (if swimming in a pack especially).
- And above all, TIMING: The ability to synchronize the movement of the head, hands, arms, legs and torso (and breath).

Rejecting "technique work" as being synonymous with "do slow 25s while having your coach correct your stroke" is a limited view of training, conditioning, and skill development. It's also pretty darn low in terms of effectiveness. It absolutely, positively time that we got past having a classical, 100 meter freestyle-centric view of "proper techinque". But that's not all. It's also time that we stopped looking at "conditioning" and "technique" as two separate entities. They are inextricably linked and the best of us have always acknowledged that on a sub-conscious level. Perhaps it is time that we started to acknowledge it consciously.

Regards,
r.b.

Bringing you Tweets @ http://twitter.com/findfreestyle and Not just a bunch of drills - A Process.
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [DarkSpeedWorks] [ In reply to ]
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DarkSpeedWorks wrote:
Rappstar wrote:
It's that time of year - or it should be - when chlorine substitutes for cologne. You should reek of it. Paulo Sousa tweeted an excellent summary on the matter. It's rare that you find really, really good summations in 140chrs or less. This was one, so I felt compelled to share it. "Technique goes a long way in swimming, but it's nothing without fitness. Working on your fitness works on technique. The opposite is not true."


"Working on your fitness works on technique."
Uh, not really. Actually, it is false.

Just swimming more is definitely not going to have very much of an impact on improving technique. Actually, it can (and often does) have exactly the opposite effect. Just "working on your (swim) fitness" alone readily reinforces bad technique, as you will be repeatedly practicing (1000s and 1000s of times) incorrect and inefficient movement.

So you're telling me that you spent more time in the pool and your swim times got slower? Haha. Hahahaha. hahahahahahahaahahhhhAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Rappstar] [ In reply to ]
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I went to take swimming lessons once and I was expecting to get all sorts of critique and methods to improve my poor technique. He first had me doing some laps to look at me in action. Then he sat me up on the deck and just started talking to me. Then he gave me the best advice I've ever received. "You're just not swimming enough." And then he put it into terms I could understand. Imagine if someone came to you and said "I'm running 20 miles a week and want to get faster. How can I get faster?"

I understand that swimming and running are different sports. And good technique is better than bad technique. But, the one facet that holds true in all three sports is there is rarely a substitute for volume.



http://jesse.centuries.com
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [rhys] [ In reply to ]
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rhys wrote:
If there are folks out there doing 20K+ a week swimming plus what it takes on the bike and run to race a fast Ironman, well then hells bells, I will call them divorced/single and broke.

I swim 8 or 9K a week tops and swim 57mins in wetsuit. Double my time in the pool would get me what, an extra 2 minutes in the water? It's a triathlon; not a swim race.

IMO.

And that proves what? You're already at the pointier end of the stick.

John



Top notch coaching: Francois and Accelerate3 | Follow on Twitter: LifetimeAthlete |
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Rappstar] [ In reply to ]
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One thing I've been wondering is why include the pull buoy?

Wouldn't it be better to just use paddles?

Not so that you could work on kicking hard, but more so that you could work on timing the kick with the pull.

Maybe this depends on how good a swimmer you already are? Note I'm not talking about a really crappy swimmer, but someone who's a decent non-fish AGer.
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Rappstar] [ In reply to ]
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I'll heartily disagree.....I can stay out of the water for a year and still beat 90% of triathletes in the water because it is a technique sport and technique trumps fitness/hours in the pool. I did IM CDA off of zero swim/bike training and still had a solid swim.....

Now for training - I'll also disagree and say that I think the opposite is more likely true. "Technique goes a long way in swimming and even trumps fitness. Working on your technique works on your fitness. The opposite is not true."

But then again - you're 3 steps above me as an athlete and Sousa is 3 steps above me as a coach (I'm not even one).....but I still disagree. Now maybe he is just trying to get people who work on technique 100% of the time to spend some time getting tired in the pool which is reasonable....but thrashing your way through 1000s of yards with bad technique is an inefficient way to improve in swimming in my opinion.

Dave
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [daveinmammoth] [ In reply to ]
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90% of triathletes shouldn't be in open water in the first place.

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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [jess_d] [ In reply to ]
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I understand that swimming and running are different sports. And good technique is better than bad technique. But, the one facet that holds true in all three sports is there is rarely a substitute for volume.

Here's what happens to most new(er) triathletes these days. They track down a coach or down-load a training program online and they have these great little programs with 2 - 3 workouts/week in each sport - and off they go. It goes well at first because it's all new to them and if they don't have a back-ground in any of the sports they progress well from the get go. But they plateau fairly quickly and find it hard and challenging moving beyond that point. What they need to do is toss the three sport training out the window temporarily and look at single sport focus blocks. Why? - because, volume, when done right, really does take you to the next level. So for 2, 4, 6 months or more, be a swimmer, or a cyclist or a runner - do that sport every day or almost everyday each week. Throw in a couple of sessions of the other sports for maintenance and to keep an attachment.

Many think there is some mystery here, or secret training program, or special talent required. As Simon Whitfield says, "Chop wood & carry water" - the results will come with time. However, many give up before they get to that time! Hint, the time lines for real improvement and base building in endurance sports are much longer than people realize!





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Last edited by: Fleck: Dec 28, 11 13:02
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [daveinmammoth] [ In reply to ]
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daveinmammoth wrote:
I'll heartily disagree.....I can stay out of the water for a year and still beat 90% of triathletes in the water because it is a technique sport and technique trumps fitness/hours in the pool. I did IM CDA off of zero swim/bike training and still had a solid swim.....

Now for training - I'll also disagree and say that I think the opposite is more likely true. "Technique goes a long way in swimming and even trumps fitness. Working on your technique works on your fitness. The opposite is not true."

But then again - you're 3 steps above me as an athlete and Sousa is 3 steps above me as a coach (I'm not even one).....but I still disagree. Now maybe he is just trying to get people who work on technique 100% of the time to spend some time getting tired in the pool which is reasonable....but thrashing your way through 1000s of yards with bad technique is an inefficient way to improve in swimming in my opinion.

Dave

Do you think you could learn proper technique if you could not complete 1500m in total workout?

John



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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [jess_d] [ In reply to ]
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I just went from a totally terrible swimmer (like 2:20/100) to mildly terrible (1:45 Tpace for 2000 now) over 2 years. Read everything on the forums here and BT, trained very hard for a newb (so hard that my shoulder strains were the limiting factor) and really focused hard on technique. Spent the entire first 6 months doing nothing but technique.

I gotta say, I agree 100% with Paulo's statement. Sure, it's oversimplified, but not by much.

I absolutely HATE now when coaches or ex-racing swimmers say 'it's all technique' and that noobs should be swimming 1:30s with zero swim fitness just with technique alone. That's a complete bunch of BS.

Went through multiple coaches as well - all of them said SWIM MORE. A LOT more. 12k/week is NOT a lot. Heck, even 20k per week isn't a lot for a good swimmer.

My limiter is definitely my swim volume - logistically just can't do much more than I'm doing now. But I 100% agree in that there is a significant swim fitness aspect to technique, and while the fitness alone won't get you great technique, you can't just have 1:10/100m technique without it. I would honestly say that as a newly learned swimmer with no swim background, once I was sub 2:00/100m, 95% of my speed gains were from swim fitness. This does not mean technique was meaningless - but the small changes in technique I picked up came as I notched that pace down.

I don't think true noobs who can't hit 2:00/100m all out should be doing fast work, but pretty much anyone under that mark should be doing it, I think.

I also agree with the earlier comment that once your body position is close to flat, unless you're a champion swimmer, it doesn't matter hugely what your stroke looks like. I watched a fast masters group for quite awhile that was in the same pool I was in (I came too late to join) and everyone had some really different strokes, including some that could easily be critciized as 'wrong' until you saw that sub 1:10 pace. The two commonalities I was most impressed with was the near-flat body position and arm turnover. Fast swimmer invariably had fast turnovers. In fact, their turnover is so fast that I'm pretty sure that if I had that kind of turnover, I'd be throwing down similar paces.
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Fleck] [ In reply to ]
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An overnight success takes 5 years, or is it 10?
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [daveinmammoth] [ In reply to ]
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daveinmammoth wrote:
I can stay out of the water for a year and still beat 90% of triathletes in the water because it is a technique sport and technique trumps fitness/hours in the pool.

Bingo.

Of course, to beat 99% of triathletes out of the water, you need both, great technique and great fitness.

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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Devlin] [ In reply to ]
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And that proves what? You're already at the pointier end of the stick.
______________

interesting, I never ever have thought that of myself ever. I suppose I should say thanks; so thanks! You have opened my eyes a bit in that, I am viewing this in a very narrow context of the quicker Ironman. I will call that quicker Ironman sub 11 hours lets say.

I still don't think doubling a person's commitment each week to the pool and thereby sacrificing time to the bike and run (ie: 3 to 4 hours a week) will pull through faster overall triathlon race times. The swim will get faster at the cost of the bike and run. I argue, do the minimum in the water to be relatively quick and allocate remaining hours to bike and run. Cycling takes A LOT of time. Fast cycling takes even more time. The ability to run well off the bike, takes even more time! Sure this applies to being a faster swimmer too, but what I am trying to convey is, there are only so many hours available for the AG athlete to commit and the equation is better suited to the bike for a faster day.

IMO.

My other opinion is, gadgets and 'breakthrough workouts' and 3 weeks on/1 week off protocols etc. etc. is all great. But it boils down to consistent DO IT, LOG IT, REPEAT IT. It is this philosophy to why I have so much respect for the likes of Paulo, Sutton, Filliol as coaches.

I don't mean to be negative, I hope that is not how I am being read here. I hope I am conveying the equation of return on investment of training time. That is all.

thanks.

@rhyspencer
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [missinglink] [ In reply to ]
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missinglink wrote:
So you're telling me that you spent more time in the pool and your swim times got slower?

Nope, never said anything remotely similar to that.

I just said that, lots more swimming piled on top of bad technique will make for a very fit swimmer who won't be able to stay up with or beat swimmers with excellent technique who have worse fitness.

Even lance armstrong can't win a bike race (no matter how fit he is) with a big parachute hanging off the back of his bike. And that's what bad technique does to you in the water.

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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [sentania] [ In reply to ]
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Probably closer to 10....unless of course you add lots of technique to that fitness....and lots of fitness to your technique...
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [bluepoint] [ In reply to ]
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The pull buoy at least helps put you in a wetsuit like position...which is what A LOT of the swims are these days. It takes the worry of having your legs sink out of the equation so you can focus on the pull a bit more. And, if you have a horrible kick, then it helps keep your legs together because that is one of the big things that will slow down poor swimmers besides body position...legs going all over the place. You can even practice a small two beat kick with the pull buoy. It helps to have a smaller pull buoy or at least narrower. That is one of the best ways to synch the kick and pull. Spending a ton of time to get a great kick is usually a waste of improving whatever type of swim you already have.

And to the couple of swimmers who have said they've had a one on one session. The Mrs.-Tex has been a swim coach since 2000 or so...myself as well. 9 times out 10 when someone wants a lesson they expect to hear one or two things that will magically save 10 seconds per 100 as has been said. 9 times out of 10 they get told 'your stroke is not that bad'. That is my experience too when looking at swimmers. They just need to swim more and swim harder.

Swimming more is not sexy. Paying $100 for a 1 hour session or whatever is not sexy. Swimming alone sucks. You may not save 10 minutes on an Ironman swim, but I bet you'll save it on the whole race. Unfortunately, you can't quantify how much 'energy' you saved by swimming the same time going 'easier' than you did a year earlier.

The biggest problem is similar to what Robertwb mentioned. That is open water swimming is different. What happens when you and 2000 of your closest friends start swimming? What happens when you can't extend out in front of you bc of someone else? You lose that great stroke length that you have been drilling to perfection. You HAVE to finish your stroke. It matters, and a lot of pool coaches will tell you there's no reason to finish your stroke. Stroke length is great, but what you get is a slow as molasses stroke rate and a slow as molasses time. Using a pull buoy can help you learn to keep that stroke rate up so that you can change paces. There's a lot of great info here on this thread.


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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [DarkSpeedWorks] [ In reply to ]
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DarkSpeedWorks wrote:
missinglink wrote:
So you're telling me that you spent more time in the pool and your swim times got slower?


Nope, never said anything remotely similar to that.

I just said that, lots more swimming piled on top of bad technique will make for a very fit swimmer who won't be able to stay up with or beat swimmers with excellent technique who have worse fitness.

Even lance armstrong can't win a bike race (no matter how fit he is) with a big parachute hanging off the back of his bike. And that's what bad technique does to you in the water.

Your logic is correct, but I think it's overstating reality quite a bit.

I've seen a lot of bad swimmers, but NONE of them are cranking out like 20k per week with lots of quality as would a good or serious swimmer. To think someone would do such a thing isn't realistic - anyone who's willing to train that hard on the swim is going to automatically pick up advice either on their own or through others to make significant stroke improvements so that they're not going to have god-awful form.

If anything, the bad swimmers I see don't push themselves hard enough, or ever. Lots of folks doing the easy 30-60 minute slow easy swim, only a few times per week. For these folks, a good kick in teh behind with hard painful intervals would wake them up quick to improving their form more than a coach would - when you're dying on every workout, the first think you look for is an easy way to go faster with less pain, which is technique.

I don't think it's really possible to NOT seek out technique improvement when faced with the daunting challenge of suffering day in day out with 4-5k workouts with intensity. I know after I tried that just for a few weeks, I was looking up every video and book and forum post to make life easier from the suffering I was taking.
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [-Tex] [ In reply to ]
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-Tex wrote:
The pull buoy at least helps put you in a wetsuit like position...which is what A LOT of the swims are these days. It takes the worry of having your legs sink out of the equation so you can focus on the pull a bit more. And, if you have a horrible kick, then it helps keep your legs together because that is one of the big things that will slow down poor swimmers besides body position...legs going all over the place. You can even practice a small two beat kick with the pull buoy. It helps to have a smaller pull buoy or at least narrower. That is one of the best ways to synch the kick and pull. Spending a ton of time to get a great kick is usually a waste of improving whatever type of swim you already have.

And to the couple of swimmers who have said they've had a one on one session. The Mrs.-Tex has been a swim coach since 2000 or so...myself as well. 9 times out 10 when someone wants a lesson they expect to hear one or two things that will magically save 10 seconds per 100 as has been said. 9 times out of 10 they get told 'your stroke is not that bad'. That is my experience too when looking at swimmers. They just need to swim more and swim harder.

Swimming more is not sexy. Paying $100 for a 1 hour session or whatever is not sexy. Swimming alone sucks. You may not save 10 minutes on an Ironman swim, but I bet you'll save it on the whole race. Unfortunately, you can't quantify how much 'energy' you saved by swimming the same time going 'easier' than you did a year earlier.

The biggest problem is similar to what Robertwb mentioned. That is open water swimming is different. What happens when you and 2000 of your closest friends start swimming? What happens when you can't extend out in front of you bc of someone else? You lose that great stroke length that you have been drilling to perfection. You HAVE to finish your stroke. It matters, and a lot of pool coaches will tell you there's no reason to finish your stroke. Stroke length is great, but what you get is a slow as molasses stroke rate and a slow as molasses time. Using a pull buoy can help you learn to keep that stroke rate up so that you can change paces. There's a lot of great info here on this thread.

That's exactly what several coaches told me once I was under 2:00/100. 'JUST SWIM MORE.' I'm pretty sure they're right. It ain't about some magic technique fix - there are technique issues, but you're not going to technique train your way into it.

I know running is different, but the analogy is relevant - you don't learn to run with the gait of a Kenyan or 2:0x marathoner by doing leg drills. If you don't have the physical ability to run that fast, you'll never look like that. This gets especially obvious when comparing slow out of shape runners to the good ones - it ain't just about the technique. While swimming is absolutely way more technique dependent, you ain't getting to 1:10 by swimmiin' easy.
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [bjorn] [ In reply to ]
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I haven't scanned this entire thread but perhaps the disclaimer that this applies to triathlon swimming should be stuck here. When you look to the pool most everything there is flawless. You can get away with much less in tri.

There are also outliers to this. Those who have swum their entire lives can hop into a session after months or years out of the water and still lead their lane. Perhaps such a situation occurs only in vastly superior technique situations. I think you and I might have a little knowledge about that ;)

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Last edited by: MarkyV: Dec 28, 11 15:06
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [salmon] [ In reply to ]
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"Don't you have an article somewhere about how minimum fitness is necessary for good technique?"

thank you for remembering. it was originally written in 2004, and republished a couple of years ago after we changed our architecture. it's called the high cost of good form.


Dan Empfield
aka Slowman
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [trail] [ In reply to ]
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TO:...For example doing 1:20 100's with the "fist" drill to work on feeling the drag through the forearm) ......PLEeeaase......Com on, how many triathletels do you honestly know that can swim 1:20's with a fist........Those fish are working on fitness like that, but.......most triathletes do drills of 25 yrds on 40 seconds with rest so no fitness
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [BeachboyWI] [ In reply to ]
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BeachboyWI wrote:

What I did find helpful, even in college, was a coach standing over me with a kickboard in his hands screaming at me that if I continued to be lazy and drag my hips he was going to bash me. Which is why I always tell people...if you are a bad swimmer, go get an experienced coach. (not someone like me who just swam in college).

You're now reminding me of the childhood days when my sister and I swam at a team about a half hour drive from home. She was with the junior group, and I was with the senior group that practiced afterward, and we were at pool deck for each others' practices because it made sense for Mom to only make the drive to the pool once. So I'd be hanging around, and one day coach was like, 'Hey you want to help out?' and he walked me over to the pull buoy cage and told me I could start throwing buoys at my sister if I caught her breathing between the flags on the set. Ah good times, and no, she didn't breathe between the flags at all on freestyle that practice.

I'm also not much for drills during a practice. What works better for me is to think of a couple of points of emphasis for a practice and tell myself 'You know how you tend to wiggle your hand on the catch while you're breathing when you get tired? DON'T DO THAT THIS SET!' and I know that if I get rid of the wiggle, I'm gonna get an extra 2 seconds of very nice rest per hundred on the main set. Course that requires a certain level of body awareness that came from a couple million yards/meters in the water.
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Kenney] [ In reply to ]
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>.....most triathletes do drills of 25 yrds on 40 seconds with rest so no fitness

Really- for the bulk of a session? That's jacked up. In that case, I'll will step out of the way and let Paulo, Sutton, and Rappstar beat on them with 140-character Tweets of Truth.
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [DarkSpeedWorks] [ In reply to ]
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DarkSpeedWorks wrote:
missinglink wrote:
So you're telling me that you spent more time in the pool and your swim times got slower?


Nope, never said anything remotely similar to that.

I just said that, lots more swimming piled on top of bad technique will make for a very fit swimmer who won't be able to stay up with or beat swimmers with excellent technique who have worse fitness.

Even lance armstrong can't win a bike race (no matter how fit he is) with a big parachute hanging off the back of his bike. And that's what bad technique does to you in the water.

I Agree .... You get measurably faster in the water by swimming 2-4 times per week where 50-75% of the yardage is spent on technique. You do that for 2 months or 2 years until you get 90% of "as good as you are ever going to get" on technique. Some people can improve a lot and just need the patience to persevere. Some will only improve technique a small bit .... for many reasons: like the wrong coach or swim program, impatience, heredity or the delusion that all their bad technique needs is a bit of fitness to knock a minute off that IM swim.


Such a Bad Runner
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Rappstar] [ In reply to ]
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Curious on your thoughts on the below as a corroboration to the volume idea?

Something that isn't being mentioned here is the impact of upping swim volume on the other two disciplines.

Last year I upped my volume from 8-9k yards a week to 15-20k, and while I didn't see as much time improvement in teh swim as I would have liked, I felt better way further into the race on the bike and the run. I attribute this not only to natural progression and the work I did on the bike and run, but also to a better swim base relative to past years.

This fall I was injured and not able to run and bike as much, and had planned to do a big swim block anyway, which I feel has gone very well, and my pool times are finally coming down. Now that I am starting back biking and running I find that my base fitness in these areas is still surprisingly high for having had a layoff, I have to attribute some of that to the aerobic base I built swimming hard and often.

Agree with what you and others have said that someone who is swimming 2 min per 100 might want to spend a little more time drilling, but if this drill time is being spent effectively then it shouldn't (only guessing here) take too long before a person is able to start phasing in intensity/ volume. I love the Sutto article and its emphasis on toys and wetsuit specific swimming because it finally talks about a clear path to improvement that is similar to how to get better in the other two sports, I'm very tired of thinking of swimming as an enigma that can only be solved with a guru swim coach and a feel for the water that gets built doing a bunch of things that I will never actually do in a race.
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [JoeO] [ In reply to ]
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JoeO wrote:
dfru wrote:
JoeO wrote:
DarkSpeedWorks wrote:

Nope.

You know what happens when you swim 30,000 m per week with poor technique? Most of time, you get worse technique.


Or in other words: Practice Makes Permanent.


To an extent, but with my running, moving from 30-35 miles/wk to 60+ the past two months, has made me more efficient as well as faster. My fitness has allowed me to stride as I'd like without breaking down.

Brent


Admittedly, pithy little sayings like the one I repeated above never capture the whole truth. But I have also seen far too many slow runners with really bad form become faster runners with really bad form after training a lot. Your body can become much more efficient at any form. (Not saying this is you, just that form isn't the only limiter)

Now Sutton basically says that. He has many swimmers who have "bad" technique, but they pull the water and are fast in spite of looks/technique. And really, I run with a guy who is a plodder, doesn't look like a runner, but has sub 30 and sub 1:06 10k/half mary PR's. You look at him and think you could beat him. And you just can't...too many miles, too experienced. A fast swimmer with bad form is, I would bet, more efficient than a slow swimmer with "perfect" technique, because of fitness.

The more I read some of the things the experts are saying, the more it makes sense to me. I am not trying to become a good 100m swimmer, but get out of the water fresher and faster. And really, if the swimmers in my pool think it looks ugly but I'm improving, both efficiency (due to fitness) and speed, I think most triathletes would take that.

Brent

DFRU - Detta Family Racing Unit...the kids like it and we all get out and after it...gotta keep the fam involved!
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [jackmott] [ In reply to ]
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jackmott wrote:
Perhaps because you haven't seen people really work that hard? I mean like 30k meters a week swimming in a fast lane where you are forced to really really push yourself all the time. Maybe that is where you start to self discover technique?


DarkSpeedWorks wrote:

You bet. If you carefully you read my post above, yes, I am very confident in my statements because I've seen it personally more times than I can count. Why a so-called experienced tri coach would say the opposite baffles me. But, in any case, I am good with sticking my neck out and saying the emperor has no clothes.

As a kid during the summer we regularly swam 10K/day (doubles) (50-60K/week) and our coaches were CONSTANTLY drilling us on technique, dropped elbows, counting flags, tight turns, breathing patterns, etc. I was one of the frequent barfers during hard sets so I'd say we were going hard enough. We did dry land 1x day also. We did specific drill work sets also.

http://harvestmoon6.blogspot.com


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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [dfru] [ In reply to ]
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Plenty of people can be fast despite bad technique. But that's just it. They're doing it despite the technique. It's silly to worry about just volume or just form to the detriment of the other. Both are limiters. As you travel farther and farther up the speed hierarchy in swimming or running, you find fewer and fewer of those bad-form outliers. At some point no matter what sort of engine you've developed bad form becomes a limiter. Go to a Division 1 college track meet and you can find running forms all over the map. But go to a world class track meet some time and the form consistency is pretty startling. There's a reason for that.

I've let my own swim fitness stay about the same for the past 6 years because I'm ismply not willing to put the time in to do much more than 4,000 - 6,000 yards a week. I'd rather ride or run. But though my swim fitness hasn't improved, my swim times in this year have , because it's only in that time I've really started to pay attention to form.

Granted, I'm at the low-hanging-fruit end of the spectrum in swimming. I don't have a swimming background. I'm sure I could have made some improvements by doing 8 or 10 or 12k yards a week. But I am in the same predicament on the bike and figured (correctly) that the extra training time was better spent there. I might take a season and really make a commitment to swimming volume. But I can't deny how important it has been for me to improve my form. I think I'll get a much better bang-for-the-buck now, with better form, when I actually DO increase my swim volume.
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [kathy_caribe] [ In reply to ]
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As a kid during the summer we regularly swam 10K/day (doubles) (50-60K/week) and our coaches were CONSTANTLY drilling us on technique, dropped elbows, counting flags, tight turns, breathing patterns, etc.//

You have to separate what you did as a swimmer and what most do as masters tri swimmers. Sure if you are doing 60k a week, you can do a lot of drill type stuff. But what if you only get to do 14k a week? What are you going to chop out? I think what these guys are saying is that if you have limited time and mileage to do, then you have to do it mostly all hard. And if you have form issues, put on the toys that mostly correct those flaws, and keep hammering. It has always seemed funny to me that many good swimmers are so anti toys. I know where it comes from though, toys make most people faster, and there is a built in hatred for those folks that use the toys. Swimmers had the same feelings when wetsuits were allowed too. Cyclists had the same feeling when the 1st aero bars were shoved down their throats. People hate change, especially when it makes others faster than you. Sutton may not be very literate or have a good bedside manor, but he is right for the most part. If you are a tri swimmer that is in the hour+/- range and have only a few hours a week to swim, put on the gear and hammer out big sets. that will be your biggest bang for the buck for tri/wetsuit swimming. If you form is really good, then just do the hammer sets without the toys, same result.

I was/am one of those that pull a lot in workout, along with Dave Scott and dozens of other top swimmer triathletes i have swam with over the years. Not only does it not hamper me, it allowed me to swim with the lead group every year in hawaii, a group that would swim circles around me in just plain pool swimming. Even now in my advanced age, doing big pull sets helps me hang with many lead groups still. Dave was also never a super fast pool swimmer, but never got dropped in tri swims with guys faster than he was. I believe it is a power issue for some, and others it just plain corrects their flaws and enables them to workout like they are going to swim in the race.
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [lightheir] [ In reply to ]
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lightheir wrote:
I just went from a totally terrible swimmer (like 2:20/100) to mildly terrible (1:45 Tpace for 2000 now) over 2 years. Read everything on the forums here and BT, trained very hard for a newb (so hard that my shoulder strains were the limiting factor) and really focused hard on technique. Spent the entire first 6 months doing nothing but technique.

This is always my issue with the whole swimming thing. You can bust your ass for an entire year (or even two) to get an improvement of :30/100meters, so a time savings of 7.5 minutes in an Oly distance race or even up to 20 minutes in an Ironman if you can keep your new technique smooth for an entire 4000 meters. If you can improve your cycling by 2 mph and your run by :30/mile then you gain over 40 minutes in an Ironman. Obviously if you combine all three you're laughing - but I think that time invested on the bike and the run is much better spent when you think about spending 6-8 hours a week in a pool as opposed to biking and running during that time. Just my .02.
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [David B] [ In reply to ]
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Except for a lot (especially us older guys) we get the fitness beneits in the pool but not the injuries of those extra hrs running biking. Fitness gained in the pool I believe is aften overlooked. Being in my 50's I can get some pretty good threshold work down in the pool, which I simply cannot do as much on the bike and run do to recovery
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [David B] [ In reply to ]
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This is very much dependent on who you are speaking to....

gaining 2mph on the bike from 15-17 is not hard....going from 23-25 is monumental....same for the run...going from 9:00 to 8:30 is not that tough....going from 6:30 to 6:00 is incredibly hard. So what if your biking at 23 and running at 6:30 and swimming at 1:45/100yards....I would say your best bet for time is gaining swim fitness.

Plus, once you gain that awareness and fitness in the pool, it comes back quickly and sticks with you longer.


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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [David B] [ In reply to ]
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If you can improve your cycling by 2 mph and your run by :30/mile then you gain over 40 minutes in an Ironman//

This is always a strawman. Go get your 2mph and ;30 seconds, then do your swim. The order is not that important, and once you have gotten the low hanging fruit, your argument is done. And that does not even include the time swimming faster makes your bike and run also faster.
Last edited by: monty: Dec 28, 11 16:33
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [DarkSpeedWorks] [ In reply to ]
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it is simple you can't swim 30km with bad technique... thats it. As you work on your fitness you ll get much better feel for water
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Fastyellow] [ In reply to ]
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Plus, once you gain that awareness and fitness in the pool, it comes back quickly and sticks with you longer.

That's why a large investment in time, and volume in any and all three sports, often through individual focus blocks is never a bad thing. If done right and well, it's not something that just disappears, ounce you cut back - it stays with you a long time. This is particularly so with swimming and cycling - less so with running.

This is why many athletes should worry less about the details and just get out there and do it.



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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [BeachboyWI] [ In reply to ]
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TO:....If I am doing my math correctly (1 mile = 1650) that is close to a 23 minute drop
Yeah your math is incorrect,,,you saved more time, a mile is 1760yrds......A pool mile (1650) is not a mile
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [monty] [ In reply to ]
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monty wrote:
I think what these guys are saying is that if you have limited time and mileage to do, then you have to do it mostly all hard.


A wise man once said (and probably continues to say):

You've gotta swim fast to swim fast.
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Rappstar] [ In reply to ]
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"Technique goes a long way in swimming, but it's nothing without fitness. Working on your fitness works on technique. The opposite is not true."


WOW that is heavy,makes me want to go to my study and read some Kiekegaard.
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [-Tex] [ In reply to ]
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-Tex wrote:
Swimming more is not sexy. Paying $100 for a 1 hour session or whatever is not sexy. Swimming alone sucks. You may not save 10 minutes on an Ironman swim, but I bet you'll save it on the whole race. Unfortunately, you can't quantify how much 'energy' you saved by swimming the same time going 'easier' than you did a year earlier.

I'm amazed at how often part in bold gets overlooked. Swimming makes you a better (triathlon) cyclist, just as cycling makes you a better (triathlon) runner. It's not only about the time you save in the water. It's about starting the bike fresh as well.


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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [monty] [ In reply to ]
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...and you (or the poster you were replying to) also need to separate out what you did as a kid and what you do when you are 20, 30, 40 something and learning to swim for the first time. Technique work for kids in swim club is great, both because they are swimming so much and because they are physical sponges.


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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Fastyellow] [ In reply to ]
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Plus, once you gain that awareness and fitness in the pool, it comes back quickly and sticks with you longer.

Word.

I could go from zero swim fitness (today) to just under 1:06 IM swim time in about 8 weeks on 7000m per week. 1:06 isn't really fast, but it is as fast as I ever care to be. The reason is that's my plateau. I'll never swim faster than that without a big increase in weekly swim time (3 hours) for many, many weeks that might net me a minute or so. I could spend that time running for much bigger gains. I've had really good swim coaching (Hat Tip: Desert Dude) so it all comes back naturally as you suggest. There are just certain things I need to remember to do as I was taught.

Those 'things' I call executing proper form......maybe it's called technique but I swim sets until my form falls apart and then I start over. When my form is good I'm at 1:35 @100 consistently.

Paulo makes great sense with sage advice. I also think triathlon swimmers need to be aware of what their best potential is and instead of chasing 20K per week for no reason/purpose, have a coach who says "this is your best potential time for 1500/1.2/2.4 on x amount of yards per week.......and doubling those yards is a false economy....time better spent running or biking."

I also swim exclusively with a pull buoy


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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Mojozenmaster] [ In reply to ]
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.....what happens when it is no wetsuit swim? swimming with pullboy is so much easier
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [R2] [ In reply to ]
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In fresh water I would probably sink in anything longer than 1.2mi. I find salt water to have buoyancy that mimics a pull buoy so no issues there sans wetsuit.


**All of these words finding themselves together were greatly astonished and delighted for assuredly, they had never met before**
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Rappstar] [ In reply to ]
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I'm amazed at how often part in bold gets overlooked. Swimming makes you a better (triathlon) cyclist, just as cycling makes you a better (triathlon) runner. It's not only about the time you save in the water. It's about starting the bike fresh as well.

People love to put stuff in silos of various kinds, but don't realize it's all interconnected!

Having stood at the swim exit of many Ironman races and watched thousands of triathletes over the years, I can honestly say that for more than a few triathletes the IM swim has absolutely hammered them. You can tell by the drawn look on the face, lack of spring in the step and the general body language as they stagger out of the water. Not a great way to start a very long day! They are already behind the eight-ball!





Steve Fleck @stevefleck | Blog
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Fleck] [ In reply to ]
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those people should learn to practice a long swim/long bike brick rather than have the race itself teach the lesson


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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Mojozenmaster] [ In reply to ]
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Mojozenmaster wrote:
those people should learn to practice a long swim/long bike brick rather than have the race itself teach the lesson

If people had the logical foresight to do such a workout, they would clearly have the same logical capability to understand the basic message of this thread. The reason there are so many people who don't get what is in the is thread is the exact same reason that people rarely - if ever - even consider practicing a swim->bike brick.

The swim->bike brick is probably THE most under-appreciated workout in the sport.


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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Rappstar] [ In reply to ]
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Rappstar wrote:
Mojozenmaster wrote:
those people should learn to practice a long swim/long bike brick rather than have the race itself teach the lesson


The swim->bike brick is probably THE most under-appreciated workout in the sport.

It's also probably the most administratively difficult workout from a logistics standpoint. Probably why it's rarely utilized.

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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [GMAN19030] [ In reply to ]
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GMAN19030 wrote:
Rappstar wrote:
Mojozenmaster wrote:
those people should learn to practice a long swim/long bike brick rather than have the race itself teach the lesson


The swim->bike brick is probably THE most under-appreciated workout in the sport.

It's also probably the most administratively difficult workout from a logistics standpoint. Probably why it's rarely utilized.

A really fast transition version? Yes. Though if you ask if you can bring a trainer on deck, it's amazing how many places will say yes, simply because they are so dumbfounded they can't think of a reason to say no.

BUT, to effectively do a swim->bike workout with a transition on the order of 5-ish minutes, which is a LOT faster than most people's IM transitions, is not really all that difficult. Finish your set, no cool down, get out, dry off, no shower, promptly change, grab your bike out of the back of your car, ride.


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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Rappstar] [ In reply to ]
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Or just do it outside...

http://www.youtube.com/...&feature=related
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Rappstar] [ In reply to ]
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Depending on where you live/swim....ride bike to pool....swim, get out of the water (towel off if cold), go unlock bike, ride home/to work. Logistically, it is a very easy workout to pull off if you have a small backpack for the pool stuff.

I'm actually amazed by how few people chose to ride to swimming vs driving.

If your ride is under 20K, it's a great way to log some extra miles, with minimal additional time penalty and good way to practice the specificity for racing.

Same thing can be done for a weekend long ride...ride to pool/open water, swim, get on the bike and do the long ride. It's not really that difficult logistically if you are not too worried about locking up your high end tri bike....maybe I am lucky, but in 27 years of doing this, I've never had my bike or any component ripped off (I've done this in my own city and in countless foreign cities on three continents)....anyway, bikes are replaceable....my time is not. I only get so many ticks on earth and would rather spend it on a bike than in a car :-). Give it a whirl!
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [devashish_paul] [ In reply to ]
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devashish_paul wrote:
Depending on where you live/swim....ride bike to pool....swim, get out of the water (towel off if cold), go unlock bike, ride home/to work. Logistically, it is a very easy workout to pull off if you have a small backpack for the pool stuff.

I'm actually amazed by how few people chose to ride to swimming vs driving.

If your ride is under 20K, it's a great way to log some extra miles, with minimal additional time penalty and good way to practice the specificity for racing.

Same thing can be done for a weekend long ride...ride to pool/open water, swim, get on the bike and do the long ride. It's not really that difficult logistically if you are not too worried about locking up your high end tri bike....maybe I am lucky, but in 27 years of doing this, I've never had my bike or any component ripped off (I've done this in my own city and in countless foreign cities on three continents)....anyway, bikes are replaceable....my time is not. I only get so many ticks on earth and would rather spend it on a bike than in a car :-). Give it a whirl!

Agree with you but here are my limiting factors for not riding to my swim:

1) I swim early. Before the buttcrack of dawn. Which means riding in the dark. In the cold. Which I'd gladly do for a 'real' bike workout, but for as only a warmup prelude to a swim, totally sux.

2) You have deal with the logistics of carrying your bike and swim gear with you on the workouts. Not a dealbreaker, but gets annoying.

3) I swim right before work and shower there before driving over to work in the nick of time. Can't do that on a bike - would get too sweaty riding from the pool to work.

4) Bike is too slow to get to noontime swim (40 min swim in a 60 minute lunch break, including travel and prep time.)

For those like me who have to cram the swimming in wherever possible, even the few minutes saved on a car is pretty important. I found that at one of my work locations, it was clearly worth it to drive my car an incredibly pathetic 0.4 miles to the pool (yes, you can SEE the pool from my work window it's so close) as the 4 measly minutes I saved each way vs to the walking (can't just change at work and jog over - not professional for what I do) was crucial in cramming that workout into the 60 minute allotted lunch break.
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Rappstar] [ In reply to ]
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Quote:
Ironically, no one seems to miss this connection with running. Very few people waste as much time doing running drills as they do with swimming drills. Nobody - well, very few people - think that drills are the key to a ~3hr Ironman marathon (also 50% slower than elite level). But plenty of people seem to think they can drill their way to a ~1hr IM swim...


Two different activities. Weightlifting, distance running, swimming, speed skating, cycling, sprinting......all will require different balances of technique training vs fitness training.

Its always about balance and if you sit too far to one end of the spectrum you will need to do less of one and more of the other and it will vary based on your goals and your ability.

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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Mojozenmaster] [ In reply to ]
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while a good idea, logistically it can be a bit of challenge, an alternative is to do a race
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Kenney] [ In reply to ]
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Kenney wrote:
Except for a lot (especially us older guys) we get the fitness beneits in the pool but not the injuries of those extra hrs running biking. Fitness gained in the pool I believe is aften overlooked. Being in my 50's I can get some pretty good threshold work down in the pool, which I simply cannot do as much on the bike and run do to recovery

------

x2...and for me surf swimming is making me much stronger overall.

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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Constantine] [ In reply to ]
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Then Soren may want his name spelled right ;>)
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Fleck] [ In reply to ]
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Fleck wrote:
As Simon Whitfield says, "Chop wood & carry water"

Just out of curiosity, Steve, where do you think Simon got that?


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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [JoeO] [ In reply to ]
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Based upon my n=1 two years back in the sport, year 1 was totally solo swimming, almost all paddles and pull bouy. Last year was more masters swimming and less pull bouy. To be honest, I think my swim was not as strong as the previous year, meaning while I was slightly faster, I didn't finish swims as fresh. This thread, Sutton's and Paulo's comments and those of Jordan have me rethinking my swim. I think that technique wise I am ok, never perfect, but if swimming with the toys helps the end game, maybe I should get back on it.

Interesting thread for sure don't you think? :)

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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Khai] [ In reply to ]
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duh... from you

i mean, after all, yer the asian guy ;) so of course you have all the great quotes. Can i rub your belly? Or after you've ridden across canada.... your abs!!! :)

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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [jackmott] [ In reply to ]
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Bella was definitely a 2:00+ sub swimmer initially. I believe she plied her trade with Darren Smith in the Scotland team before eventually moving to Brett Sutton... Two coaches who share pretty similar views.
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Rappstar] [ In reply to ]
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have nothing to add regarding swimming.

But I want to thank you for this thread. It's been great reading- some great lines & info to take from it.
Very educational @ 4am.

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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [DarkSpeedWorks] [ In reply to ]
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DarkSpeedWorks wrote:
Power13 wrote:
But if you have flaws in your stroke, simply going for volume doesn't seem like it will fix these issues


You got it.

I posted a link to an article written by a long time swim coach (& sub 44 IM swimmer), stating exactly this. It didn't go down too well on here....
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Robert Preston] [ In reply to ]
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In Reply To:
I love it how people enjoy arguing about stuff like this

I love it how people, the majority who wouldn't know how to fix a swim stroke if someone gave them to it in a package gift wrapped enjoy arguing about stuff like this.



I fixed it for you.

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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [desert dude] [ In reply to ]
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desert dude wrote:
In Reply To:
I love it how people enjoy arguing about stuff like this


I love it how people, the majority who wouldn't know how to fix a swim stroke if someone gave them to it in a package gift wrapped enjoy arguing about stuff like this.



I fixed it for you.

I love it how people, who also wouldn't know how to fix a swim stroke, chime in and imply heavily that they do.
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [lightheir] [ In reply to ]
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Agreed, that this may not be logistically viable in some cases. I tend to apply this approach in the "riding season" when there is no snow, and try to pick the swim times where I can ride to the pool or in the case of open water ride to open water. The issue of having to haul around either work equipment to the pool/open water and the pool equipment to work is also an issue. For the pool swims, I can haul work stuff there. For the open water swims, not possible. On the other hand, open water swimming is a 16 min ride from home, so if I wake up early enough, I can ride to the swim, ride home, drop off swim gear and then ride to work. Again, I understand all of this may not be possible in many communities, but in mine where it is possible, I see very few people taking advantage of this opporutunity.
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [devashish_paul] [ In reply to ]
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I see very few people taking advantage of this opportunity.

Dev,

Are you making fun of the modern triathlete with their locked down, must do, get the numbers, hyper-proprietary, no variation training schedules? ;-)





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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Fleck] [ In reply to ]
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No, hopefully it was not interpreted that way. I'm just suggesting that the swim-bike brick is logistically a viable workout if the bike is used as part of the transportation process. Otherwise, logistically, the swim-bike brick does become difficult if it involves having to a load a bike inside a car to get to the pool. To some degree, at least in the summer, it seems like a bit of wasted opportunity to place a bike inside (or on top of a car) for local trips. But as I said, I'm probably fortunate to live in a city where you can ride everywhere. Here is town, there are still lots of triathletes, complaining they have no time to train, while their bikes sit inside their cars as they drive 20 min each way to the start of bike workouts. In that 40 minutes of driving time, the guy who rode there, got an extra 60 minutes of trainging done.
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [NAB777] [ In reply to ]
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NAB777 wrote:
DarkSpeedWorks wrote:
Power13 wrote:
But if you have flaws in your stroke, simply going for volume doesn't seem like it will fix these issues


You got it.


I posted a link to an article written by a long time swim coach (& sub 44 IM swimmer), stating exactly this. It didn't go down too well on here....

Got a link? I'd be interested to read it.

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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [devashish_paul] [ In reply to ]
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On the other hand, open water swimming is a 16 min ride from home, so if I wake up early enough, I can ride to the swim, ride home, drop off swim gear and then ride to work. Again, I understand all of this may not be possible in many communities, but in mine where it is possible, I see very few people taking advantage of this opporutunity.

_____

Do you have a change of clothes at work? Or do you carry clothes in like a bag or something. I dont work in a suit and tie job, but always wondered about the difficulty in that situation with riding a bike to work (ie for a workout or simply commute style riding). I've got to think for someone's job where they have to wear a suit and tie, doing a swim workout and then biking to work just wont cut it, unless there is a facility to shower/change/prepare for work.

ETA: I'm not trying to make excuses for why more people dont commute to work, more or less trying to understand the dynamics that actually allow you to pull it off. For some, I've got to guess without proper changing facilities, it's just not kousher (sp) to bike-swim workout-bike to work. Of course if someone is the boss man of their company, they can basically do whatever they want.

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Last edited by: BDoughtie: Dec 29, 11 7:00
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [devashish_paul] [ In reply to ]
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devashish_paul wrote:
No, hopefully it was not interpreted that way. I'm just suggesting that the swim-bike brick is logistically a viable workout if the bike is used as part of the transportation process. Otherwise, logistically, the swim-bike brick does become difficult if it involves having to a load a bike inside a car to get to the pool. To some degree, at least in the summer, it seems like a bit of wasted opportunity to place a bike inside (or on top of a car) for local trips. But as I said, I'm probably fortunate to live in a city where you can ride everywhere. Here is town, there are still lots of triathletes, complaining they have no time to train, while their bikes sit inside their cars as they drive 20 min each way to the start of bike workouts. In that 40 minutes of driving time, the guy who rode there, got an extra 60 minutes of trainging done.

I've brought my bike to OWS plenty of times and done a swim / bike brick. I've also ridden to an OWS w/ a backpack, done my swim and ridden back home. Both work well and are pretty easy logistically.

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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Rappstar] [ In reply to ]
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Generally, we see plateaus broken through in a somewhat significant manner before we see the methods used to achieve that breakthrough being heralded as the best and perhaps only way to do so.

In the recent past you self described yourself at a swimming plateau. In this thread you seem quite certain that your methods are the only good ones. Usually those two things don't go together. Can you elaborate?


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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Dave Luscan] [ In reply to ]
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Fun thread. I agree with Paulo's tweet. I do find it funny when people suggest spending time swimming only creates small gains on time while ignoring the massive gains in aerobic fitness you also derive.

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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Bryancd] [ In reply to ]
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Bryancd wrote:
Fun thread. I agree with Paulo's tweet. I do find it funny when people suggest spending time swimming only creates small gains on time while ignoring the massive gains in aerobic fitness you also derive.

You are correct, you will definitely get big gains from getting aerobic swim fitness. But the problem is, even those gains won't be anywhere near big enough to overcome the monumental drag created by trying to move faster through the water with a bad body position and technique.

Even lance armstrong on meds wouldn't be able to win a local amateur bike race if he had to ride around with an 8 foot parachute behind his bike. It doesn't matter what kind of massive aerobic fitness he has, it just won't happen. That's exactly what happens in the water with bad technique. And just piling on more swimming won't solve that problem.

By the way, when I say, technique, it is not doing more drills or just playing around with swim toys ...

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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [David B] [ In reply to ]
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David B wrote:
lightheir wrote:
I just went from a totally terrible swimmer (like 2:20/100) to mildly terrible (1:45 Tpace for 2000 now) over 2 years. Read everything on the forums here and BT, trained very hard for a newb (so hard that my shoulder strains were the limiting factor) and really focused hard on technique. Spent the entire first 6 months doing nothing but technique.


This is always my issue with the whole swimming thing. You can bust your ass for an entire year (or even two) to get an improvement of :30/100meters, so a time savings of 7.5 minutes in an Oly distance race or even up to 20 minutes in an Ironman if you can keep your new technique smooth for an entire 4000 meters. If you can improve your cycling by 2 mph and your run by :30/mile then you gain over 40 minutes in an Ironman. Obviously if you combine all three you're laughing - but I think that time invested on the bike and the run is much better spent when you think about spending 6-8 hours a week in a pool as opposed to biking and running during that time. Just my .02.

If you are a 1:20 swimmer, then a 20 minute improvement in your time is a 25% improvement. I don't think there is a person on the board that wouldn't take a 25% improvement in any segment.

And, if you TRULY put in the time, I would think most people could chop 20-30 seconds off of their 100 pace in less than a year.

Add to that, you spend 20 less minutes thrashing around in the water, which saves energy and puts you on to the bike 20 minutes earlier than your normal group of competitors.

John



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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Dave Luscan] [ In reply to ]
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Dave Luscan wrote:
Generally, we see plateaus broken through in a somewhat significant manner before we see the methods used to achieve that breakthrough being heralded as the best and perhaps only way to do so.

In the recent past you self described yourself at a swimming plateau. In this thread you seem quite certain that your methods are the only good ones. Usually those two things don't go together. Can you elaborate?

Yes. I find it very hard to improve my swimming while also trying to improve my run and my cycling, both of which are typically more important for winning races, especially the races that I had on my schedule. I *believe* I came very close to breaking through the plateau I sat on for most of this year - Abu Dhabi being the notable exception where I had a bad swim - but I think that because of the bike-intensive nature of preparing for Abu Dhabi, I probably backed off my swimming too soon.

It's always a tough balance with three sports, and - in retrospect - I actually think that when I was tired from a lot of biking and running, I would have been better off had I done significantly more pulling and paddle work. I.e., when I look at how my swim maybe suffered - and even stalled a bit - this year, I think it's precisely because I did NOT follow the advice here. Not that I shifted to drills or any of that nonsense, but I think I was loathe to "rely" on paddles and the pull buoy and that I had worse sessions when I could have had better sessions if I'd just been willing to throw on the paddles more quickly.

That being said, I think Abu Dhabi was the only real outlier performance in the water this year, and I think I corrected the larger errors that I made leading into that race. Right now, I'm determined not to make the same mistake again, and I've started a heavier swim focus - that I will continue for longer - in hopes of actually breaking through the plateau this year. And I've made sure to use MORE paddles, more pull buoy, and ESPECIALLY more band in order to do so. So far, in just a few weeks, I've already set PBs, so it seems to be working. Now to keep the foot on the gas rather than thinking the changes are already sticky...


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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Devlin] [ In reply to ]
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In Reply To:
which saves energy and puts you on to the bike 20 minutes earlier than your normal group of competitors

Forest, trees. So many want to see the forest but only look at a tree.

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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Devlin] [ In reply to ]
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Yes. I think technique work should be part of each session regardless of ability to swim 1 or 1000 laps.

Dave
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [TravisT] [ In reply to ]
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That is a bit harsh....and most swims these days are essentially giant pools where most are fine - the crowds though can make things challenging and that is hard to train for/practice. Also it would be very hard for most triathletes to get rough water experience/wave experience....

Dave
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [daveinmammoth] [ In reply to ]
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daveinmammoth wrote:
That is a bit harsh....and most swims these days are essentially giant pools where most are fine - the crowds though can make things challenging and that is hard to train for/practice. Also it would be very hard for most triathletes to get rough water experience/wave experience....

Dave

That sould have been in pink. Maybe. I feel comfortable saying on average triathletes are terrible swimmers, even more so in open water. For a triathlete I'm a pretty decent swimmer but throw me in with some real swimmers and I'm a joke.

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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Devlin] [ In reply to ]
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Devlin wrote:
David B wrote:
This is always my issue with the whole swimming thing. You can bust your ass for an entire year (or even two) to get an improvement of :30/100meters, so a time savings of 7.5 minutes in an Oly distance race or even up to 20 minutes in an Ironman if you can keep your new technique smooth for an entire 4000 meters. If you can improve your cycling by 2 mph and your run by :30/mile then you gain over 40 minutes in an Ironman. Obviously if you combine all three you're laughing - but I think that time invested on the bike and the run is much better spent when you think about spending 6-8 hours a week in a pool as opposed to biking and running during that time. Just my .02.


If you are a 1:20 swimmer, then a 20 minute improvement in your time is a 25% improvement. I don't think there is a person on the board that wouldn't take a 25% improvement in any segment.

Sure there is. Percentage improvements are irrelevant compared to total time improvements. I'm not sure if it came across clearly but he is talking about choosing between 40 minutes improvement on the bike and 20 minutes improvement on the swim. I'm sure that 40 minutes improvement on the bike is closer to 5-10 %, not 25%, but who cares? It still puts you across the line 20 minutes sooner than the guy who swam 20 minutes faster.

Obviously, this all only works if you accept his hypothetical performance improvements. Maybe he's totally wrong. But we choose to allocate our training based off what our best guess is of the benefits. If he thinks he can get a bigger total gain by cycling those extra hours instead of swimming, then it is only logical for him to choose the cycling. You might convince him otherwise, but not, I think, by talking about percentages.
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [JoeO] [ In reply to ]
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JoeO wrote:
Devlin wrote:
David B wrote:

This is always my issue with the whole swimming thing. You can bust your ass for an entire year (or even two) to get an improvement of :30/100meters, so a time savings of 7.5 minutes in an Oly distance race or even up to 20 minutes in an Ironman if you can keep your new technique smooth for an entire 4000 meters. If you can improve your cycling by 2 mph and your run by :30/mile then you gain over 40 minutes in an Ironman. Obviously if you combine all three you're laughing - but I think that time invested on the bike and the run is much better spent when you think about spending 6-8 hours a week in a pool as opposed to biking and running during that time. Just my .02.


If you are a 1:20 swimmer, then a 20 minute improvement in your time is a 25% improvement. I don't think there is a person on the board that wouldn't take a 25% improvement in any segment.


Sure there is. Percentage improvements are irrelevant compared to total time improvements. I'm not sure if it came across clearly but he is talking about choosing between 40 minutes improvement on the bike and 20 minutes improvement on the swim. I'm sure that 40 minutes improvement on the bike is closer to 5-10 %, not 25%, but who cares? It still puts you across the line 20 minutes sooner than the guy who swam 20 minutes faster.

Obviously, this all only works if you accept his hypothetical performance improvements. Maybe he's totally wrong. But we choose to allocate our training based off what our best guess is of the benefits. If he thinks he can get a bigger total gain by cycling those extra hours instead of swimming, then it is only logical for him to choose the cycling. You might convince him otherwise, but not, I think, by talking about percentages.

That's short sighted short term thinking.

John



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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Rappstar] [ In reply to ]
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Rappstar wrote:
-Tex wrote:

Swimming more is not sexy. Paying $100 for a 1 hour session or whatever is not sexy. Swimming alone sucks. You may not save 10 minutes on an Ironman swim, but I bet you'll save it on the whole race. Unfortunately, you can't quantify how much 'energy' you saved by swimming the same time going 'easier' than you did a year earlier.


I'm amazed at how often part in bold gets overlooked. Swimming makes you a better (triathlon) cyclist, just as cycling makes you a better (triathlon) runner. It's not only about the time you save in the water. It's about starting the bike fresh as well.


I rarely chime in on any slowtwitch threads, but figured I'd put my two cents in on this one, especially given Paulo has been coaching my wife and I for the past year.

The biggest change (not the only) working with Paulo was the change he made to our swim volume. Adding over 10K per week to our avg week. Without a doubt - as in 100% confident here - swimming this much on a regular basis has improved our abilities as triathletes more than we thought possible. The visible change has been in our ability to ride harder, and run faster after swimming. Yes, Paulo is also a great cycling and running coach so some changes there have helped as well, but without the ability to shake off a 3.8km swim like it never happened we would be right where we were a year ago. Personally, the changes in my bike power and my run splits have been huge.

Like Jordan, and I'm sure Paulo, is trying to get across, swimming a lot is going to allow you to maintain your best technique throughout the swim and finish off the TRIATHLON much better. It's not going to somehow turn you into a Michael Phelps, perfect technique, kind of swimmer. As Jordan said earlier, most triathlete are just trying to be less crappy in the water...and increased swim fitness will indeed make you less crappy.
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Devlin] [ In reply to ]
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Devlin wrote:
JoeO wrote:


Sure there is. Percentage improvements are irrelevant compared to total time improvements. I'm not sure if it came across clearly but he is talking about choosing between 40 minutes improvement on the bike and 20 minutes improvement on the swim. I'm sure that 40 minutes improvement on the bike is closer to 5-10 %, not 25%, but who cares? It still puts you across the line 20 minutes sooner than the guy who swam 20 minutes faster.

Obviously, this all only works if you accept his hypothetical performance improvements. Maybe he's totally wrong. But we choose to allocate our training based off what our best guess is of the benefits. If he thinks he can get a bigger total gain by cycling those extra hours instead of swimming, then it is only logical for him to choose the cycling. You might convince him otherwise, but not, I think, by talking about percentages.


That's short sighted short term thinking.

John


No, it's just plain practical thinking. Get the low-hanging fruit first. Then go for the smaller gains. Taking that approach doesn't mean I'll never really push the swim. If I get my 40 minutes on the bike this year, I can go for 20 minutes in the swim NEXT year.
Last edited by: JoeO: Dec 29, 11 8:52
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [JoeO] [ In reply to ]
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JoeO wrote:
Devlin wrote:
JoeO wrote:


Sure there is. Percentage improvements are irrelevant compared to total time improvements. I'm not sure if it came across clearly but he is talking about choosing between 40 minutes improvement on the bike and 20 minutes improvement on the swim. I'm sure that 40 minutes improvement on the bike is closer to 5-10 %, not 25%, but who cares? It still puts you across the line 20 minutes sooner than the guy who swam 20 minutes faster.

Obviously, this all only works if you accept his hypothetical performance improvements. Maybe he's totally wrong. But we choose to allocate our training based off what our best guess is of the benefits. If he thinks he can get a bigger total gain by cycling those extra hours instead of swimming, then it is only logical for him to choose the cycling. You might convince him otherwise, but not, I think, by talking about percentages.


That's short sighted short term thinking.

John


No, it's just plain practical thinking. Get the low-hanging fruit first. Then go for the smaller gains. Taking that approach doesn't mean I'll never really push the swim. If I get my 40 minutes on the bike this year, I can go for 20 minutes in the swim NEXT year.

How much faster can your run get??? Dude your fast, I think your gained would be a bike/ swim focus. Maybe your bro can help you with the swim :0)

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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Rappstar] [ In reply to ]
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This video shows you the difference fitness make. Both have good technique, one is a good skier the other a world class skier.

http://svtplay.se/...far_karlsson_pa_fall

The skier on the left needs fitness, not drills ;-)
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Bmanners] [ In reply to ]
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Bmanners wrote:

How much faster can your run get??? Dude your fast, I think your gained would be a bike/ swim focus. Maybe your bro can help you with the swim :0)

Actually my running is getting slower (except maybe for the marathon) because my best running days were in my 20s and 30s. Part of the reason why I took up triathlon a few years ago and like it is that I finally have endurance sports I can actually get better at! :-)
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [BDoughtie] [ In reply to ]
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BDoughtie wrote:
On the other hand, open water swimming is a 16 min ride from home, so if I wake up early enough, I can ride to the swim, ride home, drop off swim gear and then ride to work. Again, I understand all of this may not be possible in many communities, but in mine where it is possible, I see very few people taking advantage of this opporutunity.

_____

Do you have a change of clothes at work? Or do you carry clothes in like a bag or something. I dont work in a suit and tie job, but always wondered about the difficulty in that situation with riding a bike to work (ie for a workout or simply commute style riding). I've got to think for someone's job where they have to wear a suit and tie, doing a swim workout and then biking to work just wont cut it, unless there is a facility to shower/change/prepare for work.

ETA: I'm not trying to make excuses for why more people dont commute to work, more or less trying to understand the dynamics that actually allow you to pull it off. For some, I've got to guess without proper changing facilities, it's just not kousher (sp) to bike-swim workout-bike to work. Of course if someone is the boss man of their company, they can basically do whatever they want.

Sometimes I have to wear a suit at work, usually not. Just dress pants and dress shirts. I keep extra clothing at work and we have a shower facility. I actually won't take a job at a company that does not have a shower facility no matter how much it pays. The quality of life impact associated with not being able to conveniently access workouts can't be compensated with $$$ in my value system (at least any of the jobs that I'd be kind of qualified for can't pay enough to offset having to miss workouts). I miss enough workouts on business travel that I really don't want to have to deal with having to miss them at home :-)

Dev
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [T-Wurt] [ In reply to ]
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Trevor,

Welcome aboard. Don't be a stranger.

Now I am confused.

Wasn't there a coaching group on here recently advocating, no swimming for triathletes! ;-)


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Last edited by: Fleck: Dec 29, 11 9:50
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Fleck] [ In reply to ]
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Wasn't there a coaching group on here recently talking about doing no swimming for triathletes! ;-)

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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [rhys] [ In reply to ]
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Need more popcorn....
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Devlin] [ In reply to ]
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Devlin wrote:

Sure there is. Percentage improvements are irrelevant compared to total time improvements. I'm not sure if it came across clearly but he is talking about choosing between 40 minutes improvement on the bike and 20 minutes improvement on the swim. I'm sure that 40 minutes improvement on the bike is closer to 5-10 %, not 25%, but who cares? It still puts you across the line 20 minutes sooner than the guy who swam 20 minutes faster.

Obviously, this all only works if you accept his hypothetical performance improvements. Maybe he's totally wrong. But we choose to allocate our training based off what our best guess is of the benefits. If he thinks he can get a bigger total gain by cycling those extra hours instead of swimming, then it is only logical for him to choose the cycling. You might convince him otherwise, but not, I think, by talking about percentages.


That's short sighted short term thinking.

John[/quote]
If you only had limited time to devote to training, where would you allocate your hours? Swimming often involves things like specific times (if in masters), travel, changing, etc. I can pick up my bike and/or run out my front door. 2 workouts a week = probably another 1.5 hours training time if I only swim 2 times instead of 4. I don't think that any plan is short sighted - it is what works for the individual athlete. Also, many of the commenters are acting like we all are looking to finish an Ironman in under 10 hours. If you don't care about that, then does the opinion change?
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Fleck] [ In reply to ]
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Fleck wrote:
Trevor,

Welcome aboard. Don't be a stranger.

Now I am confused.

Wasn't there a coaching group on here recently advocating, no swimming for triathletes! ;-)

Fleck =


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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [JoeO] [ In reply to ]
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JoeO wrote:
No, it's just plain practical thinking. Get the low-hanging fruit first. Then go for the smaller gains. Taking that approach doesn't mean I'll never really push the swim. If I get my 40 minutes on the bike this year, I can go for 20 minutes in the swim NEXT year.

What people seem to miss is that for those of us who aren't pros, triathlon is about fitness and lifestyle as much as it's about race results. If you're an MOP triathlete what's the difference between BOMOP and MOMOP and FOMOP? Not really much in the grand scheme of things. You might care about your own improvement (and you should!) but not many other people likely do.

If you're a single sport athlete such as a cyclist and swim to cross-train, then you don't have any real reason to put huge amounts of effort into swimming. What you're looking for is a low-impact lung-blaster workout that you can do on recovery days.

But if you're a TRIATHLETE, swimming is part of the craft and improving your swimming should be worked on for the simple reason that being a good triathlete is more than just placings or finishing times. In my view, someone who isn't committed to all 3 segments of triathlon isn't really as 'good' a triathlete as someone who views the sport as a whole, with 3 equally important phases, regardless of if they're actually fast or slow in races.
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [-Tex] [ In reply to ]
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Thanks for the info Brandon!

Swimming is still a bit of a mystery to me. I've felt on the verge of a breakthrough for years, but it's never come.

Probably time to not worry so much about perfect technique like the best pool swimmers, and just focus on pulling lots of water and getting in tons of time in the pool.

I actually like swimming so this shouldn't be too hard. Especially love swimming with paddles and pull buoy so I look forward to putting this idea to the test.



-Tex wrote:
The pull buoy at least helps put you in a wetsuit like position...which is what A LOT of the swims are these days. It takes the worry of having your legs sink out of the equation so you can focus on the pull a bit more. And, if you have a horrible kick, then it helps keep your legs together because that is one of the big things that will slow down poor swimmers besides body position...legs going all over the place. You can even practice a small two beat kick with the pull buoy. It helps to have a smaller pull buoy or at least narrower. That is one of the best ways to synch the kick and pull. Spending a ton of time to get a great kick is usually a waste of improving whatever type of swim you already have.

And to the couple of swimmers who have said they've had a one on one session. The Mrs.-Tex has been a swim coach since 2000 or so...myself as well. 9 times out 10 when someone wants a lesson they expect to hear one or two things that will magically save 10 seconds per 100 as has been said. 9 times out of 10 they get told 'your stroke is not that bad'. That is my experience too when looking at swimmers. They just need to swim more and swim harder.

Swimming more is not sexy. Paying $100 for a 1 hour session or whatever is not sexy. Swimming alone sucks. You may not save 10 minutes on an Ironman swim, but I bet you'll save it on the whole race. Unfortunately, you can't quantify how much 'energy' you saved by swimming the same time going 'easier' than you did a year earlier.

The biggest problem is similar to what Robertwb mentioned. That is open water swimming is different. What happens when you and 2000 of your closest friends start swimming? What happens when you can't extend out in front of you bc of someone else? You lose that great stroke length that you have been drilling to perfection. You HAVE to finish your stroke. It matters, and a lot of pool coaches will tell you there's no reason to finish your stroke. Stroke length is great, but what you get is a slow as molasses stroke rate and a slow as molasses time. Using a pull buoy can help you learn to keep that stroke rate up so that you can change paces. There's a lot of great info here on this thread.
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [T-Wurt] [ In reply to ]
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Is a lot of your swimming with paddles and pull bouy?

Was this quite different from what you guys were doing before?


Really enjoy reading your blog btw!
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [superphil] [ In reply to ]
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superphil wrote:
But if you're a TRIATHLETE, swimming is part of the craft and improving your swimming should be worked on for the simple reason that being a good triathlete is more than just placings or finishing times. In my view, someone who isn't committed to all 3 segments of triathlon isn't really as 'good' a triathlete as someone who views the sport as a whole, with 3 equally important phases, regardless of if they're actually fast or slow in races.

I don't know who you're hanging around with but most of the triathletes I know who train seriously do it so that they can race faster. Back of packers, middle of packers and front of packers. They want to go faster. It's not "craft". They're not method actors. It's a sport. They want to race faster than the other guy, or faster than themselves the last time they did it. They do view the sport as a whole. They look at the total combined finishing time.
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [bluepoint] [ In reply to ]
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bluepoint wrote:
Is a lot of your swimming with paddles and pull bouy?

Was this quite different from what you guys were doing before?


Really enjoy reading your blog btw!

Yeah, a lot of it is with paddles/pull buoy and band. I don't use big paddles. Also a lot of band only, which I've finally starting getting better at. Not much in the way of pull buoy only during the actual workout, but I always warm up with one. Seems to me whenever Paulo is on deck he hides my pull buoy -unless it's a specific paddle/pull/band set. :) He changes little things now and again so it's hard to say that that's what happens all year. Good approximation though.

Cheers,

Trevor
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Fleck] [ In reply to ]
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"Wasn't there a coaching group on here recently advocating, no swimming for triathletes! ;-)"

I assume you are talking about Endurance Nation, in which case they have never advocated no swimming for triathletes. Of course, a lot of people only hear what they want to hear and are happy to distort what they say.



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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [kdw] [ In reply to ]
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kdw wrote:
"Wasn't there a coaching group on here recently advocating, no swimming for triathletes! ;-)"

I assume you are talking about Endurance Nation, in which case they have never advocated no swimming for triathletes. Of course, a lot of people only hear what they want to hear and are happy to distort what they say.


People in cults have no sense of humor.
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Fastyellow] [ In reply to ]
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Fastyellow wrote:


Fleck =


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Last edited by: Khai: Dec 29, 11 11:53
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [David B] [ In reply to ]
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David B wrote:
If you only had limited time to devote to training, where would you allocate your hours? Swimming often involves things like specific times (if in masters), travel, changing, etc. I can pick up my bike and/or run out my front door. 2 workouts a week = probably another 1.5 hours training time if I only swim 2 times instead of 4. I don't think that any plan is short sighted - it is what works for the individual athlete. Also, many of the commenters are acting like we all are looking to finish an Ironman in under 10 hours. If you don't care about that, then does the opinion change?

No, it doesn't change at all. I've always been of the opinion that an athlete should work to be better than they were the previous year. Maybe that's going from a 16:30 to a 15:30, or simply maintaining the level that they had against advancing age.

If you note, however, that I am advocating much of this in the off season, or yes, even sacrificing a part of a season with it. What's wrong with that? That's why I say that the argument "Well, I only have x hours" is short term, short sighted thinking.

So what if next season is shot? Or to counter the argument "Well, I can gain 40 minutes by focusing on the bike, so why focus on swimming where I only get 20 minutes", here's a radical thought. Spend two years, and get both. Spend a third year and get the gains in the run as well. Yes, you will lose a bit of what you gain when you are not focusing on a specific segment, but you will still be way ahead of where you were when you started.

I stand by my statement, that those kinds of arguments are short term, short sighted thinking.

John



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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Devlin] [ In reply to ]
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Devlin wrote:

So what if next season is shot? Or to counter the argument "Well, I can gain 40 minutes by focusing on the bike, so why focus on swimming where I only get 20 minutes", here's a radical thought. Spend two years, and get both.

I don't think anyone disagrees with you on this. We're just saying that it makes a whole lot more sense to go for the 40 minutes the first year and the 20 minutes the second. Not sure how that order is short-sighted while the reverse is not.
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [JoeO] [ In reply to ]
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JoeO wrote:
superphil wrote:

But if you're a TRIATHLETE, swimming is part of the craft and improving your swimming should be worked on for the simple reason that being a good triathlete is more than just placings or finishing times. In my view, someone who isn't committed to all 3 segments of triathlon isn't really as 'good' a triathlete as someone who views the sport as a whole, with 3 equally important phases, regardless of if they're actually fast or slow in races.


I don't know who you're hanging around with but most of the triathletes I know who train seriously do it so that they can race faster. Back of packers, middle of packers and front of packers. They want to go faster. It's not "craft". They're not method actors. It's a sport. They want to race faster than the other guy, or faster than themselves the last time they did it. They do view the sport as a whole. They look at the total combined finishing time.

Yeah, and I think that's shortsighted for a couple reasons. One, it's about the journey - you can figure out for yourself what this means to you. Two, as Rappstar, T-Wurt and others have very eloquently explained already, being a better swimmer makes you a better triathlete, ESPECIALLY in ironman.
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [superphil] [ In reply to ]
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superphil wrote:


Yeah, and I think that's shortsighted for a couple reasons. One, it's about the journey - you can figure out for yourself what this means to you.


I have figured it out. If I train easily, casually - then that's mostly for the journey. But if I'm dragging myself out of bed at 5:30 in the morning and doing swim interval workouts late at night and blowing $500 for an entry fee -- it's no longer just for the journey. That's for the result. That's for racing.

Quote:
Two, as Rappstar, T-Wurt and others have very eloquently explained already, being a better swimmer makes you a better triathlete, ESPECIALLY in ironman.


Better = faster. At least in every race I've ever done. Not faster in just the swim. Faster at the end of the race. They don't hand out the awards at T1. Maybe you have some other definition of better but that's mine. I don't think I'm alone in that regard.

Now we might disagree on how exactly to allocate our training to get to that finish line faster and that's fine. But I'm not doing this so I can wax philosophical about my "craft".
Last edited by: JoeO: Dec 29, 11 12:39
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Rappstar] [ In reply to ]
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Just a data point. It has been my personal experience (and the Mrs.-Tex) that when your running and cycling, especially your running, are going well...it is tough to have the swim feeling great. The Rockstar swim sessions when running like Simon...or as close as I'll ever get...seem to be much fewer. It's also been that way with many of the age groupers that I've worked with.


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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Rappstar] [ In reply to ]
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I think "technique" is a broad term. I break it down into roughly two flavors, probably equally broad and missing some parts :-)
  1. Body position: the stuff associated with creating a streamlined, hydrodynamic shape in the water, everything contained in the small tube of your body, etc.
  2. Propulsion: the stuff associated with generally grabbing more water.

Body Position:
  • Very low fitness cost to make these improvements. That is, body position is improved by making essentially "free" changes to head position, body alignment, a more streamlined kick (legs not flailing outside of the tube of your body, etc), and more.
  • This is the "learning how to play a musical instrument" side of swimming: small, and large, technique breakthroughs achieved with focused drill work or 1:1 coaching from a technique coach can achieve huge gains on race day.
  • In my experience, and I'm admittedly swagging these numbers, most swimmers swimming slower than about a 1:15-20 IM swim still have gains to be made from improving the technique of body position. That is, if you're swimming a 1:35, for example, you have ~15-20' to be gained by simply turning your barge into a speedboat hull. Doing so should be approached much like learning to play a musical instrument until about 12-14wks out from your goal race, at which you shift your focus over to fitness swimming so you can sustain your new technique for the distance of your race.

Propulsive swimming:
  • As your body position improves (barge --> speedboat) and you become a faster swimmer, becoming faster still becomes more about better applying your fitness to the water...generally, grabbing more water. This is the technique of the pull, catch, hand position, etc.
  • Absolute swim time gains on race day become smaller and smaller, requiring a greater and greater time/fitness/hard work investment.
  • That said, in my experience, swimmers between about 1:08-12 can usually get a quick 4-6' swim split pop from finding one small technique tip that just clicks for them. But below about 1:05-6...it's definitely about putting in the work. The sub 1:00 learned-to-swim-as-an-adult triathlete is very, very rare and usually requires a massive time and effort investment.
As has been noted, many people in this thread do the math on the time invested vs the gain on race day. Many people make their own time value assessment and decide where they should spend their time, given the other priorities in their lives. For example, a 40hr work week father of 3 does the math on the time investment required to go from 1:15 to 1:10 and makes a decision. Someone else with different considerations makes a different decision.

My general guidance is:
  • If you are slower than about a 1:15-20 IM swim, swimming faster for you is generally more about body position and less about fitness, ie, the power needed to grab more water. You should be doing a lot of body position drills until about 12-14wks out from your race, then transition to more fitness-swimming.
  • If you're faster than about 1:15-20, swimming faster is becoming more about grabbing more water and the fitness/power associated with that.
  • Sub ~1:10...future gains will be smaller and harder to achieve.
  • In my opinion, anyone with limited time resources should consider this above to decide how to best allocate those resources: how/when/what flavor of swimming should I invest in at different times of the year? The answer is individual and is a function of current swim ability, your personal time constraints, race day goals, etc.

--

Rich Strauss
Endurance Nation Ironman 2013 and 2014 World Champion TriClub, Div I
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Last edited by: Rich Strauss: Dec 29, 11 13:30
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Rich Strauss] [ In reply to ]
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Having never swam as a kid other than lesson and finishing them at 12 years old I never swam until I was an adult. I was able to get my Ironman swim times down to 1:07 and 1:08 by swimming three days a week (10,000 meters max). I find this thread interesting and when I get back in the pool next week, I am planning to try the paddle/band/pull bouys.

I have been able to have access to some great swim coaches and when I first started swimming in Victoria my swim coach for masters was Neil Harvey and Surge Score. I think Rapp know at least Neil and his methods fairly well. They were able to really help out from the deck. I also took part in a triathlon training camp where Neil took video of my swim stroke under the water which again gave me some insight. These were some keys in getting me down to 1:07ish with not a lot of time in the pool.

It would be good to get back into the pool and focus on the paddle/band to see if this would help a bit.

AERO & LIGHT is RIGHT

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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Rich Strauss] [ In reply to ]
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Thanks Rich. Nice articulate breakdown of the "entire picture" and how time management factors in.

To Joe, I don't think that racing is simply about racing faster, be it faster than yourself, or faster than your competition, even if it involves dropping a lot of money on entry fees and flights. At one point in my life, that's what racing was primarily about. Now, racing is more of a celebration of being able to participate in sport. It's an outcome of having the physical and financial means and relationship support to play these games.

At work, I work with a bunch of guys with a completely different set of personal values from myself. We share common professional goals with respect to beating the competiton, getting more market share and jacking up revenue for our shareholders....all good in the corporate world, but that's not what makes me tick. When I go to races, I get to hang out with a bunch of guys who have very similar values.

I remember going to IMC in 1991, and arriving in Penticton and thinking....."WOW.....1200 guys and girls from all over the world living the same life as me. This is ultra cool!!!"

So now, when I go to races, its about hanging out with a bunch of guys who share similar values. I've made great friendships through sport and seen a lot of the world. Racing fast is cool....but simply being able to hop on a plane and go somewhere interesting and hang out with other athletes is really what is the most exciting part of the sport (for me).....and daily training is probably the most exciting part.

So quite often, doing what will optimize results is not as important for me as just having fun in the sport. I refuse to do any workout that is really inconvenient and which I am not deriving fun from in the same of speed optimization....it's not that important.

If I had an endless pool, I'd swim a ton more than I do now. When I am at home, making it to the pool with my work and family committments is a big endeavor. I can get lot more done just training out my front door with no commute time. Quite often I'll just skip swimming and go for a roller ski because I can basically do that with no overhead out my front door and I'm not limited by pool times...and I get great upper body aerobic work. I can go from XC skiing or roller skiing to swimming within 1 min of my peak half IM swim times in 3-4 weeks (did that last year at Texas 70.3 after a winter of no swimming). For me, it's about being time efficient, and I realize it is not optimal, to really get the best race times....but its not about the best race times....it's more about lifestyle.

All that to say, that even though I am in age group podium contention at local/regional races, I'm not going to horribly inconvenience myself in the name of speed gains. Just participating in the sport without burning out is waaaay more important and if that means finishing a few spots back, then that's fine.

Dev
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [devashish_paul] [ In reply to ]
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devashish_paul wrote:

I don't think that racing is simply about racing faster, be it faster than yourself, or faster than your competition, even if it involves dropping a lot of money on entry fees and flights. At one point in my life, that's what racing was primarily about. Now, racing is more of a celebration of being able to participate in sport. It's an outcome of having the physical and financial means and relationship support to play these games.
...
Just participating in the sport without burning out is waaaay more important and if that means finishing a few spots back, then that's fine.

Dev


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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [devashish_paul] [ In reply to ]
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devashish_paul wrote:
Thanks Rich. Nice articulate breakdown of the "entire picture" and how time management factors in.

To Joe, I don't think that racing is simply about racing faster, be it faster than yourself, or faster than your competition, even if it involves dropping a lot of money on entry fees and flights. At one point in my life, that's what racing was primarily about. Now, racing is more of a celebration of being able to participate in sport. It's an outcome of having the physical and financial means and relationship support to play these games.

At work, I work with a bunch of guys with a completely different set of personal values from myself. We share common professional goals with respect to beating the competiton, getting more market share and jacking up revenue for our shareholders....all good in the corporate world, but that's not what makes me tick. When I go to races, I get to hang out with a bunch of guys who have very similar values.

I remember going to IMC in 1991, and arriving in Penticton and thinking....."WOW.....1200 guys and girls from all over the world living the same life as me. This is ultra cool!!!"

So now, when I go to races, its about hanging out with a bunch of guys who share similar values. I've made great friendships through sport and seen a lot of the world. Racing fast is cool....but simply being able to hop on a plane and go somewhere interesting and hang out with other athletes is really what is the most exciting part of the sport (for me).....and daily training is probably the most exciting part.

So quite often, doing what will optimize results is not as important for me as just having fun in the sport. I refuse to do any workout that is really inconvenient and which I am not deriving fun from in the same of speed optimization....it's not that important.

If I had an endless pool, I'd swim a ton more than I do now. When I am at home, making it to the pool with my work and family committments is a big endeavor. I can get lot more done just training out my front door with no commute time. Quite often I'll just skip swimming and go for a roller ski because I can basically do that with no overhead out my front door and I'm not limited by pool times...and I get great upper body aerobic work. I can go from XC skiing or roller skiing to swimming within 1 min of my peak half IM swim times in 3-4 weeks (did that last year at Texas 70.3 after a winter of no swimming). For me, it's about being time efficient, and I realize it is not optimal, to really get the best race times....but its not about the best race times....it's more about lifestyle.

All that to say, that even though I am in age group podium contention at local/regional races, I'm not going to horribly inconvenience myself in the name of speed gains. Just participating in the sport without burning out is waaaay more important and if that means finishing a few spots back, then that's fine.

Dev

---------

Who are you and what did you do with Dev?


-------
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [T-Wurt] [ In reply to ]
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Hmmm, band.... I literally drown should i ever put that thing on.

#helplifeguard

Paddles by themselves however......

________________________
34 kona qualifiers 2006-'18 - 3 Kona Podiums - 4 OA IM AG wins - 5 IM AG wins - 18 70.3 AG wins
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [MarkyV] [ In reply to ]
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MarkyV wrote:
Hmmm, band.... I literally drown should i ever put that thing on.

Clearly someone needs to learn how to swim... Have you heard of Total Immersion?


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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [MarkyV] [ In reply to ]
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Everytime I swim with a band, I am thankful that my college coach never made us use one.
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Ultra-tri-guy] [ In reply to ]
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:-)

Ricky Ponting and the boys seemed to do OK in Melbourne the past 4 days....the cool thing is in triathlon you can play on the same field as Craig Alexander, but I can't play on the same field as Ponting. Both are Aussie superstars in their own sports, but I get to play in Craig's sport. It's not all about speed. I get to spend time with really cool people as a result of being in this sport. That's more important then a few minutes here and there.
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [devashish_paul] [ In reply to ]
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Dev,

Is that you putting down, yet again modern day triathletes and all this obsession with the minutiae of training, the charts, the programs, the graphs the numbers, the details, the lactate testing etc . .? ;-)


Steve Fleck @stevefleck | Blog
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [sentania] [ In reply to ]
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My roommate (also a life long swimmer and professional) has a good theory as to why swimmer swimmers CANNOT swim with the band. Most every swimmer i've met despises it with supreme hatred.

Her theory:

Life long swimmers are used to unconsciously using their core to activate the torso rotation of the stroke. For "us" the stroke is driven from the core. Everything about the stroke emanates out from this. With the addition of the band you shut off the core's ability to effectively engage and rotate the body... we can't press the "t" and float. Same thing happens to me when i cramp i have to alter my stroke and everything goes to hell in a handbasket quickly.


The band is a torture device.

________________________
34 kona qualifiers 2006-'18 - 3 Kona Podiums - 4 OA IM AG wins - 5 IM AG wins - 18 70.3 AG wins
I ka nana no a 'ike -- by observing, one learns | Kulia i ka nu'u -- strive for excellence
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [devashish_paul] [ In reply to ]
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devashish_paul wrote:
:-)

Ricky Ponting and the boys seemed to do OK in Melbourne the past 4 days....the cool thing is in triathlon you can play on the same field as Craig Alexander, but I can't play on the same field as Ponting. Both are Aussie superstars in their own sports, but I get to play in Craig's sport. It's not all about speed. I get to spend time with really cool people as a result of being in this sport. That's more important then a few minutes here and there.


-----

Oh I totally agree with you Dev and have been saying so here for the last few years.As a result of my believing that this sport was more about cool places to compete in and the cool people I meet over finding the best gear and gadjets,any chance of being accepted at the ST cool kids table was removed.At least I know Fleck would come and visit me for a couple of minutes at the castaways table.

Yeah Ricky saved his job during the First Test but bummer about Sachin not getting his 100th/100 in Melbourne.Hope he gets it during this tour..

------
Last edited by: Ultra-tri-guy: Dec 29, 11 19:47
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Khai] [ In reply to ]
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Sounds complicated. Perhaps I should start with dog paddle?

I haven't swum consistently in over two years. Do you think I can swim a whole length without hanging on the lane line?

Can i have your biathlon gun please?

________________________
34 kona qualifiers 2006-'18 - 3 Kona Podiums - 4 OA IM AG wins - 5 IM AG wins - 18 70.3 AG wins
I ka nana no a 'ike -- by observing, one learns | Kulia i ka nu'u -- strive for excellence
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Ultra-tri-guy] [ In reply to ]
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I think on ST you have the gadget crowd and the lifestyle crowd, with some amount of overlap. I think what you'll find is that the lifer's grow past the gadgets because we know that gadgets won't come with us to our funerals, but the cool people we meet, we'll either go to their funerals or they will come to ours...along the way, we'll share some good times, while trying to beat the crap out of each other (where the odd gadget might come into play).

Yes, the sport is definitely about the people and places. The competition is what brings us together, and of course, it also gives us a source of motivation to get the most out of ourselves.

As for the tour going on in Australia, the 100th century would have been pretty cool, but will have to wait....I'm in a bit of a wasteland of sporting coverage here in Canada where the media seems to be in their yearly over emphasis on a tournament that no one else in the world cares about (World Junior Ice Hockey Championships), so its whatever I can get on the web....at least we get a full lineup of network TV coverage of the Dec 31st Barclay's Premier League matches (something the rest of the world kind of cares about).

Looks like we totally side tracked the thread, so to bring it on track, this fall, I swam a ton with paddles, because I wanted to improve my upper body conditioning for XC skiing as I was missing a lot of roller ski dryland training as a result of biz travel....today was my 4th XC ski of the year and I went from zero skiing on snow to 30K in a span of 5 days. Nice crossover between the 2 sports. Definitely sold on the value of using paddles for swim (and general upper body aerobic) conditioning.

Dev
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [MarkyV] [ In reply to ]
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swimmers are used to unconsciously using their core to activate the torso rotation of the stroke

This has to be true for everyone, no? Good swimmers do it better (use their core, wiseguy...for swimming), but most everyone generates propulsion from leveraging torso rotation against the fulcrum of the arm set. If bands inhibit this, what is the point of the bands?
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Nacly] [ In reply to ]
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Having worked with lots of folks on making them better swimmers I can say from observational experience that most folks do not utilize their core very effectively at all. Most folks "swim with their arms" and not with their core. If I want to go faster (short of all out sprinting) what I concentrate on is not hand speed but firstly how "hard" i'm catching with the stroke (pulling HARD) and then secondly how hard I'm engaging my torsional rotation. That is to say getting the most out of each stroke.

And swimmers TOTALLY do it better. There is far too much evidence of this at many the collegiate swimming party. Yes, there is observational and participatory evidence of this as well ;)

________________________
34 kona qualifiers 2006-'18 - 3 Kona Podiums - 4 OA IM AG wins - 5 IM AG wins - 18 70.3 AG wins
I ka nana no a 'ike -- by observing, one learns | Kulia i ka nu'u -- strive for excellence
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Nacly] [ In reply to ]
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Point of the band is to force a stronger catch on the athlete.

The theory put forth by my roommate makes sense to me (it's a theory after all, nothing more than that) as when I put the band on I'm going straight to the bottom of the pool. This is a similar experience conveyed to me by other life long swimmers. As well as the happenings when I get a cramp. Take my timing device (core rotation) out of the equation and I'm dead in the water.

________________________
34 kona qualifiers 2006-'18 - 3 Kona Podiums - 4 OA IM AG wins - 5 IM AG wins - 18 70.3 AG wins
I ka nana no a 'ike -- by observing, one learns | Kulia i ka nu'u -- strive for excellence
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [MarkyV] [ In reply to ]
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This is why very accomplished swimmers are terrible at teaching adults to swim.
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [The Authority] [ In reply to ]
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ass u me

much eh?

________________________
34 kona qualifiers 2006-'18 - 3 Kona Podiums - 4 OA IM AG wins - 5 IM AG wins - 18 70.3 AG wins
I ka nana no a 'ike -- by observing, one learns | Kulia i ka nu'u -- strive for excellence
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [MarkyV] [ In reply to ]
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I think that the kick provides a counter to set the body rotation and positions the torso so it can rotate around the catch. Also, the kick floats an a$$ so it can be swimming as downhill as it can. The counter pre-sets the body rotation so I can 'explode" my torso rotation against the catch. Bands inhibit all of this. So I don't see the point of the band... except a good swimmer (rappstar) recommended the bands as a method to get faster, and a very good swimmer (you) said they are bunk. So, the question is, are they good for everyone, or only poor swimmers? Your experience seems to state that good swimmers don't benefit much from them, Jordans point to an experience that provides benefit to good swimmers.
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Nacly] [ In reply to ]
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WHOA!

To whom did I say they were bunk for!? *I* do not like them PERSONALLY.

Yes I am blending lots of me vs. coach here. It's getting muddy and I should delineate things more precisely. There is *me* and then there is *my coaching*.... they are polar opposites. I like anything that makes a new swimmer want to (need to) catch more harder better. I'm not against it (band) for what it is being promoted for here. I am personally against it because when I put one on I very well might not be coming back up!!!

About the only element of "pool swimming" that I try to get my pupils to do is naturally get their hips up. Aside from that everything I instruct is about turnover and the catch.

________________________
34 kona qualifiers 2006-'18 - 3 Kona Podiums - 4 OA IM AG wins - 5 IM AG wins - 18 70.3 AG wins
I ka nana no a 'ike -- by observing, one learns | Kulia i ka nu'u -- strive for excellence
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Nacly] [ In reply to ]
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I like this!
Nacly wrote:
I think that the kick provides a counter to set the body rotation and positions the torso so it can rotate around the catch. Also, the kick floats an a$$ so it can be swimming as downhill as it can. The counter pre-sets the body rotation so I can 'explode" my torso rotation against the catch. Bands inhibit all of this.

Gives me something to think about.

Yes, my tick (i dont really kick, rather just flick my ankles/shins) is a counter balance to the upper body.

Nacly wrote:
So, the question is, are they good for everyone, or only poor swimmers? Your experience seems to state that good swimmers don't benefit much from them, Jordans point to an experience that provides benefit to good swimmers.

I think they are good for most any triathlete. A good triathlete is one thing.... a good swimmer is an entirely different thing. Triathletes need only be good enough. The engine is all that matters along with something of a catch. The faster you go the more one must splice hairs in an effort to be perfect. The level of skill (technical form proficiency) that was beaten into us in the process of trying to make it to the olympics was far beyond that which is required of even the best triathlete swimmers.

Again, this is *me*. My athletes get a very different verse. Catch more, catch harder, turnover faster.

________________________
34 kona qualifiers 2006-'18 - 3 Kona Podiums - 4 OA IM AG wins - 5 IM AG wins - 18 70.3 AG wins
I ka nana no a 'ike -- by observing, one learns | Kulia i ka nu'u -- strive for excellence
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [MarkyV] [ In reply to ]
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MarkyV wrote:
Nacly wrote:
So, the question is, are they good for everyone, or only poor swimmers? Your experience seems to state that good swimmers don't benefit much from them, Jordans point to an experience that provides benefit to good swimmers.


I think they are good for most any triathlete. A good triathlete is one thing.... a good swimmer is an entirely different thing. Triathletes need only be good enough. The engine is all that matters along with something of a catch. The faster you go the more one must splice hairs in an effort to be perfect. The level of skill (technical form proficiency) that was beaten into us in the process of trying to make it to the olympics was far beyond that which is required of even the best triathlete swimmers.

Again, this is *me*. My athletes get a very different verse. Catch more, catch harder, turnover faster.


And yes, you are allowed to bounce off the bottom of the pool with the band on. There are no FINA officials watching and you won't get DQ'ed. :D


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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [MarkyV] [ In reply to ]
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MarkyV wrote:
Can i have your biathlon gun please?


Sorry dude, Canadians aren't allowed to arm Americans. It goes against the very laws of nature. We trade BC Bud for your guns - not the other way 'round.


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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Rich Strauss] [ In reply to ]
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Rich Strauss wrote:
... does the math on the time investment required to go from 1:15 to 1:10

--

All that sells very well and sounds right in theory. But when the gun goes off, your 1:15 swimmer does not loose 5 minutes, but 5 minutes on the swim, 10 on the bike and 20 on the run (due to a lack of swim fitness).

Send a seasoned triathlete, a 9hr guy, on an hour of cross country skating or rowing with 3mmol and see the cycling and run performance. It goes way down, because the athlete cannot recover from the activity he is not fit for.

You can do the test with a few clients (cycling trained but not skating or rowing trained but with enough technical proficiency to acutally be able to work at threshould in skating or rowing):

-) Bike an hour at TH (HR 165, Watts 280) - run 1/2 an hour at 150 hr
-) Skate or row an Hour at TH (HR 175 as a full body sport gives a higher heart rate) - run 1/2 an hour at 150 hr

If the second run is much slower (which it is for me), or feels much harder (which it does for me), the whole theory of "economics of swimming" goes the way of all economic model ...
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [adal] [ In reply to ]
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Get as fit as you can & swim as fast as you can.

Without developing your technique, it's like riding one of these:



With technique, it's like riding one of these:


No doubt the very best cyclists could still ride the dragster pretty fast - if they put the chain on...
I wouldn't want to do an Ironman on one though.

I would much rather spend a bit of time becoming a good swimmer, rather than spend countless hours in the pool getting really fit but sucking as a swimmer.
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [NAB777] [ In reply to ]
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NAB777 wrote:
I would much rather spend a bit of time becoming a good swimmer, rather than spend countless hours in the pool getting really fit but sucking as a swimmer.

Ever happened to anyone? Was it ever tested, that it is even possible, to train hard for 10.000 hours and stay technically poor? Most of this technique bla-bla comes from former swimmers, that developed efficient technique by doing hard work in the pool for years and now need to turn their profficiency into cash by "coaching" age groupers, that don't want to work at all.

Or has it happened the other way round, are there any 50 minute swimmers, who did TI drills and did not work intervalls day after day?
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [NAB777] [ In reply to ]
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NAB777 wrote:
Get as fit as you can & swim as fast as you can.

Without developing your technique, it's like riding one of these:



With technique, it's like riding one of these:


No doubt the very best cyclists could still ride the dragster pretty fast - if they put the chain on...
I wouldn't want to do an Ironman on one though.

I would much rather spend a bit of time becoming a good swimmer, rather than spend countless hours in the pool getting really fit but sucking as a swimmer.

-----

I bet there are a hell of a lot of really fit people that could ride that cruiser bike faster than those untfit ones on the pinarello who cruise around looking pretty on the bike while doing no actual training..

---
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [adal] [ In reply to ]
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adal wrote:
NAB777 wrote:
I would much rather spend a bit of time becoming a good swimmer, rather than spend countless hours in the pool getting really fit but sucking as a swimmer.


Ever happened to anyone? Was it ever tested, that it is even possible, to train hard for 10.000 hours and stay technically poor? Most of this technique bla-bla comes from former swimmers, that developed efficient technique by doing hard work in the pool for years and now need to turn their profficiency into cash by "coaching" age groupers, that don't want to work at all.

Or has it happened the other way round, are there any 50 minute swimmers, who did TI drills and did not work intervalls day after day?

This.

You have to be intentionally swimming with poor form or willfully not aiming to swim faster than your current pace to not improve significantly after doing a lot of real, hard swimming.

While there are a lot of lifelong super-slow swimmers at every pool, pretty much all of these folks have no interest in doing gutbusting fast or hard workouts to actually improve. If you forced them into a situation where they HAD to get faster, like putting them permanently in the lane of a masters group where they had to work extremely hard to keep up, there's a 100% chance that they'd be begging for technique improvement and learning everything and anything they can about it because it hurts so bad to just suffer through these workouts.

Totally agree that ex-competitive swimmers way overhype the magic speed of technique. While I agree that technique is pretty much everything for down to 2:00/100m (give and take given genetic gifts), the AVERAGE person isn't going to be anywhere near 1:20/100 with just technique unless they had years of hard swimming in the past, or are really, really gifted in it (of which there are quite a few on this forum.)

You can indeed spent countless hours in the pool and not be a better swimmer, but all of those very same folks are NOT getting any fitter for it. They're not pushing their limits and not interested in getting into the pain threshold where improvements really happen.
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [adal] [ In reply to ]
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"But when the gun goes off, your 1:15 swimmer does not loose 5 minutes, but 5 minutes on the swim, 10 on the bike and 20 on the run (due to a lack of swim fitness)."

You are assuming that the additional time invested in swimming would be added to the athlete's workload. In many cases (mine), any additional swimming requires a reduction in running/biking due to the time they have available.





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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [DarkSpeedWorks] [ In reply to ]
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Just about every practice should have a set wi technique work and a set with a fitness focus. Preferrably in that order so that you have the technique on your brain during the fitness. Just as in any sport, your technique is going to degrade as you get fatigued during the sets.
It is crucial that as you go through your endurance sets, you really put some focus on making sure your technique remains at the end of the set. If not, you are going to fatigue more rapidly as your technique fails.
There have been a couple of world class swimmers that have un-orthodox stroke, however, when you do a ratio of them to those that have great technique, they become ripples in an ocean.
If you are short on pool time, invest in some stretch cords and hook them up to a door or pole and work on technique there. It will strengthen your muscles in the areas needed during a swim and help with the muscle memory.
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [RKPSUTRI] [ In reply to ]
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After 15 years of trying to convince age groupers of the benefits of swim bands I have given up..

------------
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [lightheir] [ In reply to ]
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So all the people at the pool who are slow are that way because they don't do proper workouts? They don't push themselves? There aren't people who work their asses off but have peaked at a slow speed?

Then I must know the ONLY one in the whole wide world, he lives in the Baltimore area, you can come and meet him if you like, nice guy. Puts in an average of 16k per week, maxes around 20k per week in the heavy part of the schedule. I just checked his log on usms.org. Does a nice periodized schedule to get ready for competitions and yet, he is pretty much on a plateau.

Everybody plateaus somewhere, some of us plateau at a fast speed and some at slow speeds.
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [kdw] [ In reply to ]
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kdw wrote:
"But when the gun goes off, your 1:15 swimmer does not loose 5 minutes, but 5 minutes on the swim, 10 on the bike and 20 on the run (due to a lack of swim fitness)."

You are assuming that the additional time invested in swimming would be added to the athlete's workload. In many cases (mine), any additional swimming requires a reduction in running/biking due to the time they have available.





Kyle, I think what Rappstar and Trevor Wurtele were saying earlier is not that you will apply the training time to bike and running. The point is that for the slower swimmers, not only are they losing time in the water, but they leave more fatigued. This has an impact on the bike times and the run times. Did you ever notice that at the top end of the sport at long course, many of the guys are former swimmers.

For yourself, since you only do half Ironman, you can fake it on a 30-35 min swim, but spending 1:10 in the water has an exponential impact on the bike and run in an Ironman compared to a half IM. You might think you got it all sorted out with your N=1 example at half Ironman and less (and you probably are pretty accurate). But the equation changes substantially when you double all the events and the athletes enters T1 completely trashed in an Ironman.

It does not have to be an "either or"....and I think this is why Rappstar forwarded Paulo's tweet, where one of them (can't remember which one) said it is the time of year to ramp swim mileage. As Fleck says, nothing wrong with reallocating some bike and run time to attempting to make a breakthrough in swimming if swimming is the weakness of an athlete, and then reallocating it back to bike and run later.

I remember having a discussion with Thomas Hellriegel several year ago about training in Germany in the winter....he basically said that he parked the bike and only used it on days that he could get out without freezing too badly as he hated the cold and spent the winter focusing on a ton of swim and run volume. Then he'd fly to Lanzarote or Mallorca for breaks through the winter, ride till he dropped and then come back to Germany and focus again on swim and run.

Having said that, I appreciate that for many of us, pool access alone makes swimming a sport that is very difficult to train for, but at least if we ignore swimming, we're doing so with our eyes open, knowing that better results could be achieved by treating swimming more seriously.

Lot's of guys who chose to focus on the run and bike keep brainwashing themselves, with statements like "swimming is a waste of time". Well, maybe if you focus on shorter races that are always wetsuit, these guys have a point, but every so often they end up in a non wetsuit race and it's a complete disaster. Even though I don't put in a ton of swim time NOW due to life constraints, I always look forward to the no wetsuit swims, because I don't get stupidly slower with no wetsuit, because I did what these guys suggested 18 years ago, which was invest in a few 6 month blocks of 20K per week of swimming....the result was 54 min swim at Roth (short) and 56 min at IMC. Unfortunately some shoulder and neck injuries took away some of those gains (mobility), but the main reason for my current slowness is lack of swimming. The point is that most of the speed at those races was simply from better swim fitness....when I was swimming 56 at IMC, I could not even swim a single 100m in 1:20 (no wetsuit), yet I could hold a 1:28 pace all day in wetsuit. Most of it was fitness.
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [devashish_paul] [ In reply to ]
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210 posts later, are we still arguing for a dichotomy between fitness and technique in the swim?


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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Nacly] [ In reply to ]
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Nacly wrote:
I think that the kick provides a counter to set the body rotation and positions the torso so it can rotate around the catch.

I definitely use my kick as part of the way I control body roll. I don't put a ton of effort into it- I consider myself to be a pretty light two beat kicker on freestyle- but it's an integral part of my free, and I definitely slow down when it's not there. On pull buoy sets, I'm significantly slower than without a buoy, and I always end up feeling like I'm rotating way too much sideways and then having to spend way too much energy rotating back to the other side.
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [MarkyV] [ In reply to ]
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MarkyV wrote:
Hmmm, band.... I literally drown should i ever put that thing on.

#helplifeguard

Paddles by themselves however......

X2

The very thing that is supposed to teach me or at least keep me focused on keeping my hips and legs UP forces me to the bottom feet first. I have to admit I have gotten away from paddles in recent times. I will have to get a pair as I suspect I've gotten some bad stroke habits after 10 years of not being coached at all.

I tried to convice sentania to yank out the pull bouy this morning and go with the band only. He declined but offered the band to me. Very nice of him.

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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Dave Luscan] [ In reply to ]
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Yes, it's freaking awesome. Like watching replays of a trainwreck...in slow motion.
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Dave Luscan] [ In reply to ]
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I think there are a bunch of sub topics in hear. I think one of them is the time allocation for swimming vs other sports and the payback. Rich Strauss probably nailed that topic the best. Ultratriguy and I are discussing the awesomeness of Ricky Ponting and Sachin too. I was expecting a few Aussies to jump into that one overnite.
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [devashish_paul] [ In reply to ]
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impressive 140 characters
but even more impressive Rappstar,s post about his own swim training.
that makes champions, if they can question their system and can admit that maybe they could have done something better ( a good athlete is never happy with its performance)

And as whole heartily I agree with the authority
for some people total immersion also works ( about 1-1,5 in 10 ) and if a coach knows real coaching of which total immersion or whatever can be a part of it there is nothing wrong with that as long there is not glide cult for everybody involved.
I am sure few people try out more stuff than Sutton and he always does experiment with people that have nothing to lose
there is not a one system fits all system.
Even Terry admitted it that his approach did not work for him when he got slower working on efficiency.
at the end its always what gets you from start to finish in the fastest way. and often the only way to know that is to try......

http://www.pb3coaching.com
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [The Authority] [ In reply to ]
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This is why very accomplished swimmers are terrible at teaching adults to swim.


Then why the following comment from you earlier to another poster?


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You sure talk a lot for someone that is doing 2min/100m.
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [songmak] [ In reply to ]
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songmak wrote:

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This is why very accomplished swimmers are terrible at teaching adults to swim.


Then why the following comment from you earlier to another poster?


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You sure talk a lot for someone that is doing 2min/100m.

There is an enormous spread between very accomplished swimmers and 2:00/100m. Roughly, I'd say about 1:10/100m if you want to be technical.

REALLY good swimmers often make poor *ADULT* coaches;as an addendum to that, I'd say they often make good youth coaches, because most of them learned as kids, and can often instruct children with a similar approach to what it was they made them a really good swimmer.

Many - though not all - elite swimmers tend to apply the same approach they used for success to coaching adults. But you can't coach a 26yo and a 6yo to swim in the same way.

Lastly, someone who is a 2:00/100m swimmer is a really shitty swimmer.

So, yes, really good swimmers often make poor adult coaches. But that doesn't somehow mean that really shitty swimmers make good coaches. That's about as bizarre a logical fallacy as I've seen on this forum - really good swimmers make shitty coaches, ergo really shitty swimmers make good coaches? Seriously?


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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [T-Wurt] [ In reply to ]
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Trevor,

Your contribution to the thread is valuable and provides some insight. But, I fear you may have a 1000 Straight-Band-Only-Single-Arm-Free set in the near future. :)
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Rappstar] [ In reply to ]
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Lastly, someone who is a 2:00/100m swimmer is a really shitty swimmer.

Alarm Bells. Paging Dev Paul. Talk down alert!! ;-)



Steve Fleck @stevefleck | Blog
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [JoeO] [ In reply to ]
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JoeO wrote:
superphil wrote:


Yeah, and I think that's shortsighted for a couple reasons. One, it's about the journey - you can figure out for yourself what this means to you.


I have figured it out. If I train easily, casually - then that's mostly for the journey. But if I'm dragging myself out of bed at 5:30 in the morning and doing swim interval workouts late at night and blowing $500 for an entry fee -- it's no longer just for the journey. That's for the result. That's for racing.

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Two, as Rappstar, T-Wurt and others have very eloquently explained already, being a better swimmer makes you a better triathlete, ESPECIALLY in ironman.


Better = faster. At least in every race I've ever done. Not faster in just the swim. Faster at the end of the race. They don't hand out the awards at T1. Maybe you have some other definition of better but that's mine. I don't think I'm alone in that regard.

Now we might disagree on how exactly to allocate our training to get to that finish line faster and that's fine. But I'm not doing this so I can wax philosophical about my "craft".

I didn't mean "better" in some greater metaphysical sense. I meant faster. Let's imagine you need to do a no wetsuit swim. Or a race with rough water. Or even just want to get out of the washing machine that can beat you up. All of those things WILL make you faster overall. And that's assuming that swimming just benefits the swim.

Swimming improves your overall speed as a triathlete because, as T-Wurt pointed out and I tried to, you start the bike less tired. I have no way to prove this, but I would wager that the time required to train your cycling to overcome inadequate swim training is actually greater than the swim training required to simply not have the swim tire you out. I.e., if you take the time you would have spent training the swim and instead train the bike, you will NOT realize 100% of the fitness gains that you make on the bike, because you will be fatigued from swimming, and the harder you wish to ride, the more of a role this is going to play.

Swimming makes you a better triathlon cyclist. Even if you don't get any faster - which you will - the fitness gains in the water will translate onto the bike; biking is hugely reliant on "general" aerobic fitness. Swimming would even make you a better duathlete, though obviously not as much as if you spent that time biking/running. But if you need to swim anyway, realize that the benefits don't stop once you exit the water. Cycling fitness, however, does not transfer to the specifics of swimming particularly well. Swimming is a technique intensive sport - which is why so many people assume they should do drills in the first place; cycling is not - there is very little difference between the way Fabian Cancellara pedals and the way some random guy on the exercycle at the gym pedals; Fabian just pedals harder.

I think EVERYONE realizes how important cycling fitness is to running a quality triathlon run. But it amazes how many people fail to apply that same simple logic to the impact of swimming on cycling (and really the rest of the race as a whole). The above is even more of a case against "technique" work. The real point of swimming is not really, IMO, to become faster, though that is a nice side benefit. It's to have the swim tire you out less. And "technique/drill" does nothing for that.


"Non est ad astra mollis e terris via." - Seneca | rappstar.com | FB - Rappstar Racing | IG - @jordanrapp | Game Designer @ Zwift

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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Dave Luscan] [ In reply to ]
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Dave Luscan wrote:
210 posts later, are we still arguing for a dichotomy between fitness and technique in the swim?

I think, officially, this is the thread of the year.

@rhyspencer
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [rhys] [ In reply to ]
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rhys wrote:
Dave Luscan wrote:
210 posts later, are we still arguing for a dichotomy between fitness and technique in the swim?


I think, officially, this is the thread of the year.

I think that if a tri-friend asked me what ST is like, I would point him/her to this thread so that they might understand the culture here.
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Rappstar] [ In reply to ]
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Interesting point that goes along with the recent Lukas V interview. He said he felt like he was a better runner, and more fit, when he was doing tri training. Sounds like he missed the extra aerobic benifits he got from the other 2 sports.


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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [SH] [ In reply to ]
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I think that if a tri-friend asked me what ST is like, I would point him/her to this thread so that they might understand the culture here.
____________________________________

You would do that to a friend? Jeez. :)
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Rappstar] [ In reply to ]
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Rappstar wrote:
Lastly, someone who is a 2:00/100m swimmer is a really shitty swimmer.

Mmm....no, not really. I consider 2:00/100m to be the breaking point. As a general thing, I've found that if you can consistently go at a 2/1 pace, it's more a volume and type of workout thing than it is a form issue. I.e., you need to be swimming more and harder. Anything over the 2/1 line, and there are probably some stroke flaws that are holding the swimmer back.

Now, if the mentioned swimmer is doing 15-20k per week with intervals, threshold and really putting in effort and still around 2/1 then yeah, there are probably some stroke issues.

Note: This is for AOS (Adult onset swimmers). Former swimmers are generally not on the curve. I was a decent, not great swimmer, and I can still get in the water and do 100's on 1:40, 20 secs rest when I'm way out of swimming shape. The better the swimmer was, the better that time will be.

John



Top notch coaching: Francois and Accelerate3 | Follow on Twitter: LifetimeAthlete |
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Rappstar] [ In reply to ]
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The real point of swimming is not really, IMO, to become faster, though that is a nice side benefit. It's to have the swim tire you out less. And "technique/drill" does nothing for that.

BINGO!

I think we have officially gone around in a circle, because I mentioned this before. Ounce you get past, oh, about 1:15'ish in the swim, you are starting to see a lot of swimmers coming out of the water in an IM and even a half IM, absolutely hammered. They are literally staggering out of the water. Faces are drawn. The look really tired. Many take a very long time in transition and then when they try and get on their bikes, it appears that they can barely get on the bike. And now they are headed out for a 112 mile bike ride?? Clearly the swim is exacted a very heavy toll on more than a few people. Swimming more and being a better swimmer may not necessarily make you faster in the water, although it's a nice side benefit as Jordan alludes to, but it will take much less energy, it will sap much less of your stored energy resources, you should be able to because of this all things considered equal, cycle and run faster!

Get out of the silos of swim/bike/run and think more about the continuum and the overall fitness required to be a great triathlete who puts all three together well.

At the risk of dredging up the old-days, back in the early days of the sport we raced a lot - like every weekend!! Thus we put swim/bike/run together a lot - before we even knew what a Brick was!!!. I don't see this so much in training today - people swim, they bike and they run all separately and people don't race very much tending to focus all their efforts on maybe one key race a year. I am not surprised to see so many completely overwhelmed by what they have to contend with on IM race day!







Steve Fleck @stevefleck | Blog
Last edited by: Fleck: Dec 30, 11 8:26
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [rhys] [ In reply to ]
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I'm loving this thread!

Keeps me entertained and gives me more to think about.

Plus it's a nice change from always reading about bike training.
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Fleck] [ In reply to ]
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There's a lot to be said for just thinking about what you're doing, WHILE swimming normally. Specific drill sets don't need to be a focus if you're only swimming 10k per week....unless, like was mentioned earlier, you're really just a very bad swimmer and are flailing your way down the lane.

Focus on one aspect of your stroke until it feels right. Even just focus on one arm at a time. Like: 'OK, I'm going to make sure my right arm has an amazing catch and I don't care what my left arm is doing.' Do that for a week, then go to left arm. Eventually you can bring em together...all the while working on your fitness as well.

When I'm on my own I pull out a camera every few months to watch all my flaws (many). This past month I've hopefully corrected a few of them simply by doing what I just mentioned. Works for me anyway. Not that I'm an awesome swimmer, but I've progressed from a complete non-swimmer at 24yrs old, to being near the front of the Elite field on a good day. Always looking for ways to swim with the best guys.

That said, a drill or two during warm can't hurt just to get some proper muscles firing.
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Rappstar] [ In reply to ]
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Rappstar wrote:
.

Lastly, someone who is a 2:00/100m swimmer is a really shitty swimmer.

Yer.....I also kick puppies and knock over old ladies in the street!!

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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Power13] [ In reply to ]
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Quote:
Post:
Rappstar wrote:
.

Lastly, someone who is a 2:00/100m swimmer is a really shitty swimmer.
Yer.....I also kick puppies and knock over old ladies in the street!!


Admitting you have a problem is the first step :)

Hi, my name is Cathy. I'm a really shitty swimmer.
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [adal] [ In reply to ]
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adal wrote:
Rich Strauss wrote:
... does the math on the time investment required to go from 1:15 to 1:10

--


All that sells very well and sounds right in theory. But when the gun goes off, your 1:15 swimmer does not loose 5 minutes, but 5 minutes on the swim, 10 on the bike and 20 on the run (due to a lack of swim fitness).

Send a seasoned triathlete, a 9hr guy, on an hour of cross country skating or rowing with 3mmol and see the cycling and run performance. It goes way down, because the athlete cannot recover from the activity he is not fit for.

You can do the test with a few clients (cycling trained but not skating or rowing trained but with enough technical proficiency to acutally be able to work at threshould in skating or rowing):

-) Bike an hour at TH (HR 165, Watts 280) - run 1/2 an hour at 150 hr
-) Skate or row an Hour at TH (HR 175 as a full body sport gives a higher heart rate) - run 1/2 an hour at 150 hr

If the second run is much slower (which it is for me), or feels much harder (which it does for me), the whole theory of "economics of swimming" goes the way of all economic model ...


Whaa? Not sure how skating and rowing got into this discussion :-)

As for the effect on the bike and run of a lack of swim fitness...in my experience a lack of race execution skills is much more responsible. That is, doode has a shitty bike and run because he doesn't know how to execute the race, but is culturally conditioned to think this is a training issue so spends the next several weeks on ST reading what he wants to hear: he needs to SBR more because that's what he likes to do anyway.

But that's a whole 'nother topic(s) for discussion.

I can only say what we do with our team:
  • We strongly encourage our athletes to seek the help of a qualified, local technique coach. If they don't have one available, we encourage them to use our "swim clinic ebook" I created in 2005, revised in '08. You can download a free copy here if you want to check it out.
  • Our "beginner" swimmers do about 8wks of pretty much all drill work. Intermediate about 4wks. Advanced about 2wks.
  • Then all of them do about 12-14wks of legit fitness swimming. I put on my NCAA D3 swim cap when I wrote these workouts: hard, fast swimming, short rest...I kick their ass, frankly. If these folks are doing an HIM in route to an IM, then they'll do MUCH more than this 12-14wks of hard swimming in their season, but only after a dedicated period of technique focus.

What I don't do is say "your tool to becoming a faster swimmer is to go hit 10,000 golf balls/tennis balls, bang on the piano keys for hours and hours," which is essentially Paulo's advice in 140 characters :-) I'm assuming he has more detail to add somewhere.

My bottomline: we've all seen "bad swimming." Just like pjorn, we know it when we see it. Advising that person to just HTFU and swim lots is exactly the same as my 10k ball example above.

--

Rich Strauss
Endurance Nation Ironman 2013 and 2014 World Champion TriClub, Div I
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Last edited by: Rich Strauss: Dec 30, 11 9:40
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [T-Wurt] [ In reply to ]
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Visualising a strong catch while I'm swimming, literally results in a ~2 sec/hundred improvement for me.

Until I swim in to my lane partner(s) because I'm not paying attention to where I'm swimming.

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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Khai] [ In reply to ]
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I am world champion at bouncing off the bottom. Watch some time during a kick set, ill just ping pong along the bottom of the pool occassionally coming up for air.

I wonder if i should create another account, seems im not allowed to talk as a coach and blather endlessly as an athlete from the same handle.

________________________
34 kona qualifiers 2006-'18 - 3 Kona Podiums - 4 OA IM AG wins - 5 IM AG wins - 18 70.3 AG wins
I ka nana no a 'ike -- by observing, one learns | Kulia i ka nu'u -- strive for excellence
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Fleck] [ In reply to ]
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"it's the economy stupid"

________________________
34 kona qualifiers 2006-'18 - 3 Kona Podiums - 4 OA IM AG wins - 5 IM AG wins - 18 70.3 AG wins
I ka nana no a 'ike -- by observing, one learns | Kulia i ka nu'u -- strive for excellence
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Dave Luscan] [ In reply to ]
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Andy got banned and phil is working on his phd. There really isnt too much intellectual stimuli floating about anymore so what can we do?

:)

________________________
34 kona qualifiers 2006-'18 - 3 Kona Podiums - 4 OA IM AG wins - 5 IM AG wins - 18 70.3 AG wins
I ka nana no a 'ike -- by observing, one learns | Kulia i ka nu'u -- strive for excellence
Foras Maps: Race Discovery made easy | Garmin Glycogen Use App | Garmin Fat Use App
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [BeachboyWI] [ In reply to ]
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Paddles are AWESOME, never forget this. :)

I like having multiple various sized pairs for differing levels of resistance.

________________________
34 kona qualifiers 2006-'18 - 3 Kona Podiums - 4 OA IM AG wins - 5 IM AG wins - 18 70.3 AG wins
I ka nana no a 'ike -- by observing, one learns | Kulia i ka nu'u -- strive for excellence
Foras Maps: Race Discovery made easy | Garmin Glycogen Use App | Garmin Fat Use App
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Khai] [ In reply to ]
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But but but..... At the skate ranch they have a biathlon range and it's soooooooo cool!!!!

________________________
34 kona qualifiers 2006-'18 - 3 Kona Podiums - 4 OA IM AG wins - 5 IM AG wins - 18 70.3 AG wins
I ka nana no a 'ike -- by observing, one learns | Kulia i ka nu'u -- strive for excellence
Foras Maps: Race Discovery made easy | Garmin Glycogen Use App | Garmin Fat Use App
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Rich Strauss] [ In reply to ]
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I guess Paulo is saying that you could take out the drill time, add that time to your swim conditioning time, and your club members would do better.
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Rich Strauss] [ In reply to ]
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Rich Strauss wrote:

My bottomline: we've all seen "bad swimming." Just like pjorn, we know it when we see it. Advising that person to just HTFU and swim lots is exactly the same as my 10k ball example above.

--

Actually, it's not at all the same. The exact same analogy was given much earlier in this thread (I forgive you for not reading it though). Your golf ball suggestion is simply an advocation for practicing shitty technique.

The point of Paulo's (and Brett's) advice is NOT just to HTFU and swim lots. It is to HTFU and swim *MORE* while also *USING TOOLS THAT FORCIBLY CORRECT YOUR TECHNIQUE.* There isn't really a direct analogy to golf or piano, because there aren't (that I know) any tools that are as effective for golf as paddles/PB/band are for swimming, largely because you don't hit several thousand drives during a golf game (even if you are really bad...). The fitness requirements of repeatedly swinging a golf club are just not that large. Likewise piano.

Furthermore, in addition to swimming with tools that forcibly correct your technique, the advice is not to swim X amount. Paulo is a good coach, and like all good coaches, he advocates an APPROPRIATE amount of volume. In other words, it's not about hitting 10,000 golf balls. It's simply about hitting MORE golf balls. Fitness is a massively important element of swimming. Swimming more will improve your fitness. Ergo, one of the surest ways to improve as a swimmer is simply to swim more. This follows from my previous tweet that MANY people are able to swim for 200m (I say 200 because it's long enough that you can't just "fake it" and sprint the whole way, unlike, say, a 50) at a pace that they'd be VERY happy with for 2000m. So it's not like their stroke is bad. It just BECOMES bad when they get tired. Fitness is the limiter.

So, to reiterate:
- it's not about swimming 10k/20k/etc. It's simply about an emphasis on hard work over "technique work." Some people don't need to spend any more time in the pool; they just need to use the time they already spend in the pool more productively by emphasizing fitness-focused sets. Swim harder, farther, faster, whatever. Focus on getter fitter, not "prettier."

- furthermore, it's also not just about swimming hard. There is also the use of the tools to make that hard swimming even more productive. Band/paddles/pull-buoy/etc. all are what Paulo and Joel (and maybe others) call "brute force" tools. If you want to actually make it across the pool with banded ankles, you need to hold the water. Likewise, paddles are great for putting your hand in a proper position and helping you hold the water. Pull buoys help correct and establish body position. You can waste time drilling. OR you can simultaneously work on your fitness AND your technique. This is more of what Sutton was saying than what Paulo was alluding to in his tweet, but it's part of the same overall message.

The contents of Paulo's tweet is not that hard to grasp. And it's nothing like that analogies you have presented.

Based on what you wrote, you clearly recognize the value of hard swimming. I'd wager that you wouldn't see any drop off - and you'd actually see improvement - if you simply replaced your "technique dedicated" periods with longer periods of hard swimming. Of course, the training needs to be appropriate to the skill level of the individual. Shorter sets - both in overall duration and in terms of intervals (50s and 100s instead of 200s and 400s and 800s), of course, but 8 weeks of "all drill work" for a beginner is less helpful than 8 weeks of hard (but appropriate) swimming. That's all Paulo is saying.


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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Rappstar] [ In reply to ]
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Rappstar wrote:
while also *USING TOOLS THAT FORCIBLY CORRECT YOUR TECHNIQUE.* There isn't really a direct analogy to golf

Medicus ;)

I'm kidding, I'm kidding.......


-------------------------------
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Rich Strauss] [ In reply to ]
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Rich Strauss wrote:
What I don't do is say "your tool to becoming a faster swimmer is to go hit 10,000 golf balls/tennis balls, bang on the piano keys for hours and hours," which is essentially Paulo's advice in 140 characters.
--

That just tells me that you're so dumb that you can't understand the meaning of 140 characters or you're intentionally misinterpreting it in order to serve your interests.

So the choices are, you're either dumb or dishonest. Which one is it, "coach"?
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Rich Strauss] [ In reply to ]
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Rich Strauss wrote:
  • We strongly encourage our athletes to seek the help of a qualified, local technique coach. If they don't have one available, we encourage them to use our "swim clinic ebook" I created in 2005, revised in '08. You can download a free copy here if you want to check it out.
  • Our "beginner" swimmers do about 8wks of pretty much all drill work. Intermediate about 4wks. Advanced about 2wks.
  • Then all of them do about 12-14wks of legit fitness swimming. I put on my NCAA D3 swim cap when I wrote these workouts: hard, fast swimming, short rest...I kick their ass, frankly. If these folks are doing an HIM in route to an IM, then they'll do MUCH more than this 12-14wks of hard swimming in their season, but only after a dedicated period of technique focus.

Aside from the efficacy of learning a difficult technique sport from a book (Even one with embedded videos), in the 8 weeks of drill work, how much yardage are they doing in a session? I looked at your e-book, and you've got sets in the 2500-3200 range for your beginner category. If they don't have the fitness to do that much swimming, what use are the drills at the end of the workout? There has to be a minimum level of fitness available to effectively work on technique. Especially at the distances you are prescribing in your ebook.

If you insist on using your golf analogy, figure an average round has 100 strokes, and if you are truly just practicing you'll go through 3-4 buckets of 100 balls each on the range. If you don't have the fitness available to swing the club more than 60-70 times, you need to build up that fitness to where you CAN hit 3-400 balls in a session.

That's what the tweet is saying. Before you can work on the refinements, you have to have the basic ability/fitness to complete the distance first. If you have a swimmer that can't swim more than 600m, anything beyond that for "drill" work is an absolute waste.

John



Top notch coaching: Francois and Accelerate3 | Follow on Twitter: LifetimeAthlete |
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Rappstar] [ In reply to ]
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In Reply To:
of course, but 8 weeks of "all drill work" for a beginner is less helpful than 8 weeks of hard (but appropriate) swimming. That's all Paulo is saying.

Not directed at you Jordan but there is a fallacy about doing drills. people seem to think drilling = stroke improvement.

If someone is going to spend that much time drilling, what they should really do is hire a coach to sit on top of them every freaking length they swim, completely rip their stroke apart and put it back together.

But most triathletes don't have that luxury, or they won't take that time to do it.

I went from 29:00 1500m to 23:00 1500m guys in 2 weeks. I've seen other gains like it as well in other people. Sure I/they gained a bit of fitness, but 99% of that was technical improvement. Going from 23;00 to an 18min 1500m person is the fitness aspect. You need both.

What most triathletes seem to do, and this comes from watching them swim in multiple cities, watching them swim at multiple races, reading multiple coach's swim workouts (and I use workouts loosely) and skimming some binder type books, most triathletes do the prescribed drill without knowing why, what it's doing, what is't supposed to do.

If they're going to do that, then they should just go with paddles, bands buoys and force change upon themselves while gaining fitness. It's not an either or, it's a spectrum of both.

All this has probably been said but I didn't bother to read all the posts.

Brian Stover
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Last edited by: desert dude: Dec 30, 11 11:58
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Rappstar] [ In reply to ]
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I've been following all of these swimming threads for days then this:

MANY people are able to swim for 200m (I say 200 because it's long enough that you can't just "fake it" and sprint the whole way, unlike, say, a 50) at a pace that they'd be VERY happy with for 2000m. So it's not like their stroke is bad. It just BECOMES bad when they get tired. Fitness is the limiter.

Which is the best I have read on this and what I have thought myself anyway. I can swim a 200 and go pretty bloody good, feel like I am Ian Thopre, third one of these with limited rest my stroke is crap but I'm tired. Convince myself that the technique is bad (which it is) so must correct technique, not fittness, which is wrong.

Now final thing, if my stroke breaks down say at third 200 on a given interval am I better off taking more rest in the form of a longer interval or say doing 3 200's on 3:30 and then doing 100 of say recovery say just some other stroke and then doing this 3 200's plus 100 recovery 5 times?
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Rappstar] [ In reply to ]
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Quote:
But that doesn't somehow mean that really shitty swimmers make good coaches. That's about as bizarre a logical fallacy as I've seen on this forum - really good swimmers make shitty coaches, ergo really shitty swimmers make good coaches? Seriously?


I agree completely with your statement. However, I was not attempting to imply or make the jump that really shitty swimmers make really good coaches. I was pointing out that really shitty swimmers *can* make really good coaches, and their swim times should not be used as a parameter to discount their opinion. In one sentence, Paulo...I mean, The Authority, implies that someone else should not offer their insight because they are 2 min swimmer, and then in the next statement says very accomplished swimmers make terrible coaches for adults. For all I know the 2 min/100m swimmer is a terrible coach (and I would not say I agree with what they contributed), but I am not going to discount his insight because of his swim times. Hell, his times are probably better then Brett and a number of other elite coaches......this can be applied across all elite coaches in any sport.

But to answer your question, no, I do not believe that because really good swimmer make shitty coaches, that shitty swimmers make good coaches. However, there is a reason for the old phrase, those who can, do - those who cant, teach.







Last edited by: songmak: Dec 30, 11 15:56
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [songmak] [ In reply to ]
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songmak wrote:
Quote:
But that doesn't somehow mean that really shitty swimmers make good coaches. That's about as bizarre a logical fallacy as I've seen on this forum - really good swimmers make shitty coaches, ergo really shitty swimmers make good coaches? Seriously?


I agree completely with your statement. However, I was not attempting to imply or make the jump that really shitty swimmers make really good coaches. I was pointing out that really shitty swimmers *can* make really good coaches, and their swim times should not be used as a parameter to discount their opinion. In one sentence, Paulo...I mean, The Authority, implies that someone else should not offer their insight because they are 2 min swimmer, and then in the next statement says very accomplished swimmers make terrible coaches for adults. For all I know the 2 min/100m swimmer is a terrible coach (and I would not say I agree with what they contributed), but I am not going to discount his insight because of his swim times. Hell, his times are probably better then Brett and a number of other elite athletes......this can be applied across all elite coaches in any sport.

But to answer your question, no, I do not believe that because really good swimmer make shitty coaches, that shitty swimmers make good coaches. However, there is a reason for the old phrase, those who can, do - those who cant, teach.







Ah, gotcha. But they are not really two sides of the same coin. There are certain necessities in almost all cases in order to become an elite swimmer. Or, really, to become elite in any sport where technical proficiency is extremely important. Though it's probably *generally* true when speaking about elite athletes in general, even sports where technique is not so overwhelming (say, cycling). Elite athletes, as a rule (and obviously there are notable exceptions), don't tend to make great coaches in the sport in which they excelled.

On the flip side, it's certainly not a necessity that someone be even remotely proficient at a given sport to be an elite coach. Brett Sutton, Bela Karolyi, Gil Reyes, and countless others. So I agree, you cannot - or, rather, should not - discount someone's technical proficiency as a function of their performance. HOWEVER, that applies *only* IMO opinion when someone offers some other metric by which to judge themselves. I.e., Bela Karolyi can say, "don't worry about how I mount the balance beam; worry about how the umpteen Olympians who I have taught mount it..." In other words, if you are giving advice as a coach, then you should be judged on your merits as a coach, not as an athlete. BUT, if you are not a coach, and you are an athlete, then it's fair - I think - to judge you on your proficiency as an athlete. In other words, if someone says, "I'm just learning to swim; I swim 2:00/100m; and this is what I think about how to learn/improve/etc. at swimming," then it's certainly fair to point out that they probably are putting the cart just a wee bit in front of the horse...

No, being a 2:00/100m swimmer doesn't automatically mean that you don't know anything. But in the context of this discussion, it absolutely meant that...


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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [kennyDalglish] [ In reply to ]
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kennyDalglish wrote:
I've been following all of these swimming threads for days then this:

MANY people are able to swim for 200m (I say 200 because it's long enough that you can't just "fake it" and sprint the whole way, unlike, say, a 50) at a pace that they'd be VERY happy with for 2000m. So it's not like their stroke is bad. It just BECOMES bad when they get tired. Fitness is the limiter.

Which is the best I have read on this and what I have thought myself anyway. I can swim a 200 and go pretty bloody good, feel like I am Ian Thopre, third one of these with limited rest my stroke is crap but I'm tired. Convince myself that the technique is bad (which it is) so must correct technique, not fittness, which is wrong.

Now final thing, if my stroke breaks down say at third 200 on a given interval am I better off taking more rest in the form of a longer interval or say doing 3 200's on 3:30 and then doing 100 of say recovery say just some other stroke and then doing this 3 200's plus 100 recovery 5 times?

I don't think it's an either/or.

Sometimes, it's important to do stuff with short rest. That's part of how you become aware of the flaws and problems in your strokes. And it gives you something so you can say, "okay, I really need to focus on - in my case - finishing the stroke when I get tired."

Likewise, sometimes, it's important to take a lot of rest so that you are maximizing your quality on every single rep. There's no "right" answer to your question. Different sets with different aims. You should do both. And know why you are doing each.


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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [songmak] [ In reply to ]
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To:.......Paulo...I mean, The Authority, .....................................Is Paulo now the Authority?..Noticed new sign up, but new name not linked................................He did that though when he changed from smartasscoach too.
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Rappstar] [ In reply to ]
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Rappstar wrote:
if someone says, "I'm just learning to swim; I swim 2:00/100m; and this is what I think about how to learn/improve/etc. at swimming," then it's certainly fair to point out that they probably are putting the cart just a wee bit in front of the horse...

No, being a 2:00/100m swimmer doesn't automatically mean that you don't know anything. But in the context of this discussion, it absolutely meant that...

Someone please let me know where I said anything like that....I was simply asking for explanations and trying to draw parallels.

My bad.

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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [devashish_paul] [ In reply to ]
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devashish_paul wrote:
I think there are a bunch of sub topics in hear. I think one of them is the time allocation for swimming vs other sports and the payback. Rich Strauss probably nailed that topic the best. Ultratriguy and I are discussing the awesomeness of Ricky Ponting and Sachin too. I was expecting a few Aussies to jump into that one overnite.

India better do something in the next few tests, or their perennial reputation as flat track bullies (with inflated averages) will continue...
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [NAB777] [ In reply to ]
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india should have won the test in a canter. They had Tendulkar and Dravid set on the best batting days of the match and they lost their wickets due to lapse in concentration. The indian bowlers did their bit
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [kennyDalglish] [ In reply to ]
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Well, at least cricket is less confusing than proper swim training protocol...




"Non est ad astra mollis e terris via." - Seneca | rappstar.com | FB - Rappstar Racing | IG - @jordanrapp | Game Designer @ Zwift

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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Rappstar] [ In reply to ]
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hmm based on this thread and my own experiences I understand that I have a really good swim coach who got me to the low 1 hour for an Im swim of the back of 2 * 3000 metres per week. Down from 1:1x. She does all the right things, I just need to train more than 2 times per week and I am now doing this.

Also this coach is an ex very elite pool swimmer (who also goes alright in ows) and pretty much espouses what has been going on in the thread excep, we swim to get better at swimming with some limited drill work
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Rappstar] [ In reply to ]
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Everything I know about cricket, I learned from watching 'Lagaan' so my understanding of the game is that they have to stop play every so often for a song & dance sequence.
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [kennyDalglish] [ In reply to ]
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kennyDalglish wrote:
india should have won the test in a canter. They had Tendulkar and Dravid set on the best batting days of the match and they lost their wickets due to lapse in concentration. The indian bowlers did their bit

x2

Did we succeed in hijacking this thread...onto the Sydney Cricket Ground for the Jan 3rd test (hoping to see that 100th century). In the mean time, I better figure out when to get into the pool!
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Kenney] [ In reply to ]
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Quote:
Is Paulo now the Authority?

I have no confirmation but his style of reply seems all to familiar. The timing of Paulo no longer posting and The Authority account getting created also seemed a bit odd. If The Authority is not Paulo, then it must be his apprentice.
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [songmak] [ In reply to ]
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Oh look, someone is wrong on the Internet...
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [The Authority] [ In reply to ]
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Wrong about you being Paulo or you being Paulo's apprentice?
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Rappstar] [ In reply to ]
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cricket...not to be confused with whack bat...

http://www.videodetective.com/...fox-whack-bat/533796
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [kennyDalglish] [ In reply to ]
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It's an excellent thought provoking thread which asks more questions than it answers and has therefore served it's purpose.

For me, swim fitness first (the ability to complete a decent swim workout.) From there, good technique is the precursor to better swim fitness. As Confucius say 'Don't fight the water' instead move with the water.

Going from 2.4 miles horizontal in an Ironman swim to 112 miles in the aero position in less than 5 minutes is going to hi-jack your shit unless you practice it in training.


**All of these words finding themselves together were greatly astonished and delighted for assuredly, they had never met before**
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Mojozenmaster] [ In reply to ]
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I have never found the swim to bike transition tough or needing practice. Just make sure I do races this is practice enough
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [kennyDalglish] [ In reply to ]
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You might be a unique specimen. Remember, I am talking about long course racing, not sprints or olympic.


**All of these words finding themselves together were greatly astonished and delighted for assuredly, they had never met before**
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Mojozenmaster] [ In reply to ]
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Hi guys,
I was a bit bored this sat afternoon 31st Dec, so slowtwitch I headed for 10 min, and now 40 min later I am writing something.
Love the discussion and I must say in my defence i didn't read everything in this section so apologies if i waste your time:

I've had the pleasure to help some good number of athletes improve their swims very significantly, incl barb riveros, nordo, kate roberts, lauren campbell and others making WCS first packs for the first time.
My latest projects are Anne Haug (GER trying to make London) and Bart Aernouts (2010 world du champ who races 70.3 now) and like the others they are investing a LOT of effort, mental energy and wet and dry time to the challenge. Mileage about 30kpw, 7-8 sessions/weekly, 2 massage sessions/wk, core and specific muscle work also and after months we make really strong gains, but while we normally need two such off seasons to make the first pack, we normally get there. Sutto and I are miles away in methodology, but I would suggest that I now am getting close to his level of impact, and I'll give some insight into our approach and common errors:
We make great gains with multiple swims a day (every second day), broken into a skill based session and then fitness based session within the daily sequence only long enough to keep skills (under fitness load) at an acceptible level. We spend 'dry' time to improve ROM (with our team rehab guy) and specific strength; plus in every single case i have had to undo bad skills or very poor previous coaching, even from olympic medalist level swim coaches (eg my latest projects):
What i normally get is someone who:
1. pulls the water and has no idea about leavering the body past the forearm - guys, there is no such thing as pulling with your hand vis rowing like, rather think kayaking where the core is working lots.
2. kicks a 6 beat which is out of timing with their hips and they also kick from the knee creating more drag at the knee and via the bubbles produced at the foot than it is worth -guys we teach correct kick action (often 2 beat) that help the action of hips coordinate with the upper body and loosen the bits that create drag. also we drop the feet back in the water rather than above it and have people kick from the hip
3. range of motion is 30% or more below par and this causes overreaching the centreline, poor alignment but the bottomline is both propulsion and drag is compromised - athletes act bewildered when we finally get enough range to let them function properly
4. they know little of how to sort out body position - why drag an anchor when you don't need to?
5. they spend way too much time gliding and worrying about s shape pulls and what 'feel' they have in their hands - forget it guys there are so many bubbles when swimming in a pack the front end has no 'feel' even if you could
6. they are all weak - mid to back end of the stroke is the place to get the gains, so become strong
6. lastly they freak out in pack in the OW and cannot swim straight to save their life - we teach them to swim in the open water and this week we did two sessions in the open water over an hour each with specific longer and short duration efforts in packs with feedback from a coach sitting in a kayak so that tells you have much we rank this activity

But you will never hear me say 'strokes per length', we don't do any total Immersion stuff, do not rush no matter what, and I haven't used a stop watch in the first 2 months of this 2012 prep yet. There is a time and a place for everything.
For age groupers I have some thoughts - invest in ROM, build specific swim based strength, don't get fancy (look up cricket bowling and use that as a stroke recovery action), and mix up the workouts with absolutely no slow FS swimming in the warm down (get rid of the fluff), and forget min strokes per length.
Hope this has helped,
Daz
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [coachdaz] [ In reply to ]
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Damn, you're SO much better than Paulo!!!
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [songmak] [ In reply to ]
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Will see........I do not think so. Reading someone's posts for ten years, well it just does not seem like him.
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Rappstar] [ In reply to ]
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Rappstar wrote:
Rich Strauss wrote:

My bottomline: we've all seen "bad swimming." Just like pjorn, we know it when we see it. Advising that person to just HTFU and swim lots is exactly the same as my 10k ball example above.

--

Actually, it's not at all the same. The exact same analogy was given much earlier in this thread (I forgive you for not reading it though). Your golf ball suggestion is simply an advocation for practicing shitty technique.

The point of Paulo's (and Brett's) advice is NOT just to HTFU and swim lots. It is to HTFU and swim *MORE* while also *USING TOOLS THAT FORCIBLY CORRECT YOUR TECHNIQUE.* There isn't really a direct analogy to golf or piano, because there aren't (that I know) any tools that are as effective for golf as paddles/PB/band are for swimming, largely because you don't hit several thousand drives during a golf game (even if you are really bad...). The fitness requirements of repeatedly swinging a golf club are just not that large. Likewise piano.

Furthermore, in addition to swimming with tools that forcibly correct your technique, the advice is not to swim X amount. Paulo is a good coach, and like all good coaches, he advocates an APPROPRIATE amount of volume. In other words, it's not about hitting 10,000 golf balls. It's simply about hitting MORE golf balls. Fitness is a massively important element of swimming. Swimming more will improve your fitness. Ergo, one of the surest ways to improve as a swimmer is simply to swim more. This follows from my previous tweet that MANY people are able to swim for 200m (I say 200 because it's long enough that you can't just "fake it" and sprint the whole way, unlike, say, a 50) at a pace that they'd be VERY happy with for 2000m. So it's not like their stroke is bad. It just BECOMES bad when they get tired. Fitness is the limiter.

So, to reiterate:
- it's not about swimming 10k/20k/etc. It's simply about an emphasis on hard work over "technique work." Some people don't need to spend any more time in the pool; they just need to use the time they already spend in the pool more productively by emphasizing fitness-focused sets. Swim harder, farther, faster, whatever. Focus on getter fitter, not "prettier."

- furthermore, it's also not just about swimming hard. There is also the use of the tools to make that hard swimming even more productive. Band/paddles/pull-buoy/etc. all are what Paulo and Joel (and maybe others) call "brute force" tools. If you want to actually make it across the pool with banded ankles, you need to hold the water. Likewise, paddles are great for putting your hand in a proper position and helping you hold the water. Pull buoys help correct and establish body position. You can waste time drilling. OR you can simultaneously work on your fitness AND your technique. This is more of what Sutton was saying than what Paulo was alluding to in his tweet, but it's part of the same overall message.

The contents of Paulo's tweet is not that hard to grasp. And it's nothing like that analogies you have presented.

Based on what you wrote, you clearly recognize the value of hard swimming. I'd wager that you wouldn't see any drop off - and you'd actually see improvement - if you simply replaced your "technique dedicated" periods with longer periods of hard swimming. Of course, the training needs to be appropriate to the skill level of the individual. Shorter sets - both in overall duration and in terms of intervals (50s and 100s instead of 200s and 400s and 800s), of course, but 8 weeks of "all drill work" for a beginner is less helpful than 8 weeks of hard (but appropriate) swimming. That's all Paulo is saying.

Jr, your pro-tools thing is not correct. It's the same as telling people to get newtons to correct their running form.
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Chuck Finley] [ In reply to ]
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Chuck Finley wrote:
Jr, your pro-tools thing is not correct. It's the same as telling people to get newtons to correct their running form.

No, no it's not. I could explain it to you, but since you came up with that terrible analogy, I'm afraid you wouldn't understand the explanation.
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [The Authority] [ In reply to ]
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So true!

http://www.teamtbb.com

brett wrote another great article 'looking for clues: hold the line'
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Chuck Finley] [ In reply to ]
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Actually, that is also not true. There is a reason that Newton actually conducts running clinics. I had a long talk with Danny Abshire when I wrote a piece on running shoe technology for LAVA. Danny will tell you that Newtons do NOT alter your running mechanics. The basic premise behind Newtons is that they are designed with the assumption of a mid foot strike. Newtons are built around an assumption of a certain running style. Certainly a low-delta shoe is going to help you land on your mid foot, but you can VERY easily heel strike in Newtons. Newtons may "encourage" good running form, but they certainly don't mandate it, and they definitely do not provide any form of forcible correction. This is one of the most common misunderstandings about Newtons, though I'd also say that Newton does very little to actively change this perception, because the idea that you can buy a shoe that will make you a better runner is certainly helping their sales. But if you talk with Danny A., he will certainly not tell you that Newtons will force you to run a certain way. His premise is really more that they "allow" you to run the way that you were meant to run. Now, the validity of that is certainly open for debate, both whether or not mid foot running actually is superior and whether or not humans were in fact even "meant" to run mid foot , but no matter. The fact remains, Newtons do not force you to run in a specific way.

Paddles, and/or a pull buoy, and/or a band DO actively force changes in technique. Paddles have the most dramatic impact on actual mechanics, while a pull buoy will have the most dramatic impact on body position. The band is more like the equivalent of running hills; it's just harder swimming and the better you swim the easier it is. But pull buoy and paddles fundamentally change things about how you move through the water. The pull buoy isn't like Newtons; it's (sort of) like a Zero-G treadmill. It's easier to run fast when you effectively weigh 50% of what you really do. Likewise it's easier to swim correctly when you don't have to actively think about keeping your hips up, something that can be especially challenging on legs that are tired from a lot of running/biking. I can't actually think of a running equivalent for paddles, perhaps because the ability of the human body to propel itself correctly with a running stride is pretty basic. It's a much simpler act to do correctly than pulling the water is. Yes, you can still swim like crap with paddles, but paddles do a remarkable job of putting your hand in the proper position to catch and in helping you hold the water throughout the entire length of the stroke.

Your analogy is just wrong. I think you are probably heavily biased by a few things, not the least of which is that you are - or were - a very good swimmer. There likely isn't the same dramatic impact for someone like you when you put on paddles as there is for someone like me or a typical AG triathlete. So, unfortunately, your perspective is actually skewed by your expertise in the sport of swimming in general. It's not about what worked for you as a swimmer at growing up or at an advanced level. And furthermore, open water swimming is a different beast than pool swimming. As Darren wrote above, concepts like DPS are basically useless in triathlon. Darren's post is worth reading several times, and at the very least, I suspect a former swimmer might find more solace in Darren's approach than in the paddles-and-band-and-buoy approach of Sutton. But keep in mind that he also shoots down some of the things you were very insistent on in the thread of DPS/SR. But setting that aside, the fundamentals of this thread are - or at least were meant to be - about the importance of fitness, not about "toys." But there is of course a lot of crossover between the two trains of thought. Anyway...


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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [thejoey] [ In reply to ]
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thejoey wrote:
So true!

http://www.teamtbb.com

brett wrote another great article 'looking for clues: hold the line'

There was thread on that very post of Brett's here: http://forum.slowtwitch.com/..._reply;so=ASC;mh=25;

Many of the same people made the same incorrect conclusions in that thread that they are making here. Ironically given the particular post I believe you were replying to, Paulo and Brett are essentially advocating the exact same thing, just using slightly different phrasing and slightly different approaches, though there is a lot of common ground - way more in common than there is different between what they are advocating. To analogize, same forest, just slightly different trees...


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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Rappstar] [ In reply to ]
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It would be great to have Gary Hall, Sr. opinion, he knows one or two things on swimming ...
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Fix] [ In reply to ]
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Fix wrote:
It would be great to have Gary Hall, Sr. opinion, he knows one or two things on swimming ...

Fixed that for you!
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [coachdaz] [ In reply to ]
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coachdaz wrote:
Hi guys,
I was a bit bored this sat afternoon 31st Dec, so slowtwitch I headed for 10 min, and now 40 min later I am writing something.
Love the discussion and I must say in my defence i didn't read everything in this section so apologies if i waste your time:

I've had the pleasure to help some good number of athletes improve their swims very significantly, incl barb riveros, nordo, kate roberts, lauren campbell and others making WCS first packs for the first time.
My latest projects are Anne Haug (GER trying to make London) and Bart Aernouts (2010 world du champ who races 70.3 now) and like the others they are investing a LOT of effort, mental energy and wet and dry time to the challenge. Mileage about 30kpw, 7-8 sessions/weekly, 2 massage sessions/wk, core and specific muscle work also and after months we make really strong gains, but while we normally need two such off seasons to make the first pack, we normally get there. Sutto and I are miles away in methodology, but I would suggest that I now am getting close to his level of impact, and I'll give some insight into our approach and common errors:
We make great gains with multiple swims a day (every second day), broken into a skill based session and then fitness based session within the daily sequence only long enough to keep skills (under fitness load) at an acceptible level. We spend 'dry' time to improve ROM (with our team rehab guy) and specific strength; plus in every single case i have had to undo bad skills or very poor previous coaching, even from olympic medalist level swim coaches (eg my latest projects):
What i normally get is someone who:
1. pulls the water and has no idea about leavering the body past the forearm - guys, there is no such thing as pulling with your hand vis rowing like, rather think kayaking where the core is working lots.
2. kicks a 6 beat which is out of timing with their hips and they also kick from the knee creating more drag at the knee and via the bubbles produced at the foot than it is worth -guys we teach correct kick action (often 2 beat) that help the action of hips coordinate with the upper body and loosen the bits that create drag. also we drop the feet back in the water rather than above it and have people kick from the hip
3. range of motion is 30% or more below par and this causes overreaching the centreline, poor alignment but the bottomline is both propulsion and drag is compromised - athletes act bewildered when we finally get enough range to let them function properly
4. they know little of how to sort out body position - why drag an anchor when you don't need to?
5. they spend way too much time gliding and worrying about s shape pulls and what 'feel' they have in their hands - forget it guys there are so many bubbles when swimming in a pack the front end has no 'feel' even if you could
6. they are all weak - mid to back end of the stroke is the place to get the gains, so become strong
6. lastly they freak out in pack in the OW and cannot swim straight to save their life - we teach them to swim in the open water and this week we did two sessions in the open water over an hour each with specific longer and short duration efforts in packs with feedback from a coach sitting in a kayak so that tells you have much we rank this activity

But you will never hear me say 'strokes per length', we don't do any total Immersion stuff, do not rush no matter what, and I haven't used a stop watch in the first 2 months of this 2012 prep yet. There is a time and a place for everything.
For age groupers I have some thoughts - invest in ROM, build specific swim based strength, don't get fancy (look up cricket bowling and use that as a stroke recovery action), and mix up the workouts with absolutely no slow FS swimming in the warm down (get rid of the fluff), and forget min strokes per length.
Hope this has helped,
Daz

This is VERY helpful to see how a coach of your caliber is addressing the swim with top elite athletes and the challenges these athletes have with the swim. Thanks for taking time to post.
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Rappstar] [ In reply to ]
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Obviously I'm posting way too much in these swimming threads for you to make these connections. So I'm going to make brief comments and hopefully return to obscurity.

Toys: I do not agree that they force you to do anything more than newtons force you to do in running. They can be used to strengthen good technique. They can also be overused resulting in blown shoulders. Mostly, they are similar to doing weights.

Swimming endurance: It's important and in triathlon it's a great way to build your overall endurance in a low impact environment. This was part of Peter Reid's workout plan and he considered himself a weak swimmer.

Swim technique: drills. Every. Workout. Take them seriously. Get a grown up to coach you--the more experience the better.

I know you wrote a lot, but that's all I have to say on this stuff.
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [coachdaz] [ In reply to ]
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Tell us more about this "leveraging the body past the forearm" stuff. How do you go about addressing this issue? Im guessin this is where I might be losing some time. I suppose its all about body rotation/hips/kick rythms too.

Thanks for giving us some of your time!
Last edited by: PBFLRacing: Dec 31, 11 10:03
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Rappstar] [ In reply to ]
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I think Paulo is bang-on correct if you are a good swimmer.

But I have seen so many athletes with less-than-perfect-form (including myself) try to "get fitter" in the water by swimming hard - and just end up cementing some extremely bad habits.

I could put on a weighted vest, some ankle weights, and a motorcycle helmet and go run up and down my block as hard as a I can, but it's not really making me a better marathoner. It's just cementing some really bad form, and annoying the neighbors.

Ben Greenfield

Ben Greenfield

Nutrition & Human Performance Advice
http://www.bengreenfieldfitness.com
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [pacificfit] [ In reply to ]
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pacificfit wrote:


But I have seen so many athletes with less-than-perfect-form (including myself) try to "get fitter" in the water by swimming hard - and just end up cementing some extremely bad habits.

I could put on a weighted vest, some ankle weights, and a motorcycle helmet and go run up and down my block as hard as a I can, but it's not really making me a better marathoner. It's just cementing some really bad form, and annoying the neighbors.

WOW... that was embarrassing to read... and I thought the golf analogy was bad...
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [The Authority] [ In reply to ]
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The Authority wrote:
pacificfit wrote:


But I have seen so many athletes with less-than-perfect-form (including myself) try to "get fitter" in the water by swimming hard - and just end up cementing some extremely bad habits.

I could put on a weighted vest, some ankle weights, and a motorcycle helmet and go run up and down my block as hard as a I can, but it's not really making me a better marathoner. It's just cementing some really bad form, and annoying the neighbors.

WOW... that was embarrassing to read... and I thought the golf analogy was bad...

I could put on a weighted vest, some wrist weights, and a motorcycle helmet and hit a lot of golf balls, but it's not really making me a better golfer...

Smile


"Non est ad astra mollis e terris via." - Seneca | rappstar.com | FB - Rappstar Racing | IG - @jordanrapp | Game Designer @ Zwift

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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [pacificfit] [ In reply to ]
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I could put on a weighted vest, some ankle weights, and a motorcycle helmet and go run up and down my block as hard as a I can, but it's not really making me a better marathoner. It's just cementing some really bad form, and annoying the neighbors.

But, Ben, it might be helpful to do this as a form of resistance training, if you were involved with car racing and had to do those LeMans style starts where you had to run to your car for the start! ;-)

Specificity!



Steve Fleck @stevefleck | Blog
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [kennyDalglish] [ In reply to ]
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kennyDalglish wrote:
..

MANY people are able to swim for 200m (I say 200 because it's long enough that you can't just "fake it" and sprint the whole way, unlike, say, a 50) at a pace that they'd be VERY happy with for 2000m. So it's not like their stroke is bad. It just BECOMES bad when they get tired. Fitness is the limiter.

..


This makes more sense than the other 500 posts in this thread. And I would say it is compounded when instead of doing x200's with appropriate rest, the common triathlete workout is 300 "drill" followed by 2000 yards strait, improving neither form nor fitness.
Last edited by: sdmike: Dec 31, 11 19:37
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [sdmike] [ In reply to ]
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sdmike wrote:
kennyDalglish wrote:
..

MANY people are able to swim for 200m (I say 200 because it's long enough that you can't just "fake it" and sprint the whole way, unlike, say, a 50) at a pace that they'd be VERY happy with for 2000m. So it's not like their stroke is bad. It just BECOMES bad when they get tired. Fitness is the limiter.

..

This makes more sense than the other 500 posts in this thread. And I would say it it componded when instead of doing x200's with appropriate rest, the common triathlete workout is 300 "drill" followed by 2000 yards strait, improving neither form nor fitness.

Ironically I wrote the quote above. And I also wrote the very first post in this entire thread, though it was just a cut-n-paste of Paulo's tweet. And they basically say the exact same thing...

But we're not quite at 500 posts yet, so there might be a true gem involving newtons, golf balls, ankle weights, and Total Immersion just around the corner. Hope springs eternal!


"Non est ad astra mollis e terris via." - Seneca | rappstar.com | FB - Rappstar Racing | IG - @jordanrapp | Game Designer @ Zwift

Ask me about: 1st Endurance | Normatec - $100 off RAPP2019 | Zipp | Quarq | SRAM
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Rappstar] [ In reply to ]
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But we're not quite at 500 posts yet, so there might be a true gem involving newtons, golf balls, ankle weights, and Total Immersion just around the corner. Hope springs eternal!

Your word is Gold! ;-)



Steve Fleck @stevefleck | Blog
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Rappstar] [ In reply to ]
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Actually the main reason a lot of people struggle with swimming is because there shoulders are too damaged from car seat belts digging into them..
I know sounds ridiculous but I have peer reviewed evidence to back it up.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HJUBFkVrk9s
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Rappstar] [ In reply to ]
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So now your promoting cross-fit..:>)
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Rappstar] [ In reply to ]
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Quote:
But we're not quite at 500 posts yet, so there might be a true gem involving newtons, golf balls, ankle weights, and Total Immersion just around the corner. Hope springs eternal!

I do my Total Immersion drills with my Newtons and ankle weights on while holding golf balls. Total Immersion is my form work, the golf balls are the fist drill, the ankle weights provide resistance and the Newtons ensure I get a good mid-foot push off on my flip turns. It's very time efficient to work on that many things at once.

I'm kidding. I don't own Newtons.

This thread helped get me through a slow, boring week at work. Good stuff.
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Rappstar] [ In reply to ]
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Rappstar wrote:

Ironically I wrote the quote above. And I also wrote the very first post in this entire thread, though it was just a cut-n-paste of Paulo's tweet. And they basically say the exact same thing...

But we're not quite at 500 posts yet, so there might be a true gem involving newtons, golf balls, ankle weights, and Total Immersion just around the corner. Hope springs eternal!

Why do you hate Alexander Pope?

The question of who is right and who is wrong has seemed to me always too small to be worth a moment's thought, while the question of what is right and what is wrong has seemed all-important.

-Albert J. Nock
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Derf] [ In reply to ]
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Derf wrote:
Rappstar wrote:

Ironically I wrote the quote above. And I also wrote the very first post in this entire thread, though it was just a cut-n-paste of Paulo's tweet. And they basically say the exact same thing...

But we're not quite at 500 posts yet, so there might be a true gem involving newtons, golf balls, ankle weights, and Total Immersion just around the corner. Hope springs eternal!

Why do you hate Alexander Pope?

"Slowtwitch: the glory, jest, and riddle of the triathlon world."


"Non est ad astra mollis e terris via." - Seneca | rappstar.com | FB - Rappstar Racing | IG - @jordanrapp | Game Designer @ Zwift

Ask me about: 1st Endurance | Normatec - $100 off RAPP2019 | Zipp | Quarq | SRAM
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Fleck] [ In reply to ]
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Fleck wrote:

But we're not quite at 500 posts yet, so there might be a true gem involving newtons, golf balls, ankle weights, and Total Immersion just around the corner. Hope springs eternal!

Your word is Gold! ;-)

How come no one weaved powercranks into this yet....ooops, I just did.

I said it before but thanks to all the swimming with paddles, I went from zero XC skiing to exactly 160K in a 7 day period. Sutton is a genius!

Carry on!
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Rappstar] [ In reply to ]
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Is there certain swim ability that should be reached before using bands?

For example, if you can only hold 2:00/100m or 1:40/100m?
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Rappstar] [ In reply to ]
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Can someone give me an idea of where i'm at, I know im a shitty swimmer but i need to know where im at on a technique vs. yardage scale if you know what I mean.

I swim 2-3 times a week, 4000- 6000/m max. I can bang out 1;36/100's maybe 10 times. A sprint tri would be 12;45 to 13;15 for 750m... obviously I need to swim a lot more, but do I have some 'technique' that if I do increase my yardage for better 'fitness' that I will see decent gains?

_________________________________________________
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [uncle_evan] [ In reply to ]
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uncle_evan wrote:
I swim 2-3 times a week, 4000- 6000/m max. I can bang out 1;36/100's maybe 10 times. A sprint tri would be 12;45 to 13;15 for 750m... obviously I need to swim a lot more, but do I have some 'technique' that if I do increase my yardage for better 'fitness' that I will see decent gains?

I guess it depends what you mean by 'decent gains'.

I might be a bit faster than you, I can probably do those 100s on 1:33/1:32. If I increase my mileage to say 9 to 10k per week I can get down to 1:29/1:28ish. 90min per week to get less than 90secs on a HIM.

To me it's worth it if I'm going to race Olys. Better invest the time in my run if I am going to do HIM. My simplistic way of seeing things.
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [marcag] [ In reply to ]
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marcag wrote:
uncle_evan wrote:

I swim 2-3 times a week, 4000- 6000/m max. I can bang out 1;36/100's maybe 10 times. A sprint tri would be 12;45 to 13;15 for 750m... obviously I need to swim a lot more, but do I have some 'technique' that if I do increase my yardage for better 'fitness' that I will see decent gains?


I guess it depends what you mean by 'decent gains'.

I might be a bit faster than you, I can probably do those 100s on 1:33/1:32. If I increase my mileage to say 9 to 10k per week I can get down to 1:29/1:28ish. 90min per week to get less than 90secs on a HIM.

To me it's worth it if I'm going to race Olys. Better invest the time in my run if I am going to do HIM. My simplistic way of seeing things.

I guess 'decent' is relative, for me it would be to hold that 1;36/100m pace in a sprint tri....

_________________________________________________
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [uncle_evan] [ In reply to ]
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uncle_evan wrote:
Can someone give me an idea of where i'm at, I know im a shitty swimmer but i need to know where im at on a technique vs. yardage scale if you know what I mean.

I swim 2-3 times a week, 4000- 6000/m max. I can bang out 1;36/100's maybe 10 times. A sprint tri would be 12;45 to 13;15 for 750m... obviously I need to swim a lot more, but do I have some 'technique' that if I do increase my yardage for better 'fitness' that I will see decent gains?

It depends on your workouts. Your average sprint tri pace is 1:45, and you can hold 1:35 for 1000m with rest in a pool. Suggests you need more time doing intervals and threshold work.

And holding 1:45 race pace is not that bad, but definitely room for improvement.

John



Top notch coaching: Francois and Accelerate3 | Follow on Twitter: LifetimeAthlete |
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Devlin] [ In reply to ]
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Devlin wrote:
uncle_evan wrote:
Can someone give me an idea of where i'm at, I know im a shitty swimmer but i need to know where im at on a technique vs. yardage scale if you know what I mean.

I swim 2-3 times a week, 4000- 6000/m max. I can bang out 1;36/100's maybe 10 times. A sprint tri would be 12;45 to 13;15 for 750m... obviously I need to swim a lot more, but do I have some 'technique' that if I do increase my yardage for better 'fitness' that I will see decent gains?


It depends on your workouts. Your average sprint tri pace is 1:45, and you can hold 1:35 for 1000m with rest in a pool. Suggests you need more time doing intervals and threshold work.

And holding 1:45 race pace is not that bad, but definitely room for improvement.

John

so what should 2 or 3, 2000/m workouts look like, not a complete breakdown, but say m/f or m/w/f which day(s) should be threshold and intervals and what percentage of the workout should be threshold or intervals. I do lots of 250m or 500m repeats right now... and some 100/m intervals and 50/m intervals.

_________________________________________________
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [jackmott] [ In reply to ]
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Just look at Paulo's athletes. See how much their swimming has improved.
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [JRenfro] [ In reply to ]
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It's more than just about how much there swimming has improved, it's about how much harder were they capable of racing because their swim improved.
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [uncle_evan] [ In reply to ]
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uncle_evan wrote:
Devlin wrote:
uncle_evan wrote:
Can someone give me an idea of where i'm at, I know im a shitty swimmer but i need to know where im at on a technique vs. yardage scale if you know what I mean.

I swim 2-3 times a week, 4000- 6000/m max. I can bang out 1;36/100's maybe 10 times. A sprint tri would be 12;45 to 13;15 for 750m... obviously I need to swim a lot more, but do I have some 'technique' that if I do increase my yardage for better 'fitness' that I will see decent gains?


It depends on your workouts. Your average sprint tri pace is 1:45, and you can hold 1:35 for 1000m with rest in a pool. Suggests you need more time doing intervals and threshold work.

And holding 1:45 race pace is not that bad, but definitely room for improvement.

John


so what should 2 or 3, 2000/m workouts look like, not a complete breakdown, but say m/f or m/w/f which day(s) should be threshold and intervals and what percentage of the workout should be threshold or intervals. I do lots of 250m or 500m repeats right now... and some 100/m intervals and 50/m intervals.

One day of threshold, one day of intervals, one of more distance work, 2-4k per workout. You can add some of each to every workout, but keep the main emphasis on each one. Keep your intervals faster than race pace with longer rest to make each one, and intervals nearer race pace, on shorter rest.

So, a sample interval workout might be:
4x100 SKIP (Swim, kick, IM, Pull) warmup
10x100 under 1:30, rest :45.
5x100 on 2:00
2 x (4x50 pull, focus on early catch)
3x 100 warmdown

If you make the 10x100 easily, the next time around make it 1:25 as a goal pace, same rest. If you can't make it, up the rest period a bit.

Read through the fishtwitch threads, workouts in a binder, etc.

Threshold work will increase the time you can spend at race pace, intervals increase your race pace. Sets like 5x500 don't do much for making you faster, unless you are doing something like 5x(5x100, descend 1:50 - 1:30) Rest :30 , where your first 100 is 1:50, second is 1:45, third is 1:40, etc.

John



Top notch coaching: Francois and Accelerate3 | Follow on Twitter: LifetimeAthlete |
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Devlin] [ In reply to ]
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Quote:
Keep your intervals faster than race pace with longer rest to make each one, and intervals nearer race pace, on shorter rest.

so, which was supposed to be which, you have two intervals ?

thanks again..

_________________________________________________
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [sentania] [ In reply to ]
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How do you separate swim fitness improvement from bike and run fitness improvement. I assume that his athletes have changed their training wrt all 3 disciplines.
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [JRenfro] [ In reply to ]
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How do you separate swim fitness improvement from bike and run fitness improvement?

Benchmarks in training and then the ultimate test - what happens in races!

I always find it interesting how many dance around and around the issue - the ultimate test is a race. The stopwatch and the results sheet don't lie.



Steve Fleck @stevefleck | Blog
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Fleck] [ In reply to ]
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+1
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Fleck] [ In reply to ]
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I would think that the ultimate test of swim fitness is in the pool. Race length discrepancies are too common.

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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Fleck] [ In reply to ]
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Fleck wrote:
How do you separate swim fitness improvement from bike and run fitness improvement?

Benchmarks in training and then the ultimate test - what happens in races!

I always find it interesting how many dance around and around the issue - the ultimate test is a race. The stopwatch and the results sheet don't lie.


I had a lot of second places this year, and every loss was in the swim.... my bike and run splits are always top 5, usually 1st/2nd. I have admitted to myself that swimming needs to improve, and thats the first step. every second place this year could have been won in the swim.

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Last edited by: uncle_evan: Jan 4, 12 15:30
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Fleck] [ In reply to ]
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That doesn't separate the components out. Obviously, the ultimate benchmark is fastest overall time. However, can you separate the components out to determine the cost benefit of training in one discipline and how that affects overall time.
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [JRenfro] [ In reply to ]
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JRenfro wrote:
How do you separate swim fitness improvement from bike and run fitness improvement. I assume that his athletes have changed their training wrt all 3 disciplines.

You don't. It's speculation.
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [James Haycraft] [ In reply to ]
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James Haycraft wrote:
I would think that the ultimate test of swim fitness is in the pool. Race length discrepancies are too common.

By who you consistently come out of the water in proximity to. I.e., if you were 3min behind a bunch of guys that you are now exiting the water with, you have gotten faster. The times for swims do not matter. But who you come out of the water does. Of all the disciplines, it's easiest to pinpoint swim improvements because triathlon swims pack up. It is a bit difficult to spot improvements from something like "barely making the second pack" to "leading the second pack," but it's easy to spot when athletes "move up" a pack.


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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Rappstar] [ In reply to ]
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That makes sense, but it makes a lot more sense among the pro field. Among amateur and local races it can be difficult to use those parameters. Although at the "local scene" level it's good enough for the most part. No packs, just buddies to compare yourself to.

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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Rappstar] [ In reply to ]
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i've been thinking about this thread as I struggle to improve my swimming. My experience as an adult onset swimmer has been that there have been three distinct phases for me.


1. technique is everything phase. getting up and down the pool and generating a reasonable amount of velocity is all that matters.Unless there is some 'rough, repeatable approximation' of swimming stroke then there is no point in having fitness.

2. fitness becomes important phase. The swimmer takes the rough stroke and creates fitness and some velocity. Can swim all day and in a race situation often has to!

3. things even out phase. With fitness and a repeatable stroke the swimmer can now focus on fine tuning to become more efficient also can work on speed training and interval work to improve fitness.

My biggest revelation came when I realized that technique improves with speed and the ability to work on technique improves greatly with speed also. I then realized that at the early stages all the drills in the world were doing me no good whatsover because I wasn't going fast enough. I spent a season as paolo recommends in his tweet...only really concerned about being able to swim 1900 meters without drowning. I didn't much care about how it looked or how efficient.
I now want to go from 40 to 35 minutes and am improving everyday working on technique and fitness.

At the end of the day though it really does become all about fitness. no matter what form you have you need to swim the distance and the worst form you have the better fitness you better have to make it.

richard
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [rhayden] [ In reply to ]
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i didnt read the long thread..... but i try to kept it simple....

Chris McCormack told me ''15 years ago, swim 40km/week for 6 months and you will be front pack for the rest of your life''

That was pretty much true....for triathlon level, if you can find a way to survive 6 months of that and not get injured and find the time for it, you will be set for life... i would say i pretty much agree with him on that

.

Jonathan Caron

Jonnyo Coaching
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [rhayden] [ In reply to ]
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rhayden wrote:
My biggest revelation came when I realized that technique improves with speed and the ability to work on technique improves greatly with speed also. I then realized that at the early stages all the drills in the world were doing me no good whatsoever because I wasn't going fast enough.

In general your post makes sense. Yes, as you get faster, the higher speed provides further easy opportunities to improve your technique. But the quandry is, to get faster, you need to have decent technique in the first place.

But the biggest error is what you write about drills. Because "drills" are not equivalent to good technique. And just doing drills very likely won't get you better technique. Good technique comes from having expert observers and teachers watch your swimming and give you direct feedback on what needs changing and exactly how to change it. Good technique is learning exactly how to swim differently.

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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [jonnyo] [ In reply to ]
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jonnyo wrote:

Chris McCormack told me ''15 years ago, swim 40km/week for 6 months and you will be front pack for the rest of your life''

That was pretty much true....for triathlon level, if you can find a way to survive 6 months of that and not get injured and find the time for it, you will be set for life... i would say i pretty much agree with him on that

.

Here's the thing - and I say this with due respect Johnny, knowing full well that you are not an "easy road" kind of guy. This kind of encapsulates a spirit of this thread, or at least of the pro-Paulo posts: the notion that there is a quick fix to ones swimming problems. Just survive 6 months at 40k per week? For a handful of people this might work, but for the overwhelming majority I think that it's a seductive sirens song.

Really, I think that if we dig a little deeper, it is an easy-road mentality. Put on some paddles, your stroke will HAVE to get better. Just survive 6 months of 12 hours per week in the pool you will be as fast as Macca.

To me, one of the big struggles in the pursuit of better swimming is that people want it to be like a bike fit. They go in, some dude sells them a new stem, and seat height, then gets them an aero helmet and Boom! they're Kona bound. Now, admittedly 6 months of hard work is not as instantly gratifying an experience as buying a new Shiv, but in the context of a triathlon passion that may extend 10-20 years through a persons life, it's pretty damn quick.

Of course, I have not done this as a research project, and I base some of my professional work on an evolutionary approach to technical improvement, so of course my biases are implicit. That said, I would like to know what is the per 100 yard threshold pace that would reach this front pack for 1/2 to full Ironman swims? Perhaps then we could design an experiment to see if 6 months of "total immersion" into swim training would suffice.

Regards,
r.b.

Bringing you Tweets @ http://twitter.com/findfreestyle and Not just a bunch of drills - A Process.
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [robertwb] [ In reply to ]
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Quote:
Just survive 6 months at 40k per week? For a handful of people this might work, but for the overwhelming majority I think that it's a seductive sirens song.

I think doing drills is the seductive siren's song. I've fallen victim to it for years, convinced that form was everything and that there's some secret drill that's going to magically fix my form and have me swimming 1:15s effortlessly. The result has been several years of disappointing swim times so this year I'm more or less ditching the drill/form approach (still working on form but it's not a focus) and putting in a lot of effort on fitness. I'm about 5 weeks in doing 20-30K per week and one thing I've learned quickly is that I've obviously never built a swimming base.

For years I've scoured the internet reading about swim form and constantly found conflicting information. This has led me to believe that either no one really knows how we move through the water and/or there is more than one correct way to swim well (or in this case, good enough). I've taken one-on-one lessons and been told my form is good and that I just need to swim a lot. I finally believe them.

I've been like a lot of triathletes trying to avoid 6 months of hard work in the pool by using excuses like it's all about form, swim fitness comes back the quickest, the swim is the shortest event so it makes more sense to focus on the bike and run, etc. To me, the months of hard work in the pool isn't the siren's song. It's what I (and others) have been avoiding, but I'm tired of losing valuable time in the water and paying for my lack of swim fitness on the bike and run.

Plus, if you're going to follow Macca's advice and do 40K per week for 6 months, you have plenty of opportunities to work on your form. I work on it every time I swim (just not with drills) and I'm finding that the fitter I get the better I "feel" the water and am better able to make adjustments to my stroke. Plus, I'm getting stronger which means my stroke isn't falling apart as quickly and my pull is stronger. 40K per week also gives you plenty of opportunities to work in some drills if you want.
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Supersquid] [ In reply to ]
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Supersquid wrote:
I think doing drills is the seductive siren's song.
...
I'm about 5 weeks in doing 20-30K per week and one thing I've learned quickly is that I've obviously never built a swimming base.

THe point is, that BOTH "just doing drills" and "just swim 40k for 6 mos" are siren songs - neither of them is sufficient in my experience. And the problem is that so many want there to be a simple, short term solution to being FOP. The reality is that you have to build some skills, and build some fitness.

Quote:
For years I've scoured the internet reading about swim form and constantly found conflicting information. This has led me to believe that either no one really knows how we move through the water and/or there is more than one correct way to swim well (or in this case, good enough). I've taken one-on-one lessons and been told my form is good and that I just need to swim a lot. I finally believe them.

If you want to understand what constitutes the varying range of "proper" or "successful" form, read Ernest Maglischo's book Swimming Fastest. It is all there, and once you understand what he is getting at, you will be able to go to any pool and see what is making the successful better than their lesser peers. If you want to learn how to do it, then you need appropriate guidance. Successful coaches use a range of activities, drilling kicking and swimming, and all manner of combinations. And dedication to the process is important.



Regards,
r.b.

Bringing you Tweets @ http://twitter.com/findfreestyle and Not just a bunch of drills - A Process.
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [robertwb] [ In reply to ]
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bonjour Robert

I would be willing to wager a huge amount of money that if you get the 6 months at 40km/week in, you will be in a elite front pack swimmer, say 17-18min 1500meter swimmer.

Why, because no one can survive 40km. week without MANY years of preparation and slowly building up there swimming. But in your progression, by the time you get there...you will be already fast. 40km week is almost 15h of swimming. Beleive me, in 15h, you will get all the drills in the world, all the form, all the fitness...... what you get is 15h weekly of expose time to the water.

I m very aware that it s not a practical recommendation to age grouper with limited time. But the advise still stand that when you get to the level of been able to surivive that kind of load...you will be able to swim at the front of the race.


And, to be honest, that level isnt anything specatcular in swimming therm....

I took me 6 years to survive the 6 months of swimming...... when from a 1:02 ironman swimmer to a sub 50

and for the record, life sucks big time when swimming 40km.week as a triathlete.... there is no life...

.

Jonathan Caron

Jonnyo Coaching
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [jonnyo] [ In reply to ]
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jonnyo wrote:

And, to be honest, that level isnt anything specatcular in swimming therm....

.

No doubt
One of the local 11 year old girls USA-Swimming teams did 3 days of 6K in the morning and 6K in the afternoon during the Christmas break...
They were somewhere near 60K for the week
Though yards... so that is way different.

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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [jonnyo] [ In reply to ]
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Guys, I think people are reading all this all wrong.

What most AG athletes, definitely including me, is that when we get to the point of a little pain or a little tired, we conclude our workout and chalk up the day as done. What I think is important for AGers to understand is to push just past that hurt or fatigue and your body will adapt to the challenge, one way or another. Meaning, yes, you could in fact injure yourself and your body forces you to the sideline because you don't have enough base or technique to keep up the fight.

I find that when I have hit my threshold in a masters class, for whatever the reason (too fast a pace, too many meters, bad sleep the day before, whatever), I NEED to put on the paddles to force my arms into the proper stroke or else I start to sink and stop going forward. When my shoulders are taxed, my stroke and pull get weak and sloppy. I'm in a lane with 2 or 3 other people still holding pace, I better fix my stroke to stay with them or get lapped. THe paddles force my technique or else the fatigue just ramps up too quickly and my body starts to hurt. With proper technique, I might be fatigued, but my shoulders and lats won't actualy "hurt" with real pain.

Same is true for running and cycling. How many people quit when it gets "too hard" or "too tired". When I bonk running and I still have another 5 miles to get home, I better figure out a way to keep the stride going. If my run technique is off, then the hips, ankles, quads, upper body start to hurt. I need to quiet the body and focus on technique at that point or else I don't make it home without serious injury or at least pain the next day.

The point is, when the body reaches it's fatigue level, to be able to push past it without major injury will force proper technique.

Robert, you know I learned a lot from Finding Freestyle, and it really helped me get to the next level. However, I agree with Jonny, Jordan, and Paulo on this one. Although, not to say that if you fatigue your body to 5k swim and then throw in another 2k worth of FF drills on top of that wouldn't produce the same result. But I think forcing one to keep the same pace after fatigue sets in will be instant feedback.

None of this is an instant quick fix to the FOP for the new fish.
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [jonnyo] [ In reply to ]
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jonnyo wrote:
bonjour Robert

I would be willing to wager a huge amount of money that if you get the 6 months at 40km/week in, you will be in a elite front pack swimmer, say 17-18min 1500meter swimmer.

Why, because no one can survive 40km. week without MANY years of preparation and slowly building up there swimming. But in your progression, by the time you get there...you will be already fast. 40km week is almost 15h of swimming. Beleive me, in 15h, you will get all the drills in the world, all the form, all the fitness...... what you get is 15h weekly of expose time to the water.

I m very aware that it s not a practical recommendation to age grouper with limited time. But the advise still stand that when you get to the level of been able to surivive that kind of load...you will be able to swim at the front of the race.


And, to be honest, that level isnt anything specatcular in swimming therm....

I took me 6 years to survive the 6 months of swimming...... when from a 1:02 ironman swimmer to a sub 50

and for the record, life sucks big time when swimming 40km.week as a triathlete.... there is no life...

.

Well said, I can find very little to disagree with you. I think that you made some really important qualifications in terms of the fact that it will take quite a bit of time, indeed years, to work up to that level of training in a safe and effective manner. That notion has been nearly absent from this dialog (I think, of course, I have not read every single post on this bloody thread).

And as you and supersquid said, with that kind of time in the water, there is plenty of time for drilling. And that is the other part of this dialog, the notion of what constitutes "drilling" or "technique work" tends to be quite outmoded in my opinion. Coaches have developed a hell of a lot beyond finger-tip drag, catch-up free, and the TI canon. Things that in my way of thinking can only be regarded as "activities".

So, absolutely, spend years working up to where you have the wherewithal to nail 40k per week for 6 months (while still biking and running some). Shit dude, you should coach professionally.

Regards,
r.b.

Bringing you Tweets @ http://twitter.com/findfreestyle and Not just a bunch of drills - A Process.
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [robertwb] [ In reply to ]
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Just survive 6 months at 40k per week? For a handful of people this might work, but for the overwhelming majority I think that it's a seductive sirens song.

The orginal quote that started this thread needs to be read in the context of the fact that 40K per week is right about at the low end of normal for real swimmers. Pretty much every kid over the age of 14 who swims year round is doing at least that much yardage and the serious folks are doing nearly twice that.

Almost all tri related swim questions can be answered by analogizing to what you would say to a runner wondering how he can improve his 10K time after you find out that he is only running 5 miles per week.
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Supersquid] [ In reply to ]
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You'll be happy you did.

And also remember...there is nothing wrong with drills when used properly.

For me, the proper time for a drill is immediatly after a brutal set as warm down and prep for the next set.

Your tired, so a focus on good form helps. And taking 15min out to do that when you're swimming a LOT isn't going to harm fitness. It creates a nice transition between tough sets. Plus it keeps you loose and helps dissipate some of the lactic acid burn in your arms.

Just wait until you start swimmig twice per day 2hrs each time!!

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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [jonnyo] [ In reply to ]
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Quote:
and for the record, life sucks big time when swimming 40km.week as a triathlete.... there is no life...

puhlease - I was able to graduate college, and drink A LOT while swimming that much or more


Than again I was 20 years old, I can't imagine trying to do that again.
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [alanhawse] [ In reply to ]
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yards, meters it's not *that* much different.

54km vs. 60k yards

still a LOT.
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Supersquid] [ In reply to ]
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Supersquid wrote:
I think doing drills is the seductive siren's song. I've fallen victim to it for years, convinced that form was everything and that there's some secret drill that's going to magically fix my form and have me swimming 1:15s effortlessly.


Well, you're right and you're wrong at the same time.

Let's try it again: "doing drills" or "searching for some secret drill that will magically fix your form" are NOT technique. No, for swimmers that didn't learn it as kids, good technique comes from having expert observers and teachers watch your swimming and give you direct feedback on exactly what needs changing and exactly how to change it. Good technique is learning exactly how to swim differently, and faster (i.e. more distance per watt). But just like doing random or secret drills will do nearly nothing for you, so will swimming massive yardage with poor technique. You'll do little except go slow and heat up the water.

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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [prattzc] [ In reply to ]
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Zach,

Great post.

I chalk a lot of this up to a lack of experience. People get into the sport and with in 2 years, they are entered in a 1/2 or full IM - there is not a right or wrong with this, but if you are really trying to optimize performance, then this is not the best approach.

A lot of the problems fitness related and otherwise stem from a lack of fitness base and experience. You sited some good examples in your post. Probably one of the key things for athletes to do, in each sport, is to find that edge of their fitness that they can surf along pushing themselves. But too many worry about this or are told, "don't go there" Why not? This is where the fitness gains are really found! This is where you race! This is where you gain experience figuring out how to get through it - not chasing or following some number!

Paulo is loving this!


Steve Fleck @stevefleck | Blog
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [STP] [ In reply to ]
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STP wrote:
Almost all tri related swim questions can be answered by analogizing to what you would say to a runner wondering how he can improve his 10K time after you find out that he is only running 5 miles per week.

Except for one thing: if we weigh a normal amount, due to evolution, we are actually "wired" with proper and efficient running technique. Barring injury, yes, run more miles, and you will get more efficient. Unfortunately, no such wiring exists for swimming. You can swim tons and your technique and efficiency can still be very bad. I know, I have seen it. A lot.

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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [sentania] [ In reply to ]
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sentania wrote:
yards, meters it's not *that* much different.


54km vs. 60k yards

still a LOT.


It was a joke.

Actually ~54, 863.9999 meters

Don't forget that last 863.9999 meters ... makes a big difference.

Checkout http://www.iotexpert.com
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [STP] [ In reply to ]
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STP wrote:
The orginal quote that started this thread needs to be read in the context of the fact that 40K per week is right about at the low end of normal for real swimmers. Pretty much every kid over the age of 14 who swims year round is doing at least that much yardage and the serious folks are doing nearly twice that.

I think that these numbers that you are throwing out need to be qualified. #1) Qualified by real data - where do your yardage stats come from? #2) also what level of performance is resulting from the yardage levels that you are giving?

From my own experiences, and my relationships with elite level age group and senior level coaches, there are a ton of 15-18 year olds going speeds of around 5:00 to 5:30 for 500 yards on 20-30k per week. A good portion of that is also spent doing non-freestyle. Some of the other strokes may be credited with a cross-training effect, but the same performance goals can be met with less total yardage if freestyle is the sole focus.

Quote:
Almost all tri related swim questions can be answered by analogizing to what you would say to a runner wondering how he can improve his 10K time after you find out that he is only running 5 miles per week.

I think this is a strawman argument. Just because you can't become elite with less than 1 hour per week of practice doesn't mean that the only path to greatness is 15 hours per week. Similarly, dismissing drills as "nonsense" is to make a caricature of the kind of intelligent, progressive, and successful approaches to developing form that age-group coaches all over the country employ.

There is a ton of area between 1 and 15 workouts per week, and that area between is, as johnnyo noted, steps in the progression. Thus, it's NOT really 6 months. It's a hell of a lot more.

Regards,
r.b.

Bringing you Tweets @ http://twitter.com/findfreestyle and Not just a bunch of drills - A Process.
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [sentania] [ In reply to ]
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sentania wrote:
Quote:
and for the record, life sucks big time when swimming 40km.week as a triathlete.... there is no life...


puhlease - I was able to graduate college, and drink A LOT while swimming that much or more


Than again I was 20 years old, I can't imagine trying to do that again.

X1,000,000

Fishes are some of the most proficient drinkers/partiers on campus. Swimming twice per day at 2hrs per practice leaves another 20 hours per day to drink.

You can't drink all day if you don't start in the morning!!

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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [alanhawse] [ In reply to ]
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863.9 (repeating) meters is huge. That will make or break your season!
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [BeachboyWI] [ In reply to ]
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We had this bright idea one year to do a 24 swim-a-thon to raise money.

We also thought it was a great idea to have a 24 hour party to coincide with said 24 swim-a-thon.

Bouncing on the 3m board while loaded to the gills is something I wish I would have blacked out - it is actually pretty frightening.
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [sentania] [ In reply to ]
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sentania wrote:
863.9 (repeating) meters is huge. That will make or break your season!

That's my season total. :)

https://www.miles4matt.run/
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [robertwb] [ In reply to ]
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robertwb wrote:
Here's the thing - and I say this with due respect Johnny, knowing full well that you are not an "easy road" kind of guy. This kind of encapsulates a spirit of this thread, or at least of the pro-Paulo posts: the notion that there is a quick fix to ones swimming problems. Just survive 6 months at 40k per week? For a handful of people this might work, but for the overwhelming majority I think that it's a seductive sirens song.

Thing is, I've seen it work well. I went to a D3 college that was open roster for most sports. Our swim team talen level went from All Americans (A friend of mine was a 16:00 flat 1650 guy, which while not elite, is pretty respectable in that realm) to people who had literally never swum a competitive stroke in their lives.

At the beginning of the season, coach would have the utter and total newbies doing widths in the diving well and working on very basic technique. By the end of the first season, he'd have them able to break 1:10 for a 100 yard freestyle on race day, and swimming a two hour practice in the slow lane with only minor modifications. Come back for season two, and they'd be doing freestyle sets on a 1:30/100 yards sendoff pace by the middle of that.

So we're talking 10-20 hours a week from October through February,depending on whether you did all the optional morning workouts, and that probably gets you in the top 20% of triathlon swimmers if you end up in the sport later on based on those two swim seasons of hard work.
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [FLA Jill] [ In reply to ]
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FLA Jill wrote:
At the beginning of the season, coach would have the utter and total newbies doing widths in the diving well and working on very basic technique. By the end of the first season, he'd have them able to break 1:10 for a 100 yard freestyle on race day, and swimming a two hour practice in the slow lane with only minor modifications. Come back for season two, and they'd be doing freestyle sets on a 1:30/100 yards sendoff pace by the middle of that.

So we're talking 10-20 hours a week from October through February,depending on whether you did all the optional morning workouts, and that probably gets you in the top 20% of triathlon swimmers if you end up in the sport later on based on those two swim seasons of hard work.


But this is still a far cry from just hammering 40k per week for 6 months -- which was my point. 1) you had a coach, and clearly someone who knew what they were doing. 2) your sample group is still limited -- it contains the people who actually survived it.

And as I have stated earlier in this thread (only bout 200 posts ago) I don't claim that pounding can't get you there, it surely can -- or some folks that is. there are risks, and there are no guarantees, and there are a lot of people who will fail thinking that you just hop in and start going 40k. there is no "all you have to do" that applies across the board, and well, it is a bit impractical for most AG'ers.

regards,
r.b.

Bringing you Tweets @ http://twitter.com/findfreestyle and Not just a bunch of drills - A Process.
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [jonnyo] [ In reply to ]
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Chris McCormack told me ''15 years ago, swim 40km/week for 6 months and you will be front pack for the rest of your life''

I just want to follow up on Johnny's post - it was a good one - and propose a little experiment. The goal race is an Olympic Distance Triathlon at the 2 year mark.

Take two non-triathletes with very limited endurance fitness. Triathlete A starts in on a total balanced swim/bike/run training program from the get-go and sticks to it. Triathlete B starts off with total immersion in each of the 3 sports for 6 month blocks of time - so 6 months of swimming, 6 months of cycling and then 6 months or running, or what ever order you like. Their focus for each of those 6 months is that sport.They can do a limited amount of the other 2 if they have time/energy. Then for 6 months shifts back to a balanced training program.

Who wins the Olympic Triathlon at 2 years?



Steve Fleck @stevefleck | Blog
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Fleck] [ In reply to ]
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Triathlete A wins because he is not injured or so bored that he moved on to another hobby.
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Fleck] [ In reply to ]
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Fleck wrote:
Chris McCormack told me ''15 years ago, swim 40km/week for 6 months and you will be front pack for the rest of your life''

I just want to follow up on Johnny's post - it was a good one - and propose a little experiment. The goal race is an Olympic Distance Triathlon at the 2 year mark.

Take two non-triathletes with very limited endurance fitness. Triathlete A starts in on a total balanced swim/bike/run training program from the get-go and sticks to it. Triathlete B starts off with total immersion in each of the 3 sports for 6 month blocks of time - so 6 months of swimming, 6 months of cycling and then 6 months or running, or what ever order you like. Their focus for each of those 6 months is that sport.They can do a limited amount of the other 2 if they have time/energy. Then for 6 months shifts back to a balanced training program.

Who wins the Olympic Triathlon at 2 years?

the first one across the finish line!

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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Rappstar] [ In reply to ]
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ST: all your answers to age group swimming requirements found here:

http://joelfilliol.blogspot.com/...-is-is.html?spref=tw

Yes, that simple.

Now just swim.

@rhyspencer
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [rhys] [ In reply to ]
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rhys wrote:
ST: all your answers to age group swimming requirements found here:

http://joelfilliol.blogspot.com/...-is-is.html?spref=tw

Yes, that simple.

Now just swim.

One wonders if the Paulo haters will come back on and start slagging Joel as well....because you know, he has no credentials and athletes that have done well either.

https://www.miles4matt.run/
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [walnutcreek tri] [ In reply to ]
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Triathlete A wins because he is not injured or so bored that he moved on to another hobby.

I can't help with the motivation - that always has to come from within. It's actually a key part that many seem to not really understand. To do this well, to do anything really well, you have to really want to do it.

There is this oft stated notion that to focus on one sport automatically leads to injury - is that what you are saying?



Steve Fleck @stevefleck | Blog
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [rhys] [ In reply to ]
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Thanks for posting that link!

Looking forward to reading thru other entries on his blog.
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Fleck] [ In reply to ]
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That's sort of what I did through high school and first two years of college. Bike race in the summer, run xc in fall, swim in winter, run track in spring. The limitation was that I wasn't able to handle much volume in any of the sports to be more than a 50-100 guy in the pool, a 400-800 guy on the track, and a crit guy while riding. Not sure if I would been very good at anything if I wasn't born with predominantly fastwitch muscles. Last two years of college I just focused on running, and the gradual increase in mileage I was able to handle (30mpw to average 50mpw for 18 months) lead to massive increases in running ability (18 seconds in the mile, 1:20 in the 5k, and 2 minutes in the 8k). My 400 and 800 stayed the same.

In the hypothetical you proposed, I guess I would change the rotating 6 month option to 18 months of just swimming and running, with almost daily doubles. 6-8 runs and 5-6 swims per week, with gradually increased volume and intensity. Swimming would be done with a masters team. Then six to eight months out from the race, do a bike intensive block and back off the other two a bit. Send them out on lots of group rides and teach them to suffer. Bike fitness seems to be acquired the quickest since there's very little efficiency/form to be taught. Almost every ounce of effort applied translates to forward momentum. Just my two cents.

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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [jonnyo] [ In reply to ]
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"Chris McCormack told me ''15 years ago, swim 40km/week for 6 months and you will be front pack for the rest of your life''

Well the truth is Macca proved himself wrong on this one . He was a third pack swimmer this year.
But I also think if he is doing his 6 month he will be at least a 2nd pack swimmer 2012



http://www.pb3coaching.com
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [DarkSpeedWorks] [ In reply to ]
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DarkSpeedWorks wrote:
Except for one thing: if we weigh a normal amount, due to evolution, we are actually "wired" with proper and efficient running technique..

Some of us yes but oh dear lord certainly not all of us.
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [STP] [ In reply to ]
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STP wrote:
...
Almost all tri related swim questions can be answered by analogizing to what you would say to a runner wondering how he can improve his 10K time after you find out that he is only running 5 miles per week.
Making an obvious point here but it's taken me a while to get it. Coming from a running background, the amount of over-distance training for swimming has astounded me. To use the quote above, if I swim 40K per week to race an oly 1.5K, then I'd be running 267K per week to race a 10K. Of course that's nuts, and training times & distances don't scale across sports like that. But since I only started swimming a year ago I fell for similar logic. As in, "I'm only swimming ~2100yd in a 70.3 so swimming 2500yd three times per week is more than enough..."
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [noahman] [ In reply to ]
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then I'd be running 267K per week to race a 10K. Of course that's nuts, and training times & distances don't scale across sports like that. But since I only started swimming a year ago I fell for similar logic
___________________________



Training Volume (Hours): Swimmer > Cyclist > Runner.
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [noahman] [ In reply to ]
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Dude I used to swim 50 to 60k a week for a race that lasted about 20 seconds.
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [sentania] [ In reply to ]
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sentania wrote:
Dude I used to swim 50 to 60k a week for a race that lasted about 20 seconds.

That's what I'm just wrapping my head around. Of course the scaling for sprints is different from distance races - nobody would suggest a 100m track sprinter only run 1000m per week. Still even for distance races, the (training volume)/(racing volume) ratio for swimming is much greater than I'd realized & also greater than what's in most of the IM training plans I've seen (which are something like 3-4 hrs per week). So since I really need to improve in swimming, I'm hitting the pool a lot more this winter.
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [noahman] [ In reply to ]
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First off, swimmers swim that much because they can. Its a low impact activity so you really can go for 4 hours a day, every day and live to tell the tale, if you have the time. There are about a 100,000+ kids in the US doing some approximation of that as we speak. If runners could physically do that, I'm certain that 30+ mile days would be the norm for distance runners so you can not compare one sport to the other to come up with an appropriate training volume.

Second, and really to my point, one of the basic problems with triathlon swimmers who want to get faster is that instead of looking at what real swimmers do as a guide (modified of course to fit time, talent and the particular nature of triathlon) they rationalize why they should be training for swimming in a completely different way than those who do it for a living, so to speak.

That, in my opinion, is at the heart of the tweet that started this. If you want to swim faster, train like a swimmer, because much of what makes for good techinque is made, not learned. Or, more realistically, aim generally in that direction given your other constraints. That, at its core, means swim more and swim harder.
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [STP] [ In reply to ]
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To:....because much of what makes for good techinque is made, not learned.
Nice quote......I like
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [STP] [ In reply to ]
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STP wrote:
Second, and really to my point, one of the basic problems with triathlon swimmers who want to get faster is that instead of looking at what real swimmers do as a guide (modified of course to fit time, talent and the particular nature of triathlon) they rationalize why they should be training for swimming in a completely different way than those who do it for a living, so to speak.

Well said.

I don't bike, but if I did, the first thing I would do is emulate how real bike riders train. Why is that not true for most adult onset swimmers?
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [STP] [ In reply to ]
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Well said. This thread has been a real kick in the pants (or suit, I guess) to put in the time & effort in the pool.
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Tin Cup] [ In reply to ]
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Tin Cup wrote:
STP wrote:
Second, and really to my point, one of the basic problems with triathlon swimmers who want to get faster is that instead of looking at what real swimmers do as a guide (modified of course to fit time, talent and the particular nature of triathlon) they rationalize why they should be training for swimming in a completely different way than those who do it for a living, so to speak.

Well said.

I don't bike, but if I did, the first thing I would do is emulate how real bike riders train. Why is that not true for most adult onset swimmers?

It *sort of* is in a weird bastardized way. Drills and strict "technique" work are the hallmarks of youth swimming programs. So you have these parents taking their 6-10yo kids to swim practice, and they see them doing a lot of drills and technique work, so they extrapolate that as being correct for them. The problem with this is that, just like learning pretty much anything, kids are WAY more adaptable. Secondly, these kids are doing these drills under the watch of a coach. And, lastly, if they are like most youth swim programs, they are probably significantly more than your AG triathlete, such that time spent drilling is part of a much more comprehensive overall swim program.

However, I know a lot of folks who look at how kids train and they base their own training around what they think they understand about kids' programs without understanding the four big limiters to doing so - 1) they aren't kids, 2) they rarely have a coach supervising the drills, and 3) they don't swim nearly enough to allow themselves to waste time with only marginally productive drills. The fourth thing is really the big one - and it's sort of related to #2 - and that's that they generally lack any real understanding of what it takes to swim correctly, so not only are they often not doing the drills correctly, they don't even know why they are doing them.

Yes, there is a certain amount of simple laziness, but I think that ignorance is the larger culprit as to why people waste so much time (and money) on drills and drill-based programs (e.g. Total Immersion).


"Non est ad astra mollis e terris via." - Seneca | rappstar.com | FB - Rappstar Racing | IG - @jordanrapp | Game Designer @ Zwift

Ask me about: 1st Endurance | Normatec - $100 off RAPP2019 | Zipp | Quarq | SRAM
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Rappstar] [ In reply to ]
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Ding Ding Ding Ding

It's the Dev Paul Talking down to triathletes alert

How dare you talk down to triathletes!

;)


Steve Fleck @stevefleck | Blog
Last edited by: Fleck: Jan 5, 12 17:53
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Rappstar] [ In reply to ]
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Rappstar wrote:
Tin Cup wrote:
It *sort of* is in a weird bastardized way. Drills and strict "technique" work are the hallmarks of youth swimming programs. So you have these parents taking their 6-10yo kids to swim practice, and they see them doing a lot of drills and technique work, so they extrapolate that as being correct for them. The problem with this is that, just like learning pretty much anything, kids are WAY more adaptable. Secondly, these kids are doing these drills under the watch of a coach. And, lastly, if they are like most youth swim programs, they are probably significantly more than your AG triathlete, such that time spent drilling is part of a much more comprehensive overall swim program.


Other than the "adaptable" part, this characterization is a more accurate assessment of the ins and outs of technique and drills than the original QFT, in my opinion. The success that age group coaches have with drills IS because they have them in a coherent context, not just "doing drills".

As for the adaptability issue, the greater recalcitrance to changes in movement patterns that may be present in many adults would be an argument for more drills or technical activities rather than less. Of course they have to be purposeful and actually address something that limits speed in the water. Just like your paddles provide stimulus, and your buoy as well, so too do drills -- what stimulus and when is the crux.


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Yes, there is a certain amount of simple laziness, but I think that ignorance is the larger culprit as to why people waste so much time (and money) on drills and drill-based programs (e.g. Total Immersion).

I will not speak to the structure of TI's program, as I know nothing beyond the original book. However, if it does not succeed in helping folks to be faster, it is not the drills themselves that are bad or ineffective -- Terry coached a number of very fast, very TI looking swimmers back in the day. "Just doing drills" is about as helpful as "just swimming a bunch".

The original point about technique training not being compatible with fitness building, however, is still, I believe, false. As I stated earlier, there are a whole bunch of successful swim coaches out there doing many skill building activities as part of their endurance regimen. Failure to recognize that is failure to look.

r.b.

Bringing you Tweets @ http://twitter.com/findfreestyle and Not just a bunch of drills - A Process.
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [robertwb] [ In reply to ]
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As I stated earlier, there are a whole bunch of successful swim coaches out there doing many skill building activities as part of their endurance regimen. Failure to recognize that is failure to look.


Putting words in Rapps mouth, but I believe he acknowledged and agreed with that, however he did state that programs that include a lot of drill work, also include a lot of fitness building work.

When you are only swimming 2 to 4 hours a week as most triathletes, you simply can't devote 2 hours + a week to drills, it doesn't leave enough room for fitness.


And that's the bottom line.
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [sentania] [ In reply to ]
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sentania wrote:
When you are only swimming 2 to 4 hours a week as most triathletes, you simply can't devote 2 hours + a week to drills, it doesn't leave enough room for fitness.


And that's the bottom line.

Sorry, I disagree with you about the bottom line. If I understans you, your bottom line says that drilling work does not and can not get used to build fitness. This is an incorrect application of drills, and simply not how many successful coaches use them - at least not in the modern day.

Skill building activities can most certainly be an aerobic activity, and in fact can be a threshold activity - and still be done properly. This is my problem with the original post - it creates a false distinction, and in essence makes a caricature of skill activities. Technique work does not have to be "1x25, nice and easy and perfect, OK, great, now rest 1:00. Repeat 4 times or until you think your technique is failing, if that happens stop immediately and visualize effortless swimming".

regards,
r.b.

Bringing you Tweets @ http://twitter.com/findfreestyle and Not just a bunch of drills - A Process.
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [robertwb] [ In reply to ]
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I think you are actually in line with the orginal post, at least the way I am reading it.


I took the point to be that many parts of proper swimming technique are not necessarily just a particular set of motions but rather the ability to successfully execute those motions at speed and over time. One needs to work on swim specific fitness to be able to accomplish that. Its a two part process - proper technique but also, repeated long term attempts to execute proper technique at a high enough effort level to build the necessary fitness. I see your statement "Skill building activities can most certainly be an aerobic activity, and in fact can be a threshold activity - and still be done properly" as essentially saying the same thing. As you state, drills vs work is most definitely not an either/or proposition and real swimmers most definitely do not approach technique work that way.
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [STP] [ In reply to ]
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STP wrote:

I took the point to be that many parts of proper swimming technique are not necessarily just a particular set of motions but rather the ability to successfully execute those motions at speed and over time. One needs to work on swim specific fitness to be able to accomplish that. Its a two part process - proper technique but also, repeated long term attempts to execute proper technique at a high enough effort level to build the necessary fitness.

Well, I most certainly agree with your statement, I think that it sums up both the simplicity & the complexity of swimming prowess. I think the original post, which said that "...Working on your fitness works on technique. The opposite is not true." -- is pretty clear in stating that you can't work on technique and build fitness. It is this that I disagree with strongly. Now, maybe in the ensuing 12 pages of replies it has been restated. :)

regards,
r.b.

Bringing you Tweets @ http://twitter.com/findfreestyle and Not just a bunch of drills - A Process.
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [robertwb] [ In reply to ]
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I think back to my competitive swimming days, and I don't think I can recall a single technique exercise I did that I would call a threshold activity.
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Fleck] [ In reply to ]
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [sentania] [ In reply to ]
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sentania wrote:
I think back to my competitive swimming days, and I don't think I can recall a single technique exercise I did that I would call a threshold activity.

Which does not surprise me, though I don;t know how long ago you swam. However, I use the term quite broadly, since I believe that all the toys, as well as drills, and "activities" such as speedplay, breathing patterns, all contribute to technique building.

However, to be really, really literal in the definition of "technique" as "drilling". Late in my coaching career (after I had a day job), I began assisting coaches at a local club here in Richmond VA. The two age group coaches that I assisted are elite - one has perrennial NAG-16 age groupers, and the other coaches pre-senior (like 12-14), most of them non-elite (by USS standards). The pre-senior coach has a bit of history, she was Katie Hoffs age group coach (and a ton of others who have been US olympic trials level and above). Anyhow, I was blown away at the amount of drilling that took place not only as tweeners in the main set (active recovery), but which was decidedly aerobic, if not threshold. These coaches produce some of the best swimmers in the nation (NOVA is always top 5-6 in the USA rankings). They are not the only coaches I have seen using this approach. It works. It is technique, it is aerobic, and it is highly successful.

regards,
r.b.

Bringing you Tweets @ http://twitter.com/findfreestyle and Not just a bunch of drills - A Process.
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [eganski] [ In reply to ]
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Mike,

Good eye and detective work.

Dev seems to have singled me out as the only one who ever "talks down" to triathletes - but I note that many others do as well and I don't see Dev calling them out. I am typically not talking down - just pointing out the obvious or more importantly the not so obvious. Also, just trying to have some fun with it with a sport and a group that at times takes things a bit too seriously.

Dev and I have known one another personally for a very long time - 20+ years, so it's a bit of tit-for-tat on my part.


Steve Fleck @stevefleck | Blog
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [BeachboyWI] [ In reply to ]
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plus holding a 4.0

________________________
34 kona qualifiers 2006-'18 - 3 Kona Podiums - 4 OA IM AG wins - 5 IM AG wins - 18 70.3 AG wins
I ka nana no a 'ike -- by observing, one learns | Kulia i ka nu'u -- strive for excellence
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [robertwb] [ In reply to ]
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robertwb wrote:
Rappstar wrote:
Tin Cup wrote:
It *sort of* is in a weird bastardized way. Drills and strict "technique" work are the hallmarks of youth swimming programs. So you have these parents taking their 6-10yo kids to swim practice, and they see them doing a lot of drills and technique work, so they extrapolate that as being correct for them. The problem with this is that, just like learning pretty much anything, kids are WAY more adaptable. Secondly, these kids are doing these drills under the watch of a coach. And, lastly, if they are like most youth swim programs, they are probably significantly more than your AG triathlete, such that time spent drilling is part of a much more comprehensive overall swim program.


Other than the "adaptable" part, this characterization is a more accurate assessment of the ins and outs of technique and drills than the original QFT, in my opinion. The success that age group coaches have with drills IS because they have them in a coherent context, not just "doing drills".

As for the adaptability issue, the greater recalcitrance to changes in movement patterns that may be present in many adults would be an argument for more drills or technical activities rather than less. Of course they have to be purposeful and actually address something that limits speed in the water. Just like your paddles provide stimulus, and your buoy as well, so too do drills -- what stimulus and when is the crux.


Quote:
Yes, there is a certain amount of simple laziness, but I think that ignorance is the larger culprit as to why people waste so much time (and money) on drills and drill-based programs (e.g. Total Immersion).

I will not speak to the structure of TI's program, as I know nothing beyond the original book. However, if it does not succeed in helping folks to be faster, it is not the drills themselves that are bad or ineffective -- Terry coached a number of very fast, very TI looking swimmers back in the day. "Just doing drills" is about as helpful as "just swimming a bunch".

The original point about technique training not being compatible with fitness building, however, is still, I believe, false. As I stated earlier, there are a whole bunch of successful swim coaches out there doing many skill building activities as part of their endurance regimen. Failure to recognize that is failure to look.

r.b.

If you really to talk about a failure to recognize and/or a failure to look, it's your failure to look through the numerous, very clear replies in this thread or in the very well thought out and simple blog posts from world class coaches like Joel and Brett. I'll leave it to you to answer whether that failure to look/recognize comes from the fact that you try to make money by selling people programs to make them faster swimmers or something else.


"Non est ad astra mollis e terris via." - Seneca | rappstar.com | FB - Rappstar Racing | IG - @jordanrapp | Game Designer @ Zwift

Ask me about: 1st Endurance | Normatec - $100 off RAPP2019 | Zipp | Quarq | SRAM
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Rappstar] [ In reply to ]
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Rappstar wrote:

If you really to talk about a failure to recognize and/or a failure to look, it's your failure to look through the numerous, very clear replies in this thread or in the very well thought out and simple blog posts from world class coaches like Joel and Brett. I'll leave it to you to answer whether that failure to look/recognize comes from the fact that you try to make money by selling people programs to make them faster swimmers or something else.

Rapp - of course I take the view that I take about this thread because I sell swimming programs, ones that use drills -- but I don't think that's why I've missed an acknowledgement of what I consider a counterpoint to the original tweet: drilling can be used effectively in an endurance building capacity, not as an adjunct, but as a part. I read Brett's most recent blog, heard his interviews, and I hear his point. But Brett didn't author the tweet in question - Paulo did. Much as he may like to be, Paulo is not Brett Sutton.

I just reviewed all 22 of your responses on this thread. Honestly, I do not see that notion represented in the posts that I have read. If my assertion that drills can and are used effectively in an endurance building capacity, the original tweet is, in my opinion, untrue. I have seen you and others say things about how drills can be part of a larger training regimen (although you regard them as nonsense or irrelevant to adults). I have read this quote by yourself:

Quote:
Pull buoys help correct and establish body position. You can waste time drilling. OR you can simultaneously work on your fitness AND your technique.

I don't disagree with your assertion that buoys and paddles can provide stimulus that may help develop technique, they may be able to be used when your legs are beat from running and cycling a shit-load. Maybe they are so dang hot there is no reason ever for anyone to ever give me a red cent to help them improve their swimming with my lame-ass drills. That's fine. But I have seen drills in a fitness building context used by other, far better swim coaches than me, you and Paulo. That's my T.

r.b.

Bringing you Tweets @ http://twitter.com/findfreestyle and Not just a bunch of drills - A Process.
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [robertwb] [ In reply to ]
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The difference between you and coaches like Brett Sutton or Joel Filliol is that those guys work is evaluated solely on results. If their athletes don't get results at the highest level, they don't put food on the table. As for coaches like you (are you even a coach?) is that you have your philosophical views of what is swim coaching, but the bottom line is that if your clients don't get results, it's all the same to you, they already bought your snake oil. Look at that guy that posts here, caf0. He bought the oil and improved from 2:00/100 to 1:52/100. That isridculous!!! So... between listening to what Sutton or Flliol say or what you're saying, excuse me when I go with the opinion of people that actually know what they're talking about because they're out there doing it... everyday.
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Rappstar] [ In reply to ]
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The whole point of this thread (quoting rappstart from a few posts up):

3) they (most triathletes) don't swim nearly enough to allow themselves to waste time with only marginally productive drills.

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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [The Authority] [ In reply to ]
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Actually Paulo, I am a swimming coach. I sure wish that caf0 got more than :08 per 100, but she got what she got, results vary. If she were to request a refund, I would give it. That said, :08 per 100 is not too shabby, although you may promise a greater payoff with your free advice, and you may have the ticket that makes her much quicker.

So, yes, as I said, I am a swimming coach. And what I do is not snake oil. I teach a very simple, basic set of abilities that are common to all elite swimmers: timing of the legs, arms, head and torso. You don't have to take my word for the existence of these timings in elite swimmers, read Maglischo, or even Doc Counsilman, who was the first to characterize the most common kick rhythms and their timings. Maglischo noted that the timings are so common among the elite that he worked with that it was "seldom a problem". Having done this for many years, developing swimmers from the ground up, I can say that in the non-elite, it is quite often a problem, so in this I suppose I disagree with Maglischo. I didn't invent this however, I was taught by a great mentor, a coach named Bob Mattson, former world record holder himself, and coach of many, many elite swimmers from his club in Wilmington DE. He too is one of the coaches that I rate as far better than myself, Rappstar, or Paulo (if it's he's not you).

And guess what? I AM doing it every day. Either reviewing athlete video, swimming myself, coaching workout, talking to my network of coaching friends, re-re-reading Maglischo while I bike on the trainer, or answering questions online. No, I am not a high-profile coach of world-class triathletes at this time, though I work with some pretty good ones.

r.b.

Bringing you Tweets @ http://twitter.com/findfreestyle and Not just a bunch of drills - A Process.
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [robertwb] [ In reply to ]
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robertwb wrote:
Actually Paulo


Not Paulo. Sorry.

EDIT: So how many Olympic medals in triathlon do you have? Sutto and Filliol have a few. How many have you got?
Last edited by: The Authority: Jan 6, 12 12:25
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [The Authority] [ In reply to ]
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The Authority wrote:
robertwb wrote:
Actually Paulo


Not Paulo. Sorry.

EDIT: So how many Olympic medals in triathlon do you have? Sutto and Filliol have a few. How many have you got?

None. As I said, "I am not a high-profile coach of world-class triathletes at this time, though I work with some pretty good ones".

If you want my resume, I have coached a member of the US World Champs team in the 25k open water, a top-50 in the world in the 800m who also scored at D-I NCAA in the 1650. I also worked weekly with a few other USOT distance qualifiers as part of multi-site team workouts, one of whom was a finalist at the US olympic trials in the 1500m. Pool swimming is much of my background.

I would note that coach Sousa (who you aren't) coached an olympic medalist, and sure, it's pretty presumptuous of me to criticize his wisdom, it just strikes me that he is off the mark on this one, and so I lay out my arguments here.

So, since you want to compare resumes, and you're NOT Paulo, then, who pray tell are you sir?

r.b.

Bringing you Tweets @ http://twitter.com/findfreestyle and Not just a bunch of drills - A Process.
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [The Authority] [ In reply to ]
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The Authority wrote:
robertwb wrote:
Actually Paulo


Not Paulo. Sorry.

EDIT: So how many Olympic medals in triathlon do you have? Sutto and Filliol have a few. How many have you got?
Curious as to why you ride this guy so hard, but don't do the same with Paulo considering the continued shitty results of his athetes?

Ooops, I forgot, this is ST, home of the group reach-around.
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [The Authority] [ In reply to ]
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Interesting..................I was flamed a couple years ago with this qoute,,which was meant from the person as working on fitness first
.." Do not even ask me about your sroke till you can swim a 1000yrds hard".........Mike Burton, 3 time Gold...................Asfar as you being Paulo........anyone that has been reading smartasscoach for years, you do not sound like Paulo.....So I believes you
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [The Authority] [ In reply to ]
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I don't have a dog in this fight but it is more than a little unfair to suggest that the ONLY criteria for judging how successful a coach or trainer is by how many elite athletes they coach and how successfull those elite athletes are. That criteria is only relevant if you are an elite athlete shopping for a coach.


I've spent alot of time around swimming and swim coaches and have even done some coaching myself. I will say that the elite coaches I know are rightly quite proud of what their elite swimmers have done, championships they've won, etc. But, to a man and woman, they also our quite proud of the lesser mortals they have somehow gotten to shine under their tutalage.

Plus, any decent coach would probably admit it is harder to get someone to drop from a 2:00 to 1:15 100 yd free than it is to get a highly talented but not fullly developed guy to drop from :47 to :45. The guy who goes :45 started out at 1:15 the first time he swam a 100 yd race at 9 years old, he shows up to train 11 times a week 45-50 weeks a year, goes years between missed practices and generally does exactly what you tell him to do pretty close to perfectly the first or second time you tell him. Coaching at that level is pretty easy in many respects. Its much more about being a counsolor, guide and phsycologist than a physio trainer.

Now, take the overweight lady who signs up for a 3 days a week program, misses practice occassionaly and generally has no clue how to swim or even what it really means to train, and eeking any improvement out of that is an accomplishment.
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Kenney] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
anyone that has been reading smartasscoach for years, you do not sound like Paulo.....So I believes you

No way Paulo would have taken 2 tries to spell Authority properly.
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [kdw] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
kdw wrote:
anyone that has been reading smartasscoach for years, you do not sound like Paulo.....So I believes you

No way Paulo would have taken 2 tries to spell Authority properly.

Love him or hate him at least Paulo actually didn't make his comments anonymously. But he's the Authority, so we just have to take his word for it........



Heath Dotson
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [kdw] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
kdw wrote:
No way Paulo would have taken 2 tries to spell Authority properly.

Oops. Sorry Paulo - my bad. I just never saw them post to the same thread at precisely the same time.

r.b.

Bringing you Tweets @ http://twitter.com/findfreestyle and Not just a bunch of drills - A Process.
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [STP] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
STP wrote:
I don't have a dog in this fight but it is more than a little unfair to suggest that the ONLY criteria for judging how successful a coach or trainer is by how many elite athletes they coach and how successfull those elite athletes are. That criteria is only relevant if you are an elite athlete shopping for a coach.


I've spent alot of time around swimming and swim coaches and have even done some coaching myself. I will say that the elite coaches I know are rightly quite proud of what their elite swimmers have done, championships they've won, etc. But, to a man and woman, they also our quite proud of the lesser mortals they have somehow gotten to shine under their tutalage.

Plus, any decent coach would probably admit it is harder to get someone to drop from a 2:00 to 1:15 100 yd free than it is to get a highly talented but not fullly developed guy to drop from :47 to :45. The guy who goes :45 started out at 1:15 the first time he swam a 100 yd race at 9 years old, he shows up to train 11 times a week 45-50 weeks a year, goes years between missed practices and generally does exactly what you tell him to do pretty close to perfectly the first or second time you tell him. Coaching at that level is pretty easy in many respects. Its much more about being a counsolor, guide and phsycologist than a physio trainer.

Now, take the overweight lady who signs up for a 3 days a week program, misses practice occassionaly and generally has no clue how to swim or even what it really means to train, and eeking any improvement out of that is an accomplishment.

Are you really contending that it is easier to get from a 47 to a 45 in the 100yd free than it is to go from a 2:00 to a 1:15?

Not to be insulting, (but I will be anyway), but that is effing retarded.

Sorry to tell you this, but in most cases, when you first get started in a sport and "take it seriously" you see your biggest gains in the first few years. It is exponentially harder to get from fast (:47) to really fast (:45) to world class (:40-:43). Those are really big jumps and many people who had no problem dropping from a 2:00 to a :50 100yd free will NEVER even sniff at a :45. 2s doesn't sound like much, but when you're already swimming a 100yd free in 47, 2 seconds is a BIG freakind difference.

Do you also think it is easier to go from a 54 to a 53min 40k TT vs going from a 1:30 to a 1:20? How about a 17min to a 16min 5k vs a 30min to a 25min.

Jeesh...I started swimming in HS and granted I was a distance guy...but in my very first season I dropped from a 2:00 to at least a 1:15 in my 100yd free...7 years later of hard competitive swimming I wouldn't have even sniffed at a 45. But I wasn't a sprinter...sprinters are pansies. They prance around the pool deck all practice afraid to get wet. Then maybe they swim a couple 50's and go shower. Total wimps.

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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [BeachboyWI] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
No. You missed all my qualifiers. I know exactly what it takes to get from 47 to 45. (Frankly, I know alot more about that than I do about how to get from 2:00 to 1:15)

What I said was that if you take a kid who is already going 47 and is not fully developed swimmingwise, it may very well be easier to get that kid to go 45. More importantly, getting those last 2 seconds is in many ways a different kind of coaching than getting from 2:00 to 1:15.
Quote Reply
Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [BeachboyWI] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
BeachboyWI wrote:
STP wrote:
I don't have a dog in this fight but it is more than a little unfair to suggest that the ONLY criteria for judging how successful a coach or trainer is by how many elite athletes they coach and how successfull those elite athletes are. That criteria is only relevant if you are an elite athlete shopping for a coach.


I've spent alot of time around swimming and swim coaches and have even done some coaching myself. I will say that the elite coaches I know are rightly quite proud of what their elite swimmers have done, championships they've won, etc. But, to a man and woman, they also our quite proud of the lesser mortals they have somehow gotten to shine under their tutalage.

Plus, any decent coach would probably admit it is harder to get someone to drop from a 2:00 to 1:15 100 yd free than it is to get a highly talented but not fullly developed guy to drop from :47 to :45. The guy who goes :45 started out at 1:15 the first time he swam a 100 yd race at 9 years old, he shows up to train 11 times a week 45-50 weeks a year, goes years between missed practices and generally does exactly what you tell him to do pretty close to perfectly the first or second time you tell him. Coaching at that level is pretty easy in many respects. Its much more about being a counsolor, guide and phsycologist than a physio trainer.

Now, take the overweight lady who signs up for a 3 days a week program, misses practice occassionaly and generally has no clue how to swim or even what it really means to train, and eeking any improvement out of that is an accomplishment.


Are you really contending that it is easier to get from a 47 to a 45 in the 100yd free than it is to go from a 2:00 to a 1:15?

Not to be insulting, (but I will be anyway), but that is effing retarded.

Thank you!!!
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [robertwb] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
robertwb wrote:
kdw wrote:

No way Paulo would have taken 2 tries to spell Authority properly.


Oops. Sorry Paulo - my bad. I just never saw them post to the same thread at precisely the same time.

r.b.

Einstein showed that instantaneous events are not possible.
Quote Reply
Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [robertwb] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
robertwb wrote:

So, since you want to compare resumes, and you're NOT Paulo, then, who pray tell are you sir?

I am The Authority. Melting Pot and I have a lot in common.
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [The Authority] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
The Authority wrote:
The difference between you and coaches like Brett Sutton or Joel Filliol is that those guys work is evaluated solely on results. If their athletes don't get results at the highest level, they don't put food on the table. As for coaches like you (are you even a coach?) is that you have your philosophical views of what is swim coaching, but the bottom line is that if your clients don't get results, it's all the same to you, they already bought your snake oil. Look at that guy that posts here, caf0. He bought the oil and improved from 2:00/100 to 1:52/100. That isridculous!!! So... between listening to what Sutton or Flliol say or what you're saying, excuse me when I go with the opinion of people that actually know what they're talking about because they're out there doing it... everyday.

Let me get this straight. You think robertwb is selling snake oil (at the huge cost of $70)
because one example athlete he coached didn't get spectacular gains? I think you need to take
a second look. There are lots of happy FF customers (such as myself) who think this is one of
the best deals they've ever had. I can't speak to whether his opinion is better than some other
coach(s), but it isn't the uninformed shitty opinion that your implying.
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [noahman] [ In reply to ]
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noahman wrote:
Making an obvious point here but it's taken me a while to get it. Coming from a running background, the amount of over-distance training for swimming has astounded me. To use the quote above, if I swim 40K per week to race an oly 1.5K, then I'd be running 267K per week to race a 10K. Of course that's nuts, and training times & distances don't scale across sports like that. But since I only started swimming a year ago I fell for similar logic. As in, "I'm only swimming ~2100yd in a 70.3 so swimming 2500yd three times per week is more than enough..."

Except there are guys running more than 267k per week for the 10k. Cam Levins the Canadian xc champ and 4th at NCAA said in an interview here http://runnersfeed.com/...champion-cam-levins/. He said he would run 250+ miles a week to get ready for xc which is 10k

--------------------------------
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [doTheRunningMan] [ In reply to ]
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doTheRunningMan wrote:
Except there are guys running more than 267k per week for the 10k. Cam Levins the Canadian xc champ and 4th at NCAA said in an interview here http://runnersfeed.com/...champion-cam-levins/. He said he would run 250+ miles a week to get ready for xc which is 10k
Nothing like mentioning something COMPLETELY outside the norm (even by elite running standards) to prove your point. I mean seriously, running >150mpw at the elite level is outside the norm, 250? Come on now.

This whole thread is such an effing joke. The post that said something about If someone asks what ST is all about, they would point them to this thread, nailed it.
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [The Authority] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
This is an angry thread. Is it even about swimming anymore?
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [STP] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
STP wrote:
No. You missed all my qualifiers. I know exactly what it takes to get from 47 to 45. (Frankly, I know alot more about that than I do about how to get from 2:00 to 1:15)

What I said was that if you take a kid who is already going 47 and is not fully developed swimmingwise, it may very well be easier to get that kid to go 45. More importantly, getting those last 2 seconds is in many ways a different kind of coaching than getting from 2:00 to 1:15.

What exactly is a "fully developed" swimmer? And how many are swimming a :47. A few state records in HS are only in the mid :45s.

If they are going a 47 I'd say they are pretty developed. 47 isn't world class, but that's still pretty fast. If you are coming out of highschool swimming a low 47, I'm pretty sure they are going D1. To me, that's pretty developed. Granted they have not met their FULL potential, but I really doubt they have any kind of major stroke flaws slowing them down.

As for a different kind of coaching, absolutely.

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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Chuck Finley] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Chuck Finley wrote:
This is an angry thread. Is it even about swimming anymore?

If people thought you were Paulo, I bet you'd be angry too!!!
Quote Reply
Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [doTheRunningMan] [ In reply to ]
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Would if he could................................35 miles a day....sure,got crack?
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Rappstar] [ In reply to ]
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Surprised no one has posted this gem yet.... It might deserve it's own thread..

http://blog.trainingpeaks.com/...dy-swim-workout.html



Heath Dotson
HD Coaching:Website |Twitter: 140 Characters or Less|Facebook:Follow us on Facebook
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Quote Reply
Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Ex-cyclist] [ In reply to ]
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"TrainingPeaks contributor Ben Greenfield, M.S. PE, NSCA-CPT, CSCS, is recognized as one of the top fitness, triathlon, nutrition and metabolism experts in the nation."

hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha
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hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha
Quote Reply
Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Ex-cyclist] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
he's dreamy.... and smoldering.




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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Ex-cyclist] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Wow, that could be an amazing Strange Denizens of the Pool post. Especially after the hypoxic repeats.
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Ex-cyclist] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Was looking for "April 1st" date at the top
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Kenney] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Kenney wrote:
Was looking for "April 1st" date at the top

Nope it was tweeted by Training Peaks today...



Heath Dotson
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Quote Reply
Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Ex-cyclist] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
I bet it was tagged with #deltabravo
Quote Reply
Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Ex-cyclist] [ In reply to ]
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When I get my 910 I was going to look at what training peaks offered......................................No more
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [The Authority] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
The Authority wrote:
Chuck Finley wrote:
This is an angry thread. Is it even about swimming anymore?


If people thought you were Paulo, I bet you'd be angry too!!!

That would be the worst thing ever.
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [BeachboyWI] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
BeachboyWI wrote:
What exactly is a "fully developed" swimmer? And how many are swimming a :47. A few state records in HS are only in the mid :45s.

The description made me think of the athletes who are mad talents and show some brilliance in the sport with somewhat limited training. Think Ed Moses, who effectively swam like two summer leagues before college and ended up setting a few world records in breaststroke before retiring to try to make it on the PGA Tour. Or more recently, Dax Hill (basketball) and Breeja Larson (softball/track & field) who were both runners up at NCAAs last year as underclassmen after being multisport athletes in high school and not swimming year-round until they hit campus.
Quote Reply
Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Ex-cyclist] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
I'll summarize this thread with a Haiku:

beckoning street cred

authority looms dark

where's my snorkel


**All of these words finding themselves together were greatly astonished and delighted for assuredly, they had never met before**
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [3carlos] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
3carlos wrote:
Wow, that could be an amazing Strange Denizens of the Pool post. Especially after the hypoxic repeats.

I saw a kid doing a very similar workout at my pool and I had to eventually ask him what the hell he was doing. He said he was training for the Navy SEALs BUD/S course.

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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [GMAN19030] [ In reply to ]
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After I summarize the thread with a Haiku, it is set adrift, something for a future culture to debate or analyze when it washes up on a distant shore........please respect this.


**All of these words finding themselves together were greatly astonished and delighted for assuredly, they had never met before**
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [robertwb] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
08 per 100 from 2:00 per hundred is shabby especially considering the effort put in by that person.
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [MeltingPot] [ In reply to ]
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Quote:
Nothing like mentioning something COMPLETELY outside the norm (even by elite running standards) to prove your point.

If you aren't going to post about an Olympian or Kona winner, or at least market a brand, a coach, or yourself as was attempted here, then how can you ever make a contribution to this this website?
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Ex-cyclist] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Have you read the responses on twitter to it...and people pay him money and so does Training Peaks and Lava Magazine #guntoheadsmileyneeded
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Scott_D] [ In reply to ]
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Scott_D wrote:
Have you read the responses on twitter to it...and people pay him money and so does Training Peaks and Lava Magazine #guntoheadsmileyneeded

I need to go have a look. I sent TP Joel's top 20 and suggested they send those out if they want to give swim advice. I can't imagine someone doing air squats in a speedo. The image might keep me up at night!

I don't agree with the guy on much, but he is pretty fast and has built himself into quite the brand, but then again so did PT Barnum.



Heath Dotson
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Ex-cyclist] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Ex-cyclist wrote:
Scott_D wrote:
Have you read the responses on twitter to it...and people pay him money and so does Training Peaks and Lava Magazine #guntoheadsmileyneeded


I need to go have a look. I sent TP Joel's top 20 and suggested they send those out if they want to give swim advice. I can't imagine someone doing air squats in a speedo. The image might keep me up at night!

I don't agree with the guy on much, but he is pretty fast and has built himself into quite the brand, but then again so did PT Barnum.

Pretty fast??? Shouldn't that be in pink?
Quote Reply
Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Scott_D] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Scott_D wrote:
Have you read the responses on twitter to it...and people pay him money and so does Training Peaks and Lava Magazine #guntoheadsmileyneeded

Didn't see any responses.. So I'm guessing TP deleted all the negative ones?



Heath Dotson
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Quote Reply
Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Ex-cyclist] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
More about the people who were like what an amazing workout, I can't wait to try it, etc...

I had a very good friend buy one of his programs and use him as a coach. He showed me the plan and its no wonder he ended up hurt and finding a new coach within 2 months.

He has built a brand for himself on people with low self esteems and a lack of knowledge
Quote Reply
Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [BeachboyWI] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
47 isnt even a junior cut. Juniors when i was swimming was 47.09. There were a LOT of guys under that.

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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Chuck Finley] [ In reply to ]
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Chuck Finley wrote:
This is an angry thread. Is it even about swimming anymore?

No it's not. It actually strikes to the heart of some key basics and fundamentals of this or any endurance sport. Many don't seem to like this but doing more of something will take you a long way. Many are incredulous because they think there must be some special technique or secret process when just getting out there and getting at it and doing it are 95% of it. What's odd is newbies coming in and right from the get- go worrying and fiddling around with the 5%! My apologies if I offended anyone.


Steve Fleck @stevefleck | Blog
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Fleck] [ In reply to ]
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Fleck wrote:
Many are incredulous because they think there must be some special technique or secret process when just getting out there and getting at it and doing it are 95% of it. What's odd is newbies coming in and right from the get- go worrying and fiddling around with the 5%!

This reminds me a lot of some fairly recent threads on marathon training. I'm beginning to sense a pattern...

Too bad selling that last 5% is such a lucrative business model...

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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [snackchair] [ In reply to ]
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Reminds me of the best quote ever on this forum (IMO) - "I give a ton of bad advice, but it wasn't until I discovered triathlon that I thought about charging for it..." (Paraphrased slightly; can't currently remember who said it.)


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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Fleck] [ In reply to ]
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Fleck wrote:
Many don't seem to like this but doing more of something will take you a long way.
Yes, it will.

But there are big and important exceptions. Just riding more with a very bad bike fit won't get you as far as riding more after getting your bike fit right. And even more so, just swimming more while utilizing very inefficient movement and technique will just reinforce your inefficient motor programs. You won't get that much faster, but you will move a lot of water around. But swimming more after and while you get substantial swim technique corrections can get you big gains in speed and efficiency. I know, I've seen it many times.

And, fyi, swimming technique does not just equal doing some kind of drills. No, it is getting exact feedback from a smart coach to correct exactly what you are doing wrong.

Much smarter people than me have said, "Practice does not make perfect. Perfect practice make perfect."

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