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Re: From MOP to 'another planet' swim speeds [tuckandgo] [ In reply to ]
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tuckandgo wrote:
JasoninHalifax wrote:
It should be "glaringly wrong" or "glaring".

You're welcome ;-)

Feel free to correct my english anytime, I know I usually write terrible.

As far as power production goes, one of the things that gets emphasized a lot is to accelerate the hand through the pull. At the very top of the stroke, there's no leverage there (but you still want that extension for good streamlining).


Ha, touche.

And thank you. I'm becoming more and more convinced that the mechanics of swimming have significant parallels to those of rowing (the blade entering, through, and exiting the water being the arm in the stroke)

Why would it be anything else? Rowing shells are designed to minimize drag, and the oars provide *all* the propulsion. Be like a heavyweight eight. Minimize (or minimise, if that helps) your drag, maximize force applied to the water opposite the direction you want to go (either by pulling really hard or pulling really often, or both), and minimize force applied in all other directions.

Early catch, straight pull back, quick recovery. Repeat.

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Re: From MOP to 'another planet' swim speeds [sch340] [ In reply to ]
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I think another thing too that can get lost when you start talking mechanics, catch, propulsion, power, etc. to improve one's time - particularly with AOS's - is that stroke rate matters. But for swimming to "feel good" to an AOS, they often have an absurdly low turnover. And because of the sheer lack of "swimming base" in AOS's increasing stroke rate is no small task. AG'ers have years of stroke refinement and the mechanical breakdown at higher speeds is not as pronounced as in AOS's. They also have the muscle development to "turn it over" so to speak.

When you start talking about stronger swim speeds you might be talking about a guy who carries a stroke cycle rate of 1.5s and can easily cover the 20m swim after a push-off in 8 cycles. Add in his 3s push-off, and 3 flip turns, and there's your 1:00 100 scm freestyler. Now take AOS who isn't as efficient so he needs 10 cycles to go those 20m, and he should be a 1:12 100 scm right? But he's not, because his stroke rate is more like 1.8s/cycle.. there's your 1:25 100 scm. And it's so subtle, but the reality is AOS isn't getting to a 1.5s rate. And if he does, he's not going to be taking only 10 stroke cycles anymore because his mechanics are going to break down.

This was my main gripe with TI when it came out. You can preach 5 stroke cycles a length all you want but if you have to slow down your stroke rate to 3s/cycle who cares. Stroke rate matters, it's extremely important, and developing stroke rate in conjunction with keeping your mechanics together is what makes you faster. For some reference, Michael Phelps during a 200m IM or free is holding about 1.5s/cycle with incredible DPS. Jason Lezak 100 free is about 1.2s/cycle - and the sad part is it looks almost "loping" compared to a guy like Caeleb Dressel who is <1.0s/cycle in a 50 and right at 1.0s/cycle in a 100. But Lezak was just as fast meaning he of course got more DPS. To think that Phelps looked like he was simply "long and strong" and was still at what would be the rapid end of a recreational swimmer stroke rate chart.

That might have started to ramble, but it takes years of stroke refinement and speed development. There are AOS who can get to a very high level and have by marrying mechanics and pace properly.
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Re: From MOP to 'another planet' swim speeds [tuckandgo] [ In reply to ]
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tuckandgo wrote:
JasoninHalifax wrote:
It should be "glaringly wrong" or "glaring".

You're welcome ;-)

Feel free to correct my english anytime, I know I usually write terrible.

As far as power production goes, one of the things that gets emphasized a lot is to accelerate the hand through the pull. At the very top of the stroke, there's no leverage there (but you still want that extension for good streamlining).


Ha, touche.

And thank you. I'm becoming more and more convinced that the mechanics of swimming have significant parallels to those of rowing (the blade entering, through, and exiting the water being the arm in the stroke)

I don't know anything about rowing, but I'm pretty sure Braden Currie is an AOS with a rowing background, and he came out with a very fast front pack at the 70.3 WC this year, so it seems like there's something there.

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Re: From MOP to 'another planet' swim speeds [tuckandgo] [ In reply to ]
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I am going to answer this another way:

Son has been swimming 2-3 times per week for the last 16 months

May 2017 (age 6) - 25 free :25 seconds
June 2017 (age 6) - 25 free :23 seconds
October 2017 (age 7) - 25 free :19 seconds
March 2018 (age 7) - 25 free :17 second
June 2018 (age 7) - 25 free :16 seconds
November 2018 (age 8) - 25 free (off a block for first time, all other swims from deck) :14 seconds / :32 in 50 free

When else are you going to improve like that?

Skill acquisition when you are a child is so much easier the impossible seems effortless.
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Re: From MOP to 'another planet' swim speeds [tuckandgo] [ In reply to ]
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I have 2 kids that have grown up swimming at a club in the UK. A few things to note.
1) They swim in a coached lesson every time they swim for 11 months of the year up to 6 days/week.
2) they swim in a group of kids of similar ability every time they swim.
3) They can recover ridiculously fast from one day to the next
4) They swim a hard set of some form every session
5) My son is 13 and swims 7x per week for a total of 13hrs. The session are 1.5-2hrs long. I have swum an IM swim in 54 mins but I couldn’t do one week of that volume and intensity. They do it every single week.
6) He can kick 200m on his back with no fins in 2min55sec.
7) He goes 4:24 for 400m free

Tubs
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Re: From MOP to 'another planet' swim speeds [Tubs] [ In reply to ]
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I hate you all.

Mind you if I had an extra 13 hours in a week to swim, I probably still wouldn't swim...
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Re: From MOP to 'another planet' swim speeds [tuckandgo] [ In reply to ]
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Kids are amazing swimmers because they are flexible, have undamaged posture and musculature. So they start with a clean slate, missing all that inner tension & wasted energy.

Kids take time to learn to swim. It takes years to be fast. Besides a lot of kick work to turn themselves into "dolphins" - the most hydrodynamic position a human body can take, they learn to how to flow.
Our 14 year old is 5min on 400M, 1min on 100M. He's doing 2-3x the volume I ever did, but yeah left me in the dust, over the 5 years. With my tormented muscle groups, I could not have trained the volume the kids did. After several years of rehab, yeah maybe now.

Swimming flow comes from being able to direct water and support without actually forcing things. Adults, like me in my early 50's, try to apply land-based principles, muscling the hell out of things and combined with a body tighter than a set of DA wheel spokes, can't barely string two lengths together, without being gassed.

So given say 10 hard years of swimming, kids will start to tighten up and fill out a bit, times will drop. Unless there is some intelligence behind their training and recovery methods.

Certainly for myself, I was in really rough shape. I had to basically quit anything high impact and focus on restoring some semblance of mobility and posture. I'm topped out unless I work on that kick/body position part. But overall got to where I wanted with it.

Too much working, haven't swam since Sept & dang have to start all over again!!

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Re: From MOP to 'another planet' swim speeds [ripple] [ In reply to ]
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ripple wrote:
Now take AOS who isn't as efficient so he needs 10 cycles to go those 20m, and he should be a 1:12 100 scm right? But he's not, because his stroke rate is more like 1.8s/cycle.. there's your 1:25 100 scm. And it's so subtle, but the reality is AOS isn't getting to a 1.5s rate. And if he does, he's not going to be taking only 10 stroke cycles anymore because his mechanics are going to break down.

Hits too close to home
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Re: From MOP to 'another planet' swim speeds [JasoninHalifax] [ In reply to ]
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JasoninHalifax wrote:
tuckandgo wrote:
So swimming is obviously waaaaaay bigger in the US (& Canada) than in the UK and perhaps we don't find out about this stuff in day to day sporting life.

But people talk about times on here (particularly top end speed, 50's & 100s) that genuinely seem to be on another planet to a MOP AOS (okay, I can do sub 60mins in a sea/wetsuit IM but have never swum faster than 1.25 100s (that's short course M (in the UK we don't even have to mention it, almost without exception it will be 25m pool here).

Maybe if I am doing a 25 or 50 I might be a smidge faster but no more.

I can sort of get my head around a tall long limbed big engined Phelps swimming at a speed I can't comprehend but when kids do it I start to get lost.

How do they do it? What are they really doing differently that means they can move through the water at almost twice the speed of a fit moderately coordinated adult with a broadly reasonably stroke (nothing glaring wrong)

Big thing they do differently is that they can kick. Not many AOS swimmers can kick.

Another thing is that although you may not have anything "glaring (sic) wrong", the subtleties matter. It's not just the form, it's about where you apply the power.

and yet another thing is that they practice going VERY fast, and they swim WAY more than you do. When was the last time you did a set of all-out 25's from the blocks?

Respectfully disagree on the kick bit. I do 50 SCY in 0:25-0:26 from a push, 23-24 off the blocks and I don't really kick at all. Not rocket fast, or even nearly as fast as I was in my youth, but quick for my age

OTOH I wholeheartedly agree that not enough triathlete AOS swimmers do all out short efforts to bring up their top end. We all do interval days on the bike and run, but for some reason those get neglected in the swim.
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Re: From MOP to 'another planet' swim speeds [davejustdave] [ In reply to ]
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My coach has me doing a decent amount of top end work, 25m, 50m, 100m,.. Also to improve start speed to catch some decent feet in a race. But how much can you compensate by trying to create a bigger engine with the op end work?

I'm 26 and have been swimming for 2 years now, one year with some coaching and my best splits are:
25m: 16"
50m: 36" (not recent so might be quicker now)
100m: 1'23" (not recent so might be quicker now)
200m: 2'59"
400m: 6'31" (not recent, should be quicker now)
1000m with wetsuit in OW in a triathlon: 15'09"

Off of 2-3 swims average per week this past year. I'm an ok kicker bij AOS standards with a kickboard but it all goes downhill when I kick during crawl, swinging my left leg outwards while I stop kicking when breathing to the left..
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Re: From MOP to 'another planet' swim speeds [tuckandgo] [ In reply to ]
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Thanks for the replies everyone, this has been really interesting for me.

2.55 200m kicking only!?! O M G ....!

More of an observation than a criticism but for me it highlights the holes in a lot of these 'technique' based AOS ideas for triathletes. Whilst they look at the mechanics and often prescribe drills they miss out the nuance of what actually makes a fast swimmer.
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Re: From MOP to 'another planet' swim speeds [davejustdave] [ In reply to ]
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davejustdave wrote:
JasoninHalifax wrote:
tuckandgo wrote:
So swimming is obviously waaaaaay bigger in the US (& Canada) than in the UK and perhaps we don't find out about this stuff in day to day sporting life.

But people talk about times on here (particularly top end speed, 50's & 100s) that genuinely seem to be on another planet to a MOP AOS (okay, I can do sub 60mins in a sea/wetsuit IM but have never swum faster than 1.25 100s (that's short course M (in the UK we don't even have to mention it, almost without exception it will be 25m pool here).

Maybe if I am doing a 25 or 50 I might be a smidge faster but no more.

I can sort of get my head around a tall long limbed big engined Phelps swimming at a speed I can't comprehend but when kids do it I start to get lost.

How do they do it? What are they really doing differently that means they can move through the water at almost twice the speed of a fit moderately coordinated adult with a broadly reasonably stroke (nothing glaring wrong)

Big thing they do differently is that they can kick. Not many AOS swimmers can kick.

Another thing is that although you may not have anything "glaring (sic) wrong", the subtleties matter. It's not just the form, it's about where you apply the power.

and yet another thing is that they practice going VERY fast, and they swim WAY more than you do. When was the last time you did a set of all-out 25's from the blocks?

Respectfully disagree on the kick bit. I do 50 SCY in 0:25-0:26 from a push, 23-24 off the blocks and I don't really kick at all. Not rocket fast, or even nearly as fast as I was in my youth, but quick for my age

OTOH I wholeheartedly agree that not enough triathlete AOS swimmers do all out short efforts to bring up their top end. We all do interval days on the bike and run, but for some reason those get neglected in the swim.

Just to clarify (and after I wrote that I knew that someone would come up with counterexamples, it's not really a one-size-fits-all deal) It's not just about how much you kick and whether you get any propulsion out of it. A lot of it is whether you kick well enough that it isn't a hindrance. And, in the context of this thread, I was also thinking about the younger kids who are swimming as fast or faster than you, but typically haven't developed the upper body strength yet to do it without a kick.

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Re: From MOP to 'another planet' swim speeds [hadukla] [ In reply to ]
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You should see a bag of Doritos do a flip turn, it's freakin beautiful. Also bags of Doritos are real swimmers, they don't wear a Garmin to the pool and use a drag suit because they're badass.


hadukla wrote:
JasoninHalifax wrote:
hadukla wrote:
trailerhouse wrote:
You're a sub 1h swimmer and can't break 1:25 short course m?
That's sounds weird...My 100yd PR is 58.2s (1:03 scm equivalent) and my IM swim PR is 58:01. My 70.3 splits are in the 27-29 range.


Yeah well, my IM swim PR is 52 minutes and I can't break 1:20/100m...

...

...

Yeah it was Chattanooga...


I think a Doritos bag swam a 48 at IMChoo...


I never said I was fast! :) Plus doritos has great form

What's your CdA?
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Re: From MOP to 'another planet' swim speeds [trailerhouse] [ In reply to ]
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trailerhouse wrote:
You're a sub 1h swimmer and can't break 1:25 short course m?
That's sounds weird...My 100yd PR is 58.2s (1:03 scm equivalent) and my IM swim PR is 58:01. My 70.3 splits are in the 27-29 range.


I would say your times more the exception.

I've swam twice 57 in IM, but my best quess for scm 100m would be ~1.10. I have never really tried, but I think best is 1.15
Last edited by: markko: Nov 30, 18 6:51
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Re: From MOP to 'another planet' swim speeds [markko] [ In reply to ]
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I think the key here is that my 100yd PR is short course and off the blocks. With a good dive and two extra turns you get a good few seconds back versus say long course meters and a push off the wall.


markko wrote:
trailerhouse wrote:
You're a sub 1h swimmer and can't break 1:25 short course m?
That's sounds weird...My 100yd PR is 58.2s (1:03 scm equivalent) and my IM swim PR is 58:01. My 70.3 splits are in the 27-29 range.


I would say your times more the exception.

I've swam twice 57 in IM, but my best quess for scm 100m would be ~1.10. I have never really tried, but I think best is 1.15

What's your CdA?
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Re: From MOP to 'another planet' swim speeds [markko] [ In reply to ]
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Who really cares that some teenage swim sensation can go 22 seconds for the 50 meter sprint? You are doing triathlons, where the swim is seldom shorter than 400 meters, and pure swim speed over a short distance rarely matters in the overall result.
Just as some runners are natural sprinters, some excel at middle distance events, and others are born to be marathoners, swim times are somewhat dependent on the genetic make-up of each person's muscle fibers. If your body is 90% slow twitch muscles, your times for a 100 meter sprint might not be too impressive, but you might be able to hold a very decent pace for 3800 meters.
I see this all the time in my Master's swim workouts: Most of the swimmers (usually former college sprinters) can blast a set of fast 50s or 100s with plenty of rest, but slow-old-me can pass most of them if the swim distance is over 400.....the exception is if they were a former college distance swimmer (400 IM, 500, 1000 or 1500 free) and they are 15 years or more younger.....
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Re: From MOP to 'another planet' swim speeds [laughingfarmer] [ In reply to ]
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laughingfarmer wrote:
Who really cares that some teenage swim sensation can go 22 seconds for the 50 meter sprint? You are doing triathlons, where the swim is seldom shorter than 400 meters, and pure swim speed over a short distance rarely matters in the overall result.
Just as some runners are natural sprinters, some excel at middle distance events, and others are born to be marathoners, swim times are somewhat dependent on the genetic make-up of each person's muscle fibers. If your body is 90% slow twitch muscles, your times for a 100 meter sprint might not be too impressive, but you might be able to hold a very decent pace for 3800 meters.
I see this all the time in my Master's swim workouts: Most of the swimmers (usually former college sprinters) can blast a set of fast 50s or 100s with plenty of rest, but slow-old-me can pass most of them if the swim distance is over 400.....the exception is if they were a former college distance swimmer (400 IM, 500, 1000 or 1500 free) and they are 15 years or more younger.....
If they're actually former college sprinters, they probably rarely train for anything longer than a 100 now, and despise doing anything longer than a 200 just in general. Rest assured if they spent one week prepping for a 1000, they'd probably lap you. Not saying your main point isn't valid - that one's 50m free time has little bearing on their OWS performance - but one's top end speed absolutely matters should they decide to train for distance.

Maybe my philosophy is an exception, although it's probably not so among swimmers - you need to increase top end speed and let it propagate through the distances you compete in. Tri Swimmer who's going 1:25 pace and does it all day but can never go faster is not going to make the next step up until he improves himself to 1:20 pace. Now he may not get to 1:20 pace and instantly drop 3:30 in his IM swim, but he's never dropping his IM swim if he can't go sub-1:25.

So obviously, for triathlon, distance matters - but it's not mutually exclusive to the benefits of improving one's 50/100/200 times.
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Re: From MOP to 'another planet' swim speeds [ripple] [ In reply to ]
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ripple wrote:
laughingfarmer wrote:
Who really cares that some teenage swim sensation can go 22 seconds for the 50 meter sprint? You are doing triathlons, where the swim is seldom shorter than 400 meters, and pure swim speed over a short distance rarely matters in the overall result.
Just as some runners are natural sprinters, some excel at middle distance events, and others are born to be marathoners, swim times are somewhat dependent on the genetic make-up of each person's muscle fibers. If your body is 90% slow twitch muscles, your times for a 100 meter sprint might not be too impressive, but you might be able to hold a very decent pace for 3800 meters.
I see this all the time in my Master's swim workouts: Most of the swimmers (usually former college sprinters) can blast a set of fast 50s or 100s with plenty of rest, but slow-old-me can pass most of them if the swim distance is over 400.....the exception is if they were a former college distance swimmer (400 IM, 500, 1000 or 1500 free) and they are 15 years or more younger.....
If they're actually former college sprinters, they probably rarely train for anything longer than a 100 now, and despise doing anything longer than a 200 just in general. Rest assured if they spent one week prepping for a 1000, they'd probably lap you. Not saying your main point isn't valid - that one's 50m free time has little bearing on their OWS performance - but one's top end speed absolutely matters should they decide to train for distance.

Maybe my philosophy is an exception, although it's probably not so among swimmers - you need to increase top end speed and let it propagate through the distances you compete in. Tri Swimmer who's going 1:25 pace and does it all day but can never go faster is not going to make the next step up until he improves himself to 1:20 pace. Now he may not get to 1:20 pace and instantly drop 3:30 in his IM swim, but he's never dropping his IM swim if he can't go sub-1:25.

So obviously, for triathlon, distance matters - but it's not mutually exclusive to the benefits of improving one's 50/100/200 times.

I think this is the winner in terms of what people need for fast swims.

Just like we dont run marathons at the same pace we do 400m sprints, yet we still do short run intervals to improve our marathon times
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Re: From MOP to 'another planet' swim speeds [Daniel Clarke] [ In reply to ]
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Daniel Clarke wrote:
I don't know anything about rowing, but I'm pretty sure Braden Currie is an AOS with a rowing background, and he came out with a very fast front pack at the 70.3 WC this year, so it seems like there's something there.

braden is a multisport kayaker actually but yeah, same thing. he has spoken about how he took to swimming well because he just thinks about his arms as paddles and understands how water behaves
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Re: From MOP to 'another planet' swim speeds [davejustdave] [ In reply to ]
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davejustdave wrote:
JasoninHalifax wrote:
tuckandgo wrote:
So swimming is obviously waaaaaay bigger in the US (& Canada) than in the UK and perhaps we don't find out about this stuff in day to day sporting life.

But people talk about times on here (particularly top end speed, 50's & 100s) that genuinely seem to be on another planet to a MOP AOS (okay, I can do sub 60mins in a sea/wetsuit IM but have never swum faster than 1.25 100s (that's short course M (in the UK we don't even have to mention it, almost without exception it will be 25m pool here).

Maybe if I am doing a 25 or 50 I might be a smidge faster but no more.

I can sort of get my head around a tall long limbed big engined Phelps swimming at a speed I can't comprehend but when kids do it I start to get lost.

How do they do it? What are they really doing differently that means they can move through the water at almost twice the speed of a fit moderately coordinated adult with a broadly reasonably stroke (nothing glaring wrong)


Big thing they do differently is that they can kick. Not many AOS swimmers can kick.

Another thing is that although you may not have anything "glaring (sic) wrong", the subtleties matter. It's not just the form, it's about where you apply the power.

and yet another thing is that they practice going VERY fast, and they swim WAY more than you do. When was the last time you did a set of all-out 25's from the blocks?


Respectfully disagree on the kick bit. I do 50 SCY in 0:25-0:26 from a push, 23-24 off the blocks and I don't really kick at all. Not rocket fast, or even nearly as fast as I was in my youth, but quick for my age

OTOH I wholeheartedly agree that not enough triathlete AOS swimmers do all out short efforts to bring up their top end. We all do interval days on the bike and run, but for some reason those get neglected in the swim.


I'm going to disagree with your disagreement, but only a little :)

There are certainly people out there who appear to kick very little and go fast. But even those people are kicking better than the average AOS, and that makes a huge difference.

In masters swim we have a few AOSs that don't move when they kick barefoot holding a board. It is actually comical to watch. They just splash a bunch and stay in about the same place a few meters off the wall. I can do a 50 in about 0:57 kicking hard on my back and I'm one of the slower "swimmer all my life" people there. Some of the guys my age can kick in the 0:50 range.

If your kick can add that much forward propulsion it changes the entire dynamic of your swim stroke, including your entry and exit off the wall. In your case I'm sure that your foot is pointed nearly straight back when you "don't really kick at all" during those 25s and 50s, and if you were to do that non-kick as a kick drill you would still move down the pool at a respectable speed.

One of the biggest streamlining affects that AOSs over look is their foot angle. Those size 12 boat anchors sticking straight down back there will kill your speed.

"...the street finds its own uses for things"
Last edited by: AutomaticJack: Dec 3, 18 12:58
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Re: From MOP to 'another planet' swim speeds [tuckandgo] [ In reply to ]
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Smaller target going through the resistance medium of water. Less power in proportion to a larger target is needed. Plus a 12 year old energy vs my 30 year old energy...jesus - they can run around NON STOP and never get tired. Just call it youth haha

They also do not have the stressors of an adult. You would be surprised how much bills, family, desk jobs, etc can wear a person out and then they train before or after work. A kid falls asleep in bio class and has 2 PE's a day and get home to a fridge full of food.
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Re: From MOP to 'another planet' swim speeds [tuckandgo] [ In reply to ]
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If you haven't already, I'd suggest diving deep into Tower26's podcasts (and the video seminar Gerry did years ago that is posted somewhere here on ST forums). I would listen to them all. They are a trove of information about the mechanics of swimming and in particular how/why non-swimmers (people who didn't grow up swimming competitively) make mistakes that sap their speed and efficiency, with a particular focus on triathlon swimming and open water swimming. I know not everyone agrees with Tower26's approach, but it's hard to deny that they have no accumulated a huge amount of information on what works, what the most common mistakes are, and how to correct them. Following the guidance and workouts from them, I have improved my swim times and efficiency by a pretty large amount, in just a little over 3 months.
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Re: From MOP to 'another planet' swim speeds [SharkFM] [ In reply to ]
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Which club? Nanaimo Riptide?

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Re: From MOP to 'another planet' swim speeds [realAB] [ In reply to ]
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Our club is TSUN or Tsunami (Alberni). But it's very small. The local pool admin is kinda predatory and backward thinking- just poorly managed. They aren't treating the club like an ally or asset.

So the kids are in Nanaimo a lot and we might be cooking a deal with the Ravensong pool, which is more than happy to accommodate, even tho the pool is 10x busier.

They were all at a small clinic with Hillary Caldwell (Gold ++ and Olympic medalist). Nick Bennett is heading is upward, has set some National records. Swimmer of the meet for trials. Faith Knelson also from Nanaimo, has put together many world-class/event swims. Trains in Vic now.

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Last edited by: SharkFM: Dec 6, 18 21:19
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