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Tri Coach with Vasa/Swim Erg Focus
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Due to work/family situation, I train primarily indoors and can get to a pool/swim once a week, generally a weekend day. I do have access to a Vasa Swim Erg and/or Whipr indoor swim set-up. Are there any coaches anyone has worked with that specializes in primarily indoor training with less actual "pool" volume replaced with Vasa/swim erg?
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Re: Tri Coach with Vasa/Swim Erg Focus [qngo01] [ In reply to ]
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This was discussed in a previous thread:

https://forum.slowtwitch.com/...string=vasa#p7398444

Good luck.
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Re: Tri Coach with Vasa/Swim Erg Focus [qngo01] [ In reply to ]
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I picked up a basic Vasa Trainer (20+ years old) during the pandemic, and I used it primarily heading into the start of last season. I got in a handful of ows sessions before a June 70.3, and found my swim time was around 150 seconds slower than 'normal' with pool swimming. I don't have the erg version, so what I did was lots of sets of 20-30 strokes per side with shorter rest periods. I found it's more for form, muscle memory, and building strength for the Vasa Trainer. On the erg, I'd think you could also work on the endurance side of things.

It certainly won't hurt. I seem to remember that Sam Gyde (AG IM champ), who posts here, used a VASA with good success to supplement or replace swimming.

Blog: http://262toboylstonstreet.blogspot.com/
https://twitter.com/NateThomasTri
Coaching: https://bybtricoaching.com/ - accepting athletes fo 2023
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Re: Tri Coach with Vasa/Swim Erg Focus [qngo01] [ In reply to ]
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Vasatrainer dot com has a "Coach Locator" listing of Vasa-approved coaches worldwide on the blog. These coaches are highly qualified and many offer outstanding remote coaching. Many Vasa athletes have reported achieving excellent results when coached by an expert who can skillfully leverage the power Vasa dry land swim training and integrate that with training in the pool and open water.
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Re: Tri Coach with Vasa/Swim Erg Focus [Rob Sleamaker] [ In reply to ]
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I could only see this working if you are very disciplined about restricting your breathing while working on the Vasa. I recall we used them a bit back in the 90s and we abandoned them as they provided no improvements compared good ol'school 90s swimming high training volume. FWIW, I know of two athletes that used this tool quite a but to built up to 70.3 worlds due to time restrictions and both had horrible swim race performances compared to past pool based training.

Not saying the equipment has no value, but I see it more like a supplementary tool and nowhere near the value of a good bike indoor trainer or treadmill.
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Re: Tri Coach with Vasa/Swim Erg Focus [qngo01] [ In reply to ]
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You can accomplish a lot more with a good S&C program than you can with a Vasa.

Tim

http://www.magnoliamasters.com
http://www.snappingtortuga.com
http://www.swimeasyspeed.com
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Re: Tri Coach with Vasa/Swim Erg Focus [qngo01] [ In reply to ]
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Brian Fallon of Aquaterra Coaching @ 646-549-3646
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Re: Tri Coach with Vasa/Swim Erg Focus [qngo01] [ In reply to ]
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Might I recommend Keith Watson....former C.O.O. of training peaks and currently a consultant for Vasa...

https://www.kiscoaching.com/coach-keith

Scott DeFilippis
Professional Triathlete
Coach and Co/Founder
KIS Coaching
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Re: Tri Coach with Vasa/Swim Erg Focus [sdiycdiycdi] [ In reply to ]
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I can recommend Eric Neilsen: Home - Train Smart...Race Fast (coachericneilsen.com)
I 've trained almost exclusively on my SwimFast Ergometer Home - SwimFastErgo (swimfastergometer.org) for Challenge Roth last year and have had the best swim of my life. A 01:09 is far vom fast, but I came out of the water very relaxed and that was my goal.
The SwimFast Ergo is in some ways superior to the vasa Erg, because for example you can send structured programs from TrainingPeaks to the ictrainer-platform icTrainer » Just Train - No Game and swim them via Bluetooth connection on your phone or tablet.
Last edited by: captain-dan76: Sep 29, 22 0:13
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Re: Tri Coach with Vasa/Swim Erg Focus [natethomas] [ In reply to ]
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natethomas wrote:

It certainly won't hurt. I seem to remember that Sam Gyde (AG IM champ), who posts here, used a VASA with good success to supplement or replace swimming.

In his interview Sam stated also that he does 4-5 vasa sessions per week, in the 45-65 minutes range each. Personally I would rather drive to the pool 3x week, and be sure I would exit a better swimmer
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Re: Tri Coach with Vasa/Swim Erg Focus [natethomas] [ In reply to ]
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Quote:
used a VASA with good success to supplement or replace swimming.

I think that would be a very generous interpretation of how he swam. I looked up his times from the IMTX 2018 since I remembered they were a bit skewed.

Total 8:21:39 Overall Rank
Swim 1:02:56 239
Bike 4:18:21 35
Run 2:53:39 22

With those bike and run splits on that course, he has the capability to swim low to mid 50s. It would be tough to argue his slower, less efficient swim didn't impact his bike and run.

There are a lot better and cheaper ways with limited access to the pool to maintain/improve your swim than a vasa.

Tim

http://www.magnoliamasters.com
http://www.snappingtortuga.com
http://www.swimeasyspeed.com
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Re: Tri Coach with Vasa/Swim Erg Focus [SnappingT] [ In reply to ]
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SnappingT wrote:
Quote:
used a VASA with good success to supplement or replace swimming.

I think that would be a very generous interpretation of how he swam. I looked up his times from the IMTX 2018 since I remembered they were a bit skewed.

Total 8:21:39 Overall Rank
Swim 1:02:56 239
Bike 4:18:21 35
Run 2:53:39 22

With those bike and run splits on that course, he has the capability to swim low to mid 50s. It would be tough to argue his slower, less efficient swim didn't impact his bike and run.

There are a lot better and cheaper ways with limited access to the pool to maintain/improve your swim than a vasa.

Tim

Please post that program or link to it rather than posting in every vasa thread how worthless it is. Much appreciated.
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Re: Tri Coach with Vasa/Swim Erg Focus [Vols] [ In reply to ]
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Simply sharing my experience and opinion. If you don't like it, don't read it.

I hope this helps,

Tim

http://www.magnoliamasters.com
http://www.snappingtortuga.com
http://www.swimeasyspeed.com
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Re: Tri Coach with Vasa/Swim Erg Focus [SnappingT] [ In reply to ]
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Actually, I do value your opinion and have subscribed to your email/newsletter that used to be released more frequently than it is now. I’ve utilized some of your work that more closely resembles usrpt type of training when I can actually get to a pool (long commute to pool and very unfriendly hours for open swim) in conjunction with the vasa for the last few years. I also enjoy your commentary/videos you release on YouTube.

You have incredible value that you add and I’m personally appreciative. If you also have value you can add surrounding what is a better use of time than me staring at a mirror on the ground below the vasa and ensuring my elbows get around the “swim halo” I created to ensure I get some bend, then I’m all for it.

Would I be better if I could get to a pool more regularly? Absolutely, but fact is I cannot with current life constraints - as are most which consider the vasa.

Hopefully my post didn’t come off as being a prick, as that wasn’t the intent. I am however very interested in what your better options are given the quality of content you’ve provided surrounding actual in pool work.
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Re: Tri Coach with Vasa/Swim Erg Focus [Vols] [ In reply to ]
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Thanks. I am always happy to help and I definitely can sympathize with time constraints around training. The swim is the biggest time suck of them all.

I'll direct message you the program I've recommended to athletes. It's a customizable S&C program that can select for swimming, running, cycling or triathlon and based on the equipment you have available. I think it costs about $15/month. The only criticism I would have of it is the program can get a little too heavy too quick, but with awareness of that and feedback, you can get it where it should be.

One of the big problems with the Vasa and why it doesn't even come close to the swim stroke unless you are training "short axis" strokes, breast and fly, is you can't rotate along the long axis of the body. Also, the bench is giving you and your core something solid to pull from when that isn't the case when you are in the water. So all the muscles you need to engage for efficient swimming either can't be engaged or don't have to be.

Tim

http://www.magnoliamasters.com
http://www.snappingtortuga.com
http://www.swimeasyspeed.com
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Re: Tri Coach with Vasa/Swim Erg Focus [jollyroger88] [ In reply to ]
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jollyroger88 wrote:
natethomas wrote:


It certainly won't hurt. I seem to remember that Sam Gyde (AG IM champ), who posts here, used a VASA with good success to supplement or replace swimming.


In his interview Sam stated also that he does 4-5 vasa sessions per week, in the 45-65 minutes range each. Personally I would rather drive to the pool 3x week, and be sure I would exit a better swimmer


I've posted a lot on the past with my Vasa experience as AOS swimmer that's low on talent but over the years have gotten myself into the top 15% of swimmers in my tri races. (Which means I get my doors blown off by any competitive 10 year old girl swimmer.)

I haven't been on my Vasa more than 6 times in the past 2 years. It's because my kid got old enough to leave at home alone (finally!) and the erg is so boring in comparison. Water is fun!

In the past year, I significantly increased my CONSISTENT all pool (No vasa) swim volume, to the point that I'm averaging about 15k/wk. (I do about 18k, 17k, pullback week of 13k in a cycle.) This is about 100% more pool volume than I did previously, and about 50% more volume compared to my prior pool+vasa which was usually in the 10k/wk estimate range if combining both.

I have gotten faster in OWS races, but no huge breakthrough for sure. Just more consistent top 12-15% finishes in the swim, whereas before with pool+erg it would be in the 15-20% range. I honestly think that if I just did my prior pool+vasa combo at the equivalent volume I'm doing now, I'm nearly certain that I'd be about the same speed on race day. For sure, all pool hasn't been the huge magic breakthrough that I'd hoped it would be compared to vasa+pool.

I also respect SnappingT's swim coaching expertise, but I just can't square his claims the the erg is useless. I'll agree that some dryland training techniques that will address parts of the stroke better than the erg will, but having done almost all of these cord and other motions, there's no way I'd prefer them over the erg for replacing large volumes of swimming. (As a supplement to pool swimming, they work great, yes!) If the erg was useless, there's no way I should have been doing as well as I was on like 4-8k/wk of swimming + erg.

For me the erg worked well for supplementing and even replacing a good amount of pool time as a non-FOP swimmer. Even now, I seriously question whether some of my sessions would be better replaced by just doing 90 minutes on the erg compared to driving 30 minutes to swim 60, or doing 60 minute erg+30min bike or run, since my results were so similar with pool+erg compared to all pool now. Again, the only reason I don't, is that swimming is just fun, and the erg is so boring.

And for sure, if was seriously time-constrained like I was with my young kid, where getting to the pool during swim times that weren't a circle swim disaster, I'd highly recommend using the erg to amp up whatever limited pool time one can get. I do think Sam Gyde's results are quite plausible, and what I'd expect. I also think that people are probably overestimating his swim improvement if he just goes all-pool compared to the erg - I think he'd get slightly faster, but only slightly. I seriously doubt he'd suddenly be like 10 minutes faster on an IM swim, and even 5 would even be a really good result.
Last edited by: lightheir: Sep 29, 22 10:10
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Re: Tri Coach with Vasa/Swim Erg Focus [lightheir] [ In reply to ]
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lightheir wrote:

In the past year, I significantly increased my CONSISTENT all pool (No vasa) swim volume, to the point that I'm averaging about 15k/wk. (I do about 18k, 17k, pullback week of 13k in a cycle.) This is about 100% more pool volume than I did previously, and about 50% more volume compared to my prior pool+vasa which was usually in the 10k/wk estimate range if combining both.

I have gotten faster in OWS races, but no huge breakthrough for sure. Just more consistent top 12-15% finishes in the swim, whereas before with pool+erg it would be in the 15-20% range. I honestly think that if I just did my prior pool+vasa combo at the equivalent volume I'm doing now, I'm nearly certain that I'd be about the same speed on race day. For sure, all pool hasn't been the huge magic breakthrough that I'd hoped it would be compared to vasa+pool.

a +5% improvement in just one year is quite a huge breakthrough, for my standards; you'd exit 3 minutes earlier, in a IM swim.
anyway, I said a different thing: had I the possibility to choose between swimming pool 3x week and vasa 5x week (regardless of family commitments, driving times, lane availability etc.), I would pick swimming pool all the time, performance wise
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Re: Tri Coach with Vasa/Swim Erg Focus [SnappingT] [ In reply to ]
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SnappingT wrote:
Thanks. I am always happy to help and I definitely can sympathize with time constraints around training. The swim is the biggest time suck of them all.

I'll direct message you the program I've recommended to athletes. It's a customizable S&C program that can select for swimming, running, cycling or triathlon and based on the equipment you have available. I think it costs about $15/month. The only criticism I would have of it is the program can get a little too heavy too quick, but with awareness of that and feedback, you can get it where it should be.

One of the big problems with the Vasa and why it doesn't even come close to the swim stroke unless you are training "short axis" strokes, breast and fly, is you can't rotate along the long axis of the body. Also, the bench is giving you and your core something solid to pull from when that isn't the case when you are in the water. So all the muscles you need to engage for efficient swimming either can't be engaged or don't have to be.

Tim

For that reason I find lying on an exercise ball with my belly button pointing to ceiling and stretch chords attached to door handles above my head, allows me to actually do all 4 strokes, long and short axis and use core roughly as I would use in the water (actually my core seems to fail first on these sets).
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Re: Tri Coach with Vasa/Swim Erg Focus [jollyroger88] [ In reply to ]
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jollyroger88 wrote:
lightheir wrote:


In the past year, I significantly increased my CONSISTENT all pool (No vasa) swim volume, to the point that I'm averaging about 15k/wk. (I do about 18k, 17k, pullback week of 13k in a cycle.) This is about 100% more pool volume than I did previously, and about 50% more volume compared to my prior pool+vasa which was usually in the 10k/wk estimate range if combining both.

I have gotten faster in OWS races, but no huge breakthrough for sure. Just more consistent top 12-15% finishes in the swim, whereas before with pool+erg it would be in the 15-20% range. I honestly think that if I just did my prior pool+vasa combo at the equivalent volume I'm doing now, I'm nearly certain that I'd be about the same speed on race day. For sure, all pool hasn't been the huge magic breakthrough that I'd hoped it would be compared to vasa+pool.


a +5% improvement in just one year is quite a huge breakthrough, for my standards; you'd exit 3 minutes earlier, in a IM swim.
anyway, I said a different thing: had I the possibility to choose between swimming pool 3x week and vasa 5x week (regardless of family commitments, driving times, lane availability etc.), I would pick swimming pool all the time, performance wise

Yes, 5% is a lot, although to put it in perspective, that would take a 1:40/100 swimmer to 1:35/100, which isn't exactly moving them up a huge amount in the standings.

For the super time constrained, it's easily arguable that if one spent that time biking or running instead of driving to the pool all the time, you'd get back that entire 5% and then some.

Totally agree with you about the boredom factor though. It's the reason why I've barely used my Vasa in the past 2 years despite being happy with the results I got from it. Now that I have the time to swim, I'm finally swimming primarily because of its fun factor, and not just because I have to suck it up and do it for triathlon. (My prior pool swims were always stressful and unreliable due to the crowded circle swims - my new pool and time I never circle swim. And still, only small improvement.)
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Re: Tri Coach with Vasa/Swim Erg Focus [lightheir] [ In reply to ]
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lightheir wrote:
jollyroger88 wrote:
lightheir wrote:


In the past year, I significantly increased my CONSISTENT all pool (No vasa) swim volume, to the point that I'm averaging about 15k/wk. (I do about 18k, 17k, pullback week of 13k in a cycle.) This is about 100% more pool volume than I did previously, and about 50% more volume compared to my prior pool+vasa which was usually in the 10k/wk estimate range if combining both.

I have gotten faster in OWS races, but no huge breakthrough for sure. Just more consistent top 12-15% finishes in the swim, whereas before with pool+erg it would be in the 15-20% range. I honestly think that if I just did my prior pool+vasa combo at the equivalent volume I'm doing now, I'm nearly certain that I'd be about the same speed on race day. For sure, all pool hasn't been the huge magic breakthrough that I'd hoped it would be compared to vasa+pool.


a +5% improvement in just one year is quite a huge breakthrough, for my standards; you'd exit 3 minutes earlier, in a IM swim.
anyway, I said a different thing: had I the possibility to choose between swimming pool 3x week and vasa 5x week (regardless of family commitments, driving times, lane availability etc.), I would pick swimming pool all the time, performance wise


Yes, 5% is a lot, although to put it in perspective, that would take a 1:40/100 swimmer to 1:35/100, which isn't exactly moving them up a huge amount in the standings.

For the super time constrained, it's easily arguable that if one spent that time biking or running instead of driving to the pool all the time, you'd get back that entire 5% and then some.

Totally agree with you about the boredom factor though. It's the reason why I've barely used my Vasa in the past 2 years despite being happy with the results I got from it. Now that I have the time to swim, I'm finally swimming primarily because of its fun factor, and not just because I have to suck it up and do it for triathlon. (My prior pool swims were always stressful and unreliable due to the crowded circle swims - my new pool and time I never circle swim. And still, only small improvement.)

LH - I'm glad you've finally reached the point of having the time, place, and ability to enjoy swimming!!! It is truly a great sport if you can just get the basics down, and find a pool and time which is optimum for your schedule. I'm glad you've finally reached this point. :):)


"Anyone can be who they want to be IF they have the HUNGER and the DRIVE."
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Re: Tri Coach with Vasa/Swim Erg Focus [ericmulk] [ In reply to ]
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Thanks ericmulk.

I def admit - it's been really sweet to tranisition from the young-child no-time at all and a craptastic lunch YMCA circle swim with regular 2:00+/100 swimmers in the fast lane, to a clean AM swim in a real competitive pool facility with ample lanes so I can actually DO a full workout as written and never circle swim.

As a sideline, I'm surprised how not-that-hard it is to train 15 hrs per week once my kid turned 12, which means a lot more self-independence. 1 hr in the AM before work, 1 hr at lunch every day gets you 14 hrs per week already - just throw in a long weekend bike and a long weekend run, some shorter recovery workouts, and you're there without costing any family time at all. My kid says she doesn't even know I'm every triathlon training, because she sleeps until 11AM on the weekend and I'm done by 10:45 AM!

But yes, am really enjoying pool swimming as well as OWS - it's honestly become my favorite of the 3 even though it's still my worst but now only by a little bit. (running which used to be my strength is fading and I predict will soon fall behind my swim placements.) I just wish I had even more time just to be a pure swimmer for a few years and learn all the strokes for real, alas, I'll put that off until age/arthritis limits my running, as I'm hitting my peak tri performance right now.
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Re: Tri Coach with Vasa/Swim Erg Focus [lightheir] [ In reply to ]
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lightheir wrote:
Thanks ericmulk.


...so I can actually DO a full workout as written and never circle swim....

I find this kind of funny.
I have been swimming so long that I can't not circle swim.
I do if I am in a lane by myself in workout.
I do with others in a workout.
I do in races, just by a little.
I'm pretty sure I circle swim in the bathtub.

I'm sure others are similar.

Sorry for the detail.
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