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Guppy Challenge Begins! Q&A Thread
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The workouts for Week-1 of the Guppy Challenge as posted. You may write your questions, concerns, struggles, victories, failures here or at the bottom of the article as a Facebook post. In my opinion here is better, because Facebook is great but this forum's architecture is a little easier for me to respond to (if you want my response).

I think this is going to be a good edition of the Guppy Challenge. We have a fair number of participants, and there are some tools and helps we have now that we didn't have a year ago.

Dan Empfield
aka Slowman
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Re: Guppy Challenge Begins! Q&A Thread [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
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My first time to do this challenge. I reviewed last year's articles, will you be adding tuna and tarpon workouts this year too?

Any suggestions on waterproof pouches or cases to do underwater filming with?
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Re: Guppy Challenge Begins! Q&A Thread [kbd] [ In reply to ]
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kbd wrote:
My first time to do this challenge. I reviewed last year's articles, will you be adding tuna and tarpon workouts this year too?

Any suggestions on waterproof pouches or cases to do underwater filming with?

yes, Tuna and Tarpon are on the first week's workouts, if you click the link. we'll begin to host underwater videos soon, by week-2, and i'll have a post, or perhaps a front page article, on the best methods to make those videos.

Dan Empfield
aka Slowman
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Re: Guppy Challenge Begins! Q&A Thread [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
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I going to be a little late to the party...some family commitments have me tied up until the new year!
so second week of January I will be starting!! looking forward to it!

Ask me how much I love my Kiwami LD Aero Trisuit
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Re: Guppy Challenge Begins! Q&A Thread [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
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Perfect timing. Had surgery 5 weeks ago (Nov 2) to put a plate and 8 screws in to repair a crushed collar bone. Started back swimming after 2 weeks and am up to 2k a day now 5x a week. I’ll give the Tuna a chase.

Mike Plumb, TriPower MultiSports
Professional Running, Cycling and Multisport Coaching, F.I.S.T. Certified
http://www.tripower.org
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Re: Guppy Challenge Begins! Q&A Thread [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
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Who will be using a Snorkel and why. If you are using a Snorkel, what brand? I haven't used one before and I am considering...
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Re: Guppy Challenge Begins! Q&A Thread [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
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Are you and Monty swimming? I want to come over the hill and join you for a day!
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Re: Guppy Challenge Begins! Q&A Thread [Gee] [ In reply to ]
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i am in bermuda. i'll be swimming every day i'm here (5 days). this is my swimming vacation. and THEN i'll be swimming back home, and i'll come down and join you for a swim. do you swim masters there? or at occidental or caltech or somewhere?

Dan Empfield
aka Slowman
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Re: Guppy Challenge Begins! Q&A Thread [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
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No, I found swim nirvana with the ultimate coaching triumvirate and quit swimming masters, except when I am traveling. I am simply too old and too obstinate to hear so many conflicting opinions on the "best" way to swim and decided that since I had the best individual coaching ever and a training plan that works well for triathlon, I didn't need the others on a regular basis. Bring your camera and your adventurous spirit, and I'll bring the WoD.
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Re: Guppy Challenge Begins! Q&A Thread [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
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How do i sign up for this thing... Let's do this!
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Re: Guppy Challenge Begins! Q&A Thread [rodchaves31] [ In reply to ]
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rodchaves31 wrote:
How do i sign up for this thing... Let's do this!

go to the training log. choose challenges. click enter.

Dan Empfield
aka Slowman
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Re: Guppy Challenge Begins! Q&A Thread [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
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Thanks for hosting this experiment.

I just finished the first workout and I have some comments/questions. Note that I am one of the worst "swimmers" on ST and an very frustrated with any lack of progress so take my issues/comments with a grain of salt.



"Some of the better coaches I know put a premium on knowing how to swimming slow. "
How does one define "slowly". I'm a 2:15-2:200 100scy swimmer. If I swim any slower, I'll sink to the bottom of the lane. OK, this is a rhetorical question.



"Rather than overthinking this, I just want you to concentrate on not contorting your torso, not bending at the waist, when you breathe. "
The issue I have with any drills is how do I know I am doing it correctly. I can (and did) concentrate but I have no idea is I was doing what you want me to do. If I am not doing the drills properly, what benefit do I derive from them?



I tried the one armed drill. I am a right-side breather who breaths every two strokes (i.e. coincidental with my right arm entering the water) and who really like to breath every 1.5 seconds (or more frequently). With this drill, I found myself focusing on breathing not focusing on the intent of the drill. I had to lift my head to breath, thus causing my legs to sink even more than normal. I even tried fins to make up for 50% of the propulsion I lost. No help. I gave up out of exhaustion and frustration after the third interval.

A generic question on swimming intervals. I am exhausted by the time I hit 1200 yards. So much so that I can feel my form degrade even more than normal. How does swimming 100-150 yards and then stopping to rest help me swim 1500y in a race? I am relatively strong runner for a 55 year old guy and I rarely run intervals. Instead, I run longer (i.e. race) distance, occasionally mixing up the tempo. This regiment worked well enough to have the 5th fastest 10K (M55-59) in Omaha after coming out of the water last in the AG. I am trying to reconcile these two situations.






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Re: Guppy Challenge Begins! Q&A Thread [HandHeartCrown] [ In reply to ]
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HandHeartCrown wrote:

Thanks for hosting this experiment.

"Some of the better coaches I know put a premium on knowing how to swimming slow.
"
How does one define "slowly". I'm a 2:15-2:200 100scy swimmer. If I swim any slower, I'll sink to the bottom of the lane. OK, this is a rhetorical question.


"Rather than overthinking this, I just want you to concentrate on not contorting your torso, not bending at the waist, when you breathe. "
The issue I have with any drills is how do I know I am doing it correctly. I can (and did) concentrate but I have no idea is I was doing what you want me to do. If I am not doing the drills properly, what benefit do I derive from them?



I tried the one armed drill. I am a right-side breather who breaths every two strokes (i.e. coincidental with my right arm entering the water) and who really like to breath every 1.5 seconds (or more frequently). With this drill, I found myself focusing on breathing not focusing on the intent of the drill. I had to lift my head to breath, thus causing my legs to sink even more than normal. I even tried fins to make up for 50% of the propulsion I lost. No help. I gave up out of exhaustion and frustration after the third interval.

A generic question on swimming intervals. I am exhausted by the time I hit 1200 yards. So much so that I can feel my form degrade even more than normal. How does swimming 100-150 yards and then stopping to rest help me swim 1500y in a race? I am relatively strong runner for a 55 year old guy and I rarely run intervals. Instead, I run longer (i.e. race) distance, occasionally mixing up the tempo. This regiment worked well enough to have the 5th fastest 10K (M55-59) in Omaha after coming out of the water last in the AG. I am trying to reconcile these two situations.

you are so in luck! by week-4 you're going to be a new man. in specific answer:

slowly: what i mean is, slowly relative to your normal speed. if you slow things way down, form issues are amplified. i WANT form issues amplified, so we can expose and correct them.

one-armed drill: perfect! what depresses me is to hear that you CAN do it, and do it well. when i hear that you CAN'T do it, i'm jazzed! now i know we can make progress. what i recommend you do is continue to use fins, for now, and break this up into 50s, and break up the set into quarters, and do a fourth of the set interspersed between other elements. warm-up, then a fourth of the 1-arm pull set. more warm-up, another 4th of this set. main set, another 4th; warm-down, another 4th. each 50 should be right arm down, left arm back.

i promise you, you WILL get this. and it won't take more than a week or so. once you get it down, so that you can do it, then we'll take off 1 fin. then, the other. and then we'll work on the off hand (no sculling). then more on the off hand (keeping it close to the surface). by week-4 you'll be a champ at this.

you're exhausted because how you swim is exhausting. by week-8 you'll breeze through 2000 yards easily.

Dan Empfield
aka Slowman
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Re: Guppy Challenge Begins! Q&A Thread [Mike J] [ In reply to ]
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Mike J wrote:
Who will be using a Snorkel and why. If you are using a Snorkel, what brand? I haven't used one before and I am considering...

I picked up the Finis Swimmer's Snorkel last year, and that worked well for me. Admittedly I haven't used it since last year's Guppy challenge, but I'm back for another helping.

Hopefully this year, there won't be any unexpected pool closures. A couple of those hit me last year, and I completely fell out at around week 8.
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Re: Guppy Challenge Begins! Q&A Thread [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
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Slowman wrote:
i am in bermuda. i'll be swimming every day i'm here (5 days). this is my swimming vacation. and THEN i'll be swimming back home, and i'll come down and join you for a swim. do you swim masters there? or at occidental or caltech or somewhere?

Can you start telling us about Swim vacation options. As I am no longer biking for now, there is no pressing reason for cycliing vacations. Last year I only had 1 day of vacation on account of working for a company about to go out of biz and then starting my own tech startup (meaning I am on 24x7 work aside from my swim workouts). So where do you recommend for swim vacations? I have always been a bike vacation guy. I'll go register for the Guppy Challenge, but I think I no longer qualify as a guppy as on Friday I will hit 1200 km of swimming for the year (basically a bit over 100K per month).

Dev
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Re: Guppy Challenge Begins! Q&A Thread [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
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Oh, my-- I need a tadpole challenge! I think I've swum (swam?) about a dozen times total in the last 3 years (and 3 of those were in sprint tris). Between my shoulders going into shock when I got in the pool, and the creepy guy on the pool deck staring and talking on his phone, I didn't quite get through workout 1. :( Does that disqualify me right off the bat?
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Re: Guppy Challenge Begins! Q&A Thread [bt] [ In reply to ]
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bt wrote:
Oh, my-- I need a tadpole challenge! I think I've swum (swam?) about a dozen times total in the last 3 years (and 3 of those were in sprint tris). Between my shoulders going into shock when I got in the pool, and the creepy guy on the pool deck staring and talking on his phone, I didn't quite get through workout 1. :( Does that disqualify me right off the bat?

you are not disqualified! you are just warming up. you're fine.

Dan Empfield
aka Slowman
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Re: Guppy Challenge Begins! Q&A Thread [devashish_paul] [ In reply to ]
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devashish_paul wrote:
Slowman wrote:
i am in bermuda. i'll be swimming every day i'm here (5 days). this is my swimming vacation. and THEN i'll be swimming back home, and i'll come down and join you for a swim. do you swim masters there? or at occidental or caltech or somewhere?


Can you start telling us about Swim vacation options. As I am no longer biking for now, there is no pressing reason for cycliing vacations. Last year I only had 1 day of vacation on account of working for a company about to go out of biz and then starting my own tech startup (meaning I am on 24x7 work aside from my swim workouts). So where do you recommend for swim vacations? I have always been a bike vacation guy. I'll go register for the Guppy Challenge, but I think I no longer qualify as a guppy as on Friday I will hit 1200 km of swimming for the year (basically a bit over 100K per month). Dev

i'm beginning my bermuda swim vacation tomorrow. tried to get it going today, but it got off the rails. i'll tell you how it went when i'm done.

i'm going to do another one near the bottom of baja i think. but not for awhile.

Dan Empfield
aka Slowman
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Re: Guppy Challenge Begins! Q&A Thread [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
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I have swum with a Garmin the entire time that I've been training for tris but it died recently (being sent back for free replacement as I type) and on top of that I keep reading recommendations to just use the pace clock and establish "leave intervals". I have been doing this so far in the Challenge, but have a few questions:
1. What is the best method for establishing my personal leave intervals in order to "improve"? I guess more simply, how do I set a goal pace (+ prescribed rest interval) based on my current fitness? I don't want to set something unrealistic and then try to stick to it and watch my RIs go out the window.
2. How do you log your workouts when using the pace clock, total time or "moving" time? Or is this not something that the fishies care about?

(btw, links to previous answers are appreciated as well, I just haven't found QUITE what I'm looking for in a few searches)
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Re: Guppy Challenge Begins! Q&A Thread [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
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Slowman wrote:
HandHeartCrown wrote:


I tried the one armed drill. I am a right-side breather who breaths every two strokes (i.e. coincidental with my right arm entering the water) and who really like to breath every 1.5 seconds (or more frequently). With this drill, I found myself focusing on breathing not focusing on the intent of the drill. I had to lift my head to breath, thus causing my legs to sink even more than normal. I even tried fins to make up for 50% of the propulsion I lost. No help. I gave up out of exhaustion and frustration after the third interval.



you are so in luck! by week-4 you're going to be a new man. in specific answer:

slowly: what i mean is, slowly relative to your normal speed. if you slow things way down, form issues are amplified. i WANT form issues amplified, so we can expose and correct them.

one-armed drill: perfect! what depresses me is to hear that you CAN do it, and do it well. when i hear that you CAN'T do it, i'm jazzed! now i know we can make progress. what i recommend you do is continue to use fins, for now, and break this up into 50s, and break up the set into quarters, and do a fourth of the set interspersed between other elements. warm-up, then a fourth of the 1-arm pull set. more warm-up, another 4th of this set. main set, another 4th; warm-down, another 4th. each 50 should be right arm down, left arm back.

i promise you, you WILL get this. and it won't take more than a week or so. once you get it down, so that you can do it, then we'll take off 1 fin. then, the other. and then we'll work on the off hand (no sculling). then more on the off hand (keeping it close to the surface). by week-4 you'll be a champ at this.

you're exhausted because how you swim is exhausting. by week-8 you'll breeze through 2000 yards easily.

You are so in luck! by week-4 you're going to be a new man.
Will I feel 20 years younger? Will my hair return to it's original brown and the hair that has mysteriously disappear magically reappear? :-)

Thanks for responding.

Today I repeated the first workout tweaking the warmup a bit. I didn't quite understand your intent so I did six repeating intervals of 100 focusing on not contorting (whether I was successful is up for discussion) and 50 doing right arm down, left arm back. This was much less exhausting. According to Strava, I've swum 182K yards this year and all of it has been right side breathing. I was not looking forward to doing left side breathing. Strangely, I felt the left side breathing was less difficult (I didn't saw easier) than the right side breathing. Perplexing.

One question on workout 3: Can the kick drills be done with fins? It takes me over 1:15 and an extreme amount of effort to kick a 25y length.

Enjoy Bermuda. If it gets boring, you can fly north a bit and visit my neck of the woods where it's snowing/sleeting/raining and Boston Harbor is a balmy 48 degrees.
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Re: Guppy Challenge Begins! Q&A Thread [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
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Is part of warm up missing for workout 3? Total is 1800 not 2000 and that seems like a 4x50 set rather than missing 300. Have fun in Bermuda on your swimcation
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Re: Guppy Challenge Begins! Q&A Thread [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
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Thanks Dan for putting this together. Add me to the list of those who are frustrated with not making progress after swimming for years, I'm ready to put in some work to figure this out.
After the first workout I have a dumb question that I thought I knew the answer to but don't...to avoid contorting at the waist, do I only turn my head to breathe? Or should my whole body rotate?
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Re: Guppy Challenge Begins! Q&A Thread [bt] [ In reply to ]
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I didn't get through workout 1 either. It had been 522 days since my last swim so that was to be expected. I'm all for a tadpoles group.
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Re: Guppy Challenge Begins! Q&A Thread [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
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Great to be back involved this year - Graduating to Tarpon Yardage (based on 1:10 IM swim - not possible without Guppy Challenge)

Did W/O 1 today.

Question on body position in the 1arm drill:

I feel my body being 'rotated' towards the side I am breathing throughout - the arm in the way kinda prevents me being flat. Is that how it should be? Or do I need to focus on rotating down and then rotating back to breathe every time.
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Re: Guppy Challenge Begins! Q&A Thread [sammie] [ In reply to ]
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Your body should rotate for the breath...ideally, you should rotate just enough to have one goggle in and one goggle out of the water when you breathe.
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Re: Guppy Challenge Begins! Q&A Thread [JoelO] [ In reply to ]
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JoelO wrote:
Your body should rotate for the breath...ideally, you should rotate just enough to have one goggle in and one goggle out of the water when you breathe.

It's easy to say this on paper. How does one do that in the pool?
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Re: Guppy Challenge Begins! Q&A Thread [HandHeartCrown] [ In reply to ]
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Is this to say for the one arm pull you should be flat on the water, not on one side?
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Re: Guppy Challenge Begins! Q&A Thread [davidwilcock] [ In reply to ]
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I just started swimming again two weeks ago after a long break so this challenge comes at a great time

One problem I have is that for whatever reason my mind tells me just to stop and take a break after the second length (33m pool). Maybe I feel I'm getting short in breath at that point or something but I'm really not certain why this is. After about 30 secs I'm fine to go again and the same thing happens. Does this happen to anyone else or is it just weird? I'm hoping it'll go with more practice
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Re: Guppy Challenge Begins! Q&A Thread [davidwilcock] [ In reply to ]
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You'll return to flat briefly after you breathe. When you initiate the pull the non-pulling shoulder should drop down. When this happens your hips/body will start to open up and give you leverage in your pull. Try this out of the water. With hands above your head, form the catch and pull straight down like you normally would. Do nothing with your hips. Compare that to the power you feel if you rotate your hips open (on the pulling side) while you pull down...pretty big difference.

Go about 1 minute in on this.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tgb2Li5AH7M

Thorpe is doing the catch-up drill but its similar to the one arm drill in that one arm is always out front. Notice how he rotates back and forth. He starts out flat, then as the pull commences, his body/hips open up to give him room and leverage for his pull.
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Re: Guppy Challenge Begins! Q&A Thread [plumber250] [ In reply to ]
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plumber250 wrote:
Great to be back involved this year - Graduating to Tarpon Yardage (based on 1:10 IM swim - not possible without Guppy Challenge)

Did W/O 1 today.

Question on body position in the 1arm drill:

I feel my body being 'rotated' towards the side I am breathing throughout - the arm in the way kinda prevents me being flat. Is that how it should be? Or do I need to focus on rotating down and then rotating back to breathe every time.

Can I ask what your time was BEFORE last year's Challenge? My last Ironmans were in '95 and '97 (I do only short course now) and I did 1:30 in each. I currently do 45+ for 1500m OWS with no wetsuit.
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Re: Guppy Challenge Begins! Q&A Thread [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
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I haven't swam since April. During workout 2 I got cramps in my foot. I do not kick much. why am I getting cramps in my foot.
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Re: Guppy Challenge Begins! Q&A Thread [HandHeartCrown] [ In reply to ]
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Was first IM
But based on results of other people I have raced with before at other distances I would guess I saved 10 mins.

But i also swam it *super* easy - so hard to calibrate totally
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Re: Guppy Challenge Begins! Q&A Thread [dhafling] [ In reply to ]
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Ha! Because you don't kick much. :) I sometimes get cramps in the arch of my foot if I'm doing a lot of kicking with fins. I also get leg cramps if I've done a bike or run workout earlier in the day.
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Re: Guppy Challenge Begins! Q&A Thread [ In reply to ]
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Finished #2 today. I also will be in the Tarpon group. Last year I did an OW event and finished in 1:14 (it was a tad short, but not much). I cycled through the Guppy workouts a few times as my prep and shocked how comfortable I felt that day. BUT that was a year ago, and I've been dry since.
I noticed something both Monday and today. Once I hit about a mile, something just clicks and I feel like I could cruise forever. I was doing the 8x200, and at about #4 I just got super chill. Maybe you swim downhill after the halfway point? Does this mean I'm a dude that needs a long warm up? I was getting 20 second rest, so maybe I was going too easy?
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Re: Guppy Challenge Begins! Q&A Thread [mpderksen] [ In reply to ]
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I need a good warmup too. My masters coach gives us 10 minutes to piddle paddle before we do a lead up set to the main set. Sometimes the lead up set feels harder than the main set (because there’s usually kicking involved on an interval). We’re close to 1000 +/- by the time we hit the main set. After that, we’re warmed up and ready to hit the main set.
Last edited by: JoelO: Dec 14, 17 20:17
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Re: Guppy Challenge Begins! Q&A Thread [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
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Quote:
off-arm was straight in front of you, hand near the surface? That’s where that hand should be during the catch and extend phase. Try not to let your hand drift down during the extend phase.

Is more of a "feel" of high elbow catch supposed to be another result of this?

#OldMenTriHarder
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#SwimBikeRunLikeAngels
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Re: Guppy Challenge Begins! Q&A Thread [mpderksen] [ In reply to ]
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I have the same issues. Always seems that after 50 - 100 yards, start to get out of breath, but regain it back in a 200 - 300 yards. I always thought it was the heart rate going from 50 to 150 and after a few minutes finally waking up. But maybe it's just the buildup of current in the pool finally getting to the point of pushing you :-p

#OldMenTriHarder
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Last edited by: OldMenTriHarder: Dec 15, 17 5:24
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Re: Guppy Challenge Begins! Q&A Thread [davidwilcock] [ In reply to ]
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This will seem like a stupid question but...when are you exhaling? This sounds like something with your breathing and most common cause is not exhaling between breaths ie when your face is in the water
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Re: Guppy Challenge Begins! Q&A Thread [dhafling] [ In reply to ]
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dhafling wrote:
I haven't swam since April. During workout 2 I got cramps in my foot. I do not kick much. why am I getting cramps in my foot.

You get cramps in your foot primarily because you are holding your foot in a flexed position.


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Re: Guppy Challenge Begins! Q&A Thread [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
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Still warming up to guppy after my time out of the pool. I'm following the structure so day 1 did the 6 x 50, 6 x 100 and today did that and 3 x 150.

I have a question about the one-arm pulls. I find that when I turn my head to breathe and then turn back, my body is in a different place in the water (lower down) and then it has to reset to where it normally is when I swim. I feel this more acutely when breathing/pulling on the right but it's there on the left too. I don't feel it when swimming with both arms.

Am I doing something wrong? What? How do I fix it?

Hoping to sort out some video in the next week or two.
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Re: Guppy Challenge Begins! Q&A Thread [Scheherazade] [ In reply to ]
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i'll be publishing on this over the weekend. the point of drills like this, and banded ankles, is not what you might think at face value. when i have you swim these 1-arm pulls, it's not to strengthen your pull, or to concentrate on your hand's course through the water. nothing like that. my aim is to expose a disconnection between your pull, your breathing, your kicking. a very good swimmer will perform one arm drills without losing any momentum in the water. adult onset swimmers stall in the water when doing these.

what i'm trying to expose is that stall. now, look, maybe i misinterpret this, but when i read very good swimmers talk about "hip driven freestyle" as opposed to "shoulder driven freestyle" what i *think* i'm reading about hip-driven is a kicking pattern strategically employed to carry your momentum forward in between your pulls. this keeps your momentum from coming to a halt in between your pulls.

this is what i'm hoping to get to with these 1-arm pulls. remember, my interest is not in the had you're pulling with. it's with the other hand. the one near the surface, straight in front of you. if you need to scull with that hand that means you've lost your forward momentum and you're looking for some way to keep going. when you can do these drills without sculling, that means you've found a way to keep your momentum in between pulls.

when you band your ankles, again, my issue here is not to try to work on arm propulsion or any propulsion. it's to expose that leg splay you do when you kick, and you do that leg splay because you jackknife or twist at the waist when you breathe, and you splay your legs to keep your balance. when you band your ankles together this exposes that stroke flaw. you'll start fishtailing. by all means, put a pull buoy between your legs to keep your legs afloat. this isn't the inquisition. the idea is not to pull your joints out of their sockets until you confess. when you band your ankles and discover that you fishtail, you'll have learned something about how you swim. your job is simply to make a change that stops that fishtailing.

so, you have 2 "jobs" in these two drills: in the 1-arm drill your job is to perform that drill with your off hand still, immobile, and near the surface. your job with banded ankles (that drill is upcoming) is to swim without fishtailing.

if you have a hard time performing either or both of these drills the way i describe, then you should rejoice! it's like getting the labwork back and finding out that you have a particular disease. much better to know the disease instead of trudging along year after year knowing there's something very wrong with you and not knowing what to do about it. now we know your swim disease, and it makes it much easier now to solve it.

Dan Empfield
aka Slowman
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Re: Guppy Challenge Begins! Q&A Thread [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
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Hey Dan, I would like to provide some input on the banded ankles for your challenge. I found the three hole band really helped me last year (which reminds, me, I need to pull it out)......but the way I found it MOST helpful was to actually put two holes at knee level, meaning I could kick a bit without legs splaying apart and fish tailing. Here is where I am going with it. The kick provides a stable platform to pull from. Imagine a golfer trying to tee off standing on a swivel table, vs feet anchored on solid ground. I even tried the three hole bank at knee level with fins on with a 2 beat kick that was simply a more firm anchor. This reminds, me that I need to put the three hole band back inside my swim kit. It really helped my streamline past my chest/thoracic spine. I also found trying to swim with the three hole band at knee level catch up with only a 2 beat kick did wonders for timing my breathing.
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Re: Guppy Challenge Begins! Q&A Thread [devashish_paul] [ In reply to ]
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i don't have any quarrel with that. i just bought a TYR ankle buoy online today and i'm going to buy a couple more, just to check them out, and see what it is i like the best from among all the options.

Dan Empfield
aka Slowman
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Re: Guppy Challenge Begins! Q&A Thread [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
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Okay that makes sense. I have to kick more during the drills just to keep going! Looking forward to the reading.
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Re: Guppy Challenge Begins! Q&A Thread [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
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If I missed it I apologize, what does "on your leave " mean when we do the ladders?
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Re: Guppy Challenge Begins! Q&A Thread [D.O.] [ In reply to ]
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D.O. wrote:
If I missed it I apologize, what does "on your leave " mean when we do the ladders?

let's say you're a pretty good swimmer. not great. better than average. much better than average as you get older! you might "leave" on the 1:30, that is to say, if you swim 10 x 100 yards on that base you might come in on each of these in 1:18, or 1:23, or 1:26. in each case you'll "leave" on the 1:30, so, you'll leave at 1:30 into the set, 3:00, 4:30, 6:00 and so on. this entire set will take exactly 15 minutes. so far so good?

on a ladder, and let's say your ladder is 400 yards, 300 yards, a 200 and then a 100. you'd "leave" in 6 minutes for the 400, in 4:30 for the 300, in 3 minutes for the 200. so, if you start your watch and 00, you'll swim your 400, rest, and leave for your 300 at 6 minutes. after you finish your 300 you'll leave for your 200 at 10:30 into the set. you'll leave for your 100 13:30 into the set and you'll finish in 15 minutes.

if your leave interval is the 2 minutes, then it's all based on 2 minutes for every 100.

does that make sense?

Dan Empfield
aka Slowman
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Re: Guppy Challenge Begins! Q&A Thread [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
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So, our "leave " is at our discretion depending on how much rest we want/need?
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Re: Guppy Challenge Begins! Q&A Thread [D.O.] [ In reply to ]
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Not exactly. You set your leave at the beginning of the workout. Your rest will depend on how much time is left before your next leave. If you're on a 2:00 base/leave and you come in at 1:45 for a 100 you have 15 seconds before you go again. If you come in at 1:55 you have 5 seconds before you go again.
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Re: Guppy Challenge Begins! Q&A Thread [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
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Ready for week 2. Is there a downside to doing more than 300 yards of the drill each day? Or just stick to the plan? I assume no paddles here?
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Re: Guppy Challenge Begins! Q&A Thread [mpderksen] [ In reply to ]
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mpderksen wrote:

Ready for week 2. Is there a downside to doing more than 300 yards of the drill each day? Or just stick to the plan? I assume no paddles here?

looks like you got 'er sorted. there is no downside to doing more drill yards that i can think of. go forth!

i'm interested to continue to know from you all what you find easy/hard about each drill. and if you make progress and what progress you make.

Dan Empfield
aka Slowman
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Re: Guppy Challenge Begins! Q&A Thread [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
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OK, I did four sessions last week (repeating session 1 in a slightly modified format).

The one arm drills are a challenge. I understand the focus is supposed to be on the non-pulling arm. it's hard to focus, though, when struggling to breath (see above). But, persevere I did.

Pull buoys are awesome. My 50y times dropped eight seconds with a buoy. For longer intervals, the drop is more dramatic (e.g. 40+ seconds for 200y). This just tells me something I already now - my legs are sinking.

Snorkels are another challenge. I find I am out of air at the end of each 25y lap. Again, I spend so much time focusing on getting air that the purpose of the drill is lost.

Kicking is an even larger challenge. At 20y (and after a over a minute of intense kicking), my legs are exhausted and hurting from the "muscle burn" and I stall. Two lengths is the limit.

Since you've promised a "new man", I'll continue to put up with the frustration.
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Re: Guppy Challenge Begins! Q&A Thread [HandHeartCrown] [ In reply to ]
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Week 1 is over - Whew! Those 4x300's were by far the toughest of the 5 sessions.

For Week 2; what if you don't have a band / pool buoy combo? Is there another option?

Thanks again for putting this out there - Good times!
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Re: Guppy Challenge Begins! Q&A Thread [Mike J] [ In reply to ]
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Most pools have spare buoys or you can order one from swimoutlet.com...they're pretty cheap. For the band you can cut up an old inner tube and tie a knot in it.
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Re: Guppy Challenge Begins! Q&A Thread [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
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Slowman wrote:
i don't have any quarrel with that. i just bought a TYR ankle buoy online today and i'm going to buy a couple more, just to check them out, and see what it is i like the best from among all the options.

Dan, I have an suggestion to try on the guppy challenge. I tried it today and it worked really really really well for preventing "splay". First take the three hole band and put the outside hole just below each kneecap level. Swim, kick as much as you want with that "clamp" on your splay. Ok, do 4x100 like that. Next step, remove outer hole from left leg, and now put middle hole on left leg. Now your knees will essentially be touching each other. Now do 4x100 with the "two hole" band....knees very close together, kick as hard and as wide as you want, cause you ain't gonna be playing at all.

OK after this is done. Next step is remove all band, but try to simulate what you just did with '2 hole band" and do another 2x100m. Hopefully it feels better....but just as you think you are narrow, put the 2 hole band config back on for 2x100m more and suddenly you will see again that your legs were wider and more splayed than you thought....Rinse repeat keep doing it. Do entire days with the 2 hole config if you want.

What do you say?
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Re: Guppy Challenge Begins! Q&A Thread [devashish_paul] [ In reply to ]
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One more thing....if there is a touch of air in your tube and it gives a bit of floatation assist, it won't be the end of the world to get in a bit of a downhill swimming body position....just don't let your stomach sag and hips drop...suck it in!
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Re: Guppy Challenge Begins! Q&A Thread [HandHeartCrown] [ In reply to ]
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Why are you out of air when you use the snorkel? It does take a bit of an adjustment (breathing in and out through the device...sometimes I breathe out through my nose).

Yeh, you figured out a big issue...body position. Working on your kick will help. A properly timed 2 beat kick will keep your legs up and help rotation.

Keep the kick fairly narrow, point your toes as much as possible and try to relax the ankles. Kicking with fins will help your ankle flexibility. I'm not a great kicker but it's improving...right now I'm kicking 25 yards comfortably in 36 seconds...all out time is high 20's. It's sad since I can kick a 50 with fins in 40 seconds without killing myself.

One arm drills..you might want to use fins to help here.
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Re: Guppy Challenge Begins! Q&A Thread [Mike J] [ In reply to ]
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Mike J wrote:
what if you don't have a band / pool buoy combo? Is there another option?

if you look at one of the videos i linked to (maybe in week-2?), it's of a swimmer just grabbing the buoy with his ankles. if you can do that, good on ya. no band needed. but here are some other thoughts:

1. it's an exercise band that's needed, not a swim exercise band. these are ubiquitous.
2. a blown tube works. MTB works better. but anything works. cut the valve out of it.
3. an inflated wheelbarrow tube works as BOTH the flotation device and the band (you put your feet through it). but this is tricky, because both feet have to fit, but not fit too easy, through the hole. unless the hole is big enough that you can twist the tube before putting your other foot in.

the only imperatives here are:

1. your feet must stay together, next to each other.
2. your ankles most be floated.

anything that solves those two points works.

Dan Empfield
aka Slowman
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Re: Guppy Challenge Begins! Q&A Thread [HandHeartCrown] [ In reply to ]
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HandHeartCrown wrote:
Kicking is an even larger challenge

here's the thing about swimming. your body will find a way. trust that your body will find a way. if you keep doing it, you'll get it. it'll take awhile, but, here's the thing: if it was easy, everyone would be able to do it. the fact that you're sweating it out, making it work, going through the motions, enduring the time spent, investing the time spent, is the reward in the end. you're doing what others refuse to do, fail at, give up at, and if you push through until you get it then your reward is a skillset others don't have.

now, look, when i kick 50s, if i can kick them repeating on the 2 minutes then i'm kicking (for me) pretty good. my neighbor and training partner, monty, he can kick 50s on the minute. so, if we do a kick set, i get in 200 yards when he gets in 400 yards. so, i've kicked from here to the moon and back if you take all my kick sets and place them back to back, and that's as fast as i've ever gotten. but that's enough! that's enough to do damage!

what you ought to do, if you just... can't... get... across the pool, is start with zoomers. here is ROKA's holiday sale page. short fins for $21. just, no buying the long fins! they need to be the short fins.

Dan Empfield
aka Slowman
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Re: Guppy Challenge Begins! Q&A Thread [D.O.] [ In reply to ]
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D.O. wrote:
So, our "leave " is at our discretion depending on how much rest we want/need?

in most of the sets so far i've indicated the amount of rest i want. so, your leave would be whatever you need to swim the distance in X time with (say) 10sec rest. but, yes, it's to your discretion.

Dan Empfield
aka Slowman
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Re: Guppy Challenge Begins! Q&A Thread [mpderksen] [ In reply to ]
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mpderksen wrote:

Ready for week 2. Is there a downside to doing more than 300 yards of the drill each day? Or just stick to the plan? I assume no paddles here?

Beauty idea. I had a hell of a time keeping the buoy between my ankles by the 3rd interval.

--------------------------
The secret of a long life is you try not to shorten it.
-Nobody
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Re: Guppy Challenge Begins! Q&A Thread [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
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 "my aim is to expose a disconnection between your pull, your breathing, your kicking. a very good swimmer will perform one arm drills without losing any momentum in the water. adult onset swimmers stall in the water when doing these."

Mission accomplished. Tried the first two workouts. I stalled. I sank. Its difficult to breath to either side when I'm not using the opposite arm at the same time as I roll to get a breath. Not surprised that this is a kicking problem. Something I just haven't worked on.
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Re: Guppy Challenge Begins! Q&A Thread [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
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Slowman wrote:

looks like you got 'er sorted. there is no downside to doing more drill yards that i can think of. go forth!

i'm interested to continue to know from you all what you find easy/hard about each drill. and if you make progress and what progress you make.

6 x 50 w/u: all 43-46 seconds. Not working hard. Why are they so much faster when I'm not trying???

3 x 100 1-arm drill: 1:47-1:49 each. Not much slower than my 200yd pace!?!?! I feel that when I breathe on my non-dominant side, my head rises up more, while on my dominant side, I just turn to the side directly. I think, on the offside, I dig deeper on the pull for some reason?

3 x 100 with buoy/band: 1:40 each. My terrible flip-turns are simply a train wreck now... I tried breathing left for 25, right for 25 etc. I was able to get a few inches along the lane line and smoothly track with it. I would swear there's very little fishtailing going on. How are these faster with no kicking? I'm not using paddles, and I'm not pulling hard or racing. In fact, I was thinking about letting my head lead, and body position the whole time.

8 x 200 main set: 3:26-3:30 each (1:43-1:45 pace). I tried to keep my kick very small, and even touch my big toes to make sure I was staying tight. I wanted to feel the same body position as when i had the buoy.
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Re: Guppy Challenge Begins! Q&A Thread [mpderksen] [ In reply to ]
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mpderksen wrote:
Slowman wrote:


looks like you got 'er sorted. there is no downside to doing more drill yards that i can think of. go forth!

i'm interested to continue to know from you all what you find easy/hard about each drill. and if you make progress and what progress you make.

in line:

6 x 50 w/u: all 43-46 seconds. Not working hard. Why are they so much faster when I'm not trying??? because you're fresh.

3 x 100 1-arm drill: 1:47-1:49 each. Not much slower than my 200yd pace!?!?! I feel that when I breathe on my non-dominant side, my head rises up more, while on my dominant side, I just turn to the side directly. I think, on the offside, I dig deeper on the pull for some reason? adult onset swimmers carry with them the problems associated with breathing. these problems are hell to get rid of and they pervade every part of your stroke, from your fingertips to your toes. overreach, splaying legs, everting feet, head too high, this is all breathing related. these are some of the problems these drills are designed to fix. trust the system.

3 x 100 with buoy/band: 1:40 each. My terrible flip-turns are simply a train wreck now... I tried breathing left for 25, right for 25 etc. I was able to get a few inches along the lane line and smoothly track with it. I would swear there's very little fishtailing going on. How are these faster with no kicking? I'm not using paddles, and I'm not pulling hard or racing. In fact, I was thinking about letting my head lead, and body position the whole time. well, two things. first, your legs are floated. they're on the surface. so, pretty likely they're sinking without the buoy. second, you're forced to swim correctly. so, really, you're forced to swim correctly in two planes: up/down and side to side. if you can manage to swim this same way, this position, this movement, without the buoy, you just made a pretty big gain it seems to me.

8 x 200 main set: 3:26-3:30 each (1:43-1:45 pace). I tried to keep my kick very small, and even touch my big toes to make sure I was staying tight. I wanted to feel the same body position as when i had the buoy. good. that's the thing you want.

Dan Empfield
aka Slowman
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Re: Guppy Challenge Begins! Q&A Thread [mpderksen] [ In reply to ]
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mpderksen wrote:
Slowman wrote:


looks like you got 'er sorted. there is no downside to doing more drill yards that i can think of. go forth!

i'm interested to continue to know from you all what you find easy/hard about each drill. and if you make progress and what progress you make.


6 x 50 w/u: all 43-46 seconds. Not working hard. Why are they so much faster when I'm not trying???

3 x 100 1-arm drill: 1:47-1:49 each. Not much slower than my 200yd pace!?!?! I feel that when I breathe on my non-dominant side, my head rises up more, while on my dominant side, I just turn to the side directly. I think, on the offside, I dig deeper on the pull for some reason?

3 x 100 with buoy/band: 1:40 each. My terrible flip-turns are simply a train wreck now... I tried breathing left for 25, right for 25 etc. I was able to get a few inches along the lane line and smoothly track with it. I would swear there's very little fishtailing going on. How are these faster with no kicking? I'm not using paddles, and I'm not pulling hard or racing. In fact, I was thinking about letting my head lead, and body position the whole time.

8 x 200 main set: 3:26-3:30 each (1:43-1:45 pace). I tried to keep my kick very small, and even touch my big toes to make sure I was staying tight. I wanted to feel the same body position as when i had the buoy.

You and I are members of the same club, although your faster than I am. (I'd be ecstatic to swim at your paces). My "slow and easy warm ups" are between 60 and 65 seconds and are the fastest of the day.

On the one-arm drill, my left side (which I never use otherwise) is actually less difficult than my right side. In both cases, though, I am lifting my head to breath and usually swallowing a mouthful of the pool. And I need fins otherwise I'll stall within half a lap.

My buoy and band averaged 2:00, about 5-10 seconds faster. What I did notice is that I felt like I was driving my 1984 Mazda RX7 in the middle of a New England snow storm (it was a great car on the dry roads - on the snow, it fishtailed like crazy). Question to Dan: How do I stop the fishtailing?

You 200's are about a minute faster than mine.
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Re: Guppy Challenge Begins! Q&A Thread [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
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Slowman wrote:
HandHeartCrown wrote:
Kicking is an even larger challenge


here's the thing about swimming. your body will find a way. trust that your body will find a way. if you keep doing it, you'll get it. it'll take awhile, but, here's the thing: if it was easy, everyone would be able to do it. the fact that you're sweating it out, making it work, going through the motions, enduring the time spent, investing the time spent, is the reward in the end. you're doing what others refuse to do, fail at, give up at, and if you push through until you get it then your reward is a skillset others don't have.

now, look, when i kick 50s, if i can kick them repeating on the 2 minutes then i'm kicking (for me) pretty good. my neighbor and training partner, monty, he can kick 50s on the minute. so, if we do a kick set, i get in 200 yards when he gets in 400 yards. so, i've kicked from here to the moon and back if you take all my kick sets and place them back to back, and that's as fast as i've ever gotten. but that's enough! that's enough to do damage!

what you ought to do, if you just... can't... get... across the pool, is start with zoomers. here is ROKA's holiday sale page. short fins for $21. just, no buying the long fins! they need to be the short fins.

I have an old pair of zoomers in the closet. I think. I'll give them a try. I know that longer fins reek havoc on my aging knees when I kick for more than 50 yards.

BTW: You might want to let Emilio know that I could not find his swim sleeves through any of the main menus on his web site. I expected them to be in the Swim area but no luck. They don't appear on a search, either. Your hot-link works, though. I was going to order a pair last week when I bought some of his new cold weather tops (great items for cold weather running :-)).
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Re: Guppy Challenge Begins! Q&A Thread [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
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So am I the only person doing this that’s slower with a pull buoy? (Not with paddles but that’s not what’s been called for)
I take my kick out and drop from an easy 55/50 to 57-58 sec/50 with the buoy. I’m not quite as fast as Monty kicking- was coming in around 1:10/50 on Saturday kicks between the 200/150/100 set but definitely faster than most. I noticed during the 200s today that feet brush and my heels break the surface with a light kick so I don’t splay. the pull buoy between the ankles today just frustrated me because it changed my body position to something worse than my baseline.
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Re: Guppy Challenge Begins! Q&A Thread [xterratri] [ In reply to ]
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That's not unusual if you have a good kick and body position.

Your kick speed is probably better than most AOS swimmers. You and I would still have to get a little faster if we wanted to kick 50's on 1:10 as my masters coach likes to make us do every once in a while ( I reach for the fins when she does that ).

Are you swimming SCY or SCM? If it's SCY, your 50's pace ( to me ) doesn't line up with your kicking ability.
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Re: Guppy Challenge Begins! Q&A Thread [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
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Quote:
Putting a buoy between your legs is a tool that shows you what GOOD feels like in the vertical plane:

Holy Smoking Swimming fins - felt like you could almost keep up with Michael Phelps. Could swim all day like this. But is probably exposing the ongoing struggle with sinking legs.

#OldMenTriHarder
#SwimBikeRunLikeABadger
#SwimBikeRunLikeAngels
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Re: Guppy Challenge Begins! Q&A Thread [OldMenTriHarder] [ In reply to ]
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OldMenTriHarder wrote:
Quote:
Putting a buoy between your legs is a tool that shows you what GOOD feels like in the vertical plane:


Holy Smoking Swimming fins - felt like you could almost keep up with Michael Phelps. Could swim all day like this. But is probably exposing the ongoing struggle with sinking legs.

can i just tell you: this is not a hard problem to fix. but it does take some commitment and attention to the issue. a couple of things that might be helpful:

1. make bubbles when you kick. funny how often just saying that works. but one thing to look out for: don't make bubble just by bending your knees. it's not just your feet that need to be near the surface, but your knees.

2. what you're doing from the waist up, how you're breathing, what you do while you're breathing, how high your forehead is in the water when you're swimming, determines in large part how much your legs are sinking. the thing to take from this drill is what legs on the surface FEEL like. then, emulate this. try to emulate it. keep working until you get it. know that until you get it you've got all that speed sitting there, ready to access. just, if your head is up, your feet will sink. get everything from your chest forward down, down down. swim downhill. that'll raise your legs.

Dan Empfield
aka Slowman
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Re: Guppy Challenge Begins! Q&A Thread [JoelO] [ In reply to ]
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SCY- those are easy 50s for warm up as described in workout. Would likely be low to mid 40s if I was extending effort. Frankly kick wasn’t all out hard either.

For me this challenge is about fitness or complete lack there of. Participating in challenge motivates me to get in water when it’s otherwise easier to make excuses. Considering that my routine is to just swim a few times before my PT test twice a year, I’d actually like to get back in shape. Passing for the 800 yard swim is 23:30 and I swam 15:13 last October. Would like to swim closer to 13 this spring. Doesn’t matter, it’s pass/fail unlike the run which I can’t do anymore but matter of pride to exceed passing by 10 minutes. Considering doing some aquabikes this upcoming year too and maybe trying to hobble sprint distance
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Re: Guppy Challenge Begins! Q&A Thread [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
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So I’m in my second year at this.

In my first year I think I improved at improving my “Hull” in the “horizontal” plane - I don’t fishtail too much (at least when I’m concentrating)

This year.... vertical plane. I know I am terrible at using my legs as an anchor.......

I think my problem is not engaging my core - I feel that it’s my hips that are at the wrong angle and everything goes downhill (literally) from there

Does this seem right?

If so are there any good trigger movements I can use?

I am a veteran of the pill bouy at the ankles (to solve fishtail) - but I’m getting less benefits in the vertical plane - I wonder if that again is because whilst it lifts my toes it doesn’t deal wth the hips

Thoughts?
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Re: Guppy Challenge Begins! Q&A Thread [plumber250] [ In reply to ]
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A few things that seem to help me.

1. More kicking- I seem to have better body position after a kick set..I guess because I'm getting my core activated with the kick set.

2. No raising of the head when turning to breathe...raising head will tend to drop your back half.

3. A semi catch-up style stroke will help keep the fore/aft weight distribution in better balance. If you're halfway through your pull before the recovering arm gets past your ear, you've concentrated your weight in the middle/back portion of your body.

4. Practice swimming 25's with a band around your ankles...you'll really have to activate your glutes/lower back and employ #3 above to make this work.
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Re: Guppy Challenge Begins! Q&A Thread [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
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Since you’re asking for info on what’s easy and what’s hard, here you go:
  1. 1-arm drills: I’ve worked on these since last year’s GC, and I’ve gotten a lot better. Dominant side feels good, through there is still some minor surging/ sinking (no hand sculling). Non-dominant side (pulling and breathing on the left, right arm extended) is less good: there’s more sinking, and I drift to the right. Still no sculling, but more of a struggle.
  2. New this year, I’m swimming with a center snorkel on every other drill (ok, I got it over the weekend, so 2 swims now). The 1-arm drills are MUCH easier with it, and much more balanced. Based on the above, my diagnosis is that I need to work on my left-side breathing. Fyi, I was a right side only breather until last year; now I’m a pretty consistent right 25, left 25, and sometimes bilateral. The left finally started to feel pretty good this summer/fall, but this drill seems to reveal that it’s still not quite there.
  3. Pull buoy at the ankles. Ok, so last year I always just did these with a pull buoy between the thighs. Fishtailing didn’t seem to be a problem, and the wheelbarrow tube/tied bike tube seemed too much faff to fit in a too-small pool locker and to use in a too-crowded pool. But this year, I’m trying these with the pull buoy at the ankles (no strap). I usually like pull buoy sets (faster by approx. 10s/100m), but at the ankles, these are no fun: I still don’t feel like I’m fishtailing, but the vertical plane seems much more difficult. I feel like I’m bent backwards, breaths to both sides end up in the water, and my pull is sloppier. Diagnosis? Not enough core strength? Too much flotation at the feet ?
  4. During the main set swims, I try to keep my kick light and tight, which makes the yardage feel very doable (I’m swimming tarpon yards, which is an upgrade this year). I’m not faster yet, but I’m much more comfortable with the workout and in the water. The speed will come?


Two questions if I could:
  1. I can’t help but assume that my kick needs work. It’s hard to explain, because I don’t really understand what my feet are doing. It’s steady and consistent during a kick set, but once I add in the arms, it changes. I can’t for the life of me count it (I’ve tried and failed), and I can’t say whether or how it’s coordinated with my arms (I’ve tried and failed at that too). If I were to guess, I’d say 4-beat. There are flutters, etc in there, which make it hard to count -- I assume they're there to correct for coordination issues, which is an issue. While swimming, I try to keep my kick light so I don't wear myself out, and so it's not a big deal. But the 1-arm drill seems to be shining a light here though. Agreed? Any drills coming?
  2. I expected to swim faster with the center snorkel. Instead I swim quite a bit slower (15s/100y). I’m kicking off the wall much softer to keep the snorkel from going wonky, and I thought that was the reason, but I also feel like I lose leverage. Like maybe I’m doing less body roll with it on and therefore not opening up the leverage on my pulling arm? Does that make sense? Is that wrong?

Thanks for the challenge. Great motivation to keep coming back to the pool!
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Re: Guppy Challenge Begins! Q&A Thread [drat_bklyn] [ In reply to ]
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your legs are sinking, it seems like. when you don't use a buoy. i believe you said you feel like you're arching your bike? with a buoy?

it's mostly a body position thing, not a core strength thing. yes, a good core is good for swimmers. but not a massively good core. that's not needed. your legs sink because you've got breathing and head issues, positional issues.

turn your head to the side and back when you breathe. like you're tucking your chin. and, the water should be hitting the top of your head, not your forehead.

Dan Empfield
aka Slowman
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Re: Guppy Challenge Begins! Q&A Thread [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
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So, I just recieved the Finis Center Snorkel and Finis Axis Buoy. Both are working well and exposing improvement opportunities, however; when I flip turn I can't seem to get the hang of clearing my snorkel of water. Any suggestions?
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Re: Guppy Challenge Begins! Q&A Thread [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
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Quote:
can i just tell you: this is not a hard problem to fix. but it does take some commitment and attention to the issue

Thanks Dan!

We're working on it.

It "feels" like I am getting closer to that "balance" in the water, getting the head down farther.

Something must be starting to click. The one arm drills are getting easier and the kick is getting more effective.

Three years of "learning" to swim For triathlon, starting at the young age of mid-50's, strictly using single sided breathing, and this year am finally getting comfortable with bi-lateral. This "Guppy Challenge" is playing a good part in this growth.

I have high hopes that when we reach the drills focusing on breathing, those 150's may get closer to 2:30. With an end goal of the 1 mile time trials in the low 30's.

#OldMenTriHarder
#SwimBikeRunLikeABadger
#SwimBikeRunLikeAngels
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Re: Guppy Challenge Begins! Q&A Thread [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
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It may be that my legs are sinking - I've made a lot of improvement there, but it may still be an issue (I should get some video so that we can both see what's going on). But as I said, I have no issues with a buoy between the thighs - that feels like swimming, just easier, because I don't have to work the legs to keep them afloat. Why would that not expose the same positional issues?
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Re: Guppy Challenge Begins! Q&A Thread [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
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What has helped me the most is the explanation and now understanding what each drill is supposed to accomplish, in the past i would try drills not knowing what the focus was. I can say in only 2 weeks that I at least "feel" like I am swimming more downhill and with less cardio effort to swim close to the same 100 split times that were previously my 100 sprint. Thanks for doing this, thinking this will help immensely
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Re: Guppy Challenge Begins! Q&A Thread [D.O.] [ In reply to ]
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Today was Week 2, #3.
4 x 50 kick. Used Zoomers and board. Finished all in :55-:57. Should I ditch the fins? Maybe some kicking on my back?

Decending ladder: pace for all of these was right at 1:40/100. Even the 500. Does this indicate my leave should be 1:50?

Noticing my kick is smaller and tighter. Still no rhythm. My big toes seem to touch more often.
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Re: Guppy Challenge Begins! Q&A Thread [mpderksen] [ In reply to ]
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It’s always good to kick some without fins...on the back is good too. As you get more proficient, you’ll kick more and more without fins. I can kick a 50 with fins under 40 but I struggle to break 30 seconds on a 25 without fins...ymmv. I’ve got flexibility issues in my left foot that’s hindering me...working on that.

1:40 pace is good. A 1:50 leave is ok if you’re working on endurance. If you’re working on speed you’ll want/need more rest.
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Re: Guppy Challenge Begins! Q&A Thread [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
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Quote:
Kick Set => 4 x 50yd kicking

This drill totally destroyed me - left little gas to do the ladder down.

I'm one of those that will do a kick drill using a board and actually start to go backwards. A result of "runner's feet" that like being at a right angle. A lot of work has been done including a DAILY child's pose stretch with the toes on a foam roller pushing down on the feet to hyperextend the stretch.

The good news is all 4 50 yard kick drills were completed in probably about 4 min each leg. In a way I found to at least move forward - ditch the board, put on a snorkel, stretch arms forward, and kick. The "balance" feels good with the feet breaking the surface quite well. I did notice that if I forced the toes to point out as much as possible, progress forward seemed a little faster. But I fear the result may end up being the calves cramping.

In true #NeverGiveUp fashion, the ladder down was completed - felt sloppy. Then took a good rest to do a few 100's and get a smooth swim feel back again.

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Re: Guppy Challenge Begins! Q&A Thread [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
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Hi All Guppy Challengers,

We are well into Monday in Europe and I was looking for my frist workout of week 3 but couldn´t find any information on the main page.

Any idea when this will be up?

Happy training
bastri
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Re: Guppy Challenge Begins! Q&A Thread [bastri] [ In reply to ]
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bastri wrote:
Hi All Guppy Challengers,

We are well into Monday in Europe and I was looking for my frist workout of week 3 but couldn´t find any information on the main page.

Any idea when this will be up?

Happy training
bastri

we were slow on the draw this week. i like to have this up by the prior friday. sorry! it's up there now.

Dan Empfield
aka Slowman
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Re: Guppy Challenge Begins! Q&A Thread [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
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Week 3, workout #2: main set is 2 x ( 4 x (150 + 50kick) ). This is same as 8 x (150swim, + 50 kick), right? Or is is just 1 x 50 kick for each 4 x 150?
Track workouts were never this confusing! Lol.
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Re: Guppy Challenge Begins! Q&A Thread [mpderksen] [ In reply to ]
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You're going to swim a 150 followed by a 50 kick 8 times with a short break after the 1st 4....total main set of 1600 yards/meters. When a coach writes it the way Slowman just did, they usually envision a mini break between the sets. ie. taking an extra 30 secs before you start the next round of 4.
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Re: Guppy Challenge Begins! Q&A Thread [JoelO] [ In reply to ]
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Please help me understand what I should leave on. Easy 50,100 is 50sec per 50, feel like I can swim that pace all day. All out 50 is 30 sec and 100 is 1:10. Having a hard time getting it thru my dense head, thanks!
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Re: Guppy Challenge Begins! Q&A Thread [D.O.] [ In reply to ]
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So, easy pace for you is 1:40. I would shoot to average 1:35 pace...that would put you on a leave interval of 1:50 (gives you 15 secs rest) for a 100. 1:50 or 55 seconds per 50 will be your base for interval work. For the 150 swim, your leave interval is 2:45...that's when you start the next portion of the set...in this case, that's when you start the 50 kick. If you were doing multiple repeats of the 150 you would begin each new 150 2:45 after you started the previous one. The 50 kick he has between 150's complicates the send offs for the following 150 so I would just take 10-15 seconds rest after the kick before starting the next 150.
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Re: Guppy Challenge Begins! Q&A Thread [mpderksen] [ In reply to ]
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mpderksen wrote:
Week 3, workout #2: main set is 2 x ( 4 x (150 + 50kick) ). This is same as 8 x (150swim, + 50 kick), right? Or is is just 1 x 50 kick for each 4 x 150?
Track workouts were never this confusing! Lol.

my mistake! that set's too long. i transposed something from another set that should not have been in there? here's what I have for this workout:

GUPPIES => 3 cycles of: 150yd followed by a 50 kick
TARPONS => 4 cycles of: 150yd followed by a 50 kick
TUNAS => 5 cycles of: 150yd followed by a 50 kick

this would be way less yardage for the main set: 600yd for guppies, or 800 or 1000 for the tarpons or tunas. which, for guppies, would give you about 2000yd for the day.

if you did this already, well, good going!

Dan Empfield
aka Slowman
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Re: Guppy Challenge Begins! Q&A Thread [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
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For those of us who don't have pool access (the office is closed and, therefore, so is the pool ), does the subsequent workouts build on this on or is it safe to skip a week (to remain in synch with the program)?
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Re: Guppy Challenge Begins! Q&A Thread [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
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In workout 2 (week 3), when you say 8 X 100: 1 X 100 bound, 1 X 100 unbound (x4), do you mean 8 X 100 pull, with alternating bound and unbound ankles during the pull, or do you mean 100 pull, 100 swim, 100 pull, 100 swim, etc.? I'm hoping it's the former, as I like to see how close I can get to the feel of buoyed, bound ankles if I just pull keeping my feet together without a buoy, but you've put a lot of thought into these sets, so I'd prefer to know what you meant.

Thanks.
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Re: Guppy Challenge Begins! Q&A Thread [Eileen] [ In reply to ]
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Eileen wrote:
In workout 2 (week 3), when you say 8 X 100: 1 X 100 bound, 1 X 100 unbound (x4), do you mean 8 X 100 pull, with alternating bound and unbound ankles during the pull, or do you mean 100 pull, 100 swim, 100 pull, 100 swim, etc.? I'm hoping it's the former, as I like to see how close I can get to the feel of buoyed, bound ankles if I just pull keeping my feet together without a buoy, but you've put a lot of thought into these sets, so I'd prefer to know what you meant.

Thanks.

i mean 100 ankle's bound, 100 swim, times 4. but it's not really pulling. you aren't using paddles necessarily. but if you want to use paddles that's okay.

Dan Empfield
aka Slowman
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Re: Guppy Challenge Begins! Q&A Thread [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
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I don't want to use paddles; I just want to propel myself across the pool without kicking, feet together, without that damned buoy. I'd call that pulling without paddles, but it may have another name. So essentially my feet would stay together for the whole 800, and I'd alternate buoy and no buoy. For me, it's good to see how close to the buoy position I can get without the foam artificially floating me. Is that consistent with the intent of the drill or have I got it messed up?
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Re: Guppy Challenge Begins! Q&A Thread [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
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Slowman wrote:
i'll be publishing on this over the weekend. the point of drills like this, and banded ankles, is not what you might think at face value. when i have you swim these 1-arm pulls, it's not to strengthen your pull, or to concentrate on your hand's course through the water. nothing like that. my aim is to expose a disconnection between your pull, your breathing, your kicking. a very good swimmer will perform one arm drills without losing any momentum in the water. adult onset swimmers stall in the water when doing these.

what i'm trying to expose is that stall. now, look, maybe i misinterpret this, but when i read very good swimmers talk about "hip driven freestyle" as opposed to "shoulder driven freestyle" what i *think* i'm reading about hip-driven is a kicking pattern strategically employed to carry your momentum forward in between your pulls. this keeps your momentum from coming to a halt in between your pulls.

this is what i'm hoping to get to with these 1-arm pulls. remember, my interest is not in the had you're pulling with. it's with the other hand. the one near the surface, straight in front of you. if you need to scull with that hand that means you've lost your forward momentum and you're looking for some way to keep going. when you can do these drills without sculling, that means you've found a way to keep your momentum in between pulls.

when you band your ankles, again, my issue here is not to try to work on arm propulsion or any propulsion. it's to expose that leg splay you do when you kick, and you do that leg splay because you jackknife or twist at the waist when you breathe, and you splay your legs to keep your balance. when you band your ankles together this exposes that stroke flaw. you'll start fishtailing. by all means, put a pull buoy between your legs to keep your legs afloat. this isn't the inquisition. the idea is not to pull your joints out of their sockets until you confess. when you band your ankles and discover that you fishtail, you'll have learned something about how you swim. your job is simply to make a change that stops that fishtailing.

so, you have 2 "jobs" in these two drills: in the 1-arm drill your job is to perform that drill with your off hand still, immobile, and near the surface. your job with banded ankles (that drill is upcoming) is to swim without fishtailing.

if you have a hard time performing either or both of these drills the way i describe, then you should rejoice! it's like getting the labwork back and finding out that you have a particular disease. much better to know the disease instead of trudging along year after year knowing there's something very wrong with you and not knowing what to do about it. now we know your swim disease, and it makes it much easier now to solve it.


I don't fishtail. my legs just sink. If this has already been covered please point me in the right direction, I swim faster with the buoy than with kicking, so I'm guessing I have some drag. I just can't figure out how to get my legs higher in the water. I feel like I'm breaking the surface with my kick, but if I don't kick, I sink.

Thanks
Nancy
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Re: Guppy Challenge Begins! Q&A Thread [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
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Are most of us breathing bilaterally or unilaterally? I do bilateral because that's what I think I read somewhere once but in reality I think more frequent breathing would really help

I'm still struggling with the final set volumes so I'll try keeping up for 10 weeks, but reducing the yardage by say 50% then start another block after 10 weeks, hopefully completing in full
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Re: Guppy Challenge Begins! Q&A Thread [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
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Slowman wrote:
i am in bermuda. i'll be swimming every day i'm here (5 days). this is my swimming vacation. and THEN i'll be swimming back home, and i'll come down and join you for a swim. do you swim masters there? or at occidental or caltech or somewhere?

Come swim with me soon, Dan! I want to hear about Bermuda!
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Re: Guppy Challenge Begins! Q&A Thread [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
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Slowman wrote:
i don't have any quarrel with that. i just bought a TYR ankle buoy online today and i'm going to buy a couple more, just to check them out, and see what it is i like the best from among all the options.

Just curious -- did you test the Finis ankle buoy? I'm somewhat limited by shipping options (Hawaii) and the Finis is available from Amazon, but the TYR isn't.

My first try with a regular pull buoy failed miserably. I didn't have anything handy to band my ankles, and my legs were just too sore from a recent marathon to keep it there.

The last couple days I've done better, but today I really had a hard time pulling on my non-breathing side, and that part of my form was completely breaking down. Does that mean I'm fishtailing? It didn't feel like it too much, but I really hard a time with that pull and keeping my non-breathing arm straight in front of me.

On the plus side, in year 2 of my Guppy attempt, I'm doing much better with kicking. Last year, I was right around 2:00 per 50m; today I was between 1:36 and 1:43 on the 4x50 kick set. I know still very slow compared to swimmers, but I'll take it.
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Re: Guppy Challenge Begins! Q&A Thread [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
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I finally got a band and it has made a big difference. I've been doing the skill set just holding the buoy between my ankles. Now that I have the band and the buoy I can really see that I am fishtailing. When I just had the buoy I didn't realize it, maybe because I was too focused on holding the buoy in place? So the fishtailing is caused by bending at the waist? Would pushing down (rather than back) on the extended arm also do that? Especially if it is an early drop? Thanks!
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Re: Guppy Challenge Begins! Q&A Thread [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
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"Kick set => 4x50yd"

2:48 for a single 50yd using only a center snorkel. No fins or board.

Anyone else this slow?

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Re: Guppy Challenge Begins! Q&A Thread [davidwilcock] [ In reply to ]
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"Are most of us breathing bilaterally or unilaterally?"

Just started to get a little bit of the hang of bi-lateral this winter training - so trying to stick with it 100%. Left shoulder is going through some tendonitis + strengthening issues because of it, but they are starting to diminish.

#OldMenTriHarder
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Last edited by: OldMenTriHarder: Dec 30, 17 7:03
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Re: Guppy Challenge Begins! Q&A Thread [Kula] [ In reply to ]
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Kula wrote:
Just curious -- did you test the Finis ankle buoy? I'm somewhat limited by shipping options (Hawaii) and the Finis is available from Amazon, but the TYR isn't.

i haven't tested it. but it's cheap, so try it and report back to us and tell us how it is. finis is usually pretty good at making these workout gadgets.

Kula wrote:
My first try with a regular pull buoy failed miserably. I didn't have anything handy to band my ankles, and my legs were just too sore from a recent marathon to keep it there.

see the post here from someone who said just what you said, but then got an exercise band.

Kula wrote:
The last couple days I've done better, but today I really had a hard time pulling on my non-breathing side, and that part of my form was completely breaking down. Does that mean I'm fishtailing? It didn't feel like it too much, but I really hard a time with that pull and keeping my non-breathing arm straight in front of me.

i don't know if it means you're fishtailing, but it certainly means you have a form breakdown, which is great. you're going to swim a lot faster when these form issues are solved. don't overthink it. bodies are smart. they find ways to adapt to the work all by themselves. just keep doing these drills, taking care to perform the essential elements as i've laid out. i promise you two things: you'll get better, and look back some months into the future and recognize that, yes, just doing the work will solve the problem; and that as you master these drills they will translate to faster swimming.

Dan Empfield
aka Slowman
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Re: Guppy Challenge Begins! Q&A Thread [OldMenTriHarder] [ In reply to ]
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I would probably do 3 of the 4 kicks with fins. You need to develop some ankle flexibility and the fins will help. Do the 4th 50 yard kick without fins if you feel like it. Kicking is not easy but it will benefit you down the road with better body position in the water.
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Re: Guppy Challenge Begins! Q&A Thread [JoelO] [ In reply to ]
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I, too, have a very difficult time kicking. It takes me forever to get across the pool and my legs burn like crazy. I also have ankle flexibility issues, especially on the right side, due to surgery and other trauma to that foot/ankle. Is it ok to do 3 of the 4 kick sets with fins, lying on my side, with one arm extended in front and the other arm at my side - 25 on one side, 25 on the other? I can move decently in this fashion. When I swim regularly, my hips and legs stay pretty close to the surface, but I do splay me legs when I breathe, likely to maintain balance, and I know that my kick gives me little propulsion if any! Would love to find a way to make my kick more effective. Thanks for any advice you have!
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Re: Guppy Challenge Begins! Q&A Thread [swissymania] [ In reply to ]
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Kicking on your side is a great drill..look down in the water when you're not breathing.

A few things you might try:

Just rotate enough to get the breath...1 goggle in the water and 1 goggle out of the water. Coaches like to say, "you don't need to be checking the weather when you breathe".

Think about brushing your toes through the breath cycle.

The breath cycle needs to be quick enough so that you get your face back in the water about the same time you initiate the pull on the non-breathing side.

The buoy with banded ankles drill should help too.
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Re: Guppy Challenge Begins! Q&A Thread [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
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Finally got a chance to get some video. Was planning on getting underwater, but a surface video was enough to expose the obvious, it's not even worth uploading for critique - HORRIBLE LEG SPLAY.

Now the really bad news - the lifeguard at the hym has stated that I cannot use leg or ankle banding. The lap pool is only about 4 foot deep, so it's like - WHY? They had never said anything about it the last couple weeks - why is it an issue now?

And other good news, that time for a 50 kick with a center snorkel and w/o a board or fins, was knocked down to about 2:00.

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Re: Guppy Challenge Begins! Q&A Thread [OldMenTriHarder] [ In reply to ]
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Huge improvement on the kick! Way to go!

I'm perplexed by the ankle band issue. Heck, we use them in masters practice in 7-13 foot water. I'd be less surprised by a ban on video...one of the pools I go to says you can't record video in the pool.
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Re: Guppy Challenge Begins! Q&A Thread [JoelO] [ In reply to ]
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WHAT IS HAPPENING TO ME!?!?!?! Progress? Could it be? Today I did Workout #2 of week #3. (only 2 this week due to holidays, but that's still awesome for me...).
All 8 100s were in the 1:32-1:36 range. Very interesting to me that a buoy (no kick) has exactly the same time now as with no buoy. I think my kick is much smaller and compact now? For reference, I've been at 1:40-1:45 for all distances. I'm curious if others are seeing big differences in time with the buoy. I sense no fishtailing, but that doesn't mean it's not there. I did the entire set breathing left on the way down, and right on the way back, and do see some differences.
For the 150s, 1:34-1:38 (pace/100). Like, WHAT??? Usually after 1,500, I've settled in at least 5+ seconds slower than that. The 50s with the kickboard were just under 1:30. No clue if that's weak, normal, or decent compared to my full stroke.
Then, a "gentle" 300 cool down, in 5:02? Something is working here. I could say I'm just getting back in shape, but this is faster than I've been in the past with far more base.
Still have NO timing between my kick and my arms. Total spazz.
Last edited by: mpderksen: Dec 30, 17 19:17
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Re: Guppy Challenge Begins! Q&A Thread [mpderksen] [ In reply to ]
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First session in, think I’m gonna have to do guppy week 1 twice to get up to speed. 4 months out of the pool and last year first year swim training.

This has definitely narrowed in on a core weakness. Could barely get through the warm-up set in 30 minutes but my swims between the 1 arm pulls felt so much smoother with the body roll.

Thanks so much for the effort in this plan, this giveaway me a nice focus for the next couple of months and even though that was tough as hell I already feel like I’m making more progress towards becoming a smoother (and faster) swimmer
Last edited by: philreynolds: Dec 31, 17 5:05
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Re: Guppy Challenge Begins! Q&A Thread [philreynolds] [ In reply to ]
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I bought the TYR ankle float. What a wonderful swimming gadget this is! I was unable to do any of the banded exercises last year without sinking miserably and feeling like I was going to drown. I actually gave up on these exercises. But, I can get up and down the pool with this, and the snorkel is helpful in the beginning, too. I do swim 3-5 seconds slower with it, but I'm hopeful this will improve over time. And, compared to last year, it's easier, although I still have to build up my fitness. Swimming after I take it off really shows how my body is moving in the water, especially as I start to get tired and my feet start to cross. Wonderful invention. Love this guppy challenge!

Rachel
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Re: Guppy Challenge Begins! Q&A Thread [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
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I have a problem when I use the buoy at my ankles. I can swim without fishtailing if i look straight down and don't rotate my body at all. As soon as I think 'I need to be rotatong from the hips' this is when I start to to fishtail. What can I do about this?
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Re: Guppy Challenge Begins! Q&A Thread [JoelO] [ In reply to ]
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JoelO wrote:
Your body should rotate for the breath...ideally, you should rotate just enough to have one goggle in and one goggle out of the water when you breathe.

This. Think of keeping your chin tethered to your shoulder, so when the latter rotates upwards, your chin (and head) follows. If you think about leading with your chin, you might not raise your head (if you have that issue) when you breathe.

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Re: Guppy Challenge Begins! Q&A Thread [JoelO] [ In reply to ]
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Thanks for the advice, Joel. I tried focusing on your breathing tips today as well as trying to brush my toes when I kick - esp when I turn to breathe. I am on week 3, workout 1, so a bit behind the group.

I did some kicking on my side today with fins, head facing down, which went well. I also did more of the banded/floated ankle drill. That drill is not hard for me, and I don't need to breathe as often as when I kick, since I am not working as hard to keep good body position. My hips/legs and ankles feel very high, and I am trying to keep a very tight line. I do not feel like I am fish-tailing much, but I do not know for sure!

Should I be concerned about arm turnover at this point, or should I just focus on the points being made so far in the drills? I know I have very slow arm turnover. I'm not sure if this causes some of my other issues?

Thanks again for your insights! I am definitely feeling better with each workout!
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Re: Guppy Challenge Begins! Q&A Thread [swissymania] [ In reply to ]
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Thanks! Nice work on your part. First and foremost, do the drills at a speed you can execute them properly.

If you want to work on turnover, add some speed play to your shorter intervals. ie. My coach likes to give us these types of intervals to work on changing speeds...

2x (4x50) 1. fast/easy (by 25) 2. easy/fast 3. all easy 4. all fast ... pick an interval that gives you 10-15 seconds rest on the all easy piece... you'll end up with more rest on the others since you're going faster. Group intervals in our masters practice for this generally range between 50 seconds and 1:10 for scy pool.

2x (4x50) - descend 1-4 and 5-8 on 1 minute (or whatever interval you pick). The intent of this set is to give you practice on how to adjust your turnover while maintaining technique to get progressively faster on each of the 4 50's. Coach likes to tell us to pick a focus point for each successive 50. 1. easy with a technique focus 2. technique focus with a little more intensity 3. Quicker turnover-maybe concentrate on quicker hip turn to help 4. go for it. Maintaining good form while picking up the tempo is something you have to practice. If you don't keep good technique when you pick up the tempo you'll have spent a lot of extra energy without a big pickup in speed.

"All out" 25-100 yd/m sprints (with lots of rest). Those are fun and/or painful depending on how many you do. :) They'll definitely help you work on turnover.

One other tool you might want to look into: the Finis Tempo Trainer. It's basically a metronome that you stick under your swim cap. You can set it to beep at a particular pace and/or stroke cadence. You might dial it in to your current stroke cadence, swim a few 25's, speed it up a little, swim a few 25's etc... Your current turnover rate might be 1 second per hand striking the water (2 seconds for a full stroke cycle)...you would want to speed that up over time to say .75 seconds per stroke (stroke rate of 80/minute). You can see the various stroke rates of the elite level swimmers here:

https://effortlessswimming.com/...rmance-stroke-rates/
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Re: Guppy Challenge Begins! Q&A Thread [JoelO] [ In reply to ]
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Thanks JoelO for this advice. I did the 50s week 4 guppy challenge workout today. Used your fast/easy, easy/fast... method. It broke things up a bit and made it more fun. Plus it was easier to keep track of the count. The pool was very full today so it it was hard to keep the leave interval, but I did the best I could.
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Re: Guppy Challenge Begins! Q&A Thread [Bru] [ In reply to ]
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I agree...mixing it up keeps it interesting.

We (masters group) did a couple of rounds of the 4x50 descend today. Numbers 3 and 4 are always fun because there's a little bit of "racin" involved. :)
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Re: Guppy Challenge Begins! Q&A Thread [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
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Quote:
followed by 50 kick

SIGNIFICANT gains in the kick w/o board and using a center snorkel.

All of these after the one arm drills netted from a couple weeks ago each 50 taking about 4 minutes and near cardiac arrest, to yesterday a couple in low 2 minutes, one under 2, and a low of 1:47.

On the downside, I need to do left arm ~ single arm drills more often. Time to work in at least a couple 50's of these each session.

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Re: Guppy Challenge Begins! Q&A Thread [OldMenTriHarder] [ In reply to ]
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OldMenTriHarder wrote:
Quote:
followed by 50 kick


SIGNIFICANT gains in the kick w/o board and using a center snorkel.

All of these after the one arm drills netted from a couple weeks ago each 50 taking about 4 minutes and near cardiac arrest, to yesterday a couple in low 2 minutes, one under 2, and a low of 1:47.

On the downside, I need to do left arm ~ single arm drills more often. Time to work in at least a couple 50's of these each session.

it's amazing how much progress you make when you trust the system!

Dan Empfield
aka Slowman
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Re: Guppy Challenge Begins! Q&A Thread [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
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Huge breakthrough on Saturday. Not by me, my 14 y/o daughter put a smack down on me, smoked me by 3 seconds in the 50 free. I'm a proud swim dad!

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Re: Guppy Challenge Begins! Q&A Thread [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
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Guppy Challenge is going well for me. Got in 3 workouts every week. Two big improvements for me have been 1) I'm not "checking the weather" when I breath. The idea of keeping one side of my goggles in the water has been helpful. And 2) I'm slooowly getting the hang of keeping my feet near the water surface. Swimming with a pull buoy at my ankles is easy, so I'll be much improved if I can keep that same position without the buoy.

I still can't kick worth a darn. I'm trying to use all of the recommended suggestions, but still very little progress. I use Zoomers for half my kicking just so I can get through it. My ankles are very un-flexible. I'm doing a lot of ankle stretching. Hopefully that will help sooner or later.
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Re: Guppy Challenge Begins! Q&A Thread [JoelO] [ In reply to ]
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JoelO wrote:
Most pools have spare buoys or you can order one from swimoutlet.com...they're pretty cheap. For the band you can cut up an old inner tube and tie a knot in it.

Another band option - I was making them out of old race swimcaps, just cut the top of the cap off and end up with a loop. They eventually breakdown and snap but I've gotten like a year plus out of them.

To breathe, to feel, to know I'm alive.
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Re: Guppy Challenge Begins! Q&A Thread [JoelO] [ In reply to ]
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JoelO wrote:
.Keep the kick fairly narrow, point your toes as much as possible and try to relax the ankles. Kicking with fins will help your ankle flexibility. I'm not a great kicker but it's improving...right now I'm kicking 25 yards comfortably in 36 seconds...all out time is high 20's. It's sad since I can kick a 50 with fins in 40 seconds without killing myself.

At the risk of asking a dumb question, how is this possible? Is there another way to point toes other than extending the ankle, during which it is not relaxed? I'm wondering which is better / more useful - pointing toes as much as possible, which extends leg length and keeps toe in line with plane of movement (less drag), or relax ankle while kicking, which I imagine provides better propulsion from letting the toes be the end of the whip. Can you say?

To breathe, to feel, to know I'm alive.
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Re: Guppy Challenge Begins! Q&A Thread [Tsunami] [ In reply to ]
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Good question. Good swimmers can do both. AOS folks like us have to find the right balance between the whip generated by a relaxed ankle and somewhat pointed toes/feet. For pure propulsion, I think I get more benefit from the relaxed ankle.
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Re: Guppy Challenge Begins! Q&A Thread [Tsunami] [ In reply to ]
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Good idea! I'm going to try that out with my old swim caps.
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Re: Guppy Challenge Begins! Q&A Thread [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
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When week 6 workouts will be online?

Not good for us in Europe to get them that late!!!
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Re: Guppy Challenge Begins! Q&A Thread [bastri] [ In reply to ]
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bastri wrote:
When week 6 workouts will be online?

Not good for us in Europe to get them that late!!!

Here's the link to LAST YEAR'S (2017) Week 6. He hasn't been changing them much so I assume it's still valid.
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Re: Guppy Challenge Begins! Q&A Thread [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
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Bump cause it ain't stickied anymore ;)
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Re: Guppy Challenge Begins! Q&A Thread [JoelO] [ In reply to ]
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Hello

I am still having problems swimming the longer sets. Problems to the extent that after 150m I feel like my form is falling apart. I think the problem comes from the fact that my upper arms really start to tire. Probably my triceps. They begin to feel achy and dull, a bit like how they might feel from doing weights. Should this be happening or am I pulling the wrong way? My chest/back feel fine, do I need to involve them more, if so how do I achieve that?

Many thanks
David
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Re: Guppy Challenge Begins! Q&A Thread [davidwilcock] [ In reply to ]
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It could be several things.
* Starting off too fast. Every distance requires pacing. Your 50 pace is not going work for a 200.
* Pulling too deep or wide...this might feel powerful but it's not the most effective or efficient use of your energy,
* Low hips/legs causing drag which causes you to have to work harder...you'll need to check on your head position to make sure it's not riding too high.
* Pushing on the back half of the stroke (I'm thinking this might be the triceps issue). There's some conflict among the coaches on this point. Pure swimming coaches might tell you to push all the way to the thigh and other coaches will say to cut off the stroke sooner than that since most of the propulsion occurs sooner in the pull. I don't know the correct answer to this but I know my triceps feel it when I do extend my stroke.

All of these ( well at least 2-4) can be confirmed via some video footage.
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Re: Guppy Challenge Begins! Q&A Thread [JoelO] [ In reply to ]
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That's really helpful, thanks.

In terms of pacing - I have tried slowing down my stroke rate to pace slower, is that the right thing? Its the only way I could think to do it. It seems like less effort that way but extends the time between breaths (I breath every third time my arm goes in the water).

I actually did a swim analysis video in a static pool or whatever its called. This was a few years back, the coach did tell me to pull back all the way but I did notice what you are saying about it creating issues with triceps tiring. will try not pulling so far back. My technique has changed a lot since then but maybe its time for another session as getting some in pool footage is hard for me. I think all of your points may be happening.

Thanks again, I appreciate it
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Re: Guppy Challenge Begins! Q&A Thread [davidwilcock] [ In reply to ]
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You've hit on an issue with breathing every 3. You need more air for longer and/or faster efforts. I would suggest 1 of 3 things for your breathing:
1) breathe every 2 on your dominant side
2) breathe every 2 but switch sides after each 25 or 50
3) breathe on a 2/2/3 pattern

You'll stay a lot fresher on the longer efforts by breathing more often than every 3.
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Re: Guppy Challenge Begins! Q&A Thread [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
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Slowman wrote:
HandHeartCrown wrote:



you are so in luck! by week-4 you're going to be a new man. in specific answer:

you're exhausted because how you swim is exhausting. by week-8 you'll breeze through 2000 yards easily.


So, I'm 5 2/3 through the challenge. I wasn't expecting to turn into Michael Phelps but I a still very frustrated. A "new man" - most definitely not. In fact I've regressed (in my opinion). I'm even having swimming related nightmares!

Observations:
1) I see no noticeable change in my swim times nor in the effort required. My average interval times (in a 25y pool) are 1:03-04 (50y), 2:10-2:15 (100), 4:30-4:35 (200y). The 500y interval we did in week 4 took 11:33 (in the middle of the range for this interval over the past 18 months) and the 1000y interval we did last week took 23:16 (I can run a very casual 5K in less time). My 50y kick time is 1:15 with fins; I can't kick a length without fins. I require 30-34 strokes to complete one 25y length.

2) I don't "get" the drills. The one-arm pulls are a nightmare. First, I need fins or I can complete a length. With fins, My stroke is a mess. My feet are sinking, my body twists, my head is popping out of the water to breath and my pull arm shoulder is being stressed. The bound ankle highlights what I already knew - I fishtail like my 1985 Mazda RX7 did in a New England snow storm. I can't breath with the center snorkel. It's bad enough fighting the water; I don't want to fight the tools.

3) I'm still exhausted by the time I hit 1000-1200y. By 1500y my form has crapped out to the point it's almost not worth finishing the workout. Anyone of these workouts is more strenuous than the 15K I "raced" this past weekend through the Newton hills on the Boston Marathon course (i.e. Heartbreak Hill and friends).

With just over four weeks, I don't hold out much hope. But I'll persevere . Thank goodness the first races of the season are duathlons!
Last edited by: HandHeartCrown: Jan 17, 18 12:46
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Re: Guppy Challenge Begins! Q&A Thread [HandHeartCrown] [ In reply to ]
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You and I seem to have all the same problems and I'll tell you things get better!

I started the 2017 guppy challenge before Dan posted the new workouts. I got to week 4 before starting the challenge over. In my first go around at the first four weeks I had the same problems, (heading bobbing up and down during 1 arm pull, couldn't kick 25 yards without fins, kicked a 50 with fins in 1:30). My times were pretty similar as well with my 50's coming in around 1:01. I also was shot after 1200-1500 yards.

Fast forward to giving myself a week break and starting the challenge over with the slightly modified workouts - my 50 times are around 0:55, I still kick a 1:25 with fins (but I've tightened it up), and the 1 arm drills are still difficult but they are better. The real improvement can be seen when I compare my first go around at workouts vs the following time. Example: Wk 4 workout 1 first round: 150's came in all over 3 minutes (3:01-3:06). 2nd Round: 150's came in all under 3 minutes (2:51-2:57). I wouldn't say I "breeze" through 2000 yards, but it's definitely easier than it was when I started.

Just get into the pool as much as possible and things will start to feel better.
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Re: Guppy Challenge Begins! Q&A Thread [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
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So what is the thinking behind last weeks 1500 for time and this weeks 1500 for time? Should we expect to do it faster this week or are we looking down the road?
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Re: Guppy Challenge Begins! Q&A Thread [D.O.] [ In reply to ]
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D.O. wrote:
So what is the thinking behind last weeks 1500 for time and this weeks 1500 for time? Should we expect to do it faster this week or are we looking down the road?

just benchmark. if you're doing 1500 you're doing more than guppy yards. i expect the guppies to be making progress, even one week to the next.

Dan Empfield
aka Slowman
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Re: Guppy Challenge Begins! Q&A Thread [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
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Not a guppy when it come to swimming mindless laps but I am when it comes to doing structured laps. So far I've been able to drop my 50 kick w/o fins from 1:30 to 1:10 and the 1 arm pulls are smooth and fluid now compared to 5 weeks ago. Also am noticing that I am swimming faster with less perceived effort. Thanks for the challenge
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Re: Guppy Challenge Begins! Q&A Thread [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
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A question about week 3 and the following phrase: "alternate freestyle and “stroke”"

What does the "stroke" mean? Been through the instructions and this thread and I'm not understanding.
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Re: Guppy Challenge Begins! Q&A Thread [Scheherazade] [ In reply to ]
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Scheherazade wrote:
A question about week 3 and the following phrase: "alternate freestyle and “stroke”"

What does the "stroke" mean? Been through the instructions and this thread and I'm not understanding.

this was discussed early on in the GC. stroke = any of the non-freestyle IM strokes.

Dan Empfield
aka Slowman
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Re: Guppy Challenge Begins! Q&A Thread [JoelO] [ In reply to ]
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Thankyou for this advice, I had my first session after trying this and it made a huge difference, much appreciated
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Re: Guppy Challenge Begins! Q&A Thread [JoelO] [ In reply to ]
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JoelO wrote:
You've hit on an issue with breathing every 3. You need more air for longer and/or faster efforts. I would suggest 1 of 3 things for your breathing:
1) breathe every 2 on your dominant side
2) breathe every 2 but switch sides after each 25 or 50
3) breathe on a 2/2/3 pattern

You'll stay a lot fresher on the longer efforts by breathing more often than every 3.


I started doing this last May or so, 16 years after taking up my AOS swimming. Made it easier to swim with a bit more force. If I only breathe to one side, I tend to feel like I'm hyperventillating on my right side (unless it's my all out sprint), and like I'm sinking and can't get enough air on my left side. Either side, if I only breathe that way I feel lost, like I can no longer tell if I'm on a straight trajectory. I need to do every 3 or 2/2/3 or I feel like I have no idea where I am. I now use this as a pacing strategy: every 3 on a recovery effort, 2/2/3 on firm efforts, 2 (to right) for all out 25's or 50's.

To breathe, to feel, to know I'm alive.
Last edited by: Tsunami: Jan 21, 18 13:43
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Re: Guppy Challenge Begins! Q&A Thread [davidwilcock] [ In reply to ]
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That's terrific! Glad it helped. Breathing every 3 or 5 does have it's place...for me, it's good training for when you miss a breath in a race due to contact, waves, etc...
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Re: Guppy Challenge Begins! Q&A Thread [Tsunami] [ In reply to ]
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I wonder why you feel like you're hyperventilating on your right side. To me, it's a normal in/out breathing pattern...very rhythmic. I'm not taking in a big gulp of air...just enough to get me to the next breath after a steady exhale. Either way, whatever works for you keep doing.

Regarding keeping a straight path...I'm assuming you're talking about open water races/swimming. If you tend to veer you'll need to sight a bit more. My coach has us do sighting drills where we will swim 5-7 strokes, sight on a breathing stroke (by looking forward just enough to get a quick picture "alligator eyes" then immediately turn for the breath)...and repeat. She calls it alligator eyes because you're only raising your head to where your eyes are above the waterline.

I'm similar to you on breathing patterns. I'll swim every 2 or use a 2/2/4 pattern depending on distance and fatigue. I know, I should probably go with 2/2/3 but the 2/2/4 feels comfortable to me. All out 25s are usually 1 to 2 breaths depending on how fresh I feel. All out 50s are usually 3 breaths per 25.
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Re: Guppy Challenge Begins! Q&A Thread [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
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Week 7 please and thank you
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Re: Guppy Challenge Begins! Q&A Thread [D.O.] [ In reply to ]
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D.O. wrote:
Week 7 please and thank you

it's up there. went up there yesterday.

Dan Empfield
aka Slowman
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Re: Guppy Challenge Begins! Q&A Thread [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
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Strange...I'm only seeing week 6
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Re: Guppy Challenge Begins! Q&A Thread [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
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Post a link maybe? Home computer and my phone are stuck on week 6. Thanks!
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Re: Guppy Challenge Begins! Q&A Thread [D.O.] [ In reply to ]
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It's on the front page. Click the Sun logo. Or, here's the direct link.
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Re: Guppy Challenge Begins! Q&A Thread [HandHeartCrown] [ In reply to ]
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Thanks, I was looking in the training section under swimming, my bad
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Re: Guppy Challenge Begins! Q&A Thread [JoelO] [ In reply to ]
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Regarding this one, thanks for the tip! I heard this from another swimmer at the last OWS I did last season and this is a great reminder.
JoelO wrote:
... She calls it alligator eyes because you're only raising your head to where your eyes are above the waterline.

Regarding this part...
JoelO wrote:
I wonder why you feel like you're hyperventilating on your right side. To me, it's a normal in/out breathing pattern...very rhythmic..
I'd love to go more in depth with someone who has a good understanding of physiology because my response is not short, and while I want input I'm afraid it might be more than you're really asking to provide. So if you're game, I can PM you further details.

To breathe, to feel, to know I'm alive.
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Re: Guppy Challenge Begins! Q&A Thread [Tsunami] [ In reply to ]
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Sent you a pm.
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Re: Guppy Challenge Begins! Q&A Thread [JoelO] [ In reply to ]
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I've been swimming with the TYR ankle buoy for a few weeks now. At what point should I try swimming with my ankles bound (w/out flotation)? I find it fairly easy to the drills with the bound/floated ankles at this point. (Note: I am only on week 5) When I swim regularly, I am still concentrating hard NOT to splay my feet when I breathe!

Second question, as for breathing, I inhale thru my mouth, but I think I exhale underwater both thru my nose and my mouth. Is it better to only exhale thru my nose? The latter is probably safest when using the snorkel, but I'm not sure if it matters so much for regular swimming?

Thanks!
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Re: Guppy Challenge Begins! Q&A Thread [swissymania] [ In reply to ]
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If you can swim with banded legs (no flotation) you are on the way to becoming an all star! It's not easy but this guy makes it look so.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vpXgRyc6r1U

It requires good lower back/glute strength, higher turnover and a bit of a catch-up style stroke. It gets more difficult the more you breathe. Try a set of 4x25 to get started. It gets a bit easier the more you practice it.

I don't know if there's a right way or wrong way to exhale. The experts on here might have a different take, but I do/have done it both ways. Some might advocate exhaling through your nose since it's consistent with how you should exhale on a flip turn. Personally, I don't have a problem remembering to exhale through my nose on a flip turn...it only takes one nose full of chlorine to let you know the "wrong" way!
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Re: Guppy Challenge Begins! Q&A Thread [JoelO] [ In reply to ]
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JoelO, I think it was you, so youre getting the credit:) You were saying that you felt you were kicking the best when you could feel the water between your toes. I've been focusing on that during the kick sets and it seems that I have to almost completely relax my feet but finally am feeling what you described and it definitely has made my kick stronger and me faster
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Re: Guppy Challenge Begins! Q&A Thread [D.O.] [ In reply to ]
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Thanks, but I think it was tallswimmer that talked about that...it's a great tip!

I might have said something along the lines of having loose ankles. If you're interested, Gary Hall Sr. shows some drills in this swimisode to work on ankle flexibility.

http://theraceclub.com/tag/backstroke-kick/
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Re: Guppy Challenge Begins! Q&A Thread [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
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Dan,


Please would you post the workouts of week 8 as soon as possible.

I plan to do the first workout tomorrow, Monday morning 6 o´clock and I am UTC +1.

Thank you!!!


Bastri
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Re: Guppy Challenge Begins! Q&A Thread [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
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Hi

Very much enjoying the Guppy Workouts again.

I'm feeling very good about my improvements in the Horizontal & Vertical planes.

I am though struggling with the EVF drills - i guess its highlighting a weakness because when I really focus on it, my arms feel dead after only 100-200M. Guess they're working harder than they ever have....

Is there anything outside the pool I can do to get stronger so this improves quickly. or is it just a case of tough it out?
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Re: Guppy Challenge Begins! Q&A Thread [bastri] [ In reply to ]
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Dan's busy in LV. Here's last year's workout which, if he follows pattern, will be the same this year: http://www.slowtwitch.com/...nge_Week_8_6179.html

Google's your friend. If you need the next two use the following search (no quotes): "site:slowtwitch.com guppy challenge 9" Replace 9 with 10 for the last workout.
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Re: Guppy Challenge Begins! Q&A Thread [bearlyfinish] [ In reply to ]
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davidwilcock and bearlyfinish,

I too struggle with improving time. I've come to the conclusion that if you can't make it faster, try to make it easier. And always use the excuse that "I swim slow to take time to enjoy the underwater scenery" and "my physique is more of a barge than a fish" :-p

Just started triathlon and "learning" to freestyle three years ago. Each year was something gained to make it "easier" and more enjoyable. Year one was just going from near exhaustion for one lap, to exhausted after 1500 m. Year two was picking up how important body rotation was - the TechTock swim tool and "swimming on your side" drills helped. That's when swimming started to feel easier - funner.

This year is finally breaking into three stroke breathing and feeling comfortable with it. One suggestion would be to keep doing three stroke until you're tired enough that you feel you need that extra breath, drop into two stroke for one or two, and then go back to three stroke. Another instance is when you feel like your legs are sinking, or you feel your form deteriorating. I think of it as "resetting the stroke" until you can relax your breathing again, and go back at it with three stroke.

More big lessons learned were from here on Guppy Challenge. This week's statement of "swim downhill" - get that head down in the water looking down. It "feels" like less effort is being needed to move. And another is just how important that kick is. A coach has suggested limit the distance between your feet to 6 inches. I'm starting to feel some gains from this and just need to get the right "rythym" of 2 - 6 kicks per stroke. Yesterday's kick session tried using this for the kick drill and sped the feet up - like a propeller. It seemed faster - well at least too fast to be able to count the tiles on the bottom of the pool :-p.

Also, try your kick drills w/o fins using a center snorkel instead of a kick board. You get more of a "feel" of what kick should really be like while freestyle swimming.

These are just things I'm learning - but the coaches can give you even better direction.

I'm just hoping the lessons learned this year can allow a comfortable 2.4 mile swim taking on some underwater scenery @ #IMLOU :-)

#OldMenTriHarder
#SwimBikeRunLikeABadger
#SwimBikeRunLikeAngels
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Re: Guppy Challenge Begins! Q&A Thread [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
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All I can say is this shit works. Did my long swim for time this morning and swam 1750 yds in 26:29:00 which knocked a minute & 16sec off my p.r.and the kicker was I had gas left in the tank. I'm thinking my gains are coming from using the snorkel in the drills which allows me to concentrate on body position. Feels like I'm swimming faster with less effort.
Last edited by: D.O.: Feb 5, 18 2:58
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Re: Guppy Challenge Begins! Q&A Thread [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
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Last week - Thanks for the last nine. And thanks for the post this week. It has given a little glimmer of hope after drills yesterday. Simultaneously starting the Guppy Challenge was to also develop the ability to bilateral breath. And while doing both, I have seen my splits get slower.
Your post on hypoxic breathing shed some light on maybe "why"?
The first 25 yds of any set go smoothly. After that, I can feel the exhaustion set in, and form fall apart, forcing a slow down. Shifting to a 3-3-2-2-3-3 breathing to catch breath and get back focused on form.
The only drill that this doesn't happen, is the bound feet - it seems like flying through the water even with bilateral breathing, to the point of feeling like having more gas to go even faster.
Once kicking is added to the equation, exhaustion quickly sets in.
Like yourself, I'm "older" - mid 50's, and have a resting HR in the low 50's. Maybe faster swimming at this age just is not going to be in the cards.

#OldMenTriHarder
#SwimBikeRunLikeABadger
#SwimBikeRunLikeAngels
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Re: Guppy Challenge Begins! Q&A Thread [OldMenTriHarder] [ In reply to ]
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i don't know why you'd want to bilateral breathe. oxygen is your friend. breathing on both sides? yes. very helpful. bilateral breathing as a pattern, tho, no.

Dan Empfield
aka Slowman
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Re: Guppy Challenge Begins! Q&A Thread [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
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Thanks Dan. Your the first coach to say this. Everyone else was saying "You have to do bilateral".

Workout 2 this week is a 1000 yd TT. For the sake of curiosity, I will do this one bilateral to compare it to the TT earlier in the year. And then do another 1000 TT next week breathing every two strokes.

Workout 3 this week is a 50's party. We'll try to get some SWOLF trials from these for comparison to earlier this year, as well.

And report out.

#OldMenTriHarder
#SwimBikeRunLikeABadger
#SwimBikeRunLikeAngels
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Re: Guppy Challenge Begins! Q&A Thread [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
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This is my first year for the challenge. I've only missed one swim, due to the flu, but hit all other Tuna workouts. I'm not sure my overall swim times dropped, maybe a wee bit. However, I have noticed three things improved significantly.

-1 I've cut my recovery times between sets & intervals significantly. I used to use a :15 per 100 model, now pretty much :05 per 100. Maybe sneak a little longer if I'm really gassed

-2 I've gotten far better at pacing, for example this morning's 10 x 200 I held a 1:31-1:32 100 pace for all 10 intervals; whereas, in the past I'd start off the first few intervals < 1:30 and end up at or over 1:35 for the final couple intervals and really sucking wind.

-3 I never worked on my kick with any regularity until now. Having dedicated kicks sets in each workout has made my back feel better. I injured my back almost two years ago and have had a long slow recovery. I honestly think the introduction of kick sets has made a difference.

--------------------------
The secret of a long life is you try not to shorten it.
-Nobody
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Re: Guppy Challenge Begins! Q&A Thread [OldMenTriHarder] [ In reply to ]
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OldMenTriHarder wrote:

Like yourself, I'm "older" - mid 50's, and have a resting HR in the low 50's. Maybe faster swimming at this age just is not going to be in the cards.


I agree with you there.

I am 55+ and I just finished the third 1000y time trial. My time dropped from 23:16->22:57->22:42. Some improvement ( approx. 2% by my math) but 30 seconds over 1000y it is measurement noise. I wasn't expecting miracles with this experiment but I am disappointed with the results. I don't swim measurably faster. My 100 splits are still around 2:15-2:20 for any interval > 150y. I still need 1:15-1:20 to kick two lengths (50y) with zoomers (I still can't make it across the pool without fins). I can still feel my body wiggling, my legs sinking and my head rising, no matter how hard I focus.

Thank goodness for the few duathlons available.

ETA: On today's TT, I wasn't as tired as the first TT. I suspect that's a side effect of adding a fourth workout to the weekly schedule.
Last edited by: HandHeartCrown: Feb 13, 18 10:11
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Re: Guppy Challenge Begins! Q&A Thread [HandHeartCrown] [ In reply to ]
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Quote:
I still need 1:15-1:20 to kick two lengths (50y) with zoomers (I still can't make it across the pool without fins). I can still feel my body wiggling, my legs sinking and my head rising, no matter how hard I focus.

Have you tried using the center snorkel while doing your kick sets?

#OldMenTriHarder
#SwimBikeRunLikeABadger
#SwimBikeRunLikeAngels
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Re: Guppy Challenge Begins! Q&A Thread [HandHeartCrown] [ In reply to ]
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Martin, have you posted a video of your stroke? It would be interesting to see a video of your 50 kick (with zoomers) as well.

You probably have some form issues but I'm curious about your turnover and kick rate. I'm just guessing here, but based on personal experience (I'm 58, btw), your turnover rate is probably a lot slower than what it "feels". You can test this with a Finis Tempo Trainer. Set the Tempo Trainer to 1 second in mode 1 and swim to that cadence. Every time you here a beep one of your hands should be entering the water. That's a 2 second stroke cycle. That's slow. You probably want to work your way down to .75 - .85 per hand strike. You can gradually do this using the Tempo Trainer on sets of 25's or 50's or you could do some descending or "all out" sets of the same. Over time, this kind of practice will lead to faster turnover and cruise paces.
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Re: Guppy Challenge Begins! Q&A Thread [JoelO] [ In reply to ]
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Hi Joel,

I require between 28 and 32 strokes to complete 25y and, based on all the 50 intervals in the program, I average between 62 and 64 seconds per 50 (so, say around 31-32 per 25y). Sometimes faster; sometimes slower.

I have no idea what my kick rate is. I've tried counting but I get lost. I'm constantly kicking so a six-beat per stroke cycle is probably close.

My big fear, and it is a fear (I have nightmares about it), is lack of air. This goes back 50 years to when my mother first brought me to Gath Pool in Newton to learn to swim (or try to learn). I am also a strong runner and I breath between 40 and 45 times per minute when running a tempo pace and above. With almost 30k miles under my feet, I suspect my body is used to this breathing pattern.

I don't have a video. I swim in a private (employer owned) pool so getting other people in is a challenge. I can try to find a co-worker who may be able to take a video.
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Re: Guppy Challenge Begins! Q&A Thread [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
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I'm at the end of the Guppy Challenge - 1 more workout to complete. I've done 3 workouts per week for the past 10 weeks (actually, I had to start pre-Guppy workouts in Oct so that I could do the Guppy workouts). I can swim a little faster (5 seconds off 1000 yds), but that's not the biggest improvement. Now 1) I have better endurance and don't slow down at the end of workouts, 2) I have a much better idea about what I need to do to continue to improve, and 3) this is the big one... I actually look forward to swim workouts!

What's next? I signed up today with U.S. Masters Swimming, and I contacted a local masters club to join next week. I now have the confidence that I can at least keep up in the slow lane. I'm also going to get a swim video/critique done.

Nothing earth shattering accomplished, but I'm on my way to better swimming. Last summer, I just got tired of swimming slow and decided to do something about it this winter and beyond.
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Re: Guppy Challenge Begins! Q&A Thread [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
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will we have a Guppy Challenge this year?

I have lost sooooooo many "water feel" with this corona problem, that I would need the extra motivation of this challenge to recover!
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Re: Guppy Challenge Begins! Q&A Thread [ivantriker] [ In reply to ]
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No need to wait for the official challenge.
The past few years I have used the Guppy challenge workouts that you can find in the Training/Swimming dropdown in the banner at the top of the page to kickstart my swimming after a winter layoff. These days I use the tarpon or tuna yardage and find having the set workouts makes swimming more engaging and enjoyable.
A silver lining from Covid for me has been that since I don't have to get my daughter to school at 7:00am we have time to swim in the mornings together before I go to work.
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