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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Rappstar] [ In reply to ]
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Just a data point. It has been my personal experience (and the Mrs.-Tex) that when your running and cycling, especially your running, are going well...it is tough to have the swim feeling great. The Rockstar swim sessions when running like Simon...or as close as I'll ever get...seem to be much fewer. It's also been that way with many of the age groupers that I've worked with.


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

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

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

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

--

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

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

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


AERO & LIGHT is RIGHT

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dev


'Dat 'cause you OLD!!!


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dev

---------

Who are you and what did you do with Dev?


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

#helplifeguard

Paddles by themselves however......

_______________________________________________________
@MarkyV - 31 kona qualifiers 2006-'14
"If you cannot devote the time required to fully maximise your genetic potential, then don't make believe your own science and re-write decades of history of coaching wisdom, and pretend that you can do some magical training program on 8hrs /wk instead of 12-20 and get to the same level in [any endurance sport]. Accept the reality which is that you just have to settle for a performance level which isn't the absolute peak that your body is capable of." - Nathan Townsend
I ka nana no a 'ike -- by observing, one learns | Kulia i ka nu'u -- strive for excellence
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [MarkyV] [ In reply to ]
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MarkyV wrote:
Hmmm, band.... I literally drown should i ever put that thing on.

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


<If you're gonna be dumb, you gotta be tough>
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [MarkyV] [ In reply to ]
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Everytime I swim with a band, I am thankful that my college coach never made us use one.
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Ultra-tri-guy] [ In reply to ]
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:-)

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

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


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

Her theory:

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


The band is a torture device.

_______________________________________________________
@MarkyV - 31 kona qualifiers 2006-'14
"If you cannot devote the time required to fully maximise your genetic potential, then don't make believe your own science and re-write decades of history of coaching wisdom, and pretend that you can do some magical training program on 8hrs /wk instead of 12-20 and get to the same level in [any endurance sport]. Accept the reality which is that you just have to settle for a performance level which isn't the absolute peak that your body is capable of." - Nathan Townsend
I ka nana no a 'ike -- by observing, one learns | Kulia i ka nu'u -- strive for excellence
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [devashish_paul] [ In reply to ]
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devashish_paul wrote:
:-)

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


-----

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

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

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

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

Can i have your biathlon gun please?

_______________________________________________________
@MarkyV - 31 kona qualifiers 2006-'14
"If you cannot devote the time required to fully maximise your genetic potential, then don't make believe your own science and re-write decades of history of coaching wisdom, and pretend that you can do some magical training program on 8hrs /wk instead of 12-20 and get to the same level in [any endurance sport]. Accept the reality which is that you just have to settle for a performance level which isn't the absolute peak that your body is capable of." - Nathan Townsend
I ka nana no a 'ike -- by observing, one learns | Kulia i ka nu'u -- strive for excellence
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Ultra-tri-guy] [ In reply to ]
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I think on ST you have the gadget crowd and the lifestyle crowd, with some amount of overlap. I think what you'll find is that the lifer's grow past the gadgets because we know that gadgets won't come with us to our funerals, but the cool people we meet, we'll either go to their funerals or they will come to ours...along the way, we'll share some good times, while trying to beat the crap out of each other (where the odd gadget might come into play).

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

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

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

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

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

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

_______________________________________________________
@MarkyV - 31 kona qualifiers 2006-'14
"If you cannot devote the time required to fully maximise your genetic potential, then don't make believe your own science and re-write decades of history of coaching wisdom, and pretend that you can do some magical training program on 8hrs /wk instead of 12-20 and get to the same level in [any endurance sport]. Accept the reality which is that you just have to settle for a performance level which isn't the absolute peak that your body is capable of." - Nathan Townsend
I ka nana no a 'ike -- by observing, one learns | Kulia i ka nu'u -- strive for excellence
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Nacly] [ In reply to ]
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Point of the band is to force a stronger catch on the athlete.

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

_______________________________________________________
@MarkyV - 31 kona qualifiers 2006-'14
"If you cannot devote the time required to fully maximise your genetic potential, then don't make believe your own science and re-write decades of history of coaching wisdom, and pretend that you can do some magical training program on 8hrs /wk instead of 12-20 and get to the same level in [any endurance sport]. Accept the reality which is that you just have to settle for a performance level which isn't the absolute peak that your body is capable of." - Nathan Townsend
I ka nana no a 'ike -- by observing, one learns | Kulia i ka nu'u -- strive for excellence
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [MarkyV] [ In reply to ]
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This is why very accomplished swimmers are terrible at teaching adults to swim.
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [The Authority] [ In reply to ]
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ass u me

much eh?

_______________________________________________________
@MarkyV - 31 kona qualifiers 2006-'14
"If you cannot devote the time required to fully maximise your genetic potential, then don't make believe your own science and re-write decades of history of coaching wisdom, and pretend that you can do some magical training program on 8hrs /wk instead of 12-20 and get to the same level in [any endurance sport]. Accept the reality which is that you just have to settle for a performance level which isn't the absolute peak that your body is capable of." - Nathan Townsend
I ka nana no a 'ike -- by observing, one learns | Kulia i ka nu'u -- strive for excellence
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [MarkyV] [ In reply to ]
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I think that the kick provides a counter to set the body rotation and positions the torso so it can rotate around the catch. Also, the kick floats an a$$ so it can be swimming as downhill as it can. The counter pre-sets the body rotation so I can 'explode" my torso rotation against the catch. Bands inhibit all of this. So I don't see the point of the band... except a good swimmer (rappstar) recommended the bands as a method to get faster, and a very good swimmer (you) said they are bunk. So, the question is, are they good for everyone, or only poor swimmers? Your experience seems to state that good swimmers don't benefit much from them, Jordans point to an experience that provides benefit to good swimmers.
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Nacly] [ In reply to ]
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WHOA!

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

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

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

_______________________________________________________
@MarkyV - 31 kona qualifiers 2006-'14
"If you cannot devote the time required to fully maximise your genetic potential, then don't make believe your own science and re-write decades of history of coaching wisdom, and pretend that you can do some magical training program on 8hrs /wk instead of 12-20 and get to the same level in [any endurance sport]. Accept the reality which is that you just have to settle for a performance level which isn't the absolute peak that your body is capable of." - Nathan Townsend
I ka nana no a 'ike -- by observing, one learns | Kulia i ka nu'u -- strive for excellence
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Nacly] [ In reply to ]
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I like this!
Nacly wrote:
I think that the kick provides a counter to set the body rotation and positions the torso so it can rotate around the catch. Also, the kick floats an a$$ so it can be swimming as downhill as it can. The counter pre-sets the body rotation so I can 'explode" my torso rotation against the catch. Bands inhibit all of this.

Gives me something to think about.

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

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

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

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

_______________________________________________________
@MarkyV - 31 kona qualifiers 2006-'14
"If you cannot devote the time required to fully maximise your genetic potential, then don't make believe your own science and re-write decades of history of coaching wisdom, and pretend that you can do some magical training program on 8hrs /wk instead of 12-20 and get to the same level in [any endurance sport]. Accept the reality which is that you just have to settle for a performance level which isn't the absolute peak that your body is capable of." - Nathan Townsend
I ka nana no a 'ike -- by observing, one learns | Kulia i ka nu'u -- strive for excellence
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [MarkyV] [ In reply to ]
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MarkyV wrote:
Nacly wrote:
So, the question is, are they good for everyone, or only poor swimmers? Your experience seems to state that good swimmers don't benefit much from them, Jordans point to an experience that provides benefit to good swimmers.


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

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


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


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


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


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