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Swim - What is your Single Biggest Technique Improvement?
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Slowtwitchers, I am stuck in the 1:30/100y-1:40/100y purgatory of swimming. Doing anything above 200y at 1:2x/100y is a challenge. I work with coach but in general his motto is: you have good technique, just need to swim more. I'd like to hear from you what single "switch" or "transformation" you did in your technique that you attribute to providing the most gains in the water. Thanks in advance!

CG
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Re: Swim - What is your Single Biggest Technique Improvement? [CeeGee90] [ In reply to ]
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for me, that's lots of kick and lots of im. masters swim helps with this. that it the only way to get out of my natural plateau pace.
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Re: Swim - What is your Single Biggest Technique Improvement? [CeeGee90] [ In reply to ]
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CeeGee90 wrote:
Slowtwitchers, I am stuck in the 1:30/100y-1:40/100y purgatory of swimming. Doing anything above 200y at 1:2x/100y is a challenge. I work with coach but in general his motto is: you have good technique, just need to swim more. I'd like to hear from you what single "switch" or "transformation" you did in your technique that you attribute to providing the most gains in the water. Thanks in advance!

Swim more, swim harder. Seriously.

There is no single switch that gives you gains, for the most part. I've said this here, a long time ago, but it still holds true. Swimming well is 100% fitness and 100% technique, the 2 cannot be separated. Poor fitness means you cannot hold good technique, because good technique isn't easy to hold. When you see those top guys swimming with that nice high turnover and perfect catch, that's hard to do. You need good specific fitness for that.

Swimming Workout of the Day: http://forum.slowtwitch.com/...ost=5784860#5784860;
Favourite Swim Sets: http://forum.slowtwitch.com/...m.cgi?;post=5004659;
Unattainable goals for 2019/2020 season. https://forum.slowtwitch.com/...ost=6944848#p6944848
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Re: Swim - What is your Single Biggest Technique Improvement? [CeeGee90] [ In reply to ]
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of course, more volume is #1.

But....
Im no fish but this helped me: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O1KReTEXiBM
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Re: Swim - What is your Single Biggest Technique Improvement? [CeeGee90] [ In reply to ]
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CeeGee90 wrote:
Slowtwitchers, I am stuck in the 1:30/100y-1:40/100y purgatory of swimming. Doing anything above 200y at 1:2x/100y is a challenge. I work with coach but in general his motto is: you have good technique, just need to swim more. I'd like to hear from you what single "switch" or "transformation" you did in your technique that you attribute to providing the most gains in the water. Thanks in advance!


I haven't seen you swimming but first thing that comes to my mind when I hear people haven't difficulty maintaining speed above 75-100m is breathing issues. People can become good and get away with breathing partners issues or flaw under 100m like you mentioned 1:30 (90 secs) isn't that long but once you get over 2 mins than it bites you hard.. and your stroke will fall apart because you are trying to get some air in and probably pausing or doing anything possible that disrupt your technique for air.

Like others mentioned putting on more volume will help but 1:30/100y isn't fast and should be attainable simply with good technique no hard effort.

Get yourself film under water would love to see how much air you are blowing out... Are you inhaling/exhaling at the same time when grasping for air? Pretty common mistake by non-swimmers... ;)

Edit: BTW I feel the breathing is still a limiter for me even swimming in the 1:10-1:15/100y pace... I can improve on that technical item to get faster without having to pound in more mileage, disclaimer I have no swimming background what so ever... it's my pure feeling, I think it will help me be more efficient with other phase of my stroke.
Last edited by: MTL: Feb 19, 19 7:40
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Re: Swim - What is your Single Biggest Technique Improvement? [MTL] [ In reply to ]
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MTL, Thanks for the input! I definitely feel like breathing is holding me back. Problem is I can't seem to find reliable sources that agree on best technique (some say hold all, exhale big right before breath, others say slow steady stream of bubbles). How would you succinctly describe your approach to breathing? I.e., something I can think about while I practice.

CG
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Re: Swim - What is your Single Biggest Technique Improvement? [CeeGee90] [ In reply to ]
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Pull buoy to teach you to get your legs up and streamlined. Drag chute to teach you to pull way harder and ups your cadence. Mix it in 10 minutes at a time. 10 minutes on, 10 minutes off. Repeat for an hour.
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Re: Swim - What is your Single Biggest Technique Improvement? [CeeGee90] [ In reply to ]
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Are you sucking in the biggest breath you can every time? You shouldn't be - large, but comfortable breath, that's not hard to hold, with a push exhale just before turning your head. I wrote a bit more about it here: https://www.slowtwitch.com/...n_Swimming_6700.html
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Re: Swim - What is your Single Biggest Technique Improvement? [CeeGee90] [ In reply to ]
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I'm not the person you who originally posted about breathing, but I have always been told that if your face is in the water you should be blowing bubbles. I guess my experience is somewhat limited to a few coaches, but one of them was a former Olympic trials level swimmer and the other is the head coach of a competitive YMCA team... they both have forgotten more about swimming than I will ever know so I tend to go with whatever they tell me. Curious to hear if anyone else has a different approach though.
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Re: Swim - What is your Single Biggest Technique Improvement? [CeeGee90] [ In reply to ]
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CeeGee90 wrote:
MTL, Thanks for the input! I definitely feel like breathing is holding me back. Problem is I can't seem to find reliable sources that agree on best technique (some say hold all, exhale big right before breath, others say slow steady stream of bubbles). How would you succinctly describe your approach to breathing? I.e., something I can think about while I practice.

I attended a swim clinic with Andy Potts a few weeks ago... I will use is example to maybe give you some directions. Again, like Andy told us he simply breaths for pure swimmers it's a single nature they don't think about it, the same for most of us when running.

My understanding is to exhales small amount under the water, you don't want to exhale totally your lungs. The example he cited was think of your lungs as balloons, they tend float better when there's some air in them. If they are empty the will sink. So you want to keep some air in them to help your body floating, so exhale a certain amount under water and then inhale during the breathing section of your stroke, but avoid exhale/inhale during the breathing phase when your head/mouth is outside of the water. Of course you don't lift your head out of water always keep a goggle in the water...

So practice making bubbles under the water sufficient enough that you don't totally empty your lungs, it should be natural not forcing too much out.

Hope it helps.
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Re: Swim - What is your Single Biggest Technique Improvement? [CeeGee90] [ In reply to ]
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If you're lacking oxygen, then breathing every stroke is a must. If that's the case, simply choose a side on which to breath. (e.g. left side) When your left hand is about to leave the water (after brushing your thigh), breath with your mouth and exhale (through your nose) while your right arm strokes. It's a "1-2" repetition.

I also happen to believe strengthening your shoulders really helps with endurance (freestyle).

Good luck and stick with it - you'll get it!
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Re: Swim - What is your Single Biggest Technique Improvement? [CeeGee90] [ In reply to ]
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Pull buoy. Helps me dial in my form just right and then You can te intro your kick once everything upstairs is right
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Re: Swim - What is your Single Biggest Technique Improvement? [CeeGee90] [ In reply to ]
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CeeGee90 wrote:
MTL, Thanks for the input! I definitely feel like breathing is holding me back. Problem is I can't seem to find reliable sources that agree on best technique (some say hold all, exhale big right before breath, others say slow steady stream of bubbles). How would you succinctly describe your approach to breathing? I.e., something I can think about while I practice.

At this point, it doesn't matter that much, just make sure you are exhaling completely underwater, so that you aren't using your "inhale time" to exhale. One way to approach this stuff is like this. if you see that multiple experts in the area have divergent opinions on a topic, that indicates (to me anyway) that the thing they are talking about is mostly down to personal preference or a minor tweak. What "everyone" agrees on is to make sure you are fully exhaling underwater.

That doesn't mean you need to completely empty your lungs. Just that you need to be finished exhaling by the time you start to roll to breathe.

Swimming Workout of the Day: http://forum.slowtwitch.com/...ost=5784860#5784860;
Favourite Swim Sets: http://forum.slowtwitch.com/...m.cgi?;post=5004659;
Unattainable goals for 2019/2020 season. https://forum.slowtwitch.com/...ost=6944848#p6944848
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Re: Swim - What is your Single Biggest Technique Improvement? [JasoninHalifax] [ In reply to ]
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JasoninHalifax wrote:
CeeGee90 wrote:
MTL, Thanks for the input! I definitely feel like breathing is holding me back. Problem is I can't seem to find reliable sources that agree on best technique (some say hold all, exhale big right before breath, others say slow steady stream of bubbles). How would you succinctly describe your approach to breathing? I.e., something I can think about while I practice.


At this point, it doesn't matter that much, just make sure you are exhaling completely underwater, so that you aren't using your "inhale time" to exhale. One way to approach this stuff is like this. if you see that multiple experts in the area have divergent opinions on a topic, that indicates (to me anyway) that the thing they are talking about is mostly down to personal preference or a minor tweak. What "everyone" agrees on is to make sure you are fully exhaling underwater.

That doesn't mean you need to completely empty your lungs. Just that you need to be finished exhaling by the time you start to roll to breathe.

+1
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Re: Swim - What is your Single Biggest Technique Improvement? [CeeGee90] [ In reply to ]
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CeeGee90 wrote:
Slowtwitchers, I am stuck in the 1:30/100y-1:40/100y purgatory of swimming. Doing anything above 200y at 1:2x/100y is a challenge. I work with coach but in general his motto is: you have good technique, just need to swim more. I'd like to hear from you what single "switch" or "transformation" you did in your technique that you attribute to providing the most gains in the water. Thanks in advance!

Your coach is way way off base.

Yes, of course, you need to swim a lot to develop fitness and aquatic power. But with bad technique, you're basically only going to make things worse.

A good cycling analogy:

Imagine if you bike a huge amount and soon, with long and extended smart training, you develop Lance-like cycling power output. But every time you get on your bike, you're forced to connect a literal large parachute to the back of your bike. It doesn't matter how strong you get, even grandmas on 3-speeds will be beating you with you having to pull that high-drag parachute. And the faster you try to go, the parachute will only pull you back harder.

THIS is what bad technique does to you in swimming.

For me, the way I moved from back-of-the-pack swimmer to front-of- the-pack swimmer is that I got lots and lots of great technique help from smart coaches (not ones that said that the solution was to "just swim more"). So how do you find and select such a coach? Well, here are some ideas:

https://www.darkspeedworks.com/blog-swimcoach.htm

Advanced Aero TopTube Storage for Road, Gravel, & Triathlon...Direct-mount & ZeroSlip-mount, made in the USA.
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Re: Swim - What is your Single Biggest Technique Improvement? [DarkSpeedWorks] [ In reply to ]
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DarkSpeedWorks wrote:
CeeGee90 wrote:
Slowtwitchers, I am stuck in the 1:30/100y-1:40/100y purgatory of swimming. Doing anything above 200y at 1:2x/100y is a challenge. I work with coach but in general his motto is: you have good technique, just need to swim more. I'd like to hear from you what single "switch" or "transformation" you did in your technique that you attribute to providing the most gains in the water. Thanks in advance!

Your coach is way way off base.

Yes, of course, you need to swim a lot to develop fitness and aquatic power. But with bad technique, you're basically only going to make things worse.

A good cycling analogy:

Imagine if you bike a huge amount and soon, with long and extended smart training, you develop Lance-like cycling power output. But every time you get on your bike, you're forced to connect a literal large parachute to the back of your bike. It doesn't matter how strong you get, even grandmas on 3-speeds will be beating you with you having to pull that high-drag parachute. And the faster you try to go, the parachute will only pull you back harder.

THIS is what bad technique does to you in swimming.

For me, the way I moved from back-of-the-pack swimmer to front-of- the-pack swimmer is that I got lots and lots of great technique help from smart coaches (not ones that said that the solution was to "just swim more"). So how do you find and select such a coach? Well, here are some ideas:

https://www.darkspeedworks.com/blog-swimcoach.htm

I'm not about to second guess the guy who has actually seen him swim, and no other information. For all I know, he's swimming once a week for 2500y. There are some things that really aren't worth obsessing over until the athlete makes the commitment to put the time in the water.

Swimming Workout of the Day: http://forum.slowtwitch.com/...ost=5784860#5784860;
Favourite Swim Sets: http://forum.slowtwitch.com/...m.cgi?;post=5004659;
Unattainable goals for 2019/2020 season. https://forum.slowtwitch.com/...ost=6944848#p6944848
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Re: Swim - What is your Single Biggest Technique Improvement? [JasoninHalifax] [ In reply to ]
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Agreed.
Yes, you gotta do one with the other, you gotta get in the water frequently but you must also fix your technique.

Just like learning to bike fast:
You gotta put in the miles, but you ALSO have to lose the parachute.

Advanced Aero TopTube Storage for Road, Gravel, & Triathlon...Direct-mount & ZeroSlip-mount, made in the USA.
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"Why would you want to be the last man alive on a sinking ship?"
.....-- on why Tesla shares its patents with competitors.
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Re: Swim - What is your Single Biggest Technique Improvement? [CeeGee90] [ In reply to ]
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I've been told the same thing, I find swimming 4 to 5 times a week makes me faster than swimming 2 to 3 times.
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Re: Swim - What is your Single Biggest Technique Improvement? [CeeGee90] [ In reply to ]
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CeeGee90 wrote:
MTL, Thanks for the input! I definitely feel like breathing is holding me back. Problem is I can't seem to find reliable sources that agree on best technique (some say hold all, exhale big right before breath, others say slow steady stream of bubbles). How would you succinctly describe your approach to breathing? I.e., something I can think about while I practice.

Sometimes images and someone can explain better than I do... found this video that describes basically what I'm personally doing in terms of exhaling (nose and mouth prior to breath)...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GJikb2gnOf4

There's also an example of a sprinter doing is breathing pattern if you are more in short swim events... ;)

Again, going back to your initial post... for me breathing is my biggest limiter. Once I will get better at it, will be able to fix my other stroke flaws by not having to deal of lack of air.
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Re: Swim - What is your Single Biggest Technique Improvement? [CeeGee90] [ In reply to ]
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80% of your swim improvements will come from the underwater pull. I was told this years ago by Sheila Taormina and it turned out to be true, along with increased volume.


I did some tubing drills (search Youtube using Sheila T/tubing drill) for dry land work which helped my form.


I do very few long continous swims. You need to learn how to swim hard and fast. Do 50's, 75's, 100's etc. at a very hard effort. Do sets of 5 x 100 for example at a 20-30 second rest interval, but go hard. Over time try to come in quicker, come in at 1:35 or better for a set of 5, then when those are more easily achievable then go for 1:30 and so on.


Don't overthink workouts, do a warmup, then bang out a bunch of 50's, 100's etc. I learned that from following Joel Filliol's recommendations.


This approach took me from 1:40/100 yd swims at sprint distance to 1:25/100 yd swims at Olympic to Half and full distance swims.

2020: IMSG | IM70.3 Des Moines |
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Re: Swim - What is your Single Biggest Technique Improvement? [MTL] [ In reply to ]
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MTL wrote:
CeeGee90 wrote:
MTL, Thanks for the input! I definitely feel like breathing is holding me back. Problem is I can't seem to find reliable sources that agree on best technique (some say hold all, exhale big right before breath, others say slow steady stream of bubbles). How would you succinctly describe your approach to breathing? I.e., something I can think about while I practice.

Sometimes images and someone can explain better than I do... found this video that describes basically what I'm personally doing in terms of exhaling (nose and mouth prior to breath)...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GJikb2gnOf4

There's also an example of a sprinter doing is breathing pattern if you are more in short swim events... ;)

Again, going back to your initial post... for me breathing is my biggest limiter. Once I will get better at it, will be able to fix my other stroke flaws by not having to deal of lack of air.

snorkel.

Sometimes, a problem with breathing isn't really a problem that is fixed by focusing on fixing breathing. It's something else causing the breathing issue.

Swimming Workout of the Day: http://forum.slowtwitch.com/...ost=5784860#5784860;
Favourite Swim Sets: http://forum.slowtwitch.com/...m.cgi?;post=5004659;
Unattainable goals for 2019/2020 season. https://forum.slowtwitch.com/...ost=6944848#p6944848
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Re: Swim - What is your Single Biggest Technique Improvement? [TrierinKC] [ In reply to ]
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TrierinKC wrote:
80% of your swim improvements will come from the underwater pull.

This is it. Hands close to your body and pull hard. Make sure your palms go all the way to your hip to get extra thrust.
Lengthen, catch, pull, follow through and repeat.
If you don't feel the water on your palm, you are not pulling hard enough.
Feel the water on your palm, not on your fingers. That way you use your lats rather than shoulder and arm.
I had a breakthrough a couple of weeks ago after the lesson.
I've been doing things wrong and no one was able to explain me correctly.
It's not about how fast you kick or move your arms.
It's about how much you can pull efficiently.
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Re: Swim - What is your Single Biggest Technique Improvement? [JasoninHalifax] [ In reply to ]
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JasoninHalifax wrote:
MTL wrote:
CeeGee90 wrote:
MTL, Thanks for the input! I definitely feel like breathing is holding me back. Problem is I can't seem to find reliable sources that agree on best technique (some say hold all, exhale big right before breath, others say slow steady stream of bubbles). How would you succinctly describe your approach to breathing? I.e., something I can think about while I practice.


Sometimes images and someone can explain better than I do... found this video that describes basically what I'm personally doing in terms of exhaling (nose and mouth prior to breath)...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GJikb2gnOf4

There's also an example of a sprinter doing is breathing pattern if you are more in short swim events... ;)

Again, going back to your initial post... for me breathing is my biggest limiter. Once I will get better at it, will be able to fix my other stroke flaws by not having to deal of lack of air.


snorkel.

Sometimes, a problem with breathing isn't really a problem that is fixed by focusing on fixing breathing. It's something else causing the breathing issue.

Until we get to watch a swim video of OP, everyone here is pure speculating and trying to give his best advice! ;)

So CeeGee90 if you really want advice that's really going to help you and serious about improving (just not I wish to get faster)... post a swim video! I know everyone will criticize your style but nothing like a Lionel thread at the end of the process you will actually get good hints for free!
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Re: Swim - What is your Single Biggest Technique Improvement? [CeeGee90] [ In reply to ]
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I was a front of the pack swimmer, got into years of lots of volume, masters' program with terrific coach; still, I got stuck, actually slowed down a bit. Sounds too cheap and lacking in special sauce, but it helped me tremendously to pull out of my masters routine and run through the "Guppies" workouts thing on here. Focusing on reach and balance and swimming straight. Really, just focusing rather than grinding. Got my mojo back and regained some of the speed of my youth.
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Re: Swim - What is your Single Biggest Technique Improvement? [CeeGee90] [ In reply to ]
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Things I did to get my IM swim to sub 1hr:


Did a TON of

A steady diet of:
- paddle/buoy work.
- 25's and 50's interspersed with all out 200's.
- hour of power: as many 100's as I could do on as even pace as possible.

flip turns - don't be a lazy triathlete, learn how to do them.

bilateral breathing only

changing from 6 beat to 4 beat, then correcting my 4 beat from 1-2, 1-2 to 1-2-1, 2

None of these things are technique, but my technique continually improved.
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