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Vasa trainer
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Does anyone use a vasa trainer to assist in swim training? There is only one pool in our community and due to lap lane limitations I often only get in 2 swims per week. I was looking into getting a vasa to get in an additional 1-2 swim workouts as I would like to improve my swim times.
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Re: Vasa trainer [bellau] [ In reply to ]
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i purchased one before i started my current training plan.

my constraint was the same as yours. getting in the water was close to impossible for me.

the vasa has turned into my fav piece of equipment in the home gym. my swim endurance has went through the roof. seeing your metrics in real time on the little screen has verified this for me. please note, however, there is zero replacement for getting in the water. you can work on technique on the vasa, but you can not feel how it effects you in the water, and unfortunately there is zero work on the lower part of your body.

to me personally if you cant get in the water a lot get one of these (and even if you can, i think having one is beneficial), but do not expect it to completely replace actual swimming.

2020: CapTex Tri Oly, Cypress TX Sprint, Oilman 70.3
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Re: Vasa trainer [bellau] [ In reply to ]
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I have one being delivered today. woo.

Instagram | floathammerholdon
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Re: Vasa trainer [cloy] [ In reply to ]
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youre gonna love it.

2020: CapTex Tri Oly, Cypress TX Sprint, Oilman 70.3
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Re: Vasa trainer [damon.lebeouf] [ In reply to ]
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I hope so. I'm a complete trainerroad addict and as such, my bike is by far my strength. I'm hoping to use trainerroad as guidance for my swim to eventually see similar improvements.

Instagram | floathammerholdon
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Re: Vasa trainer [cloy] [ In reply to ]
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my advice is dont get on the thing and aimlessly swim yardage. structured training is where its at.

2020: CapTex Tri Oly, Cypress TX Sprint, Oilman 70.3
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Re: Vasa trainer [damon.lebeouf] [ In reply to ]
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Hi, I'm thinking of getting one too. Do you have the ANT+ version?

If so, can you share your workflow setup on how you get your workout data into things like Strava or TrainingPeaks to log?

Thank you
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Re: Vasa trainer [sigmachi] [ In reply to ]
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i do have an ant+ model, however i havnt worried about actually capturing the data from it. it was my initial intent, and i would really like to, but there isnt any really easy way to do it. every method ive seen requires you to essentially use something as it wasnt intended.

i wish vasa would make their own native app that you could sync up with trainingpeaks. they built something that can dump a lot of good data somewhere, but no good avenue to do it.

im a data junkie and at first it really bothered me, but i kinda let go and just let my training results be what i focus on, not so much about numbers.

2020: CapTex Tri Oly, Cypress TX Sprint, Oilman 70.3
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Re: Vasa trainer [bellau] [ In reply to ]
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The Vasa is a great tool for those who can't get in the pool. I can keep my swimming level constant by purely swimming on ERG and only tossing in a couple of swims before a race.
Technique on the Vasa is important though at is easy to engage the wrong muscles (as it is in swimming).
Some tips:
- damper door 3 compares best to swim water resistance
- focus on high spm before upping the resistance (I try to stay 50+ spm)
- focus on increasing armspeed during each stroke (start from vertical catch position and then explosively pull with lats keeping handpalms rearward oriented and not upward)
- don't stretch out the arms all out to the front for start of stroke to mimic catch - it is hard on shoulders. Start. With pull phase immediately.

I'll see if I can make some videos when I am back from Kona. There is a ton of info on the Vasa site as well though

Just my 2c.

Sam
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Re: Vasa trainer [damon.lebeouf] [ In reply to ]
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Excellent advice! FYI we just posted a new blog article about Building Your Own Workouts. Go to Vasatrainer dot com and click on Blog.
Thanks!
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Re: Vasa trainer [bellau] [ In reply to ]
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Vasa trainer looks cool... but could one get a similar workout by using resistance bands?
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Re: Vasa trainer [mcombat] [ In reply to ]
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Very fair question. I'd argue no.

the problem with resistance bands is how much the tension changes as you stretch it out. In the front part of your stroke you're getting very little resistance, toward the back end, a lot. I say this as someone who purchased a flat bench and stretch cords without thinking this one all the way through.

Now, Vasa trainers (non-erg) has tension bands on it (underneath), but you're also pulling your body weight up a gentle slope, which gives some more resistance.

____________________________________________________
Ever Grateful, Ever True.
Boiler Up.
Hammer Down.
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Re: Vasa trainer [mcombat] [ In reply to ]
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what the Vasa does brilliantly is develop power in the first part of the pull stroke. at least that's where i've noticed it's helped me the most.

on the SwimErg model, there are a variety of tension levels (1 thru 7). i'll rarely use the 7 setting. warm up in the 1 setting, most of the workout is spent in the 2-4 setting and any overloading sets are done in 5-7.

Lars Finanger
Odyssey SwimRun
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Re: Vasa trainer [damon.lebeouf] [ In reply to ]
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damon.lebeouf wrote:
i do have an ant+ model, however i havnt worried about actually capturing the data from it. it was my initial intent, and i would really like to, but there isnt any really easy way to do it. every method ive seen requires you to essentially use something as it wasnt intended.
Given that there's no official swim dynamics / swim power ANT+ profile, Vasa did what they could and re-purposed the bike profiles to fit the data coming out of their power meter. Yes, it would be nice if Garmin / Strava / TrainingPeaks / … could just ingest the raw FIT files and automagically map any workouts coming in with a Vasa ANT+ manufacturer ID into an "Indoor Swim" workout, maybe even with some field re-naming / post-processing (cadence -> stroke rate, mph speed -> min/100y pace, …)

With the number of Vasa power meters out there, this would have to be a passion project for someone (read: someone at Vasa.)

It would be interesting to know if the current Vasa power meter already yields precise-enough data to generate a "stroke power phase"-like analysis, similar to Pioneer / Garmin pedaling dynamics.
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Re: Vasa trainer [mcombat] [ In reply to ]
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In my opinion, you ought to be able to get most of the benefits with structured workouts that use good pull cords and a metronome. Fundamentally vasa dryland workouts are trying to increase the sustainable aerobic power you can produce using lats and shoulder muscles, in as freestyle-specific a motion as possible. The same should be possible if you use pull cords to 1) focus on power and 2) make the motion and muscle recruitment as freestyle-specific as possible.

Focusing on power means you want to be maximizing your force*displacement per unit time. In practice, that means moderate load at moderate cadence (rather than heavy load at low cadence or low load at high cadence) and as long a pull as you can manage from a standstill. I wrote about estimating power production on pull cords in another thread two months ago (https://forum.slowtwitch.com/...h_cords%3F_P7028269/), which did not get a ton of comments. I have not used pull cords consistently this fall as I was focused on marathon training, but I plan to make a more dedicated attempt to improve with them over the winter. I'll swim occasionally and see if there is any crossover, and if not will bail on the cords and report the results!

Regarding good pull cords: stretchcordz are supposedly constructed to have a linear elastic range from 4 feet to 12 feet of extension -- that is, their resisting force starts at 4 feet (at 8 lb for the green ones that I own) and then increases linearly with extension to 16 lb at 8 feet and 24 lb at 12 feet. If you back up enough from the tethering point, you can get plenty of resistance at the start of the pull, though as the other responders point out the resistance will always increase with additional extension. I don't see this as a huge problem, as you really have no perfect way to reproduce your swim stroke on dryland, and you should primarily be aiming to improve total power. Obviously the vasa is more tuned towards reproducing your swim stroke and getting more pool time is far better still, but for someone like me (I swam once a week for most of this year) I think throwing my hands up and doing nothing would be letting the perfect be the enemy of the good.
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Re: Vasa trainer [twcronin] [ In reply to ]
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Agreed. In my mind, the benefit to the stretch chords isnt so much strengthening the first part of the pull so much as the back muscles responsible for keeping your back in the right position. As an adult onset swimmer, this is the first thing to go when I start to fatigue. Having using the stretch bands has allowed me to delay the point at which my swim form starts to deteriorate.
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Re: Vasa trainer [bellau] [ In reply to ]
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I have a good friend who was an amazing biker and runner and wanted to be a pro triathlete, but his swim was keeping him from really breaking through. He got Vasatrainer and went from 1:45/100m to 1:18 on cruise control. He took 3rd at Chatty in September.

Sure it was not the only thing, but I watched his swim completely get turned around after he got the Vasatrainer. He hosted a camp for us and brought his Vasatrainer and it made a huge difference.

I don't have one, but I am looking into it as my swim needs a lot of work.

It is not just the convenience of having it at home, it is the strength of the pull under the water, and this piece of equipment is strategically designed to increase it.
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Re: Vasa trainer [bradsinnerfire] [ In reply to ]
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Wow! That is me to a T.

Any idea of what his structure looked like? I know how to manage my bike and run, but my 34 min 70.3 swims are keeping me completely out of contention.

Instagram | floathammerholdon
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Re: Vasa trainer [bradsinnerfire] [ In reply to ]
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Thanks for posting that story. Would you be willing to ask your friend to contact us, please? We would very much like to know more details. His experience and specifics of what he did could be useful to others.
Thanks
Rob Sleamaker
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Re: Vasa trainer [Rob Sleamaker] [ In reply to ]
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Hi Rob. My buddy actually says he knows you. Nicholas Chase. He said if you want to reach out via Facebook to feel free. I have watched him go from an Age Grouper to Elite, to Pro and now on the podium at Ironman. Of course, this is over years and years. I did see his swim get much faster after he started focussing on it which included the Vasa Trainer. My wife said she would buy one for me for Xmas, but I am not holding my breath. LOL
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Re: Vasa trainer [ In reply to ]
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Anyone have any idea why all the posts from earlier today were deleted?
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Re: Vasa trainer [el gato] [ In reply to ]
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el gato wrote:
Anyone have any idea why all the posts from earlier today were deleted?

They are all here on my laptop.


"Anyone can be who they want to be IF they have the HUNGER and the DRIVE."
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Re: Vasa trainer [bradsinnerfire] [ In reply to ]
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And for the rest of us? I would really like to see his vasa swim program

BR
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Re: Vasa trainer [damon.lebeouf] [ In reply to ]
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It is a bit of a hassel to get the data and the workflow can be cumbersome. What works for me (and your yardage might vary):
  1. Create a bike workout labeled VASA workout and set the time of day that I plan to complete it in roughly so that the order of the workouts in the day are at least in order. That way when my workout uploads, it will pair with that bike workout rather than an actual planned bike workout that may occur later on in the day.
  2. Record the data on my garmin 935 as a bike workout
  3. It uploads to TP/Strava/Garmin connect as a bike work
  4. I go in manually and change it to a swim in all platforms (PITA but oh well its only a few times a week)
  5. Since I have created a seperate swim power "FTP" in TrainingPeaks based on a 5/3 test (this is neither the time or place to go into this or debate that it actually is not really an FTP), the TSS should be calculated based on that number and the data should not be included in my bike power curve.
  6. When it sync to WKO5, I am able to analyze stroke rate, average power, pace, etc. but I am sure to tag it as VASA so that I can analyze the pool swims differently from the Vasa workouts

Not ideal and is an issue but this work flow at least works for me. Fortunately, just because the data is not there doesnt mean that I didnt get a good workout in and the training adaptations did not occur.

I would love the Swim Erg v2 have a Bluetooth chip in addition to the ANT+ as well as an app (iOS or Garmin IQ) that allows for it to be uploaded as a swim workout. Apps have to be updated frequently though so can be a hassel but IMO it would be a worthy investment (I am very baised though).
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Re: Vasa trainer [karmatraining] [ In reply to ]
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Thanks! That's a great tip on creating the workout in TP as a bike workout, that way when the actual is uploaded from the Garmin it syncs up properly. I'll definitely have to give that a try.
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