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Brett frommTeam TBB on swimming
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http://www.teamtbb.com/...ask=view&id=1322

Curious about your comments on this concept. I as a very new, poor swimmer want to learn the best way. At 56 , I don't have 10 years of 20K per week in me, especially if most of that 20K, will be inefficient.

Yes, he is successful with his predominantly Ironman focused athletes, and has tons of swim coach experience. However, it seems like most other coaches just have you hammer out sets of 50s or 100s and supposedly at some point you will discover good form.

Help!

Cervelo R3 and Cannondale Synapse, Argon18 Electron Track Bike
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Re: Brett frommTeam TBB on swimming [cervelo-van] [ In reply to ]
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Besides the fact that the article / blog was nearly unreadable, I'm not necessarily buying his thesis.


But this thread is timely - I just got back from my first private swim lesson. DING - the lightbulb came on for me tonight. Holy cr@p, what a difference. In a 30 minute lesson, the coach said I went from 22 strokes per length to 18. At one point as I was doing some of the drills, I was literally smiling under water 'cuz the difference was that noticeable.


Yes, I suppose just getting in the pool with all the toys can make you "faster", but is it the "best" or even a "better" answer? I guess that is the question.

Chicago Cubs - 2016 WORLD SERIES Champions!!!!

"If ever the time should come, when vain and aspiring men shall possess the highest seats in government, our country will stand in need of its experienced patriots to prevent its ruin." - Samuel Adams
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Re: Brett frommTeam TBB on swimming [Power13] [ In reply to ]
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Power13 wrote:
But this thread is timely - I just got back from my first private swim lesson. DING - the lightbulb came on for me tonight. Holy cr@p, what a difference. In a 30 minute lesson, the coach said I went from 22 strokes per length to 18. At one point as I was doing some of the drills, I was literally smiling under water 'cuz the difference was that noticeable.

That's awesome! What were the time gains you made in that session alone?
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Re: Brett frommTeam TBB on swimming [The Authority] [ In reply to ]
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Oh, I have no idea. Besides the fact that my swim fitness sucks right now, we were just working on mechanics, etc. Did a bunch of drills and then she would have me swim 25m...lather, rinse repeat. The real test will obviously be when I try a full workout and how long I can maintain the new, improved mechanics.

I currently swim ~ 2' / 100m. She claimed with the improvements today I should expect to see 1:40 / 100m. yeah, I'll take 5 min over an OLY swim!! We'll see......

But I am very encouraged...like I said, the light bulb came on for me. I just hope it stays on!!

Chicago Cubs - 2016 WORLD SERIES Champions!!!!

"If ever the time should come, when vain and aspiring men shall possess the highest seats in government, our country will stand in need of its experienced patriots to prevent its ruin." - Samuel Adams
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Re: Brett frommTeam TBB on swimming [Power13] [ In reply to ]
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Power13 wrote:
Oh, I have no idea. Besides the fact that my swim fitness sucks right now, we were just working on mechanics, etc. Did a bunch of drills and then she would have me swim 25m...lather, rinse repeat. The real test will obviously be when I try a full workout and how long I can maintain the new, improved mechanics.

I currently swim ~ 2' / 100m. She claimed with the improvements today I should expect to see 1:40 / 100m. yeah, I'll take 5 min over an OLY swim!! We'll see......

But I am very encouraged...like I said, the light bulb came on for me. I just hope it stays on!!

Would be interested to see if that's in fact true.

I highly doubt you'll drop from 2'/100m to 1:40 unless you really ramp up your swim fitness AND technique simultaneously, and in a really major way. Unless your 2:00/100 was a sandbag meaning it was your pace after a major time off with no real practice getting back into the game, and that you reallly had the potential to easily swim near 1:40/100 even without the lesson just by getting a few pool sessions in.
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Re: Brett frommTeam TBB on swimming [lightheir] [ In reply to ]
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Dunno...we'll see. My 2:00 / 100m time is pretty spot-on for my swim times. I suck, no doubt about it. But I am also a self-taught swimmer....and I have always suspected my technique could be improved.

Agreed that 20' / 100m is huge....we'll see if I can get there. The reality is that I'll be thrilled with 1'50".

I guess my overall point was that I'm not certain that Sutton's idea of "Forget technique" is the right one.....some simple changes made a huge difference for me, and I didn't have to slap at the water for tens of thousands of meters to see improvements.

Chicago Cubs - 2016 WORLD SERIES Champions!!!!

"If ever the time should come, when vain and aspiring men shall possess the highest seats in government, our country will stand in need of its experienced patriots to prevent its ruin." - Samuel Adams
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Re: Brett frommTeam TBB on swimming [Power13] [ In reply to ]
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Power13 wrote:
I guess my overall point was that I'm not certain that Sutton's idea of "Forget technique" is the right one.....

You didn't understand what Sutto said. It's not about forgetting technique. It's about learning the technique and gaining the fitness you need in order to achieve your triathlon swimming goals.
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Re: Brett frommTeam TBB on swimming [The Authority] [ In reply to ]
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The Authority wrote:
Power13 wrote:

I guess my overall point was that I'm not certain that Sutton's idea of "Forget technique" is the right one.....


You didn't understand what Sutto said. It's not about forgetting technique. It's about learning the technique and gaining the fitness you need in order to achieve your triathlon swimming goals.


Fair enough....like I said, the thing was damn near unreadable. ;-)

I'll go back and read it tomorrow.

Chicago Cubs - 2016 WORLD SERIES Champions!!!!

"If ever the time should come, when vain and aspiring men shall possess the highest seats in government, our country will stand in need of its experienced patriots to prevent its ruin." - Samuel Adams
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Re: Brett frommTeam TBB on swimming [Power13] [ In reply to ]
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Power13 wrote:
Dunno...we'll see. My 2:00 / 100m time is pretty spot-on for my swim times. I suck, no doubt about it. But I am also a self-taught swimmer....and I have always suspected my technique could be improved.

Agreed that 20' / 100m is huge....we'll see if I can get there. The reality is that I'll be thrilled with 1'50".

I guess my overall point was that I'm not certain that Sutton's idea of "Forget technique" is the right one.....some simple changes made a huge difference for me, and I didn't have to slap at the water for tens of thousands of meters to see improvements.

-----

Yes but you have to understand Sutto's Aussie slang..We over-exaggerate everything so when he says " slapping the water" it probrably isn't nearly as bad as what you might imagine...

I believe swim fitness is a huge issue with age groupers and if they can push themselves harder in workouts by using toys then go for it. and no everyone,I'm not saying technique doesn't matter..

---
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Re: Brett frommTeam TBB on swimming [Power13] [ In reply to ]
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Is this swimlabs? Or something similar? I'm amazed at what those guys can do. I've had several of those moments myself. I just had to brag that two weeks ago this happened to me and I dropped 5 seconds off of my 100yd times. Unfortunately that doesn't translate so well to LCM but I'm hoping it will soon ;)
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Re: Brett frommTeam TBB on swimming [The Authority] [ In reply to ]
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"But the strength of my swim program was rammed home to me while on camp with a few of our true believers, who have improved their swim immensely since ditching the technique method for the toys method."

"Meanwhile another 47 min non-wetsuit IM swimmer joined the fray in the form of Mathias Hecht. Now Mathias’ stroke makes Stephen look like Michael Phelps, it is off balance, breathes on the wrong side, gets nearly as many strokes in as Stephen."

"People, I can only tell you the way it is. You race in a wetsuit most of the time. Get the paddles on, pull buoy between your legs and just get after it. As Bella says, “I used to spend an hour and a half fussing about trying to do all the perfect technique contortionist things in the water gliding and stretching. But once I just got in, got on with it, stopped thinking about technique"

Where exactly did he say anything about learning the technique. He openly advocates ditching technique for paddles, pull buoy and band.
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Re: Brett frommTeam TBB on swimming [Power13] [ In reply to ]
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Power13 wrote:
Besides the fact that the article / blog was nearly unreadable, I'm not necessarily buying his thesis.


But this thread is timely - I just got back from my first private swim lesson. DING - the lightbulb came on for me tonight. Holy cr@p, what a difference. In a 30 minute lesson, the coach said I went from 22 strokes per length to 18. At one point as I was doing some of the drills, I was literally smiling under water 'cuz the difference was that noticeable.


Yes, I suppose just getting in the pool with all the toys can make you "faster", but is it the "best" or even a "better" answer? I guess that is the question.

Just send me 1000 USD over the internet and I will give you a secret technique to swim without any strokes. Not fast but "efficient" : www.stupid-ripoff.com (BTW you will need a top secret training toy for it: www.kickboard.com)

The only problem is, that there are no races, where efficiency is converted in the minutes you will loose ...
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Re: Brett frommTeam TBB on swimming [Power13] [ In reply to ]
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Power13 wrote:
Dunno...we'll see. My 2:00 / 100m time is pretty spot-on for my swim times. I suck, no doubt about it. But I am also a self-taught swimmer....and I have always suspected my technique could be improved.

Agreed that 20' / 100m is huge....we'll see if I can get there. The reality is that I'll be thrilled with 1'50".

I guess my overall point was that I'm not certain that Sutton's idea of "Forget technique" is the right one.....some simple changes made a huge difference for me, and I didn't have to slap at the water for tens of thousands of meters to see improvements.

What were the actual improvements that you made that cut off nearly 15-20sec per 100m instantly?

Short of a huge leg drag in the water, there are very few technique changes I can see that you can accomplish in one single swim session unless you're a truly atrocious swimmer (like 2:30/100m pace) that will offer this kind of gain. Heck, even 5 sec/100 is an enormous gain even for a true 2:00/100 swimmer.
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Re: Brett frommTeam TBB on swimming [Power13] [ In reply to ]
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Agreed re unreadability. Not to be too much of a grammarian, but I wonder if there's a lesson in the text: does he think that writing 'technique' (especially punctuation) is also of limited use?

I don't want to swim like he writes.
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Re: Brett frommTeam TBB on swimming [kennyDalglish] [ In reply to ]
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In reply to --

"Where exactly did he say anything about learning the technique. He openly advocates ditching technique for paddles, pull buoy and band."

==========================

Actually, he has said elsewhere that the toys themselves lead to technique. For example, paddles aren't for strength, they shape your armstroke over time. There's more to it than that but you'd have to scour the forum and articles at teamtbb.com to get the rest. (I'm not affiliated.)





-------
Joe

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Re: Brett frommTeam TBB on swimming [climbslow] [ In reply to ]
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So folks know, Sutton is dislexic. Therefore, grammar and spelling B are not his strengths. Turning out athletes to be winners is.

RE: His thesis. I agree 95% with what he says. But I will argue you need a baseline level of technique before you can pull it off. You just can't show up and bash out 4K sets.

When I started in 1999 in this sport my 1500M was 30 minutes. In twelve months it was 23 flat. I swam 3 times a week/9K tops. For the past 5 or 6 years I have stay around 21 flat. The work to go any faster is offset by the amount of time it will take to do so vs. dedicated to biking and running. So 21 flat it is.

RE: baseline technique. Depends on what weaknesses you have. For me I had a huge crossover issue and my legs flayed a part like a parachute. To correct we did 3 drills:

- kicking on the side
- 1 arm swimming
- swimming right up against the side of pool to point where my elbow hit the wall every stroke.

All to get me on my side like, as the coach said then "a knife through the water". Once we got that nailed down as good enough, it was pull buoy, bands, and straight swim sets with the words "shut up and swim" It was this work that Sutton speaks to.

So, it will depend on what your technique weakness is to what drills to perform to get good enough form to then ramp up the swim sets.

IMO anyway.

@rhyspencer
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Re: Brett frommTeam TBB on swimming [cervelo-van] [ In reply to ]
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From what I gather,and considering the athletes he works with, he is talking about how to turn a 70 min. ironman swimmer into sub 58...not a total beginner
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Re: Brett frommTeam TBB on swimming [rhys] [ In reply to ]
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Rhys, what you wrote and what Sutton wrote in his piece really ring true with me. I'm more or less an adult onset swimmer with pretty decent technique and ability for what it is - it's good enough to use your wording. I made an effort to improve a little bit of technique last year (keeping elbows high, catch and pull). I also made a concerted effort to swim without "toys" like a pull buoy and do sets. You know... those 100/200/400m sets that make you supposedly faster. My times were slower and my swim fitness was worse. I'm going back to the pull buoy and straight swim sets. It just worked better for me (n=1). I'm fine with that considering I'm only doing one non-wetsuit swim this year and it's an Olympic race. My other races are three 70.3's and IMAZ.

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Re: Brett frommTeam TBB on swimming [lightheir] [ In reply to ]
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lightheir wrote:
Power13 wrote:
Dunno...we'll see. My 2:00 / 100m time is pretty spot-on for my swim times. I suck, no doubt about it. But I am also a self-taught swimmer....and I have always suspected my technique could be improved.

Agreed that 20' / 100m is huge....we'll see if I can get there. The reality is that I'll be thrilled with 1'50".

I guess my overall point was that I'm not certain that Sutton's idea of "Forget technique" is the right one.....some simple changes made a huge difference for me, and I didn't have to slap at the water for tens of thousands of meters to see improvements.


What were the actual improvements that you made that cut off nearly 15-20sec per 100m instantly?

Short of a huge leg drag in the water, there are very few technique changes I can see that you can accomplish in one single swim session unless you're a truly atrocious swimmer (like 2:30/100m pace) that will offer this kind of gain. Heck, even 5 sec/100 is an enormous gain even for a true 2:00/100 swimmer.

Well, given that I am an atrocious swimmer......

The biggest change was in my catch - my left arm was entering flat and I was pushing straight down at first. We worked on changing the angle of entry and the catch. Lots of one-armed drills, etc. to highlight the deficiencies in my stroke.

Am I expecting to get in the pool and immediately start hitting 1:40? Hell no. But I feel like it is a realistic goal.
You are guys are focusing way too much on an off-hand comment she made vs. the overall point I was making. We weren't timing anything, I wasn't doing extended sets, etc. But the difference was noticeable and significant. The point is that changing my technique made a huge difference.

Chicago Cubs - 2016 WORLD SERIES Champions!!!!

"If ever the time should come, when vain and aspiring men shall possess the highest seats in government, our country will stand in need of its experienced patriots to prevent its ruin." - Samuel Adams
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Re: Brett frommTeam TBB on swimming [rhys] [ In reply to ]
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rhys wrote:
So folks know, Sutton is dislexic. Therefore, grammar and spelling B are not his strengths. Turning out athletes to be winners is.

So? He's writing for the masses. If he has a known impediment, write out what he wants and give it to an editor to rewrite. It's called professionalism.

If he writes a blog like this that could be helpful, but hardly anyone understands it because the writing is bad, what was the use of the post in the first place?

John



Top notch coaching: Francois and Accelerate3 | Follow on Twitter: LifetimeAthlete |
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Re: Brett frommTeam TBB on swimming [The Authority] [ In reply to ]
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The Authority wrote:
Power13 wrote:

I guess my overall point was that I'm not certain that Sutton's idea of "Forget technique" is the right one.....


You didn't understand what Sutto said. It's not about forgetting technique. It's about learning the technique and gaining the fitness you need in order to achieve your triathlon swimming goals.

I suffered through a re-reading of the article. I stand by my original assessment.

Chicago Cubs - 2016 WORLD SERIES Champions!!!!

"If ever the time should come, when vain and aspiring men shall possess the highest seats in government, our country will stand in need of its experienced patriots to prevent its ruin." - Samuel Adams
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Re: Brett frommTeam TBB on swimming [Devlin] [ In reply to ]
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what was the use of the post in the first place?

__________

Probably to create debate, just like this thread!

@rhyspencer
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Re: Brett frommTeam TBB on swimming [Power13] [ In reply to ]
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I had one of those epiphanies in my first or second year of racing - when I was self taught and before I did any masters.

I took a swim lesson and the person told me I had to "grab the water."

Boom. 1:45/100y working my ass off to 1:20/100y fairly easy.

It is amazing how something completely fundamental slides by us (or at least me) for so long.

Andy
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Re: Brett frommTeam TBB on swimming [kennyDalglish] [ In reply to ]
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kennyDalglish wrote:
"But the strength of my swim program was rammed home to me while on camp with a few of our true believers, who have improved their swim immensely since ditching the technique method for the toys method."

"Meanwhile another 47 min non-wetsuit IM swimmer joined the fray in the form of Mathias Hecht. Now Mathias’ stroke makes Stephen look like Michael Phelps, it is off balance, breathes on the wrong side, gets nearly as many strokes in as Stephen."

"People, I can only tell you the way it is. You race in a wetsuit most of the time. Get the paddles on, pull buoy between your legs and just get after it. As Bella says, “I used to spend an hour and a half fussing about trying to do all the perfect technique contortionist things in the water gliding and stretching. But once I just got in, got on with it, stopped thinking about technique"

Where exactly did he say anything about learning the technique. He openly advocates ditching technique for paddles, pull buoy and band.

Paddles, pull buoy, and band are technique tools. However, unlike drills, *with adults* the former actually effect changes that stick. In other words, if you bang out long sets with a band, you learn good body position and to hold the water for the length of your stroke. Likewise paddles force a proper catch, so over time, they ingrain the muscle memory.

Drills are great for kids (even through HS I'd wager), but after that, you need to use tools - what Brett calls "toys" - to force technical changes. Once you are 20-something, you just don't have the neural plasticity to adapt with drilling, especially given the amount that most triathletes swim.

Brett advocates using tools that force you to change your technique as opposed to drills that try to encourage you to do so. I'm not sure that 100% of every set with paddles and a pull buoy is the best way, but I don't think Brett necessarily advocates that. Maybe -Tex can enlighten us. But I do think that 100% of every set with paddles and a pull buoy is a MUCH better and more productive approach than 100% "technique" focus, drilling, etc. which I how I see a lot of people wasting their time in the water.

I think the basic message is that hard sets with paddles and pull buoy should form the core of your swim sessions, not "drills." And I wholeheartedly agree with that. Swim hard, swim a lot, and use tools to make sure that your technique is good. I.e., especially if you are tired from running and/or biking, paddles and a pull buoy can turn a set that would have been a disaster into a productive workout. Sometimes - a lot of times - your legs are just fried. And you can either slog through or you can use tools to keep your technique solid.

"Non est ad astra mollis e terris via." - Seneca | rappstar.com | FB - Rappstar Racing | IG - @jordanrapp
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Re: Brett frommTeam TBB on swimming [Devlin] [ In reply to ]
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Perhaps it's because I've spent years reading horribly written emails from my dad, but I've read articles/emails written by professional writers that are worse than brett's blog.
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