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coachdaz

Improving OW swim ability

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Looking forward at an angle. Waterline mid-forehead. I focus in on being able to see the feet. If all I can see is bubbles I change the rate up another gear.

 

Have you tried swimming off someone's hip? Nearly as effective and much easier to monitor and control body position and your own intrapersonal sensations (heartrate, breathing, lactate etc.).

 

For me there's more chance of getting knocked around and hit while on a hip but I'll give more of a chance this Summer.

 

Just seems that everthing I feel is right to practice in the pool gets thrown out in open water situations. Head position is the biggie for me. It's clear that great open water surf swimmers have a vastly different set of skills and body position compared to what gets me by in the pool.

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For me there's more chance of getting knocked around and hit while on a hip but I'll give more of a chance this Summer.

 

Just seems that everthing I feel is right to practice in the pool gets thrown out in open water situations. Head position is the biggie for me. It's clear that great open water surf swimmers have a vastly different set of skills and body position compared to what gets me by in the pool.

 

 

True about the hip. Worth a crack in a smaller race as an experiement.

 

Head position is important as is adaptability to a changing environment. I wouldn't say experienced openwater swimmers have a vastly different set of skills - just more comfortable in that race setting.

 

The more races you do with an experimental head on - the more experience and intrinsic understanding will take place.

 

Another X factor is aggression and race intuition/proactivity.

 

I coached a girl that could match any ITU girl over a km in a pool; but got her arse kicked in each international event simply through not fighting for her spot and simply hanging tough on feet - regardless of style, technique or any other kinesthetic factor.

 

It takes time. You are very sharp TC. You'll no doubt work it out soon enough.

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Nice of you to share your undoubted professional expertise with us Daz. Any further gems you feel you can throw our way at any time would be much appreciated.

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It seems he knows a thing or two about swimming, excellent.

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Looking forward at an angle. Waterline mid-forehead. I focus in on being able to see the feet. If all I can see is bubbles I change the rate up another gear.

 

 

 

 

Coach, you obviously need to have your head in ths position to see the feet and the bubbles but if you wanted to smack out a good TT in the pool (non wetsuit) would you have your head down more looking at the bottom of the pool?

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"At the start, he wiggled his torso (no lateral stability to speak of), crossed over centreline on entry, kicked from the knee on one leg and didn’t kick at all with the other, pulled the water with dropped elbows, breathed late and out of alignment, and had terrible body position in the water and a really low stroke rate of 32/min"

 

And he was still swimming 13.45-14 for 1k!!

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I seem to swim a heap better off the front/in clear water. That way my stroke isnt impeded by feet in ftont of me and i can set the pace. It usually means i get knocked around less.

I was really disappointed in myself to swim so poorly in my bigger races towards the end of last summer (m'ba & sydney), especially as i had been swimming so well in shorter races all summer and getting better. I just lost it.

 

This stiff from darren is great, it was this time last year i was rebuilding my swimming, so now i can further refine it to be even stronger in pack and OW scenarios.

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Coach@, or any others with relevant knowledge,

I've always subscribed to the theory that having some-one sit my toes helps my speed as well, as I'm not pulling the water up behind me. I was always a better open water swimmer than pool swimmer, so sometimes found myself at the pointy end in the swim. If you know the guy isn't going to nail you in the ride/run, is it worth not trying to drop him off to open the gap?

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Glad it was of some use. The customer..spot on with your explanation to Mick; ex-hasbeen: in the pool we see the front person of a pack is actually slowed down marginally...wave drag is the issue. Up to a second per 100 is what my athletes tell me (did I say complain).. Mick (coach@triathlon)...I spoke with the Oz slalom canoe coach and former 10 time world champ yrs ago and they have the same problems with the paddle in the eddies around rocks...tricky business getting 'genuine purchase' in turbulent water.

I'm pretty busy up to the big dance in London, but if Mick wants to compile a few questions and email them to me then I will do my best. I don't do much writing of my thoughts because I rarely get asked, but here are a few things that will give a bit of an insight: http://www.coachesinfo.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=82:swimming-open-water&catid=49:swimming-coaching&Itemid=86 and http://triathlon.competitor.com/2012/06/features/the-curious-case-of-darren-smith_55275. There was something else on Slowtwitch a while back also: http://www.slowtwitch.com/Interview/Picking_the_brain_of_Darren_Smith_1893.html I really am not a 'big head' and the interviewers tend to overstate things, but there is some swim stuff in there. Greetings now from Austria (Kitzbuhel WTS race).

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Thanks Coachdaz, great to read how you get the best out of some top pro's. Good luck for your crew in the OG's.

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Liked the stuff about Diaz not concentrating and losing feet. I do this ll the time...think this is too much hard work here, I was happier a minute ago on my Pat. More happy maybe but not faster.

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Was thinking about this topic during my lunchtime swim. I think I do push my torso down & kick from the hips which is good apparently. I also think I grip the water with more than just the hand? But my best 1km time is 16:45!

 

Two questions cropped up:

 

1. How come I can do 100m repeats on a 2min cycle with a pull buoy & no kicking just as fast as when I swim normally ?

2. The bloke in the lane next to me, his whole head goes underwater between strokes - that ain't right is it?

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Was thinking about this topic during my lunchtime swim. I think I do push my torso down & kick from the hips which is good apparently. I also think I grip the water with more than just the hand? But my best 1km time is 16:45!

 

Two questions cropped up:

 

1. How come I can do 100m repeats on a 2min cycle with a pull buoy & no kicking just as fast as when I swim normally ?

2. The bloke in the lane next to me, his whole head goes underwater between strokes - that ain't right is it?

 

The answer to the first is probably that your normal kick is not powerful, & your bottom half sits low in the water. The pull bouy lifts it giving you a better position in the water.

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Was thinking about this topic during my lunchtime swim. I think I do push my torso down & kick from the hips which is good apparently. I also think I grip the water with more than just the hand? But my best 1km time is 16:45!

 

Two questions cropped up:

 

1. How come I can do 100m repeats on a 2min cycle with a pull buoy & no kicking just as fast as when I swim normally ?

2. The bloke in the lane next to me, his whole head goes underwater between strokes - that ain't right is it?

 

G'day Thommo,

 

1. Probably because your kick is not offering you that much propulsion (which is normal anyway), but assists with your streamlining (which is what it should do), just the same as a pull buoy. How well can you kick with just a kickboard?....Can you knock off lap after lap? What is you vertical kick like (that will help you in terms of kicking from the hips)?

2. It's probably more efficient then having a scissor kick or a lower body that drags through the water...If the guy is pushing just his head under the water he is probably lifting lower limbs quite well.

 

The thing to remember is, if you want to turn on the outboard motor it comes at a huge energy cost....the legs are not efficient at all in the water, therefore, your kick should focus on keeping you streamlined, as opposed to propelling you through the water.

 

fluro

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Hit me with some Qs for Daz and I'll compile and send off to him.

 

PM or on here is cool

 

 

A question for daz,

 

Do you active your hip before you start your catch?

 

Is there much propulsion going on at the back end of the stroke....Gary Hall Junior seems to think just let the hand exit naturally as opposed to pushing right back through to the hip?

 

How do you stop someone from breathing late?

 

fluro

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This is awesome!! I'm pretty much the same age as Declan and am at the level he was at before Darren took him on (13:48 1k, down from 14:25 before Mooloolaba)

 

Coach@ and others, just a few questions

 

An issue I've had is breathing late and a low stroke rate, what practices do you employ to correct this?

 

What do you mean by 'kicking from the hip'? Do you mean kicking with a straight leg?

 

What are your thoughts on pull buoys and paddles? one thing I've noticed changing from swimming with a triathlon group (with ITU WTS guys) to a swim squad (with low 16min 1500m guys) is that pull bouys are used about 3 times a week and paddles maybe once, and they are never used in main sets whereas we used PB's and Paddles every session, doing many of our main sets with aids.

 

Just for a point of reference (been doing my own swim block since late April), what sort of mileage and how many sessions was Declan doing a week? (this might be classified info)

 

Again many thanks Darren!!

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G'day Thommo,

 

1. Probably because your kick is not offering you that much propulsion (which is normal anyway), but assists with your streamlining (which is what it should do), just the same as a pull buoy. How well can you kick with just a kickboard?....Can you knock off lap after lap? What is you vertical kick like (that will help you in terms of kicking from the hips)?

2. It's probably more efficient then having a scissor kick or a lower body that drags through the water...If the guy is pushing just his head under the water he is probably lifting lower limbs quite well.

 

The thing to remember is, if you want to turn on the outboard motor it comes at a huge energy cost....the legs are not efficient at all in the water, therefore, your kick should focus on keeping you streamlined, as opposed to propelling you through the water.

 

fluro

 

 

I'm a complete joke with a kickboard - absolutely pathetic.

 

I don't have a scissor kick, and my chicken legs seem to float well. I have been told my body 'waggles' though.

 

I'm still doing your bang for buck set every week ot two, can now do all the 100s in 1:25-30 (was 1:45 when i started).

 

The swim coach who is often there tells me I need to glide more, but I agree with Daz, for open water swimming, gliding is not the way to go.

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1. I'm a complete joke with a kickboard - absolutely pathetic.

 

2. I don't have a scissor kick, and my chicken legs seem to float well. I have been told my body 'waggles' though.

 

I'm still doing your bang for buck set every week ot two, can now do all the 100s in 1:25-30 (was 1:45 when i started).

 

3. The swim coach who is often there tells me I need to glide more, but I agree with Daz, for open water swimming, gliding is not the way to go.

 

 

1. There is your weakness...if you are a complete joke with a kickboard, then it will more than likely be the reason for slowing you down while doing free. if you start doing more kickboard work, you'll correctly this deficiency over time and therefore improve your freestyle efficiency.. 10min with each swim session will suffice.

 

2. WAGGLES? sounds like a fishtale, which means one of your hands is crossing the midline somewhere in the stroke

 

3. Don't glide....it's a crock, there is no free speed in the glide

 

fluro

Edited by fluro2au

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2. WAGGLES? sounds like a fishtale, which means one of your hands is crossing the midline somewhere in the stroke

 

fluro

 

 

Yup, the fishtail. And the same coach kept telling me my left hand crosses my mideline. He told me to aim its entry at the side of the pool, but for some reason I find it hard to keep it out there.

 

Did I mention I tend to veer right ?

 

My kickboard is as bad as you TGL.

Edited by Thommo227

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Thanks for posting this CoachDaz :) I had no idea who you were until a few weeks ago, then read the Triathlete Europe interview and was mightily impressed. I glad you found the time to post here. As Mick says, this is definitely a candidate for TriGold

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What's the bang for buck swim set?

 

 

it is a set Fluro put up in a thread about swim-sets for the time-poor. It is:

 

200m w-up

6x100m as fast as you can on 3 min cycle

100m easy

400m TT

200m c-down

 

First time I did it was out at the Gundi pool on a work trip, thought it would be a cinch. I was wrong!

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Was thinking about this topic during my lunchtime swim. I think I do push my torso down & kick from the hips which is good apparently. I also think I grip the water with more than just the hand? But my best 1km time is 16:45!

 

Two questions cropped up:

 

1. How come I can do 100m repeats on a 2min cycle with a pull buoy & no kicking just as fast as when I swim normally ?

2. The bloke in the lane next to me, his whole head goes underwater between strokes - that ain't right is it?

 

 

My 2 cents. Probably about the same speed because the extra speed you get swimming without a pool bouy from leg propulsion is costing you o2 and tiring you from that perspective. Swimming with a pool bouy is negating the propulsion but you have more o2 to keep those arms turning over harder and quicker hence why you swim about the same speed. - Just a theory......

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