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this_guy32

Swim plateau: how to break through

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4 minutes ago, pieman said:

30 secs rest for a 50 is way too much unless you're doing 110%...  

Well yes, max efforts. If i was doing 40 x 50m I'd probably need every one of those 30 secs rest by the time i get to rep 15! 

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On 12/05/2018 at 11:49 AM, RunBrettRun said:

Can't get on board with kicking.  You can get a good position without much kick at all.  The more upper body the less legs the better.  800/1500m swimmers do fark all kicking till the sprint is on and we don't need to sprint at all in our swim. 

Agree all the way. My only swim goal in races these days is 'don't kick'. Test it out in a race - I'm certainly no slower by not kicking but my bike and run is stronger than it's ever been.

Kicking only leads to high heart rate, high blood lactate and unnecessarily fatigued legs. You'll pay the price by the time you get running.

If you're an adult, age grouper and not a natural kicker - don't bother, it'll never happen.

Edited by The Customer
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10 minutes ago, The Customer said:

Agree all the way. My my only swim goal in races these days is 'don't kick'. Test it out in a race - I'm certainly no slower by not kicking but my bike and run is stronger than it's ever been.

Kicking only leads to high heart rate, high blood lactate and unnecessarily fatigued legs. You'll pay the price by the time you get running.

If you're an adult, age grouper and not a natural kicker - don't bother, it'll never happen.

This is what I have been told. This is the way I aim to train. I am not going to Kona. But it friggin works for me. Each to their own. 

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10 hours ago, this_guy32 said:

Well yes, max efforts. If i was doing 40 x 50m I'd probably need every one of those 30 secs rest by the time i get to rep 15! 

Assuming 40x50m is more to work a steady state pace so be looking at 10 secs rest max..

Edit to add,  i am nowhere near a 60 min IM swimmer so are you wanting to improve this speed which would translate to what your 20 x 100m time off 10 secs rest is or are you wanting to just be able to do a few really fast 100s with 30 secs rest just for shits and giggles?  Cos they'll need very different training plans

 

Edited by pieman

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1 hour ago, pieman said:

Assuming 40x50m is more to work a steady state pace so be looking at 10 secs rest max..

Edit to add,  i am nowhere near a 60 min IM swimmer so are you wanting to improve this speed which would translate to what your 20 x 100m time off 10 secs rest is or are you wanting to just be able to do a few really fast 100s with 30 secs rest just for shits and giggles?  Cos they'll need very different training plans

 

Exactly my question. Do you want to improve your IM time, and think 100m time is relevant, or do you want to improve your 100m time. For the latter, do strength work, paddles, and kick. For the former, sets of 100's, with 10sec break max.

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11 hours ago, The Customer said:

 

Kicking only leads to high heart rate, high blood lactate and unnecessarily fatigued legs. You'll pay the price by the time you get running.

 

This is Shelly Taylor-Smiths 2 beat kick. It's not giving much propulsion, but it's giving her balance and aiding her body position. And it's certainly not going to do anything in the way of fatigue or raising HR. If anything it's going to do the latter. Don't kick = more drag = fatigue. You kick like a 100m sprinter then yeah for sure, you're going to be ruined by the time you get on the bike. Thinking the kick is all about propulsion is not understanding it at all. And again what happens if you have someone race 90% of the time in a wetsuit, they don't kick and then they race in a no wetsuit swim?

 

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12 minutes ago, zed said:

This is Shelly Taylor-Smiths 2 beat kick. It's not giving much propulsion, but it's giving her balance and aiding her body position. And it's certainly not going to do anything in the way of fatigue or raising HR. If anything it's going to do the latter. Don't kick = more drag = fatigue. You kick like a 100m sprinter then yeah for sure, you're going to be ruined by the time you get on the bike. Thinking the kick is all about propulsion is not understanding it at all. And again what happens if you have someone race 90% of the time in a wetsuit, they don't kick and then they race in a no wetsuit swim?

 

she who must not be named....

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1 hour ago, pieman said:

she who must not be named....

haha yeah not my most favourite person at the moment... I like her kick though!

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Thanks for that Cat Lady. Some interesting stuff!

 

 

The increased drag of non swimmers is generally from having both poor kick mechanics and not knowing how to adjust body position using the upper part of their body.

It is not that difficult to kick from the hip, nor to improve plantarflexion, but most triathletes kick from the knee and have ankles locked almost at 90 degrees! The kick is not really that relevant for direct forward progress per se in most parts of the race, but I believe it critical to help the body move past the ‘paddle’ in a coordinated manner (more on this later). Once the kick is sorted the body position normally improves, but additional work (assuming the swimmer has enough thoracic/shoulder range) around the head and torso can improve the body position and reduce the drag further. Simplistically, push the torso and head (together) into the water a bit more and hey presto, better body position irrespective of everything else. 

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8 minutes ago, zed said:

Thanks for that Cat Lady. Some interesting stuff!

 

 

The increased drag of non swimmers is generally from having both poor kick mechanics and not knowing how to adjust body position using the upper part of their body.

It is not that difficult to kick from the hip, nor to improve plantarflexion, but most triathletes kick from the knee and have ankles locked almost at 90 degrees! The kick is not really that relevant for direct forward progress per se in most parts of the race, but I believe it critical to help the body move past the ‘paddle’ in a coordinated manner (more on this later). Once the kick is sorted the body position normally improves, but additional work (assuming the swimmer has enough thoracic/shoulder range) around the head and torso can improve the body position and reduce the drag further. Simplistically, push the torso and head (together) into the water a bit more and hey presto, better body position irrespective of everything else. 

 I have read/heard that you can go to far with this... people trying to get their head too low end up like a submarine rather than piercing through water..?

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25 minutes ago, pieman said:

 I have read/heard that you can go to far with this... people trying to get their head too low end up like a submarine rather than piercing through water..?

Yeah I don't think there's any "hey presto" moment when you push your body/head down or try and swim downhill. It will probably feel retarded and slow you down even more. But what will happen is you'll feel your legs pop up and hit the surface. It's like swimming with a kickboard, head above up the water, legs are down, go face down with the kickboard and you'll feel your legs quickly float to the surface. 

Forgetting the kick for a second, getting decent body position is tricky. I think it's a matter of tinkerng around with a few things and seeing what works:

- head down, neutral position ( swim with my head up actually, but I guess for most head down is a good thing to start with

- tense your core

- tense your butt cheeks

- elongate the body

- push the back of your pelvis up, like you're having sex and backing onto someone. If you know what I mean

- always breathing, either in or out, never holding your breath

- try and swim downhill

- float in the pool and work on all of those. A lot of guys won't be able to achieve neutral buoyancy because of our denser muscles, so floating your legs will still drop a bit, but you play around with those things you'll see how they affect your buoyancy

Don't worry about how shit it feels, get the legs to float and you've pretty much booked your ticket to the next Olympics.

 

 

 

 

Edited by zed
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Zed, I love that Shelley Taylor Smith vid. Parts I love about that is her straight arm recovery - -none of that chicken wings/finger tip drag malarkey that most coaches seem to want to instill in adults that don't come from a swimming childhood.  Straight arm style makes the wide, shoulder width hand entry a dead cert every time. Her push is amazing.

Whilst I get what you mean about the presence of her efficient 'kick', Shelley doesn't have to ride and run when she gets out of the water and has spent many years swimming (I dunno?) 100km weeks? Most age groupers would be lucky to swim 10k per week.

You could also adopt a butterfly body action to add power without using the usual kick muscles. It's more of a whipping action from head to toe.

Edited by The Customer
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OK - my simple two step plan to increase your 100M pace.

1. Add one extra session per week. Given what you are currently doing I suggest 100M repeats. Start off with 5x100M on 2 minutes. Then straight into 5 x 100M on 1:55. Then 5 x 100M on 1:50 etcetra until you can’t make your target repeat time. By the looks of things I reckon you should make 1:35s to start off with. Then add in ‘the championship set’, per below.

2. Every time you swim add in the following ‘championship set’ after your main set, as follows:

4 x 100M on 2 minutes, with the following repeats:

1st 100 - 50 hard, 50 easy.

2nd 100 - 50 easy, 50 hard.

3rd 100 - all easy

last 100 - timed all out hard as you can fast as possible effort. 

There - one extra swim session per week and an extra 400M swimming per session should see you drop your 100M pace by 5-10 seconds in about 6-8 weeks.

For an extra bonus - repeat the 3rd and last 100M!

enjoy.

 

Edited by Andrew #1
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On 14/05/2018 at 3:33 PM, The Customer said:

Zed, I love that Shelley Taylor Smith vid. Parts I love about that is her straight arm recovery - -none of that chicken wings/finger tip drag malarkey that most coaches seem to want to instill in adults that don't come from a swimming childhood.  Straight arm style makes the wide, shoulder width hand entry a dead cert every time. Her push is amazing.

Whilst I get what you mean about the presence of her efficient 'kick', Shelley doesn't have to ride and run when she gets out of the water and has spent many years swimming (I dunno?) 100km weeks? Most age groupers would be lucky to swim 10k per week.

You could also adopt a butterfly body action to add power without using the usual kick muscles. It's more of a whipping action from head to toe.

Lets refer to her from now on as the dark lord. 

 

 

 

Edited by zed

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The original question was about breaking through a plateau - the real simple answer is frequency - people who swim well - swim a lot

The sessions don't have to be long but frequent - in a month of six swims a week a noticeable lift in performance will come - we can't steadily improve in swimming cycling and running all at the same time   - sometimes it makes sense to maintain the other sports with a little less work while we build the weak one up to a more acceptable level 😎

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1 minute ago, AP said:

The original question was about breaking through a plateau - the real simple answer is frequency - people who swim well - swim a lot

The sessions don't have to be long but frequent - in a month of six swims a week a noticeable lift in performance will come - we can't steadily improve in swimming cycling and running all at the same time   - sometimes it makes sense to maintain the other sports with a little less work while we build the weak one up to a more acceptable level 😎

How long should these 6 swims a week be? is there any value if a few of them are only 1-1.5km due to time issues?

 

(I know I know, get up earlier, you dont want it enough etc...)

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Even a 800m session is of value if that's all you can fit in - the important thing is that the technique is good - you're reinforcing good technique - it's more productive to do 1,000m of good technique than a 5,000m session where the last 2,000m of it is shit - you only become a better swimmer by practising good technique

Sometimes I tell someone to get out and have a shower - because all they're doing is reinforcing bad technique 🙄

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8 minutes ago, pieman said:

How long should these 6 swims a week be? is there any value if a few of them are only 1-1.5km due to time issues?

 

(I know I know, get up earlier, you dont want it enough etc...)

When I've swam when time poor and can only manage say 1.5km, it would be all hard. So essentially a main set. 500m hard then 10 x 100s.

 

 

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Swim in the rain. You'll get tougher. If your pool is indoors get a new pool.

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I think from my first stroke every time I am reinforcing bad technique and it just gets worse the longer I go on...

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38 minutes ago, pieman said:

I think from my first stroke every time I am reinforcing bad technique and it just gets worse the longer I go on...

Swimming right...? LOL 

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