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this_guy32

Swim plateau: how to break through

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Looking for some tips. I've been stuck at the same speed over 100m for a long time. 

Generally I'll do 1 long swim per week, (usually something like 1km x 3 or 1km, 4 x 500 m.) And 2 other swims that might total 2km each where I do drills, and max efforts among other things. (either 5-10 x 100m max, or build to max, depending on how i'm feeling. I do plenty of core work.

I've tried to build the number of 100m efforts, decrease rest intervals, do 150m efforts, 200m efforts, but pretty much 1:30 over 100m is all I can do. I can maintain that over maybe 8 reps with 30secs rest, but the last 3 reps will be really vomit inducing tough.  

Technique wise, I can definitely improve, but my catch feels pretty solid after drills and I make a point of pull/pushing past the hip. 

I can't join a master's group - there isn't one! Due to location I'm pretty much limited to a warm outdoor 25m pool in the tropics, so I'm lookin for some ideas for things to work on to get a bit more speed. Why? Just because. I just want to be quicker. I have no races coming up... I can still manage 3.8k without wetsuit in sub 60min, but I really want to try to speed up my shorter distance swims. 

Am I looking at this wrong? Should I forget my 100m rep times and perhaps work on my 500m or 1km TT ? 

Any advice  (other than hitting the lap button early! I had thought of that!) would be good! :)

 

 

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heres three things, 

 

25mtrs flat chat, on 30 seconds. drop it to 5 seconds rest once your use to it, not so out of breath,

10 x 50 with a band round your feet.

catch up drill with finger trail at the same time, in the same motion, 10  x 50.

 

assuming you want to get quicker over a 100.

 

paddles, buoy band if its for the longer stuff

 

 

 

Edited by Oompa Loompa

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I started just swimming more often.

5x 1.5 - 2k swims a week.

I went from 1:50 per 100 to 1:38 per 100 in about 3 months

Swimming 3 x a week isn't worth it

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If you're going to swim 3x a week make it 4k min.  Lots of shorter intervals.  40x50m 20x100 etc.

Build to 4x4k.  Your time will come down then.

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46 minutes ago, this_guy32 said:

Looking for some tips. I've been stuck at the same speed over 100m for a long time. 

Generally I'll do 1 long swim per week, (usually something like 1km x 3 or 1km, 4 x 500 m.) And 2 other swims that might total 2km each where I do drills, and max efforts among other things. (either 5-10 x 100m max, or build to max, depending on how i'm feeling. I do plenty of core work.

I've tried to build the number of 100m efforts, decrease rest intervals, do 150m efforts, 200m efforts, but pretty much 1:30 over 100m is all I can do. I can maintain that over maybe 8 reps with 30secs rest, but the last 3 reps will be really vomit inducing tough.  

Technique wise, I can definitely improve, but my catch feels pretty solid after drills and I make a point of pull/pushing past the hip. 

I can't join a master's group - there isn't one! Due to location I'm pretty much limited to a warm outdoor 25m pool in the tropics, so I'm lookin for some ideas for things to work on to get a bit more speed. Why? Just because. I just want to be quicker. I have no races coming up... I can still manage 3.8k without wetsuit in sub 60min, but I really want to try to speed up my shorter distance swims. 

Am I looking at this wrong? Should I forget my 100m rep times and perhaps work on my 500m or 1km TT ? 

Any advice  (other than hitting the lap button early! I had thought of that!) would be good! :)

 

 

What are your OD/70.3/1km TT times? What would you do your 100s on and what time cycle? Do you know what your stroke rate is like?

There isn't a simple answer, it's a complex stroke. Many people are hamstrung by average technique, especially poor body position  and no early catch. Both cause lots of drag and really slow progression. I would suggest:

- get a video analysis done or post on here or ST

- make sure you understand what the drills are for. Sounds stupid, but go to a masters squad and how often do you hear drills explained in laymans terms

- when doing drills, do half a lap of drill then change to freestyle, you carry forward what you were doing in the drill. 

- increase mileage and or intensity. If you're doing 2km with drills, that means you could only be doing 1km of hard work, My old tri squad we would be doing 4.5 -5km for a 90min session, 3 swims a week, plus OWS, so 15 - 17km. You're doing 7km with lots of drills. Drills are critical, but you still need to get in your work. 

- I'm not really squad swimming at the moment, so I tend to do my own sets mostly. And I generally build them around 400s. When squad swimming we would be doing no more than 200m, lots of 100s. I'm finding my overall swim fitness is better with the 400s. My 100s are much slower though!  But I would stick to 50s, 100s, 200s for the time being. Try and get 1 400m in at least if it's a WU or CD I'd still go 75% especially if you're only doing 2km. And with the drills, change them up a bit so you do the drill, but still work hard. i.e 100m 6/16 would be 6/16 25m, free hard 25m, 6/1/6 25m, free hard 25m and done with no fins. 

- ditch the 3 x 1km and 4 x 500, I suspect they're done at cruise pace? 500s could be good, later on down the track?

- Kicking can help with your swimming enormously. Not just for propulsion, but body position. So many people have sinky legs, kicking helps with that. I've seen people with wetsuits still dragging their legs.  10 x 50m kick with 10s rest, no fins, use a snorkel

Can you take 2 - 3 months off biking/running and focus on swimming? Swimming 4 - 5 times a week, 3km+ per session you'll see improvements in 10 days. Or your money back.

 

Edited by zed
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More Open Water swims, ( if possible ). Less worrying about times in the pool and just look at total distance over time in the ocean / river / dam / creek.

You can still do the intervals in OW swims but it is more an approximation by hammering for a minute, or 2 or 3 every 10.

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self test for kick in triathletes: swim 200,  repeat with a pull bouy - if faster you need to work on your kick (a good kick becomes an efficiant kick)

that helps heaps with body position

that helps with speed

(most triathletes fail this test)

 and a general rule to get better at swimming - never dry out (ie swim at least every second day / 4 times a week) - it is a gross motor skill and nothing beats time in the water* (except time in the water with a coach)

* Swimming, not standing at the end chatting.

Edited by trifun
*
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And if your ever ever in the  Shire, one of the Southwell’s is taking a few squads at Sutho pool. He goes ok and is best there is for knowledge transfer. 

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3 hours ago, zed said:

What are your OD/70.3/1km TT times? What would you do your 100s on and what time cycle? Do you know what your stroke rate is like?

There isn't a simple answer, it's a complex stroke. Many people are hamstrung by average technique, especially poor body position  and no early catch. Both cause lots of drag and really slow progression. I would suggest:

- get a video analysis done or post on here or ST

- make sure you understand what the drills are for. Sounds stupid, but go to a masters squad and how often do you hear drills explained in laymans terms

- when doing drills, do half a lap of drill then change to freestyle, you carry forward what you were doing in the drill. 

- increase mileage and or intensity. If you're doing 2km with drills, that means you could only be doing 1km of hard work, My old tri squad we would be doing 4.5 -5km for a 90min session, 3 swims a week, plus OWS, so 15 - 17km. You're doing 7km with lots of drills. Drills are critical, but you still need to get in your work. 

- I'm not really squad swimming at the moment, so I tend to do my own sets mostly. And I generally build them around 400s. When squad swimming we would be doing no more than 200m, lots of 100s. I'm finding my overall swim fitness is better with the 400s. My 100s are much slower though!  But I would stick to 50s, 100s, 200s for the time being. Try and get 1 400m in at least if it's a WU or CD I'd still go 75% especially if you're only doing 2km. And with the drills, change them up a bit so you do the drill, but still work hard. i.e 100m 6/16 would be 6/16 25m, free hard 25m, 6/1/6 25m, free hard 25m and done with no fins. 

- ditch the 3 x 1km and 4 x 500, I suspect they're done at cruise pace? 500s could be good, later on down the track?

- Kicking can help with your swimming enormously. Not just for propulsion, but body position. So many people have sinky legs, kicking helps with that. I've seen people with wetsuits still dragging their legs.  10 x 50m kick with 10s rest, no fins, use a snorkel

Can you take 2 - 3 months off biking/running and focus on swimming? Swimming 4 - 5 times a week, 3km+ per session you'll see improvements in 10 days. Or your money back.

 

Mate, I watched you swim past. 

**** me you rip your arm through the water. Awesome stuff. 

 

Thanks for the info. Cheers 

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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.  

 

Just get those arms turning over as fast as possible and switch the core on the legs will float.  

 

In regards to the first poster...can swim sub 60 for 3.8k no wetsuit so they are probably better than most people replying.

 

Just do some flat stick 100s with long rest, leave on like 2.00.  Do 3 to 5 until you start to fail, then 500 pull recover then another 3 to 5.  500 pull.  Repeat 4 times and you've done a solid 4k set and worked on both endurance and top end.

 

You want to improve 100m speed then just do a lot of 25s 50s 100s and 200s flat stick with long rest.  Shortening the rest takes away from what you're trying to achieve which is increasing top end speed.

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Yep 

 

Either kick well and have a low stroke rate 

Or 

Higher stroke rate and not much of a kick, more to balance the stroke. 

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22 minutes ago, FFF1077 said:

 

Higher stroke rate and not much of a kick, more to balance the stroke. 

thought about this some more, just go over to trisutto, search swimming in the blogs, read it

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2 hours ago, 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.

It may look like that, but I used to swim with Michael Bohles squad, and he had some great swimmers. They looked like they were doing fark all kick, but they would do 50m kick reps, at nearly the pace I was swimming 50m. They had a hell of a kick without it looking like it.

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29 minutes ago, Ex-Hasbeen said:

It may look like that, but I used to swim with Michael Bohles squad, and he had some great swimmers. They looked like they were doing fark all kick, but they would do 50m kick reps, at nearly the pace I was swimming 50m. They had a hell of a kick without it looking like it.

Yep seen some kids at TSS rip through 50s and 100s with a kick board in some impressive times.  Massive difference in ability and technique but I also stand by the comment kicking is a waste of time for triathletes. Maybe I worded it wrong, look at the kicking "effort" those long distance swimmers are putting in and base the effort on that.

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My swim is isn't really suffering but it certainly isn't improving. A combination of work/family and pool times means realistically, I'm hitting the pool twice a week (and not always then) for 35-40 mins a time. I'm approx 2min/100 and my OWS times last week in Portugal were incredibly similar.

I'm not sure my 2 x per week is actually doing anything? But it seems important to 'stay in touch' with the water.

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It’s definitely doing something, don’t let that basic fitness go! I haven’t swam consistently for over a year now, and can’t even remember the last time I got to the pool lately, and it really shows. It will be a long way to come back if/when I decide to. 

As for the OPs question the answer is most likely more swimming.

If you are only doing 6-7km per week you will not get better. I also think you’re wasting your time doing drills specially with such limited time in the water. Ditching the drills will prob allow you an extra 400-500m of swimming for the same time spent in the water.

Swim more, longer sets, get stronger with paddles & a pull buoy.

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Thanks Rog, or as I would have said yesterday, 'abrigado' :)

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13 hours ago, RunBrettRun said:

but I also stand by the comment kicking is a waste of time for triathletes. Maybe I worded it wrong, look at the kicking "effort" those long distance swimmers are putting in and base the effort on that.

Have to disagree with you there Brett :)

What has become apparent to me with my recent forced dabble into duathlon is how badly affected poor swimmers are. Just looking at how well some of the shit swimmers are doing in in the swim cancelled races is astounding. Guys riding 70.3s 4/5 mins quicker because they don't have to swim..   You can get away without kicking in a wetsuit swim, but you have a look next time you're in the pool or a race and have a look at people's legs. You'll see the top guys floating on the surface, weaker ones dragging their legs even with a wetsuit, barely kicking. Check out the guys with the core shorts in the pool, you'll see some of them with their legs 1 foot below the surface, not kicking. That's a shitload of drag. Sure they might pop out the swim with 32mins,  only 4 or 5 minutes behind the top AGers, but the top swimmers are running up the beach like they've just had a warm-up swim, the weaker ones have maxed out heart rates. It's like they've been swimming with a band because of their sinky legs. 

I spoke to a few guys last season, curious because they struggled on the bike and one even struggled on the run, because they went too hard on the swim!? Most decent swimmers have got their HR right back down after 2 - 3kms into the bike. These top cyclists are struggling to get their HR down 20kms into the bike..

The kick does a lot more than just propulsion. You'll see long distance pool swimmers with a lazy 2 beat kick and yeah it's not doing a whole lot of propulsion, but it's giving them balance, stability and most importantly good body position. Wetsuits give you buoyancy, but will not give you perfect body position, your legs will still sink to an extent creating drag if you don't kick. You don't have to kick hard, but you have to kick. No kick, more drag, more fatigue. 

And you're talking wetsuit swims. On the odd occasion I've had a non-wetsuit swim, the gulf between the top AG swimmers and weaker ones is huge. Guys that were only 2mins behind in a wetsuit sprint are 6mins behind. They've never kicked, they've never worked on their body position, always trained with core shorts, pull buoys, wetsuits etc Body position is key and without any semblance of a kick you will not have decent body position. 

Interesting, one of the top junior swimmers in my old squad had shoulder surgery, was out for 3 months and could only kick. She still squad swam, but it was 100% kicking, mixture of free/fly/fins kick and came back faster than she was before. Personally I would have gone insane kicking for 3 months but it really does highlight how effective kicking can be for short stuff (50s, 100s etc)

Edited by zed
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I'm not saying swimmers shouldn't kick or that it doesn't help them.  Our event is very different to a swimming race.  They're only bringing the kick in for the very top end and anyone i swim passed in a race kicking is doing a whole lot more than a 2 beat kick which has to be costing them later in the day.

 

I understand this is almost as contentious as hflc but in my view there is only one person on this forum (currently) who should be utilising a kick in an ironman/70.3 or even oly race.

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My 100 metre times are very slow but my race times are usually around 30% of the field. In Port, I was 32% overall. I only swim twice a week with the rare 3 day training weeks. Sometimes I have been down around the 20 to 25% but only in smaller fields (I am just about to turn 59). My swim is maintenance.  Next season I might have a crack at a bit more swimming. 

Despite what some people think, drills are always important to me. So are paddles. I do all my drills with paddles. Hard yards. I also ensure I do a long swim in each session. Funny thing is my “sprints” are between 100 and 200s and only at the back end of the season. 

Winter is s good time to experiment.  Last year for me was tweaking  my stroke a bit. Experiment time for you me thinks. 

FM

Edited by Flanman

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5 hours ago, RunBrettRun said:

I'm not saying swimmers shouldn't kick or that it doesn't help them.  Our event is very different to a swimming race.  They're only bringing the kick in for the very top end and anyone i swim passed in a race kicking is doing a whole lot more than a 2 beat kick which has to be costing them later in the day.

 

I understand this is almost as contentious as hflc but in my view there is only one person on this forum (currently) who should be utilising a kick in an ironman/70.3 or even oly race.

Nah mate I don't kick. Kicking is hard and anything hard to do isn't worth doing.

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14 hours ago, Rog said:

It’s definitely doing something, don’t let that basic fitness go! I haven’t swam consistently for over a year now, and can’t even remember the last time I got to the pool lately, and it really shows. It will be a long way to come back if/when I decide to.

You are right, you are screwed, Rog 😁

I had 6 months no swimming once and vowed never again. Took me 18 months to get back to pre break times over all distances.   Haven't missed more than a week since. Too scared. And I barely ever race.

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Hi all, 

 

this is absolute gold. I really appreciate the advice! 

Oompa Loompa - I'll try those 3 things. I used to use an old inner tube around the ankles, but haven't done that in ages. 

Peter - yep, i"ll give it a go maybe 5 times a week and see what happens. I'm a school teacher and there's 16 working days left until summer break, so i'll be able to do that as soon as the holiday starts. 7 or 8 weeks of good swimming.

RunBrettRun - I like the idea of 40 x 50. What sort of rest intervals would you take? is 30 seconds too long?

I like the idea of your flat out 100m x 5, then 500m pull recovery and repeat. 

Zed - re. drills - yes I always do some freestyle after a drill to carry it forward. Basically i do some 1 arm laps with then without a bouy. I do some 1 fist laps to work on the catch. I do a one paddle and opposite fin drill that seems really effective for proper kick and proper catch/pull. The difference in freestyle immediately after that one is noticeable. I do kick set with a kickboard but I have no snorkel, so my head is always up, which i dislike. I also hold the board vertically in the water to work hard for 25m every 125m. The last drill i do is hard to explain. Every 2nd stroke in freestyle i put in a backstroke, so i roll over. Keep rolling all the way over into freestyle, 2 strokes and roll the other way. It seems good for 'feel' of the water, and balance/stability. 

Yes, the 3 x 1km are pretty cruisey. I'd be happy to drop them as they really are boring me now.

Rog - I think I'd got in the mindset of paddles = bad. I always take them but rarely use them for long as I read somewhere that becoming dependent on them is all too easy. That's ridiculous, as I've never become dependent on them before?!!?!! Anyway, I used to use them for, say, 5 x 200m at the end of a session to add on some mileage. I'll up my paddle game for sure.

 

I don't think i have sinky legs, and I'm not much of a kicker either.  What i have noticed though, is recently after maybe 6 months of consistent 3 times a week swims and regular hard efforts, my trapezius muscles seem to be much bigger and my posture has changed somewhat. I'm not sure if that's good or not. I very rarely do any backstroke, just freestyle. 

 

 

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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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