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Spoonman

Improving the Swim - Brisbane

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Hi All,

LONG time lurker.

Wondering if anyone has had success improving their swim technique using a specific coach in Brisbane? Bit of Background - I'm an adult onset swimmer who has been doing tri's for 7-8 years. I average 2-3 swims per week (8ish km) in a tri-squad. My times have plateaued over the past 4-5 years with next to no improvement. I currently average 1:45 - 1:50 per hundred for longer race pace efforts. I've just accepted this in he past but now want to try and get some improvement. Any ideas?

Cheers,

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No Brisbane related suggestions, but I've found the Tower26 podcast a helpful addition 

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21 minutes ago, Spoonman said:

Wondering if anyone has had success improving their swim technique using a specific coach in Brisbane? Bit of Background - I'm an adult onset swimmer who has been doing tri's for 7-8 years

I know that Effortless Swimming do clinics in Brisbane fairly regularly throughout the year. 

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36 minutes ago, Spoonman said:

Hi All,

LONG time lurker.

Wondering if anyone has had success improving their swim technique using a specific coach in Brisbane? Bit of Background - I'm an adult onset swimmer who has been doing tri's for 7-8 years. I average 2-3 swims per week (8ish km) in a tri-squad. My times have plateaued over the past 4-5 years with next to no improvement. I currently average 1:45 - 1:50 per hundred for longer race pace efforts. I've just accepted this in he past but now want to try and get some improvement. Any ideas?

Cheers,

Which tri squad do you swim with? 

At those paces, you probably still have some technique issues to iron out and most squads wont actually address those in detail but rather you need some sort of one on one session. The effortless swimming video analysis thing mentioned above might be the go. A few years back I emailed Trent at Red Dog tri about a one on one session and I paid him for an hour after one of his squad swims. He helped me with a few things that saved time straight away but were harder to maintain or imbed. 

I'd probably email Trent or Grimseys to try and sort a few one on one lessons and then try and maintain it through repetition..

 

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50 minutes ago, Jim Shortz said:

Where does @Crankyswim? Seemed to be helping her

Grimsey's.

This is who I'd recommend also.

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50 minutes ago, Spoonman said:

Hi All,

LONG time lurker.

Wondering if anyone has had success improving their swim technique using a specific coach in Brisbane? Bit of Background - I'm an adult onset swimmer who has been doing tri's for 7-8 years. I average 2-3 swims per week (8ish km) in a tri-squad. My times have plateaued over the past 4-5 years with next to no improvement. I currently average 1:45 - 1:50 per hundred for longer race pace efforts. I've just accepted this in he past but now want to try and get some improvement. Any ideas?

Cheers,

Video coaching is an option, but if you do it as part of a group, feedback will be limited. Get someone to film you above water, to the side, in front and underwater front and side, then post here, you’ll get some good advice for free. A lot of peeps have the same issues, poor catch, poor body position, kicking from knees and breathing issues. 

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i am doing an effortless swimming school in December. Fairly impressed with their videos. 

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13 minutes ago, AA7 said:

Grimsey's.

This is who I'd recommend also.

I think they are great if you already have okay technique but in my experience, they dont offer much in the way of stroke correction or technique work (nor do most squads) so I would try and get a one on one with them first and then join their 4 am squad for hard asses...

note that I will not ever be joining their 4am squad...

Edited by pieman

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13 minutes ago, Prince said:

i am doing an effortless swimming school in December. Fairly impressed with their videos. 

 

Same here!

 

I like Grimsey too generally for squad but as the other poster noted, there isn't much stroke correction involved. 

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Thanks for the info. I currently train with Red Dog.

I'm keen for some video analysis as I think I'll pick things up better with that type of visual feedback.

I actually emailed Codie Grimsey a cpl of weeks ago for some 1-on-1 session info. He doesn't do video but maybe some 1-on-1 time with a fresh set of eyes is the next best option...?

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2 minutes ago, Spoonman said:

Thanks for the info. I currently train with Red Dog.

I'm keen for some video analysis as I think I'll pick things up better with that type of visual feedback.

I actually emailed Codie Grimsey a cpl of weeks ago for some 1-on-1 session info. He doesn't do video but maybe some 1-on-1 time with a fresh set of eyes is the next best option...?

Yeah I would see how much it is and then book a few sessions maybe 3 weeks apart 

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36 minutes ago, Spoonman said:

Thanks for the info. I currently train with Red Dog.

I'm keen for some video analysis as I think I'll pick things up better with that type of visual feedback.

I actually emailed Codie Grimsey a cpl of weeks ago for some 1-on-1 session info. He doesn't do video but maybe some 1-on-1 time with a fresh set of eyes is the next best option...?

Register for the next Effortless Swimming session in Brisbane - its December 14. 3 hour session with video analysis. 

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I did an effortless swimming course and whilst I thought the coaches and advice were sound, I felt you end up waiting around for quite a long time while they look at other people's form and videos... and as it's a 'once and done' type thing (And not cheap), I'd say find a local coach/squad that you can spend more time with regularly and go from there

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1 hour ago, zed said:

Video coaching is an option, but if you do it as part of a group, feedback will be limited. Get someone to film you above water, to the side, in front and underwater front and side, then post here, you’ll get some good advice for free. A lot of peeps have the same issues, poor catch, poor body position, kicking from knees and breathing issues. 

This. No point doing drills or even trying to focus on technique unless you can visualise what you are doing wrong. I reckon I learned more over a period of two weeks than in 10 years of old school squad  from a few simple technique session squads where the (very good) coach simply used my iPad to video me for 10-15 seconds a time for about 5 times from above the waterline over a period of about 10 minutes of a normal 90 minute squad session, then pulled me to one side of the pool and reviewed this with me and then put me in a seperate lane with specific drills to address said issues. She then did the same to others in the squad and had each of us swimming 5-10 per hundred faster within a fortnight. 

Edited by Andrew #1

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Speaking of drills-they (youtube) all seem to go on about skulling. What is the point of this-is it to just imprint in the muscle memory a high elbow, or is it doing some strengthening of sorts? Every time I've tried it after 25m I lose patience and stop.

As for effortless swimming found Brenton to be very good and analysis spot on.

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3 hours ago, pieman said:

I think they are great if you already have okay technique but in my experience, they dont offer much in the way of stroke correction or technique work (nor do most squads) so I would try and get a one on one with them first and then join their 4 am squad for hard asses...

note that I will not ever be joining their 4am squad...

Is that because you are already committed to doing repeats of Mt Coot-the then (preferably in the rain)?

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3 hours ago, pieman said:

I think they are great if you already have okay technique but in my experience, they dont offer much in the way of stroke correction or technique work (nor do most squads) so I would try and get a one on one with them first and then join their 4 am squad for hard asses...

note that I will not ever be joining their 4am squad...

Or have you already got your training needs covered with these guys?

 

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17 minutes ago, Spoonman said:

12 swimmers with effortless swimming...do you get enough contact with the coach?

He films you and then spends a a bit of time talking you through it. Most of the focus however is afterwards-he sends a follow up video that is quite comprehensive critiquing your stroke and then recommending changes and drills etc. 

Unfortunately though I think for it to be really effective you need to do the analysis regularly.

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17 hours ago, Andrew #1 said:

This. No point doing drills or even trying to focus on technique unless you can visualise what you are doing wrong. I reckon I learned more over a period of two weeks than in 10 years of old school squad  from a few simple technique session squads where the (very good) coach simply used my iPad to video me for 10-15 seconds a time for about 5 times from above the waterline over a period of about 10 minutes of a normal 90 minute squad session, then pulled me to one side of the pool and reviewed this with me and then put me in a seperate lane with specific drills to address said issues. She then did the same to others in the squad and had each of us swimming 5-10 per hundred faster within a fortnight. 

That sounds like exactly what I'm after!

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2 minutes ago, Spoonman said:

That sounds like exactly what I'm after!

Yeah but the problem is most coaches wont do this. I have only seen this in a 'squad' that has 2-3 swimmers in it and usually there is a reason for the low numbers... the better coaches have full lanes so cant put effort into doing what Andrew suggests but they should be keen to earn some extra $ by doing this before or after a squad session for you...

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Grimseys have those open water swim sessions too.  Something to look out for.

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1 hour ago, Spoonman said:

12 swimmers with effortless swimming...do you get enough contact with the coach?

My mate did it and it was very little contact. 3 hours including video, but 10 people. My $0.02 - if you're going to get a video analysis, get a one on one session with someone like SwimSmooth. They're not cheap $300 and you need to book (sometimes) months in advance. In saying that, do you need an ex elite swimmer to tell you, you kick from the knees, you have a crossover and your body position is crap?

Also I wonder if someone could end up with too much feedback. Someone swimming 1.50/100m probably has 10+ things wrong with their stroke, perhaps they made end up with too much to work on, too many drills and they get confused and overwhelmed. Maybe work on one issue at a time. 

Spoonman - are you much quicker with a pull buoy?

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17 hours ago, more said:

Speaking of drills-they (youtube) all seem to go on about skulling. What is the point of this-is it to just imprint in the muscle memory a high elbow, or is it doing some strengthening of sorts? Every time I've tried it after 25m I lose patience and stop.

 

A bit vague, but it helps your awareness and feel for the water. Arguably one of the most important drills? Personally I think you should break up drills like skulling and doggy paddle into 12.5m drill/12.5 free, not one lap drill, then stop. If you do the skull drill, then break into freestyle, your stroke should feel different, even if its for a few strokes. A very subtle difference, but you should feel more power. Perhaps limit your drills to 3 per session, focus on those drills and over time you will start making a connection with what the drill is trying to get you to do. You might have a lightbulb moment with the skull drill? 

You do see get a lot of tri swim squads doing these endless drills, half of them are irrelevant, misunderstood or are just done mindlessly without any thought as to why they are being done and what they are trying to correct. Hence the reason I reckon 3 drills is enough. 

 

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50 minutes ago, zed said:

Also I wonder if someone could end up with too much feedback. Someone swimming 1.50/100m probably has 10+ things wrong with their stroke, perhaps they made end up with too much to work on, too many drills and they get confused and overwhelmed. Maybe work on one issue at a time. 

Spoonman - are you much quicker with a pull buoy?

I'm not quicker. My moderate efforts or above are slightly quicker without but I definitely find it 'easier' with a PB. 

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On 19/11/2019 at 2:16 PM, Jim Shortz said:

Where does @Crankyswim? Seemed to be helping her

Centenary 4am with Codie Grimsey. I was swimming under his brother, Trent, until before my crash. When I came back Trent had moved to take over the lease on the pool at Bowen, and Codie now runs the squad sessions. I swim much faster at squad than on my own. Plus it's more fun. 

Generally Mondays are aerobic sessions, Wednesdays are heart rate (medium distances), and Fridays are sprints (25-100s).

On 19/11/2019 at 3:09 PM, zed said:

Video coaching is an option, but if you do it as part of a group, feedback will be limited. Get someone to film you above water, to the side, in front and underwater front and side, then post here, you’ll get some good advice for free. A lot of peeps have the same issues, poor catch, poor body position, kicking from knees and breathing issues. 

Grimseys used to advertise these at their open water sessions (analysis done in the pool). So maybe it was Trent that did them amd maybe that's why they don't do them any more??

I checked their website that also used to advertise them, and the ad is gone. Maybe email Trent and see if he'll do one when he comes home to visit??

On 19/11/2019 at 3:32 PM, Spoonman said:

 

I actually emailed Codie Grimsey a cpl of weeks ago for some 1-on-1 session info. He doesn't do video but maybe some 1-on-1 time with a fresh set of eyes is the next best option...?

See above

On 19/11/2019 at 4:43 PM, more said:

Speaking of drills-they (youtube) all seem to go on about skulling. What is the point of this-is it to just imprint in the muscle memory a high elbow, or is it doing some strengthening of sorts? Every time I've tried it after 25m I lose patience and stop.

As for effortless swimming found Brenton to be very good and analysis spot on.

I find it works the muscles in my back

On 20/11/2019 at 10:23 AM, goughy said:

Grimseys have those open water swim sessions too.  Something to look out for.

This is a great idea as I find pool squads very different to open water racing. A few sessions here and there plus more in the few weeks, back to back, leading up to a race I find works best.

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On 19/11/2019 at 3:14 PM, Spoonman said:

Hi All,

LONG time lurker.

Wondering if anyone has had success improving their swim technique using a specific coach in Brisbane? Bit of Background - I'm an adult onset swimmer who has been doing tri's for 7-8 years. I average 2-3 swims per week (8ish km) in a tri-squad. My times have plateaued over the past 4-5 years with next to no improvement. I currently average 1:45 - 1:50 per hundred for longer race pace efforts. I've just accepted this in he past but now want to try and get some improvement. Any ideas?

Cheers,

Lots on here won’t agree but forget technique for now. Double your swim volume for the next 6 weeks in a swim focus block and see where your times are then. 

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1 hour ago, Crowies crushed nuts said:

Lots on here won’t agree but forget technique for now. Double your swim volume for the next 6 weeks in a swim focus block and see where your times are then. 

Until he sorts out his technique he will always be hamstrung. Like riding with the saddle 4 inches too low, you can ride 300km a week, you’re never going to get quick until you get the saddle the right height.  One of the man things is that he’s not generating enough power with his catch and pull, swimming more wont fix this. He will get quicker swimming 16km a week, but he won’t be getting value for money.  6 hours of swimming and he might drop to 1.42/100.  And that’s why most triathletes give up on the swimming, they initially throw volume at thinking they will see the same results as they did when they chucked volume at bike and run.  Also if he’s technique not right, volume could end in an injury.

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3 hours ago, zed said:

Until he sorts out his technique he will always be hamstrung. Like riding with the saddle 4 inches too low, you can ride 300km a week, you’re never going to get quick until you get the saddle the right height.  One of the man things is that he’s not generating enough power with his catch and pull, swimming more wont fix this. He will get quicker swimming 16km a week, but he won’t be getting value for money.  6 hours of swimming and he might drop to 1.42/100.  And that’s why most triathletes give up on the swimming, they initially throw volume at thinking they will see the same results as they did when they chucked volume at bike and run.  Also if he’s technique not right, volume could end in an injury.

Don’t agree.

Yeah you can make adjustments to technique and you might gain the odd second here or there. But you get the volume up around the 15km mark and you’ll take huge chunks of time off, talking 10’s and 20’s per hundred.

Just my experience. I never got noticeably quicker with more technique work. 

I also noticed my technique naturally improved significantly with the additional fitness, my form in the water was much better than I could ever achieve prior. 

For the record I brought my swim times down from 3:00/100 to 1:12/100 over the sprint distance. 

 

 

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The problem with doubling volume using poor technique is the risk of injury. I'd look for a one on one session with a coach, but unfortunately I can't recommend one, as the last coach I had has just retired.

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51 minutes ago, Crowies crushed nuts said:

Don’t agree.

Yeah you can make adjustments to technique and you might gain the odd second here or there. But you get the volume up around the 15km mark and you’ll take huge chunks of time off, talking 10’s and 20’s per hundred.

Just my experience. I never got noticeably quicker with more technique work. 

I also noticed my technique naturally improved significantly with the additional fitness, my form in the water was much better than I could ever achieve prior. 

For the record I brought my swim times down from 3:00/100 to 1:12/100 over the sprint distance. 

I thought about what you wrote earlier when I was at the pool today, looking at people who were swimming along at ~55-60 seconds per 50. It wouldn't matter if some of them triple their volume, they ain't getting much quicker with the technique they've got. One guy who I've seen over the past couple of weeks is super fit, swimming heaps, but can't break 60 for 50 because he nearly touches his opposite ear with every hand entry.

So yes - whilst doubling volume can reap rewards, it's likely to help people who already swim reasonably well technique wise... and there's no way of telling if the OP swims reasonably well. It might be something as simple as they may be looking too far forward & dropping the hips as a result.

If you find a good coach to look at your stroke and find some easy fixes, the OP could be dropping 5-10 seconds without doing any more than the 8k per week they are doing. 

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23 hours ago, Crowies crushed nuts said:

 

I also noticed my technique naturally improved significantly with the additional fitness, my form in the water was much better than I could ever achieve prior. 

 

 

 

That would be applicable to a few people, but they would most likely have a relatively efficient stroke anyway. Someone that has a flawed stroke and increases their volume isn't going to suddenly figure out correct breathing  pattern, body position, catch and pull, stroke rate, streamlining etc They need someone to tell them. There is no way someone is going to suddenly start internally rotating their shoulder and start swimming with a high elbow or just one day decide to kick from the hips instead of the knees.

When you see someone with an abortion of a stroke, they actually feel like it's normal to swim like that, however to swim with a decent technique, for them, would feel wrong (at first) hence the reason most never fix their issues without intervention. And also most triathletes have done what you've suggested, chucked volume at their swimming and seen little progress. 

You're right in that he needs to swim 15km+ a week (at first) and probably should sacrifice bike and run until he has his swimming dialed, technique sorted then he can reduce the volume. 

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4 hours ago, zed said:

That would be applicable to a few people, but they would most likely have a relatively efficient stroke anyway. Someone that has a flawed stroke and increases their volume isn't going to suddenly figure out correct breathing  pattern, body position, catch and pull, stroke rate, streamlining etc They need someone to tell them. There is no way someone is going to suddenly start internally rotating their shoulder and start swimming with a high elbow or just one day decide to kick from the hips instead of the knees.

When you see someone with an abortion of a stroke, they actually feel like it's normal to swim like that, however to swim with a decent technique, for them, would feel wrong (at first) hence the reason most never fix their issues without intervention. And also most triathletes have done what you've suggested, chucked volume at their swimming and seen little progress. 

You're right in that he needs to swim 15km+ a week (at first) and probably should sacrifice bike and run until he has his swimming dialed, technique sorted then he can reduce the volume. 

 

My man doing 16kms a week beats your man doing 8km a week with all the technique you want. I'd put my house on it. 

 

 

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On 24/11/2019 at 1:20 PM, Nick777 said:

I thought about what you wrote earlier when I was at the pool today, looking at people who were swimming along at ~55-60 seconds per 50. It wouldn't matter if some of them triple their volume, they ain't getting much quicker with the technique they've got. One guy who I've seen over the past couple of weeks is super fit, swimming heaps, but can't break 60 for 50 because he nearly touches his opposite ear with every hand entry.

So yes - whilst doubling volume can reap rewards, it's likely to help people who already swim reasonably well technique wise... and there's no way of telling if the OP swims reasonably well. It might be something as simple as they may be looking too far forward & dropping the hips as a result.

If you find a good coach to look at your stroke and find some easy fixes, the OP could be dropping 5-10 seconds without doing any more than the 8k per week they are doing. 

See above 

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1 hour ago, Crowies crushed nuts said:

 

My man doing 16kms a week beats your man doing 8km a week with all the technique you want. I'd put my house on it. 

 

 

What about my woman or person who chooses not to identify as a binary gender?

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3 hours ago, Crowies crushed nuts said:

 

My man doing 16kms a week beats your man doing 8km a week with all the technique you want. I'd put my house on it. 

 

OK, so there's a guy over on another forum who swims 11-15k per week and swims 2min per hundred. What should he do - 25 to 30k per week?

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1 hour ago, Nick777 said:

OK, so there's a guy over on another forum who swims 11-15k per week and swims 2min per hundred. What should he do - 25 to 30k per week?

There's another forum...?

I think volume increases can get you to 1.40 per 100 pace but that's still pretty pedestrian and will take a lot of time and effort where technique work might be some low hanging fruit...

 

 doing volume plus good technique might get you exponential improvements..

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"doing volume plus good technique might get you exponential improvements." - winner right here 

Technique alone is wasted without volume. 

 

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