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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Seriously! I went to my Masters class on Tuesday and got 1 tip on my stroke that made all the difference. He had us do some drills to work on that particular skill, then I felt faster. I didn't know for sure how MUCH faster until today when he was having us time our 300m, 200m, and 100m at different efforts.<br><br>
So, after swimming 300, 200, and 100m 3 times, on my last 100m, which was my hardest effort (at the END of my workout), I swam it in 1:37!! Last year, my fastest 100m interval time was around 1:45. That is HUGE!! I didn't just improve for that one 100, though. For my last set, here were my times:<br><br>
300m in 5:20<br>
200m in 3:33<br>
100m in 1:37<br><br>
I have never done over 200m in much less than 2:00 per 100m. I did my 300m @ 1:50 per 100m! I am so excited because I could have pushed harder on that 300m. My first tri of the season has an 800m swim. We'll see how well I do. I need to do some OW swims, though!
 

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Woohoo Kelli! <img alt="banana.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/banana.gif"> Lots of people making some nice swim progress this week<br><br>
And like Cash asked, what tip did it for you?
 

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That was a tease...so whats the tip already!! I'm sure more than a few of us would like to shave some time off our swim.
 

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WOW You have to tell us the Tip (Was it attaching a motor <img alt="smile.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/smile.gif"> )<br>
Excellent improvement<br><br>
Neil
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Oh, sorry. I guess I should have told you! (I figured you'd ask if you wanted to know) He told me to swim a 50 and try to take only 3 or less strokes per black line. The black lines run both ways in this pool because it is Olympic-sized, and he told me today they are 7.5 feet apart. Anyway, when I did that, I told him I was doing really well until about halfway, then I felt like my strokes got shorter (this is the case when I get fatigues in general). He said the reason my strokes were getting shorter was because I wasn't following all the way through. He said to make sure I finish each stroke all the way through (past my thigh). Of course, I knew this was what I should be doing, but I wasn't doing it when I got tired. I reduced my strokes per length from about 22-23 to 19-20 just by doing that. That's pretty good for me, since I'm not very tall. I'm sure I can still improve, but I'm really pleased and just need to make it natural for me to swim like that all the time.<br><br>
Anyway! So, since many of us had this problem, he had us propel ourselves by using only that part of the stroke. Here's the drill: Keep your elbows at your sides and just move your arms to a 90 degree angle and back. So, you are basically using all triceps! Ouch! You move your arms fairly fast doing this. No kicking, either. Anyway. We did two 50s of that, then he told us to swim. It made all the difference just thinking about it. I still have a hard time doing that for a long distance, but it really helps. I know to work those triceps at the gym, though. I might even want to do that drill with paddles to strengthen my triceps.<br><br>
One other tip he gave me today was to keep my front arm out longer when I breathe. That really helped, and I think it will really apply to OW swimming (getting a good breath & sighting).<br><br>
Hope this helps someone!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
No, it's not super secret. I'm paying for these classes, so I'll share anything I learn! Though, you won't get the 3200m workout I did! <img alt="smile.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/smile.gif"><br><br>
Yeah, unfortunately, many of the swimmers are new like me. There were only about 8-10 of us there yesterday. The guys are pretty fast, but they were far away from me in remote lanes. Most of the women are actually slower than me.
 

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I am having problems visualizing this. I am actually sitting at my desk and "air swimming" trying to figure this one out...hope none of my students saw me. Can you break the stroke down a little more? I, too, struggle with too many strokes per length (26 on average) and would love to become more efficient.
 

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It is called front quadrant swimming. One hand should always be in front of you. So, you don't start taking a stroke until the recovering arm starts to pass you head. This helps with streamlining and counter balancing you hips and legs to your legs don't sink. don't forget to keep you head in the water. You spine should be in alignment (i.e. don't bend your neck)
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
O.K. You are concentrating on the follow through at the end of your stroke. Your arm comes up out of the water (elbow bent, hand near ear), it extends and enters the water above your head, then you pull underneath your body, and your hand finishes down by your side. The finish is the part I'm talking about. Your strokes become shorter when you don't completely finish (arm extended completely at side before bending up and out again)<br><br>
So, he just isolated that one part. Stand up. Put your arms at your side. Bend your elbows 90 degrees (turning hands inward as you do this), then push back down (turning hands down). You would do this in a swimming position, though. Make sense now? You will be amazed at how much you can propel yourself with just that part of the stroke. If you leave that part out, you are losing all the propulsion. When your strokes get shorter, that's what you are doing -- you are not following all the way through. My arms do get tired if I do it correctly for a long time.<br><br>
Keeping your head down is also a big one. Your ears should be in the water, goggle strap out of water. I was also not keeping my lead arm out long enough when I breathe. He told me to keep that arm out there while I breathe instead of starting my pull right away. So, I'm essentially on my side with my ear to my arm. That's the position I need to hold for a second longer. It felt like I was pausing every time I took a breath, but I was really gliding!<br><br>
If you need more clarification, let me know (wish I had pictures)
 

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Wow, this has been enlightening. THanks!<br><br>
I am also air swimming at my desk. <img alt="biggrin.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/biggrin.gif"> I'm going to the pool tonight so I'll try that drill!
 

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I must be kinisthetically challenged today, because I just don't get it. I may already be doing this, but don't know it. I consciously (sp?) make sure that my thumb brushes my thigh as I attempt to follow-through. This is something that I saw in a video (maybe a TI video) once.<br><br>
Jeesh, I REALLY need to find a swim coach!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Yeah, the drill really made me realize exactly what I wasn't doing. You don't have to do the drill for long. Just do 50 or 100, then swim your normal stroke and concentrate on that part of the stroke. You hear people saying "follow through" all the time, but until you isolate it, you don't really see what they mean.<br><br>
I think it is so funny everyone is now air swimming at work! LOL<br><br>
Let me know how it works out for you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
You may very well be following through, then. All you do is isolate that last part where your thumb brushes your thigh (you're doing both arms at the same time, though). It is like a tricep kickback. I would point out that your thumb should brush your thigh pretty far down your thigh. If you are brushing closer to your hip, then you can extend that follow through more. Does that make sense? Keep your elbows pinned to your side with shoulders down.<br><br>
Another thing new swimmers tend not to know is the S pull. Some swimmers do an S, some do a modified S, and some just pull straight through. You find something that works for you. I was always taught to do a keyhole pull, so that's what I naturally do (the S), but different things work for different people. Try doing different patterns when you pull. If you do an S pull, the second "bump" of the S is your follow through. An "S" would be the pattern for your left hand, then a backwards "S" is the pattern for your right hand. Of course, it isn't as exaggerated as an S, but you get the idea.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Oh, I forgot. When you swim, your front hand does not start to pull until your back hand has finished. It's what TriBob was talking about -- front quadrant swimming. So, your strokes will be longer and slower.<br><br>
Doug, I'm going to guess your problem is body position, rather than stroke, but it could be both. Do some kicking making sure your head stays down in the water (swim downhill). Then, kick 10 times on your right side, then switch to the left. Reduce the number of kicks until you are swimming normally. This will help with the body position. Then, you can work on the stroking.
 

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Doug - you are not alone having a hard time visualizing this. Kelli - fisrt of all, what a great break through - congratulations! I need some clarifications;<br>
1. You said above 'keep your elbows pinned to your side". So when you bend your elbow 90 degree, your hands are in front of you with palms facing to center?<br>
2. Then with your elbow pinned to the side, you just move your hands down (back to straight, palms down)?<br><br>
Thanks for your help. I do something similar but my shoulder-elbow line is parpendicular to my body while elbow is bent at 90 degree (so elbow-hand line is pararell to my body). So very different.<br><br>
Thanks for your help.
 

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Tell me more about the S thing.<br><br>
When my hand comes in the water in front of my head, how deep should it be? Then what should it be doing?<br><br>
Also... so when I have my right arm out of the water (while I'm breathing) my left arm is out in front of me, should it be on top of the water or below? It seems to me that I'm keeping mine on top of the water and that is what is causing my shoulder/arm pain in the left arm.<br><br>
I remember from my bried TI swim lesson that my hand out in front was deeper in the water than I was used to. This seemed to keep the back end of me (butt and legs) floating higher in the water, which is good, right?
 
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