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The source of glide in swimming

2059 Views 41 Replies 18 Participants Last post by  Tithers
Ok, those that know me know I struggle in the water, those that don't know me - I struggle in the water. If you go to my Active site you can see some above water videos from last week. One comment (given several times) was 'You need to slow the arms down and increase your glide'.<br><br>
So the question I have is where does the glide come from? Are rather, which part of the stroke needs to be longer? Does an increase of stroke length come from slower recovery? Or from an actual pause somewhere? I am thinking that the pull needs to be virtually the same. Is that right?<br><br>
My 25 meter stroke count is 25. One meter per stroke? Not so good. Obviously this means my pull is also not perfect. I do catch-up drills in an effort to help this, and am trying to figure out the tickle and maybe some sculling. As soon as I get all the water out of my sinuses from last night's attempt, I will try again!<br><br>
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Quick update - Just got back from the pool where I discovered I lied earlier. My left hand enters the water as my right hand is about 1/3 of the way through its stroke, *not* as it finishes the stroke as I thought. Sorry for any confusion. That explains the long glide, though.
<span style="color:#000000;">Well I haven’t read much TI and don't practice it. I also am looking for the very long haul so efficiency and repeatability are key. Thus of course, I approach this from the opposite angle!</span><br><span style="color:#000000;">My "glide" is a rest moment when my recovery is hanging in balance: so looking at the "non glide" arm I start a stroke at the catch, pull through and the hand exits the water driven by the body roll that brings it up, the force of the exit brings my upper arm perpendicular to my body (and my forearm should be clear of the water in moderate conditions). At this point there’s a sort of free moment when my arm is weightless, I'm on my side and the OTHER arm is extended in front of me "gliding". Depending on my stroke rate and water conditions, I may hang in this position for a while or only an instant, then gravity pulls that arm down, I direct it forwards and into the water. As it enters, the other arm has started the catch-pull and has ended the glide. So I actually look to extend the<br>
"free" moment of the recovery arm rather than trying to glide the arm in the water.</span><br><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">These thoughts occurred 45 minutes into a rather cold swim so who knows if they make sense. When its cold you have to concentrate on technique because you cant’ actually feel what you are doing!</span></span>
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Here are a couple quotes from Maglischo, whose book I highly recommend:<br><br>
* One hand enters the water when the other is at mid-stroke. (entry)<br>
* After entering the water, the are should be extended forward and in. (the stretch)<br>
* The downsweep should begin the instant the swimmer releases pressure on the water with the other arm. From other descriptions and pictures in his book, I translate this to mean that one arm starts the downsweep when the other is leaving the water.<br><br>
What Maglischo refers to as the stretch, we are calling a glide here, but I think glide is a bit of a strong word and I prefer stretch. Artificially letting your arm float out in front longer than necessary will be inefficient. I'm not saying anybody is advocating that, but beginners should be careful to not focus too much on stroke count at the expense of an efficient stroke.<br><br>
Having said that, I think letting one arm stretch out in front for an abnormally long time while the swimmer focuses on the mechanics of the other arm is great practice and helps with stroke dynamics.<br><br>
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So as someone who pretty much fits the description of beginner (I really couldn't swim freestyle prior to this year), how does one get the most efficient stroke for themselves?<br><br>
Is this really only something a coach or a second set of experienced eyes can advise you on, or is this something that you can self-teach yourself via drills, reading books, and the like? I figure with some probable downtime facing me run-wise, this is the time to tackle the issue.
Mid-thigh. <img alt="smile.gif" src=""><br><br>
While standing, mark the spot on your thigh with your thumb. That is where you hand should come out.
I think it is difficult for a beginner to teach themselves good stroke mechanics, but not impossible. The first thing I would do is pick up a copy of <i>Swimming Fastest</i> by Maglischo and focus on the section that describes and illustrates stroke mechanics. (I promise I'll stop promoting this book, but in my opinion it is the best.) You can also pick up some videos or find some on the internet. Work on drills and the pattern of your arms underwater. Don't worry about speed at all for some period of time.<br><br>
I'm also going to respectfully disagree with TriBob as to where the hand exits the water. I believe your arm should be bent at the elbow as it leaves the water (not fully extended) so it (your hand) leaves the water at the bottom of your suit, assuming you are wearing briefs and not jammers, or at the very top of your leg.<br><br>
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A basis for TI is front quadrant swimming, and the drills promote front quadrant swimming. Basically that means the leading arm stays out as the recovery arm is at least at eye level or even further. The point is that you will be more efficient if you stay longer through the stroke.<br><br>
That said Maglischo doesn't advocate a TI technique in open water swim for triathletes. In some of his talks he doesn't understand why triathletes would attempt this type of "side-swimming" and advocates more of a stroke rate rather than length. But he's right I think, who am I to argue with him. At least my swim coach who teaches TI, when we got into open water we changed the technique quite a bit. However in masters we still drill TI, triple undersiwtch, zipper switch, e-z anchors etc., as in the end it will help the open water swim, but in open water especially in mass starts I open my stroke rate and sweep out a bit. I have some document from Maglischo on recommendations for triathletes if I can find it... I look it up.
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That book sounds like a good one. Hopefully it will make me fast<img alt="blush.gif" src="">. Definitely the elbow leads the recovery if that is what you are referring to.
I found the document. What it is are some notes from a coach who attended one of his clinics. There are some interesting things in this. The vasa is a dryland swim trainer.<br><br>
Of course ever time I try to load this and open it I get an error tried zip and txt. Seems to be a problem with the site. Any help?<br><a href=""><img alt="LL" src="" style="width:525px;height:525px;"></a>
I'm a beginner and I know that other "eyes" is the only way for me. Even casual observances. I had a lifeguard say "you kick alot more than others". I thought about this and asked experienced swimmers about kicking and what a difference, I made it 800 yds with ease, rather than 200 out of breath.
I wouldn't do drills the WHOLE session. You still need to do a few lengths of swimming here and there. IMO 75 drill 25 swim is not a bad combination.<br><br>
I wouldn't do more than that without swimming a regular stroke.<br><br>
Have you had someone (ie: a coach) look at your stroke under water? IMO you can work on drills all you want but if you're not focusing on the right things (biomechanics) then they may not help you as much as they could.<br><br>
There are a lot of things you can observe on your own : like discrepancies between the left and right side... swimming fist is a good way to diagnose issues too I find. Also what I like to do is swim slowly with fins (so I can focus on the pull) and try to feel where I'm slipping through the water.<br><br>
The videos are good but IMO you'll get more out of 2-3 sessions with a coach (under water) because you'll get more immediate and pertinent feedback than you will on your own.
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Damn, I have short arms... !
Point taken. I am trying to set something up to get some coaching. That is really my fear, that I am just way way off on some technique thing that just can't be captured in video properly, but a coach would see in real time.
Just to clarify. This "is" the correct technique, right?? I seem to remember the swim coach saying the more time that both arms are above your shoulders the better. I distinctly "felt" this one day and my 200s were WAY faster than normal. <img alt="sad2.gif" src="">
Correct. It's called front-quadrant swimming.
I think swimmerbee described it best, or at least tried. <img alt="notworthy.gif" src=""><br><br>
The last thing you really want to be doing is gliding. The glide comes when you are in between strokes. One arm is stretching out in front and the other is in the begging of the recovery phase. At this point you should be slightly rolled to the side that has the arm out front. Remember the whole idea is to have the least amount of frontal resistance. You glide through the water much easier if you are slightly on your side. (Kick on side drill).<br><br>
The front arm is stretching out (Catch drill and one arm up) and you are, for just a second, gliding. You are not in the pull phase and you are just about to make the catch. Here is the kicker. You can glide in this position all you want. (One arm DOWN drill) You can get across a 25yd pool in 5 strokes if you stroke, and recover, and then glide. Repeat. This will not however win you any races and will probably make you exhausted to boot because your not breathing.<br><br>
For beginners, they should be swimming short sets and drills. Kick drills and using the pull buoy to get their legs up and into the proper position. Smaller sets of 50' and 100's should comprise the majority of the main set. When the body gets tired it reverts tot he easiest position and the the swimmer strats to create muscle memory in that position. The idea is to create muscle memory in the correct position. To do that you do short sets with plenty of rest. As the swimmer gets better the sets get longer.<br><br>
The moderate swimmer should be doing sets of 50, 100 and 200. The longer sets comprise the main set and the shorter stuff the cool down. The moderate swimmer should also be doing drills that include kick and stroke work.<br><br>
The advanced swimmer already knows what they should be doing.<br><br>
Getting video taped will help, but I have seen it over an dover. The person gets tape and told what they need to correct and then they hit the pool. They work like heck to correct every mistake at once and then give up and swim the same way they started. Get taped, take one aspect of your swim and work on it. Be it stroke length, weak pull, bad kick, whatever.<br><br>
Jim. You need to work on slowing down. The next time you hit the water, start to swim and his the slow-mo button on your arse. Remember the 6 million dollar man? doo dooodooodoo. Everything in slow-mo. Just ssslllloooowwww down, everything. Not for the whole swim, but for some of it.<br><br>
Good luck<br><br>
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Oh, now that's good stuff, I like that. That's why CS gets paid the big bucks!
Big???? <img alt="biggrin.gif" src=""><br><br>
CS's like tri training. All those small gains lead eventually to a big one. Hopefully. <img alt="smile.gif" src="">
Just a couple comments on those videos....<br><br>
1) Your hand entry could be cleaned up some. In a number of the shots it looks like you're entering way to soon, and in others it looks like your entering along the vertical plane that goes through your shoulder. Stretch it out more and try to bring it more toward your centerline.<br><br>
2) In the KoS, it looks like you have a lot of knee action in your kick. Try to work more from the hips.
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