Posts Tagged ‘smart speed’

Freestyle Whole Stroke Timing and Coordination for Improved Efficiency

Whole stroke timing and coordination in freestyle is where the swimmer should achieve a sense of power and propulsion with ease. It feels awesome, and will increase the enjoyment of your swims 10 fold and more!

Swimmers who call us for help with their strokes are getting the idea that efficiency counts! It’s a bit of swimming buzz word as more and more adults take up swimming as a life long pursuit.

We can coach and help you through a learning progression that will move you towards correct timing and coordination – the route to better swimming.

The results……

  1. Stroke length will begin to reduce to optimal, as efficiency increases.
  2. Effort level will reduce as the swimmer uses inertia, weight shift (gravity) to propel, and moves away from using force and effort to overcome drag. These are challenging concepts to grasp if there’s been decades of swimming with force, effort and trying to get swimming ‘fit’!
  3. The mechanic is scalable, and can be swum at slow tempo’s and quicker tempo’s with obvious changes at higher tempo’s eg. shorter strokes, quicker roll into ‘catch’ position, lighter catch. Hence the swimmer can achieve a sense of swimming fast, rather than hard – a more sustainable, non deteriorating pace.

As humans, 97% of our efforts (horsepower) are lost to drag when we try to move in water. That is a dismal statistic – we are 3 % efficient. Is it any wonder the term ‘swimming fitness’ a bit of a misnomer!! We need encourage the idea of decreasing energy waste instead of increasing energy supply.

 

Here are a few points to observe in the whole stroke timing and coordination  clip, watch how the swimmer…..

  • maintains a long, relaxed lead arm, (under the water); this lead arm, acts as a kind of axel, giving a solid stable platform, on which to establish clean precise moves – there is still ness in the the body
  • starts the stroke from the lead arm catch….. and ends the stroke with the entry to extension – back at the same point, one fluid movement
  • rotates the torso, helped by the lead arm, that allows the ball and socket joint of the shoulder the freedom to work in the same plane (not internal or external rotation stressing the shoulder)
  • does not ‘pull’ passed or beyond the hip, the catch finishes early almost under the body
  • searches for that sweet spot or switch point, where the entering arm and torso shift ‘downwards’, sets the tempo and timing of each stroke

If you enjoyed this video and want to learn more about swimming improvement join the

SWIMLAB – Swim Technique Discussion Group

Alex Popov and the Power of Training the Way You Race

Alex-Popov- power-train-race

Alex Popov and the Power of Training the Way You Race

Training the way you race – what a gem! I came across this brilliant swimming article recently on social media. It is a great read, for swimmers and coaches alike. The message is clear, and gives guidance on how swimmers should approach their training sessions –  with focus on flawless technique – if, they want that to carry over to their competitive swims.

As a coach, I am not a fan of using elite and super elite swimmers as models on which to base my own swim coaching tips and technical advice.  Swimlab coaches mostly ‘adult onset’ swimmers, that are relatively ‘late’ starting their swimming journey. Hence their neuromuscular patterns and responses in water, are very different to those who have spent decades and thousands of hours swimming. Consideration of this, and adjustment of technical principles allows far greater progress and success for me as coach.

However this article is not about drilling down on technique – its about the mindset, a principled approach that any swimmer can take on board, and reap the benefits!

Click here to read full article

  • Popov’s efficiency was developed with a relentless focus on technique in training.
  • Placing an emphasis on swimming “slow” but with excellent form and target stroke rates at all times.

“Alex Popov was one of those swimmers who was very cerebral with his swimming in practice. He was always thinking about how to be more efficient, toying with hand placement, angle of elbow during the pull, and so on, all so that he could become a better swimmer.”

This statement reminds me so much of the late Terry Laughlin, founder and head coach at Total Immersion HQ in the US. Relentless in his pursuit to seek to become a better swimmer in every session…. he used to tell us to ensure that we got out of the pool a better swimmer than we got in. Even in one small aspect, a focal point, a drill, a practiced element of the stroke challenged under faster tempo or longer distance…. this for me, is what makes swimming highly engaging, utterly motivational, and a never ending path of mastery, a life long pathway!

So swimmers…..remember

  1. Never give in to mediocre technique
  2. Swim at a pace that allows you to maintain form
  3. Approach ‘speed’ with control and precision – chase ease, not speed and you are more likely to maintain technique
  4. If interval times are too quick for you, and you feel your stroke lack control or the feeling that the wheels are spinning – slow down, drop down a lane.
  5. Stay mentally focussed during your swim.
  6. Regularly count and know your stroke length at various levels of effort (aerobic, threshold, VO2, sprint)

Total Immersion™ Level 2.0 Smart Speed

total-immersion-swimming

Achieve ‘pace mastery’ by learning how to apply different combinations of SPL (stroke length) and Tempo, that lead to swimming ‘gears’ and hence ‘easy speed’.

 

Thursdays, 6 – 7. 15 pm, Waverely College

6 sessions x 60 mins

1, 8, 15, 22 February; 1, 8 March 2018

This is program will broaden your swimming IQ and challenge you to apply advanced skills; moving your focus away from ‘the pace clock’ and the single metric of end result ‘time’.  Understanding the following equation, and how to apply skills to achieve your best in any given swim task or competition.

 

 

Total Immersion™ Smart Speed Level 2.0

total-immersion-swimmingSmart Speed will broaden your swimming IQ and challenge you to apply advanced skills; moving your focus away from 'the pace clock' and the single metric of end result 'time'.  Understanding the following equation, and how to apply skills to achieve your best in any given swim task or competition.

 

Stroke Length (SPL) x Tempo (secs per stroke) = Velocity

 

Thursday's,  6.30 - 7.15 pm, Waverley College

Thurs 12, 19, 26 Oct; 2, 9, 16 Nov

Achieve 'pace mastery' by learning how to apply different combinations of SPL (stroke length) and Tempo, that lead to swimming 'gears' and hence 'easy speed'.

Total Immersion™ Practice Group

total-immersion-swimmingTotal Immersion™ Practice group is designed for swimmers who have completed a Total Immersion™ swimming program or one-to-one tailored program, and wish to continue their learning and progress.

 

Saturday's, 8-9 am, Waverley College

Starting: Saturday 7th October, 2017  - Saturday 9 December, 2017

 

Total Immersion Practice group will keep your stroke mechanics well tuned, while we raise the bar!   This weekly session will engage you in practice's that continually improve your swimming stroke, with the addition of SMART sets that add challenge, and improve your problem solving capacity as a swimmer.

Improve neuro-muscular and metabolic conditioning, learn to utilise and manipulate multiple variables of reps, distance, rest interval, tempo, stroke Length and RPE to improve your swimming performance.

 

Advanced Freestyle Skills – Part 2 Freestyle Catch and Drive – FULL

Part 2 Catch and Drive Sunday 4 June, 11 am – 12.30 pm 
Sessions include
  • drills and practices that take you through the mechanics of the freestyle catch and drive
  • whole stroke focal point practice’s on the timing and co-ordination within full stroke
  • Below water video analysis 
  • these clinics are ‘technical’ in nature

freestyle-catch-drive

Total Immersion™ Group Practice

As a previous participant in a Total Immersion™ swimming program, Stroke Correction Clinic or One-to-one program you’re invited to attend SWIMLAB’s weekly Total Immersion™ Group Practice.

Develop your stroke, and develop your knowledge, skill and application as a swimmer. This weekly session will engage you in practice’s that continually improve your swimming stroke, with the addition of SMART sets that add challenge, and improve your problem solving capacity as a swimmer.

Improve  neuro-muscular and metabolic conditioning, learn to utilise and manipulate multiple variables of reps, distance, rest interval, tempo, stroke Length and RPE to improve your swimming performance.

A Finis Tempo Trainer is essential for these sessions.

Saturdays, 8-9 am, Waverley College

Sat 4, 11, 18, 25 Feb

Sat 4, 11, 18, 25 Mar

Sat 1, 8 Apr

10 sessions

$15 casual/ 10 sessions @ $120

 

Finis Tempo trainerTotal Immersion Practice GroupTotal Immersion Practice GroupTotal Immersion Practice Group

Advanced Freestyle Skills Refresher

Are you ready for our Level 2 Smart Speed program? Find out at our Advanced Freestyle Refresher session. Work through whole stroke focal points and drill sequences that will improve your whole stroke connection; tips on ‘catch’, and basic Tempo trainer work.
 
Come to us with your feedback, questions and clarifications – which have arisen throughout your practice.
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