A hybrid stroke drill?

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Re: A hybrid stroke drill?

Post by Don Wright on Mon Nov 13, 2017 10:33 am

Very disappointed!!! I tried this morning what I thought was my "mini-breakthrough" of pushing the head down a bit when exhaling UW, so as to raise the legs nearer the surface.  I expected to be able to flutter kick on the side in a comparable time to my last effort (1':28" for 20m length or 4.4 secs/metre)

To my great disgust, I was back in my old time "region" of 1'40" (5 secs/metre).  So I've no explanation for the last good effort (and not sure what went wrong with the worst effort so far.)  Rolling Eyes   Oh well, "Back to the drawing board" as they say!  (I did a further 2 attempts and the the time only varied by 1 second, each side of that 100 second time.

Will just keep on "plugging away" at the straight leg kicking!  Crying or Very sad

Don Wright

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Re: A hybrid stroke drill?

Post by Don Wright on Sun Nov 19, 2017 10:38 am

Think I've "sussed out" what I ought to be doing to get the time down from my hitherto usual range of 5 secs/metre to something about 30 secs less for the 1 length "kicking on the side" effort  - i.e. down to 4.25 secs/metre (my best timing so far 1'25" - OK I know it's still ridiculously slow - but you probably haven't got my problem of arthritic inflexible ankles/insteps Rolling Eyes )

In my case the answer seems to be, to do what "Sprinter" said about keeping the legs straight - but not rigidly stiff! Also, striving to feel the water pressure on my toes and lower insteps as I do the kick downbeats. If one can feel that water pressure resisting movement, then it probably means the kick is more productive for propulsion!


I did notice one little "whimsical" point - funny how my kick rate seems to increase a bit as I sense coming towards the end of the length (I can see the "bib-bobs" on the adjacent lane rope pass by a little more quickly) - keen to "get it over" and have a "breather"!  Smile 

If I can sustain a better kick rate - I may yet, get down to my goal of 1 minute/20m length.

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Re: A hybrid stroke drill?

Post by Don Wright on Tue Nov 21, 2017 10:32 am

About "upping" the kick rate!  Have come to the realization that if I expend more energy kicking more shallowly and rapidly - then am going to have to breathe more rapidly as well - or will soon become hopelessly exhausted.  Amazing isn't it how long it takes some of us to come to our senses! Rolling Eyes  I've done a few short distances, of about 6-7 metres at a time,  flutter kicking on the side "like crazy", and the faster kicking/breathing rate was a problem for me.  So, I will practice that rate a bit more before attempting to do a complete length at the faster rate. 

It is frankly disappointing to me, that it requires so much more energy to flutter kick at an "acceptable" rate of forward movement, than a leg action such as a lower-leg swirl or breast stroke kick. Those actions can produce a reasonably fast rate of movement with so much less expenditure of energy.  I suppose that's because there are more propulsive surfaces of the lower legs/feet taking part in the action at various times, in pushing water backwards!  The experts make it look so easy when flutter kicking, they move through the water with what appears to be very little expenditure of energy - just casually waving the legs around and they move forwards metres, compared with my few centimetres, at a great energy cost. Perhaps I don't have the appropriate "aquatic" shape!  Wink

======================================

Tagging this P.S. on to the above post - although it's the 22 Nov today - but it's relevant to the above (without starting a fresh post that very few are likely to read anyway - talking to myself probably!)

Think I will try timing the kick style I use when doing my little FS 6-beat flutter kick variant - viz, using a moderate amount of knee bend and letting the foot yield to water pressure like a flexible paddle, as the knee straightens with a lower leg/foot flick down at end of kick downbeat/start of upbeat.  Expect "Sprinter" will purse his lips thinking I'm forgetting about the straight leg business!  I haven't forgotten - just "miffed" that using explicit "partially backward-facing" actions of the legs (as with lower leg swirls when on the back or breast stroke kicks when on the tum) seem to produce better times than straight leg "on the side" flutter  kicking.  Well I shall see - the stopwatch will soon tell me - I might even be disappointed, and have to revert to the straight leg flutter kicking business! (Result - It didn't make a world of difference 1'42" (= 5.01"/m) - so I included it in my standard efforts - see my next post!


Last edited by Don Wright on Thu Nov 23, 2017 11:34 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: A hybrid stroke drill?

Post by Don Wright on Thu Nov 23, 2017 11:29 am



A crude frequency distribution of my 18 efforts so far : -

Frequency
                       ___
9                     | 9 |
8                     |    |
7                     |    |
6                     |    |                                     mean of actual data was 5.34"/m, and S.D. 0.73"
5                     |    |
4                     |    |  ___              
3     ___  ___   |    |  | 3 |
2     | 2 | | 2 |  |    |  |    |   ___                ____                                   
1     |    | |    |  |    |  |    |  | 1 |                |  1 | 
--------------------------------------------------------
    4.0   4.5   5.0    5.5    6.0   6.5   7.0   7.5    8.0  SECS/METRE

The actual "effort number", date,timing, and comments - I kept in a "Notepad" file on my PC.  The comments do not make happy reading! - When doing flutter kicking on the side some 6 or more years ago in a 25m pool - I don't remember having any breathing problems, yet in this latest series of efforts my breathing has at times been very "panicky".  Think this is due to my  current state of fitness - it doesn't take much activity of arms or legs now, to make me breathless!  That last histogram bar related to effort #7 on 01/11 giving a rate of movement  Rolling Eyes  of 7.65"/m (I nearly omitted that - but it was a sad fact!)

Think I will stop timing my "flutter kicking on the side efforts" (although continuing to do a length of it at each session, remembering to keep the legs straight!) - and switch across to timing some of my FS variants that I should be able to manage for 2 lengths, without any "end of length pit stop" - such as the almost full arm catch-up style with 2-beat kicking, and my variant with normal arm action and 6-beat kicking.  Think I need to focus on more relaxed breathing - it all comes down to the rate of "expenditure of energy" relative to "air exchange rate"
 

 On the "Hybrid Stroke Drill" (Yeah! - I've finally found my way back to the original topic after much "off-piste" posting!), The flutter kicking is not much more than a vague waving around of the legs during the UW arm pulls, so the main effective leg activity am currently using for this, comes from the breast stroke kick as both arms are recovered UW, from back by the hips (exhaling in the process!).  I did notice that my back was sometimes slightly breaking the surface due to the uplift of both arms doing their up-sweep, very close in time.  But it is quite a pleasant "innovation", so I'll continue with it - and the breathing is fairly relaxed (inhalation on the first of the 2 UW arm strokes)!  The FS style UW arm action seems to be faster/more propulsive than the usual double arm breast stroke pull (probably because the stroke path is longer) - so that's gratifying.

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Re: A hybrid stroke drill?

Post by Sprinter on Fri Nov 24, 2017 5:06 am

Hi Don,

some general remarks on flutter kicking:

1. In my experience, the flutter kick reacts well to long-time training, BUT it also takes some time to see results (say 3 months -- and the later one starts the longer it'll likely take).
2. Kicking on the side is considerably slower and more difficult than the usual kicking on the stomach. I assume you are at least changing the side once?
3. It is very difficult to feel what the legs and feet are doing. Without video recordings, taken quite a few times, I think chances are high that one might be completely wrong.
4. The kicking exercise is considered by many top coaches as of prime importance for developing a good body position (also for long-distance swimmers, with a kick with low propulsion).
5. One main aspect of the command "straight legs" is to get the legs UP mostly straight -- without strong focus on straight legs, bending in the hips will result, which leads to a very ineffective kick.
6. The breathing will likely cause a major disruption. The Ameo powerbreather https://www.powerbreather.com/en/ should be very helpful here.
7. Flutter kicking at such slow speeds might be very "strange": a lot of variations, etc. I did once 25m in around 1:10, and it was very strange -- loosing all feeling for time and space Shocked Swimming is definitely the easier the faster you go Very Happy

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Re: A hybrid stroke drill?

Post by Don Wright on Fri Nov 24, 2017 11:45 am

Hi "Sprinter"!

Thank you for the tips! As I said, I'll continue with the "on the side" flutter kicking - but won't re-start timing my efforts again until I hopefully can manage a rate better than 4 secs/metre. I will know by the rate at which the adjacent lane rope "bib-bobs" pass by. if there is any marked improvement

Sprinter wrote:...The breathing will likely cause a major disruption. The Ameo powerbreather https://www.powerbreather.com/en/ should be very helpful here...


I like the idea of that "powerbreather" with 2 air tubes, it should solve my moans about the breathing tube being too narrow, for my liking, with my current front snorkel which is only for use when on the tum! Perhaps I might be able to find one with an upright side breathing tube to make my "on-the-side" flutter kicking efforts easier  Aha! but to which side? >>>>


I don't know how good or bad my buoyancy was before the heart surgery in 2010 (think it was normal), but I know that I was somewhat surprised afterwards, when trying to float on my back (arms out-stretched with finger tips just above the water surface to act as a small counter-weight) - to find that within a second or two, I was involuntarily rolling over, to lay on my right side.  I didn't credit it at first - but after several tries found it to be a fact. I float on my side, with my left most buoyant side uppermost, and the less buoyant right side deeper in the water.  My hospital discharge papers ended with the single short mysterious comment "Pneumothorax!" (they also kept on checking me for fluid on the lungs).  Over the years have come to realize that was possibly the reason preventing my lungs from fully expanding properly soon after the op - and they have possibly remained in that state ever since.  Part of the evidence for this "lung impairment" is that when singing in a group, everyone can continue long after I'm out of breath and have to stop!


What is the relevance of the above buoyancy issue, to me flutter kicking on the side in my current pool?!   Well being essentially just a leisure pool there is only a single lane at one side and a single lane rope.  To check my progress (being hopelessly short-sighted - general focus only about 3 cms). I need to do my "1 length" efforts with the single adjacent lane rope to my left, checking my progress by the passage of the plastic "bib-bobs" on the lane rope - which I can just make out. 


 Don't mention prescription goggles to me!!!  I had an excellent pair from the USA years ago, which sadly failed after about 5 years of use - and unfortunately the firm making them "folded".  Have not found anything satisfactory since.  The "off-the-shelf" ones - such as the SWIMMI ones, going down to -12 dioptres - as well as being less strong do tend to leak a lot around the lens inserts)You know what a badly out-of-focus photo is like - no detail at all, well that's what swimming is like for me - can't see other bods, just featureless forms until they are within a few feet of me - if further away, it's just as if they are not there! (Hence my initial walk at pool entry - to what must be the end wall, although I can't see it until much nearer - checking my way ahead is clear, before starting my usual routine.) 


So I always do my "on-the-side" flutter kicking efforts lying on my right side (more buoyant left side uppermost) in the un-roped area (leaving the lane for serious fast swimmers) with the adjacent lane rope some 20cm in front of my nose!  I've tried in the past to lay on my left side, but it was not very satisfactory - my body wants to roll over to bring the more buoyant side uppermost.

"Quaint" ain't it! - it takes all sorts to make a world! Rolling Eyes

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