Increasing Distance per Stroke

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Increasing Distance per Stroke

Post by cottmiler on Sun Jan 21, 2018 1:55 pm

Following the expert guidance of nightcrawler we learn that it is vital to get proper traction on the water combined with a streamlined and correctly balanced horizontal body. This is achieved when we can do 25 m on only 6 strokes.

This of course is similar to the mantra preached by the likes of Total Immersion. Indeed some people on their forum make it their life,s work to count strokes and achieve this mystical state.

Because I like to break things down into smaller achievable chunks I have counted strokes but using one arm only doing the Unco drill exactly as shown below.

Results: Using Left arm only took 11 strokes. Using Right arm only took 14 strokes. Over 25 m.

The right arm clearly showed up a traction problem plus some loss of body balance during the action. No matter how many attempts I made, 14 was the result. Conversely, the left arm pull action and glide did have a very pleasing feel, even mystical.

I think the left arm has benefited from swimming for a month with it only while my damaged right arm/shoulder did nothing.

This stroke counting doing Unco seems to be very useful. We,ll see what happens next.


(The Unco drill as demonstrated here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=80-7b9Io95w)

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Re: Increasing Distance per Stroke

Post by Mike A on Mon Jan 22, 2018 4:36 pm

I've never been overly bothered about DPS for its own sake. The dangers of focusing on it exclusively have been well outlined by Paul Newsome - if you're just relying more on kick or glide, you're only fooling yourself. That's not to say that it's not a potentially useful focus point - just that you need to be aware of the dangers.

One of the great ironies of my experience of DPS is that if I consciously try to get more DPS I tend to swim slower; however, if I focus on power and technique, I tend to swim faster and my DPS increases anyway.

As for Unco, I've only ever been able to do it stroking with the right arm (unless assisted by fins/flippers).
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Re: Increasing Distance per Stroke

Post by nightcrawler on Tue Jan 23, 2018 7:27 am

cottmiler wrote:Following the expert guidance of nightcrawler we learn that it is vital to get proper traction on the water combined with a streamlined and correctly balanced horizontal body.  This is achieved when we can do 25 m on only 6 strokes.

This of course is similar to the mantra preached by the likes of Total Immersion.  Indeed some people on their forum make it their life,s work to count strokes and achieve this mystical state.  

Because I like to break things down into smaller achievable chunks I have counted strokes but using one arm only doing the Unco drill exactly as shown below.

Results:  Using Left arm only took 11 strokes.  Using Right arm only took 14 strokes.  Over 25 m.

The right arm clearly showed up a traction problem plus some loss of body balance during the action.  No matter how many attempts I made, 14 was the result.  Conversely, the left arm pull action and glide did have a very pleasing feel, even mystical.

I think the left arm has benefited from swimming for a month with it only while my damaged right arm/shoulder did nothing.  

This stroke counting doing Unco seems to be very useful.  We,ll see what happens next.


(The Unco drill as demonstrated here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=80-7b9Io95w)

Hi Cottmiler,
You misunderstood me, or I couldnt express myself well enough.
6 SPL was an example. It can be 8-9-10, depends on your potential.
Working on low SPL is good for sprint swimming which requires power rather than endurance, my recomendation was for Sprinter under another topic. Especially for those who use loping stroke technique and dash kicking like Jason Lezak, DPS is very important. As i s seen in the below video (between the durations 2:30-2:45) Lezak's DPS is quite longer than Bernard's:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sxy920Nd7yY


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Re: Increasing Distance per Stroke

Post by nightcrawler on Tue Jan 23, 2018 7:38 am

Mike A wrote:I've never been overly bothered about DPS for its own sake. The dangers of focusing on it exclusively have been well outlined by Paul Newsome - if you're just relying more on kick or glide, you're only fooling yourself. That's not to say that it's not a potentially useful focus point - just that you need to be aware of the dangers.

One of the great ironies of my experience of DPS is that if I consciously try to get more DPS I tend to swim slower; however, if I focus on power and technique, I tend to swim faster and my DPS increases anyway.

As for Unco, I've only ever been able to do it stroking with the right arm (unless assisted by fins/flippers).


For open water swimmers distance per stroke is not crucial but it is good to add some DPS routine (can be 20% of the total weekly volume) to the workouts for developing stroke awareness, core body stabilization and streamline.

More to say, I dont mind what Paul says, his remarks are for beginners, and must not be taken into consideration by the performance swimmers. For instance, his 1-2-stretch mantra is a big discrepancy between "Avoiding the Pause in the Stroke" and "Fluent Swimming"; naturally when you stretch you more or less add a pause to your stroke.

On the other hand, Paul uses world class swimmers for his demonstrations for advertisement purposes and tries to deduce smthing from their techniques, but it is a reality that imitating the world class swimmers' techniques never works if you dont have proper mobility, fitness level and are not doing huge weekly yardage like a world class swimmer.

Actually, I can listen and care what Shelly says but dont care what Paul says, because it is not logical to follow the routines declared by the ones who swim not better than me.

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Re: Increasing Distance per Stroke

Post by Mike A on Tue Jan 23, 2018 10:16 am

cottmiler wrote:Following the expert guidance of nightcrawler we learn that it is vital to get proper traction on the water combined with a streamlined and correctly balanced horizontal body.  This is achieved when we can do 25 m on only 6 strokes.
Where did 6 strokes come from? Or do you mean 6 full cycles? In that famous Shinji video, he takes 9 (single arm) strokes. I'd be amazed if anyone could get that down to 6 - unless they cheat with a lot of flutter kicking.
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Re: Increasing Distance per Stroke

Post by nightcrawler on Tue Jan 23, 2018 10:28 am

Mike A wrote:
cottmiler wrote:Following the expert guidance of nightcrawler we learn that it is vital to get proper traction on the water combined with a streamlined and correctly balanced horizontal body.  This is achieved when we can do 25 m on only 6 strokes.
Where did 6 strokes come from? Or do you mean 6 full cycles? In that famous Shinji video, he takes 9 (single arm) strokes. I'd be amazed if anyone could get that down to 6 - unless they cheat with a lot of flutter kicking.
1st: Cottmiler misunderstood me. 6 strokes was an example. There is no obligation to do 6 strokes per lap. It can be 7-8-9-10 or more acording to your performance.
2nd: In order to swim with less strokes you should be doing the recovery slowly, it is a drill, not a swimming. But Shinji's is not a drill it is swimming and that type of swimming is not working well in open water.
3rd: Low SPL drill is develoing the core stabilization and balance, hip and torso, so that it is good for developing extra energy for sprint swimming.


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Re: Increasing Distance per Stroke

Post by Mike A on Tue Jan 23, 2018 3:34 pm

Thanks for the clarification. Do you perform this drill with a 2-beat kick or a flutter kick?
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Re: Increasing Distance per Stroke

Post by nightcrawler on Wed Jan 24, 2018 7:06 am

I use flutter kick.

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Re: Increasing Distance per Stroke

Post by cottmiler on Wed Jan 24, 2018 8:51 am

This is a nice little video where Stephanie Rice breathes on the stroking side and later Ian Thorpe is doing a super Unco.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3OTANaTFSFI

Yesterday,s effort showed some improvement with fewer strokes per Unco lap on both sides.

However, when I breathed on the stroking side like Stepanie Rice, the strokes went up and dps reduced. I suppose because of inferior streamlining.


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Re: Increasing Distance per Stroke

Post by nightcrawler on Thu Jan 25, 2018 12:47 pm

Today's training session (25.01.2018 - SCM 5000m, wearing short with pockets):
500m freesyle hand drag drill (7:28)
3000m freestyle 90-95% of 3K race pace with finis agility paddles (40:32)
500m freestyle with 16 SPL (7:20, SPM:64)
500m freestyle with 18 SPL (6:52, SPM:75)
500m freestyle with 19 SPL (6:43, SPM:80)

Notes:
SPL: stands for strokes per lap
SPM: stands for strokes per minute(measured by tempo trainer mode 3)

Waiting for your comments...

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Re: Increasing Distance per Stroke

Post by cottmiler on Sun Jan 28, 2018 10:14 am

nightcrawler; the data where you give SPL and SPM give the following SWOLF scores:

38.0 - 500m freestyle with 16 SPL (7:20, SPM:64)
38.6 - 500m freestyle with 18 SPL (6:52, SPM:75)
39.2 - 500m freestyle with 19 SPL (6:43, SPM:80)


SWOLF is the sum of SPL and the lap time in seconds.

I dare not measure lap times but today I managed with only 10 strokes in 25m with two arm swimming.  It helps to get a 10 m push off before any stroke starts doesn't it?

I was pleased to need only 15 strokes doing Fist Drill for the 25 m.

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Re: Increasing Distance per Stroke

Post by nightcrawler on Mon Jan 29, 2018 2:00 pm

Hi Cotty,

I know what it is but dont deal with SWOLF, it is another marketing tool, serves to no purpose neither efficiency nor the swim quality nor the efficiency. Knowing your SWOLF will never make you better and faster swimmer. The reason why is: "note that you cannot workout DPS and pace at the same time". Technique and efficiency can seperately be developed.

I am using flutter kick during the pushoffs without any dolphin kick. Since I m preparing for OW races, I m doing 3-4m pushoffs.



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Re: Increasing Distance per Stroke

Post by Don Wright on Sun Feb 04, 2018 10:25 am

I may have "retired" from useful contributions to this forum - but you know what swimmers are like - just can't resist seeing whats going on and maybe commenting!

Thank you "cottmiler" for starting this thread - am not concerned about the pros/cons of doing this, but it is fun - I still go through my FS variants at every session, except for the variant in which I (fruitlessly! Laughing  ) try to kick frenetically.  Instead - having seen this topic - I initially swim FS at at least 1/2 the pace I normally do, with arms slowly kayaking.  Really exaggerating the relaxed UW arm pull and AW arm recovery, taking care to roll properly etc, doing all those things we know to be essential for balance and stream-lining, while just lazily flicking the legs up/down (am sure my heels/ankles often come out of the water on the kick upbeats (Ahuh!  Knees bending as the lower leg curls back!) - and I understand that might be a good thing, because as each foot re-enters the water, it's instep is in a more horizontal attitude at the start of the next kick downbeat).

So am not fussed about what may or may not be achieved by doing it - but it is fun!

Learning never stops!  Have made a slight improvement to my little full fly stroke efforts - by coming (at long last!) to realize the importance of that "head nod" deeper into the water as the downbeat of the minor kick finishes and one is about to start the "scoop" (in-sweep) part of the arm action.  It's just another application of "pressing the buoy" and raises the legs up closer to the surface, with the deliberate aim of getting the feet/ankles above the surface, so as to provide less body drag as the arms do their scoop. Think it also facilitates inhalation, by the force of the major kick downbeat "levering" the body up into a better attitude, for the mouth to clear the water!

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Re: Increasing Distance per Stroke

Post by cottmiler on Sun Feb 04, 2018 11:37 am

It's great to hear from you Don! I sometimes question why I bother to write since there are so few posts here but people seem to read mine so I continue.

Like you we had another rewarding session this morning. Every time we learn a little bit more. This time it was angling the hands better to get a better pull since I was racing someone whom I had given half a lap start.

You may recall I told a tale years ago about about a Nigerian friend who used a bank of pull buoys from ankle to groin to keep his iron legs up. He was swimming today, 25 m and absolutely delighted that he can do a lap relaxed with iron legs only 3-400 mm below the surface.

I am reluctant to try to "help" him but his hand entry is badly crossed over and his arm pull isn't helping adjust the body position to be more horizontal. It is such a shame that over several years as a lifeguard that no coach has helped him correct these things.

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Re: Increasing Distance per Stroke

Post by Don Wright on Sun Feb 04, 2018 1:14 pm

cottmiler wrote:
You may recall I told a tale years ago about about a Nigerian friend who used a bank of pull buoys from ankle to groin to keep his iron legs up.  He was swimming today, 25 m and absolutely delighted that he can do a lap relaxed with iron legs only 3-400 mm below the surface.

I am reluctant to  try to "help" him but his hand entry is badly crossed over and his arm pull isn't helping adjust the body position to be more horizontal.   It is such a shame that over several years as a lifeguard that no coach has helped him correct these things.

Yes, it is sad that few who know better, seldom proffer a bit of advice to help put poor souls out of misery!  My little attempt to help Hussain do better at fly stroke was not very fruitful - I did see him occasionally trying "fly type" things - but kept "mum".  I was astonished at my previous session to see a big chap resting at the end of the pool talking to someone on a smartphone - some people can't bear to be parted from their fancy gizmos.  He did stop to mutter a few words to me - but apologized that he didn't know much English, so used a bit of gesticulation, repeatedly holding up 2 splayed fingers (obviously not a rude gesture in that case!  Smile ) which I suppose meant he could only do 2 FS lengths without stopping for a rest - since that's the most I saw him swim returning to fuss with his mobile again!  Later on my approach to the pool end doing a bit of fly (yeah! this "oldie" doesn't try to push beyond 10m at a time now - not intending to "pop my clogs yet"!  Sad ), towards where he still stood - I noticed him push off from the wall and do a few weak double fly arm actions without any proper body/leg action whatsoever - but in view of the language problem I kept quiet! We're relatively good at minding our own business, aren't we!!!

I wonder if your Nigerian chap, with the lead legs, ever tried the "pressing the buoy" idea, to get them up closer to the surface - it only needs a momentary head nod deeper (so the back of the head is a couple of inches below the surface) every time the arm on the breathing side makes water entry.  The "buoyant reaction" (coning from the top of the chest area) seems to last for the remainder of that stroke cycle.  The snag in doing this, is that for a few instants one is gazing at the bottom of the pool, and not looking to avoid any possible collisions in an un-roped area!

P.S.  IMO pressing the buoy (or "T", as it's otherwise called), has the effect of raising the legs, not so much because the head and top-most part of the air-filled chest are pushed down a bit so as to benefit from a possible buoyant reaction - but also because of the relative inertia of the vertebrae in the spine to accommodate a quick change - i.e. a relative brief/transitory "stiffness" in the spine from below the neck down - that means the "quick head nod towards the pool bottom" tends to raise the rest of the body upwards.

 What am trying to say - without much success, is that the "quick head nod downwards" imparts a brief upward  "out-of-phase"/slightly delayed movement for the rest of the body below the neck.


Last edited by Don Wright on Thu Feb 08, 2018 11:17 am; edited 8 times in total

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Re: Increasing Distance per Stroke

Post by s.sciame on Sun Feb 04, 2018 9:57 pm

Hi all, it's been a while since I last posted but I always come here now and then to see what's new.

About increasing DPS, I'm actually working on it. During Christmas holidays I was lucky enough to observe a group of young fast swimmers training in the next lane. The leading boy (guess he was 14yo, much shorter than me) easily cruised at 15-16SPL - also with minimal kick - and with that solid DPS he resulted fast also when warming up and cooling down at slow stroke rates. It was kind of an eye opener for me: I thought hey, I'm taller than this guy and I have decent balance and streamline, I really need to work on pull mechanics (which is probably the very best thing we all can do, ever) and get a better DPS - which is a by product of improved pull mechanics.

Despite not being a fan of drills in general, I'd like to share 3 drills that I'm finding very effective in order to improve pull mechanics and, as a consequence, DPS:

1. The good old one arm drill with the passive arm extended forward. It's great to focus on catch&pull and streamline. Note that UNCO doesn't do this. UNCO is good to work on rotation and timing, but less effective about pull mechanics (at least for me).

2. The good old catchup drill. Some coaches don't recommend this drill, saying that it breaks rhythm, rotation and promotes overgliding. Well, I just don't think so. As the previous drill, I find it great to work on pull mechanics because you start every pull when the body is flat ie when you have the best chances to execute your best pull.

3. Swimming with 10 beat kick and a slow but continuous stroke (slow enough to fit 10 kicks per stroke cycle). See Scott Tucker at 1:15 doing this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ARKeQBIhUuo

Finally I'm planning to do some of this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tw1eb6jOlRg

(well, maybe not at office Wink)

Happy swimming everyone!
Salvo

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Re: Increasing Distance per Stroke

Post by nightcrawler on Wed Feb 07, 2018 1:27 pm

s.sciame wrote:

Finally I'm planning to do some of this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tw1eb6jOlRg  


I wrote my comment below the video.

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Re: Increasing Distance per Stroke

Post by Sprinter on Sat May 19, 2018 8:18 pm

[quote="s.sciame"]

Finally I'm planning to do some of this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tw1eb6jOlRg  

[/quote]

I came to the conclusion that DPS is irrelevant. No need to practise in that direction -- I think the chances are high that the stroke of the amateur is harmed in this way, due to trying to do something extreme, without support of the rest of the body.

Whatever the stroke rate is, the question should be whether it is "natural" (alright, not easy to define, but typically visible).

Concerning the stretch cord, the way it should be done is demonstrated here well in my opinion (without that old S-shape pattern):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=USpT60cC1ZM

Just watch it, the voice isn't important.

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Re: Increasing Distance per Stroke

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