Lack of progress

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kef27
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Joined: Fri Jul 16, 2010 6:52 pm

Lack of progress

Postby kef27 » Fri Jun 24, 2016 5:37 pm

I have a question. I just retested my swim speed and I went from 1:37/100 yards at the start of May, to 1:37.5 today. I swim 90 minutes (hard) 3 days a week.

I'm using the swim smooth app. I've completed the over glider sessions, the familiarization boot camp, the swim type follow on plan, the intermediate ironman plan, and I'm half way through the advanced ironman plan.

It's obviously not helping. So, what should I do? My thoughts are either a) swim one day a week, because any more is a waste of time, or b) train differently. But how?

Any advice would be welcomed. I have stopped the ironman plan and started doing some fault fixer sessions to see if that helps.

I think I'm most frustrated because I am a 2:50 marathoner, and I just feel I should be able to swim faster. But I feel like the harder I try, the more out of breath I get, without going any faster....

Sprinter
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Location: United Kingdom

Re: Lack of progress

Postby Sprinter » Fri Jun 24, 2016 9:12 pm

kef27 wrote:I have a question. I just retested my swim speed and I went from 1:37/100 yards at the start of May, to 1:37.5 today. I swim 90 minutes (hard) 3 days a week.

I think I'm most frustrated because I am a 2:50 marathoner, and I just feel I should be able to swim faster. But I feel like the harder I try, the more out of breath I get, without going any faster....


What do you precisely mean with "swim speed"?
If you have an average speed of 1:37/100 yards over a longer distance, then this is already something, and one perhaps can not expect improvements quickly.

What age group are you? Especially what is your shoulder flexibility? Any neck problems? And what is you ankle flexibility?
Overall fitness does not necessarily translate into swimming fitness.
And running is very different from swimming.

Do you have a swimming background (in a club)?
If not, then I strongly recommend a video analysis, which apparently you haven't done yet -- you'll be surprised what you *actually* do (every adult learner is). One thinks that "basically I swim like Jono van Hazel, so what's wrong?", but it's not like that (likely ;) ).

kef27
Posts: 10
Joined: Fri Jul 16, 2010 6:52 pm

Re: Lack of progress

Postby kef27 » Fri Jun 24, 2016 10:56 pm

Thanks guys for the advice. I have had video analysis, and you are right that I thought I was better than I am. No swim background, poor shoulder flexibility.
I think I will try to swim daily for a few weeks to work on my form, which I'm sure could be better. The problem is that when I swim fast/hard, I go back to my bad habits....

The 1:37 / 100 is my Critical Swim Speed (CSS) as calculated by the swim smooth app.

Here's my swim video, if anyone cares.

http://www.hudl.com/technique/video/vie ... ?e=6016687

http://www.hudl.com/technique/video/vie ... ?e=6016699

Sprinter
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Location: United Kingdom

Re: Lack of progress

Postby Sprinter » Fri Jun 24, 2016 11:31 pm

What I can see from the videos (not very clearly) is that the basic "problem" is that it's not too bad, times and stroke roughly seem to fit, and then it just takes quite some effort to get better than that.

As Ducky said, 3 sessions per week seem tight to improve that level.

There is also the general observation, that progress often/sometimes(?) does not come continuously, but in stages. Especially what concerns technique.

The one thing I noticed is you scissor kick, likely caused by some inbalance.
It also seems that the head is coming up quite high for breathing.
Can't see the pull, but for, say, 1:30 / 100m (which is the natural next bigger target, I guess) you need some power -- something has to happen under water.

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SharkFM
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Re: Lack of progress

Postby SharkFM » Sat Jun 25, 2016 5:11 am

How many chin-ups or pull-ups can you do?

The Dodo
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Re: Lack of progress

Postby The Dodo » Sat Jun 25, 2016 7:38 am

Think Sprinter has identified the main "problems" : -

Sprinter wrote:The one thing I noticed is you scissor kick, likely caused by some inbalance. [I thought in the first clip that kef27 was almost dragging a parachute behind him - the legs seemed to be too far apart during the kick, viewed from above - whatever happened to the old SS advice to "kick brushing the big toes together"?. Also in that first above clip I got an impression of a bit of just "upper body" twist (rather than whole body roll) as each arm recovered - this could be the imbalance Sprinter refers to!]
It also seems that the head is coming up quite high for breathing.[the 2nd side-view clip shows this particularly badly IMO at 0:16 - kef27's head is tilted out of line with his spine and appears to be looking way over the lane rope - got the feeling the head was not being returned to the front smartly enough (i.e. inhalations not terminating in good time with stroke mechanics? - e.g. start inhalation towards end of stroking arm's up-sweep and finish as fingers of recovering arm come level with the head, and get that head back to neutral asap). Another point I noticed with the side clip is that kef27's heels seldom break the surface, does this suggest he has a low legs problem?]
Can't see the pull, but ... you need some power -- something has to happen under water.[Maybe there isn't much of a decent catch, and the stroking arm just sweeps through as quick as it can, so no "grip" on the water?]

Last edited by The Dodo on Sat Jun 25, 2016 8:17 am, edited 2 times in total.

smootharnie
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Re: Lack of progress

Postby smootharnie » Sat Jun 25, 2016 8:06 am

Damn I almost forgot ny password.
Did you have some TI teachings?
I agree with the remarks from others that there is missing some power component in your stroke.
It al looks neat an good except from the lateral imbalance, and that there is little sense of purpose in the stroke.
The midsections bends and wobbles a lot but its a bend caused by core weakness, not from using core bending to accentuate the stroke.
Be it rowing or backstroke for a different perspective, the basic message is always the same. anchor the arm and use the most muscles in the rest of your body to torque past that anchor.
The detailed execution of movement may be different, but the basics apply to freestyle too.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wv_4PDz_KWM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uau86uJwQyU

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4w1f7pUsD_4

You might want to read the thread about getting power in your stroke somewhere here.
The first step is to get your main body more stable and straight in your stroke
Second is to get a good paddle in the water as possible
third is to find a way to use the rest of your body to get past that paddle.

The last step may include some body bending to extend the basic movement, but you have to find the best compromise between body bending and staying straight, which is better for your streamline.
Like there is an optimal strokerate-strokelength for people, there is also an optimal powerbending versus straightness.
Experiment with exagerated big powermovements with big amplitude and more compact small amplitude powermovements keeping the core more tight and the body straighter.
At some point you will feel the exagerated movements feel powerfull, but cause a lot of drag at the same time.
The tiny movement (on a tight and controlled core body) can feel weak and puny but can be faster as expected.
You have to find some compromise between these two extremes.

I think you can learn some from Harry Wiltshires stroke.
Add some water clawing and pulling yourself forward usingn side crunches/upperbodybending on a locked wide arm.
This action is mostly in the upperbody and should make your whole region between hips and ribcage tired.
Kicking in up and dow direction, shoulder movement with clawing arm from front to rear on a rotating shoulderplane
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HDsBTpygrks
Last edited by smootharnie on Sun Jun 26, 2016 7:58 am, edited 2 times in total.
GO to the new swimforum, called ....... THE SWIM FORUM......swim.palstani.com

kef27
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Re: Lack of progress

Postby kef27 » Sat Jun 25, 2016 12:53 pm

Wow, that's some great stuff. I never expected such great replies. I think you are all right, but I struggle to find a way to fix it all. I will work on my core and catch and see if I can get better connection through my stroke.
It's just such a hard thing for me to find, if you know what I mean.

I can do 10 pull ups btw. I need to get back in the gym, for sure. All this ironman training is really stealing my time!

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gavinp
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Re: Lack of progress

Postby gavinp » Tue Jun 28, 2016 11:32 am

Hi

I can see a few improvements in terms of your stroke from being an over glider, but there is always a lot you can't do/fix on your own. Did you get a coach to film your stroke? if so, did the coach go through any technique work with you??

It will take time as pointed out - especially on your own. My swim squad always tests after 8 weeks rather than 4 so you may be expecting too much too soon on that side of things too.

Can you show us your 400m and 200m times for both the first and second timed sessions please.
Swim Smooth accredited coach and
Northamptonshire based triathlon coach
http://www.trisomi.co.uk


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