A Fitness & exercise forum. FitnessBanter.com

If this is your first visit, be sure to check out the FAQ by clicking the link above. You may have to register before you can post: click the register link above to proceed. To start viewing messages, select the forum that you want to visit from the selection below.

Go Back   Home » FitnessBanter.com forum » Fitness & Exercise » Swimming
Site Map Home Register Authors List Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read Web Partners

Stroke Length ... what's all the fuss?



 
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #21  
Old January 8th 04, 03:47 PM
F.J.
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Stroke Length ... what's all the fuss?

Maglisko has a nice figure in his book about the impact of stroke
length on the speed of swimming. It is a bell shape curve. What the
curve indicates is that extreme long DPS and extreme short DPS are
both detremental to speed. The real question is how to find the
optimal DPS for each individual. A tempo trainer or pacer is the best
available tool right now.
  #22  
Old January 8th 04, 04:44 PM
Bill Geiser
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Stroke Length ... what's all the fuss?

On 8 Jan 2004 07:47:41 -0800, F.J. wrote:

Maglisko has a nice figure in his book about the impact of stroke
length on the speed of swimming. It is a bell shape curve. What the
curve indicates is that extreme long DPS and extreme short DPS are
both detremental to speed.


I agree.

The real question is how to find the
optimal DPS for each individual. A tempo trainer or pacer is the best
available tool right now.


A tempo trainer would clearly help you maintain (for example) a 30 cycles
per minute cadence....however, it doesn't have a clue if your traveling .5
meters/cycle; 1.0 meter/cycle; or 3.0 meters/cycle....so, how is is the
best tool for DPS?
  #23  
Old January 8th 04, 05:10 PM
MJuric
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Stroke Length ... what's all the fuss?

On 7 Jan 2004 23:17:18 -0800, (4precious) wrote:

MJuric wrote in message ...
On 7 Jan 2004 14:14:39 -0800,
(4precious) wrote:

MEN CYCLE TIME (SEC/CYCLE) CYCLE RATE (CYCLES/MIN DISTANCE PER
CYCLE
400 FREE 1.44 42.86 2.35

WOMEN CYCLE TIME (SEC/CYCLE) CYCLE RATE (CYCLES/MIN DISTANCE PER
CYCLE
400 FREE 1.3 45.45 2.08

RECREATION
SWIMMER CYCLE TIME (SEC/CYCLE) CYCLE RATE (CYCLES/MIN DISTANCE PER
CYCLE
400 FREE 1.88 31.88 2.15


What is the (Distance per cycle) Measured in. Is that Meters per
stroke. If so that means that the pro's are taking 9.7 Strokes per
25yd length and you're around 10.63 per 25, Is that right?


The Distance Per Stroke in the table is all meters per second. I
normalized my data since I swim in a 25 yard pool. I assumed my
break-out was 5 yards so I only swim 20 yards on each length.

So my DPC was calculated as:

((25-5)*0.9144)/8.5 = 2.15 (0.9144 converts yards to meters, 8.5 is
cycles)


Ok so your SC is 17 and the pro's SC is closer to 15 or so in a
sprint.



Snip

Could be. You may recall, however, that Don Walsh, a "TI Guy" from
the goswim website takes only 4 cycles to go 25 yards at a "leisurely"
pace. So my 8.5 is not Earth shattering.


The 4 cycles or 8 SC for a leisurely pace is very different
than a 8.5 or 17 SC at an all out sprint. I suspect, don't know, that
Don's SC climbs dramatically during an all out sprint. I woudl also
suspect that your SC might drop a bit during a Leisurly swim.



Although it would appear that your stroke rate needs to
increase, what will the end result be if you increase your SR and
allow your SL to go down. You travel the same distance taking more
strokes, ultimately working harder probably in the same time. The goal
is to hold your current SL and increase your SC. This is exactly the
purpose of swim golf. The purpose of swim golf is to trade off a bit
of SL to see what gains can be made in time. The best score is a
combination of low time and low SC.


Yes, you are correct. Higher SR will lead to lower SL for virually
everyone. But why work on Stroke Length first, and then try to
increase Stroke Rate? Has anyone proven that's the best paradigm?


In my case I can say that trading SC for SL works only to a
point. After my SC hits around 19-20 per 25 my speed begins to
stabalize after 22+ my speed actually decreases.
Whether or not the higher SC is the cause of the slower time
or simple a symptom of not being able to hold a high SR I couldn't
say.
I can say that by concentrating on not allowing my SC to
increase while at the same time trying to increase my SR results in
faster times if I sucseed.

Maybe we should be strapping cadence meters on our swim goggles,
setting the rate to at least 40 cycles a second, and then saying "go".
Be as fluid and efficient as you can, but maintain that cadence.


Could be never tried that for prolonged period. I can say from
personal experinace it is much more difficult to concentrate on speed
and hold form. This follows true in running, biking and swimming for
me. As I do a spin up in cycling I concentrate on starting out smooth
and going up to a point at which my form fails. The point of the spin
up is to "train" the neural system for a quicker response. Once the
soin is no longer following the proper rotation power drops off. At
this point what exactly are you training? You would still be training
for a higher spin cycle but at a lower power output than the lower
spin cycle. You're saying that training the higher spin cycle at the
lower power out will evenetually allow the higher spin cycle to create
higher power. I have a tendancy to doubt this as the higher "out of
control" spin cycle never has a chance to learn a "smooth" stroke as
it's constanatly "out of control" OTOH pushing the limit of spin to
"just in control" and high output will allow the neural path to learn
to operater at that higher cycle. Eventually being stable at that
cycle then moving on to yet a higher spin cycle.
Of course the above is merely my experiments I've done with
running cycling and swimming, and as stated I've never tried it
backwards. Yet I can say that "being out of control" in either running
or cycling does, at least in my case, lead to injuries.




I plan to buy one of those stroke cadence meters that fits under your
swim cap or straps to your goggles. They emit a beep everytime your
hand is supposed to hit the water for a given cadence. You can
program them for various beep intervals.


Don't have one but I've heard that this also helps for "evening" out
one side to another. Basically forces you to have an even stroke on
both sides.


I have an uneven stroke. ("lope") So my opinion is we need cadence
meters that you can change the duty cycle on. For example, 55/45 or
60/40.



The reason my stroke rate is low is because I don't race. If you
race, and want to be competitive, you naturally have to go for high
cadences to keep up with your competitors. The whole "increase stroke
rate" thing can be over done, like everything else. But in today's
swim culture, not only is it not practiced, it's treated as the wrong
way to swim.

Eric


Actually I find quite the opposite. Most of the swimmers,
coaches etc around here will just short of force you to "Swim Faster"
by turning over faster. Few if any teach a technique oriented "Swim
Longer" method. Even those that understand that as a "good method"
really don't teach it or enforce it during classes, they simply say
"reach further faster" Pretty much 90% of my masters class is spent
"trying" to grind out faster 100's than the last. Yet an overwhelming
portion of our class just end up losing technique and going slower.
Matter of fact the only people I know that emphasis, possibly
overemphasis SL are associated with TI in some way, around here few
and far between.


I'm not advocating "turn and burn" for it's own sake. I'm saying
elite coaches are very aware of the Stroke Rates of their swimmers, so
we should be to. Richard Quick at Stanford and his women's team use
cadence meters all the time. (according to an article on the web)
I'm saying Swim Golf in the absence of drills related to meaningful
work on Stroke Rate may actually slow a swimmer down due to only
presenting one side of the following equation:

speed = Stroke Length * Cadence

Eric


I think your missing the point of swim golf. As far as I know
swim golf is exactly what your advocating, without going to extremes
on SR. Again swim golf is a "game" of give and take on SR & SL. A golf
score of 90 could be a 50yd swim in 45 secs with 45 total strokes. It
could also be a 30 sec swim with 60 strokes. Obviously a lower score
is better the guy going from 45/45 to 35/50 comes in with a lower
score of 85 but actually has a higher SC. The point is not to hit the
ultimate low SC but to hit the Optimal low SC. If your SC continues to
rise and your time continues to fall its generlly a good thing. On the
other hand I doubt that an addition 10 strokes for a measily 1sec drop
in time is worth for any but the shortest distance races.

~Matt

  #24  
Old January 8th 04, 05:19 PM
4precious
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Stroke Length ... what's all the fuss?

"Swanger" wrote in message m...
"4precious" wrote in message
om...
Most videos of elite swimmers are posted on the web at half speed. So
every once in a while, I double the playback speed to get back to real
time. And the frequency at which those folks are kicking their legs
and pin-wheeling their arms is always a revelation. I'm not sure I
would believe how fast their limbs are flying except that there's
often a timer displayed which does indeed show the seconds ticking off
at the correct interval.

Okay, so what's the big deal you say?


big ol snip

I'm finally back from Florida. The beautiful 50 meter pool that I
usually visit in Vero Beach was also being visited by the Auburn University
Swim Team involved with winter swim camp. I was also privy to conversations
between the local master's swim coach (a TI enthusiast) and the head coach,
David Marsh. No smoking guns for or against TI other than Marsh will
consider just about any angle within reason regarding philosophies, swim
apparatus, training styles, techniques, cross training, swim gadgets or
otherwise to insure that each of his athletes has every opportunity to find
the right solution that best exploits their talents. What a healthy looking
group of swimmers!
Another sport which has a similar dilemma regarding turnover rate is ice
speedskating. Traditional speedskating training techniques relies heavily
upon low and extremely slow strokes. The low and slow helps emphasize
balance and power much like TI (maybe not so much the power). Trying to
cover more ground with each stroke with flawless balance is the optimum
goal. Different skaters have differing turnover rates depending upon the
event they skate and their body types. The low and slow "squat" is
basically power building and a warm-up technique that all skaters regularly
perform to insure a good edge, much like a catch in swimming. Once the gun
goes off, the low and slow technique is thrown right out the proverbial
window in favor of the speed inducing turnover technique. Hours of low and
slow will help insure that when these skaters increase their stroke
turnover they will have the power from being low and the technique from
going slow to help balance while skating with much higher tempos for greater
speed. Yes, speedskating does emphasize higher turnover rates for greater
speed. However, maybe not enough in the past. More contemporary skating
techniques seem to be emphasizing even higher turnover rates much like
running (pose), biking (Lance), kayaking and,,,,,, boxing (just kidding).

Rick Swanger


I think a key point is that there are sports where different turnover
rates make a difference in technique, and those where it doesn't.
Obviously cyling, with your feet clipped into pedals that turn in the
same circle each time, is probably the best example of an activity
where cadence can be changed with no impact on motion.

On the other end of the spectrum is probably swimming, where turnover
rates effect style tremendously. For example, the high turnover
versus low turnover thing in swimming can, in most cases, be simply
reduced to this question: "what's the elbow doing". Larry's made this
point many times before. It's virtually impossible to find any elites
with weak kicks, and therefore high turnovers, who lock out their
elbow to full extension when they finish their recovery. Instead, arm
comes into the water bent.

Terry Laughlin says many elites look a lot more "TI-like" while
training. That is, more glide on the side, more straight arm
extension, etc. He promised to post some video of this on his site.
I would love to see video of Brooke Bennett training. Does she spend
a lot of time gliding on her side with long reach, and then quick roll
to the other side? And then when she races, be much flatter and use a
much shorter arm pull? Maybe. But intuitively, it doesn't make a lot
of sense. You practice the way you race.

Matt wrote in another post in this thread that some swim coaches who
think they are embracing TI say "reach further faster". That's
probably a mistake. They're mixing two styles of swimming as if you
can pick a few attributes of each style, slam them together, and come
up with something that makes sense. It's probably more appropriate to
say, "pull shorter quicker", in high stroke rate style.

I'm hoping that's what one of these tempo trainers that's attached to
your swim goggles and which beeps each time you hand is supposed to
hit the water does. At a higher cadence than what the swimmer is used
to, the stroke will naturally become more clipped, and the arm will
enter bent. In anotherwords, it will start to look more like the
elites that employ this style.

Eric
  #25  
Old January 8th 04, 05:36 PM
MJuric
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Stroke Length ... what's all the fuss?

On Thu, 08 Jan 2004 02:52:16 GMT, "diablo" wrote:

why are we discussing this like its some sort of Holy shaft of inspiration
delivered from on high? Only TI advocates that stroke length is the "be all
and end all",


I even question whether TI advocates this. Terry mentions in
his book TSME (Triathlon Swimming Made Easy) That he takes
responsibility for the mindset of many TI'rs that search for the
absolute lowest SC. His intention was to search for the optimal SC and
that searching for the optimal SC, at the time of his beginning this
quest, was the rareity rather than norm. Most coaches and rec swimmers
were of the mind set of searching for the highest SR or simply
"mindless" swimming.

~Matt


  #26  
Old January 8th 04, 05:52 PM
diablo
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Stroke Length ... what's all the fuss?


"4precious" wrote in message
om...

I'm hoping that's what one of these tempo trainers that's attached to
your swim goggles and which beeps each time you hand is supposed to
hit the water does. At a higher cadence than what the swimmer is used
to, the stroke will naturally become more clipped, and the arm will
enter bent. In anotherwords, it will start to look more like the
elites that employ this style.


Surely the best application for any kind of cadence device in swimming would
be to increase the SL while maintaining the SR? There was a "paid article"
in something from ASCA recently about the tempo trainer and its
applications...wouldn't you know it, its not online. i'll pick it up when i
get to the office and post a synopsis for you all this evening.


  #27  
Old January 8th 04, 06:50 PM
Donal Fagan
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Stroke Length ... what's all the fuss?

On Thu, 08 Jan 2004 00:40:49 GMT, Bill Geiser
wrote:

A good friend and one of the best US swimmers
during the 70's, Jerry Heidenreich (now deceased)
wrote 'the 21 Laws of Swimming'. His law #12
stated:

"The fastest you ever travel is when you dive off
the block and push off the wall"


Could you post the full list of these laws?


Donal Fagan AIA

(Anglicise the name to reply by e-mail)
  #28  
Old January 8th 04, 07:32 PM
Larry Weisenthal
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Stroke Length ... what's all the fuss?

Most coaches and rec swimmers
were of the mind set of searching for the highest SR or simply
"mindless" swimming.

In the middle of an unusually busy workday (and therefore unable yet to
complete my response to Geiger), I do want to make the following point.

I think that the concept is promoted that long SL/low SR swimming is "good
technique" swimming, while short SL/high SR swimming is "poor technique"
swimming. Juric (above) uses the word "mindless."

Yet it remains an undeniable fact that, if you look at weak kicking swimmers at
the upper levels, the vast majority are short SL/high SR. At the very highest
levels (Olympic medal winners), weak kickers are all (to my knowledge, and I'm
waiting for the exception which proves the rule) short SL/high SR.

So I conclude that, if an adult swimmer or triathlete wishes to use elite
swimmers as models, the first thing to consider is to put oneself into either
(1) the "strong kicker" class or (2) the "weak kicker" class. If one is a
"weak kicker," and especially if one is swimming a distance event (say anything
longer than a 400), then one should look at the successful weak kickers as
better models to emulate.

Now, I think that "TI" (and swim coaches in general) could to a tremendous
service to the world of swimming with regard to learning what constitutes "good
technique" high SR swimming and teach this. In reading Terry's own accounts of
his "high SR" swimming days, he clearly states that his approach to high SR
swimming was simply to flail away as fast as he possibly could (i.e.
"mindlessly"), with no regard whatsoever to the most efficient/most
hydrodynamic way to swim with a high SR and with no effort to determine what
was the optimum SR.

I've written before how I think that Brooke Bennett (in her prime, circa 2000)
was the best pure "kayak" swimmer I've ever seen. Popov may try to kayak, but,
by no means does he at all resemble a true kayaker, and, as I've pointed out,
he swims with marked asymmetry ("loping") with regard to bilateral stroke
timing.

Watching Bennet swim, she looks exactly like an expert kayaker. Gentle (not
marked) bobbing-type roll from side to side; perfectly clean, slightly bent-arm
entry, with immediate catch and pull, with no hestitation at any point in the
stroke cycle. Just clean, continuous movement. There are other styles of high
SR swimming, but successful high SR swimming requires just as much in the way
of technical perfection as does low SR swimming.

Lest anyone doubt the profound influence of the kick on SL, just put on a pair
of zoomers and see what happens to SL. Then change into full-sized fins (to
approximate Ian Thorpe). When I swim with fins, I don't have to _try_ to use
an FQS style of swimming...it is perfectly natural, as it is obvious that, with
an extremely good kick, the most efficient way to swim is with a low SR/high SL
"FQS" swimming style. But take away the kick, and there is nothing at all
natural about high SL/low SR swimming, and I don't think that it is the most
efficient way to swim and I think that the examples (and data) from elite
level/world class swimming support me on this.

- Larry
  #29  
Old January 8th 04, 08:14 PM
Bill Geiser
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Stroke Length ... what's all the fuss?

On 08 Jan 2004 19:32:46 GMT, Larry Weisenthal wrote:


So I conclude that, if an adult swimmer or triathlete wishes to use elite
swimmers as models, the first thing to consider is to put oneself into either
(1) the "strong kicker" class or (2) the "weak kicker" class. If one is a
"weak kicker," and especially if one is swimming a distance event (say anything
longer than a 400), then one should look at the successful weak kickers as
better models to emulate.


Larry, I think a lot of this discussion centers on how you define a strong
kicker vs. a weak kicker. I'll also state there is no one right answer.

I'll use myself as an example - you tell me what kicking box I belong in:

- I've been swimming for the better part of the last 40 years; much of it
as a competitive swimmer (HS, Collegiate, Masters)
- I consider myself an exceptionally strong swimmer (will usually finish
in Top 10 in my age group @ Masters Nat'ls when I get off my butt and get
into shape - 100 & 200 yard freestyle)
- I swim with many triathletes - not a single one of them can keep up with
me when we swim or pull; but when we kick I'm definitely middle-to-back of
the pack (in a 25 mtr pool - i can kick 50 mtrs in 55 seconds or so, but
that's an all out kick)
- I consider my distance per stroke to be considerably above average
compared with the people I swim with (I typically train at 14-15 cycles /
50 mtrs; when i sprint it's typically 17 cycles/50) - most of the other
swimmers train using 20-25 cycles / 50).

So - compared with people who are healthy & in-shape, but lack the years of
swimming experience that I possess: my kick is at best average & more
likely below average; yet I'm able to swim circles around them with a much
longer DPS and a far slower SR.

With that in mind, I'm not saying you are wrong. There are certainly a
number of people who swim very fast with a high SR/ short SL combination.
But, there are also people with weak kicks - like me - who have figured out
how to succeed with the combination of a long DPS and weak kick.

Swim Smart!
Bill



  #30  
Old January 8th 04, 10:35 PM
MJuric
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Stroke Length ... what's all the fuss?

On 08 Jan 2004 19:32:46 GMT, et (Larry Weisenthal)
wrote:

Most coaches and rec swimmers

were of the mind set of searching for the highest SR or simply
"mindless" swimming.

In the middle of an unusually busy workday (and therefore unable yet to
complete my response to Geiger), I do want to make the following point.

I think that the concept is promoted that long SL/low SR swimming is "good
technique" swimming, while short SL/high SR swimming is "poor technique"
swimming. Juric (above) uses the word "mindless."


After posting the above I suspected this may be a bit
offensive. To clarify my point of "mindless" I was actually trying to
make a comparison to TI's methodolgy of "Mindful" swimming not to say
that high SR is "mindless". I think part of the benefit of TI's
emphasis on low SC low SR is also to make the swimmer well aware of
technique. Something that is generally much easier for the novice to
do in slow mo than it is at full speed. Prior to TI I suspect, that
coaching and individual mentality was much different. I.E. probably
more bent towarsds faster harder than slower better.


Yet it remains an undeniable fact that, if you look at weak kicking swimmers at
the upper levels, the vast majority are short SL/high SR. At the very highest
levels (Olympic medal winners), weak kickers are all (to my knowledge, and I'm
waiting for the exception which proves the rule) short SL/high SR.

So I conclude that, if an adult swimmer or triathlete wishes to use elite
swimmers as models,


A concept that I believe to be a mistake from the get go. I
can no more pull usefull information by simply watching an elite
swimmer such as Thorpe or anyone else that will make drastic
improvements to my swimming than I could from Lance for my biking.
Simply stated other than the fact that I bike and I swim, my workouts,
technique, power output resemble nothing from Lance's or Thorpes data
stream. To make such a comparison in my case and I suspect in the case
of most Rec swimmers is IMO counter productive at very least
concentrating effort in areas that will produce smaller improvements
than others.
I guess the point is I could watch Lance pedal all day long.
Take notes on how hard he pushes, his cadence, his saddle position
everthing. I could then go home and duplicate everthing right down to
the color of the bike. Sorry to say that's not going to make me Lance.
After I realize that that didn't work I would probably will be
overcome with the plethora of data I have accumulated and spend hours
trying to figure out what changes to speed, force, seat position etc I
need to make in order to be Lance. The fact of the matter is I would
be a better biker if I had not heard of Lance and simply went out and
rode a bit more.
At the level I'm at, and I suspect most here are at, we have
light years of work before we even contemplate what the likes of Lance
and Thorpe are doing.
Now I must confess that we can learn much from the greats and
we can also judiciously apply what we've learned to our own mortal
attempts. Yet the simple idea that anyone should make major changes to
coaching techniques, workouts etc based on a comparison to an elite of
any discipline is simply foolhardy.... IMO. Frankly i'd be much more
interested in hearing from Eric on what he did to get from a 1:40 100
to a 1:20. When I start hitting consistant 52-53 sec 100's mabey then
I'll start looking at Thorpe.

Snip

~Matt

 




Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Increasing Stride Length SwStudio Running 3 May 2nd 04 09:55 AM
Alcohol shrinks brain & no stroke benefits Sydney Weights 16 December 17th 03 05:45 AM
Data for kick only vs full stroke swim times Liz D Swimming 1 December 14th 03 11:50 PM
Stroke clinics in Mission Viejo, CA DaKitty Swimming 0 November 26th 03 02:31 AM
Just plain slow Cam Wilson Swimming 23 July 25th 03 09:59 PM


All times are GMT +1. The time now is 01:07 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.6.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright 2004-2019 FitnessBanter.com.
The comments are property of their posters.