Arnie with a fin addiction. Is that a problem?

Ask questions about Swim Types and chat to other swimmers of the same type!
smootharnie
Posts: 1770
Joined: Sat Sep 22, 2012 11:56 am

Arnie with a fin addiction. Is that a problem?

Postby smootharnie » Mon Sep 24, 2012 11:28 pm

Hi,

After 20 years of chouch potatoing it was time to get into shape.
3 months ago started with inline-skating, later also cycling and 2 months ago also swimming.
Here in the land of PIeter van de Hoogeband, Inge de Bruin and Rynomi Kromowidjojo children only learn to swim breaststroke, so that is the stroke that feels most comfortable.
I also learned myself a bit of freestyle, but never managed to swim more than 50 meters without getting breatlhess.
Sounds familiar?

So am I an Arnie?

stats:
Lenght: 1,79
Weight: 85 kg
Body fat: 14 %
inseam lenght: 32
Ape index +4 inch
floating: on back arms stretched out : legs float. on back arms next to body: legs drop. Arms 45 degrees in front of shoulders:legs just floating.

Breaststroke: 1000m in 18 min. 9 strokes/ 25 m
freestyle: sprint 25m in 15 sec with 10 cm swimming fins. 20-24 strokes /25 m without fins, 16-18 strokes /25m with fins.\
Dont like endless swims. Putting on the power for shorter distances is more fun. faster feels better.

Goal: Getting comfortable with freestyle and be able to swim 500 meter without rest.

My plan:
Swim series of 50 meter, bilateral breating. rest each 50 m.
- ad nr of 50''s until 10.
- take less resting time
- go for 75 meters
etc go to 100 meter etc.

Because my kick is not very efficient and takes a lot of mental and physical energy, I realy like swimming with short swimming fins to concentrate more on arm/shoulder movement body roll etc. Breathing is also more easy with a bigger bow wave.
When it is possible to swim comfortably 200 meter or more. I want to cut a few centimeters of the fins. train till everything feels good and shorten them again in steps until they have no use anymore.

What do you think of this plan? Is this a good route, or should I start from scratch with balance drills and avoid using the fins to much?
I have no ankle problems using the fins, and feel they improve ankle flexibility and inprint correct leg action.
Last edited by smootharnie on Wed Sep 26, 2012 11:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
GO to the new swimforum, called ....... THE SWIM FORUM......swim.palstani.com

User avatar
SolarEnergy
Posts: 1865
Joined: Mon Jul 20, 2009 4:38 pm

Re: Arnie with a fin addiction. Is that a problem?

Postby SolarEnergy » Tue Sep 25, 2012 2:49 pm

smootharnie wrote:freestyle: sprint 25m in 15 sec with 10 cm swimming fins. 20-24 strokes /25 m without fins, 16-18 strokes /25m with fins.\
Dont like endless swims. Putting on the power for shorter distances is more fun. faster feels better.

Yes, you're an Arnie!
SolarEnergy
Charles G. Couturier, Canadian Swimming / Triathlon Coach

User avatar
SolarEnergy
Posts: 1865
Joined: Mon Jul 20, 2009 4:38 pm

Re: Arnie with a fin addiction. Is that a problem?

Postby SolarEnergy » Tue Sep 25, 2012 4:19 pm

smootharnie wrote:What do you think of this plan? Is this a good route, or should I start from scratch with balance drills and avoid using the fins to much?
I have no ankle problems using the fins, and feel they improve ankle flexibility and inprint correct leg action.
Any plan that has lot of thoughts to it like the one you created for yourself is, in my opinion, a good plan. You know where you start from, have an idea where you're aiming for, and designed a process which fits your interests and personality.

It's hard for me to comment on a plan that involves relying heavily on fins, cutting them one inch at the time to end up in the end being able to swim without fins. I believe it's the first time I ever hear about such an approach.
SolarEnergy
Charles G. Couturier, Canadian Swimming / Triathlon Coach

harrybro
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Sep 26, 2012 8:28 am

Re: Arnie with a fin addiction. Is that a problem?

Postby harrybro » Wed Sep 26, 2012 8:33 am

Arnie best of luck and i hope u will get soon....
harrybro

smootharnie
Posts: 1770
Joined: Sat Sep 22, 2012 11:56 am

Re: Arnie with a fin addiction. Is that a problem?

Postby smootharnie » Wed Sep 26, 2012 11:06 pm

I have second thoughts about this aproach.
Seems more logical to first build a sleek vessel, and than put the motor in, than the other way around.
Still will do my 50-75-100-up etc as a combination of 3 strokes, left breathing side glide drill, 3 strokes, right breathing side glide drill.
Some lengths normal stroke only breathing left, others only breathing right.

Besides this, started with experimenting with only arm propulsion while keeping a perfect horizontal floating position, and than adding propulsion. Legs dont move, Fins only used as a rudder/stabilisor.
Breaststoke arm movement now is the fastest, freestyle pull, with underwater recovery still very slow, but interesting exercise to experiment with hand end elbow position and optimal trajectory for pulling that gives minimal body position disturbance and maximum propulsion.

Main problem for feeling comfortable is breathing. When doing the side glide drill, one arm forward, an turn my head up to breath i can see the water surface above, but my mouth cant reach it.
Need speed and a bow wave to breath.

Today breaststroke 1 min down to 17 min/1000m :)
GO to the new swimforum, called ....... THE SWIM FORUM......swim.palstani.com

User avatar
SolarEnergy
Posts: 1865
Joined: Mon Jul 20, 2009 4:38 pm

Re: Arnie with a fin addiction. Is that a problem?

Postby SolarEnergy » Thu Sep 27, 2012 12:07 am

Have a look at my single arm drill for beginners:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=08ML3wzGFUQ

That being the final product so to speak. What you see in this clip is quite simple:

Position A = On your side, almost back position, look up to the sky, make sure you breathe well.
Position B = Bring your head in the water, close the angle. Now you're perfectly on your side by then
Position C = Recover the Arm to take a pull, which brings you back to Position A

Position A is the most critical. You have to ensure, being as honest to yourself as you possibly can (as I won't be there to correct you right), that you find a perfect breathing position. Eyes looking at the sky. Head ported by the water, as if the water was a comfortable pillow. Once you KNOW you found a good breathing position, then switch to Position B.

This clip shows the Drill done on both side. You can work it on the same side, ie always the same hand pulling, it's better to begin with...

I always recommend that you make sure you can perform this drill with no fins. Then wearing them becomes a matter of choice. I have this thing against fins only when it's your only way to perform a drill, especially such a beginner's drill.
SolarEnergy
Charles G. Couturier, Canadian Swimming / Triathlon Coach

smootharnie
Posts: 1770
Joined: Sat Sep 22, 2012 11:56 am

Re: Arnie with a fin addiction. Is that a problem?

Postby smootharnie » Sun Sep 30, 2012 10:04 am

Yes folks! Today it happened, I felt I got admiring glances. A lady commented on my stroke: it looked so streamlined! :D
(only recreational swimmers in the pool, to put things in perpective ;) )

But the endurance is far off. Only after 25 meter my stroke starts to fall apart. Kicking tempo starts to vary and bilateral breathing slowly turns to my preferred breathing side. Head starts to turn a bit together with the body.

I think I found a much better catch than previously. I now pull more outward of the centerline and concentrate on the famous early vertical forearm. A big difference! Feels like my forearm is grabbing a wall like you are pulling yourself out the pool with your forearms.
Less slippage through the water.Before this I pulled more with a straighter arm under the body. This also made body roll less stable.
Feel my arm strength is becoming a limiting factor. They get tired and then its getting harder to keep that grabbing arm shape.

Keep doing 25 and 50 meters and rest when form gets worse.

breaststroke: 5 x 200 meter 1.35/100m
freestyle witn 10cm fins 10x 25, 3x50 0.18-0.20/25m
GO to the new swimforum, called ....... THE SWIM FORUM......swim.palstani.com

User avatar
SolarEnergy
Posts: 1865
Joined: Mon Jul 20, 2009 4:38 pm

Re: Arnie with a fin addiction. Is that a problem?

Postby SolarEnergy » Mon Oct 01, 2012 4:40 pm

Great work, inspirational!
SolarEnergy
Charles G. Couturier, Canadian Swimming / Triathlon Coach

smootharnie
Posts: 1770
Joined: Sat Sep 22, 2012 11:56 am

Re: Arnie with a fin addiction. Is that a problem?

Postby smootharnie » Tue Oct 02, 2012 10:10 pm

A try without fins:

First try with bilateral breathing without fins. Also curious if the new found catch translated to a bigger stroke lenght.
There was no immense difference with/without fins. But everything went slower and took more energy.
Bileteral breathing was not a real problem, but it was more difficult. There was a tendency to go fishtailing if I didnt kick hard.

Tried one lenght of kicking on the back, arms next to body. There was some movement: 40-50 sec/25m. :cry:

Big surprise when I started stroke counting: 16-18/25 m instead of 20-24. Who needs a TI course? :lol: Mostly caused by better armstroke. Takes still a lot of thinking.Better watch out not becoming an overglider :lol:
10x25m 20-22 sec/25m

Was certainly in the glide mode today. Breastroke down to 7-8 strokes/ 25 m at 1.40/100m.
Most look very easy but is not. Must try a more hopping fast freqency stroke some time.
GO to the new swimforum, called ....... THE SWIM FORUM......swim.palstani.com

User avatar
SolarEnergy
Posts: 1865
Joined: Mon Jul 20, 2009 4:38 pm

Re: Arnie with a fin addiction. Is that a problem?

Postby SolarEnergy » Wed Oct 03, 2012 3:41 am

Hey mate?? That's good data.

Now try something for me will you?

Swim your slowest possible freestyle stroke, over 50m, and tell me how slow you can swim. It's a reversed time trial so to speak. Instead of swimming as fast as you can, swim as slow as you can.

I call this the musicien's drill, as it's like learning scales on the Piano.

No fins (it goes without saying, but I'm saying it anyway :lol: )
SolarEnergy
Charles G. Couturier, Canadian Swimming / Triathlon Coach

smootharnie
Posts: 1770
Joined: Sat Sep 22, 2012 11:56 am

Re: Arnie with a fin addiction. Is that a problem?

Postby smootharnie » Wed Oct 03, 2012 9:24 am

Yeah! Taming the Arnie! :)

You must have some discussion with the other swimsmooth guys about fin usage. The others dont seem to be so againts their use.
I will try to slow down. Afraid that arms and legs will be all over the place, but we will see....
Shoulder pain doesnt diminish after a week so I have to concentrate on other things anyway.
More zipper drills http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V_m952iKnCU to improve recovery movement.
Starting of with zipper dril and after half a lenght going to slow normal stroke should do the trick.
GO to the new swimforum, called ....... THE SWIM FORUM......swim.palstani.com

User avatar
SolarEnergy
Posts: 1865
Joined: Mon Jul 20, 2009 4:38 pm

Re: Arnie with a fin addiction. Is that a problem?

Postby SolarEnergy » Thu Oct 04, 2012 4:35 pm

smootharnie wrote:Yeah! Taming the Arnie! :)
You must have some discussion with the other swimsmooth guys about fin usage.
We've had 3 over the last 15 days I believe :)

Here's an extract from Swim Smooth's new Book:

"There will be those swimmers who prefer to keep swimming as simple and pure as and pure as they can and will choose to swim with as little gadgetery as possible, but there are those who prefer to use all the latest gear and find this approach to be very enjoyable and in synch with their analytical personalities - each to their own we say! Personally, I'm a bit of a gadget guy but I also love swimming totally free, especially when in open water." Paul Newsome

I obviously belong to the first category. Right now, I'm not teaching SwimSmooth 100%. My methods are inspired from it. When I do teach Swim Smooth (possibly in 2013), then I'll do it full blown including a heavy focus on gadgetery. No choice, as I will then get people coming at me after choosing SwimSmooth, instead of choosing *me*. Therefore by then, it will become very important that I take myself out of the equation.

But for now my swimmers don't use tool much. Are they penalized by this? Well possibly. To my defense though, they all train on tempo, and a Tempo Trainer for me is the only tool that really matters, and that you shouldn't get use to live without.

The good side of my approach is that they can train any time, in any pool, without no problem whatsoever with pool restrictions. They can perform all available drills in the world, no fins.

Now with that aside, I can't recall Swim Smooth insisting on wearing fins to swim the full stroke, hence my recommendation to you to remove them whilst testing your full stroke. Swim Smooth's position on fins has been very consistent over the years: Their top benefit is to help you to learn the kick intensive drills, without the need to first develop a reliable leg kick. And those who benefit the most from this recommendation are those with stiff ankles. Standing by to be corrected, but really I don't recall having seen Paul or Adam insisting on performing the full stroke with fins on.

Anecdote: I coach a real real Arnie. Flexibility = extremely bad, the whole body. Can't feel the pain. In a hurry to get results. He began swimming in 2011, barely being able to perform 25m without drowning. He was already registered to an Ironman race to be held within 12 months after his involvment.

Very stiff ankles. I used fins with him! (alone). He developed running injuries. Took a whilst before concluding that these were related to the fact that - since he doesn't feel the pain - he was kicking way too hard when wearing fins. Anyway, I think in his case fins were mandatory just to keep up with the rest of the squad.

As soon as he could make it to 400m non stop, we abandoned the fins. Within 12 months, working on his swimming no more than 2-3 / week for periods that would last about 2-3 months (outside these, he wouldn't swim at all). Still managed 1:30 over 3.8K during his first Ironman, which happened to be his second triathlon, therefore his second open water swim ever.

He's a true sinker, as you can see on this video clip below. He can't float, even in this basic position, lungs full or air (I've only seen this 4 times over the last 20 years):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sY_ZtfUufZY

Anyway, my point is that still today, even this arniest of all my Arnies, do train without fins. Can work the 6-1-6, the UNCO drill, everything without em, as they injure his knee. He was diagnosed with a tendinitis in one of his knees, since I can't feel the pain, he would report feeling that his knee is, and I quote, "a bit weak", which would prevent him from maintaining a elevated running pace during his running sessions...
SolarEnergy
Charles G. Couturier, Canadian Swimming / Triathlon Coach

smootharnie
Posts: 1770
Joined: Sat Sep 22, 2012 11:56 am

Re: Arnie with a fin addiction. Is that a problem?

Postby smootharnie » Thu Oct 04, 2012 8:10 pm

So what happened when You took away his fins?

Can understand your hesitation with heavy fin usage.
Certainly a complete no go for a kicktastic. Most appropiate for arnies with stiff ankles i think.

I dont kick very hard, no ankle or cramp problems. More or less same function as pull buoy, with added advantage of training leg movement and a bit of ankle stretching.

Downer is you have to carry more stuff, and that you feel slow when you take them of.
GO to the new swimforum, called ....... THE SWIM FORUM......swim.palstani.com

smootharnie
Posts: 1770
Joined: Sat Sep 22, 2012 11:56 am

Re: Arnie with a fin addiction. Is that a problem?

Postby smootharnie » Sat Oct 06, 2012 10:10 am

OK tried slow swimming.

- very slow swimming: arms loose traction, speed almost zero.All the movements loose their purpose.Feels very inefficient.
- moderate speed: Better. What to be learned:
breathing more difficult at lower speed.
What to do? Stretching the underlying arm more gives gives reasonable support. Watch out keeping the arm at or under shoulder height. Turn the head a bit more. Roll a bit more. Looking a bit backward. Relax, let the head rest almost on the supporting arm.
Left or right breathing does not make much difference.
It still is hard wordk. 50 meter max.

So first try with a pull buoy:
- first between upper legs near knees. A bit too much floating. Feet are half above the water.
Then pushed up agains the butt. Better.Pull buoy could be even smaller. Dont need so much floating force.
Hmmm... This is easy.Brings back memories of paddling on a surf board.
Good for controling body roll. Legs are pressed together so cant be used to counterbalance wide arm movements.Most recoveries with fingertips touching the water surface. Feels realy smooth. Ooops, watch out not to roll too much.
Great for tuning and honing your catch for best propuslion/minimum balance disturbtion.
Takes a lot less energy and is fun. Going to buy one.
Fin addiction is turning into a pull buoy addiction.

Did a few lenghts without the pull buoy after having swum 8x50 with it. Stroke felt better and less tiring!
First time more distance covered with freestyle than breaststroke.
GO to the new swimforum, called ....... THE SWIM FORUM......swim.palstani.com

User avatar
SolarEnergy
Posts: 1865
Joined: Mon Jul 20, 2009 4:38 pm

Re: Arnie with a fin addiction. Is that a problem?

Postby SolarEnergy » Sat Oct 06, 2012 8:09 pm

Superbe, now bare with me.

Would you be kind enough to try a full 500m of this slow (to the point that it becomes uncomfortable) swim? Musicien's drill that is?

I first witness the execution of this drill whilst working on a lifeguard shift. Back to when I was coaching full time, I was earning little bit more extra money by lifeguarding. But obviously, my eyes were most often directed toward our elite team at training.

That day, the big boss, an Olympic coach, today the head coach in our province, was there again in London with a few swimmers, so an exceptional dude, was trying this new method with his international level swimmers. He'd ask them to slow down. OK, ask an International level to slow down, what do you think you're getting? You will get 100s done in 1:25 roughly, which feels extremely slow for them. But that wasn't enough. "Slow down even more!" "Yeah but coach we no longer feel the water!" "That's the idea guys, slow down until you no longer feel anything, then learn to move the way you really want to move!"

So. Perform a 500m at this, and think about the way you move. Improve it. Improve your balance on the water (body position), but at very slow speed.

When you're done with the 500m. Swim a 100m at moderate pace and tell me how it felt? Tell me if you ever felt this way before?? ;)
SolarEnergy
Charles G. Couturier, Canadian Swimming / Triathlon Coach

smootharnie
Posts: 1770
Joined: Sat Sep 22, 2012 11:56 am

Re: Arnie with a fin addiction. Is that a problem?

Postby smootharnie » Sat Oct 06, 2012 10:42 pm

500 meter . You are crazy. Do they still use this method or is it obsolete by now :lol:
Swimming very slow nearly drownes me. The slow and faster stroke have different sinking mechanics.
If I slow down I keep the same motion of arms an legs (no idea what the legs are doing relative to the arms, have to work on this).
So during recovery the arm is very long hanging in the air pushing my body down. With a fast tempo the arm recovery is done before the body has time to sink.
Could speed the recovery up, but then the stroke becomes a catchup drill.
Sadly 500 m is too much. If done slow I will drown, if done a little faster i will be out of breath before finishing.
Started swimming to loose weight, not to add water.

But every drill that can give an aha-erlebnis is worth trying, so I will give this slowing down thing some more effort.
GO to the new swimforum, called ....... THE SWIM FORUM......swim.palstani.com

User avatar
SolarEnergy
Posts: 1865
Joined: Mon Jul 20, 2009 4:38 pm

Re: Arnie with a fin addiction. Is that a problem?

Postby SolarEnergy » Sun Oct 07, 2012 4:51 pm

smootharnie wrote:Sadly 500 m is too much. If done slow I will drown, if done a little faster i will be out of breath before finishing.
Try it trust me. Think about one thing mostly, and it's to not elevate your head to breathe in.

Come on Arnie, you can do this!!
SolarEnergy
Charles G. Couturier, Canadian Swimming / Triathlon Coach

smootharnie
Posts: 1770
Joined: Sat Sep 22, 2012 11:56 am

Re: Arnie with a fin addiction. Is that a problem?

Postby smootharnie » Mon Oct 08, 2012 10:27 pm

Sorry Solar, your drill isnt my cup of thea. Besides that it is hard to do in a crowded pool with 10 people in one lane.
But I tried to slow down and to build some endurance.(No fins)
In the slow lane behind some breaststrokers. 45 min non stop 1x 25 m breast 1x 25 m freestyle.
Give them half lenght lead doing a faster lenght or a 1/4 lenght lead to force me to slow down.
With weak 1 m push off, 18-19 strokes/25m.
Ended with 2 lenghts of no kick feets pressed togethes ankle band simulation style.

What learned today:
- There seems to be a compromise (for me right now) between a long stretched out arm that gives better support while breathing, but makes it harder to combine with an effective backward pushing motion.
If you stretch far, it takes al lot of time before the arm is in the position to realy start pulling in the right direction. The EVF movement is not a natural movement. It requieres force and flexibility and has to be learned and takes concentration to perform correct. This is one of the first things that fals apart when getting tired.
So I have a tendency to make a shorter steeper entry, so I can start pulling more early.
Perhaps the low position of the spearing arm in the TI style has something to do with this. Tou dont have to bent your forearm much when pulling starts because the arm is already near a vertical position.
- Breathing is not fluent. Keeping head stationary. BANG twist head up- Breath- BANG twist head down.
- To little body roll.
Starting to get the feeling:- stretch- bend arm-pull the rope in. Good grip on the water. There is a feeling I can make the stroke 10-30 percent longer

- Surprise: The 2 lenghts with feet pressed together, no kick were not very difficult to do.(with bilateral breathing no problem)
Feets dragging at about 0,5-1 m deep(?my guess). Breathing in the angle up position felt easier than in normal stroke.(????? How is this possible????) Nice arm/back workout.Feelng a lot more resistance.

Hope you can work out What is good and wat not from this information. Think there is still head lifting while breathing in normal stroke.
GO to the new swimforum, called ....... THE SWIM FORUM......swim.palstani.com

cottmiler
Posts: 1398
Joined: Fri May 27, 2011 1:14 pm

Re: Arnie with a fin addiction. Is that a problem?

Postby cottmiler » Tue Oct 09, 2012 6:28 am

Smootharnie said :

"
Surprise: The 2 lenghts with feet pressed together, no kick were not very difficult to do.(with bilateral breathing no problem)
Feets dragging at about 0,5-1 m deep(?my guess). Breathing in the angle up position felt easier than in normal stroke.(????? How is this possible????) Nice arm/back workout.Feelng a lot more resistance.
"

This is how I swim all the time by using an ankle band to keep the legs tight togerther. After many kilometers, my legs are much nearer the surface and I am stronger as a result of overcoming the increased resistance.

I am sure you can appreciate that your challenge now is to get those legs higher!

Pull in a different way and harder.
cottmiler is also on swim.palstani.com

User avatar
SolarEnergy
Posts: 1865
Joined: Mon Jul 20, 2009 4:38 pm

Re: Arnie with a fin addiction. Is that a problem?

Postby SolarEnergy » Tue Oct 09, 2012 8:52 pm

smootharnie wrote:Sorry Solar, your drill isnt my cup of thea.
[...]
Hope you can work out What is good and wat not from this information.


Euhh, based on the information stored in your post above, and from what I know from you? I'd say that what prevents you from swimming the freestyle perpetually has to be a mixture of:
1. Balance issue
2. Too much tensions in the stroke
3. (optional, this would have to be confirmed) breathing issue

Because normally, it should be possible to swim the free perpetually, without spending too much sugar in the equation.

All in all, if the slowest freestyle one can swim is still too demanding for perpetual swimming to be achieved, then it means that this slow pace is still too demanding for perpetual swimming to be achieved. (ouff, what a strange statement).

I'm not worried, I'm sure you'll get there, one way or another. As soon as you can, then this pace becomes your CSS pace (that's obvious).

Purchase the Arnie's guide (if not done already), and just stick to the 4 development sessions exactly as they're described in this guide. You should get there, and will be able to use your fins along the process. It's as simple as that. Should you have any question regarding any item in any session, I'll be there to help.
SolarEnergy
Charles G. Couturier, Canadian Swimming / Triathlon Coach


Return to “Swim Types!”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest