Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Triathlon
Reload this Page >

Total immersion - Different from other freestyle methods?

Notices
Triathlon Swim / Bike / Run your thing? Drop in our new triathlon forum for the latest in training & gear. From beginner to expert, and sprint to ironman.

Total immersion - Different from other freestyle methods?

Old 08-22-08, 12:38 AM
  #1  
agarose2000
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 1,952
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Total immersion - Different from other freestyle methods?

I've recently been swimming a lot (I have virtually no swimming background), and have been diligently following the Total Immersion method, especially the drills. I feel that it has definitely helped me to swim more smoothly and efficiently, especially the concepts of floating on your "sweet spot" as well as preferring to swim on your side due to less water resistance.

Here's the thing - I feel as if the ideal Total Immersion freestyle technique is different than the technique that pro or high level swimmers use. (Like Alexander Popov, and others on Youtube). Many of these faster swimmers don't roll anywhere near as much as I feel that TI recommends, and in fact, many of them swim in a fairly flat position, and never ever swim on their side at all.

Is there any downside or controversy regarding the TI technique or recommended swim method, or is it a generally universal swim method? I guess I've been wondering more as of late, as I feel that my form and swim endurance has improved a lot in the past 6 weeks, yet I seem to not have picked up any speed, and have noticed that pretty much any swimmer who enters the pool and swims for more than 5 minutes will blow by me for the entire duration of their swim, despite "suboptimal" technique. Anyone else experience this or have comments regarding this?
agarose2000 is offline  
Old 08-22-08, 05:16 AM
  #2  
james herbst
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Ancient Corinth, Greece
Posts: 21

Bikes: 1993 Trek 7000

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Hi Agarose,
A lot of what Laughlin teaches at TI seems geared to swimming longer distances and that is the focus of swimming even a 750m sprint leg for some of us, let alone longer swims. Although Laughlin used Popov frequently as an example of good swim technique, Popov's medeled events were the 50m and 100m sprints. If you look at him swimming in some of the videos below he seems to be twisting from side to side to at least 45 degrees or maybe more. Phelps swims is more flat and asymetrical (very interesting) not turning quite so much on the side where he isn't breathing.

Lastly, I read somewhere (cannot remember where) that the TI drills are somewhat exagerated and that once mastered you don't have to turn quite so much. Someone please correct me if I'm wrong.
Best regards,
James

Two Popov clips:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CIzBaSiWdRA
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hkaX9...eature=related

Two Phelps clips (second one is interesting comparision of how little resistance/bubbles/turbulance Phelps creates compared to Thompson)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ax77_hHq9Dc
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E2n6F...eature=related

PS I selected the vids without sound (new puppy chewed the wire on my speakers) so I have no idea what was said re swim technique. I hope it was as relevant as I thought the images were.
james herbst is offline  
Old 08-22-08, 10:10 AM
  #3  
spikedog123
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 131
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
If you review the swim races at www.nbcolympics.com, you''ll see quite a variety of stroke styles. All of the swimmers are amazingly fast. I noticed too, that Phelps did not twist much. I can only assume that swim style is optimized for each body type by the coach. Even swimmers on the same team had different approaches to the crawl stroke.
spikedog123 is offline  
Old 08-22-08, 12:47 PM
  #4  
bikinpolitico
Bicycle Utopian
 
bikinpolitico's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 787

Bikes: Bianchi Campione d'Italia, Softride Qualifier, Ritchey Breakaway Cyclocross

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I agree with what was stated earlier. TI is focused on the most efficient stoke of longer distances. This is important in triathlon as the swim is the shortest leg and then you have to bike and run afterwards. (Kind of like the best thing to do in a pro TT is not the same as in a tri bike leg.) You want to be as fast as you can without wearing yourself out.

My wife took a Masters class from one of the much heralded University of Texas swim coaches. He made fun of Laughlin in the class. She ended up learning to swim real hard, but it did not do much to help her race times.
bikinpolitico is offline  
Old 08-22-08, 04:41 PM
  #5  
bjlswim
FishOutOfWater
 
bjlswim's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 10
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
True, their are a variety of techniques used by swimmers, but the variation is slight. There are some absolutes when it comes to technique. 1st of all, none of this will help unless you are getting in the water 3-4 times a week.

Core and rotation: This is generally the 1st area to work on. The goal is to stay on top of the water, not letting your lower half sink by holding yourself up with tight abs, smooth rotation (with the hips and shoulders rotating in sync) and a short steady kick. The Phelps video posted earlier demonstrated this. You don't rotate completely to your side.

Pulling: Hands enter the water when your body is about parallel w/ the water and aligned in front of your shoulders. Then the most important thing to think about is staying over the water. What I mean is, don't let your elbows drop when you pull. This happens to everyone when they get tired. This video is alright. It hits on what I'm talking about, but I'd start your focus on the core and rotation 1st.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sYt8x_7uL48&NR=1

Another short video, this one of the best 1500 meter swimmer in the world. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IwvtuHya40g
Again, the Phelps video works.
bjlswim is offline  
Old 08-24-08, 06:51 PM
  #6  
Angus
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Midwest
Posts: 209

Bikes: C'dale tandem, Specialized Roubaix,

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by bjlswim View Post
...This video is alright. It hits on what I'm talking about, but I'd start your focus on the core and rotation 1st.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sYt8x_7uL48&NR=1
.
This video was very helpful. Thanks for posting it.
Angus is offline  
Old 08-26-08, 08:57 AM
  #7  
mrmcmasty
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: SW VA - Blue Ridge Mountains
Posts: 32

Bikes: You need a bike?

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I would agree with many of the comments here. Distance swimming is different. Drills are different than actual swimming, but the drill help improve swimming.

I personally had a hard time getting past the initial hand chase or catch up drill without additional coaching. The coaching is different than the book swimming techniques.

The bottom line (in my not very experienced opinion) is that there is always more than one right answer. I am very new to the sport of swimming. So I am focused on improving mechanics to swim more efficiently and faster. In the process I am working to increase my endurance and improve, improve, improve. So for me, anything that accomplished those goals... is right!

Good luck! Swimming has been very humbling for me but I have begun to turn a corner on the endurance side and feel that my technique and endurance have improved a lot since I began.

Last thought... stay with it and work out in the pool at least 3 times a week!
mrmcmasty is offline  
Old 08-26-08, 03:45 PM
  #8  
maxmasmav
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 8
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Great question. TI is the real deal. (Please note that I have never attended a TI workshop and have only read a few articles that Laughlin has written; however, everything I have seen from him has been right on)

The reason why people with poor technique are faster than you in the water is because they aren't thinking (or maybe worrying) about their stroke... they are just swimming, and maybe sometimes racing. They may be able to get by with poor form in short races, but they would expend too much energy over a long haul to be competitve. A problem with TI is that is doesn't seem to teach people to swim fast. Think about it, you could walk (or jog) forever but not become a good runner. The same applies to swimming. TI swimmers need to balance drill work w/ swimming fast, i.e., apply interval training to your TI swimming. Step up the pace as much as you can w/o letting your form fall apart. Hell, sometimes let your form fall apart. That is OK too. The point is to keep your form together as much as possible. Eventually it becomes easier to go faster. I recommend you do a lot of build swims.

I swam and coached (assisted) D1. Laughlin is a great communicator. He made learning how to swim well easier by communicating to the masses what a genius in the swimming community, Boomer, had talked about for years.

All good freestyle distance swimmers have several things in common. Maybe even the swimmers that are beating you - they rotate there body well, evenly, from the shoulders through the hips, with the core (I think hips) driving each rotation. Try to keep that in mind when you are swimming distance.

Popov is one of my favorite swimmers. The reason why some sprinters don't rotate well (swim flat) is because it is easier and faster for them to muscle through the water with a strong kick and a strong pull. Because their body position is very high in the water, they are able to avoid much of the water resistance from a frontal perspective. Once they slow down, they sink, and would need to rotate to minimize the frontal resistance.

Good luck.
maxmasmav is offline  
Old 08-26-08, 03:51 PM
  #9  
maxmasmav
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 8
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Great question. TI is the real deal. (Please note that I have never attended a TI workshop and have only read a few articles that Laughlin has written; however, everything I have seen from him has been right on)

The reason why people with poor technique are faster than you in the water is because they aren't thinking (or maybe worrying) about their stroke... they are just swimming, and maybe sometimes racing. They may be able to get by with poor form in short races, but they would expend too much energy over a long haul to be competitve. A problem with TI is that is doesn't seem to teach people to swim fast. Think about it, you could walk (or jog) forever but not become a good runner. The same applies to swimming. TI swimmers need to balance drill work w/ swimming fast, i.e., apply interval training to your TI swimming. Step up the pace as much as you can w/o letting your form fall apart. Hell, sometimes let your form fall apart. That is OK too. The point is to keep your form together as much as possible. Eventually it becomes easier to go faster. I recommend you do a lot of build swims.

I swam and coached (assisted) D1. Laughlin is a great communicator. He made learning how to swim well easier by communicating to the masses what a genius in the swimming community, Boomer, had talked about for years.

All good freestyle distance swimmers have several things in common. Maybe even the swimmers that are beating you - they rotate there body well, evenly, from the shoulders through the hips, with the core (I think hips) driving each rotation. Try to keep that in mind when you are swimming distance.

Popov is one of my favorite swimmers. The reason why some sprinters don't rotate well (swim flat) is because it is easier and faster for them to muscle through the water with a strong kick and a strong pull. Because their body position is very high in the water, they are able to avoid much of the water resistance from a frontal perspective. Once they slow down, they sink, and would need to rotate to minimize the frontal resistance.

Good luck.
maxmasmav is offline  

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

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

Copyright 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.