General Discussion Triathlon Talk » Limited budget, one swim program only.... which one? Rss Feed  
Moderators: jmk-brooklyn, Ron Reply
2012-07-13 11:23 PM

User image

Regular
198
100252525
Costa Mesa
Subject: Limited budget, one swim program only.... which one?

If you guys had to pick between a two-day Total Immersion weekend workshop or a couple of months of Masters Swimming at the local community college to improve swim skills, which would you pick? 

My current swim skill level: Surviving safely.  I started open water swimming/swimming regularly (3-4x per week) in February.  I can swim about 1/2-1 mile open water maximum, longer in calm water conditions.  I am lacking skills in the beach start department.  I DNF my first swim-only race because I kept getting pushed back by 4-5ft waves 150 yards in and finally asked the nice lifeguard to escort me back after an 8 minute bash.  It's probably the case that my form is extremely poor since I'm going DIRT slow so naturally I could not move past the breaker even if I could successfully dive under water (1.1 miles per hour is my fastest pace, with or without wetsuit...:/

My goal is to complete the swim (and bike and run, but those I know how to improve on) for the 70.3 in Oceanside next March, which is a harbor swim of 1.2 miles.   Ideally under 1 hour so I'm not toast by the time I hit shore.  I need help learning better position in the water and anything else I can improve on. I did buy the TI book and am working on learning it on my own, but I"m not quite sure I'm getting faster.  After I implemented the TI drills in pool swims, my stroke length increased, but my swim stroke rate per minute decreased, so I'm still going the same speed...  Yes, more comfortably and with less flailing, but I must still be doing something wrong since I'm slower than every swimmer I've ever seen. ;_;  Not by a bit, but by A LOT.

I do group swims with the a local triathlon meetup, but since we're not all swimming together, it's hard to talk and get hints about how to do better (though they were very nice and helpful in the bike portion since I actually got a chance to chat with them!) I need swim help! But my budget will only let me pick one of the above.  Recommendation?



2012-07-14 8:50 AM
in reply to: #4311095


131
10025
Subject: RE: Limited budget, one swim program only.... which one?

Masters 

2012-07-14 9:15 AM
in reply to: #4311095

User image


139
10025
Subject: RE: Limited budget, one swim program only.... which one?

Would there be much coaching in masters swimming?  I was under the impression the masters swimming around me was just a bunch of "ok, everyone do this", which I don't think would necessarily be as useful.

TI is kind of controversial in tri groups.  I really like it because it helped me become a much less crappy swimmer, and it immediately addressed issues that I had.  I'll gladly concede that you're probably not going to ever be 1st out of the water with it.  However, if it takes you 1 hour to do 1600 meters, that's pretty classic poor form.  I only say that because I also have a laundry list of swimming issues.

Whatever one includes the most coaching, you don't need repetition, you need guidance. 

 

2012-07-14 10:10 AM
in reply to: #4311095

New user
8

Subject: RE: Limited budget, one swim program only.... which one?

i would meet with the master's swim coach before making the decision. see what his/her interest/availability is on offering basic swim coaching during the workouts.

i was a very weak swimmer this winter and joined a master's group in my area. most of the swimmers were 'elite'. the coach had me in my own lane and worked with me quite a bit during the first couple months while the regulars were doing their assigned workout. i swam w/ the group religiously 3x per week plus some OWS's with our local tri group.

now 5 or so months later, i am just one of the regulars and i'm not even the slowest anymore (second slowest...but gaining!).

our group has regular workouts that we do and drills and such but my coach still stops me on occasion and points out something for me to work on (i.e. "make sure you FINISH your stroke").

my biggest reservation with the TI program is that it would be a one and done form of coaching. i would think that it would be hard to develop a strong stroke in just one weekend. it's going to take a lot of practice to set that muscle memory.

2012-07-14 10:38 AM
in reply to: #4311095

User image

Coach
8776
500020001000500100100252525
Stairway to Seven
Subject: RE: Limited budget, one swim program only.... which one?
Who is teaching the TI weekend workshop ? That's where I chose to put my money 2 1/2 years ago...it took me a full 6+ years to make the decision to spend the money and it's the best decision I've ever made regarding my swimming AND my coaching!

Feel free to PM me...BTW if this is the August workshop in LA that you are considering, it will be amazing! (some of the best coaches will be there as the workshop is wrapped inside of a coach training course).
2012-07-14 10:40 AM
in reply to: #4311324

User image

Coach
8776
500020001000500100100252525
Stairway to Seven
Subject: RE: Limited budget, one swim program only.... which one?
kalamazoo73 - 2012-07-14 9:10 AM

my biggest reservation with the TI program is that it would be a one and done form of coaching. i would think that it would be hard to develop a strong stroke in just one weekend. it's going to take a lot of practice to set that muscle memory.



You're right, your stroke is far from "strong" in just one weekend, but the feedback provided allows the student to create ongoing learning for the next several months...students go home with a plan to follow and coaches are readily available for follow up questions via email & text and even post-workshop video review, so it's not "one and done". I don't knwo any TI coaches who are not happy to continue answering questions or watching posted youtube video if asked.


2012-07-14 10:41 AM
in reply to: #4311095

User image

Veteran
441
10010010010025
Clearwater, FL
Subject: RE: Limited budget, one swim program only.... which one?

First off, I would recommend playing in the waves as much as you can since comfort in the environment seems to be your key obstacle. Newport and Huntington are awesome and Balboa is okay as well - just stay away from The Wedge at the Balboa jetty.

You can start by sitting on the beach and observing the wave sets. In your area they usually come in sets of 9. The beginning of the set has the larger waves, the end of the set has the smaller ones and between sets it is relatively calm. Learn which waves to duck under and which ones to go over. Watch what the surfers, boogie boarders and body surfers do. In time you will realize that it is 100% effortless when you're comfortable enough. If you can't get to the point where you can make headway through the surf, you will at least have learned to endure the waves until the calm between the wave sets arrives - and that's when you make your move.

Learning to work with the environment is way better than trying to power through it. You will get it once you're comfortable. Here on the Gulf Coast of Florida we rarely have any real waves. I do miss the west coast.

2012-07-14 10:51 AM
in reply to: #4311095

User image

Coach
8776
500020001000500100100252525
Stairway to Seven
Subject: RE: Limited budget, one swim program only.... which one?
ayabrea - 2012-07-13 10:23 PM

If you guys had to pick between a two-day Total Immersion weekend workshop or a couple of months of Masters Swimming at the local community college to improve swim skills, which would you pick? 

My current swim skill level: Surviving safely.  I started open water swimming/swimming regularly (3-4x per week) in February.  I can swim about 1/2-1 mile open water maximum, longer in calm water conditions.  I am lacking skills in the beach start department.  I DNF my first swim-only race because I kept getting pushed back by 4-5ft waves 150 yards in and finally asked the nice lifeguard to escort me back after an 8 minute bash.  It's probably the case that my form is extremely poor since I'm going DIRT slow so naturally I could not move past the breaker even if I could successfully dive under water (1.1 miles per hour is my fastest pace, with or without wetsuit...:/

My goal is to complete the swim (and bike and run, but those I know how to improve on) for the 70.3 in Oceanside next March, which is a harbor swim of 1.2 miles.   Ideally under 1 hour so I'm not toast by the time I hit shore.  I need help learning better position in the water and anything else I can improve on. I did buy the TI book and am working on learning it on my own, but I"m not quite sure I'm getting faster.  After I implemented the TI drills in pool swims, my stroke length increased, but my swim stroke rate per minute decreased, so I'm still going the same speed...  Yes, more comfortably and with less flailing, but I must still be doing something wrong since I'm slower than every swimmer I've ever seen. ;_;  Not by a bit, but by A LOT.

I do group swims with the a local triathlon meetup, but since we're not all swimming together, it's hard to talk and get hints about how to do better (though they were very nice and helpful in the bike portion since I actually got a chance to chat with them!) I need swim help! But my budget will only let me pick one of the above.  Recommendation?



I reread this a little bit closer. Let me know where you are...there are several quite good TI coaches in your area (I think) who know exactly how to help you improve your speed after getting stroke fundamentals improved. You might get quite a lot out of private lessons as well for the same budgetary amount.

Bsically it sounds like you've smoothed out your stroke, and now need to increase the rate again while retaining length. A tempo trainer is a small waterproof metronome that can help you out with this, but consider adding a package of half a dozen private lessons to your budget options as a third choice.
2012-07-14 11:35 AM
in reply to: #4311095

User image

Master
3406
20001000100100100100
Overland Park, KS
Subject: RE: Limited budget, one swim program only.... which one?

I'd lean towards masters.  I think what will help with open water swims under not so calm conditions is doing sets of 100's or 200's in lane filled pools on tough intervals.  Just swimming long sets (500's, 1000's etc.) may not help you with race day conditions as much as heart pounding intervals you get with masters.

If someone in the masters group is a skilled coach that's a big plus.  Ask them to look at your stroke (from above, walking the length of the pool as you swim as well as looking underwater).

Repetitive observations over a few months may be more helpful in correcting your form etc.

2012-07-14 2:28 PM
in reply to: #4311095

User image

Champion
19772
500050005000200020005001001002525
MA
Subject: RE: Limited budget, one swim program only.... which one?

Depending on where you live Masters could be much less expensive. Many Masters are free if you belong to the Y, or minimal fee.

I took private TI lessons over the winter of 2004 and 2005 figuring I could spend same as clinic but have someone checking on my progress over a longer time period.

2012-07-14 2:34 PM
in reply to: #4311095

User image

Expert
955
5001001001001002525
Fort Wayne, IN
Gold member
Subject: RE: Limited budget, one swim program only.... which one?
I bought the TI DVD and it helped me quite a bit.  This would be a lot cheaper than the weekend.


2012-07-14 5:07 PM
in reply to: #4311095

User image

Master
3406
20001000100100100100
Overland Park, KS
Subject: RE: Limited budget, one swim program only.... which one?

If you join a masters program you can get pushed out of your comfort zone which will benefit you in races.  Most masters programs have lanes with different abilities (slow lane, medium lane, fast lane etc.).  I have seen many swimmers go from slow lane > medium lane > fast lane which results in better swim performance in races.

You tend to push yourself harder when someone's at your toes or, like me, you get thrown in the fast lane and the fear of getting lapped causes you to push a little harder Smile

Just something to think about.

2012-07-14 5:10 PM
in reply to: #4311515

User image

New user
54
2525
College Station, TX
Subject: RE: Limited budget, one swim program only.... which one?

nickster - 2012-07-14 3:34 PM I bought the TI DVD and it helped me quite a bit.  This would be a lot cheaper than the weekend.

x2

2012-07-14 7:17 PM
in reply to: #4311095

User image

Extreme Veteran
758
5001001002525
Villanova
Subject: RE: Limited budget, one swim program only.... which one?

I'd pay to have a coach break down your stroke and build it back up.  Maybe would take 4 to 6 30 min to one hour sessions.  Swim workouts you can get online or from anywhere.  If the Masters class doesn't have an active coach or coaches, my experience is that you're just buying pool time and its a wast of money (yes, I know I'm the only person alive that isn't pro masters swim).  

You may be able to get this benefit from the TI weekend, but may not.  To answer your original question, I'd go with the TI weekend if the two options you listed are your absolute only options.

I did the above and it took me 4 lessons of about 30-45 minutes a pop.  Worth every penny and now I'd say swimming is my favorite of the three disciplines.  Its certainly my strongest.

2012-07-14 7:20 PM
in reply to: #4311095

User image

Expert
931
50010010010010025
Chandler, AZ
Subject: RE: Limited budget, one swim program only.... which one?
Correct me if I'm wrong, but wouldn't it be necessary to have good swim technique before joining a masters program??
2012-07-14 7:59 PM
in reply to: #4311095

User image

Member
31
25
Overland Park
Subject: RE: Limited budget, one swim program only.... which one?
You might also check you local library for the TI DVD plus other swim videos. 


2012-07-14 9:58 PM
in reply to: #4311095

User image

Master
1517
1000500
Grand Prairie
Subject: RE: Limited budget, one swim program only.... which one?

Not sure about your budget or your situation.

Also not sur ehow slow you are as there are not logs uploaded.

 

But some thought:

100,- will get you a waterproff video camera, a friend/spouse can film you and you can see what you are doing wrong compared to the TI book and/or post the video on the forum to get feedback

75,- is what I pay for a one on one lesson with a pro. I believe that one lesson a month makes a big different. I then take the drills and thigns though and practice multiple times a week (3 times a week).

150,- will get you the new Garmin Swim watch. This will get you more data about your swim, which then might help you as well..

2012-07-15 8:46 PM
in reply to: #4311095

User image

Regular
198
100252525
Costa Mesa
Subject: RE: Limited budget, one swim program only.... which one?

I was thinking of maybe this TI workshop

http://www.totalimmersion.net/workshops/details/901-freestyle-workshop-combined-groupindividual-workshop-effortless-endurance-swimming-los-angeles

At nearly 500 dollars is is very pricy indeed.  I would get a lot more time out of masters swimming at that dollar amount, but what I don't want to happen is to sign up for either program and not get the feedback and help I need to at least start improving.  Especially with the TI workshop since it's two days and then I'm left to my own devices again.  Masters swimming I'm afraid it is just glorified lap swimming time, and I would only be able to make it twice a week (they have five to six sessions per week) so I'm not sure if that will not be enough time.  I will take the advice about talking to the coaches about it. 

The masters swimming program I was looking at doesn't require that I already be swimming well.  It seems the only requirement is that you know how to move forwards in the water.  They said people join their program for fitness swimming, triathlons, and an opportunity to compete if interested. 

I had not thought about a couple of private lessons instead of either of the choices.  I will look into it.  At least I can spread it out and the instructor can see if I'm improving over the course of several weeks.

I haven't had a chance to upload training logs here, but I do have a garmin so I keep track of training data there.  Here is my last OWS data at Corona Del Mar

http://connect.garmin.com/activity/199186061

I do have to try to play in the surf more at HB.  Corona Del Mar waters are so calm.  Last time I went to HB I did try to practice some dives, but was wary of going out to far since I was not sure of my skills AND the lifeguard said to everyone over the bullhorn to swim closer to shore.  I didn't want to make her job harder since I was only 75% confident at not needing a rescue if I kept going out XD

2012-07-15 9:44 PM
in reply to: #4311095

New user
8

Subject: RE: Limited budget, one swim program only.... which one?

i don't swim w/ a garmin so i'm not used to seeing the metrics like this but an average 22:58 min/mi equals roughly 1:40 per 100 yards, yes? for 1.28 miles? correct me if i'm wrong.

if that's the case you aren't struggling in the water nearly as much as some of us assumed and i'd vote for master's swimming 100%. at this point i'd suggest your improvements will come from refinements of your technique and time to build your muscle strength / endurance.

i'm jealous of your open water option! the lake i usually swim is just shy of a mile in circumference and has some really mean geese who will chase you down (to peck at your head) in the water.

2012-07-15 9:46 PM
in reply to: #4312757

User image

Coach
8776
500020001000500100100252525
Stairway to Seven
Subject: RE: Limited budget, one swim program only.... which one?
ayabrea - 2012-07-15 7:46 PM

I was thinking of maybe this TI workshop

http://www.totalimmersion.net/workshops/details/901-freestyle-workshop-combined-groupindividual-workshop-effortless-endurance-swimming-los-angeles

At nearly 500 dollars is is very pricy indeed.  I would get a lot more time out of masters swimming at that dollar amount, but what I don't want to happen is to sign up for either program and not get the feedback and help I need to at least start improving.  Especially with the TI workshop since it's two days and then I'm left to my own devices again.  Masters swimming I'm afraid it is just glorified lap swimming time, and I would only be able to make it twice a week (they have five to six sessions per week) so I'm not sure if that will not be enough time.  I will take the advice about talking to the coaches about it. 

The masters swimming program I was looking at doesn't require that I already be swimming well.  It seems the only requirement is that you know how to move forwards in the water.  They said people join their program for fitness swimming, triathlons, and an opportunity to compete if interested. 

I had not thought about a couple of private lessons instead of either of the choices.  I will look into it.  At least I can spread it out and the instructor can see if I'm improving over the course of several weeks.

I haven't had a chance to upload training logs here, but I do have a garmin so I keep track of training data there.  Here is my last OWS data at Corona Del Mar

http://connect.garmin.com/activity/199186061

I do have to try to play in the surf more at HB.  Corona Del Mar waters are so calm.  Last time I went to HB I did try to practice some dives, but was wary of going out to far since I was not sure of my skills AND the lifeguard said to everyone over the bullhorn to swim closer to shore.  I didn't want to make her job harder since I was only 75% confident at not needing a rescue if I kept going out XD



This workshop is going to have some heavy hitter TI instructors there... Terry Laughlin, Shinji (has more swimming hits on youtube than michael phelps) , Dave Cameron (amazing swim coach and multiple time English Channel swimmer. (and I'll be there too keeping everyone under control hopefully). THis is the clinic that is wrapped inside of a teacher training. You will have ongoing digital access to just about any of us via email (there are about 7 additional coaches who will be there) so you won't be left to your own devices.
2012-07-15 10:02 PM
in reply to: #4312837

User image

Regular
198
100252525
Costa Mesa
Subject: RE: Limited budget, one swim program only.... which one?
kalamazoo73 - 2012-07-15 7:44 PM

i don't swim w/ a garmin so i'm not used to seeing the metrics like this but an average 22:58 min/mi equals roughly 1:40 per 100 yards, yes? for 1.28 miles? correct me if i'm wrong.

My watch assures me I swim 2:55-3:30 minutes per 100 yards average (2:55 on this last one).  22:58 is probably the best pace, so the waves was probably coming in/going out with me at that very moment that pace registered. XD  Pacing is also wonky since it stops thinking you are moving when your watch is under water.

AdventureBear - 2012-07-15 7:46 PM This workshop is going to have some heavy hitter TI instructors there... Terry Laughlin, Shinji (has more swimming hits on youtube than michael phelps) , Dave Cameron (amazing swim coach and multiple time English Channel swimmer. (and I'll be there too keeping everyone under control hopefully). THis is the clinic that is wrapped inside of a teacher training. You will have ongoing digital access to just about any of us via email (there are about 7 additional coaches who will be there) so you won't be left to your own devices.

Thanks for going into more detail about the workshop!   I will definitely keep this in mind when I decide which way to go!



Edited by ayabrea 2012-07-15 10:08 PM


New Thread
General Discussion Triathlon Talk » Limited budget, one swim program only.... which one? Rss Feed