General Discussion Triathlon Talk » To glide or not to glide that is the ? Rss Feed  
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2013-08-19 12:09 PM


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Subject: To glide or not to glide that is the ?
Currently I glide as I started my swimming following the Total Immersion prescription but recently I'm rethinking whether or not this is the most efficient way after reading Swim Smooth and they say glide is inefficient! Is gliding out dated information with removing glide the new wave on efficiency guidance.

What is your current style and thought on this subject. I'm looking to make big improvements in my swimming but dont want to continue using old information or an inefficient stroke if that is the case.


2013-08-19 12:20 PM
in reply to: USAFR

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Subject: RE: To glide or not to glide that is the ?
I extend as opposed to glide because I want to keep some sort of propulsive force going.
2013-08-19 12:25 PM
in reply to: USAFR

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Subject: RE: To glide or not to glide that is the ?
Originally posted by USAFR

Currently I glide as I started my swimming following the Total Immersion prescription but recently I'm rethinking whether or not this is the most efficient way after reading Swim Smooth and they say glide is inefficient! Is gliding out dated information with removing glide the new wave on efficiency guidance.

What is your current style and thought on this subject. I'm looking to make big improvements in my swimming but dont want to continue using old information or an inefficient stroke if that is the case.


Strictly speaking, if you were to ask a coach to evaluate my stroke, they'd probably say I'm an "overglider". For shorter swims, I can up the tempo, but for long swims, the few seconds in savings doesn't feel like it's worth the energy expenditure.
2013-08-19 1:12 PM
in reply to: jmk-brooklyn

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Subject: RE: To glide or not to glide that is the ?
Glide is awesome- to maintain momentum off the walls- other than that I have only heard of it in breaststroke and elementary backstroke.

Which we all know are considered ideal race strokes. (Please pretend I know where the pink font is.)

I've never read TI- when is the glide part of crawl?
2013-08-19 1:22 PM
in reply to: USAFR

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Subject: RE: To glide or not to glide that is the ?
I started off being a glider (TI). Now, I have increased my cadence to keep propulsion in that dead spot. My times are faster.
2013-08-19 1:27 PM
in reply to: USAFR

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Subject: RE: To glide or not to glide that is the ?

This is something that I have been working on (and struggling with) since the first of the year.  I had been making a concerted effort to work on a high elbow and early catch, eliminating the glide, but couldn't seem to incorporate it into a smooth overall stroke.  Somewhat concerning was that my shoulders were starting to bother me, which had never happened before with my swimming.

I'd been trying to incorporate bits and pieces of TI, Shelia Taormina's Swim Secrets and SwimSmooth, but got to the point where, like my golf game, I had way too many stroke thoughts swirling through my head.

A few weeks ago I finally decided just to clear my head and go back to a Jeff Galwey/Inner Tennis, zen-type approach and let my body figure it out.  I also spent a lot of time watching You Tube video of Sun Yang swimming the 1500M at the recent world championships to see what I could glean from his stroke.

I've arrived back at something that is more TI than Shelia Taormina:  Full extension, just a bit of a glide, then a smooth transition into a high elbow pull, rather than dropping the hand & forearm too early.  I also am back to about a 450 body roll, where before I think I had been trying to swim a little too flat.

It certainly feels smoother.  I did a 400M TT last week and it seemed smooth and almost effortless the whole way.  Maybe not the optimal stroke for an all-out 100M race, but what I need for the 400M to 1K races that I normally do.

IMHO, your swim stroke is somewhat like your bike fit or running gait.  You have to find something that fits your specific body type and characteristics.  If you try to force things you're apt to have problems.

Mark

 

 

 



2013-08-19 2:10 PM
in reply to: RedCorvette

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Subject: RE: To glide or not to glide that is the ?
I'm a BOP swimmer, BUT...I've found that it's almost impossible to 'glide' in rough/choppy water.  (ie almost ANY OWS).  When I try, I just stall out and feel like I'm sinking.
2013-08-19 2:22 PM
in reply to: USAFR

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Subject: RE: To glide or not to glide that is the ?
I struggled with this a while ago as well. I learned via Swim Smooth, and I think I started off gliding a lot. Now that I've gotten a little more comfortable in the water, I glide less and I think it has reduced the dead spot in my stroke and improved my times. I recently did the Steelhead HIM and the water was really choppy with big swells, and I think over gliding would have killed all my momentum.

Your stroke will probably change with time and improved fitness, so just do what works for you. You could always get a swim coach or stroke analysis and see what they suggest.

When I first saw this I thought it was going to be a question about body glide
2013-08-19 2:28 PM
in reply to: jeffnboise

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Subject: RE: To glide or not to glide that is the ?

Originally posted by jeffnboise I'm a BOP swimmer, BUT...I've found that it's almost impossible to 'glide' in rough/choppy water.  (ie almost ANY OWS).  When I try, I just stall out and feel like I'm sinking.

OW conditions are certainly a wild card when it comes to your stroke.  When it's choppy I tend to do more of a body roll when I breathe and keep my elbows high during recovery so I don't drag them in the swells/chop. 

While you will loose momentum if you glide too much, you still need to stay smooth to avoid working too hard and spiking your breathing or HR.

Mark

2013-08-19 2:36 PM
in reply to: USAFR

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Subject: RE: To glide or not to glide that is the ?
gliding can often cause you to push down on the water when you begin your stroke because your over extended arm cannot bend properly at the elbow to drop your hand in the water for the pull. this results in a surging feeling which is actually your body lifting out of the water.

at least that is what a swim coach told me. i don't glide, but im not a great swimmer either.
2013-08-19 2:42 PM
in reply to: Clempson

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Subject: RE: To glide or not to glide that is the ?
I'm a strong swimmer, so I really look at a Sprint distance as exactly that and so no gliding at 400-600 yards pretty much all out for 6-8 mins. In an Oly swim I am much more mindful, so I use more glide to keep the adrenaline in check.


2013-08-19 9:55 PM
in reply to: RedCorvette

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Subject: RE: To glide or not to glide that is the ?
Originally posted by RedCorvette

This is something that I have been working on (and struggling with) since the first of the year.  I had been making a concerted effort to work on a high elbow and early catch, eliminating the glide, but couldn't seem to incorporate it into a smooth overall stroke.  Somewhat concerning was that my shoulders were starting to bother me, which had never happened before with my swimming.

I'd been trying to incorporate bits and pieces of TI, Shelia Taormina's Swim Secrets and SwimSmooth, but got to the point where, like my golf game, I had way too many stroke thoughts swirling through my head.

A few weeks ago I finally decided just to clear my head and go back to a Jeff Galwey/Inner Tennis, zen-type approach and let my body figure it out.  I also spent a lot of time watching You Tube video of Sun Yang swimming the 1500M at the recent world championships to see what I could glean from his stroke.

I've arrived back at something that is more TI than Shelia Taormina:  Full extension, just a bit of a glide, then a smooth transition into a high elbow pull, rather than dropping the hand & forearm too early.  I also am back to about a 450 body roll, where before I think I had been trying to swim a little too flat.

It certainly feels smoother.  I did a 400M TT last week and it seemed smooth and almost effortless the whole way.  Maybe not the optimal stroke for an all-out 100M race, but what I need for the 400M to 1K races that I normally do.

IMHO, your swim stroke is somewhat like your bike fit or running gait.  You have to find something that fits your specific body type and characteristics.  If you try to force things you're apt to have problems.

 

^^^I like what Mark had to say.

the fastest stroke for a 100m may be different than the style I use for 1500m.  For instance- I pretty much don't kick when I'm going long, and I hesitate a little when stretched out after I've taken the pull.  I wouldn't say I 'glide'.

2013-08-19 10:28 PM
in reply to: morey000

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Subject: RE: To glide or not to glide that is the ?

Really good write-up from Sheila Taormina re gliding:

http://swimspeedsecrets.com/2013/08/19/when-does-extension-become-gliding/

2013-08-23 11:55 AM
in reply to: USAFR

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Subject: RE: To glide or not to glide that is the ?
I did some tests yesterday just to see how my swim varies between stroke types. I'm not a fast swimmer by any imagination, but I learned using TI and have gotten stronger and faster using TI with a breath every 4 stroke and can hold that for pretty long distances. Yesterday I did 50's of both swimming with glides similar to TI and then 50's with a faster stroke without glide and breathing every 2 stroke. My times for the TI was around 56 to 58 seconds per 50, while my times for the faster stroke was ~52 to 54 seconds per 50. I was much more exhausted with the faster stroke and to me it just doesn't make sense to use up that much energy for a couple of minutes difference over the course of an Oly swim. The energy that I save by using a longer, calmer stroke can be used in the bike and run legs for much more gain IMO.
2013-08-23 2:11 PM
in reply to: #4833088

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Subject: RE: To glide or not to glide that is the ?
Swim smooth makes it seem like increasing stroke rate is a simple way to get better.

Sure you go faster, but picking up the cadence results in a higher heart rate. The way I look at it, when biking you can switch to a lower gear and maintain cadence; while running, you can take shorter steps, but with swimming the only real way to modulate your effort is by stroke rate.

So for me, in a Sprint race my stroke rate is higher, but if I am doing a zone 2 workout, there will be glide.
2013-08-23 2:48 PM
in reply to: USAFR


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Subject: RE: To glide or not to glide that is the ?
If you're an intermediate to expert swimmer, don't glide. Get that turnover going for a faster pace.

For beginners though, that same approach often backfires, because beginners (1:50+/100pace) almost always have stroke errors that significantly shorten their stroke. These beginners really need to learn to automatically reach and extend to make themselves long and needle-like in the water, and the glide is a pretty good way to force yourself to do it.

When I was about that pace, I actually could not increase my cadence significantly without form deterioration, in particular, truncating my reach on the stroke.

While it might sound like "stroke more = free speed go faster", it's not true. The technique as well as fitness required to maintain that higher stroke rate without form deterioration is very significant.

As I got faster with better technique, I found my stroke rate naturally crept up on its own.


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