Fatman to Ironman

Another Ironman journey

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Cortina5    pirate
23/01/2013 at 08:52

Good effort ID.

Morning all. Can't decide whether to turbo or brick tonight, or run this morning and brick tonigh...hmmm.

Ironholgs    pirate
23/01/2013 at 08:56

so many choices Mr Cat.......

Well done Donkey.

M...eldy    pirate
23/01/2013 at 09:07

You need to find your core Donkey ... that'll help with getting the hips higher

23/01/2013 at 09:20

Thanks Meldy - that's what the coach yesterday said too. 

The more I think about it, the more my arms (mostly deltoids, triceps and lats) ache.  Shame I've nobody around (apart from here and a very indifferent OH on instant messenger) to moan at.

In all seriousness though, my "sagging hips" beacame very aparent when we used a pull bouy to focus on the catch phase of the stroke.  When using the bouy, and quite unsurprisingly, my position in the water felt much better and I was really able to "glide" across the water.

I'm not too keen on overusing the pull bouy though as I fear it could become a crutch to mask my dropping hips.

Sooooo much to think about

M...eldy    pirate
23/01/2013 at 09:24

I think its on the Tri Europe or the 220 website or similar this week that talks about the pull and finish phase of the swim and isolating the muscles needed ... i'll find it for you as it might help to visualise

Use the pull bouy by all means so that you develop some muscle memory but dont (and she wont mind me saying) become like Seren who struggles to swim without

M...eldy    pirate
23/01/2013 at 09:27

The most powerful part of each stroke is the underwater pull. Many triathletes are challenged in the water because they are not getting the maximum amount of forward propulsion with each pull. Incorrect arm movements under the water can steer you off course, cause shoulder pain and waste energy. An easy way to understand the correct movement is to imagine drawing a question mark on the bottom of the pool with your fingertips.

Check out Part One of the Swim Stroke Series (The Reach) Here

• Relax your fingers underwater and allow a small gap to form between each. Similar to holding your hand out the car window to catch the air.
• Finish each underwater stroke with your arm close to your body and your hand next to your thigh.
• Utilize swim-specific exercises in the gym, such as pulls with resistance bands, to build stronger “pull” muscles.

• Bend your wrist at the beginning of the underwater stroke. Keep your wrist strong and straight.
• Let any part of your arm cross under the centerline of your body.
• Flick your hand out of the water during the finish. Instead, lift your elbow right before your hand reaches the surface.

Step by Step:
Catch the water by letting your elbow pop up at the beginning of each pull while your fingertips angle toward the bottom. Keep your wrist strong and unbending. This motion will naturally force your hand and arm to sweep outward, away from your centerline.

Pull your arm back by rolling your torso toward the arm anchored in the water. You will feel your lats, pecs and upper-back muscles engaged.

Finish each stroke by letting your arm naturally sweep back toward your body as you lose power in those large muscle groups. Your triceps will take over and push your forearm and hand toward your thigh. Do not push your hand out of the water.

Tennis Balls: Hold a ball in each hand and swim freestyle. By canceling the force on your palm, you can feel how important the rest of your arm is for creating propulsion.

Hand Paddles: Grasp the paddle upside down without using the straps and check that the top of the paddle extends past your wrist. When you swim freestyle, the paddle will prevent your wrist from bending as you catch the water.

Single Arm: Use fins to make this drill easier. Place one arm at your side and swim a lap only using the other arm. This will allow you to concentrate on the complete stroke. Watch your arm underwater to verify that it is maintaining the correct position.

23/01/2013 at 09:46


Thanks for that.  Will read and digest in more detail over lunch after I've been out for my 1st road based jog since my ankle operation back in mid November of last year.

8 x 2 mins (at 10.5 km/h pace) with 1 min walk between sets.  Fingers crossed the ankle holds up and I avoid the ice.

Cortina5    pirate
23/01/2013 at 11:37

I read that too Meldy. Thanks for posting it as I'd forgotten too.

I had some stroke analysis and I am now undoing bad muscle memory.

Nurse Ratched    pirate
23/01/2013 at 11:50

Good work ID

My mentor is tops!  Off to the pool this afternoon, will surely have memorised all that  by then..........................

M...eldy    pirate
23/01/2013 at 11:52

You'd better  

23/01/2013 at 12:33

Well done ID, Holgs & anyone else hitting the training.

Great swim tip post Melds, thanks.


23/01/2013 at 12:53

well timed swim post Meldy as I'm having a swim intensive week this week. particularly like the bit about not bending wrists at start of stroke as I had been trying to change my stroke to incorporate more of a bend but it feels unatural.

23/01/2013 at 14:10

Thanks all - I feel a little bit of a fraud in only going for the half distance this year.

As for the run.  It went well.  No pain.  No reaction.  No slipping on Ice.

Rafiki    pirate
23/01/2013 at 14:27

Not that I wold dare to question M...eldy but....

• Bend your wrist at the beginning of the underwater stroke. Keep your wrist strong and straight

 contradicts with Mr Smoothswim which suggests at the start of the catch: 

At full reach and without dropping your elbow, feel like you are tipping your finger-tips over the front of a barrel (again flexing at the wrist), which will start the catch.

 Think I'll stick to doggy paddle!!

23/01/2013 at 14:27

Thanks for that post and the link to that site Melds, great help!

M...eldy    pirate
23/01/2013 at 14:43

Is a flex not different to a bend?

Swimsmooth is also talking about the reach and not the pull   

23/01/2013 at 15:01

Was thinking about this in the pool today. Before now, I have followed the Mr Smooth advice with finger-tips over the front of a barrel and flexing my wrist but today tried to keep them straight. Really not sure which is best as my whole stroke is pretty rubbish.

The good news is that I had shoulder surgery in December and have today swum 500m. Not very far in the greater scheme of things, but it's a good start on the road to recovery and Ironman.


Edited: 23/01/2013 at 15:02
Rafiki    pirate
23/01/2013 at 15:10

Smoothswim says its talking about the initial catch, which suggests to bend the wrist. The piece you posted from  Triathlete Europe says don't bend the wrist durng the catch.....which is what confuse little old me. Either way I'm still crap

M...eldy    pirate
23/01/2013 at 18:37

Either way I am still awesome   

M...eldy    pirate
23/01/2013 at 18:39

To clarify for those pondering, there will always be a difference in styles and advice as shown above, but I do think that they agree on the main muscle groups so once you can isolate them and use them properly then you begin to make inroads ... the lower your legs the more drag you are having to pull though behind you, if you wont work on your core and position in the water then you might as well be swimming in your pyjamas  

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