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I think Total Immersion is ruining my form....

.....have been reading total immersion and went to the pool today to run through a few drills. After about 30 mins of drills and being thoughtful of my recent reading i decided to do just a few easy lengths to relax.........

....it felt like my stroke was less natural than ever....

....just wanted to know who has read and followed TI and what your thoughts are about it, and hopefully i would like to hear from you if you have found it a revelation!


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    TommiTriTommiTri Posts: 879
    personally i think TI swimming is nothing new, i just think its a slightly alternative way of teaching the basic principles of swimming, i.e. swim on you side, stream lining and well balanced.

    However i do think that its concept of utilizing the glide is not for me, I find I swim much better if I am in a good rhythm and if I try and glide too much I loose momentum. I am a runner, so therefore I have big dense legs, therefore I find balance an issue. I find if I try to glide too much my legs sink a bit and then I have to pull extra hard to get going again. If i do it the non TI way I dont have this problem.

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    agent_tiagent_ti Posts: 306
    I've never used TI so can't speak about it per se, but I remember when I first started having coached swimming sessions, all the things they were telling me to do made it feel like I wasnt swimming the way my body wanted me to swim, but I stuck with it after constant nagging from the coach and now it does feel natural and Im certainly a lot faster than I used to be. So, depending on what other people think of TI, I would stick with it for a bit, until you have taught yourself to do everything properly and subconsciously, and then it should feel natural
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    I'd say stick with it. I read (scanned) TI a couple of years ago and had a go at doing some of the drills but really don't think I was doing them right! Gave up in the end.

    However I recently did a weekend swimming course where they film your stroke and give you instand feedback and they use a lot of similar drills. REVELATION!

    After a few weeks of swimming things are slowly starting to click and my last pool session I could really feel a big difference starting to happen. Its definitely worth getting a coached session or two, if only to make sure that the drills you are doing are being done correctly, otherwise you'll be hard coding bad practice.

    Stick with it I reckon.
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    BopomofoBopomofo Posts: 980
    We incorporate some 'TI' drills into our training sessions on occasion. I use the quotes because I do not think of the exercises as being anything new or special to TI... we do drills to help get onto the side, to extend the stroke, reduce stroke count etc but nothing out of the ordinary.

    I've not studied TI at all, but I get the impression that it encourages a very long glide phase in an effort to extend the stroke. This is fine so long as you concentrate on the other arm, ie make sure it is completing the stroke fully rather than both arms gliding.

    I only ever use a long glide stroke if I'm swimming in salt water in a wetsuit... in this case being over-bouyant seems to make it worthwhile to swim as though you are on a surfboard. Otherwise I prefer to keep my hands moving.

    @garyroberts: you've spent most of your life swimming badly, probably. Learning to swim properly, whether TI drills or anything else, is going to feel really odd and unnatural. You have years of muscle memory to undo and re-make. It is hard, but worthwhile.
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    BoycieBoycie Posts: 189
    I had an interesting conversation with the head swim coach at the club where I work. He believes that a lot of triathletes overdo technique work for triathlon and that TI is a classic example of that. His argument is that once a wetsuit goes on alot of the skill you practice become irrelevant and that most triathletes would do better to get a basic grasp of technique and then just work on fitness. I'm not sure I totally agree with him but it did make me think about spending so long working on drills.

    I also have never used TI so I can't comment on them.

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    BopomofoBopomofo Posts: 980
    Good point, boycie.... I felt exactly this in London last year. All the drills and technique went out of the window and it was just a nasty thrash for the first 400 to try and get some space, followed by a lot of very disturbed splashing and bashing before my shoulder went pop.

    With two other sports to concentrate on maybe we should be less obsessive about swim technique.

    That said, a beginner can make some massive improvements very quickly with the right coaching and drills. Doesn't take long. 6 weeks, maybe?
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    JulesJules Posts: 987
    Bopomofo wrote:

    That said, a beginner can make some massive improvements very quickly with the right coaching and drills. Doesn't take long. 6 weeks, maybe?

    I have my eye on this. I'm mindful that swimming class on a Sunday morning is giving me less opportunity to go out on the bike, but I feel for now my stroke needs improving. But hopefully my stroke will eventually improve to the point that further improvement is not worth the extra training time i.e. diminishing returns.

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    agent_tiagent_ti Posts: 306
    It all goes back to the old saying of "a good swim wont win you the race, but a bad one will lose it for you". Now, we arent all gunning for the podium, but I certainly think its worth working on swim technique so when you come out of the swim you actually feel quite good and not knackered when you still have the majority of the race to do.
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    bennybenny Posts: 1,314
    that counts for non draft races. I believe in drafting races, the worse your swim time,the less chance to get in a good bike peleton!

    About TI: I did it a month or three and learned some valuable things as pointed out above by others: lenghtening stroke, side swimming, reaching, pushing out till past hips,....

    If this is all new, I don't know. I do know that TI combines them all, so that is handy.

    TI is more about swimming economical than about swimming full speed, but since most tri's start with reasonable distances, I suppose economy is the way to go (with Two sports still following).

    I'd say: stick with it, you can't undo years of repetetive wrong technique(muscle memory) in a few weeks. I remember it was weird at first, but often find myself doing some of the drills still now.

    Good luck

    PS: previous thread: http://forum.220magazine.com/fb.asp?m=23727&key=total%2Cimmersion

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