We are happy to announce that we have two new swim clinics scheduled for the weekend of March 28th. They will take place at UConn Avery Point, and we will have the whole pool facility to ourselves! Both clinics will have 3 coaches and two underwater cameras with poolside video motion analysis (I-PUMA). Class sizes will be limited to ensure that everyone gets maximum coaching time. The first clinic on March 28th (click for brochure) will be geared towards more novice swimmers, and focus on basic skills along with the underwater motion analysis. The 2nd clinic of March 29 (click for brochure) will focus on the I-PUMA poolside analysis with only a short lecture, so it is geared towards middle of the pack to advanced swimmers. In each case we will strive to simplify the aspects of a solid swim stroke and emphasize real-time underwater feedback so you can improve as quickly as possible! Everyone will get our Swim-CD loaded with tons of great stuff. For more info and testimonials from our previous clinic, see the previous posts here and here. Also have a look at our video below. For registration please visit Coach Al’s site.
Monthly Archives: February 2009
It still amazes me that some folks continue to insist that a steep seat angle is somehow bad or wrong. It is for a standard road position, but for aero position it is essential. The UCI forces pro cyclists to set their saddles at least 5cm behind the BB, or about at about 74 degrees. Yet most of these guys, who ride all day at 72-73 degrees on their road bikes, ride very steep (>78 degrees) in time trials. Thanks to the UCI this means they have up to 50% of their saddles sticking out behind them. It is as simple as this: for most people, a steep seat angle is required if they want to generate power in an aerodynamic position. If there was some reason that a slck seat angle was “better”, wouldn’t pro cyclists be the first ones to adopt it all things considered? Check out the following video:
Our good friend and 2x top-10 Kona Pro Dede Griesbauer recently visited us with her brand new 2009 Kestrel Airfoil Pro SL Special Edition. We went back through the fit process (recall we had worked with Dede on her previous bike exactly 1 year ago). Her new position is much improved: the “long and low” geometry of the Airfoil allowed her to obtain a more comfortable, relaxed, and more aero position than on her previous “short and high” frame. Another advantage we think she’ll appreciate on this frame is the great shock absorption provided by the no-seat-tube design. Lis has been riding an Airfoil for years, and loves hers. The 09 version is much improved, being lighter and stiffer with a new two-position aero seatpost that can afford a very steep effective seat angle, complimenting the low front-end of the bike.
This guy Kimmage, a reporter for the Sunday Times, doesn’t deserve to be on the same planet as Lance, much less to criticize him in any way. He apparently made the lovely comment that Lance returning to cycling is like cancer returning after four years of remission. Somehow I think Karma will take care of Kimmage…
We were all really happy with our recent swim clinic. We packed a TON of teaching, drilling, and video feedback into 5.5 hrs and could have spent another 5. The problem is, when you get Al and I together you have two guys who have spent decades studying swim technique and trying to improve themselves and others. We have both spent countless hours, days, years, trying to understand what makes a good swim stroke work, and how can we convey it those who want to learn. Then add the technology side: the I-PUMA stuff. Then add the fact that Al and I love to teach! I was going to be a professor, even did a post-doc, until I learned that in many cases being a professor has nothing to do with teaching – but that’s another story. So what you get is a huge amount of information. Lis had to keep us on schedule, and we still had to work hard to get everything in. Even so, we strived to simplify and demystify swim technique.
The students didn’t leave empty handed, even if we did make their heads spin. Their packets included a CD packed with goodies:
- The slide presentation
- A video of our custom drill progression with informational annotations
- 50 swim workouts with different focuses
- A comprehensive swim-specific strength program
- 2 swim-specific stretching routines
- A collection of swim articles.
They even got a laminated drill sequence sheet to bring along to the pool. Then we provided copies of their underwater video complete with full analysis and recommendations!
We got some great feedback:
“It can be hard for old dogs to learn new tricks and the optimisim and enthusiasm were priceless. Video and post session individual feedback were extremely helpful. I also notice that in the 2 days back in the pool since the workshop I feel sore in new places (pecs and back) and feel like I am learning a completely new activity. drills are great yet exhausting. It was fun, educational and inspirational.”
“It was really a pleasure learning so much in one day. You guys really did a wonderful job with everything and the passion you all showed in teaching is greatly appreciated! I must be doing something right from what I learned because my lats and trunk are KILLING me from this mornings swim!”
“I do feel that the clinic was a great value for my time and money. To get all the instruction I received the day of the clinic from such qualified people is something I might (if I had the money) pay much more for.”
“I was really happy with the desire that you all had for us to improve. Obviously, no one is going to become Michael Phelps from a one day clinic, but I felt that you all genuinely wanted us to be the best we could be.”
“I thought all the information was good. I especially liked the flexibility and strength training sections.”
“Thanks for the clinic. I certainly came away with quite a bit of information and feel like I’ll be a better swimmer. Thanks again.”
“Thanks for a really helpful and educational day. I must admit that I was a little nervous going into the workshop, but you all were really helpful with making me feel comfortable. The combination of lecture, swimming, and video was great.”
“I think the videoing was an awesome learning experience.”
“I’m glad to have something new and simple to focus on and really like the idea of spending pool time on drills as opposed to long sets.”
“I usually am a tough grader and don’t like to give all 10s because it looks like I’m not being discriminating, but you guys deserve it. Material to take away are also excellent and an important part of the workshop.”
“Let me know if you want any help in promoting other programs, because there lots of people out there who could get a lot from it.”
“Yesterday was fantastic. Truly. Not only did it reinforce what you’ve already taught me, but more importantly it showed me how to start thinking about transitioning back into the water and where the focus has to be. I am truly energized. More importantly, with the knowledge that you imparted regarding breathing technique, and the motivational aspects, and visualization. I NOW know that I can finish the olympic distance, but will eventually be able to go long. ”
Stay tuned for info on our upcoming clinics! Look for more differentiated formats too, including sessions focused mainly on I-PUMA video feedback! Any questions, please email us!
Olympian Jarrod Shoemaker and his coach Tim Crowley stopped by for a followup visit before Jarrod embarks on a new season. The results since his initial fit have been great: Tim subjected him to 10 days of big mileage on the bike, and Jarrod reports that he felt much better than he usually does. To top it off, he followed the bike block with a 2.5 minute PR at the Disney 1/2 marathon!
During his first visit it was clear the Jarrod had some asymmetry issues, and we worked on cleat adjustment to improve this. We looked at those issues again this time and although improved, they are quite noticeable. We looked at his knee angle from both sides and the front and tweaked his saddle height to better balance the knee angles. We also decided on a programs of spin-scan use to determine how much he favors one leg during the latter part of a difficult workout. Assuming there is a power imbalance which I think is likely, he can hopefully address the issue with the help of the Spin-scan feedback. So in his case we believe he has a functional and not a structural imbalance. I look forward to following his progress on this and on the international race circuit: first big race is the Ishigaki ITU World Cup race on April 26.
We are sorry to report that our Feb. 8 swim clinic in Mystic, CT is now FULL – but don’t worry, we will be offering additional dates and venues soon. We want to keep our class sizes manageable so that everyone receives enough personal attention and gets maximal bang-for-their-buck. If you are potentially interested in a future clinic don’t hesitate to email us or Coach Al.