Stunning Swimming Sculpture is Carved From a Single Piece of Wood

t may be hard to believe, but this stunning sculpture was carved from a single piece of wood. Artist Stefanie Rocknak, who you may remember as the creator of that ghostly Edgar Allan Poe sculpture, is behind this fascinating figurative work. Slightly larger than life-size, the sculpture, called The Swimmer, was part of a three piece commission under the project The Triathlete. The other two pieces are called The Biker and The Runner. Each of them show a sense of movement. As Rocknak tells us, “These days, I am not very interested in sculpted figures, or real people, that ‘strike a pose.’ I am much more intrigued by folks who are on their way to or from somewhere. They seem more genuine to me.”

Love how Rocknak captures the moment in time when a swimmer comes up for a breath. Notice the incredible details like the splashes of water and the lines on the hand.

From Stefanie Rocknak’s website

woodsculpture01woodsculpture02woodsculpture05

Advertisements

The Evolution of Swimming

By Gary Sr.

Much has changed in swimming over the past 30 years. I will summarize the most important changes in two categories; swim training and swimming technique. Both are critical to fast swimming.

Much has changed in the sport of swimming over the past 30 years. I will summarize the most important changes in two categories; swim training and swimming technique. Both are critical to fast swimming.

Swim Training:

  • Swim yardage in practice is less overall, but much more intense on the hard days, with more training closer to race pace. Swimmers train smarter, not harder.
  • Recovery days have been appreciated as being as important as the intense training days.
  • Training cycles, changing the type of training in a season, have become much more appreciated and utilized.
  • Training in all five disciplines (swimming, strength, mental, nutrition and recovery) have become essential to maximize swimming performance.
  • Much more equipment and technology are used today to train. Once a kickboard and pull buoy were the only required equipment. Today, a large mesh bag is needed to hold all of the equipment such as fins, paddles, snorkel, bands, tempo trainer, resistance bands etc.
  • More emphasis on kicking as a critical component of fast swimming, particularly the dolphin kick.

Swimming Technique:

  • Much greater awareness today of the adverse consequences of frontal drag, with more emphasis on technique that reduces drag.
  • An appreciation of the need to develop different techniques for different distances and different skill sets. One size does not fit all in swimming.
  • Clearer understanding of the two basic different freestyle strokes, hip-driven and shoulder-driven, and the advantages and disadvantages of each.
  • More emphasis on developing sustained tighter kicking and kicking in both directions.
  • Learning to pull in freestyle with more of a straight path backward and a high elbow rather than the big S-shaped pull with a deeper drop.
  • Using the body rotation more in freestyle and backstroke to increase power and distance per stroke

We will never have all of the answers in swimming, but we seem to get a better understanding each year of the complex movements and training required to reach one’s potential. As soon as we think we have it all figured out, though, a swimmer comes along that proves we still don’t know enough. That is what keeps this sport interesting. At The Race Club, we just keep learning.

For a better understanding of how to implement the most recent training methods and improve your technique, please come to one of our Race Club camps or visit us privately. We are here to get you faster.

Seminar: Triathlon injuries, prevention and rehabilitation.

 

Cyprus Triathlon Federation is organizing a seminar with title:

Triathlon injuries, prevention and rehabilitation.

The seminar will cover the most common injuries for all three disciplines, and the demographics around these injuries. We will talk about ways to prevent such injuries and will cover some aspects of rehabilitation to treat or prevent such injuries. The seminar will have both a theoretical part and practical part, therefore it is advised to come with your sporting kit.

Facilitator George Pengas, physiotherapist (Uk) and triathlete.

Reception will follow

The seminar will take place on Sunday December 23, 2012 from 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM at KOE – Olympic House Amphipoleos 21, Nicosia, Cyprus and has no participation fee.

For registration please click here

κυπριακή ομοσπονδία τριάθλου

 

Swimming: The craziest race ever!

Triathlon swimming: First priority – Get level

By Ian Murray

Before you put one more ounce of effort into creating propulsion in your swim with hard kicking, a dramatic catch or a stronger pull, invest yourself entirely in reducing drag. You’ll get more speed with less effort.

The greatest technique challenge that new swimmers have to overcome is body drag. Body drag occurs when the top parts of the body (head, lead arm, shoulders) are positioned high in the water, and the hips and feet are progressively deeper. In this “swimming uphill” position, there is drag at the chest, stomach, hips, thighs, knees, shins and feet. Water is so thick that elite swimmers shave their entire bodies to reduce the drag generated by tiny hairs, so imagine the resistance created by the whole body plowing through the water.

To solve this critical issue, it helps to understand that the body functions in the water like a seesaw works on a playground: When one end goes down, the other end goes up. You have three tools to help you get level in the water.

Head: When you look forward while swimming, your head rises above the surface of the water, causing the hips and legs to sink. If your head is lowered into the water, then the hips and feet rise towards the surface. Rather than having the water line at your eyebrows, forehead or hair line, drop your head so that the water line connects with the crown of the head.

Lead arm: Once the arm enters the water and reaches forward to complete extension, the fingers should not be above, on, or even just below the water’s surface. They should be deep-perhaps three to five inches below the surface of the water.

Pressure: Thanks to the lungs, the chest cavity holds a lot of air. When the upper part of the chest is pressed down into the water, the lower part rises. Maintain this pressure on the upper chest as you roll from side to side. Think about leaning first on your armpit and then across both collarbones and onto the other armpit.

Different body types require different adjustments. A body with more adipose tissue (fat) around the hips and thighs will naturally float level with greater ease than a very lean body with dense muscle and bone. Both body types (and everyone in between) can be level in the water, but some may ride deeper in the water than others. Depth does not matter-it’s being level that is critical to minimizing drag. Generally, the leaner and more muscular you are, the more you will need to rely on head depth, lead arm depth and pressure to get level. Regardless of your body type, as you become more comfortable in the water, you can slightly reduce your reliance on these factors as all three tools work together to keep you level.

How To Get The Benefit Of A Pull Buoy Without Using One

By Swim Smooth

We know that many swimmers and triathletes (particularly triathletes!) love their pull buoy as it helps improve their body position in the water, bringing their legs up high towards the surface.

Of course any swimmer will benefit from a high body position in the water as it reduces your drag significantly, even if you don’t particularly like swimming with a pull buoy. So how do we recreate the pull buoy effect in your stroke without having one in place? Believe it or not, it’s actually very simple.

When you swim your body pivots around your centre, a bit like a see-saw:

The extra buoyancy of a pull-buoy pulls your legs up but as you pivot around your centre it also drops your chest slightly lower, bringing you more horizontal in the water.

This pivoting effect means you can actually achieve the exact same thing by reducing the buoyancy in your chest. If you can do that then your chest will sink slightly lower and your legs will come upwards in the exact same way as if you were using a pull-buoy.

How to reduce the buoyancy in your chest? Learn to exhale smoothly into the water to get rid of the CO2 from your lungs as you swim. You could do this continuously between taking breaths. It’s no co-incidence that the worst sufferers of sinky-leg-syndrome are also those who hold onto their breath the most vigorously!

Putting Some Numbers On It

The average lung capacity of an adult male is 6 litres and for an adult woman around 4 litres. You’re not going to reduce the air in your lungs to zero with a good exhalation technique but you do have the scope to easily exhale 1-2 litres of air which will reduce your chest’s buoyancy by 1-2kg (or 10-20 newtons to be technical!).

A normal sized pull buoy has a buoyancy of around 1.5 kg (or 15 newtons), so you can see that the power of a good exhalation technique is similar to that of a pull buoy when it comes to your body position.

How To Exhale

Exhaling into the water between breaths is harder than you might think if you haven’t tried it before as we all have a strong instinct to hold onto our breath underwater. The key to a good exhalation technique is to relax and feel like you are sighing into the water either through your nose or mouth, whichever you prefer. Imagine you’ve had a hectic day at work and you come home and collapse on the couch letting out a big sigh of relief – that’s exactly how your exhalation should feel. Don’t try and force it out, just let it go smoothly.

Traditional advice given to swimmers has been hold onto your breathe as is increases your buoyancy. Yes it does but as we have seen it does so in the wrong place. This might work for a sprinter kicking very hard over 50 or 100m as the strong kick creates lift in itself but for distance swimmers, a long smooth exhalation into the water is absolutely key to improving your balance and body position in the water.

Remarkable Video Of Triathlon Swimmers Going Off Course

Swim Smooth’s Adam Young introduces a time accelerated clip showing how swimmers really zig-zag around in open water races, adding hundreds of minutes to their swim distances.