Cr@p Swimmers R Us

Swimming Support Thread

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24/02/2009 at 11:49

Hi All,

Thanks for the tips on breathing. Went swimming last night and took shallower breaths, kept my head looking down, turned my whole body to breathe and did 2 stroke breathing instead of 3, and it was definitely easier. A bit smoother and less frantic. Still swallowing water from time to time and gasping a bit at each end, but definitely an improvement.

SD - your course sounded like an education! Thanks for sharing the experience for those of us too scared to get our credit cards out! Getting your stroke rate down to 17 is really impressive. Do you think you'll remember all that you learnt, or was it a bit overwhelming?

24/02/2009 at 11:59
SD - sorry, getting your stroke count down to 17 is really impressive. I think mine is 30-something!!
24/02/2009 at 18:10

Been to the pool today to try and practice (and remember) what I learned at the weekend.  I bought a book to remind me of the drills as well as the DVD and it is starting to come along.  The key points that I recall (any TI experts out there please correct me if I'm wrong) are:

Head down for better balance - nose pointing to the bottom of the pool
Relaxed kick from the hips
Rotate easily - no flat swimming
Propulsion comes from the core, not arms and legs by rotating and piercing the water.   Your  recovery hand enters the water  just past your head and follows through sharply under the water as you rotate.  Only when that hand has pierced the water does your other arm start the recovery which anchors the water, not pushing it backwards. (does any of this make sense?). 
Don't use kick floats - they put you in the wrong position
Don't  learn struggle!

Getting all the co-ordination and bits right is going to take some time but I definately felt it coming together today and the first drills are starting to feel more natural.  I may need a session in an endless pool just to get the last drills of zipper switch right because that's where I started to lose it at the weekend.

As for the cost and is it worth it?  Well it depends on how much you want to be able to swim I suppose.  The weekend won't make you a perfect swimmer overnight but it will point you in the right direction.  Some more experienced swimmers made excellent progress.  But if you think how much you might spend on a bike just to cut a few minutes off your time,  then money spent to make the swim easier so you leave the water fresh could be more than justified.  And you'll have a skill for life too.  I've no regrets except for now knowing just how much work I have to do. But it was a very enjoyable weekend and I liked learning with other people. 

Pearly queen - what length pool are you counting your stroke count?  This was 25m.

24/02/2009 at 18:19
PS Pearly Queen - do you mean stroke count or stroke rate?   I got them mixed up on Sunday but I mean stroke count as in how many strokes to do a length, not how many strokes per minute.
Richard 123    pirate
24/02/2009 at 20:24
Hey soupy, glad the swimming's coming along (with the help of the DVD of course  ). A great summary of TI, as I understand it,  well done!
IronNina    pirate
26/02/2009 at 18:26

Well, pleased to say I did 2.3k in 75mins today. That's the furthest and longest I've gone.  I seemed to get better, as in faster and more "streamline", the longer I swam. I think because I relaxed after a while and got the coordination together so I was gliding more. I could also feel my core muscles (would lateral abs be the right ones?) working so the pull was not coming all from my shoulders but along my side too.

Very happy bunny

IronNina    pirate
26/02/2009 at 18:27
Oops, that last post sounds as though I'm bragging but just meant it as encouragement from someone who couldn't swim a length last July
26/02/2009 at 18:43
Nina - that's exactly the sort of encouragement I need!  75 min crawl - I am SO impressed!
IronNina    pirate
26/02/2009 at 18:49

Well don't be As I say, I couldn't do a length last year, I got a couple of lessons, and now just turn up at the tri club swim session  and take on board any advice given here and on You Tube and basically practise!

Oh that and sheer bloody-mindedness that I AM going to do it!!

26/02/2009 at 21:51

Thanks for that write-up, SD. All top tips most appreciated. Yes, I do about 30-something strokes per lengths in a 25 meter pool! However, tonight I managed a flukey couple of lengths of 24 and 23 strokes. I made a huge effort to try and keep my legs more streamlined, and magically, that was the result.

Am thinking I need lessons - have seen an ad online, £45 for a 1-2-1 60 min lesson - and you can pay for lessons one at a time. Might give it a go. Also looked up local tri club, but you have to be able to swim 100 metres continuous front crawl to go to their coached swimming sessions, so maybe lessons are a must?

Nina - we are all looking to emulate you! Please keep reminding us you couldn't swim one length last year!

26/02/2009 at 21:54
Wonder Woman - you are quoted in the latest Runner's World mag - you started a "Hot Thread" apparently! Do you get royalties for having your thread quoted?
26/02/2009 at 22:14
PQ - TI talk about "front quadrant" swiiming - you have to keep the reach going for as long as you can, in a kind of catch up stylie. It helps me.
26/02/2009 at 22:50

Great insight into TI - Thanks for that SD! Will definitly try and get on the next course local to me.

I have the book and DVD and try to do the suggested drills but must be doing something wrong as I get quite breathless after 50 metres. I had half an hour session one to one with a swim coach a few weeks back and she said my body position and kick was looking ok but I didnt have any pull. I then spent 20 minutes trying to learn the 's 'shaped pull which after learning the TI way through the DVD and book didn't suit me at all and I found to be even more exhausting.

I need to get back in the pool again as I hurt my shoulder 3 weeks ago after a swim session and haven't been back since, I now seem to have lost my swimming confidence again and keep putting off going. Any tips will be greatly appreciated


Aitch!    pirate
27/02/2009 at 12:38
Well just been down to LA pool and played dodge the people!

Swam 1900m (distance for the Vit). It felt okay but took me just under 1hr 15 mins.... Not so happy about that... I will need to speed up to beat the cut off! Does swimming speed come from practice?? Can I get faster?!
Richard 123    pirate
27/02/2009 at 12:49

If it's any help with motivation last January I couldn't swim a length of FC albeit I coudl BS until the cows come home. 

I struggled and struggled, attended some group lessons run by the blue rinse brigade at the local pool, had one 1:1 session by a tri coach at my local pool, one 1:1 session at an endless pool and just put lots of (frustrating - very frustrating) time and effort in but swam, all FC, IM in July in 1 hr 30. Persevere and it will come - I promise!

Aitch!    pirate
27/02/2009 at 13:04
Thanks Richard! Wow you've come on in leaps and bounds! I try and get to tri club technique swim once a week which is helping as I could barely swim any FC this time last year so I've improved already! I am not one for giving up so will keep getting the hours in down at the pool.

I found myself getting very annoyed at people not doing any swimming in the pool this morning, just stood around chatting!. Also not moving out of the way for me, just looking at me! Although, I was chatting to an old man for a couple of mins in one of my breaks and he's 78 and still swims a mile once a week! He used to run for Derbyshire and said he still runs now and keeps himself in shape. He was one of the people who was actually swimming!!
27/02/2009 at 13:17

Aitch - doing interval sessions helped me improve my speed. I try and do 1 session a week that is split into 50, 100 or 200 intervals.

I think working on technique is great but think people get a bit bogged down with it at times. Learn the basics, do some drills (they bore me so I do them rarely) and get in a swim some intervals. In 18 months doing this I went from 50plus minutes for 1500 to 31 minutes.

When I play golf I don't hit it like Tiger Woods. When I play tennis I don't hit it like Nadal. So why would I expect to have a technqiue like Phelps. Find out what works for you. Good luck.

Aitch!    pirate
27/02/2009 at 13:29
Thanks Max... When you say you do intervals... do you mean you go top speed for 50m, recover, top speed for 100m, recover etc?? The technique session I go do do various different drills and I feel like I've improved from going to them. This session moved to OW in May so I can get OW experience and practice done.
27/02/2009 at 15:17

A typical session would be:

200 warm up

8 x 50 intervals (90-95% effort with 15 second rest)

4 x 100 intervals (90% with 30 seconds rest)

2 x 200 intervals (80% with 30 seconds rest)

4 x 100 intervals again

8 x 50 intervals again

Warm down and then home

27/02/2009 at 21:06

PQ - thanks for tip off, have now seen the 'hot thread' in exciting, but very sadly not rewarded in same was as star letter (no prize), how disappointing.

I've never had anything published in a national mag before, so even if I fail to learn front crawl at least I have achieved something!!!!

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