Cr@p Swimmers R Us

Swimming Support Thread

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ImRio    pirate
17/08/2009 at 10:04

Danowat there are people of all swim speeds at tri.  You don't necessarily need to get quicker before contemplating at tri.

If you want to speed up your swimming and your technique is ok and your endurance is building you can do intervals much the same as with running and cycling.

Build distance you swim fast just like running.  Start with 1 length with recovery between and times that by 5 (again you can increase it if you are able) and then build or cut down the rest.

You will be able to do all fc in time just persevere. 

In fact it might be wise to do as many lengths as you can maintaining form in fc then rest and repeat.  Gradually decreasing the rest or adding a length as you feel able.

17/08/2009 at 10:06

Sounds good, I will try the FC as far as I can, then interval, and repeat.

Cheers

mellifera    pirate
17/08/2009 at 11:11

Hi Danowat, please understand this as a descriptor and not a criticism but yes, that is really slow*. Not that it would not matter for a shortish tri and you shouldn't let it stop you entering one. It does mean that your technique must need work. I would stick to no more than 25m at a time until you start to feel that your technique is improving a bit. Don't think about distance at all - it's fine to do 400-600m sessions. Short frequent sessions are likely to see improvements quicker than trying to build the distance.  Drills are useful and you might find you can only do them for 10m at first - that's fine, just do them for as much of the length as you can then head back to the end, rest and try again. I found kicking drills (on back and side ) were good for learning some kind of feel for the water and to help get a good body position.

*just wondering if you are certain that it's 25m pool?

17/08/2009 at 11:48

Yeah, fairly certain its a 25m pool.

I know its slow, pretty sure it would be, seeing as I was getting overtaken by an elderly women!!!!.

I haven't swam "with purpose" for a long, long time, so I am WELL out of practice, I'll do some training and see what happens.

17/08/2009 at 12:42

Hi all,

Welcome Danowat.  15 minutes is slow, but i'm about the same speed, maybe a couple of minutes quicker and i've entered my first sprint tri for this october.  I am focussing on technique, trying to get that right and I have noticed some improvement in speed already.  I keep doing different drills, one length at a time.  Getting someone who knows what they are talking about to watch your stroke will give you a useful starting point too. Good luck.

Went for a quick swim today, just a few lengths of catch up.  I have a swimming lesson tonight and my coach is back from his holidays so it will be a hard session again.  Managed to drive to the nearest tri shop and got some new goggles.  Will see how they are tonight, but they feel ok on.

17/08/2009 at 12:46

Hi Danowat, and welcome!

I'm one of the least "expert" swimmers on here, but I think I'd have to echo what melli says about working on technique.  As your stroke becomes more efficient through technical improvements, this will make it easier to improve speed.

I've been doing a lot of focusing on drills recently and was surprised last week at how quickly I could swim 400m (11:07, so still not exactly setting the world alight, but much faster than I'd have managed a month or so ago)  - I'm sure my improvements have come through practising the drills and therefore being able to worry less about the stroke when trying to swim at a certain pace.

Don't worry about the distance at the mo.  There have been times recently when I've been tempted to swim further than planned but found my technique starting to disintegrate so i've stopped, as I've obviously not been ready.  I'm not in a race situation so don't need to keep going regardless, as I don't want to get into bad habits simply for the sake of swimming a bit further.

But yes, as Rio says you can do the same thing with swimming that you can do with running - a mixture of distance, intervals and "tempo" swims and once your technique has improved it will be better to do a combination of these with the technical drill-type stuff (that's what I intend to do anyway).   But for now, drills, and short frequent sessions, are probably best.

Anyway, what would I know?  I'm a complete numpty!

But good luck! 

ImRio    pirate
17/08/2009 at 13:14
Lady Pineapple wrote (see)

Don't worry about the distance at the mo.  There have been times recently when I've been tempted to swim further than planned but found my technique starting to disintegrate so i've stopped, as I've obviously not been ready.  I'm not in a race situation so don't need to keep going regardless, as I don't want to get into bad habits simply for the sake of swimming a bit further.


Very wise.  It is soooo hard to relearn when you have got a bad technique ingrained.   I am working on my technique too. 

And I am not fast by most standards (As Melli will vouch)  But I am trying and getting there with practice.

This year I am trying to focus more on technique than before IM..  And while I made some improvements on my speed having got the endurance bit I know I could be a bit faster and more efficient with an improved stroke

17/08/2009 at 13:44
Danowat, on the entry list for the tri I have entered there are a few folks who've predicted 20 mins for the swim, so I wouldn't let it put you off. At least you can do crawl, which is more than I can!
mellifera    pirate
17/08/2009 at 13:51
Rio - you're not all that slow! I was about the same for my first IM.
ImRio    pirate
17/08/2009 at 14:02
Oh thank you Melli.  Still think I need to work on that (as well as the rest of it! lol)
17/08/2009 at 20:16

Had my first 1:1 lesson.  Very helpful to know what I'm doing wrong (nearly everything).  But apparently my balance and rotation is okay and there is hope for me.  Seems I  put my head all the way underwater (didn't realise that at all!) and I swim with zillions of dead spots so there's no wonder I have a fairly low stroke count, cos my stroke rate is sooooooo slow.  I don't even get onto the grid on that swimsmooth calculator thingie.  I started to take the dead spots out by increasing my stroke rate but I was puffing at the end of a length and was splashing around all over the place. Felt a bit like going back 3 paces but I suppose that will happen at times.  

Now got things to practice, practice, practice before the next lesson next week.

17/08/2009 at 21:05
What's a dead spot? Sounds terrifying!
17/08/2009 at 21:22

LOL Speedy G - its a bad thing apparently, but would be interested on hearing what others think as I quite like them!  Its when I'm just gliding along and then I sort of stop while my arms think about doing something to propell me along a bit further.  So in other words - having a rest at every stroke. 

17/08/2009 at 21:38
SD - do you not start to sink when that happens?  Tonight I was practicing just going along with my arms forward, face in, but i found myself sinking even though my legs were kicking. It was strange, i wasn't too bothered about it, its just kind of weird that i slowly sink like that. I can float easily if i'm not trying to move, but as soon as i engage my legs, i start to lose balance! Yet i have no problems when i';m breast stroking.  I need an inflatable ring for FC...
17/08/2009 at 21:44

Well done Iron wolf - don't apologise; you are a source of inspiration.

Angelica - I don't think I actually come to an absolute stop, just sort of glide along without doing any work which feels great but doesnt give me any speed.  But I'm not exactly sure because its sort of become a habit which I'm not all that aware of (but need to become aware).

17/08/2009 at 21:51

UIW - I aspire to be you! The thought of doing butterfly scares me silly. It always looks so complicated! I'm not surprised you're knackered after that training session. I would probably be dead. I did enjoy my session tonight though. My legs now feel better after my long run yesterday. Swimming always eases the niggly aches and pains.  Oh and I bought a new bike tonight.

17/08/2009 at 21:53

UIW, keep posting, it's good to read the sort of sessions that experts swim. 

I think that I sometimes have dead spots, normally when I breathe to my left.  I try not to though.

Had a mixed bag of drills tonight, catch up, side extensions, legs only and then some timed 50 m intervals.  I actually started to feel the water better tonight, and this made the drills a little easier.  I need to put more effort into my pull as I am not really working my arms enough.  It was good to get my regular teacher back, the stand-in was pretty poor. 

The new goggles seem to work fine.  The only downside is that they are clearer so I can see how dirty the pool really is!

17/08/2009 at 22:01
I noticed that tonight too. I was going along thinking, ewww, is the pool always this cloudy? then i saw the plaster floating by.  Not nice. And it's not even a public pool - its a gym pool!!!
17/08/2009 at 22:03

Oooo - new bike angelica - nice.

And new goggles for Shiva!

I've got a new tent!!!   (pesky pirates will lure me into anything!)

17/08/2009 at 22:03

Hi SD,

Well done on the 1:1 lessons, they sound like they will really help in the long run. It does seem as though you're gliding too much in order to stroke less and then losing your natural rhythm as a result. You'll only go further with each stroke from a combo of having a really effective catch and minimal drag - gliding too far to minimise your stroke count will make you slow down, as you say.

How many lessons are you going to have? Good luck with them!

I swam in the sea yesterday, which I haven't done for yonks. Think the waves made me feel seasick   and it felt like someone was slapping the side of my head constantly when I swam against the direction of the waves.     

I'm doing a tri at the end of august with a sea swim. Just found out today that the swim waves are 60 odd people, with only 3 mins between waves - basically I'm going to be mown down by faster swimmers out at sea!  Great!

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