Cr@p Swimmers R Us

Swimming Support Thread

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17/08/2009 at 22:12

Hi PQ - I've got 10 sessions booked and having one a week.  Today he just sort of watched me doing different drills, kicking with fins (I keep my legs too stiff like zombie killers), breathing both sides (I get my timing wrong) ..... you get the picture.

Next one not till next Thursday cos Monday is normally my rest day after a long run on Sunday. 

Edit - forgot to add good luck for August.  You are doing really well with your tris now.  Be proud!

Edited: 17/08/2009 at 22:13
17/08/2009 at 22:29

Good luck for the tri PQ! (although I have an alarming mental image of lots of 'odd' people bobbing about in the sea! lol You'll b fine - just kick them if they try swimming over you. 

UIW - your trainer sounds brill. And congrats on your new bike too! I can collect my new bike tomorrow.... i can't wait!!  It's like Christmas already

18/08/2009 at 10:54

Morning all!

Well done on the 1:1, SD!

UIW - I love your posts; really inspiring. Your instructor sounds brilliant.

Glad the new goggles worked well, Shiva - even if they did show up the pool grime.

Final lesson of the three-part series last night. Really, really good.

It was a bloke covering the lesson (the normal two instructors we've been having are now on holiday, but even they aren't the usual ones - the 'real' instructor is on her honeymoon at the mo) and he was brilliant.

Breaststroke to start with (that had been on the class schedule all along). I've had the revelation that I absolutely cannot, and will never be able to, do proper breaststroke kick.

We did a lot of observing of other people swimming and had to feed back to them on our observations about their technique. I was one of those hauled out of the pool to watch other people do 'correct' BS kicking, because mine is so all over the place (and painful when I even come close to doing it properly)!

I mentioned my congenital hip weirdness to the instructor, and his opinion was that actually, it wasn't really worth me bothering with BS. Given the extent of my joint problems, it's physically impossible for me to get my legs into the right position without risking dislocation.

This chimes with my physio appointments - fizz has always made slightly 'concerned' faces when I've talked about doing BS in the pool, but has nothing but enthusiasm for me learning FC properly and working towards tris.

So I pootled along for 15 minutes with the 'expert' breaststrokers practising the arm movements (while the others learnt the footwork which causes me so much pain!) and then we were asked what else we wanted to work on. We all asked for front crawl.

I felt I learned more in that 15 minutes of FC instruction than I have done in any other swimming lessons. More peer reviewing of each other's technique, but also loads and loads of explanations of the different elements of the stroke itself, why things are done in a certain way, what movements can cause injury if done incorrectly, and the dynamics of correct head position, high elbows, what angle your fingers enter the water etc.

One of those practical situations where all the video clips I've watched and things I've read online actually fell into place.

Not much time to work on things in 15 minutes, but we covered balance, breathing, finger tip drag drills and the full stroke itself. I was told to simply focus on arms for the time being and not use the legs at all (but advised to work on kick separately) - felt odd, I thought I was going to sink (no pull buoy), but actually I got on quite well as long as my head was in the right position.

A couple of other people in the group told me afterwards that they thought my stroke looked really good. Okay, so they're not instructors, but it's still nice!

Edited: 18/08/2009 at 10:57
18/08/2009 at 12:47

I'm amazed at how busy the pool is getting recently, another guy was also commenting on this in the changing rooms.  Normally you can turn up any time and the pool is empty, even during the school hols.  Now it's rammed.  The net effect is that all the lanes are messed up speed wise, with people going in wherever there are fewest people.  There were some pretty speedy kids in the slow lane along with people walking up and down the lane, and a couple of very slow older men in the fast lane.  I was happy to do catch up drills in the medium lane, and actually had a good training session.  I didn't mind stopping after 25m and waiting for some water to open up between me and the guy in front who I would still catch.  Other people were getting pretty annoyed, complaining to lifeguards etc.  Managed to do a few 100m sets at the end by moving over to the fast lane, but was pleased to focus on my technique a little.  When the pool is busier it actually removes the temptation to try and do the full 500m in one go, and see what time I can do it in. 

UIW, you are anexpert in my eyes, as you complete those sessions.  It's not all about speed.

LP, Sounds like a useful session.  I can't do BS either.

Angelic, what bike are you getting.  I love new bikes, but my wife has banned me from getting anymore.

18/08/2009 at 13:20

Our pool seems to be busy a lot these days, Shiva - unless you get down there really early (and I'm really not also an early morning person!). 

Normally I don't mind too much if I'm prepared to take little rests at each end - what annoys me more is when people swim in the opposite direction to what's dictated by the signs on each lane.

Shiva wrote (see)

I can't do BS either.

What was quite amusing was the fact that the instructor also said "Nah, you don't wanna be learning breaststroke anyway - other strokes are far more fun".   I think partly he was covering BS because he'd been asked to because of the schedule.  I suspect he may actually be of tri persuasion...

Also, when one of the other swimmers asked him about swimming for fitness (he'd shown us a very minimalist, efficient form of BS arm technique that she thought wouldn't exercise the arms and shoulders enough) he replied that other strokes such as FC would be far more useful for building a decent amount of fitness anyway.

It's a shame in a way that I'll never be able to do BS properly - always nice to have the full armoury of strokes (although I think fly might be a little way off ) - but my joint problems make me probably quite unusual as a novice swimmer in being able to enjoy FC a lot more than BS from fairly early on in learning it.

18/08/2009 at 16:06

My pool is busy at the moment too - even at 3pm when I'd expect it to be quiet.  I'm hopeless at lane swimming and tend to crash into people coming the opposite way because I can't swim in a straight line.  Its very embarrasing.  They have 2 slow lanes and one fast lane, but nobody seems to take any notice and are used by everyone whatever.  I used to avoid the fast lane but now if its quiet I'll go in there, which seems to norm.   The only time I got a bit narked was when a couple went in a lane just to mess about without really swimming when they could have gone in the half of the pool not laned off which is for "messing abouters"   I was swimming lengths and had to move to another lane cos they blocked my path.     

But for my swimming lesson I had a lane roped off all to myself!

Lady P - Breastroke is very boring compared to freestyle.  But I think your instructor should teach it if people want to learn and it does have its uses.  (don't know quite what but give me time and I'll think of something )

18/08/2009 at 17:04

People were getting quite heated about the speed of others today, it was quite funny in a way. At least at my pool they all go the right way I suppose.  I got the predicted swim times spreadsheet through for the tri i'm doing in august.  Some people are saying 35-40 mins for the swim.  Surely they must be just walking up and down the lanes for a 400m swim?   At least I shouldn't be last I suppose.

Off to the running club tonight, hopefully toe has been well rested and will be ok.

18/08/2009 at 17:26
Soup Dragon wrote (see)

Lady P - Breastroke is very boring compared to freestyle.  But I think your instructor should teach it if people want to learn and it does have its uses.  (don't know quite what but give me time and I'll think of something )

LOL, Soupy!

I think he was perfectly happy to, ultimately - even though most of us moved on to working on freestyle, there were still a few people who continued to work on BS for the entire session and he kept both groups going very effectively.

Very different from the "stand at the side of the pool shouting instructions to the whole group" approach of the other instructors.

He was actually in the pool with us for most of it, and seemed very adept at moving between the two groups and giving people a good amount of individual instruction and feedback given the size of the class.

I think he was one of those people who just wanted people to be able to maximise their enjoyment of swimming itself, regardless of what form that took - for me, the hip thing meaning I'm more likely to enjoy swimming by learning FC properly rather than BS; for other people BS was more the thing.

Was interesting to learn his approach to BS arms though - very different to what I, and some of the others, had been previously taught.  Much more minimalist, less widely-sweeping movements, with a catch and pull much more similar to FC than I'd expected.  Did seem easier though, if weird!

Hope the run goes well tonight, Shiva - fingers crossed the toe holds out!

18/08/2009 at 18:00

OOoooo - Lots of posting and lots to take in.  Sounds like everyone is chipping away at their own progress which sounds really good.

I have not been swimming for over a week because of keeping Jr S entertained and now Mr S is on hols from work and so I have him to contend with  ().

Will read back through a couple of pages again (scan-read this time) and comment in more detail but just wanted to pop up  and say Hi

18/08/2009 at 18:02
Hi Schmunkee.
18/08/2009 at 18:06

Hi Schmunkee!


In other news, had a visit to the GP today because of this whole annoying fatigue thing (it's still not gone away, I feel knackered after yesterday's swim) and a few other symptoms.  She suggested I was still in the right timeframe for post-viral fatigue, but wanted to discount things like anaemia, underactive thyroid and diabetes, so I've now been referred for a blood test for glucose, iron levels and thyroid function.

Anyway, I'm glad they're looking into it and hopefully whatever it is'll be easily sorted.   Bliddy hope so though - I'm pleased with my swimming progress but very very fed up with feeling so tired all the time!

18/08/2009 at 19:39
I must be really lucky with the pools I use. At the gym there's rarely more than 6 people in the pool (2 per lane) and at the other gym (which the running shop I work in is attached to) I tend to go in after work, so 4pm on a saturday. Last time there were 3 of us and 5 lanes.
18/08/2009 at 19:59
Soup Dragon wrote (see)

Edit - forgot to add good luck for August.  You are doing really well with your tris now.  Be proud!

Cheers Soup. This will be my 4th sprint this year. I'm really slow, but I love them! Would like to do olympics next year if I can sort problems out with runners knee malarkey.... and get a new bike too!

I hear you all on the crowded pool issue. Mine is the same and it's getting really annoying. I'm trying to arrange a "viewing" at a private pool near work this week. I don't care how posh it is/how long the pool is, I just want it to have less people in it!

Hope you're not overdoing it Lady P? If you're still recovering from something?

Anyway, off swimming now. Really really hope the blokes from last week aren't there - the ones who swim halfway up a lane then walk back again?  

18/08/2009 at 20:59

Shiva - its a Specialized Dolce 24 2010 model. Cheap and cheerful. Not the one i was after (that was a Giant Avail 2w),as everything has sold out and their new models aren't out yet), but it's a very nice white with red bits. Colour is so impt! lol Plus I had a lovely chat with the guy at Evans who also does Tri, and he was telling me about a Tri swim coach over Wakefield way, who does coaching for only £4.50 a group session! Sounds great, but it would be a bit of a trek. Other nice thing about him (apart from the fact he was rather cute) was that he let me have some shimano clipless pedals for free.

Re: busy pools. The pool I use isn;t usually too bad. Some nights it's busy, but never so busy that I struggle to do something useful. it does piss me off when stupid people think it's appropriate to stand around talking rather than swimming, or swim in tandem whilst talking none stop. That really riles me!

Lady P - hope you get your lingering ailment sorted soon. It must be infuriating to feel so run down all the time.

18/08/2009 at 22:28

Your swim group sounds great Ironwolf. 

I've had a rest day today.  Back to the pool tomorrow - points I've got to remember: Top of head showing out of water, legs relaxed, keep a smooth continuous stroke rate, turn to breathe as arm passes hip, breathe on "difficult side" as well as "easy" side.   Thats quite a lot.  I plan to concentrate on just one thing at a time so do 4  x 1 length of each bit then start again. 

18/08/2009 at 23:05
Angelic, specialised are a good make, it will serve you well.

I'm very jealous of you people with quiet pools.

Cycled the 5 miles to the running club, and the ran 6 mile hill session, and then cycled back. Toe was ok, which is good. My brother is coming over tomorrow, so will have to get my cycle/swim done early.

Good luck at the pool tomorrow SD

18/08/2009 at 23:08

Lady P

hope you get the fatigue sorted out - good that the  doc wants to have tests so you can eliminate as much as poss.

I have a bad knee and was told not to BS as it is hard on the knees. So I can agree that BS is not a good thing (except in certain unspecified circumstances).

Edited: 18/08/2009 at 23:12
18/08/2009 at 23:11
Also, re the crowded pool thing - its a good way for practising for crowded swims  -which can happen in tri ... your drafting skills will improve 
18/08/2009 at 23:15
That's true Bos, unfortunately the entire medium lane was drafting behind a bloke who seemed to be going backwards.
18/08/2009 at 23:23

Shiva, that is frustrating.  There can be value in drafting slower people as you are saving heart rate to use later in the race.  Also it can be useful to work out pacing - ie decision whether to pass rather than to continue drafting.

(I am stretching for the positives - I do feel your pain   )

Edited: 18/08/2009 at 23:26
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