Cr@p Swimmers R Us

Swimming Support Thread

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21/08/2009 at 14:04

My last few laps were shite last night too, so I called it a day (wanted to do 2k).  Pilates afterwards was good.  Think it's really helping my hip and lower back.  Some high reps on light weights after that.  Feel I'm getting some strength back.

Wolfie good luck with your race this weekend!!!   Go pirate!!! 

21/08/2009 at 14:10

Well done Nam, Gyraffe and Shiva!

I confess I've not actually been swimming since Monday (or done any other exercise for that matter other than walking, because of the fatigue).

I'd really like to get down to the pool today, but it really depends on how far I get with writing up the results section of my dissertation - I sense I may not get much exercise in at all until after 1 September!

Oh well...priorities and all that.

Happy Friday, everyone  (even though I'll be working all weekend... ). 

And good luck for your race, UIW!

LP xx

Edited: 21/08/2009 at 14:11
21/08/2009 at 14:17

Hi LP,

Sorry I missed that you've been poorly.  What up?

I was crackered during my MA dissertation.  Make sure you look after yourself.  It's easy for it all to catch up with you.  My MA dissertation time fills me with memories of junk food, pro plus and too many late nights. 

21/08/2009 at 14:37

Hi Nam

An as yet unidentified ailment!

I have a number of symptoms (the majority of which I won't divulge here ) but the chief one is extreme fatigue.  In the past three weeks I seem to have reached a sudden inability to sustain my normal levels of exercise despite eating and sleeping well, I'm knackered and often needing kips in the afternoon despite being relatively inactive.

I've had times in the past when I've felt incredibly cold, incredibly tired, incredibly thirsty etc so I don't know whether it's been creeping up on me for a while, but the change in my energy levels seems really striking at the mo, particularly as this year I've been so chuffed with the amount of sustained activity I've been able to manage alongside all the uni work (my course has been intense!).

I did have a funny virusy thing about six weeks ago which may be causing post-viral fatigue, but because of some of the other symptoms my GP wanted me tested for diabetes, hypothyroidism and anaemia, so I had a blood test yesterday.

It's certainly not depression, because in myself I'm happy enough.   Just very tired.

Bit of a tall order to get the dissertation but it's just about manageable and I really don't want an extension - I had to get one earlier in the year for some of my other assignments (due to narrowly escaping indecent assault, but that's another matter...) and although I needed it, it was frustrating to still be working on coursework everyone else had already handed in when I wanted to get on to the dissertation.

I should be able to get it done.  I'm just having to sleep lots in between bouts of work, and I'm putting on the lard a bit from cakes and chocolate!

21/08/2009 at 14:45

Blimey LP indecent assault...

I've noticed a lot of threads by people complaining about unexplained fatigue.  I wonder if there's something going round?  Hope they can work out what it is and you'll feel better soon.

I wouldn't feel bad about getting an extention.  Tutors normally know who is genuine but working hard, and who is just pulling a fast one after too many hangovers. xx

21/08/2009 at 14:54

Yep - a very narrow escape. 

I was walking to the uni library early in the morning and the uni security caught me on CCTV being followed by someone who they recognised as a suspect of having already assaulted two women.

They subtlely made themselves visible to put the guy off, and a couple of days later the footage of him following me enabled the police to make an arrest.

Scary though - I didn't even hear anyone behind me and according to the location I was in at the time (his favourite 'haunt' despite being a very safe area in broad daylight) I was *that close* <makes little pinching motion> to being attacked.

Shook things up for me a bit when I was right in the middle of deadline hell.  It happened literally a day before several assignments were due in and obviously it was a bit difficult to focus...

Security, student support and my department were all really helpful and understanding about it though, and I think I'm so much happier and stronger this year that I was able to deal with it very well, and I haven't let it get in the way of things.

And I've still got distinctions for nearly everything.

Anyway, think I'd better get back to my results...

21/08/2009 at 14:59

Jikes LP, close shave.  Glad they could make an arrest!!

You doing bloomin marvellous!!

21/08/2009 at 16:05

Cr@ppy luck LP.. but good for you staying focused on the studies.

Know how you feel on the fatigue. My studies really wiped me out ~ my brain doesn't like being worked too hard. Got a dose of it now, but think that's just work related

Got a question for the swim guru's out there... where do you look while doing front crawl?

a) head rolls with body, looking to the side every stroke and turn head back/up for breath (bilaterally)

b) head looking straight down, except when breathing, then roll with body and turn head back/up for breath at top of roll

c) randomly splutter along doing something different every length. Usually turning head too far and driving shoulder into water, resulting in loss of balance

I'm on 'c', aiming for 'b' and being told (at lesson last night) to go for 'a'... resulting in 'd' - confusion.

21/08/2009 at 19:27

All the best LP  - hope you get back to normal soon.  That scare must have taken out of you too <shudders at the thought of it>.

I did a bit better today at the pool today.  Still stuck on 100m before it all goes horribly wrong but bilateral breathing is getting easier.  I did 10 x 25m with 2 min rests just breathing on my "bad" side and then 10 x 25m bilateral breathing (with rests), then tried for 100m continuous but had to stop at 50 again, although it felt better.  I find it easier to keep a smooth continuous stroke with breathing every 3.  Onwards and upwards!

Bimble bee  - I'm no guru but I think the answer is (b). Someone else we be along soon to explain more.

21/08/2009 at 20:14

Blimey LP, sounds like you've had a tough year or so. I remember writing my MA dissertation, sitting up till all hours typing away at the computer. Deleting it all. Starting again. Spending hours in the library pouring over ancient texts and wishing I could just go to the British Library instead of having to wait weeks at a time for the papers I needed. And all for what? I don't use it at all and have forgotten it all now! (Mind you, my MA was Medieval European Studies so there aren't too many uses for it in the real world! I wanted to lecture but didn't get funding for my PhD, although I did get offered a place).

Anyway, no swimming here but I have done lots of running and a spinning class as well as some core stuff. I may swim after work tomorrow in the weird 24m pool.

As for the GNR, the costume is a Formula 1 racing outfit. I couldn't think of anything to symbolise the charity that I would actually be able to run in properly (and no, I couldn't run properly in a giant jigsaw piece) so I went for the 'racing' link instead. I'm in zone B and hoping for sub 93 mins but I'm training straight through so no taper.

21/08/2009 at 20:22

An hour of full on core for me today.  Fitball class at my gym done by one of the really good instructors.  I've never thought I could hurt that much.  Physio wants me to do lots of core strength work. 

Aqua jogging and yoga for me in the morning and if the weather is nice I drive somewhere for a nice long hike. 

21/08/2009 at 20:25

Speedy Goth - are you The Stig????     Sub 93 - wow thats pretty quick!  Good luck.

22/08/2009 at 07:59
Er, no. There will be no helmet otherwise sub 93 would most certainly not be on the cards! It's a little red dress (very little in the length department ) with checkered flag trimming. To be fair it looked a lot better on the model than it does on me.
22/08/2009 at 11:14

Morning all!

Nice work in the pool, Soupy, and good call on the core work, Nam.

As for your breathing, Bimble bee, I also think the answer is more like b), but being a numpty I wouldn't swear to it.

Wow - an aim of sub-93.  You truly are Speedy! At some point I think we might need some photos - I'm sure you look gawjuss in it.

Had a good day of working yesterday - still slightly behind on where I'd like to be, but I've left all of next Thursday just for bibliography and appendices which I probably won't need, and my supervisor - who's currently on holiday - is unlikely to be able to look over the thing until Friday anyway.  That means a quick turnaround for proofreading and editing, but I'm used to that from all the large publications I used to produce in my old job.

22/08/2009 at 11:15

Interesting you should comment on it being a tough year for me, Speedy (I can totally relate to the frustration with journals/books being unavailable and all the typing, deleting and re-writing!).

But actually, this year's been reallly good.  

Hubby and I had had several years of one thing after another going wrong (his redundancy package has funded my MSc for one thing, although he has another job now luckily) and I was so stressed and miserable in my old job that the complete change to academic study was really what I needed.

It's been incredibly challenging intellectually but I've really enjoyed it, and obviously the subject matter suits me as I've been doing well.  I think it's partly the motivation factor of being a mature student who already knows a few things about the "world of work" and therefore appreciates the value of academic learning.

I've had a bit of a crap social life and not had the money to enter any races, but a one-year, paid-in-advance student gym membership has meant I've really been able to work on things like core stability, strength and, of course, swimming in a way I wouldn't have been able to otherwise.  I've actually really enjoyed having a slightly different exercise focus this year, which makes me all the more keen to get back into races again.

(It remains to be seen whether I completely lose my fitness and muscle tone because of this bliddy ailment, but hey...)

I've made a fair few good friends despite not really buying into the whole student lifestyle thing (been there, done that once already).

Doing well on the course and finding a subject that truly engages me has really helped my confidence, as has realising that I actually already had a lot of skills and expertise from my previous job that I hadn't truly valued (things I'm actually much better at - IT stuff, groupwork, leadership skills and presentations - than some of my coursemates).

The assault thing didn't actually happen until right at the end of the second semester - I think I could have let it really get to me (and God knows what might have happened to me psychologically if I had been attacked ) but I've been through enough crap in the past to be able to deal with these things.

I'm hoping an MSc Information Management might be a little more useful to me than my BA English Lang/Lit. There do seem to be a few more job ads about for information/knowledge specialists and educational developers than for those coming from other subject backgrounds, and my employment experience should put me in a better position than some younger graduates.

My dissertation supervisor advised me to apply for a Learning Development and Research Associate post in the unit she's seconded to as Director. 

Less than a year fixed term, but the money's good and I feel she probably wouldn't have suggested I apply for it if it wasn't at least vaguely worthwhile doing so.  I don't have as much research experience as some other potential candidates, but my dissertation topic and some of the higher level aspects of my previous job are uncannily relevant.  Even if nothing else, it'll be useful application (and hopefully interview) experience.

Anyway, enjoy your Saturday, folks - I'm getting my nose back to the grindstone!
22/08/2009 at 19:34


b  makes sense.

Might be worth checking with whoever told you (a), whether they are recommending it as part of a normal FC stroke or whether it is for the purpose of a drill.  (It may even be a stage of training the stroke.  If some members of the class are not rotating it might be better to get them to rotate everything and then later fine tune the stroke.) There are some rotation drills where you are trying to drill the rotation - this will typically be where you are trying to rotate side to side, no arms involved - and the head may then also rotate.  However I would check why they recommend a.

One of the signs of a good swimmer is how steady their head is - have a look at the swimmers in your pool, it is the poorer swimmers who swivel the head as if auditioning for the Exorcist. So the image you are eventually working towards is with your head relatively steady (mostly focussing on those lines on the bottom the pool) with rotation only to breathe.

22/08/2009 at 20:17

I hit lucky tonight. I went for a swim after work and was just going up and down with the kickboard when the speedy triathlete in the next lane offered some advice (rest arms on float, don't cling to it). I thanked him and tried it out. Yup, easier.

Then the next time we were both stopped at the same time he mentioned that when I was using the pull buoy I was still kicking (must be reflex action), so he offered some more pointers. He lent me his flippers and had me going up and down with no arms and no kickboard, just breathing on one side with arms in a sort of Superman position. Then full stroke but breathing on one side rather than trying to do bi-lateral breathing and swallowing half the pool. Then I tried without the flippers. He pointed out that I raise my head too much when I come up for air and should rotate sideways to breathe rather than lifting. Yup, that works too.

I kept losing my rhythm but managed one full length and multiple partial lengths of full stroke breathing only on the right. Wahey! Progress indeed for someone who couldn't put her face in the water a couple of weeks ago!

Free coaching! I thanked him profusely of course.

23/08/2009 at 01:07

Wow good one speedy! 

Glad life is treating you generally well Lady P. 

No swimming for me today - 9 mile run and I'm shattered.   Been out to a BBQ and had too much to drink so I'm off to bed now.  Night all.

23/08/2009 at 12:01

SG, had a similar experience this week. Tried somebody's fin/flipper-things, but got to the end of the pool too quickly! It's good to get feedback. Seems that I'm rolling too much when breathing and not turning my head sufficiently, therefore diving my opposite shoulder down.

Two hour swim this morning. The breathing is getting easier.. found that a drill consisting of swimming legs only with arms by my side, face down, breathing side to side ( a no-armed superman!). This drill forces me to turn the head, not just my shoulders, and make every effort to maintain my balance while breathing. Have to work on being more neck-flexible though. 

Baby steps, but after a few of these drills, the full stroke felt much much more fluid.... for a length or two at least! (for those who try this; it didn't come without lots of stopping for breath and slurping of lovely sparkling fresh pool water ~ but worth persisting)


23/08/2009 at 12:08

Two hours BB? 


Maybe it's time I got dressed.  LOL 

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