Cr@p Swimmers R Us

Swimming Support Thread

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23/08/2009 at 18:09

Hey bos1, missed your feedback this morning.. spot-on, thanks, this makes sense. I'm pretty sure that the instructor was just trying to get me to turn my head as well as roll. I now realise how little I was turning my head in an effort not to lift it.

Nam; two hours wasn't so daunting.. I had the prospect of a day's decorating to look forward to

ImRio    pirate
24/08/2009 at 08:41

Speedy it is great when someone gives you pointers like that.  I hope you can build on that now.  Though what we think we look like and what we actually do are often poles apart.

Well cr@p swim for me today.   Me with my IM cap on too!  Got out after 500m as it just wasn't happening.  Tried my snorkel thing which will be great once I get nose clips I think but I got so much water up my nose it was horrible.  Makes me think I must be exhaling very gently through my nose all the time when I swim as it doesn't happen then.

24/08/2009 at 11:00

I went to the 'timid swim' session last night. You have to swim widths, but that means that more people can fit in the pool without getting in each other's way. My friend from running club is a swimming instructor there so she joined me when she'd finished teaching. She's actually not that great at swimming herself (bizarrely - those who can't - teach???), but she was able to give me a few pointers and it was nice to have some company for a change.

It seems my right arm enters the water just fine but my left goes in at the wrong angle. She reckoned that when teaching the kiddies they do bilateral breathing from the beginning so as not to learn bad habits. Makes sense I suppose. I managed a width or two without swallowing half of the pool, but mostly had to stop part way across as I'd inhaled water.

I've got today and tomorrow off work as the plaster is here fixing my collapsed ceiling and sorting out the walls, so I might just get up for the early o'clock tri club session in the morning. Normally I can't go as I wouldn't get to work in time. I think I've made pretty good progress since I last went a week and a half ago.

IM - nose clips hurt. Fact!

ImRio    pirate
24/08/2009 at 11:06
CC2 - Speedy Goth wrote (see)

IM - nose clips hurt. Fact!

Maybe I need nose plugs then?

24/08/2009 at 11:27

Morning peeps

Read back and everyone is doing great! Lady P - i was gobsmacked at what you've gone through. You're obviously a very strong woman. Well done you.

Speedy - i'll look out for you at GNR although you'll be finished quite some time before I expect to!! Good progress on the swimming, You're coming along in leaps and bounds.

I swam Friday night and prcatices the superman drills. Still struggling with balance though. If I try and turn my face sideways to breathe, i lose it. But i can see that i am making progress, albeit slow, so i refuse to give up. This morning my legs feel like lead. Did a 10k race yesterday and boy can i feel it this morning. Thankfully i have a week off work and  can do bugger all. Will swim tonight in an attempt to loosen up my legs.

24/08/2009 at 16:51

Swim training for me tonight.  Did a 30 mile bike ride over some pretty horrendous hills today, It was great to get out of London for a bit.  Followed it up with a 5k run as well.  It's too humid for me really, so I will look forward to getting in the pool later. 

Well done on the 2nd place UIW, excellent result.  Speedy, it seems like you re making great progress.

24/08/2009 at 21:42
Just back from the pool, had a really good lesson, lots of different things. I did 250m warm up, then 4x Legs only.  4x extensions then 4 x catch up.  I then got to use some paddles which were great.  Then 8 x normal stroke.  I realised today that I no longer worry about breathing.  I used to panic if I missed a breath or swallowed water, but now I just get on with it and breath on the next stroke.  I feel that i'm progressing slowly but steadily at the moment.
25/08/2009 at 09:37

Shiva, I can't wait to reach that point. I still forget to breathe and then panic.

I made it to the early bird Tri Club session this morning. I have no idea how many lengths I did but the last 6 were full stroke and on two of them I made it the full 25m breathing on both sides, without panic and without drinking half of the pool. We won't talk about the other 4... Before that there was lots of kicking only, one arm with other arm on float and using the silly noodle thing.

ImRio    pirate
25/08/2009 at 09:40
Sounds like improvement there Speedy.   The more you can get the feel of those 2 good lengths the more you will be able to do.  But we still all get carp days just the same as running.  Sometimes they precede a breakthrough but not always.
25/08/2009 at 16:44

*Still lurking, listening, and learning*

Good progress, everyone

25/08/2009 at 18:06

Good going everyone.  300m continuous bilateral breathing for me today.  Its sort of getting easier but breathing is by no means natural just yet.  And I still take on water .   My stroke count has shot up to 29 - 32 but I'm niow doing 25m in 35secs instead of 41 secs. Puffed out at 300m today (an improvement on 50 though!)

25/08/2009 at 18:26
Good news Soupy - keep it up!
25/08/2009 at 19:19

As someone who is pretty strong I am getting really peed off with petite little people with no upper body strength being quicker than me. At tri club the coach explains it's because I am not "catching" the water properly.

I've been practicing with a pool buoy thingy and concentrating on correct arm technique, position etc. but I'll be darned if I can't seem to catch the water. My question is how do you know if you are catching the water correctly?? Will it suddenly all "click" into place? I've been swimming for a long time now and I generally thought my technique was as good as it was going to get but the longer distance swims really tire me out. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

25/08/2009 at 19:43

Awww - just realised I only did 200m non-stop today.   But its still better than 50m!  

Hi Lee-sterine!  Infuriating this swimming lark isnt it?  I don't know anything much about catch (havent got that far yet) but I'd be interested to hear the answer when it comes along.

25/08/2009 at 21:00

Hi All,

My swimming has gone to pot recently, due to the pool just being too crowded and other random issues like pulled back muscles...

But - for those in London (London Bridge, SE1 area), I viewed the private pool underneath Guy's Hospital today. It's only 25ms long and nothing flash and a wee bit pricey, but there was hardly anyone there - hurrah! Like, 6 people in the whole pool. So am going to join tomorrow and go swimming (you have to be resident or work in SE1 to go there, I think). So I'm really pleased - I'm so frustrated with pools being so busy - it's so hard to practice technique when you're concentrating harder on not disappearing up the backside of the person in front/not letting the person behind get too familiar with your rear end...  I really hope this gives me my swimming mojo back as I seem to have lost it of late.

Bit rubbish given that I'm doing a tri this weekend!

Anyway - welcome Lee-sterine! I'm no expert, but my understanding of the catch is that you need to make your pull as long as possible, ie stretch out really far in front of you (swimming on your side increases this stretch) then pull all the way back to your hips. The catch is the bit in the middle where you really pull against the water to propel yourself along - you should aim to use your whole forearm to "catch" against the water, not just your hand. So you need to keep your elbow quite high under the water and try to keep your palm and forearm all in one long vertical plane - if that makes sense? It feels a bit odd at first, but practising with a pullbouy should help.

*Sorry - think a diagram would explain the above better!*

25/08/2009 at 21:12
I *think* I may have inadvertantly managed the catch thing a couple of times this morning. On one or two strokes I felt myself shoot forwards like when a wave hits you from behind. Sadly I have no clue what I did or didn't do to achieve that. Maybe it was just a wave from one of the faster swimmers going past!
25/08/2009 at 22:43


swimsmooth has a page on catch here which explains some of the things: Catch

One of the problem with the catch can be that the hand can 'feather' through the water rather than catching.  Catch drills that are relevent are doggie paddle drill, sculling drill.  Using fist drills can also help.

Strength wont help if you dont catch properly.  It is a bit like translating power to the track in an F1 car.  The performance of the car  depends not only on the hp of the engine but also how the tyres grip the track. 

Catch is about feel - you will have to find a way to give yourself feedback on the catch.  This is something done with your own effort, no one can tell you. The drills should not be done with too much effort as your are looking for feel.  Your main propulsion is not during the catch phase so dont try to pedal to the metal until you are in the pull phase. The pull phase is when you can benefit from strength advantage.  However you will benefit quicker from improving feel (which is why weight routines probably wont translate to improved swimming).

26/08/2009 at 10:27

Did a 3m gentle jog yesterday; still got v.frustrating and painful ITBS. Spent the rest of the day crippled  Back to the physio and lots more streches.

Thought a swim this morning may be a gentle way to get things moving again.. not much fun. I think I'm in a phase where I am begining to understand where I'm going wrong, but can't seem to change as quickly as my head wants me to. More frustration.  Is this the experience of others?

On the up side, I have another lesson tomorrow and feel sure another piece of this jig-saw will become apparent. 

26/08/2009 at 18:18
Thanks Bos1. Indeed the catch seems a very tricky thing to get to grips with! I do all the technique drills the coaches advise, I have slowed down and tried to concentrate on the individual aspects of the arm position, entry into the water, elbow bend etc. I do feel as though constant practice with a pool bouy is having an effect. I'll just have to wait and see. Of course it's all going to go to pot once I put my wettie on  again and I'll be back to thrashing around like a paddle steamer!
26/08/2009 at 18:54

To learn how to feel the water you need to do a drill whereby you tread water vertically and do an action with your hands that is a bit akin to smoothing a dog or sand.  By sweeping your hands back and fore like this you should learn to feel the resistance of the water.  When you do it properly you create little whirlpools on the waters surface.  You then have to transfer this to the horizontal position where it becomes a bit more like being a food processor (don't ask).  As you do the stroke you will feel yourself catching and holding the water.

I can't really explain it on a forum!

Edited: 26/08/2009 at 18:56
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