Cr@p Swimmers R Us

Swimming Support Thread

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07/09/2009 at 16:09

Speedy Goth

perhaps this has been suggested already.

If breathing is a problem then it can help if you sort out your rhythm.  Try this: Exhale as your hands enter the water in two distinct bursts and then inhale as you rotate.  This gives a three beat rhythm "out-out-in" which can make the breathing less of a problem as it makes it part of the whole stroke.

Practice the rhythm for a few lengths when you are relaxed and comfortable or even just with your face in water first. Then when you do find things getting out of control you can bring it back under control with the out-out-in mantra.  It may help to actually say out/out/in. 

In a way it is creating a default or baseline which is still FC - the out-out-in rythym gives you a way to find your way back to that default.  At the moment it would seem that you default is BS and that is what you return to when you get to a certain stress/effort level.  (I hope I am making sense and not over-complicating).

07/09/2009 at 18:26

Hi Folks,

My first attempt at swimming in many years today. Headed to the pool after a run, I think I did about 500m in about 20 minutes in the pool, so very slow, although I stopped after each 25m length (alternating between breaststroke and FC) to keep adjusting my goggles (I was also grateful for a rest after each length!). So a long way to go! I didnt notice any pattern to my breathing I suppose I better pay more attention to this next time.

I guess I should build up some endurance and the breathing thing/rythm will improve? I'm not a fan of seeking lessons straightaway. Anyone have strong opinions on this?? I assume many tri athletes are self taught swimmers?

08/09/2009 at 18:05
Hi Shadow face. I could barely swim a very bad 400m front crawl when I joined a tri club. Every session has lanes for coaching and they helped me loads. I would recommend getting some coaching before you develop too many bad habits!
08/09/2009 at 19:07

Thanks Lee-Sterine,

I don't plan to join a club until next year though, I want to see a 2010 event calender, be able to swim a little distance even if with a bad tech, enter a tri and then I'm committed! It 's probably makes very little sense but I want to be able to swim a bit further before I seek any lesson. I guess a tri club will have its own swim trainers at sessions then? I think my nearest club is BRAT's. Are they any good/supportive for rubbish swimmers anyone??

Back in the pool tommorow, its free swimming and gym for local council tax payers, even if your under 60 (i'm 37 at last count). So a good time to start! At least I can tell the wife that before I spend x100's of ££ on a new bike!  

08/09/2009 at 20:02
Hi all,

Been v hectic at work so have been away from the forum. Congrats on the job lady p, well done. My swimming has been progressing steadily, but have hurt my shoulder, possibly from running with a rucksack, possibly from swimming.

Shadow face, I would get lessons sooner as so much is down to technique, and if you start with bad technique it will be harder to change later on.
08/09/2009 at 20:21
Ultra-Ironwolf wrote (see)

...the race swim is a (compulsory) wetsuit swim in the very fast flowing Rhine river. There's big rollers to contend with too, as only the left side of the river is cleared for us, there's still shipping coming up the other side and making waves. My favourite race of the year, it's just like a sea swim and the tide's going with us!

That sounds truly frightening...!  

Congrats on the job Lady P!

09/09/2009 at 08:39

Wow, UIW that sounds scary!   But kind of fun - I'm sure once you get to a reasonable swimming standard it must be quite invigorating.

Shadow Face -  I'd agree with what all have said so far about getting coaching/lessons and working on your technique so you don't develop any bad habits.  Correct technique makes things so much easier - of course I've still got a long way to go there.

Now I have the prospect of regular pay packets I'm thinking of getting a few 1:1 sessions.

General (i.e. non-tri-specific) group lessons aren't exactly ideal for me, given the fact they also do the other strokes.  Backstroke is fine, and I wouldn't mind learning fly one day, but given that I've been told I shouldn't be doing breaststroke that would end up being a wasted lesson.  I think a tri club might be a good idea longterm.

Anyway, think I'll probably head down to the pool shortly...

One week to go and then I'll be working again, so I'll have to get back into early morning/late afternoon/evening training (shock horror!). Oh well, I'm sure I'll get used to it again.

09/09/2009 at 09:24
Dammit, I was hoping the consensus might be you can get away without lessons! Nevermind, thanks for all your input.  I like the sound of that current Iron wolf, assuming you dont get swept away! Off to the pool at lunchtime taking my bad tech and random breathing with me...
09/09/2009 at 18:35

Evening all!

Woohoo - I had the acest swim today! 1800m including:

  • warm up
  • 4 x 33.3m lengths legs only with board; 4 x normal FC
  • 4 x extensions; 4 x FC
  • 4 x zipper; 4 x FC
  • 4 x fists; 4 x FC
  • 2 x 100m sprint/100m slow recovery (I use the term "sprint" very loosely)
  • warm down 

There was nothing spectacular about my pace (I was indeed slow), and I took quite a lot of short breaks, but what I was really pleased with that it all just seemed to make sense more than it has done in the past - as if the component parts of the stroke, through the drills, are feeling more natural.

Couldn't quite put my finger on it, but actually felt like I was swimming rather than attempting a poor approximation of swimming.  Probably still looked ridiculous to an expert, but I seemed to have a much better "feel for the water" than I have done in the past.

Forgot about catch-up drills though.  At one point when swimming normal FC I became concerned about the angle my fingers were at when my hands entered the water, so need to re-visit this next time.

But all in all, progress!

Right - I'm off to the End of the Road festival this weekend, and down to parents first tomorrow morning, so need to go off and pack.

I'll "see" you all next week - happy splashing!

Lady P xx

12/09/2009 at 15:07

Afternoon, all

I managed my first full length of FC today!! It was technically rubbish, but at least I resisted the urge to revert to breast stroke which has always happened in the past, and I still can't manage the breathing co-ordination very well. However, I was very pleased with my mini break through after weeks of trying.  

My first tri tomorrow (Derby) but I think I'll stick to BS on this occasion. I'm not fast at 12 1/2 mins for 400m, but at least I won't drown!

12/09/2009 at 20:34

Nice one Angelic!

I think I'm doing something wrong with the breathing. I must swallow the air into my stomach somehow rather than inhaling into my lungs. I can't imagine how I'm doing this, but when I got out of the pool today I was really bloated - stomach the size of a beach ball. It's taken a couple of hours for it to return to a near normal size.

I managed *lots* of lengths of crawl (only 20m lengths though) and only 3 mucked up ones plus 2 BS ones. I lost count of how many lengths I did though. Needed quite a long break at the end of each length and it felt like my nose and ears were blocked, which was most uncomfortable.

13/09/2009 at 20:23

Well done Angelic!

SG, I get that too, not sure why it happens.

No swimming since monday, my shoulder has been very stiff and sore all week.  Had to cut out running and cycling too as that was hurting it, and then felt ill from something else.  Managed to get out on the bike today, did a hilly 20k in 40 mins and then a 5k in 23min, and wasn't going flat out.  So things looking OK for the tri in 3 weeks.  Just need to get through the swim!

UIW, that Rhine swim sounds terrifying, rather you than me!

13/09/2009 at 20:27
Wow. Lots of new faces since I was here last   Nice to see you LP and wow - your swimming is going great! 

Hi all. I haven't swum for a few months and will be getting back in the pool from next month. I was reading an article on the Beginner Triathlete website and it talked a lot about getting your position in the pool right before attempting other drills. The first drill was actually one where you had to swim on your side. I can't explain it well but will find a linky thing some time in the next few days as I'd be keen to hear other's thoughts.
13/09/2009 at 20:48

My tri was brilliant today!! Apart from the 4am wake up call due to the travelling, everything went ok. Weather was perfect; nice and warm, no wind. Swim was ok - BS - not as fast as I have done in practice, but mostly due to a congested lane with a huge mixture of swimmer speeds. Bike ride was fast - right up until I took the wrong exit of the last roundabout and began going back up the start of the route. It was confusing as the ride started and ended at the same point, so cyclists were going both ways. The marshall tried to tell me, but i misunderstood him. As soon as I turned I knew i was wrong, so i did a mad U-turn and whizzed back round. "Back on course now!" the marshall said somewhat dryly. He had probably wondered if I intended dong the route twice for a laugh. Ha. Not. Run had a nasty hill at the beginning which wasn't pleasant, but despite a few undulations, I managed a steady pace. No idea what my split times are as the results haven't been posted yet, but I did my best so i;m pleased. Onwards and upwards!

13/09/2009 at 21:00

Well done Angelic!!!

 You are a triathelete!

13/09/2009 at 21:20
Thanks!!   I haven't stopped grinning since I finished it (apart from the hour i zonked out this afternoon!).
14/09/2009 at 16:32
Well done Angelic!  
17/09/2009 at 18:49

Hello Ladies and Gents - long time no see!

I have been lurking here for the last couple of weeks and see that you all have made good progress.  Well done on losing your Tri virginities Angelic and CC.

Just over a month ago Mr S was on holiday from work and so my normal schedule went to pot.  Then it was not long til Jr S was back at school and so my swimming training was non-existent.  However, this afternoon I got my Mojo back and got my hair wet.  I managed ten lengths (with a lengthy breather between each one).  I did capsize on the 8th length and the remaining two were pretty hard-going as I noticed my breathing was going to pot and I was really pulling myself through the water.

But still, I am pleased to see that I still remembered how to swim (?!) and now know where I am at so I can start concentrating on my training once more.

I note it's been rather quiet on this thread of late - what's everyone else up to?

17/09/2009 at 23:09

Hi Schunkee

Well done on your swimming! Suppose swimming is like riding a bike - you don't forget how to do it, you just get a little rusty.

I'm still working on mine... slowly making progress which is ok with me.

Thanks SD - good luck with your Tri at the weekend!

18/09/2009 at 10:02

hello everyone

 1st time posting on this thread. i am the original cr@p swimmer. having got my 25m badge 20+ years ago at school my swimming as been going downhill ever since. last year i decided i would love to have a go at triathlon but knew my swimming would be a problem. about a month ago i decided to face my fear and signed up for a couple of 1 to 1 lessons. this morning i managed to complete 100m at the local pool. this might not seem like alot but i'm made up with the progress i've made in the last couple of week

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