Cr@p Swimmers R Us

Swimming Support Thread

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30/09/2009 at 16:53

@angelica - it was interesting in my sessions.  One of the people in the group is a woman who I have admired from afar because she seems to be able to do length after length (she did 64 before the lesson even started!) and I was soooo jealous.  However, the swimming coach could still find areas for her to work on.  It seems she puts her face too far into the water and does not breath bi-laterally.   So I guess what I am saying is, altho someone may look good when they're swimming it does not mean they are necessarily doing it properly.

For my sessions the Coach will be there whether there is one of us or twenty.  It was only the first lesson on Mon but it was good to work in a lane with other people and feed from what they may be doing right or wrong.  I have even paid for five lessons up front to make sure I go!

And I have today bought a kickboard and pull buoy as we are using those in the lesson

Soupy - hope all is going well and you are healing properly. Good to see you on some of the Tri threads.  Hope to catch up with you again at an event in the near future.  Are you intending on doing Henley again?

30/09/2009 at 17:36

Col. Blimp, i've been saying just the same for a while now.. trez demoralising.

The answer these guys gave earlier was to keep practising the drills.. it is begining to pay off.. slowly. I'm not counting lengths, but just kinda know when things are clicking into place. Now all I have to do is practice.. lots.

My swim teacher has helped a lot because she could see what I was doing wrong.. damned if I knew before being told about some of this stuff. A few things that have helped me recently that may help you...

Watching other swimmers from above during lane sessions ~ it's a) satisfying to know that most of them have cr@p technique but have mastered beating the water into submission for twenty minutes; b) you can see others making the same mistake you are (I am) and start to get a picture of what not to do and finally c) watch with awe the good swimmers and be inspired that it is possible.

I learnt a neat thing about legs the other day. I'm trying to kick with straight leg and floppy foot (the leg bends with the water resistance, but not so much that I'm stamping rather than flapping the water). I was told that the kick is most efficient when the legs are close together. As we get tired, the legs drift appart, because there is less resistance that way.. but it is much less efficient. I guess this will result in the legs dropping and everything getting harder. I'm trying to remember, when my limited brain capacity allows, to pull those legs back together.

While I'm at it, I don't write often, I think that one of the reasons I'm getting out of breath so quickly is that I'm burying my head too deep in the water. This makes it difficult to get a good inhale, as the head has further to travel etc etc. When I lifted my head so the water line was nominally in the middle of my (increasing) forehead everything seemd to become more relaxed. Still need to work on this though.

So to finish; 'keep going'!  and thank you to all the folk who write in with technical advise as well as moral support. It's good to swap notes and with a thread this long, it's good to repeat things already said.


30/09/2009 at 17:42
Bimble-bee wrote (see)

While I'm at it, I don't write often, I think that one of the reasons I'm getting out of breath so quickly is that I'm burying my head too deep in the water. This makes it difficult to get a good inhale, as the head has further to travel etc etc. When I lifted my head so the water line was nominally in the middle of my (increasing) forehead everything seemd to become more relaxed. Still need to work on this though.

BB - this is what my Coach was telling two of the other people in my session.  He says they swim face down in the water with the water level covering their hair line ie they are looking at the bottom of the pool.  He explained they should be looking at a 45 degree angle for two reasons 1)  they will see the end wall of the pool and 2) they will not have to turn their head so much to inhale.  The water level should just be over the top of the goggles and no higher than the middle of the forehead.

Altho he told me my head position was ok, it was good to understand why it was ok and how it was helping my technique.  And made me feel a little bit better that I can do something right, even if it only just a tiny thing!

30/09/2009 at 17:43

Ooooh, didn't mean to be rude and ignore you, so.....

G O O D   L U C K   S H I V A!!!

30/09/2009 at 17:48

Cool, nice to know I'm not the only one.

I'm amazed at how interlinked all of these little modifications are... with my head down, I was rotating my body to compensate for not being able to turn my head like an owl. This in turn meant that I was diving down and that the opposite arm was coming under me trying to straighten my roll rather than propel me forward. All leading to confusion and the swallowing of vast quantities of nice fresh water.

I still can't do it all but for a few strokes at a time, but it's getting better.

30/09/2009 at 17:50
PS. Shiva; wear the pirate kit. It's loud, but the supporters are louder. Arrrrr
30/09/2009 at 19:10
TI teach to hide your head and look to the bottom of the pool - it stops your legs sinking.  But my swim coach tells me to look forward a bit more.   I think its a case of finding out what works best for you.  If I look down and "hang my head" in TI speak then my legs do sink less.  But breathing is harder.  
30/09/2009 at 19:18

Thanks for the good lucks, I might need it.  So much for doing it on the sly.  

I will wear the Kit, no point trying to hide myself away now that Nam has outed me!


30/09/2009 at 19:19

Too right Soupy. First swim today in MONTHS and it was pretty damn awful. I never really got the breathing right last time but won't give up this time (unless I have more arm problems).

As I wrote the other day, the beginnertriahlete website talks about getting your position in the water right first. The first drill is based on swimming on your side and description of the first drill as follows:

When you need air, roll your hips into more of a 45-degree angle with your eyes looking straight up and water surrounding your face, take a few breaths, and repeat. Continue to practice this kicking drill and notice your balance in the water improving.

The site recommends beginners use zoomers or fins. I asked SuperCaz for some advice and she wrote a fab reply. I've pasted it below because I hope it helps other crap/ new swimmers. Caz asked to please note this is just her opinion and that she's not a coach.... Though she's pretty darn good  

I think in this case it is recommending fins because they will help you go faster.  Most swimming drills are easier if you can get some speed up because then you tend to glide through the water instead of sinking like a lead weight.  You will never get your position right if you go too slow and allow your feet to drop, and you will spend your time concentrating on the wrong things instead of the intended purpose of the drill.

With kick drills you don't have the advantage of using your arms to move you through the water so you will naturally be slower.  A weak kicker will suffer even more than someone who naturally kicks harder.

Fins can also be used to strengthen your legs.  They make you faster because they kick more water, but they also make your leg muscles work harder because you kick more water.  I personnally don't get on with them as they tend to give me blisters, so I don't use them.  I still ahve scars on my feet from when I was made to use them as a teenager!

I don't know what zoomers are, but I assume that they are similar to fins.  You can get one big fin that holds both feet together, so maybe zoomer is the technical term for that???  If you were to use one of these then you would be doing butterfly kicking instead of freestyle, but often with kick drills it doesn't make much difference.

Edited: 30/09/2009 at 20:20
01/10/2009 at 07:27

Anyone used these

 "Aqua Sphere Alpha Fin Training Fins are the first injection molded EVA foam swim fin launched into the aquatic fitness market. AquaSphere Alpha Fins have durable foam construction that provides buoyancy and improves body position. AlphaChannel System and top blade technology provides stability and optimum power transfer. Dedicated left and right foot offset profiles provide optimal kicking motion and encourages body rotation. Full arch support provides maximum comfort. Very lightweight."

02/10/2009 at 06:45
Thanks Wolf. Godo to know re the Zoomers. Fins it is then. Is there a better brand?

My gym is all into the latest gadgets. It pisses me off because people never use the new equipment and it just takes me space where they could put some more 'normal' equipment that would be used. Obvious answer is to vote with my money and go elsewhere...
02/10/2009 at 08:22

Little N, maybe the 'Aqua Sphere Alpha Fin Training Fins'?

Nobody's said anything about them yet, was thinking to get some at the weekend. It'd be nice to know if anybody has any thoughts on these (see above).

Bzzz; had to take some ibuprofen to get too sleep last night after getting carried away and doing nearly two hours of drills (inc. and hours class). Trez achey/stiff. Something must be working! Teach' say's I'm getting lots better.

02/10/2009 at 11:18
Zoomers/fins - these are good but quite "hard" so pools may object on the grounds that you could hurt someone with them (?) The alpha fins are softer but larger

Zoggs do some too and I'm sure Speedo and others also do them
M...eldy    pirate
02/10/2009 at 17:59
We are looking to spice up our sessions at the pool

Can someone explain to me please in olde English how the swim golf works?

And any other strange games that you may play   

thanking you
M...eldy    pirate
02/10/2009 at 19:20
Wolfy can I ask,   if after that amount of swim time/distance that you are not getting faster are the drills that you do and the sessions not appropriate for you?  Would you consider a different approach or accept that this is as good as you will get?
02/10/2009 at 19:38

M......eldy, my favourite strange game to play at the pool is..

The moderators deem the rest of this post inappropriate.
M...eldy    pirate
02/10/2009 at 20:44
So you are getting quicker then !  

I think tis just a lot of work for a relatively small return   in the case of swimming but my times aer coming down as well ... slowly
04/10/2009 at 15:39

Well, I am now a triathlete.  I completed the whole thing in 1:13, and came 40th overall (18th in my age category).  My swim time was 11 mins which I was plaesed with.  My event postionings were:

Swim 163rd

Bike 43rd

Run 28th (and I slipped and cut myself up so could of been a lot faster)

Had a good day all in all, didn't really enjoy the swim that much but glad I did it.  Now to rest and eat.

Thanks for all your support and advice on here, I wouldn't have summoned up the courage without your help. 

04/10/2009 at 15:54
well done shiva
04/10/2009 at 15:54
 Congrats on losing your Tri cherry.  Glad to hear it went well for you.  Now get entering your next one.  Then and only then can you rest and eat! 
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