Cr@p Swimmers R Us

Swimming Support Thread

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02/09/2004 at 11:16
I think I might qualify for membership here... I'm a truly cr@p swimmer. 24 minutes for a 750m open-water swim. Can't swim breaststroke - couldn't swim crawl on the day either, so it was side-stroke all the way - in a wetsuit that felt 3 sizes too big!

Pool swimming consists of single lengths back and forwards with long rests at the moment -long rests at each end. If I try and put more than 2 lengths together my form goes cr@pper and I'm suddenly subscribing to the "drowning puppy" school of swimming.

Is there anywhere that does the TI DVD in the UK? I've got the book, but it's dull as dishwater and really hard to visualise what you're supposed to be doing in any of the drills...
02/09/2004 at 11:26
Fitness Swimming (Fitness Spectrum S.), Human Kinetics by Emmett Hines is another book I found useful.

Its based around TI principles, but has one cracking image to visualise; the screwdriver.Basically, the power to your stroke comes from your hips, and not at al from your arms.

Whether you follow TI or not,and as I've said, I only used it in (a small) part to learn how to swim myself, this is the thing that you have to learn to understand.Your arms dont propel you through the water as such.

I always found this very counter intuitive, and sped away like a wild windmill trying to get faster.Once I learned to slow it all down, to concentrate in long strokes, not fast strokes, then I found myself going MUCH faster and longer, by a long, long, margin.

Iron SwissBobby    pirate
02/09/2004 at 12:37
I am so bad I am almost a non swimmer, I do do a very poor 200 - 250 m, very slowly using arms only, I can not crawl at all. Would TI benifit me?
02/09/2004 at 14:52
Hi swimmers

Don't know if anyone's mentioned this yet, but a good masterclass (I think based in west midlands) is

Lots of drills, lots of different levels of swimmer, and I really think you get a lot out of it. Good value too.

Worth a try? I know a few of us on here have attended these.
02/09/2004 at 15:19
Ta for that, Dr Nic, but I can't actually do more than 25 metres of freestyle without inhaling at least a pint of water. I think I probably need more basic lessons before I progress onto that. (Or just stick to breast stroke?) A pity, as it's quite local to me.
Bouncing Barlist    pirate
02/09/2004 at 15:49
Dr Nic & all.

This Master Class is very good, I went on it in April and they are about every 3 months (last one was last Sunday).

Its £25 for what is quite intensive group coaching over 3 hours (usually about 5-6 swimmers per instructor).

The session breaks down every element of swimming inclusing:

Body position
Arm potation
Hand/Arm position through stroke, entry and pull.
Stroke Count

etc, etc.

The group I was in was mixed ability i.e. 400m in anything from 6 - 12 mins. I think all they ask is your able to swim front crawl for 400m (including breaks) so not aimed at the complete beginner but very novice friendly.

£25 for 3 hours, not seen anything so cheap and good that compares (a days TI session is about £150 I think).
02/09/2004 at 17:27
eek...well that counts me out. I am going to sign up to local 'improvers' lessons so I can learn to crawl properly.

02/09/2004 at 17:37
Quimby - I was like that too, but being for some reason unable to do more than 2 lengths of breaststroke before I get sever shoulder pain, I had to try to do something about my crawl.

I invested in a nose clip, which, combined with watertight goggles meant that I could keep my head under water. For the first wee while, I concentrated on doing 6 or 7 strokes without trying to breathe, then stopping (you need to do this when the pool is quiet, or in the blue rinse lanes, so you don't get in the way of "real" swimmers).

Then I progresses to exhaling under water on about the 4th stroke, then turning my head to the side and trying to take a breath before the next couple of strokes. Once I became more confident at that, I began to string a few of them together.

I'm still painfully slow, and I'm sure my technique is crap*, but I drink less pool water these days!

*once I get a little tired, my body wrigles like a water snake, but not as efficiently.....
02/09/2004 at 17:44
Signing up to a local improvers group too
02/09/2004 at 18:55
Ta for that, Nessie, I might have a go when I go for an early morning swim. I do have a nose clip somewhere, but never really used it for breast stroke, as I managed to get my timing right so that I was always breathing out under water, and I tended to do that through mouth *and* nose, so a nose clip made me feel a tad panicky.

Certainly part of my reluctance to even try crawl very often is because I am so embarrassed that I look like a drowning sloth, so a quiet pool will be a must... Also enquired about swimming lessons at the gym, £17 for half an hour, cripes. How many lessons do you think it would take to get me doing enough crawl to be good enough for the course in Walsall? No-one can really answer that, can they, since they can't see how rubbish I am. Sigh. On the bright side, had a good swim at lunchtime and managed 1750m in 45 mins; had the slow lane to myself (joy!). Breast stroke, of course.
Bouncing Barlist    pirate
02/09/2004 at 19:04
Smith, worth giving them a call.

1-2-1 lessons at local pool £10 for 30 mins got me going, had them once every 2 weeks for a 2 months and them a refresher about 3 months later.
Bouncing Barlist    pirate
02/09/2004 at 19:05
Err I meant Smitch - sorry :o
02/09/2004 at 19:08
I overheard some kids slagging me off at swimming the other day when I got out the pool. I just ignored them safe in the knowledge that I may be slow but I still swum 1.5 kilometres in the River Forth last weekend. So F*ck em!

I wonder if there should be a minimum inability level for this thread. Over 10 Minutes for 400 metres places me dead last in local novice triathlons (NE Scotland) so I reckon that would be my qualification assured.

How many here folk really enjoy swimming? I find it a bit down heartening as I have at times been swimming freestyle while an old woman was happily swimming faster than me while doing breast stroke without letting her face get wet.
02/09/2004 at 19:16
You know, I teach swimming, and wish everyone on here could get a film of themselves swimming.What a business on-line coachinig could be!

If only pools would allow legit people in with cameras! I could give up my day job then and never have to inhale millions of cubic feet of chlorinated air ever again!
02/09/2004 at 21:55
just been to local pool - they didn't seemto know if the improvers class would cover what I needed - grr!

Think I might get some private lessons - I don't want to learn backstroke and stuff - just crawl
02/09/2004 at 22:03
My gym didn't seem to know whether the classes would cover just crawl either - I've had to leave my number for the swimmy people to get back to me.

And, Ping Pong Boy, I do actually enjoy swimming, I am OK at breaststroke, and I do manage to overtake all the above-water-head ladies, which makes me feel good. (AWHLadies always have a perfume helmet, grrr... do they think the "please shower before bathing" doesn't apply to them?)
02/09/2004 at 22:33
I've just been to improvers lessons at my local baths and I can now finally do front crawl albeit very slowly. It seems to have taken ages to be able to do a full length then all of a sudden it seemed easier (definitely not easy, but can't understand how I couldn't do it before). I think it's all down to keeping practising. Unfortunately though I am quite quick at breaststroke so its a bit (actually a lot) annoying that I'm now slower but I'm hoping to get my speed up a bit so I can do crawl at the next tri! (The last one I did I intended to attempt half breaststroke and half crawl - I actually did one length crawl then reverted to breaststroke for the rest of it!!)
Blisters    pirate
03/09/2004 at 20:51
Here's an idea that may be worth following up.
I emailed my local Tri-Club to find out when their training and coaching sessions were. I got a very helpful email from the contact, who was keen to help advising on swimming improvements.

Coaching! That sounds promising.

(I'll just do this marathon first)
04/09/2004 at 15:27
I feel much better having read through the threads on here... TTT thanks for your support, it's really good to know that I'm not the only one who's struggling.

The masterclass & tri-clubs seem like something to aim for, I think I should be able to swim non-stop for 400m before I subject myself to this!!

I have 'shared' some private swimming lessons with a fellow rubbish swimmer which made them a bit more affordable and I got just as much from is as I would have done had I been on my own.
04/09/2004 at 16:17
Twiglet Legs,

Likewise, I too draw some small comfort in learning that others are the same ability level as me(albeit a low one)!

However, I think it's better to class ourselves as 'improving' rather than 'struggling'. 'Cos let's face it I'm sure you must be better swimmer today than when you first started to learn?

My big achievement thus far has been overcoming my aquaphobia. I'm realistic enough to know there's still a fair way to go, but now I've come this far there'll be no turning back! The only issue that still really worries me though, is I've been learning in a pool that's has no deep end (it's 1.5 meters deep all the way). So, what happens when I eventually swim somewhere that's out of my depth - and I run out of energy & need to stop!

Answers on a postcard tied to a brick please!

Anyway, that's more than enough about my cr@p swimming.........good luck with yours!


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