Cr@p Swimmers R Us

Swimming Support Thread

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Blisters    pirate
13/09/2012 at 23:23


I'll have a look at that.

Coach has us do 6-3-6 and left arm up the pool, right arm down. I am hopeless at those and "over-hydrate" badly. Mr Smooth rocks. I have identified that I am doing a classic beginner's error of snatching a breath rather than rotating the head early and smoothly. I'm also breathing as I start the catch and pull, which in my case is a bit of a catch and lift head up. More of an ice-breaker than a tea clipper. Tomorrow is another day.

18/09/2012 at 11:39


After 30+ years of (poor) swimming where I breathe only to my left (usually every 2 strokes but sometimes, if I feel adventurous, every 4) I have been inspired by your dialogues above and have been trying bi-lateral breathing (every 3 strokes) for the last couple of visits to the pool. Results are erratic to say the least with quite a high success factor (don't feel I'm drowning) being achieved on first length or two of, what I laughingly refer to as, sets. So it appears the secret, for me, is body position in the water as I know my legs, hips and trunk begin to sink as I get tired. I intend sticking with it for a while as there are no events on the horizon for me so watch for postings of my miraculous transformation into a human torpedo (thou I’d be happy if I could have the option of not breathing into the waves!!!)

Blisters    pirate
18/09/2012 at 23:56

IM 84 keep it up. I admit that I copped out tonight and did 2000m all RHS. I was trying to stetch a little more and to lift the head less. When I remembered. Maybe I'll have another go at LHS next time.

Blisters    pirate
24/09/2012 at 00:02

I've started to compromise.
Warm up sessions and stuff like that I am using the pull bouy to help me focus on the front end, so I can practice the 3 stroke breathing. It's moved from outright disaster to merely disasterous. Progress!

Training session tonight was OK. A tired start, but that's presumably because I had only done 2 sessions not 3 in the week. Or something.

Blisters    pirate
01/10/2012 at 21:52

Continuing to use the pull buoy for warm ups and technique practice. This has helped but it's going to take me a while because I feel as though I need to get on with boshing out some distances. I will get there though. Left side breathing is a bit snatchy still (very much so), but RHS used to be when I started, so I have to remember this.

Anyway. I have just bought a new wetsuit, and just need to have it delivered. Excited!

02/10/2012 at 11:24

After a very dissapointing week when everything felt wrong; today I feel the elements of FC are coming togther and the stroke is starting to feel more natural and comfortable. After two months, I think I have just got my body and head position more or less correct. I have been breathing to one side, but today I have started to try to breath bilaterally before I develop a style and stroke that becomes embedded and difficult to change. After a warm up and drills I just do 50mts repeats concentrating on good technique and style. I figure the distance will follow with ease once I have got the technique to an acceptable standard.  

For any newbies that are newer than me and are finding FC hard work, keep trying, it is 10 times harder than I ever envisaged, but it does get easier. 



02/10/2012 at 11:47

Sorry, I did mean to type disappointing and together.     

Blisters    pirate
02/10/2012 at 23:09

SK4, seriously, get or borrow a pull buoy and use it for technique practice.


03/10/2012 at 08:10

Blisters, Cheers I will pick one up later today. 

03/10/2012 at 08:12

I had meant to join this thread in 2004 (obviously not !) but I decided to go for a 100m swim instead.

Am I late ?

03/10/2012 at 10:45

MB, definitely not mate, welcome.

03/10/2012 at 10:56

(Finally stopped lurking). My situation is that I finally bit the bullet and am focussing on getting my FC into some kind of shape, and have moved on from dying after two lengths - it just seemed such hard work, into a stroke that I can now keep going for a full hour's swim. I have read up on the Total Immersion technique, and this has seemed to have helped a fair bit: I've focussed on rotating my body, and trying to ensure that one arm has fully completed a stroke before starting with the other arm: (still only breathing the the right, though).This has meant my stroke is now much smoother and (presuambly) more efficient, but is pretty "languid" shall we say. When I start to really push myself, I feel that I lose a fair bit of shape / smoothness/ efficiency, and end up going not much faster, but get much more knackered! Any thoughts?

Blisters    pirate
04/10/2012 at 00:26

One to one training, or at the very least join a group for coaching.

Both TI and Swimsmooth help. It's also going to take a lot of repetition before it becomes second nature. You want to have been flogged into good style before you get fixed habits.

Regarding you last sentence, imagine going for a run with really bad style: lifting your knees right up to your chin very quickly and hard, whilst flapping your arms about. You are going to get knackered and go nowhere fast. Water is thicker than air, so energy conservation is the name of the game.

bburn plO.dder    pirate
05/10/2012 at 16:19

I am a hopeless case as a swimmer, but I've decided to try to sort it out (again!!).

The catalyst being a thoroughly miserable swim at London tri, when I cam 4012th out of 4051 in the Olympic catergory. Yes, I really am that bad, I rarely have a problem finding my bike in transition.

So, I've purchased the the Swim Smooth book, and I will make a concerted effort to egt to the pool, and finally crack front crawl. I've been trying for over twelve months (including some 1 to 1 lessons last year).

On a positive note, I can do bilateral breathing , sort of !!

Blisters    pirate
06/10/2012 at 22:15

BB, congrats on the bilat.

Now get your backside wet in the pool.

It's the only way.

06/10/2012 at 22:50

I had an absolute nightmare of a session today. I went to a coached group with a local tri club. My kick is still a massive issue. Due to running on rocky trails and fells I have strong ligaments in my ankles and therefore I have little or no flexibility in them; as consequence my feet generally point towards the bottom of the pool causing a load of drag. I am also doing large scissor kicks when I breathe and my kick is too slow and exagerated. The problem is compounded when I start to concentrate and try to correct the faults, my breathing and stroke suffer. Oh forgot  to mention, I am still bending my knees when I kick.

I picked up a bouy as recommended by Blisters and I am going to start from scratch and work on my kick and ankle flexibility. 

The coach said not to worry and get too frustrated as it will eventually come right with practice. Mr Swim Smooth makes it look so easy.    


bburn plO.dder    pirate
06/10/2012 at 23:00
SK4 , I know what you mean!! I tried pointing my toes as far as I could, and I was horrified how inflexible they are, years of running I think has taken its toll in that respect.! I love Mr Smooth!! Keep it up, I'm sure you coach is right )

My flippers arrived in post today, I ordered them online. Blimey I am going to feel such a numpty wearing them in the pool, especially as I haven't got a clue whet I'm doing! Should be fun??
Blisters    pirate
07/10/2012 at 22:48

BBurn. Check with the local pool rules before you jump in with the fins on. (Apparently only dolphins have flippers). You don't want to hurt anyone with them. The other reason is that they do make you go significantly faster than ordinary swimming, so it cocks up the lane discipline. However, they do have a good benefit because the speed helps keep the body up, allowing you to focus on the specific technique element of the day.

For my training session today, we had a focus on rotation and reach.

Fins on. 6-1-6 left side for 25m, 6-1-6 right side for 25m. Six kicks, one perfect arm stroke, six kicks. It meant that you could lie on your side and speed along. Head position and the bow wave/depression should now be easily seen.
After that we did 6-3-6, which the brain scientists can work out for themselves.

The main set was without fins, but was quite a good set to help focus and embed the techniques without killing us.

100m steady pace 50 fast 100m steady then 20s rest. Repeat this set 3 times.
50 steady 50 fast 50 steady. Then 20s rest. Repeat set 3 times
25 steady 50 fast 25 steady. Then 20s rest. Repeat 3 times.

Sometimes coach will put a break into the main sets to allow us to refocus on the theme part of the technique. Tonight there was so much steady swimming that he didn't need to do that.

08/10/2012 at 21:53

Blisters, sounds like you had a good session there mate, good effort. 

I did some kick drills today with fins, in principle the pattern was similar to the one outlined by you. The only problem I found was trying to count whilst concentrating on everything else, LOL. The fins apperently make you kick from the hip and they help to strengthen the muscles in your legs. They also improve ankle flexibility, so an all round good piece of kit. The pool opens at 07.30hrs tomorrow, so guess where I will be at half seven.    


Blisters    pirate
08/10/2012 at 22:09

Oh I drown badly when trying the 6-1-6 and 6-3-6.

I much prefer the pull buoy. You swim at a more realistic pace but your legs are held up. It also means that you practice gentle kicking by default. This is much more valuable for endurance swimming.

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