Cr@p Swimmers R Us

Swimming Support Thread

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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.

09/10/2012 at 22:21

"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."

bburn plO.dder - if it makes you feel better, I finished 3901 in that race on the swim; so if you're a hopeless case, so am I!  But its about recognising that there is an element to work on, putting the miles in and it will come in time - no substitute for hard work.

It was a thoroughly miserable swim though.

Blisters    pirate
09/10/2012 at 22:43

I'm in good company then. At the time of the London Triathlon, I couldn't swim that distance. Tonight was my furthest ever, 2500m. Ok so it took the thick end of forever (69 minutes) but it was a good endurance session.

09/10/2012 at 23:32

And Blisters - I think thats what this is all about.  I was reading through some of the older posts on this thread, and its a common thing that we all encounter that our swim stroke starts out being much less efficient than we need it to be.  I've not managed beyond 1500m since the London Tri, so to crack 2500m is huge - keep going!  You know that the time will come down as you refine your stroke and get the miles in, so just keep at it.

10/10/2012 at 08:33

If you google www.theendurancestore and follow the links through to triathlon / swim you will find an interesting article on winter swim training. There is also information on stroke rate / min and a program to assess where you are at and what elements you need to focus / work on.    

Blisters, well done on the 2.5k.

AD, you are in good company.      

bburn plO.dder    pirate
10/10/2012 at 10:08

Thanks for all the encouragement, its nice to know I'm not on my own

SK4, I'll check out that link, the endurance store/coach have some good stuff on their website, they know what they are doing. I got my wettie from their shop.

I love my pull buoy, but I have to limit myself with it, or else I think I could become totally dependent on it.

Yesterday's session was short splash before work, just 1000m. w/u, 800m continuous steady swim, then cool down.

I'm going to try to get to the pool 3 times a week, even if one of the sessions is just short. I will incorporate some drills into my longer sessions. Running today, so next swim will be tomorrow

10/10/2012 at 11:28

Hi all

Would this be a good place to ask a couple of swimming questions Went yesterday and goggles leaked. Used 2 different pairs and neither did it straight away but after about 10/15 mins. Can't pull strap any tighter. Also kept getting cramp in arch of left foot. I don't really push off from the wall (to avouid cramp in calf!!) Help

Blisters    pirate
10/10/2012 at 19:25

Sometimes it's not about pulling the goggles tighter. In fact, it usually isn't.

It is important to get a pair that fits properly, but that usually isn't very difficult. A tiny droplet after 15 minutes doesn't really count as a leak. I would imagine that you are having similar issues to me from when I started. I've got a couple of crow's feet, and try too hard. Therefore my face will show the effort and tense up. The more I've swum, the more relaxed I've become and fewer leaks occur.
My first goggles were a foam edged racing pair, designed to be scragged really tightly, so that the racer could dive in and pound the water to froth. The chlorine and age made the glue give up.
My current pair are Zoggs, (Phantom) nothing fancy. Silicone edge seal is the most popular for being a good seal, but they do the job really well.

Cramps. Again, it's primarily about not relaxing when runners turn to swimming. Obviously there are a load of contributory factors. Hydration (yup, even in the pool), salt balance, cold water, (well, it's cold if you're not thrashing repetition lengths), swimming for longer than before, and holding tension in your muscle for extended periods of time.
So. Take a 500ml of weak juice. Push off the wall with your feet, especially if you are feeling the onset of cramp in the foot. Relax. If you need to swim more slowly, then so be it. Build the endurance then go back to increasing the stroke rate when the stroke is better.

I'm not the expert, I'm just a beginner in the thick of it.

11/10/2012 at 16:21

I'm not the expert, I'm just a beginner in the thick of it.

Brilliant.  Amen to that.

Blisters    pirate
14/10/2012 at 22:16

Before you read the next post, just remember.
29 April 2012. 25m crawl. Knackered. Heart rate maxing. A full session in small parts was a whole 400m.

This week.
Tuesday. 2500m 1hour 09. (PB distance)
Friday. 1600m 43min (PB time)
Sunday. 1 hour coaching. A critical assessment of my stroke was requested. It was delivered. There is plenty of opportunity for improvement.

bburn plO.dder    pirate
15/10/2012 at 10:01

That is fantastic progress Blisters, well done


15/10/2012 at 17:20

Thanks Blisters and thats an amazing improvement since April

Blisters    pirate
15/10/2012 at 22:19

How's the latest with the goggles SS?

16/10/2012 at 08:40

Got Amsterdam marathon on Sunday so just swam the once but doing outlaw next year so after I've had a break I'll really get into it. Will let you know thanks

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