Cr@p Swimmers R Us

Swimming Support Thread

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04/11/2012 at 20:20

Apart from putting in many hours at the pool training my muscles and nervous system to perfect incorrect technique; I have been reading from a variety of different sources to try to improve all aspects of my stoke. I stumbled across a copy of TI in Waterstones, which I picked up, what a revelation. After reading the salient points on Friday, I headed down to the pool on Satrurday to put what I had read into practice.

After around half an hour I reduced my strokes per length from around 28 - 30 down to 22!!!!! I couldn't believe it. Still loads of work to do, as I could not consistantly achieve 22 over a protracted period, as I need to further practice the technique, however, the results are very encouraging.  

By the way I am still persevering with the bilateral breathing, I figure that I might as well try to get it right from the start, despite the discomfort.   

Pratice, practice and more practice, oh and I forgot to mention more practice. 

Blisters    pirate
04/11/2012 at 23:59

Pyramid session tonight.
25-50-75-100-75-50-25 (3 sets)
Alternating steady with fast, so the 25 and 75s were steady, the 50s and 100s were fast. As much as I could I aimed to be stylish on the steady bits, and coach was pleased to see that I was anaerobic after the fast bits.

I may not be the slowest in the pool now. A new member has arrived, and will be faster than me once his technique is sorted, but in the meantime there's a bit of an interesting contrast. When he thrashes a length then he's faster, but he get's "tired out" faster. I was also surprised tonight that I actually caught up with a Lane 4 regular. She was presumably doing a steady length more steady than I was! Even so, it was a first for me.

05/11/2012 at 13:35

Thanks everyone - looks as if I am not alone in poisoning my CV system when in the pool !!!! (wonder what else I can do for - what I like to call - "fun")

05/11/2012 at 13:43

Kavanagh - as someone who dips in and out of this forum I am at a loss to follow the example you set in your entry yesterday as I havn't a clue what "TI" stands for 

05/11/2012 at 17:32

TI - Total Immersion, a swimming style invented by Terry Laughlin and known as "fishlike swimming". Some people benefit enormously by learning it. I'm one of those who found it made me swim much slower. You can take courses in it but they are not cheap. However, if it helps, why not? Wild Will is someone who really improved using TI technique.

Edited: 05/11/2012 at 17:35
06/11/2012 at 09:35

Pre-brekkie 2000m swim this morning.

06/11/2012 at 23:03

I found the TI book helpful when I first began 'proper' swimming but I don't think anything has been as helpful as consistently swimming two or three times a week with a fantastic knowledgable coach.

I 'm going for swim analysis now too.

One thing which did help me (recently) was a Ti Talk discussion on about plunging arms and I knew exactly what it was talking about as I clearly did it.  At that point I finally understood the high elbow thing.  Addressing it has had a massive positive impact on my stroke!

Blisters    pirate
06/11/2012 at 23:18

I'm still doing low elbows on my LHS. As I breathe to my right I'm rotating more to that side. I'm conciously having to rotate left as I reach forward with my right hand, so that my left can get the elbow up.

This is one of the reasons why I'm trying to get alternate breathing. Give me another month.

08/11/2012 at 07:44

Blisters - two technique drills that help with this. 1. Fingertips - swim trailing your fingertips through the water instead of lifting your hands out. 2. Armpits - touch your fingers to your armpit before putting your arm forward. Both drills help to get your elbows up.

Rafiki    pirate
08/11/2012 at 15:30

Hi, another swimming brick after some advice!

When I breathe to my right I am aware that during the pull part of my stroke I not only drop my left elbow too soon, but also drag my left arm across the centre of my body, which is obviously not ideal! Don't have the problem with my right arm when I breathe to the left.

Anyone got any suggestion on corrective techniques/drills I could try?


08/11/2012 at 16:16

Rafiki - I know this isn't helpful, but I do the same when breathing to my left. To correct this, I have been trying to glide more and only start my pull phase when the arm on the rerturn stroke is in line with my elbow on the lead arm, which at this stage is still straight. This also helps with balance and encourages streamlining therebye reducing drag. I find that if I consciously practice this technique it definitely works and eliminates the problem. I hope this makes sense. 

With regards to crossing, maybe you are over rotating causing your left arm to cross centre.       

Good luck.


Blisters    pirate
08/11/2012 at 21:28

Rafiki, coach has had us all repeatedly swimming along the black line. Reaching out long to the far pool wall, and making sure that we snap the elbow for the pull. The critical bit about the black line is to focus on making sure that your left arm stayed to the left of it and vice versa.

Bionic, I recall those drills, a similar one was shoulder tap. We were advised to be careful with the finger trail one as it was important that the fingers remained straight, and didn't promote a bent wrist.

Rafiki    pirate
08/11/2012 at 21:31

Cheers Stephen and Blisters - I shall try both of those!!

09/11/2012 at 10:04

Had a really bad the office today, couldn't get any aspect of the stroke right. I felt like it was my first time in the pool!!!!

Anyway, on a positive note tomorrow is new day. In the morning I will be popping along to the coached session at the tri club.   

Blisters    pirate
09/11/2012 at 23:36

I promise that you'll find the coached session excellent.

Today for me, I skipped the Friday swim (shock!), because I'd just done a mullering 23 mile run in the morning. That was good value. I'm still wearing the compression socks. No point just turning up and having a bad session in the pool and getting cramps.

13/11/2012 at 18:41

I had my first swim lesson today in ooh 35 years.

Lets start with the basics Jon, you have a strong consistent kick and you don't overdo it which is great for triathlon. Everything else we can work on.

So it's not all bad 

Blisters    pirate
14/11/2012 at 00:37

Final RV

Coach has got it right. A bad kick is a dog of a habit for a coach to get rid of. The best students are the worst ones, because they aren't going to argue. Once you're breathing more air than water it means that you're swimming. Once you can do repetitive lengths you can work on stroke. Within 6 weeks it will click, then comes a period when techniques get embedded. 


ShuffleB    pirate
14/11/2012 at 17:47

Apparently I'm told by the coach from swim for tri that it 1500 repetitions of a swim session can be as little as 300.....

Blisters    pirate
14/11/2012 at 23:03

Well that's quite good really. Only 5 sessions and you'll have it. The answer is clearly to invest a few coppers in practice sessions between lessons. I'm going three times a week in order to get it embedded.

Tonight I went for a longer slot and did 102 lengths. Bizarrely it took me 10 minutes longer than it did the first time I got that far. Reach and glide clearly isn't the same as grab and shove.

Cortina5    pirate
15/11/2012 at 08:27

My coach has corrected by windmill arms to reach and glide. However I agree with yo Blisters.

1 handfull of water every 5s isn't the same as multiples of handfuls in the same time a la windmill/grab and shove.

We'll get there.

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