Cr@p Swimmers R Us

Swimming Support Thread

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15/11/2012 at 12:54

Session this morning was great.  When concentrating & trying probably far too hard I managed to get down to 13 strokes per length from 16 17 & somethimes even 18 strokes per length.  Inconsistent, maybe but at least I know it works & it can be done.

15/11/2012 at 13:14

About time i join in here, had done little/no swimming in years till i started training 4 ish weeks ago. Worked my way up to 1250m Breaststroke in 35 min, but had been avoiding crawl, because i didn't want to learn bad habbits and i could swim 4 lengths before being too out of breath to continue.

Went along to my local tri club's swim session last night. Was really helpful, and i was pleased to find that all abilities were catered for, and there were other swimmers around my level there. My tasks for the week seem to be exhaling consistantly, and slowing the pace down. Slightly worried about being told not to do kicking drills until i get fins as what ever i do will be learning bad habits!

Well frist step on the road to swimming crawl taken, stupid target set... 1mile non stop crawl by new year. God only knows if it is doable from this base but its a target to aim for.

Blisters    pirate
15/11/2012 at 22:36

T Hill. Obviously God knows it's doable. I would also say that the rest of us new swimmers will confirm it. From 25m to 400m continuous is a big jump. From 400m to 1600m is not such a big jump. Because by that stage you will have got enough rhythm to be able to put a jog version of a swim together. If you can jog for 16 lengths you can jog for 64, presuming that your running has established the cardio vascular base. Top tips are:
1- breathing (every 3 is very professional, every 2 is very practical)
2- don't "kick" so much as just use your thighs to help keep you up.

16/11/2012 at 08:28

Finally had a swim yesterday with new goggles that didnt leak. Made such a difference. Arrived at pool after fire brigade turned up and kicked everyone out of the building. Whole bunch of little school kids standing in the car park in their costumes and space blankets.Sooo glad I didn't go a bit earlier.


18/11/2012 at 14:55

LJS and I swam 2700m of last Tuesday's 4100m tri club training which we missed. Shown below in case any of you fancy doing some of it. Our trainer is brilliant, in 4 years of swimming in the master's group, she has never repeated a single session!

warm-up - 800m, 100m each crawl/fly kick/breast/backstroke and repeat.

10 x 25m sprint/25m easy

200m breathing drill - change every 50m: breathe every 3rd/every 4th/every 5th/every 4th stroke

200m backstroke - 2 left arm strokes/2 right arm strokes/10 leg kicks and repeat.

pyramid - 50/100/150/200/200/150/100/50m

The part we didn't get to before the pool closed was: 400m crawl, count strokes for first length and reduce by 6 strokes every length.

1000m cooldown - 200m crawl with catchups/200m backstroke catchups/200m crawl with pull bouy/200m backstroke with pull bouy/200m crawl.

Edited: 18/11/2012 at 15:00
21/11/2012 at 08:10

Last night was my first 1-2-1 swimming lesson, not sure if i felt i took enough away to justify the cost. After an hours session the teacher had found plenty of things to work on, quite a few of which i already felt were not quite right and needed work and another few that i was not aware were a problem. I'm now swimming 4 times a week, and wanted to leave with at least a couple of drills to work on beofre my next 1-2-1 session, but am not sure i even really left with one thing to practice.

I will have to have a think about things, but my current line of thinking is to give one more lesson a try, then maybe consider a different instructor, or just sticking with the Tri Club sessions. So a little disapointed, but not sure if it was my expectations that were not realistic.

21/11/2012 at 23:46

T Hill I would second the use of fins.  I only started tri coachingsessions about a month ago and it has helped me enormously.  I could do 25m with no swimming aids before gasping for air at the end.  A second 25m with a 30s break nearly killed me.  Almost puked when the coach was talking to me.

He gave me some fins which enabled me to focus on my rhythm, technique, and breathing.  With fins I've gone from strength to strength now that I have to worry about my legs dropping.  Now doing 15*50m with them. 

I don't get off that lightly, I get rid of fins for part of session so that I don't become dependent on them.  Use pull buoy and nothing at all on some drills.  In both of these I take the benefits from the fin drill and it's much easier.

Keep at it.

btw.   Has anyone got a copy of 'Triathlon Swimming Made Easy: The Total Immersion Way...' that they would like to sell?

Edited: 21/11/2012 at 23:47
22/11/2012 at 08:03

PP - I have a new copy of Total Immersion and a Swim Smooth DVD 10 steps to Front Crawl. Cost to purchase £40. I will sell them both for £20.00 + postage. If you are interested drop me a line on      

22/11/2012 at 08:03

Back to Tri Club swim last night, funny you should mention fins, i got to test a pair i had on order that have now arrived out. I ended up doing a little over 40 lengths of crawl over the session, for the majority alternating between pull buoy, fins and aidless swimming. There is a definate improvement, and when i slow down i can go a fair bit further, proabably like my running which was too fast to start with and i had to slow down to go the distance.

Its great to hear that you were not scard off but all the talk of getting you signed up for an IM, and even better that your swimming is progressing so nicely. Not that i have any great deal of knowledge, but the swim smooth stuff seems really good, the introduction chapters of the book were slow and did send me to sleep more than once. However, once i got into the improving your swimming chapters there was lots of useful information in there, and through words and pictures they convey things to the reader very well. The only TI stuff i have seen is some of their videos, which seemed quite dated.

22/11/2012 at 13:27

PP (not trying to kill the sale Stephen K - honest ) I Did actually pick up a copy of  "Total Immersion: The Revolutionary Way to Swim Better, Faster and Easier" last week for £1.60 + £.1.95 postage from ebay which I reckoned was on a par with picking it up in a charity shop - have only read first few chapters and am finding it a bit evangelical I await the see the results when I try to apply the principals in the pool

22/11/2012 at 20:49

Thanks Stephen, but I was specifically looking for the book I mentioned.  The Swim Smooth dvd sounds interesting but there is a box set which covers the OW stuff.  

Appreciate the offer though

Edited: 22/11/2012 at 20:51
22/11/2012 at 21:41
PP - No worries mate, best of luck.

IM 1984 - Cheers, I need to start having a look at eBay and the local charity shop, there are clearly big savings to be had.
23/11/2012 at 11:45

I honestly think books and videos are all very well but nothing beats swimming with a good coach. All the  better if you can get one to video you as you swim. It's surprising how different your technique can be from what you thought it was. My OH is an excellent swimmer but even he didn't realise he is crossing the center line with his left arm until he saw it on camera.

Blisters    pirate
26/11/2012 at 10:30

Last night was a bit of a killer session.

25m/50m/75m/100m then 20s rest and repeat 4 times (lane 1 got 6 reps). It sounds easy enough until coach says I want you all to be outside of the comfort zone. Therefore, it's going to be
25m fly
50m back
75m breast
100m crawl
Afterwards he commented that he had spotted that I was doing my butterfly with breathing every other stroke (like it's supposed to be). Actually I found that 22 m of fly was do-able. The 50m backstroke I find to be a killer.

A hard work session. Maybe the pint of beer with the big Sunday lunch wasn't such a great idea.

26/11/2012 at 19:59

I have the perfect out - since my hip surgery I'm banned from swimming breaststroke!

Blisters    pirate
27/11/2012 at 10:54

I've always swum breast stroke, but it was quite a challenge in the middle of a high heart rate session. My rhythm was all to cock.

27/11/2012 at 21:48

Just had it pointed out to me last Saturday, that my body is snaking through the water. It seems that I am not engaging my core and my legs are just swinging around causing drag.

To rectify this I need to engage my core, increase my leg kick to a 4 beat kick and also ensure that my toes touch as they pass to prevent scissor kicking, another bad habit I have aquired.

Apart from the above everything else isn't to bad.        

28/11/2012 at 13:15

Last swim session and it looks like something may have clicked with my swimming. I've managed to slow my pace down to something i can now sustain for far greater distances. My last set of the evening was 500m FC, I completed that and didn't feel i had to stop, breathing felt good, and the mile before new year seems more achievable.

Coach after the session gave me a couple of sets to try and work on first was 3-500m wu, 100m, 200m, 400m, 800m with a small rest between each set. Next session should work the opposite way, 3-500m wu, then 800m, 400m, 200m, 100m. His other sugestion was 3-500m wu, then 4x400m with 2 min rests between sets, each time i do this i should try to reduct the rest time until i can do the mile.

Ended up with a cold that was threatning most of last week setting in sunday afternoon, normally i just keep going with work and i really struggle to get rid of colds. This time i took a couple of days off, ended up sleeping for 17-18 hours monday, and woke up feeling loads better, did the same tuesday, and today I'm back in work and feeling better than i was before the cold set in. Training is a little behind, but if I'm still feeling good tonight I'll go along for another hours swim session.

Blisters    pirate
28/11/2012 at 14:58

Either my maths is wrong T-Hill, or you are already doing 2 miles in a training session. 3x 500m is a mile in it's own right, let alone a warm up, the tally being 3000m. So it's just the 2x 400m warm down to finish the Iron Distance. Tough luck on the cold, but a very brave approach to dealing with it by taking days off. It's easy to say that it's in everyone's best interests (which it probably is), but there's always some boss or peer who will grumble about not being really ill. Clearly you needed the recovery too. Don't try and catch up lost training sessions though.

Good news on the stroke development SK4, that's some really useful help being outlined. I'm feeling as though I need some more input from Coach. Clearly others are 50% faster than me, and from their upper body muscularity (or lack of it) it's not just about power. So we have drag reduction and efficient use of what muscle power is available. Hmm, Mr Smooth, here we come.

28/11/2012 at 15:05

Blisters - I think T Hill means between 300m & 500m w/u not 3 x.

With all the rest i.e. 100m/200m/400m and 800m are these supposed to be done at a faster speed or is it just to get you to swim further.

Think I ought to go and study my Fink training plan properly

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