Cr@p Swimmers R Us

Swimming Support Thread

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Blisters    pirate
14/02/2013 at 21:10

Great news Ali B

The straightness thing is over-rated. You've still got to develop a habit of looking where you're going. Don't rely on the person near you. At our end of the pack they are likely to be just as zig-zaggy.

We've done shoulder tap drills, and something called "broken arrow". Now that's bizarre. The biggest development for me was actually wearing my wetsuit on the pool. It lifted my legs, and demonstrated just how much drag I was creating. Since then I've been focussing on getting the legs up. The result?

A PB tonight for the 64L mile at 42:00 minutes. Talk about happy, I'm beginning to think I can swim!

18/02/2013 at 12:18

Having ordered one on 16th December 2012 my Huub Big Buoy finally turned up today, 2 months later.  It's an impressive buoy it has to be said but the complete lack of customer service means I won't be buying anything from Huub again, however good their suits & other gear is, shambolic.

Blisters    pirate
18/02/2013 at 22:01

Never heard of them.
I've been using Fit 4 Swim, but have to agree that some on line retailers don't actually carry stock. F4S have always emailed me with offers of replacements, a bit like Tescos do!

Low price
Good Quality
Fast Service

Pick any two from three

Blisters    pirate
28/02/2013 at 23:44

Swim session. Proper one.
As LMH noted, you can plod along all you like, and then something clicks and you make progress. Today was another progress day.
16L = 400m= 10:05 without trying
64L = Mile= 41:39 PB by about 2 minutes.
100L= 2.5km= 65:35 PB
I started off the session trying to be ultra smooth and breathing every 3rd stroke. Amazingly I actually managed to get decent air on my unfavoured left side. That alone would have been considered to be progress. But I'm counting lengths because they all count, so reverted to RHS breathing only.
I do need to keep doing this sort of session, because it's what will build up the feeble arm muscles, and I need to do this plus 50%, with it all feeling under control. I was a bit tired around the 80 mark to be honest.
Happy swimbler.

01/03/2013 at 22:09

I'm just starting with this triathlon stuff, I'm doing a novice race in April and swimming is definitely my weak event.  I've been trying to do front crawl and testing the breathing every third stroke, alternating on each side.  I can't do it consistantly and I definitely can't do more than two lengths without swallowing water and having to revert to breast stroke.

Should I breathe out over a couple of strokes or should I try to breathe out quickly and expell all the air in one go?

Stupidly I loose track of what lap I'm on, (because counting to 16 is so hard ) is there a trick for keeping an accurate count?

My legs don't seem to do much, most of the speed is from my arms, is this normal?

After two hours in the pool yesterday I came out knackered and slightly dazed but with a new PB of 11.02min for the 16 lengths.  What's the best way to recover?


01/03/2013 at 22:26

Keep practising breathing every third stroke, ie bilateral breathing. Also practise a length doing breathing every 2, then 3, then 5, to finish try every 7 strokes. This will get you used to breathing out slowly over a greater number of strokes, also no need to gasp for a huge lungful of air, just a normal breath. Oh and very 7 is a killer that I quite often fail at.

Legs do not do most speed the arms do the work but a reasonable kick is needed, so yes normal.

Counting laps is hard, I cheat and let my garmin do it for me.

Recovery for me is chocolate milkshake.

Edited for typos.

Edited: 01/03/2013 at 22:28
Dustboy    pirate
02/03/2013 at 00:13

7 is a total killer CJ.

Re counting, only do it at the start end, it will always be even numbers so it's easier to remember, well, up to about 4 anyway!

Blisters    pirate
02/03/2013 at 00:40


I really struggled to "get" the breathing. Although I wanted to learn 3 stroke style from the outset, coach persuaded me to try 2 stroke, and that is what I needed. It's enabled me to maintain a nice steady rhythm and get a feel for the water. It has been almost a year swimming twice or three times a week, and I've only got as far a 4 lengths with 3 stroke style. I'm almost ready to convert. What I'm trying to say, is don't stress about 3 stroke.
What all us newbies have found is that it only takes about 6 weeks to go from a struggled 2 lengths of front crawl to being able to do half a mile. All you need is a little coaching and an attitude that gets you training. IT WILL CLICK.

02/03/2013 at 08:21
Thanks for all these comments. I will keep working on this. I have asked at the pool about training and all they could suggest was going to the adult learning class which i didnt fancy really. I have about 6 weeks to the race so l'll keep at it and if i have to do part breast stroke and part front crawl then thats what i'll do.
Blisters    pirate
02/03/2013 at 13:14

Join a tri club?

02/03/2013 at 23:41
I've been on youtube this evening watching triathlon techniques. There is a tri club about 20 miles away, if i get the tri bug then i'll contact them.
Blisters    pirate
12/03/2013 at 21:03

Hopefully this message should come across as inspirational rather than boastful. Less than 12 months ago I parked myself on this thread to get tips, hints and help with the aspiration. Progress was quite quick, as it had been promised. After 6 weeks we'd got front crawl after a fashion, to be able to do 400m, 800m, 1000m. Another month or so, with style improvements (from a low base line) we got it to 1 mile. Then a plateau. It took ages to make a measurable improvement.

An opportunity presented itself and I decided that I'd better swim this evening, and swim hard.

152 lengths
that's 3800m
or 2.4 miles
or 1x Iron Distance swim
Cherry popped
1hr 43min so it looks like I'll be allowed to have a bike ride.

Well chuffed.

12/03/2013 at 22:34

Well done Blisters, that is exactly the time it took me to do the swim at The Outlaw last year. I had been hoping for 1 hour 50 to 2 hours.

Blisters    pirate
12/03/2013 at 23:05

And now my nasal passages are streaming like I've got a rotten cold. It's just the reaction to the chlorine.

13/03/2013 at 07:46

thanks Blisters, it does help.  Last week I was just trying to see how fast I could go in breast stroke - I managed 10.30 for 16 lengths which is respectible for me.  This week I've been concentrating on technique in front crawl.  I'm going to practise the breathing for the next couple of weeks knowing that at the worst I can probably do the swim section in 10 minutes even if I only do breast stroke.

When you breathe out under water, are you breathing out in one long breath or a quick blast?

Blisters    pirate
13/03/2013 at 14:08


Ah, now that is a good question.

The techie swimblers will try and teach us the correct technique, which is to breathe out through the nose in one continuous and gentle stream. There are many u-tube videos demonstrating this, I think that SwimSmooth show triathlete champ Chrissie Wellington demonstrating how it's done.

In answer to your question, which was what I did, the answer is that I adopt more of a runner's style. Air in for a count of one, rotate on count of two, exhale on three, four, rotate five. Sometimes I can get a steady exhalation, but only if I'm focussing on it.

I have this feeling that my atrocious breathing pattern is what's causing the swimming pool nose. Other folks use a nose clip.

WildWill    pirate
13/03/2013 at 14:33

I have to use a nose clip ... or the chlorine kills me

Breathing wise I breath on the 3

Blisters    pirate
13/03/2013 at 14:54

Perhaps that's my mistake Wildwill. My head is underwater at that point.

15/03/2013 at 07:36

I use a nose clip, I can't swim otherwise.  The idea of counting my breathing is going to be challenging especially as I can barely count my lengths without getting confused!

I was breathing on 3 which seemed to make me have hurried breathing.  It seemed that as soon as I breathed in, I needed to breathe out.  I'll just have to find something that works for me.

WildWill    pirate
15/03/2013 at 08:57
As part of my drills session I do breathing drills, where I breath on the 2,3,4,5,6,6,5,4,3,2 a full length (or 2) of each ... On the evens I breath on the right on the way up and on the left on the way down

... If that makes sense
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