Cr@p Swimmers R Us

Swimming Support Thread

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Blisters    pirate
27/06/2013 at 21:50

The bloaty is just the quantity of pool water you drank. Keep swimming, keep practicing, You are doing it right. I guess. Do it more, and more again.


Scuba Trooper    pirate
06/07/2013 at 18:57

I'm sure this has been covered here before but..... I'm having serious cramp issues in my calf and/or foot on exiting and trying to get my wetsuit off, this is in races and OW practise and even sometimes in the pool. I'm no super fast swimmer OW 1500m 31mins.

Are there any stretches or warm up moves that can help? Do other find this problem is worse if the swim is at the end of a day with other training particulaly running? 

Blisters    pirate
07/07/2013 at 23:52

I think that it's a runner thing. We simply are not used to pointy toes position for more than a few seconds. Whenever I sit down I pressure massage to tendons in the bottom of my foot. It may just be coincidental with general practice, but there appear to be imrovements.

12/07/2013 at 10:31

Happy bunny,

started swimming 4 weeks ago, 25m front crawl was hard, real hard.

today, first 10 length swim and felt comfortable, feel that 16-20 length is on for next week. swimming 1600-2k 3 times a week in 50-100m blocks. Blisters is so right and I feel continuous swimming is around the corner  

12/07/2013 at 11:13

Apologies for not going through the entire thread - I may well be asking something that is already answered. Is changing from breast stroke to front crawl a big benefit and worth the effort? 

I consider myself to be a reasonable swimmer, I swim a couple of tiems a week and I can currently do 1500m breast stroke in circa 32-36 minutes and if I'm feeling strong 2500m in an hour - however front crawl destroys me. I am quite sure it is down to (very) poor kicking technique tiring me out too quickley as 100m crawl leaves me knackered even though it is not substantially quicker than my breast stroke speed - only a couple of seconds over 100m. 




Edited: 12/07/2013 at 11:14
12/07/2013 at 11:16


Thats great stuff, its a great feeling doing the first 10

I'm the same, I started lessons for front crawl in April, open water has really helped me, I really struggled to do 2x25m for ages but since Ive done a bit of open water Ive been 20+ lengths, I'm now looking at upping my speed as I am very slow, drills in the pool like arms only, legs only, sprints etc really help and I use open water for my distance training.

Like Blisters says It's perfectly possible to go from zero to hero in 6 to 12 months,

Also worth looking at getting some coaching once your comfortable, its a big help on tweaking your style 

12/07/2013 at 11:24


I believe front crawl is a more efficient style than breast stroke, before I could do front crawl I was quite happy with breast stroke, I'm still learning front crawl and it takes a bit of work to get the hang of it especially the breathing (for me), but after swimming a long distance (for me) 2k+ I am a lot fresher after front crawl than I am after breast stroke especially my legs which is a big help if you are about to embark on an epic cycle then run

12/07/2013 at 11:50

Thanks Jp,

just joined my local tri club (COLT) and when I don't feel quite so useless will be going along to their coached sessions  

12/07/2013 at 15:25

Many thanks JPGoodboy

When I get out of the pool following a long swim (breast stroke) my legs are far more tired than my arms - avoiding this would be good if I was to be jumping on a bike afterwards.


12/07/2013 at 15:30

Hi everyone! I've got my first swimming lesson on Tuesday. I can breaststroke without bother but I want to master front crawl. I'm a bit worried about the breathing part but I'm going to do it. Half ironman next year so got plenty of time, fingers crossed.

12/07/2013 at 15:35

OK this is a really stupid Q - been having lessons and been told my arm stroke is lovely but not using my legs enough that i can work on,  but my issue is breathing, not breathing out (although i may not be breathing out hard enough) but inhaling seem to be a problem.

So any tips on what helped you to breath with front crawl.

Finding OW easier than the pool.

Blisters    pirate
12/07/2013 at 18:34

Firstly. I am not an expert by any stretch of the imagination. I've just been here for a while. 10 years ago when I failed to do anything about it, and 15 months ago when I resurrected the thread and jumped in the deep end.

I was the same as all beginners here. Satisfied that I could breast stroke my way out of trouble. However, breast is inefficient because after every power stroke you put the brakes on BIG TIME. There is far less power in a crawl stroke, but the aim is to maintain a streamlined profile , therefore reducing drag, and utilising a continuous forward motion, ie free distance for the energy input. This is why it seems completely unfair at our end of the game: breast strokers in the pool continually whup past us. Why? Because they are going to power along for 100 or 200m. Plenty of recovery and no endurance induced lactic build up. We are all here because we want to do longer distances and have fuel left in the tank. Rule 1. DRAG is the biggest enemy, as opposed to POWER being the big aim.

OW easier than pool? Yup, same here. Why? because you have a chance to settle down into a rhythm. If you can use a wettie, then there's additional flotation. Floaty legs = slimmer frontal profile = less drag. See above.

Kicking. The aim of the kick is NOT extra power. See rule 1. The "kick" is more of akin to the action of a fish's tail. The muscle in the middle is used (that's where the meat is). Pointy feet (like a fin) minimise drag. The "kick" is from the thighs, and its primary aim is to elevate the body into streamline. The faster you go, the better this gets. (Pheew)

The BIGGEST issue for beginners is breathing, both OUT as well as in. Practice several times a week, but don't get tired out or your form will droop. This can be frustrating, but is worthwhile. This is the time that a teacher can really make a HUGE difference.

Check out

Finally: As a motivator, today I swam 3900m open water with no wetsuit. Not fast, but significant.

12/07/2013 at 20:07

Many thanks for the comprehensive response - it makes a lot of sense. my issue (apart from being crap at front crawl) is that as I have always held my own in the fast lane with breast stroke over reasonable distances I have been loathe to change - over time this has made me even more stubborn, it is almost a case of why should I change if I can swim as fast as the guys doing the faster stroke - and yes I realise how ridiculous that sounds! 

Strangely the breathing isn't my biggest issue - I think that is ok (but far from perfect) -  however what you have said about legs is very astute - it is almost like you have been watching my feeble attempts where I try to power my way through the water with my legs leaving  them feeling horrendous after a short period of time. 

Blisters    pirate
12/07/2013 at 22:21

Been there, done that.

I have absolutely no idea what I'm doing with my legs at the moment. I don't mean right now obviously. I am told that I need to concentrate on occasionally tapping my big toes together, and occasionally breaking the water surface with my heel. These tricks are just to get the feel of where they should be. Pointy toes are obviously vital, because right angled feet are really, really good brakes.

Blisters    pirate
12/07/2013 at 22:26

You will need a bath toy called a pull buoy. Not a Pool Boy. That's something else. You place it between your thighs, it floats your legs, and you concentrate on the arms. You should not kick at all. This helps you get higher in the water so the arms and breathing can be sorted, that enables more forward motion, and you realise how useless the legs really are.

Beyond that I'm verging into offering training and coaching tips, and I'm too crap for that.

12/07/2013 at 23:18

Thanks again - that have been a great help so you're obviously not that crap! 

15/07/2013 at 09:48

Got to the pool this morning, really wasn't feeling it after an un clipping moment on the bike yesterday leaving stiffness to knee and shoulder. First ten Sets of 50m took forever, then  10 sets of 100m. Got to last minutes and thought I would try for 16 lengths following my then length pb last week, 20 lengths later, still feeling fine ( very slow ) and annoyed that I had to finish as wanted that half mile. 

Finally feels that continuous swimming is coming. 

15/07/2013 at 11:18

Blisters - thanks for the info. Having my first individual lesson tomorrow morning so looking forward to that. I hope my instructor has a lot of patience!

It may sound a silly question - but if my lesson is at 8am can I have breakfast as normal at 7?

15/07/2013 at 15:54

I eat an hour before mm

15/07/2013 at 17:04

Gazhilla - cheers! I didn't fancy going on an empty stomach

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