Cr@p Swimmers R Us

Swimming Support Thread

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02/10/2013 at 09:18

BI - thanks for that. That'll be copied and pasted straightaway for safe keeps.

Berlin went ok, found it very congested (more than Paris & London) and because it's a potential PB course there was lots of pushing and shoving going on and wasn't as "friendly" as other maras. They ran out of medals for those finishing after 5h30 which I think it's pretty bad. Going under the Brandenburg gate made it all worthwhile though, it was fantastic and I had a good chuckle when I saw people sprinting there only to find out the finish line was 300 yards further down! Finished in 3.58.37 with even splits from start to finish so very happy with that. 

Bouncing Barlist    pirate
02/10/2013 at 10:12


Developing front crawl technique can be very frustrating but keep working at it.  Live Lisa123's ephiphany, you will have a similar experience.  Many people find that technique develops in sudden steps as certain things gel together. 

Are you swimming ok before the panic sets in, what sets it off, are you getting into oxygen debt?  If the latter, SLOW down, try to kick as little as possible, develop a flutter kick (practice kicking with a kick board). 

A few years ago I went back to basics, a new coach changes many parts of my stroke and I was going backwards for a few months, swimming was hard work and I just didnt feel like I was making progress, in the end and after lots of perseverance things started to come together.  A lot of swimming later, regular swim fit sessions (similar to tri club / masters) and I made improvements.

I can really recommend some one to one lessons or getting some personal attention at tri club.  Dont dispair, things will come together, dont put pressure on yourself to think youve got to swim 100m, 200m, take it one length at a time and focus on key aspects of your stroke, do different drills and really focus on the drill each length.

Bionic Ironwolf    pirate
02/10/2013 at 10:21

Molly, I think Berlin is now too big, others have also said it was too crowded. Each of my 5 runs there were super fun. Actually, your bit about the Brandenburg Gate made me chuckle because that's exactly what my OH did, sprinted too soon and missed his target time by 20 seconds! In his defense though, that was the first time the race had been run that way round, all previous marathons had finished on the Ku'damm.

02/10/2013 at 19:51

Ghostess just to add - have a look at the swim smooth website, loads of tips on there and you can have a look at the animated 'Mr Smooth', I gained lots of tips on there.I have also just purchased the Swim Smooth book to read as well so will report back once I have read some more.


GH0ST    pirate
03/10/2013 at 17:50

Thanks for the encouraging words everyone.

Yes Barlist I think I'm trying to go too quick, for some reason I'm thinking if I slow down I'll sink - though I never do when I snorkel stock still for hours 

I'm going to start Chester Tri's technique swim sessions a week on Saturday (off to Cardiff for the half this weekend). Chester's a bit of a trek on a Saturday evening but needs must. 

Blisters    pirate
05/10/2013 at 01:09

Feck all day today.

OK, I finished early and got to the lake, with a bag full of kit. Plan for 4 x 600m laps. 16.5 degrees. Ok, that's fine. Ear still whinging but totally ignorable. Check and double check, only got the leaky old goggles. Piss and bother. Off we go. 50m Goggs half full. Stop. 50m goggs quarter full. stop. 50m, Pissed off, remove goggs and swim without. Sighting is pretty much impossible. 1 lap done. Try again. Manage the full lap this time, 600m. Why? Because I started to think about something else. Ingesting water filled my stomach and provided the incentive to stimulate my intestinal reaction.Yup, I needed a crap. Got out and CBA to continue afterwards. So that was 1200m swum.

Goggs now in proper swim bag.

05/10/2013 at 08:19

Blisters - that made me chuckle, most people would have just given up and gone home.

No exercise for me this weekend, I had loads planned but I've got the lurgy and sweating then shivering etc I suppose a bit of rest will do me good

GH0ST    pirate
05/10/2013 at 12:33


Blisters    pirate
06/10/2013 at 23:55

Pool session with hte club this evening.

Concentration on the high elbow technique. It feels really odd.

Bionic Ironwolf    pirate
09/10/2013 at 19:43

Last nights tri club:

Our coach had us do the swim tests for the annual sports badges, there are all sorts of requirements depending on whether you are male or female and what age group. I had to swim 25m and 400m - my times were 25 seconds and 10min 39 secs which puts me in line for a gold badge but I have to also jump or throw tomorrow!

Apart from that, we did

600m warmup

400m with pull bouy, breathing 2nd and 3rd strokes.

600m, 25m easy/25m sprint on each length.

400m long three (glide looong every 3rd stroke).

800m alternating freestyle/backstroke every 100m

400m cooldown.


10/10/2013 at 19:36

BI - gold badge, that's brilliant . I went swimming on Tues but I was full of a cold and couldn't breathe out of the water never mind in it. It's quite boring actually on my own - even though I take some of your drills on a piece of paper. Swimming again tomorrow morning before work. Hope it goes a bit better than last time.

11/10/2013 at 13:10


Hi Everyone,

New here but definitely qualify for this thread! Did my first swim this week and it was awful, 500m split 1 length crawl 1 length breaststroke, this looks like it will be the thread I’ll be using most to start with as the advice I’ve been given in my “starting out” thread is to work on my weaknesses first and swimming is absolutely top of that list. I will say I enjoyed the swim though so hopefully motivating myself to get to the pool won’t be too much trouble!!

GH0ST    pirate
12/10/2013 at 20:25

Hi Beerswiller, do you want a virtual training partner?

i went to Chester Tri's beginner technique session this evening. Phew. Only two lengths at a time but I'm shattered.

apparently my biggest problem is lifting my head too high when I breathe. The other is forgetting to breathe out - which is the bit that leads to panic when I try to breathe in again. Apart from that my stroke's not too bad...

14/10/2013 at 10:10

Hi Ghostess that sounds like a great idea!

I've spoken to my local tri club and they were very encouraging but  I think I'd like to be able to swim 500m of constant crawl before I join in with them so having someone else just starting out to compare notes with would be great!

The tri coach did suggest that starting out with better technique would benefit me in the long run although he understood where I was coming from not wanting to feel out of my depth at the club session, I’ll see, I’m supposed to be running with one of their members on Wednesday so no doubt they’ll try and talk me round.

I'm terrible with my breathing, the breathing out thing sounds familiar, trying to do out and in at the same time when my head is above water, it's the bilateral part I really struggle with which leaves me panting as 3 strokes feels too long between breaths so I end up swimming the next length breast stroke to recover.

Are you going to go to more club sessions It sounds liek youve found that one worth it

GH0ST    pirate
14/10/2013 at 18:56

OMG 500m of constant crawl to feel confident enough to join in ? Our coach on Saturday apologised for asking us to swim 4 x 20m lengths without checking first that we felt we could do it.

Everything we did was 2 lengths or occasionally1 between change of exercise. I still had the occasional panic and splutter mid length but blustered it out until i reached the end again.

Even though i have cack technique i didn't feel as if i held anyone up - i'm a fast, rubbish swimmer - so i'm more than happy to go back next week for the coached swim.

On the breathing it was noted i attempt it every 4 strokes, but might find every 3 less exhausting. I said that actually breathing out before trying to gulp in a new lot of air would be a whole lot easier. Fun homework this week is exagerating blowing raspberries between breaths .

The club is 30 miles from me so i'm only going to the swimming sessions for now as it's my weakest section, happy to run and cycle miles unsupervised

GH0ST    pirate
14/10/2013 at 19:00

BeerSwiller, these are the expectation levels for swimmers at Chester Tri Club

Bionic Ironwolf    pirate
14/10/2013 at 20:20

Hey guys, quit trying to breathe in and out at the same time! You should be breathing out underwater, then you have plenty of time to breathe in when your face is out of the water. Try just standing in the water and practicing just breathing in and out. Tiny kids are taught to blow bubbles in the water to get them used early to breathing  out underwater. I also caught mention of lifting the head - when swimming the crawl stroke, your face should be in the water and you are looking slightly ahead. The water should be about at your forehead level. To breath in, don't lift your head, you should be turning it to the side so that your face is out of the water to breathe but you haven't broken your body position. You breathe in under the arch made by your elbow as you pull your arm back.

GH0ST    pirate
14/10/2013 at 21:11

That's exactly what I've been told BIonic Ironwolf. It's fear that's stopping me, I can't quite believe that turning my head will be sufficient to clear the water line and prevent me breathing it in.

15/10/2013 at 08:54

Ghostess, wow 30 miles is a long trip and means I've got no excuses as the Tri club train in the pool I use and it's only 2 minutes from home, it's only a small club and they run specific beginner session with limited numbers, unfortunately this block is fully subscribed and I defo don't want to be in with the main club members just yet, although the coach said it would be fine I'm just not confident enough.

Funnily enough Bionic Ironwolf my daughter did exactly what you describe with the bubble blowing at her early swimming lessons, I hadn’t realised that was the reason for it, I'm like Ghostess, a combination of fear and lack of a decent technique mean I do lift my head rather than turn it, reading your post I think my problem might be having my head too far in the water, it's certainly not at forehead level as I'm looking pretty much straight down, I'm at the pool tonight so I'll try changing that to see if it helps.

Bionic Ironwolf    pirate
15/10/2013 at 12:04

Don't look down at the bottom, you should be looking ahead to where you are going. Try breathing at your bathroom sink where you don't have to think about anything else. Submerge your face in water to forehead level and breathe out, then turn your face to the side and breathe in. Doesn't matter which side - or you can try both, bilateral breathing is a good skill for open water swimming, when you need to keep sighting to see where to go.

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