Cr@p Swimmers R Us

Swimming Support Thread

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04/10/2004 at 20:39
Cheers for the recommendation, Bear, I shall definitely sign up for the next one, they say they have one a month. For £25, how can you go wrong? I haven't managed to find any lessons locally yet, so I hope this will give me some useful feedback about how I'm doing (and whatever I'm doing, I haven't been doing for so long that I can't unlearn it if it's dreadful!).
04/10/2004 at 21:14
I seem to recall they do video analysis too :o)
07/10/2004 at 21:47
Did 50 lengths crawl non-stop today (1250m), then 3 lengths breast as I thought I was about to sink if I didn't have a break, but then did the last 11 lengths of the mile crawl again (at a very crawly pace, I have to say). Had half the pool to myself for most of it, which helped a lot, didn't try to race anyone and didn't have to concentrate on keeping a straight line too much. Still could do with some pointers on the breathing - I do it every 2 strokes, but always seem to have water in my mouth. OK, I don't inhale it, but I end up swallowing more than I'd like. Any ideas, folks?

Am still keeping an eye on that website, but they haven't updated the date for the next session yet. Slightly nervous about video analysis!
07/10/2004 at 22:13
Wow - that's loads more than I can do non-stop - decided to gradually build up.

Nothing wrong with breathing every two strokes, personally I found two a bit too often and four too far apart, so I compromised on three, which means I have to breathe both sides, but I've got used to it now and it's fine.

The coach for my regular lessons used the phrase "turn your head as if you're trying to take a bite out of an apple sitting on your shoulder" when breathing - dunno if that will help :o)
Blisters    pirate
08/10/2004 at 16:18
I am really encouraged by the improvements that you peeps have been making, and in such a short time too. I think that I have learned masses already. Firstly, that I won't improve unless I go to the pool. Secondly, the more I go, the better I would get. Thirdly, some lessons would make massive improvements. Finally, it doesn't seem to take long before it all seems to click.

I wish you all some confidence boosting improvements.
Now. Do I go to the pool or concentrate on improving my marathon times?
08/10/2004 at 19:28
Managed a whole mile today of crawl! Very slow still, and was somewhat hampered by an aqua aerobics class on the other side of the lane. Tried different breathing. Apple on shoulder felt as though I was really moving my head a great deal and it meant the stroke on that side took a long time, and I'm not sure I swallowed less water as a result. I've been trying to exhale under water and close my mouth as I move my head out of the water, as this is the point at which I scoop lots into my mouth. Works when I can remember to do it, but not second nature yet.

After considering the number of strokes before breathing, I am concerned that I breathe every 2 strokes, but always on the right, and I fear building up horribly assymetric neck muscles (us ladies *will* suffer for our sport, but only so far). So I tried breathing every 3 strokes and discovered I need a *lot* of practice when trying to breathe to the left. Didn't find it overly taxing to actually last for 3 strokes, it's just that on the left-hand breath I sometimes got an air/water mixture which wasn't ideal for propelling me through another 3 strokes.

I am quite startled at how much easier I feel front crawl is now, compared to when I started. OK, I still don't go a lot faster than my breast stroke speed (if at all), but I've been doing breast stroke for about 30 years, and crawl for about 3 months max.

blisters, get in the pool and practice, it's working for me. Even without lessons! I manage to fit it in very easily with running as I can swim at lunchtime for about 40 minutes - this is far better use of the time than a short run, I feel.
08/10/2004 at 20:12
I found it hard to breathe on both sides, although I "naturally" breathe to the left and found the right hand side harder to do.

I'm finding I tend to roll my body a bit to help with breathing - I tend to hold my arm back alongside my hip when I'm about to take a breath, so I stroke with the left arm, then while I put the right arm forward I kept the left arm back and I tend to roll so I don't have to tilt my head so far to get at air rather than water. If you then move the left arm forward along the body, so that it passes close to the shoulder, rather than wide of the body, then you don't roll back as quickly. The same works if you reverse left and right.

Give it a try and see how you get on. I'm getting more used to keeping my head in line with my spine so I don't "reach" with my neck to get my head out of the water as much.

Anyone else doing much swimming, it seems to be nearly all Quimby and myself. What's happened to Smitch, who started this thread?
08/10/2004 at 21:21
Bear, just out of interest, if you jump over something, from which foot to you take off? (Wondering if there's any correlation between this and the breathing thing.)

Yes, and where *is* everybody? I need to know whether there is anyone else out there whose crawl is as slow as their breast stroke. Whilst I am proud that I can now crawl, and for a decent distance, I do hope that I will be able to increase my speed at some point.
08/10/2004 at 22:00
not sure - left foot I think.

BTW, I found an ad for the next Swimming class in Walsall that we got with the blurb on Sunday - there's one on 21st November :o)
08/10/2004 at 22:02

can i suggest that you blow out underwater and just keep blowing as you turn your head out to breath - once clear of the water you breath in. As you speed up your head will make a small wave and you end up breathing in a trough below water level - seriously.

I had awful problems learning to breat bi-laterally too it takes a lot of patience I got terribly out of breath but got there eventually. It might speed up the process if you switch to just breathing on the left for a while. Once it feels equally easy on the left then go back to trying bi-laterally.

then I was taught to 'do three to the left then take three strokes then do three to the right etc.' You can get more air in that way and still achieve a balanced stroke.

Plus you can vary your breathing pattern to suit the condidtions. This is a really handy thing in open water as you just breathe mainly to the opposite side to the waves (if that makes sense?).

ditto re the breaststroke speed thing - your crawl will get faster as your technique improves - which paradoxically is achieved by taking less strokes per length.

happy practicing


Dave F.

08/10/2004 at 22:17
That's pretty much what I did - worked on breathing on my "wrong" side only before I started alternating
08/10/2004 at 23:02
09/10/2004 at 05:38
Thanks Dave & Bear. I have tried the "carry on breathing out until your head is clear of the water" technique, but haven't quite mastered that yet. I tend to spend too much time breathing out and don't have enough time left to breathe in before my head's back in the water. But, as ever, practice will improve things. Now I've reached my initial goal of doing my standard lunchtime swim using purely crawl, I'll concentrate on breathing technique to the other side - I'll probably have to have rest breaks whilst I do this, as it's difficult to keep going after a length of breathing in water! I've bookmarked the drills and will have a read of that later today, ta.
10/10/2004 at 14:34

Just back from 2km - can't say it was non-stop, but far less rests than when I did a mile.
iron fraggle    pirate
12/10/2004 at 11:56
urgh! just been swimming for the first time in about 6 months - gosh that was hard! Made me realise how out of practise I am. After 5 mins warm up I did 400m in about 9 mins, but felt so tired after that, I just pottered around for a while before getting out.

must try harder!
12/10/2004 at 13:22
Nine minutes - splutter!

Blimey - don't think I can do it in that - did ten at the first tri, must give it another go tonight!
iron fraggle    pirate
12/10/2004 at 14:12
oops sorry wasn't trying to boast bear! feel so knackered now though!

12/10/2004 at 22:04
Went for 12 lengths (400m) non-stop tonight - varied the breathing so I took a breath on 2 or 3 as I needed rather than stick strictly to a pattern and it helped enormously.

Forgot to time the effing thing though!!!

It was in a swimming lesson and I got presented a 400 metre badge at the end, which was unexpected :oS
iron fraggle    pirate
13/10/2004 at 12:50
Have you sewn it onto your trunks yet Bear?!!
13/10/2004 at 14:48
Not yet Frags - not much good with a needle. Think I'd better wait for them to dry out from last night anyway!!
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