ironmam swim

1 to 20 of 42 messages
Crooky-IronKnee    pirate
14/01/2013 at 21:27

Here we go any help will do,

i have signed up to do the bolton ironman uk,now my problem will be the swim

i feel the bike and run wont be a problem,but the swim might be

i have started ( jan ) going swimming 3 times a week doing a mile ( 64 lengths ) each time,and my best time is now 48mins for the mile ( slow i know )

my problem is i have to swim most of the lengths breaststroke and only front crawl every tenth length

would i be able to do the ironman swim breaststroke as long as i can finish within the time limit


14/01/2013 at 21:39
You haven't tried swimming in a wetsuit yet have you ?

Breaststroke in a wetsuit will kill you, get some lessons on FC
M...eldy    pirate
14/01/2013 at 21:39

Yes you can do the swim breastroke however you will conserve much more time and energy by learning front crawl in the time you have between now and the start line

Forget doing the mile each time for now, get some lessons in and learn the right technique and then go from there, you dont need to be limited by this at this stage IMO

Crooky-IronKnee    pirate
14/01/2013 at 21:59

thanks for your answers

dave your right never been in a wetsuit 

i just cant seem to manage more than 2 lengths front crawl together

but you might be right try and sort out some lessons

14/01/2013 at 22:03

Absolutely agree.

If it seems like a tall order, keep doing your mile but try aiming to do 2 out of 10 lenths f/c, and really concentrate on slowing them down, relaxing, and minimising your kick. Once you realise you can do 2, it'll be relatively easy to build the proportion of f/c.

For most of us, swimming (f/c) in a wetsuit is faster than without. 

Plum    pirate
14/01/2013 at 22:03

Like Dave says..... breaststroke in a wettie is murderous on the arms.....

14/01/2013 at 22:04

Lessons and persistence worked for me, I couldn't do a length crawl when I started last May.  

14/01/2013 at 22:05

Oh dear - shabby x-post! Make that "3 out of 10" then, but it's alla bout keeping it gentle. Most of us think of breaststroke as a slow, steady pace, and f/c as a sprint, but it turns out that's not really the case .

seren nos    pirate
14/01/2013 at 22:06

one guy i saw who breaststrokes a swim.....ripped a pile of hairs off the areas of his arms / backs caused by the friction......ouch

 But it has been done.but i wouldn't want to.i did breast stroke an olympic distance swim once as i lost my noseclip

14/01/2013 at 22:34

I would say forget about the breastroke.  When you go swimming, only allow yourself to do front crawl.  If you have to, do one length, rest 20-30 secs, go again.  In time you will be able to do 2 lengths non stop, then 4 etc.  Swim fitness will come, but I would concentrate on being a better swimmer, not swim fitness.  The best swimmer are so, because they are better swimmers, not because they are the fittest swimmers.  I was in your shoes back in August, but completed a 1500m OW swim in a wetsuit after just 11 sessions.  Also, have a look on youtube for technique video`s.  Total Immersion and Swim Smooth helped me.  Good luck.

meface    pirate
14/01/2013 at 22:49


Why can't you do more than 2 lenghts f/c. Do your arms fall off? Do you get cramp? Do you run out of breath?

f/c is 90% arms (or near 100% for some of us) whereas breaststoke is 60%/40%. So your problem may be tiny weeny feeble arms.

But my guess is you end up breathless.  In which case practice helps a lot. You are probably not unfit if you can see 112mile bike and 26 mile run as doable. Therefore heart and lungs are probably OK. So it is purely technique.

Do the slowest front crawl you can. Focus on exhaling underwater and getting a nice clean inhale on rotation of the body/head. Stay in control, relax, do not worry about speed. Do not over kick. Relax, relax, relax.

The panic will go, the breathing routines will come, and you will get used to it.


Crooky-IronKnee    pirate
14/01/2013 at 22:57

yes my arms seem to be the prob,

i think i might be trying too hard and swimming too fast and a lot of kicking,

i will give the slow swimming a go, 1 length rest then go again and see if that works

once again cheers for all the help

15/01/2013 at 08:15
Also, you may want to try It's a free website where they will devise swim training plans for you. These include technique drills as well as fitness sets.

The sessions may help reinforce what others have said above
Iron Muffin    pirate
15/01/2013 at 08:50

You may find a pull bouy useful. Worth trying for some of your swimming to help you concentrate on your arm technique as it will stop you sinking,.

IronChris68    pirate
15/01/2013 at 09:06

Crooky are you based in Bolton? I go to a coached swim session once a week and all are welcome, that would help sort out your FC stroke


bburn plO.dder    pirate
15/01/2013 at 12:47
Cake wrote (see)

Crooky if it's any help I still have problems with crawl although it's getter better and done two IM distance swim's breaststroke isn't ideal but is doable. Do what you can in the next few months and try to crack your crawl but if you can't get it you can still do it breaststroke just make sure you lubicate yourself around the elblow's back of the knee's and armpit's in case of chaffing. There is a bonus to doing it breaststroke in that you are a lot better at spotting where you are going than the slower crawler's who tend the zigzag all over the shop. Your almost definantly going to find crawl easier once your using a wettie.

Everybody is 100% right about fc, but if it's any consolation, I am +1 with Cake.

I did 100% bs at Outlaw last year. I got out in 1hr 45 mins, but had dreadful cramp in my legs about 100m from the end.

My experience has made me determined to crack front crawl, so I am having 1-2-1 lessons at the moment. if that's not an option for you, at least check out Swimsmooth (or other websites), or join a class at local pool.

One consolation if you end up doing breaststroke - you can always find your bike in transition

Suffolk Punch    pirate
15/01/2013 at 13:54

If I can do it, you can do it.

I learnt to swim from zero to 3.8kms in 6 months for IMCH in 2005.

Breaststroke will kill your legs for the bike. I still can't breaststroke, but then again I have no need of it. It's irrelevant.

Don't worry about the distance you are swimming just yet. Go on YouTube, get a swim teacher, a book anything, but learn FC.

Lastly, good luck - The Outlaw is a fun event!

15/01/2013 at 14:46

As others have said...

1. forget breast stroke.

2. Look on youtube for swimsmooth videos

3. Go to local pool and practise some of the drills from point 2.

4. repeat step 3.

Or go to local tri club and get lessons.

When I started out I was in the same boat as you - couldnt do more than 2 lengths at a time. I learned to swim at the age of 34. Gradually I could swim 4 then 8 then 16 lengths.

Plenty of time, it can be done. Good luck

15/01/2013 at 14:49

As with the others....

13th January  aged 49 couldn't swim a length FC

1st September completed The Big Woody

The reason ? 14th Jan joined my local tri club and haven't looked back

Ironholgs    pirate
15/01/2013 at 14:57

Nothing to add really, I was a woeful swimmer, swallowed my pride, too k lessons, got beat by the toddlers in the lane next to me but stuck with it.

5 ironman races later I still consider myself a poor swimmer, but I'm much better than I was.

Just wanted to wish you all the best, get your crawl sorted and enjoy the Bolton experience.

1 to 20 of 42 messages
Previously bookmarked threads are now visible in "Followed Threads". You can also manage notifications on these threads from the "Forum Settings" section of your profile settings page to prevent being sent an email when a reply is made.
Forum Jump  

RW Forums