Swimming advice

for a Tri newbie

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04/06/2004 at 13:57
Cheer for that SG. Yes, I too find breast stroke a LOT easier than front crawl – and it’s certainly a chance to get my breath. Depending on how much progress I’ve made by September then, I think I’ll also do a combination of both strokes. Haven’t got a clue what my current time is, I’ll have to do a timetrial so I can see how much I improve over the months. I’d guess somewhere around 12 mins. Definitely will need to speed up from that!!

When you say you breathe every 3rd stroke, does that mean you’re breathing on both sides? Is that the recommended breath rate?
Monique    pirate
04/06/2004 at 15:49
I did one alternate lengths of front crawl and breast stroke on my first tri at Derby nearly two years ago, now I only swim breast stroke as a cool down. This is down to adult lessons but then lots of practice. It does click I promise. The next big thing is getting your head underwater that is murky and learning to sight- a different technique from pool front crawl.
Bouncing Barlist    pirate
04/06/2004 at 15:53
Monique, I was once told not to do Breastroke until I was already warmed up (certainly not warm up or cool down) as there is quite a lot of leg kick and its more likely to cause injury than front crawl.

05/06/2004 at 14:56
How do I find out about these swim classes? Do I need to be a tri-club member? I live in Birmingham and could do with some swimming help. I can do front crawl just fine, so long as I don't try breathing.

Really helpful thread!
06/06/2004 at 12:42
Juicer, ideally for an efficient front crawl technique you should breathe after every third stroke but (and here's the tricky bit) when your head is under water you are not supposed to hold your breath in the same way that you do for the breast stroke. For the breast stroke when the head comes out of the water you breathe out and then in before going under again. For the crawl you are supposed to start breathing out under water turning your head sideways mainly to breathe in. I'm sure that my breathing problem was caused by trying to breathe in the same way that I do for the breast stroke whilst doing the front crawl (if that makes any sense). That is, holding my breath whilst under water and then trying to quickly breathe out and then in again. I was able to do this for two or three lengths before simply running out of air!

It's a good point you make about breathing alternatively on either side. Personally, I breathe to the right because it is the more natural side for me. For some people the left is more natural. However, I have seen people at my pool breathing on alternate sides and it probably makes for a much better balanced stroke. It also is advantagous for a triathlete to be able to breath on both sides during an open water swim because if the surface of the water is choppy and being blown towards the right breathing side, you are able to turn your head to the left to breathe thus avoiding swallowing mouthfuls of water!
08/06/2004 at 09:50
I bought my first road bike last Friday and am determined to have a go at triathlon this year. So I'm in a similar boat to you. I'm trying to get in touch with the Black Country Triathletes but emails don't seem to be getting replied to. Hopefully I'll pick up all the popinters/tips/advice etc from joining a club and training with them.
There is also a good club based in the centre of Birmingham, Birmingham Running and Triathmon club (BRATs). Went riding on Saturday morning with some of them and they seem like a friendly bunch.
Maybe I'll see you at Wombourne for our triathlon debut?
09/06/2004 at 14:02
Hi Matt. I've emailed you a contact for Black Country Triathletes. I'm sure they won't mind!!
09/06/2004 at 17:29
Thanks for that Juicer. Don't give up on tri. Remember the weather was muggy at the weekend which won't have helped you and we all have bad races. Cycling and swimming will only help your running and stop you over training.
10/06/2004 at 07:17
This is a great thread with loads of good advice. I'm in a similar position to many on here, that I can't swim more than 2 lengths without feeling like my heart is going to explode. Pushed myself to do 4 lengths this morning but had to stop then.

I'm hopeless at breast stroke (can't do the legs), ok at the crawl but all the old biddies in my local pool at 6:00am keep pushing and kicking me as I pass - presumably because I splash them a bit as I go past.

It's good to know I'm not alone, and that getting a few lessons to sort out technique should help.

Anyone going to the Guildford Lido tomorrow night for the duathlon there?
10/06/2004 at 10:21
Nolene, when I started swimming again about 6 months ago I couldn't do many lengths without a rest. Someone said I was swimming too quickly so I tried slowing down and they were right. I kept going and going.
As for the old biddies, does your pool have different lanes for different speeds. If not you could suggest this to the management. If they do then just let the life gaurd know they are getting in the way and are in the wrong lane.

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