Swimming faster

How? Lessons?

1 to 20 of 34 messages
18/02/2004 at 14:25
Hi. Having dabbled in tris a few years back and then concentrated on running I'm kinda hankering after another go (my running is at a standstill!). So I "swim like a fish" or so I've been told, very elegant, very stylish (bi-lateral breathing) but nowhere near quick enough. So, how do I get quicker? Lessons? I think my main problem is my leg kick is crap (can't get any rhythm) and I don't think my underwater stuff is "strong" enough.

This probably sounds an inane and impossible question but hell I thought I'd ask it anyway!

Cheers, Amanda
18/02/2004 at 14:29
I have the exact same problem. Near-perfect technique (apparently!) and not exactly slow, but could definitely be a lot faster and don't know how to go about it.

Had a coached session recently where the coach said - if you get young boys and young girls in the pool and tell them to swim to the end, the boys will usually get there first, even if the girls have a better technique. Reason? Power and force. The boys might splash about all over the place but are just using more power than the girls. So he told me I really have to just get off my *rse and put some wellie into it.

One thing I've found helpful is to really concentrate on being able to "feel" the water pressure on your palms throughout the whole underwater section of the stroke - so you are really catching and pulling/pushing the water. The first session I did where I paid attention to this, my hands were tingling afterwards from the extra effort!

Oh and you could do some kick sets to improve your leg strength and kick?
18/02/2004 at 14:36
Hi Dr Nic. I did wonder about the leg kick stuff as I'm sure when I tried that before I just about went backwards! It's catch 22 though as I'm using the swimming as a "rest" for my poor old legs :)

I'm going tomorrow before work so will try the focus on my hands/water pressure and see how that works.

18/02/2004 at 14:48
No probs. But if your kick really is that "weak" then it is definitely worth strengthening it up as, if nothing else, a good kick keeps your body position in the water.

Maybe think about a coached session? I paid £25 for 3 hours and it was really useful (group session)
18/02/2004 at 15:23
I think a lesson or two from a "pro" is the way to go and will do that if I really get back into tris this year. I guess I'll get FLM out of the way and then see what the summer brings :)
18/02/2004 at 16:50
If speed is down to power, would it be worth doing weights to build upper body strength?

I'm just a pool plodder so might be talking out my butt!:o)
18/02/2004 at 16:55
when i do weights for schwimbling (very infrequent) I mostly do lats and tricep stuff. Dorsal raises etc help too. General all round strength does help, but obviously look at the physiques of swimmers, sprinters are real powerhouses, the longer distance they are the longer and leaner they look.
18/02/2004 at 17:09
Oh dear...I don't conform to this! *LOL*
18/02/2004 at 17:15
(to be honest i was thinking of rebecca cooke and mark foster, so you probably couldn't get more extreme!! i'm sure you'll be fine in your extra long race with all your muscles!)
19/02/2004 at 10:35
Coached session I agree Dr Nic!

I tried one of the endless pools at the recent SwimCycleRun show - 10 minutes with a bit of coaching - filmed and then a stroke critique afterwards.

My thing - like Dr Nic is just getting more power - but I was tole to concentrate on the glide to increase stroke length reduce the number of strokes (something to do with reduced drag?!) Has really helped me to focus and seems to work for me.

If you look at the website for the show there were several professional coaches selling group or individual courses.
19/02/2004 at 11:29
Thanks Petal, will check the site out. Swam 1600m before work but felt too tired to try anything new and just plodded along as usual.
20/02/2004 at 10:11
Found these sessions and have started using them (without a coach) to some effect - at least it gives me focus!
spelthorne swim sessions .

However, I would be very grateful for any advice from anyone about improving my leg kick - its OK position ing, toe in etc. but practically zero power!! Any Drills to help please.
20/02/2004 at 10:55
Kick with (or without if you can bear it) a board! I'm talking lots, like maybe 8x100, 4 of them freestyle, 4 choice/IM. It will hurt as creates lots of lactic, but you will get better at it and it does create a stronger kick over all.

Or get a pair of fins (if that's what people call them) and use them sometimes (like you would paddles) - apparantly helps with power but I've never used them.
20/02/2004 at 11:29
Must I do that much?
20/02/2004 at 11:55
Well, no. Try 4x100 first maybe, 2 free 2 choice, then build up. See how you go maybe, some people find it easier than others.
20/02/2004 at 11:59
expect your shins to burn, bit like aerobics in the 80's!! feeeeeeel the burn.

but although it hurts it doesn't stay hurting once you finish!

another tip would be maybe once you've buolt more strength up, vary the kick as in alternate a length kinging hard and fast, and a length doing deeper kicks. with breaststroke kick i alternate short sharp kicks with long glidey ones.
20/02/2004 at 12:46
Top tip, mate.
20/02/2004 at 12:50
Ta - all advice will be tried (at least once!)

I have to say its sh*te when you used to be the fastest in the pool.
Now I'm still quite quick but when this great amazon of a women who looks seriously unfit gets in and just slaughters you its VVVVVV demoralising..
20/02/2004 at 12:50
20/02/2004 at 12:53
Say Fankoo again and I will smack you round the head with some large hand paddles before making you do 8x100 reverse IM. On 1:45.
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