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  • Who Swims?

    Ever since I have been training for my triathalon, I have been bitten by the swimming bug. I am one of those guys who likes to torture himself by working on the things that I really suck at. And let me tell you...I SUCK at swimming.

    Watching someone who is really good at swimming was like watching the skinny guys run. It makes me sick how effortless they make it seem.

    I am really trying to get better at my freestyle stroke and I am wondering if there is anyone out there that can give me some pointers. My problem is simply breathing. I reach and pull with my left arm and at the same time, I turn my head to the right and inhale. I exhale into the water, and repeat. At the end of my 25 meters, I am out of breath and need to stop. I am not flailing around or uncontrollably splashing around like a moron and my kicks and strokes are pretty fluid.

    Is this normal? Or do I have to just keep practicing until I get better? Any pointers? I know it's really hard to diagnose swimming problems without actually seeing the motions, but, I am willing to take any pointers if people can help!
    "Character is someone you are when no one is watching."

  • #2
    Before I check out brother I need to have a beer with you. I am the same way
    one of those guys who likes to torture himself by working on the things that I really suck at
    I can't help you with the swimming it's not advised to go into the Hudson River so I didn't get much swimming in. But from what I hear it is one hell of a work out.

    Good Luck to you my friend.
    MDRDEP:

    There are no stupid questions, but there sure are a lot of inquisitive idiots.

    Comment


    • #3
      POSr
      Do get discouraged with swimming, humans are not natural swimmers. Advice is cheap, so take what you want out of it. I'll start by saying when I trained for my very first tri, I didn't know how to swim either. I couldn't swim 25m to save my life. Needless to say I watched some video, asked others and just stuck with it.
      Regarding your breathing, you need to find what works for you. One sided, bi-lateral, every stroke, every third? Personally, I breath only on my right and just as you were saying reaching with the left and right elbow up. When reaching over-exaggerate your reach, by doing so will help rotate your hips. Rotating your hips will help cut the water instead of push water. Also make sure you are pulling all the way through with your stroke.
      Do over look your kick. Your kick is as important as your stroke. Get that flutter kick going, keep your feet just below the water surface, almost as if the bottoms of your feet are breaking the water during the kick.. If your feet "dangle" you will create drag making it harder to cut through the water. If you need to, get a kick board and just work on your kick for awhile. Kick from your hips, it will help with your knees and feet dangling.
      Do ask about the flip turn... That's a whole other animal. Whatever you do stick with it, it gets easier just do get discouraged. If nothing else take a lesson. Swimming is by far the best workout. Zero impact full body workout. When I start feeling a little soft and want to lose some lbs., I hit the pool. Huge rewards come from the pool. Also, if you are have a day when it is just not clicking, stop. Bad habits will create bad form and make it more difficult.

      You are right however, swimming is very hard to diagnose without actually seeing it.
      -good luck.
      "... Somewhere Between Raising Hell and Amazing Grace..."

      Comment


      • #4
        Sorry...
        I ment to say, "Don't get discouraged..." -my bad.
        "... Somewhere Between Raising Hell and Amazing Grace..."

        Comment


        • #5
          Just jumped in the pool for the first time last week since about a year ago. I lost about 60 pounds since then and it is so much different. I used to be able to float with no issues and now its crazy how hard it is to tread water. If I figure out some ways to help with the swimming i'll let you know lol.

          Comment


          • #6
            I have done 1 half iron man, 3 olympic and about 8 sprint tri's, My swim was my weakest event, but with lots of practice, and some good reading I improved. There are several good books out there that can help with technique, and training strategy....
            "For he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer." Romans 13:4

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by jcioccke View Post
              Before I check out brother I need to have a beer with you. I am the same way

              I can't help you with the swimming it's not advised to go into the Hudson River so I didn't get much swimming in. But from what I hear it is one hell of a work out.

              Good Luck to you my friend.
              You know it's really WEIRD that I had this same thought the other day. Brother from another mother! LMAO! Thanks, and keep up the good work!
              "Character is someone you are when no one is watching."

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by POSr View Post
                Ever since I have been training for my triathalon, I have been bitten by the swimming bug. I am one of those guys who likes to torture himself by working on the things that I really suck at. And let me tell you...I SUCK at swimming.

                Watching someone who is really good at swimming was like watching the skinny guys run. It makes me sick how effortless they make it seem.

                I am really trying to get better at my freestyle stroke and I am wondering if there is anyone out there that can give me some pointers. My problem is simply breathing. I reach and pull with my left arm and at the same time, I turn my head to the right and inhale. I exhale into the water, and repeat. At the end of my 25 meters, I am out of breath and need to stop. I am not flailing around or uncontrollably splashing around like a moron and my kicks and strokes are pretty fluid.

                Is this normal? Or do I have to just keep practicing until I get better? Any pointers? I know it's really hard to diagnose swimming problems without actually seeing the motions, but, I am willing to take any pointers if people can help!
                I started swimming about 4 years ago when I signed up for my first tri too. I also suck(ed) at swimming until last year when I trained for (and completed) Ironman Wisconsin (Swim 1:27:00 for 2.4 miles). The key to improving MY swim time was to not neglect the swim. It's important that you train for your weakest event. I actually would go out to my local lake and would swim 1.5 to 3.0 miles 3 or 4 times a week.

                If you have some spare time, check youtube for "total immersion swimming". This program really gave me some good pointers about my stroke and about breathing. Not to mention some good pool drills. Also, check out www.beginnertriathlete.com They have a forum like this where you can connect with other tri-geeks in your area. (my handle there is WI_tri_guy)

                If you want some more specific advise, PM me and I will send you some good pool drills that helped me build my stamina.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by AI_guy View Post
                  I started swimming about 4 years ago when I signed up for my first tri too. I also suck(ed) at swimming until last year when I trained for (and completed) Ironman Wisconsin (Swim 1:27:00 for 2.4 miles). The key to improving MY swim time was to not neglect the swim. It's important that you train for your weakest event. I actually would go out to my local lake and would swim 1.5 to 3.0 miles 3 or 4 times a week.

                  If you have some spare time, check youtube for "total immersion swimming". This program really gave me some good pointers about my stroke and about breathing. Not to mention some good pool drills. Also, check out www.beginnertriathlete.com They have a forum like this where you can connect with other tri-geeks in your area. (my handle there is WI_tri_guy)

                  If you want some more specific advise, PM me and I will send you some good pool drills that helped me build my stamina.
                  Thank you so much, and congrats on the Iron...that's a tremendous accomplishment.
                  "Character is someone you are when no one is watching."

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    You just need to practice more...Work on your breathing that's key while swimming...The more you do it the better you'll be, first swim and get a breathing pattern that you feel comfortable with, once you have your breathing pattern just keep swimming...
                    sigpic

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I'm no athlete, but I clicked this thread because I swim from time to time for fun & a bit of excercise. I don't know how many of you got the same ad I did, but I think I'd swim a lot more if I had this in my back yard:

                      http://www.endlesspools.com/

                      Don't know how long until I might be able to get the spa, but I sent in for the info, and am going to find out how much the machine alone costs (or how my husband and I might build our own for less.)
                      .
                      .
                      lib'-er-ty: the freedom given to you to make the wrong decision, based on the reasoned belief that you will normally make the right one.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I swim the local lake for fitness during the warmer months. Use a "stew smith combat swimmer stroke" and it allows me to go greater distances using less energy. Doesn't feel like I'm beating up the water. More of a long glide. I use a short set of fins, googles, and tow a safety buoy behind me. Serves two purposes, 1. Its bright orange and I can wave it at approaching boats so they will avoid running me over and 2. I can rest on it if I happen to be in the middle of the lake and need to adjust gear, take a quick break,etc. Usually swim 1/4 mile out to a large island and back on mornings after work and 1/2 mile out and back on off days when I have more time and am not in a hurry to get home and sleep.

                        Now though with a newly aquired kayak I find myself going out on that to the islands and hauling a kettlebell along to do some isolated beach workouts before paddling home.

                        Fun stuff.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Since writing this post, I have done a lot of video tutorial watching on youtube and found some really great coaches on there who have some decent advice about swimming. One thing I know I am doing wrong that I am working to correct is rotating my body where my torso is side ways when taking a breath rather than trying to lift my head out of the water. I notice, especially in shallow water that my feet drop like a rock when I pull my head up.
                          "Character is someone you are when no one is watching."

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by POSr View Post
                            Since writing this post, I have done a lot of video tutorial watching on youtube and found some really great coaches on there who have some decent advice about swimming. One thing I know I am doing wrong that I am working to correct is rotating my body where my torso is side ways when taking a breath rather than trying to lift my head out of the water. I notice, especially in shallow water that my feet drop like a rock when I pull my head up.
                            Yep. Been there. Once i learned the technique it was a lot more enjoyable.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Mahaffma View Post
                              I swim the local lake for fitness during the warmer months. Use a "stew smith combat swimmer stroke" and it allows me to go greater distances using less energy. Doesn't feel like I'm beating up the water. More of a long glide. I use a short set of fins, googles, and tow a safety buoy behind me. Serves two purposes, 1. Its bright orange and I can wave it at approaching boats so they will avoid running me over and 2. I can rest on it if I happen to be in the middle of the lake and need to adjust gear, take a quick break,etc. Usually swim 1/4 mile out to a large island and back on mornings after work and 1/2 mile out and back on off days when I have more time and am not in a hurry to get home and sleep.

                              Now though with a newly aquired kayak I find myself going out on that to the islands and hauling a kettlebell along to do some isolated beach workouts before paddling home.

                              Fun stuff.
                              I use this too when I am swimming underwater. But, I've found when I'm using it for freestyle, it really creates a lot of drag. Has your experience been different?
                              "Character is someone you are when no one is watching."

                              Comment

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