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Swimming - Any other swimmers?

BasarBasar IstanbulRegistered User regular
edited August 2008 in Help / Advice Forum
Well watching Phelps break every damn record out there I am pumped to get back to swimming. I swam competitevely between ages 12-17 but dropped it after I moved half way around the world.

Anyways, I am 25 years old now, and I just wanna start swimming again. I'll practice a little on my own for now but probably will join a team later on.

Do you guys have any recommendations? IIRC, my 1500m time was 16:21 at around age 14, so I used to be in good shape.

So any routines for me? I already took out my googles, cap, and will probably invest in a high tech suit + Swimp3 player to spice up the exercise.

Thanks.

i live in a country with a batshit crazy president and no, english is not my first language

Basar on
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  • i n c u b u si n c u b u s Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    I'm 20 and have been a long time competitive swimmer since around 8. Thats awesome that you want to start up again and so do I! I kind of slacked off since high school but I've never been in better shape than I was when I was swimming. Anywho, I'd recommend not getting the high tech suit until you start swimming on a team again and establish yourself. A pair of nice jammers will do just fine to get you back into shape. As far as work outs go I'd suggest at least an every other day workout routine in and out of the water just to get your endurance back up and ready to race. My workouts usually consist of a 200m choice warmup then go into a specific area like sprints, distance, or turns. Sprints are done by sprinting a 25 then walk back around as a breather then repeat as necessary, each sprint putting more speed into it. An awesome distance workout is to work on your 500m time. I hated the 500 back in HS but I always had to swim it in every meet. Turns can be done by starting in the middle of the pool, sprint towards the wall, turn and repeat. Hope this helped and lemme know if you have any questions!

    i n c u b u s on
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  • wallabeeXwallabeeX Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    I swam competetively from 9-15 and then got into computers and less interested in competition.

    That said, this past spring I picked it back up when I was unemployed as something to keep me motivated every day. At the time I was just happy to swim any amount of distance - what you'll find when you first get back into the pool is that you're not quite what you were when you stopped. It's a lot of relearning things as simple as flipturns, but it all comes back pretty quickly.

    Nowadays I'm at the point where it's a really good point in my day to think, so I tend to go distance. I usually swim a 500 of back, 500 of breast, and 500 of crawl, with an additional 500 of mixed kickboard / drag buoy.

    It keeps me pretty well worked out, and I've been losing a lot of weight / gaining muscle.

    wallabeeX on
  • BasarBasar IstanbulRegistered User regular
    edited August 2008
    Woah!

    So awesome to have you other swimmers around!

    incubus: That's great that you wanna start up again. Actually we can use this thread as a swimmer's thread about posting our routines, workouts, times, etc. I am not gonna get the high tech suite for a while as you suggested, I'll probably look too gooffy in it anyway. My initial plan is to increase my workout to 2000 meters. Last night I was able to swim 1320 meters under 30 minutes with some rest every 330 meters (my pool is oddly sized, 33 meters in lenght, so its 20 laps). I also do the 100 pushup challenge so I am going to swim on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturday and Sundays. 4 days a week should give me a pretty good pace to improve, right?

    wallabeeX: Same thing happened with me. At age 17 or so I began more interested in computers, more specificly Counter-Strike and stopped it :( I swam once a week or so at the indoor pool in Virginia Tech but never really got too serious about it.

    What do you guys recommend for warming up and cooling down?

    Basar on
    i live in a country with a batshit crazy president and no, english is not my first language

  • i n c u b u si n c u b u s Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    Yea sounds good, I start college again next week and we have a pool on campus so I think I'll make it a habit to work out before I head home from classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays and on the weekends. So you're from VA? Thats where I swam competitively at, where are you from? And as far as warmups and cool downs go, on my teams they pretty much had me do a 200 for each of choice.

    i n c u b u s on
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  • i n c u b u si n c u b u s Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    Also Phelps is a frickin beast!!! That relay he was on the other day was INSANE. Its always exciting to see a race won just by a single tap.

    i n c u b u s on
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  • BasarBasar IstanbulRegistered User regular
    edited August 2008
    I am Turkish but moved to the U.S. in 2000 to finish up high school as a foreign exchange student. Then I headed to Virginia Tech to get myself a "cool" engineering degree but decided I didn't want to be an engineer cause I had zero social life during my first year and transfered to Finance + Biz. Admin. Anyways, then I lived in the U.S. for another two years and moved back home in 2007 (most regretful decision of my life ever). Now I am heading to Spain in a month or so.

    About Phelps, yeah, he is amazing. I guess that's the reward you get for swimming 7 hours a day since age 5, no weekends, no holidays, nothing. AMAZING. Me and my father were watching the 4 x 200 freestyle relay and after Phelps was done, we looked at each other and were like "WTF? I could race after him and still win the race."

    Haha :D

    What kind of googles do you use? Just regular Speedos? I wonder how those single piece googles work :)

    Also, apparently these are awesome: http://www.finisinc.com/products-swimp3.shtml

    They are only 256 mbs but that's enough for training and they transmit sound through the cheekbones via vibrations! Frickin tech that is!

    Basar on
    i live in a country with a batshit crazy president and no, english is not my first language

  • FletchsmFletchsm Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    Was just looking at joining the YMCA today for their pool and then this thread shows up.

    And just so I add something, short article on working up to a swimming a mile in 6 weeks.

    zero to one mile

    Fletchsm on
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  • Namel3ssNamel3ss Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    I was on the swim team in high school and I was in great shape. I would like to get back into this, but there really are not any pools around here for lapswimming except at a $200 a month gym. Too much when I can just go running for free. Maybe I should shop around more.

    Namel3ss on
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  • GrundlestiltskinGrundlestiltskin Behind you!Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    Edit: Nevermind. Pointless post.

    Grundlestiltskin on
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  • wunderbarwunderbar What Have I Done? Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    I swam on the high school swim team, and still lifeguard part time. I actually dont' swim as much as I used to, but still hit the pool once a week or so for a good swim. I usually swim 1km of front crawl and that's about it. When I do the treadmill or bike at the gym I'll often go for a quick 400m at the pool after as my cool down.

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  • LondonBridgeLondonBridge __BANNED USERS regular
    edited August 2008
    Join the Coast Guard as they will swim the heck out of you!

    Using water weights is great exercise too.

    LondonBridge on
  • BasarBasar IstanbulRegistered User regular
    edited August 2008
    Hah! 1650 meters today, which is just about a mile.

    330 x 1 Butterfly
    330 x 4 Front Crawl

    Dead tired now!

    Basar on
    i live in a country with a batshit crazy president and no, english is not my first language

  • TalTal Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    I swim twice a week. One day for distance, one day for intervals. I only do the crawl though since it's for triathlon.

    I'm not sure I have any advice for you, seeing as I was psyched to knock out a sub 31 minute 2000m the other day. Maybe flip turns will shave 5 minutes off my time? :lol:

    Working on core strength might not be a bad idea. The stronger the core the easier it is to skim the top of the water, correct?

    Tal on
  • yourspaceholidayyourspaceholiday Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    Fletchsm wrote: »
    Was just looking at joining the YMCA today for their pool and then this thread shows up.

    And just so I add something, short article on working up to a swimming a mile in 6 weeks.

    zero to one mile

    Thanks! This is exactly what I needed to start a serious swimming regiment. I'd like to start doing some triathlons, but I've never swam competitively, so something like this is great.

    As far as gear goes. I'm assuming goggles are a good idea, right? What about swimwear? I have a pair of regular ol' swim trunks, but I'm just going to be training for a while, not competing. Should I bother with a crazy suit, or no?

    yourspaceholiday on
  • Ramen NoodleRamen Noodle whoa, god has a picture of me! Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    When I swim I wear a Speedo Jammer (speedo that goes down to the knees, essentially). They're good for all around swimming (I have one for practice, one for competition), and create far less drag than a pair of trunks would. If you can get one definitely go for it, they run about 30 to 40 dollars. Goggles I use Speedo Vanquishers (I'm not being paid, honest.) which run around 13-15 bucks but are great. To each his own on goggles though, if you like a pair of goggles better then I'd say use the ones you like the most. I just prefer the vanquishers.

    Ramen Noodle on
  • ThylacineThylacine Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    I was on swim team for a few years as a kid/teen, but I moved a lot and gave it up around 14 or 15 when I had a coach who treated me unfairly. I've always enjoyed it, and worked but I never won anything...which is probably why :-/. I've been told it's probably because I don't have a "swimmers build". I'm 5'3", and even when I weighed 110 I still have a large chest and a butt even when I was young.

    It's been 10 years since I've done any swimming besides playing in the pool or river. I did go swim laps about a year ago at a gym...but it was $4 every time I wanted to swim, or a hefty membership fee so I didn't go back. I have never been good at running...I always feel like I over heat and can't breath. But even out of shape as I was I swam for almost an hour strait without stopping and didn't have the breathing problems....I felt pretty good until I tried to get out of the pool and my legs were tired as hell!


    I want to get back into swimming to lose about 25lbs but whenever I read about swimming it keeps going on about technique..makes me wonder if I'll even remember any of this technique stuff. I still want to try getting back into it though. I've never cared much about being fast or beating other people. When school starts back up, it's about a 2 miles from my apartment to the campus pool. I am thinking about riding my bike up there for a warm up and swimming 2 or 3 times a week. I suppose 2 miles is a pretty big warm up though.

    Thylacine on
  • BasarBasar IstanbulRegistered User regular
    edited August 2008
    Thylacine wrote: »
    I was on swim team for a few years as a kid/teen, but I moved a lot and gave it up around 14 or 15 when I had a coach who treated me unfairly. I've always enjoyed it, and worked but I never won anything...which is probably why :-/. I've been told it's probably because I don't have a "swimmers build". I'm 5'3", and even when I weighed 110 I still have a large chest and a butt even when I was young.

    I think this is probably why a lot of people get distant from swimming.
    It's been 10 years since I've done any swimming besides playing in the pool or river. I did go swim laps about a year ago at a gym...but it was $4 every time I wanted to swim, or a hefty membership fee so I didn't go back. I have never been good at running...I always feel like I over heat and can't breath. But even out of shape as I was I swam for almost an hour strait without stopping and didn't have the breathing problems....I felt pretty good until I tried to get out of the pool and my legs were tired as hell!

    Hmmm maybe your feet strokes (or whatever the heck you call them in English) are not properly done? Your legs shouldn't get that tired. How many times were you kicking them up and down between how many strokes? You don't have to do as many as possible feet strokes as they are done not to speed you up but rather balance your oxygen filled chest. Also $4 / swim is not bad compared to some I have seen in big cities like Washington DC / NYC = $20 o_O If you swam twice a week, that would be like $32 bucks a month, which is certainly less than most pool memberships.
    I want to get back into swimming to lose about 25lbs but whenever I read about swimming it keeps going on about technique..makes me wonder if I'll even remember any of this technique stuff. I still want to try getting back into it though. I've never cared much about being fast or beating other people. When school starts back up, it's about a 2 miles from my apartment to the campus pool. I am thinking about riding my bike up there for a warm up and swimming 2 or 3 times a week. I suppose 2 miles is a pretty big warm up though.

    Well your technique is important, as you have mentioned above, it can affect your endurance. But most people's technique improves overtime regardless of their routine as long as they stay in the pool for a while. Since you are not going to compete for the Olympics, most of the technical stuff easily learnable. Ask here if you have questions about technique, I haven't swam for a long time myself but just got back in the pool yesterday to do a mile and still all good :)

    Basar on
    i live in a country with a batshit crazy president and no, english is not my first language

  • ThylacineThylacine Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    Basar wrote: »
    Thylacine wrote: »
    I was on swim team for a few years as a kid/teen, but I moved a lot and gave it up around 14 or 15 when I had a coach who treated me unfairly. I've always enjoyed it, and worked but I never won anything...which is probably why :-/. I've been told it's probably because I don't have a "swimmers build". I'm 5'3", and even when I weighed 110 I still have a large chest and a butt even when I was young.

    I think this is probably why a lot of people get distant from swimming.

    Yeah, more than likely. I never really felt upset that I didn't win, but since I didn't win I got less and less meets and more assfacery from the coach. I really did put in an honest effort, but I knew I was never really destined for the olympics or anything....swimming is just fun for me..
    Hmmm maybe your feet strokes (or whatever the heck you call them in English) are not properly done? Your legs shouldn't get that tired. How many times were you kicking them up and down between how many strokes? You don't have to do as many as possible feet strokes as they are done not to speed you up but rather balance your oxygen filled chest.

    You very well might be right about me kicking too much, though I think it's more of the fact that I've become pretty out of shape/lazy as hell over the last few years that an hour straight of swimming wore me out. I pushed on well past the whole comfortable phase, aiming for tired :-P.

    Anyway, thanks for the advice. :) I will ask if I have questions. I probably will head down to the pool sometime soon...talking about it again makes me want to swim.

    Thylacine on
  • DaxonDaxon Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    God damnit I want to start swimming again but a couple of months back the only pool in the entire town had to be rebuilt because the foundations had been failing for the past ten years or something... I guess I'll have to wait until I move to London to get swimming again.

    Daxon on
  • BasarBasar IstanbulRegistered User regular
    edited August 2008
    Well a great way to improve your technique is to get a friend record a movie of you swimming and post it online. USMS website is pretty good. There are many many licensed coaches there.

    Another critical mistake most people do is pushing for too many strokes. Your goal should be to cover as much distance as possible with the fewest strokes. There have been numerous scientific studies showing that most medal winning swimmers are the ones who stroke the least amount. You can improve your swimming a lot if you work on that.

    Basar on
    i live in a country with a batshit crazy president and no, english is not my first language

  • i n c u b u si n c u b u s Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    So I've been doing some dryland training to prepare for my swim workouts starting in two weeks. Running about 3 miles a day and lifting lightly.

    i n c u b u s on
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  • BasarBasar IstanbulRegistered User regular
    edited August 2008
    That's great. I need to do some running myself but can't get myself to do it. It's too damn hot here during the day and I get too lazy in the evening.

    I did 330 x 2 breaststroke, 132 butterfly and 330 x 3 front crawl today.

    I think joining a team will boost my motivation. I was really bored today :s Or I need to get those Swimp3 mp3 player quick. Oh well.

    Basar on
    i live in a country with a batshit crazy president and no, english is not my first language

  • i n c u b u si n c u b u s Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    Not bad, and yea I'd say go for it. Teams not only boost your moral but the practices are the best workouts. Although are there any teams out there for 20+?

    i n c u b u s on
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  • BasarBasar IstanbulRegistered User regular
    edited August 2008
    Of course. My 40 year old cousin joined a team in DC.

    Basar on
    i live in a country with a batshit crazy president and no, english is not my first language

  • i n c u b u si n c u b u s Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    My thing is I live in Alabama, swimming is not common here. The high school team here doesn't even have enough kids to fill a relay...

    i n c u b u s on
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  • Sheep Have WoolSheep Have Wool Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    Former coach here, actually, and I've been swimming since I was um...7? I just started up again after an extended break, but I swam competively though high school and coached through college. My events were 50/100 Free, 100 Fly (silly long distance swimmers.)

    For extended workouts, I highly suggest some Swedish goggles, as they're dirt cheap and incredibly comfortable/non leaky. If you're just getting started again, I'd suggest doing some technique work as a part of your workouts, as you'll have less chance of injury (like screwing up your shoulder) and you'll start to build endurance/speed faster.

    Thou shalt stretch before swimming. Also, this has a couple of decent drills - catch up and fingertip drag are especially good for teaching yourself how to lengthen your stroke. I don't particularly like the use of catch-up with a kick board, but some other people do. Also, to help you remember how to swim on your side rather than flat, try doing some 10-10 (ten kicks on your side, one arm in front, other at your side, then take a stroke as you roll to the other side, 10 kicks there, repeat.)

    Sheep Have Wool on
  • KatholicKatholic Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    Basar wrote: »
    That's great. I need to do some running myself but can't get myself to do it. It's too damn hot here during the day and I get too lazy in the evening.

    I did 330 x 2 breaststroke, 132 butterfly and 330 x 3 front crawl today.

    I think joining a team will boost my motivation. I was really bored today :s Or I need to get those Swimp3 mp3 player quick. Oh well.

    Why such high distance?

    Katholic on
  • BasarBasar IstanbulRegistered User regular
    edited August 2008
    Thanks for all the advice Sheep Have Wool.

    Katholic: I have gained like 20 lbs since I graduated from college and I want to use swimming as a tool to toning my body, getting rid of some belly. I guess I could do HIIT in the pool by a sprint one way, and a slower on way back but I like distance swimming (even though I am worse at it than sprinting).

    By the way, you guys see my post in the fitness thread?
    Basar wrote: »
    So do you all wanna know what Michael Phelps' diet looks like?

    According to an interview, a grand total of 12,000 calories per day.

    He says:
    "I eat pretty much whatever I want. I don't have a strict diet. It's all about cramming in as many calories into my system as I possibly can. To be honest with you, I have a tough time keeping weight on."

    Breakfast: 3 fried egg sandwiches, 2 cups coffee, 5-egg omlette, bowl of grits, 3 pieces of french toast, 3 chocolate chip pancakes

    Lunch: 1 pound pasta, 2 ham and cheese sandwiches, energy drink (1,000 calorie)

    Dinner: 1 pound pasta, 1 large pizza, energy drink (1,000 calorie)
    http://sports.yahoo.com/olympics/beijing/blog/fourth_place_medal/post/Michael-Phelps?urn=oly,100671

    Basar on
    i live in a country with a batshit crazy president and no, english is not my first language

  • ThylacineThylacine Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    12,000? Damn. He should go to 3rd world countries for a good will tour or something :winky:

    Thylacine on
  • yourspaceholidayyourspaceholiday Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    As far as distance training goes, does that "Mile in 6 weeks sound good"? I figure it's a good starting point, and afterwards I'll be able to increase on my own since I'll have a little bit of a clue about swimming distances. It seems weird shooting for one mile, since I'm coming from a running/cycling background, but I guess that water stuff's pretty thick compared to air.

    yourspaceholiday on
  • HalibutHalibut Passion Fish Swimming in obscurity.Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    Man, a swimming thread! I swam competitively for a good portion of my life (7 - 19), and did pretty well for myself. Unfortunately, I never had more than a year of continuous training because I moved around so much (dad is a petroleum engineer and my parents are divorced), and when I started college, I had to drop swimming to keep up with my school work.

    At my peak physical condition in high school, I was swimming 20,000 yards a day. I was on a team that didn't really work out though (the coach was more interested in money and being an asshole than coaching). I left and found a coach who emphasized technique and my times really started dropping. I am a backstroker and a sprinter/midrange swimmer. These were the fastest times I ever swam (yards) in my best events:

    100 back: 53.2
    200 back: 1:56.9
    100 free: 48.3
    200 free: 1:48.6

    Anyway, 6 years later, I started to swim again, and I am starting to fall in love again. I swim with a friend from high school so that I have more motivation to keep going. My friend swims with a drag suit (kind of a loose speedo), and I swim with some long trunks mainly because I want to lose some weight before I spend money on a real suit. We both use Swedish goggles because they are pretty much the most awesome goggles ever.

    One of my favorite new workouts is based on the fibonacci sequence. Basically start at index=0 and work your way up:
    100
    100 100
    100 100 200
    100 100 200 300
    100 100 200 300 500
    ...etc. I try to swim the last of each index fastest out of the set (the ones in bold). I swim each set at a 1:45/100 pace, but I try to swim at a 1:30 pace so that I get about 15 seconds of rest per hundred.

    tl;dr happy to be talking swimming again :)

    Halibut on
  • yourspaceholidayyourspaceholiday Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    So I suck. I can barely do 100 meters at a time, and I feel like my heart is going to explode. The main problem, I decided, is my arms. Most of the propulsion came from my legs, which makes sense because I'm a runner and cyclist, but man my arms were dead. Any good lifting regiments specifically aimed to help with that? I'm assuming the only thing that's gonna help the whole "my heart feels like it's going to explode" thing is to swim more, right?

    yourspaceholiday on
  • SkylineCollapseSkylineCollapse Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    does anyone actually have one of those Swimp3 things? is it any good? oh man, the pool here just opened up winter hours so i can actually go when i get off work in the morning.

    SkylineCollapse on
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  • HalibutHalibut Passion Fish Swimming in obscurity.Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    So I suck. I can barely do 100 meters at a time, and I feel like my heart is going to explode. The main problem, I decided, is my arms. Most of the propulsion came from my legs, which makes sense because I'm a runner and cyclist, but man my arms were dead. Any good lifting regiments specifically aimed to help with that? I'm assuming the only thing that's gonna help the whole "my heart feels like it's going to explode" thing is to swim more, right?

    Focusing on triceps and shoulders/lats will do you a lot of good. Abs, chest, and legs would come next. The best thing though is to just keep swimming. Eventually you will get to the point where the motion becomes natural and your arms will stop feeling like 100 lb weights.

    The reason your heart feels like it is going to explode is probably because you are kicking so hard. It takes a lot more effort to move with your legs in the water than it does to run or bike. Also, the importance of technique cannot be overstated. If you are serious about swimming, it would do you a great deal of good to find someone who can show you proper technique.

    Halibut on
  • BobCescaBobCesca Is a girl Birmingham, UKRegistered User regular
    edited August 2008
    Halibut wrote: »
    So I suck. I can barely do 100 meters at a time, and I feel like my heart is going to explode. The main problem, I decided, is my arms. Most of the propulsion came from my legs, which makes sense because I'm a runner and cyclist, but man my arms were dead. Any good lifting regiments specifically aimed to help with that? I'm assuming the only thing that's gonna help the whole "my heart feels like it's going to explode" thing is to swim more, right?

    Focusing on triceps and shoulders/lats will do you a lot of good. Abs, chest, and legs would come next. The best thing though is to just keep swimming. Eventually you will get to the point where the motion becomes natural and your arms will stop feeling like 100 lb weights.

    The reason your heart feels like it is going to explode is probably because you are kicking so hard. It takes a lot more effort to move with your legs in the water than it does to run or bike. Also, the importance of technique cannot be overstated. If you are serious about swimming, it would do you a great deal of good to find someone who can show you proper technique.

    Technique for freestyle. The first thing to help actually getting some propulsion with your arms is to make sure that you do an s-shape (or backwards s with the left arm) for the underwater part of each stroke with a slightly cupped hand. This means you actually pull yourself through the water. This also leaves you in the best position to bring each arm up in a good position with a nice bent elbow essentially giving each arm a rest before starting the stroke again. With your legs, think of it more as an ankle kick rather than a leg kick. Make sure your ankles are nice and relaxed and kinda floppy.

    Also, if you can't do 100m in one go, doesn't matter. do 50m, rest for a minute, do another 50m and once you've got used to it after a few sessions you'll be able to build up.

    Another important thing is to remember not to lift your entire head out of the pool to breathe. A nice training pattern (not racing but taking it fairly easy) is to breathe every third stroke. You want to put your head to the side just enough that you can breathe without choking to death...you can train yourself to essentially breathe with half your mouth open.

    (ASA accredited swimming teacher)

    BobCesca on
  • BasarBasar IstanbulRegistered User regular
    edited August 2008
    Another thing I would add is to push down your chest as you stroke and keep your head down at all times, not just when you breathe. Pushing down your chest will actually help you with your feet as well, the lift you get from the pool will help balance your feet with your chest. Make sure your body is stretched to the longest possible shape in water so even if your arms form an S as Bob mentioned, your body should not form an S, C, or W :) Remember, your goal is to increase your stroke length, not your stroke frequency :)

    Basar on
    i live in a country with a batshit crazy president and no, english is not my first language

  • Sheep Have WoolSheep Have Wool Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    So I suck. I can barely do 100 meters at a time, and I feel like my heart is going to explode. The main problem, I decided, is my arms. Most of the propulsion came from my legs, which makes sense because I'm a runner and cyclist, but man my arms were dead. Any good lifting regiments specifically aimed to help with that? I'm assuming the only thing that's gonna help the whole "my heart feels like it's going to explode" thing is to swim more, right?

    As Basar said, you're probably swimming "uphill" in this case, and it also sounds like you'll need to get some work developing your stroke again. You probably also need to learn to get comfortable in the water again rather than fighting against it. It doesn't take a ton of muscle to swim, as long as you've got proper technique.

    Again, stretch before swimming or I will appear on the deck and yell at you. You will also warm up in some way.

    First, don't worry about speed. Or distance. They will come. Second, if you're a runner/cyclist (ah, triathletes), you're probably kicking incorrectly, as they tend to kick like they run/cycle. My favorite "develop a stroke" routine goes like this:

    10/10 - Lay on your side, with one arm extended above your head, and the other down along your side. You can turn your head to the side to breathe, but you should generally have your face down in the water. Kick 10 times, then take a stroke, rolling all the way onto your other side. Repeat. Your kick should NOT come from your knees - it should come from your thighs. You'll want to keep your legs generally straight without locking your knees.
    Focus on: Swimming on your side. The more you are on your side, the more streamlined you become. This drill is also good for helping you become more comfortable breathing to the side again rather than picking your head up out of the water.

    5/3/5 - Same as above, but 5 kicks/3 strokes/5 kicks.
    Focus on: Rolling your hips from side to side during the stroke. Your body should never be parallel to the bottom of the pool for more than an instant while you roll from side to side. You also have to breathe to both sides during this drill - bonus!

    Catch up - Swim freestyle, but leave one arm out in front until the other catches up with it (ie. you should reach a streamline for a moment). Take a stroke with the other arm; repeat.
    Focus on: Lengthening your stroke while maintaining a side to side rhythm. You should only be flat on your stomach the instant the other hand catches up with the other, then begin rolling.

    I like to do 100's or 200's, broken up into 25's/50's of those 3 drills with a 25/50 of freestyle at the end. Speed is not important here. If you feel like you're about to die, slow down, but try your best not to stop - you're trying to develop some muscle memory here.

    After you spend time doing technique, you can do a short set. If your endurance is not where you want it, I'd suggest starting with 50's or 75's. On an interval. If you need assistance with developing an appropriate, non-slacking, non-ridiculous interval, sprint a 50 from the wall and give me your time.

    Finish with some cooldown/technique work. I'm a huge fan of the fingertip drag and thumb up the side drills at the end of workouts, as this is the time that most people start to get sloppy with their arms.

    Fingertip Drag - As you recover your arm over the water, drag your fingertips across the surface of the water past your face.
    Focus on: High elbows and keeping your arms from sweeping wide. Your arm should be coming right past your head on the recovery.

    Thumb up the Side - During the recovery portion of the stroke, drag your thumb up the side of your body.
    Focus on: Same as above.

    Sheep Have Wool on
  • i n c u b u si n c u b u s Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    (I know this won't be exactly what we usually discuss but....) Did anyone watch Phelps' 7th medal race? Simply amazing, my gf swore he was gonna lose but he pulled it out and I heard people all the way on the 4th floor going crazy. Such a great night!

    i n c u b u s on
    Platinum FC: 4941 2152 0041
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  • Beren39Beren39 Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    So I'm pretty happy this thread got started, nice to see some fellow swimmers on these forums. I've been swimming competitively since age 11 through clubs and I currently swim on my universities' varsity team. I'm also a lifeguard so it helps tremedously with stroke technique and form. You guys have been posting some pretty good tips, a favourite of mine is oxygen denial training. This basically involves (depending on your lung capacity keep in mind) swimming 50 metres underwater (so one lap or more depending on pool size) then swimming a 50 metre freestyle sprint at full speed capacity. It really conditions you to the low oxygen conditions you often have to compete under depending on your prefered breath to pull ratios (for freestyle anyway). Once you can pull off those 50 metres in under 30 seconds with that lactic acid burden, you are set! On an additional note Michael Phelps' performance is awe inspiring, one advantage I really wish I had is his hypermobile ankles, the additional power in his flutter kick is phenomenal.

    Beren39 on
    Go, Go, EXCALIBUR! - Trent Varsity Swim Team 2009, better watch out for me Phelps!
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  • BasarBasar IstanbulRegistered User regular
    edited August 2008
    Beren39 wrote: »
    So I'm pretty happy this thread got started, nice to see some fellow swimmers on these forums. I've been swimming competitively since age 11 through clubs and I currently swim on my universities' varsity team. I'm also a lifeguard so it helps tremedously with stroke technique and form. You guys have been posting some pretty good tips, a favourite of mine is oxygen denial training. This basically involves (depending on your lung capacity keep in mind) swimming 50 metres underwater (so one lap or more depending on pool size) then swimming a 50 metre freestyle sprint at full speed capacity. It really conditions you to the low oxygen conditions you often have to compete under depending on your prefered breath to pull ratios (for freestyle anyway). Once you can pull off those 50 metres in under 30 seconds with that lactic acid burden, you are set! On an additional note Michael Phelps' performance is awe inspiring, one advantage I really wish I had is his hypermobile ankles, the additional power in his flutter kick is phenomenal.

    That's a good tip. I'll try it tomorrow morning. I think I can do about 35-40 meters underwater without breathing.

    Basar on
    i live in a country with a batshit crazy president and no, english is not my first language

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