Yet Another Cycling Forum

General Category => The Knowledge => Health & Fitness => Topic started by: Gattopardo on August 28, 2008, 01:58:05 pm

Title: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Gattopardo on August 28, 2008, 01:58:05 pm
Well I've decided that I really should learn to swim or should I say improve my lack of swimming.

I learnt when I was younger and was a poor swimmer.  I could get my head under the water.  Well after a few water incidents I have decided that I should learn to swim.

Can anyone recomend a course that guarantees you being able to swim?

I'm think of some one on one tuition just to give me the confidence to swim.  Is this a good idea or better if its in a small group?

Any hints and tips to get the head immersion thing sorted would be really good for me.

Thanks
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: tiermat on August 28, 2008, 02:13:07 pm
I don't think ANY course will guarantee that.

However your best first port of call would be your local leisure centre, they nearly all do adult learner classes, and most will do one to one tuition for a modest extra fee (most class sizes are <6 anyway)

HTH and good luck, swimming is, IMHO, one of life's key skills, like good manners and being able walk.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: andygates on August 28, 2008, 02:25:07 pm
In 06 I needed to learn to swim after accepting a dare to do a triathlon (see where I ended up? Just did my first mile nonstop!).

I went to the local pool and booked a session with their adult swim instructor.  Then I went away and had a few practises of my own, then booked another session, and after the third such session I was getting there. 

I'd recommend the on-on-one approach.  You don't have to bother with any of that "looking all back-of-the-bus" angst that you might get in a class.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Gattopardo on August 28, 2008, 02:32:05 pm
I don't think ANY course will guarantee that.

However your best first port of call would be your local leisure centre, they nearly all do adult learner classes, and most will do one to one tuition for a modest extra fee (most class sizes are <6 anyway)

HTH and good luck, swimming is, IMHO, one of life's key skills, like good manners and being able walk.

I've looked in to some of the course and group seem to be £120-140 for six - eight week courses or around £190 for six half hour one on ones.  Both seem pricey as I may not be able to get over the putting my head under water thing.

I also can't swim by myself as I panic I'll drown.  Almost did a few years ago in my friends pool hence the fear now.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Gattopardo on August 28, 2008, 02:33:42 pm
In 06 I needed to learn to swim after accepting a dare to do a triathlon (see where I ended up? Just did my first mile nonstop!).

I went to the local pool and booked a session with their adult swim instructor.  Then I went away and had a few practises of my own, then booked another session, and after the third such session I was getting there. 

I'd recommend the on-on-one approach.  You don't have to bother with any of that "looking all back-of-the-bus" angst that you might get in a class.

That seems like a good approach unfortunatly from what I've found is that my pools are run by comapnies so don't do instructors for individual lessons but will only block book.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Sergeant Pluck on August 28, 2008, 02:39:17 pm
I was looking into this a while back. At that time none of the local classes suited me time-wise so I abandoned, but I'd like to revisit the issue. I might even consider a residential course - have you thought about that, Lynx? Get it done in one hit?

My problem with swimming is that I just sink, no matter what I do. Each attempt to swim involves at least one near-drowning  ;D. Are there certain body types that just can't do it?
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: mattc on August 28, 2008, 02:43:47 pm

I've looked in to some of the course and group seem to be £120-140 for six - eight week courses or around £190 for six half hour one on ones.  Both seem pricey as I may not be able to get over the putting my head under water thing.

I also can't swim by myself as I panic I'll drown.  Almost did a few years ago in my friends pool hence the fear now.
You sound like you've got an even worse version of what I had.

I had maybe 3-4 solo lessons, with lots of practice in between, and got to the point of happily swimming a length very slowly, and knowing I could build on that by just putting in the hours. I doubt this would have happened with scheduled group lessons. I don't think group teaching is any good for fixing these 'irrational' fears.

Money VERY well spent.

There MUST be some private instructors in your area that would do this - I'd recommend persevering and tracking them down. Try the phone book, local schools, phsyios, swimming/triathlon clubs, just keep making phone calls.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: tiermat on August 28, 2008, 02:46:00 pm
In answer to your last question SP, yes there is.

In order of most- to least able to float are:
teenage boys
adult females
teenage girls
adult males.

It's all about physiology, you see.

TBH the residential course may get you to be able to swim a length by the end of a week, BUT unless you keep going you will forget it in a month or so and be back to square one (a bit like those MCSE course that guarantee a pass after a week of classroom cramming).  Really the best option is to find a local-ish pool that offers the training in weekly 1/2 hour or 1 hour blocks and get yourself there.  Many many people are in your situation and I think it's shame.

As I a side note, I feel fortunate as I have been able to swim since an early age and managed to pass my pool life guard qualification, although it has now run out (it only lasts 3 years).  TLD is now learning to swim, and she has gone from being terrified of water to looking forward to her Saturday morning trips to the pool.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Maladict on August 28, 2008, 02:51:50 pm
I was always a poor swimmer but I went along to a local pool and did the intermediate beginners classes.  One of the best things I've done for myself over the years.  In the end I found myself in the advanced class.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: bobb on August 28, 2008, 02:58:59 pm
Can anyone recomend a course that guarantees you being able to swim?

Well, you're a mammal. So you will be able to learn to swim! I think the only thing that stops people is confidence - or rather lack of it.

Don't really have much advice as I was bunged in a pool at a very young age. I was also Essex schools champion on numerous occassions  :)  Like I said - the most important thing is confidence. Seriously, you are not going to drown! It would be interesting to have some stats on how many adults drown in public swimming pools. I bet it's hardly any. Just don't accept any invitations to parties from Michael Barrymore.....
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: tiermat on August 28, 2008, 03:05:11 pm
It would be interesting to have some stats on how many adults drown in public swimming pools. I bet it's hardly any

Correct, the number who actually suffer from terminal apnea in public swimming pools in the UK is miniscule, but then that is probably down to the training that all pool staff MUST have (even if not employed as a life guard).  From what I can remember from when I did my pool life guard training more people die of heart attacks in swimming pools that drown, and even that number is low as swimming is a low impact exercise so puts less stress on the heart (and indeed is generally recommended as the first sport a heart patient should attempt)

EDIT, the only figures I could find were for 2002, when 7 people drown in swimming pools in the UK, but that figure is not divided up into public/private pools
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: andygates on August 28, 2008, 03:18:52 pm
I'd say definitely the one-on-one.  A good instructor - go by feel - will keep you calm and progress at your pace, plus you don't have to commit to a whole course, so if you don't get on (I hate the "booyah! no pain no gain!" ones) you just waste one session.

Your issues are psychological, and getting in there with someone who supports the counter-issue (viz: swimming is something you can do and it's fun) they'll be challenged and eventually clubbed over the head with a stick made of Achievement and Win. :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: cometworm on August 28, 2008, 03:19:09 pm
Check out swimfortri or Stephanie Ellis. Both can do one-on-one lessons afaik.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: bobb on August 28, 2008, 03:20:03 pm
It would be interesting to have some stats on how many adults drown in public swimming pools. I bet it's hardly any

Correct, the number who actually suffer from terminal apnea in public swimming pools in the UK is miniscule, but then that is probably down to the training that all pool staff MUST have (even if not employed as a life guard).  From what I can remember from when I did my pool life guard training more people die of heart attacks in swimming pools that drown, and even that number is low as swimming is a low impact exercise so puts less stress on the heart (and indeed is generally recommended as the first sport a heart patient should attempt)

EDIT, the only figures I could find were for 2002, when 7 people drown in swimming pools in the UK, but that figure is not divided up into public/private pools

Indeed, I have much respect for lifeguards. When I was a kid my mate decided to launch himself off the 5 metre platform to land as close as possible to me. He landed close alright - he drove his chin into the top of my skull!! He was unconscious and I was seriously dazed. We were soon fished out though and taken to A&E to be stitched up.

I also had a surfboard/face incident at a beach in Sydney a few years ago - again, lifegaurds were straight in dragging my semi-conscious body out of the drink and dropping me off at the medical centre to have my upper lip stitched back onto my face.

Loads of respect for those guys - you're in safe hands....
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: mattc on August 28, 2008, 03:23:46 pm
Pools and busy beaches may be very safe, but it's the canals, rivers and lakes you have to watch.

Strong swimmers are statistically far more likely to drown than non-swimmers.

+1 for us crap swimmers who timidly stick to the shallow end!
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: andygates on August 28, 2008, 03:38:04 pm
Strong swimmers take risks - we went out for a sea-swim last year and got caught by the tide at Elie, in Fife.  For about ten minutes we were both swimming as hard as we could and got *nowhere*, then had a little revelation that if we didn't swim harder NOW, before we got tired, our wetsuited bodies would wash up in Norway.

Or worse, we'd end up as those idiots on the telly being rescued. 

We swam harder.  Afterwards, it was exhilerating.  But mostly, it was just stupid.   :-[
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Gattopardo on August 28, 2008, 03:43:46 pm
Strong swimmers take risks - we went out for a sea-swim last year and got caught by the tide at Elie, in Fife.  For about ten minutes we were both swimming as hard as we could and got *nowhere*, then had a little revelation that if we didn't swim harder NOW, before we got tired, our wetsuited bodies would wash up in Norway.

Or worse, we'd end up as those idiots on the telly being rescued. 

We swam harder.  Afterwards, it was exhilerating.  But mostly, it was just stupid.   :-[

Thanks for sharing but that really doesn't inspire me to learn but to make sure the boat doesn't break down.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: agagisgroovy on August 28, 2008, 03:44:56 pm
It's very nice to walk up the beach after going for a swim/surf to see a sign saying 4 People Have Died on this Beach in the last 4(?) Years - Enter at Own Risk. That was at Port Nis last year on Lewis.  :o  :)
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: toekneep on August 28, 2008, 03:48:30 pm
I learnt to swim as a child at primary school although I was never particularly confident. Then as an angst ridden skinny teenager I avoided swimming pools or any situation that involved showing off my puny body to the general public. Later in life I found that I could no longer swim due to fear of the water. In my twenties a friend had a go at teaching me in Lake Windemere and that was a disaster. The only reason I didn't drown was because he had to fight me to get me out of the water and as luck would have it I was worse at fighting than swimming.

Skip a good few years and at the age of 40 I decided enough was enough, I was going to learn to swim. I enrolled in adult classes and drove there on the first night terrified. There were several moments between getting out of the car and reaching the pool edge when I nearly chickened out but somehow I made it into  the water. Over the next six weeks I managed very very slow progress and completed my first width on the last evening.

I progressed to another pool where friends went and eventually managed a length (only 25yds but hey, a length sounds good). The problem was I just never conquered the fear. After a year of regular visits I would spend an hour in the pool and maybe complete ten lengths, I even strung two together once, but the fear never subsided. I learnt to swim but I remained afraid of the water. So I gave up. I decided I would drown if I fell in a river or lake, and if I ever had the misfortune to be present when a small child fell into the water I would just have to live the rest of my life feeling like a complete failure.

I wish you all the luck in the world Lynx, and I'm sure you will succeed but please don't beat yourself up if you don't, we can't all achieve everything in life.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: tiermat on August 28, 2008, 03:49:48 pm
It's so nice for people to relate water borne death stories in such a thread, I hope I can redress the balance a little bit, I have (and my two brothers) have been swimming for over 30 years each and have yet to suffer a water borne tragedy.  this is most probably because we can swim, do it I say, learn to swim you might never need to use the skills you learn, but you can guarantee the time you do need to use them you will be glad you did (and it will be too late to start learning at that point!)
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Gattopardo on August 28, 2008, 03:51:40 pm
Check out swimfortri or Stephanie Ellis. Both can do one-on-one lessons afaik.

Thank you and have emailed them for more details.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Gattopardo on August 28, 2008, 03:53:25 pm
It's so nice for people to relate water borne death stories in such a thread, I hope I can redress the balance a little bit, I have (and my two brothers) have been swimming for over 30 years each and have yet to suffer a water borne tragedy.  this is most probably because we can swim, do it I say, learn to swim you might never need to use the skills you learn, but you can guarantee the time you do need to use them you will be glad you did (and it will be too late to start learning at that point!)

Thank you.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Gattopardo on August 28, 2008, 03:57:37 pm
I learnt to swim as a child at primary school although I was never particularly confident. Then as an angst ridden skinny teenager I avoided swimming pools or any situation that involved showing off my puny body to the general public. Later in life I found that I could no longer swim due to fear of the water. In my twenties a friend had a go at teaching me in Lake Windemere and that was a disaster. The only reason I didn't drown was because he had to fight me to get me out of the water and as luck would have it I was worse at fighting than swimming.

Skip a good few years and at the age of 40 I decided enough was enough, I was going to learn to swim. I enrolled in adult classes and drove there on the first night terrified. There were several moments between getting out of the car and reaching the pool edge when I nearly chickened out but somehow I made it into  the water. Over the next six weeks I managed very very slow progress and completed my first width on the last evening.

I progressed to another pool where friends went and eventually managed a length (only 25yds but hey, a length sounds good). The problem was I just never conquered the fear. After a year of regular visits I would spend an hour in the pool and maybe complete ten lengths, I even strung two together once, but the fear never subsided. I learnt to swim but I remained afraid of the water. So I gave up. I decided I would drown if I fell in a river or lake, and if I ever had the misfortune to be present when a small child fell into the water I would just have to live the rest of my life feeling like a complete failure.

I wish you all the luck in the world Lynx, and I'm sure you will succeed but please don't beat yourself up if you don't, we can't all achieve everything in life.

I see alot of myself in those comments.

This year we when to lanzerote and I had a swim in the pool (and the sea) after taking over an hour to just emerse myself.  This was improved by buy a pair of decent gogles for the first time ever, and that gave me better confidence to open my eyes under water.  This all had to be with the gf by myside as I was really paniced incase she was too far to save me from drowning.

Hence I want to keep the momentum up.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: toekneep on August 28, 2008, 04:00:12 pm
I learnt to swim as a child at primary school although I was never particularly confident. Then as an angst ridden skinny teenager I avoided swimming pools or any situation that involved showing off my puny body to the general public. Later in life I found that I could no longer swim due to fear of the water. In my twenties a friend had a go at teaching me in Lake Windemere and that was a disaster. The only reason I didn't drown was because he had to fight me to get me out of the water and as luck would have it I was worse at fighting than swimming.

Skip a good few years and at the age of 40 I decided enough was enough, I was going to learn to swim. I enrolled in adult classes and drove there on the first night terrified. There were several moments between getting out of the car and reaching the pool edge when I nearly chickened out but somehow I made it into  the water. Over the next six weeks I managed very very slow progress and completed my first width on the last evening.

I progressed to another pool where friends went and eventually managed a length (only 25yds but hey, a length sounds good). The problem was I just never conquered the fear. After a year of regular visits I would spend an hour in the pool and maybe complete ten lengths, I even strung two together once, but the fear never subsided. I learnt to swim but I remained afraid of the water. So I gave up. I decided I would drown if I fell in a river or lake, and if I ever had the misfortune to be present when a small child fell into the water I would just have to live the rest of my life feeling like a complete failure.

I wish you all the luck in the world Lynx, and I'm sure you will succeed but please don't beat yourself up if you don't, we can't all achieve everything in life.

I see alot of myself in those comments.

This year we when to lanzerote and I had a swim in the pool (and the sea) after taking over an hour to just emerse myself.  This was improved by buy a pair of decent gogles for the first time ever, and that gave me better confidence to open my eyes under water.  This all had to be with the gf by myside as I was really paniced incase she was too far to save me from drowning.

Hence I want to keep the momentum up.
Oh yes the goggles, I'd forgotten how important they were. I also used a nose clip which reduced the panic caused by breathing water through my nose. (But made me look like a prat.  ;D )
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: tiermat on August 28, 2008, 04:05:40 pm
Sounds like you have made the first step yourself and you are on the way, like you say keep the momentum up.

If all else fails, or you feel the need to go to the pool more often that the lessons, get a able swimmer friend to go with you for support and assistance.

If you can get out of work, go during the day, the pools are usually quietest midweek (or strangely enough midday Saturday during term time), ask the local pool when they are quiet.  Go then and just mess about in the water, don't go thinking you are going for a swim, just go with the intention of having a laugh.  Confidence in water is the number one barrier to people not swimming, and if you can remove yourself from the things that affect your confidence (usually what other people will think) then you will be more relaxed and enjoy the time in the pool more.  I have found that the midweek swimming session usually just have 3 or 4 old ladies who are there to keep their circulation going, and they aren't in the slightest bit bothered by someone getting in the water to build up their confidence (indeed most have been in your position and may well offer words of encouragement).  Just DON'T GET IN THEIR WAY, THEY ARE DEMONS!!!! :)

Swimming is a fun sport, have fun, don't see it as a chore, and once again I'll say JFDI....
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: iakobski on August 28, 2008, 04:07:20 pm
Strong swimmers take risks - we went out for a sea-swim last year and got caught by the tide at Elie, in Fife.  For about ten minutes we were both swimming as hard as we could and got *nowhere*, then had a little revelation that if we didn't swim harder NOW, before we got tired, our wetsuited bodies would wash up in Norway.

Or worse, we'd end up as those idiots on the telly being rescued. 

We swam harder.  Afterwards, it was exhilerating.  But mostly, it was just stupid.   :-[

For future reference, if you are swimming towards the beach and not getting any closer (or even further away), swim parallel to the shore for a bit (or diagonally towards it) until you find you start getting closer.

What you were in was a rip tide, it's localised: if the water is coming away from the shore at the point you're at, there has to be other water going towards the shore to replace it.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: bobb on August 28, 2008, 04:09:33 pm
Strong swimmers are statistically far more likely to drown than non-swimmers.

That is indeed true, but to give confidence to the OP, people who are not strong swimmers and end up drowning usually do so through stupidity or just plain naivety.

An adult wishing to learn/improve their swimming at a public pool is going to be in safe hands. An adult full of beer and a total lack of fear going down the beach/lake etc is asking for trouble.

Same with kids - I rescued a couple of (I'm guessing) 12 year old girls at Bude a few years ago who had got themselves into all sorts of problems. Where on Earth their parents were, I have no idea. A couple of lifeguards were starting to strip off getting ready to come in - they were very grateful for me bunging the kids on my surf board as the dudes didn't really want to get wet - the weather was awful!

Public swimming pool + common sense = remaining alive
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: andygates on August 28, 2008, 04:22:26 pm
Oh yes the goggles, I'd forgotten how important they were. I also used a nose clip which reduced the panic caused by breathing water through my nose. (But made me look like a prat.  ;D )

+1 to the nose clip, it helps a lot until you learn to breath out all the time you're underwater.

Singing helps too.  "Those magnificent men in their flying machines" was my learning-to-keep-breathing-out song.   :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Manotea on August 28, 2008, 04:37:44 pm
I was looking into this a while back. At that time none of the local classes suited me time-wise so I abandoned, but I'd like to revisit the issue. I might even consider a residential course - have you thought about that, Lynx? Get it done in one hit?

My problem with swimming is that I just sink, no matter what I do. Each attempt to swim involves at least one near-drowning  ;D. Are there certain body types that just can't do it?

Look out for sites that have 'shallow' swimming pools. Isleworth Pools and The Fountain at Brentford both have regulation 25m pools that happen to be 1m deep. Its very hard to drown yourself when you can reach out and touch the bottom or stand up any time you chose!

I first went to Isleworth when I joined an Adult improver program to sort out my front crawl. I hated swimming in shallow pools at first because they emphasised how poor my body position was in the water (my feet kept hitting the bottom!). After a while though I learnt to swim with my body level and high in the water which makes a BIG difference.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Maladict on August 28, 2008, 06:20:03 pm
If you can't swim, you can be a danger to others as well as yourself, if you end up in the water and start panicking and trying to use your mate as a floatation device.  >:(

We lived to tell the tale though.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: hairyhippy on August 28, 2008, 07:23:58 pm
I hope you can get the hang of it. I absolutely love swimming.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: SteveC on August 28, 2008, 07:57:19 pm
Quote
Well I've decided that I really should learn to swim or should I say improve my lack of swimming.

I learnt when I was younger and was a poor swimmer.  I could get my head under the water.  Well after a few water incidents I have decided that I should learn to swim.

Can anyone recomend a course that guarantees you being able to swim?

I'm think of some one on one tuition just to give me the confidence to swim.  Is this a good idea or better if its in a small group?

Any hints and tips to get the head immersion thing sorted would be really good for me.

Thanks

When I was about 5, my slightly younger cousin fell into a river in Africa (where she was living at the time).  Neither of her parents could swim and they only just managed to pull her out.  My mother, who would have been in her mid-twenties at the time, immediately signed up for swimming lessons, just in case something happened to one of us.

Over the next few years, my siblings and I learned to swim.  We're all good at it.  Most of us have swum for our schools.  My little brother ended up at county level and went to the national trials once.  Mother, in the mean time, was swimming a very sedate breast stroke, hating every second, and shouting at us if we splashed so much as a drop on her.

Eventually, she decided that, as the only one of the seven of us who didn't enjoy swimming, she had to be the one out of step, so did something about it.  I don't know if she started off with lessons, or just gritted her teeth!  Either way she ended up holding her Honours Personal Survival Award, and being a qualified swimming teacher, able to teach able bodied and disabled swimmers and other swimming teachers.  She went from totally terrified to totally dedicated.

One of her best attributes was getting others who lacked confidence to swim.  I'd recommend her to you, but I think that, at 69, she's probably stopped teaching!

If she can do it, I'm sure you can

Steve
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: SteveC on August 28, 2008, 08:04:06 pm
Any hints and tips to get the head immersion thing sorted would be really good for me.

Some specific advice on this!  (Although you'll feel a bit of an idiot at your age -- find a time when the pool is quiet)
Stand at the edge, holding onto the side, somewhere where your head is at about water level (so not at the shallow end).
Take a big breath, put your face under water (eyes open or closed, doesn't matter), and blow bubbles.  When the bubbles stop, take your face out of the water.  When you're happy with that, you can try floating, still holding onto the side, and doing the same. 

And, if you're thin, you will have problems just floating.  Once you work out how to move, that won't be an issue.  The human body is approximately the same density as water.

Hope some of that helps -- I'm with hairyhippy -- I love swimming as well and want everyone else to!

Steve
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Blade on August 28, 2008, 09:54:24 pm
I joined a beginners and improvers class 3 months ago.

I'm not afraid of the water, I go snorkelling when I'm on holiday. But I was unable to float, tread water or 'breathe' whilst attempting to swim.
The swimming group that I attend weekly at a local school pool has a dozen members of various ages and abilities. From.....'I can't put my face in the water', to...''I can just manage to do a length of the pool'.

Currently, I can float on my back for 10 minutes , tread water for 5 minutes and breathe a bit whilst swimming .Can also nearly swim a length. But I can't understand why I'm left gasping for breathe, with my heart rate WAY up after swimming a width. My technique is very bad, but at least I won't drown  ;D

Learning to swim is one of the things that I wanted to do before I get to 60. Got a year or so to get it nailed.

Good luck with your classes, I'm sure that you'll enjoy them.

Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: mattc on August 29, 2008, 09:50:31 am
Can also nearly swim a length. But I can't understand why I'm left gasping for breathe, with my heart rate WAY up after swimming a width. My technique is very bad, but at least I won't drown  ;D

I went through this. I forced myself to swim more slowly - use long slow strokes, concentrating on technique (I don't know much, but it all helps!).

This worked fine with breast stroke, but it's harder with crawl for some reason - probably just need more practice.

Of course with breaststroke you always have the 'old lady' fallback of keeping your face and hair dry, but I think in the long term this is bad for your back!
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: toekneep on August 29, 2008, 09:55:27 am
Can also nearly swim a length. But I can't understand why I'm left gasping for breathe, with my heart rate WAY up after swimming a width. My technique is very bad, but at least I won't drown  ;D

I went through this. I forced myself to swim more slowly - use long slow strokes, concentrating on technique (I don't know much, but it all helps!).

This worked fine with breast stroke, but it's harder with crawl for some reason - probably just need more practice.

Of course with breaststroke you always have the 'old lady' fallback of keeping your face and hair dry, but I think in the long term this is bad for your back!
This makes me smile. When I was managing my lengths I was thrashing from one end to the other, totally exhausted each time when one of the life guards pointed out that I was taking 32 strokes when I should be taking about 20. So I went for another length and concentrated really really hard on being relaxed and taking long slow strokes. I got to the other end feeling quite pleased with myself and looked up at the life guard. "how was that" I enquired. "Not bad", he said, "31 strokes that time".  ;D ;D
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: bobb on August 29, 2008, 11:25:34 am
All of the above (very good) comments reiterate the point of being confident.

Any good swimmer can go up and down a pool all night without shagging themselves out. They're relaxed and that's the key.

I remember going to a swimming gala hosted by David Wilkie when I was a kid. He did a length of a 33 metre pool with just 4 strokes! It certainly wasn't his quickest ever length, but he proved the point that you really don't need to put that much effort in if you're chilled and relaxed.

Also (slightly OT but still swimming!) on a scuba diving holiday, I got buddied up with this guy who was fit, healthy and young - but he caned his air on every dive. It was slightly annoying to have to come up with half a tank full when his was almost empty. The reason? He wasn't relaxed. He was a bit panicky and just sucked that air down.

We all have fears or nerves about certain things, but I'm convinced they can be overcome. If a human being is determined to learn to swim - they will be able to....
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: LEE on August 31, 2008, 09:56:17 pm
Any hints and tips to get the head immersion thing sorted would be really good for me.

Firstly, the fear of putting your head under water is a natural reflex.  It's stronger in some than others but it's nothing to worry about.

Secondly, I taught both my kids to swim by firstly getting them over this fear.

My tip is to buy some decent goggles (Speedo are good) then go to the pool (even your own bath will do).

Hold your nose, take a few deep breaths and put your heard under.  Do it in the shallow end so there's no fear.

You should notice that you don't immediately drown.
I did this with my kids long before they actually swam and they really started to enjoy the head under water experience.

Once you realise you can survive under water for 30 seconds it should give you a certain amount of confidence later on.

Next, still in the shallow end.  Go to one side, put your head under water, put your hands out in front (fingers together, pointy-style) and push off the side with your legs.  Glide for 5-10 seconds and stand up (you know you won't drown in 5 seconds now so it shouldn't be too bad).  You ain't swimming yet but just do this until you are happy gliding about .

Once you can glide about and have overcome the underwater anxiety thing you may want to book a lesson because you'll be 80% there.  Swimming, especially Breast-Stroke, is gliding with the occasional bit of arm/leg flapping.
Summary, I'd try my best to get comfortable with my head under water as much as possible, in the comfort of my own company, before going for lessons.

PS, a nose-clip helps some people.

Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: αdαmsκι on September 01, 2008, 11:27:09 am
This (http://www.guardian.co.uk/travel/2008/aug/31/watersportsholidays.sicily) was in the travel section of the observe yesterday.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: mattc on September 01, 2008, 11:43:25 am

+1 for Lee's technique. That is a much better version of the approach I stumbled through.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Gattopardo on September 01, 2008, 11:54:40 am
Thank you all, you have made me feel better about my fear.

Lee, I have bought a pair of childrens latex sealed googles as they seem to fit better than the other adult ones and actually seal around my eyes without hurting but still feeling rather strange.  The strange feeling is because I'm not used to wearing anything that close on my face.

well have decided that on wednesday (probably around Lunchtime) I am going to go and scare myself in Clapham pool for half an hour by just immersing my head and doing nothing else.

Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Jaded on September 01, 2008, 12:41:31 pm
I know it is pretty much irrelevant in the context of this thread, but it is much easier in the sea, on account of the extra buoyancy.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: LEE on September 01, 2008, 12:45:26 pm
I know it is pretty much irrelevant in the context of this thread, but it is much easier in the sea, on account of the extra buoyancy.

Stick to the shallow End of the local pool.
(The sea is full of Sharks and Turds)
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: LEE on September 01, 2008, 12:52:16 pm
Thank you all, you have made me feel better about my fear.

Lee, I have bought a pair of childrens latex sealed googles as they seem to fit better than the other adult ones and actually seal around my eyes without hurting but still feeling rather strange.  The strange feeling is because I'm not used to wearing anything that close on my face.

well have decided that on wednesday (probably around Lunchtime) I am going to go and scare myself in Clapham pool for half an hour by just immersing my head and doing nothing else.



My kids were both swimming confidently underwater before they could swim (if that makes sense). 
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Maladict on September 01, 2008, 03:10:47 pm
I never had a problem swimming under water.  It was the staying on the surface I had trouble with.  But once I'd mastered that bit I went from 1 length to 100 lengths in just a few weeks - for me it's that initial hurdle of being able to comfortably swim a length and not get to halfway and think you're going to drown.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Gattopardo on September 01, 2008, 03:14:16 pm
I know it is pretty much irrelevant in the context of this thread, but it is much easier in the sea, on account of the extra buoyancy.

Stick to the shallow End of the local pool.
(The sea is full of Sharks and Turds)

And the sea has current, swiming pools usually dont.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Jaded on September 01, 2008, 03:39:17 pm
I know it is pretty much irrelevant in the context of this thread, but it is much easier in the sea, on account of the extra buoyancy.

Stick to the shallow End of the local pool.
(The sea is full of Sharks and Turds)

And the sea has current, swiming pools usually dont.

Not all the sea has current.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: LEE on September 03, 2008, 06:06:27 pm
I know it is pretty much irrelevant in the context of this thread, but it is much easier in the sea, on account of the extra buoyancy.

Stick to the shallow End of the local pool.
(The sea is full of Sharks and Turds)

And the sea has current, swiming pools usually dont.

Not all the sea has current.

In the sea, the deep-end is 6 miles.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Gattopardo on September 03, 2008, 06:10:49 pm
I know it is pretty much irrelevant in the context of this thread, but it is much easier in the sea, on account of the extra buoyancy.

Stick to the shallow End of the local pool.
(The sea is full of Sharks and Turds)

And the sea has current, swiming pools usually dont.

Not all the sea has current.

Cool are there sultanas too ;)

Well I'm off to dip my head and panic in a pool for a few hours, after cycling 10 miles.

Wow this is supposed to be fun
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Gattopardo on September 04, 2008, 10:10:00 am
Ok did it for three quater of an hour on and off.

But found getting water up my nose really uncomfortable, so the choice is either nose clips or get used to it.  Found the googles annoying, maybe I need to get used to wearing goggles,  the fit is good but I don't like having then on.  They seem really unnatural but I suppose I'll get used to them.

Well try again on saturday or sunday.

Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: cometworm on September 04, 2008, 10:52:47 am
Ok did it for three quater of an hour on and off.

But found getting water up my nose really uncomfortable, so the choice is either nose clips or get used to it.  Found the googles annoying, maybe I need to get used to wearing goggles,  the fit is good but I don't like having then on.  They seem really unnatural but I suppose I'll get used to them.

Well try again on saturday or sunday.

Nose: as you swim, breathe out while under water. No nose clips required.

Goggles: if you don't like "normal" ones, try something like these:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Speedo-Adult-Rift-Goggle/dp/B0011NTAA6/ref=sr_1_12?ie=UTF8&s=sports&qid=1220521830&sr=1-12 (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Speedo-Adult-Rift-Goggle/dp/B0011NTAA6/ref=sr_1_12?ie=UTF8&s=sports&qid=1220521830&sr=1-12)

They don't fog as easily, they're more comfortable, and if you get into triathlons and mass starts in the water, they protect you from the damage a normal pair would do to your eyesocket if it caught somebody's heel.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Gattopardo on September 04, 2008, 12:01:22 pm
Breathing out with my mouth seemed more natural, if i was breathing out through my nose it felt like I was blowing out snot.  Also the instructor I spoke to talked about getting the breathing right.  So breathe in through mouth, exhale through mouth as I put my head through the water sort of thing.

The googles thing I think is because I'm not used to wearing them.  So will see how I get on before trying a mask.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: LEE on September 05, 2008, 04:05:59 pm
Different goggles give a different fit but, like you said, it may be because you aren't used to them, stick with it, I can't say I've ever owned 'comfortable' goggles, I usually have them so tight that they pinch my nose or give me a headache after an hour.  I think it's worth it to see clearly underwater.

Breathing out through your nose will get better and easier but, if it makes it more comfortable wear a nose clip.  They are fairly discreet now.  Do anything you need to make it better underwater.

Once you are comfortable gliding/messing about underwater the actual process of swimming on top of the water won't fill you with as much fear (because you know you can survive underwater for 30-60 seconds no problem).

Not being able to swim is 99% about the fear of going under.  It's surprising how quickly you can run out of breath if you worry about running out of breath.

If you are happy gliding under water, try gliding on the surface and maybe try a few strokes while your head is underwater.  Hey presto, you're swimming.  The rest is just a natural progression.  I learned to do front-crawl by copying what I saw on Olympics and so on.  In fact I just picked up a few tips during this Olympics and the underwater camera.
(I was keeping my arm dead straight underwater but the Olympians fold their arm and push backward close to their centre-line.  You live and learn).

Good luck.  Going to the pool and losing 'the fear' is the key.  Everyone looks like an egg-whisk and drink large quantities of the pool when they first start.

If you need motivating to go to the pool, simply put a Chris de Burgh CD on while you are in the house.  You'll soon find yourself leaving for a swim.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Julian on January 07, 2009, 11:13:01 pm
I've just been swimming.  One of the goals for this year is tri, so here we go.

I'm not a terrible swimmer, although I mainly stick to breaststroke because I'm better at it (and just as fast) as with crawl.  I was reasonable at swimming as a kid, then the long and sedentary pause set in, and I started again at the same time as I started cycling.  I got okay - fifty lengths without stopping a couple of times a week, with a bit more if I felt like it - but not brilliant.  Then cycling kind of took over (well, you can't swim to Brighton at midnight with friends, can you?), and a brief re-introduction to it was stopped by a navel piercing which objected to chlorine. 

Today I managed thirty lengths before surrendering. :-[

And that was with those long pauses where you stand at the end and pretend to be looking for someone. 

On the plus side I mainly managed a reasonable crawl, courtesy of some tips from internet coaching sites and listening in on the Herculean children's lesson that was happening at the other end of the pool (some of that lot have gills and webbed feet, I swear.)  Just need to start practising again... :)
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: cometworm on January 07, 2009, 11:16:33 pm

Got a mail today on the Serpie egroup from Stephanie Ellis, who has a course starting at the end of this month. She is highly recommended by the club and has taught loads of the Serpie triathletes. She uses some variation on total immersion, iirc.


Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: andygates on January 07, 2009, 11:24:48 pm
TI is a big fave with triathletes 'cos of its energy efficiency.

Me, I'm on a 12-week drills-n-skills course that was in last winter's 220-Tri mag.  I couldn't do 30 lengths right now unless the Saint of Killers was chasing me on a jetski.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: simonp on January 07, 2009, 11:31:42 pm
I'm trying to put TI ideas into practice again.

I did 500m this evening, first swim for a few months.  Has sorted out my sore back for now.

I used my new earplugs for the first time too.  I think they worked.  :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Julian on January 20, 2009, 10:48:04 pm
Other swimmers:  is it worth getting fins or paddles?  Do you use them, do they make a difference, and would you recommend them to someone who is nowhere near expert?  (Would these for me as basically a beginner be about as effective as putting race tyres on a BSO?)

My learn-to-tri book reckons they're essential, but then again they seem to have quite a bit of stuff down as essential.  The only one I've gone for so far is the HRM since that seemed genuinely useful for assessing training, but as yet I have not been persuaded into other 'vital training tools' or I shall be bankrupt well before I'm buff. 
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: simonp on January 21, 2009, 09:06:40 pm
I passed a milestone tonight I think.

Front crawl has always been a bit of a struggle for me.  I don't know why, but I have never been able to get into a steady rhythm with it, so I've always been limited to at most about 10-12 lengths at a time (even when being coached I never managed more than 12).

Tonight I did 33.  :thumbsup:  And it wasn't being tired that made me stop, it was the fact I said "I'll do 33 lengths tonight".  10% increase per week you see.  Once I got past the initial stage where I am still warming up and get aerobic, I felt I could go on indefinitely.  So at ln(2)/ln(1.1) I should be swimming a mile of front crawl in 7 weeks give or take.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Kathy on January 21, 2009, 09:50:54 pm
Other swimmers:  is it worth getting fins or paddles?  Do you use them, do they make a difference, and would you recommend them to someone who is nowhere near expert?  (Would these for me as basically a beginner be about as effective as putting race tyres on a BSO?)

My learn-to-tri book reckons they're essential, but then again they seem to have quite a bit of stuff down as essential.  The only one I've gone for so far is the HRM since that seemed genuinely useful for assessing training, but as yet I have not been persuaded into other 'vital training tools' or I shall be bankrupt well before I'm buff. 

You sound like you're doing pretty well. Thirty lengths used to me a real struggle for me. Some days they still are.  :-[

The only advice I can offer is to concentrate on the crawl (once you've got it to "click", it's the fastest stroke by far) and to push yourself. Always push yourself to the point that you know it's work, but not to the point where it feels like you're dying!

The other thing I've found is that cyclist legs are chunky and non-buoyant, and arms are atrophied. Practising with a pull buoy (foam block you wedge in your crotch) can help train up the arms, but as a chunky-legged cyclist, I find I need an extra-buoyant float here.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: andygates on January 21, 2009, 11:23:05 pm
Paddles and fins: no.  Nobody seems entirely sure what fins would be for.  Paddles are to develop muscle but you'll get that by swimming regularly anyway -- and if you don't get your technique good, you'll lock in a poor technique and do what I do, which is waste buckets of energy thrashing around in the water.  :)

A pull buoy (the one you hold between your legs) and a kick float (the flat torpedo thing) are 'more essential' - they let you isolate bits of your stroke to practice. 

Or you could get fist gloves (but just making fists is cheaper!).

Fisting is fun. O:-)
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Wascally Weasel on March 31, 2009, 03:08:40 pm
Before I moved office last May/June I used to swim fairly regularly at lunchtimes, 2-3 times a week minimum.  I really enjoyed it and it was really helpful in managing my weight (wasn’t too expensive either).

I also found that it really helped relax my legs if I had had a hard day on the bike the day before.  So when I moved offices, I was disappointed to find that there wasn’t a pool anywhere nearby (there are a few very expensive gyms that have small crappy pools but nothing of a useful size).  So I stopped swimming and boy, did the weight pile on.

I had plans to swim before work at home but that would have entailed a ridiculously early start, and anyway, the whole point of swimming at lunchtime was to make best use of the day.

So I’m pleased that a pool has reopened not too far from me – so hopefully I’ll be back to regular swimming and good, even weight loss (having seen the video and photo of the TRAT training ride from last Saturday, it’s very clear tat I need to lose *lots* of weight (for me and my health, not just for cycling plans).

Looking forward to my first swim in ages tomorrow  :)
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: oncemore on March 31, 2009, 08:43:18 pm
Having decided the kids ought to learn, I took 'em to the local pool....and parental pride finally drove me to swimming a length for the first time at age 45. Eventually got to about 4-5 lengths, but it wasn't very neat!

As with all such endeavours motivation is the key!
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Gattopardo on April 22, 2009, 12:59:18 pm
Well had my first adult lesson on monday.

Managed to do half a width, and do a little breast stroke.  So 12 more hour lessons to go so hopefully will keep you all updated.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: simonp on April 26, 2009, 12:08:47 am
Good start.  :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Gattopardo on April 29, 2009, 08:53:06 pm
Second lesson was good improving the breast stroke and trying to learn to swim and breathe at the same time.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: toekneep on April 29, 2009, 08:54:05 pm
Breathing is good. Not breathing was always my big mistake.  ;D
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Kathy on May 29, 2009, 03:30:04 pm
Just thought I'd resurrect this thread:

Our swimming coach took a load of video footage of us swimming, and then showed it to us explaining one by one the good (and many bad) points we each had. It's really useful - I realised that although it *feels* that my hands are entering the water smoothly and the stroke goes under my body, actually they are like a policeman signalling "stop", and sweeping out like the Loch Ness Monster's flippers at the side. And I'm breathing far too late in each stroke. And not bending my arms when I should. And I realised most of all that with my hair piled up under my swimming hat, what I look like most of all is a giant teated condom. :-[  :-[ :-[

At least my leg kick is good. Or he ran out of time to tell me all the bad things about that too.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: andygates on May 29, 2009, 04:55:06 pm
Correct all those, and he'll then tell you what's wrong with your legs :)
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Frenchie on May 29, 2009, 10:34:26 pm
I spend a fair amount of my time watching swimmers' videos... It is very interesting! We can use these to help athletes improve their hydrodynamic efficiency.

Kathy, your hair position (should be in your neck area) and surface (no wrinkle) are VERY important to a fast swim!
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Gattopardo on May 29, 2009, 10:40:34 pm
Hints and tips then. :thumbsup:

I'm getting better and probably better than I ever was.  Just got to sus the breathing and have even floated on my back, with noodles tho.

Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Frenchie on May 29, 2009, 10:47:17 pm
Hints and tips then. :thumbsup:


Watch; just before 2012.  ;)
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Kathy on May 29, 2009, 11:14:31 pm
Kathy, your hair position (should be in your neck area) and surface (no wrinkle) are VERY important to a fast swim!

I know, but I apply an anti-chlorine mask to preven split-ends (vanity, vanity :-[ ) and it's so greasy that unless I pile my hair right up in the top of the cap it seems to slither out.  :-[
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Kathy on June 16, 2009, 10:13:56 am
Well, we have a new swimming coach (the one who videoed us has left) who had us doing an exercise where we were swimming front crawl with only one arm (the other being stretched out in front). I'm not sure what the point of that was, other than to confirm that I can't breathe when my head is under water.  :-\

I'm still working on improving my stroke based on the video, and I'm beginning to find that my lower arms are aching, so I guess that I'm using them more. I'm also getting an ache around the collarbone, which feels unpleasant and stops me really hammering it. Is this a good thing? ???
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: andygates on June 16, 2009, 01:06:20 pm
One arm drills are interesting.  They ought to train a long, gliding body shape (or just panic as you sink like a rock, in my case).

Latest comment on my stroke, from overhead viewers on a gantry, was "elbows high!" - the pull is way too deep.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Kathy on June 16, 2009, 01:17:59 pm
One arm drills are interesting.  They ought to train a long, gliding body shape (or just panic as you sink like a rock, in my case).

My sturdy cyclist legs are far stronger than my weedy arms, so without both arms, I plough along with my nose heading towards the bottom. I hate catch-up drill for that reason: I can't use my arms for propulsion, as I'm having to use all their strength for hauling my face back up to the surface to breathe.  :-[

Quote
Latest comment on my stroke, from overhead viewers on a gantry, was "elbows high!" - the pull is way too deep.

Me too. Apparently you should extend the arm forwards, but as you begin to pull it towards you you should crook it under your body, and then straighten it at the end of the stroke. At least, that's what I've been told.

A good drill I've found is to take a kick board (not a pull buoy) and wodge it between your thighs (this drill is also good for toning those too) so that as you swim along it looks like you have a polystyrene shark fin. Pull, but at the end of each stroke tap the base of your "fin" (just by your bum) before returning your arm. Make sure that your hards are shifting water throughour the stroke. It's a really good drill for finding power in the last few inches before your arm comes out of the water, and it made a difference to my speed.  :)
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Gattopardo on June 16, 2009, 01:41:11 pm
Forgot all about this.

Well as a continuation, I'm getting better and more confident.  But not ventured in to the deep end.

Well also found that a shorty wet suit makes it easier to float, or maybe it gives me more confidence but thats what I'm using at the mo.

Oh and actually floated on my backwith just two floats.

Oh and my breast stroke is all arms and legs do very little.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Kathy on June 16, 2009, 01:46:49 pm
Forgot all about this.

Well as a continuation, I'm getting better and more confident. 

Well done.  :)

Quote
But not ventured in to the deep end.

Of course not: there might be sharks in there! ;)

Quote
Oh and my breast stroke is all arms and legs do very little.

You really have to snap your legs together hard and fast for them to do anything, but even then it doesn't feel like they're doing much. Your legs are probably doing more than you think. :)
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: andygates on June 25, 2009, 11:54:06 am
Half the trick with breast stroke legs is not having them stop you dead each stroke.  Still working on that one...

But hey!  The elbows thing really really worked for me!  It allows the trunk twist to sync and drive the whole motion, so after an 11:30 500m a couple of weeks ago dying on my arse, this morning was a solid and steady 10:30 without any drama.  Very happy am I!
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: andygates on July 16, 2009, 09:31:41 am
Just spotted this really nifty stroke guide:

Wow, Check Out Our Amazing Swimming Animation, Mr Smooth! (http://www.swimsmooth.com/index.html)

Swimsmooth are a sound lot, and Mr Smooth is an animated front-crawl mannequin type effort. 
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Manotea on July 16, 2009, 10:43:26 am
Half the trick with breast stroke legs is not having them stop you dead each stroke.  Still working on that one...

But hey!  The elbows thing really really worked for me!  It allows the trunk twist to sync and drive the whole motion, so after an 11:30 500m a couple of weeks ago dying on my arse, this morning was a solid and steady 10:30 without any drama.  Very happy am I!

The best breaststroke advice I ever received was to imagine that you are swimming down a pipe, so that you keep your frontal area as small as possible and don't flail arms and legs out to the side. Sadly, this had the immediate effect of speeding up my stroke which meant that whilst I went faster I was also working a lot harder. No more leisurely pootling....
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Gattopardo on July 16, 2009, 11:13:08 am
Just spotted this really nifty stroke guide:

Wow, Check Out Our Amazing Swimming Animation, Mr Smooth! (http://www.swimsmooth.com/index.html)

Swimsmooth are a sound lot, and Mr Smooth is an animated front-crawl mannequin type effort. 

Wow thanks for that link
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: simonp on July 16, 2009, 01:19:21 pm
Went in the pool this week and I think the benefit of all the cycling training is really showing. I looked up the advanced classes but it clashes with the Monday martial arts class so I'd have to drop that. :(
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: simonp on July 16, 2009, 10:16:05 pm
I passed a milestone tonight I think.

Front crawl has always been a bit of a struggle for me.  I don't know why, but I have never been able to get into a steady rhythm with it, so I've always been limited to at most about 10-12 lengths at a time (even when being coached I never managed more than 12).

Tonight I did 33.  :thumbsup:  And it wasn't being tired that made me stop, it was the fact I said "I'll do 33 lengths tonight".  10% increase per week you see.  Once I got past the initial stage where I am still warming up and get aerobic, I felt I could go on indefinitely.  So at ln(2)/ln(1.1) I should be swimming a mile of front crawl in 7 weeks give or take.


New milestone tonight.  I've not been swimming much lately, but after Tuesday's swim and feeling a bit sore from last night's Wing Chun class, I decided to swim tonight.  I started off with the front crawl, and just got into a rhythm, and kept going (except for the odd brief pause when turning, mainly caused by coughing up stuff), and did 1600m!!!

So that's double my previous front crawl distance, out of nowhere.  ::-)
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: David Martin on October 13, 2009, 09:49:01 pm
Reviving a drowned thread..

Decided that it was high time to do something about my swimming and discovered that the Uni do a 'swim fit' class on a tuesday. So off I went. Another couple of people I know from other classes. One seriously fit lad in lane three who said it took him a year to get out of lane four (the slow lane).

So on with the class. Four lanes, about 4-6 people in each lane. Lane 1 is the fastest, 4 the slowest so for the various sets the distance for the slow lane is shorter than the faster lanes.

Front crawl/back crawl. then repeat with kick boards (legs only, I can do that) and pull buoys (crap at that) Front crawl for far longer than I can do. Various other bits and pieces. Over the hour I reckon I must have done nearly 1km which is a seriously massive distance for me. I was wasted by the end. I had started off as one of the faster lane 4 swimmers, but lack of condition and technique soon put paid to that.

Breathing still poor but improving as the session went on. I think this will do me some good. I will ache tomorrow and Thursday.

..d
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: simonp on October 13, 2009, 10:03:28 pm
I found going to coached swimming classes very helpful.  I am thinking about going to a local club that runs twice a week at a local 6th form college - though I might only be able to manage one night a week.

I have found the hundred pushups programme is making front crawl work a lot better for me as I have a lot more power in my shoulders which comes in handy.  Did 1200m tonight, took me just over half an hour.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: CrinklyLion on October 19, 2009, 01:53:41 am
I love my swimming lessons.  I promised myself a few years back, when I was swimming very regularly and clocked up between 3 and 6 miles a week of (totally rubbish, I realise with hindsight) breaststroke that once I got a proper job I'd pay for lessons and finally crack front crawl.  Crawl has the advantage, theoretically, of being quicker so you can get a mile done in less time - and of course having a range of strokes avaialble to you means that you can vary your routine and keep it a bit more interesting.

So I started in the 'Adult Improvers' just over three years ago.  And then found out that I was pregnant about 6 weeks into the term!  I kept swimming and going to the lessons, and got my first length of full stroke fly under my belt at nearly 7 months pregnant.  I took a 2 month break from 8 and a bit months, and was back in the class when the littly was just under 7 weeks old.  It took me another year to progress to making it past 2 lengths of crawl though - it's definitely my weakest stroke and is scarcely faster than my breaststroke.  I can plod along at it for 400m without feeling like I'm actually going to drown now though - which was absolutely unimaginable a year ago.  I'm now in the 'advanced' class - although I am the slowest one in there by quite some margin!  I don't get to the pool anywhere near as often as I'd like but I always get at least one swim and one aquafit class a week in.  I find swimming relaxing and invigorating and, when I had the time to do it, swimming every day whether it was a quick 20 minutes dash or a leisurely 2 hour plod was incredibly good for my physical and mental well-being.  For a start, I lost loads of weight as spending on average 9 to 10 hours a week in the water limits your cake eating opportunities!

I'd heartily recommend lessons to anyone who isn't confident, wants to brush up their technique or needs a bit of a kick up the bum to motivate them.  Plus we can get a 12 week term of 1 hour lessons for about 70 quid round here - which is unbelievably good value even without the 10 free swims they give you too!
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: David Martin on October 19, 2009, 10:50:04 am
My main problem seems to be breathing with front crawl - I must breathe out more and try to relax the breathing so I don't end up gasping for breath. How to do that though...

..d
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: mike on October 19, 2009, 10:53:11 am
My main problem seems to be breathing with front crawl - I must breathe out more and try to relax the breathing so I don't end up gasping for breath. How to do that though...

..d

have a look at Wow, Check Out Our Amazing Swimming Animation, Mr Smooth! (http://www.swimsmooth.com) - it's a brilliant site, I'm learning lots..
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: David Martin on October 19, 2009, 04:26:35 pm
My main problem seems to be breathing with front crawl - I must breathe out more and try to relax the breathing so I don't end up gasping for breath. How to do that though...

..d

have a look at Wow, Check Out Our Amazing Swimming Animation, Mr Smooth! (http://www.swimsmooth.com) - it's a brilliant site, I'm learning lots..

I have been - notes taken and will try that tomorrow evening. Breathe out more...

..d
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: saturn on October 19, 2009, 04:52:45 pm
have a look at Wow, Check Out Our Amazing Swimming Animation, Mr Smooth! (http://www.swimsmooth.com) - it's a brilliant site, I'm learning lots..

Indeed. I noted the tip about the long exhale and asked my daughter who does a lot of swimming training (for synchro not speed) if she does that and she admitted she doesn't. Maybe she'll give it a try in tonight's training session.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: David Martin on October 20, 2009, 10:35:32 pm
Session 2. My core strength isn't. Good tips on backstroke technique (stop thugging it and feel the water properly) though the exercise with arms vertically in the air/by your side for 5 s alternating was interesting. Backstroke while looking up at the surface of the water.

Rather weary now.. I think I put in a good bit of effort there.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: simonp on October 30, 2009, 12:54:27 am
I've been to swimming club two weeks in a row now.

I found last week very hard.  Lots to take in meant I was struggling to coordinate it all.

Tonight went really well despite the sore legs from Tuesday's rowing & treadmill efforts and the 3.5 pints from the pub last night.  I got some advice about how to swim more relaxed and it really clicked and though I wasn't setting the world on fire I did find I was able to swim more comfortably.  Got some positive feedback from one of the other swimmers, which was nice.  7 miles misty cycle home across Cambridge after we went to the pub after swimming.  Really enjoyed myself tonight.  Think this will be a regular thing.

Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: David Martin on November 10, 2009, 10:29:51 pm
Legs cramped again tonight. I can't do a breast stroke kick - I go backwards. Butterfly is the worlds most stupid stroke. Core fitness isn't. But >1km in under 40 mins (at which point I had to leave) is a new record for me.

I will know about it tomorrow.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: GraemeMcC on November 17, 2009, 01:09:04 pm
Forgive me if this isn't already somewhere in pages 2 - 6, but you really need to read "Total Immersion - freestyle made easy" by Terry Laughlin.

www.totalimmersion.co.uk (http://www.totalimmersion.co.uk)

www.totalimmersion.net (http://www.totalimmersion.net)

He teaches front crawl in a staged technique whereby you assemble an efficient stroke, bit by bit. Swimming is 70% technique and 30% strength. Without any technique, everyone struggles.

Read the book, look at the videos. As a cyclist-turned-triathlete who completed IronMan in 2008 from scratch, it works.

In Terry's words, "don't practice bad technique." You'll never escape.

Also, do try a club - tri clubs are good. The standard is from good to appalling (a bit like triathletes cycling skills, really)
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Manotea on November 17, 2009, 01:14:09 pm
Forgive me if this isn't already somewhere in pages 2 - 6, but you really need to read "Total Immersion - freestyle made easy" by Terry Laughlin.

www.totalimmersion.co.uk (http://www.totalimmersion.co.uk)

www.totalimmersion.net (http://www.totalimmersion.net)

He teaches front crawl in a staged technique whereby you assemble an efficient stroke, bit by bit. Swimming is 70% technique and 30% strength. Without any technique, everyone struggles.

Read the book, look at the videos. As a cyclist-turned-triathlete who completed IronMan in 2008 from scratch, it works.

In Terry's words, "don't practice bad technique." You'll never escape.

Also, do try a club - tri clubs are good. The standard is from good to appalling (a bit like triathletes cycling skills, really)
The last local workshop (Hampton) was last weekend. Bother. The next one isn't till February. Bother.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: simonp on November 17, 2009, 01:16:33 pm
Last week went a lot better for me. I did some butterfly (turns out I'm not the worst). Back stroke as well; I found that much easier that I remembered. Yay for fitness. The front crawl pull buoy drill is best not mentioned: my legs sank. They are too heavy. I need to either kick or use two buoys.

Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: David Martin on November 17, 2009, 09:00:04 pm
Better tonight. Technique is improving, though I am still single side breathing in crawl.
I cannot do a breast stroke kick. And am still slower than a slow thing in treacle. But the core strength is getting to a point where I can work on technique even when being shouted at by the coach.

..d
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: cometworm on November 17, 2009, 09:23:02 pm
We had a session with Swim for Tri last weekend in their endless pool - and I really can't recommend them too highly, it's an awesome way to learn. He also showed us some footage from the 10k open water swim in the olympics, and it's striking how little they kick! Just a tiny little flutter now and then - so if you're preparing for tri, and worrying about your kicking, or kicking so much you cramp - don't. Your body position is mostly about core strength and the front part of the stroke, not the kick.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: simonp on November 19, 2009, 06:36:06 pm
I swam 1000m last night in 27-28 minutes. It would have been around 25 if the pool had not been quite so busy and I also hadn't had to stop to retighten the useless wrist strap holding the locker key (twice). So it seems I'm a bit faster than I was.

Failed a bit on the hundred push ups afterwards though. Club again tonight. 
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: asterix on November 20, 2009, 08:41:40 am

Kicking seems to be more for speed than endurance?

I don't recall anyone teaching me to swim and I was pretty mediocre until I went to uni and found I could go every day for very little to an almost empty pool.  It was a great way to relax and I went 2-3 times a week for nearly 3 years and soon became a much better swimmer just by practice. 

Yesterday I went again for the first time in 2 years!  Fortunately I could still do it altho' some muscles are a bit tired today.   

Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: simonp on November 23, 2009, 12:00:12 am
In Thursday's swimming club I did 1700m in the hour.  This included quite a few drills (kick board, pull buoy, etc) so it's quite pleasing to still manage that many metres.  However, I'm still not getting through the entire programme in the hour.  This will take a lot of improvement to achieve.

I swam this evening after having been to the gym earlier in the day.  Again managed 1000m in under 30 minutes - this despite taking rest breaks.  I also timed myself for a 25m length of front crawl as fast as I could go - I managed about 22s.  Not exactly record breaking, but I'm sure this is faster than I could do back when I was 30.  :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: David Martin on November 24, 2009, 09:04:24 pm
Did about 1400m tonight before I got cramp. That was after 30 mins in the gym doing weights as part of a research program.

But the best thing was that I finally seemed to crack front crawl. Kept it going for 200m without much bother. The tipping point seemed to be rotating enough to get a clean release of the hand on my non-breathing side. That seems to have made a big difference, and makes it easier to start work on bilateral breathing. So I am well chuffed. I had previously struggled to do 2x 25m and there I was just cranking them out...  ;D Absolutely wasted now.. Running a stupidly high calorie deficit (1000 cals) today - my weight when I got home was lower than I have seen in many a year so I am  chuffed.

Tomorrow will be a recovery day.

Thursday I will find out what difference -3kg in body weight makes on the hill climb.

..
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: CrinklyLion on November 28, 2009, 11:04:35 pm
I still haven't properly cracked front crawl.  After 3 years of lessons!  It's just not my stroke.  But every week I get a tiny bit better - and last week I swam over a mile (including lots of drills and a bit of gossiping constructive feedback from the instructor) in the hour long lesson, and half a mile of that was front crawl.  Considering I struggled to make it up and down the pool without stopping swimming crawl a year ago, I don't think that's too shabby.

But I would still like to get back to the distances and speeds that I used to do, despite my dreadful technique, when I swam most days a few years back and was somewhat thinner and fitter.  Between 1/2 a mile and 2 miles of (rubbish) breaststroke 4 or 5 times a week.  And I could churn out a mile in about 40 minutes.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: simonp on January 15, 2010, 12:16:50 am
Back at swimming club for the first time in 6 weeks or so tonight.  "We thought we'd lost you!" they said.

I found it a little bit hard going.  It was only 3/4 of the way through the class I remembered last night's booze and this morning's mild hangover.  ::-)

However I can do some things better than before.  I think the core stability class + rowing machine + upper body weights have been doing their bit.

I also signed on the dotted line to become a member of the club rather than just a hanger-on.  I suppose yet more insanity awaits.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: David Martin on January 15, 2010, 06:37:08 pm
I have been back once since Christmas. A damaged back being the reason why not. I should be back the week after next once my back has been signed off as suitable - and can reallystart to get shot of the excess kilos that seem to adorn my frame since Christmas.

..d
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: simonp on January 22, 2010, 06:24:44 pm
After having joined the swimming cult last week they've revealed their true nature, and made me do some individual medley stuff and then /five/ /hundred/ /metres/ of pull.

I think the newbie who turned up for her first class got a bit of a shock. :)

No it wasn't just the sigh of me in my slightly yellowed speedos.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Manotea on January 22, 2010, 06:36:34 pm
Reminds me of the time I joined an improvers group organised by a chap who joined the staff of the local leisure centre. Previously a GB swimmer he had trouble understanding why we needed to train for the BT Swimathon. He came from a world where 5k was the morning session session and 1km was a warm up....
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: mattc on March 26, 2010, 12:53:39 pm
2 weeks ago swimming was the only sport I could do pain-free, due to a succesion of niggly problems. So I've been 4 times recently - surprised how uncrap I was after about a year off. (this is relative - I'm still very much a beginner).

Anyway, the saga of same-sex poolside showers continues ... this week a lady was shaving her pits, then showering off the detritus. Not sure what I can do to top that ...
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: simonp on March 26, 2010, 01:18:30 pm
I'm getting better bit by bit I think.  The problem is once I get tired technique suffers, which leads to more tired.  When I'm struggling a bit, and there's a break between the sets, I catch up just in time for them to set off again, so I don't get the break.  :facepalm:

Got to get some decent swim time in between now and when they restart in April.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: andygates on March 26, 2010, 02:05:06 pm
The trick is to identify when your form is going, and rest up.  Plugging on with bad form results in my style of "thrashing badger" swimming.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: simonp on March 26, 2010, 02:08:51 pm
The trick is to identify when your form is going, and rest up.  Plugging on with bad form results in my style of "thrashing badger" swimming.

That describes my attempt at Butterfly quite succinctly.  :)
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Rich753 on March 26, 2010, 04:44:49 pm
Forgive me if this isn't already somewhere in pages 2 - 6, but you really need to read "Total Immersion - freestyle made easy" by Terry Laughlin.

www.totalimmersion.co.uk (http://www.totalimmersion.co.uk)

www.totalimmersion.net (http://www.totalimmersion.net)

He teaches front crawl in a staged technique whereby you assemble an efficient stroke, bit by bit. Swimming is 70% technique and 30% strength. Without any technique, everyone struggles.

Read the book, look at the videos. As a cyclist-turned-triathlete who completed IronMan in 2008 from scratch, it works.

In Terry's words, "don't practice bad technique." You'll never escape.

Also, do try a club - tri clubs are good. The standard is from good to appalling (a bit like triathletes cycling skills, really)

is it realistic to learn to swim from book & video?  or do you really need personal tuition?

Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: simonp on March 28, 2010, 03:56:25 pm
I think having someone point out the flaws in your technique is invaluable. Things like needing to stretch forwards more, catching the water, head position, relaxed arms on the recovery, being flat.  I have one of my books though and it does provide a lot of the why which you don't get so much with coaching.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: mike on March 30, 2010, 02:58:29 pm
Amazing Swimming Animation With An Ideal Fast Freestyle / Front Crawl Stroke Technique. (http://www.swimsmooth.com) is good too.

1500m for me this lunchtime.  Quite sore now :)
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: andygates on March 31, 2010, 05:53:15 pm
Books and vids are ace - but it's easy to get it wrong, feel right, and plug on.  Having someone show you not how it looks but how it feels is very, very useful.  It's kinda like the reason nobody learns martial arts from the books alone.


Restarted my swimming with a speed test.  2:16 / 100m.  Work to do, oh yes... but it'll come with consistency and discipline and all that junk.   :o
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: mike on April 15, 2010, 01:56:02 pm
I had a 4 hour lesson at the weekend with Cambridge swimming academy (http://www.cambridgeswimmingacademy.co.uk/index.php)

Bloody ace. An hour in the classroom (which went much quicker than I expected), 2 and a bit hours in the pool during which we went through the theory we'd just covered, did a load of different drills and were videoed individually above & below the water, then back in the classroom to talk through the video nasty.

Damn, I swim badly :)  my reach forward is going so deep that I'm only taking about 3/4 strokes, my body is twisting about like a porpoise in a heavy swell and my leg kick is random and occasional.  And, just to add insult to injury, there's a definite thinning of the hair in the 'head on' shot    :'( 

So some time soon the DVD from the course will drop onto my doormat, together with a set of drills which they think will help me and a suggested training program to get me up to full tri distance & speed eventually.

I'm really enjoying the learning, just wish I didnt stink of chlorine the whole time!
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: mike on April 16, 2010, 10:04:50 am
Video nasty:
videos pictures by mikes99mail - Photobucket (http://s8.photobucket.com/albums/a19/mikes99mail/videos/?action=view&current=Mikeswim1.flv)

(poor quality, sorry.. new to this imovie thing)
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: starkj73 on June 15, 2010, 08:38:28 am

Just getting back into swimming. Have been trying to be aware of technique. The main problem at the minute is breathing in while doing breast stroke. I lift my head above the water but always end up with water in my mouth.

I presume I should breath in with pursed lips but through bad breathing control always need a good gulp of air.

Any advice, thanks.

Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: toontra on June 15, 2010, 09:19:26 am
A bit of a breakthrough today!  I've been going to swimming lessons for 8 months now, at least once a week, starting from scratch as I never learnt as a child.  It's been really hard as my legs sink like a stone and trawl along the bottom (too much muscle I reckon ;)), so leg action, breathing and generally staying afloat long enough to practice arm technique has been a constant struggle.

I've just got back from cycle touring in Scotland for a couple of weeks so missed 3 weeks lessons and went to the pool today expecting the worst and, lo and behold, I was freestyling in a fairly elegant way!  Everyone commented on it, including the teacher.  They all reckoned I'd been to a swimming camp for intensive training, but the opposite was true.

It makes me think that you have to lay off things for a while and come back to them fresh to see an improvement.  It just felt so relaxed and natural, rather than worrying and analysing technique too much.  I'm hoping this is the breakthrough I've been waiting for!


Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: mike on June 15, 2010, 09:29:27 am

Just getting back into swimming. Have been trying to be aware of technique. The main problem at the minute is breathing in while doing breast stroke. I lift my head above the water but always end up with water in my mouth.

I presume I should breath in with pursed lips but through bad breathing control always need a good gulp of air.

Any advice, thanks.


two things:
when are you breathing out and how far out is your head when you breath in?

I try and blow out under the water, just before breaching.  I probably sound a bit like a walrus but I'm past caring...

Can recommend 'total immersion' for a great book on how to swim front crawl much easier.   I've gone from being knackered after 2 lengths to doing 3k in about an hour, and my 'strokes per length' has gone from 25ish to about 16.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: starkj73 on June 15, 2010, 10:43:36 am

Just getting back into swimming. Have been trying to be aware of technique. The main problem at the minute is breathing in while doing breast stroke. I lift my head above the water but always end up with water in my mouth.

I presume I should breath in with pursed lips but through bad breathing control always need a good gulp of air.

Any advice, thanks.


two things:
when are you breathing out and how far out is your head when you breath in?

I try and blow out under the water, just before breaching.  I probably sound a bit like a walrus but I'm past caring...

Can recommend 'total immersion' for a great book on how to swim front crawl much easier.   I've gone from being knackered after 2 lengths to doing 3k in about an hour, and my 'strokes per length' has gone from 25ish to about 16.

I would say I blow out just before coming up. I think my head is well out of the water for breathing in. Maybe just getting a bit of splash. Back to the  pool tomorrow so will try to even the breathing out.


Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: andygates on June 15, 2010, 11:34:43 am
Start breathing out as your head re-enters the water -- there shouldn't be much breath-holding at all, just IN-ooooooout, IN-ouuuuuut...   

Also, try to concentrate on timing your breath with your pull.  As you pull, you make a wake around your head, and your mouth has plenty of clear air.   :thumbsup:
Title: Re: You know when Superman goes flying through the air with his arms out in front?
Post by: Eccentrica Gallumbits on September 01, 2012, 05:04:33 pm
I just tried 50m front crawl and nearly drowned twice.  ;D I need to see the swimming coach, I think.
Title: Re: Re: You know when Superman goes flying through the air with his arms out in front?
Post by: hellymedic on September 01, 2012, 05:26:59 pm
How are you with backstrokes? Less danger of drowning...
Title: Re: Re: You know when Superman goes flying through the air with his arms out in front?
Post by: Eccentrica Gallumbits on September 01, 2012, 05:29:22 pm
Slightly less shit. I find it quite difficult in a busy pool though, although I suppose it might be ok in roped-off lanes. I tend to veer though, so combined with other random punters randomly swimming randomly, there is potential for collision.

I promoted myself to the middle speed lane today, but only because the two othe women in the slow lane were slower than glaciers.
Title: Re: Re: You know when Superman goes flying through the air with his arms out in front?
Post by: hellymedic on September 01, 2012, 05:31:20 pm
I used to guide my steering using the ceiling lights.
Title: Re: Re: You know when Superman goes flying through the air with his arms out in front?
Post by: mattc on September 01, 2012, 05:42:51 pm
Or another option would be a hybrid stroke. I can barely crawl but for a bit more speed I often breaststroke with my arms and crawl kick with my legs.

A technique I've always favoured.  Breaststroke legs are, IMHO, silly frog impressions that look pretty but provide no useful power.  The arms actually work really well, as long as you don't have to waste too much thrust keeping your face out of the water (your BMI may vary; mine certainly has).
My legs are my least productive limbs in the pool, but i suspect this is lack of technique. My suspicion is backed up by today's 100m SB7 breaststroke: the woman not using here arms (at all) qualified 2nd, only just behind an athlete with above-the-knees amputations.

So breaststroke kicks CAN produce a lot of thrust.

(I know we're getting waaaay OT here, but I found this interesting.)
Title: Re: Re: You know when Superman goes flying through the air with his arms out in front?
Post by: Manotea on September 01, 2012, 08:27:42 pm
Yep, for breaststroke the power comes from the legkick. The upper body's main job is to get out of the way...
Title: Re: Re: You know when Superman goes flying through the air with his arms out in front?
Post by: Eccentrica Gallumbits on September 04, 2012, 12:12:25 pm
Am now engaged in email correspondence re coaching.
Title: Re: Re: You know when Superman goes flying through the air with his arms out in front?
Post by: Eccentrica Gallumbits on September 05, 2012, 05:23:41 pm
I have a swimming lesson tomorrow morning.
Title: Re: Re: You know when Superman goes flying through the air with his arms out in front?
Post by: Ariadne on September 05, 2012, 06:14:09 pm
Ooh, have fun - I took lessons a while ago and learned the crawl. I'm still rubbish at it but it's fun!
Title: Re: Re: You know when Superman goes flying through the air with his arms out in front?
Post by: Eccentrica Gallumbits on September 06, 2012, 01:06:48 pm
That was awesome! Totally worth £30 for 50 minutes!

Things I have learnt about my crawl

Things I have begun to learn to do

Nice things the instructor said

*My mum was a very good swimmer in her youth; she swam breaststroke for the county and the air force (but she was never any good at any other stroke), and she used to coach as well. She taught my brother and I to swim, the basics anyway, and then took us for "proper" learn to swim lessons at the sports centre when I was about 7 and he was about 5. She said that I had picked up the basics of the stroke immediately, but the sports centre lessons gave me the confidence to know I could do it, and she still says that she could tell immediately that I was a very good natural swimmer. At the same time, my dad's younger brother, who also swam competitively, was also teaching his kids to swim, and pushing them very hard to swim competitively, dragging them out of bed at all hours to train before school, spending the weekends ferrying them round to competitions and really making them do it. They were both good, particularly his daughter, but as soon as they got old enough to choose, they stopped. My mum says she really thinks I could have been properly good, and she asked me if I wanted to join a club, but seeing the experiences of my cousins put me right off, and I never did. She also says she caused family disharmony by telling my uncle that my cousins were good because of all their drilling, but neither of them had anywhere near the natural ability I had.  ;D

So, I'm really glad I went. My plan is to keep practising, and then book either another one-to-one session or a series of group lessons in a month's time (four or five group lessons is the same price as one individual session) if I think I need it. The main thing is to keep practising and repeating what she taught me until I'm doing it naturally.

My hip was sore by the end, but that was after 40 minutes or so, rather than the 20 minutes of breaststroke I can do without pain. We were in the diving pool, which is only 25m long. I was v excited when I did a length in 30 seconds as my time for a length of breaststroke just now is about 90 seconds (I could do it faster if my hip was better) and then I realised I'd only done 25m, not 50!  ;D


ETA: I'm still buzzing from it. It's been such a shit year, with my hip and the whooping cough. I feel like my whole year has been I can't do [insert activity of your choice] easily, or for long, or without a lot of pain, or at all, so some time spent being told that I'm doing pretty well at something has really perked me up. I have a pilates class tomorrow - might go for a swim straight after.  :D
Title: Re: Re: You know when Superman goes flying through the air with his arms out in front?
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on September 06, 2012, 02:50:31 pm
Good to have some happy stuff. Self-generated happy stuff double good.
Title: Re: Re: You know when Superman goes flying through the air with his arms out in front?
Post by: Eccentrica Gallumbits on September 07, 2012, 10:10:44 am
My arms ache today  ;D . I'm off to pilates now, and then maybe a swim to consolidate my new skillz.  :D
Title: Re: Re: You know when Superman goes flying through the air with his arms out in front?
Post by: Eccentrica Gallumbits on September 07, 2012, 01:26:09 pm
Went to pilates this morning, then for a swim. I borrowed a float and did some more of the stuff she had me doing yesterday. I think I've sussed the breathing, it's the rotation I'm really struggling with. And crawl is such harder work than breaststroke, 10 lengths took me twice as long as breaststroke would take because I kept having to stop to catch my breath. I was really pleased when they put the divider across the pool so the lengths were only 25m. I towed the divider across for them when it got stuck in the middle - very disappointed I didn't get a gold star for helpfulness  :( I was so knackered at the end I had to just sit on the bench in the cubicle for 5 minutes before I could even think about getting dried, and I was feeling very wobbly on the way home  ;D
Title: Re: Re: You know when Superman goes flying through the air with his arms out in front?
Post by: Mrs Pingu on September 10, 2012, 08:52:26 pm
Good stuff :)
Title: Re: Re: You know when Superman goes flying through the air with his arms out in front?
Post by: Eccentrica Gallumbits on September 10, 2012, 09:27:33 pm
I was aching so much in all my muscles on Saturday that I couldn't feel the pain in my hip. Decided to take a day off from exercise and did nowt. Sunday I was busy so I didn't have time anyway. Today I did 500m again (ten lengths), a mixture of front and back crawl, with a bit of breaststroke when I needed to catch my breath. I was doing better today in that I could manage half a length of front crawl without needing to stop, and I did a couple of full lengths of back crawl. Mainly though I did half a length of front crawl, buggered up my breathing, turned onto my back and finished the length as back crawl. I'm struggling with the rotation, I need more coaching with that.
Title: Re: Re: You know when Superman goes flying through the air with his arms out in front?
Post by: Eccentrica Gallumbits on September 14, 2012, 05:37:23 pm
I've gone every day this week and done 500m of a mixture of front and back crawl with the occasional breaststroke half-length when I've needed to. Today was horrible though. I couldn't go this morning because I was waiting in for a Royal Mail redelivery, and I know better than to go straight after lunch because Edinburgh schools finish at lunchtime on Fridays and it's always chocka. Plus, the Commie has a couple of hours of inflatables and stuff on Friday afternoons, so I waited till 4pm to go.

It was still awful. Half the pool was roped off for competition training, fair enough. For public swimming there was a fast lane and a bit, and a slow lane and a bit - no medium lane - and the remaining 1/4 of the pool was just left as open water. The open water was stowed out with kids practising their running bombs and just mucking about, which is fair enough, I've done my fair share of it, but it means there was hardly any space for the lane swimming. The two lanes were rammed, and because there was no medium lane, the slow lane was full of people swimming too fast for it, leading to awkward overtaking moments. If I do a length of crawl I need a couple of minutes gasping time at the end before I'm fit to go again and there just wasn't the space for that, so I had to keep doing lengths of breaststroke as recovery lengths, so I'm going to be sore later. I did ten lengths in under 20 minutes and then left because it was so horrible. I've never not enjoyed a swimming session before. I wish they'd sort out Leith Waterworld so people could do their fun swimming there.
Title: Re: Re: You know when Superman goes flying through the air with his arms out in front?
Post by: Eccentrica Gallumbits on September 18, 2012, 12:35:53 pm
I got up at 0545 today and went for a swim before work, because last night after work it was so busy it was horrible, and I accidentally smacked a woman in the face. I thought a morning swim might refresh me and make me feel joyful and wakeful, but I just want to go to bed with a bag of chips.
Title: Re: Re: You know when Superman goes flying through the air with his arms out in front?
Post by: mr magnolia on September 18, 2012, 02:11:14 pm
Get yourself down to porty pool.
Enjoy the prom and then a nice pootle home.
Title: Re: Re: You know when Superman goes flying through the air with his arms out in front?
Post by: Eccentrica Gallumbits on September 19, 2012, 03:31:02 pm
I emailed them last week about another lesson and they said they'd get back to me about a free slot on Wednesdays, but I hadn't heard anything. So I went for a swim before work this morning, and emailed them to say I'd appreciate it if you could let me know if you have an evening/weekend slot in the next couple of weeks. She emailed me back to say oh, I emailed you last week to confirm 7pm Wednesday (ie tonight) but the email didn't go, so, see you tonight.  :o

There is every chance I will fall asleep in the water.  ;D
Title: Re: Re: You know when Superman goes flying through the air with his arms out in front?
Post by: clarion on September 19, 2012, 03:35:39 pm
Well, that's good news, sort of. ;D

I must try swimming again.  I'm banned from that for weeks yet.  I know I've been riding my bike during that ban, but I think it's different.  I've got the cycling muscles, and it's better riding than being shoved around on a train.  Swimming I'm not very good at, and involves me using my arms a lot more...
Title: Re: Re: You know when Superman goes flying through the air with his arms out in front?
Post by: Eccentrica Gallumbits on September 19, 2012, 03:40:18 pm
Not easy to commute by swimming either.
Title: Re: Re: You know when Superman goes flying through the air with his arms out in front?
Post by: clarion on September 19, 2012, 03:41:39 pm
If I lived in Richmond, it'd be a grand way to get to work, but a bugger getting home. ;D

Title: Re: Re: You know when Superman goes flying through the air with his arms out in front?
Post by: Butterfly on September 19, 2012, 06:03:49 pm
You could swim up the Wandle and turn right! It might be a bit bumpy though. ;D
Title: Re: Re: You know when Superman goes flying through the air with his arms out in front?
Post by: mattc on September 19, 2012, 06:25:13 pm
Well, that's good news, sort of. ;D

I must try swimming again.  I'm banned from that for weeks yet.  I know I've been riding my bike during that ban, but I think it's different.  I've got the cycling muscles, and it's better riding than being shoved around on a train.  Swimming I'm not very good at, and involves me using my arms a lot more...
If you're a strong-ish swimmer (i.e. not me) you can make good progress with various side-on and backstroke variations, just using your feeble arm for balance. You're less likely to fall off and re-damage something, but I guess you need to pretty confident about safe 1-armed pool entry/exit [pools vary a lot in the facilities available].

I saw a program about people doing stuff like this in London; it was on CH4 earlier in the month, IIRC ...  ;D
Title: Re: Re: You know when Superman goes flying through the air with his arms out in front?
Post by: Eccentrica Gallumbits on September 19, 2012, 08:52:10 pm
That wasn't too bad. I explained to her about the email mix-up and that I was knackered from being there at stupid o'clock this morning, and said I didn't feel able to do a full hour, so she said well, you've paid for the hour so we can do half an hour tonight and half an hour next week. So we did that. I perked up a bit once I was in the water, but my legs were like lead 20 minutes in. We have established that my left arm is lovely, but my right arm really needs to buck its ideas up.

I got there a bit early so I was watching the kids having diving lessons while I waited. One girl, maybe in her early teens, looks like one to watch - she was really good, and she was going off the very highest platform. And one boy I saw was struggling with his speed and went in feet first more often than not.  ;D I liked that when either of them did something right all the coaches and the lifeguards clapped.
Title: Re: Re: You know when Superman goes flying through the air with his arms out in front?
Post by: CrinklyLion on September 21, 2012, 07:38:57 am
ETA: I'm still buzzing from it. It's been such a shit year, with my hip and the whooping cough. I feel like my whole year has been I can't do [insert activity of your choice] easily, or for long, or without a lot of pain, or at all, so some time spent being told that I'm doing pretty well at something has really perked me up. I have a pilates class tomorrow - might go for a swim straight after.  :D

That made me want to go swimming!  Which I haven't done for Far Too Long, actually.  Hmmm.... *peruses calendar*
Title: Re: Re: You know when Superman goes flying through the air with his arms out in front?
Post by: Eccentrica Gallumbits on September 26, 2012, 09:26:18 pm
Went back for my other half hour tonight, got there early and watched some of the diving again. The tiled benches around the edges of the pool are heated, which is nice when you're wet from the pre-swim shower and in just a cossie.

Tonight I was working on looooong arms, and better rotation. I am improving, but not consistently yet.
Title: Re: Re: You know when Superman goes flying through the air with his arms out in front?
Post by: Eccentrica Gallumbits on October 03, 2012, 08:46:03 pm
Had another half hour tonight, which stretched into 40+ minutes. I could tell when I swam yesterday and Monday morning that something has clicked for me - I'm getting the hang of the rotation and rear arm extension now, consistently, and when I did my warm up of two widths of the diving pool, the coach was really impressed by how much better I was.

Then she gave me new stuff to work on and it all went to hell.  ;D

It was fun in the diving pool tonight because there was diving coaching going on, and some of the divers were trying very difficult stuff, so the coach used a switch to make a giant plume of bubbles erupt in the middle of the pool, to break up the water surface a bit and give them a softer landing if they mucked it up. So it was like swimming through a giant jacuzzi.  ;D The wash did tend to throw me against the side of the pool though.  :D

Also awesome was the diving coach saying to my swimming coach "Why is she having swimming lessons? She's a lovely swimmer."  :D :D O:-)

Less awesome was me walking home, getting in and realising I'd walked home with my blue plastic shoe covers on.  ::-) :-[
Title: Re: Re: You know when Superman goes flying through the air with his arms out in front?
Post by: Kim on October 03, 2012, 09:11:19 pm
Less awesome was me walking home, getting in and realising I'd walked home with my blue plastic shoe covers on.  ::-) :-[

Gosh, it's been years since I've done that.
Title: Re: Re: You know when Superman goes flying through the air with his arms out in front?
Post by: bobb on October 03, 2012, 09:28:07 pm
Blue plastic shoe covers?! What are they for? They sound incredibly uncool whatever they are..
Title: Re: Re: You know when Superman goes flying through the air with his arms out in front?
Post by: Butterfly on October 03, 2012, 09:40:22 pm
Blue plastic shoe covers?! What are they for? They sound incredibly uncool whatever they are..
They are to keep your saddle dry whilst you are in the supermarket or in your tent. :smug:
Title: Re: Re: You know when Superman goes flying through the air with his arms out in front?
Post by: Eccentrica Gallumbits on October 07, 2012, 04:31:38 pm
I just did my first non-stop, continuous, no pauses, no stopping, no swapping to another stroke full 50 metre length of front crawl. I was hanging to the edge and gasping for breath at the end, but I did it. And then, just to prove it wasn't a fluke, I did 4 more.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Eccentrica Gallumbits on October 09, 2012, 07:13:02 pm
I didn't know this thread was here. I should ask the mods to move my swimming posts from my hip thread to here; they'd make more sense here.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: LEE on October 09, 2012, 07:31:29 pm
Start breathing out as your head re-enters the water -- there shouldn't be much breath-holding at all, just IN-ooooooout, IN-ouuuuuut...   

Also, try to concentrate on timing your breath with your pull.  As you pull, you make a wake around your head, and your mouth has plenty of clear air.   :thumbsup:

This is how I learned (Rolf Harris on TV actually).  Blow a constant stream of bubbles out of your nose, timed just right so you are ready to breathe in once your head pops up.  That way you aren't trying to exhale and inhale in a split second.

No need to use pursed lips to breathe in, that's too slow.  If you are "taking on water" then your head is too low, pull down with your arms more and get a few more inches of elevation.

Breast stroke is supremely inefficient, too much energy wasted on vertical motion and not streamlined at all.
Title: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: ran doner on October 09, 2012, 07:41:02 pm

Breast stroke is supremely inefficient, too much energy wasted on vertical motion and not streamlined at all.

Inefficient sounds perfect.

My main interest in swimming is in keeping weight off but I'm also interested in improving upper body and core strength to aid with cycling longer distances in comfort (relative to now). Which begs the question of which strokes, in which proportion of total swim might deliver the best results ?
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Eccentrica Gallumbits on October 09, 2012, 07:47:44 pm
Breast stroke is supremely inefficient, too much energy wasted on vertical motion and not streamlined at all.
But strangely, I find it much less tiring and can do it for much longer than any other stroke. So in terms of endurance, for me it's very efficient.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: simonp on October 09, 2012, 09:19:10 pm
I can do a lot more breast stroke non stop than I can crawl. Part of the problem is crawl only works for me above a certain speed, so when I'm not used to it, I can't maintain that speed.

When Feline and I went swimming a week and a bit ago, I was able to swim alternate lengths crawl and breast stroke while she swam breast stroke, head out of the water. She was arguably faster overall.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Eccentrica Gallumbits on October 23, 2012, 09:35:00 am
My limbs ache  ;D

I did 10 x 50m lengths this morning and my average time per length was under 1m30s for the first time.  :D
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: ran doner on October 23, 2012, 10:41:29 am
Did my first 1500m session yesterday.  ;D

Took 54 minutes and the last 10 (25m) laps were done in about 6 minutes as the pool was about to close.

I've found that front crawl is way easier for a steady swim.

Now have to work out what my next challenge will be.

Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: LEE on October 23, 2012, 10:44:49 am

Breast stroke is supremely inefficient, too much energy wasted on vertical motion and not streamlined at all.

Inefficient sounds perfect.

My main interest in swimming is in keeping weight off but I'm also interested in improving upper body and core strength to aid with cycling longer distances in comfort (relative to now). Which begs the question of which strokes, in which proportion of total swim might deliver the best results ?

Butterfly

Front-crawl (done properly) is not such a great workout unless you really do some sprinting.  Done badly it's probably a decent workout.  The local swimming club often use a roped-off section of the pool to train.  As they glide by at 3x my speed, it's fairly obvious that they really aren't putting much effort in.

Given that you may get thrown out of your local pool if you do Butterfly then Breast-stroke will give you the better overall workout.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: CrinklyLion on October 23, 2012, 10:51:05 am
I got my mile (or near enough - 64 lengths of the 25m pool) time down under 3/4 of an hour when I was swimming plenty.  Doing really rubbish breaststroke!  Couldn't do that these days... *must start swimming again*
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: LEE on October 23, 2012, 10:53:10 am
I'm with you there.  * I Must Start Swimming Again"

I used to go to an "early bird" session, 7:30-8:30am.  Back home for 9 feeling absolutely refreshed and awake.
This may inspire me to go and buy some tickets for those sessions.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: ran doner on October 23, 2012, 12:11:25 pm
Butterfly  :hand:

If i tried some butterfly i think the lifeguards might die laughing at the thrashing going on in the pool.

Seriously cant even remember doing any butterfly as a kid. I think i'll wait until i've got a bit more endurance before i give it a go.

Might start working up my distances between coughing fits recovery periods. Start doing 100m non-stop sets etc...
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: CrinklyLion on October 23, 2012, 12:14:20 pm
I learnt 'fly when I was 7 months pregnant.  Get it wrong, even when not pregnant, and you look like a floundering dyspraxic whale.  Get it right (I once managed 2 full lengths) and it feels amazing.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Eccentrica Gallumbits on November 10, 2012, 10:37:21 pm
Two months ago I could barely do 10 yards of front crawl. Today I did 900m without difficulty.  :D
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Eccentrica Gallumbits on November 11, 2012, 04:52:24 pm
And today I did my first full 1km. I might have done more but there were people annoying me.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Eccentrica Gallumbits on November 18, 2012, 01:16:24 pm
I was learning tumbleturns today. My proprioception is bad enough on dry land. Underwater it's laughable.  ;D

I can do the turn, but what I can't do is do the turn, in the right place so my feet actually hit the wall to give me a push-off, and breathe out through my nose all at once. At best I can manage two of the three.  ;D I can do it in breaststroke but I'm not supposed to be doing breaststroke.  ::-) In crawl, I haven't worked out how to judge the right position and control my breathing all at once. 
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on November 19, 2012, 07:52:28 pm
But you can breathe out through your nose under water. That's a mastery of the unnatural that I still find astounding.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: citoyen on November 22, 2012, 03:28:52 pm
Even when I was in a swimming club and training three times a week, I never mastered tumble turns. And that was A Long Time Ago In A Galaxy Far Far Away...

EG, chapeau to you, and you've inspired me - I'm going to book myself some lessons to get my technique sorted. Currently, my pace and endurance are OK by non-swimmer standards but I've entered one triathlon in 2013 and I'm hoping to do some more, so I need to raise my game...

d.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: JJ on November 22, 2012, 03:52:25 pm
Good for both of you.  There's a lot to be said for learning new things as an adult.
I've plateaued, owing to super-coach having upped and gone back to the US.  Tumble turns are the stuff of dreams.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Eccentrica Gallumbits on November 25, 2012, 01:14:33 pm
Had my final lesson this morning. My tumbleturns are improving a little bit. My coach liked the thank-you cake I took her.  :D
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Butterfly on November 25, 2012, 09:06:21 pm
Brilliant :). This thread makes me want to swim more.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Eccentrica Gallumbits on November 28, 2012, 07:16:15 am
My breathing was all over the place this morning. I didn't so much swim as propel myself up the pool by coughing, like some sort of squid.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: fboab on November 28, 2012, 08:23:16 am
Brilliant :). This thread makes me want to swim more.
This.
Well done EG.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Eccentrica Gallumbits on November 29, 2012, 05:37:56 pm
Guess who just managed 2 proper almost good tumbleturns in 600m.  :D
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: De Sisti on November 29, 2012, 08:59:48 pm
When I was in the 3rd year at secondary school, I did the bronze, silver and gold award within a month.
We also had "free passes" for the local council swimming pool.


The last time I went into a swimming pool (two years ago) I just about managed to do 8 lengths
(front crawl). :-[
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Eccentrica Gallumbits on December 02, 2012, 12:34:12 pm
I just swam a mile. Well, a bit over a  mile - 1650m.
Title: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Biggsy on December 02, 2012, 01:32:28 pm
Swimming would be hugely good for me, but how do I start to get over my phobias of swimming and swimming pools?

(My evil primary school headmistress Miss Edwards and the shockingly cold water of the grim-as-hell local baths may have had something to do with it!)

Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Eccentrica Gallumbits on December 02, 2012, 02:02:15 pm
Take it slowly.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: SteveC on December 02, 2012, 04:43:33 pm
^ This

Plus look for lessons for less confident adults.  Very different from the school 'throw them in, watch them dodge the icebergs, and fish out the ones that stop moving' approach.

S
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: barakta on December 02, 2012, 04:48:35 pm
Brilliant :). This thread makes me want to swim more.
This.
Well done EG.

Me too.  And the University is building a new sports facility about 4 mins walk from my house :D  And I'm on the accessibility consultation (where we're listened to) group :)
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Biggsy on December 02, 2012, 04:56:03 pm
Thanks.

Another factor has been embarrassment about my skinny body.  I think I'm almost past that now, though - not because I've put on much weight, but because the brain cells that care about such things die off with age.  Or maybe I've just given up hope of girls fancying me! :)
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Butterfly on December 02, 2012, 05:05:00 pm
Woo! to the mile Kirst :thumbsup:

Bigsy, I think everyone worries about what they are going to look like, but generally no-one else cares much. Every week I take the 2 year old to her swimming lesson in Brixton, which takes place at the same time as an aquafit type class, which is a brilliant example of how different people can enjoy the pool - the age range is from about 30s to 70s, the weight range from under- to obese (admittedly, tending towards the latter) and all colours and races - including ladies in swimming headscarves. It's fab. Go for it - book a lesson and give it a go.  :)
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: ran doner on December 03, 2012, 10:43:49 am
Egg'd on by EG's first mile swim and the fact the pool was empty,
I went for it from the off last night and managed a single breaststroke
interval of 1500m.  ;D

Took me 38:24 and felt OK at the end. The ankles were feeling it and
my shoulders tight, but i did a few easy freestyle intervals to get me
up to 2000m and called it a day. All in under an hour.  :)

Now gonna have to work up to the same doing freestyle.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: CountrySickness on December 03, 2012, 11:32:23 am
I'm just coming to the end of 13 weeks intermediate lessons (only about £70 for the 13, 1 hour sessions here in Wales), I've been pondering it for ages (after nearly drowning in the Caribbean in March), but as others have said, just do it it's remarkable how much technique will improve, I went form not being able to do a length of crawl in 1st lesson to having some form of technique within a few weeks, all very friendly too as all students are in the same, er, boat chilly council pool. Now it's mainly fitness and getting strength in my skinny cyclist's arms  ::-)
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: hellymedic on December 03, 2012, 01:56:50 pm
Well done!
Great feeling of triumph!

(I did this 40 years ago in the summer holidays; one day, I thought I'd see how far I could go & did 28 x 33 metre lengths but didn't feel tired. Next day I did 54 lengths...)
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: andrew_s on December 06, 2012, 05:39:54 pm
The trick with swimming seems to be to start early (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-gloucestershire-20581126).
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Eccentrica Gallumbits on December 06, 2012, 06:02:41 pm
I'm just coming to the end of 13 weeks intermediate lessons (only about £70 for the 13, 1 hour sessions here in Wales), I've been pondering it for ages (after nearly drowning in the Caribbean in March), but as others have said, just do it it's remarkable how much technique will improve, I went form not being able to do a length of crawl in 1st lesson to having some form of technique within a few weeks, all very friendly too as all students are in the same, er, boat chilly council pool. Now it's mainly fitness and getting strength in my skinny cyclist's arms  ::-)
Yeah, I knew I was getting a better technique when my arms and hands started aching!  ;D

I'm just in from doing 600m and I did my fastest time for a 50m length yet - 1m23s. I've done that time for 2x25m but I'm generally 10s slower over the full length of the pool.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: SteveC on December 06, 2012, 06:34:02 pm
The trick with swimming seems to be to start early (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-gloucestershire-20581126).
That's rather wonderful!
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Eccentrica Gallumbits on December 08, 2012, 04:36:10 pm
Oh noes! The Commie will be closed Friday - Sunday for competitions!  :(
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: JJ on December 08, 2012, 09:29:20 pm
Another factor has been embarrassment......

JFDI Biggsy!!

Get involved with lessons or coaching so that you are too busy to feel embarrassed about anything.

And report back here.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Eccentrica Gallumbits on December 09, 2012, 01:42:07 pm
I couldn't do tumbleturns at all today. It's like my body just forgot all knowledge of them.  ???
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Eccentrica Gallumbits on December 10, 2012, 06:09:38 pm
My ticker won't update. My total so far is 47285 metres.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: mike on December 10, 2012, 06:46:56 pm
I just swam a mile. Well, a bit over a  mile - 1650m.

I missed this - bloody brilliant EG!  Congratulations.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Blodwyn Pig on December 14, 2012, 09:06:01 pm
Just found this thread, ( a bit late I know ::-)) and thought i'd comment.
20 ish  years ago I took up windsurfing, but was somewhat limited by the fact I couldn't swim, so always wited till the tide /wind direction was right. I did have a bouyancy aid on but it still gave me the willies. So at 30+ i learnt to swim. I'm quite compettive, but not overly so, and I found the group class a better approach, as I could pitch myself against another beginner, and try to learn faster, be quicker etc. I think I had 2 sets of lessons each prob 6 lessons each, and I was there. I still cannot swim the crawl. I beats me WHY they always insist on ramming this one down peoples throats, we don't all want to be champions, we just want to swim. Consequently I can swim the breaststroke, and can keep up with front crawl swimmers, (not good ones tho')  Within no time i was additcted , and EVERY lunctime  I would drive to the pool, rush in swim 1 mile (66 lengths IIRC) in about 40 mins breast stroke, nip out , shower and back to work. i find breastsroke  almost effortless, , when i kick, my arms are stretched out and I glide , torpedo like, then pull back with the arms and kick again. secret to a good kick is practice, by doing things like swimming 4-6 lengths just using your breaststroke kick, whilst hold your hands behind your back.  Dont swim that much now as its too bl@@dy dear round here, but when I do, I still manage   a mile, but not as quick. shame its so dear, about £6.60 a go.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Eccentrica Gallumbits on December 17, 2012, 07:03:31 am
*points to ticker*
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: SteveC on December 17, 2012, 07:38:32 am
*points to ticker*
:thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

Impressive! Well done!
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: adenough on December 31, 2012, 08:14:01 pm
I learnt to swim when I was thirty. I did it because I had kids that needed to be able to swim and I needed to be able to save them.
I learned at the local council pool and it was fine. They were great and everybody was [excuse the pun] in the same boat. We had the pool to ourselves after public swimming finished. Best thing I have ever done. I love the feel of the water and find I can swim all day doing different strokes, but do I get bored silly after 40mins.  I'm still crap at crawl but I manage. The best thing when I was learning was first being taught to glide. Once you have mastered that, everything else is IMO easy. Gliding between strokes makes swimming so much smoother and efortless.
I subsequently taught all my four children how to swim and have rescued two people out of the  treacherous depths of  a swimming pool. One a young girl in difficulties in Butlins and a few weeks ago a guy who had a fit and disappeared under the water in the local pool. Small things, but good that I could swim because I was the only other person in the water.
Now I can go swimming with my grandchildren. It's lovely.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Biggsy on December 31, 2012, 08:19:16 pm
I'd better not say it's my "new year's resolution", but I am expecting to Just Fracking Do It in an early part of 2013.

So what sort of swimming trunks shall I get?  Baggy shorts or budgie smugglers?  :D
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Eccentrica Gallumbits on December 31, 2012, 08:25:16 pm
If they're baggy, make sure they're either pretty long, or they have internal pants. I do not want to see your bawbag.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: hellymedic on January 01, 2013, 01:13:44 am
Anything that dangles flaps like a flag in the water.
Get budgie smugglers cos you don't want to be distracted by your own waving wobblies.
Title: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: ran doner on January 01, 2013, 11:07:02 am
So what sort of swimming trunks shall I get?  Baggy shorts or budgie smugglers?  :D

I went for both in the same trunk.

Long legged budgie smugglers.

Speedo Endurance+ Jammer were what I bought. They've been great and are quite a popular choice among other swimmers in the pool.

Much like cycling clothes you don't want baggy fit and go for black as then nobody can see you smuggling the budgie.

Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Eccentrica Gallumbits on January 04, 2013, 09:15:52 pm
Edinburgh holds a New Year’s Day triathlon every year. It’s a 400 metre swim (8 lengths of the Commie Pool), a 10-ish mile bike ride (three times round Arthur’s Seat) and a 1.5 mile run (once round Arthur’s Seat). MacBobb and I went to watch a bit of it on Tuesday – we watched a lot of the swimming and some of the cycling.

We noticed a couple of things about the swimmers. The first thing we noticed was a lot of the swimmers had very very poor techniques. Most did front crawl, some did breast stroke, and one or two did backstroke, and there were huge variations in technique. Interestingly, some of the fastest people had poor technique, and some of the people with good technique were slow. The other thing we noticed was – well, it wasn’t a thing, it was a person. The swimmers set off in groups of a couple of dozen or so at once, with ten minutes between each group. In one of the later groups, by the end of the first length a man and a woman were in the lead for that group. By the end of the last length, she was at least 40 metres ahead of him. The difference was that she did a tumbleturn at the end of every length and slipped under the divider into the next lane as she pushed off. She easily gained 4-5 metres over the man with every tumbleturn.

I saw @cyclingsurgeon there (saw him about my hip before I saw the hip surgeon). He was there as part of a triathlon relay team; he was doing the cycling part while two other people did the swimming and the running. I hadn’t realised you could do triathlons as a team effort. MacBobb and I had a chat about it and we are thinking that we might enter next year, if we can find a runner. A friend who runs says she might do it. So we shall see. Of course, we might have forgotten all about it by the time it’s time to register, but maybe not.

When I saw the surgeon yesterday, the nurse who was chaperoning the clinic was the person who’d been the swimmer in the Infirmary relay team. Her time for the 400m was 17 minutes – she says she can do faster but she panicked in the water surrounded by so many people. I can do 500m in 15 minutes and with any luck I’ll be faster this time next year. Not being a triathlete or any kind of competitive sports person, I have no idea what sort of times people achieve, so it was good to hear I’m already somewhere in the zone and wouldn’t make a complete arse of myself. As I was leaving clinic she showed me out and said “see you on New Year’s Day” – I said “yeah, and I’ll beat you!”  ;D
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Eccentrica Gallumbits on January 05, 2013, 11:31:23 am
I am wondering about learning butterfly. I can't afford lessons just now, but maybe in a few months.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: CrinklyLion on January 05, 2013, 11:33:53 am
When you get it right, it feels amazing.... I once managed two full lengths.  Very proud of that, I am.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: essexian on February 01, 2013, 01:55:02 pm
Well, after checking that the Norwegians and Japanese whaling fleets were busy else where, I went and did something I have done only once in 8 years (and twice in twenty!)… I went swimming!

Fed up with waking up every morning this week with some ache or pain or another, (gout yesterday, sore knee this morning for examples), I decided to return to what was my principle form of exercise back in my twenties: swimming.

So, first find a pair of shorts which fit and come up over most of my mega gut and then pick her in doors up from the floor when I explained what I was about to do…. Don’t drowned she said…. “until you tell me where your will and life insurance polices are….” Oh to be supported by the one you love!

I’ve not been to the “new” leisure centre in Stafford (its been open about 5 years) so it was a bit of a surprise to find that men and women change in the same space (there are cubicles to use but felt strange) but was happy to find that I could take my towel (covering my lard) to the pool side, along with my glasses. Glad of that otherwise I would not have found  it so short sighted am I!

So how did I get on? Well firstly I have forgotten how to swim! No, not fully but my leg kick was all over the place meaning most of my forward motion came from my arms and that I didn’t get much of a “bob on”. I was quite slow which is to be expected and to be honest, not trying to go fast meant that I could concentrate on breathing and important stuff like that.

Anyway, I did 16 lengths of the 25 metre pool: 400 metres if my maths is any good: way down on what I used to do most mornings way back when the Walthamstow swimming pool was still known as the “new baths”

Will I go again: yes, the people were friendly and no one did anything stupid so it was a nice experience. The only thing to let it down is the lack of Milky Coffee and a Wagonwheel….. the leisure centre did not have a café!
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: fboab on February 01, 2013, 02:32:19 pm
It could be seen that the lack of wagonwheels was a good thing!
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: SteveC on February 01, 2013, 02:34:00 pm
Sixteen lengths for a 'first' go is pretty impressive in my book!  Good work!
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: essexian on February 01, 2013, 02:38:58 pm
It could be seen that the lack of wagonwheels was a good thing!

I am sure it is! It was just something I always had after a swim back in the day.  ;D (That was when wagonwheels were the size of wagon wheels and not the tiny roundals you get now days!!)
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: essexian on February 08, 2013, 05:54:39 pm
Went again today.... 20 lengths this time, or 500m. Feel a little tired but nothing serious.

The one thing I have noticed is how slow I am.... the 500m took me over 40 minutes including stops to get my breath back. Nevermind eh, it will come with practice.

So, swimming in the last week...900m, cycling in the same period... nil. Perhaps I should head off to "Yet another swimming forum..."  ;D
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Eccentrica Gallumbits on February 08, 2013, 06:10:39 pm
Oh keep posting. You make me feel fast!  ;D
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: ran doner on February 08, 2013, 11:01:16 pm
I'm so envious of you guys in the pool. I've busted a couple of toes so have done nothing in a week.
I can handle not cycling in the cold but my replacement was supposed to be swimming and now I can't even do that and I MISS IT  :'(

I hope to be back in the pool in a week. I can't keep my foot still any longer  :)
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: JJ on February 09, 2013, 02:56:40 pm
Well done Essexian.
Ran Doner, if you grab a pull-buoy, you can still keep your feet still, and if you're as poor a swimmer as me, actually go faster.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Eccentrica Gallumbits on February 09, 2013, 05:42:07 pm
I just swam my biggest distance yet, 2250m. Tired now.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: essexian on February 10, 2013, 07:20:07 am
I just swam my biggest distance yet, 2250m. Tired now.

That is extremely impressive: bet you slept well!  ;D :thumbsup:

On to 3 000m?
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Eccentrica Gallumbits on February 10, 2013, 08:50:43 am
I would have done 2500 or maybe even 3000 yesterday but they were closing.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: bobb on February 10, 2013, 08:54:40 am
They're open now though. Get 'em in!
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Eccentrica Gallumbits on February 10, 2013, 10:13:59 am
Didn't you just blow off a club run because it's raining?  ;) ;D :P

I did 1100m this morning. I'm a bit achey this morning and I'm saving my energy for babysitting later.  O:-)
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: essexian on February 20, 2013, 08:02:15 am
Ouch, I hurt!

Went swimming yesterday lunchtime… the fourth swim since I started again and did 600m in 50 minutes. Still sssslllllooooowwwwww but it feels easier than before and now I can swim 50m without needing to stop at the turn, which is nice. Also 600m is the longest swim I have done in countless years.

However, this morning I have woken with very sore arms and shoulders. It feels like my legs do after a “long” ride (okay I know 40 to 50 miles isn’t long but it is for me). Normally when I feel like this, I might go and spin a few miles either on the road or on the turbo to get some feeling back into them. Is it worth doing something similar with my arms: swimming today isn’t possible as I don’t have the time but I could do some weights in the gym at lunchtime. Would this help.

Finally, I am thinking of signing up for the 1.5km Swimathon at the end of April. Has anyone done this and if so, any tips regarding what happens on the day?
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Ham on March 03, 2013, 06:56:50 pm
Today, for the first time EVAH I haz swum a length !!!!!


 :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Eccentrica Gallumbits on March 03, 2013, 06:58:10 pm
Yay!
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: hellymedic on March 03, 2013, 07:03:14 pm
 :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: SteveC on March 03, 2013, 07:11:33 pm
Today, for the first time EVAH I haz swum a length !!!!!

Well done!  I still remember the sense of triumph when I managed that! 
(It's all much easier from now on!)
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Ham on March 03, 2013, 07:59:56 pm
The final piece in this particular jigsaw was changing to a breath every stroke. It wasn't pretty, but I was able to carry on doing it without drowning or drinking too much water. I think that's the aim of the game,
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: essexian on March 04, 2013, 06:56:24 am
..................I was able to carry on doing it without drowning or drinking too much water. I think that's the aim of the game,

It is indeed  ;D

Well done on your milestone.  :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: essexian on March 10, 2013, 09:27:40 am
Managed my longest swim yet since I started again this morning: 800m in 54 mins..... I am still slower than a slow thing on pause but hey ho, it will come.


I hope to have enough time on Friday lunchtime to do 1 000m.... and then sleep all afternoon no doubt!
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: BrianI on March 11, 2013, 06:56:25 am
Think I might get back into swimming, seeing as I can get concessionary entry to the cooncil pool as a student!   :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: BrianI on March 12, 2013, 09:44:53 am
Think I might get back into swimming, seeing as I can get concessionary entry to the cooncil pool as a student!   :thumbsup:

Well, just back from an early morning swim (7:15 - 8am) at the shiny new* Carnegie leisure centre.
Ended up doing 30 ends of the 25m pool, so 750m.   :thumbsup: All swum using my gangly breast stroke.   :-[ No doubt will be stiff and sair tomorrow....   :o
 Looking forward to swimming more regularly, and a new pair of trunks ordered!  (and a swim cap to go with my long manly hair....)

* Finally reopened after a £17 million 3 year refit in November 2011 - various issues with myself meant I've not been able to get swimming since it reopened.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Eccentrica Gallumbits on March 14, 2013, 05:45:59 pm
Two days in a row now I have averaged under 90s per 50m length for an entire kilometre. I can generally manage that for 500m but then I start to slow down.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: essexian on March 16, 2013, 09:44:58 am
Interesting weeks swimming for me in that I made 1km on Wednesday for the first time since I started swimming again. Okay, it took me 63 mins but it felt quite easy and if I hadn’t run out of time, then I could perhaps have made it to 1 200m.

This morning with my local pool closed, I took myself down to the newly re-opened pool at Cannock for a few lengths and what a strange place. Firstly, they talk funny (yes, yes, I know everyone in the West Midlands apart from me has an accent but I thought I was in Wolverhampton some of the time!) and secondly, they have a system where you swim up the pool on the left hand side and back down on the right. It works well unless you have never been to the pool before…doh!

Anyway, I only had time to do 900m today but again, it didn’t feel that hard and for a change, I was catching and passing people….perhaps I have picked up some speed?
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Eccentrica Gallumbits on March 16, 2013, 09:56:43 am
I want someone to come with me and film me so I can see what I'm doing, because I see some people who are very splashy, and it doesn't feel like I'm as splashy as that but if I was, it would all be behind me anyway and I wouldn't know.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: ran doner on March 16, 2013, 12:31:00 pm
I want someone to come with me and film me so I can see what I'm doing, because I see some people who are very splashy, and it doesn't feel like I'm as splashy as that but if I was, it would all be behind me anyway and I wouldn't know.

Can't you just ask one of the life guards or the regulars how splashy you are in comparison ?

Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Eccentrica Gallumbits on March 16, 2013, 12:55:59 pm
No, I want to be able to see what I'm doing. Also, that would be weird.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: ran doner on March 17, 2013, 11:48:18 am
No, I want to be able to see what I'm doing. Also, that would be weird.

Question is who are you going to pay danger money to to use the camera in a swimming pool  :o

Can you get video as part of a swimming lesson ?

Try entering a swim meet that videos races ?

Seek out a coach who does video ?

Guess i'm fortunate that my pool is just a swimming club and its the same crowd week in week out
for lane swimming, and everyone is interested in technique and discusses it.



Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: mike on March 17, 2013, 05:38:53 pm
No, I want to be able to see what I'm doing. Also, that would be weird.

watching yourself swimming is brilliant; i only realised how horribly not-straight my body was when i had a whole day lesson with video analysis of my swimming. It made a huge difference to me (I went from 22 or 23 strokes per 25m length to 16 or 17, with much less effort).  There are some places that do video coaching in swimming tanks with a current, which might be a bit odd but probably easier to film..
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Eccentrica Gallumbits on March 20, 2013, 05:53:16 pm
I am definitely getting faster. I did a km today in 28min 10s. The first 500 metres, I did in 14 mins. My average time per 50 metre length was 1 min 24s, and if you take out my breaststroke warmup first length and my backstroke cool down last length, I averaged 1 min 23 s per length. My fastest length was 1 min 20s and all of my lengths took under 1 min 30s.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: ran doner on March 20, 2013, 09:50:32 pm
Got back in the pool for the first time in 5 weeks tonight. 1700m and feels good  :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: BrianI on March 22, 2013, 09:11:05 am
Another pleasant swim this morning!
750m including a few lengths attempting the front crawl. Ended up looking like Mr Bean doing his doggy paddle, so promptly went back to breast stroke.... Got one tip from a swimmer in the next lane, apparently I wasn't lifting my arms out of the water enough when I was doing the crawl...  So I'll work on that the next time.

Best of all, I've got my concessionary student discount card, so cheap swims!   :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: bodach on March 22, 2013, 09:40:22 am
 Have started swimming occasionally over the winter and as an OAP it's free for me. Can now do 1000m in 33 mins but am one of the slowest in the pool. Shall probably get some individual tuition to improve my technique now I can manage the whole distance using the crawl and without stopping at the end of each length. Haven't done much swimming for the last 25yrs, just 200 m each November in a mini tri in lanzarote when I always suffered the indignity of being last out of the water so hope to better that this year. Never learned to swim properly when I was young. Would like to do a Half Ironman if I can be sure of beating the cutoff for the swim so have a fair way to go yet.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Butterfly on March 22, 2013, 09:58:43 am
I joined the local leisure centre on Wednesday and went for a gym induction and a swim yesterday. The gym induction was helpful only in that he showed me how to work the computers on the machines, although I would probably have been able to work them out if I'd needed to. He had no idea what was suitable for pregnancy, so I told him what I was likely to do and we concentrated on those. I did 25 minutes on the semi recumbent bike thing and then went for a swim. I started small with 12 lengths, since I don't have much stamina at the moment and I wanted to see how I felt today after a small amount before doing anything too ambitious. I'm fine, so I'll try to go down later and do some more.

[Rant]
The swimming pool changing rooms have lockers that take a non-refundable 20p, so if you want to shower with shampoo and open the locker to remove it, you either have to stump up another 20p or leave it unlocked - that gets expensive after a couple of weeks. I have 2 possible solutions. One is to keep a plastic bag with shampoo and stuff on a peg near the pool. The other is to leave my kit in the lockers in the gym changing room which takes a refundable £1 so you can open it as much as you like. I am going to try option 2 because the other design flaw is that there are no private showers in the pool area, so you can't have a strip down wash (it's communal changing or I would). Unfortunately the gym changing is at the other end of the building on a different floor, but it is segregated. I will probably need 2 towels and possibly some kind of wrap so I can pass as 'dry' for the dry side changing though. I do have a dress that might work...
[/Rant]
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Eccentrica Gallumbits on March 22, 2013, 11:57:18 am
When they refurbished the Commie they made the changing rooms mixed sex and all the showers are open, apart from a few in the "accessible" cubicles. I know some people aren't fussy about showering, but the chlorine really exacerbates my eczema, so I need to have a proper wash after a swim, which means removing my cossie and being nekkid. Luckily it's a ten minute walk away so I just go home and shower properly there, but it's not ideal.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Kim on March 22, 2013, 04:07:19 pm
Mixed sex good, open showers bad!
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Eccentrica Gallumbits on March 22, 2013, 05:31:09 pm
I was well fast* again today. Average time per length 82 seconds, fastest length 76 seconds. I think someone is putting performance-enhancing drugs in my soup.







*it's all relative
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Eccentrica Gallumbits on March 23, 2013, 04:50:49 pm
I think the source of my new-found speed is my new swimming costume. It has an integral jetpack. My old one has a layer of "figure-flattering" ruched material over the base costume and the ruching layer is past it, and every time I swim in it it sags out and billows and creates a lot of drag.  ;D
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Kim on March 23, 2013, 05:19:24 pm
I think the source of my new-found speed is my new swimming costume. It has an integral jetpack. My old one has a layer of "figure-flattering" ruched material over the base costume and the ruching layer is past it, and every time I swim in it it sags out and billows and creates a lot of drag.  ;D

I believe that Frenchie is our resident expert in such matters...
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: essexian on March 24, 2013, 02:50:30 pm
1 000m this morning in 57 mins which is the fastest I have swam that distance. I am aiming to try for 1 200m on Thursday when the pool has a 90min session I can use.

I was well fast* again today. Average time per length 82 seconds, fastest length 76 seconds. I think someone is putting performance-enhancing drugs in my soup.


*it's all relative

Just wondering which time keeping piece you use to keep such accurate times. I am interested in getting a swimming watch but don’t know which one would be best. Any suggestions gratefully received.

And now, a rant….. faster swimmers especially ones with quick but really horrible style wise front crawl. DON’T swim in the slow lane with us near drowners please. You ploughing up and down doing two lengths in the time it takes me to do one is not big or clever. I was not the only one to call you a “t*sser” and suggest that you go into the fast or semi fast lane…. But no, you wanted to make yourself look big by trying to intimidate us slower swimmers…did it work, no it didn’t. Arsehole.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Eccentrica Gallumbits on March 24, 2013, 04:07:58 pm
I've got a Sportcount lap counter http://www.sportcount.com/products.php?category_id=1
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Eccentrica Gallumbits on April 01, 2013, 03:56:33 pm
There was a woman in the pool today who has the smoothest front crawl I have ever seen. She was absolutely splashless. She's like a swimming ninja.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: SteveC on April 01, 2013, 10:28:04 pm
I knew a woman who's butterfly was like that.  Totally graceful.  And amazing.  But she was either at or very close to national level.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Eccentrica Gallumbits on April 07, 2013, 02:58:37 pm
3050m today. That's my biggest ever swim.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: essexian on April 23, 2013, 11:22:20 am
1 300m this morning before work (bit of a mistake that as I am knackered now), my longest swim since the 1980's.

Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: citoyen on April 30, 2013, 12:31:32 pm
My shortcomings in the pool were brutally exposed in the triathlon I did on Sunday. I haven't swum since before Christmas, which is pretty poor preparation for a race, but I thought I would be fit enough to get by...

I went off quick enough, but my arms very soon started to ache and feel heavy and I was noticeably slowing down towards the end. Also, I lost a lot of time at the end of each length through not being able to tumble-turn. I even stopped a couple of times to catch my breath.

I lost four minutes to the fastest competitors on the swim - and I lost less than that to some of them on the 25km bike leg!

Really need to work on my technique before the London Tri in July, which has a 1.5km swim...  :o
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: LEE on April 30, 2013, 06:25:49 pm
There was a woman in the pool today who has the smoothest front crawl I have ever seen. She was absolutely splashless. She's like a swimming ninja.

I used to do early morning lane swimming.  Once a week one lane was used by the local swimming club for training.  Watching them glide past me, effortlessly, made me feel about as graceful as a drowning Giraffe.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Christophe on June 19, 2013, 02:13:23 pm
I've been swimming since just before Christmas, going at lunch times to get out of the office and do a bit of exercise other than just cycling. Faffed about with floats and different exercises a bit but have recelntly just decided to do just straight forward swimming and swimming a bit further which I've felt has been giving me a better workout. Managed my first mile today in 38 minutes so am well chuffed. I have no idea if that's any good but am feeling it right now!
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Eccentrica Gallumbits on June 20, 2013, 05:38:38 pm
My leg burns are still dressed and bandaged so I haven't been able to swim since the end of May. I am missing it so much.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Gattopardo on June 23, 2013, 04:20:50 pm
I bobbed in the serpentine today.  At 6am.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Eccentrica Gallumbits on July 30, 2013, 08:50:32 pm
*points to ticker*
I am determined to make it to 150km this week.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Redjeep! on August 04, 2013, 10:43:00 pm
If you can't do the (apparently) effortless front crawl thing, then take some lessons as its not that hard. But its not actually effortless, its kind of like how a duck looks from above. Its all about technique. Try Googling or YouTubing 'Total Immersion'. Most Master or Tri swim clubs will be able to teach you something similar.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: LEE on September 03, 2013, 02:25:27 pm
Started going swimming again after about 5 years break.

On holiday I always use the pool and it reminds me how much I like swimming so I finally got round to buying some "Early bird" tickets and started going before work.
I'm lucky that our small town has a great pool and leisure centre (obviously an admin error somewhere in local government).

What I notice is that it's so warm.  Swimming on holiday is always an opportunity to cool down but I have to say it's a bit too warm in our local pool.
I always feel great afterwards but I need to stand around outside to cool down.  I'm a "nesh sod" but even I can just walk into the pool without flinching.  I think it should always make you gasp slightly, as you take your first plunge.

I hear that competition pools are extremely warm

Anyway, I spent a couple of mornings trying to teach myself to breathe on both sides of my front-crawl.  Eventually I gave up as it was attracting the attention of the lifeguards.

Back to Breast-stroke and right-sided breathing on front-crawl.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Eccentrica Gallumbits on September 04, 2013, 08:59:39 pm
The pool was unpleasant tonight. For some reason they'd put in an extra lane for the club swimmers and made room for it by getting rid of the "open water" area which was then labelled as the slow lane. So all the people who don't usually do lane swimming were in the slow lane - the women who want to swim side by side, yakking, with perfectly dry heads, the people who think front crawl means lifting your entire upper body out of the water and flailing your arms around while you twist from side to side at the waist and never get your face wet, the people who want to cling to the sides and the ends in a group of 6... I'd already been to pilates so I just did 10 lengths and then got out.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: The_Mikey on September 08, 2013, 07:32:38 am
So all the people who don't usually do lane swimming were in the slow lane - the women who want to swim side by side, yakking, with perfectly dry heads, the people who think front crawl means lifting your entire upper body out of the water and flailing your arms around while you twist from side to side at the waist and never get your face wet, the people who want to cling to the sides and the ends in a group of 6...

That happened to me on thursday,  although the attendants did get the message when there were at least four people trying to do front crawl between the people who were there to chat and those who don't really swim,  we got our lane back!
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: essexian on September 18, 2013, 03:29:35 pm
Went for the first time in three months on Monday: well it was either that or go shopping at Telford Town Centre with my lovely wife and the Mum in law... no choice really.  ;D

While I knocked out 600m and could have done more, my arms are still sore. I really should learn to use my legs.

Talking about temperature, while the pool (Wellington Shropshire, not been there before) was fine (if a little dark, there is no natural light!) the changing room was freezing! I spoke to the attendent afterwards who said the heating wouldn't be turned on until the end of the month!
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Eccentrica Gallumbits on September 18, 2013, 05:11:52 pm
I've just done a kilometer. There was a man behind me at the end of every length and I asked him if he wanted to go ahead, and he said no, I was his pacesetter! I'm nobody's idea of a fast swimmer, averaging 85-90 seconds per 50m length, so that surprised and amused me in equal measure. And then I was overcome by badness, sped right up to achieve a 78 second length, dropped him, and then couldn't speak for the next minute while I regained my breath.  ;D
Title: Re: You know when Superman goes flying through the air with his arms out in front?
Post by: JJ on September 18, 2013, 05:33:10 pm
I just tried 50m front crawl and nearly drowned twice.  ;D I need to see the swimming coach, I think.

My-oh-my Gallumbits!  How things change!

 :thumbsup:
Title: Re: You know when Superman goes flying through the air with his arms out in front?
Post by: Ham on September 18, 2013, 07:06:29 pm

My-oh-my Gallumbits!  How things change!

 :thumbsup:

Is it just me that can't help hearing that to the tune of Delilah?

earworm now firmly planted with everyone. Hah.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: essexian on October 08, 2013, 08:44:55 am
Did my 25th swim of the year yesterday which took me over 10 miles in total, or an average of 704 yards per swim.

Not bad for a fat bloke who hadn't been swimming for early 10 years back in March.

Now, need to work on my speed as I am still being overtaken my non swimmers.  :facepalm:
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Eccentrica Gallumbits on October 09, 2013, 12:30:00 pm
I've just signed up for a stroke development class which starts at the end of the month.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: asterix on October 09, 2013, 03:06:41 pm
First learnt to swim in the sea - no swimming pools available - when I went to school and had to use a pool with fresh water I just sank!

I had to regain my confidence all over again although I did have a bit more than total newbies.  I am a strong swimmer now.

For those who sink, I find inflating my lungs is a big help.  When you get fit you can keep a fair of air in whilst continuing to breathe and swim.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: LEE on October 13, 2013, 05:03:49 pm
I've just signed up for a stroke development class which starts at the end of the month.

I may do the same.  I'd really like to develop a good freestyle stroke.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: essexian on November 15, 2013, 01:38:37 pm
Well its only taken 35 visits to the pool (well Stafford, Cannock, Wellington and Corby pools) but finally I have made it to 1 500m in one swim. The secret behind my "success"... a Timex Ironman watch.

To explain, using the watch I am now able to time my intervals with an aim to beating 9mins 40 per 200m (yes, I know that's slow but a month ago I was still above 10mins 20 for such a distance). Its interesting to note (for me that is) that over my last three swims, I have been with 5 seconds for each 200m segment up to 1km.

Feeling a little sore in my left calf and in my neck, but pleased I have made it to 1.5km. On to 2km or should I work on speed next?
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Eccentrica Gallumbits on January 10, 2014, 09:26:05 pm
Stroke development class started again tonight. Swimming with hand paddles is a good way to realise how puny your arm muscles are.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Eccentrica Gallumbits on January 17, 2014, 08:32:04 pm
When I go to the pool and swim a kilometre of 50 metre lengths, at a comfortable steady pace, I average between 82 and 87 seconds per length. Tonight at stroke development class, we had to swim as fast as we could for a 25 metre length. We did it four times, and the fastest I managed was 27 seconds, which is much much faster than my steady comfortable pace. Tired now.  ;D
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: hellymedic on January 17, 2014, 08:35:30 pm
Ærobic vs anærobic exercise, innit?
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: mattc on January 18, 2014, 07:29:16 am
You went 3 times faster?

That's like going from a 12mph pootle on the bike to a 36mph sprint. Doable, but pretty extreme!
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: fboab on January 18, 2014, 09:10:43 am
You went 3 times faster?

That's like going from a 12mph pootle on the bike to a 36mph sprint. Doable, but pretty extreme!
Two times faster. Her steady lengths are 50m lengths as she's lucky enough to have a big pool.
I just looked up swimming times as they're a bit meaningless to me, and she's going from 25% olympic pace to 50%.
So maybe from 12mph pootle to 24mph. I think I'd still notice that.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Eccentrica Gallumbits on January 18, 2014, 10:53:54 am
Maybe the pool was downhill.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: hellymedic on January 18, 2014, 12:14:54 pm
Push-off/post dive speed is faster than steady swimming speed so a shorter pool is 'faster' as a greater proportion of swimming distance is covered pushing off from the edge.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Eccentrica Gallumbits on January 18, 2014, 03:24:52 pm
Well yes, I know, and I'm always faster doing 50 as 2x25 instead of a straight 50, but if my time for a straight 50 is 84 seconds, and my time for 25 is 27 seconds, that's a big difference. I'm losing around 30 seconds per length. If I pan it as hard as I can over a 50m length, I can do it in about 72s, so I'm still losing 20s per length.

I did a km of 40x25 today and my average was about 80s per 50m, which is about normal.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: mattc on January 18, 2014, 04:06:08 pm
Maybe the pool was downhill.
That would explain it. Far more likely than me not actually reading your post properly ...
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Eccentrica Gallumbits on January 18, 2014, 05:44:51 pm
Also far more likely than me swimming fast.  :D
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: essexian on January 23, 2014, 11:09:50 am
I know its not brilliant in the scheme of things, but I broke 9 mins for a 200m split for the first time ever this morning. Indeed, the first three 200m splits I did were all faster than my previous personal best while my overall time for 800m was the best ever at just over 36m 30s.

Now I know that this is ssssslllllooooowwwww by "normal" standard I am pleased as the first 800m swim I have logged (9 months ago) was 8 mins slower than this so if I continue to improve, I might get down to sub 30 mins by the end of the year.

Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Eccentrica Gallumbits on February 07, 2014, 08:56:36 pm
Tonight at swimming we did tumbleturns, and lengths of butterfly legs. I fear that much of the pool is now inside us.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: CrinklyLion on February 08, 2014, 10:30:19 am
I never mastered a tumble turn, but used to love the butterfly leg drill and once managed to do two whole lengths of full stroke butterfly.  This was particularly cool, for me, since I managed it before I got competent enough to do two full lengths of full stroke crawl, and was about 6 or 7 months pregnant at the time. 

*works out that means it was over 6 years ago*

*thinks about how few swimming sessions there have been since quitting lessons 6 months after SmallestCub was born*

*thinks that she really ought to try to start swimming again*
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Eccentrica Gallumbits on February 14, 2014, 09:27:31 pm
Attempted some lengths of full-stroke butterfly tonight. I was as much like a butterfly as Giant Haystacks was like Mikhail Baryshnikov.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Eccentrica Gallumbits on March 28, 2014, 08:50:43 pm
Tonight we did push and glides, handstands (managed to get my legs collapsing right over the lane ropes and into the next lane), sitting dives in, standing dives in (bellyflopsplashtastic) and a relay race to finish.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Eccentrica Gallumbits on June 14, 2014, 03:18:42 pm
Last week I found I could do a length of almost competent butterfly kick, as long as I wear pool fins and have  float under each arm.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Eccentrica Gallumbits on June 21, 2014, 04:15:06 pm
We did porpoising last night, as it was the last week of term and we're allowed to have fun. Porpoising is a sort of duck dive, upending to the bottom of the pool, head down, then hands on the bottom, pull your body down and through, feet down, push off and up a bit, and go straight into the next one, ideally remembering to breathe in at some point. I'd never done it before, but I was so good at it, teacher asked me to demonstrate for the rest of the class.  ;D #teacher'spet #lotofwaterupthenose

I think she missed the bit where I got so carried away I did three in a row without breathing in, turned purple and nearly died.  ;D

The Commie is closed now until mid-August for the Commonwealth Games. Bah and grumble.  >:(
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: JJ on June 24, 2014, 06:05:17 pm
I just tried 50m front crawl and nearly drowned twice.  ;D I need to see the swimming coach, I think.

What a difference a couple (not quite) of years makes!
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Eccentrica Gallumbits on August 22, 2014, 09:48:15 pm
The Commie's 50 metres feels very long after a summer of Warrender's 25 yards!
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Eccentrica Gallumbits on October 10, 2014, 08:41:04 pm
Tonight, wearing pool fins, I managed 2x25m of very bad butterfly.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Eccentrica Gallumbits on November 07, 2014, 08:34:23 pm
Great hilarity as we practised backstroke arms one arm at a time. First length, everybody veering into opposite lane. Second length, everybody crashing into the lane rope.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Eccentrica Gallumbits on December 19, 2014, 11:09:52 pm
I'm having a 1-1 lesson the Monday after Christmas to try and learn butterfly.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: LEE on December 20, 2014, 12:07:34 am
Why are you learning Butterfly?

It's just that I don't understand it as a stroke (unless you are competing in a Butterfly event). It's not as fast as freestyle and yet it's the most energy-intense stroke. Nobody swam to safety using Butterfly.

I don't particularly understand why swimming competitions insist on different strokes, in the same way I don't understand the 50km walk event (when people can run it faster).

Sub-dividing a mode of locomotion into sub-categories just involves a whole raft of unnecessary judges to check everyone is conforming to the rules that make them slower.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Peter on December 20, 2014, 10:23:44 am
As a means of getting somewhere fast, you are proabably right, though I don't know about efficiency; I would have thought most people cand swim breaststroke for far longer than they can swim crawl.  Being on your back is easily the most comfortable and effortless way of staying afloat.  Can't find a point to butterfly, I must admit.  I wonder if the different disciplines can be traced back to gambling; most things can!

I suppose it's a bit like the difference between Newcastle (or Stockport) and Barcelona: they both have the same aim, to get the ball into the net but the methods bear no resemblance to each other, though Barcelona are improving.....
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Eccentrica Gallumbits on December 20, 2014, 11:07:39 am
Because it's difficult and I want to see if I can learn it. Also because our director can do it, and he's a tosser.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Eccentrica Gallumbits on December 29, 2014, 12:47:55 pm
45 mins butterfly coaching has left me so tired I could cry, but it now feels like something I might be able to do one day in the very distant future, instead of feeling completely impossible.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: hellymedic on December 29, 2014, 01:48:20 pm
Your perseverance impresses me greatly.
Keep going; you will get there!
Eventually.

I never managed butterfly myself.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Eccentrica Gallumbits on December 29, 2014, 03:06:32 pm
Coach said I had improved during the session, but it's really easy to improve when you're starting from next to nothing. Improving from where I am now will be the hard bit!
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Eccentrica Gallumbits on December 30, 2014, 08:20:26 am
Can't lift my arms today.  ;D
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: CrinklyLion on January 03, 2015, 05:11:30 pm
I just about cracked a basic not-drowning competence in butterfly when I had swimming lessons 7 or 8 years back - and actually managed a length of full stroke 'fly before I got one of front crawl done!  The most I ever did was two lengths of the 25m pool, and it wasn't brilliant, but for those brief moments when I got it right it felt bloody amazing.

Also, I'm still quite smug that I learned it when I was about 7 months pregnant.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: asterix on January 04, 2015, 08:51:55 pm
Got back into swimming in the autumn when i joined a gym.  I do 10 mins on the bike, then 10 mins on the rowing machine, then half an hour in the pool.  I will give the running machine another go soon - it unnerved me when I forgot it didn't stop when I did and I went shooting off the back..

I used to be able to do butterfly but that was in the days when I could swim in a not very crowded pool.  Now I don't bother, I'd scare too many people!  Same goes for back-stroke.

Quote
I would have thought most people cand swim breaststroke for far longer than they can swim crawl.

Crawl is the most efficient stroke for me by far I managed c. 5 miles in the sea a few years ago using crawl.  It would have taken too long with breast stroke.  I love swimming in the breakers using crawl, i just plunge straight through.   
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Eccentrica Gallumbits on January 10, 2015, 01:03:41 pm
Just booked myself into a Scottish Swimming Skills & Drills class next weekend.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Eccentrica Gallumbits on January 17, 2015, 07:38:02 pm
That was quite good. Didn't cover much mileage in the hour, only about 700 metres, but did lots of work on body position, kick and rotation for front crawl. Then while the group did breaststroke I did back crawl, and she said my body position is good but my arms need work. I could have told her that!  ;D

Edinburgh Leisure's coaching coordinator was there so I spoke to him about some more 1-1 butterfly coaching and got his email address to follow up.

 :D
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Eccentrica Gallumbits on February 15, 2015, 04:05:15 pm
Still no 1-1 coaching available, but we did some butterfly in class on Friday, using pool fins. Other class members described my kick as very graceful which makes me think they know nothing about butterfly kick or grace! I'm still tending to be too deep under the water which makes getting my arms out impossible. I love doing the kick wearing fins though. In my head, I'm Marine Boy.  ;D
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: fboab on February 16, 2015, 11:18:53 am
I'm swimming as part of my Jantastic, and usually I do it on a Friday.
Monday at my gym appears to be swimming day. I'm a crap swimmer, but you, skinny girl, should be sitting home eating chocolate not aiming at me with your spear-like front crawl. Be-atch.

(Alternative insults are available for different body shapes and swimming styles. Somewhere else on the internet skinny girl is whingeing about whale-woman who should be jogging somewhere rather than floating pathetically up and down the pool taking up far too much space).
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: simonp on April 22, 2015, 03:24:44 pm
What do we call swimming-faster-than-anyone-else-in-the-pool-in-the-medium-lane guy?

I have been swimming a couple of times a week at lunch time. 1000m each time.

I've progressed from 1:1 crawl:breast stroke to 2:1 to 12:4 to 16:4 and now 1000m of crawl uninterrupted. Three times so far. It was a hard slog on Thursday. It was even harder on Monday (post Audax fatigue). It was relatively easy today. Before the weight training I've been doing, none of this would have been possible, due to insufficient shoulder/arm strength.

Time to start upping the distance, I think.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Eccentrica Gallumbits on April 22, 2015, 08:09:43 pm
What do we call swimming-faster-than-anyone-else-in-the-pool-in-the-medium-lane guy?
That depends on whether he should be in the fast lane or the overtakees should be in the slow lane.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Peter on April 22, 2015, 08:52:49 pm
It's an interesting one.  I'm recovering from surgery for a broken elbow and went swimming for the first time in about ten years yesterday.  There are three lanes (slow, medium and fast) at our pool in the lane swimming sessions.  I've always been a reasonable swimmer and started off in the fast lane.  I quickly realised that I had lost a lot of my already puny upper body stuff and was about to move over to the medium lane when a bloke crashed into me.  When we got to the turn he expostulated (though I doubt if he knew that's what he was doing), telling me I should have been on the outside, so that people could overtake on the inside.  I explained that I was on the outside.  He was doing backstroke and had no idea where anyone was.  I think this is quite a common problem, isn't it, like protocols at mini-roundabouts?  The medium lane was right for me but I was shocked at how much strength I'd lost!
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: CrinklyLion on April 22, 2015, 09:36:23 pm
It'll come back.  Don't push the swimming too much at first and concentrate on technique to avoid making the elbow wibble - or other bits as you compensate.  And Do Your Physio!  If they haven't referred you for physio - nag until they do.

***This message was brought to you by the member of the fractured-radial-head club who thinks other people should learn from her mistakes***
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: simonp on April 22, 2015, 11:18:15 pm
What do we call swimming-faster-than-anyone-else-in-the-pool-in-the-medium-lane guy?
That depends on whether he should be in the fast lane or the overtakees should be in the slow lane.

I'd have voted for him in the fast lane and the lady doing breast stroke in the slow lane then I'd have had the medium lane to myself. (Obviously).

Some in the fast lane were slower than him. Trouble is they were probably there first.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Peter on April 23, 2015, 12:00:42 am
It'll come back.  Don't push the swimming too much at first and concentrate on technique to avoid making the elbow wibble - or other bits as you compensate.  And Do Your Physio!  If they haven't referred you for physio - nag until they do.

***This message was brought to you by the member of the fractured-radial-head club who thinks other people should learn from her mistakes***

Cheers, Kat - your advice is appreciated, especially as I am somewhat compulsive about exercise!  I am doing my physio (had my second appointment today).  The physio thinks things are going well, though he warns I may not get full movement back - though it could happen.  Guitar playing is a genuine pain and not just for the listener!  I think I may finally be developing maturity because after an achey night, I decided not to go swimming today but leave the next session till Friday.  Physio says swimming is fine (I didn't tell him I'm an idiot - I know how to get the answers I need!).

Thanks again

Peter
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Eccentrica Gallumbits on April 23, 2015, 08:03:22 am
What do we call swimming-faster-than-anyone-else-in-the-pool-in-the-medium-lane guy?
That depends on whether he should be in the fast lane or the overtakees should be in the slow lane.

I'd have voted for him in the fast lane and the lady doing breast stroke in the slow lane then I'd have had the medium lane to myself. (Obviously).

Some in the fast lane were slower than him. Trouble is they were probably there first.
If he was faster than some people in the fast lane, he should have been in the fast lane.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Eccentrica Gallumbits on May 22, 2015, 10:21:31 pm
The thing about doing butterfly with pool fins on is when coach makes you take them off, your real feet are rubbish.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: canny colin on May 22, 2015, 10:43:57 pm
I don't need flippers  ,  I can just about squeeze my feet in to size 51 cycle shoes .  My hands are like shovels . When i use to (work)x pose  as a pool attended . no one would race me doing life guard back kick un fair advantage they reckoned.  xxx marine boy formally known as  canny colin     
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Eccentrica Gallumbits on July 20, 2015, 09:59:40 pm
I had another butterfly lesson tonight. My abs hurt. Ouch.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Eccentrica Gallumbits on July 21, 2015, 05:47:41 pm
I think I've trapped my ulnar nerve. Tingly!
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Eccentrica Gallumbits on September 12, 2015, 12:14:55 pm
I have some days off coming up, and I've booked two 1-1 coaching sessions to keep working on my butterfly. Turns out the coach who's doing them also coaches the Scotland squad. *intimidated*
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: LEE on September 14, 2015, 02:15:06 pm
I intend to start swimming again.

I'm never sure why I stop because I find it the best start to the day imaginable ("Early Bird" sessions from 7-8am).  There's definitely an inertia I need to overcome.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: numbnuts on September 14, 2015, 06:21:14 pm
After my back operation last March now my physio wants me to go swimming “What I haven't been swimming for years if I want to go on the water I take my kayak” anyway next week I'm having a go hopefully I haven't forgotten what to do.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Greenbank on September 16, 2015, 12:30:16 am
Got back into swimming last September when MiniGB started school and I had Friday to myself...

Started off doing 1:1 crawl:breaststroke and slowly moved to 2:1, 3:1, 4:1 and then all crawl.

Sep 2014: 264m, 515m, 666m
Oct 2014: 931m, 980m, 1229m, 1440m
Nov 2014: 1552m, 1465m, 2163m, 1265m, 1176m
Dec 2014: 2600m, 490m, 1532m
Jan 2015: 1199m, 2352m, 490m, 2927m
Feb 2015: (holidays), 1264m
Mar 2015: 2716m, 1665m, 462m, 4137m, 2597m, 1332m
Apr 2015: 5128m, 4578m, 4462m
May 2015: 4841m

(Pool then almost shutdown for refurbishment, I could never go when it was open to everyone and so I stopped).

Luckily I can channel my inner Audaxer when swimming and spend 1h30 in a pool doing endless lengths without getting bored.

Back onto it now after those 4 months off and all stamina has gone:-

Sep 2015: 441m, 686m

After both of those I was utterly knackered (mind you, I did do the first 100m of each swim in ~85s, way too fast as my pacing has gone).

Had swimming coaching for years when I was younger and competed for the county aged 12/13 and luckily the technique seems to have stayed with me. Those big swims (4k+) were done at an average of 115s/100m (just pull, no kicking, all of them done with a pull buoy between my legs). Seem to have the lung capacity for it too as I only need to breathe every 4 strokes (always used to have to breathe every 3 when younger).

Should be back up to 5k swims by Jan, and hopefully 10k a week total volume (5k, 3k faster, 2k of drills)
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Eccentrica Gallumbits on September 18, 2015, 11:47:51 am
Just did a 30 minute butterfly lesson. He made me do a 25m length of butterfly kick on my back, while balancing a cup of water on my head. Didn't spill a drop!
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: BobScarle on September 29, 2015, 12:22:47 am
I went to my local pool last year with the intention of going swimming as another form of winter exercise. Went with a friend who used to be a lifeguard / instructor and had a good session. At the end I had even managed to swim a length, only 25m but still a length. My intentions came to nothing as I have not been since.

However, another winter is rapidly approaching and I am thinking once more of the pool. I lack confidence in the water but if I can overcome my fear I want to swim. I can be a swimmer, I know I can.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Eccentrica Gallumbits on September 30, 2015, 12:34:14 pm
Are there any group lessons for beginners in your area? There are lots of adult beginners. and you might find it easier to increase your confidence in a group setting with a good teacher. I can't imagine how scary it must be to learn to swim as an adult, so chapeau to anyone who does it.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: BobScarle on September 30, 2015, 11:49:35 pm
There are lessons for adult beginners at our local pool. I must give it a go. Might just try on my own and see if I can build a little confidence. I want to do it but am really nervous.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Dibdib on December 09, 2015, 09:03:33 pm
Had my first attempt at swimming in a loooong time tonight. I used to train with a swimming club when I was a kid, but packed it in when I was in my early teens. Since then, I've probably only been in a pool about five times in about fifteen years, and not at all for at least five, for various body-confidence reasons.

Anyway, on a bit of a whim tonight I cycled over to my local pool. I even had to buy some swimming shorts when I got there because the ones on the bottom of the wardrobe had no chance of fitting me. Anyway, I lost count of how many lengths I managed but I was in the pool for about an hour. Stuck to breaststroke as that's pretty much all I feel confident with - I tried one 25m length of front crawl but struggled with pacing it comfortably.

I actually really enjoyed it, even though I'm knackered now and my knee feels a little stiff. I'm going to try a few more pay-as-you-go swims between now and Christmas, then maybe sign up for a membership in the new year - I'd like to get into a habit of swimming twice a week if I take to it.

Edit: turns out Milton Road is a 33m pool, not a 25m pool. I clearly wasn't paying attention, but at least it explains why I'm knackered!
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: essexian on January 02, 2016, 09:36:19 am
Oh....it seems I have forgotten how to swim....  :facepalm:

Looking back to my records, it seems the last time I went swimming was the 8th Feb 2014 when I did 1 100m  in just over 51 minutes. So, I was not surprised when I was a little slower during my post Christmas swim but 400m in 18 minutes 51 sec is worse than I could have thought!

Feeling quite miserable about this, I have signed up for some coaching and tried again this morning managing 800m in 38min 26. That's still VERY slow! One final thing I notice is that whereas I used to be able to do 200m and then rest, I am now resting after every 50m.

I suppose my swim fitness will come back but I do seem to have gone backwards very quickly.

Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Eccentrica Gallumbits on January 02, 2016, 07:27:58 pm
Today was my first swim in a month and I am appalled by how out of condition I am.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Dibdib on January 04, 2016, 10:05:59 pm
I actually really enjoyed it, even though I'm knackered now and my knee feels a little stiff.

Had a few more swims since this, including a trip to the pool yesterday morning. My right knee is now very sore. Bum. Only when I bend it, but it's fine bearing weight, and it's just on the inside of my knee just below the kneecap.

Any tips from the swimmers on how to help it heal, besides ibuprofen and rest? I'm guessing prevention is "less breaststroke" in future :(
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Eccentrica Gallumbits on January 05, 2016, 12:22:41 pm
If your knee is sore after breaststroke, you might benefit from some coaching to improve your kick technique.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: essexian on January 06, 2016, 02:20:52 pm
First, the good news.... I seem to be getting back to being able to swim reasonably okay in that I have took 2 minutes off my 800m time this lunchtime.

The bad news is that I now have a very sore hip from where some **** kicked me whilst attempting to "swim."  One day I will be able to afford my own pool so won't have to share with such people. Sorry, I know this is a rant but it hurts still 2 hours later.


Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: epa611 on January 06, 2016, 03:34:01 pm
I actually really enjoyed it, even though I'm knackered now and my knee feels a little stiff.

Had a few more swims since this, including a trip to the pool yesterday morning. My right knee is now very sore. Bum. Only when I bend it, but it's fine bearing weight, and it's just on the inside of my knee just below the kneecap.

Any tips from the swimmers on how to help it heal, besides ibuprofen and rest? I'm guessing prevention is "less breaststroke" in future :(

Sounds like a screw kick where your feet/legs are not in the correct position.  Quick google shows this video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hlzKxGk-7NM) which seems quite good!  (I'm ex Scottish and GB junior squad butterfly and IM).

Go get some lessons to get this sorted or the pain will get worse. 

Try to do front crawl leg kicks with a float until it recovers and once healed, alternate strokes.

Paul
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Dibdib on January 07, 2016, 09:05:53 am
Thanks Paul and EG. From looking elsewhere I reckon I'm "whip kicking" rather than "frog kicking", which I think is what's causing the discomfort in my knee - just as a motion my knees are really not used to doing.

I went back to the pool last night and really tried to concentrate on slowing down and making sure I frog kick rather than whip kick, and it seems to have made a decent improvement. My next aim is to get a bit of fitness and a bit more mileage in the pool and then maybe look at joining a masters team for some coaching and a bit of a social side.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: ian on January 07, 2016, 12:19:46 pm
Yes, I have to be careful to keep the kick under control, it's easy to start 'flicking' out and twisting and overextending the knee. I also alternate between front crawl and breaststroke, one length of each, which breaks things up.

I did another couple of sessions at the 50m Olympic pool over the holidays. Now back in the local 25 metre pool. It's so short, I'm forever bloody well turning and avoiding listing-to-starboard grannies and Mr Bloody Rotavator and his whirling arms.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: hellymedic on January 14, 2016, 03:14:29 pm
It's a while since I have swum but it seems the 33m pool is in decline and 50m pools are a rarity.

Wowbagger posted elsewhere his disappointment that he only had a 25m pool in Southend.

The twin 33m pools at Swiss Cottage are no more.

How long is your local pool?
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Wowbagger on January 14, 2016, 03:26:11 pm
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_long_course_swimming_pools_in_the_United_Kingdom refers.

It seems that a proper Olympic size pool is 50m * 25m. There are 33 pools which are 50m * 18m. That would do, I reckon: I wouldn't think that the budding olympic athlete would care about how wide the pool is as long as they didn't have to turn every 25m.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: essexian on January 14, 2016, 03:38:30 pm
The Stafford pool is 25m by I would think 15m, whereas Cannock is the same length but is narrower. The pool I am having my "coaching" sessions is (Penkridge) is 17m by about 8m. The only 50m pool I have ever swam in was Corby and it seemed to be MASSIVE!

Talking about Coaching, I had my first session last friday when "Coach Carol" told me that despite the fact that I can travel 800 to 1200m in the water, I can't actually swim....! It seems my arm pull is all wrong and my leg kick belongs to something other than a swimmer.

So, on Tuesday and earlier today I went to the pool to try out what she had shown me and frankly I have no idea what I am doing and could hardly make any progress down the pool. I do feel I have gone backwards and simply don't have the required coordination. It really has knocked my confidence and makes me wonder if I should bother going for more coaching.

When I talked to CBH about this I was told not to be so stupid...very supporting eh... and that the coach knows what she is talking about and over time it will all become clear. I am sure CBH is right but it doesn't feel like that at the moment.

Oh...and the person who kicked me last week was in the pool today. Strangely they kept well away from me today!
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: hellymedic on January 14, 2016, 04:02:35 pm
Strikes me that if you can make successful forward progress of several hundred metres in water without drowning, you must be swimming, albeit with a technique that does not please your coach.
I can't imagine your coach to have a similar shape to yours and some movements aren't possible.
I know my technique improved by just doing the distance. Lots of practice and repetition improved my efficiency.
I never was going to be an Olympic swimmer (but I was happy to do up to 100 x 33 metre lengths of breaststroke).
Keep swimming!
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: JJ on January 14, 2016, 04:26:02 pm
"Coach Carol" told me that ... I can't actually swim....!

(Speaking as a coach) It sounds to me as if she was trying to say you've got plenty to work on, but chose rather unfortunate words to express that.

The good news is that, with plenty to work on, you've a good chance of making rapid progress!  I'd suggest trying to filter out the negative language and focus on the drills, drills, and more drills that will surely be suggested!

Enjoy learning!

Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: mrcharly-YHT on January 14, 2016, 04:40:53 pm
It's a while since I have swum but it seems the 33m pool is in decline and 50m pools are a rarity.

Wowbagger posted elsewhere his disappointment that he only had a 25m pool in Southend.

The twin 33m pools at Swiss Cottage are no more.

How long is your local pool?
25m
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Dibdib on January 14, 2016, 04:50:16 pm
Swindon seems to be overrun with swimming pools. I think there's at least four just in the ex-council group I'm a member of - the pool at the Link centre is 25m and Milton Road is 33m. Oasis isn't even square, and I've no idea about Dorcan but I'd guess 25m.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: ian on January 14, 2016, 06:13:53 pm
The Ladywell one used to be 33 metres, but they knocked that down and replaced with a 25 metre minnow. Mine is a 25 metre but I sometimes swim in the Nuffield Health sports centre in Bloomsbury and that has a teeny 20 metre pool. I used to live near Crystal Palace which has a 50 metre pool but it had an ever shifting schedule and series of excuses not to be open, so I ended up going to the pool in Beckenham. It was useless for daily swimming. Back when I used to work aboard a mothership all the time I used to go to the Oasis which boasts a lovely 25 metre outdoor pool. Before you get too excited, it's overlooked by council flats. It used to nice on winter evenings, swimming through the fog-like steam and swirling lights. I'm quite surprised it wasn't overrun by pirates
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Wowbagger on January 14, 2016, 06:48:19 pm
I think that the old outdoor Chelmsford pool I failed to learn to swim in (I learned to swim in the sea when on a family holiday in Pembrokeshire in 1965) when I was at primary school may have been 50m, but I'm not sure. It was always bloody cold.

The only heated indoor 50m pool I have swum in was at Millfield School. I spent about an hour floundering around in it and had it completely to myself. God knows how much it cost to heat it, given that this was the August holidays and there were no students or staff on site.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: LittleWheelsandBig on January 14, 2016, 06:53:12 pm
Before the Sydney Olympics, the British swim team were training in Queensland and there was an interesting comparison. The Gold Coast alone had more 50m pools than all of Britain.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: SteveC on January 14, 2016, 06:59:02 pm
When I was a youngster, Southampton had a 36 and 2/3 yards long pool (3 lengths to 110 yards, so 48 to the mile-not that I ever managed that in one go).
There was also a 20m pool attached to one of the training colleges. The 20m pool cost a tenth of the big pool. In terms of just getting people to learn to swim, it would have made much more sense to have more smaller pools. And we couldn't even use the big one for official galas as it wasn't metric.
(Didn't stop us having the best swimming club in the country at the time, though)
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: campagman on January 14, 2016, 07:24:00 pm
I swim in the same 25m pool as Adam Peaty (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adam_Peaty) (he probably spends more time a Loughbrough Uni).
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Kim on January 15, 2016, 12:34:07 am
How long is your local pool?

The University are in the process of molishing a shiny new just-under-50m pool within not-worth-getting-a-bike-out-for distance of here.  Much noise was made at the planning stage of it being Birmingham's first Olympic sized pool, but (in a turnout won't shock anyone familiar with barakta's rants) it seems that somebody forgot to allow for the thickness of the grout or something and it's fallen slightly short of the Olympic specification.  It appears that hasty re-wording of all the promotional material is cheaper than doing it properly.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: matthew on January 15, 2016, 06:59:56 am
But did they remember the mass of the water so they could actually fill it? I seem to remember a previous pool there which was dry for lack of support structures.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: LittleWheelsandBig on January 15, 2016, 07:03:10 am
The University are in the process of molishing a shiny new just-under-50m pool within not-worth-getting-a-bike-out-for distance of here.  Much noise was made at the planning stage of it being Birmingham's first Olympic sized pool, but (in a turnout won't shock anyone familiar with barakta's rants) it seems that somebody forgot to allow for the thickness of the grout or something and it's fallen slightly short of the Olympic specification.  It appears that hasty re-wording of all the promotional material is cheaper than doing it properly.

I recall an instance in Australia where, less than a year after opening, one end of a council pool was rebuilt to add a few centimetres for just that reason.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: ian on January 15, 2016, 07:27:35 am
I once worked at a university where they'd built the library but forgot to account for the weight of the books. Clue: they're heavy.

I find pools below 25 metres to be a bit of exercise in turning, a couple of strokes and hey-ho, around you go. Fifty metres let's you stretch out and swim. But I agree that I'd rather have lots of widely available 25 metre pools than a few 50 metre pools with limited availability. I make an occasional trip to the Olympic pool and used Ponds Forge in Sheffalump and the Commonwealth in Edinburgh.

Kitsilano pool in Vancouver is a fabulous 140ish metres (heated salt water, but it's been pretty cold when I've been). Now that's a proper length.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Eccentrica Gallumbits on January 15, 2016, 08:08:15 am
It's a while since I have swum but it seems the 33m pool is in decline and 50m pools are a rarity.

Wowbagger posted elsewhere his disappointment that he only had a 25m pool in Southend.

The twin 33m pools at Swiss Cottage are no more.

How long is your local pool?
My nearest is the Royal Commonwealth Pool, which has an Olympic-size pool, a 25 metre pool, and a 25 metre diving pit. Next nearest is Warrender which is 25 yards.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: fboab on January 15, 2016, 10:01:11 am
The pool at my gym is I think only 20m.
Sports centre 25m
The other gym has a whole 15m.

You don't need 50 metres if you're not swimming competitively. It's the difference between cycling for sport, and cycling for recreation. How many of us actually race?
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: ian on January 15, 2016, 10:07:55 am
Nah, 50 metres let's you find a rhythm. Otherwise it's like having sex and changing position every 30s.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: mike on January 15, 2016, 10:08:26 am
Cambridge has at least 3 x 25m indoor pools and an amazing 90m lido which is wetsuitable from May.  And a lovely river..

I had a go in an endless pool over christmas, only about 4m x 2m but a gurt big fan at one end and a dial on the side to turn the current up or down.  Exhausting, but great fun not having to turn.  With that and a snorkel you could just get on with the swimming! 

The best bit was the mirror so you could see yourself swimming - I made some big changes to my stroke and it felt a lot more efficient when I got in the pool this week.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: hellymedic on January 15, 2016, 01:04:16 pm
I enjoyed 33 metre pools more than 25m pools.
I've not done 50m pools much but  33m was nice for distance and more than 7 strokes of my glidy breaststroke.

There was a nice 33m pool at the university when I was a stude and I haunted Swiss Cottage for much of my misspent youth.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Kim on January 15, 2016, 01:50:19 pm
I once worked at a university where they'd built the library but forgot to account for the weight of the books. Clue: they're heavy.

Every university seems to have this urban legend.  Along with the one about the weight of the water, and the one about the student accommodation falling short of the minimum requirements for a prison cell[1].  (The computer lab where they forgot to allow for the heat of the computers wasn't a myth.  Towards the end of the CRT era, every university seemed to have one of those, too.)

While I'm sure these things have all actually happened somewhere at one time or another, they're best treated with a [CITATION NEEDED] when someone shares the witty anecdote about their alma mater.


[1] At UKC we had a variation on this theme, with the Eliot and Rubberfood colleges being designed by the same architect as The Maze prison.  This is easily confirmed to be bollocks, as the architect was in fact ripping off a college in Pennsylvania
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: JJ on January 15, 2016, 02:08:51 pm
And a lovely river..

I was a bit put off, after being pursued all the way back from Grantchester by an aggressive swan.

I had a go in an endless pool over christmas.

Where was that Mike?

Fancy swimming Newnham-Grantchester-Newnham together next summer?  River swimming is always safer two-up.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: mike on January 15, 2016, 02:51:07 pm
I had a go in an endless pool over christmas.

Where was that Mike?

Fancy swimming Newnham-Grantchester-Newnham together next summer?  River swimming is always safer two-up.

Yes to the river, definitely!

The pool was a private one down near Henley, so not much use for round here. There used to be one in Hauxton 15-20 years ago, I think it's gone now..
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: ian on January 15, 2016, 08:28:54 pm
I once worked at a university where they'd built the library but forgot to account for the weight of the books. Clue: they're heavy.

Every university seems to have this urban legend.  Along with the one about the weight of the water, and the one about the student accommodation falling short of the minimum requirements for a prison cell[1].  (The computer lab where they forgot to allow for the heat of the computers wasn't a myth.  Towards the end of the CRT era, every university seemed to have one of those, too.)

While I'm sure these things have all actually happened somewhere at one time or another, they're best treated with a [CITATION NEEDED] when someone shares the witty anecdote about their alma mater.


[1] At UKC we had a variation on this theme, with the Eliot and Rubberfood colleges being designed by the same architect as The Maze prison.  This is easily confirmed to be bollocks, as the architect was in fact ripping off a college in Pennsylvania

I fear this may be the source (http://articles.courant.com/1994-05-06/news/9405060307_1_new-library-storrs-campus-new-york-architect) of the legend. I still think they're exchanging lawyers over the issue. The building allegedly shed bricks but that might be actual lie, but everyone knew someone who knew someone who had been hit on the head with a brick. It was engulfed in scaffolding and enough safety fences to keep out the Mongol Hoard, but the US does feature litigation as a competitive sport, and parents don't pay $20k a year to have their kids dodge falling bricks, even if it does build character and resilience.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: barakta on January 17, 2016, 12:06:22 pm
That sounds much like the clusterfuck which is my new office building, no one knows who built what...
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: essexian on January 21, 2016, 02:07:26 pm
Any breaststroke swimmers out there who can give me some tips/information please.

I am attempting to learn to swim it this stroke correctly but am really, really struggling to get the whip kick correct. My coach has told/shown me what to do, as have videos on Youtube. However, whenever I try it, it seems to generate no power at all. Indeed, I hardly seem to move when using and float and thus, without any arm strokes.

So, just out of interest, as a percentage of overall power/forward movement comes from your arms and how much from your legs? If its next to nothing from your legs, then I won’t worry. If, as seems from Youtube it is quite a bit, then I need to seriously practice more!

Thanks in advance.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Dibdib on January 21, 2016, 02:10:50 pm
Any breaststroke swimmers out there who can give me some tips/information please.

I am attempting to learn to swim it this stroke correctly but am really, really struggling to get the whip kick correct. My coach has told/shown me what to do, as have videos on Youtube. However, whenever I try it, it seems to generate no power at all. Indeed, I hardly seem to move when using and float and thus, without any arm strokes.

So, just out of interest, as a percentage of overall power/forward movement comes from your arms and how much from your legs? If its next to nothing from your legs, then I won’t worry. If, as seems from Youtube it is quite a bit, then I need to seriously practice more!

Thanks in advance.

I was getting quite a lot of power from a whip kick (probably 30-40% legs, 60-70% arms) but then doing so has knackered my knee, so ymmv.

Trying a more knee-friendly frog kick and pushing back with the soles of my feet more than whipping my feet inwards was noticably less effective.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Wowbagger on January 22, 2016, 10:56:07 pm
I can't help with breast stroke technique I'm afraid, even though breast stroke is the  only one I do. I don't push my face into the water and noticed this morning when I came out of the pool that my neck ached a bit.

I have found that 4 lengths take me about 5 minutes. I did another 650 metres (26 lengths) this morning. I am expecting to speed up a bit, as I lose weight, on the simple basis that a floating body (mine) displaces its own weight (120kg) in water. The same effort used to displace 110kg, for example, would presumably move it a bit further. I quite fancy half an hour's swimming 3 times a week. I signed up for the year this morning. Next Wednesday my swimming pal starts a new job for 6 weeks - he will be doing something for TfL to do with cycle lanes - so I will be going on my own for a while. I will probably go twice next week, on Tues and Weds, and will probably go a fair bit earlier. I understand that the pool opens at 7 am. We have been getting there around 9.

Oh, and a small footnote: although Southend's swimming pool is a perfectly ordinary sub-standard 25m job, the diving pool is of olympic standard. The National Diving Cup was being held there this weekend and lots of fish-like people were doing noisy things on the diving boards. For some reason the pool staff/cup organisers didn't want the riff raff watching this happen and there were large barriers up between the two pools.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: ian on January 23, 2016, 01:24:44 pm
Any breaststroke swimmers out there who can give me some tips/information please.

I am attempting to learn to swim it this stroke correctly but am really, really struggling to get the whip kick correct. My coach has told/shown me what to do, as have videos on Youtube. However, whenever I try it, it seems to generate no power at all. Indeed, I hardly seem to move when using and float and thus, without any arm strokes.

So, just out of interest, as a percentage of overall power/forward movement comes from your arms and how much from your legs? If its next to nothing from your legs, then I won’t worry. If, as seems from Youtube it is quite a bit, then I need to seriously practice more!

Thanks in advance.

I'm not professionally trained (but I have been swimming fifty-a-day for over a decade now) and generally I find a majority of the power comes from my upper body stroke, so I wouldn't worry overly provided you are moving through the water and nothing hurts. Strength will build over time.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Wowbagger on January 26, 2016, 11:17:56 am
30 lengths this morning, so 750 metres. I think I detected that I was doing about 5 lengths in 6 minutes this morning, so that is a bit faster than 4 in 5. I spent a little over 35 minutes in the water.

My pal is off to That London for 6 weeks' work starting tomorrow. His job is with TfL promoting the "cycle superhighways"!
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: essexian on January 26, 2016, 11:23:59 am
Thanks for the advice. I am going swimming to the "Over 50's" session this afternoon so I will keep trying the drills Coach Carol has shown me.

Lets hope today's swim is better than Sundays.... I managed to forget to take my towel, floats and pull buoy so had go and buy some stuff from the local ASDA...doh! Thankfully, I had put my shorts on before I left home, otherwise there would have been quite a sight in the pool in Stafford.  :sick:
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Tigerrr on February 01, 2016, 02:52:40 pm
I have found my swimming has improved hugely by the use of hand paddles and a swim snorkel. Because the breathing can now be disconnected from the stroke it is much easier to go faster and longer, like hours, while the paddles increase stroke power. It is a shame that public pools don't appear to allow them. Apparently the paddles can hurt other swimmers and if you are dead it is hard to tell with a snorkel.
I would quite like to swim the Thames from Lechlade to Reading - but only if the water is warm enough. In the meantime I am going to try some sea swimming off the Costa Blanca this spring.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Wowbagger on February 02, 2016, 09:37:48 am
My 32 lengths took me 38 minutes this morning, so that's a slight speed increase, I think.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: essexian on February 17, 2016, 01:57:13 pm
Nose clips...anyone use them (when swimming of course!)

I ask as I seem to be breathing in half a pool full of water whilst trying to learn how to breathe whilst doing front crawl.

Any suggestions/ comments etc gratefully received.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: ian on February 17, 2016, 04:50:13 pm
I use a nose clip, otherwise my nasal lining gets irritated and snuffly. You get used to them pretty quick, though obviously it's a bit like swimming with a blocked nose at first.

Use the Speedo competition ones (with the metal bridge), they're easier to adjust, more comfortable, and work. The plastic ones are horrible.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Wowbagger on February 17, 2016, 11:02:17 pm
40 lengths this morning - 1km. Just under 53 minutes.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Eccentrica Gallumbits on February 22, 2016, 12:40:55 pm
First butterfly lesson for ages this morning. He's pleased with my kick, my timing still goes awry but I'm aware of it and can correct it. Now we just need to sort my arms out and then put it all together!
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: essexian on February 23, 2016, 01:59:13 pm
Many thanks Ian for the excellent suggestion: I made a purchase of the suggested item which worked well during my lunchtime swim. Its rather pleasing that my nose doesn't feel sorer than a sore thing at the moment and my lungs aren't full of water. So, that's a considerable improvement.

Also an improvement...and no laughing at the back, I managed my first 50m non stop swim today and did it in 1 min 40. Now before I started having coaching, I was able to swim a couple of hundred metres without stopping so I suppose I have gone backwards to a degree. However, my previous time for 50m would be well over 2 minutes, so doing the full breaststroke is considerably quicker than my previous effort.

Sadly my attempts at front crawl are still funner than something really funny.  :(

Finally, swimming with gout in my middle toe is rather painful.

Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Eccentrica Gallumbits on February 26, 2016, 09:46:49 pm
Tonight I managed 10-12 metres of full stroke, no fins, no paddles, no rhythm, no ability to breathe underwater butterfly. It was very very bad butterfly, but I feel awesome.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Feanor on February 26, 2016, 09:55:11 pm
Well done!

When Junior was little ( about 8 or 9 ), we went to the public swimming pool in Breckenridge, Colorado.
It had a Tarzan Swing rope thing, for the kids to swing on and drop into the pool.
He was way smaller than any of the big kids using it, so the attendant told him he needed to be able to swim to the far side of the pool before he was allowed to use it.
"What stroke?" said cheeky junior.
"Butterfly" joked the lifeguard.
And Junior jumped in and did a thrashy butterfly to the far side.
"Er, I was just joking!" said the lifeguard, and let him have the rope.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Wowbagger on March 02, 2016, 09:47:57 am
There is a regular clientele at the pool around 8am. I did only 20 lengths today, having to see Phyllis in hospital before going off to work at 11.30. I remarked to a woman who was hanging onto the edge near where my final length finished "Knocking off early today. My heart's not in it."

"You know," she replied, "you look just like the god Poseidon when you get out of the water. All you need is a trident."

Day made!  :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Eccentrica Gallumbits on March 14, 2016, 12:51:09 pm
Had another hour of butterfly lesson this morning and by the end I managed 15m of no fins, no paddles, full-stroke, reasonably competent butterfly. Twice.  ;D ;D ;D And then I grinned like a loon and said "I did it I did it I did it!" for about five minutes.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Eccentrica Gallumbits on March 25, 2016, 04:07:48 pm
Another hour of butterfly coaching. Am this -- close to being able to do it!
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: CrinklyLion on April 17, 2016, 02:29:47 pm
It's great when it works, isn't it?

Today I actually went swimming for the first time in _ages_.  Just 20odd lengths, but it felt OK.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Eccentrica Gallumbits on April 17, 2016, 09:40:45 pm
I had another hour of coaching on Monday and other than a reminder to do pointy toes, coach didn't make a single correction to my technique, and when I queried it, he said he didn't need to cos I was doing it all right!  :D
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: campagman on May 04, 2016, 05:58:54 pm
Has anybody any tips for preventing or delaying my goggles misting up, please?
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Eccentrica Gallumbits on May 09, 2016, 01:05:37 pm
My new non-fog ones fogged today.  ::-)

My butterfly lesson was a complete disaster this morning. I was tired and sore and useless. So we agreed to pack it in and work on back crawl arms instead.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Eccentrica Gallumbits on June 03, 2016, 08:45:36 pm
We did racing dives tonight.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: CrinklyLion on July 11, 2016, 12:43:44 pm
36 lengths. 8 breaststroke to warm up, then 4 sets of back/2xbreast/crawl, then 2 sets of 2xback/2xbreast/2xcrawl. Given that I was in Yearsley-feels-like-swimming-through-treacle Pool, a classic Victorian 50 yard one (although it does have a roof these days) I reckon that makes about a mile.

(Took nearly an hour though... at my fastest in the good old Barbican days I could do a mile of dreadfully inefficient breaststroke in under 40 minutes!)
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Greenbank on July 18, 2016, 01:03:57 pm
First trip to Shepperton Lakes for some open water swimming tonight. Will hopefully do 3 or 4 big laps once I've done the induction.

Hoping the cheaper rental suits are good enough, really don't want to splash out to have to £400 on a swimming wetsuit, £150-ish will be more than enough!
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Greenbank on July 18, 2016, 09:55:12 pm
Did 2x400m laps (the big laps are 750m) as I'd forgotten it was a 22km cycle each way and I had to be home by 8pm. Will probably do 1500m next time and then 3km or 4km on the third trip (I do this in the pool regularly) so the distance doesn't worry me.

Great fun, slightly nervy setting off (it's been 20+ years since my last proper open water swimming) but despite some dodgy sighting I was quickly back into it. Just under 8 mins for each 400m lap. Forgotten how floaty you are in a wetsuit.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: ian on July 19, 2016, 10:01:56 am
Has anybody any tips for preventing or delaying my goggles misting up, please?

Rub some soap on the inside (I just use the dispenser in the swimming pool toilets) and lightly rinse to leave a little residue behind. Job done.

Fifty lengths (25 metres) every day (at just over 30 minutes). I don't get much faster. Or slower, I suppose.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Greenbank on July 19, 2016, 10:43:54 am
Has anybody any tips for preventing or delaying my goggles misting up, please?

Rub some soap on the inside (I just use the dispenser in the swimming pool toilets) and lightly rinse to leave a little residue behind. Job done.

Saliva works for me (not as soap).

Fifty lengths (25 metres) every day (at just over 30 minutes). I don't get much faster. Or slower, I suppose.

Much like cycling, doing the same long slow distance swim every time is the slowest way to get faster.

Doing all of the complicated stuff:-
* Drills with kickboards, pull bouys, paddles, fins, snorkels even
* Swim ladders and/or intervals
* Proper technique (either from drills or coaching)
* etc...
is how you get faster quicker.

Once I'd built up the fitness I went down from 2:05/100m to 1:50/100m (for a 4k swim - just pull, no kicking) by just doing those big long swims but then it plateaued.

Since adding in proper training I've got down to ~1:45/100m and hoping to sneak under 1:40/100m by September. Under 1:30/100m and I'd be deliriously happy as I'd love a sub 1h IM swim (next year maybe...)
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: tonyh on July 19, 2016, 12:41:24 pm
Sub half-hour?
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Greenbank on July 19, 2016, 01:14:24 pm
Sub half-hour?

The IM swim is 2.4miles or 3860m.

1:30/100m would give a time of 57:54.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: tonyh on July 19, 2016, 01:45:03 pm
Thanks, my misunderstanding. Good luck with getting under that hour! Impressive stuff.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Greenbank on July 19, 2016, 04:33:14 pm
Was surprised at how fast a wet suit makes you go (given the extra buoyancy and less of me in the actual water) when I went for the lake swim the other day.

Have ordered the cheapest Zone 3 Venture wetsuit from Wiggle, not bad for £106 or so.

Next day delivery so I hope it arrives before 4pm and I can pootle along to Shepperton Lake again to try it out for a proper swim.

It's helping take my mind off the Mersey Roads 24 this weekend.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Greenbank on July 20, 2016, 09:04:22 pm
https://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/1264775435

Happy with that and the new wetsuit. Well, the third lap at least. It took the first two laps to settle down and get into a good rhythm and not trying to go too fast.

Toasty warm in the lake today. 25 deg C water temperature.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: tonyh on July 21, 2016, 06:51:19 am
.....to settle down and get into a good rhythm and not trying to go too fast.

Looks a good plan for the 24 as well! Good luck and enjoy another adventure.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: ian on July 21, 2016, 10:26:57 am
Has anybody any tips for preventing or delaying my goggles misting up, please?

Rub some soap on the inside (I just use the dispenser in the swimming pool toilets) and lightly rinse to leave a little residue behind. Job done.

Saliva works for me (not as soap).

Fifty lengths (25 metres) every day (at just over 30 minutes). I don't get much faster. Or slower, I suppose.

Much like cycling, doing the same long slow distance swim every time is the slowest way to get faster.

Doing all of the complicated stuff:-
* Drills with kickboards, pull bouys, paddles, fins, snorkels even
* Swim ladders and/or intervals
* Proper technique (either from drills or coaching)
* etc...
is how you get faster quicker.

Once I'd built up the fitness I went down from 2:05/100m to 1:50/100m (for a 4k swim - just pull, no kicking) by just doing those big long swims but then it plateaued.

Since adding in proper training I've got down to ~1:45/100m and hoping to sneak under 1:40/100m by September. Under 1:30/100m and I'd be deliriously happy as I'd love a sub 1h IM swim (next year maybe...)

Oh, like with cycling, I'm not really trying to get any faster. Swimming is my daily workout, as Moby's stunt double I have to keep my svelte waistline. I'm a few decades into a near-30 minutes fifty length front crawl-breast stroke combo. I'd be a lot faster if I didn't have to keep navigating around slow moving OAPbergs.

But yes, the soap thing works. I've been using the same pair of goggles for over a decade. The downside is that I get to see all the bad tattoos. Though, given the warm weather, there's no shortage on view without going to the pool.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Greenbank on July 21, 2016, 10:48:01 am
I've been using the same pair of goggles for over a decade.

So have I, but because they cost £150. (Prescription goggles as I can't wear contact lenses.)
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: ian on July 21, 2016, 06:48:33 pm
I think they were £2.75 from Decathlon. I bought two pairs. I'll probably have died before I need the second.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Feanor on July 21, 2016, 07:21:14 pm
I appear to be a rubbish swimmer.

We were doing a PADI diving course recently, and one of the requirements was to swim 10 lengths of the pool.
This was a box-ticking exercise, at the end of the day, and I was in CBA mode.
So I decided to do it in lazy breast stroke, because my front crawl is splashy, inefficient and tiring.

Big mistake.
The action of bringing your legs together at the end of the stroke applies an outward force to your knees.
I managed to bugger up my Anterior Cruciate Ligament or somesuch gubbins and was basically cripple for most of 2 weeks.

I should have just thrashed up and down in my ungainly front crawl, or risked banging me head with a back crawl.

Interestingly, the knee pain was much better for a couple of hours after diving to modest depths of 12 - 18 M.
I wonder if the pressure squidges fluids and inflammation away from the injured area?
A sort of hyperbaric therapy for muscle / ligament injury.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Greenbank on September 03, 2017, 12:10:14 pm
2 weeks until Swim Serpentine (entered the 2 mile swim foolishly) and nowhere near as ready as I'd hoped I'd be.

Did 700m or so of open water swimming in Lake Annecy each day the week before last whilst on holiday. Nothing last week as I was away with no access to a pool.

Today: 1600m (made up of 100m sets slightly faster than normal with a rest in between each one)

I've got another couple of swims planned at least 2500m on Tuesday in one continuous block at steady pace, then another swim next Monday (probably 3200m at least) and then it's a case of jumping in the Serpentine and pushing through.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Greenbank on September 08, 2017, 01:20:48 pm
Went for a run on Tuesday instead and then Wednesday was too busy at work to sneak out. Managed to nip out early today and did 3000m in just under an hour. Happy with that.

May do another hour on Monday, will see how the shoulders are feeling. I don't want to still be recovering come Saturday week.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Greenbank on September 11, 2017, 09:10:59 pm
3200m today in 1h02m. Felt great throughout without the usual going off too fast (I often end up doing the first 100m in ~1m30s before finding the right pace).

Will just have a gentle swim tomorrow after MiniGB finishes her lesson and then it's running, cycling or 5-a-side for the rest of the week.

Got a list of things to remember for Sunday:-
* Wetsuit (I hope I can still squeeze into it!)
* Jammers
* HRM-Tri strap
* Bodyglide
* Swim cap
* Goggles
* Flip flops

Would be great to sneak in under the hour for the 2 miles but I doubt it given it's open water (faster due to wetsuit and drafting, slower due to no push offs every 25m, open water and wanderings off course - my sighting isn't bad though, and just not arsed to have to deal with the swim biff).
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Greenbank on September 16, 2017, 06:14:01 pm
(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DJ20ABXXoAAbTb3.jpg)

1h10 according to my Garmin, chip times are not on the website yet.

Happy with that given my relative lack of training.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Graeme on October 30, 2017, 04:53:18 pm
I've been swimming again for the past few months, and really enjoying it. Then I lost my prescription goggles and had to wait a month to buy some new ones - but the new ones are excellent because I don't have to empty the water out at the end of each lap - so that was a win. Swimming without goggles was literally a pain in the neck, so I'd swapped to backstroke, but breaststroke is completely my favourite so I wasn't enjoying swimming so much.

Anyway - today was the first day back in the pool, and the first day with my new goggles... and for some reason I just kept swimming and swimming and swimming. I completely lost track of time, but I didn't lose track of my lap count... and I swam just over a mile. I'm so over the moon I had to share it - I'm sure my pace was sedate but I don't care, I was just really delighted that I'd had the stamina to keep going.

I think next week I might do the same but make a note of my start time too... now I'm intrigued as to how long it might take me.

... All this is part of feeling grumpy that I just keep gaining weight and it doesn't matter how far I cycle it make no difference. It is almost as though my body has learned to hang on to fat with a vice-like-grip just in case I ask it to ride in the cold and rain all day without feeding it. So giving my body a surprise by asking it to swim... and then swimming a lot has filled me with joy. Like I've been swimming with Endolphins. Woo.

Sorry - I know this is a self-indulgent post. I'm just feeling really bouncy and wanted to shout about it. Yay. :)
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: harvey on October 30, 2017, 05:36:46 pm
Good post; Graeme. made me smile.  :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Aleksdad1 on October 30, 2017, 06:48:46 pm
Partner Liz and I decided about three months ago to take lessons and learn to swim the crawl properly. I have found it really difficult to keep going and see so little progress. I could not even swim 20metres without feeling totally exhausted and needed a rest before starting off again. However I have at last made a real breakthrough by using paddles. They have forced me to slow down my stroke speed and I can now manage a 50m length without the paddles at the Commie Pool in Edinburgh and be able to turn around again and do another. We have been taking private lessons from a fabulous instructor who has endless patience and is really encouraging. I am now looking forward to going to La Santa in Lanzarote in a couple of weeks and not being two and a half lengths behind the second last swimmer in 400m. Last year I took 16 minutes for the distance and managed one length of the breast stroke before defaulting to the breast stroke for the remainder. 
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: mike on August 22, 2018, 09:53:00 am
some friends are doing the Serpentine swim this year, as per Mr Greenbank above, and have been training at the open air pool in Cambridge.  I got bullied into joining them the last few times, having hardly swum at all in the last year.
 - a 90m pool is too damn far, I'm knackered by half way.
 - I always set off too hard.  First 2 lengths I'm going great, by length 5 I'm focussed on survival and only by length 8 or so am I through the worst and actually going at a sustainable speed.
 - by which time I'm Quite Tired and am having at least one breast-stroke break per length.
 - is it normal to be so hungry afterwards?  It's not even 10 o'clock and my lunch is gone and I'm thinking about a 2nd.

Pool temp was 17 this morning so broke out the wetsuit (which is quite a lot tighter than it used to be!) and managed 16 lengths - quite hot but much easier in a suit.  Luckily the pool closes for the winter soon and I can go back to encouraging them over a coffee rather than actually getting in the water :D

Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Greenbank on August 22, 2018, 12:08:25 pm
training

Ah. Yes. Training.

I did 1500m on Monday. First swim in a couple of months. Only 4 weeks to go until Swim Serpentine, and I'm entered in the 2 mile swim. Oh well, it'll be fun.

- a 90m pool is too damn far, I'm knackered by half way.

It takes a while to get the pacing right, especially for open water. Whenever I go back to open water I always find myself blowing after a minute or so because I'm waiting for the short rest you get at each turn (my training is all done in a 25m or 33.3m pool). It's surprising how much of a break you get in that short glide to the end of the length, turn and subsequent push and glide.

Serpentine water temp was 15.2 deg C last year. That felt so bloody cold on the feet, hands and face. Gave me something swear about for the first few minutes (whilst I also set off too fast).

It's going to be an even tighter fit with my wetsuit this year, unless I can drop a good few kg in the next few weeks.

(Love the Jesus Green Lido. I grew up doing lots of swimming there, and did some lifeguarding one summer.)
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Manotea on August 22, 2018, 12:26:09 pm
It's going to be an even tightersleeker fit with my wetsuit this year, unless I can drop a good few kg in the next few weeks.

FTFY (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4KGglW6cX6c) :)
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Greenbank on September 10, 2018, 11:58:28 am
Only did 1000m this morning, just couldn't be bothered. Swim Serpentine looking doubtful. Will see if I can force myself to do 3000m either tomorrow or Wednesday.

Found this though: https://www.marathonswims.com/

1k, 5k and 10k swims in the Olympic pool in Stratford. Mostly sold out for 2018 but I'll keep an eye on it for next year as I'd definitely be up for a 10k pool swim.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: ian on September 10, 2018, 12:10:34 pm
I did a few 10km swims a while back. It's a bit dull, tbh, even for an inveterate daydreamer like me. Not sure I'd do it again. It's not like the scenery changes and there's a lack of usual bad tattoos on display to entertain me.

That said, I was telling someone that swam 50 lengths the other day and she assumed that I was 'doing it for charity.' It's a 30 minute swim...
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Greenbank on September 10, 2018, 12:25:50 pm
You get to get out of the pool every 1km though for a little walk, so it's like a hideous duathlon. You start in lane 1, do two 50m lengths and move to lane 2, another two 50m lengths, move to lane 3, ... all the way to lane 10. Once you've done the 20th length (1000m) you get out and walk back to lane 1 (resting/drinking/eating/etc if required). Lather, rinse, repeat until you've done the appropriate distance.

In the Olympic pool too.

I'm used to the monotony (http://www.greenbank.org/misc/swim_20160304.png). I had swimming coaching for years in my youth (City of Cambridge SC, formerly Granta SC). Staring at the bottom of the pool for hours on end is quite normal (hello discarded plaster, hello lost hairband, hello cracked tile, hello HOLY MOTHER OF GOD I HOPE THAT CLUMP OF MATTED HAIR STAYS THE FUCK AWAY FROM MY MOUTH, hello discarded plaster, hello lost hairband, ...)

Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Peter on September 10, 2018, 12:28:00 pm
Ian, I think maybe if you put "I" between "that" and "swam" it would be a bit more understandable.  For a second, I thought you meant she had swum 50 lengths and was marvelling (as would I) that you could swim 10k in 30 minutes, which is international vest time on the running track, never mind in budgie-smugglers!

Peter
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: ian on September 10, 2018, 01:15:45 pm
Sorry, I type too fast and my brain fills in the missing words. But yes, I did the swim, she did the comment. It happens all the time, we tell someone we did a twenty mile hike (not uncommon) and the assumption is always that's we're doing it for charity. It's only a matter of time before my 10 minute amble to the train station is deemed worthy of sponsorship.

As for the swim marathons, things have softened up, I did 400 lengths back and forth without a break (well, you could stop at the ends for drink and pause, but simpler to keep going). I will say that my daily 50 lengths vary – sometimes I vague-out and it's all over, other times, it's a grim tick-tock of each and every length. Those are usually the days when I swim like a sack of spanners. Generally, after many years of swimming I don't really tire beyond a certain point unless I really thrash, so the limit is boredom. That said, I often do 50 lengths in the Crystal Palace 50 metre pool just because. It's easier to zone out when you're not having to turn all the time.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Peter on September 10, 2018, 01:26:53 pm
Yes, it's odd how the same "task" can seem so different on different occasions.  I try to ride at least 10 miles a day and have several circuits or laps to alleviate the monotony, although generally love of cycling itself is enough.  However, some days the tme will fly by while on others, for no particular reason, I can hardly be bothered to turn the pedals over.  Yesterday's was helped by unexpected sighting of green woodpecker (unlikely at the pool, admittedly)!
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Greenbank on September 10, 2018, 03:54:13 pm
Since my daughter started school I've only worked 4 days a week and my days off used to be Fri/Sat/Sun. My extra (weekday) day off was a chance for me to get fit. 6 hours of uninterrupted free time whilst my daughter was at school and wife at work. Swimming, long walks, cycling, running, etc.

However, I'd play 5-a-side on a Thursday night with mates and would end up in the pub for too many pints.

So every Friday morning I'd be up with a hangover, dropping my daughter off at school and then going straight for a swim, ideally 1h20m worth. It'd start off feeling reasonably grim and a slog but I'd get into the rhythm of it, start to feel better and some times I'd be happy to push on past the 4000m mark.

I did this for a few years until I swapped my day off from Friday to Monday (which meant I now try and run my hangover 11km into work on a Friday). Oof.

But now I think I get the Dean Martin quote[1]. I start my 4km swim on a Monday fresh as a daisy and I only ever seem to feel worse as it goes on. It's taken a lot more mental effort to stay in the pool since I've swapped days.

1. "I feel sorry for people who don't drink. When they wake up in the morning, that's as good as they're going to feel all day."
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Greenbank on September 21, 2018, 05:19:17 pm
Well, all excuses to avoid Swim Serpentine have failed (even my hastily arranged childcare is holding up) so I guess I'll have to do it.

Lack of training means I'll be slower than last year so probably 1h15 to 1h20. (I'll be close to being lapped if I'm any slower.)

At least I know what to expect this time!
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Greenbank on September 22, 2018, 01:50:26 pm
1h13 something. Happy with that off scant training.

Really enjoyed it this time, got into a nice rhythm after about 10 minutes and bashed it out.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: hellymedic on September 22, 2018, 04:35:29 pm
Not too shabby!
Well done!
I can't swim at all any more cos my arms are too weak to keep my head above water.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Greenbank on January 04, 2019, 11:48:18 am
Entered a 10k swim in November 2019 in the Olympic pool: https://www.marathonswims.com/ (not cheap!)

Will definitely do the Swim Serpentine 2 mile swim again in Sep 2019, given I'll be training for the above 10k swim I may even opt for the 6 mile (Super 6) option. I think I should get preferential entry as I've done both of the 2 mile Swim Serpentine events that have taken place.

With proper training I'll aim for sub 50min for the 2 mile event. For the 10k I'd be happy with sub 3h30m.

For now I'll just keep things ticking over in the pool and I'll focus more on distance later in the year. If I get a Ride 100 place in the ballot (find out mid-Feb) then I'll need to ramp up the miles for that alongside marathon training.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: ElyDave on January 04, 2019, 02:07:23 pm
started swimming as rehab following my fractured pelvis.  I was going regularly twice a week and walking inbetween days.  Started out arms only, 400m almost did for me.  Today, having had a lay off over christmas I did 200 warm up / 1050 (miscounted laps) / 150 cool down for  1400m total, total session length just under 35min.

I might keep this up for a while as I don't feel confident going back to running yet. Even if my technique hasn't improved my stamina has
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: essexian on January 23, 2019, 08:20:16 pm
Reading this thread inspired me to go swimming again on Sunday after an imposed gap of some 2 years...blimey, just checked this thread, its nearer to three years.....following an injury to my right arm which meant I could not raise the arm above my head. I had got into my head a silly idea that I could get fit enough to do the Swim Serpentine (the mile) in September..... well, before my injury I could manage 1 200 to 1 500 metres in a pool with some effort and I had had some coaching so my stroke was much better than it had been.

However.... come Sunday I discovered that I could no longer swim....well I managed to do 50m before giving up. My "improved" stroke was terrible: I just couldn't get the breathing right, while my previous stroke was slower and more painful than it had been. A mile seems, er, miles away! I have checked the times for the last event and the slowest was someway over 2 1/2 hours.... I would be looking at around an hour which is slow by normal standards but hey ho, its not a race....is it?

Not wanting to give up after just one go, I tried again this evening and again, my improved stroke just isn't working but I did manage 250m using the old, arms only stroke. I feel I could have done more but it was an open session and thus, there were lots of children in the pool enjoying themselves.....how dare they!!!!  >:( ;D ;D ;D

Can I make it to a mile by September: I think I should be able to do if I put some work in....something I try to avoid at all costs! The one thing I forgot was how much it hurts my back and neck!
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: ian on January 23, 2019, 08:35:22 pm
I've always been a bit against recording my exertions but I have started as a thing in 2019 (in part my motivation was that I always bloody forget how many lengths I'm on and the pool has a stupid clock that catches and has to be poked by the lifeguard armed with a big stick).

Anyway, I've now proven to myself that I'm not very fast and no, I can't count my lengths very well. It does make me self-competitive, thrashing through my final length in an attempt to hit a magically implausible sub-20ish seconds in a feat that I imagine makes it look like I'm the main course of a piranha feeding frenzy.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: ElyDave on January 24, 2019, 09:19:04 am
Reading this thread inspired me to go swimming again on Sunday after an imposed gap of some 2 years...blimey, just checked this thread, its nearer to three years.....following an injury to my right arm which meant I could not raise the arm above my head. I had got into my head a silly idea that I could get fit enough to do the Swim Serpentine (the mile) in September..... well, before my injury I could manage 1 200 to 1 500 metres in a pool with some effort and I had had some coaching so my stroke was much better than it had been.

However.... come Sunday I discovered that I could no longer swim....well I managed to do 50m before giving up. My "improved" stroke was terrible: I just couldn't get the breathing right, while my previous stroke was slower and more painful than it had been. A mile seems, er, miles away! I have checked the times for the last event and the slowest was someway over 2 1/2 hours.... I would be looking at around an hour which is slow by normal standards but hey ho, its not a race....is it?

Not wanting to give up after just one go, I tried again this evening and again, my improved stroke just isn't working but I did manage 250m using the old, arms only stroke. I feel I could have done more but it was an open session and thus, there were lots of children in the pool enjoying themselves.....how dare they!!!!  >:( ;D ;D ;D

Can I make it to a mile by September: I think I should be able to do if I put some work in....something I try to avoid at all costs! The one thing I forgot was how much it hurts my back and neck!

If I can get from 400m arms only and feeling like I'm half dead, to 1500m and feeling good at the end of it in about 2 months, then I'd say a mile in September is well within your reach.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Greenbank on January 24, 2019, 09:40:03 am
If I can get from 400m arms only and feeling like I'm half dead, to 1500m and feeling good at the end of it in about 2 months, then I'd say a mile in September is well within your reach.

Same here (checking my logs) I went from nothing to >1 mile in 2 months.

My weekly swims went something like:-

150, 250, 266, 200, 500, 833, 1100, 1500, 1450, 2150

(However, I wasn't recovering from any sort of injury, just a long time away from swimming.)

Swim Serpentine is very relaxed (if you want it to be), would definitely recommend it!
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: ian on January 24, 2019, 07:06:48 pm
Swimming is mostly about stamina, once you have it you can keep going until you get bored. I did double my usual 1250m in the Olympic pool at the weekend and didn't feel any more tired. That said sometimes I feel as though I'm swimming like a big bag of spanners, other times a rocket-propelled dolphin on waterskis. Sadly, I always move at the speed of the former.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: hellymedic on January 24, 2019, 07:18:42 pm
A VERY long time ago, I thought I'd see how far I could swim. I usually mucked around after my first four lengths, though I was taking myself for a swim around three mornings a week.

So I did 28 x 33 metre lengths.

I did 54 lengths the next day, which I repeated quite frequently.

Once you can keep going, you can keep going.

This was indoors, in a heated pool.

I appreciate open air swimming is a different beastie.

I can't swim at all any more as I don't have the strength.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: ian on January 24, 2019, 08:03:24 pm
I don't think they do 33 m pools any longer. Other than a couple of Olympic 50m (all I can think of in London is Crystal Palace – where I go – and the Olympic Park Aquacentre), everything is 25m, which is a bit disappointing, you just get going and then have to turn around. Usually into the back of a slow person who, of course, never lets you overtake at the end. And then the murders begin.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: hellymedic on January 24, 2019, 08:22:35 pm
I know. The twin 33m pools at Swiss Cottage are no more. (The 'teaching' pool was 25m).
I used the 33m pool at Sheffield University as a student.

I think the Dolphin in Poole was also that length.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: ian on January 24, 2019, 08:57:21 pm
Ladywell pool was 33m and really a rather lovely place to swim (and the thing that got me back into cycling – it was far enough to make walking there and back over Hilly Fields every lunchtime a bit of a drag, so I thought I'd try cycling...). Lewisham were uncommonly dedicated to its demolition though. They finally got their way when they built a new titchy pool at the other end of town.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: ElyDave on January 25, 2019, 06:12:05 am
What all this shows is that swimming fitness is specific to swimming and does eff all for anything else, unlike eg cycling and running to a degree.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Greenbank on January 25, 2019, 12:37:01 pm
My local pool (Putney Leisure Centre) is a 33 1/3m pool although they often have the lanes set up sideways using the diving pool bit (it's an L shaped pool) and so the lanes are 24.5m.

I appreciate open air swimming is a different beastie.

Indeed. Note that Swim Serpentine recommends, prior to the event, to be able to do either:-
* the full distance in open water
* twice the full distance in a pool non-stop

They also strongly recommend doing some open water swimming before the event, it is quite a bit different from the pool, the lack of mini-breaks at the end of each length soon add up, and you need to set your pace slightly slower to account for this. There are plenty of psychological factors to consider too (sharing the lake with fish, feet touching plants and other things, very low visibility in the water, water taste, swim biff, etc).

Also you'll be swimming in a wetsuit (or using a tow-float if not) and you don't want the event itself to be the first time getting used to that. Wiggle often have perfectly good wetsuits on sale for ~£100, Decathlon stock some too although I've no idea how good they are. Renting them isn't much cheaper if you're going to use them for a while to get used to them. Saying that, I rented one the first time I went to my local open water swimming lake and got advice from the company about which size would be best, I was then able to buy one on-line with confidence.

There are plenty of open water swimming places in the UK although they tend to only open up in May once the water temperature gets high enough (usually 12 deg C although each place may be different). I use Shepperton Lakes for my open water prep, it's also a handy 22km cycle ride away, and I can even go for a run around the lake if I really hate myself.

Reminds me, need to order a tow-float as I've booked a family holiday to Lake Annecy again this year and hope to nip off to do a longer swim each day and there are a few motor craft that use the lake so I want to be as visible as possible.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Greenbank on January 25, 2019, 12:40:38 pm
What all this shows is that swimming fitness is specific to swimming and does eff all for anything else, unlike eg cycling and running to a degree.

It does help with general cardiovascular fitness, but with cycling and running the lack of fitness will first show up in the legs until you're relatively well trained.

Swimming is still also good non-impact exercise that has a good calorie burn rate.

On the negative side, poor technique will aggravate or even initiate shoulder/elbow injuries, and breaststroke is not recommended if you have knee problems.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: essexian on January 27, 2019, 02:51:10 pm
So, went to the "Over 50's" swimming session this lunchtime....sadly no one asked if I was old enough  :facepalm: and improved the 200m I managed on Wednesday to 500m.

It felt okay but my legs are still not there and I had to stop for a few seconds every 50m to get my breath back. No doubt I could have done more but frankly, I feel it is best to build up slowly as the arm I had injured three years ago has started to hurt again.  :(

A mile by September looks possible....if I can do something about my legs and if my arm holds together!

Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: SteveC on January 27, 2019, 03:55:35 pm
If you're doing crawl and aiming for a long distance swim, I wouldn't worry too much about the legs. They're very inefficient in terms of effort in for propulsion out so best reserved for sprinting. You just need to do enough to stop your body twisting too much. Try to have a look at some top-class swimmers doing a long distance race (remembering that 'long' for a swimmer is much shorter than for a runner) and you'll see what I mean.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Greenbank on January 28, 2019, 01:36:55 pm
It felt okay but my legs are still not there and I had to stop for a few seconds every 50m to get my breath back. No doubt I could have done more but frankly, I feel it is best to build up slowly as the arm I had injured three years ago has started to hurt again.  :(

Another trick is to do one length crawl and then one gentle breaststroke (or backstroke) to recover. Then move to two lengths crawl, one length recovery, etc until you're able to keep crawl up continuously. I've got a few old swims logged where I was doing 1:1 or 2:1 like this.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: essexian on January 29, 2019, 07:40:52 am
Thanks both.

Sadly, my front crawl is more like something which is very unlike swimming and never gets me more than 10m without needing to stop! I just can't get the breathing right.

If the gout I now have goes away over the next day or so, I will try some more distance on Wednesday. I might even see about trying to get some coaching to get me back on the correct path. I am sure a better stroke would make the distance much easier.

Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Greenbank on January 29, 2019, 07:46:32 am
I watch this video regularly: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s3HhNlysFDs

(It's interesting how my stroke has improved[1] since watching this video regularly. Every time I watch it I think "ah, I need to do this more" or "I need to change this" and try and remember to do that next time I'm in the pool.)

Definitely consider some coaching, I had a couple of lessons last year and it certainly helped me discover the things I need to focus on.

1. Or returned closer to what I was coached to do years ago
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: ian on January 29, 2019, 08:44:40 am
I do five lengths breaststroke to warm up, then alternate front crawl for the next 35, and then the final 10 front crawl, finishing on a sprint. (I lied about 20s/length upthread obviously, I meant to say 30s, I'm not that fast! I'm not even very fast.) I can do all 50 front crawl, but I like to exercise different parts. I did a several years ago do my knee in which took breaststroke off the menu for a good while. That got better, but I'm careful with kicks as they do indeed risk stressing the knees.

Pacing your breathing is obviously important if you want to avoid stopping every length or so. There's nothing wrong with breathing every stroke (push out the breath while underwater, so you draw a full breath when you surface). And slow the pace slightly so you're not so out of breath. Stamina is something you build gradually.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: ElyDave on January 29, 2019, 09:11:37 am
I might have a watch of that video, I'm acutely aware that my stroke has appeared organically rather than through coaching.  Yesterday I did my semi-usual 200m warm up followed by 3 x 400m. I keep thinking I'll go for a full mile, with another 200m cooldown, but I've normally got bored by then.

I do need to start breaststroke carefully again, though wih my recent hip injury and ongoing subsequent back problems.  I'm not sure what happened yesterday, but both feet were cramping at different times and are aching this morning.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Greenbank on January 29, 2019, 07:18:30 pm
Decided to use my Tuesday brief swim session for a quick blast having watched that video again (I get ~20min in the pool before it closes for kids lessons and I watch my daughter's lesson from the hot tub - tough life).

4x100m pull warm up at a brisk 1:40/100m pace with ~1 minute rests

25m free warm up sprint (in pool start, no dive) in ~22s, rest

25m free all out sprint (in pool start, no dive) in 17.4s, swallow lungs and rest

50m sprint (in pool start, no dive, flat turn as someone was in the way of a proper tumble turn) in 38.4s

1x100m pull cool down at 1:45/100m.

So my current all out sprint pace (1:08.8/100m) is what that video lists as 'steady'. HR hit 175bpm during the 50m sprint. Ugh.

Long term aim is to get down to 1:30/100m Swim FTP (i.e. pace I can sustain for 1h).

My arms hurt (I did 1000m of pull yesterday too.)

(I don't bother with dive starts as (a) they're a bit over the top even though they give a 1-2s advantage, (b) my prescription goggles usually come off and I don't want to adjust them any tighter to keep them on.)
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Greenbank on February 04, 2019, 09:22:30 am
Swim Serpentine entries open for 2019:-

https://www.swimserpentine.co.uk/how-enter/online-entry/

(Accidentally signed up for the Super 6 event.)
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: essexian on February 05, 2019, 12:36:52 pm
I've signed up for the Mile event. I think its useful that "they" allow you to pick your starting time as that means I will be able to get a morning train down rather than staying overnight as I did for Ride London.

I've also signed up for this... https://www.diabetes.org.uk/get_involved/fundraising-events/swim22

Having had diabetes (its under control due to weight loss) and having lost my brother in part to the illness, its something I feel I should do....it also gives me a reason to get the miles in, in advance of the September swim.

Now.... shame I don't have any friends I can pester for sponsorship....  :P
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Greenbank on June 26, 2019, 06:26:34 pm
Starting to build up my swimming, up to ~3k a week at the moment (12 and a bit weeks to go to Swim Serpentine) and will aim to be doing ~10k/week within 6 weeks (although summer holidays make this interesting). Will try to do 1k-2k a day whilst on holiday in Lake Annecy at the end of August, have a new swim buoy to help keep me safe from the watercraft (mainly the ferries).
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Greenbank on July 15, 2019, 03:12:42 pm
My local pool has Swimtag which, amongst other things, keeps track of your best 400m time and ranks you against everyone else using Swimtag each week:-

My last 4 weeks have been:-

24 Jun 2019 : 392th / 3971
01 Jul 2019 : 208th / 3990
08 Jul 2019 : 175th / 4004
15 Jul 2019 : 37th / 4005

Slowly getting back into it.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: ElyDave on July 25, 2019, 06:15:48 am
managed a mile comfortably on Tuesday as 550/550/500

plan similar today, my company does some work with Swim Serpentine on sustainability and gets a couple of places, I have my name down.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Greenbank on August 02, 2019, 06:42:56 pm
Bugger, badly sprained ankle at 5-a-side last night. X-ray today at minor injury clinic shows small avulsion fracture so I've done something with the ligaments. Have a fracture clinic appointment on Wednesday and crutches to see me over (can put a bit of weight on it at least but need crutches for walking more than 100 yards).

Who knows how much extra damage I did by playing on for the remaining 30 minutes of the game. To be fair, it didn't hurt too much (I have a high pain threshold) and I could still run and kick the ball hard with that foot. It only seized up overnight.

Hoping I don't get away with nothing (and physio) or a removable boot at worst. A cast would mean no Swim Serpentine.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Greenbank on August 05, 2019, 08:29:51 pm
Did 3200m today whilst my daughter amused herself with the diving boards. Not all in one go, but in four chunks with breaks to watch the diving/jumping. Got nicely into the rhythm of it again too.

Going to start to ramp up the weekly distance now. Not enough time to work on speed so hopefully some stamina will allow me to plod along at 2:00/100m for hours and hours.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Greenbank on August 11, 2019, 03:02:40 pm
Was that a mike at Jesus Green Lido yesterday afternoon?

1400yds with only 10 people in the entire pool. Can't beat outdoor swimming.

(6km for the week, hoping for 10km this week split over 3 swims.)
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: ian on August 12, 2019, 10:35:31 am
A couple of 2000m sessions at the National Sports Centre's 50m pool last week (also blessedly free of screaming kids) will shortly remind me how teeny the local 25m feels.

And blimey, the kids diving off the high platform into the diving pool, some awesome skills. I'd just depth charge the water at enough speed to break something of fundamental importance.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Greenbank on September 03, 2019, 10:09:46 am
Still waiting for Final Instructions email for Swim Serpentine (21st Sep) so not sure of the exact format but guess it will be starting with a 2 mile swim and then picking subsequent 1 or 2 mile waves until I've clocked up the distance.

Training has (as usual) been haphazard but I did manage about 4h in total last week whilst on holiday in Annecy (luckily wife and daughter also like lake swimming) including 1000m in the lovely outdoor 50m pool at Marquisats although my favourite lake swim was at Talloires.

Will try for 10k over 3 sessions this week and same again next week and then have an easy week before the event itself.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Greenbank on September 08, 2019, 04:41:12 pm
Will try for 10k over 3 sessions this week and same again next week and then have an easy week before the event itself.

Thu: 2500m
Sat: 3600m
Sun: 2000m (wanted to go for longer but lacked the willpower and the lanes weren't conducive to getting in a rhythm)

So only 8100m in those 4 days.

Plan:

Mon (09-SEP): 3600m 2000m - tired shoulders but faster including 7:20 400m in the middle of it which was a surprise
Wed (11-SEP): 3200m - tick - 13400m in the last 7 days, no wonder I feel tired. Managed a new (recent) PB of 7:10 for 400m which was a bigger surprise than the last one.
Fri (13-SEP): 3200m - 1600m - felt broken, weekend off should help
Mon (16-SEP): 4000m - tick - felt good too, could have carried on if I'd had the time
Wed (18-SEP): gentle swim before MiniGB's lesson - [EDIT] might push for 1k or more if I can be bothered
Sat (21-SEP): Swim Serpentine

Good news is my brother introduced me to a pool near Victoria that's relatively quiet after 8.30am. I'll look to sneak in a Friday morning swim each week on my way to work in the build up to November's 10k swim. Once Swim Serpentine is out of the way.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: ElyDave on September 15, 2019, 07:55:53 pm
Two sessions this week before my membership ends and I'm back to payg.

1500 and 1600m sessions, one in the evening, where I was  surprised at the emptiness of the pool.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Greenbank on September 21, 2019, 07:55:38 pm
Done. 3h41 total swimming time.

Did it as 3 x 2 miles (you couldn't stay in for longer than 2 miles at any one time). 1h10, 1h14, 1h17.

First two sets of 2 miles felt great. Felt tired starting the 5th mile and did not entirely enjoy the last mile (except for the last 200m).

Forgot just how buoyant a swimming wetsuit is, and probably only did 400m of kicking in the entire swim (my shoulders hate me) so I need to ditch the pull buoy and practice kicking as November's 10k is in a pool (so no wetsuit).

Awesome day out. Great organisation (and the Super Six spoils you with a dedicated area and lots of camaraderie) and amazing volunteers all over the place.

(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/EE_tDGpWsAEmkDC?format=jpg&name=4096x4096)
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Greenbank on October 01, 2019, 12:31:55 pm
Woo, made it to 2nd in the leaderboard at the local pool. 17.16km (and only 420m behind 1st). Obviously doesn't count the 10km swim above either but then I've no idea what the person in 1st has done.

First time back in the pool for over a week and could only face doing 1km. Sets of 100m alternating between pull and full front crawl, aiming for 1:40/100m pace in both. That may have something to do with why I only managed 1km before the fuck-it valve blew.

6 weeks to the Marathon Swims 10k. Need to be doing 10km a week from next week.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Greenbank on October 19, 2019, 07:07:09 pm
6600m in the last 3 weeks since Swim Serpentine. This last 7 days of supposed "training" has wiped out by a throat infection and annoying cough.

3 weeks until 10k Swim Marathon. FFS.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Greenbank on October 26, 2019, 03:06:32 pm
2 weeks away, last swim was October 14th. Chest still full of lurgy.

I'll probably start and see how far I can get.
Title: Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
Post by: Greenbank on November 10, 2019, 03:27:30 pm
I ended up doing a single 400m swim since 14th October. That's not great training.

Swim Marathon was today.

Did 1k (the minimum you could really do), got out and gave my chip in to one of the volunteers.

Maybe could have squeezed out 3k in my current state, possibly 5k if that was the event I had entered, but there was no chance I was going to do the full 10k.

Got a t-shirt and a lurid pink swim cap (good for open water stuff) and it was nice (but hideously expensive) excuse to swim in the Olympic pool.

As an event it's all a bit chaotic. I plodded along at 2:00/100m (which was the target pace I'd put down when entering) but there were people in there at the same time going at 4:00/100m and 1:30/100m. In just those short 20 minutes I was in the pool I hit the lane dividers with my hand about 4 times whilst avoiding people coming towards me overtaking too wide. Hard to get into a rhythm but probably easier when swimming at 1:45/100m and overtaking more.

I'll consider it for next year, but I won't enter anywhere near as early as I'll make sure I'm doing enough training. There were still places in the 10k available a few weeks ago. I'd want to have a CSS of 1:30/100m by then as I'll look to do a SwimForTri course at my local pool to get my technique sorted.

Having done the Swim Serpentine Super 6 event this year I'll drop back to just doing the 2 mile version for 2020 and going for a much better time (sub 1h and ideally sub 50m).

New goals:-

Get some technique advice/training at my local pool in the new year.
Swim CSS (equivalent to cycling FTP) down to 1:30/100m (i.e. 4k in 1h).
Sep 2020: Swim Serpentine 2 miles (sub 1h, ideally sub 50m)
Nov 2020: Possibly enter Swim Marathon 10k again, see where I am come the summer.