Author Topic: Learning to swim/improving swimming  (Read 40578 times)

cometworm

Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
« Reply #50 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

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.

Gattopardo

  • Lord of the sith
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Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
« Reply #51 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.

LEE

Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
« Reply #52 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.

Julian

  • samoture
Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
« Reply #53 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... :)

cometworm

Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
« Reply #54 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.



andygates

  • Peroxide Viking
Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
« Reply #55 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.
It takes blood and guts to be this cool but I'm still just a cliché.
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simonp

  • Omnomnomnipotent.
Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
« Reply #56 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:

Julian

  • samoture
Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
« Reply #57 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. 

simonp

  • Omnomnomnipotent.
Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
« Reply #58 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.

Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
« Reply #59 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.
Have you seen my blog? It has words. And pictures! http://ablogofallthingskathy.blogspot.com/

andygates

  • Peroxide Viking
Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
« Reply #60 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:-)
It takes blood and guts to be this cool but I'm still just a cliché.
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Wascally Weasel

  • Slayer of Dragons and killer of threads.
Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
« Reply #61 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  :)

Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
« Reply #62 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!
Let right or wrong alone decide
God was never on your side.

Gattopardo

  • Lord of the sith
  • Overseaing the building of the death star
Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
« Reply #63 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.

simonp

  • Omnomnomnipotent.
Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
« Reply #64 on: April 26, 2009, 12:08:47 am »
Good start.  :thumbsup:

Gattopardo

  • Lord of the sith
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Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
« Reply #65 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.

toekneep

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Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
« Reply #66 on: April 29, 2009, 08:54:05 pm »
Breathing is good. Not breathing was always my big mistake.  ;D

Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
« Reply #67 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.
Have you seen my blog? It has words. And pictures! http://ablogofallthingskathy.blogspot.com/

andygates

  • Peroxide Viking
Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
« Reply #68 on: May 29, 2009, 04:55:06 pm »
Correct all those, and he'll then tell you what's wrong with your legs :)
It takes blood and guts to be this cool but I'm still just a cliché.
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Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
« Reply #69 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!
Frenchie - Train à Grande Vitesse

Gattopardo

  • Lord of the sith
  • Overseaing the building of the death star
Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
« Reply #70 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.


Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
« Reply #71 on: May 29, 2009, 10:47:17 pm »
Hints and tips then. :thumbsup:


Watch; just before 2012.  ;)
Frenchie - Train à Grande Vitesse

Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
« Reply #72 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.  :-[
Have you seen my blog? It has words. And pictures! http://ablogofallthingskathy.blogspot.com/

Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
« Reply #73 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? ???
Have you seen my blog? It has words. And pictures! http://ablogofallthingskathy.blogspot.com/

andygates

  • Peroxide Viking
Re: Learning to swim/improving swimming
« Reply #74 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.
It takes blood and guts to be this cool but I'm still just a cliché.
OpenStreetMap UK & IRL Streetmap & Topo: ravenfamily.org/andyg/maps updates weekly.