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  1. #1
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    Breaking down the barriers for swimming...

    Ok, guys. heres the deal. I am an avid runner and cyclist. I am also a lifeguard at the local pool. I figure taht I am a good candidate to be a triathlete.

    i can swim about 200m and then I'm done (freestyle) As part of the lifguard screening, I need to be able to do a 200 yards in 3:45, and 25 yards in 20 seconds. I can do both of those feats of amazing fitness. however, after that 200m mark, I'm dead. I simply cannot do any more. in a triathlon, there aren't any wall to push off either. so. how do I go about being able to swim a mile of freestyle?

    When Trying to increase fitness, do you do increase a lap a week? any tips would be appreciated? I also think that possibly I have a bad stroke. These chicks that work at my pool I know are in worse shape then me, but can always kill me in swimming? did anyone take a class to improve your stroke?

    any tips would be appreciated.

  2. #2
    Senior Member steversk's Avatar
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    I used to be a lifeguard too. During tri's, I will often switch to the breaststroke. I find that I can swim almost the same speed as everyone else and I'm less tired.

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    breaststroke, eh? I can definitly do 1 mile of breastroke...

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    Have you looked into Total Immersion swimming? Their whole philosophy is efficience/balanced swimming so you are fresh for the bike and run.

    http://www.totalimmersion.net/

    I know a lot of top triathletes who are doing this. I actually took a couple of lessons from them while traing for my first tri. Unfortunately, my baby is due to come the same week, so won't be able to do a tri until next year.

    Anyway, they focus on body balance while swimming. I improved a lot after the lessons. Check it out.

  5. #5
    Packfodding 3 caloso's Avatar
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    Interesting. I seem to recall having to swim 1000m during my lifesaving qualification. I remember that our instructor had us do 1000m just to warm up before learning all the moves and drills.

    Anyway, I'd recommend adding 50 m (that's just 2 lengths in a 25m pool) every swim workout until you can do 1000 comfortably. Then, repeat until you get to 1500.

    Make sure you work on bilateral breathing and sighting every 10 strokes or so (no lane lines in a lake or the ocean!).
    Cyclists of the world, unite! You have nothing to lube but your chains!

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    I would highly recommend reading up on the philosophy of Total Immersion swimming and work on implementing those mechanics into your stroke and body position. You don't have to take a class to learn from it, you can check the web or pick up one of his books at the book store. If you can already swim 200m you have a headstart over me when I started earlier this year. Probably the first thing you should do is swim much slower than you currently are and try to reduce the number of strokes you use to go from one end of the pool to the other.

    While we are on the topic of one end to the other....

    Length: from here to there
    Lap: from here to there and back here again

    It takes 35 laps in a 25m pool to swim a mile, but for purposes of Oly distance tri training, 1500m is "the mile" that you are probably shooting for. My biggest recommendations are - slower, less strokes, swim at least 3-4 times per week. It will come along eventually and for most people there is a zen moment where things just get easier.

    Edited to say...I actually find it easier to swim without walls because the walls break my rhythm. I also second the recommendation to use bilateral breathing so you can breathe every third stroke. There are multiple reasons this is advantageous, but for me two strokes doesn't empty my lungs enough and four leaves me breathless. Three is just right.

  7. #7
    Senior Member hockey's Avatar
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    One of the best things you can do is to practice breathing. Try bobbing for 15 minutes. If you can do this comfortably you are ready to find a relaxed front crawl stroke. Begin by breathing every stroke, same side. After a few days this will be comfortable and you should be able to add distance daily. ONce you feel comfortable with this stroke try alternating sides every third stroke. Learn to swim on your side to increase speed and efficiency!
    Hockey

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    well i think adding 100m would be easy, the theory behind swimming is that if you swim one day, the next day you can swim twice as far. Alot of it could be your not willing to push yourself, or that your just lacking peer presure. That may sound weird but it is alot easy to get in and do more with a freind. It's just easier. I dont know why it just is. So try pushing yourself a bit. You'll wake up sore for a little bit but after about three or four days it will start to feel good and you will start to get the benefits.

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    I was looking for this thread...I had forgetten where I had posted it...i was looking in training and nutrition to no avail...

    Originally posted by caloso
    Interesting. I seem to recall having to swim 1000m during my lifesaving qualification. I remember that our instructor had us do 1000m just to warm up before learning all the moves and drills.

    Anyway, I'd recommend adding 50 m (that's just 2 lengths in a 25m pool) every swim workout until you can do 1000 comfortably. Then, repeat until you get to 1500.

    Make sure you work on bilateral breathing and sighting every 10 strokes or so (no lane lines in a lake or the ocean!).
    I'm just a humble pool lifeguard here...also, the certifications change depending on the company doing the certifying.

    I have not worked for the past week, and this has kinda screwed up my swimming. I did notice that if I did not skip days I felt better the next, and I felt i could swim longer. anyone notice this?

    you know, that total immersion swimming thing might hold some water. One of my co-workers is a very fast swimmer, and she is also very graceful in the water, looking more like she is gliding as opposed to pulling herself through the water.

    she is like 5'9" and about 130. I know that boats are limited by their ratio of width to length...would this apply to a swimmer too? just wondering here.

    I suppose that is what the TI thing is trying to teach, having a smooth type of gliding thing going on.

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