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  1. #51
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    Here's a good video on kicking. My kicks are really bad. On a kickboard, it takes me 1 minute to go 25 yards (with a good push off!). A good swimmer can easily do it in 30s I heard.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DgZ5-oatDg8

    My ankles are stiff so I'm gonna work on flexibility and concentrate on the proper technique from this video.

  2. #52
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    I've been told that a person should "kick" with the upper leg and keep everything below the knee relaxed, much like you are saying about your ankles. I really don't know a whole lot about swimming but concentrating on that and keeping my kicks small I can usually do repeats of 50 yards in 43-47 seconds.

  3. #53
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    Just so I can determine how much improvments my arms need vs legs, I'm wondering what would be a good 25 or 50 yd time if you just used arms to propel yourself and use bouys to keep you legs aloat and still and streamlined. I guess this would include a push off.

  4. #54
    Senior Member Keith99's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by adamtki View Post
    Here's a good video on kicking. My kicks are really bad. On a kickboard, it takes me 1 minute to go 25 yards (with a good push off!). A good swimmer can easily do it in 30s I heard.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DgZ5-oatDg8

    My ankles are stiff so I'm gonna work on flexibility and concentrate on the proper technique from this video.
    A good swimmer can go 25 yards in under 15 seconds easily. Late highschool and college I was about 1 minute 5 seconds (100 yards) for kicking. That was unusually fast for my level, but well below world class.

    One trick I learned was that things are a bit more efficiend the toes are angled in a little. This may relate to a more complete extension. The feet should be a continuation of the leg. Imagine your feet are as big as fins. If they are just a little off then they stick out and provide drag instaed of thrust. (Imagine your feet angled the way they are when you walk, pure drag. Not as obvious if they are nbent just a little).
    Last edited by Keith99; 02-10-10 at 02:27 PM.

  5. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by adamtki View Post
    Just so I can determine how much improvments my arms need vs legs, I'm wondering what would be a good 25 or 50 yd time if you just used arms to propel yourself and use bouys to keep you legs aloat and still and streamlined. I guess this would include a push off.
    All out kick 50s are about 45 seconds like I said above.

    I don't do sets with pull buoys very often. However, I do repeat 50s just freestyle at around 30ish.

    Best of luck to you!

  6. #56
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    Another excellent reference detailing the fine points of the flutter kick. I'll find out next time I'm in the pool to see if the tips in there help.

    Swimming Fastest

  7. #57
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    I am sure this a is a form problem but at 11 strokes per 25m without a kick off I can't seem to find it. I feel as though I am pulling so much water that to keep my stroke rate (unsure what it is until I get me new Tempo Trainer in the pool) is so low that I am dieing for air at three strokes. I am not really gliding but still pausing slightly for air. What is a good stroke rate? Should I loose some efficiency so I don't over come my strength?
    Another thing. I get so much different info from all sources. I got in a pool with an ex high school champ and he found that keeping my head down like I hear most places is the reason I was like a foot under water when I would roll for air. Now that I look up and keep the water line just above my brow I am breathing much much better. What gives?
    Zach

  8. #58
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    Here's a video from goswim.tv about stroke count.

    http://www.goswim.tv/entries/5698/fr...cy-step-1.html

  9. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by ptb1 View Post
    what would you guys advice as a training scheme to start of with?
    2 times a week, 4 times, every day?
    thanks
    I think this depends on you age and swimming experience. When I was a young man, I just jumped in the pool, (or hit road, whatever), and swam pretty much every day. Now I find that when I start working out after a layoff, I'll swim every other day for a few weeks until my condition and strength improves.
    Two reasons, first, swimming really seems to tax all sorts of muscles that don't get used that much otherwise, and I want to hit the pool feeling strong and recuperated. It's more important to maintain form than it is to just pound the water. Second, I'm older (50), and the body likes rest.
    Other than that, I try to get 20-30 minutes when starting out. After that, it's just how much time I can afford and monitoring by body to ensure I don't injure anything.

  10. #60
    Member ChrisGleim's Avatar
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    I have competed in two tri in the last few years and am planning on doing two more this summer and have jumped back into the pool. I'm struggling with technique, but this thread has really helped!! Love the videos.

    Anyways, I do have a couple cents worth of advise since we're talking triathlon training here. Most triathlons are in open water, and in my case the ocean. For those of you training for open ocean swimming legs, keep in mind the differences between your pool training and the ocean. Conditions aside (cold water, waves vs heated, calm), keep in mind that you're most likely going to be wearing a wetsuit in salt water. This will make you MUCH more boyant than the pool you've been training in for months. That being said, I've found I barely kick at all because I'm so much more boyant. So when training, I have the bouy between my legs most of the time to replicate the wetsuit/ocean effect. My kicking is more for balance than propullsion.

    I don't want to disuade anyone from kicking, but I wanted beginners to have that feeling of confidence that you get a little help from the wetsuit and saltwater. I was amazed at how much faster I swam in my first tri (but then again I may have over trained!) Good luck everyone!

  11. #61
    Fledgling Triathlete Dirtbagfitness's Avatar
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    Head position should be looking at the bottom of the pool but slightly in front of you. So around your brow line is about right. Too far up and your head is pulling your hips down and killing your streamline. Too far down and you're bulling through the water.
    Draw a line across your shoulders and another down your center line. Where those intersect is your T-spot. Think about your body like a see-saw. Push down on the T and your hips will raise, aligning your body in the water. That should help head position too.
    As for your stroke rate, you should be long but not floating around. If you're gliding until you lose momentum then you're gliding too long. You're really just looking for a long, efficient stroke. Try this: swim 50 yards and count your strokes per lap, but swim it normally. Then swim it again but try to take two strokes off of each lap. If you can, then shave two more off. You should start to be able to feel when you're working harder without getting any farther any faster. Also, long strokes without any kick mean serious loss of momentum. (Sorry, this could be a lot more exact, but it's hard to give a real stroke count unless I can actually see your stroke. I'm taking 14 strokes a lap, maybe 13 or 12 if I'm really paying attention. But long and smooth are what you want.)

  12. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dirtbagfitness View Post
    Head position should be looking at the bottom of the pool but slightly in front of you. So around your brow line is about right.
    I would have to disagree with this. your head should be pointed straight down, you eyes may look forward. If you keep the water at your eyebrows, you will have major inefficiencies when you try to breathe to the side.

    +1 on the long stroke drill, if you have a coach they might call this DPS or distance per stroke.

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    So I have a question about lap swimming. I swam competatively in high school 25 years ago and have done lap swimming on and off since then. I've doing a fair amount of it lately to stay in shape and am thinking about a triathlon. A couple things I've noticed though just observing other swimmers in the pool. Most seem to rest at the deep end of the pool during their sets. Another is that they don't do flip turns. Some of the people not doing the flip turns seem to be fairly good swimmers that I would think know how to do them. Just wondering if there's something going on or some thought about this that I'm not aware of. Thanks!

  14. #64
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    Saint, I am a former HS and college swimmer and do ~ 5K yd/week as my pool workouts, principally for triathlon. Remember, tri's are open water swims (OWS) and thus flipping turns is irrelevant. Also, sprint tri's have ~700-800 yard swims, don't know about you but I don't train for that distance the same way I would train for a 50.

  15. #65
    Senior Member Keith99's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oysterboy View Post
    Saint, I am a former HS and college swimmer and do ~ 5K yd/week as my pool workouts, principally for triathlon. Remember, tri's are open water swims (OWS) and thus flipping turns is irrelevant. Also, sprint tri's have ~700-800 yard swims, don't know about you but I don't train for that distance the same way I would train for a 50.
    Not sure I agree relative to flip turns. At least from what I have seen most that do not use flip turns in fact rest a bit on the wall (a bit to a lot). Even those doing a turn quickly use it to get a breath. Now doing a flip turn well is not importnat, but not getting the rest/air you will not get in an open water swim may be important.

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    I'm not saying they suck because they don't do flip turns. Some of these people swim better than I do and I swim quite well. I'm just wondering if there's a specific reason they don't do them. Do you do them when you do your 5K yds training?

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    get a kickboard. practice kicking a lot. don't kick with your knees but with your hip flexors. Keep your legs straight! when you feel like your legs are sinking push your shoulders down a little. try to keep your hips and legs up. It works on your core and your legs. another thing is to point your toes. I was going to say something about surface tension but I lost my train of thought, maybe someone can finish it for me.

    I usually do
    3 x 100 kickboard
    3 x 100 freestyle
    3 x 100 kickboard - head in the water
    3 x 100 breast stroke
    3 x 100 side kick (you don't have to do this)
    3 x 100 backstroke
    100 kickboard easy
    then I usually just try to swim 25-50m underwater. builds your lung capacity and I just take 1 breath when I swim 50 freestyle now.
    this is all just stuff I was on swim team when I was younger.

    I was pretty out of swimming shape when I got to the pool a few months ago but I swam in a lane with other people and I think that pushed me to keep up with them as well.

  18. #68
    vol
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oysterboy View Post
    Remember, tri's are open water swims (OWS) and thus flipping turns is irrelevant.
    Quote Originally Posted by Keith99 View Post
    Not sure I agree relative to flip turns. At least from what I have seen most that do not use flip turns in fact rest a bit on the wall (a bit to a lot). Even those doing a turn quickly use it to get a breath. Now doing a flip turn well is not importnat, but not getting the rest/air you will not get in an open water swim may be important.
    Quote Originally Posted by SaintViper View Post
    I I'm just wondering if there's a specific reason they don't do them. Do you do them when you do your 5K yds training?
    I would like to see this very informative thread to continue. Are flip turns important? The obvious value of flip turns is to save time at the end of a lap in competitive (pool) swimming. Now Keith99 has pointed out an interesting point: flip turns help you to get used to the unavailable breaks in open water swimming.

  19. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by vol View Post
    I would like to see this very informative thread to continue. Are flip turns important? The obvious value of flip turns is to save time at the end of a lap in competitive (pool) swimming. Now Keith99 has pointed out an interesting point: flip turns help you to get used to the unavailable breaks in open water swimming.
    I think there is a lot of debate among triathletes as to whether flip turns are beneficial or not. While it is true that you won't be doing flip turns in an open water swim, you also will not be grabbing onto a stationary wall every 25 yards/meters, either. YMMV, but my view is might as well do flip turns if you can, but if you can't I don't think it's a huge deal. If you do them right, they force you to take fewer breaths than you can with open turns. They also avoid conditioning you to always be grabbing onto something with your hands. You might have kayaks or whatever in your race, but you don't want to grab them unless you *have* to.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sirious94 View Post
    I would have to disagree with this. your head should be pointed straight down, you eyes may look forward. If you keep the water at your eyebrows, you will have major inefficiencies when you try to breathe to the side.
    IMHO looking a bit up (front) is more effective. My head is not so deep in the water and I can start breathing earlier. Thats the way I was taught and it works better than keeping your face completely towards the bottom.

  21. #71
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    Hey Greg,

    The swim is often the discipline that seems the most challenging at first. I admit when I started I paid for 3 one to one coaching sessions and that was enough to really build my confidence. Since then I've found this really great site http://www.swimsmooth.com/ which has tips for all standards. Defiantly worth a look )
    Online Triathlon Training Diary

    http://www.triblogs.com/

  22. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by Keith99 View Post
    A good swimmer can go 25 yards in under 15 seconds easily.
    Twelve and under girls on my daughter's swim team, routinely swim 25 yds in 12 seconds or faster, 50 yds in 26-28 seconds, 100 yds in 59 to 1:06. There is no substitute for a proper coach, proper repetition of proper technique, and simply time in the water. Swim clubs with coaches are around $150/month in my area. Invest the time and results will come. Seems most newbies struggle with swimming. My daughter is a competitive swimmer, and did a Duathlon (run,bike,run) just on a lark. She won her age group (11-12) by 7:30 and took second overall, 1:30 behind a 15 y/o. Of course I'm saying this as a proud papa, but also to prove a point. She was able to do this because of the base of fitness she built in swimming. She has since competed in 2 triathlons and due to her power in the water, winning the overall in both of them, competing against 15 y/o (she just turned 12). I would recommend newcomers weak in the water spend as much time and energy improving their swim as possible: it is the most unnatural of the disciplines, increases fitness the most, and as a bonus has a low incidence of injury.
    Last edited by Necessity; 08-07-12 at 12:22 AM.

  23. #73
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    Definitely a lot of good information in this thread. I started swim training recently. I am extremely buoyant and could tread water all day, but after just 50 meters I was completely winded. I started by doing sets of 10 25 meter lengths, alternating strokes between free, breast, and back every 2 strokes and swimming 64 lengths to make a mile. The second time I tried to extend my sets to about 16 lengths each. Somewhere during the third time I noticed that I would not get tired if I did not use my legs. The fourth time I managed to swim an entire mile freestyle without stopping, by resting by not using my legs when I got tired. The fifth time it took me 50 mins and the sixth time 48. I feel like I would need to get it closer 30ish before I would be tri ready, but I figure some of that will come as I get in better shape with the running as well (the biking I have down being my only mode of transportation for 2 years). I am currently not very hydrodynamic at 6'4" and just under 250 but I don't think I'll get much lower than 225 being a big guy. I feel like I need to figure out how to kick without getting so tired to get my time down. Hopefully some of the information in this thread will help me out.

  24. #74
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    I know the thread is old but a few points to share (if anyone cares). I was a competitive swimmer and have been a swim coach (high school and club level) for almost 30 years. Last summer my son and I took up some training for a tri. He has been a high school swimmer (then for 3 years). (He is also in track and cross country, 2/3rds of the way there.)

    He trained ( for 4 weeks) 2 days a week for swimming, 5 for running and only 2-3 for the bike. (He has never been a biker.) He was 7th overall in the swim with very little training (4th in the run and 151st in the bike (on a target special) , 31st overall, he is biking alot more (on an 80's peugeot tri bike)). He just swam some long easy sets 5x200's, 12-15x100's, 4x500's (never swam father than 500 yards at a shot). After seeing the results I've come to the conclusion you can't win a tri by being a good swimmer but it can really hurt. (His was a sprint and the swim was about 400 meters (he was around 6:30 and a few in his age group were over 20 minutes.)

    The following are what I would suggest you work on asa beginning swimmer;
    1) Become relaxed in the water- this can be a struggle with my new swimmers and can take up to 2 weeks of 3-6 days a week practice. (Usually comes from familiarity with the pool and strokes.)
    2) I would suggest swimming mainly freestyle.
    3) Don't worry about the kick, long easy freestyle takes all arms and very little kicking.
    4) For new comers start by using a pair of fins while swimming.
    5) I would suggest swimming 25's and 50's the first week, 25, 50 and 100 the second week, 50's and 100's the third week, and after up to 100's, 200's and more after that. You are better doing more reps than a longer swim (at first). A typical set is 10x50 pulling/swimming freestyle on 1:30 or 2:00 for a beginner on 1;15 for a decent swimmer and 1:00 or faster for a good swimmer.
    6) Pulling is also good, it keeps the hips high and lets some people relax abit.

    If you need any other hints, let me know.

    Good luck!

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    I'm a division I college swimmer and I teach adult swim lessons all the time. The main components on learning how to swim is breathe to the side, have a small kick, flexibility, and the most important is relaxing. If you are not relaxed, you will get a claustrophobic feeling and it will be much harder than it actually is. So don't worry on moving your arms and legs so fast, and work on relaxing. Oce you are very relaxed in the water, you will be able to swim miles. Second, be sure to stretch, swimming requires a wide range of motion in the shoulders and ankles. Lastly, just like skim boarding, swimming is a very awkward movement until you get used to it. If you can practice daily for a few weeks, you wills improve significantly. Hope that helps

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