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-   -   Advice for a new swimmer.... Swim Training questiolns here. (http://www.bikeforums.net/triathlon/427945-advice-new-swimmer-swim-training-questiolns-here.html)

proileri 04-19-13 02:10 PM

Wow, this freestyle swimming is pretty hard! I'm pretty good with breaststroke and confident in water, but have never really bothered to learn freestyle. Now I figured out might be the time to try triathlon, so I ventured out to try freestyle today.

I have to say I felt I floated like a brick :D Wasn't able to relax at all, breathing didn't feel natural, stroke was underpowered and my legs were all over the place.. I managed to do some 25's and even a couple of 50's by the end, but after 30 minutes I was totally wasted. So yeah, seems to take a bit of training to get used to it. On the positive side, at least there's a potential for shaving plenty of seconds off my 100's! Need to get a timer watch to take with me, next time..

kanazawajohn 05-05-13 05:01 AM

An old thread, but stickied, so I'll use it for my first post...!

A couple of things that have been mentioned, that I agree with: (freestyle)

--swimming is in the arms
--kicking (tho certainly helpful) is not the main part of it
--rotating on your lengthwise axis is very effective (think propeller, or windmill)
(and this is part of a relaxed stroke (and someone mentioned relaxing))

Stroke:

--reach out in front of you as far as you can on each stroke
(glide a tad while reaching)
--follow thru all the way, don't stop your stroke until your arm is fully extended at your leg
(the very last part of follow-thru is what a lot of people miss)
--think of the water as a solid, rather than a liquid
(on each stroke try to grab and hold onto as much water as you can, and don't let it slip away, e.g., by sliding your hand around during your stroke)

~~~~~~~~

Comments that I don't understand are those mentioning the hairline as being frontwards or on the waterline.... In my case, when I swim, the very top of my head is pointed at the approaching end of the pool, and it still does when I rotate to take a breath.

Tho I can, I don't do flip turns. Reason = I want an extra breath at each end. No, I don't pause (except for that breath), but for people here who might feel winded quickly, skip the flip turns and grab some extra air! :)

~~~~~~~~~

My idiosyncrasies...

I'm not a tri person, but I cycle and swim a lot. I don't jog, and certainly never run, tho I do walk a lot with our dog (weather-permitting). I'm 61.

Swimming: Tho fins and pull buoys were mentioned, I'm a little surprised that there's been no mention of hand equipment. Tho I'm neither a swimming teacher nor an expert swimmer, there are different kinds of paddles and gloves that may help either beginners or swimmers in training.

I swim almost exclusively with full fingered Body Glove paddle gloves <<an easy google, tho there are many alternatives. Something like this could help a weak/beginning swimmer feel more powerful, and, if I read the literature right, can make make an experienced swimmer's training more useful (making it more of a resistance training in a shorter time, and less aerobic). Again, I'm not an expert, nor even an amateur trainer, so YMMV.

Second, in addition to the gloves, I swim almost exclusively with two pull buoys between my legs. And I never kick. Just toes pointed, and lower legs crossed.

Weird, huh? And in spite of all that, I'm still offering advice here! :rolleyes: :)

But it works. I usually do 40 or 50 laps, occasionally 60. 25m pool, no breaks. Depending on all the things that things usually depend on, my lap times start at 54 sec., quickly drop to 55, and on a good day I can hold 56 till the end.

aaronmcd 08-06-13 07:34 PM

Looks like no one is posting here but just in case...

Anyone else sink? Everywhere online you see people who say their legs sink (No kidding, but they are attached to the rest of you haha). Or people who are "nervous" about water. There is advice everywhere proclaiming all you have to do is take a breath and float. All that is useless if you actually DO sink. On a lungful of air.

I've been swimming for a year now, on my own, with the college tri club, and with the local masters club. Still, almost all my energy is spent to keep myself within a few inches of the surface so I can rotate (and push up a little) and find some air. So question:
If you actually sink, and thus swim 100% submerged except for the arms recovering, how can you get air without breaking the streamline??

kanazawajohn 08-12-13 01:38 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kanazawajohn (Post 15589549)
...
I swim almost exclusively with full fingered Body Glove paddle gloves <<an easy google, tho there are many alternatives. Something like this could help a weak/beginning swimmer feel more powerful, and, if I read the literature right, can make make an experienced swimmer's training more useful (making it more of a resistance training in a shorter time, and less aerobic). Again, I'm not an expert, nor even an amateur trainer, so YMMV.

Second, in addition to the gloves, I swim almost exclusively with two pull buoys between my legs. And I never kick. Just toes pointed, and lower legs crossed....

Try a pull buoy, maybe two...?

JuanjoNTP 11-15-13 07:50 AM

We are going to do video series about technique for triathlon.
I wish it could help you.

This is our first chapter.

VIDEO: FREESTYLE SWIMMING TECHNIQUE #1 (Arms underwaters)





-------------------------------------

JuanjoNTP (@JuanjoNTP)
http://www.ironman-finisher.com

TranceLov3 05-03-14 10:55 AM

As someone that has been swimming for 9 years, I can definitely give some advice, just ask ;)

TranceLov3 05-03-14 11:34 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by proileri (Post 15529996)
Wow, this freestyle swimming is pretty hard! I'm pretty good with breaststroke and confident in water, but have never really bothered to learn freestyle. Now I figured out might be the time to try triathlon, so I ventured out to try freestyle today.

I have to say I felt I floated like a brick :D Wasn't able to relax at all, breathing didn't feel natural, stroke was underpowered and my legs were all over the place.. I managed to do some 25's and even a couple of 50's by the end, but after 30 minutes I was totally wasted. So yeah, seems to take a bit of training to get used to it. On the positive side, at least there's a potential for shaving plenty of seconds off my 100's! Need to get a timer watch to take with me, next time..

Definitely keep on learning freestyle, It's by far the fastest way of moving with not too much effort once you get the technique, quite possibly the best style for long distances. Butterfly is also fast but it uses up huge amount of energy and it will kill you during long distances. Breaststroke is nice and energy efficient swim style but only if you're going slow, when you ramp up your speed, then just like with butterfly you use up a lot of energy. Backstroke is the closest you get to freestyles speed/energy spent in my opinion.

Freestyle/Backstroke are probably the best styles for triathlon.

I can do 100m in 55 seconds in a 25m long pool and around 56,5 in a 50m pool, Freestyle, but yeah I'm a full out swimmer though so don't compare with me. :D

Fizzaly 06-02-14 09:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TranceLov3 (Post 16724668)
As someone that has been swimming for 9 years, I can definitely give some advice, just ask ;)

In the past I was a strong swimmer, fast forward seven years and a shoulder and elbow surgery later and I'm unsure where to start. I'm five years post op so no worries of it being too soon, though shoulder surgery did nothing but cost 20k. I'm currently working out at the gym almost solely focusing on upper body/shoulders which has been going fine, then last weekend I give swimming a try and ten minutes in and my shoulder is toast... What exercises aside from stretching should I be doing for swimming motion? I think I'm working he wrong muscle groups.

TranceLov3 06-03-14 01:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Fizzaly (Post 16815939)
In the past I was a strong swimmer, fast forward seven years and a shoulder and elbow surgery later and I'm unsure where to start. I'm five years post op so no worries of it being too soon, though shoulder surgery did nothing but cost 20k. I'm currently working out at the gym almost solely focusing on upper body/shoulders which has been going fine, then last weekend I give swimming a try and ten minutes in and my shoulder is toast... What exercises aside from stretching should I be doing for swimming motion? I think I'm working he wrong muscle groups.

I'm not exactly sure about your case here, was it the muscle that was operated or was it the joint (google translate lol)? Maybe you started out too heavily on your shoulders? There are these things called rubber strength bands, you should try one of these and search the internet for a couple of exercises for shoulders, I'd say these would be a nice place to start because exercising with them somewhat imitates the way your shoulder works while you're swimming. During swimming your muscles aren't constantly doing work, they should be relaxed while you're not stroking to move forward so it might be about your technique but I'm not sure.

As I said I'm not sure about your case here exactly, does your shoulder cause you pain even when you're not exercising? Maybe look into massages? If it does hurt then I'm not sure what to do, might need to seek some help from a doctor but as you said the 20k operation didn't really do anything for you so there might be the problem?

Fizzaly 06-03-14 05:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TranceLov3 (Post 16817856)
I'm not exactly sure about your case here, was it the muscle that was operated or was it the joint (google translate lol)? Maybe you started out too heavily on your shoulders? There are these things called rubber strength bands, you should try one of these and search the internet for a couple of exercises for shoulders, I'd say these would be a nice place to start because exercising with them somewhat imitates the way your shoulder works while you're swimming. During swimming your muscles aren't constantly doing work, they should be relaxed while you're not stroking to move forward so it might be about your technique but I'm not sure.

As I said I'm not sure about your case here exactly, does your shoulder cause you pain even when you're not exercising? Maybe look into massages? If it does hurt then I'm not sure what to do, might need to seek some help from a doctor but as you said the 20k operation didn't really do anything for you so there might be the problem?

Sorry I guess I couldn't have been more vague, I'm actually gonna do a aqua physical exercise?(don't remember what it's called) through my gym. Thanks for responding though, I actually tore almost all the tendons and one ligament and lost part of the muscle set that holds down your should blade after years of abuse on an already injured shoulder. But to answer your question yes it hurts no matter what I do even at rest, but when I swam the other day it tired so quickly miss what I meant by toast.

OldTryGuy 06-03-14 07:05 PM

No guarantee with any surgery and that is why I refuse, as of now, to have a total shoulder joint replacement. Too long for recovery as I have IMFL in November again.

Slowly easing back into working everything with the shoulder has helped since my crash in 2011 that really messed with the shoulder.

Good luck and keep updating. :thumb:

Alilevil1 08-07-14 03:31 AM

Total Immersion changed my life. Seriously
 
I could only breathe out of my left side and could only do 2 lengths in an Olympic size pool. I read this book, TOOK NOTES, and practiced daily. Now I swim 50 lengths regularly. Up to 100. IN 6 months. The concepts are simple.

Panza 04-09-15 05:10 PM

So I had my first swim in quite a while (since last August). Ihit the pool quite hard last night, 1.5km swim and I noticed my right shoulder was popping often during various free style strokes. It didn't pop last season to my knowledge... perhaps I hit the swim too hard too soon? Lack of shoulder joint stretches?

wildnrg001 09-03-15 10:34 PM

For me, the best way to learn to swim is to just enjoy the water. Not everyone can swim, but everyone can enjoy swimming. I think though that you already enjoy swimming because you're doing it for many years. So, I think the next thing is to be focused and just enjoy the race. Everyone wants to win but we can gain much more when loosing. We learn and learn. And I think that's the best thing. I hope this helps you. Thanks. :)

jwse30 02-06-16 09:08 AM

Last November, I started swimming in preparation for my first tri. I swam on my high school team, and have spent a fair amount of time around the pool the past few years, as my daughter is on the age group team. (Talking with a swimmer at a Master's meet is what got this triathlon idea in my head)

Since the Masters team practices aren't at times I can attend, I have been practicing on my own at the Y, usually twice a week. The tri I am planning on doing is only a 500 meter swim, so on one day I try to swim 550 yards (which is fairly close to 500m) as fast as I can. The other day I try for 1000 yards, with the first 500 being continuous.

I try to do flip turns on one end of the pool, with just a touch and go on the other. Since I have to share the pool with others, sometimes flips aren't practical. I don't do flip turns on the shallow end of the pool because there is a learn to swim class less than 10 feet from me, and I saw some them trying to imitate me once. Decided a flip turn wasn't worth the potential problems, so I opted not to do them when the little kids are around. I also won't do a flip if someone is standing in or too close to my lane.

One thing I would like to add is that my flutter kick (freestyle kick) has always been horrible. As a result I only kick enough to keep myself horizontal. I would think that not exerting my legs too hard during the swim will leave a bit more of them available for the bike and run.

J White

Steve B. 05-16-16 08:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jwse30 (Post 18516275)
Last November, I started swimming in preparation for my first tri. I swam on my high school team, and have spent a fair amount of time around the pool the past few years, as my daughter is on the age group team. (Talking with a swimmer at a Master's meet is what got this triathlon idea in my head)

Since the Masters team practices aren't at times I can attend, I have been practicing on my own at the Y, usually twice a week. The tri I am planning on doing is only a 500 meter swim, so on one day I try to swim 550 yards (which is fairly close to 500m) as fast as I can. The other day I try for 1000 yards, with the first 500 being continuous.

I try to do flip turns on one end of the pool, with just a touch and go on the other. Since I have to share the pool with others, sometimes flips aren't practical. I don't do flip turns on the shallow end of the pool because there is a learn to swim class less than 10 feet from me, and I saw some them trying to imitate me once. Decided a flip turn wasn't worth the potential problems, so I opted not to do them when the little kids are around. I also won't do a flip if someone is standing in or too close to my lane.

One thing I would like to add is that my flutter kick (freestyle kick) has always been horrible. As a result I only kick enough to keep myself horizontal. I would think that not exerting my legs too hard during the swim will leave a bit more of them available for the bike and run.

J White

Just checked in here and thought I'd add some thoughts.

I think flip turns are a waste of time if you are training for open water swims. They do increase your lap times, but also cost you a breath at each turn. I'd reshape have the oxygen and go harder while swimming. As well it's easier to pay attention to what's going on in the lane with an open turn, is somebody about to pass you ?, etc...

Kicking is useful but note that distance swimmers in pool competitions at distances of 800 meters to 1500 almost always use a 2 beat kick, which is enough to help maintain body position but doesn't really provide added forward motion. I also have trouble with a harder kick if I've been doing a lot of cycling, legs cramping, etc.... and will then use my pull buoys.

The the thing that gets you fast is intervals with correct rest segments. A lot of Tri buddies have found the 200 seems to be the optimum distance as it's almost a sprint, yet not. I mix up my workouts though, short intervals or 25/50/75 and 100's on some days, a bit longer on others, and sometimes (maybe once every 2 weeks) will do a straight 1500, 1800 or 2000 just to get used to distance. I work hard to mix up my workouts to not get bored going back and forth.


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