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Old 12-12-08, 08:22 PM   #1
jfk32
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Post your Swimming Progress!

A common theme on this board is "I suck at swimming, I can barely get across the pool, I hate life." Ok maybe not that last part. But I think it would be good for the people who are working at improving their swimming to post their latest progress. It is amazing how fast we can progress when we put our minds to it.

I'll go first:

Where I started:
May 2008, Swam 12 lengths of the pool, had to rest after each length and suck air for a minute or more. It took a month for me to get up to doing 20 lengths in a 40 minute workout, and I was absolutely _killed_ afterward every time, like going straight home to eat and sleep killed.

Where I am now:
Yesterday did this workout:
325 yd. of warmup laps - not consecutive, just getting the heart rate up
450 yd. consecutive - full rest after
900 yd. consecutive - full rest after
450 yd. consecutive - finished
Total: 2125 yd.

Honestly, people, 6 months ago I never thought I was going to pull a 2000 yd. day. Before this workout my longest one was 1800 yd. The workout before that was 1250 yd. There comes a point where you just start improving dramatically on the endurance end of things, like you punch through the plateau and all of the sudden you aren't gasping for breath and you can swim easily (albeit SLOWLY, I did that 2125 in 65 minutes).

Let us all know how you are doing!
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Old 12-12-08, 11:24 PM   #2
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I've been in the pool twice in the 10 weeks since I broke my arm/shoulder. Wednesday 12-10-08 was the first timw I could actually "swim."

Kickboard 250
1-armed 100
crawl 100
side-stroke 100

I'll get there.

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Old 12-13-08, 07:27 AM   #3
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Breaking Through

I too started last spring, could not do 50 yds without gasping for air. I went through two swim classes and finally found a person that specialized in tri-training/swimming. Working in a lake with a swim instuctor really helped me get where I needed to be.

I don't like counting laps but I now swim 3x a week, I swim non-stop for 30 mins no rest. Then 30 mins of hard intensity speed work with frequent stops. I can't wait to spring to start swimming in lakes. Open water swimming really pushes your abilities.

My advise is the same to struggling swimmers, the first 3 months suck then things will really start to click.

P
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Old 12-14-08, 06:00 AM   #4
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I have been working on drills for lately and getting around 1500 to 1800 yards 3x per week. Next month I will start adding endurance and speed workouts as I prepare for the season opener St. Anthony's, St. Petersburg Fl late April 09. Today I will do a 22 mile time trial on Longboat key using my new QR Seduza.
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Old 12-14-08, 12:48 PM   #5
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A week out of the shoulder restraint: 100 meters crawl (almost proper); 200 kickboard; 150 sidestroke; 100 1-arm (Left-only).

Almost 90% extension on right arm without screaming anymore. Still only about 10% strength.

I'll get there.

TysonB
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Old 12-15-08, 09:04 AM   #6
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I learned to PROPERLY freestyle this weekend. The Masters coach at our gym saw me swim and gave me a drill to try. I did it Saturday. It was:

6 kicks on right side (using flippers) with right arm extended
Then roll into three strokes
Then 6 kicks on left side with left arm extended
Then roll into three strokes and continue

I did that for 700 yards and then decided to see if it worked. I started right into my freestyle swim and never had an issue. Man does that feel good. My biggest swim problem from last year was my breathing (lack-of) technique. Got that out of the way so it is time to start working on the endurance.

I am two sessions into the "Zero to 1650" plan and I feel great. I really like the plan. It has got me excited about going to the pool - I want to go now - but alas, today is a bike day.

Fred
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Old 12-15-08, 10:03 AM   #7
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After swimming competitively as a kid, I thought that getting back into swimming at 40+ would be a breeze. Boy was I wrong. I started this summer and could barely go 400 meters without stopping. This weekend I swam 1600 meters in just shy of 30 minutes. My 400 meter splits were pretty consistent (7:00, 7:30, 7:30, 7:45). I am going to work on steadily increasing my distance throughout the rest of the winter then work on speed beginning in February. My goal is to be ready for an Olympic distance tri in June.
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Old 12-19-08, 11:44 AM   #8
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I do know I'm about 20 seconds faster per 100 then I was 9 months ago.

One year ago I could not swim a lap. Now I could do pretty much any distance.
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Old 12-19-08, 06:33 PM   #9
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500 yd. time is 5:20 and 200 yd. is 1:59.

deciding how many triathlons i'm going to do this year or if i'll just focus on cycling and swimming in college.
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Old 12-19-08, 06:36 PM   #10
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500 yd. time is 5:20 and 200 yd. is 1:59.

deciding how many triathlons i'm going to do this year or if i'll just focus on cycling and swimming in college.
You are evil.

However, I did swim 1.2 miles from Angel Island to Tiburon CA. in 42 min. last October. I've been trying to get my 400 down to 7:00. But I've been out of the water for 3 weeks, so that's not happening in the real near future.
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Old 12-19-08, 09:51 PM   #11
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Went to the pool today and it was closed. The sign said closed for CPR recertification, but I'm thinking it's just a holiday weekend cop-out. Grrr.... Here's to hoping they'll be open tomorrow morning, I just got a coach and I don't want him thinking I'm shirking workouts in the first week!
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Old 12-19-08, 09:56 PM   #12
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I have never shut down our pool for CPR certification, as the CPR is a once a year Red Cross certification, and that can be done while someone else is the lifeguard. Our lifeguards have different dates of certification, that is sometimes a pain, but never shuts down our pool.
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Old 01-02-09, 10:44 AM   #13
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I need to get back in the pool.... I've been out for the month... and I SUCK at swimming!
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Old 01-03-09, 07:07 AM   #14
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When I was a kid, during the summer I lived @ the pool and completed a few Mile Swims when I was in Scouts. Fast forward a few(3) decades + a couple years and the only swimming since was "spashing in the surf." I have an ambitious goal of a Sprint Tri on May 31st. Serious training starts next week.

Other than numerous laps 3x a week, any suggestions?? Thanks in advance.
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Old 01-03-09, 02:12 PM   #15
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Started off sweating a 100yd swim and was out of breath at the end back in August, just swam a 600yd non stop around a 2:00 pace a couple of weeks ago. Relax and a good pull has been the key for me!
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Old 01-06-09, 03:43 PM   #16
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I started using the "Zero to 1650" plan and I really like it. It is primarily for those training to do Olympic distances but you will be better off being able to swim the mile than to just train for the shorter Sprint distance.
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Old 01-06-09, 06:36 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fred Matthews View Post
I learned to PROPERLY freestyle this weekend. The Masters coach at our gym saw me swim and gave me a drill to try. I did it Saturday. It was:

6 kicks on right side (using flippers) with right arm extended
Then roll into three strokes
Then 6 kicks on left side with left arm extended
Then roll into three strokes and continue

I did that for 700 yards and then decided to see if it worked. I started right into my freestyle swim and never had an issue. Man does that feel good. My biggest swim problem from last year was my breathing (lack-of) technique. Got that out of the way so it is time to start working on the endurance.

I am two sessions into the "Zero to 1650" plan and I feel great. I really like the plan. It has got me excited about going to the pool - I want to go now - but alas, today is a bike day.

Fred
Make sure your Masters coach knows you are doing this for triathlon swimming, which differes from regular swimming.

Specifically, tri swim should be using your legs less to preserve them for the run, single side breathing every 2 strokes is okay (allows you to use more air, and thus fatigue less), and occasionally you should be practicing sighting (looking up and forward on your breath stroke). Oh, and learning how to do a proper flip turn is also relatively unimportant to tri swimming, assuming you are doing an open water tri, not a pool tri.

Certainly, you don't need all the above techniques to excel in tri swimming, but they are useful, and they are different from regular freestyle swimming, and they are not something every single discipline swimming coach would understand.
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Old 01-06-09, 10:52 PM   #18
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I was swimming 3 to 4x a week for the last 4 weeks. I felt I was making progress feeling more relaxed in the water. Needed work on all the parts, but it was getting better. I would swim for 50 to 60 minutes. I longest I went in one go was 200 yards, then I did 50 or 25 yrds, working on form. But, this was progress, when I started 50 yards was killing me.

But, I ran into a little snag. The gym where I was swimming had the roof collapse over the pool, because of the large amount of snowfall we had recently. When's the last time you heard that excuse?
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Old 01-07-09, 03:26 PM   #19
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I did mention that I was getting into Triathlons. There are a few other triathletes there as well. He mainly was just trying to get me out of lots of bad habits before it was too late.

I have heard the same about the breathing and sighting as you stated. I might hold off on changing my breathing until I get a bit better or at least more comfortable in the water. The sighting shouldn't be an issue for me since that is basically how I used to swim.

Thanks,

Fred
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Old 01-07-09, 05:38 PM   #20
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No sweat. Some folks just don't understand that there is a difference, but it seems like you have it done pat.
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Old 01-07-09, 07:49 PM   #21
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My swimming has progressed to 1 mile swim. 3xweek.

Here is a tip that I have for simulating open water swimming in a pool.

I swim at the local YMCA and during the "water aerobics" class there are two lanes open for lap swimming. This is the type of class that features mostly large women treading water with milk jugs. The water really gets churning during the class...producing a tsunami effect in the outer lap swimming lanes. The rough water and the swirling current is good for training.
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Old 01-08-09, 08:11 AM   #22
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I'm sorry...but that is funny.
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Old 01-12-09, 10:59 PM   #23
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I just did a personal best (since my return to swimming). I warmed up with a 400 which I finished in 7:10.
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Old 01-16-09, 11:45 PM   #24
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Quote:
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After swimming competitively as a kid, I thought that getting back into swimming at 40+ would be a breeze. Boy was I wrong. I started this summer and could barely go 400 meters without stopping. This weekend I swam 1600 meters in just shy of 30 minutes. My 400 meter splits were pretty consistent (7:00, 7:30, 7:30, 7:45). I am going to work on steadily increasing my distance throughout the rest of the winter then work on speed beginning in February. My goal is to be ready for an Olympic distance tri in June.
yes but to other people your age who did not have that background it will be an advantage most tri people are runners and a strong (feeling comfordable in the water) swimmer can get you a good start
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Old 01-17-09, 01:16 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by caelric View Post
Make sure your Masters coach knows you are doing this for triathlon swimming, which differes from regular swimming.

Specifically, tri swim should be using your legs less to preserve them for the run, single side breathing every 2 strokes is okay (allows you to use more air, and thus fatigue less), and occasionally you should be practicing sighting (looking up and forward on your breath stroke). Oh, and learning how to do a proper flip turn is also relatively unimportant to tri swimming, assuming you are doing an open water tri, not a pool tri.

Certainly, you don't need all the above techniques to excel in tri swimming, but they are useful, and they are different from regular freestyle swimming, and they are not something every single discipline swimming coach would understand.
Any decent Masters coach should know how to coach tri swimmers since they also coach regular open water swimmers as well.

Flip turns are useful for conditioning because they simulate when you miss a breath due to hitting a wave.

Sighting is good. Being able to swim in a straight line and sight as little as possible is better. Therefore, a tri or open water swimmer should spend a lot of time making sure their stroke tracks as straight as possible. Try swimming with your eyes closed and see where you end up.

Also, I think that having a good breast stroke is useful for open water as well. If your breast stroke is close in speed to your freestyle it comes in handy when you need to take a long look at something for navigation purposes. Practice switching between breast and free mid-lap.

Finally, you should get comfortable breathing on either side. The best way to do this is to practice breathing on every third stroke.

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