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  1. #1
    Super Newbie Shawn Gossman's Avatar
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    Learning to swim... Good idea? Bad idea?

    So I am 29 and I still don't know how to swim I want to learn because I would love to do a triathlon... My main problem is that when I go underwater, I breath... I just cannot seem to not breath so obviously I have to come back up to cough and so on...

    So an idea hit me one day...

    Scuba...

    How about the idea of me learning to swim while learning to scuba dive? Obviously with trained professionals who know what to do. But I wonder if by just getting the swim part down first, I can work on holding my breath and getting air when I get to the top much better.

    This idea... stupid or good?
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    You won't be allowed to scuba if you can't swim first. You need to be confident in the water.

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    Professional help is highly advised, but you can get far using the Finis Snorkel......FINIS Swimmer's Snorkel at SwimOutlet.com

  4. #4
    Super Newbie Shawn Gossman's Avatar
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    Ah I see, I didn't know if you could do both in one. Thanks for the reply though
    Tour de Shawn - My Neglected Personal Cycling Blog

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    Learn to breath at the shallow end before learning to swim.

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    As a beginner swimmer, I have to say breathing is the toughest thing for me. I get our of breath quick. Make sure you breath out the whole time your head is under water and dont hold your breath. When you're ready for air, come back up and get plenty of air in your lungs and do it again. Like MicahelW said, do this in the shallow end first. Get comfortable with it, then you can incorporate it with your breaststrokes. Good luck!

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    This is my first foray into this section, but the topic relates to me in almost the opposite way. I can "swim" but can never seem to exhale completely before coming up to breathe. When I come up for air, I spend the first half of my time out of water exhaling and the other half inhaling. This makes breathing more of a quick gasp. Anybody have any suggestions for this issue?

    Thanks!

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by joe bag o donut View Post
    This is my first foray into this section, but the topic relates to me in almost the opposite way. I can "swim" but can never seem to exhale completely before coming up to breathe. When I come up for air, I spend the first half of my time out of water exhaling and the other half inhaling. This makes breathing more of a quick gasp. Anybody have any suggestions for this issue?

    Thanks!
    For me what works is to take enough strokes with head down that I have to fully exhale before rotating to breath.

  9. #9
    Junior Member Caddy909's Avatar
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    Simple trick for beginner breathing is to hum underwater, while expelling air from nose. Not sure why it works. I think it's just a learning aid.

  10. #10
    The Fat Guy In The Back Tundra_Man's Avatar
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    I think the SCUBA approach wouldn't break you of the habit of breathing underwater. If anything, it might encourage it.

    Question: Can you hold your breath above water? If not, then that's probably the first thing to start practicing. Keep practicing until you can increase your endurance up to about 30 seconds. This generally is far longer than you would need to hold your breath during regular swimming, but it will get you used to the technique and the sensations.

    Then I would move to the shallow end and do bobs. Start with quick bobs and slowly decrease the pace until you get used to holding your breath under water. Once you are able to stay under water comfortably for 5-10 seconds at a time while resisting the urge to breathe, then you're ready to move on to attempting strokes and learning to swim.

    Kudos to you for facing your challenges head-on and looking for a solution. Too many people would just throw up their hands in defeat and quit.
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  11. #11
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    swim

    Quote Originally Posted by Shawn Gossman View Post
    So I am 29 and I still don't know how to swim I want to learn because I would love to do a triathlon... My main problem is that when I go underwater, I breath... I just cannot seem to not breath so obviously I have to come back up to cough and so on...

    So an idea hit me one day...

    Scuba...

    How about the idea of me learning to swim while learning to scuba dive? Obviously with trained professionals who know what to do. But I wonder if by just getting the swim part down first, I can work on holding my breath and getting air when I get to the top much better.

    This idea... stupid or good?
    I haven't done a tri yet, but I think they're held in the ocean. Swimming in the pool& ocean are totally different u have to learn both, emphasis on 2nd part. This is advanced. Currents are not predictable, I had trouble practicing with wetsuit on. They even have sharks in there. I think there are duathlons with bike&run?

  12. #12
    The Fat Guy In The Back Tundra_Man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by needawheel2 View Post
    I haven't done a tri yet, but I think they're held in the ocean. Swimming in the pool& ocean are totally different u have to learn both, emphasis on 2nd part. This is advanced. Currents are not predictable, I had trouble practicing with wetsuit on. They even have sharks in there. I think there are duathlons with bike&run?
    I would wager that a vast majority of triathlons aren't held at an ocean, but at a lake. Living 2000 miles from the nearest ocean, none of the events in my area feature an oceans swim.

    If open water swimming is a concern, there are plenty of sprint triathlons that hold their swims in pools. As a beginner, a person would probably be looking at a sprint-length race anyway, so just look around and find one that has a 400m to 600m pool swim. Once a person is comfortable enough with swimming in a pool they can then move up to a race with an open water swim.
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  13. #13
    Senior Member squirtdad's Avatar
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    as a former assistant scuba instructor (padi and naui)....bad idea. you have to be comfortable in water and if you can't swim you won't be comfortable.


    Bottom line...get a swim instructor who has experience in teaching non swimming adults how to swim. This is important because at 29 if you can't swim you are going to have a lot general nervousness and perhaps fear of the water that will need to be over come.

    A good place to start looking would be your local ymca

    also understand learning how to swim is the first goal, then hopefully work with the same instructor on swimming efficiently


    Many moons ago, I helped teach a non swimming cowboy (it was montana ) how to swim....it was much harder than teaching kids

    good luck and go for it
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  14. #14
    Senior Member b2run's Avatar
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    I have a front face snorkel and it really helped with my comfort in the water. It also helped me with my technique. Once you get some technique in your stroke and kicking, it will be easier to get a rhythm and breathing pattern. As with all "tools", it shouldn't be used constantly. You should wean yourself off it. Lessons should also be high on your list.

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