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Swimming tips

Old 02-09-07, 02:03 PM
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mjdwyer23
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Swimming tips

Hi Everyone-
I am first a cyclist and second a runner, now I'm trying to add on swimming and do the Philly tri in June. I have built up an ok base level, but my stroke sucks. Can anyone give me some tips for speed drills and technique? Thanks!
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Old 02-10-07, 08:04 AM
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I was in the same boat as you when I got into tri's a 2 years ago. The best thing to do is join a masters program in your area. Having someone watch your stroke and give you tips is priceless, especially since its so easy to cheat. If there isn't a masters swim program in your area you should check out total immersion (www.totalimmersion.net). They have videos and the technique seems to work really well. And last be not least if you don't feel like buying videos and can't join a masters program then just do the time in the pool. Just like cycling takes time on the bike swimming will take time in the pool. The hardest part of doing triathlons is the swim and the more comfortable you can be in the water the better. Find a breathing pattern that works for you (I use 5 stroke/2 stroke) and get used to swimming longer distances (try to swim a little longer than what your first event will be) without taking breaks. Be ready for the unexpected, because chances are somebody will get in your way or kick you on accident, so just be comfortable in the water. I hope all this helped.

Joe
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Old 02-10-07, 11:31 PM
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Originally Posted by strukljv
The hardest part of doing triathlons is the swim and the more comfortable you can be in the water the better.
Joe
That is a very relative statement. It varies completely from person to person. Some people are runners, some are cyclists, and some are swimmers. Whatever you suck at becomes the hardest leg of the race. The swim is by far the easiest part for me. I think they should increase the swim on the Ironman and shorten the run to balance it out. Running a marathon is quite a feat, all by itself and takes at least twice as long as the swim. Also notice that the swim, by comparison, takes the shortest amount of time in any triathlon (sprint, Olympic, or Iron distance).
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Old 02-11-07, 07:41 AM
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Get the Total Immersion Tri Swimming Made Easy book. I have seen improvements since reading the book and incoporating there advice into my workouts.
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Old 02-11-07, 12:32 PM
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Originally Posted by ohsmily
That is a very relative statement. It varies completely from person to person. Some people are runners, some are cyclists, and some are swimmers. Whatever you suck at becomes the hardest leg of the race. The swim is by far the easiest part for me. I think they should increase the swim on the Ironman and shorten the run to balance it out. Running a marathon is quite a feat, all by itself and takes at least twice as long as the swim. Also notice that the swim, by comparison, takes the shortest amount of time in any triathlon (sprint, Olympic, or Iron distance).

+1, shorten the run, increase the swim and bike
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Old 02-11-07, 07:41 PM
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I think the ironman is great with a marathon, thats what makes it such an amazing feat to accomplish.

The run sorts out the best from the rest.
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Old 02-12-07, 07:15 PM
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Another vote for T.I., and a few tips that worked for me.

1. Glide more. Lower your stroke count so you are spending more time gliding through the water between strokes. This has the added effect of allowing you to swim for longer distances with less effort before you become winded or fatigued.

2. Keep your head and shoulders down. When you breathe, try to imagine you're on a spit going from the top of your head all the way down your torso. Rotate on this spit to breathe, and concentrate on not lifting your head.

3. If you can, train yourself to breathe every third stroke, on alternate sides. If you're like me, it will feel very awkward and unnatural breathing on the 'wrong side' at first, but I got used to it and it is second nature now. It allows you to disturb the surface of the water 50% less often and spend more time in your glide position.

HTH
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Old 02-12-07, 07:49 PM
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All great tips, thanks!
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Old 02-12-07, 08:28 PM
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when you are swimming, reach as far as you can. that can benefit your glide greatly. you would consume less energy while going faster. and try doing sprint intervals with a kickboard. such as 8x25 yd kicking sprints with 5 second rests. then you can slowly build and even set up intervals for yourself. trust me, kicking and benefit you a whole lot in tris if you build up the leg endurance.
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Old 02-13-07, 11:29 AM
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1. Do not forget to kick
2. Make yourself "long and tall" in the water
3. concentrate on your stroke- think about it, no matter how slow you go at first
4. Total Immersion Book...
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Old 02-13-07, 11:39 AM
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Originally Posted by strukljv
I was in the same boat as you when I got into tri's a 2 years ago. The best thing to do is join a masters program in your area. Having someone watch your stroke and give you tips is priceless,

Joe
Best advice. There is little one can do online. If you can't find a coach then try to get someone to video you (a tool that was available when I was competing).

You may want to try training arms only and kick only. If nothing else it will help you identify weak points. Also the arms should stay bent at the elbows. The had should enter the water smoothly and not at full extension (it should continue forward about a hands length after entering the water). The stroke underwater is not straight and the elbow remains bent. Try to watch some top level competition on TV and watch the stroke mechanics of those swimmers.
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Old 02-13-07, 05:11 PM
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Oh I should add spend more time in the water! Doesn't have to be just doing laps for cardio but doing drills. I know if I'd love to spend all my time on the bike. But I suck at swimming so I make a point of hitting the pool 6 days a week whenever possible.
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Old 02-14-07, 11:55 AM
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I am a longtime swimmer, and the latest development in swimming stroke form improvement, I think, has something to do with vertical stroke. look it up!

Jacob
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Old 02-14-07, 01:25 PM
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when you go to the pool look at the difference between great swimmers, bad swimmers and good swimmers. It looks easy if your doing it right, just like running. Be long and in the water with short kicks.

The worst offenses I notice is short choppy strokes, no hip rotation, and kicking with bent knees and waist. They are all related.

One more thing there has been some recommendations about "gliding in the water". Don't be fooled you never stop and glide in the water. A good swimmer taking long strokes, rotating hips, and kicking properly appears to be gliding in the water but is not gliding. A good swimmer is always advancing thier stroke.
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Old 02-14-07, 08:57 PM
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I am a long time swimmer that had some success on the world rankings, swimming is an amazing sport in that there is a new technique fade every 2 years and everyone jumps on board it is craziness keep it simple. My best advice is that if you only swim Free learn another stroke (backstroke makes the most sense and most know how to do it anyway) and swim it every once in a while. That will help break up the monotany of swimming. When you do swim some free breathing is very important some people like to do different breathing patterns but what I do and suggest highly is to just breath every three strokes. This keeps your stroke balanced and get you into a good rythm which can be pivotal in longer swims. Hope that helps some.
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Old 02-17-07, 05:12 PM
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