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Swimming, reassurance about being so bad...

milesemilese Posts: 1,233
In 2011 I got to 3rd cat, won a 4th cat race, got an 8th in a full fielded 2,3,4 race and some other respectable results, mainly due to having a sprint.

Not done anywhere near as much training since, had glandular fever, first child, New job, New house etc.

To get myself interested again I've enter a sprint triathlon.

I can happily get in cycling shape, running is ok but the swimming is bothering me.

My breast stroke is ok, but my front crawl is awful. Having been to a group lesson I discovered something worrying. My front crawl isnt that bad, it's just that it all falls apart when I get tired. I had always thought that it would be my u
Completely untrained upper body, but it's not. My legs can't swim. I can't do a length with the float just kicking, I get tired before the end then barely move. The old ladies with no muscle mass at all run rings around me.

I just need to persevere right? Twice a week and it will quickly get better? I am literally only able to do about 40 metres of front crawl without stopping.

Posts

  • Tom DeanTom Dean Posts: 1,723
    Try a swimming forum?
  • HerbsmanHerbsman Posts: 2,029
    Have you tried the Triathlon forum?
    CAPTAIN BUCKFAST'S CYCLING TIPS - GUARANTEED TO WORK! 1 OUT OF 10 RACING CYCLISTS AGREE!
  • LookyhereLookyhere Posts: 987
    i d have though that with the amount of blubber ur carrying, you could float round ? :)

    Get some swimming lessons, your tech is probably bad.
  • It sounds to me like you're going out too hard - a bit like trying to sprint up the Alp d'Huez. I'd suggest slowing down so that you at least get to swim the distance you need to cover for your race. Then once you've done that, start building up your speed - but face it, if you're not that strong a swimmer, you're not going to do that well at first - triathalon is all about consistency across 3 events. And do as Lookyhere suggests - get some swimming lessons - IMHO we cyclists have strong legs, it's my arms that feel like jelly after a hard swim, whereas the legs are fine, so there's something not right with your technique. Good luck!
  • johncpjohncp Posts: 302
    Swimming is all about technique. If you are getting breathless, then your are just going too hard. I've done it myself and not so long ago :oops:
    If you just want to do one sprint tri, you could just use breaststroke, get fitter at that and you'll probably beat a good number of poor freestylers.
    Or if you want to get better at freestyle, have a look at TriTalk forum and at the SwimSmooth website or better still find a local swimming teacher who can help you get started with the right technique.
    I'm 4 months into my second spell of tri training and have reached the dizzy speed of 100metres in 2 mins (flat out) - my aim is to be able to do that pace for 1900m by June :roll:
    If you haven't got a headwind you're not trying hard enough
  • milesemilese Posts: 1,233
    Thanks for the supportive replies.
    IIMHO we cyclists have strong legs, it's my arms that feel like jelly after a hard swim, whereas the legs are fine, so there's something not right with your technique.

    And thats what worries me, I am currently the opposite!

    I'd like to do more tri's, it would be good to be able to get to a standard where I can do 750m open water events.

    With regards to breast stroke, I think the ultimate question is whether I should spend 3 months training front crawl from very bad, or training breast stroke from bad. I think I need to give front crawl a few weeks and see how it goes.

    I'll try and slow it down and see how it goes.

    PS, does calling freestyle front crawl show me up as a complete novice?!

    Andy, I forget that I'm not annonomous on here!
  • LookyhereLookyhere Posts: 987
    Milese wrote:
    I'll try and slow it down and see how it goes.

    PS, does calling freestyle front crawl show me up as a complete novice?!

    Andy, I forget that I'm not annonomous on here!

    Dont, you ll sink.
    Yes.
    Despite that private school education... you still cannot spell :lol:

    Jas will give you some top tips !
  • wavefrontwavefront Posts: 269
    Milese wrote:
    Thanks for the supportive replies.
    IIMHO we cyclists have strong legs, it's my arms that feel like jelly after a hard swim, whereas the legs are fine, so there's something not right with your technique.

    And thats what worries me, I am currently the opposite!

    I'd like to do more tri's, it would be good to be able to get to a standard where I can do 750m open water events.

    With regards to breast stroke, I think the ultimate question is whether I should spend 3 months training front crawl from very bad, or training breast stroke from bad. I think I need to give front crawl a few weeks and see how it goes.

    I'll try and slow it down and see how it goes.

    PS, does calling freestyle front crawl show me up as a complete novice?!

    Andy, I forget that I'm not annonomous on here!



    Hi,

    I've never been a strong swimmer (well, pretty useless really!) so last summer I started going swimming regularly, 3 times a week to improve, as I also wanted to do some triathlons this year.

    To give you some encouragement, as a couple of others have said, I found it's much more about technique than it is strength, power, or fitness. Going swimming regularly will allow you to improve, but don't try to to everything in one session - separate the elements and it'll slowly come together. I bought the 'swim smooth' book and it's been an amazing help to improve from struggling to swim 25m a few months ago to now having no problems doing 600m non stop in our local 50m pool. I'm averaging about 55sec per 50m which gives me 7 min 20 for a sprint triathlon which I think is a good 'starting' point to now go and get some coaching, rather than lessons.

    Swimming (they reckon) is much more about being efficient with your stroke and kicking only contributes a small amount to your speed. In fact when I use a pull bouy, I'm a little faster than when I kick - and that's because my legs sink too much and slow me down. Keep your legs straight, kick from the hip, and keep your feet pointed. Get yourself a pull bouy, do some drills that you find on swim smooth, and go from there - You will start to improve in no time.

    Are you bi-lateral breathing? Just managed to conquer that and it's really helped my balance and speed!

    Let us know how you progress :)
  • phreakphreak Posts: 2,548
    Just keep at it. Leg strength from cycling doesn't really translate to leg strength in the pool. Very different activities. It's worth noting that in most endurance swims the legs seldom do 'that' much, so a lack of leg strength is unlikely to be the limiting factor in you doing a decent endurance swim.

    Work on your technique and slowly build up your strength. As disclosure, I used to compete and coach swimming.
  • milesemilese Posts: 1,233
    Thanks again.

    I went again today and definitely think my legs are the problem, as when using a pull buoy it is so much easier, smoother and I feel more in control.

    Bi lateral breathing? As in breathing every 3 or 5 stokes on opposite sides, yeah, I'm normally doing 3s, unless I start think about something else, then it can become 2s or 4s!

    Still reAlly struggling with a float, to the point that once I've struggled to do half a length I pack it in!
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