General Discussion Triathlon Talk » still trying to learn to swim Rss Feed  
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2012-09-30 5:02 AM

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Subject: still trying to learn to swim

I NEED HELP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I started learning to swim this past March, I am now 51 y.o.  When i started I could not swim 10 yards.  I have been taking lessons and can now swim a little.

My backyard pool is 42 feet or 13 yards.  I have swam over 1,000 yards in a workout but with lots of rest periods.  I swim about 5 laps which is 130 yards and rest, I have done up to 15 laps non stop.  I get a quick extra breath at each wall, which is cheating I know.

Yesterday I attempted my 1st OWS.  I DNF and I had a wetsuit on.  My question:  Is there anyway I could be ready for 600 yards by Oct 27?  Am I not swimming hard enough?  Does it just take more time than I giving.  (time per clock and time in months) I try to swim 4 - 5 days per week, somedays it is just 15 minutes and other days it is 45 minutes again not continuous swimming but w/ lots of rest.

My shoulders started cramping and I gave out of breath during the OWS

Right now, I'm ready to sell my bikes, i was so embarrassed yesterday, by not finishing a practice swim, yes I was the only one in my group the dnf!



2012-09-30 5:42 AM
in reply to: #4433629

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Subject: RE: still trying to learn to swim
Have you considered lessons? Learn the proper technique so you can train effectively....
2012-09-30 6:04 AM
in reply to: #4433629

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Subject: RE: still trying to learn to swim
Do NOT give up and do NOT be embarrassed! We're all behind you, we've all been there! Give it some time, it will come to you! Keep swimming everyday and RELAX! Don't be in a hurry to get it over with, just relax, put the time in and will come to you eventually. Learn to breath, whatever works for you. Breathing is the key, that makes you feel comfortable. Breath out when your face is in the water, then when your face breaks the water, take a good full breath in....before long you'll be breathing normal, not even having to worry about it, it'll be just like walking, believe me! You'll get it buddy, and we're all proud of you, stay with it! File that DNF under experience and you'll look back and laugh at it after some time!
2012-09-30 12:04 PM
in reply to: #4433629

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Subject: RE: still trying to learn to swim
Newbie here too! I started learning how to swim in July. It is taking longer than I expected. I am giving it lots of time. Will hopefully do my first tri in March with a pool swim. Take your time and enjoy your training. Take some lessons to get your form down. I take weekly lessons with a swim coach and have made a lot of progress. He started me using fins and a snorkel. Told me when I could swim a mile with gear that I would be ready to work on
Breathing. Just finished a mile this week. Don't know if this helps but hang in there!
2012-09-30 1:54 PM
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Subject: RE: still trying to learn to swim

It's hard to give advice without seeing a video of you swimming.  As was already mentioned getting swim lessons is a great idea because somebody who knows what they're doing can give you immediate feedback on what you're doing and how to improve.

If you can have somebody video you and post it on here it would help us give you some tips.

The good news is you can get there in less than a month, but you do need to make sure your stroke is right and then work hard.  

2012-09-30 1:59 PM
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Subject: RE: still trying to learn to swim

OWS and pool swimming are totally different animals.  Do you have a place to practice OWS often?

 

And I rec a Masters swim program if you have one near you,



2012-09-30 3:33 PM
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Subject: RE: still trying to learn to swim

thanks so much folks. yes i am taking lessons.  I think I just panicked and didn't know it.  I wasn't scared but i guess my heart rate went up.  I just got back from another OWS and did much better.  We have a state park near our house and I will be going there 3 - 4 times per week until the tri.

Again, thanks for all your advice and support.  This site really is the best!

2012-09-30 4:46 PM
in reply to: #4433974

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Subject: RE: still trying to learn to swim

Hi well done on learning to swim. Yes it's very tough, mainly I think as you can't breath when you want! Relaxed breathing is very important. Have a look at www.swimsmooth.com The best swim site out there. But until you know what's wrong with your stroke you will find it hard to improve so your swim lessons will help. What can happen is, if your legs drag....as lots of mens do, you may end up with shoulder pain due to the effort you put into your arms.  Build it up slowly

Good luck it will become easier with practice

Nicky

2012-09-30 5:13 PM
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Subject: RE: still trying to learn to swim

I'll put in a vote for swimsmooth.com too.  I started learning swimming in February and struggled through two OWS this summer (I didn't drown...but I know I didn't make the swim look pretty). I read articles and actually went to Swim Smooth's swimtypes.com and got one of the guides from there. With a lot of concentration, I am seeing results after 3 weeks. I used to put 100% effort and struggle to get a 100 yd. under 2:00 min. This week I went at about 80% effort and went 1:50 on a 100yd. Not spectacular, but gave me hope.

My first OWS was 500 meters and I had been swimming/beating my way through 1000-2000 yds at the pool. In that OWS, I had to rest on a kayak due to....I dunno. Panic maybe? Poor swimming ability. I was embarrassed...a little. Then got over it because I learned something form it.  Good luck!

2012-09-30 8:02 PM
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Subject: RE: still trying to learn to swim
I can empathize too. Swimming was torture for me. However, I recently began taking a tri-swim class and it is remarkable how much my swimming has improved in three weeks. A coach/instuctor is invaluable, I think, to provide in vivo feedback. I recently swam 1.5 mi and felt that I could do another mile without any hassle. Keep at it.
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