General Discussion Triathlon Talk » Fins or No Fins? (Newbie Question) Rss Feed  
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2014-03-03 1:34 AM


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Subject: Fins or No Fins? (Newbie Question)
I'm a newbie that will participate in my first triathlon in June. (Sprint/Mini-Sprint) I'm also a weak swimmer. One of the swimming coaches at my local Y suggested I swim with fins in the pool. What do you think? How does this help me to get better?


2014-03-03 7:56 AM
in reply to: angewinte

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Subject: RE: Fins or No Fins? (Newbie Question)
You are going to get yes and no on this one for sure . For me because I had virtually no Kick and little leg strength at all it certainly helped when I first started out swimming, I used a small Zoomer fin to swim Laps with and a larger fin to do Kick drills till my leg strength got better. Now I just use the Zoomers for Kick drills and swim laps finless, so it did help me out doing this.
2014-03-03 9:14 AM
in reply to: angewinte

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Subject: RE: Fins or No Fins? (Newbie Question)
I will say this every time, learn to swim before using any training equipment such as fins, paddles, and pull buoy's. Many people here have become dependent on these items and when it comes time to swim without them they can barely move.

Once you can swim I feel paddles(with or without pull buoy) are fine, but don't use it for more than about 30% of your swimming.

I don't see any use for fins in most situations(definitely not beginners), If you want to work on your kick than pick up a kick board and kick. I would suggest you develop a good kick before focusing on the rest of the stroke.

2014-03-03 9:14 AM
in reply to: angewinte

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Subject: RE: Fins or No Fins? (Newbie Question)
I will say this every time, learn to swim before using any training equipment such as fins, paddles, and pull buoy's. Many people here have become dependent on these items and when it comes time to swim without them they can barely move.

Once you can swim I feel paddles(with or without pull buoy) are fine, but don't use it for more than about 30% of your swimming.

I don't see any use for fins in most situations(definitely not beginners), If you want to work on your kick than pick up a kick board and kick. I would suggest you develop a good kick before focusing on the rest of the stroke.

2014-03-03 9:29 AM
in reply to: angewinte

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Subject: RE: Fins or No Fins? (Newbie Question)
As a kid swimming on the local swim clubI loved them. They instantaneously made move faster in the water. Who doesn't like that? But, disappointingly, we rarely used them. Now that I'm older I understand why. I never use them now. As an experienced swimmer, with good form, fins do very little to make you faster come race day.

As a weak swimmer they can provide some technique benefits in helping you improve your kick motion, help learn to keep your feet near the surface of the water, and managing the number of beats of your kick.

I say go for it and get a pair of zoomers and practice with them to get your kick down. However, from time to time I see people who do their entire workouts with fins on. Ultimately, do you get to race with fins on? No, so I prefer to train with what I get to race with - my suit and goggles. I may add in paddles for arm strength, but that's it.
2014-03-03 9:31 AM
in reply to: #4958375

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Subject: RE: Fins or No Fins? (Newbie Question)
If you are a weak swimmer and just starting out then swim with long fins. They will do a couple of things for you. First, they will give you the added speed to get in the right body position. And that's what you want to practice over and over again. Second, they will take pressure off your shoulders which help with injury prevention. At the start you will be a little more prone to shoulder injury, particularly without fins since body position will be poor, and your technique won't be that efficient. Also, they will allow you to stay in the workout a little longer and practice good technique. Grab a pair of old socks to prevent blisters on the feet. I would recommend stay away from paddles. Look to always increase the amount of pressure on your hands in the pool. If you do use paddles, you want to make sure that your technique is spot on. Best to have an experienced swim coach look at your stroke at that point

Best regards,

Tim Floyd


2014-03-03 10:35 AM
in reply to: snappingt

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Subject: RE: Fins or No Fins? (Newbie Question)
I use the TYR Cross blades, use them for drills, etc as part of Masters swimming. Never use them the entire set (I think coach would have a fit if I did).
2014-03-03 11:33 AM
in reply to: angewinte

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Subject: RE: Fins or No Fins? (Newbie Question)

If you swim with fins, swimming is easier and they can be highly addictive and hard to get off them.

If you use them use them sparingly to learn feel of better body position and such but swim w/o for most of your time in the water.

2014-03-03 2:12 PM
in reply to: angewinte


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Subject: RE: Fins or No Fins? (Newbie Question)
No fins. Learn to swim all the strokes smoothly and learn to sight and breathe on both sides.
2014-03-03 9:34 PM
in reply to: #4958500


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Subject: RE: Fins or No Fins? (Newbie Question)
Great information. It's a lot to take in. I definitely need to work on my form and get a feel for how it will be race day. Thanks for the feedback.
2014-03-03 10:00 PM
in reply to: angewinte


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Subject: RE: Fins or No Fins? (Newbie Question)
It's nearly impossible to achieve a good body position as a new swimmer without assistance. Fins do a good job and helping you develop good positioning. As you speed up, the fins will become less necessary. I'd say split the difference. Start each session without the fins and then throw them on half way through.


2014-03-04 7:51 AM
in reply to: ziggie204

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Subject: RE: Fins or No Fins? (Newbie Question)
Originally posted by ziggie204

It's nearly impossible to achieve a good body position as a new swimmer without assistance. Fins do a good job and helping you develop good positioning. As you speed up, the fins will become less necessary. I'd say split the difference. Start each session without the fins and then throw them on half way through.



BULL!!!

Swim fins didn't exist until 20 years ago before that there was just diving fins which are much larger. So your saying that no one before that time ever had good swim position?

I've never used them a day in my life, but I consistently finish in the top 5% for the swim in tri's, only training 2000-3000 yards a week.

I've taught thousands of people to swim and never used them. The people I have seen use them tend to develop bad habits and a bad kick very quickly. If you want to use a pair to improve your swimming you should only use them under direct supervision of a coach who can keep an eye on your form from the deck. With that said I don't think they are really useful to anyone but high level swimmers.

Learning to swim starts with learning to float in the prone position, then to add the kick, and then the arms and breathing. Build your foundation first!
2014-03-04 8:16 AM
in reply to: ziggie204

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Subject: RE: Fins or No Fins? (Newbie Question)

Originally posted by ziggie204 It's nearly impossible to achieve a good body position as a new swimmer without assistance. Fins do a good job and helping you develop good positioning. As you speed up, the fins will become less necessary. I'd say split the difference. Start each session without the fins and then throw them on half way through.

That is just not true.  If you use tools early and too often they will become crutches. I would suggest avoiding the fins at first, and using them sparingly and with purpose if you do use them. If you don't know how and why you should use them, you aren't ready for them yet.

 

2014-03-04 8:23 AM
in reply to: angewinte

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Subject: RE: Fins or No Fins? (Newbie Question)

I'd say use them but don't depend on them. moving faster in the water makes it more obvious where your current position is creating excessive drag or causing you to veer left/right down the lane; fins magnify your flaws.

2014-03-04 9:21 AM
in reply to: Clempson

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Subject: RE: Fins or No Fins? (Newbie Question)

I say use them but don't use them. 

2014-03-04 10:46 AM
in reply to: Left Brain

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Subject: RE: Fins or No Fins? (Newbie Question)

Originally posted by Left Brain

I say use them but don't use them. 

That's exactly what I'm saying but not really.



2014-03-04 1:54 PM
in reply to: thebigb

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Subject: RE: Fins or No Fins? (Newbie Question)
Originally posted by thebigb

Originally posted by Left Brain

I say use them but don't use them. 

That's exactly what I'm saying but not really.




Also me neither.
2014-03-04 3:35 PM
in reply to: Lock_N_Load

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Subject: RE: Fins or No Fins? (Newbie Question)

I used them during a swim technique class for drills where I would have basically drowned without the extra help.   Short of having instructor showing you how to use them, you certainly do not need them.  I wouldn't bother. They are a pain to lug around, etc.  Just swim.

I do think there's good use to be made of the pull buoy, however... if you're looking for something to buy

2014-03-04 4:47 PM
in reply to: BikerGrrrl


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Subject: RE: Fins or No Fins? (Newbie Question)
Originally posted by BikerGrrrl

I used them during a swim technique class for drills where I would have basically drowned without the extra help.   Short of having instructor showing you how to use them, you certainly do not need them.  I wouldn't bother. They are a pain to lug around, etc.  Just swim.

I do think there's good use to be made of the pull buoy, however... if you're looking for something to buy




Yeah ditch the fins, if you want to use a 'toy' use a pull buoy. But really for your level you want to keep it simple. Get a coach (if not already) or someone that can help with your technique and try and get as much time in the water as possible. Perhaps rather than plodding up and down the pool doing lap after lap, do much shorter distances e.g WU 200m, MS 5 x 100m, 10 X 50m concentrating on technique and working on your speed. You can try different techniques or work on tips from your coach, see what works and what doesn't. Like I might try breathing every 4 and changing my kick pattern, seeing if it improves my times. But to get to be a decent swimmer, you don't need a bagful of toys, I have a bag full of toys, but that's to add variety to my workouts and stop me getting bored! Some of them do have their uses, but swimming without them is not going to limit your ability to become a good swimmer.
2014-03-04 5:11 PM
in reply to: angewinte

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Subject: RE: Fins or No Fins? (Newbie Question)
I'm a BOP swimmer. Over the past three years have taken numerous classes and coaching sessions. Just can't get fast. Have done a full IM and 4 HIMs so I can manage the distance.

I took 6 months off entirely and just focused on running and cycling. I think partially (mostly?) because of my running and cycling strengths my ankles aren't flexible and that hinders my kicking effectiveness, which causes several issues.

Just started back swimming a few weeks ago and I wanted to really kind of start from scratch so to speak. Learning to try to float, forcing myself to do flip turns, kick drills, etc. I've added fins to my workouts to primarily help stretch out my ankles and get used to the feeling of how they should feel. It's slow but seems to be helping. My fin-free kicks are better now but I have to keep working.

Another thing I've been doing is dolphin kicks on my back with the fins really focusing on my core. It is really a heck of a workout for my core and quads. Probably not directly helping my swimming as much as other drills but I actually enjoy it, which is something I have rarely been able to say about swimming.

I write all this to say you don't want to have to depend on them but they can add value if used correctly.
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General Discussion Triathlon Talk » Fins or No Fins? (Newbie Question) Rss Feed