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2015-12-09 7:16 PM


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Subject: Swimming...brutal!
Just started training for my first tri next spring! Super excited for it. But I am amazed at just how physically challenging swimming is. I started for the first time in my life swimming laps a couple of weeks ago and was totally floored on how out of breath i was. I can cycle long distances no problem at a decent speed, enjoy climbing, etc. I Run ok...I typically run 6 miles on the weekend in 50 mins., which i know isn't necessarily fast but i do it and it feels comfortable cardio wise. So how can I after 75 yards (my max non-stop so far) of swimming feel so totally out of breath! Obviously technique right? I would love to hear some stories from some others. I could use the motivation!

Thanks,
Rick


2015-12-09 7:40 PM
in reply to: Rosta

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Durham, North Carolina
Subject: RE: Swimming...brutal!
Technique is huge! I googled a lot of videos and tried following total immersion steps which helped a ton! Eventually I got a total immersion coach and I consider it some of the best money I've ever spent for triathlon training. Depending on how bad your form is I recommend doing lots of drills and not going for distance yet.
2015-12-09 7:43 PM
in reply to: Rosta


27
25
Subject: RE: Swimming...brutal!
"Swimming is 100% fitness and 100% technique." Just because you can run doesn't mean anything once you hop in the pool. Get a coach. Watch youtube videos. Practice some drills. Try to push yourself a little more every time. I found a pull buoy really helped me when I first started out ( but that's just me). Have fun and don't quit
2015-12-09 7:50 PM
in reply to: Rosta


52
2525
Subject: RE: Swimming...brutal!
I started out just like you!! Three years ago after doing a bunch of marathons and some long distance bike rides i thought it would be fun to do a sprint triathlon. I signed up in December for a race in June. I started training early as the swimming and combination of the three disciplines made me nervous.

My first time in the pool I figured I would just swim until I was tired or didn't want to go anymore. Since I came from an endurance background I thought I would be able to swim tons of laps without fatigue. Needless to say, I was totally wrong!! I did one length and felt completely out of shape. I was breathing heavy and my arms were tired. On the way back I stopped halfway to take a break.

However, I kept at it and slowly I increased my distance. My triathlon was a sprint (500 meter swim). Every week I increased my distance. I didn't focus on time as I knew speed would come (sort of like running). My form was terrible (and still isn't that great) but I kept at it and my endurance increased.

Three years later I completed my first full Ironman. I've taken lessons, have done masters swim, and have a coach who has helped me get better in the swim. I'm still slow and my technique is still not that great, but I try and can get through a triathlon swim in under the cutoff (I make up time in the bike and run). However, I can swim forever with little to no fatigue. My goal for this offseason is to get faster, which my coach has been helping me with.

Just keep at it and everything will come together, trust me. Three years ago I could barely swim a length and now I can easily do an Ironman distance swim. Learning to swim properly as an adult is hard. I was always able to swim but was never really taught the proper technique. When it comes to swimming technique is key. Slowly increase your distance and before long you'll be able to swim for long stretches. Also, if you can, hire a coach to look at your form and provide feedback. My coach has me video my swims so he can see it and give me feedback. Joining a masters team is another way to improve if you can't afford a coach. You'll have coaches to give you feedback and other swimmers to push you and help you as well.

Good luck and like I said if you keep at it, it'll come together.
2015-12-09 7:52 PM
in reply to: Rosta

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St. Joseph, MI
Subject: RE: Swimming...brutal!
To be honest, it sounds like you have quite a ways to go. You are correct about technique, swimming is almost all technique, the better it is, the smoother (and faster) you will move through the water. It's not a "one thing fixes all" either. More like a combination of several things working together correctly. That's where drills come in, find different freestyle drills and get to know them well, youtube is full of them. They will focus you on different aspects of the stroke and hit them individually as opposed to trying to change everything at once. If you have access to a coach or trainer that can work with you, that's a great option too.

Be patient, progress will be measured by baby steps, but if you're persistent you will get better. Good luck!!!
2015-12-09 10:06 PM
in reply to: jgs733


65
2525
, Tennessee
Subject: RE: Swimming...brutal!
I come from a distance running background and was also surprised at how hard swimming was! Barely a length and out of breath is the norm when first starting out. Follow the advice above. Youtube has been a great resource for me. My form still isn't great but it is much much better after only a few months. I have managed to cut my sustainable 100 yard time from 2:20 to 1:55. (Still slow my most standards, but this was huge for me!) Just keep at it, slow down if you need too and it gets better. Eventually you will have to just be plain stubborn and NOT stop when you hit that wall no matter how bad you feel. You'd be surprised that you can keep going.


2015-12-10 10:25 AM
in reply to: Lupy

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Subject: RE: Swimming...brutal!
My first tri, my first time in the pool was in February. I could barely swim 50 feet without dying. I just really slowed down my pace, and little by little, I was able to build. But I couldn't go for speed at all the first few months. And really, my technique still is terrible, I just wanted to finish my tris.

By that July, I did a Sprint of 300m in the lake. In july, I did a sprint of 800m in a lake, also. Labor Day weekend I did a mile swim in an Oly distance in a big lake, with waves, etc. It just takes time.

Oh, and get outside to swim as much as possible if you are in a warm area. Otherwise, there could be fear issues your first few tris.

Good luck!!! You can definitely do this!! I did it in my late 40s while 30 pounds overweight!
nancy
2015-12-10 6:35 PM
in reply to: nancylee


160
1002525
Subject: RE: Swimming...brutal!
Once you swim efficiently, you won't believe how much you were fighting and pushing the water rather then move through it.

Also, are you breathing normally. Hopefully you are not breathing abnormal amount of air to avoid sinking or out of fear of lacking air... As soon as you get in the water, you get out of your comfort zone. I am quite sure the fear of the depth is a factor just as much as the fear of falling when you learn to climb.

Nancy Lee is right about swimming in open water. I would however not consider it now. Having confidence in your swimming capacities is a huge factor when you switch to a lake or a river.

Look for a club if you can. Triathlon, master swimmers or just plain swim lessons.

Personally I think running is brutal
2015-12-10 11:09 PM
in reply to: Antoine tri

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3

Subject: RE: Swimming...brutal!
Ohhhhh......Hii i am new here.... Seems like swimming in Triathlon is not so easy :-(:-(..Actually this is first time i'm going to take take part in NY Tri Expo I don't know whether or not they may offer training before NYC March Events or not, it will likely be more comfortable for all the beginners like me if there can be a few guiding principle or training.
2015-12-11 11:59 AM
in reply to: Rosta


10

Subject: RE: Swimming...brutal!
Thank you all for the good information and stories, I really appreciate the feedback. I can definitely tell in the three weeks Ive been in the pool that i am beginning to feel better already. Its really interesting on how many pieces have to come together for it to feel really good. Its kind of like golf for me, when you get all the pieces to work right it feels really good. When somethings missing...it all falls apart.

I am looking forward to studying technique, getting some coaching, and seeing progression in my swim. Thanks again all!
2015-12-11 11:59 AM
in reply to: Rosta


10

Subject: RE: Swimming...brutal!
Thank you all for the good information and stories, I really appreciate the feedback. I can definitely tell in the three weeks Ive been in the pool that i am beginning to feel better already. Its really interesting on how many pieces have to come together for it to feel really good. Its kind of like golf for me, when you get all the pieces to work right it feels really good. When somethings missing...it all falls apart.

I am looking forward to studying technique, getting some coaching, and seeing progression in my swim. Thanks again all!


2015-12-11 12:00 PM
in reply to: nancylee


10

Subject: RE: Swimming...brutal!
Thanks Nancy!
2015-12-11 12:04 PM
in reply to: Antoine tri


10

Subject: RE: Swimming...brutal!
Originally posted by Antoine tri

Once you swim efficiently, you won't believe how much you were fighting and pushing the water rather then move through it.

Also, are you breathing normally. Hopefully you are not breathing abnormal amount of air to avoid sinking or out of fear of lacking air... As soon as you get in the water, you get out of your comfort zone. I am quite sure the fear of the depth is a factor just as much as the fear of falling when you learn to climb.

Nancy Lee is right about swimming in open water. I would however not consider it now. Having confidence in your swimming capacities is a huge factor when you switch to a lake or a river.

Look for a club if you can. Triathlon, master swimmers or just plain swim lessons.

Personally I think running is brutal


Breathing is definitely the challenge for me. At times i feel really good and comfortable with my breathing rhythm, but then it just takes that one moment when i mis-breath(?) or something happens that the brief panic or uh-oh sets in....then its over. I guess being able to recover will come with building up the endurance side of things.
2015-12-11 12:07 PM
in reply to: katgirl2013


10

Subject: RE: Swimming...brutal!
Originally posted by katgirl2013

I started out just like you!! Three years ago after doing a bunch of marathons and some long distance bike rides i thought it would be fun to do a sprint triathlon. I signed up in December for a race in June. I started training early as the swimming and combination of the three disciplines made me nervous.

My first time in the pool I figured I would just swim until I was tired or didn't want to go anymore. Since I came from an endurance background I thought I would be able to swim tons of laps without fatigue. Needless to say, I was totally wrong!! I did one length and felt completely out of shape. I was breathing heavy and my arms were tired. On the way back I stopped halfway to take a break.

However, I kept at it and slowly I increased my distance. My triathlon was a sprint (500 meter swim). Every week I increased my distance. I didn't focus on time as I knew speed would come (sort of like running). My form was terrible (and still isn't that great) but I kept at it and my endurance increased.

Three years later I completed my first full Ironman. I've taken lessons, have done masters swim, and have a coach who has helped me get better in the swim. I'm still slow and my technique is still not that great, but I try and can get through a triathlon swim in under the cutoff (I make up time in the bike and run). However, I can swim forever with little to no fatigue. My goal for this offseason is to get faster, which my coach has been helping me with.

Just keep at it and everything will come together, trust me. Three years ago I could barely swim a length and now I can easily do an Ironman distance swim. Learning to swim properly as an adult is hard. I was always able to swim but was never really taught the proper technique. When it comes to swimming technique is key. Slowly increase your distance and before long you'll be able to swim for long stretches. Also, if you can, hire a coach to look at your form and provide feedback. My coach has me video my swims so he can see it and give me feedback. Joining a masters team is another way to improve if you can't afford a coach. You'll have coaches to give you feedback and other swimmers to push you and help you as well.

Good luck and like I said if you keep at it, it'll come together.


Thats awesome! Just being able to complete that swim would (will be ) amazing.
2015-12-11 9:43 PM
in reply to: Rosta


160
1002525
Subject: RE: Swimming...brutal!
Originally posted by Rosta

Originally posted by Antoine tri

Once you swim efficiently, you won't believe how much you were fighting and pushing the water rather then move through it.

Also, are you breathing normally. Hopefully you are not breathing abnormal amount of air to avoid sinking or out of fear of lacking air... As soon as you get in the water, you get out of your comfort zone. I am quite sure the fear of the depth is a factor just as much as the fear of falling when you learn to climb.

Nancy Lee is right about swimming in open water. I would however not consider it now. Having confidence in your swimming capacities is a huge factor when you switch to a lake or a river.

Look for a club if you can. Triathlon, master swimmers or just plain swim lessons.

Personally I think running is brutal


Breathing is definitely the challenge for me. At times i feel really good and comfortable with my breathing rhythm, but then it just takes that one moment when i mis-breath(?) or something happens that the brief panic or uh-oh sets in....then its over. I guess being able to recover will come with building up the endurance side of things.


You will get more comfortable over time. Meanwhile, remember the cable is only a feet or so away from you. When thing goes wrong, you always have the possibility of reaching the border or the cable..

Since you said you are a climber. Try to remember how much harder the climb is before your first fall. Once you fall, you realize how absurd your fear was and start climbing with more ease. I believe it is the same thing with water. Just remember to relax!
2015-12-12 3:28 AM
in reply to: Rosta


6

Subject: RE: Swimming...brutal!
From youth description, it seems like you're in oxygen deficit where , although you're in excellent shape but can't swim long. I'd suggest working on regularly breath as you swim. If you swim the backstroke, can you go farther?


2015-12-16 10:59 AM
in reply to: #5155933

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110
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Subject: RE: Swimming...brutal!
Hey. I starated that way too. First test in the pool lasted for 75m! Realized that pretty much all I thought I knew about swimming was wrong. Found Total Immersion instruction videos on YouTube and tried to take my time to get some of the basic principles right. Don't worry about speed, it will come later. First make sure you can swim a couple thousand meters without getting completely exhausted.

After 4 weeks it all came together for me. I could do 2km without stop and feel OK after. It was not fast. I think around 2.40min/100m. 8 months later I did a half IM, a year and a half later a full IM. I can now do just under 2.10min/100m so still a lot to improve. But it was more than enough to get me through the long races and feel happy about it.
2015-12-16 11:46 AM
in reply to: Rosta


701
500100100
Subject: RE: Swimming...brutal!
Start with vids. There's tons of good ones out there.
Most of us probably started that way.

I always felt out of breath. (Make sure to breath OUT, and get it all out, when you're face is in the water....that was a huge tip I picked up from this board).

Watch the vids, read the articles.....and spend the next few weeks really concentrating on all of that stuff. I know it's hard for us to do as adults....when we have a goal of finishing "x00 meters"

Forget that goal for the time being. You have plenty of time. Spend a few weeks REALLY intently on working on the things you can learn online....and if you come up many meters short.....who cares.

As a music teacher, I always use golf analogies to help adults learners focus on technique. Jordan Spieth didn't get good at golf by hitting 18 and saying "I shot a 71" and then going out the next day, hitting a 68 and saying "I'm better today." He hit a bucket from the rough from an uphill lie from 25 yards, then another bucket at 50, then another at 100. Each time focusing on evaluating every nuance of his swing. Then he did it all over again. Then he did all those from a downhill like. Then putted from various parts of the green for 3 hours.

I thought I was an "OK" swimmer. Better than average amongst "completers" and I never EVER "worked" on it. When I really started focusing on swimming a year ago. After about 2 months, no distance scared me. The breathing was no longer an issue. I started doing flip turns. And my swim for my first 1.2 (half) was FASTER than my best time of a .5 mile swim.
2015-12-18 5:24 PM
in reply to: 0


10

Subject: ---


Edited by Rosta 2015-12-18 5:24 PM
2015-12-18 5:25 PM
in reply to: ctt1386


10

Subject: RE: Swimming...brutal!
Originally posted by ctt1386

From youth description, it seems like you're in oxygen deficit where , although you're in excellent shape but can't swim long. I'd suggest working on regularly breath as you swim. If you swim the backstroke, can you go farther?



Yes, i can. I think its my timing of the breathing and of course form...which i'm working on.
2015-12-18 5:26 PM
in reply to: knuta99


10

Subject: RE: Swimming...brutal!
Originally posted by knuta99

Hey. I starated that way too. First test in the pool lasted for 75m! Realized that pretty much all I thought I knew about swimming was wrong. Found Total Immersion instruction videos on YouTube and tried to take my time to get some of the basic principles right. Don't worry about speed, it will come later. First make sure you can swim a couple thousand meters without getting completely exhausted.

After 4 weeks it all came together for me. I could do 2km without stop and feel OK after. It was not fast. I think around 2.40min/100m. 8 months later I did a half IM, a year and a half later a full IM. I can now do just under 2.10min/100m so still a lot to improve. But it was more than enough to get me through the long races and feel happy about it.


4 weeks! Thats incouraging. How much were you swimming per week? Did you mix it up with drills at all, or just distance to try and build you're endurance?


2015-12-18 5:33 PM
in reply to: jhaack39


10

Subject: RE: Swimming...brutal!
Originally posted by jhaack39

Start with vids. There's tons of good ones out there.
Most of us probably started that way.

I always felt out of breath. (Make sure to breath OUT, and get it all out, when you're face is in the water....that was a huge tip I picked up from this board).

Watch the vids, read the articles.....and spend the next few weeks really concentrating on all of that stuff. I know it's hard for us to do as adults....when we have a goal of finishing "x00 meters"

Forget that goal for the time being. You have plenty of time. Spend a few weeks REALLY intently on working on the things you can learn online....and if you come up many meters short.....who cares.

As a music teacher, I always use golf analogies to help adults learners focus on technique. Jordan Spieth didn't get good at golf by hitting 18 and saying "I shot a 71" and then going out the next day, hitting a 68 and saying "I'm better today." He hit a bucket from the rough from an uphill lie from 25 yards, then another bucket at 50, then another at 100. Each time focusing on evaluating every nuance of his swing. Then he did it all over again. Then he did all those from a downhill like. Then putted from various parts of the green for 3 hours.

I thought I was an "OK" swimmer. Better than average amongst "completers" and I never EVER "worked" on it. When I really started focusing on swimming a year ago. After about 2 months, no distance scared me. The breathing was no longer an issue. I started doing flip turns. And my swim for my first 1.2 (half) was FASTER than my best time of a .5 mile swim.



Thanks for your help, definitely have been watching videos and reading. On the breathing, I think the problem is my inhale is just more of a mouth inhale, and not really a quick deeper inhale? It feels like most of the time i get air in my mouth mostly but not down in my lungs. If that makes sense.
2015-12-18 6:35 PM
in reply to: 0


318
100100100
Sarasota, Florida
Subject: RE: Swimming...brutal!
I used to feel like that too. I just kept working at it. Practiced with drills and built it into muscle memory. I noticed if I take a sharp gasp I can swallow air and it will mess my stomach up, now i just practice a strong smooth inhale and almost start exhaling before my mouth is completely submerged. I kind of feel it's right on the fine edge of the water with one goggle in. The faster you're travelling the better wake you have to work with.

Edited by runtim23 2015-12-18 6:36 PM
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