General Discussion Triathlon Talk » Swimming difficulty Rss Feed  
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2016-07-28 1:42 PM


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Subject: Swimming difficulty
Hello,
Although I have been running for quite a while and I always wanted to try triathlon I just managed to go for my first swimming training today. My goal was to swim 750m in a pool but ended up swimming only for 400m and this with thirty second breaks every 50m trying to catch my breath. I feel disappointed and wanted to ask if others had similar not so encouraging first experiences with swimming...

Edited by yonigrn 2016-07-28 1:53 PM


2016-07-28 1:58 PM
in reply to: yonigrn

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Master
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Subject: RE: Swimming difficulty
Lots of people that come to swimming as an adult struggle with it at first. You are not alone! Do you know how to swim already, or are you just kind of guessing? I found group lessons from my local rec center to be cost effective and invaluable for getting my stroke(s) cleaned up and helping me have more confidence in the pool.
2016-07-28 2:04 PM
in reply to: Atlantia


2

Subject: RE: Swimming difficulty
I never had swimming lessons in proper techniques, breathing etc. I just learned how to swim as a child, being able to get from point a to point b. I understand the importance of learning the right technique but so far could not find a swimming coach for private lessons near cincinnati...
2016-07-28 2:08 PM
in reply to: yonigrn


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Subject: RE: Swimming difficulty
This seems to be very common, and I have experienced this. One thing I am learning from the more seasoned members on this site is that swimming takes a huge amount of time and patience, and it is very technical. I am still learning a lot, and sometimes it is frustrating that the gains (in my opinion) do not come nearly as fast as they do in running and cycling.
I'm not a swimming expert, but from reading here, I have learned that it is important to get instruction, keep at it, and celebrate every milestone as they happen. My advice would be to just try and make steady but small gains and worry a lot more about technique your first year than how far you can swim.

There is a very recent thread on here "swimming mystery" you might enjoy going through.
2016-07-28 2:11 PM
in reply to: yonigrn

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Subject: RE: Swimming difficulty
Originally posted by yonigrn

I never had swimming lessons in proper techniques, breathing etc. I just learned how to swim as a child, being able to get from point a to point b. I understand the importance of learning the right technique but so far could not find a swimming coach for private lessons near cincinnati...


Try looking for group lessons. Some people knock them and say you need group instruction, but unless you have a fear of water or can't get across the pool, group lessons are fine. I found it incredibly helpful to watch the others in the class. See what they're doing wrong, make sure I don't do it too. Or watch the person faster than me and do what they do. Plus it prepped me for sharing lanes, learning pool etiquette, etc. Cheaper, too!
2016-07-28 2:24 PM
in reply to: yonigrn


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Subject: RE: Swimming difficulty
Like you, I came from a running background. When I decided to get into triathlons I figured swimming would be the easiest since running can beat you up. The first time I got into the pool I thought I was going to die after one length. However, I kept at it and eventually I was able to build up to swimming long distances. I'm still slow and my technique is still a work in progress (despite group lessons, private lessons, and masters swim) but I can more or less hold my own in the water and have no issues making any kind of swim cutoff, including the IM swim cutoff.

The key is to be patient and focus on technique. Now is the time to look into getting lessons or joining a masters team so you don't develop any bad habits. I started out learning on my own so when I started taking lessons I had some bad habits to break, which took time. Trust me, if you can learn proper technique, swimming will be so much easier and fun!!


2016-07-28 2:38 PM
in reply to: katgirl2013

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Subject: RE: Swimming difficulty
What katgirl said. I'm getting started and am realizing that I need to get some coaching before bad habits become ingrained. The one really nice benefit I have learned is that swimming, for me, is a kind of active stretch of the lower back which helps relieve the tension from the running and riding.
2016-07-28 3:01 PM
in reply to: notquitethere

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Subject: RE: Swimming difficulty
slow down when your swimming. go as slow as it takes for you not to be out of breath. a lot of the time when you slowdown you speed up
2016-07-28 3:20 PM
in reply to: yonigrn


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Subject: RE: Swimming difficulty
what you experienced is not uncommon at all. It will get better but it won't be overnight. I'm no expert and am working on improving my technique but advice I've gotten from this forum, experienced swimmers, a swim coach

* swim as much as you can. doesn't always have to be super long sets if you don't have time but get in the pool often.
* have fun
* don't wait until you have "perfect" technique before also improving your swim fitness. you can balance the two
* it's a process and you won't be able to fix everything at once. try and focus on working to correct your flaws one at a time. In a swim session you can work on multiple flaws just not in the same drill. So if you're working on breathing for 100m. Work on that. Don't also try to fix your kick. You can work on your breathing for 100m and then maybe do a drill to improve your catch
* have fun
* get a coach if you can afford it or go to a swim clinic. if not that get somebody to do video of you swimming. from top and underwater if possible. You can then view it yourself. post on here for pointers. video is so helpful.
* did I say have fun? have fun.

If you're having trouble breathing you may be holding your breath. This is from the swim smooth guys but it's helping me. you actually speak the word bubble into the water for the first two strokes then breathe on the 3rd as in bilateral breathing. so bubble-bubble-breathe. it gets you the feeling of exhaling when you put your face in the water. I've started doing this a few laps during warmup and cooldown.

http://www.feelforthewater.com/2010/03/dont-forget-to-breathe-docto...

2016-07-28 5:31 PM
in reply to: yonigrn

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Subject: RE: Swimming difficulty
If you were able to knock out 8 x 50 on 30 seconds rest on your very first swim workout, you did better than most.
2016-07-31 3:10 PM
in reply to: yonigrn

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Subject: RE: Swimming difficulty
It sounds like your breathing may not be as efficient as needed.
Are you exhaling under water?
If not, holding your breath will cause you to get overly tired.
The other common mistakes I see in new swimmers I coach is going too long between breaths.

If you want some feed back, shoot a video of your swim stroke (50 yards side angle, 25 yards straight to and away from camera) and send it to me and I'd be happy to provide feedback. I've been coaching beginning swimmers for Team In Training for 17 years.

Best of luck to you.


2016-08-01 2:27 PM
in reply to: yonigrn


20

Subject: RE: Swimming difficulty
Swimming is my weakest event too. I actually find that triathletes fall into primarily two categories. Swimmers and everyone else. I still beat myself up over my frustratingly slow time...however...I have come to terms with it.

That said, my advice is focus on your breathing. As a runner, you've already got a good aerobic base, you just need to find a way to exhale in a relaxed fashion with your face in the water. It is really hard to make any gains in your technique if you are struggling not to drown.
2016-08-02 12:01 AM
in reply to: 0

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Subject: RE: Swimming difficulty
Originally posted by yonigrn

Hello,
this with thirty second breaks every 50m trying to catch my breath.


This is how you should train... go swim 32x25 resting 15 seconds after each 25.


Swim training is very different than run training.

We don't throw kids in the pool and say go swim a 750. Why should adults be any different when they first start training.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BINo2oRDdua/



Edited by simpsonbo 2016-08-02 12:05 AM
2016-08-02 8:53 AM
in reply to: yonigrn

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Subject: RE: Swimming difficulty
This post was me literally 2 weeks ago. I know exactly what you're feeling.

I am training for my first sprint tri, to lead me into a HIM. So I just started swimming - or actual swimming, not just splashing around in a pool.

I was humbled very quickly. After doing 40yds with my heart racing a mile a minute I new I was in trouble (holding my breath until I came up, then exhaling and inhaling = terrible breath control). After this workout, which was whatever I could handle, I did a lot of research on breathing techniques, stroke techniques, etc everything you can think of.

Yesterday I did a 40yd warm up and did 400yd straight without stopping! Then did 1x200, 4x100, 4x60 then some cool downs. You will be shocked how quickly you can improve! In 6 workouts I went from 40 suffering to 400 controlled.

Learn how to breath (slow exhale through your nose as soon as your head turns back into the water, and take a big breath in for your inhale), find what works for you - same side breathing every stroke, or alternating. Ask lots of questions and do a lot of reaching and watching videos - it helps.

Don't be discouraged, as I read swimming is one of sports that you can noticed quick and substantial growth in - I sure did.

Stay hungry!
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