General Discussion Introduce Yourself!!! » New To Swimming Rss Feed  
Moderators: IndoIronYanti, k9car363, alicefoeller Reply
2018-06-06 10:37 AM


13

Subject: New To Swimming
Hey everyone!

I have been running for most of my life but I am just barely getting into swimming so I can try out a triathlon.

I'm looking forward to getting to learn from everyone in the forum!


2018-06-11 10:00 AM
in reply to: RunWithForrest

User image

Regular
1126
100010025
East Wenatchee, Washington
Subject: RE: New To Swimming
Originally posted by RunWithForrest

Hey everyone!

I have been running for most of my life but I am just barely getting into swimming so I can try out a triathlon.

I'm looking forward to getting to learn from everyone in the forum!


Welcome. I also was a runner for most of my life, so the swim on a triathlon was a totally new experience. You're probably going to need to over-invest in swimming. It takes a long time to get really comfortable and proficient in the water. If you can, find a swim coach and buy a few private lessons. Swimming is all about technique first, then fitness. It will be money well spent

Best of luck.

Steve
2018-06-11 4:40 PM
in reply to: 0


701
500100100
Subject: RE: New To Swimming
What lutzman said.

However, keep in mind that your improvement in swimming will come in great leaps and bounds compared to everything else.
Think of how hard it would be to shave off 10 seconds/mile over 6 miles from your best, or PR your favorite run course you've done a zillion times.
Now, think about all the PRs you'll get in swimming just in the first two weeks alone!

That's the best part of coming from a low level of swimming. Lots of opportunity to make huge improvements when you're coming from "zero". The feedback from "achieving" can be rewarding.

Watch videos. Read some articles. You can do the coach thing if you want. Or not. Depends on how far you want to take it and what your goals are. I, fortunately, had some decent instruction in swimming in my life....I just never used it at the time. I mean, who really cares about a college swim class...even though it was taught by a future Olympian. We were there for the PE credit because it fit with our schedule and to bug him to let us go off the high platform on our last day. But....I remembered enough to get me to my tri goals (which aren't high).

I know I could be better with some instruction/coaching. But, I'm as good as I need to be.

If you need to learn how to swim (ie, with some modicum of technique), definitely find a teacher to give you the stuff to think about while you go back and forth in the pool.

Edited by jhaack39 2018-06-11 4:44 PM
2018-06-12 10:05 AM
in reply to: 0


13

Subject: RE: New To Swimming
I appreciate all of the feedback and help! It is really great. I have been swimming for about three weeks now. I started not being able to even put my face in the water without feeling smothered. I figured that part out, now I am just working on my form. I feel like I am doing something wrong and not using my energy efficiently. I can only go one length of the pool (25 m) and I have to stop and catch my breath. I think a part of that is my current conditioning. But I see a lot of people at the pool that are in worse shape than I am and they just swim and swim and swim so that makes me think that it's my conditioning.

I will have to see if I can find a good coach to give me some lessons. I'm sure my wife would love that. She's been kicking my butt swimming so I'm sure she'd like a more competitive swimming workout.

Thanks again for the tips!!

Edited by RunWithForrest 2018-06-12 10:25 AM
2018-06-12 10:14 AM
in reply to: 0


13

Subject: RE: New To Swimming
Another thought I just had. I am wearing just some regular swim trunks when I'm swimming. They are pretty tight so I didn't think they were too bad. But do you think that is slowing me down, should I get some like tight swimming spandex shorts like the Olympians wear? (But cheaper ones of course)

Edited by RunWithForrest 2018-06-12 10:16 AM
2018-06-12 2:37 PM
in reply to: RunWithForrest

User image

Champion
7454
500020001001001001002525
Placitas, New Mexico
Subject: RE: New To Swimming

Welcome!  

Jammers (the longer form fitting trunks) are much better than loose swim trunks and will be a good investment.  

Lessons!  Learn good form now rather than trying to break bad habits.  

Given your description, I suspect the following:

You're lifting your head rather than ROTATING which causes your runner legs to sink and you're now plowing through the water rather than gliding over it (dropping legs are exaggerated by the additional drag caused by your swim trunks).  

You're holding your breath and trying to exhale/inhale in that brief second when you lift your head.  

The anxiousness of breathing makes you tense and you're thrashing around rather than using the water.  

Step 1:  Relax
Step 2:  Slow down
Step 3:  Get good glide position (practice looking down so your feet/legs/hips don't sink).  
Step 4:  R-o-t-a-t-e
Step 5:  To improve breathing, hum.  Exhale gently through your nose (which helps keep water out) with your face in the water.  

 



2018-06-12 4:07 PM
in reply to: 0


701
500100100
Subject: RE: New To Swimming
Originally posted by RunWithForrest
I can only go one length of the pool (25 m) and I have to stop and catch my breath. I think a part of that is my current conditioning. But I see a lot of people at the pool that are in worse shape than I am and they just swim and swim and swim so that makes me think that it's my conditioning.



Nah. Don't sell yourself short. It's not conditioning.
McFuzz has some great stuff above. Slow down...at least mentally. Relax.

I firmly believe that NOBODY is able to do much more than a length or two before they have to stop and catch their breath when they first start. I mean, certainly not anybody fairly new to it.

There's a lot of angles to getting beyond that. Again, as McFuzz said....find a pace and relax. You're used to..."working out". Getting your heartrate up and your sweat on. I just don't think you can do that effectively until you have a semi-solid idea of what you're doing in the water. For me, (and I suspect others), you have to get to a mental point where you can "go back and forth" indefinitely before you can mix in some "hammering".

You don't get any real feedback on how you're doing. Your heartrate doesn't have to get too elevated and it's hard to tell if you're sweating. Could cause you to be expending more effort than you need. Once you get that gliding thing McFuzz was talking about or...even...just the feel that you're in command and control and can regulate your effort, it's a lot easier. And along the way, you're finding efficiency in the stroke.

For me, it was almost all a mental thing. It can be BO-RING! Nothing to look at but a black line at the bottom of the pool. Nothing to listen to except water swooshing. Just bored to tears going one length. The mental state is like any other skill. You have to practice it. And nothing comes immediately. But, look at what you've done in three weeks. Gone from mild panic with your face in the water, to swimming repeated lengths. Think about a comparable scale of improvement to your running. Couldn't do that in three weeks.

Something somebody once here said that resonated with me....something along the lines of "It's as much (or maybe more) important getting air out of your lungs when your face is in the water than getting air in when it's out of the water."


Also, in a couple weeks, all the threads people make about "other people who use the pool" will be way more funny and you'll be able participate the in the age old debate about whether it's OK to pee in the pool or not.



Oh, and now is a great time to get jammers. Check the local shops that sell to swim teams (If you have 'em). It seems like every swim club, private pool, neighborhood pool around here has a swim team. And they all get new "team" suits every year so coaches can tell their kids apart at meets. They're usually generic. There's always a ton of leftovers on clearance this time of year at the local sporting goods shops that sell to them. We're talking pennies on the dollar.

Edited by jhaack39 2018-06-12 4:11 PM
2018-06-20 5:32 PM
in reply to: jhaack39


13

Subject: RE: New To Swimming
Thanks for all of the feedback, I really appreciate it! I have noticed the past two times that I am swimming that I am so worried about turning to take a breath that I am heavily favoring my right side. (I turn my head right to breathe). (And yes I am attempting to rotate to breath instead of turning my head, I am trying to improve there). Back to what I was talking about. I am favoring my right side to ensure I don't turn my head too far away from my right side to take a breath. So what I mean is that I am dipping my left shoulder a little bit and swimming that way, if that makes sense?

Do I need to rotate my body more in order to get a good rotation on my stroke? I'm just not sure if I am doing that right. I will rotate to breathe but do I rotate my body each stroke?

My legs definitely do sink, especially when I am getting tired. The little form I do have goes out the door when my body starts to get tired and then my rhythm gets off and I struggle.

I am working on the gliding part, do you have any videos you could suggest to help me kind of see it better than just imagining what gliding looks/feels like?
2018-06-21 2:09 PM
in reply to: RunWithForrest

User image

Champion
7454
500020001001001001002525
Placitas, New Mexico
Subject: RE: New To Swimming

Originally posted by RunWithForrest Thanks for all of the feedback, I really appreciate it! I have noticed the past two times that I am swimming that I am so worried about turning to take a breath that I am heavily favoring my right side. (I turn my head right to breathe). (And yes I am attempting to rotate to breath instead of turning my head, I am trying to improve there). Back to what I was talking about. I am favoring my right side to ensure I don't turn my head too far away from my right side to take a breath. So what I mean is that I am dipping my left shoulder a little bit and swimming that way, if that makes sense? Do I need to rotate my body more in order to get a good rotation on my stroke? I'm just not sure if I am doing that right. I will rotate to breathe but do I rotate my body each stroke? My legs definitely do sink, especially when I am getting tired. The little form I do have goes out the door when my body starts to get tired and then my rhythm gets off and I struggle. I am working on the gliding part, do you have any videos you could suggest to help me kind of see it better than just imagining what gliding looks/feels like?

R-o-t-a-t-e

if your dipping your left shoulder, that's probably some indication that you're LIFTING your head (even a little bit) rather than rotating.  When your head comes out of the water, the rest of your body sinks.  If you're legs sink, try "looking down" further.  Since I can't see you swim, I'm assuming you're trying to look ahead as well as down and the water hits your face about your eyebrows.  Look more straight down with the water hitting near the top of your forehead.  In the extreme, look at your drawstring with the water hitting near the top of your head.  

There is a certain amount of natural body roll and your kick offsets much of that.  

No good videos to point you towards, but do your own "investigation" when you're at the pool.  
Channel your best 5-year-old imagination.  
Push off from the side and see how far you go.  Repeat 5 times making NO changes (same effort, same position).  
Now start experimenting.  Point your toes.  Do you go farther or not?  Repeat 5X
Tilt your head down more.  Do you go farther?  Repeat 5X
Changes to your hands/arms?  

Eventually, you'll have identified the things that give you the longest glide.  Now start to incorporate that body position into your stroke!  

Oh...and start to do some kicking drills.  Maybe 25 or 50 yards kicking only.  You can use a kickboard or flip onto your back.  If you go backwards kicking only, get some in-person lessons.  

 

2018-06-21 5:59 PM
in reply to: McFuzz


13

Subject: RE: New To Swimming
Okay that all makes sense, I will try it all at the pool tonight and see how things go. I swam last night and tried to keep my head down and it helped quite a bit. I will do these most recent suggestions and report back!

Thank you!
2018-06-29 12:11 PM
in reply to: RunWithForrest


13

Subject: RE: New To Swimming
I've had to take a break from swimming this week due to shoulder and knee pain. Is this my body telling me I'm doing something wrong with my swimming form or is it common to have this kind of joint pain?


2018-06-29 7:34 PM
in reply to: RunWithForrest

User image

Champion
7454
500020001001001001002525
Placitas, New Mexico
Subject: RE: New To Swimming

Originally posted by RunWithForrest I've had to take a break from swimming this week due to shoulder and knee pain. Is this my body telling me I'm doing something wrong with my swimming form or is it common to have this kind of joint pain?

Most likely, YES!  

Not sure about the knee pain.  

For the shoulder, it's common for beginning swimmers to keep their arms mostly straight (in fact, when I taught kids, I told them to do "windmill arms").  This puts a lot of stress on your shoulders (ok when you're 5 and doing it for 15 seconds at a time, not so good when you're older and trying to swim 1000-2000 yards).  A straight pull is also a common crutch for poor breathing.  

In a straight arm pull, your hand enters the water almost fully extended and "digs deep" in the water. 

Think about lifting a bucket of water using a line and an overhead pulley.  If you pull on the line with your arm fully extended, your leverage isn't very good and you couldn't pull well or hold it for long (and you'll hurt your shoulder).  If you step closer to the line, and pull it with your elbow bent and your hand right in front of your chest, you have better leverage to pull or hold the line.  

Swimming is the same, only instead of pulling a line, you're pulling a handful of water!  You want your hand to pass by your chest within about 1 hand-width.  

If you're standing on the ground making arm circles, you can fairly easily have your hands at 11 o'clock and 1 o'clock, but you have to contort quite a bit to get your hands at 12 o'clock (straight overhead).  That motion is hard on your shoulder, so you end up twisting your spine which really slows you down if you're moving through water.  

A proper arm motion has your thumb/fingers entering the water 11(left)-1(right) with your elbow slightly bent, flattening and extending fully just below the surface, and then pulling along your centerline within 5-6 inches of your chest all the way past your hips, exiting the water palm-up and full elbow extension, elbow bending as you bring your hand forward above the water.  Some people make a long "S" under water.  

L-e-s-s-o-n-s!!!  

2018-07-03 6:47 PM
in reply to: #5244272

User image


228
10010025
Subject: RE: New To Swimming
I'm pretty new too, but I have a similar background I think, lots of running, a good amount of biking, but not much structured swimming. So this may be a bit of the blind leading the blind. When i started swimming I had a similar experience, even though I could run for 60+ minutes, I couldn't swim for more than 5. The best I can explain it is if you watch a little kid run, they're either on or off, they're either going full Sprint or walking. That's how I felt when I was swimming.
The thing that helped me the most was practicing slowing down, keep your kick steady, but each time your arms get to the point where one is up and the other is back, just glide for a second. Stroke, glide, stroke, glide. Try that drill at the beginning of your swim, then focus on relaxing into a steady pace when you start you workout.
2018-07-11 2:26 AM
in reply to: RunWithForrest


2

Subject: RE: New To Swimming
Hi!

Same here. I have been a long time runner competing since junior high and only started swimming in 2016. It has taught me a lot about patience- it takes time. I have started swimming four times a week and feel I have made improvements.

When I started I couldn't make it across a 50m pool and didn't feel comfortable being in the water. Now I prefer swimming open water and hope to do some long distance open water swims some day.

Most people are so put off by the swim that the don't even try, so well done getting started! Let me know how you get on.

Katherine
2018-07-26 11:21 AM
in reply to: Passion4


13

Subject: RE: New To Swimming
Unfortunately my shoulder issue is getting worse and it keeping me out of the gym entirely. I'm not sure if it is from swimming or just from weight lifting or what but I've really messed it up. I can't even put weight on it to push myself out of a chair. So, needless to say, my training and dreams of becoming an Olympic swimmer are stalled for the moment.
New Thread
General Discussion Introduce Yourself!!! » New To Swimming Rss Feed  
RELATED POSTS

New to BT. Not new to tri

Started by RowToTri
Views: 644 Posts: 3

2018-06-13 1:54 AM ethanscott

Brand new, to all the things

Started by osteobunny
Views: 602 Posts: 5

2017-11-30 4:51 AM SpyPhone

New to Tris

Started by michaelwma
Views: 472 Posts: 2

2017-08-04 10:52 AM IndoIronYanti

Old and new

Started by Toppage
Views: 750 Posts: 4

2017-07-18 5:03 PM kandk

New to Tri

Started by Will1309
Views: 316 Posts: 2

2017-06-09 11:21 AM jhaack39