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Help me swimmers

Discussion in 'Fitness & Nutrition' started by Crazy Sweeper, Nov 22, 2005.

  1. Crazy Sweeper

    Crazy Sweeper more COWBELL!

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    So I've started swimming as my primary source of excercise during the winter months. Now I'm not a very strong swimmer, and I only really know how to do the crawl and the elementary back stroke (and the doggy paddle). Because I'm a weak swimmer I only spend about 20-30 mins in the pool, and I only do about 6 full laps, usually with breaks in between. Just wondering if there are any swimmers out there who could give me some pointers/drills to perform both inside and outside the pool to make me a better swimmer. I'm not trying to compete I just want good excercise, eventually I'd like to be able to swim for an hour non stop. As far as frequency I'm swimming 2-3 times per week, but after thanksgiving I'm gonna try to swim 5 days per week unless somebody suggests otherwise.

    Any help?
     

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  2. peter6061

    peter6061 Turbo Monkey

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    First off, not to knock your fitness as we all have to build up to something new, I would see if you can get someone to give you some pointers on technique. Something seems off if you are only able to do 6 full laps in 20-30 minutes.

    Are you swimming in a 25 or 50 yd/meter pool?

    I swam competively for 8 years in my younger life. Even for us competitors, the first week getting back into it each season was brutal.

    Once you get proper technique, you can build up quickly and you'll be getting a great workout.

    PS.. I just joined a gym for the winter to work the weights and other cardio that I don't normally do due to being on the bike most days.
     
  3. Cant Climb

    Cant Climb Turbo Monkey

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    Try to find a Masters swim team. There is a website that lists all the teams/clubs across the country. They usually have structured practices with a coach and a coach is what will help you the most. Most teams have lanes broken up into ability levels and that way you can guage you improvement....

    Ok here is the website....http://www.usms.org/

    And they actually have an event every winter that is the "1 hour swim"......there you have motivation to reach your goal. I did it like 4-5 years ago......

    Good luck. Swimming is awesome. I miss it greatly. It is incredible cross-training. The best cross training IMO.
     
  4. Heidi

    Heidi Der hund ist laut und braun

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    Hey there - When I hurt my knee last winter I took up swimming as my primary exercise as well. I didn't want to swim with the masters because dammit - I want to swim when I want, and do what I want...not some structured endless drills. So, I read a book on technique and then took a clinic on it as well. Check with your pool - lots of times you can take a clinic or even hire the masters coach for a session or two. Check with your local community college as well...sometimes they have classes you can take.

    Don't get discouraged. I was able to work up to one mile 4 times a week in about a month.

    have fun.
     
  5. Crazy Sweeper

    Crazy Sweeper more COWBELL!

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    Thanks for your input, I don't swim nonstop for 20 mins, I take numerous breaks, in all honesty I don't think I could swim 3 laps non-stop. swimming for me up until now has been a matter of survival more than a means of excercise.
     
  6. SDH

    SDH I'm normal

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    Your form is everything. You must become efficient, have a efficient stroke and good timing (timing between your stroke and breathing). I agree you need to get some pointers from an instructor. Check out your local club for adult lessons (take a few) or as CC suggested find a masters program.

    It is great training. I picked it up again after taking off for years (use to swim in college) b/c of a knee injuring, really good exercise.

    Swimming is like golf, first you need propoer form then you build strength and power.
     
  7. bluebug32

    bluebug32 Asshat

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    I just spoke with Terry Laughlin who invented the teaching method of Total Immersion Swimming. There's a book with numbered steps to breathing better and using your body efficiently. It's the best-selling book on swimming and his method is taught worldwide. They should have the book in most bookstores and online definitely.
     
  8. reflux

    reflux Turbo Monkey

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    If someone has spent very little time in the water and does not know how to swim freestyle(aka crawl), TI is a great way to start. From experience however, TI is perfect for learning proper body positioning, but leaves a little to be desired when it comes to an effecient and powerful stroke.
     
  9. bluebug32

    bluebug32 Asshat

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    You've done it? The guy who started it is very interesting
     
  10. reflux

    reflux Turbo Monkey

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    I own the dvd Freestyle Made Easy. It worked well enough for what it was intended; to teach freestyle. I have to hand it to Terry, the guy created an easy-to-teach method of swimming and has done a great job of marketing it.
     
  11. rigidhack

    rigidhack Turbo Monkey

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    I was a competitive swimmer for 8 years (high school and college) and taught for probably 12 years.

    Start with your kick. Most peope get it wrong and it is the basis of a strong, efficient stroke. Get a kickboard and go. If you are going backwards, (if you are doing something wrong, you will literally change direction and go backwards) relax your ankles, let your feet flop. Also, the kick should start from the upper thigh, not below the knee. At 6 laps/20min I can guarantee you that you're kicking with stiff ankles, from the knee down. Picture a bull whip: if you think about it, the handle goes first, then the tail of the whip. Same thing with your kick. Once you get it right, your whole leg will be relaxed and your hams/quads will be doing all the work. Get the kick down first and everything can build on that.

    PM me if you want any other tips.