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Thread: Swimming

  1. #61
    Huge Member BigPiney's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteelBlue View Post
    My new challenge is what I guess are called stroke cycles. The coaches have brought to my attention that at my height (6' 2") I should be working toward swimming 25 yards in around 7 cycles (a right and left stroke). I currently can do it in 9 for a while then as I tire it turns into 10/11. When I watch the good swimmers (one in particular who swam in college) they do the same number of cycles on every single lap. It amazes me and I think maybe one of the keys to being a good triathlete is improving that efficiency. Think about how much unnecessary work a newbie like me does over those 25 yards. Extrapolate that out to a one mile swim and you can see that working on your cycle could really pay dividends in the long run.
    Related to this, I have noticed that a lot of new swimmers don't take advantage of the momentum that the stroke provides. In order to reduce the number of strokes you are taking and make yourself more efficient I recommend, at least during your warm-up, emphasize the glide portion of the stroke, when your hand is fully extended in front and concentrating on rotating your hips. As you do this, working on the glide, you will become more efficient.

  2. #62
    Senior Member Eddie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Borg View Post
    ...Also: Another question. For those that do triathlons...do you freestyle swim the entire mile etc...without breaking into another type of stroke for a 'rest'...or do you just hammer through it freestyle?
    I don't do a rest stroke - just hammer through. I do find that I need to look up every few minutes to see where I am. I tend to pull to the right when I swim (without having the lines on the bottom of the pool to follow). So I suppose this might count as a rest.

    Part of my problem is that I'm not as comfortable breathing out of the left side as I am the right. I'm working on that - hoping that eventually I'll be able to do well enough that this will reduce my need to look up.

    Quote Originally Posted by SteelBlue View Post
    ...If one is training for an open water event, the mile you do in the pool with open turns might be much easier than the mile you'll do in the lake....
    It was very strange the first time in open water to just keep swimming without having a wall to kick off of. I had never realized how much push/distance I got from kicking off the wall.

    The rec center I swim at has a lap pool as well as a kids/play pool with a lazy river that goes around a portion of it. When there aren't a bunch of old people walking the lazy river, I'll swim in that sometimes - just to get a feel for swimming for 30 minutes straight without kicking off a wall.

    It is crazy to me. I feel like I can go forever - 60-90 minutes of swimming straight through - if I'm just swimming along doing laps. But put me in the lazy river and I'm worn out in 10 minutes. Part of this is because I'm not content holding position and want to move forward - but I think part of it is the break at the walls.

    Quote Originally Posted by SteelBlue View Post
    ...My new challenge is what I guess are called stroke cycles. The coaches have brought to my attention that at my height (6' 2") I should be working toward swimming 25 yards in around 7 cycles (a right and left stroke). I currently can do it in 9 for a while then as I tire it turns into 10/11. When I watch the good swimmers (one in particular who swam in college) they do the same number of cycles on every single lap. It amazes me and I think maybe one of the keys to being a good triathlete is improving that efficiency. Think about how much unnecessary work a newbie like me does over those 25 yards. Extrapolate that out to a one mile swim and you can see that working on your cycle could really pay dividends in the long run.
    I had a quick one-time lesson from a swim instructor and this is what she tried to convince me of - telling me that the fastest swimmers aren't fast because they do more strokes. They are fast because they get a better glide and have fewer strokes.

    So I'll spend a part of each swim just seeing how few cycles I can cross the pool in - focusing on the glide.

    Quote Originally Posted by BigPiney View Post
    Related to this, I have noticed that a lot of new swimmers don't take advantage of the momentum that the stroke provides. In order to reduce the number of strokes you are taking and make yourself more efficient I recommend, at least during your warm-up, emphasize the glide portion of the stroke, when your hand is fully extended in front and concentrating on rotating your hips. As you do this, working on the glide, you will become more efficient.
    I can't tell you guys how much I appreciate advice like this. I feel fairly confident as a swimmer - meaning I know I have the endurance to finish the swim and if I'm not pushing it I can swim a long time. But having some technical advice now and then really helps to smooth things out and become more efficient. It's good to have things to work on besides just "going harder".

  3. #63

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    Quote Originally Posted by bluegoose View Post
    Sweet! Open turners unite! I can't tell you how many times I've come up sputtering and disoriented while trying to learn how to do a flip turn.
    Count me in this club too! I'm afraid if I try a flip turn, I'll end up flopping my feet onto the cement side of the pool and break both feet at once!
    "Newton's First Law of Motion: ...things at rest tend to stay at rest. Things in motion, tend to stay in motion...."

    Hmm... Good motivation for me to remain active I guess.

  4. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by bluegoose View Post
    Sweet! Open turners unite! I can't tell you how many times I've come up sputtering and disoriented while trying to learn how to do a flip turn.
    Count me in. I just like to come up and get a real big breath of air before I head back.

  5. #65
    Huge Member BigPiney's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Borg View Post
    Count me in this club too! I'm afraid if I try a flip turn, I'll end up flopping my feet onto the cement side of the pool and break both feet at once!
    I consider myself a pretty good swimmer, and for the most part I do open turns (90%).

  6. #66

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    Anyone-
    What do you use as a lap counter? Not that I'm burning up the laps...but, after a bit, I get lost and can't remember what I've done. Is there a lap counter out there somewhere that would be recommended?
    "Newton's First Law of Motion: ...things at rest tend to stay at rest. Things in motion, tend to stay in motion...."

    Hmm... Good motivation for me to remain active I guess.

  7. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by Borg View Post
    Anyone-
    What do you use as a lap counter? Not that I'm burning up the laps...but, after a bit, I get lost and can't remember what I've done. Is there a lap counter out there somewhere that would be recommended?
    http://www.swimoutlet.com/SearchResu...&Click=1875087

    I've never used one but I know they got them out there.

  8. #68

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    the timex ironman watches ($30 at walmart) have a good split function. You can also use out on track workouts (have I done 10 or 11 400s?).
    At least the Big Ten went after a big-time addition in Nebraska; the Pac-10 wanted a game so badly, it added Utah
    -Berry Trammel, 12/3/10

  9. #69

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    Thanks again everyone. Space Ghost...I stand ...um...."swim" in awe. You are an excellent swimmer. Wow...I doubt I'll ever get to your level.

    I'm a way beginner, but my 50 yard split times are pretty much 1:03ish...give or take,...and I can not come close to a one mile workout. Your times are fast and very consistent. Great job.
    "Newton's First Law of Motion: ...things at rest tend to stay at rest. Things in motion, tend to stay in motion...."

    Hmm... Good motivation for me to remain active I guess.

  10. #70

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    Quote Originally Posted by Space Ghost View Post
    Consistent yes, fast... no. A 25-minute mile will probably seed me in one of the last few heats of my race in July. The US record for a 1-mile cable swim in my age group (40-44) is 20:16.84, which translates to a 34.57s per 50yd pace... or about 8 seconds per 50 yards faster than what I swam this morning. I'll be very happy if I can swim my race at a 40s per 50yd pace, which is about a 23˝ minute mile.

    Your comments flatter me, but I should remind you that I started swimming seriously again about 8 months ago (last August) and have been swimming an hour or more nearly every day since then. At the beginning I was swimming at around a 1:45 per 100yd pace, or about 53s per 50y... not far from where you are now. I have confidence that, with some additional time and training, you'll be able to achieve my level of "excellence".

    cheers.
    Question for you, sg. (and yeah, I'd give anything to be as fast as you...well, except 1 hour of swimming every day. But really, you had to have swam in high school, right?)

    Do you swim as fast in open water? Open water tris are total chaos-to the point where I would think it would negate a lot of the form advantages of good swimmers--lots of looking up, redirecting course, crawling over people, trying not to suck up water in choppy waters, etc. The closest analogy I can think of would be muddy fields negating speed advantages in football. Yet, strong swimmers still kick the crap out of me on these. Is open water swimming an acquired skill? That's a dumb question--of course it is--but do you find that you lose a little of your speed advantage in open water vs pool?
    At least the Big Ten went after a big-time addition in Nebraska; the Pac-10 wanted a game so badly, it added Utah
    -Berry Trammel, 12/3/10

  11. #71
    Living in the Past ... FMCoug's Avatar
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    So last year, I had gained back some of my swim fitness after a month or so in the pool. Then I started a business and had 0 time to work out for about 6 months. Today was my first day back. Any gains are LONG gone. That hurt.

    Also, not that it's officially timed, but my pace seems to be about 1/4 of what I swam in High School. Man I suck.
    "It's true that everything happens for a reason. Just remember that sometimes that reason is that you did something really, really, stupid."

  12. #72

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    Quote Originally Posted by Space Ghost View Post
    Dropped by Lindon Beach this evening to join a group of people for a swim in Utah Lake. A lot of folks showed up wearing full wetsuits and sleeveless wetsuits, which worried me somewhat. The water temperature wasn't bad... probably 70-72 degrees, or just fine for the Speedo jammer I was wearing. It was decided to swim out for 15 minutes, then turn around and swim back. I managed to make it back in 13 minutes, but with the help of some (wake) waves giving me a little push from time to time.

    They don't wear wetsuits for the temperature. They wear wetsuits to improve buoyancy so they can swim for more than thirteen minutes at a time.

  13. #73
    My Mic Sounds Nice falafel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Babs View Post
    They don't wear wetsuits for the temperature. They wear wetsuits to improve buoyancy so they can swim for more than thirteen minutes at a time.
    I thought they wore wet suits to protect against skin infection caused by swimming in Utah Lake.

    Regardless, boyancy isn't an issue in Utah Lake. If you get tire at any time, you can just stand up.
    Ain't it like most people, I'm no different. We love to talk on things we don't know about.

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  14. #74

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    Quote Originally Posted by falafel View Post
    I thought they wore wet suits to protect against skin infection caused by swimming in Utah Lake.

    Regardless, boyancy isn't an issue in Utah Lake. If you get tire at any time, you can just stand up.
    I think I misunderstood his post. I thought he said he was going to swim for half an hour but swam for 13 instead, but I think he's saying it took him two minutes less on the inbound than on the outbound swim.

    I don't know anything about Utah Lake, having never ventured outside of the airport.

  15. #75
    Huge Member BigPiney's Avatar
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    Ugh, I am doing a 1 mile open water tomorrow and so not looking forward to it. At 7000 ft that water is cold.

    You are a beast.

  16. #76
    Huge Member BigPiney's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Space Ghost View Post
    I swam in a 1-mile open water event at Foster Lake in Oregon last Saturday (results). The water temperature was 67 degrees at the shore (but our boat gauge was reading 66 near the swim route). No Category II swimwear (wet suits) was allowed; it was a brisk swim in just the jammers.

    I was seeded 61st, but finished 41st overall... passing 20 persons (my heat consisted of 12 swimmers that started 1:20 behind the highest seeded wave of swimmers). But still, I swam it in 25:47 (1:28/100yd pace), which was disappointing as I was shooting to swim it under 23:20... or a 1:20/100yd pace. The event was held mid-day and, as a result, the lake boat traffic churned up quite a bit of chop. It was brutal at times. I don't think anyone really swam as fast as they would have liked.

    Good luck with your swim... post your results!

    cheers.
    I will. It is the first leg of a triathon, so I will try not to use it all up on the swim.

  17. #77
    Huge Member BigPiney's Avatar
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    Swam a 21:54 for a 1500 m swim to start the June lake triathlon. Not too bad for only getting in the water about 7-10 times this year. The rest of the race was very hard, but I only finished a few minutes slower than last year, so not too bad.

  18. #78
    Huge Member BigPiney's Avatar
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    saw this training tool: http://www.finisinc.com/equipment/el...swimsense.html
    it is like a garmin for swimming.

  19. #79
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    I am sure this is a really dumb question, but I feel capable of asking it. Is becoming a better swimmer more than just practice?

    The last month when we have been home I have been trying to swim 6-8 laps a day, I am not seeing any progress and am at the point of being ready to quit. When I run or bike I notice nice gains and feel more comfortable with each run/ride, with swimming I always feel like I am just thrashing in the water.
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  20. #80
    Huge Member BigPiney's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HuskyFreeNorthwest View Post
    I am sure this is a really dumb question, but I feel capable of asking it. Is becoming a better swimmer more than just practice?
    Yes, it is all about technique. You need some instruction on technique if you really want to become a good swimmer. You will figure some of it out by just getting out there and trashing, as you say, but is all about the efficiency in your effort.

    When I work on my stroke I will count the number of strokes it is taking for me to do a lap. The fewer the better. Next time count how many you are taking and then watch someone that looks like they know what they are doing and count how many you do. They are probably doing around a 1/3 less.

  21. #81
    One man.....one pie Moliere's Avatar
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    So I swam yesterday for the first time in my life. I'm using the verb "swam" to indicate me trying to swim continuously for distance as I've spent a lot of time in a pool but have never really just swam to swim. It started out rough, which I guess I expected, and got a little bit better. I think I ended up doing 800m total but took some long breaks inbetween each 50m (15 sec to 1 minute breaks).

    All I have to say is Holy Crap swimming is different than anything else I've done for endurance. I was freaked out the first couple laps because I'm so used to breathing naturally. It was tough to hold my breath, exhale under water then take a quick breath. There were times when I almost panicked, but I told myself to slow down my strokes, glide more and not to worry about speed/cadence at this time. By the end of the swim I had a decent rhythm with my stroke/breathing but I was so gassed it was tough to keep it up.

    I think I'm going to try and swim at least twice a week and hopefully I'll be at hte point I can do 500m continuously, which is what I need for the tri later next month.

    I can't tell you how intimidating it is to have a strong swimmer in the lane next to you, but at least I didn't totally suck for my first time.
    "Discipleship is not a spectator sport. We cannot expect to experience the blessing of faith by standing inactive on the sidelines any more than we can experience the benefits of health by sitting on a sofa watching sporting events on television and giving advice to the athletes. And yet for some, “spectator discipleship” is a preferred if not primary way of worshipping." -Pres. Uchtdorf

  22. #82
    One man.....one pie Moliere's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moliere View Post
    I think I'm going to try and swim at least twice a week and hopefully I'll be at hte point I can do 500m continuously, which is what I need for the tri later next month.
    Big breakthrough tonight. On my 5th time ever swimming I completed 1/2 mile with no stops and it was all freestyle. I'd done 500m previously but I took an extended break after 300m and also spent about 1/3 of it side stroking or back stroking. Anyway, tonight's goal was 500m with no stopping and I accomplished that but felt good enough to go another 300m. So in total I did 800m all freestyle with no stops all in 22 minutes. That's not a time to be proud of, but it's something I can now work on.

    Thanks to those that gave tips, especially ERcougar and PDiddy. I used pretty much all of it and ultimatley I think the key was getting into a good rhythm and also repetition. Previously I found myself thinking so much about my stroke and breathing and form that I just fell apart. Tonight it clicked in a good way.
    "Discipleship is not a spectator sport. We cannot expect to experience the blessing of faith by standing inactive on the sidelines any more than we can experience the benefits of health by sitting on a sofa watching sporting events on television and giving advice to the athletes. And yet for some, “spectator discipleship” is a preferred if not primary way of worshipping." -Pres. Uchtdorf

  23. #83
    Soul Plumber wuapinmon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moliere View Post
    Big breakthrough tonight. On my 5th time ever swimming I completed 1/2 mile with no stops and it was all freestyle. I'd done 500m previously but I took an extended break after 300m and also spent about 1/3 of it side stroking or back stroking. Anyway, tonight's goal was 500m with no stopping and I accomplished that but felt good enough to go another 300m. So in total I did 800m all freestyle with no stops all in 22 minutes. That's not a time to be proud of, but it's something I can now work on.

    Thanks to those that gave tips, especially ERcougar and PDiddy. I used pretty much all of it and ultimatley I think the key was getting into a good rhythm and also repetition. Previously I found myself thinking so much about my stroke and breathing and form that I just fell apart. Tonight it clicked in a good way.
    Shit, man, those times are phenomenal with my physique. Congrats! That's a good start. However, give yourself two days to recuperate or your rotator cuffs will start to hurt.
    "Yeah, but never trust a Ph.D who has an MBA as well. The PhD symbolizes intelligence and discipline. The MBA symbolizes lust for power." -- Katy Lied

  24. #84
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    I suck at swimming. I've never been a swimmer but wanted to work that into the workout and it's going nowhere. I keep expecting it to click better, but it hasn't and it seems to get progressively worse with each lap as I try to integrate the many suggestions from this thread and elsewhere. The first lap goes well but then it's downhill after making my flailing turn -- that does, however, give me hope that an open water swim would prove successful with the absence of the 180.
    I have nothing else to say at this time.

  25. #85
    Kicked to the curb San Juan Sun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Parrot Head View Post
    I suck at swimming. I've never been a swimmer but wanted to work that into the workout and it's going nowhere. I keep expecting it to click better, but it hasn't and it seems to get progressively worse with each lap as I try to integrate the many suggestions from this thread and elsewhere. The first lap goes well but then it's downhill after making my flailing turn -- that does, however, give me hope that an open water swim would prove successful with the absence of the 180.
    Just a non-swimmer thinking out loud, but if the swimmer's turn is giving you a hard time, why not just swim to the wall and push off the other way?
    "Sure, I fought. I had to fight all my life just to survive. They were all against me. Tried every dirty trick to cut me down, but I beat the bastards and left them in the ditch."

    - Ty Cobb

  26. #86
    One man.....one pie Moliere's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Parrot Head View Post
    I suck at swimming. I've never been a swimmer but wanted to work that into the workout and it's going nowhere. I keep expecting it to click better, but it hasn't and it seems to get progressively worse with each lap as I try to integrate the many suggestions from this thread and elsewhere. The first lap goes well but then it's downhill after making my flailing turn -- that does, however, give me hope that an open water swim would prove successful with the absence of the 180.
    I suck at it as well, but I can now do 900m without stopping, which for me is an accomplishment. First advice is to not try and do a complex turn. Right now I just touch the wall, pop my head out of the water, take one breath while turning and then push off for the next lap. Keep it simple and don't worry about turning because, like you said, you don't really turn on a wall in an open water swim.

    My biggest issue was just the rhythm of breathing, stroking and gliding. Right now I stroke with both arms and take a breath while doing that. Then I glide a bit (1-2 seconds) and then repeat. It keeps my heart rate down to not be constantly stroking and enables me to take a decent breath.

    At some point I plan on going to a trainer to get faster, but for now I'm happy just being able to swim for 25 minutes non stop.
    "Discipleship is not a spectator sport. We cannot expect to experience the blessing of faith by standing inactive on the sidelines any more than we can experience the benefits of health by sitting on a sofa watching sporting events on television and giving advice to the athletes. And yet for some, “spectator discipleship” is a preferred if not primary way of worshipping." -Pres. Uchtdorf

  27. #87
    Where's Wallace? Surfah's Avatar
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    I always keep my jammers, goggles and towel in my gym bag but our new gym is always crowded when I am there. I hate sharing lanes. I'd like to get back into swimming though.
    "Nobody listens to Turtle."
    -Turtle

  28. #88

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    Quote Originally Posted by Surfah View Post
    I always keep my jammers, goggles and towel in my gym bag but our new gym is always crowded when I am there. I hate sharing lanes. I'd like to get back into swimming though.
    Sounds like an excuse, get your ass in the pool.
    *Banned*

  29. #89
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    Quote Originally Posted by cougjunkie View Post
    Sounds like an excuse, get your ass in the pool.
    My ass has been lifting for 90 minutes and then on the stair machine for 30.
    "Nobody listens to Turtle."
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  30. #90
    I ♥ gateway sex FN Phat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Surfah View Post
    My ass has been lifting for 90 minutes and then on the stair machine for 30.
    I wish I had 2 hours/day to work out.
    I'm your huckleberry.


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