Swimming, do you? Advice sought.

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4nursebee
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Swimming, do you? Advice sought.

Post by 4nursebee » Wed Jan 16, 2019 7:17 am

Any swimmers here? Cold weather has me starting to swim, never did much of it as a child. Sunk 12 ft my first lesson way back.. Never really breathed properly, always kept my head above water.

I do not know how long the pool is, suspect >22m as 72 lengths, 36 laps = one mile. It was tough going at first but on only the third time I went I was able to go 30 lengths, not all at once. I've begun to play around more with getting my head down and trying to breathe properly. Breathing with every stroke seems to really tire me out, forced hyperventilation. For the breast stroke I've been doing two strokes then coming up. Freestyle I am still getting the hang of things, playing around with RLR breathe, LRL breathe, versus four arm strokes and alternating sides periodically. No fancy flips at the end. Back stroke exhausts me. I'd read in a book that one should hold the breath until just before coming up, then exhale, then come up and breathe in. Swimmers I talk to say breathe out through the nose the whole time.

I found that starting to breathe properly while swimming at a moderate pace is kind of meditative and relaxing. I would like to continue to get better. I am curious to hear from others about your swimming workouts, what distances you go for, what your breathing pattern is, injury prevention advice, anything of value to a novice. I am beginning to wonder if I need to moisturize my skin better. I think the pool is chlorine, the temperature is warm.

Thank you much for helping me to enjoy this more!
Last edited by 4nursebee on Wed Jan 16, 2019 8:11 am, edited 1 time in total.
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JeffAL
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Re: Swimming, do you? Advice sought.

Post by JeffAL » Wed Jan 16, 2019 7:32 am

I did some triathlon training last year and the hardest part for me was learning to swim properly. I think the key thing is never hold your breath as you'll just exhaust yourself. Breathe out through your nose under water and breathe in when your face is above water. Do this continuously. Sounds easy but tricky to master.

deeppizza
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Re: Swimming, do you? Advice sought.

Post by deeppizza » Wed Jan 16, 2019 7:41 am

We have a 25 meter indoor salt water pool at my gym, and I try to swim a mile (32 laps/64 lengths) 3x/week. I basically do it in stages of 1/3 mile a time before taking about a 1-2 minute break. Agree that it's meditating, but can get monotonous too. I do freestyle, and take a breath with every stroke. Only issue I have is that after about 8 laps, I start to notice that I've been swallowing some air. Usually hit the sauna or steam room for a couple of minutes after the workout too which I found helps if you swim frequently/daily.

bondsr4me
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Re: Swimming, do you? Advice sought.

Post by bondsr4me » Wed Jan 16, 2019 7:41 am

I really like swimming, but stopped.

I have medical eye issues (trabeculectomies in both eyes; vitrectomy in right eye; ongoing glaucoma issues).
The fear of an eye infection keeps me out of the pool at the Y.
I never cared for smelling like a chlorine bottle after swimming, even after a good shower.
I didn't use a nose plug and my sinuses seemed to get really irritated.

Overall, I think swimming is the best total body workout and I would do it all over again if things were different.

I say Go For It....it's great exercise....if you can stand the chlorine issues.

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Re: Swimming, do you? Advice sought.

Post by MossySF » Wed Jan 16, 2019 8:12 am

Some of my hints -- I'm self-taught in all strokes through experimentation and watching Youtube videos -- so I know all the good & bad techniques.

Breast stroke -- aim down with a deep lungful of air -- and the air in the lungs becomes a bouyant force pushing you up. So you end up with a rhythm of 2 underwater strokes and then 1 up to take a breath. During the glide, have your body as straight as possible so you're an arrow slicing through the water. What this means is you don't do the pull + kick at the same time as you want your arms straight out when kicking. This will give you the least resistance and use the least energy possible to get your laps.

Backstroke -- keep the lungs filled with air so you act like a floating device -- take quick short breaths in/out to keep the lungs filled. Tilt your head way back. Lungs filled + head tilted back, you can just lie down on the water and not sink.

Freestyle -- breathing on only 1 side has an easier rhythm. You can get a little dizzy doing both sides. 99% people do scissor kicks with freestyle but the latest race method is to end with freestyle + dolphin kick. And I find I get a really nice rhythm with this combo -- I dolphin kick myself deep/far -- and then glide up for air -- then repeat.

Butterfly -- the trick is the glide. When you see it on video/tv, it looks like people are swinging arms and legs nonstop. Well that's when you've got the technique down. In the beginning, pull+big kick -- head up to take a breath -- then immediately pull your arms up/out the side and dive down in a Superman-flying position and glide. Start by just gliding up you float back up to the surface and then prepare for another pull+big kick --> breath cycle. Once you get this down, add 2 small kicks during the glide -- that will get you to the surface sooner so the timing will be faster. Then go to 1 small glide kick. Finally, the end result is to remove the glide kick and you end up with a pull+kick / breath cycle just like what you see on TV.

Underwater kicks -- woo, this is the most fun. Kick off the wall and undulate your body like a dolphin. (Diving in is even more fun but not all pools are deep enough to pull this off.) Upside-down dolphin kickstarts are actually easier to learn then facedown. However, stretch first and make sure you practice this in shallow water or near something you can grab. I've pulled my calf muscle a few times undulating so hard snapping the body & legs back down.

Nose clip! Without a nose clip, you have to blow air out of your nose to keep water from going in which decreases your lung capacity. This is especially a big factor for flip turns, backstroke and underwater dolphin kicks.

Dontwasteit
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Re: Swimming, do you? Advice sought.

Post by Dontwasteit » Wed Jan 16, 2019 8:53 am

I can swim just enough to save my life (Expert at treading water and dog paddling). Could never get the breathing down.

Therapist Investor
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Re: Swimming, do you? Advice sought.

Post by Therapist Investor » Wed Jan 16, 2019 8:58 am

I swam competitively in high school, was a part time swim coach in college, and then gave it up for most of my 20s. I recently returned to the sport. There is so much technique to learn that you really need a coach regardless of when you are learning. It's easier to learn as a child, but you can definitely learn to swim as an adult if you are patient and work hard. There are multiple drills for each stroke that help you get the basics down. I recommend you look for a master's swim team in your area...one that advertises itself as being for swimmers at all levels. If you join a master's swim team, they should be able to provide the coaching that will help you pick up each stroke.

I recently joined a master's swim team and have loved the fact that it provides a new group of people, extra motivation on those early mornings, and someone telling you what to do in the water. If you swim alone, you have to be really self-motivated, something that I just do not possess when it comes to exercise.

Best of luck!
Last edited by Therapist Investor on Wed Jan 16, 2019 9:28 am, edited 3 times in total.
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OldBallCoach
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Re: Swimming, do you? Advice sought.

Post by OldBallCoach » Wed Jan 16, 2019 8:59 am

When we moved last time to my new job ( which in my line of work you do that some! ) my DW decided to put in an endless pool spa...I thought it was the worst idea ever but ya know...happy wife happy life so of course we did it....I have to say that was the best money we spent...even 15-20 minutes of swimming can really help me stretch, relax, and of course less impact on the old knees and hips, ect..she uses it all the time and LOVES it...she is designing our retirement house for the future which will be a few years I hope but anyway the new joint will have a slightly larger unit with an attached hot tub...I would be sure that you start slow and build up but I think once you get in the groove you will LOVE swimming...cheers!

eli80
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Re: Swimming, do you? Advice sought.

Post by eli80 » Wed Jan 16, 2019 9:23 am

I swam in HS and have done triathlons. The only thing I would add is don't worry about counting laps to get to your mile or whatever distance. Swim for a time period - 30 minutes or whatever. If you want every couple of weeks see what your distance is over the time period.

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Re: Swimming, do you? Advice sought.

Post by harvestbook » Wed Jan 16, 2019 9:26 am

Been a regular (2-3 times a week) swimmer for the past 20 years. I usually do a half mile, with a series of 12 laps in three different strokes/styles so that I can keep track. With the changes and showers, it takes almost an hour. Saltwater pool. I use ear plugs now since I have tinnitus and the water can exacerbate it for a day or so if it gets in my ears (also use a few drops of a mix of hydrogen peroxide, alcohol, and vinegar to help disperse it and avoid infection, which I learned in SCUBA training).

I find it's the easiest form of exercise on the body for me--I also do some biking, hiking, shooting hoops. Our pool is closing for a year so I'll either need to find another pool or replace it with something else. The only advice I'd give is to just keep doing it. I don't think you have to be a master or highly efficient or achieve a certain speed or precision to get the benefits. I see it as a meditative physical exercise and that's all I care about. There's no "wrong" way to do it and it seems popular with older people, too.
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skepticalobserver
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Re: Swimming, do you? Advice sought.

Post by skepticalobserver » Wed Jan 16, 2019 9:53 am

Like many older swimmers I started after I could no longer run. I do a daily 45 minutes in a 25-yard indoor pool. With oncoming shoulder issues I’m slow. Nonetheless, it’s a comprehensive workout. I’ve been able to maintain a 42-bpm resting pulse (genetics or exercise??).

If you’re unsure of your strokes I encourage you to get a few lessons. Doing it right pays off.

Slowly work up to a constant 45-50 minute swim.

Good luck!

PS: Choose the lanes that fit your speed—don’t PO the faster lappers.

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Re: Swimming, do you? Advice sought.

Post by EyeYield » Wed Jan 16, 2019 10:23 am

I swim 4000 yards every other day and plank on my off days - life in the prone lane due to knee and back problems.

A few years ago I had a cervical spine injury and found that turning my head to breathe was a real pain in the neck.
Solution, snorkel. After some trial and error, I found that the Michael Phelps Focus snorkel worked best.
https://youtu.be/tqafSHAZDoQ

Not turning my head to breathe has allowed me to concentrate on my technique and my lap times have improved.

So maybe try a snorkel until you feel more comfortable with all the mechanics of technique and breathing.
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Re: Swimming, do you? Advice sought.

Post by BuckyBadger » Wed Jan 16, 2019 10:27 am

I've done some sprint and Olympic distance Triathlons in my 20s and always struggled with the swimming part... I used to joke that I was glad they made you swim first because if you drowned then you weren't wasting your time doing the rest of the event. Part of my problem was swimming in natural bodies of water with dozens of people around me. The water movement and kicking feet always made me nervous.

The practice I did in a normal pool were much more enjoyable and I this thread is starting to inspire me to take it up again!

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Re: Swimming, do you? Advice sought.

Post by djpeteski » Wed Jan 16, 2019 10:31 am

The common term is "Adult onset swimmer", like you I took lessons in my youth but never learned to crawl properly.

At 50, I did my first sprint triathlon which included a 400m swim. Even after my 4th and over two years later I am still alternating side stroke and crawl. For me the hypoxic is tough to overcome, as well as being sick of having my head underwater. The side stroke is my "resting stroke" as my head is out of the water the whole time. However, it just wears me out and leaves my legs gassed for the bike and run.

Master's programs are not really an option for you and me as we don't do flip turns, which is a requirement from what I understand.

I bought the book Total Immersion Swimming and started reading it last night. I am hoping that might help although I know many of the principles. While I have watch many youtube videos few focus on being comfortable and efficient in the water. Most focus on speed, which I hope will come once I become comfortable. Until I am comfortable, having a "high elbow catch" is of minimal use.

I've found that finding a coach is difficult and/or expensive. There are people that will send you a training plan, for a fee, but that is not helpful. There are people that will do video analysis, and that might help, but we (both my wife and I are kind of in the same stage of swimming), would really like some one-on-one coaching. If you do find one, do they have access to a pool? Do they have availability when you do?

The crazy thing is that I much prefer open water swimming to pools. Once I finally develop a rhythm, it is time to turn around and do it all again in the pool. If I get tired in open water, I can just roll on my back and float, no big deal.

All that being said, Half Iron man in 16 weeks and 3 days. While not fast, I should be fine in the 1.2 miles swim provided the water is not super rough and I can mostly avoid the jelly fish.

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Re: Swimming, do you? Advice sought.

Post by stoptothink » Wed Jan 16, 2019 10:37 am

BuckyBadger wrote:
Wed Jan 16, 2019 10:27 am
I've done some sprint and Olympic distance Triathlons in my 20s and always struggled with the swimming part... I used to joke that I was glad they made you swim first because if you drowned then you weren't wasting your time doing the rest of the event. Part of my problem was swimming in natural bodies of water with dozens of people around me. The water movement and kicking feet always made me nervous.

The practice I did in a normal pool were much more enjoyable and I this thread is starting to inspire me to take it up again!
Former fairly high-level triathlete here; there is no way to train to swim in open water with several hundred other people other than to swim in open water with several hundred other people. Swimming in a pool, with a lane-line, is a totally different world. I had a huge wake-up call at my first race, when I nearly dropped out because the swim was so frightening (ended up finishing and placing 3rd in my AG after fastest bike and run splits).

Technique is EVERYTHING in swimming and I learned most of it on Youtube (no joke). Never was a competitive swimmer or had any sort of coaching, but I was able to learn enough to where I was always in the top 10% on the swim.

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Re: Swimming, do you? Advice sought.

Post by cheese_breath » Wed Jan 16, 2019 11:17 am

bondsr4me wrote:
Wed Jan 16, 2019 7:41 am
.... I didn't use a nose plug and my sinuses seemed to get really irritated ....
+1 on nose clip. I swam in high school and college many decades ago. We never used them then, and I've had sinus problems ever since.

Also get a good set of goggles. The chlorine never used to bother me in those days, but one day in our OPC's (Older Person's Center) pool left my eyes red for a week. Maybe it's extra strong to kill off all the old people diseases. :wink: Anyway, I swam there regularly for about two years until DW convinced me it probably wasn't healthy swimming in chlorine that strong.
The surest way to know the future is when it becomes the past.

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cheese_breath
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Re: Swimming, do you? Advice sought.

Post by cheese_breath » Wed Jan 16, 2019 11:28 am

eli80 wrote:
Wed Jan 16, 2019 9:23 am
I swam in HS and have done triathlons. The only thing I would add is don't worry about counting laps to get to your mile or whatever distance. Swim for a time period - 30 minutes or whatever. If you want every couple of weeks see what your distance is over the time period.
+1 As you get better it won't take you as long to get your mile. Swim for a time period. And if you still want to count laps you can calculate how far you swam after you're done.
The surest way to know the future is when it becomes the past.

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Re: Swimming, do you? Advice sought.

Post by JBTX » Wed Jan 16, 2019 11:44 am

4nursebee wrote:
Wed Jan 16, 2019 7:17 am
Any swimmers here? Cold weather has me starting to swim, never did much of it as a child. Sunk 12 ft my first lesson way back.. Never really breathed properly, always kept my head above water.
I swam competitively through high school decades ago. What I have since found teaching a couple of kids who are really resistent to putting face in the water, put goggles on them and they are much less intimidated by it.

Go in the shallow end a little bit with feet on bottom and just get in habit of inhaling with head out of water, and exhaling when you go underwater, with eyes open, goggles on. Once exhaling when face in the water is instinctual it becomes easier, and you can start to either exhale much more slowly or hold your breath.
I do not know how long the pool is, suspect >22m as 72 lengths, 36 laps = one mile. It was tough going at first but on only the third time I went I was able to go 30 lengths, not all at once. I've begun to play around more with getting my head down and trying to breathe properly. Breathing with every stroke seems to really tire me out, forced hyperventilation.


You may be breathing in too much. I will see some freestylers breath every stroke, others every few strokes. You can breathe every stroke, but you take in a bit less. Think of it like walking vs running.

As to distance, just keep at it. In high school, I used to be able to swim for hours at a moderate pace effortlessly, no more effort than walking. Now by the time I hit the third length of a 25 yd pool my muscles are starting to stiffen up, but I never keep at it enough to get through it.. Sometimes if I keep going I get past it. Practice, practice, practice.
For the breast stroke I've been doing two strokes then coming up.
The breastroke has changed a lot since I did it. You really have to get the whip (or push) kick right. Breathing every time should become natural. Space out your stokes/kicks more. " Pull, breathe, kick, glide". Exaggerate the glide. With your arms, extend them, then pull with hands, separating them while pulling, elbows up, then collapse your elbows together, under your face, as if you are trying force/pop your head upwards out of the water, (think of a jack in the box popping out)then almost dive back in, hands forward, with your head under (which was a rules violation when I swam-head under water, but now it is ok).

I can't do it much now because it makes my knee gimpy.
Freestyle I am still getting the hang of things, playing around with RLR breathe, LRL breathe, versus four arm strokes and alternating sides periodically. No fancy flips at the end.


I've seen some very good swimmers stick to the same side. Just do what is comfortable. To the extent you get comfortable breathing more frequently your muscles may last longer, but at the same time holding your breath can itself be beneficial to your cardiovascular health. Mix it up.


Back stroke exhausts me. I'd read in a book that one should hold the breath until just before coming up, then exhale, then come up and breathe in. Swimmers I talk to say breathe out through the nose the whole time.
I was never a good backstoker. Mainly due to breathing. If I had a good backstroke I would have been very competitive in the IM (individual medley, all 4 strokes). To this day I hate it.

Having said that, mixing in backstroke and breastroke as you swim helps you swim more as they use different muscles and strecth muscles that are tightening while doing Freestyle. I can now swim much longer if I mix breastroke in every 3rd length.
I found that starting to breathe properly while swimming at a moderate pace is kind of meditative and relaxing. I would like to continue to get better. I am curious to hear from others about your swimming workouts, what distances you go for, what your breathing pattern is, injury prevention advice, anything of value to a novice. I am beginning to wonder if I need to moisturize my skin better. I think the pool is chlorine, the temperature is warm.

Thank you much for helping me to enjoy this more!
While it is pleasant jumping in a warm pool, it is the pits for working out.

Tips-drills to make freestyle better

- the biggest difference between a good swimmer and a novice is what their arms do under water. Find a video of a good swimmer taken from the bottom of the pool. You will notice their elbows do NOT drop and their hands mostly stay perpendicular to the surface. when you drop your elbows, you obviously are losing pulling power. A good swimmer will look effortless on top, because they are getting maximum power while they pull. A novice will be stroking a lot, splashing a lot but not seeming to get anywhere, because their elbows immediately collapse underwater. Wearing paddles can help, in that you get the feel of pulling in the water, but your lats will get tired very quickly.

- When arms are out of water, freestyle, practice a drill our coach called "can on the head". Basically you almost touch your ear as your arm goes forward out of the water. It helps get your elbows up out of the water, which take less effort than swinging them around the outside.

- Try to find a pace of kicking that blends well with your stroke (freestyle). Don't overdo When I am swimming long distances I don't kick much at all. For sprints I'd have to force myself to kick.

- when side breathing in freestyle, you turn your head to the side, and somewhat backwards. It as if you are almost trying to touch your chin to your shoulder. Novices will try to lift their head up forward then to the side, which kills your forward progress and takes a lot of effort.

bondsr4me
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Re: Swimming, do you? Advice sought.

Post by bondsr4me » Wed Jan 16, 2019 11:49 am

cheese_breath wrote:
Wed Jan 16, 2019 11:17 am
bondsr4me wrote:
Wed Jan 16, 2019 7:41 am
.... I didn't use a nose plug and my sinuses seemed to get really irritated ....
+1 on nose clip. I swam in high school and college many decades ago. We never used them then, and I've had sinus problems ever since.

Also get a good set of goggles. The chlorine never used to bother me in those days, but one day in our OPC's (Older Person's Center) pool left my eyes red for a week. Maybe it's extra strong to kill off all the old people diseases. :wink: Anyway, I swam there regularly for about two years until DW convinced me it probably wasn't healthy swimming in chlorine that strong.
+1

agree.

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Re: Swimming, do you? Advice sought.

Post by Hikes_With_Dogs » Wed Jan 16, 2019 11:50 am

Adult onset swimmer/triathlete here. I'm usually in the top 25% in the swim now when I race. I can pull 1:45/100 yards for 2 miles at a time comfortably. Not super duper fast, but definitely ok in my book.

Some of my take aways:
- swimming is not like running, biking, or other sports. Swimming slower with better technique is better training than swimming faster with sloppy technique.
- 3 shorter swim sessions a week is better than 2 longer ones.
- do not swim if you are not using very good form. You will 'remember' the bad form and relapse.
- drills are really important. I still struggle with this as a person who 'wants to get the mileage in'. But it is something I hear over and over and I see by the best swimmers so it must be true.
- swimming is about efficiency. There are so many different tweaks and things to think about: head position, wrist position, elbow position, not crossing over, pulling all through your stroke. Use pull toys: I often swim with a pull buoy so I can focus on different aspects of technique and execute correctly without worrying about keeping my hips up. Same goes with swim paddles- they will point out right away where you are being sloppy in your pull.
- don't kick much. Only as much as you have to in order to keep your body position streamlined.
-If you've never tried it, I suggest a master's swim class. The coach will have an excellent work out, probably offer sage advice, and you get the spirit of the team in a pool. I do not flip turn (no walls in a lake!) and this was not a problem at all in my classes.
-open water swimming is a totally different ball game. I tend to swim only open water during summer months to get away from the pool and practice more "race" conditions. Open water you have to learn to sight, and the best way to do that is by practice. In a race, if you aren't comfortable, stick to the sides, be 100% honest about your swim times (if that's how they arrange it) or stick to the back of your wave.
-As a triathlete, I always alternate breathe as you have described (every 3rd breath) to help with sighting. It is also comfortable to me at my HR and expenditure rate. But many many people breathe every other stroke.

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Re: Swimming, do you? Advice sought.

Post by shell921 » Wed Jan 16, 2019 12:32 pm

cheese_breath wrote:
Wed Jan 16, 2019 11:17 am
bondsr4me wrote:
Wed Jan 16, 2019 7:41 am
.... I didn't use a nose plug and my sinuses seemed to get really irritated ....
+1 on nose clip. I swam in high school and college many decades ago. We never used them then, and I've had sinus problems ever since.

Also get a good set of goggles. The chlorine never used to bother me in those days, but one day in our OPC's (Older Person's Center) pool left my eyes red for a week. Maybe it's extra strong to kill off all the old people diseases. :wink: Anyway, I swam there regularly for about two years until DW convinced me it probably wasn't healthy swimming in chlorine that strong.
In my 30's I joined a masters swim program and swan at a local high school pool 5 evenings a week. It was wonderful.
I found goggles that fit over my nose as I had sinus issues. Anyone with sinus issues can benefit from warm salt water rinsing on a
daily basis. You can PM me for more info.

vested1
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Re: Swimming, do you? Advice sought.

Post by vested1 » Wed Jan 16, 2019 12:54 pm

SelfEmployed123 wrote:
Wed Jan 16, 2019 8:58 am
I swam competitively in high school, was a part time swim coach in college, and then gave it up for most of my 20s. I recently returned to the sport. There is so much technique to learn that you really need a coach regardless of when you are learning. It's easier to learn as a child, but you can definitely learn to swim as an adult if you are patient and work hard. There are multiple drills for each stroke that help you get the basics down. I recommend you look for a master's swim team in your area...one that advertises itself as being for swimmers at all levels. If you join a master's swim team, they should be able to provide the coaching that will help you pick up each stroke.

I recently joined a master's swim team and have loved the fact that it provides a new group of people, extra motivation on those early mornings, and someone telling you what to do in the water. If you swim alone, you have to be really self-motivated, something that I just do not possess when it comes to exercise.

Best of luck!
I swam in a masters program that was only offered from 4:30 am to 8:00 am. The main reason was that during the rest of the day, the pool was overly congested. I'd swim every morning before work, where I had to be at 7:30. I swam 2 miles every morning for several years and my best time was just over 48 minutes, averaging around 55 minutes. I finally had to quit the program because the coach insisted that I compete in masters tournaments because I was fast for my age (mid to late 50's). I only wanted the exercise, not the competition, as I didn't feel I had anything left to prove at my age, and never sought the spotlight.

Just like everything else, learning to swim better is a never ending process. My previous style in all strokes, taught by my mother her entire life, was red cross based and not focused on competition nor speed, but rather fluidity. The masters coach opened my eyes to competitive techniques, with freestyle being the major difference, using open fingers to reach straight ahead, rather than closed fingers to the center, skimming the top of the water with arms and fingers, and breathing normally from both sides less often to increase lung capacity. I would swim mostly freestyle, alternating with breaststroke for 2 lengths every 20 lengths, and inserting the occasional backstroke. I also switched up the routine by wearing hand paddles and fins while doing freestyle warmup or cool down. Be alert for rotator cuff pain, which can be lessened by adopting competitive freestyle techniques, rather than elevating your arms as high as possible on every stroke.

In our area, the biggest problem is finding a pool that is geared toward the serious swimmer. Most of the pools that existed when I was young are gone, filled in or removed. The remaining venues are overcrowded with 3 to 4 swimmers per lane, peopled with indignant slower swimmers or arrogant experts who run over anyone who can't keep up. As I am neither of these I avoid participating in the circus. I always said that if I ever won the lottery that I would build an olympic style swimming complex with multiple pools, platforms and boards, charging the least amount that would bring in just enough to make it self-sustainable.

I suppose I could swim in the ocean like I used to, but the proliferation of a variety of sharks in our area preoccupies my mind while doing so.

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Re: Swimming, do you? Advice sought.

Post by SrGrumpy » Wed Jan 16, 2019 1:07 pm

4nursebee wrote:
Wed Jan 16, 2019 7:17 am
I've begun to play around more with getting my head down and trying to breathe properly.
If you're still at this stage, I would strongly recommend getting coaching, either through Masters - although they often don't give the individualized attention you might need - or asking at your local pool. If you don't have the correct technique - and don't follow everything mentioned above by Hikes_With_Dogs, such as efficiency, kicking and gliding - you're wasting time and risking injury. A good coach will tell you about body rotation, head placement, elbows high, arms outstretched upon re-entry, very minimal kick, etc.

Don't forget the butterfly - great way to burn calories and impress everyone.

minodm3
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Re: Swimming, do you? Advice sought.

Post by minodm3 » Wed Jan 16, 2019 1:15 pm

I also swim quite regularly (I swam competitively growing up and still swim a mile 3-4 times a week) and agree some of the earlier advice in here is inaccurate. Here are my thoughts:

Breaststroke - Some posters are advocating for a two pulls to one kick ratio.... this won't hurt you but don't ever try to compete using this strategy because you will be disqualified (1:1 ratio is legal).

Backstroke - You should be able to breath relatively normally, in fact this is the one stroke that you don't have to worry about timing as much in that department.

Freestyle - Breathing every 3 or 5 strokes is generally considered ideal (promotes breathing on alternate sides).

Butterfly - If you are doing swimming for just fitness I'd recommend skipping this. It is hard and will quickly wear you out.

I would also suggest going to a master's team if you are in need of getting to the point where you are decent at the competitive basics before training alone. Efficiency is everything in swimming and not knowing how to make that work will cause you to waste a lot of energy. I would also suggest developing a flip turn (great abdominal workout and makes you faster). I also agree nobody that is trained well uses a nose clip (just blow a small amount of air when you flip, it also is more efficient to exhale under water and inhale outside of it).

DrGoogle2017
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Re: Swimming, do you? Advice sought.

Post by DrGoogle2017 » Wed Jan 16, 2019 1:17 pm

I swim regularly, nobody taught me how to swim, so I don’t have great techniques either, but I did check out a book on swimming and has been floating for years. It’s such a boring exercise that while swimming, I can go through a mental list of what I should do for the day.

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Re: Swimming, do you? Advice sought.

Post by Jazztonight » Wed Jan 16, 2019 9:15 pm

I don't think anyone has brought this to your attention yet, so perhaps I'll be the first.

Total Immersion Swimming is incredibly beautiful. Please look at this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rJpFVvho0o4

I took the weekend workshop in San Mateo last year. It was the first time I ever really enjoyed swimming, even though I can swim and even earned a swimming merit badge a million years ago. This puts all of those techniques to shame. The workshops are given many places. There's also a book, and many videos available.
"What does not destroy me, makes me stronger." Nietzsche

Jazzysoon
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Re: Swimming, do you? Advice sought.

Post by Jazzysoon » Wed Jan 16, 2019 10:11 pm

Jazztonight wrote:
Wed Jan 16, 2019 9:15 pm
I don't think anyone has brought this to your attention yet, so perhaps I'll be the first.

Total Immersion Swimming is incredibly beautiful. Please look at this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rJpFVvho0o4

I took the weekend workshop in San Mateo last year. It was the first time I ever really enjoyed swimming, even though I can swim and even earned a swimming merit badge a million years ago. This puts all of those techniques to shame. The workshops are given many places. There's also a book, and many videos available.
+1 on taking some Tri Swim classes and Total Immersion is Great. Takes some time to get used to concept of swimming efficiently with gliding, body rotation etc, so that you are using energy efficiently whether it is to be able to swim longer or to do next Tri sport of Bike/Run. Lots of time spent too on making sure you don't get overuse injuries, lots of people have shoulder issues, and they can show you how not get injured as you ramp up (look up fingertip drill). When I took Total Immersion is was over a few weeks, which gave us time to practice/perfect :happy the concepts before next session.

Jack56
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Re: Swimming, do you? Advice sought.

Post by Jack56 » Wed Jan 16, 2019 10:15 pm

Take a few lessons and join a masters swim team. Swimming is a combination of strength and technique.

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Re: Swimming, do you? Advice sought.

Post by jcar » Wed Jan 16, 2019 10:56 pm

I swim 35 minutes every other day with no pauses or stops. Planks on off days. I gave up running after 48 years. A great workout that's easy on joints. Beware of shoulder injury and don't get excited about the speed. I alternate between crawl and modified backstroke to protect shoulders. Enjoy.

Iorek
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Re: Swimming, do you? Advice sought.

Post by Iorek » Wed Jan 16, 2019 11:07 pm

A lot of people find this program helpful to work up to swimming a mile.

http://ruthkazez.com/SwimWorkouts/ZeroTo1mile.html

ETA: for the people who do planks on off days, what do you do?
Last edited by Iorek on Thu Jan 17, 2019 7:32 am, edited 1 time in total.

Beehave
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Re: Swimming, do you? Advice sought.

Post by Beehave » Wed Jan 16, 2019 11:32 pm

Be prepared for an influx of newcomers at the pool around March. They'll be trying to get in shape to look good for the summer. You may have to wait to get a lane to swim in.

barreg
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Re: Swimming, do you? Advice sought.

Post by barreg » Thu Jan 17, 2019 3:26 pm

+1 more to the many posts mentioning how important technique is when swimming.

You can pick up a lot from watching YouTube videos of swimming. Also, the website https://www.swimsmooth.com has lots of videos and tips as well. However, getting at least a few lessons and/or coaching sessions would likely be very helpful, especially if you can get one where they do underwater video of your current stroke. The difference between what you think your form looks like while swimming and what it actually looks like can be quite eye opening.

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Re: Swimming, do you? Advice sought.

Post by vbdoug » Fri Jan 18, 2019 1:00 am

I am 68 and swim 3/4 of a mile every other day in our 60 foot pool. I don't kick turn and my only stop is a split second at each length. The key is breathing effectively and efficiently, and it is amazing how much better you can become even at an older age. I have shoulder issues and have a odd stroke but I don't care; I am glad to be out there. I see too many of my friends having {somewhat} self-inflicted medical issues and even death by not taking care of themselves. I swim for both physical and therapeutic reasons. Sadly, I do not realize any meditative advantages because I am too busy counting my strokes. I used to swim daily but pool rash became an issue. And for the first time in my life I use a moisturizer.
To paraphrase the Nike slogan: Just do It, and be consistent.

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Re: Swimming, do you? Advice sought.

Post by 4nursebee » Sun Feb 24, 2019 1:38 pm

Still no lessons but some progress.
I've been able to go 8 lengths breast stroke with no break.
4 lengths freestyle without a break.
Kickboard has helped improve my freestyle kick some.
40 lengths swum regularly several days a week, though not hooked on this.
Today I am going to work on breast stroke kicks more.
Still fun.
4nursebee

SrGrumpy
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Re: Swimming, do you? Advice sought.

Post by SrGrumpy » Sun Feb 24, 2019 2:10 pm

4nursebee wrote:
Sun Feb 24, 2019 1:38 pm
Still no lessons but some progress.
Hmmm.
4nursebee wrote:
Sun Feb 24, 2019 1:38 pm
Kickboard has helped improve my freestyle kick some ... Still fun.
Kickboard, pool buoy and fins are my 3 best friends, but fun is the most important requirement.

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five2one
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Re: Swimming, do you? Advice sought.

Post by five2one » Sun Feb 24, 2019 2:34 pm

I cheat when I swim and use my dive mask and snorkel. as I swim for endurance and don't focus on breathing too hard as the snorkel allows me freedom.

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4nursebee
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Re: Swimming, do you? Advice sought.

Post by 4nursebee » Sun Feb 24, 2019 3:06 pm

SrGrumpy wrote:
Sun Feb 24, 2019 2:10 pm
4nursebee wrote:
Sun Feb 24, 2019 1:38 pm
Still no lessons but some progress.
Hmmm.
4nursebee wrote:
Sun Feb 24, 2019 1:38 pm
Kickboard has helped improve my freestyle kick some ... Still fun.
Kickboard, pool buoy and fins are my 3 best friends, but fun is the most important requirement.
The fins strike me as cheating at this stage.
What purpose do they serve you and what would they do for a beginner?
4nursebee

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4nursebee
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Re: Swimming, do you? Advice sought.

Post by 4nursebee » Sun Feb 24, 2019 3:07 pm

five2one wrote:
Sun Feb 24, 2019 2:34 pm
I cheat when I swim and use my dive mask and snorkel. as I swim for endurance and don't focus on breathing too hard as the snorkel allows me freedom.
I bought a snorkel but found it awkward. I felt a fair amount of resistance, it took lots of effort to breathe and increased my sense of panic.
How do you use it?
4nursebee

SrGrumpy
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Re: Swimming, do you? Advice sought.

Post by SrGrumpy » Sun Feb 24, 2019 3:16 pm

4nursebee wrote:
Sun Feb 24, 2019 3:06 pm
The fins strike me as cheating at this stage.
What purpose do they serve you and what would they do for a beginner?
Kicking technique and ankle strength, among other things. They create resistance, requiring you to kick more efficiently and improve tempo. They do make you go faster, and it used to bug me when racing against people with fins in my masters workouts. So I bought a pair, the popular short-finned "Zoomers" to be exact, like these, though mine are blue:

https://www.swimoutlet.com/p/finis-zoom ... fins-1267/

A coach, obviously, would assuage you of any guilt about "cheating."

P.S. I don't think the snorkel is a good idea.
Last edited by SrGrumpy on Sun Feb 24, 2019 4:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.

sambb
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Re: Swimming, do you? Advice sought.

Post by sambb » Sun Feb 24, 2019 3:59 pm

used to swim, but now prefer peloton

Jazzysoon
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Re: Swimming, do you? Advice sought.

Post by Jazzysoon » Sun Feb 24, 2019 4:12 pm

SrGrumpy wrote:
Sun Feb 24, 2019 3:16 pm
4nursebee wrote:
Sun Feb 24, 2019 3:06 pm
The fins strike me as cheating at this stage.
What purpose do they serve you and what would they do for a beginner?
Kicking technique and ankle strength, among other things. They create resistance, requiring you to kick more efficiently and improve tempo. They do make you go faster, and it used to bug me when racing against people with fins in my masters workouts. So I bought a pair, the popular short-finned "Zoomers" to be exact, like these, though mine are blue:

https://www.swimoutlet.com/p/finis-zoom ... fins-1267/

A coach, obviously, would assuage you of any guilt about "cheating."

P.S. I don't think the snorkel is a good idea.
+1 on the Zoomers. They are short as mentioned (not the huge snorkeling type). Zoomer's help to develop swim specific muscles, making your legs & kick stronger. You will feel your "hammie's" getting more of a workout. Same with paddles- they help develop swim specific muscles, in addition to helping with arm pull stroke. You will get faster, more efficient, be able to swim longer and feel more successful in a shorter period of time.

four7s
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Re: Swimming, do you? Advice sought.

Post by four7s » Sun Feb 24, 2019 4:17 pm

I enjoy water walking laps. I use an olympic size pool with lanes and walk forward or backward about 40X. Also, moving sideways is good exercise,too. The water is waist high and my routine lasts about an hour, Was never a good swimmer but I love being in the water, dunking my head every few laps, and downing a bottle of water.

runner540
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Re: Swimming, do you? Advice sought.

Post by runner540 » Sun Feb 24, 2019 5:32 pm

five2one wrote:
Sun Feb 24, 2019 2:34 pm
I cheat when I swim and use my dive mask and snorkel. as I swim for endurance and don't focus on breathing too hard as the snorkel allows me freedom.
I would not recommend a snorkel. You lose a lot of the endurance, aerobic and relaxation benefits from Breathing in the water.

acegolfer
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Re: Swimming, do you? Advice sought.

Post by acegolfer » Sun Feb 24, 2019 6:20 pm

five2one wrote:
Sun Feb 24, 2019 2:34 pm
I cheat when I swim and use my dive mask and snorkel. as I swim for endurance and don't focus on breathing too hard as the snorkel allows me freedom.
Try center mount snorkel. It does wonders.

BillyV001
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Re: Swimming, do you? Advice sought.

Post by BillyV001 » Sun Feb 24, 2019 7:15 pm

I muscled my way through swimming most of my life until I joined a Masters team that trained at Univ of Houston. It was there where I was taught correct technique. A person can gain enough aerobic fitness to "muscle" their way but once that fitness is gained, swimming improvements will mostly (90%??) come from technique improvements. I consider myself SO LUCKY to have found this coach (Emmett Hines, since deceased) and that team.

From my experience, I can recommend:
* If you are the type of person that wants/needs a coach to help improve, I find one that focuses on technique. Ask them what their typical workout looks like; if they don't dedicate at a good chunk of time (50%?) to technique, I'd keep looking.

* Does the coach have some kind of video equipment? It's incredibly helpful to see yourself swim and have your stroke analyzed. Emmett would do this, for those that wanted, at the end of practice at least a few times per month.

*Another approach would be to try to teach yourself. You might want to do this to gain a bit of confidence or fitness prior to finding a coach. Emmett wrote a book called Fitness Swimming that I've had since 2009 and still use. Lots of technique explanations and drills. But, if you start down this path, at least try to have someone do video so you can see yourself.

*YouTube can be a good source for seeing and understanding good technique.

Good Luck!
Best,
Bill

InMyDreams
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Re: Swimming, do you? Advice sought.

Post by InMyDreams » Sun Feb 24, 2019 8:11 pm

four7s wrote:
Sun Feb 24, 2019 4:17 pm
I enjoy water walking laps. I use an olympic size pool with lanes and walk forward or backward about 40X. Also, moving sideways is good exercise,too. The water is waist high and my routine lasts about an hour
When I was swimming laps many years ago, I found only crawl was a good aerobic challenge (I am not a fast swimmer). But, not as many years ago, I found that doing much crawl bothered my neck.

Right now, I'm trying to keep my eye out of pool water, so I'm walking - there's a "lazy river" that I use to walk against (walking forward, side, other side, back). Then I move over to the shallow end, stand in thigh high water, and walk as rapidly as I can. Do that for a minute or so. Go back to the river for a few minutes. Repeat for 3 intervals. Intervals done, I go back to river walking or treading water in the deep end so my my total time in the water is about 45 min. Voila, I've done my work out.

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five2one
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Re: Swimming, do you? Advice sought.

Post by five2one » Mon Feb 25, 2019 9:33 pm

4nursebee wrote:
Sun Feb 24, 2019 3:07 pm
five2one wrote:
Sun Feb 24, 2019 2:34 pm
I cheat when I swim and use my dive mask and snorkel. as I swim for endurance and don't focus on breathing too hard as the snorkel allows me freedom.
I bought a snorkel but found it awkward. I felt a fair amount of resistance, it took lots of effort to breathe and increased my sense of panic.
How do you use it?
I have a bona-fide dive snorkel (US divers) with a top & bottom blow-out valves for choppy surf that angles back over head.
Clips onto my panoramic mask (scuba pro).

To use it is real simple, spit in mask and rinse (anti-fog), mouth the snorkel, activate my watches swim mode, turn on my HR monitor, and get after it.
Key is a large diameter or your breathing will feel constricted.

When you get to end of lap, just hold breath, kick turn, blow out water when your snorkel breaks the surface (see blow out valves), and keep going.
Swimming is about full length stride and getting comfy in water.
Don't worry about using floaties, fins, etc. until you get comfy, everyone starts somewhere.

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five2one
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Re: Swimming, do you? Advice sought.

Post by five2one » Mon Feb 25, 2019 9:36 pm

runner540 wrote:
Sun Feb 24, 2019 5:32 pm
five2one wrote:
Sun Feb 24, 2019 2:34 pm
I cheat when I swim and use my dive mask and snorkel. as I swim for endurance and don't focus on breathing too hard as the snorkel allows me freedom.
I would not recommend a snorkel. You lose a lot of the endurance, aerobic and relaxation benefits from Breathing in the water.
Endurance? I can swim for 2+ miles sustaining my target HR.
I swim for low impact cardio, not to relax.

I balance this with my weights and other cardio (run, bike, row, etc.)
Too each their own. :sharebeer

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five2one
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Re: Swimming, do you? Advice sought.

Post by five2one » Mon Feb 25, 2019 9:40 pm

acegolfer wrote:
Sun Feb 24, 2019 6:20 pm
five2one wrote:
Sun Feb 24, 2019 2:34 pm
I cheat when I swim and use my dive mask and snorkel. as I swim for endurance and don't focus on breathing too hard as the snorkel allows me freedom.
Try center mount snorkel. It does wonders.
Never tried them, I just use my dive gear kit as it is very comfy...has a tongue rest, dual blow out valves, and super tall for choppy surf.
People look at me funny when I put it on but they stopped when I lapped them.
Some people have a mistress, the gym is mine.

zlltt
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Re: Swimming, do you? Advice sought.

Post by zlltt » Tue Feb 26, 2019 3:46 am

I swim 4-5 times per week in the night, usually some time after dinner.
slow swimmer, short distance, my goal is mainly to keep hr at 150 for 40min.because I wanna be a little lean , hope to get bmi to lower end of normal.

my way is not working, but I cannot do other exercises like running or biking as consistently as swimming. swimming is relax.i decide to keep on.

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