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Andy_S




Joined: 05 Jan 2004
Posts: 0

PostPosted: Fri Oct 03, 2003 9:39 am    Post subject: Front Crawl Reply with quote

Hi all (not sure if this should be in the training bit!),

I've been swimming for around three months now, doing three swims a week, about a kilometre each swim, and I still can't do the front crawl. I know what to do but can't swim more than about 20 metres without running out of breath or chocking. I've tried breathing on every stroke but can't get my stroke together because I seem to be breathing all the time, and breathing on the third stroke (like they say you should) but seem to run out of puff.

Does there come a point when perseverance will win or should I admit defeat and get some lessons? Iíve started to feel that Iím wasting my time going swimming if I canít practice what I want. Are you lot natural born front crawlers or did you have to break it? I started off swimming the breast stroke just to get some general fitness and started with the crawl about a month ago. Iím drinking so much water during my 40 minute swim that I have to get out the pool for a wee, thatís not good!
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TT
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Joined: 22 Aug 2003
Posts: 1483
Location: Vancouver

PostPosted: Fri Oct 03, 2003 9:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Andy,

The obvious and perhaps best answer would be 'go get some lessons'. Good advice but not many people follow it.... including me.

I was in a similar situation to yourself a couple of years ago, when I couldn't swim a length of front crawl. I adopted the try, try and try again training schedule. Do a length. Then try and do two, and so on and so forth. I found that when I got past 10 lengths improvements were fairly easy so that after 3 months I did a 152 length swim (IM distance) non stop in my pool.

I think it will suddenly click with your breathing if you just keep going and forcing yourself a bit further each time.

Or just go get some lessons Very Happy

Cheers

TT
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slowpoke rodriguez




Joined: 11 Jun 2003
Posts: 1838
Location: Wales

PostPosted: Fri Oct 03, 2003 10:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Andy - get lessons, no question. Unless you're incredibly lucky perseverance will not win the day, and all you will do is compound your bad habits. Go right back to basics if you have to, to get your technique right.

I have been able to swim front crawl since I was about 7 years old, but have only learnt to swim "properly" in the last year since we've been lucky enough to have a good coach in our tri club, and the improvement has been immense.

Unlike running and cycling, swimming is technique heavy. The techniques are not natural and you are unlikely to just pick them up on your own - so find yourself a good coach.
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dr dre




Joined: 03 Jun 2003
Posts: 15079
Location: IRONMAN BABY!

PostPosted: Fri Oct 03, 2003 10:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I learnt crawl when I was a little Dre but hadn't swam it for 10-12 years til this April ( when triathlon took over my mind ) I started with a few lenghts at first and the just increased the distance. I also do a session a week on drills eg leg kicks/just arms. My longest crawl swim is about 3800m ( lost count ) and that was all with a pull buoy( float between the legs so no kicking).

However I am gonna get some coaching in Nov as I want to go faster with less effort ( don't we all ? Laughing )

dre
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ed_m




Joined: 15 May 2003
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Location: coventry

PostPosted: Fri Oct 03, 2003 11:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

i too was like TT.. but a year ago (literally)...

i find its all really about relaxing (something i'm only just able to do now)
slowing down the stroke rate (more time for more puff).... and not gasping for air each time but keeping it controlled.

practice 2 or 3 strokes head in.. and then come up for breath & assess how you did before dropping your head back in (this in itself will probably be upsetting to your rhythm... but its useful for open water!)

ed (not quite a fish yet)
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slowpoke rodriguez




Joined: 11 Jun 2003
Posts: 1838
Location: Wales

PostPosted: Fri Oct 03, 2003 11:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The holy grail is a combination of high speed and low stroke count. One of the things we work on with our coach is what he calls "swim golf". You swim 50m - count your strokes, note your time in seconds and add the two together. As with real golf, a score in the 60's is considered good. It's quite difficult as the faster you go the more your stroke rate increases. As I'm sure you're going to ask, I was 82. Try it and post your scores.
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Robert




Joined: 15 May 2003
Posts: 9238
Location: Back from outer space

PostPosted: Fri Oct 03, 2003 11:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm probably double that! Embarassed

I wonder if they'd consider a handicap triathlon..... Confused
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Daz




Joined: 15 May 2003
Posts: 11694
Location: Hampton, London

PostPosted: Fri Oct 03, 2003 2:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Andy,

Buy (or hire) a book or two on swimming/triathlon with some good pics on the front crawl technique. Could also try and go for a session or two with a friend who is very good at swimming (possibly teach themselves). I've picked a up some good tips doing this....one-to-one is better than a group (everyone has different bad habits) and a lot cheaper than paying to be taught. Very Happy

Only got into swimming myself a couple of years ago. You should be able to find some classes at your local pool. An intermediate or masters class would be best. Beginners is, as it sounds, for people who can't even swim a length...let alone race! Confused
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Sue




Joined: 15 May 2003
Posts: 6269
Location: North Wales

PostPosted: Fri Oct 03, 2003 5:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Think everyone has said it really Andy Smile but my first 2 tri's I could only swim 1 length crawl then 1 breaststroke Suddenly this year it clicked into place and am able to do 1500m all crawl ( haven't tried more -or maybe I have since I loose count Embarassed ) For me it was all about slowing down, relaxing Cool . I tend to breath every other stroke, hence at same side, think it's more comfy since one side is a bit stiffer, but keep trying every third since thats what Ive read you need to do in open water swims (-next year Sad ) I'm thinking about lessons after my hollies and marathon to get better technique since I think I have taught myself to swim "slow" -but then again I'm a plodder in everything Crying or Very sad Persevere and relax, don't put pressure on yourself -either that or check your breastroke, many pass me when I'm in the pool Embarassed Enjoy the challenge Rolling Eyes
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Sue




Joined: 15 May 2003
Posts: 6269
Location: North Wales

PostPosted: Fri Oct 03, 2003 9:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ps slowpoke you arn't a golfer are you Surprised A score of 60 would be brilliant Very Happy -not that I would know, my scores are much higher --must check to see if my swim score is better Shocked --I knew there was some reason for me not playing as much golf in preferance to runs / tris now Wink
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Andy_S




Joined: 05 Jan 2004
Posts: 0

PostPosted: Fri Oct 03, 2003 9:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks everyone, I think I'll do a combination of all suggestions! Persevere until I get some lessons and read some books. I was chatting to a woman at work who coaches kids at the local pool. She said there is a Ďmastersí class and sheíll enquire for me. She has books too, bringing them in on monday.

Iíve been studying that CD that came with 220 last month. He seems to swim so effortlessly, no coughing or chocking. Itís very reassuring to know other had to struggle to get good. The reason I was annoyed today was because I ran last night and it made my knee every-so-slightly sore for the swim this morning. Iíve swopped things around and now Iíll run in the evening of a morning swim, not swim after a run. That should sort things out.

Only 298 days to go, Gotta get my act together!
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Sue




Joined: 15 May 2003
Posts: 6269
Location: North Wales

PostPosted: Sat Oct 04, 2003 2:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Only 298 days to go Andy Sad
You must be aiming to do something else before that arn't you Question
So where are you testing your wet suit out Smile (keep asking everyone that question Confused infact asked someone a few weeks ago and he hasn't posted since Embarassed )
Got your training plan for 298 days yet Wink
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Andy_S




Joined: 05 Jan 2004
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 04, 2003 7:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Sue,

I'm still loosing weight, quite a lot too, so I havenít bought a wet suit yet. Iím sure they allow a dip in the docks a few weeks before the event so I was planning on doing that. If not, Iíll either go for a swim in the sea or a lake somewhere. I might ask the local pool if theyíd mind if I has a swim with it on. Iím sure Iíve overheard people talking about triís there so they must be clued up about it. If they say yes then Iíll do a full tri trial run several weeks before, see how things go.

Have you tried your wet suit? How difficult is it to test them in the open water with persmisson? I know Bewl water don't allow swimming which is a shame because it's a nice big lake just down the road.

Iím in two minds about doing something else before. I know itís the sensible thing but doing a full Olympic event as a first also appeals in a mad sort of way. Tonbridge seems favourite if I do, or the early Sevenoaks maybe.

Every time I sort myself a schedule to train to I get a set back. Last week it was a torn adductor and this week itís an insect bite. Iíve just got back from casualty where they say itís become infected and turned into Ďcellulitusí. Donít know what that is but Iím on two antibiotics and theyíve told me not to swim in case the water irritates it. So, during the cold months Iím going to do whatever I feel appropriate when ever i feel like doing it. Get my swimming technique sorted and work on building a good foundation for the spring. Then Iíll go all serious about it! I sure do get restless when I can't do anything, which is surprising as I've just done 5 years of lazing around. Thought it would be second nature by now.

Poorly me. Crying or Very sad
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Sue




Joined: 15 May 2003
Posts: 6269
Location: North Wales

PostPosted: Sun Oct 05, 2003 9:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

cellulitus can be nasty Andy, Crying or Very sad it's inflamation of some of the tissues, which usually results in swelling, pain, tenderness -so you are entitled to "put your feet up" Smile just this once since that will help rest and reduce the swelling -along with the antibiotics.
I must confess I haven't got a wet suit yet Embarassed but in a couple of weeks I'll be fitted into one, then will prob. spend the next months trying to perfect the "getting out of it" Confused I assume you have to be careful where/ which water you test them out in, safety in numbers -hence keep asking what / where others are going Shocked
Don't know how you can wait until Aug. to do your first event, I have to have something to aim for, to plan training for. If you decide against your "mad sort of way" to do London first, others are good training, seeing what it's all about, practising all 3 disciplines together and "doing" T1 and T2 (without wet suit problems Shocked )
Good for you, out of laziness hibernation into the world of tri's Wink
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Daz




Joined: 15 May 2003
Posts: 11694
Location: Hampton, London

PostPosted: Sun Oct 05, 2003 12:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Andy,
forgot to mention about the bilateral/3-stroek breathing. Best not do this, esp if you are relatively new to swimming. It's only really used to help develop good balance and rotation in the pool as you breathe and helps to correct 'snaking' and low elbows in the water. It's best to stick to the normal 2-stroke breathing for most of your swimming as this is how you will race. You'll never get enough air on board if you do bilateral for anything 1500m and under Embarassed

The swimming technique xection in 220 this month is quite good, encouraging you to reduce drag.

In London Oly next year I intend to find a massive, but fast, swimmer to draft behind Razz
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