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Newbie - How to count lengths in the pool?
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old 133




Joined: 15 May 2003
Posts: 0

PostPosted: Fri Nov 14, 2003 6:23 pm    Post subject: Newbie - How to count lengths in the pool? Reply with quote

Hi

Just started training, did my own private sprint 750m/20k/5k in the local Pool / Gym and enjoyed it, so want to up my distance to Olympic then start doing some real races. The Bike and running are OK as the machines display the distance or on the road I can measure on the map, but how do you count lengths in the pool. I'm up to 40 = 1k now but I'm having trouble remembering what length I'm on towards the end. By the time I'm up to 1.5k I'll have no idea.

I currently count to 10 lengths then start again, I'm ok till about 35 (3x10 +5) but as tiredness takes over the mind goes to pot. How does anybody else do it? Is their any electronic aid?
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Andy_S




Joined: 05 Jan 2004
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 14, 2003 7:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Do you swim at a constant rate? I tend to so don't bother to count. It doesn't really matter anyway but like to put something in the training log. So, my long Tuesday 1hr 30mins swim is 70 lengths or 2331 metres when gasping and recover is taken into account. When I do count it's annoyingly accurate. Thought I wouldíve increased by now.

I could count no problem when I was swimming breast stroke but since Iíve improved my front crawl I loose count really easily. Probably because Iím counting my strokes for breathing, counting my strokes per length (not managed to complete that one yet) or counting my kick per stroke. Itís not far into the length when my 1-2-3-1-2-3/1-2-3-4-5/1-2-1-2-1-2 completely confuses me. Iím so busy counting I forget to breath!

So, my advice is not to worry too much about counting. Time yourself at your regular swim rate for, say, 400 metres then multiply the time. My 400m time is 9 minutes so I count 1500m as 34 minutes. It's probably as accurate as it needs to be. If I ever string together 1500m at it's 34 mins, I'll be very happy. Very Happy
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Sue




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

PostPosted: Fri Nov 14, 2003 8:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi jeff Very Happy
I have the same prob. with counting, like Andy too busy thinking of breathing, legs, arms, rolling, etc. I always keep trying to remember tehn do a few more "just in case" Confused But as Andy said, why be that accurate. I was also told perhaps not to just swim the same up-n-down, do say 8 to warm up, 4 fast then 4 slower, do this X times etc, then you can add up them all ---I then forget how many of each so cant win!! Sounds like you are doing ok distance wise for an oly ---and Andy your time is getting respectable--- in my book anyway Very Happy I cant start my swim lessons until Jan so will have to just plod till then Sad
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Andy_S




Joined: 05 Jan 2004
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 14, 2003 9:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Sue, I've put down for swim lessons but haven't heard from them yet (maybe it's too soon). They'll begin when the next school term begins, is that Jan?

I feel Iím really close to a breakthrough in swimming. I canít put more than 100 metres together at the moment but I think Iíll soon get past that. Iím starting to really enjoy being in the pool, thereís something relaxing about it and it doesnít have the same intensity as bike/run. Maybe itís the isolation and taking away the senses?

Did you try the wet suit while on hol? My wet suit fund is almost half way now, hopefully Christmas will bump it up some more. Whohooo.
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Sue




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PostPosted: Sat Nov 15, 2003 7:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You doing the "swimingnature " lessons Andy? Very Happy
If so new term is Jan' but I ned to go and book Dec 1-6th
Wet suit not treid again yet -waiting on back of door near bike to "practise"--oil or talc Confused
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ed_m




Joined: 15 May 2003
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Location: coventry

PostPosted: Sat Nov 15, 2003 11:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

firstly try counting in bigger chunks...

i count in 50's usually, so only count 1 whenever i get back to where i started i.e. 2 lengths (assuming its a 25m pool).

100s would probably work too, but i'm probably incapable of keeping track of 4 lengths toward the end of a session.

another tip i was given was to hold two counts... one of how many lengths you have to do and one of how many you've done... i.e. start off with 10:0 through to 6:4 etc so they should always add up to the total lengths.

i'm particularly poor at counting when i'm working hard, i.e. doing intervals or something, so often i move my pull buoy along 1 tile each time so when i get lost i can count the tiles!

PS welcome
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slowpoke rodriguez




Joined: 11 Jun 2003
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Location: Wales

PostPosted: Sat Nov 15, 2003 11:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Count how many strokes you take for one length. Say its 19 for example. Then in your swim workout count the total number of strokes you do for the whole session and divide by 19.

Hey presto. Wink
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simon(aka Scotboy)




Joined: 05 Jan 2004
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Location: west Scotland

PostPosted: Mon Nov 17, 2003 8:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is a lap counter thingy that can be worn on the finger like a ring, but sorry don't know where you would get one Exclamation Rolling Eyes

I just count in 10's, which works for me Smile
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old 133




Joined: 15 May 2003
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 17, 2003 9:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for all the suggestions. I just had my first lesson for 35 years yesterday, and yes as Andy said my instructor said I should count strokes to remember when to breathe. This has blown the counting lengths out of the water for the time being (Pardon the Pun). Now I'm desperately trying to remember to when breathe. It seems much more difficult when you try to do it properly. Was supposed to be swimming tonight but strained my neck yesterday. I was trying to breathe on alternate sides which she said you should, I now remember why I only used to breathe on my left!

Andy If you want lessons does your local Pool have a class? I phoned up and, although the school bit was full till feb / march already, I found I could have personal tuition on a sunday for £10 for 1/2 hr, which as long as I get it right fairly quickly won't be too bad.

Ed_M - Excuse my ignorance but what's a "Pull Buoy" and should I have one? Sounds like a good idea apart from the "Crawl only" lane is in the middle of the pool, but perhaps moving something down the lanes is an idea.

quintanaroo - I'll give the web a search for the counter thingy, If you think it's made I'll search for longer.

Thanks for all your help I may just stick to the time based thing at present, my rate at the moment is between 30 & 33m / min. With a 10% variation that could be 6 lengths out, but I'll do the longer time then may be suprised when the real day comes.

Regards

Jeff T
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Andy_S




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PostPosted: Mon Nov 17, 2003 9:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jeff, go here:

http://www.zoggs.com/catalogue/swimequipment/product.asp?topcategory=98&category=98&product=162

That's a pullbuoy. It's a block of foam you put between your legs when swimming. The idea is to stop you kicking which means you can concentrate on arm stroke. It also makes your legs float and brings them closer to the surface which is a better, more streamlined position to be in. I've used my one twice and think it's brilliant. Really help as you don't use nearly as much energy when you don't kick so don't get out of breath so much. That means breathing on the third stroke is much easier and you'll relax and it'll start to fall into place.

There's a swimming instructor at work who's offered to help, might take her up on it if the lessons don't come through.
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old 139




Joined: 15 May 2003
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 18, 2003 10:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jeff, a pull buoy is such a great training tool - at least for when you're trying to master crawl. After my first tri season I knackered my knee in a surfing accident and had to use a pull bouy for 3 months. It sorted out my balance and also took me from being able to do just 50 crawl (just) to a comfortable 1500m within 6 months. Go buy one!
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ed_m




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Location: coventry

PostPosted: Tue Nov 18, 2003 10:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

..of course my method assumes that no one else moves it whilst you're swimming! Confused
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old 139




Joined: 15 May 2003
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 18, 2003 10:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

..........never experienced that................must have nice people at the Bath uni pool!
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old 133




Joined: 15 May 2003
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 20, 2003 10:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Did a google search for lap counters and found an item like an abbacus which fastens to the end of the pool with what appears to be suction caps. see http://www.sprintaquatics.com/449.htm I think this might annoy others in the pool though. Also saw a Pull buoy I'll ask my instructor on Sunday (providing my stiff neck heals) if I should get one.

thanks for the explanations
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old 133




Joined: 15 May 2003
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 20, 2003 10:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh yes and they have finger mounted counters here $30 http://www.jdpence.com/home/jd1/page/776/50
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