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How bad at swimming am I?
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blatchcorn




Joined: 07 Aug 2011
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2011 9:47 pm    Post subject: How bad at swimming am I? Reply with quote

The furthest I have swam is 800m without stopping. I can swim 200m in just under 5 mins and 400m just over 10 mins.

I have recently started swimming and already know this is going to be by far my weakest discipline, but how bad am I for someone just starting out? Before you started triathlons what was your swimming standard?
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SteveI




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PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2011 10:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The World Record for womens age group 90-94 200m freestyle is 4:24, so if you keep training hard, you might become as fast as a women in her 90s Razz

Seriously, get some swimming lessons. To give you an idea of how fast it's possible to swim with decent technique and almost zero swimming specific fitness, I had gone around 9 months without doing any swimming at all, I had only been cycling, and I thought I'd get back in the pool a little bit. I swam once a week for 5 weeks, doing 30 mins each session, so a grand total of 2.5 hours swimmng spread over 5 weeks. Every session consisted of 400m warm up, then 10 x 100m free on 1:40, then 200m easy. Week 1 I struggled to keep each rep under 1:30. Week 5 I averaged close to 1:20 per 100m. I'm not telling you all this to try to impress you with how great I am, I'm just trying to demonstrate how fast it's possible to swim with relatively little fitness provided you have good technique, to convince you that at your current speed, your problem is *entirely* one of technique, and thus proper swimming tuition should be your number one priority.
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vlovesbikes




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PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2011 8:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi, for someone who has just started swimming thats not bad. When i first started swimming i couldnt swim 2 lengths without stopping. My 400m time was 16.5mins. Best advice is have a look on the swimsmooth website and utube for how to swim faster. Then when uv figured it out, get some coaching. Im now sub 8mins for 400m and thats come from technique instead of strength.
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hammerer




Joined: 19 Nov 2007
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2011 8:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

SteveI wrote:
The World Record for womens age group 90-94 200m freestyle is 4:24, so if you keep training hard, you might become as fast as a women in her 90s Razz

Seriously, get some swimming lessons. To give you an idea of how fast it's possible to swim with decent technique and almost zero swimming specific fitness, I had gone around 9 months without doing any swimming at all, I had only been cycling, and I thought I'd get back in the pool a little bit. I swam once a week for 5 weeks, doing 30 mins each session, so a grand total of 2.5 hours swimmng spread over 5 weeks. Every session consisted of 400m warm up, then 10 x 100m free on 1:40, then 200m easy. Week 1 I struggled to keep each rep under 1:30. Week 5 I averaged close to 1:20 per 100m. I'm not telling you all this to try to impress you with how great I am, I'm just trying to demonstrate how fast it's possible to swim with relatively little fitness provided you have good technique, to convince you that at your current speed, your problem is *entirely* one of technique, and thus proper swimming tuition should be your number one priority.


Laughing I love swimmers, never train and still quicker than most on here, but he talks sense. My mate whos ex national standard swims 1hr a week with masters...hes a backstroker, in his 40's still knocking out 1:02 100's...hardly ever swims free except for tris and will still get in and swim a 20min 1500 in a race.

If you cant knock out a 400 in under 7mins then you have some serious faults. get a coach, I like to think that 7mins is the point at which faults become more minor and little tweaks are more whats required to get even faster. I recon a year of hard work wil see you hitting those levels and then its all down to commitment. Arhy on here has been swimming 2 yrs but doign massive amounts of work and can knock out a sub 1:10 and a 23ish 1500 IIRC so it can be done.
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blatchcorn




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PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2011 9:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What sort of coaching would be appropriate? Am I best off joining a triathlon club for swim coaching?
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BackMarker




Joined: 02 Jan 2009
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2011 9:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

blatchcorn wrote:
What sort of coaching would be appropriate? Am I best off joining a triathlon club for swim coaching?


Triathlon club will likely get you doing drills. Our club does these over the winter period focussing on freestyle.

Swimming lcubs will focus on all the strokes (typically) and more kicking drills.

In terms of coaching - I think you would be best investing in some 1-2-1 sessions with one of the swimming coaching companies. Especially if you are swimming 10minute 400m. It's like golf. correct your stroke while it hasnt become natural and its a lot easier to make changes.
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hammerer




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PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2011 9:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

tri club can be good, but mine is more a get in a do the set...we have 20-30 swimmers so theres no real focus on individuals. I used to swim at a masters group which was good, but unfortuantely far too cliquey and as I was never gonna medal at the nats they wasnt interested. Others are different and very inclusive including when my mate run a lane at the masters for a few months..became very individualised. My biggest gains came when my mate mentioned in last post gave me and anther swimmer 1-2 coaching. Immense and really meant that I worked on my faults not general faults. I also did a 1-1 in the endless pool at swim4tri (others are available) which, no word of a lie, took 10seconds off my 400TT the very next day. Thats cost me a small fortune for the hour...abotu 65 so for soemone whos a student maybe not feasible.

1st 1-1
2nd small group
3rd club sesisons (masters are better than tri IMO as they are proper swimmers and do all 4 strokes which are very useful for general feel)
4th DVD's videos
5th books.

Id say you need to get some swimmign lessons though rather than swim coaching. you need to learn the basic mechanics of the stokes and learning all 4 would be advantageous also. You are young and keen so get it right early doors and you will improve quicker and it will stick otherwise you will improve only so far and stagnate as your stroke simply cant take you any faster.
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blatchcorn




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PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2011 9:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ok I might look at getting one-to-one coaching, although it may be more expensive.
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SteveI




Joined: 25 Jan 2011
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2011 10:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

hammerer wrote:
1st 1-1
2nd small group
3rd club sesisons (masters are better than tri IMO as they are proper swimmers and do all 4 strokes which are very useful for general feel)
4th DVD's videos
5th books.

Id say you need to get some swimmign lessons though rather than swim coaching. you need to learn the basic mechanics of the stokes and learning all 4 would be advantageous also. You are young and keen so get it right early doors and you will improve quicker and it will stick otherwise you will improve only so far and stagnate as your stroke simply cant take you any faster.

Totally agree with this. Unfortunately it can be hard to get good tuition, and there is a lot of luck involved in having decent tuition available local to where you live.

The only change I would make to your ordering is that I'd say so many club sessions have very poor technique instruction that you might actually be better off following a dvd for a while beforehand. What technique instruction is available in club sessions is generally more about fine tuning than teaching from scratch. I haven't seen it myself, but the swimsmooth dvd may be good, I'm certainly impressed with their views on technique in general.
http://www.swimsmooth.com/learn2swim.html

Agree that 1-1 or small group teaching sessions are the best option, though.
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hammerer




Joined: 19 Nov 2007
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2011 10:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

SteveI wrote:
hammerer wrote:
1st 1-1
2nd small group
3rd club sesisons (masters are better than tri IMO as they are proper swimmers and do all 4 strokes which are very useful for general feel)
4th DVD's videos
5th books.

Id say you need to get some swimmign lessons though rather than swim coaching. you need to learn the basic mechanics of the stokes and learning all 4 would be advantageous also. You are young and keen so get it right early doors and you will improve quicker and it will stick otherwise you will improve only so far and stagnate as your stroke simply cant take you any faster.

Totally agree with this. Unfortunately it can be hard to get good tuition, and there is a lot of luck involved in having decent tuition available local to where you live.

The only change I would make to your ordering is that I'd say so many club sessions have very poor technique instruction that you might actually be better off following a dvd for a while beforehand. What technique instruction is available in club sessions is generally more about fine tuning than teaching from scratch. I haven't seen it myself, but the swimsmooth dvd may be good, I'm certainly impressed with their views on technique in general.
http://www.swimsmooth.com/learn2swim.html

Agree that 1-1 or small group teaching sessions are the best option, though.


swimsmooth dvd is excellent and included some training programs visualisation of drills and the stroke...the catch matsterclass is even better but maybe for more advanced level. I havent seen it but the learn to swim may be the best one, a colleague (non sportsman) used it to self teach himself to actually swim and seemed to enjoy it. wuld be owrth buying even if you do use the other options as well.
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Steveo-




Joined: 15 Oct 2010
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2011 10:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was inspired by tri and although a reasonable cyclist and runner not being able to swim properly held me back. I would splash around in the pool head out the water and be out of breath after a few lengths

At the beginning of last year I took an adult begin to swim course in an endless pool 7 x 75min sessions video's dvd feedback etc. This mainly focused on body position drills etc

By the end of the sessions and my funds I was still doing drills and core rotation and not swimming full stroke but i was in a good position to take it forward my self.

I'm not setting the world a light at all swimming 7:30/400m but can confidently swim 1.5/1.9k OW etc

Now over winter I considered going back to 1:1 coaching but i'm going to buy the swimsmooth training pack and give that a try as its less than a session in an endless pool.
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blatchcorn




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PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2011 10:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just spoke to my university to see what they could offer. Turns out new swimming pool opens in two weeks. They will run two classes - one for beginners and one for 'improvers' - and will also provide one-to-one lessons too Very Happy Each classes will have around eight swimmers so that does not sound too packed out if I find one-to-one too expensive.
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hammerer




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PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2011 10:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

blatchcorn wrote:
I just spoke to my university to see what they could offer. Turns out new swimming pool opens in two weeks. They will run two classes - one for beginners and one for 'improvers' - and will also provide one-to-one lessons too Very Happy Each classes will have around eight swimmers so that does not sound too packed out if I find one-to-one too expensive.


they sound good, just be wary of the teachers. If they start saying things like enter thumb first or start asking you to pull "S"'s in the stroke you know they are from the dark ages and dont have a danny Wink
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blatchcorn




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PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2011 4:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

hammerer wrote:
blatchcorn wrote:
I just spoke to my university to see what they could offer. Turns out new swimming pool opens in two weeks. They will run two classes - one for beginners and one for 'improvers' - and will also provide one-to-one lessons too Very Happy Each classes will have around eight swimmers so that does not sound too packed out if I find one-to-one too expensive.


they sound good, just be wary of the teachers. If they start saying things like enter thumb first or start asking you to pull "S"'s in the stroke you know they are from the dark ages and dont have a danny Wink

Cheers! I will order some swimsmooth dvds too so I will hopefully have a grasp of what sort of stroke they should be teaching.
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hammerer




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PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2011 7:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

blatchcorn wrote:
hammerer wrote:
blatchcorn wrote:
I just spoke to my university to see what they could offer. Turns out new swimming pool opens in two weeks. They will run two classes - one for beginners and one for 'improvers' - and will also provide one-to-one lessons too Very Happy Each classes will have around eight swimmers so that does not sound too packed out if I find one-to-one too expensive.


they sound good, just be wary of the teachers. If they start saying things like enter thumb first or start asking you to pull "S"'s in the stroke you know they are from the dark ages and dont have a danny Wink

Cheers! I will order some swimsmooth dvds too so I will hopefully have a grasp of what sort of stroke they should be teaching.


sign up on swimsmooth and download "Mr Smooth" Its free and a great piece of software. watch him from all angles, by rotating thru 360 front back sides top bottom, speed up and slow down. Awesome.
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