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Thread: Swimming: clues needed

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    Default Swimming: clues needed

    A few years back V salon's wisdom fixed my running game thankyouverymuc.

    I've been a lousy swimmer forever. I can swim gently almost any stroke for a long time however as soon as I put some effort into it my chest gets very tight and I have to revert to a rescue stroke or stop swimming for a few mins.

    A huge help was getting some coaching to clean up my freestyle so that I'm better able to get full breaths. Still, the overarching issue remains. My chest gets wicked tight (as in I can barely breath) during hard swimming.

    Talk to me V.

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    Default Re: Swimming: clues needed

    Can you elaborate on putting some effort into it? Like do you mean picking up your stroke pace and kicking, or are we talking race pace? Just wondering if your body is tensing up as I would recommend being fluid and flexible when swimming any stroke even if pace has been picked up; swimming tense is not an efficient way to get through the water.

    It has been a while since I swam competitively, but I don't remember having any sensation like that. A video of you swimming might help too, just to help us see what we are working with since I would be interested in your head and chest position in the water.
     

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    Default Re: Swimming: clues needed

    TT, swimming is a very technical activity. Form is very important to efficiently moving yourself forward. You need to essentially rotate your body around your spine so that you are hydrodynamic and activating the larger muscles in your chest and back.

    I suggest you get some coaching. When I took up triathlons 30+ years ago, I was fortunate to be coached by a former national caliber high school swimmer.

    Another thing to consider is swimming with pull buoys, which will float your legs and reduce or eliminate the need to kick. This will allow you to relax and focus on form.

    Good luck. Swimming is a gas and can be very relaxing and meditative.
     

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    Default Re: Swimming: clues needed

    TT,

    Does it happen when you're backstroking?
     

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    Default Re: Swimming: clues needed

    A couple of classes and the videos from these folks helped my swim massively... Great Ideas about how to be more relaxed and fluid in the water.

    The World's Top Swim Training Videos | Total Immersion Swimming
    Guy Washburn

    Photography > www.guywashburn.com

    "There's one witness they won't bring in front of us," Jordan said. "The guy who started it all — the whistleblower."

    Welch followed by turning to the panel, "I'd be glad to have the person who started it all to come in and testify. President Trump is welcome to take a seat right there."

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    Default Re: Swimming: clues needed

    Focus on being relaxed and efficient. Instead of going hard focus on taking less strokes per length. Once you're getting more distance per stroke you can start upping the tempo and you'll be faster and more efficient.

    Watching instructional videos is great but getting someone else to take a video of you is even better. What you think you're doing and where you think your limbs are while you swim is usually not what's actually happening.
    Ross Shepherd

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    Default Re: Swimming: clues needed

    high elbows, both in and out the water. avoid crossing the centerline. kick from hips. check out Swimming Technique: Animations & Articles From Experts Swim Smooth They have a few free videos/illustrations on their site.

    I wanna go swimming now...
     

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    Default Re: Swimming: clues needed

    Check on trying to be more relaxed, I'll pay attention to it.
    Caleb - NO! Does not happen with backstroke.
    Gary - Good stuff, I'm rotating pretty good but am forgetting about elbows...will do.

    I'm swimming at what I'd call an aerobic pace eg not hard, just focusing on technique.

    I've got a coach whom I've used in the past and he is fantastic but frankly his drills nearly kill me each time...maybe I should go back.

    The floats sound interesting, my brother suggested fins.

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    Default Re: Swimming: clues needed

    For me the biggest thing is really getting my head down in the water. Took all of the struggle out, once I did that it was so much easier to feel more relaxed, focus on rotation etc.
    Guy Washburn

    Photography > www.guywashburn.com

    "There's one witness they won't bring in front of us," Jordan said. "The guy who started it all — the whistleblower."

    Welch followed by turning to the panel, "I'd be glad to have the person who started it all to come in and testify. President Trump is welcome to take a seat right there."

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    Default Re: Swimming: clues needed

    Quote Originally Posted by guido View Post
    For me the biggest thing is really getting my head down in the water. Took all of the struggle out, once I did that it was so much easier to feel more relaxed, focus on rotation etc.
    head down brings the hips up...hips up is key.
     

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    Default Re: Swimming: clues needed

    You guys are GOLD. Head down, elbows, relax.
    I'm swimming 4 to 5 days per week so progress will be easy to report out.

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    Default Re: Swimming: clues needed

    +1 to BSUdude's head and hips and guido's rotation. Whenever you are rotating your body try to think about stretching out the leading arm like you are reaching for something on the top shelf that is just out of reach; that should help bring the elbow up automatically out of the water, then you just have to focus on keeping it high. Freestyle should basically be a constant rotation from one lateral side of your body to the other.
     

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    Default Re: Swimming: clues needed

    Quote Originally Posted by Too Tall View Post
    You guys are GOLD. Head down, elbows, relax.
    I'm swimming 4 to 5 days per week so progress will be easy to report out.
    Just out of curiosity what's the goal here? fitness, masters competition, tri?

    A good indicator for head position when rolling to breathe is one goggle in/one goggle out. Any more and you're straining your neck too much. That was an ongoing issue for me on one side right up until I "retired" from swimming.
    Ross Shepherd

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    Default Re: Swimming: clues needed

    Strictly expanding my vocabulary. No goal other than becoming good enough to not ruin anyone's day and perhaps to keep up with Queen when we swim in the ocean.



    Quote Originally Posted by rauce View Post
    Just out of curiosity what's the goal here? fitness, masters competition, tri?

    A good indicator for head position when rolling to breathe is one goggle in/one goggle out. Any more and you're straining your neck too much. That was an ongoing issue for me on one side right up until I "retired" from swimming.

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    Default Re: Swimming: clues needed

    Too soon to be sure. You guys might be right about needing to reeeeeelax.
    FWIIW I warm up with breast stroke than 6 laps of freestyle, two laps breast stroke than I put on fins and focus on form and breathing both sides....fins off and finish with 4 laps freestyle and done.
    I still have to stop and chill out but not as much and not as severe...this might be working.

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    Default Re: Swimming: clues needed

    When I had to fix my stroke in college, I had to take 6 weeks of swimming exclusively with the pull buoy to unlearn the 6-beat kick and break many years of bad habits. After that I started back up with a 2-beat kick, and thinking of my leg as a whip, whose movement was started from the hips.

    The 2-beat solved most the left-over endurance issues by reserving my oxygen to the real movers in the freestyle stroke - the arms. Over kicking for a runner or cyclist will use HUGE amounts of available oxygen.

    Lastly, high elbows not just during the recovery, but also during the pull.
    DT

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    Default Re: Swimming: clues needed

    This:
    Quote Originally Posted by rauce View Post
    Focus on taking less strokes per length.
    and this:
    Quote Originally Posted by gary_a_gooner View Post
    high elbows, both in and out the water.
    If you watch a great 1500* swimmer like Grant Hackett:



    you will see them doing as low as 30 strokes per length at race speed. With your height you should aim for this but DO NOT GLIDE to achieve it: aim to start the new catch as soon as the previous stroke is finished. Slow the stroke itself down and feel the water, aiming to push lots of it behind you.

    The single thing that helped me most was being told to imagine I had eyeballs on my elbows and they always had to be able to see the sky.



    *Australian swimmers have won eight medals including four golds in this one event in the last six olympics. Weird fact: Australia is possibly the only country that puts the national swimming championships on prime time TV.

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    Default Re: Swimming: clues needed

    I think high elbows above the water are overrated, but sometimes that cue will help bring other things in line.

    I don't think the centerline of the body has been mentioned yet: Make sure your hands enter without crossing the centerline and then pull straight back while keeping a high elbow. The "S" pull that people used to teach is not something you want to do.
    Ross Shepherd

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    Default Re: Swimming: clues needed

    Quote Originally Posted by twowheels View Post
    Another thing to consider is swimming with pull buoys, which will float your legs and reduce or eliminate the need to kick. This will allow you to relax and focus on form.
    Josh, this ^^^

    I am not efficient enough to swim anything over a couple hundred meters at any effort, and that has nothing to do with strength. When I was racing long course the most valuable drills came from my tri coach when I raced for The Bike Boutique, more so than even the group swim practices when we did heavy effort workouts for 1.5-2hrs. Being able to relax and focus on my stroke and breathing helped the pace come down more than anything else and get me at least somewhat comfortable in the water.

    - Two pool buoys (I use TYR) glued together to make a mega buoy to keep my dead weight hips from dragging on the floor.
    - Old bike tube tied together to use around the ankles, wrapped in a figure eight.
    - Paddles. I started with one size (color) smaller and the Yellow TYR paddles is as far as I got.

    After I started doing these workouts and not being embarrassed by how I had to go about it I was able to become a bit smoother and a whole lot more comfortable over time. Kicking rhythm, hip rotation, elbow height, hand entry angle ect. was now actually something I could think about and work on when I was using the aforementioned props.

    Don't get me wrong, I am still very much very fucking slow.. But I'm not on the verge of panic attack throughout a whole swim leg anymore either.
    justin rogers.

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    Default Re: Swimming: clues needed

    I forgot some links. This is the stuff I used:
    TYR Pull Float at Sunplay
    TYR Catalyst 2 Training Paddles at SwimOutlet.com

    Forgot to mention the fins I would use for some effort sets: TYR Burner
    TYR Burner EBP Floating Fin at SwimOutlet.com

    I think aside from all the technical details and fretting over form, just getting somewhat comfortable in the water continuously swimming for a decent period of time is most important. It sure was for me.
    justin rogers.

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