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I Can't Swim (not literal) (Read 1974 times)


Running Dad

    So I went to the gym this morning to start swimming. Yes I can swim but I'm not an Olympic athlete.I had plans on staying in a while and managed to get in 4 full laps (50yds/lap) and just felt horrible. I walked home trying not to lose my stomach. Anyone else have problems starting swimming? I'm working on a sprint tri next year and my running and cycling are fine but it looks like I'm gonna struggle with the water. Is this normal?
    Things to do this year:
    Not get an injury
    Things done this year:
    Bi-Lo 5k(Myrtle Beach) : 02.12.10 - 25:??
      I am a horrible swimmer! I can do about 2-3 lengths of a standard pool before I need to grasp on to the side and get my breathing back. I also have ended up nauseous after more than one swimming workout due to probably my bad form? Those less than positive experiences have kept me far away from the pool, but I would like to do a tri someday, so I signed up for private lessons at a local college. Hope it goes well. Swimming for 1/4 - 1/2 mile in open water seems really intimidating to me at the moment.
        Try treating it like one should if they were starting running - assume that you need to start with less, take rest breaks, not try to go fast, etc. If you can swim a 200 and it makes youfeel "horrible" then why not start out with swimming 50's? Swim a 50 nice and easy, stop at the end and rest for two minutes. Repeat a few times. (If that's too much, do 25's.) Don't push to the point of feeling "horrible." Get out, dry off, and go home, congratulating yourself on a workout well done. The next time, see if you can do one more 50. (Or another 25.) Then one more the next time. Never push hard enough that you hate swimming - that's a great way to quit anything! Eventually, start decreasing your rest times and mix it up a bit. When you can do that... see if you can find a tri-club in your area. They probably have a coach who's used to people being weak in the swimming arena. Good luck!

        Roads were made for journeys...


        HobbyJogger & HobbyRacer

          From my limited experience, lots of triathletes find swimming the difficult leg. I've seen plenty who don't flipturn, which is probably a giveaway that they never swam seriously -- which is fine, I'm just saying that the triathletes who are strong swimmers are in the vast minority in my (limited) experience.

          It's a 5k. It hurt like hell...then I tried to pick it up. The end.

            It is very hard! I started last spring to get ready for a tri, as well. I could hardly swim 25 yards without having to hang on to the edge huffing and puffing. Tongue Just keep at it... one day it will click, and you'll be able to swim 400 yards with ease. For me, once I could swim 400 yards, the rest was pretty easy. I can swim 2000 yards now (in a pool) without much problem. (Lets don't even talk about open water swims... that's a different animal Big grin ) Check out this website-- it helped me add distance reasonably... http://ruthkazez.com/ZeroTo1mile.html I also got on YouTube and searched for proper freestyle swim technique. It seemed ridiculous at the time, but it gave me some good tips to get started with good form. I think the swim is the hardest for most people. Good luck!
              so I signed up for private lessons at a local college
              Which college? My husband wants to learn how to swim. We were thinking of trying to hire someone at the rec center to help him, but a group class is a great idea. I really like the Total Immersion approach. The video has lots of helpful drills. I'm not sure if they would help someone learn how to swim, but the drills are definitely good for improving breathing and form.
              ~ Mary ~

              "Workouts are like brushing my teeth; I don't think about them, I just do them. The decision has already been made." - Patti Sue Plumer


              Running Dad

                Check out this website-- it helped me add distance reasonably... http://ruthkazez.com/ZeroTo1mile.html ^^^ exactly where I went.. i really think that's going to work.. I was just expecting it to be a little easier...guess not... thanks for all the replies.. hopefully tomorrow morning won't be as bad.. now if i can just get this darn water outta my ear..
                Things to do this year:
                Not get an injury
                Things done this year:
                Bi-Lo 5k(Myrtle Beach) : 02.12.10 - 25:??
                  I just got home from my first "swimming lesson." I want to do a sprint Tri next spring, but I can't put my face in the water. Well I did today. I was thrilled. I know I have a long way to go, but I want to work on it all winter. I had a lot of sinus issues as a child, so I didn't even learn to float until I was about 16. I would hold my nose and got in that habit, so I never learned to do the front crawl. My kicking form was bad too. I will get it, it just takes practice. Good luck, and like the others have said start out slowly. jdotten


                  Mayo

                    Check out this website-- it helped me add distance reasonably... http://ruthkazez.com/ZeroTo1mile.html
                    Wow, looks kinda like a Couch to 5K program for the pool. Cool!!

                    MM# 4597 / HF #941



                      Which college?
                      Cuyahoga Community - western campus in Parma. They have 6 week sessions of either 1/2 or 1 hour private lessons. I am excited!
                        It's all about technique. Get the basics down from a book, video, friend or coach, and you'll be fine. Be sure to record your current efforts, because months from now you'll be amazed at how quickly you improved!
                          dotten, yah -- getting the face in the water was a big one for me. 1. get face in water 2. exhale under water
                            Check out this website-- it helped me add distance reasonably... http://ruthkazez.com/ZeroTo1mile.html ^^^ exactly where I went.. i really think that's going to work.. I was just expecting it to be a little easier...guess not... thanks for all the replies.. hopefully tomorrow morning won't be as bad.. now if i can just get this darn water outta my ear..
                            Give it time. Based on this program, you need to be comfortable with 100 meters(which seems like 1000 at first), and it won't take long to get there. I jumped in and just struggled thru the first few workouts-- swam as far as I could, took 20 seconds or so to get my breath and then kept going. I caught up pretty quick. It did take me a little longer than 6 weeks. Just like C25K, sometimes you need to repeat a few days. Smile
                              There is hope. Last January I joined a local Tri club and I had to stop to grasp for air after 50m. I can now swim 1000m easily and probably can keep going for a while. I was going to the pool twice a week, 1 hour each, for 8 months. I suggest you take lessons or join a tri club with swim practices. Swimming as opposed to running is a lot about technique and having someone correct your stroke helps a lot. I suggest a tri club over a masters swim club because in tri clubs you usually focus on freestyle, the stroke you're going to end up using in the race. Also, I really suck at the other styles. - R
                                My thoughts are very similar to many of the things others said. I will just add my experience as well... go slow and take lots of breaks in the beginning. I worked at a pool in the summer during college. It never failed that at the beginning of the season it was HARD, and by the end I was swimming a mile in the morning and another in the afternoon. Also remember, in terms of distance, swimming is MUCH harder. There is a reason an Ironman has less than a 3 mile swim vs. 100+ bike and 26.2 run. Keep at it. You will get there!
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