Swimming Frustration - KickRunners.com
 
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#1 of 15 Old 05-01-2010, 12:04 PM - Thead Starter
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Hi Kicksters!

I have just come home from a swim and spin workout. I am so frustrated and discouraged that I don't know what to do with myself.

My swimming is not coming along like I feel it should. My main goal right now is building endurance. But, I am not progressing as fast as I should (or as fast as I think I should). After about 80 meters or so I start to feel like I need to breath more often. When this happens I find myself picking up my pace so I can breathe earlier (does this make any sense?). In other words, I can't maintain a nice, relaxed pace b/c I get out of breath.

I know I need to be patient and keep at it, BUT I GET SO FRUSTRATED

Are there any breathing techniques I can do out of the water that will help me?

I am not sure whether I need encouragement, advice or a swift kick in the ass for feeling sorry for myself. I will take whatever I can get!
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#2 of 15 Old 05-01-2010, 12:12 PM
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Perhaps your anxiety is raising your heartrate and making you feel out of breath?
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#3 of 15 Old 05-01-2010, 12:32 PM
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You need to slow down.

Are you breathing every other arm or every 3 or ? Go to every other, for now, but then work into every 3.

But basically, you need to slow down.

Forget about what speed you THINK you should be. Right now, you're building endurance. LATER we can work on speed.

So, try this. Next time you go swim, do a nice warmup - few 50's or 100's (I don't know how long you're going) and rest completely in between. You main set with be "swim as long as you can". Your goal is to go SO FREAKIN SLOW that you can continue that pace "forever". Cool down will be a few 50's/100's.

Likely, you're going to have to do this a few times as you'll screw it up. Why do I say that? Cuz everyone does!!! Try it.

p.s. you body position is critical here, so implicit with these instructions are the idea to get as high and as flat on the water as possible, because by doing so, you will be able to work easier than if you are sinking. BIGTIME easier.

Whatever "time" you come up with the first time you do this, record it, and try again next time. You should be swimming 3-4x/wk for optimal results, for now.

- If you think you can't, you're right.
- Just because you can, doesn't mean you should.
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#4 of 15 Old 05-01-2010, 12:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrscoby78 View Post
Perhaps your anxiety is raising your heartrate and making you feel out of breath?
I don't know squat, so I'm totally talking out my ass here.

But I know this sometimes happens to me.
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#5 of 15 Old 05-01-2010, 12:46 PM
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How often do you swim, and how long have you been at it?

- Le Bannon
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#6 of 15 Old 05-01-2010, 04:53 PM
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I don't know squat, so I'm totally talking out my ass here. .
Got video of that? I have to see it

- If you think you can't, you're right.
- Just because you can, doesn't mean you should.
- REJOICE and Whine not! For today you are doing that which most only dream.

 

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#7 of 15 Old 05-01-2010, 06:56 PM - Thead Starter
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How often do you swim, and how long have you been at it?
I started swimming in January. However, I was very inconsistent, i.e. swimming only once a week. In March I booked three lessons with a swim coach. Since then I moved up from two swim workouts to now three swim workouts a week.

pcsronbo brought up an interesting point. I was breathing every time I lifted my left arm (odd since I am right-handed). My coach wanted me to do "bi-lateral breathing", which is what I am doing now. I am far better at breathing on my left than right. After a right breath I feel like I sink down in the water...hummmm

I will go for FREAKIN SLOW tomorrow and see how that works for me!

Thanks for all your help
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#8 of 15 Old 05-01-2010, 07:17 PM
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NP. Sinking when you breath on the "bad" side means your body position is all outawack

So... priorities. Your coach is right, you should do every 3, but maybe consider doing every 2 (shhh) until you can sort out this pacing but then the next thing needs to be every 3 breathing. The reason is you need to solve those positions NOW.

Pacing in swimming is just like running. Everyone goes too fast and it just takes time for you to figure out the "right" pace - for you, right now, to go forever.

- If you think you can't, you're right.
- Just because you can, doesn't mean you should.
- REJOICE and Whine not! For today you are doing that which most only dream.

 

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#9 of 15 Old 05-01-2010, 10:47 PM
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I'm not a big believer in bilateral breathing. Out of 19 triathlons, I've only had waves coming at me on the breathing side once, and I still managed just fine - and yes, they were big waves.

- Le Bannon
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#10 of 15 Old 05-01-2010, 10:50 PM
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I'm not a big believer in bilateral breathing. Out of 19 triathlons, I've only had waves coming at me on the breathing side once, and I still managed just fine - and yes, they were big waves.
Being "able" to bilateral breathe is a good thing but like Matt, I rarely use it in race situations. I typically breathe every 4 strokes on my strong side.

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#11 of 15 Old 05-01-2010, 10:56 PM
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Quote:
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I'm not a big believer in bilateral breathing. Out of 19 triathlons, I've only had waves coming at me on the breathing side once, and I still managed just fine - and yes, they were big waves.
I'm with Bannon. I can bilateral breathe for a little while, but if I do it too long I either lose momentum or become hypoxic. when I feel it start I go back to just 1 side *right.* At my next rest, I start with bilateral again. I will say, when the bilateral breathing is on, my stroke IS better, but I can't keep it consistent.

My thoughts. start with shorter sets. 25's.*if you're past this do it with whatever works* bilateral breath for 1, don't for the next. If it's 50's go down one way, then back the way you are more comfortable. It will come, trust me, 1st time I went swimming 4 or 5 years ago, i think I managed a 200 yard workout, all 25's and it took about 1/2 hour.

Collin Cowherd (ESPN): You can not solve stupid.

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#12 of 15 Old 05-02-2010, 01:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1Topodope View Post
I started swimming in January. However, I was very inconsistent, i.e. swimming only once a week. In March I booked three lessons with a swim coach. Since then I moved up from two swim workouts to now three swim workouts a week.

pcsronbo brought up an interesting point. I was breathing every time I lifted my left arm (odd since I am right-handed). My coach wanted me to do "bi-lateral breathing", which is what I am doing now. I am far better at breathing on my left than right. After a right breath I feel like I sink down in the water...hummmm

I will go for FREAKIN SLOW tomorrow and see how that works for me!

Thanks for all your help
Someone who just started swimming in january and is having your trouble needs to start drilling and stop swimming! Endurance is not the issue. Swimming more with bad form isn't going to fix anything. As Phelps coach said conditioning without the technique is meaningless.

I'm willing to bet its completely body position related. What percentage of your total volume are you drilling? Are you monitored when you drill to make sure you are doing it right? Try getting taped. You need to be patient and really work on drilling until you can say rip off a 1000 yards fairly comfortable at around a 2min/100yd pace. Up to that point you cant really work on propulsive swimming and you will gain endurance as you better your form.
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#13 of 15 Old 05-02-2010, 01:33 PM
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Niemsco is right. The "trick" I am proposing was done to me many years ago, which is to slow down to the point you can go "forever" the implied result there is you will slow down and be ABLE to start focusing on staying on top of the water, and hence improve your body position.

With this as a base, it's all drills drills drills until you are easily sub 2:00/100y pace. THEN we work on endurance.

- If you think you can't, you're right.
- Just because you can, doesn't mean you should.
- REJOICE and Whine not! For today you are doing that which most only dream.

 

www.fatman2ironman.com

 

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#14 of 15 Old 05-03-2010, 08:47 AM
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Do you exhale while your head is submerged? I'm assuming you do - but if you don't - you should be doing so (build-up of carbon dioxide makes you feel short of breath).

Sorry if asking the obvious,
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#15 of 15 Old 05-03-2010, 08:46 PM - Thead Starter
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Thanks for all the help!

Reg - not a crazy question at all. That was the first thing my coach noticed. I wasn't exhaling under water at all! I am doing so now. But, I find it hard to maintain the exhale the entire time my head is submerged especially the longer I swim. That doesn't speak much for my VO2Max...
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