RoadBikeReview.com's Forum Archives - Triathlons


Archive Home >> Triathlons


Damn swimming...again!!!!!!(8 posts)

Damn swimming...again!!!!!!maninjapan
Oct 22, 2002 4:26 PM
hi. thanks all for your advice last time . Now its 10 days till my next tri and i just cant get swimming at all, i practice so much on form and style but endurance of more than 100m still is a big problem, im sure you have heard and read many times things such as "i can bike all day and finish top 20 but i cant swim why not?" ive read and read and read so many things but my heart rate just goes crazy when i swim. Ive tried breathing every stroke, bilateral breathing, three strike breathing but its always the same...100m and im knackered, totally dead!! why, even when i try a slow pace i cant concentrate or sustain any constant rhythm, im pretty down about it and everytime i think about the swim i panic. I know if i could find that secret i would be fast as im very slim and tall and can glide well, its just breathing and endurance. So i dont know what im asking for....a bit of help or a secret answer but swimming is for me by far the hardest thing to do.....
hate to say this...Steve_0
Oct 23, 2002 5:48 AM
you may need to contact a coach. Based on your post, it sounds like youre spending a lot of time in the water. Usually Aerobic endurance increases pretty quickly with that kind of time in the water (even with bad form)

Perhaps anxiety, not form/endurance, is your biggest factor?
hate to say this...irongirl
Oct 23, 2002 6:45 AM
I second the advice to get some time with a coach. Perhaps there's a college or high school coach who could spend some time with you (for a fee, I'm sure) or maybe there's a masters' team in your area? I think that you need someone who can see what you are doing to give more specific advice, because usually, even with the crummiest stroke, endurance can't help but improve. Let us know what happens.
slow downbrider
Oct 23, 2002 7:16 AM
One problem that a lot of runners and bikers have when they get into the water is that they're used to moving a lot faster than is possible in a swim. That leads to trying to swim too fast. Couple that with strong leg muscles, inflexible ankles, and relatively weak (or, more appropriately, poorly capillarized) arms and shoulders, and you have a recipe for oxygen debt.

My advice -- slow down. Use a pull bouy and get the legs out of the equation. You'll find that your stroke improves dramatically pretty quickly. After a while (I had to go 6 weeks this way), you re-introduce the kick using a 2-beat kick (as opposed to a 6-beat, which we usually learn as a youngster). Make sure that you only kick enough to facilitate body roll, and don't try to get a lot of propulsion from it.

And getting the advice of a qualified coach isn't a bad idea either.
advice from a beginner!Rich_Racer
Oct 23, 2002 2:10 PM
Being new to triathlon and not really having swam much in the last 15 years, I've been through this very recently - I cracked it this week! The key is the things people have already said - thin about relaxing and not disturbing the water, try not to go too fast, and go to the local pool and get a coach to help. I find if I think about good rhythmic breathing, and relaxing, I can swim a long way - if not fast! Just build up the endurance slowly - taking shorter and shorter breaks between your 100m stints.

Tried to push myself to impress a cute girl in the pool today - almost drowned!! Relax, I thought!
Thank you all.maninjapan
Oct 23, 2002 4:43 PM
Wouldnt you just know it, the day after i bitch about my poor swimming i go to the pool and just think "what the f***"... turned out to be my best swim ever, i did 1400m in relaxed crawl, i took breaks every 200m for about 20 seconds, i felt kinda restricted by the walls 25m pool, messing up my rhythm, i think anxiety is a big part of swimming problems and as with breast stroke i find it hard to get from 0m to about 200m but after that when my body is working i feel i can just keep going.....the start is the hardest, panic, nerves, anxiety about breathing (im asthmatic and have had two collapsed lungs before)...but today ill get back on it with the attitude of "whose the man!!!" and i hope this can see me through...thanks for your kind words, its a good boost!!!!!!!!!
Keep it upempacher6seat
Oct 23, 2002 7:21 PM
If your problem is more to do with your nerves rather then your endurance, which seems to be the case, I don't think it would be a bad idea just to spend more time in the water... swimming, floating, diving, whatever! The more time you spend in there and the more accustomed you feel to moving in the water and just being in it, you'll probably become a hell of a lot more comfortable.

I'll also second the advice of people above. Remember, moving slow is moving smoothly, moving smoothly is moving efficiently, and moving efficiently is moving fast.
(Or something like that. I read that on the TNO.com forum. I'll apologize now if I ruined a perfectly good piece of advice there :) )
Breathing!!!gnailuh
Nov 11, 2002 1:39 PM
when i started in triathlon, my swimming was by far the worst of the three. as i started to get better in swimming, it wansn't until one day that it all clicked in. i could swim long then, but i was tired. until i realized that i was breathing out too late and not taking in enough air.

even if you think you are breathing out fully, you might not be. when do you breath out now? one full stroke before the next breath? i would say at least one stroke before the next breath. people are different, i hold my breath in, and when i'm one stroke away, i start breathing out fully. i do the same if i'm sprinting at 2 stroke per or 8.

after i realized this trick, i can swim now at easy pace forever (almost). at high speeds this helps as well. the only time it doesn't matter is at full sprints.