Swimming Help

Hi, I've finally decided to go back on my 'I'm never doing a triathlon' stance that I've enforced for years now. After starting with running many years ago to get fit, I progressed to the odd 10k then half marathons. Then last year on the cycle to work scheme I bought the worlds worst road bike from 'that shop whose name we will never speak', as I didn't know any better back then. I completed my first duathlon in May after deciding to test myself in my first multi event.

Whilst it does seem like natural progression, one minor issue, I can literally barely swim. My standard is...not drowning. I used the pool at my gym that I've never used in over 6 years. As expected, I was competent at not drowning, but that's as far as it went.

I'll be back there again either tomorrow or Wednesday morning, but my question is where to go from here. I've just picked up total immersion from eBay, so that's the literature sorted!! Do I just practice and build up confidence, then bring in the more advanced (advanced for not drowning swimmers) elements such as the breathing later. Or is it better to get into the rhythm of breathing early on and just keep working on it.

Any advice would be massively appreciated. 




  • Not much help I expect but as another non drowner I went to a club training for the first time last week and apparently the sticking your face in the water and breathing out bit is pretty key. Do you have local club who offer sessions as that would be a good place to start or there's the masters program in some areas to. Apparently the swim is all about technique so best to learn right from the start .

    Well that's what I've read and been told. Good luck.
  • There's a club fairly close to me, not sure if they do beginners sessions for adults. Might also look into a handful of private lessons, just not too keen on the prices though. But it might be worth it in the long run
  • fat buddhafat buddha ✭✭✭

    1:1 coaching is the best way but it's not cheap.  

    check if the local swimming club offers beginers lessons

    check out a tri club

    and - all you'll learn from books and DVDs is theory - you need to do the practice to improve


  • SteadyCJSteadyCJ ✭✭✭

    I used to do not drowning style, but found that good fitting goggles and a noseclip were my saviours. Now with those bits of kit I am a waterbabe and so now I am swimming and not drowning. Face in water I used to hate and water up nose created panic.

  • mathschickmathschick ✭✭✭

    I plucked up the courage to go to a tri club, and they have been fantastic. The coached sessions are brilliant. I am not particularly quick, but in a few months I have gone form not being able to swim front crawl to being ok at it. I can now spend a whole swimming session on fc without resorting to the breaststroke that I have been fairly good at for years.

    also try a local council leisure centre - there may be adult lessons available that will work out a lot cheaper than private lessons

  • My advice would be to enquire what kind of experience the teacher has. I signed up for adult improver lessons with the city council, but the instructor had no understanding of long distance swimming at all. She was trying to get me to do a really fast leg kick instead of focusing on a long efficient stroke.

    I must admit, I have come on a lot since I started a couple of months ago, mainly by looking at youtube and concentrating on how it 'feels' in the water, so yes, practice does make a lot of difference, I think. However I also realise that so much of swimming is about technique, and my opinion is that its worth paying for the best coaching you can afford in order to maximise the efficiency of your stroke.

    My problem is finding that sort of expertise where I live.

  • Couple of years a certain person called Mellifera posted on the "crap" swimmers thread about how she started on her swim journey. She basically decided on a number of drills and repeated over until she got better and progressed.

    So while good coaching is the optimum, dont be afraid to just get in and do it. Be patient, things will not work out perfectly immediately.

    Swimming is tecnical. But so is changing gears in the car. Gear changes are esay now, can be done while checking makeup in the mirror, changing the radio station and shouting at the fool who has just cut you off, all at the same time. But there probably was a time when a gear change was daunting. You need to learn swimming a bit at a time build up and put it all together. A good swim stroke is not something that can be wrapped up and given to you as a present that works straight out of the box.

    Wonder what happened to Mellifera...?

  • fat buddhafat buddha ✭✭✭
    bos1 wrote (see)

    Wonder what happened to Mellifera...?

    I believe she's still around trying to get the best out of her swim ....I doubt she'll ever be much good...image

  • Thanks for the advice. Gym bags already packed for the morning.

    I'll look into what the local clubs offer and most importantly, spend some time in the pool

  • Come and join me on the Cr@p swimmers R Us thread.

    I am the same as you. I went to the pool 8 weeks ago, with that innate ability of a runner with leaden legs to be able to swim like a brick. After 25 m I was tiring out, and at 50m I needed to get the HR down.
    After 5 weeks I managed 400m, after 6 weeks got 1000m.
    I'm not pushing distance now, I'm continuing to work on my stroke (oo er, Mrs).
    Coaching with the tri club on Sundays, solo practice on 2 other days in the week.

    I'll boing the fred for you.

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