Improving swimming

A new pool has opened at the end of my road. I haven't been swimming since I was a kid but can manage a km or so of wonky breaststroke.

I'd really like to improve but my pool don't run lessons. Can anyone recommend any books, videos, anything that could help me?


  • MC, quite a lot of people like the "Total Immersion" books..but nothing is as good as lessons! Are you sure you can't get even one or two lessons from somewhere..or a weekend course? It really would be best, cos you can't see yourself in the pool, or really see what you're doing wrong or right...
  • LizzyBLizzyB ✭✭✭
    A friend has just bought the total immersion book but we've already found a major flaw with it.

    It gets wet and decomposes when you take it into the pool. :)

    Actually, I started 'proper' swimming this spring as I wanted to do my firt triathlon in the summer.

    When I started I could do breastroke all day and all night, but more than two lengths of crawl and I'd drown.

    So I started doing one lenghth of front crawl for every three of breastroke, and gradually worked my way up from there... five months later I did my first non-stop mile of front crawl. The secret (for me) was breathing every third stroke - I'd been taught to breathe on every fourth stroke at school, but found this hard to cope with.

    My technique is rubbish, but I now feel confident enough to take lessons. just must get round to calling that swimming teacher ...
  • The pool I go to doesn't run lessons but I'm looking around for some at one of the council-run pools nearby.

    In the short-term (and in between lessons) it would be nice to have a book giving guidelines so I can avoid falling into very bad habits.

    Even the idea of attempting crawl is daunting at the moment. I think some backgroubd reading might give me the confidence to know I'm not going to drown...
  • Mooncalf - I very much like LizzyB taught myself front crawl in the last couple of months, go VERY slowly at first so you get the hang of breathing - i found that I could go a lot faster but ended up thrashing about and panicking that i couldn't breathe. Slow it down and it becomes easier; I can now crawl faster than I can breaststroke which is an achievement for me!! Now that I'm more confident (and can crawl for longer - like 90% of my session rahter than 30%) I'm going to look into having a couple of coached sessons.
    can't recommend any books as I haven't got any - good luck!
  • Hmm it looks like my book-reading-delaying-tactic-cos-I'm-scared-to-put-my-head-under-the-water trick isn't going to work and I'm going to have to brave it out.

    I've found some council-run lessons for £5.20 each starting in about a month which might help.

    <deep breath>
  • NessieNessie ✭✭✭
    mooncalf - try just standing in the pool and bending your knees. Get used to the feeling of your head being under water before you try to do it while swimming - it makes a HUGE difference when you try to do crawl for the first time.

    And then, rather than try do do whole lengths, try doing about 6 strokes, holding your breath, with your head under the water the whole time, then stop (you're best to do this when the pool is quiet, or in the blue rinse lane, so as not to annoy faster swimmers). It gets you used to the feeling without having to think about how to position yourself for breathing aswell, which often results in a lungful of water.
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