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Blimey this thread moves fast!!
Well, I tried out the water inside that hat thing at swimming on Sunday and, although with sticking my hands in and stretching it out more to get it over my head, that seems to have worked Thanks for the help with that everyone.
The downside of Sunday and last nights swimming sessions were that I have discovered I'm highly unlikely to be able to get enough fitness back to do crawl at my tri I've tried slowing it down a bit so that I'm not haring off like a loon and getting tired, but I'm still struggling to get further than a length and a half before I'm exhausted and need to do a recovery breast stroke length. And that ratio gets worse when I get further into the swim, so by the end I can only do one length crawl to two lengths breast stroke. It doesn't seem to be that I'm physically tired in my arms and legs, but that I am completely running out of breath. I guess a lot of this is down to the lay off after my head bashing incident, but I got quite upset over it after about 6 lengths last night, and was rather pleased that hubby comes swimming with me and was there to give me a hug and a cheer up.
I'm contemplating that it may be best to stick to breast stroke for this tri, as it's my first one, because although I'm currently slower at it I know I'll be able to stick to a constant speed rather than trying to do a bit of crawl, knackering myself out and then having to do a really slow breast stroke section for a bit to recover. I really don't want to come away from it thinking it was a bad experience because I thought I should do crawl when the more sensible option would be to do it as breast stroke under the circumstances. Once my fitness is better and I have done this tri I can work at the crawl again
Does this sound sensible? I still have a lot of work to do on the run (did 4km this morning and looked like a beetroot for 20 mins afterwards! ) and cycle (am up to about 12km and I don't look such a state as I do after a run! ) and I don't want to overburden myself by putting too much pressure on to do it as crawl.
If you're struggling with crawl then breaststroke is fine for your first race. I did BS at my first race and although it knackers your legs more than FC you should still get round.
Are you having lessons because it sounds like you need some help with your technique. I doubt it's your fitness because I can easily swim loads of lengths (very slowly) even when my fitness is rubbish. FC is almost all about technique so it's very important to get some coaching to make sure your technique is good. If you build your muscle memory with poor technique you'll find it harder to fix.
T-ST - I had an hours coaching from someone I can only refer to as The Lovely Gentleman. In that hour I learnt sooo much, but the most important thing he taught me was that it is all down to technique. By stopping my windmill arms and concentrating on hand entry and glide I was able to swim for a lot longer. I put this down to not putting all my energy into windmilling. Two weeks after that session I was able to swim 400m. OK, it was not fast by any stretch of the imagination, but it was an achievement I never thought I would experience.
Do you know if your local pool does something like Swim Clinics. Not sure if it's just my area, but some of my local council pools run pay-as-you-go lessons to improve technique. Fpr £5 a pop, you get an hour practising drills with guidance from a swim coach
Also, have you checked out the Swimsmooth site?
BM Becky wrote (see)
Does any one have any suggestions how to stop crossing arms infront? This seems to be a major issue for me, and is worse on one side than the other (this may be why I keep getting tangled in the lane ropes & getting rope burn on upper arm!)
I've been skimming back through the thread. Dont think this has been answered.
Crossover in front crawl usually describes when the front arm reaches across the body during the pull ie under water. If you are tangling with the rope is that happening during recovery, when the arm is out of the water and coming forward? If that is the case does your arm go very wide and far out from the body as you bring it forward?
When you do crossover, the arm is moving from one side of the body to the other, eg from left to right (side to side). What you have to do is imprint that your hand and arm should be moving from front to back in a straight line.
Couple of things that may help.
Have a look at Bill Kirby clip on youtube (this was done for swimsmooth). Everything seems to be aimed at moving forward in a straight line. Use the clip to help visualise the stroke.
Visualisation Part 2. I used to imagine that there was a rope along the floor of the pool and that I was pulling myself along it. Think straight lines from one end of the pool to the other.
Visual clues. More of an evolution from Part2. On the floor of my pool there are different coloured tiles which describe lines from one end of the pool to another. I can reach forward and pull backalong the line of the tile. Again it is about reaching forward and pulling back in a straight line.
Visual clues 2. The roof of the pool where I swim lets the sun in. So often I can see my shadow on the floor of the pool. Can check that I catch then pull back in a straight line.
Crossover Part deux.
The other thing to look at is how the arm is moving during the stroke.
If arm is tangling with rope than it is possible that in bringing the arm forward you are swinging the arm very long and wide so that it goes out wide, comes back in to hit water and then keeps travelling across body. If you were standing in front of a mirror it would be like reaching arm out to the side than moving it up above head. Because it is coming from a wide position it is hard to stop the direction of travel from continuing across the body.
If this is what is happening you need to change the direction of travel of your hand ( and therefore your arm as they are kind of linked).
If you were standing in front of a mirror the arm (with hand attached) starts hanging by side. Bend arm at elbow so that hand is brought up next to shoulder. Say Hi to yourself. Next lift hand (with arm attached) up toward ceiling. Notice that hand travels in straight line. At full stretch you are now in position to catch and pull in a straight line along the length of your body.
Think straight lines.
Schmunkee - don't know about the swim clinics, but I'll ask on Sunday when we next go They do a lot of classes at our nearest pool, which is council run, but they are totally focused on kids (possibly as one of the local competitive swim clubs trains there?) and don't run any actual lessons for adults - if you want classes as an adult you have to pay £12 for a 30 minute session. I did improve a lot in the session I had, but trying to even get booked in a pain especially if you only want a few lessons - they don't really want to book you in for and odd session when they can book kids in for a whole terms worth of lessons. May have to look further afield to Norwich or something and see if they do any lessons at that pool.
Little Ninja - my hubby does breast stroke and he flies up and down the pool steaming past loads of the front crawl people! Admittedly he's not training for a tri, he just does the swim and cycling bits with me as he enjoys them, but he is bloody quick!!
More useful tips - thanks Bos1.
Becky - I've occasionally found myself clattering against the rope but in my case it was because the lanes are v narrow and I didn't want to hit the person coming up the other way, which is often a wide-shouldered bloke and I was keeping too far to my side.
Hey Two-stroke Tart, I wouldn't worry - I am doing the property tri at Dorney Lake on 9th July using breast stroke. It's a 750m and my first tri, so better the devil you know methinks. I've never been able to swim front crawl in my life because I used to be afraid of water so I took 6 weeks of those adult classes to learn it and despite the best efforts of my humourless 20yo Hungarian swim coach, I am still not waving but drowning!
Schmunkee, £5 an hour is amazing for a swim clinic! Mine cost £20 p.h. and I've been bragging about how cheap it was in the pub for weeks... NOT THAT I'M EVER IN THE PUB THESE DAYS YOU UNDERSTAND...
bos - thank you! I have improved a bit... I went to the pool with Aitch a couple of weeks ago, and despite neither of us being good swimmers we were able to help each other quite a lot just by watching each other - it was a really good use of the 20m gym pool!I was crossing with one arm more than the other, I'm also over-rotating on my breathing, which is ruining my body position. Catch up seems to help a bit - I'd never really done any drills so Aitch showed me a few I think getting tangled in the rope is partly me not swimming straight (due to crossing centre more on one side) and partly trying to avoid others (which backfires cos I've now managed to be kicked by people in the lane next to me on two occasions!)
I bought a wetsuit today!!!! I got some vouchers for local bike/tri shop for my birthday yesterday, and got suit today.... the question is will it be warm enough & will I be brave enough to try and use it in the lake at the weekend??
I didn't make tri club last night......too tired after being up all night with youngest and his broken collarbone and hubby out!
I shall be concentrating on this swimming malarkey as I have just been diagnosed with Tibial Stress Syndrome. No running for sometime I think....not sure how long until I see the consultant but I am very unhappy this evening and having a beer!!!! I am going to have to cancel my tri in July too......holding off on cancelling anything else until I have had a word with the doc!
Should I be even thinking of doing a Half Ironman next year now.....or am I being melodramatic!?
LN....thanks. I haven't done any running for such a time now and not looking good for a while soooooooo have to cancel the sprint to get any money back.
Saffers - sorry to hear about the TSS. Anything that stops me running is always heartbreaking but it's good that you cycle and swim too. That's one of the reasons I started to consider tri because I got running injuries which stopped me exercising and I ended up rediscovering cycling and now swimming.
Attended my second tri club swim session today. Coach said my left arm was not engaging the catch properly, IE not a definite bend at the elbow after the hand goes into the water and the catch starts. That bliddy left arm! Maybe if I chopped it off I would be a good one-armed swimmer. I don't even have to think about what the right's doing. Anyway, I spent most of the session doing sets of 3 to practice this more but I felt a bit like the right arm's dominating and I had to keep wiggling to stay straight in my lane.
I managed to do the kickboard drill this week. What I'd previously been doing wrong was not bending at the knee and when I did, I finally started to move!
Thanks Parklife.....trying to be positive so looking to either enter some swimathons or maybe look for Relay Triathlons to enter so that I don't have to run.
Sounds like you are doing great with the swimming. I have the same issues with my left limp arm.....it's getting better but is much weaker than the right and is to do with that bilateral swimming! I struggle to breathe to the left as it just doesn't feel comfy.
But it's a good opportunity to build up your swimming and cycling.
Well done Parky. When I did my S4T drills, unexpectedly I did better on the left even though I'm right handed. I wondered if it was because I had to think more about the left so it worked better.
Question please and thank you:
Does anyone some time on other strokes ie a bit of backstroke, and why/not? I'm wondering if it'd be good for the upper body muscles in general and make us less prone to injury.
Thanks M.ister and you have a PM
LN.....we do backstroke and breastroke sometimes within the tri swim session! I hate it......breastroke particularly as that is slower than FC for me. I assume we are doing it as recovery during the session.......I am sure those in the know will let us know the reasoning behind it all.
warmish????? I wish it was here, it's done nothing but bloody rain for days. The weathermen are now cheerfully predicting temps no higher than 12c for July!
As for using other strokes, our coach sometimes has us do all 4 strokes - she says we need to use the other muscles sometimes, doing crawl all the time tends to neglect other muscles especially those in the back and can lead to an imbalance.