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Bigg_Budd
05-07-2008, 15:35
Anyone have a suggested training regiment to prepare for DM? I'm not talking dive skills, I'm talking preparing for the swim.

Last week, I began swimming the 450m and am sitting at about 11 mins. I'd like to shave that time down to at least 9 mins. I'm finding that I am a very inefficient swimmer, muscle-ing through with my arms rather than using my legs. I could also use some tips on breathing. I am breathing on each left hand stroke.

Any hints or tips from you swimmers or Instructors/DMs would be greatly appreciated...

Cheers!

Ryanh1801
05-07-2008, 15:47
Pretty hard to coach over the internet. But one thing I always notice with people who have not swam their whole life. Is trying to power through and not relaxing. Swimming fast is all about form. You need to have a good stroke and be relaxed in the water.

Also breathing on every left hand stroke is way to much. Work on going on every third so that you are altering sides and then, get to where you only breath every 3-4 complete strokes. Breathing waste time.

Once you get that down, work on doing flip turns, flip turns will increase your time significantly, but if your not in good cardio condition, you will be wore down to fast to make up for any increased efficiency. So wait until you get your breathing under control before doing these.

Bigg_Budd
05-07-2008, 15:53
THis is EXACTLY the type of feedback I'm looking for.

OK - Breathing too much. I will try every third stroke, but must warn you that breathing on the right is proving to be difficult for me. I'm a lefty, and it shows...

I've tried the flip kick, and will tell you that it is a thing of beautiy when I execute it. :)

The flip kick will have to wait.

frogman159
05-07-2008, 15:55
Proper head position is to look straight forward not down. The surface of the water should be just above your eyebrows. wearing goggles is key for your comfort

Bigg_Budd
05-07-2008, 16:10
Proper head position is to look straight forward not down. The surface of the water should be just above your eyebrows. wearing goggles is key for your comfort

There's another mistake. I'm looking down the whole time...

Thanks.

ChrisA
05-07-2008, 16:24
Last week, I began swimming the 450m and am sitting at about 11 mins. I'd like to shave that time down to at least 9 mins. I'm finding that I am a very inefficient swimmer,

What some one told me was

1) Make sure you "complete" each stroke. The stroke ends at the hip when you are pushing the water backward. Wait a half second before you start the next stroke and "coast" a little. Get a few inches of "free" distance between each stroke

2) The swimmers who win races are typically the ones who use the fewest strokes per lap. Beginners tend to get only a couple feet forward per each stroke while the best swimmers go many feet per stroke. So the advice I got was to count strokes and If it takes me 33 to get to the end of the pool work on getting it down to 30. Working on reducing strokes per lap forces you to improve technique while looking at your time on the clock only enourages you to just "thrash harder"

At first using less strokes means going slower but that is OK, the goal is not speed. Later just crank up the stroke rate and with your new longer stroke you will go faster.

I think if you are doing this "right" your hands/arms to not slip as much and some how "stick" as if the water were more solid. I've seen video of good swimmers and their hands are stationary relative to the bottom of the pool just as if each stroke was pushing off hand holds. poorer swimmers like me have their hands moving backwards relative to the fixed bottom. They tell me I need to feel the water pesure on my fore arms and hands and get the presure "right".

So,.. swimm more yards and swimm more slowly, workng on the stroke per lap ratio

3) your time is good enough. You are faster then I am

4) Now, if only I could do the above.

caroln
05-07-2008, 16:24
This was recommended to me when I started DM. It's supposed to be an excellent system to improve your efficiency in the water. The workshops are pricey, but they have a dvd if you're just looking for some pointers on technique.

Total Immersion Swimming (http://www.totalimmersion.net/)

Bigg_Budd
05-07-2008, 16:31
Excellent information. Thanks ChrisA and caroln.

ChrisA
05-07-2008, 16:33
Proper head position is to look straight forward not down. The surface of the water should be just above your eyebrows. wearing goggles is key for your comfort

I've heard it both ways. Both were well respected swim coaches. One said "everything in swimming a 'forward'. reach as far forward as you can look forward...." the other said raising the head to look ahead causes the feet to sink and uses more energy then if you look at the black line on the bottom of the pool and that only a small bit of the back of the head should be above the water.

Try an experimant. just float. Put one arm forward and one back as if just starting a new stroke and then look down and relax and wait. Don't move. Then look forward and don't move. which way do you float the best. If experts disagree then I figure it hardly matters at our level.

Ryanh1801
05-07-2008, 16:36
Proper head position is to look straight forward not down. The surface of the water should be just above your eyebrows. wearing goggles is key for your comfort

Not trying to be rude, but that is wrong. raising you head will cause you his and legs to dig further into the water, other wise known as "Swimming uphill". With your head looking down, you are supporting your body to become more efficient in the water. This is what is known as swimming down hill.

A drill to help this is kicking the length of the pull with no board and with your arms at your side.

<< swam competitively for 12 years, and now does triathlons.

reactive
05-07-2008, 16:40
Good info indeed. I want to start a swimming regiment simply to get in shape and lose a few pounds around the waist to go along with eating healthier foods.

Ryanh1801
05-07-2008, 16:45
This was recommended to me when I started DM. It's supposed to be an excellent system to improve your efficiency in the water. The workshops are pricey, but they have a dvd if you're just looking for some pointers on technique.

Total Immersion Swimming (http://www.totalimmersion.net/)

Laughlin, is the man when it comes to swimming. I have never done that program, but have read some articles by him and he makes a lot of good points.

ertechsg
05-07-2008, 17:30
Use you legs get a kick board and do 400? meters or so with just legs. Back when I did the swim team if we didn't use our legs the coach had use doing laps with these damn boards all day

cummings66
05-07-2008, 17:55
Yup, proper head position is down, not looking forwards. The water should be almost covering your head. When you raise it you ruin your form and then you get inefficient.

Total Immersion swimming is a book/dvd that is well worth buying. I have never regretted getting it.

Mtrewyn
05-07-2008, 18:32
Proper head position is to look straight forward not down. The surface of the water should be just above your eyebrows. wearing goggles is key for your comfort

looks like someone beat me to the punch but here it is anyway

There are alot of coaches out there that would disagree with this, check out this website:
Total Immersion Swimming (http://www.totalimmersion.net/)

this is very good if you have not trained so long that your stroke in in "muscle memory"

watch the swimmers this summer and count strokes, the fast ones will have the fewest number of strokes, not always but alot of the time.

It is based on the "longer boat goes faster" thing and moving efficiently in the water, faster strokes is not always better, (sounds like diving it just hit me)

They talk about "pushing your buoy" which is pushing your head down with your upper body, thus lifting your lower body closer to the surface and using the rotation of your body caused by the strokes of your arms to help move your legs.

this is the way I swam in high school on the swim team and we always did fairly well it is alot easer to see than to tell you about the sight has some vids that should help more if you are interested in learning more.

just my 2 psi.

frogman159
05-07-2008, 19:30
Guess I was unclear
How To Position the Head to Swim Freestyle | eHow.com (http://www.ehow.com/how_2125205_position-head-swim-freestyle.html)

This explains the head positioning that I use better than I did originally. See the tips section at the bottom

I also was a former swimmer

Mtrewyn
05-07-2008, 19:45
Like there is a lot of debate ofer this very thing. Some coaches whant this others want the other, it's like the ford chevy thing, no one is right and no one is wrong it all comes down to what works for you.

I personaly like the way that takes less effort, I'm just "lazy" like that, but in the end it all is the same, it's the activity that is good for you not how you do it.

frogman159
05-07-2008, 19:57
it's like the ford chevy thing.

what do you mean? Everyone knows fords suck.....

J/K:smiley36::smiley36:

texdiveguy
05-07-2008, 20:00
Heck, I don't know what all the fuss is about.....geeze Bigg_Budd your 33.....just suck it up and get in those DMC swims....I was in my late 40's and pulled it off with a wooden leg!

Divingguy
05-07-2008, 20:04
Jason: Spend $15 and get the total immersion book. The things I found that made the biggest difference for me were body elongation, reaching, breathing, "gliding", and reducing stroke count per distance traveled. I kept my head down, watched the stripe, and never did get any kind of flip turn going. The night of my swim test I finally got the 450 done in 8:45. Good luck.

elijahb
05-07-2008, 21:11
like others have said try breathing on every third stroke at most, you should practise your flip turns lots before you test for speed, you should swim looking at the bottom of the pool but your chin should not be touching your collar bone, count your strokes and try to make your stroke more efficient,your speed will come with practise and practise kicking lots. I like to practise my flutter kick with a set of fins on.

comet24
05-07-2008, 21:18
Here goes. IT's hard to explain some things over the internet and this is one of them. FWIW I swam competitively for many years. Although a 100 now and I am out of breath.

Don't slap the water with your hands.

For each stroke as your hand enters the water, reach out before starting to pull back. You want to get as much as you can out of each stroke.

Try to find a nice rhythm. No need to try and move your arms and legs as fast as you can.

Kick from the thighs and let the knees bend just a little. If you try to kick with your knees you are only going to tirer yourself out.

Breath as you need to. You can breath every stroke on the same side, every other, or alternate between sides. Just find a nice rhythm. Don't let breathing interfere with the stroke.

Bigg_Budd
05-08-2008, 08:48
I knew posting to this forum would get me the guidance I need. Thanks for all the feedback. I'm going to put your advice to practice, and see what works for me.

To quote texdiveguy, it's time to suck it up and swim...

Thanks again.

ertechsg
05-08-2008, 12:05
how far is the dm swim?

Bigg_Budd
05-08-2008, 12:28
450 meters

wolfen42
05-08-2008, 12:35
Thanks for the great tips. I've been working on my ab entirely too much lately and I need to spend some time swimming back and forth. Working on technique tends to be a good motivational thing for me :)

kayak32
05-21-2008, 18:21
I had to help my husband train for his swim. Having been a competitive swimmer from the age 5 through college and a nationally ranked swimmer at that, it was frustrating watching him struggle. His main problem is he can not keep his back arched and thus keep his but and legs near the surface.

Anyway I agree with much of what has been said. One thing I have not seen mentioned is for most competitive swimmers (Janet Evans aside, she was my teammate and had an unusually stoke that few could copy) stoke speed is not always faster. What is important is that you are constantly moving "new water" The hand enters the water thumb first so you slice into the water the hand is then rotated so it is facing back, you pull straight back until it is about inline with the shoulder, then sweep in slightly while still moving the hand and arm back till just before the hip then sweep back out and take the hand out of the water pinky first again slicing the water. Pulling the hand out or entering palm first is a waste of energy because you are pushing the water upward/downward not back. The hand should come out almost right next to the body to reduce drag. The person who said if you what a good swimmer from underwater it does not look like their hand is moving is correct but your stoke must be perfected beyond the level that most recreational swimmers ever get to. However if you can continually move "new" water you will have a more powerful and efficient stroke.

Another key point is the walls, they are your friend even if you can not do a flip turn. When you push off do so, below the surface, just like you where going to do a vertical jump on land with as much power as you can. Then streamline, streamline, streamline. The streamline is your fastest point in the water. Hands on top of each other arms squeezing your ears face down, feet together. Do not kick until you can feel yourself slowing down, then start to kick (dolphin or flutter which ever is more powerful for you) bring your self to the surface arms still in the streamline position until right before we break the surface. Right as you break the surface start your stoke. Keep in mind not only is the streamline your fast point in the water it is a resting period the only rest you get when you are swimming against the clock.

Good luck.

ChrisA
05-22-2008, 14:23
Use you legs get a kick board and do 400? meters or so with just legs. Back when I did the swim team if we didn't use our legs the coach had use doing laps with these damn boards all day

I've read a few places that if you are not a competivie swimmer, the energy used by the legs is better saved. In other words if you are just and average swimmer you might go faster in 500M timmed swim if you just use a light kick. In other words if you are not in the best shape you have to budget energy usage

The DM swim test does not really require great speed in the water. If you are like many of us, just rying to get through it then what's importent is to not waste energry so you may want to kick just hard enough to keep your feet from draging

Of course this is not good advice for someone who wants to win a race. It's aimed at the out of shape guy who simply wants to finish. If you want to win, the advice I remember from a flat water kayak coach applies: "get off the line fast, pick it up in the meddle then sprint the finish."