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View Full Version : 200 mts/yards? I can't do it!



Darmok
08-30-2007, 19:21
Hi there!

I'm going to do my open water certification with PADI in about a week (not this but next weekend). I decided to practice some swimming and I realized that 200mts is a lot!!! I think the pool here is maybe 15 mts long and I cant do more than two or three laps without stopping at least for a little bit.... I'm doing free style swimming. What's your recommendation? Should I wait to get certified? It looks like my biggest prob is when I need to turn to do the next lap. Any advice? I'm 28 years old, 180 pounds and I can run on a threadmill without issues!

Just 3 weeks ago I did a Discover Scuba and had no problem, I also snorkeled twice in Cancun without an issue, but the whole no stopping seems to be a problem for me!

Thanks!

brandon
08-30-2007, 19:45
If you're having a problem swimming less than 50 meters without stopping, it sounds like your problem is technique, not necessarily lack of fitness.

Practice a bunch more, or work with a swimming instructor. If all else fails, flop over onto your back and backstroke it. I can swim backstroke forever...

If I remember right, the PADI swim test for OW isn't timed. If it is timed, it has a ridiculously long limit - certainly not anywhere approaching race speeds.

Practice, practice, swim with someone more skilled than you... you can do it, it's not that tough!

-Brandon.

gtjason2000
08-30-2007, 19:46
why do you think the pool is 15 m. most pools are 25 or 50 m unless you are swimming in someones backyard pool. You may be trying to swim too fast. Also are you breathing to the side or are you lifting your head up to breath. If you don't have nice streamlined breathing and are trying to swim with your head out of the water that could make you very tired. I recommend you slow down or try a different stroke. Some of the survival strokes are easier so you can stay afloat longer but not necessarily cover a great distance very rapidly. One of the easiest strokes is side stroke or two armed backstroke with a frog kick. I also find a nice slow breast stroke fairly relaxing. If slowing down doesn't work and you have no idea what I am talking about with the other strokes you may need to take some swim lessons to refine your stroke.

FishFood
08-30-2007, 19:47
I didnt have a swim test with my PADI OW cert...? Maybe my instructor forgot.

Either, way, practice some different techniques.

Also, I wonder if the swim test is with fins? That would make a huge differnece.

Jaymeany
08-30-2007, 19:52
No fins, no time and any stroke. Double check that distance on the pool. It is really easy to swim too fast, take your time and use different strokes (different muscles)

awap
08-30-2007, 20:09
Try a side stroke and/or a breast stroke. I'd bet you couldn't take more than 10 minutes if you tried.

cgvmer
08-30-2007, 20:16
I can swim all day with breaststroke, but remember slow down it's not a race!

downunder
08-30-2007, 20:19
I didnt have a swim test with my PADI OW cert...? Maybe my instructor forgot.

Either, way, practice some different techniques.

Also, I wonder if the swim test is with fins? That would make a huge differnece.

WOW! Yeah, mark that up as a "forgot"! Hope the instructor remembered to talk about slow ascent, decompression, etc!:smiley29:

TxScubaBear
08-30-2007, 20:22
Not timed, and you can use ANY swim stroke you want, slowly pace yourself, if there is a couple of you- agree to pace each other; we did in ours and both did good without feeling like we were beat up afterwards!

FishFood
08-30-2007, 20:37
I didnt have a swim test with my PADI OW cert...? Maybe my instructor forgot.

Either, way, practice some different techniques.

Also, I wonder if the swim test is with fins? That would make a huge differnece.

WOW! Yeah, mark that up as a "forgot"! Hope the instructor remembered to talk about slow ascent, decompression, etc!:smiley29:

Yeah, he covered that...

No faster than 4 ft per second.... right?

brandon
08-30-2007, 20:45
I didnt have a swim test with my PADI OW cert...? Maybe my instructor forgot.

Either, way, practice some different techniques.

Also, I wonder if the swim test is with fins? That would make a huge differnece.

WOW! Yeah, mark that up as a "forgot"! Hope the instructor remembered to talk about slow ascent, decompression, etc!:smiley29:

Yeah, he covered that...

No faster than 4 ft per second.... right?

Heheh... right.

Let me guess... Darwin's School of Diving? =)

-B.

ScubaToys Larry
08-30-2007, 20:47
No faster than 4 ft per second.... right?

Uh... close...

ScubaToys Larry
08-30-2007, 20:48
The main reason people have a hard time swimming is they are having their feet too low and their head too high. Makes you plow instead of skim.

Actually the same problem underwater most divers have!

Darmok
08-30-2007, 21:15
I travel for work so I tried practicing at the pool in my hotel. I measured it with my arms and it seemed to be 15 mts, but I called the hotel to verify now and they say it's 12 mts :-(

Anyways, I will try all of your advice... and this weekend I will talk to my LDS and see what they say about the swimming test...

Just one more question, can you stop? I think my problem is my breathing technique, I'm swimming free style and breathing to my side, but I dont think I'm getting enough air, also, I cant seem to slow down, or is it full speed or nothing... I can swim on my back forever also, but that seems like cheating... I havent tried breaststroke since I was a little kid, but I will give it a try,... if I can remember how it goes... this weekend I'm getting my snorkel, fins and mask, I might tried to do it with just the snorkel and mask (no fins) to see if I can really blame my breathing technique... I might need to put this off until I can swim this without stopping, I think if PADI asks for it, there must be a reason...

thansk so much for your comments, one more question, can you stop or is it nonstop? I think if I stop every 30 meters, relax for a sec and start again I could do it....

Anyone ever failed the swimming test here?

FishFood
08-30-2007, 21:21
I can swim on my back forever also, but that seems like cheating...

Why's that? I imagine the swim test is to prove that you have basic surivival skills. Swimming is swimming is swimming when it comes to getting out of harms way.

medic001918
08-30-2007, 21:35
12 meters is only roughly 36 feet. It doesn't sound like that's right at all. Maybe they were saying 12 feet deep? But a 12 meter pool just sounds tiny for a hotel.

Shane

greyzen
08-30-2007, 21:36
Swim test isn't to prove you can outrun a shark my friend (you can't)
It's to prove that should you get stuck away from the boat you have basic ability to become mobile without your gear/etc.

Imagine how many people think scuba is getting gear and just walking along the ocean floor... they never learn to swim and as such could get very very dead.

DivingsInMyBlood
08-30-2007, 21:37
dont be shy to go on your back and kick your legs for a bit to give yourself a rest.

finflippers
08-30-2007, 21:44
Take your time and float for a minute or two when you need to until you get it done. It is just basically a survival test for endurance, they are not worry how you get there, just that you can get there.

Kingpatzer
08-30-2007, 22:48
First, remember that it's not timed. You can go as slow as you want to, so go easy. It shouldn't be something that wears you out.

Second, relax -- relaxing helps you float better and makes it easier. So go easy, it shouldn't be something that wears you out!

Third, there is no stroke requirement, if you do it all doggy paddle, then that'll work too! So do whatever combination of strokes you need to do to get through.

Lastly, something I told my son when he said he couldn't do this (at 11) the secret to swimming any distance, be it 200m or 2 miles is simple -- keep swimming. Think Dora "just keep swimming, swimming . . ."

Simply don't stop. If you can swim 1 lap, you can swim 20 laps. All you have to do is go nice and easy and don't stop.

thor
08-30-2007, 23:03
I feel your pain. When I was much younger, I took classes to be certified as a lifeguard, but my endurance was not so great. I felt that I couldn't swim very long without that feeling like I was getting really tired and slowly sinking. It was either full steam ahead or tread water, with nothing in between. A couple of things helped. 1) Relaxing and knowing I wasn't going to drown or embarass myself. 2) cupping my hands and keeping my fingers together when i swam 3) using my legs more . I practiced a lot and became quite the little swimmer.

Also, you are probably going to be in a wetsuit, which helps tremendously, it's almost like cheating. Don't be afraid to use a resting stroke, as previously mentioned, like backstroke, sidestroke.

Darmok
08-30-2007, 23:51
I really appreciate all the good advice! I feel encouraged now... I'll do the class and either swim anyway I can for 200 mts or until they turn the lights out becuase it's time to go home or hope that the instructor "forgets" the swimming test like with FishFood :smiley32::smiley23:

Charlotte Smith
08-31-2007, 05:31
Doesn't it say in the book that you COULD do the swim with gear on? You just have to swim a little farthar??? I had no trouble but my husband feels your pain...he was just trying too hard so I finished mine and went over and coached him through the rest of his swim by swimming along side of him...

ScubaToys Larry
08-31-2007, 06:14
I'm not sure, but I think that Padi will allow you to do a longer distance with mask snorkel and fins... It's been a long time since I was a Padi instructor - so maybe one can help.

As a Naui facility, we have some even more difficult swim test... you would have to be able to do 50 feet - about 16 meters, on one breath underwater. Occasionally we have someone who has a problem with that - but it does not have to be done before the class... just anytime before we finish. So we can let them practice and try each day until they get it.

Jaymeany
08-31-2007, 06:20
They do allow you to do that but you do have to go farther...I think 50% more but I'm not positive.

tonka97
08-31-2007, 06:53
Hi there!

I'm going to do my open water certification with PADI in about a week (not this but next weekend). I decided to practice some swimming and I realized that 200mts is a lot!!! I think the pool here is maybe 15 mts long and I cant do more than two or three laps without stopping at least for a little bit.... I'm doing free style swimming. What's your recommendation? Should I wait to get certified? It looks like my biggest prob is when I need to turn to do the next lap. Any advice? I'm 28 years old, 180 pounds and I can run on a threadmill without issues!

Just 3 weeks ago I did a Discover Scuba and had no problem, I also snorkeled twice in Cancun without an issue, but the whole no stopping seems to be a problem for me!

Thanks!

Turn over on your back, keep your chest partially inflated, relax and swim unlimited distances.

JCAT
08-31-2007, 07:01
You can do this. Slow down and be graceful, don't waste energy.

You can do this!!

gtjason2000
08-31-2007, 07:31
I would not recommend using the snorkel. It makes things harder because you have to work more to breath. You will learn later that it increases your dead air space.


As a Naui facility, we have some even more difficult swim test... you would have to be able to do 50 feet - about 16 meters, on one breath underwater.

Wow that would be hard for some of the people I have seen in PADI classes. As for me I can swim over 50m on one breath but not underwater, much easier to swim on the surface.

Formerly 45yroldNewbie
08-31-2007, 07:38
You can check the requirements in your PADI OW CrewPak but I'm pretty sure that you can either swim 200 tds/mtr without gear or snorkel 300yds/mtrs. Now your LDS/Instructor may have their own preferences but I'm pretty sure that is PDAI's standard. For my OW they let us do the snorkel swim one day then made us float/tread for 12 minutes another day. Our instructor challenged us to do the DM float which requires you keep your hands out of the water for like 5 or 10 minutes during the float. Harder than it sounds!

You can and will do fine. Don't let the challenge get you all worked up. There is plenty of time and nobody except you is going to grade you!

Let us all know how you do!!:smiley20:

Kingpatzer
08-31-2007, 08:03
PADI allows you to swim 300 m with fins, mask and snorkel.

I would not recommend this. Snorkel use increases dead air space and can increase your co2 load. If you're already having problems, that can just make it worse.

Keep your feet floating and relaxed and kick easy and just keep swimming and you can do it.

unclepooty
08-31-2007, 11:00
Swimming the 300m with snorkel and fins (again slowly) may help you relax knowing you can breath easy. Also helped me accept idea of breathing with my face underwater as I had not used a snorkel much. Our Instructor gave us the option. Good luck! you'll do fine

scubasamurai
08-31-2007, 12:27
breast stroke is the easiest, just make sure you don't have your weight belt on!! take your time, practice if you can but do it gradually, no going out the night before and doing 10 laps.

diverdad
08-31-2007, 21:35
i had a hard time making my swim as well i made it about half way then i started getting tired so i rolled over on my back and finished like that(by the way dont start working out right before you start your certification i was so sore that is why i had a hard time)

pnevai
08-31-2007, 21:56
For PADI it is any stroke and no time limit. Swim as usual just alternate if you feel that doing it all on your back is cheating, do one length normal, the return trip on your back. Just knowing you can do this will make you relax and slow down. Just alternate at any sequence you wish. It make it look to others that you are not being challanged and you won't feel like you are cheating. Before you know it the instructor will tell you OK you've finished.

Of course this begs me to ask, are you comfortable in deep water? There is a water threading requirements that is timed, at least there was when I took my OW. 10 minutes if I recall.

Jaymeany
08-31-2007, 21:58
hydrate!!! Pools are cold because you do sweat without realizing it in the water. Make sure you are very hydrated (start increasing your water intake 1 week before) before the swim.

Disneymom
08-31-2007, 22:00
Darmok ~ My experience with the swim was pretty bad, too. I'm significantly older and I guarantee in way worse shape than you.
I certified PADI, and we had the choice. I chose mask/snorkel/fins. No wetsuit. The swim kicked my butt, but that's because I was so out of shape to begin with. I managed to complete it, though! Just remember, slow deep breaths, and long, slow fin strokes - no bicycling! That way you're not overexerting. After that pool session, I started putting in exercise laps in my pool - with mask/snorkel/fins.

I've seen a couple comments recommending no snorkel - I won't argue that there's more dead air space, but I think it's really a matter of which works best for you. Fins should make your swim easier. Remember - not times. They probably won't let you take a 'break' mid-swim, at least mine didn't. Just take it slow and easy.

Whatever you do, good luck! You'll get through it!

chewyjr15
08-31-2007, 23:25
200 yds really isnt that hard to swim, of course im young 18 and in decent shape i can swim 10-15 laps in an olympic pool with no breaks doing a breast stroke with a frog kick coming up for a breat after every stroke its easy if you take it slow and nice deep breaths with big exhales practice this in your pool and its really a very easy swim technique that works well and wont exert you to much.

have fun

chinacat46
09-01-2007, 03:00
200 yd swim or 300 yd w/mask, snorkel & fin untimed. The only time PADI has ever timed me was for DM. Instructor you have to swim 800 yds w/mask, snorkel & fins but it's untimed where as in the DM class it's timed and the time matters

scubasamurai
09-01-2007, 08:34
my instructor does 20 minutes for the tread ( i think) i saw her doing a dm class wheni was doing rescue. also if you have a wetsuit on, she makes you wear your weights to counter the neoprene..

Subaqua
09-04-2007, 12:40
I think that you probably do too fast. Have you tried the "Breaststroke"? Some persons that were not in too good shape used this style during my certification and did it fine.

CompuDude
09-04-2007, 18:51
When is your test?

I agree with the others here. Stop trying to do the crawl... that's designed for sprinting, not the long haul. Breast stroke, mixed with the back stroke, at a VERY slow, relaxed pace, and you'll get through it no problem.

Don't fight the water. Just move slowly through it, and you'll have much easier time of it. Remember that there is no time limit. Imagine you're in a pool at your buddy's house and you're just cruising slowly to the other side of the pool to grab a cold one. No need for hurry.

jwdizney
09-04-2007, 19:08
I have pondered the same dilemma... i'm not a strong swimmer to begin with, which was a deterrent to even considering scuba for a long time. PADI allows 300 m w/ mask/fins/snorkel (no wetsuit) so i've been training in our backyard pool to prepare for my own OW class. it's helping me build strength and endurance, plus confidence in snorkeling! the first few times it was long but not extremely difficult. now I am very comfortable at much greater distance! it also helps build leg strength and fin technique!

My biggest concern was the 10 minute tread. or as some call it "ten minutes, no drown". i've gotten more comfortable and proficient with my water skills in preparing for the OW. of course, we have the advantage of a pool. if you have one, or can get to one, i recommend it!

You'll do great! just relax, be confident, and enjoy the trip!:smiley20:

ScubaGir1
09-04-2007, 19:25
I was a competitive swimmer for 13 years, so I've seen my fair share of people doing the wrong technique or starting off like a bat outta h*** LOL

My advise is to go to the pool and play around by swimming any way you want, but get across the pool. Another thing you can do is buy a cheap kickboard and practice kicking back and forth across the pool. Your legs are your main "power-house" when swimming.

And freestyle (or some people call it the crawl?) CAN be a sprinting style, but my event was the 500yd. race and let me tell you...its not a sprint LOL (I also did the 1650m event).

Breaststroke is the most soothing, easy-going stroke you can do. But practice your kick, otherwise it can be a pain in the @ss (and I've actually seen people go backwards LOL).

CompuDude
09-04-2007, 20:06
I was a competitive swimmer for 13 years, so I've seen my fair share of people doing the wrong technique or starting off like a bat outta h*** LOL

My advise is to go to the pool and play around by swimming any way you want, but get across the pool. Another thing you can do is buy a cheap kickboard and practice kicking back and forth across the pool. Your legs are your main "power-house" when swimming.

And freestyle (or some people call it the crawl?) CAN be a sprinting style, but my event was the 500yd. race and let me tell you...its not a sprint LOL (I also did the 1650m event).

Breaststroke is the most soothing, easy-going stroke you can do. But practice your kick, otherwise it can be a pain in the @ss (and I've actually seen people go backwards LOL).
I agree, breast stroke and back stroke combined are the way to go. Switching it up uses different muscles and can make it go easier. Being on your back for a few moments can also help you catch your breath a little easier, if should the OP find himself breathing too hard.

Swim team level people consider freestyle (aka the American Crawl) to be a marathon stroke, but people who swim at a swim team level aren't posting on dive boards seeking help to make it 200 yards. :) Thus my comments were more aimed at those needing help. ;)

Given the OPs claim of decent general shape and doing well on the treadmill, however, it's not an issue of physical capability, it's just figuring out the right technique, and making sure it's not being swum like a race.

DivingsInMyBlood
09-04-2007, 20:10
Doesn't it say in the book that you COULD do the swim with gear on? You just have to swim a little farthar??? I had no trouble but my husband feels your pain...he was just trying too hard so I finished mine and went over and coached him through the rest of his swim by swimming along side of him...

padi lets you but you need to add 2 more full length laps i think

dludwig
09-04-2007, 20:17
When I started my SCUBA training, I was really out of shape. I didn't realize how out of shape I was until then. So I took a membership at the local Y & got my butt into the pool. I'm no where near ready for competive swimming but I have made a lot of progress because of the repetition. I have no intention of competition. Just to get in & stay in better shape. The best way to learn to do it is to DO IT. Swimming is a sport that requires a lot of practice but it is worth it to me.

robjoubert
09-13-2007, 21:53
No fins, no time and any stroke. Double check that distance on the pool. It is really easy to swim too fast, take your time and use different strokes (different muscles)


Our LDS that runs the PADI OW cert has said that PADI requires 200 yds without fins or 300 yds with fins - are they correct?

Formerly 45yroldNewbie
09-13-2007, 21:59
No fins, no time and any stroke. Double check that distance on the pool. It is really easy to swim too fast, take your time and use different strokes (different muscles)


Our LDS that runs the PADI OW cert has said that PADI requires 200 yds without fins or 300 yds with fins - are they correct?

Yes. You get to use your mask and snorkel too for the 300 yd swim too.

DZorn00
09-14-2007, 07:16
My friend gets to use the snorkel fins and mask but has to swim farther. It is all about the back stroke. If you get tired its easy to rest and then pick up again or just use your legs, it takes some time but it is very easy and comfortable to do it that way.. Hope things go well....

ScubaJenn81
09-14-2007, 10:06
When I took mine, we had to wear our scuba gear while doing the long distance swim. It makes a big difference when you have on flippers and do not have to turn your head to breath.

liuk3
09-14-2007, 15:46
When you get tired, just float on your back and rest. Then, just flip back over to your front when you're ready to continue. You'll have no problem.

Stingray Brett
09-14-2007, 16:35
For my padi dive you can use snorkel fins and mask

But then they make it 300 yds. with all of that stuff

CompuDude
09-14-2007, 17:09
I pretty much consider it cheating if you NEED to take your swim test using mask and snorkel.

The reason that option is there is because in some climates and locations, it's not possible to do the test in anything other than open water conditions, requiring exposure protection, etc. I've particularly heard this from some folks from England... all of their work is done in frigid lakes.

In a warm pool, if you NEED that extra gear as a crutch, I highly recommend getting some extra swimming lessons from somewhere before going any further with scuba.

gtjason2000
09-15-2007, 13:39
I think its harder to swim with a snorkel due to increased dead air space but maybe just when you are trying to swim fast like trying to get under 13 min on the dm 800.

Boris42
10-02-2007, 15:07
I admit, this one messed with me at first. I've never had a problem swimming as far as I needed to. I just HATE swimming laps. For some reason I tend to push myself and get winded. I took the YMCA cert. course and had to do 200 yards in and 300 yards out.

The 200 almost killed me! I was pushing way too hard. I knew it wasn't timed, but I still pushed. For the final swim test I forced myself to relax and just take my time. My instructor insisted that a couple of the laps be freestyle but I did the rest on my back and side. Once I just relaxed it was cake.

I hate to admit it, but it was this stupid swim test that kept me from getting certified 25 years ago. Glad I finally overcame my resistance and just did it.

Guess it had something to do with a really cute SO that loves to dive to get me over it. Glad I did, we've logged 8 dives in the last 3 weeks and I'm loving every minute underwater.

namabiru
10-02-2007, 23:58
You can use any stroke you want, and it's not timed. So as long as you keep going, you can make the 200 easily. Meanwhile, just keep training. Serious. For personal fitness gain, I started looking at the DM requirements, and swimming 400 m.

Another thing *is* technique. I have no technique, so the 400 killed me. Literally. But I kept working, and my times kept getting a little faster, and I started feeling better.

You'll get there. Once again, it's not timed, so they're not looking for Olympic swimmers--they're looking for someone who could save themselves or help themselves in the water should something happen. It's also just basic water comfort.