A few questions/comments from a novice swimmer :)

A few questions/comments from a novice swimmer :)

Post by Adam Lasn » Wed, 05 Jul 1995 04:00:00


Hello :)

I have only been reading this group for a short time, but you seems like a
bunch of nice folks, so I hope you don't mind me asking a few novice
questions here, and offering a few comments.

First, a little bit about me.  I'm 24 years old, in moderate shape, with a
moderate amount of swimming experience.  A year ago, I was swimming daily on
a local masters team and doing pretty decently, but then I had to have an eye
surgery, and I didn't return to swimming after that for a variety of reasons.

Out of cardiovascular and, well, vain (body shaping) interests, I've started
swimming 4-6 times a week again.  I don't plan on making great times or
anything... I just want to feel good and tone up a bit.

Here are my questions:
-- How important is it for me to learn to breathe every third stroke?  I've
had a HELL of a hard time trying to breathe normally out of my left side.  
Any hints on how I could get this thing down?
-- How important is it for me to do flip turns?  I used to be able to do them
okay, but I haven't relearned them.
-- How important is workin' the machines (I don't have access to free
weights) in helping complement my swimming workouts?
-- Given my goals of toning and general cardiovascular improvement, should I
focus on sprints, long swims, or both?
-- I'm really only "trained" in the freestyle and backstrokes.  How important
is it for me to learn and finetune other strokes, like butterfly?

MISC COMMENTS:
-- After having mingled with various HS and collegiate athletes, I have
to say that swimmers are by far the most appealing.  I know that it's
sometimes a bit dangerous to generalize like this, but from everything I've
seen, swimmers tend to be well rounded and interesting people.  Even "famous"
swimmers tend to be great folks, with considerably less "obnoxiousness" than
exhibited in many other athletic fields.  For instance, after sending a
well-wishing card to Summer Sanders before the '92 olympics, she sent me a
really nice thank-you postcard back.  Also, some of my friends have known
big-name swimmers at Stanford and other places, and have always commented on
how nice and "down-to-earth" they are.
-- Humorous note of the day:  Be careful about flirting with someone on your
swim team.  While on Masters Swim, I took a liking to a fellow swimmer, and
discretely asked my coach about her.  He responded, "Adam, you can look, but
you damn well better not touch.  That's my girlfriend."  Oops! :)
-- Regarding Speedo's swim radio... it's pretty cool and has good reception,
BUT I've found the earplugs to be a bit uncomfortable/unreliable and I've
also found it annoying that you can't adjust the volume on the radio.

Well, I've rambled on long enough.  I am really looking forward to getting
your feedback and advice (either in this group, or via e-mail), and I think
you for your time.

Oh, and if by chance you have Web access, do take a look at my new web pages.
:)  Current URL is listed in my sig... after July 7,
http://pobox.com/~harmonyguy will work too.

For those of you reading on the 4th, have a great Independence Day :)

 /---------------------------------------------------------------------\
| We are the Music Makers /  A smile costs nothing, yet means so much   |
| We are the Dreamers ___/___Who said you only get what you pay for? :) |
| of Dreams. . .     / ADAM /  http://nickel.ucs.indiana.edu/~alasnik   |

 
 
 

A few questions/comments from a novice swimmer :)

Post by Ray Tayl » Thu, 06 Jul 1995 04:00:00

Quote:

> Here are my questions:
> -- How important is it for me to learn to breathe every third stroke?  I've
> had a HELL of a hard time trying to breathe normally out of my left side.  
> Any hints on how I could get this thing down?

I still have problems with bi-lateral breathing, except it is my right
side. The biggest problem is timing your breathing. Make sure your head is
tilted up (not face down in the water. When your hand is fully extended in
front of you, turn your head and breathe. Go slow. It takes practice, just
keep at it.

I am learning it to be able to swim in a straight line in open water. It
is more efficient if you can swim at the same pace as single sided
breathing, although this is difficult (I get out of breath since I'm
breathing less). Great for lung capacity.

Quote:
> -- How important is it for me to do flip turns?  I used to be able to do them
> okay, but I haven't relearned them.

If you learn how to do a good push-off turn, you don't need the flip
turns. You should know how to do both, however.

Quote:
> -- How important is workin' the machines (I don't have access to free
> weights) in helping complement my swimming workouts?

The value of weight training is a subject with considerable debate. It
would appear that weights do not improve swimming. There are swimmers that
use *** tubing for resistance (I have no experience). At my local YMCA,
the muscleheads in the stroke improvement class could not swim very
quickly or efficiently due to a lack of range of movement in the shoulder
- they can't get a long enough pull.

Quote:
> -- Given my goals of toning and general cardiovascular improvement, should I
> focus on sprints, long swims, or both?

You need both. Go back to a Masters program, you will get cardio
improvement, guaranteed.

Quote:
> -- I'm really only "trained" in the freestyle and backstrokes.  How important
> is it for me to learn and finetune other strokes, like butterfly?

Other strokes will improve your front crawl immesurably. It improves your
sensitivity to how you move through the water. The butterfly really
improves lower back strength, (not to mention general cardio) which in
turn helps your body position during front crawl.

(Misc. comments deleted about how nice swimmers are)

I'm curious, if you were in a Master's program, you should know all this stuff.

Cheers,

--
Ray Taylor                     |  "Where's the kaboom! There was      
Systeme Gestion Visuel         |   supposed to be an Earth-shattering
53 Duke St. Suite 165          |   kaboom!"
Montreal Quebec H3C 2L8 CANADA |   -Marvin the Martian