Just some humble remarks from someone who began to crawl this year for the
first time (having done all sprint tris w/ *** stroke...)
The best way to learn how to swim, is, simply TO SWIM.
Totally agree with that one - just to get a feeling for the water.
This means, instead of taking that 45-60 sec. break after every lap, keep
going. >FORCE< yourself to swim. At first, try to go to laps, then three
at a time, then four, etc. It will be very difficult at first, but after
a few sessions of this, your body will adapt very quickly to the new
muscular behavior and energy/oxygen demands. I think all of us can
remember a time when we were beginning to swim and would be*** off of
the wall panting for air.
Since I was like that a couple of weeks ago (swim 50m and then panting for air
for a minute or so) I cannot fully agree with this advice. Instead a couple of
points that helped me:
- First off, get your leg kick straight! From the beginning of the year till
last week friday (to be exact :^) I just kicked around, often kicking more
than 6 kicks per stroke cycle (right-left arm). Result: never could swim
more than 100m straight w/o pausing.
Then last friday I saw someone doing the two-kick (kick right leg-pull left
arm-kick left leg-pull right arm), mimicked the movemend, and surprise!
could swim 200m straight w/o pausing! The legs not only pull a lot of power
but also heighten your drag..
- Second, as written several times in RST, exhale properly. I first read in
"Swim Bike Run" by Town/Kearney (great book, BTW!) *not* to exhale all the
air just in case that e.g. a wave hinders you to inhale. BUT: for a beginner
this is IMHO a no-no! You first have to learn to exhale (almost :) every bit
of air underwater and than inhale as soon as you're head is above. With a
bit of training (timing) you should get enough air.
- Third, I read everything I could find about swimming form etc., but nothing
helps more than someone telling you the right things. Well, actually, for me
it was good to know in advance *theoretically* how to move properly, and then
let me show how to swim *in practice*. This way I could connect the read stuff
to the actual feeling in the water, but your mileage may vary.
A lot of RSTers praise the Masters Swim near you (unfortunately only in the US
and Canada) as well as the Total Immersion Workshop.
Also, make sure you go slow. Go >VERY< slow. When you feel your
heartrate increasing, go slower. When you reach a level of speed where
you can swim without stopping, stay at that level for awhile with your
workouts. Use this level as a base speed.
Cannot wholeheartedly support this either: I already swam so slow that it was
more of a 'dead man floating' but still had trouble doing more than 50m at a
time. I'd rather suggest to first concentrate on the above mentioned techniques,
and afterward go like that.
After that all the nice training games (swim golf, swim with fists, one arm
swim, etc.) will better your swim.
Whatever you do, >FORCE< yourself to swim. The best way to get better is
to keep thinking of the phrase, "Sink or Swim." In a literal sense, you
will either do one or the other - and I think you'll be surprised at the
Well, for some people this may work, at least for me this made things even worse:
I forced myself and it got worse.. I'd rather suggest have fun doing it, and have
someone look after you/swim with you so that you get some encouragement!
Just my 2 Pfennig worth...
TU Berlin, FB Informatik, Sekr. FR5-10, Franklinstr. 28/29, 10587 Berlin
"I'm not dumb. I just have a command of throughly useless information" Calvin
"All this modern technology makes people try to do everything at once" Hobbes