Newbie needs advice on swimming (stamina)

Newbie needs advice on swimming (stamina)

Post by ryeston » Fri, 24 May 1996 04:00:00


First of all, I am new here and am deperately seeking advice on how to
build stamina in swimming. I am a 47 year old male who has, for the last
eight months or so, embarked upon a fairly rigourous training program that
consist of running, swimming, and weight training on Cybex machines. I have
lost 20 lbs----with 20 more to go---and have greatly improved my
cardiovascular system----at least so far as running and the stairmaster are
concerned. I regularly run about 15 to 18 miles a week with a long run of
about 5 to 6 miles. I can do this fairly easily. The bottom line is that
I have little stamina when it comes to swimming.

Admittedly, I have just started swimming again---about six weks ago and can
swim about 16 laps ----but I have to rest at the end of each lap (for about
45 to 60 seconds). It is getting a little better, but at this rate, it'll be
years before I can swim a mile, nonstop.

I'd like to train for a triathlon----and in a sense, I have already started.
However, I'd really like to get some advice from some of you experts out there
on how to build up my endurance in the water. I'd especially like to hear
from some of you who might be middle aged and who started out like me and
who have sucessfully completed (in good shape) a marathon length triathlon.
Any help is appreciated in advance.

------Ryestone
      "Any jackass can kick down a barn.
       It takes a carpenter to build one."
              ----Anonymous

 
 
 

Newbie needs advice on swimming (stamina)

Post by WPGeis » Sat, 25 May 1996 04:00:00

A couple of thoughts for what they're worth: the reason you're running out
of gas while swimming (most likely) has less to do with your conditioning
than your technique. My guess is your body position is creating an
excessive amount of drag. As a result, the vast majority of your physical
effort is wasted in fighting the water. My suggestion is to find a
qualified swim coach/instructor or a swim clinic (such as Terry Laughlin's
Total Immersion) to help you learn some basic techniques which will help
you swim smarter rather than harder.
Good luck!  
Bill Geiser * PGC * Creators of "Strokz" * Digital Swim Analysis Watch

 
 
 

Newbie needs advice on swimming (stamina)

Post by BPSulliv » Sat, 25 May 1996 04:00:00

The best way to build swim stamina is to find a slow steady stroke that
you can maintain, and stay with it for as long as you can. When you get
tired, stop and rest, then do it again. DO NOT try and swim fast in the
beginning. You won't be ready, and won't get a good workout. Instead,
crawl along. The key is getting in time in the pool, getting your body
used to spending 20 minutes or so of paddling along and breathing to the
side. Don't think about swimming a mile. Start with thinking about
swimming a half a mile and doing a sprint triathlon to get your started.
Baby steps are even important for us old folk.
Brian Sullivan


 
 
 

Newbie needs advice on swimming (stamina)

Post by Milkphi » Wed, 29 May 1996 04:00:00

The best way to learn how to swim, is, simply TO SWIM.

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.

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.

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
results.

 
 
 

Newbie needs advice on swimming (stamina)

Post by Tim Ivers » Thu, 30 May 1996 04:00:00


|The best way to learn how to swim, is, simply TO SWIM.
|
|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

Very good advice.  One additional point, though.  If the problem isn't
stamina, but new swimmer stress, it can be a good idea to stop now and then
and let your mind relax rather than getting caught in a feedback loop.
Relaxation breaks helped me immensely when I was just starting out.  It's
hard to learn good technique when your brain is stuck on NEED AIR!  ;-)

- Tim Iverson

 
 
 

Newbie needs advice on swimming (stamina)

Post by Kei Ish » Thu, 30 May 1996 04:00:00

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
   results.

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...

Kei.
--

   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