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gladtobedifferent 08-16-2011 10:42 AM

Like the Thread - how do I swim a mile
Ok - so I can do 400 m in one go. I can do 1000m in a swim session (eg 200m, 100m x 7, 50 x 2) and am doing 2 sessions a week. I am not sure how I can get to swim a mile - which is my next goal.

I am a slow swimmer (a lot faster than I was though), doing 100m in about 2mins 25 and doing around 25-28 spl for 25m and a stroke rate of 21-23.

Appreciate any tips or suggestions of a plan and practise I should be doing to try and get to that 1 mile distance.


Richardsk 08-16-2011 05:26 PM

It seems to me that if you can do 400m in one go then you can already swim 1500m. Just keep swimming. But to convince yourself of this you may have to try first swimming 500m, 600m, and so on.

I am far from being an expert, but I think you would be better off working to lower your SPL and for the time being stick to swimming shorter distances with greater ease and if possible swim more than twice a week.

For the time being I would not try to swim faster but concentrate on swimming with greater relaxation.

Just the thoughts of an old slow swimmer.

gladtobedifferent 08-16-2011 06:44 PM

I have got my SPL down a lot since I started, and am definately not focused on speed at the moment.

I want to swim a mile so that I know that I can do it - think its a bit like running your first 10k/6 miles - seems daunting to ever imagine doing it when you take up running, then you find you are running it once a week, doing half marathons etc.

I know that once I know I can do 1 mile that doing 400 m will seem a lot easier and then I will then focus on doing distance on one swim a week and technique and speed on the other 2 sessions. I want to be doing aroun 2k per swimming session - whatever the combination/focus in a session.

Agree about uping the sessions per week - but being a triathlete, working mum and running a house etc I find it tough to do 2 swims, 2 20k bike and 3 to 4 runs per week - which is all I am managing at the moment. Also with all the kids off school the local pools are packed with kids jumping in during the lane sessions (which they are not supposed to) and is very annoying!!

A bit skint at the moment so cant afford to pay for lessons. NOt sure how to reduce my SPL below what I have already done - hence I am trying to consolidate where I am at the moment.

I am fairly relaxed when I swim, I dont use my legs but i think you can never be 'too' relaxed - so something I need to constantly remind myself. But you make an excellent point on that.

Richardsk 08-16-2011 07:34 PM

Hi gladtobe different

I gather that you have already seen the post that suggests SPl ranges for different heights, skill levels etc. When I started the TI journey a few years ago I was taking at least thirty strokes to cover 25m. Now I can usually do it in less than twenty and my best is fifteen or sixteen, but I think that's with too much gliding, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, I think, if you don't incorporate it as a permanent feature of your technique.

I used to be 5' 11" but now it seems I'm nearer 5' 9" having shrunk a bit with age (or too much immersion in chlorinated water) and according to the scheme between 16 and 18 strokes would be about right. Maybe I'll get there soon.

Watching lots of good swimmers and trying to swim with that fluency may help. If you only watched Shinji, Terry and Sun Yang you would probably be on the right track.

Alex-SG 08-16-2011 07:38 PM

AGREE with Richard 100%.

Somehow people think that you build up the distance gradually, 50m at a time or so. In my case, when I could swim 1 mile, there was some kind of threshold (200-400m) beyond which I could just keep on going.

SPL=25 for a 25m pool means that your SL (Stroke Length)=1m. That is too low. If I were you I would use a tempo trainer and train myself to swim at slower stroke rates but with more glide.

My role model is Shinji, SR=1.40, SPL=12

Anybody with a SPL>20 can enjoy improvement in a short amount of time.

gladtobedifferent 08-16-2011 10:01 PM

Tempo trainer
Ok - first time I have been given this advice and it sounds spot on - where and how do I get a tempo trainer ?
And for someone as slow as me how do I use it to help me get better?

Really appreciate you guys spending time in your responses. Let me know re the above

Alex-SG 08-17-2011 05:10 AM


Originally Posted by gladtobedifferent (Post 21488)
Ok - first time I have been given this advice and it sounds spot on - where and how do I get a tempo trainer ?
And for someone as slow as me how do I use it to help me get better?

Really appreciate you guys spending time in your responses. Let me know re the above

You can get the TEMPO TRAINER either on the Total Immersion website store or on other on-line stores. Just google Finis Tempo Trainer.

What do you mean by Stroke Rate of 21-23? The Tempo Trainer scale is more like:
SR=1.0 ( means 1 hand entry every 1 second) - quite fast
SR=2.0 (means 1 hand entry every 2 seconds) - extremely slow

The faster tempo you set, the faster your arms with turn which means less glide and more difficult to have a coordinated freestyle movement.

I am personally targeting 3 Tempo Trainer rates:
SR=1.20 --> Faster pace, end of an Open Water race
SR=1.40 --> Leisure pace, start of an open water race
SR=1.50 - SR=1.60 --> When doing Drills, to test my balance

BY the way, we assume you are familiar with TI drills from the DVD (to learn balance, streamlining and propulsion).

ALSO: If you want to have an idea about your current STROKE RATE, ask someone to time you taking 10 strokes and then divide by 10.

Keep us updated. ALEX

gladtobedifferent 08-17-2011 09:31 PM

Stroke Rate
Hi, my stroke rate is 1.7 which is really slow - which reflects my focus on not swimming fast. So maybe I need to up this. However, I know if I try to swim faster that it does not help my technique but does help my breathing!!

I agree with you that I need to increase my stroke length but worried about a conflict between trying to do that and swimming a bit faster, and get nearer to 1.4 !!

I do feel that I am under the water for a long time (I breathe every four strokes) -

guessing I should increase the distance of each stroke first and then try to get my stroke rate down from 1.7 to nearer 1.4 ?

gladtobedifferent 08-17-2011 09:32 PM

Yes, am familiar with the drills but maybe need to go back to doing more of them.

gladtobedifferent 08-17-2011 09:56 PM

My maths is rubbish
Ok - redone my maths

28 strokes in 40 seconds (for 25m) so 10 strokes takes 40 sec /2.8 = 1.43

I have done this with a whole range of different logs for me and they are all in the 1.38 to 1.45 range.

So guessing that I should work on my stroke length and my catch ??

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