Swimming as an exercise for a long time couch potatoe
I am new to the forum. In matter of fact this is my first post.
So, 13 months ago (I thought) I was a healthy male 191cm (6'3") and 135kg (300lbs), who never cared about any sport activities. Then I wanted to change it, I started walking, developing some condition, then fast walking and arrived to 115kg (250lbs) in about a year. Now, I want cut back a little on walking (I am walking in average 1hr, a day) and do some swimming. I am scared of deep water, but I managed to find some children's pools (3-4 feet deep) to try to swim. Actually I have swam at seaside about six years ago, and I did not sink much. When I entered a pool and found out I do float, first try a managed to make was about 45 meters without touching the bottom (breaststroke, with doggy style segments when I lose the axis and start to sink) after a 15 minutes pause I managed to do it twice again. On the next three visits, I have worked out a plan to swim three lengths (15m length), then to pause until the 10 minutes from start are over, then swim 4 lengths and pause again. So the last time I swam 45m, 60m, 45m, 60m, 45m, 60m, a total of 315m for 60 minutes in the pool.
I do plan to find someone who knows what he is doing to teach me the techniques, but first goal is to get rid of the fear, and a coach cannot help me with that. I am at the level where I am not yet able to pull the hand stroke with my hand, so I change the angle of wrists to make it easier on the triceps. The goal I worked out is that I want to be able to swim 10 minutes continuously, which transfers to 120-150m at my current speed. After that I think I'll be ready for a coach and crawl technique.
I started trying to sync my hands and feet, as it gives more speed. I have also tried to swim just with legs one length (hands strait in front), and just with hands (feet joined at heels and lightly bowed knees). One length only hands, other length only legs. Because of my terrible sync I do not see any substantial speed difference between swimming with hands and legs together opposed to swimming just with hands or just with legs.
My long term goals are gaining strength, gaining condition, loosing fear of water, learning proper swim techniques, loosing fat, weight reduction.
Question for you:
Would it be better (in this initial stage) to train lighter and more often (3x a week), or harder 1-2 times a week?
Is there any long term caution about swimming just with legs or just with hands?
Any other advice I have not asked for?