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Old 07-13-2015
segressel54 segressel54 is offline
Junior Member
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 6
Default How do I do more lengths?!

I am working on increasing my laps. I use to be only able to do one lap before stopping (25m). Since then I have concentrated on my inhale and exhale technique, have tried relaxing my head and neck in the water, slowing down my strokes. I am now able to do two lengths, stop, 2 lengths, stop, etc.
I want to be able to push it further and do more laps without stopping but my heart rate gets so high I feel like I have to stop.

Is this normal? When will I be able to push through this "wall"? It is getting frustrating. Any suggestions?
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Old 07-13-2015
Richardsk Richardsk is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 1,380

A trick that has been suggested before is the following:

You know you can swim two lengths.

Swim two lengths as easily as you can, and when you come to the wall, instead of stopping, turn and push off. When you surface, either take one stroke or stand up, depending on how you feel. You have now broken the two-lap barrier, which is probably more psychological than physical.

From this position you could then try swimming the rest of the length, turning and swimming your usual two lengths. You have now almost swum three lengths.

Another possible approach is to swim your two lengths, turn, roll on your back and swim a length of backstroke or breaststroke, if either of those are in your swimming armoury. Most people find back or breast easier because breathing is easier. I certainly do.
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Old 07-13-2015
CoachStuartMcDougal's Avatar
CoachStuartMcDougal CoachStuartMcDougal is offline
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 1,353

Hi segressel54,

This is the most common problem with new and novice swimmers, and often swimmers that have been struggling for years. Time to turn off the busy kick. Lot's of kick is the most common culprit and where the o2 demand is greatest (the legs). Quiet the kick. If your hips are low increasing drag profile, effort goes up crawling your way across the length. You will need to learn the skill of balance in both drill and freestyle to build a solid foundation that doesn't trigger fast arms and busy legs to remain stable.

The Ulta Efficient Freestyle Tookit (eBook and videos) is the best place to start with the progression building a solid platform, *Balance* that will allow you to be streamline and slip through the water with far less effort than you are currently experiencing.

Enjoy the journey!


Last edited by CoachStuartMcDougal : 07-13-2015 at 05:09 PM.
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Old 07-19-2015
Mike from NS Mike from NS is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 551
Mike from NS

Hi segressel54,

I started a thread a couple of years ago on this subject. The thread, which went on for 11 pages was titled " a question regarding "continuance"".

There were many helpful suggestions made --

I think my personal greatest hindrance to swimming lap after lap is a level of dedication less that what it should be. With greater dedication in combination with all that was suggested, I feel my continuance would be .... continuous.

I have improved quite a bit and 50 M is matter of fact still but much more is a struggle. Now that I am back at the "summertime" pool I will be working on this each day.

All the best ...
If you're not swimming; then you should be skiing......
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Old 07-19-2015
Streak Streak is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 376

Mike I was in the same position as you and others.
I was also doing 2 lengths at a time and resting for no real reason other than thinking I needed to. I did this for a year or so.

Then one day I arrived at the pool and said to myself enough of this. I am in the water for 30 minutes but spending more time resting than swimming. So I just got in and swam 4 x 25. After realizing it was not so bad I slowly started increasing.

This was before TI. Now in the same time I get a whole lot more lengths done with improved DPS.

So yes Mike, get more dedicated and swim more laps!
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Old 07-20-2015
lloyddinma lloyddinma is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: NYC
Posts: 169

Hey Segressel54,

the technique will help. But there is still a component of stamina that comes from swimming consistently over time. This I believe explains that guy in the pool, swimming with bad form, but is able to do countless laps.

He has been swimming for years and conditioned his heart and lungs.


Stillness is the greatest revelation.
-- Lao Tzu
The light of the body is the eye.
-- J. Ch__st.
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Old 07-20-2015
junkman junkman is offline
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 54

I ride bikes and can go for miles slightly running a slight oxygen debt. I swim a lap and stop but have an oxygen debt lower that what I can continue to function with on the bike.

I "think" the trick is simply to turn and continue swimming while maintaining whatever is my current focal point. Tomorrow's focal point is weak side breathing while staying level, not coming up for air and continuing as much forward motion as possible when breathing.

I seem to travel further when not breathing and everything I read points to losing streamline. The answer is ALWAYS streamlining. Whatever takes you off path or sticks out and drags must be put back in line. Simple concept...difficult to implement.
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