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  #1  
Old 12-11-2010
NuSwimmerRal NuSwimmerRal is offline
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Location: Raleigh, NC
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NuSwimmerRal
Default Beginner, cannot swim straight down the pool ;(

Hello.
I started in TI training in May 2010 and I have a found a new passion for swimming at 45 years of age. My past swimming experiences were a disaster. With several weeks earlier this year of excellent instruction I have made some progress. I am a new swimmer in training! I really enjoy practicing and I am looking to continue my improvement. I have been working with on my TI swimming at least 3 times a week for the enjoyment and passion!

I am fairly good with Spear-switch (with Sweet-spot breathing), Zen-Switch (with Sweet-spot breathing), and some free style however was only using Sweet-spot type breathing. Only in the last two weeks have I seen some success with rhythmic breathing. I am now able to swim freestyle up to 25-50 continuous yards with rhythmic breathing but things are not as smooth as I want them to be. I am sure many of you have been here as well.

One problem is I do not move straight down the pool. Instead I find I move toward the opposite side I am breathing on. For example if I am breathing on the right I am moving to the left as I go down the pool. This is my first attempt with video and I have up loaded a few short clips.

I am hopeful you will share your experience, suggestions, or point me to some other specific threads for "smoothing things out".

Thank you for your time and sharing.
Kindest regards,
Dan

4 Short Videos (best viewed at 480p or 720p)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YsUeQDe5zsM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hfPDhpL5JVk

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hk5bDP2-yOw

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xx-oGKAjw2k
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  #2  
Old 12-11-2010
CoachBobM CoachBobM is offline
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The biggest thing I noticed is that there is an asymmetry in what you do with your wrists during your recovery. It's clearest in the above-the-water videos.

On both sides, your upper arm is nearly vertical during your recovery, but on your breathing side, your lower arm slopes slightly down from your elbow to your fingertips, while on your non-breathing side, your lower arm is nearly horizontal, and your hand compensates by bending down at the wrist. The result of all this is that your right hand appears to slide into the water a little closer to your head (side-to-side) than your left hand does. Over time, this gradually pulls you to the left.

If you breathe every third stroke, you can focus on trying to make your non-breathing and breathing recoveries as much alike as possible. It may also help if you focus on sliding each hand into the water along your "railroad tracks" and make sure you are envisioning your "railroad tracks" as being the same distance from your head on both sides.


Bob
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  #3  
Old 12-12-2010
Lawrence Lawrence is offline
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Dan, to add to Bob's comments, I would suggest being more assertive in your spearing, meaning (a) spearing at a shallower angle and (b) reaching further. It doesn't look like you're really reaching at all, as opposed to rather tentatively and deliberately placing the recovering hand at its underwater target. This may be costing you propulsion.

In my experience, not swimming in a straight line is invariably the result of not spearing along wide and parallel tracks. I spend a lot of time myself aiming for consistency in this.

Last edited by Lawrence : 12-12-2010 at 06:42 PM.
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  #4  
Old 12-12-2010
NuSwimmerRal NuSwimmerRal is offline
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Bob & Lawrence. Thank you both for the feedback and observations. I will take to heart when I practice tomorrow.

Have a nice weekend.
Blessings,
Dan
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  #5  
Old 12-12-2010
DesertDog DesertDog is offline
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Default Finis snorkel

i got a finis snorkel and within a couple laps I was able to figure out why I wasn't swimming straight. The snorkel gives you the feedback you need to figure out what's going wrong and how to fix it.
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  #6  
Old 12-12-2010
CoachSuzanne CoachSuzanne is offline
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First I have to commend you on having quite a nice stroke as it is. Congratulations.

On your breathing, you are doing a good job of rotatign to air and not lifting your head to get air. HOwever, watch your left arm as you rotate to your right to get air...the left arm is pushing down in the water, and even though I cant see a big push to one side or the other, it's during this stroke that you begin to veer. Even at that, the amount you are veerign is minimal...many would not even notice it at this point.

Try to work on keeping your lead arm patient while rolling to breath, and see if that helps straighten out your stroke at all.

-S
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  #7  
Old 12-13-2010
naj naj is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CoachSuzanne View Post
Try to work on keeping your lead arm patient while rolling to breath, and see if that helps straighten out your stroke at all.

-S
Coach Suzanne, that is exactly what I was going to mention. Dan, your lead hand - or anchor - can help you stay along the left or right track better and thus keep you in a straight line better. Also, I agree that you do not seem to be reaching out in front of you with your lead arm. Act as if you are trying to reach for something in front of you that is just out of your reach and lengthen that body to make it more streamline You will travel farther with less effort. I also feel your stroke is looking relaxed and not bad from where you are at the moment. Heck a lot better than mine was when I started TI two years ago :)

Keep up the great work!
Naji
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  #8  
Old 12-19-2010
splashingpat splashingpat is offline
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splashingpat
Default Merry Christmas ...last minute gifts getters!

Quote:
Originally Posted by DesertDog View Post
i got a finis snorkel and within a couple laps I was able to figure out why
I wasn't swimming straight.
The snorkel gives you the feedback you need to figure out
what's going wrong and how to fix it.
another swimming pool toy that could help one
Oh Santa Claus!
a swimmer can ask for many toys!
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  #9  
Old 12-19-2010
Louis Tharp Louis Tharp is offline
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Hi Dan:

Make life easy on yourself. Look at the black line at the bottom of the pool and breathe every three strokes. This will accomplish two goals. It will keep your head in line with your body because you'll be looking straight down, it will imprint alternate side breathing, and it will keep you swimming in a straight line. Ok, three goals. (My name's Louis Tharp, not Nicolaus Copernicus.)

As you use your eyes to continuously correct your wandering body, your brain will realize you want to swim straight. Whatever you are doing physically to make yourself veer will stop. When you feel confident, swim three strokes in the middle of a length with your eyes closed to confirm that you are swimming in a straight line. Don't do this near the end of the pool or you may be swimming straight -- into the wall. Do this every fourth or fifth length until you are comfortably swimming in a straight line.

Enjoy this and don't overthink, rush it, or be hard on yourself. Your brain is no dummy. It manages to keep you sitting up straight in a chair while you talk, eat and drink, so it's not asking too much for it to instruct your muscles and nervous system on the best way to swim in a straight line.

Louis Tharp
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  #10  
Old 12-19-2010
CoachSuzanne CoachSuzanne is offline
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Great post Lou
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Suzanne Atkinson, MD
Level 3 USAT Coach
USA Paralympic Triathlon Coach
Coach of 5 time USA Triathlon Triathlete of the Year, Kirsten Sass
Steel City Endurance, LTD
Fresh Freestyle

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