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  #1  
Old 08-20-2013
kspindler kspindler is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2013
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kspindler
Default How long will it take

I recently decided to start participating in triathlons and worked through the TI freestyle program with a local TI coach. I'm doing okay with the drills but I'm still unable to swim a 25 yard lap without getting frustrated. I may just be a slow learner, but after how many days/weeks/months can I expect to have a breakthrough moment and focus on increasing my distance and truly swimming rather than working on drills. My primary issue is the overuse of my legs, which results in too much exerted energy and my legs sinking. Any guidance or advice on what to focus on would be appreciated.
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  #2  
Old 08-21-2013
Rincewind Rincewind is offline
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It varies, but it would be really hard for anybody here to answer that since they havent seen you swim... If you already worked with a coach, he/she is probably the best person to assess you.
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  #3  
Old 08-21-2013
CharlesCouturier CharlesCouturier is offline
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It will take about a year, if you stick to being supervised.

Easiest way to cut some learning curve time is to be get some coaching.

If you calm down and slow down you should reach perpetual swimming within 4-6months in the pool, then you'll feel confident and well, your ability to adapt open water is depending on how often you will visit lakes.

You'll need to work on both to do a triathlon. In the pool to learn and focus, and in the lake to adapt otherwise you may feel very confident in the pool and panic open water.

I am unaware about your age though, and medical condition. The above estimate generally holds true on my end of things as a swim class lasts 3 months, and that you would typically need either 1 or 2 to complete the learning.

So try to schedule your first tri late this summer.

Other very important thing. If you turn the whole first tri event into a family/relatives happening etc, you should seriously consider testing a lower key race by yourself without all that extra pressure first.

You may place your bike in the transition zone. But just register for the swim. If you make it to T1 other than being brought back in a boat, up to you to decide to finish the triathlon if you want. If you fail that first step, do not worry and register to another race.

Consider evaluating the probable conditions for your first few races, avoid currents ideally. Waves are fine, current can be hard to swim against. So it's better to avoid rivers.

As an aside. Triathlon is blooming here up north, so much so that all of our WTC events sell like hot bread. Next year's 70.3 is soldout already. And I believe that the full IM is sold out as well, probably what... 2 days after registrations opened? The race was held on Sunday, sold out today. Therefore now there's a trend for people to register whilst knowing they can't swim. Gives them a challenging count down.

Terry met with one representative of this new breed of triathletes. Could barely made one length of the pool not long ago, stuck to private classes (with me) and did his first few triathlon this year. Registered to 70.3 next year I think, and wants to do an Ironman the year after... pretty conservative in other word ;-)

Last edited by CharlesCouturier : 08-21-2013 at 03:09 AM.
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  #4  
Old 08-21-2013
andyinnorway andyinnorway is offline
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Charles' advice is spot on.

3-6 months of focused effort to swim a comfortable mile of freestyle and get out and cycle.

but this is dependent on your age, condition and most importantly your ability to assess (or have assessed by a coach) your stroke and then make micro changes each session/lap or stroke.

the nice thing is it gets very addictive and once learned is a skill for life
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  #5  
Old 08-21-2013
wie wie is offline
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wie
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I'm 47 and started last year from scratch.
I learned from TI videos.
It took me several months to get to something that looks like crawl.
After 7 months I was able to swim 1 km as fast as before in breast stroke.

I must say that it took me much longer than I expected.
Freestyle is something completely different compared to breast stroke and many, many neurons have to be reprogrammed for that.
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  #6  
Old 08-24-2013
dprevish dprevish is offline
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dprevish
Default get comfortable

Quote:
Originally Posted by kspindler View Post
I recently decided to start participating in triathlons and worked through the TI freestyle program with a local TI coach. I'm doing okay with the drills but I'm still unable to swim a 25 yard lap without getting frustrated. I may just be a slow learner, but after how many days/weeks/months can I expect to have a breakthrough moment and focus on increasing my distance and truly swimming rather than working on drills. My primary issue is the overuse of my legs, which results in too much exerted energy and my legs sinking. Any guidance or advice on what to focus on would be appreciated.
K,

I'm a seeker of help and learning on this site and no expert, but feel confident that I can help you at this stage.
You've said two things that stand out: "overuse of legs" and "legs sinking". If you are kicking your legs to propel yourself you will drive your heart rate up fast and you'll be out of breath, then it's going to be hard to complete a 25 yd distance.
In TI as you know the legs are best kept quiet and not of high order. Not that you won't use them but here's a thought to help ween you off of them:

Go back to the TI DVD and look at the drills where Terry rotates from skate to "just off your back". To stop feeling like you have to kick you will want to "sink into weightlessness". I have found that the balance I've gained over this focal point has helped me immensely (I'm a runner and I think legs too!). Anyway, see how little you can kick to do this drill until you are able to gather the feeling that you don't need to engage your legs to swim, but could simply let them draft behind you (because you'll find you can!)
Don't expect that you will move forward when you're legs get down to this easy of flutter, basically you are floating and maintaining balance just below the surface. Now your mind is off thinking your legs keep you swimming and afloat, now your core and upper body will be ready to engage into swimming.
Try practicing this and let me know if it helps you.

By the way, you stick with the TI and you'll make great gains over the next year!
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Dave Prevish
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  #7  
Old 08-25-2013
Casperxm Casperxm is offline
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Your legs sinking can be anything from not engaging your core, not kicking with your ankles flexed a bit, lifting your head up to breath instead of turning it with your body, kicking from the knees spends a lot of energy as well learn to do like a soccer kick, and at the end of the day your compensating for lack of stroke technique with kicking harder which stroke technique will come with time and will depend less from the kick.
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  #8  
Old 08-25-2013
jenson1a jenson1a is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Southwest Florida
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Don't know how long you have been swimming, pre TI, but I think if you aren't a new swimmer, it probably takes longer to unlearn all the bad habits that have accumulated through the years of swimming incorrectly.

Also another big factor is how analytical you are. How do you see yourself, how do you plan your swim sessions, how are you measuring your progress, are you able to try different techniques (deeper stroke, hand entry, breathing drills, etc). I am amazed at the various solutions that some of these posters come up with--they can be so creative. Don't want to embarrass anyone, but do a search with the user andyinnorway. He amazes me with his creative approach in swimming.

So how long does it take? Sometimes the journey is far more interesting than the destination. Wishing you a lot of good luck in your journey.

Sherry
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