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  #11  
Old 07-18-2014
Zenturtle Zenturtle is offline
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Welcome to the (over thinkers) club!
Finding balance and a steady breathing in a balanced position must be a cornerstone in your swimming.
If you can hold a superman, maybe with some kicking try to exchange more and more air while staying comfortable.
So first float with full lungs, and blow out a little, than full lungs and blow out some more etc etc,
Blow the air out slowly in every case.
Best to do all these things in the shallow part, where its nice and warm and where all the people do silly things.
When you are really relaxed, go further and further. until you sink to the bottom.
Dont rush, see it as a meditation exercise.
repeat and repeat,

Oops, not seen last post. Problem seems to be solved by now. Great progress!!!

Last edited by Zenturtle : 07-19-2014 at 06:02 AM.
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  #12  
Old 07-18-2014
Jellybean Jellybean is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mjensen2k View Post
3.20.14 I was anxious about a sprint triathlon. I remember it well. It was 600yards and it took me 11 minutes and I was in a state of panic the whole time. I was kicked in the chest, I about freaked out, but I finished it. My bike and run were solid.

New coach took me under his wing. I worked on relaxing, breathing, balance, etc. etc.

6.7.14 I did a half Ironman completely comfortably in 55 minutes out of the water. With a smile.

6.29.14 I did a full Ironman, 2.4 mile swim absolutely comfortably in 1:52 with a huge smile on my face at the finish.

Just over 3 months from OMG to OMG! :-) I was right. I thought I could. And I did. :-) Woohoo!
Brilliant! Well done!

On to the next goal, which is...?

Cheers
Tony
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  #13  
Old 07-19-2014
Talvi Talvi is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mjensen2k View Post
...Unfortunately, thinking while swimming tends to make me sink...
LoL I hear that.

Great story, Mike, congratulations! I relate to what you say about becoming a technique/drill hermit in that I was shocked to find that after fousing on technique my ability to swim distance seemed to have gone downhill.

I'd be very interested to hear what lessons you learned with your last coach you feel made made the biggest difference(s).
__________________
A psychological disorder is: "Any personal construction which is used repeatedly in spite of consistent invalidation."
~ George Kelly

"The water is your friend.....you don't have to fight with water, just share the same spirit as the water, and it will help you move."
~ Aleksandr Popov

Last edited by Talvi : 07-19-2014 at 03:04 PM.
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  #14  
Old 07-29-2014
mjensen2k mjensen2k is offline
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Thanks everybody, I very much appreciate it.

My next goal? Pickup speed now that I have confidence in swimming the distances and times of long-course triathlons. I signed up with a couple friends to tackle a half iron as a relay and I'm swimming. Shocker! So I'm going to work on turn over and strong strokes. Staying streamlined and faster cadence. My stroke needs to stay long and efficient and then add quicker turnover if possible. let's see what I can do from my first half iron time of :55. :-)

Best lesson/advice? He believed in me, or at least portrayed it from lesson one. "You CAN do this!" He let me work through the mental aspects while focusing on the very basics. In short - be relaxed.

confidence brings relaxation
breathing brings relaxation
success brings relaxation

Small victories, pushing myself and succeeding. Having someone express their confidence in me. Having a coach who celebrates the little things with me. "Yay, you did three breaths in a row, let's finish on that point." He'd smile with me and encourage me.

All that helped me relax. Relaxing is when it comes together. You can't find a feel for the water if you are tense. You can't find rotation and hip drive. You can't tell if you are flat or too high if you are tense. Your head and shoulders hurt. You can't listen and learn.

#1 - find some way to relax.

me? I start every session by blowing bubbles. Still do.

I was so excited when I hit a milestone... It wasn't distance or speed it was realizing that while swimming laps my head went elsewhere. I was thinking about breakfast or my kids or something. I'd relaxed enough to let go and just swim. I smiled so big that day. Instead of a panicked swirl of emotions and 1000 thoughts about swimming mechanics/timing/breathing/drowning, I was simply swimming and relaxing.

Stay relaxed my friends.
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  #15  
Old 07-30-2014
Zenturtle Zenturtle is offline
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That is a great little success story!

Its nice when your stroke comes together and you can start to trust your feel to make further progress. This also gives relaxation.
Forget all the thinking. Move in the moment, be aware in the moment, correct in the moment.

Out of curiosity. Are you a horizontal floater?
If not, how did you achieve relaxed balance?
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  #16  
Old 07-30-2014
Talvi Talvi is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mjensen2k View Post
... So I'm going to work on turn over and strong strokes. Staying streamlined and faster cadence. My stroke needs to stay long and efficient and then add quicker turnover if possible. ...
Relaxation is central, and so easy when you discover it. When it goes though I find it can be hard to even notice that, and then surprisingly tricky to get back.

When I focus on "strong strokes" though things go awry. I expend a lot more effort get very unrelaxed and go not at all faster. Counterintuitively, and discovered really when I gave up the struggle, I found that when my rotation is timed right with the transition from catch to pull then the stroke feels very easy, SPL goes down (or OW distance increases), and pace goes up. But then you are way ahead of me on the curve so I think your technique is grooved far better.
__________________
A psychological disorder is: "Any personal construction which is used repeatedly in spite of consistent invalidation."
~ George Kelly

"The water is your friend.....you don't have to fight with water, just share the same spirit as the water, and it will help you move."
~ Aleksandr Popov
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  #17  
Old 07-31-2014
sclim sclim is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Talvi View Post
Relaxation is central, and so easy when you discover it. When it goes though I find it can be hard to even notice that, and then surprisingly tricky to get back.

When I focus on "strong strokes" though things go awry. I expend a lot more effort get very unrelaxed and go not at all faster. Counterintuitively, and discovered really when I gave up the struggle, I found that when my rotation is timed right with the transition from catch to pull then the stroke feels very easy, SPL goes down (or OW distance increases), and pace goes up.
Oh Talvi: you have encapsulated the Mystery of Life! Or is it the Zen of TI? lol.
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  #18  
Old 07-31-2014
danm danm is offline
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just some thoughts on breathing; some will appear contradictory to some of the things that were said here:
- the sensation of running out of breath is given by CO2 accumulation rather than O2 deficit. Your blood can actually carry much more oxygen than your muscles can use, even if you take very short breaths. There's no need to take a huge breath and keep the air in your lungs. I mean, for swimming, if you freedive you will have to do that of course.
- you need to exhale constantly under water to vent out the CO2. If you hold your breath you'll become more and more breathless
- you need to do this consciously and intentionally. Jut think "exhale" everytime your head goes underwater, and keep exhaling. Then inhale quickly, back underwater and exhale again, etc. Try a few laps just doing this, thinking of this, see how it feels.
- I am not sure about the idea of exhaling slowly in order to retain air for longer to help with buoyancy. Air in the lungs makes you buoyant indeed, but too much buoyancy in your chest will throw your balance out; it will make your legs sink more. I wouldn't worry about exhaling slowly, just exhale. You'll probably work out your own pace for exhaling/inhaling depending on how good your stroke technique is.

I find that relaxation can only come if you have a good breathing rythm.
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  #19  
Old 07-31-2014
Talvi Talvi is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by danm View Post
just some thoughts on breathing; some will appear contradictory to some of the things that were said here:
- the sensation of running out of breath is given by CO2 accumulation rather than O2 deficit. Your blood can actually carry much more oxygen than your muscles can use, even if you take very short breaths. There's no need to take a huge breath and keep the air in your lungs. I mean, for swimming, if you freedive you will have to do that of course.
- you need to exhale constantly under water to vent out the CO2. If you hold your breath you'll become more and more breathless
- you need to do this consciously and intentionally. Jut think "exhale" everytime your head goes underwater, and keep exhaling. Then inhale quickly, back underwater and exhale again, etc. Try a few laps just doing this, thinking of this, see how it feels.
- I am not sure about the idea of exhaling slowly in order to retain air for longer to help with buoyancy. Air in the lungs makes you buoyant indeed, but too much buoyancy in your chest will throw your balance out; it will make your legs sink more. I wouldn't worry about exhaling slowly, just exhale. You'll probably work out your own pace for exhaling/inhaling depending on how good your stroke technique is.

I find that relaxation can only come if you have a good breathing rythm.
FWIW I find that continuous exhaling creates a rising stress. For me, when things are working, I find I am "letting my breath go" when I turn back into the water, rather than force an exhale. I do not deflate my lungs until I turn for breath, breathing out as necessary not with prejudice, prior to taking a breath. This is pretty much the pattern of breathing I have when I'm running.

And spot on about the CO2. That's why CO is so dangerous and why miners had canaries. We don't recognise the absence of O2, except by expiring!
__________________
A psychological disorder is: "Any personal construction which is used repeatedly in spite of consistent invalidation."
~ George Kelly

"The water is your friend.....you don't have to fight with water, just share the same spirit as the water, and it will help you move."
~ Aleksandr Popov
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  #20  
Old 07-31-2014
sclim sclim is offline
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@Talvi: With respect I believe you are in error talking about CO and CO2 in the same breath -- oops, I don't mean to use that phrase. Despite their apparent chemical similarity, CO (carbon monoxide) at any time in the body is bad. It fixes permanently, or at least very long term, taking days to unfix, to the haemoglobin, makes it useless for its life-giving function of ferrying Oxygen from the lungs to the muscles and brain. Even with minimal CO exposure, you can die very quickly without very specialised life support.

CO2 on the other hand, while possible to build up to toxic levels, and cause injury, and also while at merely "physiological" levels can affect the respiratory drive, exactly as danm has described, is still a "natural", product of our respiratory cycle, and if we respect it, and what it can do, we can live with it. IMHO, equating the two as similar examples of the same thing merely confuses the arguments for different strategies for dealing with each.
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