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  #1  
Old 08-16-2011
gladtobedifferent gladtobedifferent is offline
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Cool Like the Thread - how do I swim a mile

Ok - so I can do 400 m in one go. I can do 1000m in a swim session (eg 200m, 100m x 7, 50 x 2) and am doing 2 sessions a week. I am not sure how I can get to swim a mile - which is my next goal.

I am a slow swimmer (a lot faster than I was though), doing 100m in about 2mins 25 and doing around 25-28 spl for 25m and a stroke rate of 21-23.

Appreciate any tips or suggestions of a plan and practise I should be doing to try and get to that 1 mile distance.

Thanks
gtbd
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  #2  
Old 08-16-2011
Richardsk Richardsk is offline
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It seems to me that if you can do 400m in one go then you can already swim 1500m. Just keep swimming. But to convince yourself of this you may have to try first swimming 500m, 600m, and so on.

I am far from being an expert, but I think you would be better off working to lower your SPL and for the time being stick to swimming shorter distances with greater ease and if possible swim more than twice a week.

For the time being I would not try to swim faster but concentrate on swimming with greater relaxation.

Just the thoughts of an old slow swimmer.
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  #3  
Old 08-16-2011
gladtobedifferent gladtobedifferent is offline
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Smile

I have got my SPL down a lot since I started, and am definately not focused on speed at the moment.

I want to swim a mile so that I know that I can do it - think its a bit like running your first 10k/6 miles - seems daunting to ever imagine doing it when you take up running, then you find you are running it once a week, doing half marathons etc.

I know that once I know I can do 1 mile that doing 400 m will seem a lot easier and then I will then focus on doing distance on one swim a week and technique and speed on the other 2 sessions. I want to be doing aroun 2k per swimming session - whatever the combination/focus in a session.

Agree about uping the sessions per week - but being a triathlete, working mum and running a house etc I find it tough to do 2 swims, 2 20k bike and 3 to 4 runs per week - which is all I am managing at the moment. Also with all the kids off school the local pools are packed with kids jumping in during the lane sessions (which they are not supposed to) and is very annoying!!

A bit skint at the moment so cant afford to pay for lessons. NOt sure how to reduce my SPL below what I have already done - hence I am trying to consolidate where I am at the moment.

I am fairly relaxed when I swim, I dont use my legs but i think you can never be 'too' relaxed - so something I need to constantly remind myself. But you make an excellent point on that.
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Old 08-16-2011
Richardsk Richardsk is offline
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Hi gladtobe different

I gather that you have already seen the post that suggests SPl ranges for different heights, skill levels etc. When I started the TI journey a few years ago I was taking at least thirty strokes to cover 25m. Now I can usually do it in less than twenty and my best is fifteen or sixteen, but I think that's with too much gliding, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, I think, if you don't incorporate it as a permanent feature of your technique.

I used to be 5' 11" but now it seems I'm nearer 5' 9" having shrunk a bit with age (or too much immersion in chlorinated water) and according to the scheme between 16 and 18 strokes would be about right. Maybe I'll get there soon.

Watching lots of good swimmers and trying to swim with that fluency may help. If you only watched Shinji, Terry and Sun Yang you would probably be on the right track.
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  #5  
Old 08-16-2011
Alex-SG Alex-SG is offline
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AGREE with Richard 100%.

Somehow people think that you build up the distance gradually, 50m at a time or so. In my case, when I could swim 1 mile, there was some kind of threshold (200-400m) beyond which I could just keep on going.

SPL=25 for a 25m pool means that your SL (Stroke Length)=1m. That is too low. If I were you I would use a tempo trainer and train myself to swim at slower stroke rates but with more glide.

My role model is Shinji, SR=1.40, SPL=12

Anybody with a SPL>20 can enjoy improvement in a short amount of time.
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  #6  
Old 08-16-2011
gladtobedifferent gladtobedifferent is offline
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gladtobedifferent
Talking Tempo trainer

Ok - first time I have been given this advice and it sounds spot on - where and how do I get a tempo trainer ?
And for someone as slow as me how do I use it to help me get better?

Really appreciate you guys spending time in your responses. Let me know re the above
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  #7  
Old 08-17-2011
Alex-SG Alex-SG is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gladtobedifferent View Post
Ok - first time I have been given this advice and it sounds spot on - where and how do I get a tempo trainer ?
And for someone as slow as me how do I use it to help me get better?

Really appreciate you guys spending time in your responses. Let me know re the above
You can get the TEMPO TRAINER either on the Total Immersion website store or on other on-line stores. Just google Finis Tempo Trainer.

What do you mean by Stroke Rate of 21-23? The Tempo Trainer scale is more like:
SR=1.0 ( means 1 hand entry every 1 second) - quite fast
.......
SR=2.0 (means 1 hand entry every 2 seconds) - extremely slow

The faster tempo you set, the faster your arms with turn which means less glide and more difficult to have a coordinated freestyle movement.

I am personally targeting 3 Tempo Trainer rates:
SR=1.20 --> Faster pace, end of an Open Water race
SR=1.40 --> Leisure pace, start of an open water race
SR=1.50 - SR=1.60 --> When doing Drills, to test my balance

BY the way, we assume you are familiar with TI drills from the DVD (to learn balance, streamlining and propulsion).

ALSO: If you want to have an idea about your current STROKE RATE, ask someone to time you taking 10 strokes and then divide by 10.

Keep us updated. ALEX
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  #8  
Old 08-20-2011
CoachPaulB CoachPaulB is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gladtobedifferent View Post
Ok - so I can do 400 m in one go. I can do 1000m in a swim session (eg 200m, 100m x 7, 50 x 2) and am doing 2 sessions a week. I am not sure how I can get to swim a mile - which is my next goal.

I am a slow swimmer (a lot faster than I was though), doing 100m in about 2mins 25 and doing around 25-28 spl for 25m and a stroke rate of 21-23.

Appreciate any tips or suggestions of a plan and practise I should be doing to try and get to that 1 mile distance.

Thanks
gtbd
There certainly seems to be an allure associated with swimming a mile. Mostly I find that people that are non swimmers can't fathom the idea that one could go that far in the water. They usually say "what without stopping either?". Nevertheless it is a significant distance to swim and one that is worthy of accomplishing if one sets their mind to it.
Shane Eversfield remarked at TI coaches training school that it is accomplished one stroke at a time. This may sound like an over simplification but, in fact, for myself at least it has been a very useful way for me to approach long distant events. Assuming that you are deploying some of TI's concepts and seeing what you've accomplished already I would think that you could stay the course and build you distance gradually.When you start to get tired try and determine if you are tired because you let your stroke fall apart, in which case you should stop and regroup or that you just need to work on better conditioning. If it is conditioning then you might try going to the pool and just focus on doing the intervals...checking heart rate and recovery rate and lap times etc. When you've made measurable progress then set a date where you get a few days rest before you try your mile again. One stroke at a time.
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  #9  
Old 08-20-2011
andyinnorway andyinnorway is offline
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Well done on your progress so far, a lot of people find it helps to swim a longer distance in the pool by using some recovery legs of breast stroke. you could start with every fifth.

This way you can build your stamina whilst getting some recovery without stopping.

64 lengths of a pool non stop can be long mentally and physically when you start, so its good to use the breast stroke lengths as markers. Once you have completed that a few times move to every 6 lengths breast stroke and so on until you are swimming the whole mile.
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  #10  
Old 08-21-2011
gladtobedifferent gladtobedifferent is offline
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Alex – have i done my maths wrong – rubbish at this kind of thing which is why I like gadgets that do all this for you !! If i have please let me know and where I have gone wrong !

Terry – thanks for push off advice, will happily introduce this back into my training. I only started to omit the push off once I was practising for my open water in July. So will definitely bring that back in.

Alex – like the workout you suggested.

I did manage to do a length with total strokes of 20 for 50m but it took a lot of focus and effort and I was not able to keep it up for my next set of 4x25m (went back to 25/26 per length). I did feel I was doing the same lengthening and glide but the numbers on my pool mate clearly didn’t show that I was doing 20 again !!

Andyinnorway- like the idea of doing breast stroke once every 5 lengths as it would let me re group, re focus. Will try that when i go to the pool tomorrow.

Lots of interesting points coming up.

I had a terrible swim on Friday – maybe its like running sometimes you have a bad one, but its the first time for me with swimming. It started ok, then I managed 20 spl average / length for the two lengths and felt encouraged, but when i couldn’t replicate that I started to get disheartened....then the fast lane (I know it is odd that I am in it !) got businer and busier and I had to start increasing my stroke rate, and eventually felt my stroke rate fell apart and at one point I felt static going down the lane !! At 28 lengths i got out as despite lots of focus nothing was getting better and my stroke was falling apart, so thought best to get out.

Only managed 2 times in the pool last week again – and know I need to do three this week and try and break through doing more than 20 lengths in one go, as part of the journey. Will try what you suggested Alex in at least one of my sessions. And definitely adding back in the push off !
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