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  #1  
Old 01-11-2018
efdoucette efdoucette is offline
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Default Todays swim

I like to ruminate after my swims.

Precursor: I am 63, been swimming only 8 years, am slow, curious and my goal has been, and still is, swimming 1 km continuous freestyle.

I start my swim with 100 to 200 easy, the first 100 is well balanced, relaxed and smooth. Then my stroke starts to fall apart, legs get heavy and my confidence slips. I then work on balance and streamline with superman glides and skate, concentrating on relaxing and incorporating that into some 25s and 50s.

I ended today focusing on rhythm, kept my recovery arms moving, no hitch, driving forward. Did that ever click.

Thought for today and continued focus next swim - RHYTHM
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  #2  
Old 01-12-2018
Streak Streak is offline
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Well done. It's great when you can identify the problem and find a solution all at the same time.
Treat the second 100 as 2x50 or 4x25 with a small rest in-between each lap shortening the rest until you're swimming the second 100 continuously without falling apart.
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  #3  
Old 01-12-2018
Tom Pamperin Tom Pamperin is offline
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I have similar experiences when increasing distance. The first few lengths are so easy and relaxed, then starts to fall apart. For me, much of this is a mental panic that probably isn't visible to watchers, but makes me tense up as I worry about how many lengths I have to go, and technique suffers.

It's great that you found a focal point to help you past that. I have found that always helps me feel in control of the situation, because I am too busy focusing on something useful to give any attention to the panicky feelings.

I also think Streak's idea is a good one for gradually increasing comfort at distance. Can you swim 10 x 100m on short rests? 5 x 200m? Then 4 x 250m? Lots of ways to break up 1000m while building toward the continuous swim.
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  #4  
Old 01-12-2018
WFEGb WFEGb is offline
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Hello Tom,

Quote:
I have similar experiences when increasing distance. The first few lengths are so easy and relaxed, then starts to fall apart. For me, much of this is a mental panic that probably isn't visible to watchers, but makes me tense up as I worry about how many lengths I have to go, and technique suffers.
Critical point here seems to find the right time when our stroke turn to struggle and we better should stop and reset.

Helpful might be to slow tempo down (extremely) and find a recovery stroke and swim it for one or two lengths. It will build trust for longer distance especially for OW. But it may not be the right thing for fast swimmers, because I always find it hard to go back to my former tempo intention.

Best regards,
Werner
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  #5  
Old 01-12-2018
thaddeus.ward@gmail.com
 
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Default Why think about distance at all?

Just to suggest an alternative, what if you stopped thinking about distance at all. I don't count my laps, I just go for time and check the clock or my watch every once in a while. I definitely struggle at time, especially early in a swim, but then I think it helps me just get in the groove. My devices then give me (albeit faulty) guidance about how far I have gone. But I went from 15 to 80 minutes non-stop swimming which is safely over 1k even with my mediocre form.
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  #6  
Old 01-15-2018
novaswimmer novaswimmer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by efdoucette View Post

I start my swim with 100 to 200 easy, the first 100 is well balanced, relaxed and smooth. Then my stroke starts to fall apart, legs get heavy and my confidence slips.
I'm not sure what happens after this point. Can you elaborate? Do you stop swimming? Why exactly do you stop? Just because you have 'bad form'? Or are you panicking and running out of breath and are unable to sustain a stroke and get adequate oxygen at the same time?

If it's the latter, then I've been there. For me it has helped to slow down at the outset, even if it feels too slow at first. Then after maybe 6 to 10 laps, my body starts to get more warmed up and I can even pick up the pace just a bit. But I'd say, keep it slow. Who cares how fast you are going anyway? To me it sounds like what you really are aiming for is keeping moving and not stopping. I'm only a few years younger than you and picked up freestyle about 4 years ago. I do best when I start out slow. After you do your first mile, you'll be ecstatic! Then you can do a few sprint laps and head off to the showers with a great feeling! You can do this!
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  #7  
Old 01-15-2018
Tom Pamperin Tom Pamperin is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WFEGb View Post
Hello Tom,

Critical point here seems to find the right time when our stroke turn to struggle and we better should stop and reset.

Helpful might be to slow tempo down (extremely) and find a recovery stroke and swim it for one or two lengths. It will build trust for longer distance especially for OW. But it may not be the right thing for fast swimmers, because I always find it hard to go back to my former tempo intention.
Werner,

thanks as always for your thoughts. Slowing down and relaxing can help for sure.

Another strategy that works well for me is to direct my attention toward something I can control--e.g. transferring my awareness to the catch as soon as the elbow of my recovering arm passes my head, or whatever focal point I happen to be working on. As soon as I choose to focus on something that puts me back in control, there is no attention to spare for the panicky feeling. This kind of "find something you can control and focus on it" approach works far better than trying to direct attention AWAY from something. It's like, it's easier to replace a bad habit with a good one than to simply break the bad habit.

It does, however, take a pretty concentrated effort to maintain focus and not let other things grab my attention away. It's much more a mental effort than a physical one.

I'm also a bit curious about what a casual observer would see watching me at my most "panicky" during long sets. My SPL typically goes up to around 18-19 at worst, legs start to sink as balance suffers, head maybe starts trying to lift during breaths--but probably much of this still looks like good control without careful analysis.
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  #8  
Old 02-09-2018
thaddeus.ward@gmail.com
 
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I feel the same way about rhythm. For me rhythm is king. If I am having a hard time breathing, I will cut back on the level of force in my stroke so that I can sustain it.
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