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  #1  
Old 06-13-2014
arlettat@aol.com arlettat@aol.com is offline
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Default How to add distance

Ok, so I'm only 5 months into swimming and I've been practicing 5 days a week since March. When I started "swimming" in January, I was only practicing 3 days a week, but when I discovered TI in March I up'd my practice to 5 days a week. I do a LOT of drills, trying to learn and get comfortable with the overall technique.

PROBLEM: I've gotten very comfortable with doing drills and my triathlons are getting closer by the day (see how this works). I MUST start adding on distance. Last week I swam 250 meters without stopping. This week, I was able to swim a 1/2 mile but I had to stop and take a few 5-8 second breaks in between sets. My need to stop so that I can catch my breath makes me nervous about the open water swim since there won't be any wall for me to hang on and catch my breath and I won't be able to stand up whenever I want either.

What is the best way for me to start adding distance on?

Last edited by arlettat@aol.com : 06-13-2014 at 11:28 AM.
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Old 06-13-2014
WFEGb WFEGb is offline
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Hello arlettat,

2ct from a noncoach: Try your stops when needed in pool not at the edge. Take some breaststrokes, or if impossible tread water in place, lay on your back or anything you can do, just to become confident not needing the pool's walls.

You may add distance with some BS intervalls or slow down your pace (estremely) until you'll reach the feel of recovery.

Be patient and confident to your steps. When reached 250m you're in or nearly in aerobic state and it will take fairly less time to achieve 500m-1000m.

Best regards,
Werner
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Old 06-14-2014
Talvi Talvi is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WFEGb View Post
Hello arlettat,

2ct from a noncoach: Try your stops when needed in pool not at the edge. Take some breaststrokes, or if impossible tread water in place, lay on your back or anything you can do, just to become confident not needing the pool's walls.

You may add distance with some BS intervalls or slow down your pace (estremely) until you'll reach the feel of recovery.

Be patient and confident to your steps. When reached 250m you're in or nearly in aerobic state and it will take fairly less time to achieve 500m-1000m.

Best regards,
Werner
I'd agree 100% with all of that (non-coachingly of course!). Spot on, especially about slowing right down. That really helps. It's totally counterintuitive to slow down when you feel more of a need for air but removing the perceived need to get to the wall from the equation has a big calming effect as you realize you're not drowning, breathing then settles down, and technique smooths out.
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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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Old 06-14-2014
arlettat@aol.com arlettat@aol.com is offline
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THANK YOU so much for your fantastic advice!!! I didn't realize that at 250m I'll be near aerobic state. SO very much of this is still mental for me. I wish those demons would leave already. Sometimes they do leave and I have a great swim day, but this week for some reason, they came back. And yes, I will absolutely try doing something else (breaststroke, tread water, lay on my back) so that my brain realizes it doesn't need a wall to hang on to. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

And slowing down too...even thought someone at the pool said I'm swimming too slowly and the current is going to sweep me away. Way to put more nasty thoughts in my already cluttered head.
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Old 06-14-2014
sclim sclim is offline
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WFEGb: Wonderful advice!! I was puzzling why I was stopping after only a few lengths, even though I was only mild-moderately exerted. I was rationalising that I needed to mentally review my last few lengths for accuracy of focus, and to refresh my focus going forward. I don't really think my mechanics had deteriorated to the point of "imprinting poor technique". But I was worried about the fact that my long swims were broken up into such short segments. I realise now that I was getting dependant on the security of grabbing on to an end wall!

Making a point of not grabbing, and always turning around is a good strategy! I'm not going to drown -- come on, it's a shallow pool.
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  #6  
Old 06-14-2014
Raini Raini is offline
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Hi Arlettat.
I have just had a quick look at the forum. Haven't looked at it much lately or been too the pool due to family illness but I noticed your comment about someone at your pool saying you swim to slowly.
Pay no attention to other peoples observations unless they are a TI coach or swimmer. Unfortunately I endured weeks of a swimmer at my pool giving me unwanted advice and trying to get me to change my technique. He also said I had the slowest front crawl he had ever seen and ridiculed me in front of two other swimmers. I did think about giving up TI as I started to lose confidence in what I was doing but found my stroke had already become quite ingrained.
Several months on this same person asked me if I would like to swim some sprint sets with him as he said he had noticed a huge improvement in my swimming and he was struggling to keep up with me so we swam 3 x 75m sprints and on the 3rd set I beat him. I don't know who was more surprised him or me. I am a 51 yr old female so no spring chicken! He said I am a very well balanced and efficient swimmer but has not asked me to sprint with him again and has not tried to give me anymore advice.
I am not a coach either but WFGEb and Talvi have given you good advice.
Be confident in your ability you can swim 1/2 mile wow! and good luck.
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Old 06-14-2014
sclim sclim is offline
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The more I think about it, it's a psychological barrier -- it's got to be! I can run 30k without stopping, and reasonably paced too -- surely the oxygen demands of swimming at my slow pace are nowhere near the running demands, so my heart-lungs are not giving out. Are there any local muscle groups that are temporarily stressed beyond their anaerobic limit? Not even close. I am breathing a little heavily than at rest, but the only limitation is my comfort level with certainty in getting the next breath. That is, I'm afraid if I miss the air catch due to coming up just a little low, or mis-timing it, I might be in some temporary distress -- but I'm really trying not to let this stop my slow steady improvement of smoothing out my breathing stroke.

So it's a head thing. All the more reason to resolutely turn at each length end, and not grab at the wall -- "YOU'RE NOT REALLY SHORT OF AIR, GRASSHOPPER"
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  #8  
Old 06-14-2014
Talvi Talvi is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raini View Post
.. I am a 51 yr old female so no spring chicken! He said I am a very well balanced and efficient swimmer but has not asked me to sprint with him again and has not tried to give me anymore advice...
:D roflmfao :D BRILLIANT!!! Way to go gal :D Shame there's no video. Wish I'd been there. You must have over the moon. If you're not I am after reading that :) You may have created a tectonic shift in the swiming world around you. I imagine those guys will never be the same. Have you maybe noticed their changed practice and style? Great stuff :)

Last year I saw a woman, maybe just a few years younger than you, swimming a serene breaststroke, no lurching up and down in the water. A young guy in his 20's started to swim after her, maybe 15m behind. His style was full of energy and power. He leapt up and dived down in the water ... and it took him nearly six lengths to catch her, after which he climbed out, presumably exhausted, and she sailed on! :)
__________________
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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  #9  
Old 06-14-2014
Raini Raini is offline
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I admit to having the urge to punch the air and shout a loud YES! :D
I haven't noticed a change in his swimming but he has a shoulder injury which would probably improve if he stopped crossing the centre line and swam on wider tracks. I need to advise him of this should he ask lol.
No tectonic shift yet but people often ask how I use less strokes than others and a mature swimmer who swims breaststroke only said she has been inspired after watching me to learn front crawl.
Another lady did the Superman Glide after asking what I was doing so I encouraged her to have a go.
I try to explain TI as best as I can as I'm still a novice myself and point people to the website.
Oh and I've seen younger guys usually in big baggy board shorts crashing up and down the pool left behind by swimmers who must sometimes be 40 years their senior....love the look of bewilderment on their red faces!
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