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  #1  
Old 11-30-2012
kilgoretrout kilgoretrout is offline
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kilgoretrout
Default Saying Thanks!...(and I need a Doc?)

First, the Thanks:

Two summers ago, I decided to do a triathlon. I started swimming around June 2010 at my apartment complex's pool, which was about 10-12 yards long. Anyways, I couldn't do it without being totally exhausted. The cold then forced me to go to the Y and swim in their 33 yard pool. But after just 1 length, I was also crushed. I found an old copy of the Total Immersion book, which then spurred me on to buy the Perpetual Motion Freestyle DVD. After spending the winter practicing drills, I eventually could swim a few laps consecutively (200 meters), but was still just super exhausted. The triathlon I had signed up to do was in the first week of June 2011, and it was only a sprint with a 400 meter swim. By March, I was getting nervous because I still could not swim more than 200 meters without being totally spent. I was pretty close to giving up.

Anyways, with helpful advice from users and coaches here on the forums, plus reading many posts with tips and motivational stories, I finally broke through. It was the first week of April and everything just clicked. I had read many other posts where this breakthrough just happens and all of a sudden you can swim easily.

Well it's true! I did 400 meters non-stop. I was so happy I stopped swimming to take it all in. Then, I realized I wasn't tired and should have just kept swimming. But I had to get in a run quick, so figured I would try the next week. So the next week, I swam a half mile! And again, I was so happy I stopped and just absorbed the feeling of accomplishment, only to realize, I should have just kept swimming cause I wasn't that tired.

So the following week, I did the impossible, or what I thought was impossible about a month before, and swam a mile. The only times I had difficulty came as I got closer and closer to completing it and my heart started racing since I knew I would do it! And it was EASY!!

I ended up doing quite well in that sprint tri and later in the summer I did an Olympic. Where I thought the swim would be the hardest part of the tri, it wasn't any longer. (Except swimming in a pack of people trying to drown you is pretty difficult. Oh, and both times, the water temps were 68 F, and I don't own a wetsuit, and the outside temps were in the 50s, so that was also a pain, but the drills did teach me how to relax, which really helped.)

I want to again say thanks to everyone that helped, which is pretty much all of you since I read so many posts and got so much great feedback on the posts I wrote! I'm not a Total Immersion pro by any means, but I can swim easily now and that is something I never thought was possible.

So now the Doc part:

But now I need some more help. During all that training, I ended up straining my tendons/muscles which act on my humerus. There was a constant dull pain right at my deltoid tuberocity in both arms. When I laid down at night, it was sore to lay on my side and put weight on my arms. Sometimes it was painful to raise my arms up. And I couldn't throw a ball very well either since it hurt or my arm was just weak. My last tri was in early August and after completing it, I decided to rest and haven't swam since. The pain is almost all gone, but there is a residual dullness. On a scale of 0 to 10, where my pain used to be a 6, it is now a 0.5. I probably should have consulted with you all about this much earlier, but honestly, I had been doing so many workouts that constant soreness was pretty much a daily thing. (I mean, my ankle hurt worse and I ran on it every day with no problems. HTFU right?) Plus, I had to complete my goal of an Olympic Tri, figuring I could rest it after.

I want to swim again, but I fear the pain coming back. I know there has to be something I am doing wrong in my stroke and wanted advice or thoughts as to what I should focus on the next time I swim so I don't re-injure my shoulder. My thought is that I am pulling too much using the shoulder muscles? But maybe it's something else. I have a base of anatomy, so you can use anatomical terms to help explain anything. Thanks for any helpful advice!
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  #2  
Old 11-30-2012
andyinnorway andyinnorway is offline
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Ow,

Sorry to hear you are not injury free in your training.

Obviously video of your swimming would show the Doc and the others the probable cause.

My immediate thoughts would be

1. Arm crossing over the center line on entry
2. Starting the pull before the catch
3. thumb down hand entry

My shoulder used to get a little sore when I was first learning but only my right side and never more than 3 or 4 out of ten and that was a combination of 1 and 2 above. I get a little reminder of it these days if I do an hour of 25m sprints, especially at low SR with long distance per stroke so that would be number 2 above.
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  #3  
Old 11-30-2012
tomoy tomoy is offline
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Pertinent topic. But first, congratulations on finding your way towards ease!

A volleyball buddy of mine is looking at shoulder surgery, and it has me a bit spooked and ultra-sensitive to any pain I get in the shoulder.

From Andy's list, I know I'm guilty of 2. I've backed off my 1600Y workouts and am currently only drilling to deprogram myself from forcing the pull early and trying to wrap my upper arm around too much water.

One thing I'm trying to sensitize myself to is the natural feel of rotation, the rocking sense, based on the weight of a wide recovery and gravity pulling that side of my body down. It's easiest to do and feel the rock from left to right to left all the way down the pool, by storing up O2 and doing the 25Y without breathing. If my lead hand tries to pull before my body rocks back at least to level, I know I'm risking my shoulder.

I probably missed something in the TI drills because it's easy to force rotation with the pulling arm, or with an overly big kick, but those lead to these issues. So now I'm constantly focusing on just the right amount of rotation (not over-rotating), and trying to get the timing to be really consistent, not forcing it via the tempo trainer (which can lead to pulling before rotating properly), but by body feel.

Best of luck getting back in there gradually. Highly recommend a physical therapist if you're able. By laying off, you may heal the internal inflammation, but you want to strengthen the muscles which will protect you when you do start swimming again. With any luck our pro experts will chime in and correct any foolishness I may be spouting here.

Cheers.
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  #4  
Old 11-30-2012
tomoy tomoy is offline
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p.s. I'm curious if the lead hand should always face down, even when breathing - or if it's okay to rotate it with the body say, when breathing. Sometimes I feel like my leading shoulder is stressed because I'm trying to keep it rotated inward / facing down, when turning the other way to get air.

Thx!
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  #5  
Old 11-30-2012
kilgoretrout kilgoretrout is offline
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kilgoretrout
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Oh my...I think you both helped me. I am pretty sure I pull way to soon. I guess I never thought about waiting to pull until my body is level with the surface of the water. I just watched some TI vids and they don't pull until then. So I was definitely not letting the catch happen and pulling way, way too soon.

And my upper shoulder didn't hurt, but it's more like the area of my arm where the deltoids muscle attaches to my humerus. The area lateral to where the upper bicep muscle begins to slope back down, just inferior to the shoulder joint.

I do plan on getting a vid one day as well. Not sure when, but one day...

Thanks for the quick replies!
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  #6  
Old 11-30-2012
The Parrot The Parrot is offline
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Location: Sherborne, Dorset, UK
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The Parrot
Default Tattered shoulders

Like so many others I, too, suffered sore shoulders, especially my left when breathing only to the right. For what its worth, I got rid of the problem (so far!) by not stretching horizontally with my spear but instead spearing down 18 inches or even more, with my hand further tipped down ready for the catch. I think the shoulder soreness was caused principally by pressing down on the water before getting into the catch position which is a pretty unbiologic thing to do?

Martin T.
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  #7  
Old 11-30-2012
andyinnorway andyinnorway is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kilgoretrout View Post
Oh my...I think you both helped me. I am pretty sure I pull way to soon. I guess I never thought about waiting to pull until my body is level with the surface of the water. I just watched some TI vids and they don't pull until then. So I was definitely not letting the catch happen and pulling way, way too soon.

And my upper shoulder didn't hurt, but it's more like the area of my arm where the deltoids muscle attaches to my humerus. The area lateral to where the upper bicep muscle begins to slope back down, just inferior to the shoulder joint.

I do plan on getting a vid one day as well. Not sure when, but one day...

Thanks for the quick replies!
Two other things come to mind too -

1. Good nutrition, especially after training - more fresh ginger to protect your muscles post workout?

2. Balance - As we rotate too far its natural to compensate by putting weight on the leading hand which will then be under more strain as it starts the catch/pull phase?
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  #8  
Old 11-30-2012
Grant Grant is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Sooke, BC. Canada
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Grant
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by kilgoretrout View Post
First, the Thanks:

Two summers ago, I decided to do a triathlon. I started swimming around June 2010 at my apartment complex's pool, which was about 10-12 yards long. Anyways, I couldn't do it without being totally exhausted. The cold then forced me to go to the Y and swim in their 33 yard pool. But after just 1 length, I was also crushed. I found an old copy of the Total Immersion book, which then

But now I need some more help. During all that training, I ended up straining my tendons/muscles which act on my humerus. There was a constant dull pain right at my deltoid tuberocity in both arms. When I laid down at night, it was sore to lay on my side and put weight on my arms. Sometimes it was painful to raise my arms up. And I couldn't throw a ball very well either since it hurt or my arm was just weak. My last tri was in early August and after completing it, I decided to rest and haven't swam since. The pain is almost all gone, but there is a residual dullness. On a scale of 0 to 10, where my pain used to be a 6, it is now a 0.5. I probably should have consulted with you all about this much earlier, but honestly, I had been doing so many workouts that constant soreness was pretty much a daily thing. (I mean, my ankle hurt worse and I ran on it every day with no problems. HTFU right?) Plus, I had to complete my goal of an Olympic Tri, figuring I could rest it after.

I want to swim again, but I fear the pain coming back. I know there has to be something I am doing wrong in my stroke and wanted advice or thoughts as to what I should focus on the next time I swim so I don't re-injure my shoulder. My thought is that I am pulling too much using the shoulder muscles? But maybe it's something else. I have a base of anatomy, so you can use anatomical terms to help explain anything. Thanks for any helpful advice!
Hi Kilgoretrout
What you are experiencing is almost identical to what I went thru 20 years ago when I started swimming regularly. After a year of doing almost exclusively freestyle I developed shoulder impingement which gave me severe pain when I lifted my arms above my shoulders. This was before TI days for me. Went to a Sports Medicine specialist and she put me on a a program of working the opposing muscles to open up the shoulder joint. Did not swim for a month and did these exercises four times weekly. At that time I was able to swim pain free.
Have done these ever since and have been pain free. Also the TI info got my stroke in mode that does not cause the impingement.
The three strech cord exercises are as follows.
1. Right arm upper arm hugging side. Lower are parallel to floor and held against stomach. Strech cord in right hand and the other end attached to fixed object to the left of the body at the height as the hand. Pull cord so that lowere arm is moved 180 degrees to the right. Keep elbow close to side. Build to 3 repeats of 20. Same for left arm.
2. Right arm hanging straight down with strech cord in right hand and the other end under right foot. Lift arm to the side till above head. Do not use core muscles use only the shoulder to move. Keep arm straight. Work up slowly on the resistance on all of theses.
3. Right arm and cord as in 2. This time lift arm to the front instead of the side. Otherwise the same as 2.
Do not use resistance that causes pain and be sure to keep arm straight and the core muscles out of it.
These really work for me and you could consult a Sports Medicine specialist to get a professional opinion and perhaps Coach Suzanne has feedback.
__________________
May we swim with ease at the speeds we choose.
Grant
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