Total Immersion Forums  

Go Back   Total Immersion Forums > Freestyle
FAQ Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #131  
Old 06-02-2011
RobM77 RobM77 is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Near Basingstoke, England.
Posts: 137
RobM77
Default

Sure, no problem. I have lots of videos of me swimming, but the reason I haven't posted them up is that they're taken in an endless pool, which creates a lot of turbulence and makes even the smoothest stroke look messy, and also balance is harder to achieve. Therefore, what may happen is people will start looking at all the bubbles and turbulence and say that my swimming is inefficient, which isn't really a true picture.

I can post a video of me swimming though if you like - I'll see if I can convert a video and upload it to You Tube when I next get time at home.
Reply With Quote
  #132  
Old 06-02-2011
RobM77 RobM77 is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Near Basingstoke, England.
Posts: 137
RobM77
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by eganov View Post
50yds
Purely out of interest, and totally off topic for a second, what are swimming pools and athletics tracks measured in in the USA? Obviously when competing in worldwide competitions, Americans will be swimming distances of 50m, 100m, 200m etc; and runners will run 100m, 400m, 800m etc. I'm in the UK, and our pools are all 20, 25m or 50m; and our running tracks 400 metres. Do you have 50 yard pools or 400 yard running tracks, and if so, does this cause issues with training? Also, long distance events in the rest of the world are 10km, 20km etc. How does this work in America?
Reply With Quote
  #133  
Old 06-02-2011
eganov eganov is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 37
eganov
Default

I think they're "all of the above". 25's are not uncommon as a community resource. 50's are less affordable - I don't know of any in my area. The 50's are probably in larger communities or associated with institutions that have a higher level swimming orientation - universities.

The ones in my area are all 25yds.
Reply With Quote
  #134  
Old 06-02-2011
RobM77 RobM77 is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Near Basingstoke, England.
Posts: 137
RobM77
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by eganov View Post
I think they're "all of the above". 25's are not uncommon as a community resource. 50's are less affordable - I don't know of any in my area. The 50's are probably in larger communities or associated with institutions that have a higher level swimming orientation - universities.

The ones in my area are all 25yds.
Sorry, I meant metres vs yards or km vs miles.
Reply With Quote
  #135  
Old 06-03-2011
solothesailor solothesailor is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 15
solothesailor
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by RobM77
The natural conclusion is that it's either a) inately physiological, b) a specific swimming fitness ...., or c) ... breathing technique,...


It sure has been a long thread and a topic of high interest. I think that there is another item d) to add (another person has mentioned it but perhaps a little bit bluntly). This may not apply to most people but certainly applies to me and, from reading most of what you wrote, Rob, may be worth your consideration:

I think of swimming in terms of input (O2, H2O, body fuel) = output (useful work, useless work, waste incl CO2). Since you're very fit and able to tackle loads of other demanding tasks, your engine capacity sounds fine but the input can't keep up with the output. Since the useful outcome is not much (great achievement so far but short of what you want) therefore there's either too much useless work and CO2 and/or too little input.

After ensuring drinking enough (??! I was so dehydrated and exhausted one time I now always have a water bottle by the poolside), eat well (being athletic you're familiar with this I'm sure) and following fantastic advice re breathing and streamlining we're down to one very important item d) as follows:

Challenging-sport aside, you can sleep for 4-8 hours without being short of breath? But after a nightmare involving running away from a demon without actually moving an inch (centimetre) you wake up short of breath, knackered, and half dead? That's the subconscious or mental or fear factor. That has the fight or flight effect. I know well also from ocean sailing and being seasick and a hypnotherapist who partly cured me traced it back to ingrained childhood response to anxiety even when there's no conscious fear.

The more you try to overcome it by force (train, 'TRY', control) the more tension, the more anxious breathing, the more sinking, the more fighting, the more useless work, the more need for O2......

BTH I think you said your natural breathing is long inhale and short exhale, (with faster inhale-exhale during exertion)? That intrigues me as an anxious kind of breathing.... since my natural shorter inhale and long gentle exhale breathing is more like the 'passively observe your breath without interfering' kind of meditation.

Anyway... maybe this applies to you or maybe not ....and how would you know if it's subconscious. I can only say it seems, after reading this long thread, like it is the anxiety and trying too hard factor (symptom of some achievers or over-achievers as people label them). If you think it might play a part then solutions can come.

I'm myself progressively overcoming my anxiety and trying too hard -kaizen: continual improvement.

Good luck

Solo Thesailor
Reply With Quote
  #136  
Old 06-03-2011
RobM77 RobM77 is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Near Basingstoke, England.
Posts: 137
RobM77
Default

Thanks for your thoughts and for adding to the list of possibilities - that's much appreciated.

My natural breathing when exercising is a symmetrical in and out. I know this because when I run I breath in time with my running; from memory (and I'd need to check this) one of my legs triggers an inhale or exhale every time it hits the ground. My problem with swimming appears to be slowing this breathing frequency and making it unsymmetrical. Well, that's my best guess.

With regards to anxiety and state of mind, I sleep 8 hours a night, have a very low stress job, have no money worries and eat very healthily and regularly. I have also tried swimming at different times of day to see if it's a circadian thing, and beyond the usual ups and downs of the circadian rhythm, have no clues there. However, I do have a fear of water... Strangely, not when in it (I love being in the water), but when on it. For example, last Friday I went on a snorkeling trip out in the open sea and was feeling quite nervous on the boat on the way out, because I don't like being on the water. When we got to the dive site, the instructor asked "who's first?", and I plopped into the water as soon as possible, and when I did so I could feel myself completely and utterly relax, like I was lying in bed on a Sunday morning. I always feel that way in or under the water, but there may be something subconcious there... I go kayaking once a week, partly in an attempt to reduce this. Two years in and no luck so far! I do feel very relaxed when swimming though, I swim pretty much every day Monday to Friday and I always look forward to it.
Reply With Quote
  #137  
Old 06-03-2011
Janos Janos is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Liverpool, England
Posts: 389
Janos
Default

Rob, I think you have answered your own question. Breathing while swimming is obviously symmetrical. It has to fit into the pattern of your stroke, and if you exhale with each perceived effort underwater, when you turn to breathe, you will automatically inhale the right amount of air. When a boxer throws a combination of punches, or even just two. he exhales with each effort, and that is how you should see your strokes underwater. A singer does the same when they inhale the right amount of air to form a line of a song, when it is sung, they have to inhale. The inhalation needs to match the length of the next part. If you breathe every two strokes, exhale in two distinct phases on each stroke, you will need to adjust the last exhalation through a bit of practice so that in your mind you know it is the last exhalation, you will then roll and automatically draw in the required air and you will automatically form a rhythm that will match your effort. Breathing while swimming is not a nebulous concept, it is part of the stroke that can be practised, and mastered like the other aspects.

Janos
Reply With Quote
  #138  
Old 06-15-2011
RobM77 RobM77 is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Near Basingstoke, England.
Posts: 137
RobM77
Default

An update with some good news. I've finally got my distance over 50 metres. On Friday I swum 200 metres, and I've just done 300 this lunchtime. I expect I'll be over 400 soon. Bear in mind I'm 34 years old and have never, at any point in my life, swum more than 50m freestyle without collapsing totally out of breath... I'm very pleased!

Here's what got me there:

1) Exhaling through my nose and mouth, rather than just my nose. When sitting still, running, cycling, or anything in fact, I never use my nose to breath (in or out). Using my mouth feels more natural and relieves a horrible "pressure build up" feeling I get when just using my nose to exhale. It may be a volume of air issue - perhaps my nose is just to narrow to clear out the CO2 between breaths? Who knows (no pun intended), but I couldn't breath in through the mouth and out through the nose sat still at my desk, let alone when swimming.

2) Full stroke rather than drills. This is a tricky one, as drills are what has improved my stroke, but it wasn't doing anything to my swimming fitness. My fitness from running and cycling hadn't carried over to swimming at all, and I don't think it was ever going to. What I did was work on swimming like I did when I started running. When I started running I was a reasonable cyclist, but at first I couldn't run to the end of the road, so I did a minute of running and two minutes of walking, and forced myself to increase the running and decrease the walking, until gradually I was running all the time, then I worked on distance. That's how I got "running fitness", and I've been doing the same with swimming and resting, and then increasing swimming distance and it's worked/working very well.

3) Relaxing. Whilst I feel that I'm relaxed when I swim, all my best results in endurance so far have been when I'm on my own in the pool, and not worried about other swimmers around me. I've clearly got a way to go with feeling relaxed.

4) Finding the right speed. For a given stroke length, fast swimming gives you nice frequent breaths, but is obviously more tiring because of the effort. Slow swimming is less tiring, but gives you much longer between breaths, which is equally tiring! This presents a tricky balance. Swim too slow, and you get breathless, but swim too fast, and you get worn out. My problem was that I was swimming too slow. My coach noticed I was barely putting any pressure at all on my arms through the catch; in essence I was just going through the motions (in a misguided effort to improve my endurance). I've found now by applying just a little pressure on the catch my speed has increased to the point where I get to breath at a more comfortable rate. I've timed myself to quantify this, and now know the zone in which I swim best (around 23 or 24 seconds a length), but crucially I can remember the rhythm that this relates to, which brings me to the next point:

5) Getting in a rhythm. Rhythm has really helped me. When I run for instance, I have to do it in a constant rhythm to avoid getting tired. I do this with swimming - get straight into a rhythm and stick at it.

6) Direction changes at the end of each lane. These can really screw me up, because there's a tendency to not breath for the last couple of strokes when you know you're getting to the end, and also because it breaks the rhythm.

7) Breathing to one side every stroke cycle (then swap every 25 metres). My coach has taught this from the off, but I have been experimenting with different breathing patterns and frequencies, just out of curiosity. Her suggestion was right, at least for me; breathing every stroke cycle is the most natural way to breath for me.

The good news is that my swimming now feels more like running or cycling, so I feel that I've got a normal fitness base to build on to increase my distance, rather than this unusual breathlessness barrier, which felt quite unlike any other sport I've done before. It still amazes me that there's a sport where my endurance is currently under 5 minutes, but there you go, maybe that's just swimming for you? That said, I expect within a week or two I'll be up to 400 metres, and then 500, 600 etc.

Good news! I can now finally "swim" :-)

One thing I must add is how valuable coaching in an endless pool with cameras has been. Even now, after a year of lessons, my coach is still pointing out crazy things that I do, but I have no idea I'm doing (even from seeing myself filmed above the water from the poolside, because you can't see most of your stroke from above the water). To give you an example, up until last week my left hand was vertical in the glide phase, as in vertically upwards as if I was saying "stop!". Bizarre - but I had no idea! Equally, the legs: when I think the feet are moving about 6 inches apart at most, it's more like two feet. Also, initially when I first started the coaching my legs were too low (head at the surface, feet about two feet below) but I had no idea at all. Seeing and knowing this has helped hugely.

Last edited by RobM77 : 06-16-2011 at 11:16 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #139  
Old 06-15-2011
westyswoods westyswoods is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Rio, Wisconsin
Posts: 564
westyswoods
Default Progress

RobM77,

Great to read of your progress and sooo much of what you write has and still does apply to myself. Whole stroke vs drills was a very difficult transition as my tempo in drills carried over to whole stroke and just would not give me enough air exchange.

Your comment on pool and last couple of strokes is also applicable, (I don't need to grab that breath on these last strokes), well I do and that rhythm is so important.

Your comments about being fit should be directed more at an efficient air exchange, be it cycling, running or swimming. I've done all three being good at running, fair at cycling and honestly poor at swimming when I started. Especially after TI as I needed to learn proper balance and keeping head where it should be. I never really considered myself unfit just needed to master that technique for swimming. Years and much hard work with lots of help from others it is getting better.

One of the hugh helps is getting out of the pool and into open water where one can get into the rhythm working on breath cycles. It just seems so much easier.

Oh the video does not lie, just like a duck so quiet above and going like hell below. Takes desire to improve for one to allow filming and review.

Keep up the great work and continue to post, they help all

Swim Silent and Be Well
Westy
Reply With Quote
  #140  
Old 06-16-2011
TIJoe TIJoe is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 57
TIJoe
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by RobM77 View Post
An update with some good news. I've finally got my distance over 50 metres. On Friday I swum 200 metres, and I've just done 300 this lunchtime. I expect I'll be over 400 soon. Bear in mind I'm 34 years old and have never, at any point in my life, swum more than 50m freestyle without collapsing totally out of breath... I'm very pleased!

Rob, congratulations! Very glad for you. Now you can swim 300, you should be able to swim 1km or longer very soon once you find the right rhythm.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RobM77 View Post
Here's what got me there:

...
4) Finding the right speed. For a given stroke length, fast swimming gives you nice frequent breaths, but is obviously more tiring because of the effort. Slow swimming is less tiring, but gives you much longer between breaths, which is equally tiring! This presents a tricky balance. Swim too slow, and you get breathless, but swim too fast, and you get worn out. My problem was that I was swimming too slow. My coach noticed I was barely putting any pressure at all on my arms through the catch; in essence I was just going through the motions (in a misguided effort to improve my endurance). I've found now by applying just a little pressure on the catch my speed has increased to the point where I get to breath at a more comfortable rate. I've timed myself to quantify this, and now know the zone in which I swim best (around 23 or 24 seconds a length), but crucially I can remember the rhythm that this relates to, which brings me to the next point:

5) Getting in a rhythm. Rhythm has really helped me. When I run for instance, I have to do it in a constant rhythm to avoid getting tired. I do this with swimming - get straight into a rhythm and stick at it.
Unless you have serious technique flaw, 4) and 5) (which are essentially the same thing) should enable you to swim long distance. Especially if you find the speed/rhythm that is your equivalent "walking speed" in water, you should be able to swim almost "forever" -- of course may not be at a speed that is competitive, but distance should not be a problem.
Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are Off
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT. The time now is 07:12 PM.


Powered by vBulletin®
Copyright ©2000 - 2023, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.