Starting From Scratch

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Joined: Sun Nov 27, 2016 11:07 pm

Starting From Scratch

Postby JPC » Sun Nov 27, 2016 11:29 pm

Evening All, in 2015 I learnt to swim for my 1st Ironman event but used a pull bouy for all my workouts and a wetsuit for all of my open water swims. In 6 months I went from a non-swimmer to completing a 9*C open sea swim in 1hr 13mins. This however left me swimming very flat with constant shoulder issues (breaking up my training) and a reliance on additional buoyancy. As such I've not trained for over a year. I'm back in training but without a pull bouy as I want to be able to swim 'properly' without painful shoulders and with a kick !!! I'm about to start using the 3 times a week skeleton structure (bambino) but have no chance of swimming the distances detailed. I would fail to complete the warm up set let alone a build set followed by a technique set and a cool down. I've got 7 months to get the 3.8km nailed and I'm confident in that but am struggling to find a starting point due to the prescribed distances within the suggested training structures. Any ideas? Cheers...

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Joined: Mon Oct 03, 2016 1:57 pm

Re: Starting From Scratch

Postby Tanethra » Mon Nov 28, 2016 9:58 am


I've heard this progressive plan helps from Ruth Kazez

or these from British Gas ... programmes.

These should get you up to the distances required in no time

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Joined: Sun Nov 27, 2016 11:07 pm

Re: Starting From Scratch

Postby JPC » Mon Nov 28, 2016 1:34 pm

Thanks for the links !!! Hopefully, by Christmas I'll be in a far better position...

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Mike A
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Re: Starting From Scratch

Postby Mike A » Mon Nov 28, 2016 2:03 pm

Well it really depends on what's stopping you making the distances. Do you have naturally sinky legs? Are you using a 6-beat or 2-beat kick? If you're not used to kicking, 6-beat can be very tiring and make you breathless, especially if your kick is not that efficient. A 2-beat seems like a more natural progress from pullbuoy/wetsuit swimming to my mind - but if your legs are very sinky, you might not be able to balance well enough. If you go down the 2-beat route, you will probably need to focus on head position, and especially on not lifting your head when breathing, to stop your hips sinking.
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The Dodo
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Re: Starting From Scratch

Postby The Dodo » Mon Nov 28, 2016 7:19 pm

If "sinky legs" pose a problem, then it might be worth trying the "Pressing the buoy" idea (aka "Pressing the T", in which the top bar of the "T" refers to the collar bones!) - in order to get the legs up closer to the surface about the time you would expect to squeeze in a freestyle inhalation. To do that - every time a recovered arm enters the water (which should be accompanied by a good kick to offset the arm's "pushing drag"!) - briefly nod your head down towards the bottom, so that there is a little bit of water over the top of your head for a moment. Although the water's reaction is not immediate - think you will find that there is a "buoyancy reaction" with your hips coming up higher towards the surface, and that may coincide nicely with your inhalation attempt! I only do it for a short distance as one of my freestyle mini-sets - and I think you might find it effective - but, however, not very nice for long distance swimming (too much up/down head movement). The idea of course, is to push part of the upper chest (where there is a bit of air in the top of the lungs) under the surface in order to get the resultant uplift of the "buoyancy reaction" an instant later! If it works for you, then it leaves you free-er to think about how best to flutter kick.

When using the technique, I find that my lead arm tends to follow the downward nod of the head - and that accelerates what is supposed to be a gentle down-sweep to a catch! That doesn't worry me, 'cos I use a more continuous arm action anyway - and am not going at a leisurely pace - just a quick snatch of air and get the head back to neutral pronto, in time for the next quick head nod down etc. I also use it at a slower pace when practising 3 arm stroke bilateral breathing - 'cos neck problems sometimes make inhaling on my "less happy" side a bit "iffy" - so pushing the head down results in the later buoyancy "bounce" making inhalation easier.

When using the "trick" trying to go fast, I always fervently hope that no other pool swimmer strays across my path - there is very little time to observe what is ahead until I hit the pool end wall (no flip turns for me) - in between snatching a breath and getting the head back to the front, ready for the next head nod downwards. Think you will notice a bit of body undulation when doing it - which IMO can be beneficial to movement (e.g as in the head nod downwards used by some fly stroke swimmers, to initiate a gradual upward "curl" of the back, bringing the hips up close to the surface as part of their major kick upbeat)!

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