Swimming – proper technique

I wanted to give myself something to work on while swimming Saturday rather than just thrashing about in the pool again. So I did some research on it. Who am I to do research and not share? Enjoy this if you are thinking of entering a triathlon and don’t know much about proper swimming technique (yep that’s me).

But First, My Results

Using all that I learned from info below I improved my swimming to the point where I get more laps without choking on the water when trying to breathe. My times for 1/2/4 laps improved from 0:25/1:10/2:45 to 0:21/0:50/2:20. I think I figured out part of my getting tired problem. I do this workout after I lift weights for the day, and of course part of the goal with the weights is to do two sets of 15 reps to the point that each and every muscle is separately brought to the point where it can lift no more or is close to not being able to. This might explain the feeling of not being able to pull myself through the water for long periods of time without getting to the point where I feel like I can’t keep it up.

I still have the serious problem that I am not able to find a rhythm at a slower pace. I try and go slower and breathing every 3rd stroke becomes too far in between breaths to wait. I tried to go 2-3-2-3 which has the effect of breathing twice on each side then switching. It helped a bit but I just don’t know if it’s going to work for me yet. As to some of the commentary below which I wrote before I left to swim, I found that I get across the pool in about 22-24 strokes. Apparently I have a long way to go to improve my stroke length. I did a total of 500 yards this time with lots of breaks, as in every 1, 2, or 4 laps. It took 35 minutes but I think I rested more than 20 minutes of that time. Roughly estimating my total swimming time I think it was just about 10 minutes, which sort of proves that my pace is too fast. I need to start adding more laps to each set rather than stopping so much. This will force me to swim slower and get better at it. Next week I will do a set of 10 laps at some point which is half of the sprint triathlon swimming leg. I would like to think that I can do it in about 5 minutes. Obviously this will be pushing it since there is no rest in between, but I think if I do this before the weights I will have a bit more stamina.

What I found on Proper Swimming Technique

Here is a primer on how to swim and why efficiency is important. 

Very funny in that they suggest a nice warm up for a 2000 meter workout and it totals that on it’s own. Warm up or the whole thing it is more than I am going to be swimming. I need to race 500 meters in my triathlon, so I seriously doubt I will be swimming more than 1000 as a workout. Besides, my technique is so bad, I get the same amount of exercise from a 300 meter workout that a real swimmer would get in 1500 meters.

Check out this little tidbit of the workout:

10×50 freestyle: Rest 30-60 seconds. Count the number of strokes with each 50 meter interval and try not to exceed 22 strokes. Remember, good swimmers swim fast because of a long stroke length! Your goal should be to reduce the number of strokes you take in 50 meters.

Besides the fact that my entire workout consisted of just over half of this this little bit, I am supposed to get all the way across the pool in 11 strokes. Yeah right. I will have to count and see how many above 50 I am.

Here is a story about a California celeb learning to swim for a triathlon.

Here is a 5 part primer on swimming freestyle. The guy is hung up on the forearm and how long it is vertical so apparently that is an important part of the stroke.

Here is a swimmer talking about the dreaded dropped elbow, which basically means your forearm is not vertical.

Here is a link on how to practise to make your kick better.

You Tube Breathing tutorial

After you read all of these is it nice to see videos of proper swimming technique.

Mark Foster
Ian Thorpe
free style kicking

I have a feeling this swimming thing is going to be a lot like golf or bowling where you know all the moves you need to make but then tend to focus on one or two to the detriment of the others without a ton of practice.

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3 Responses to “Swimming – proper technique”

  1. blog entry # 43 « Brianthinagain’s Weblog Says:

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  2. Swimming Technique - Balance « Brianthinagain’s Weblog Says:

    […] say that going to a swimming class has greatly improved my swimming technique. My first post on proper technique was trying to teach myself using free online […]

  3. Most Popular Posts « Brianthinagain’s Weblog Says:

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