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View Full Version : When did you start counting?



ddl
October 14th, 2008, 02:22 AM
Although I swim a lot, I almost never swim continuously lap after lap. I always stop after 1 length, then do another one. Not that I can't continue, but I want to improve my form and technique before counting distance and speed (besides, I don't know how to do flip turns :( ). If bad forms are not corrected in early stages, swimming long distance will only make them bad habits, the longer, the worse, and harder to correct. On the other hand, this makes my swim too easy and relaxed, without any pressure. "Improving form and technique" can go on indefinitely! I wonder when I should start counting speed and distance?

So I would be interested to know, when you gradually became a better swimmer from a newbie, when did you start counting how long you have swum (continuously), and to look at the clock to count speed? :confused:

ViveBene
October 14th, 2008, 06:28 AM
Can you do open turns?

Keeping the stroke together is important over longer distances and at speed. As well, the stroke itself is refined over a long stretch of swimming. And you need to build endurance. I'd say go for it. Keeping a log helps tremendously.

My coach started me counting and timing quite early, well before I had an adequate stroke. You'll notice from posters here that the stroke changes as new knowledge is built into it.

VB

daveindc
October 14th, 2008, 09:22 AM
Why don't you start off counting strokes per lap and get that down to a respectable number first? That way you still have a metric to measure how you are doing.

USMSarah
October 14th, 2008, 10:01 AM
If doing 25's are really easy for you now, start working on 50's (2 lengths without stopping). Just do an open turn and work from there. It's probably time to start working on your endurance and get some yardage in. You will still be able to work on your stroke - it sounds like you have been doing a great job working on technique, but I bet it will make your workout more interesting - and make you work harder.

Good luck!

laineybug
October 14th, 2008, 12:17 PM
When I first went back to swimming after several decades away, I did open turns. The only problem with that was, it allowed me to grab the gutter... and STOP when I wanted... not necessarily when I NEEDED to stop. By switching to a flip turn I didn't have the 'option' of grabbing the side and stopping. I would agree with everyone, start working on 50's. Use an open turn if you must, but you might want to learn how to do a flip turn (it isn't terribly hard to learn. In fact, I taught myself in about an hour and an half of doing a complete flip, moving closer to wall with each successful flip. Once I felt comfortable flipping close to the wall I moved to the back stroke flags, swam slowly toward the wall and did complete flips until that felt comfortable; then I tried swimming toward the wall, flipping, planting my feet and pushing off on my back in streamline. After that became comfortable I would swim from backstroke flags to the wall, flip, plant feet, push off and twist... pushing off and twisting into streamline at the same time was the hardest thing for me. After that I just practiced from mid pool increasing my speed approaching the wall.)

Lainey

Typhoons Coach
October 14th, 2008, 01:45 PM
Although I swim a lot, I almost never swim continuously lap after lap. I always stop after 1 length, then do another one. Not that I can't continue, but I want to improve my form and technique before counting distance and speed (besides, I don't know how to do flip turns :( ). If bad forms are not corrected in early stages, swimming long distance will only make them bad habits, the longer, the worse, and harder to correct. On the other hand, this makes my swim too easy and relaxed, without any pressure. "Improving form and technique" can go on indefinitely! I wonder when I should start counting speed and distance?

So I would be interested to know, when you gradually became a better swimmer from a newbie, when did you start counting how long you have swum (continuously), and to look at the clock to count speed? :confused:

Counting/measuring wise, I start all of my new swimmers as soon as they get the general idea of their technique and form. The reason is because it is much easier for them to see the improvements if they are consistently measured.

With regard to how you are swimming the lengths/laps, are you mixing a swim into your drill set(s)? In other words, are you swimming straight drill with no regular swim sets? If so, I would suggest to alter your workouts to be more along the lines of drilling the technique and form but also to include swim in there as well. For example: instead of doing a 4 x 50 IM order drill set, do a 4 x 75 IM order drill with the first 50 as drill and the last 25 as swim (but concentrating on the technique that you just drilled). As you get more efficient with your technique you can add speed and distance on those figures. Again, just a thought.

ddl
October 14th, 2008, 11:23 PM
Thank you all so much for your replies! Dave, actually the stroke count is the only thing that I have been working on--that's why I swim so slowly ;) I could do 20 spl for freestyle and 21 spl for backstroke (these are quite real since I don't kick very far from the wall at start). How are these for a newbie?

Lainey, I admire you for self-learning flip turns. I tried it only twice. The first time, I hit my head on the wall :frustrated: (just like this except it's the back of my head hitting!) ouch! The second time, I was upside-down underwater for too long and got my nose (and sinus?) filled full with water, very uncomfortable.

Sarah and others: I will follow your suggestions to start doing 50's. One problem with this is that my goggles rarely last more than one lap--it usually starts leaking at the end of the lap :(

Rykno
October 15th, 2008, 06:21 AM
I don't remember when I started counting laps the first time through. I was under 6, so I am sure it was mostly 25's and 50's. but I did a simathon as an 8-9 yr old and then I did 400 lengths, it wasn't me that counted, but someone counted for me.

as a master I started counting from day one. I could barely swim a 50 with out feeling like I had to stop to stretch, then it was a 100, 200 and then 300. after a few weeks i was swimming 800 with stopping, but not often since most of my sets were based on 100's and 200's. but we did a time test for 800m and the first time it took me 12:40 6 weeks later it was 11:19 one year later I can swim an 800 in practice between 10:20-10:40 depending on the reason we are swimming it.

in general I have a hard time counting laps over a 200m.