View Full Version : Winded too easily

March 17th, 2009, 10:28 AM
I am a new swimmer and have only been doing it for a few months. My 5K run is about 8 min/mile pace and my bike for 20 miles is around 19/20mph. I include that info. because I believe I am in decent shape unless I am swimming. When I swim, my heartbeat hits 120 just after 25 yards. Swimming 125 yards is about all I can do and I feel like I am going to die at that point. I can't seem to get beyond that extremely low plateau. My resting is about 50. I have been meeting with an instructor and she says my form looks good, but I need a few tweeks here and there to continue to improve, so I know my form is by no means great, but I believe it is not bad. I am starting to get very frustrated. Does anyone have any suggestions?


March 17th, 2009, 06:57 PM
Different muscles dude. You are new. Keep swimming. I would say two years of steady training (3-5 days a week) can get you moving in the water descently. I started swimming four years ago and am still having breakthroughs. Swimming is more about moving through the water efficiently than being "in shape". Don't quit.

March 17th, 2009, 07:06 PM
If you are serious about improving your swimming:

- first, get some private coaching so that you can get your basic technique down. You may be able to do so in as little as a half dozen 30 minute lessons.

- then, find a group to train with (masters, triathlon, etc). At first, even after your lessons, you may only last 20 or 30 mins. But if your technique is OK you will experience very rapid adaptation, and within a few months should be able to swim for an hour at a reasonable pace.

- then, you can start to think about "specificity" - are you training for triathlons, for sprinting, etc.

Main thing: first technique, then group training.

March 18th, 2009, 09:59 AM
consistency and persistence is the key. everyone can become efficient in the pool, but it can take a long time. the good news is you can make big improvements in a relatively short period of time when you're new.

if you are only able to swim several laps in a row, then your technique in the water is the problem. its probably not about how you are moving your arms and legs. I would think about it more in terms of how you are laying on top of the water. float and pull yourself along real slow and comfortable and you can go forever. after you build a foundation your speed will develop.

float on top of the water without letting your legs sink. stretch your arms out in front of your head like superman. don't try to swim. instead just try floating nice and flat on top of the water. once you've got that down swim real slow. then start over.

grab a kick board and try to flutter kick a lap or two. the best swimmers are the best kickers. if the training and genetics are similar a better kicker will almost always beat a non kicker. it doesn't matter if you are into triathlons and won't need to kick as much if and when you race. if you want to be as good as you can be, then learn to kick. kicking is the closest thing to the magic touch that I know of.

finally, don't push it too much. keep it fun. start slow. swimming takes a long time. be patient and consistent.

good luck and let us know how its going.

March 19th, 2009, 03:50 PM
More cardio in the gym & outside when the weather in better. Long slow sets will help you.

March 19th, 2009, 05:03 PM
Exhale under water!!!

Try to breathe just like you do on land. SO many people try to hold their breaths and are fried. Exhale under water then ONLY inhale when you turn your head to breathe. Exhale SLOWLY!!!

March 23rd, 2009, 01:29 PM
Great advice. Thank you all. I think my body position is an issue. I don't float and I think I drag my legs through the water. If I use a pull bouy, I can go forever, but once I drop that, the energy output seems to quadruple or more. If I try to go slow w/out pull bouy, my legs sink -- so I end up going fast enough to keep them somewhat afloat and that adds to the burnout. The superman drill seems like a great idea along with the other advice. Thanks so much.

March 23rd, 2009, 06:23 PM
Try to kick deeper to keep your feet closer to the surface.

March 23rd, 2009, 07:22 PM
My friend is a fairly new swimmer - he is a great athlete, but has never been a real good swimmer. After watching him swim in a lane next to me and me thinking about his body position and mine, I told him to use his stomach muscles to keep his legs closer to the surface. He has improved a lot since then.:fish2:

April 6th, 2009, 07:59 PM
Can you explain what you mean by "kick deeper"? I thought flutter kick should be pretty mild, feet off center line maybe 1 foot each way.

April 7th, 2009, 02:26 PM
water is heavy, it weighs 8 pounds per gallon, it doesn't compress, it flows & moves, the laws of fluid dynamics apply

your body occupies space in the water & has to move through it.
Water doesn't have handles, there's not much to grip. swimmers hold water by sculling. How efficiently you move your arms & legs in the water determines how fast you move through it.

Improve your technique:
grip the water better with your natural oars & fins
slice through the water better with your body

Improve your Swimming conditioning
conditioning is event specific
running & cycling conditioning doesn't improve swimming conditioning & ability.

To improve your swimming ability
you need to

1) improve your swimming technique &
2) train in the pool harder, further, longer, more times per week, by a coach, & with a team for an extended period of time

Fatigue comes quickly, for new swimmers. training harder, further, longer, more times per week, by a coach, & with a team for an extended period of time will improve your ability, conditioning & speed.