View Full Version : Where do I go from here?

January 11th, 2011, 11:42 AM
I've been swimming since I was little but splashing around in the pool was the extent of it. About 2 years ago I decided to do some "real" swimming. Since then I've been swim for 1/2 hour 3-4 times a week. I took a lesson last year and learnt some drills. I practice them often.

Now I can swim but I'm slow. I can swim 1300 yards in about 1/2 hour. My fastest 50 yards is about 50 seconds. I can sustain 50 yards a minute for about 200 yards. But more alarmingly, I feel I've hit a plateau. I've been at about the same place for the last 3 months. I'd hate to think that this is as far as I'd get.

Suggestions, advice, encouragement or even reality checks are greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.

January 11th, 2011, 12:28 PM
swim faster faster can help you

more information about you would help too
what's your:
training background

the quickest way for speed challenged swimmers to get faster is by improving their technique & equipment.
One on One lessons are best.
Have a one on one swim faster faster session.
Have someone who is an excellent swimmer get in the water and watch what you are doing & offer improvement suggestions.

I suggest you

Train harder, smarter, faster, further, more often with a
positive attitude, coached by a
great coach, with
fast fun positive hard working team mates, in a
convenient facility with adequate lane space & at
convenient times while having
tons of fun

Try my
Help! My ___ is Horrible! speed improvement Programs
focus on Freestyle speed and Flutter kicking

right now you're swimming 1/2 hour 3 - 4 times a week
You'll improve by bumping up your training to
4 - 6 times a week
45 min to 60 min per work out

read the blogs to get work out ideas
not sure who you should follow until I know what your goals are.

you can swim faster faster, good luck, let us know how you do


Redbird Alum
January 11th, 2011, 12:33 PM
I suggest a change.
- Try adding a new stroke
- Try adding some time to your workout, or more workouts to your week.
- Try some different distances, repeats, drills.
- Add some practice "toys" (kickboard, pull-buoy, paddles, monofin)

But most of all, if you are swimming alone, try to reach out to others:
- Get a swim-buddy.
- Sign up for Go The Distance
- Keep letting us know what you are trying, what works and what doesn't.

January 11th, 2011, 04:13 PM
Thanks for the quick responses. As far as more info:

I'm a 40 year old, 5'8" (and to make matters worse, I have a long torso with shorter arms and legs), 150 lbs male.

I learned to swim at 12. Up until 4 years ago I was able to do about 50 yards before getting thoroughly winded. I also had a gross misconception about what front crawl should look like. I learnt a lot from my daughter's lessons at the Y. The rest of the training came from youtube! 2 years ago I decided to get "serious". I worked on increasing my endurance. Took some trials and errors before I was able to do 1000 yards without stopping. I took a Masters-Beginners lesson at the Y in September of last year.

My short term goal is an olympic tri in May this year. My long term goal is to learn all 4 strokes well (I'm pretty shoddy with my fly) and aspire to do this (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lJPW14VMg-c)!!! Perhaps not in this lifetime but I could still aspire, couldn't I?

I'll join the Masters lesson at the Y in March.

I have some equipment. I have zoomers, paddles, kickboard and pull float. A swimmer and an ex-coworker of mine suggested I buy those things. I use them on most of my workouts.

Increasing the time I can spend swimming is not an option at the moment. Between work and 3 kids, my lunch hour is all I get. I'll try to make some time for myself this summer perhaps.

Thanks again for the quick responses.

January 11th, 2011, 09:46 PM
Increasing the time I can spend swimming is not an option at the moment. Between work and 3 kids, my lunch hour is all I get. I'll try to make some time for myself this summer perhaps.

As your time is limited, you need to make the most of your pool time (she says stating the obvious). What I mean is rather than say, just seeing how long you can keep going for in an hour, work on something specific within that for a couple of weeks then add in the next challenge.

Eg I got back into swimming seriously again last summer and first job was to increase my DPS (distance per stroke) on freestyle. So counting freestyle strokes gave my workouts some focus and I got measurable results in a short space of time.

January 11th, 2011, 10:25 PM
I took a lesson last year and learnt some drills. I practice them often.

With just the information about your age, size, and speed, my guess is that you are practicing a lot of really inefficient movements. To say it another way, my observation of people who are as slow as you are even though they are fit enough to keep going steadily for 30+ minutes is that they usually have something fundamentally wrong with the way they are trying to get through the water. Occasionally I see someone who has pretty good form but is slow because their muscles are too weak to sustain a decent stroke rate, but those people are rare. Far more numerous are the people who swim slowly because their shoulders are up while their hips are down, and their elbows rather than their hands and forearms are leading their pulls, and their feet are flexed at right angles, and their heads are wagging all around.

If I am right, then to swim faster you need some personalized instruction to improve your technique, not more swimming with the same technique. Joining a group may work, if the coach has the time and expertise to help you figure out what you need to change. Just swimming more may help you become able to continue your inefficient stroke for a longer distance and time, which might be good enough to get you through your tri, but it probably isn't going to make you faster.

BTW, the swim toy that helps most with learning these skills is the one you don't have: center-mount snorkel.

January 11th, 2011, 10:47 PM
We can make suggestions but it would be easier if we could see you swimming. A little video clip or two would be nice.