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Dave60625
September 10th, 2004, 09:43 PM
I have just started swimming and wanted to see if anyone here could give me some advice on a workout routine for adding some swimming workouts to my exercise routine.

My main form of exercise for the past 8 or so years has been running. I have run 6 marathons, with a personal best of 3 hours flat. So I have decent endurance but don't have very good speed.

I am basically just looking to add swimming to my workout routine to vary the routine and keep things interesting. I am not looking to become a particularly fast swimmer. I basically want to continue to work on my cardiovascular development and also work on toning my upper body...something that doesn't really happen when you run!

I have been swimming for a little over a week now. I can swim breast stroke pretty much non-stop without getting winded. I am currently swimming a half-mile 5 times a week, with nearly all of my swimming being the breast stroke. If I go to the crawl, I tend to get winded pretty quickly. I associate crawl with speedwork like 400s or quarter miles that I do for my running.

So with all that out of the way, my plan right now is to swim mostly breast stroke for half a mile, 5 times per week. I will throw in a little crawl to get my heart rate up and to add a little variety. Is this a reasonable workout? I'd like to work my way up to a mile for 5 times a week but I want to take my time and slowly build up my routine.

Any thoughts, suggestions, pointers or recommendations would be appreciated!

msgrupp
September 10th, 2004, 11:03 PM
As a runner you need your knees. Be careful---breast stroke done incorrectly CAN lead to knee problems.

While breast stroke isn't a speed stroke (such as butterfly) and it's easy on the shoulders (one of the first strokes you're allowed to do after shoulder surgery)---why NOT challenge yourself and do some freestyle?

Doing an hour of breaststroke vs an hour of freestyle--you'll be doing about 1/2-3/4 of the distance you'd do with freestyle.

knelson
September 10th, 2004, 11:23 PM
The fact that crawl gets you winded so quickly suggests your stroke technique isn't the best. I would really concentrate on that. I don't think you'll get the full benefit from your swimming workouts until you can get your technique to a point where you can swim crawl nonstop for, oh, probably 15-20 minutes without stopping.

Dave60625
September 11th, 2004, 07:47 AM
Thank you very much for the advice. It sounds like trying to work in more freestyle is the way to go. I think the combination of the up and down kick plus the crawl is what gives me a hard time. My legs start to get tired and my form starts to fall apart.

I'll work on doing freestyle at the start of my swims and hopefully over time that will become comfortable enough where my whole routine can switch from being predominantly breastroke to being predominantly freestyle/crawl.

I will also check with the instructors at my health club to make sure my swimming strokes are correct. When doing the breaststroke I do a frog kick and haven't had any problems so far but an ounce of prevention is always a good thing!

Thanks again.

Alicat
September 11th, 2004, 08:37 PM
Personally I HATE to run, but the weird thing I heard --not too sure if it's true, is that runners breath through their nose and exhale through their mouth. Swimmers do the oppisite --if this is true then maybe this is why I hate to run... Also may be difficult to find a swimming groove too for that matter!

mattson
September 12th, 2004, 10:33 AM
Originally posted by Dave60625
Thank you very much for the advice. It sounds like trying to work in more freestyle is the way to go. I think the combination of the up and down kick plus the crawl is what gives me a hard time. My legs start to get tired and my form starts to fall apart.

Runners tend to have stiffer ankles. This is good to prevent running injuries, but will definitely reduce your kicking propulsion. Remember to lean forward (using your lungs as floatation), to keep your hips up.

Have you tried pulling (with a buoy)? That will let you isolate the arm crawl from the flutter kick.

Dave60625
September 12th, 2004, 03:06 PM
Mattson

Thanks for the advice. That sounds like a good idea. Would a kick board work just as well? I know the health club has kick boards.

Dave60625
September 13th, 2004, 07:40 AM
Alright,

I went and did my swim this morning. I was able to swim crawl/freestyle for the entire half mile. I think my main problem was that I was kicking like a mofo so I would get winded very quickly.

This morning I was much more laid back with the kick and everything went fine.

Thanks for all the advice and pointers!