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Csparks
December 7th, 2002, 11:06 AM
Hi, I'm a student at UNH and a marine biology major. I'm trying to get myself ready for a swim test I'll have to take at the beginning of the upcoming semester to get into a scuba class I want to take. The test is:

- 8 laps (16 lengths) in roughly 8-9 minutes

- treading water for about 15 minutes

- dragging someone your weight or more across the length of the pool

- swimming the length of the pool once without coming up for air

Now, I haven't been swimming for a while, and I managed the 8 laps the other day but it took way too long. I don't know if people have suggestions for improving swimming times, what kind of strokes are the faster and less taxing on the body, etc. I know sidestroke is a good stroke for me but my neck muscles are a bit weak so it'll get taxing after a while. So if anybody has some ideas of workouts that'd get me ready, let me knwo.Any feedback at all would be appreciated...
~ Carrie

msgrupp
December 7th, 2002, 11:29 AM
I doubt that even at YOUR fastest sidestroke you'd be able to do 8 laps in under 8-9 minutes. Sidestroke is generally not recognized as a stroke (i.e. breast, back, crawl, butterfly) and is not really designed for speed. Yes, it is used by lifeguards to drag a victim (or was in the "olden" days) to shore but it is not a "fast" stroke.
Practice is what will help you increase your speed and endurance in a more recognized stroke (like crawl). If you are not taking a breath on both sides--learn! It reduces stress on your neck and shoulders doing it that way. Back stroke can be done on a fast basis but would take alot of training to learn how to flip doing backstroke.
Perhaps another place to shave off a few seconds (which DO add up!) is in your turn and pushoff. Either learn to flip turn or work on your open turn. Someone from the swim team should be able to get you flipping in a few minutes (if you didn't learn it earlier).
Just be careful you don't try going all out -- you'll do fine the first few lengths and then lose what you gained when you do the last few lengths.
Treading water--you have to work up to that 15 minutes. Is that using your arms AND legs or just the arms? Generally it is done with the arms OUT of the water or holding a brick.
Good luck--I'd love to learn scuba diving but with the asthma I've got--I don't think it's a good idea.