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InkJunky
October 13th, 2007, 10:56 AM
Alright, im new to this site, Im not a usual swimmer but i recently got in the pool and feel in love. I quickly made friends at the local pool on-base. Im a United States Marine with hopes and dreams in Becoming a Reconnaissaince Marine. In other words Marines with Gills. They are like the SEAL's from the Navy and Pararescue from the Air Force. The guys at the pool quickly tought me how to swim "the right way" cross-over and breast stroke as well as the Side-stroke and other technics. i go to the pool everyday. My biggest problem is dealing with the underwater 25 meter swim. To become a Recon Marine i have to accomplish the following....
1) 500 meter swim with out touching the floor in under 17min.
2) 30 min. tread
3) Deep end Rifle retreaval and then treading water for 5 sec.
4) 5 min. water float by using trousers as floating devise
5) 25 Meter underwater swim (my problem)

I have no problem with any of the others but the 25 meter kills me only because i feel like my lungs are going to explode. is there any tips of any kind out there that can prepare me for my "indoc" or evaluation to see if im sea worthy and serve as a Recon Marine. Thanks for hearing me out. :banana:

geochuck
October 13th, 2007, 11:00 AM
Just let a little air out of you nose as you swim underwater.

InkJunky
October 13th, 2007, 11:16 AM
Really?? I though the whole key was to hold your breath not release it

geochuck
October 13th, 2007, 11:24 AM
The large breath in is not necessary for 25m underwater swim. The more air the harder to stay underwater. You stay under water by pulling and sculling actions that keep you underwater.

InkJunky
October 13th, 2007, 11:32 AM
huh.......im going to try that. that makes sence the more air i have in my lungs im going to float to the top like i always do after like 10 meters, but that still doesnt help do to the fact that my lungs burn...Or is that all mental? and i need to get over it?

geochuck
October 13th, 2007, 11:40 AM
We used to practice just swimming 15 yards across our pool. It is done easily by pushing off the wall glide underwater one full breast stroke then leave the hands at the side and scull to keep the body underwater, with a few flutter kicks. We built it up so we could do 100yards underwater, but that is dangerous.

bud
October 13th, 2007, 11:46 AM
... the 25 meter kills me only because i feel like my lungs are going to explode. is there any tips of any kind out there that can prepare...
practice. try different things and find what works. do breathing exercises on land to improve your lung capacity. there are a number of yogic breathing exercises (http://forums.usms.org/showthread.php?p=57632#post57632) that can help. (that thread and this thread/post (http://forums.usms.org/showthread.php?p=95411#post95411) may help too).

what geochuck said is spot on.

...

InkJunky
October 13th, 2007, 11:57 AM
wow, 100 yards!!! thats insane. well just hearing that makes me more confident that if 100 yards can get accomplished by a human then 25 meters is only a quarter lengh of that. And BUD thanks for the threads. You guys have been alot of help in finding new ways to practice and train for my Indoc. When i ask Marines how to improve all they say is "SUCK IT UP" lol. So i have to resort to the internet for advise.

bud
October 13th, 2007, 12:27 PM
check out this underwater record (http://forums.usms.org/showthread.php?t=4673) thread. you may find some very useful tips there. your life may depend on it one day.

[i had to rt-clk >save (to my local hdd) to view the vid this time.]

i googled it and found it here (http://www.piranhaconsult.com/weblog/2006/01/world_record_underwater_swimmi.html) too.

166m w/o fins... so yeah... suck it up! :-p (just kidding)


i routinely go 25yds, but it is how i start every practice (i see how far i can go underwater to start). in a scy (25yd) pool i've made it back to the back stroke flags, but never made it the full 50yds.

try not to think about it too much. make it a meditation.


but then again...

pink elephants

the guru told his student to go home and practice his meditation. "but whatever you do", he said to the student just as he was leaving, "don't think about a pink elephant". of course when the student got home and tried to meditate, all he could think about was a pink elephant.


another favorite of mine that is similar goes:

Zen and the Art of Bicycle Riding

A Zen teacher saw five of his students returning from the market, riding their bicycles. When they arrived at the monastery and had dismounted, the teacher asked the students, "Why are you riding your bicycles?"

The first student replied, "The bicycle is carrying the sack of potatoes. I am glad that I do not have to carry them on my back!" The teacher praised the first student, "You are a smart boy! When you grow old, you will not walk hunched over like I do."

The second student replied, "I love to watch the trees and fields pass by as I roll down the path!" The teacher commended the second student, "Your eyes are open, and you see the world."

The third student replied, "When I ride my bicycle, I am content to chant nam myoho renge kyo." The teacher gave praise to the third student, "Your mind will roll with the ease of a newly trued wheel."

The fourth student replied, "Riding my bicycle, I live in harmony with all sentient beings." The teacher was pleased, and said to the fourth student, "You are riding on the golden path of non-harming."

The fifth student replied, "I ride my bicycle to ride my bicycle." The teacher sat at the feet of the fifth student and said, "I am your student!"

knelson
October 13th, 2007, 12:30 PM
One thing that might help you is to stay relaxed. Don't try to go as fast as you can. Stay as streamlined as you can when not stroking. Take big, powerful pulls and kicks then streamline. If you try to kick constantly it will really use your oxygen up fast. The quads are big muscles that consume lots of oxygen. With good form an underwater 25 is a piece of cake.

david.margrave
October 13th, 2007, 12:42 PM
Inkjunky that sounds rough. In Army ROTC all we had to do was:

1) swim 25 yards in boots and BDUs.
2) step off a high dive holding a rubber duck (rubberized M-16) at arms length while blindfolded.
3) tread water with rubber duck for 30-60 seconds or something trivial like that.

What are you going to be wearing for this 25 meters underwater? It'd be rough in boots and BDUs! But in a suit and with a dive or push off the wall, it should be okay.

Midas
October 13th, 2007, 01:39 PM
I always take a bunch of deep but fast breaths before taking the breath that I'll hold for the underwater swim. Something just short of hyperventilating, but sort of like that. I feel it flexes my lungs out and gets them ready for a really deep breath. Breasstroke pullouts and kicks is the way to go (for me at least), as you can (theoretically) get good distance with each pull/kick without wasting too much energy. How far you can swim under water is a function of how long you can hold your breath and how fast you can make it across the pool without expending a ton of energy (which depletes oxygen).

Tactics
October 13th, 2007, 02:28 PM
I always take a bunch of deep but fast breaths before taking the breath that I'll hold for the underwater swim. How far you can swim under water is a function of how long you can hold your breath and how fast you can make it across the pool without expending a ton of energy (which depletes oxygen).

Good tip..normal breathing does not provide max oxygenation of the body..several really deep breaths and trickle out breathing through the nose can greatly increase the time you can hold your breath..breathe deep down in the belly and fully expand lungs and belly (it's a yoga practice),fill 'em up and push off..good idea to practice for a week or so on land once a day to get the technique and timing..

knelson
October 13th, 2007, 03:41 PM
Good tip

I disagree. This is actually a dangerous tip. Taking deep quick breaths will cause the CO2 level in your blood to drop, so it will trick your brain into thinking it doesn't need air (the urge to breathe is triggered by increases in CO2, not O2 debt). This will allow you to stay underwater longer, but you could also pass out. I think a safer strategy is to relax and take a few deep but slow breaths before starting.

For more info on this read this article in Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shallow_water_blackout

Midas
October 13th, 2007, 03:50 PM
I disagree. This is actually a dangerous tip. Taking deep quick breaths will cause the CO2 level in your blood to drop, so it will trick your brain into thinking it doesn't need air (the urge to breathe is triggered by increases in CO2, not O2 debt). This will allow you to stay underwater longer, but you could also pass out. I think a safer strategy is to relax and take a few deep but slow breaths before starting.

For more info on this read this article in Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shallow_water_blackout

I changed my mind. It's a good tip for me but I wouldn't recommend it to anybody else. I know where to draw my own lines. If you don't, then don't hyperventilate!

fanstone
October 13th, 2007, 04:18 PM
1- How far or how long you go without breathing is FIRST an action controlled by the accumulation of C02 in your blood. Later, much later, a whole lot later than 25 meters you would eventually need oxygen. What gives you the urge to come up for a breath is the carbon dioxide accumulating. What causes C02 buildup is energy expenditure and lack of breathing, or respiratory movements (to eliminate the C02)
2- If you swim fast you will get to the other side sooner, but if you swim fast you will accumulate C02 faster. If you swim slow you will accumulate C02 by not eliminating it with breathing. So you must find a point of equilibrium where you will reach the other side with slow deliberate movements.
3- If you hold your breath for a little past the point of despair or complete panic, you will enter a "second wind" zone of confort which will carry you another 5 or 10 or more meters forward.
4- All above is only for crossing a swimming pool. If you are going to dive deep other factors would come in and make it DANGEROUS to try for a "second wind" or try hiperventilating to eliminate C02 prior to the diving.
5- Lastly and with apologies for the seemingly professoral language, the main force that will take you across the pool will be mental, not training physically, nor bettering your lungs or cardiovascular capacity or whatever. The urge to breathe is powerfull but you can get some extra yards (or meters) by training to not come up at first urge to breathe, hold on a little and you will find a surprising quiet peacefull extra yardage. Take care, billy fanstone

mattson
October 13th, 2007, 05:15 PM
Keep in mind that when you start to feel the urge to breathe, you still have enough oxygen for 15 seconds (or something on that order). So what other people said: relaxed so you delay getting into oxygen debt, breathing out slowly (positive pressure on the lungs helps), and realizing you still have time when the lungs *start* bursting.

Concho Pearl
October 13th, 2007, 09:31 PM
Question what stroke are you doing underwater?

Streamline flutter kick with breast stroke pull?
Streamline dolphin kick w/ breast stroke pull?
Streamline dolphin kick only?
Streamline flutter kick only?
Breast stroke pull and kick?

Just a guess, but a bad stroke can slow you down and wear you out.
If your breast stroke kick is more like a scissor kick, you wont' be going any where fast.
After you get a good stroke technique, then it's a lot of practice, practice, practice

I can go a little more than half way in at 25 yard pool. Streamline dolphin kicking then adding a breast stroke pull after reaching the half way mark. But I can go farther doing a streamline dolphin kick after a back stroke start or turn, than I can doing a dolphin kick after a freestyle flip turn - working on that.

nkfrench
October 13th, 2007, 09:33 PM
Practice this only when you are supervised, not when you are swimming alone or with others who aren't paying attention. I know of too many incidents where people passed out but had somebody ready to fish them out.

Swimming "relaxed" is key like Kirk pointed. Focus on ONLY using the muscles you need, nothing else!

Syd
October 13th, 2007, 09:50 PM
1-
... the main force that will take you across the pool will be mental, not training physically, nor bettering your lungs or cardiovascular capacity or whatever.

Now this is interesting. I thought you could somehow 'expand' your lung capacity through training.

Syd

fanstone
October 13th, 2007, 10:32 PM
"Now this is interesting. I thought you could somehow 'expand' your lung capacity through training." Syd.

No, not within reasonable limits. If you had some lung disease, or post op from some huge surgery, you might do some respiratory execises to augment your lung capacity. But within physiological boundaries, your lung capacity is the one you were born with, it is genetic and hereditary. What you gain through exercise (swimming) is an overall increase in your cardiovascular capacity due to minute muscle changes, at cellular level, less fat, more mitochondria, more capillaries, better blood circulation and so forth. billy fanstone

InkJunky
October 13th, 2007, 11:51 PM
wow im over wealmed with the amount of knowladge and help. To answer a couple questions, I usually start with the flutter kicks and i really dont know what it is i do but i start doing breast strocks and kicks really fast. and i notice i feel like im getting no where. and ill be doing this in full BDU (Camuflouge Utilities) or just Cammies. No boots. What technic do you guys recommend.

david.margrave
October 14th, 2007, 01:11 AM
Underwater 25m wearing BDUs??? That's going to be a bit harder than with a speedo. Well it could be worse, like you say you don't have to wear boots!

I would do underwater breaststroke. Try to work a dolphin kick in there too, in a way that feels natural to you. That makes underwater 25s easier for me at least. What I do is pull, followed by breaststroke kick with an immediate dolphin kick merged at the end in one motion. It's kind of hard to describe. But if that complicates or confuses in for you, just stick with breaststroke pull + kick. All that aside, the most important thing is to streamline on the push-off or dive, streamline after every stroke, streamline as much as possible.

I would practice with BDUs if you haven't been doing so already.

Here's a video you could check out

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PApN3H5a2Ak

The basic idea here is she's streamlining as much as possible to preserve the momentum from her dive. She pulls and does a dolphin kick in one motion and you can see how she accelerates. Then she does a breaststroke kick and surfaces. You don't need to worry about the rules of breast stroke starts because you're going the whole length underwater. But just look at how far she gets with her dive, one pull + dolphin kick, and one breaststroke kick.

And one more thing. You are probably not in the habit of tying the blousing bands on your BDU trousers (I never did) because you probably always fold the slack out of them and tuck them into your boots. However for this swim it might be a good idea to tie them to keep your trouser legs from flopping around as much, since you won't have boots on.

Tactics
October 14th, 2007, 10:13 AM
"Now this is interesting. I thought you could somehow 'expand' your lung capacity through training." Syd.

No, not within reasonable limits. If you had some lung disease, or post op from some huge surgery, you might do some respiratory execises to augment your lung capacity. But within physiological boundaries, your lung capacity is the one you were born with, it is genetic and hereditary. What you gain through exercise (swimming) is an overall increase in your cardiovascular capacity due to minute muscle changes, at cellular level, less fat, more mitochondria, more capillaries, better blood circulation and so forth. billy fanstone

lung and cv efficiency can be greatly improved (VO2 max) through all forms of cv exercises..See www.brianmac.co.uk/vo2max.htm (http://www.brianmac.co.uk/vo2max.htm)

Blackbeard's Peg
October 14th, 2007, 10:23 AM
Now this is interesting. I thought you could somehow 'expand' your lung capacity through training.

From personal experience, i have found it is not so much expanding lungs as it is building up pain tolerance threshold.

fanstone
October 14th, 2007, 03:58 PM
"lung and cv efficiency can be greatly improved (VO2 max) through all forms of cv exercises..See www.brianmac.co.uk/vo2max.htm"

Cardiovascular efficiency can be improved, not lung CAPACITY. Even V02 is only increased about 15% from what you are born with. In other words, if you measure your lung capacity before and after exercises, swimming or whateve you do to increase it, there will be no change over the years. If you measure your V02 before and after you might have an increase of 15% over the years...

geochuck
October 14th, 2007, 05:22 PM
The lung thing - use the lung capacity you have. So many do not use their complete lung capcity.

Lots of lung capacity is never used. The secret is to use all that is availaible.

As I said in my first post release a little air as you swim under water. If you are loaded down with gear you should not have trouble staying under.

smontanaro
October 14th, 2007, 05:31 PM
If you are loaded down with gear you should not have trouble staying under.

OTOH you might have a little trouble surfacing. :D

Skip

geochuck
October 14th, 2007, 05:40 PM
Be sure and swim from the deep end to the shallow end.

Midas
October 14th, 2007, 08:39 PM
"lung and cv efficiency can be greatly improved (VO2 max) through all forms of cv exercises..See www.brianmac.co.uk/vo2max.htm"

Cardiovascular efficiency can be improved, not lung CAPACITY. Even V02 is only increased about 15% from what you are born with. In other words, if you measure your lung capacity before and after exercises, swimming or whateve you do to increase it, there will be no change over the years. If you measure your V02 before and after you might have an increase of 15% over the years...

I guess I have no reason to doubt that, but I feel like I have significantly greater lung capacity than your average non-swimmer (for example, we did a lung capacity test back in my high school biology class and I by far had the greatest lung capacity). I always attributed that to all the swimming I did. But if I was born with it, then I really lucked into the right sport!

Concho Pearl
October 14th, 2007, 09:20 PM
I really think that along with building lungs capacity you NEED a good stroke.

If they drop your in the middle of the sea, with gear on, you need strength- mental and physical, good strong lungs and a good stroke to get you though the water, one can not work without the other.

Because your wearing BDU ( which I'm assuming is full pant length) they naturally slow you down.

Flutter kicking may not work well because of the pant length, I don't know the science behind it - I'm just thinking flutter kicking may not work well maybe it's because the cloth going all the way down the leg is so loose it just has nothing to work with....nothing is cutting threw the water.... it just laying swishing around like it's in the washing machine.

Dolphin kick with a breaststroke pull could work.. because you legs are doing the cutting threw the water "so to speak" Even thought the cloth is there it could work better with your legs - with the up and down motion at the same time. The cloth is not going up and down at different times like with a flutter kick. Remember dolphin kick is a 2 kick process, one big kick followed by one small the small kick is done quickly after the one big kick.
A lot of fist time dolphin kicker will do the "big" kick, then slowly follow the another "big" kick.
This slows you down, it's KICK,kick, KICK, kick in a rhythmic fashion. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fbOarEx-EEc&mode=related&search=
See how she does a big kick followed by a small kick.

Learn how to get the most out of your breaststroke pull, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T2YN3irK1N8

Breaststroke kick could also work - but only if have a good breaststroke kick, breaststroke kick - too me - takes more time to learn how to do properly to get your kick to propel you down the pool.

Hope this helps.

swimmerlady
October 14th, 2007, 10:07 PM
wow im over wealmed with the amount of knowladge and help. To answer a couple questions, I usually start with the flutter kicks and i really dont know what it is i do but i start doing breast strocks and kicks really fast. and i notice i feel like im getting no where. and ill be doing this in full BDU (Camuflouge Utilities) or just Cammies. No boots. What technic do you guys recommend.


I used to be real good at the under water swims. I would suggest that you skip the flutter and do breaststroke pullout with your arms. The next thing would be a real strong kick. Not a regular breast stroke kick - but with your entire body at about a 45degree angel your kick would be a scissor. However, make sure that after the first initial pullout the rest of your pulls and kicks go as follows: Your hands only come up to the shoulders as you draw up your legs for another kick. Then you do another kick and snap the arms down to you thighs all at the same time. It is an explosive move and then you streamline and glide for as much as possible.

You don't want to kill your streamline and speed by recovering you hands all the way over your head. The second half of the pull has the power anyway. I also would let a little puff of air out on each kick and pullout. The exhale part is just like you would do with any other form of exercise when you are exerting.

Every once in a while our swim coach would have an underwater swim contest. The farthest I was able to swim was 2 and 3/4 laps in a 25 yard pool. Of course I thougt my head was going to explode - but I was so competative that I went last and had to surpass all the guys on the team.

Just a few easy deep breaths before you dive in is all you need. Keep relaxed and you should be fine.

geochuck
October 14th, 2007, 10:07 PM
I am sure the test is not related to what you would do if on a mission. The test is to see if you can participate in the required training. You would not be dropped in the ocean with your boots on. I am sure you would have fins on.

Warren
October 15th, 2007, 12:37 AM
going under water for distance is scary. When ever I try to see how far I can go I feel like passing out at the end. The furthest I have gone is 75 meters. When you hold you breath for a long time you are basicly dieing and its not a good feeling. Be careful because passing out under water is not good. I know a kid who passed out under water and inhaled some water into his lungs. He spent the night in the hospital.

osterber
October 15th, 2007, 11:43 AM
Yes - any time you are practicing this stuff, do so with supervision.

I always think it's a good idea to release a little air as you go. That 'out of breath' feeling is really an excess of CO2, not a lack of Oxygen. So you can release some of that CO2, which releases some of that CO2 buildup. But watch out for passing out... that's why you NEED supervision.

Stay relaxed. In a swimming-with-just-a-speedo scenario, it's much easier for me to go 25 yards underwater if I go slow than if I go fast. Sort of like a car... your best miles-per-gallon is somewhere in the middle. If you go really fast, you're just burning fuel too quickly.

Personally, when I swim underwater, I try to swim right along the bottom of the pool, just an inch or two above. I find that there's a certain 'ground effect' that helps me stick to the bottom, so I can focus more on going forward and less on staying submerged.

-Rick

Slowswim
October 15th, 2007, 11:58 AM
I remember from my SCUBA training that breathing out slowly allows better use of the oxygen in your lunges.

I also agree that faster is not better for this test. Stay relaxed and Glide a lot.

hofffam
October 15th, 2007, 12:28 PM
Lots of good advice here - especially the point about CO2 buildup. Experienced swimmers know that their body signals the need to breathe earlier than you actually have to.

Although I was just a decent high school swimmer, I was very good at swimming underwater. The summer before my freshman year of college (1976) I swam 100 meters underwater - two laps of a 50 M pool turning underwater. I used to practice swimming underwater because I enjoyed it and it was a fun challenge. The next several summers I was a lifeguard and regularly swam 75 yds underwater (but didn't make it to 100 yds - too many turns).

I found the following helped:

1. swim efficient full breastroke at a measured pace. You may feel a desire to accelerate at the end to reach the wall when you feel like dying. That's OK - but don't start out so fast that you consume vast amounts of oxygen. Flutter kick is way too INefficient underwater and will burn up oxygen. I assume you have a workable breaststroke kick.
2. When I attempted my 75 yd. swims, I'd swim 25 yds first. I'd rest a bit, then do it again. The second swim was always easier than the first. Then I'd do a fifty and rest. Then I'd go for 75 yds. I think the warmup swims help you smooth out your stroke, stretch your lung cavity slightly, and get your confidence level up that you survived (and will be able to go further the next time). For your 25M goal, practice by starting with 10M. Pop up and relax. Next time go 15M and relax. Then go for 25M.
3. You must begin exhaling somewhere around halfway to get rid of the CO2.
4. practice in a 25 yd. or 25 meter pool where you can stand up.

My two teenage sons absolutely kick my ass in the pool now, but I can snorkel underwater quite a bit better than they can now.

As a related note - I met Tanya Streeter - multiple world record holder in breathhold diving. Google her and see what she has done. One of my son's friends hired her for some training tips (swimming). Tanya told him to prepare for races by slowly filling his lungs with deep breaths and exhaling slowly. She said this builds up a bit of oxygen that would not be present with normal breathing.

fanstone
October 15th, 2007, 12:39 PM
"So you can release some of that CO2, which releases some of that CO2 buildup." Rick, I can't let this go by without commenting. The buildup of C02 is in your blood, your lungs are just used to blow in and blow out air. If you don't renew the air in the lungs there won't be any change in the dynamics of the exchange of gases from blood stream to lungs. You will blow out air with C02, yes, but you won't make "space" in your lung for the C02 circulating to jump into your lungs, because they will be deflated. There is an equilibrium always between the blood side and the air side in the alveolli. More oxygen on air side will make it move into blood, hence breathe deeply and hold it for awhile because you are letting your blood "catch" the oxygen (the release of C02 is happening at the same time in the opposite direction).

"that breathing out slowly allows better use of the oxygen in your lungs." Bill, this would work with scuba diving and very little with free diving. The breathing out slowly is just a way of making a PEEP (positive end expiratory pressure) which helps maintain the alveolli non collapsed longer. In running this is done by breathing out through partially closed mouth and other techniques. When all out, fast running, or swimming you just got to breathe in real fast and breathe out real fast, the PEEP factor is irrelevant here. You remember, when scuba diving, you deliberately blow out air slowly to use less air, and also to keep your balance and also to maintain position by not changing density too fast. When using a snorkel there is that slow deliberate breathing out. This wold work a little in free diving, or apnea, or whatever we are doing in this thread, but go a little ways with full breath held, then slowly exhale. One of my biggest problems and maybe for others here is exhaling as I am in the middle of a flip turn, so as not to get water up my nose, causing me to gasp for air sooner on the way out of the turn. Good swimmers keep the water out of their noses by slight positive pressure on the air there, but I am lousy and tend to blow air as soon as I start going upside down. Sorry for long post...billy fanstone

shark
October 15th, 2007, 12:48 PM
Or is that all mental? and i need to get over it?

Swimming 25 meters underwater isn't very difficult, even with camo's on. I have 6 year olds that do it for fun. (wo camos) I do not even need to ask them. I know I am going to get crucified for saying this, but if that is all you need to do to pass the test to become a Recon Marine, then my advice is to just get er' done man. Practice different things. See what works for you in that situation. Experiment. 25 meters isn't very far. You are young, get er' done. You are going to have to swim a lot farther than that to escape any type of gunfire. Do as if your life depended on it.

smontanaro
October 15th, 2007, 03:36 PM
In case you need any extra motivation or want to look at some excellent technique, check out Stig Severinsen and friends. Here's one clip on Google: 2007 AIDA World Championships (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fjK_aU3af_I)

ande
October 15th, 2007, 09:35 PM
learn how to streamline
take a big breath before you push off
learn how to smoothly move through the water conserving energy and air

ande


Alright, im new to this site, Im not a usual swimmer but i recently got in the pool and feel in love. I quickly made friends at the local pool on-base. Im a United States Marine with hopes and dreams in Becoming a Reconnaissaince Marine. In other words Marines with Gills. They are like the SEAL's from the Navy and Pararescue from the Air Force. The guys at the pool quickly tought me how to swim "the right way" cross-over and breast stroke as well as the Side-stroke and other technics. i go to the pool everyday. My biggest problem is dealing with the underwater 25 meter swim. To become a Recon Marine i have to accomplish the following....
1) 500 meter swim with out touching the floor in under 17min.
2) 30 min. tread
3) Deep end Rifle retreaval and then treading water for 5 sec.
4) 5 min. water float by using trousers as floating devise
5) 25 Meter underwater swim (my problem)

I have no problem with any of the others but the 25 meter kills me only because i feel like my lungs are going to explode. is there any tips of any kind out there that can prepare me for my "indoc" or evaluation to see if im sea worthy and serve as a Recon Marine. Thanks for hearing me out. :banana:

3strokes
October 17th, 2007, 09:48 PM
Just to add my :2cents: to the very good advice you've already received.

If you try too hard or try to go too fast (to get it over with sooner) you will run out of breath (in a manner of speaking) faster. Experiment and you will find a good medium speed that won't kill you. Don't exhale until you feel that you've reached your limit, then exhale a little bit. You'll find that you can keep going for a few more meters, then exhale a bit more then swim a bit more.

Aim for an efficient catch (i.e., hold the water solidly and pull yourself up to your catch and then glide as efficiently as you can; minimum resistance or drag.)

Here's something you might want to try. Try doing the 25m freestyle without breathing (not underwater). If you sprint all out, you probably won't make the length but if you go at around 60 to 75% power, you'll probably do it on your first go.

Good luck.

sc0u7
October 23rd, 2007, 08:03 AM
hi all!

read this tread and wanted to say, that i have a same problem- trouble swimming underwater for 25 meters. I tried with fins, and only making scissor moves with feet and hands by the sides, i was like a racing boat and even 30 metes wasnt very hard to do (could have done more, but did not want to explore my limits).
I also viewed those record videos, guy swimming for about 166 meters and so on, tried basically same moves, but i just dont have the flow! tried to slither through water like a dolphin, but it doesent really work, if i stare at the bottom of the pool, i dont see much movement at all and i usually grasp for breath about 5 or more meters from the end. tried taking deep beaths and smaller ones, really difference is marginal.

about mu lung capacity in general, i tried last night, and with very deep breath i managed to get the numbers 1 minute 58 seconds on the clock. And i could have done more, but again. didnt really want to go for the very limit.
any advice? thnx in advance.

hofffam
October 23rd, 2007, 02:37 PM
I think there are a few key points to good underwater swimming - most already made in this thread.

1. you must be efficient in your stroke. A poor stroke is wasteful of energy (and therefore oxygen). Notice in the record video how much streamlined gliding they do.
2. you must be relaxed. If you are panicky you will not be smooth and efficient.
3. underwater breaststroke is probably the very best stroke for most. Notice that the record breakers all swam underwater breaststroke. I saw many dolphin kicks in between strokes and a few odd flutter kicks mixed in. Other strokes may be faster - such as pure dolphin kick - but speed isn't the issue. You want to cover as much distance with the least amount of energy.

If you can hold your breath for almost 2 minutes sitting still without suffering you should be able to go for 30 seconds or so underwater.

sc0u7
October 25th, 2007, 12:21 PM
i thought so myself, that if i dont panic and all i can make it to the wal, but no, something must be wrong with my stroke or i dont know...i thought about hyperventilating, because 25 meters it so small distance that i would never ever faint ( and i can manage to do 20 meters with no oxygen), but i would like to try it "clean".

Should i take just a big breath or try to fit some air into the stomach too, by extra small breaths?:)


btw i start from the water, pushing off the wall, not from outside.

I tryed swimming freestyle, on the surface, staring the bottom of the pool, barely, but managed to do even 30 meters ( with very slow turn) of very fast swimming with no oxygen involved.

hofffam
October 25th, 2007, 02:26 PM
How long did it take you to swim the distance in freestyle? I ask to get some idea of your swimming speed - and perhaps guess your swimming efficiency.

My guess is that you are inefficient underwater. I haven't tried this recently, but I will guess that I could cover the distance (25M) underwater in 4-6 complete strokes (breaststroke). One stroke = 1 pull+1 kick.

Hyperventilating is a bad idea. You should take some slow deep breaths before you try. Take one big breath before you start. Then while swimming slowly exhale during the swim.

fanstone
October 25th, 2007, 06:27 PM
"try to fit some air into the stomach too, by extra small breaths?" hate to point out the obvious, but the only advantage of getting air into your stomach is at the burping contest.

islandsox
October 25th, 2007, 07:12 PM
Alright, im new to this site, Im not a usual swimmer but i recently got in the pool and feel in love. I quickly made friends at the local pool on-base. Im a United States Marine with hopes and dreams in Becoming a Reconnaissaince Marine. In other words Marines with Gills. They are like the SEAL's from the Navy and Pararescue from the Air Force. The guys at the pool quickly tought me how to swim "the right way" cross-over and breast stroke as well as the Side-stroke and other technics. i go to the pool everyday. My biggest problem is dealing with the underwater 25 meter swim. To become a Recon Marine i have to accomplish the following....
1) 500 meter swim with out touching the floor in under 17min.
2) 30 min. tread
3) Deep end Rifle retreaval and then treading water for 5 sec.
4) 5 min. water float by using trousers as floating devise
5) 25 Meter underwater swim (my problem)

I have no problem with any of the others but the 25 meter kills me only because i feel like my lungs are going to explode. is there any tips of any kind out there that can prepare me for my "indoc" or evaluation to see if im sea worthy and serve as a Recon Marine. Thanks for hearing me out. :banana:

Out of the five things you listed, number 3 bothers me the most; how heavy is that rifle? With ammo? As far as the underwater 25 meter swim, it will come with practice; your lungs will get used to it. Have a great pushoff, use your arms fully extended to grab as much water as possible, have a great frog kick and finish the kick, and let a little air out as you go. I'd have to say that in about a week or so, you can accomplish this underwater swim; as you train for it, your lungs will not scream at your brain that you need air. It's a process! But very doable!

donna

jim thornton
October 25th, 2007, 10:45 PM
Just got back from climbing Mt. Elbert in Colorado. I had a pulse oximeter with me, and at one point my oxygen saturation percentage was down to 72 percent. I was breathing deeply, and quite tired, but I didn't feel out of breath per se.

At sea level, with the same oximeter, normal oxygen saturation is somewhere in the 96-100 percent range when you're not exerting yourself.

I tried to see how low I could get it, back close to sea level, just by holding my breath while sitting on my livingroom couch.

My reading started at 98 percent, I held my breath for about 90 seconds, till I thought I was going to explode with the urge to breathe--and all the while my oxygen saturation level just went down to 93 percent. That's 21 points higher than its nadir on Mt. Elbert at around 14,000 feet.

Anyhow, Billy Fanstone has provided superb info in this thread. It's the build up of CO2, not the plummeting of blood oxygen, that causes that panicky feeling in your diaphragm where you feel you have to take a gasp of air.

I don't know if a build-up of CO2 is harmful physiologically speaking--maybe our Brazilian poster can elucidate on this--but I do know that you can get by with an awful lot less oxygen in your blood than you will lose in a 25 meter swim, even if this takes you 30-40 seconds or more to finish.

When we do breath control sets in practice, I always caution my fellow swimmers to surface if they start to see what appears to be a swarm of little black dots in their visual fields. No real scientific validation for such advice, but it just seems to me a reasonable step to take.

To paraphrase the former president Bush, to continue swimming underwater when the world is slowly going dark "just wouldn't be prudent."

sc0u7
October 26th, 2007, 05:20 AM
about "little black dots", i have expirienced about the same thing (not underwater though), but they werent dots, they were like little falling stars in my field of view, one time i expirienced this, doing ab training, hanging upside down., did about 6-7, then little stars appeared, and i stopped, i didnt want to break my neck during the fall...

sc0u7
October 26th, 2007, 08:27 AM
ok, back from swimming

i tried freestyle swimming, with pushoff from the wall, and i did 25meters with 29-30 hand pulls (left arm1, right arm 2...). Breaststroke, i swam with about 15 full cycles from the wallstart to the end (dive, pull up, dive, push with legs, pull up..dive...).


with underwater swimming, still no visible progress. with just a random breathtake i can do about 12,5 meters..then need for o2 kicks in.

fanstone
October 26th, 2007, 08:32 AM
Jim, thanks for the "superb". I am not yet satisfied with what I've got. But I keep on studying and researching the internet till I find the one explanation for the "out of breath" sensation when doing a flip turn, or when going faster in free, or when going any speed in fly.

1- I was at around 5,000 meters (16,500 feet) altitude in Nepal and put on a oxymeter and it read 86, and varied between 83 and 89 for the group. We were relaxing in the lounge of the Everest View Hotel. I had on my Polar all the time I was trekking and it read about 20 beats higher than I would normally expect, even at rest. But, after a week, I almost got a normal reading at rest, meaning I was physiologically aclimating, although would not yet having red blood increase. The pulse oxymeter measures blood saturation in your body, not lung, so it would take a long time for you to go blue from not breathing or swimming under water. If for instance you were on 100% oxygen and stopped breathing it would take longer to desaturate than when breathing room air (one of the reasons I never give oxygen to my patients on spontaneous respiration, because I want the oxymeter to show me a decrease in breathing movements, which would take longer if I fed them pure oxygen). But that is a matter for another thread or another forum, I was just curious about your using the oxymeter while climbing. That 72% was when exerting yourself, right?

2-Increased C02 would be harmful in longer time frame, not while holding breath. If one is weaning a patient of a respirator it is common to have longer intervals between respiratory movements to try and get their C02 up to make them breathe on their own.

3-So if buildup of C02 is not harmful, what is the problem? The problem is when one gets so good at holding their breath (i.e. withstanding higher pC02 in blood), eventually one does not breathe enough for enough oxygen to feed the brain (which is sensitive to less oxygen). In the worse scenario, a diver, or an apnea guy, or a guy going deep after fish, would hold his breath for so long (because he is mentally trained for that) as to get to a point where lack of oxygen to the brain would cause a "passing out", or if diving deep, when coming up, the different pressures in the water would change the partial pressures of the gases in the blood and also cause a lack of oxygen to the brain. In a swimming pool it can happen but is less likely. Notice after a strong swim, or a I.M., or whatever gets you, how breathless you are...that is because of excess buildup of C02 AND sometimes lack of oxygen. Also, when you go so fast or so strong as to feel like throwing up, that is also a function of lack of oxygen in brain, plus acidosis in blood. It happens while running or other exercise, so it is not so much a function of not breathing, as to producing excess C02 from energy systems and not getting rid of it fast enough...in other words, there are two problems when swimming, (underwater or not), the C02 produced by exercise and the C02 not eliminated by breathing.

4- Lastly: the 166 meters underwater in a pool, or the 500 feet deep dive and other stuff you read about are done by super trained athletes, they have no problem with their C02, they have to monitor or take care of their oxygen consumption and so forth. In our case diving shallow in a pool, or swimming, it would be rare to pass out, and yet, it can happen. My problem? not taking one stroke more after the flip, but breathing immediately, making my coach mad, making me wonder, where is my mental fortitude. Take care, billy fanstone

Syd
October 26th, 2007, 10:16 AM
Just to second what Jim said: excellent information Billy. I have learned a lot from your posts. Admittedly, I have to read over them at least three times before I start to understand but then I am not the technical sort. :p


so it is not so much a function of not breathing, as to producing excess C02 from energy systems and not getting rid of it fast enough...in other words, there are two problems when swimming, (underwater or not), the C02 produced by exercise and the C02 not eliminated by breathing.

Which begs the question: how should we be breathing so that we can eliminate this co2 buildup? Or is it inevitable and, therefore, unavoidable?



Syd

jim thornton
October 26th, 2007, 11:28 AM
billy--i was indeed exercising quite vigorously at the time of my 72 percent saturation, and it didn't stay down that low very long. as soon as i would rest a little, it would bounce back in the 80s.

you might find the article i am writing on this climb--a neophytes intro to the sport of peak-bagging--sort of interesting. i spent the summer pre-acclimating in a normobaric, hypoxic tent--an altogether miserable experience, given how hot and humid it was in pittsburgh last summer, but one which nevertheless did seem to prepare me pretty well for elbert (14,443 feet).

lots of elite athletes use these tents now to enhance sea level performance, and WADA so far, at least, allows their use. but the evidence they do any good for athletic performance at low altitudes (as opposed to preacclimatizing you to high altitudes) is mixed at best.

if anything, i feel i can breathe better in the pool now than when i was presumably EPO and blood cell enriched from the tent. I wonder if it just made my blood sludgier?

As for those light sensations, I get those sometimes too. I don't think they have anything to do with oxygen or CO2, but may be like super floaters or possibly some kind of blood pressure effect on the rods and cones of the eye.

fanstone
October 26th, 2007, 12:47 PM
Syd: there is no solution. You can train your mind to function with an elevated pC02, but as long as you are swimming above a certain effort, you will produce in excess of what you can get rid off. The lack of strengh or the swimming getting slower in a fast 100 or even a 50 is a factor of muscle fatigue, which involves many systems, including the oxygen or lack off. But the pure feeling of being out of breath is always related to your C02 and will only be alleviated by producing less or breathing more. When not in exercise, just pure diving or breath holding when you breathe you immediately feel better...when finishing a fast swim (which purists might say was anaerobic, because you run out of oxygen in the cellular level) you take more than one breath to get into normal breathing because you are eliminating an accumulation of C02 from exercise plus lack of breathing. When you run fast you also take sometime to get back into normal breathing, due to same factors (although the other factors such as oxygen depletion and so forth are also participating in this event).

Jim, excessive hiperventilating can produce light headness or dots. A common finding in panic attacks. This is due to low C02 content in blood (don't know why ). But lack of oxygen is also found in light headness. Also a small disturbance in your balance system (inner ear and so forth) might cause nausea/or light headness, irrespective of ventilation.

This is an extensive and interesting subject matter. Most people think being out of breath is being out of oxygen. But then, most people think the tanks used in Scuba Diving have pure oxygen. Costeau discovered the hard way (passing out) that pure oxygen is detrimental in diving and acts funny when person is under pressure. Last bit of useless information: american space capsules have a mixture of oxygen and nitrogen to make the 20-80 balance; the russians have 100% oxygen with one third atmospheric pressure to make the capsule safe. billy fanstone

david.margrave
October 26th, 2007, 02:22 PM
Interesting. I heard those tents are allowed for now but discouraged because their use is not considered to be sporting.

Also, I thought that U.S. spacecraft were also pressurized to 1/3 atmosphere, but with a higher oxygen concentration than 20/80, to make the same oxygen partial pressure as sea level.

fanstone
October 26th, 2007, 04:42 PM
The tent would be for sleeping, costs about 10,000. Like sleeping in Tahoe and going down to San Francisco to practice. Some swimmers (learning from runners) are doing some training in mountains, usually around 2 to 2.500 meters altitude. I believe some Brazilians went to the Sierra Nevada in Spain. American camps could be easy enough in Colorado, for instance. I did not look the pressure thing up now on the google, might later, but as I remember, the russians dominated the solid fuel technology, the landing on hard surface technology and the bringing the onboard pressure to one third one atmosphere (abou 300 milibars) to make the partial pressure okay. The americans use inert gases (nitrogen and others) plus oxygen to somewhere around 20 to 30% oxygen, which is ideal. The mixture to dive deep is with helium, so as not to have the "bends", caused by Nitrogen, but I don't know much about deep scuba diving. Anesthesia and ICU respirators turn out around 30 to 40% which you might enrich or make poor according to necessity. What I need to find out is how to make my motorcycle's mixture poorer...billy fanstone

david.margrave
October 26th, 2007, 05:27 PM
I did not look the pressure thing up now on the google, might later, but as I remember, the russians dominated the solid fuel technology, the landing on hard surface technology and the bringing the onboard pressure to one third one atmosphere (abou 300 milibars) to make the partial pressure okay. The americans use inert gases (nitrogen and others) plus oxygen to somewhere around 20 to 30% oxygen, which is ideal.

Here's everything you could possibly want to know about the subject

http://lsda.jsc.nasa.gov/books/skylab/Ch37.htm