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Thread: Newbie here, Out of shape?

  1. #1

    Newbie here, Out of shape?

    Hello,
    I recently decided I want to start working out for a triathlon. I previously lifted weights for 1-2 hours a day, 2-3 days a week. I can run for several miles in a reasonable time but when I try to swim I literally can only swim for 2 laps before I have to take a break. Is this normal for a beginner? Also can anyone recommend a training routine?
    Thanks
    Adam

  2. #2
    Very Active Member mlabresh's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie here, Out of shape?

    Yes! It is normal. Have you been a swimmer before? Or are you entirely new to swimming? People who can't swim and swim and swim are not necessarily out of shape. They're more likely out of practice and inefficient. The best thing you can do is spend lots of time in the water! Work on your breathing rhythm (this is usually a big hurdle for new swimmers). Something that helped my husband, who recently took up swimming, was pretending his chin was connected to his shoulder. This way you're not turning your head too late and shorting yourself on oxygen. Make sure you're also exhaling IN the water and not waiting until your head is out for a breath. Experiment to see what works best for you as far as how often to breathe. You might need every other stroke, you might only need every 3rd or 4th stroke.

    Have you learned to do a good streamline position? When you get in the pool, are you just doing freestyle? Or are you using a kick board or pull buoy? What do your workouts look like right now?
    ~Megan

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    Very Active Member Swimosaur's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie here, Out of shape?

    Quote Originally Posted by kurite View Post
    ... I literally can only swim for 2 laps before I have to take a break. Is this normal for a beginner? Also can anyone recommend a training routine?
    Yes, it's quite normal for a beginner. Here's the thing: Water is 800 times denser than air, so unlike running, THE SINGLE MOST IMPORTANT SKILL in swimming is AVOIDING WATER RESISTANCE. It's kind of a negative-space, zen thing, ok? Be as one with the water, grasshopper ...

    Does this guy look like he is expending any effort? He knows how to position his body in the water to avoid resistance.

    BORKED

    Watch Karlyn swim. See how her body position is streamlined in the water?

    BORKED

    Learn to avoid water resistance! For beginners and triathletes I'd suggest the "Total Immersion" series of books, videos, websites, etc. Google "Total Immersion" and see what you come up with.

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    Active Member tigerchik's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie here, Out of shape?

    Something else that might be helpful is getting some one-on-one swim lessons / working with a swim coach. Most YMCAs have someone you can ask for a lesson ... that will go a long way toward helping you find better form in the water.

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