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Swim style

Comming to tri from a predominately running background, my freestyle tech is pretty poor and being fairly close to forty probably isn't going to get much better. However the one stroke i did learn as a youngster was B/Stroke at which I'm fairly strong. My question is, do that many other triatheles use strokes other than FS. I know that I could 'do' BS in a reasonable time without too much training whereas just to 'do' 1500m FS would take a fair amount of effort to build up to.



From reading various thread, it seems a lot of people come to the sport from other than swimming backgrounds, so I assume my dilema is far from unique.

Comments

  • I started Tri, from a rugby league back ground, at 48, in 2004. I have done 9 sprints and 1 olympic, there are usually a few breast strokers. But most do crawl.
  • slatsslats Posts: 11
    For a typical Olmypic tri event, what would be the 'middle of the pack' (ie average) swim time?
  • BopomofoBopomofo Posts: 980
    In an open water event (of pretty much any kind) they will usually let you do any stroke EXCEPT back-stroke.



    The emergency signal is to float on your back with your hand in the air. If people do BS it could cause confusion.



    At least this was the rule in London last year, also Bournemouth Pier-to-Pier swim and any pool-based event I've ever done (although it's probably banned more for collision reasons in the pool).



    Note that this is not a British Triathlon Association rule, at least not one that I could find : http://www.britishtriathlon.org/events/rules/introduction.php



    (To pick up on another thread about tumble-turning in a pool event: this isn't illegal according to these rules either)



    In summary, if you spend all your efforts practising back-stroke and not FS, then you stand a fair chance of not completing the swim. Also, with a bit of time and effort you'll find FS is far easier and more efficient.
  • I've actually seem some pretty strong backstrokes...I wouldn't suggest doggy style...
  • I have just taken up tri (boxing day 2007) aged 44 and with a background in advanced chairobics and started swimming the day after. I managed 75 metres of fc and then had to switch to breaststroke. I wanted to master fc as I don't feel that I would be doing a tri "properly" if use breastroke.



    I joined a triathlon club that has a coached swimming session on a Friday where I have been given areas of technique to work on each time. Last week I swam 2000m frontcrawl, it's amazing how your body can adapt so quickly.



    So I would say: Get some coaching, do some practice on your own and you will be amazed how quickly you improve.



    If I can do it anyone can!!!
  • slatsslats Posts: 11
    Sorry for any confusion, but when I say B/stroke I actually meant BREST STROKE! I imagine it would be pretty off putting an an event to try and swim next to someone with arms flaling around and not looking in the direction they are going!
  • i used breast stroke in my first tri , so it is possible to do , i would however suggest learning f/c as it is faster and more energy efficient. also try to learn to breath to both sides so you can breath away from any waves
  • My understaning of the ruling since i started competing which is quite a few years back is that laying on your back with your arm in the air is classed as an emergency signal or you are in distress.[:)]
  • BopomofoBopomofo Posts: 980
    D'Oh!



    BS = Breast-stroke then. I see what you mean. For some reason I never even thought of that. I just got all concerned about you turning up to a race prepared to do Back-stroke and being told 'NO!'.



    If that is the quickest or, more importantly, the most efficient way for you to swim, then go for it. If you think that with a bit of effort your front-crawl could match it then go and learn. As I'm sure you know, front-crawl is the most efficient stroke you can do, IF you can do it properly. You may go quicker, or you may save energy, or both.... but if you simply can't do front-crawl, and despite practice, coaching and master's classes you still can't do it then go with what you know.



    Another thought... breast-stroke knee flexibility (ie lateral and twisting movement) is the opposite of what you need for running and cycling, where you need to keep everything straight. I've always been taught, and have learned from experience, that breast-stroke and running are poor companions.



    Finally... in breast-stroke you need to use your legs to keep the stroke going, so you arrive at the finish with knackered legs as well as knackered arms. With front-crawl you can flutter-kick to save your legs (maybe kick hard for the last 400m to warm them up) but you should be much more ready for the bike than with breast-stroke, where you'll get to T1 with sore thighs and twisty knees.



    *EDIT* I just re-read nigelt2's post. Armchair to 2k freestyle in what, 8 weeks? Amazing! Just shows what you can achieve with a bit of good advice, some friendly pressure from your mates at a club, and a whole bucket-load of determined attitude. Brilliant work, mate!
  • I did my first, novice event at Market Bosworth, I think it was 300 metres. I too struggled with front crawl, so after the first 50 meters, went to breast stroke. Big mistake. My legs were knackered when it came to the bike and run. Also wet suits are designed more for front crawl. I found the suit pulled across the chest. it is worth percivering with FC.
  • sfullersfuller Posts: 628
    nigelt2 wrote:


    I have just taken up tri (boxing day 2007) aged 44 and with a background in advanced chairobics and started swimming the day after. I managed 75 metres of fc and then had to switch to breaststroke. I wanted to master fc as I don't feel that I would be doing a tri "properly" if use breastroke.



    I joined a triathlon club that has a coached swimming session on a Friday where I have been given areas of technique to work on each time. Last week I swam 2000m frontcrawl, it's amazing how your body can adapt so quickly.



    So I would say: Get some coaching, do some practice on your own and you will be amazed how quickly you improve.



    If I can do it anyone can!!!



    Nigel, where in the country are you? what club was it?
  • In South Wales, the club is Pencoed Triathlon, nice people, very friendly!!
  • i breast stroked the [email protected] sherbourn lake in 1,52 last year. never again. when they pulled me from the water. i went to run up the slip and collasped. they picked me up again and i wobbled off to t1.

    still though, there was a load of heros in their blue caps be hind me.



    i am now hard at work learing the front crawl.
  • I could not swim fc at all last year. Using total immersion's DVD I taught myself what I think is a reasonable style. Plenty of drills and lengths later I've signed up for my first sprint. Shameless advertising I know, but when it clicked I became addicted, I'm in the pool practically every day. On my recent holiday I saw more of the ocean floor than I did my Mrs.
  • As a fellow Newbie I think you should go for the FC option.



    I started swimming training in January having not swum properly since I was 15 (now 41) and yes it was bloody difficult to start with. I could barely manage 50m.



    This week I easily managed 750m FC and my times are improving rapidly (although Mark Spitz hasn't anything to worry about!!!).



    Give FC a try for 1 to 2 months and I think you'll improve beyond belief very quickly.



    I used an excellent book 'Triathlon Training Swimming' by Steve Tarpinian as a starting point for technique advice and I've just started getting some coaching at the local pool once I'd got a basic style & swim endurance.
  • Yet another FC newbie! Started back in janurary and struggled with one 33m length. Now im swimming 1000m with 10sec stops between every two lengths. I've just kept at it. As someone has already said, the body will adapt very quickly. However, I do ache in muscles that I didn't know I had!
  • Hi Slats,



    How are you getting on with the front crawl now?
  • slatsslats Posts: 11
    Really well, I reached the point where FC is far quicker than my Br/S for the same amount of effort. The problem I have now is that I used a pull buoy to improve my arm tech, which is certainly getting there, however its become a bit of a crutch inso much as I'm faster and more efficent with it than without it! I'm now basically weaning myself off it. The thing is I love using it! My stroke feels really good and its a great upper boby work out. But I'm certainly getting there and have put all idea of Br/S out of my mind for tri
  • I know exactly what you mean as i found the same thing. Now I make sure that i only use a pullbouy for drills. Try to push your chest down and it will make your legs come up so you swim "flatter" and make sure you do long strokes so your hands almost touch your thighs, you will really feel the difference :)
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