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Swimming stamina problem??

Alright All, I am lookin for some advice if you have 5 mins.

I am doing the Blenheim Sprint tri in June (1st Tri) and have been base training in all 3 disciplines since Jan. My training is something like:

Sun - 1 hour+ cycle

Mon - 30 min swim/ drills am - 35 - 45 min long run eve

Tue - Day off

Wed - 30 min swim Am - 30 minute easy spin Pm

Thu - 20 minute jog Am - 45 minute easy spin Pm

Fri - 45 minute key swim training e.g 15 x 50m with 30 sec rest between

20 minute tempo run Pm

Sat - 30 easy spin and 20 minute easy run

I am fine with the cycling and am running between 7.5 and 8 min miles so ok with that but my swim stamina seems poor??

I do a 25m length with about 16/17 strokes and happily keep up with peolpe for about 100m then i start to fail and need to stop?? Help!! What am I doing wrong or not doing training wise?

All thoughts and suugestions welcome. Thanks Chris


  • gaterz1981gaterz1981 Posts: 233
    I had the same problem but on a smaller scale, i would tire out in 50metres. I was being too tense and fighting the water. So i now relax, very slow strokes, glide as far as possible and breath every other stroke. I actually go faster when trying to go slower........if that makes sense.
  • I used to have the same problem - in my case it was my breathing that was causing me difficulties. I wasn't breathing out during the stroke and was making a huge effort to lift my head too far out of the water so that I could breathe out and in before putting my mouth back under water. I also didn't rotate my shoulders much, meaning that my head had to be lifted (i.e. rather than a rotation where the head naturally moves to 90 degrees unless you choose to keep it facing down). Like Gaterz I was also trying to swim too fast and powerfully (and hence ended up being slower, knackered adn gasping for breath after about 4 lengths).

    The other part is slightly psychological - tell yourself that you are going to do 10 lengths without even 1s stops between lengths and stick to it, no matter how slowly you think you'll end up going. After about 8 lengths you kick in to a rythym that you can keep going almost endlessly. Once you've done 10, do 15 etc. Don't worry about speed until you've cracked the distance.

  • toadtoad Posts: 104
    I experienced similar problems when training for a sprint swim, however found swimming in open water with a wetsuit much easier than swimming in the pool, it didnt seem to be such an effort to keep buoyant.

    I remember my first open water practise swim, I went to the open water swim club at gosfield lakes, expecting to struggle with 750 mtrs and ended up doing 1500 mtrs.

    If you do swim drills with a pull buoy I think its similar to the feeling you get of improved buoyancy when using a wetsuit.

    Your swim prep looks good to me, good luck at blenheim the water there is very clear and nice to swim in however can be a bit chilly.
  • lowther76lowther76 Posts: 74
    Thanks for all your replies. Sounds like god advice. I think I do relax and try to get quite a high elbow when i breathe to help recover. Maybe i just need to slow down more then and just do what Tiring Tri ing said. Tomorrow morning i will attempt 10 lengths with no stops! Shall let you know what happens! Chris

  • legalbeaglelegalbeagle Posts: 208
    How did that swim go yesterday?

    best advice I ever got ... smile at the water ... it makes you relax.

    It sounds like you have already looked at your pace - but to try and find a sustainable pace try this

    1 length at a comfortable pace - time it

    2 lengths - same pace 10 secs rest

    4 lengths - same pace 10 secs rest

    8 lengths - same pace 10 secs rest

    repeat the session 3 times

    if you can't maintain the pace, you are going off too fast.

    Once you get an idea of the right pace, you can up the distances, something like

    10 lengths x 10 times - aimimg for the same time for every set.

    Good luck with it - stick at it, it will get better!
  • lowther76lowther76 Posts: 74
    Thanks legalbeagle. Weird but swimming felt much better this morning -maybe attitude has alot to do with it too?

    I swam a few 50m sets with maybe 10 secs rest then did a couple of 100m sets then a couple of 150m sets. Finally i managed 10 lengths straight out and it didnt feel too bad.

    I like the sound of that session you have suggested and will do it on Friday morning -no work so plenty of time! Result. If i manage this session should i repeat same session for a weeks or so before stepping up?

    It seems the more i concentrate on form and style the worse it feels and the more i lose it!

    All other swimming session tips welcome - I shall report back on Friday! [:D]

    Thanks Chris
  • gaterz1981gaterz1981 Posts: 233
    [:)]if i think too much about what i'm doing i forget to come up for air
  • legalbeaglelegalbeagle Posts: 208
    Hi Chris,

    I know what you mean about the more you concentrate the worse it gets - I'm just the same.

    As for how often to do this session, it depends how many times a week you swim and how you feel, really. I usually keep the 10 x10 as a set that I do for one session per week over a few weeks, then I switch to 5 x 20 for a while and then a few others. Somewhere at home I've got a 6week plan that I followed last year, I'll dig it out over the weekend and post it on here next week for you to have a look at - it really helped me a lot.

    Hope tomorrow goes well - our pool will no doubt be closed, as it usually is on a holiday weekend! so I doubt I'll get any swimming done. Perhaps I'll try and get a decent run - execpt that I hate running!!! and they forecast snow here at the weekend - oh joy!
  • lowther76lowther76 Posts: 74
    Thanks all for the sound advice.

    Apparently the pool is open near me so day off and swimming - woo! Would be well interested to see the 6 week plan - [:)]

    Shall let you know how my public drowning goes tmrw!
  • gruffymaxgruffymax Posts: 21
    Sounds familiar! I run out of steam at about 100m. I think im trying to swim too hard. I think i'll slow it down and not worry about the speed, just the meters!
  • LuckyLucky Posts: 137
    Anything like me when I started out then I was just kicking too much.... a year ago 50m killed me, yesterday did a recovery 1km swim during my lunch break. Get some lessons, get a lot of practice.
  • bennybenny Posts: 1,314
    I'm with Lucky; patience and consistency are golden. (as it is for every discipline of our way of life called triathlon).[image]http://forum.220magazine.com/micons/m4.gif[/image]
  • legalbeaglelegalbeagle Posts: 208
    Hi Chris,

    hope the swimming is going well, as promised, here is my 6 week plan that our club coach, Pete, put together for me last year - it was for my first open water swim - so there is an extra session each week specific to open water- you can leave this out if you want - or wear your wet suit in the pool. I used it for training up to a race date hence the taper at the end. You can adjust the distances to suit your up and comming races, I found this helped my swim loads and gave me great stamina - enjoy!

    If you can get a coached session in each week on top that would be good, if not, have a 45 min session of drills and technique work

    All the sessions are front crawl, have a 10 min warm up first and a bit of a wallow at the end to recover

    week 1

    4 x 400m alternate each 400m with pull bouy - and aim to go fastetr with the pull bouy 25 secs rest between sets

    1600m straight swim take a time split every 400m - aim to keep them all the same

    15min open water swim - with focus on breathing and sighting

    week 2

    8 x 200m alt with pull bouy 25 secs rest between sets

    1600m straight

    15min open water

    week 3

    4x500m alt with pull bouy 25 secs rest between sets

    1600m pyramid 100m, 200m, 300m, 400m, 300m, 200m, 100m, with 30 second rest between sets and if you can, aim to be quicker on the last half

    20min open water

    week 4

    10 x 200m alt with pull bouy 25 secs rest between sets

    2k straight take splits evey 500m

    20min open water

    week 5

    10x 200m 25 secs rest between sets - all same pace

    2k pyramid 100m, 200m, 300m, 400m, 400m, 300m, 200m, 100m, 20secs rest between sets as before, aim to be quicker on the way down

    25min open water

    race week

    easy swim session

    10 x 100m 30 secs rest between sets

    I'd love to know how you get on - keep posting!

  • lowther76lowther76 Posts: 74
    Cool thanks for that LB [:D]. What distance were you training for? This training is currently above me as maximum lengths i have put together is 10 lengths = 250m. Think I have been getting better but have swimming lessons starting next week so have high hopes!

    Finding it really hard to get full breaths of air at the moment and have read lots of other peolpe with same thing. starting to wonder if I am allergic to chlorine as have no trouble running or cycling really. [8|]

    Gonna try that 25, 50, 75, 100, 150, 150, 100, 75, 50, 25 tmrw am as think I can do that. we shall see. Thanks again for the advice.
  • lowther76lowther76 Posts: 74
    [:D] I think (Hope) things have gotten better today regards swimming and went down to the pool this Am with the determination to make things better. I did 10 minutes warm up then did the following as suggested by legalbeagle:

    25, 50, 75, 100, 150, 150, 100, 75, 50, 25 - i did this with 30 secs rest between each set. Struggled a bit on the 2nd 150 but did it in under 20 mins so not too bad considering 4 and a half minutes were rest.

    Someone pointed out that was head was tooo far submerged and i was looking down ay 90 deg not 45 in front. I changed this and think it has made a dramatic improvement to my breathing and helps with a more natural upper body roll. I also really concentrated on breathing out under water - something that i think i had been forgetting to do!

    Anyway thanks for peolpes advice. i am no means "There" yet but feel on the right road at least. Have a good wknd training in the rain and wind if your uk based! Roll on clock change and summer!
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