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Warm up for swimming


Only joined the Forum today, so thought I'd post a questions

to all you experienced Triathletes.

Not being the a good swimmer I have a few problems mainly

with the start of the swim, for the first 4 to 500 hundred metres

I tend to hyperventilate leaving me breathless thats when

I have to revert to breastroke, after that the breathing

settles and I can get into a normal stroke.

This is my first year of tri after coming from a running/biking

background whre air is always available.

I'm not frightened of the water, I actually prefer open water to pools.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Also does anyone know any good swimming instructors in the

South East Essex/ east London area so I can spend the winter trying to improve

my stroke.

thanks in advance


  • RewRew Posts: 62
    Welcome to the forum luaphor.

    It may sound silly but the key to a good swim is to relax. This is the one area a lot of newbies struggle. You will find many posts on here asking about the same thing.

    If the swim is open water take yourself away from the rush at the front and place yourself at the back or to one side. Let the quicker ones off and then enjoy your swim.
  • WElcome Luaphor, I have the same problem with swimmimg except that my problem distance is 250m. I am learning to slow down at the beginning, control is the key. I onoly started to learn f/c in January and it has improved so much. I haven't swum open water yet but my second tri was 800 in an open air salt water pool with no anti-turbulence lane ropes after 250m i swopped to breaststroke and back and forth until i climbed out very embarrassed and dejected after 32 lengths. Last night the warm up was 600m straight off and i coped so much better than then.

    Good luck with the training, relax it will get better.

  • ChrisChris Posts: 17
    As a swim coach myself i tend to see this happen alot.

    The main thing is not to hold your breath. (alot of new swimmers hold their breath when face is in the water). The key thing to do is to breath normal. i.e. when your face is out of the water you should inhale (through your mouth) and when your face goes back in the water you should exhale (either mouth or nose or both).

    What you must not do is to hold your breath as this cuses you to become tired very quickly!
  • nickjaywnickjayw Posts: 33
    Hi Chris,

    I've been training myself to hold the breath in for the first 2 strokes, then exhale on the last before taking the new breath. This way, I'm more boyant through the cycle. I don't seem to find myself stressing too much and it allows me to delay for a 4th stroke if waves/people are coming from that side.

  • PC67PC67 Posts: 101
    I took useful lessons from a London based comany called Swimming Nature but I don't think they do Esat London. I took a course of 5 weekly 30 min lessons & my technique improved quite a lot, though I still struggle to get everything right simultaneously. My teacher was a Polish girl & she was as tough as nails. No time for banter or a smile at all!

    I was taught to breathe out slowly and constantly. A very good tip is to exhale completely on the last breath, just before you come up for air. This makes a huge difference. If you still have air in your lungs you tend to gasp for your in-breath - as your head comes up in the air you have to breathe out before you breathe in & you haven't time to do both. . If you've completely exhaled it's MUCH easier to get a good breath in. You have the whole time your head is out of the water and you can take adeeper, more measured breath.

    I was taught to make sure I'm making light but constant bubbles throughout the full cycle of 3 (or 4) strokes and to make sure you've fully exhaled the last bit should be a lot of bubbles out (a big quick GLUG GLUG GLUG sound just before your head moves out of the water).

    A DVD that came free with 220 magazine recently offered the tip that once you've taken your in breath, when your head's in the water actually say "bubble.... bubble.... " out loud which makes sure you're exhaling constantly at the right speed.

    Total Immersion says to take "Yoga" breaths which is kind of the same thing, though as far as I know strictly speaking a Yoga breath is the same length in as out which I don't think is possible swimming!

    If you're breathing quickly and at an uneven tempo, gasping on your in breath you're going wrong. But I guess you didn't need me to tell you that.

    During my Oly distance swim in June I concentrated meticulously on my stroke but breathed in every two strokes for most of it, just to make sure I kept fresh.
  • nickjaywnickjayw Posts: 33
    I have a friend who is trying to give me some coaching in an endless pool, so I guess I'll face my issues fairly quickly. However, getting to change it all will take a bit of time. Hopefully, I'll be much more efficient for next year when I try for the Full Ironman.



  • Try getting in the water as early as you can before the race and put your head under as soon as possible and start swimming frontcrawl with your head down until you acclamatise to the cold.The cause of your hyperventilation is probably due to the cold water taking your breath away more than anything. Also if you can, do some open water training sessions throughout the year and practice giving yourself a few minutes to acclimatise to the water before swimming 4/500 hundred hard, you should find that you'll adapt to it quiet quickly.
  • hi all i have just got total immersion and it says try and swim like a yacht rolling on to your side tryed it ,thers not a lot of water left in the pool i swallowed the best part of it [image]http://forum.220magazine.com/micons/m15.gif[/image]
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