Issues that limit progress in F/C for runners / cyclists
Why is it that so many strong, fit athletes find it so hard to learn to swim?
I'm in the process of writing an article about why experienced athletes who can run or bike fast and long distances can't go beyond 25, 50 or 100m without collapsing on the side of the pool completely out of breath. I've come across so many over the years who just wont even try any more or who struggle with it. I've recently been coaching an elite, record-holding ultra runner who has found the transition of learning to swim steady, continuous front crawl SO frustrating! It's taken nearly a year but we are finally getting to the point where she can do it. The 'journey' has been interesting for her and for me!
My hypothesis is that it is down to a combination of 5 or 6 factors the most significant of which are
breathing (specifically exhaling sufficiently),
anxiety due to lack of experience in the water,
sinking legs / bad body position due to runner's body composition,
stiff inflexible ankles causing unpropulsive kick
overall a sub-optimal technique causing the athlete to "fight the water"
perhaps also an "Arnie" mindset (a la Swimsmooth) which says I MUST be able to do this!
The article is coming together - I'll link it when completed but I'd be interested if any of you have experienced this as an athlete or a coach and what you think causes it.