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S&C UnderGround >> Any triathlon competitors?


1/7/13 9:54 AM
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ian4267
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I recently decided to take on an Olympic triathlon this year. I've always been good at running and cycling. But, swimming is another story. I can swim, I'm just terrible at it. Did my first swimming workout this morning and it was sobering to say the least. Any advice would be appreciated. Leave out the swim coach stuff though. I can't really afford that at the present time. Phone Post
1/7/13 10:43 AM
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ArthurKnoqOut
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forget swim coaches then and just swim....

check this out (cheesy but that's what I used)

http://www.mensfitness.com/training/endurance/fitness-tips-training-for-an-ironman-triathlon
 

and then read all the aux stuff like the 30 day training article and so on.

 

 

1/7/13 10:47 AM
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big_slacker
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Edited: 01/07/13 10:46 AM
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Tri club, meetup.com or a master's swim club. The masters team will have an actual coach and the tri club might. Meetup you'll just get tips from someone who may or may not know WTF they're talking about. ;)
1/7/13 10:59 AM
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ArthurKnoqOut
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meetup.com is a good place. There were only a few people here at the NYC one but a few of them competed at the NYC triathlon last year and I learned a lot from them about the sort of strength training to do and not to do for example.

1/7/13 11:01 AM
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ian4267
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Thanks Phone Post
1/7/13 5:35 PM
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bull neck
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If coaching is out of the budget I'd start with buying Total Immersion. I'll be upfront and say that TI won't get you swimming truly fast but it will help you to learn how to swim efficiently and not drown and from there you can start working harder and get up to swimming fast. Buy the book and the DVD of Freestyle made Easy ( I think that's what it's called).

Masters groups are also good but you don't want to be in them all the time. Group training of any kind is a compromise aimed at the biggest portion of the group, which as a new swimmer you're not in. A once a week or even once every two weeks session would be good for you to force you to have a really hard swim, as well as get used to having others around you in the water which is a big skill in triathlon.

Once you've got the not drowning part of swimming taken care of and the basics - ability to breathe both sides, blowing bubbles when your face is in the water, making a stiff paddle out of your hand and forearm, balance in the water, etc. I still advise a session every now and then with a coach. My gf could barely swim 50m without nearly dying about a year ago. I got her up to swimming 20 x 50m in a workout not trying to fix anything (because coaching your partner is shit) and then took her to see a coach. She made a huge jump in that one lesson. From memory she had 6 sessions, one every other week, and her swimming went through the roof in those three months. In December, only 12 months after starting to swim regularly, she did a 1.9km swim as part of a 70.3 in 37mins. That's not fast by any means but for a non-swimmer with only a year's time in the pool, and zero open water experience, that is a fantastic effort. But the fortnightly coaching sessions were the backbone of it along with minimum 3 swims per week. (Her 70.3 plan had her swimming 5 times early on).
1/7/13 8:45 PM
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Kevin Curtis
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To echo what others have said... I had good luck using Total Immersion to get somewhat comfortable in the water (...but have moved on now). Go to the TI site, and Google for more info.

Make sure you get into open water as soon as possible... TOTAL different animal.

And if you can afford, I recommend a wetsuit.

Here's a link to a nice vid series...

Gerry Rodrigues - How to Become a Better Triathlete Swimmer

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0fi5R65Isxw&feature=share&list=PLlqc5QXo7c5M0TRsZsZil-2IlsHPxtPp2


1/7/13 9:12 PM
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NeoSpartan
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If you didn't hear them the first time. TOTAL IMMERSION. Even the SEALs use their swim methods to get guys up to snuff at indoc/great lakes.

Also, I understand you can't afford a swim coach at the moment but whatever you lack in resources you can make up for in resourcefulness. Get on a swim board, or a tri board, make some friends, find a coach, join a free club, start swimming regularly and when you see one of those chubby old guys that move through the water like a shark (they're at every pool its kinda weird), ask for help.

Can't afford the TI stuff? I hate to encourage this because those guys material is well worth the money but... you're on the internet and porn isn't the only thing you can acquire for free.

You'll be surprised what you can come up with if you put some genuine effort into it.
1/8/13 5:11 AM
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Leigh
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I'm a decent swimmer and TI helped me. For triathlons, TI will help you relax in the swim and save energy for the bike and run Phone Post
1/8/13 8:38 AM
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big_slacker
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10 years ago Scrapper here on the OG (former navy diver) recommended TI to me. I agree that it'll take you from doggie paddle to actually swimming. Swimming well is another thing entirely, I still don't think I do that. ;)
1/8/13 6:56 PM
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Kevin Curtis
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big_slacker - 10 years ago Scrapper here on the OG (former navy diver) recommended TI to me. I agree that it'll take you from doggie paddle to actually swimming. Swimming well is another thing entirely, I still don't think I do that. ;)

I still don't consider myself a good swimmer either, but at least I don't have to worry about the lifeguards jumping in to try to save me anymore! ;')

Currently I'm focusing on getting a good pull, and a higher stroke rate (among other things). The TI stuff, while a great way to get started, tends to result in over-gliding.

Also, I have been using an ankle band for 5 sets of 50 yards after my warmup for the last 2-3 weeks... and shows some promise.



1/10/13 12:19 AM
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Jason Burton
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Go to www.trinewbies.com. The old lady uses this to start her tri season every year. She is an ironman finisher. And the workouts are free Phone Post
1/10/13 9:37 AM
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big_slacker
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Kevin Curtis - 
big_slacker - 10 years ago Scrapper here on the OG (former navy diver) recommended TI to me. I agree that it'll take you from doggie paddle to actually swimming. Swimming well is another thing entirely, I still don't think I do that. ;)

I still don't consider myself a good swimmer either, but at least I don't have to worry about the lifeguards jumping in to try to save me anymore! ;')

Currently I'm focusing on getting a good pull, and a higher stroke rate (among other things). The TI stuff, while a great way to get started, tends to result in over-gliding.

Also, I have been using an ankle band for 5 sets of 50 yards after my warmup for the last 2-3 weeks... and shows some promise.




Bingo, I've got a dead spot between strokes. I've been doing some drills to increase stroke count but can't seem to get the right balance between removing the dead spot and using too much energy for distance swimming. Thinking about this:

http://www.swimsmooth.com/finis-tempo-trainer-pro.html
1/10/13 9:49 AM
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Leigh
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I think its just more pool time. My stroke count goes WAY up when I do distance work but I don't get tired from it
1/10/13 4:40 PM
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Kevin Curtis
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big_slacker - 
Kevin Curtis - 
big_slacker - 10 years ago Scrapper here on the OG (former navy diver) recommended TI to me. I agree that it'll take you from doggie paddle to actually swimming. Swimming well is another thing entirely, I still don't think I do that. ;)

I still don't consider myself a good swimmer either, but at least I don't have to worry about the lifeguards jumping in to try to save me anymore! ;')

Currently I'm focusing on getting a good pull, and a higher stroke rate (among other things). The TI stuff, while a great way to get started, tends to result in over-gliding.

Also, I have been using an ankle band for 5 sets of 50 yards after my warmup for the last 2-3 weeks... and shows some promise.




Bingo, I've got a dead spot between strokes. I've been doing some drills to increase stroke count but can't seem to get the right balance between removing the dead spot and using too much energy for distance swimming. Thinking about this:

http://www.swimsmooth.com/finis-tempo-trainer-pro.html

I think just making a conscious effort to eliminate the dead spot helps. My stroking hand would pause at the end of the pull, but I've had some success eliminating that pause. I concentrate on finishing with a strong pull (think brush thumb against thigh), and keep that motion seamlessly going right into the recovery. For me, doing this at a relaxed pace has helped me get more into the flow of that motion.

Let me know how you like the tempo timer. I've thought about getting one.

I do most of my intervals using varied tempo with sets of 5...
the first set I do at a relaxed pace, 2nd set push a little more, 3rd set go hard, 4th set relaxed, and 5th all out sprint. I use a 15-20 sec rest between sets, and I rest may 30 sec before going on to the next set of five. I just use perceived effort, but my garmin confirms.
1/10/13 9:52 PM
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bull neck
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The longer the distance, for me, the more catch up I swim. Short swims are all about high stroke rate.

The more broken the water/ rougher the swim/ on people's feet you are the less you swim catch up as there is no clean water to grab. High stroke rate again.

Best drill I've done for stroke rate was fist although pull buoy and band works well too. For that good all round sort of workout something like:

400m warm up.

20 x 50m with 1 hard, 4 easy. PB + band + paddles. Easy laps done on 5 strokes/ breath.

16 x 50m with 1 hard, 3 easy.

12 x 50m with 1 hard, 2 easy.

8 x 50m with every 2nd hard.

4 x 50m all hard.

100m recovery with fins.

3 x 200m increasing on 15" rest.

200m recovery.

That's actually my current friday swim getting ready for IM in 10 weeks. The easy laps build lungs with the hypoxic work. Band + PB gets weight on the hands which you add to with the paddles. And the hard laps build your ability to surge and get on feet or bridge to another group.
1/11/13 7:02 AM
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Kevin Curtis
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Bull Neck... looks like we've got a fish in the house. And very impressive time on the girl friends HIM time after just a year!

What are your thoughts on using a pull buoy with the ankle band. I admit I haven't used them together, but my thought is I use the AB to work on my pull, and my body position. If I use the PB in conjunction, I don't have to work on my position.

Interested in your thoughts.

The above swim is 4K+... how many swims at what distance are you doing a week. A lot of triathletes seems to under train the swim... you seem like you are putting the time in the pool... thanks.
1/11/13 4:35 PM
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bull neck
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The goal of that workout is arm strength. If you do it just with PB + paddles it's an absolute cardio monster. But with band as well it really turns into a hard strength workout. I did that last night and apart from the 200s at the end wasn't really out of breath. But when i do it with just PB + paddles it's a killer and I dread it.

I got the band idea for that workout from Chris McCormack. I was already doing it as PB + paddles and he suggested using band too. For where my training is right now that fits really well. My swims are -

Monday -

400m w/up + 8 x 50m PB + paddles easy
30 x 50m as 1 hard + 25m hard/ 25m easy (supposed to be 60 x 25s but I swim in a 50m pool)
400m cool down

Wednesday - long swim

40 x 100m

Friday -

As above

Saturday -

either 25 x 100m w/ PB + Paddles or 45-60min easy OWS.

The swim volume is going up now. Wednesdays stays about the same, maybe nudges up to 4500m and the rest go up a little. I run about 45-55km a week. Ride about 250km. Running is my biggest issue. Just have never been happy with it. I don't swim in open water so well either. Just not very experienced.

I think swimming is really important for a lot of reasons, but for triathletes it's a way to build the engine without damaging yourself. No impact like in running and no risk of being hit by a car like riding. And because you use smaller muscle groups swimming compared to riding or running and because you're non-weight bearing, you can really push hard in the pool, yet the overall effect is almost a moderate effort to your body compared to the other two meaning you recover from it a lot faster. Once you're comfortable swimming you can really get in a lot of solid work for your heart and lungs in a productive session yet still keep yourself relatively fresh for the others unlike a hard run or ride which may mean you can't train hard again for 24-36 hours.
1/11/13 8:09 PM
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big_slacker
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Just wondering about the programming, you really swim 40x100 with 15-30 sec in between? What's the reasoning behind doing it in sets? I tend to do warmup sets of 50-100m and then either multiples of 200's or just one long main set of 500-1000m.

I agree about swimming being great, after 2 a days of bike or bricks getting in the pool and just not using your lower body as much is awesome.
1/11/13 9:37 PM
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Kevin Curtis
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Bull neck... name dropper. ;')
Do you know Macca?

Big Slacker... I wondered the same thing. While intervals seem to be the norm for serious swimmers, I thought wouldn't doing the yardage without the break be more beneficial? I gave it try, and surprisingly found the intervals to be much more intense. I also found varying the tempo (as I described above) gives me the ability to better control my pace as I wish. I usually do a medium (500-1000 yds) length set in my workout just to kind of keep in the swing of things. As spring rolls around I plan on transitioning to more distance open water swims.

What is everyone's target race this year?
I am tentatively planning on my 1st HIM at Weldon Ont Canada.

*******************************

Recent workout (all freestyle)

300 warmup
5 x 50 with ankle band
2 set 5 x 100
6 sets 5 x 50
1 x 500
1 x 100 cool down


1/11/13 9:39 PM
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Kevin Curtis
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*edit* Welland, Ont Canada
1/11/13 11:30 PM
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bull neck
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I actually swim the long swims on either 5 or 10secs rest. So 40 x 100m on 10" this week. It's useful for many thing - mostly being getting used to pushing harder and holding pace. I don't do a straight swim at all anymore. Maybe one close to an event, just to be sure, but I know I can swim 1.9km and I know i can swim 3.8km so I don't need the mental boost that those swims give (which are the only reasons to do them IMO).

LOL - not name dropping. I bought the MX12 sessions as well as the $20/month VIP thing from Macca. He actually gives a surprising amount of advice to the small number of VIP members and the group is awesome. I'm actually leaving in a minute to go do an OWS with some of the Melbourne members that he set. Not like we're hanging out on weekends or anything.

But even this OWS session is:

1000m w/up then a series of intervals going from slowest to fastest so we all get used to swimming in a group, with both deep water and shallow starts. I'll probably skip the shallow starts as it's not pertinent to me right now.

Then I need to get in 10km more running because I was scared I was going to shit my pants this morning and only ran 10km before work. Hopefully the poop monster is gone this time.
1/12/13 10:20 AM
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big_slacker
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Edited: 01/12/13 10:27 AM
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I don't have a target race at this point. Since I can't run till march I'm building my bike/swim and will be doing some specific bike target training rides for spring and getting much better swimming. Maybe an early season MTB race since I've got a new rig and am jones'in for dirt. Assuming my IT band works I'm gonna try to pick up some sprints and an oly distance in the summer.

My original plan was to do the tahoe IM in 2014 close to my 40th birthday. I'm gonna evaluate at the end of the summer (and maybe talk to one of the coaches here in town) to see if it's possible since registration opens in sep.
2/6/13 3:12 PM
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BlackJesus
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In for the read. I haven't swam in quite a while and I'm going to try a 500 yard swim Tri on the 23rd.

2/6/13 6:47 PM
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bull neck
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big slacker - do it. I'm 41 and I registered for Melbourne IM (6 weeks away) in April last year. It's my second triathlon (first was a half iron in December). A year is plenty of time to build up. The best piece of advice I can give right now is get used to running. Don't run far just yet if you're not a habitual runner, but run often, like 4-5 times per week. A 30 minute run has nearly no recovery cost and leaves you not beaten up. Don't try to run fast either. You can get your high HR work in the pool or on the bike with less damage to the body and save yourself for the speed work during IM prep.

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