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Just how does anyone do freestyle swimming?? Tips needed

10 watchers
Apr 2012
10:55am, 11 Apr 2012
21405 posts
  • 0
Don't fall into the trap of thinking you always have to go as fast as you can. Slowing down and improving the stroke (and the breathing) first works wonders.
Apr 2012
11:50am, 11 Apr 2012
8547 posts
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Nick Cook
Agree with JenL. The first thing the coach said to me when I went to a tri club was to slow down.
Apr 2012
12:43pm, 11 Apr 2012
720 posts
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Fat Lazy Elephant
Like MudMeanderer I had a "lightbulb moment" when I came across Totoal Immersion book when I was a beginner. I only read half of it and never got to the drills bit but the general principles talked about in the book made me understand what front crawl is all about.

-it's not about pulling and kicking at all
-concentrate on water in front of you and not behind you (reach out in front of you as far as possible instead on concentrating on pushing the water backwards)
-hand should never travel faster than the body, no backwards movement
-kicking is not for propulsion and legs act as an extension of the body to maintain streamlined position ( "longer boats travel faster" )
- the body is dragging the legs rather than legs pushing the body
- rotation rotation rotation

Hope that helps! It certaintly helped me, I couldn't swim more than 25m without getting totally out of breath last June and after reading the book I completed a 10 km event in September easily :)
Apr 2012
12:48pm, 11 Apr 2012
721 posts
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Fat Lazy Elephant
Talking of lessons, I've never taken any or been in any club but it baffles me when I see manyl of the club swimmers swimming with such a bad technique and nobody (the teachers) pointing out to them!!! E.g 90 degrees at the ankles - acting like brakes! Scissor kick, lower body sinking etc. Id feel cheated if I paid for the lessons and nobody told me what Im doing wrong!
Apr 2012
1:01pm, 11 Apr 2012
529 posts
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FLE: I was in a club as a youngster, and there was little if any focus on technique, which is bizarre for such a technical discipline. It was simply a case of get in, swim up and down as fast as you can as a group, change stroke, repeat, get out.

More by chance than anything I had a reasonable backstroke and breaststroke, but as soon as we were required to try crawl or (shudder) butterfly I would crumble half a length in. When I returned swimming as an adult, I tried in a similar fashion and stuggled to get beyond 3-4 lengths without being exhausted, and realised I'd struggle in a pool sprint tri, let alone anything open water if I swam like that. That was when I looked for advice and found TI, and within a couple of months managed an effortless c1km swim of front crawl.

By applying similar techniques I've even managed to do a reasonable couple of lengths of butterfly since, though as a stroke it seems to require quite a lot more core strength.
Apr 2012
1:28pm, 11 Apr 2012
374 posts
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I've found the total immersion book useful too. It is a touch verbose in style, but readable enough, and the comments about the general principles in the first part of the book I would certainly agree with. The author is also a fan of chi running which has some adherents among those in fetch-land.
Apr 2012
1:31pm, 11 Apr 2012
722 posts
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Fat Lazy Elephant
It is very surprising to read MM! I wonder then, how on earth are all those kids so incredibly fast as they are :-O
Apr 2012
4:03pm, 14 Apr 2012
4155 posts
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Thanks. I managed 3 lengths of front crawling the other day with proper breathing by slowing it all down.

My thinking now is if can do 3 I can do more!
26 Apr
1:02pm, 26 Apr 2021
539 posts
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The Pin Lady
Just found this thread - I have had swimming lessons recently and can now manage 50 metres front crawl 4 times out of 5 but how do I get to go further? I am out of breath at the end but not gasping now. Is it just a case of making myself try another length? Thinking that I may just be stopping myself doing it by lack of confidence?
I am working on slowing down ( thinking about how I learnt to run further). Have you got any suggestions on drills which would help?
I have the TI book so will get bacl to reading that again as well.
26 Apr
1:10pm, 26 Apr 2021
3655 posts
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Mr. K.
When I was a kid I used to be pretty good esp at backcrawl....but when I restarted swimming for a half ironman I asked around for advice.

Best advice was to use a float which stopped me thrashing me legs around in front crawl. Now I hardly use my legs - just to stability & direction. I am much more efficient now. (Still a shame you cannot use backcrawl in tri events).


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About This Thread

Maintained by Bez-head
Struggling to do freestyle swimming correctly :(

Any advice most gratefully received :)

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