Swimming

In March, I had a tendon repaired in my ankle after tearing it the previous August. I'm quite out of shape (well, round is a shape I suppose) and since trying to work on myself after recovering from surgery, I've tried a few different exercise regimens ranging from jogging to rowing. Yesterday, I started swimming laps as it is both a fantastic form of exercise and it is low impact on my ankle. The first swim, I only managed to do about 300 meters in about 25 minutes. Having never been a swimmer, I found it hard to breathe and my muscles felt very strained by 200m or so, so I stopped at 300. Today, after doing more research on form and whatnot, I found it much easier to swim and managed to do 500m in about 20 minutes without my legs feeling as strained. What is a good goal for someone of my level of swimming to work toward? Does anyone have any tips on swimming in general? I'd appreciate it!

Best wishes :)

Replies

  • rbiss
    rbiss Posts: 422 Member
    I have a book called workouts in a binder, there is one for swimming. You can do distance or time and when I am out of shape, I just go for time or cut the workout in half etc. I like the structure of the plan and it's nice to follow something. The workouts in a binder are either swim, run, or bike focused and I bought mine from Amazon.
  • LookingBusy
    LookingBusy Posts: 72 Member
    Make sure you are breathing properly. Fully exhale when your face is submerged and then take a moderate (not large) sized breath when your face comes up. I've seen people double their distances (albeit beginners) by doing this. Swimming is largely about rhythm. If you take too large of a breath or try to hold your breath it will mess up your pattern and force you to stop.

    Keeping your body level at the top will also make it easier. I.e. your legs at the surface rather than sinking. This reduces the surface area that comes in contact with the water, so less resistance.

    Have fun! The pool is awesome.
  • emilyp8589
    emilyp8589 Posts: 6 Member
    I've noticed that as I get tired, my hips and legs do sink a bit making it harder. Hopefully building my endurance will help with this.

    And I've noticed that if I stop concentrating on my breathing, I don't exhale enough and throws my form totally off. Today was much better than yesterday but I still have a long way to go. I'm considering getting some swimming lessons to help with form and technique.
  • c1ownfishie
    c1ownfishie Posts: 82 Member
    I've been swimming and playing water polo all my life and could definitely help answer any questions you might have. Feel free to add me or send a message! :)
  • BrianSharpe
    BrianSharpe Posts: 9,191 Member
    Caveat...I am not a great swimmer but I'm working on it as I have a triathlon next June and don't fancy drowning.

    If you're swimming freestyle head position really impacts your body position in the water. It takes a little getting used to but you should be pretty much facing straight down (except when sighting in open water).

    To illustrate this, next time you're in the pool just float on the surface facing the bottom of the pool (dead man's float) you should be nice and relaxed then see what happens when you lift your head.......
  • sweetilemon
    sweetilemon Posts: 122 Member
    I love swimming, it's a great way to burn those calories! I try go most weekdays. I usually just swim breaststroke (can do all but just prefer it). I see a lot of people swimming with their head up, this really strains the neck. I inhale when out of the water and exhale under it. You will find your rythem. I try to swim for about an hour at a time, sometimes less.
  • snickerscharlie
    snickerscharlie Posts: 8,582 Member
    I highly recommend aquajogging. :)
  • Sarah_Shapes_Up
    Sarah_Shapes_Up Posts: 76 Member
    I've been a swimmer all my life and taught swim lessons for a number of years. Message me if you have more questions/more specific questions.
  • lorrpb
    lorrpb Posts: 11,465 Member
    Is your pool part of an organized gym? If so, it's quite likely they have adult swim classes for stroke improvement. These can be very helpful to improving your efficiency.

    I started back swimming a month ago and I have already noticed major improvement in my endurance. Start by resting in between laps, then work towards doing more laps without stopping. There is no specific number or speed that you need to shoot for, just constant improvement.
  • fishgutzy
    fishgutzy Posts: 2,807 Member
    emilyp8589 wrote: »
    I've noticed that as I get tired, my hips and legs do sink a bit making it harder. Hopefully building my endurance will help with this.

    And I've noticed that if I stop concentrating on my breathing, I don't exhale enough and throws my form totally off. Today was much better than yesterday but I still have a long way to go. I'm considering getting some swimming lessons to help with form and technique.

    What helped my get my butt and legs up was using zip fins. This helped build core strength and also kept my legs and butt up. Now I only use zip fins for kickboard laps. And butt is just about out of the water.
    Today I swim 4 miles a day 5 to 7 days a week. On weekends I occasionally swim a 10K in the pool.
  • STEVE142142
    STEVE142142 Posts: 867 Member
    Great website called 0 - 1650. It will take you from literally the beginning swimmer to do in a mile in about 6 to 8 weeks. It also has a whole bunch of different other swimming workouts to mix it up.

    The main thing with swimming is the more you do it and the more distance you put in the better you'll get it's like running. My other suggestion is once you get more comfortable in the pool start doing sprints do one length of the pool as fast as you can just a couple seconds and then Sprint back and keep on doing it it will build stamina strength and speed