Notices
Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

Swimming?

Old 02-27-22, 08:48 AM
  #1  
pennpaul
Full Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Maryland
Posts: 367

Bikes: Diamondback Haanjo Trail, Fuji Team Road

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 158 Post(s)
Liked 68 Times in 46 Posts
Swimming?

I've been a Clyde for too long and want to start incorporating swimming into my exercise routine for more weight loss, but don't know how. If I go to the pool with the kids and ever just swim a little, it always feels like I'm racing and I'm burned out in no time. My strength and cardio on the bike feel good, but horrible in the water.

I'm trying to learn how to swim slow and steady so I could, for example, do 5 lengths (not even Olympic) without stopping, then more and more. I think it's the feeling that my legs are sinking that I try to swim fast.

I'm not so motivated as to find a swim coach, but would definitely start my research on YouTube or reading. If you know of such resources, please share.

Thanks
Paul
pennpaul is offline  
Likes For pennpaul:
Old 03-01-22, 07:43 AM
  #2  
Clyde1820
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: USA
Posts: 1,690

Bikes: 1996 Trek 970 ZX

Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 542 Post(s)
Liked 421 Times in 326 Posts
Freestyle stroke, I'm assuming?

Once had bad injuries to a leg, back when. Among the various physical activities and strength exercises I did, I also did a couple of things in the pool. Took months to learn to walk again, and a few years to be capable of doing most of the things I once was capable of. But it worked.

Try a good sized kickboard, in the pool. Your power is all legs. Starting out, just go at the pace you can go that'll get you a handful of lengths of the pool. With practice, you ought to be able to go much longer, and you ought to be able to ratchet up the power and speed. (Well, more power than speed, since kickboard speeds are so sluggish anyway.) It's a lot of work to do "high-powered" kickboard, if you're not used to it. But it's a good workout for those muscles.

One of the things that can be off, when overweight, is that the legs aren't being used as much as you should be using them, and thus aren't providing nearly as much power or "lift" for you in the water. Strengthening the power motion of the legs via a kickboard can help with that. (Of course, the leg motion with the actual freestyle stroke is more of a challenge, for delivering that much power, but technique can be learned.)

Try the breaststroke. It's a solid modest stroke that won't completely wipe you cardiovascularly. Occasionally toss in a couple of lengths of freestyle. Then, as your cardio gets back up to speed and your buoyancy changes as you strengthen and lose weight, you can begin swapping some of the breaststroke lengths for freestyle lengths. In time, you'll improve.

Takes time. Swimming strokes are by no means natural and innate movements. Once you get to the point of physically handling freestyle well, consider a couple of lessons on stroke form/efficiency. A basic stroke generally consumes a lot of power and wind, but an efficient stroke can deliver more power, be faster, and (at the right speed) can power you through the water for a good long while. A lesson or two might help, to specifically fine-tune your stroke.

As for feeling "burned out" when you go at a good clip, perhaps there's a good amount of improvement you could make to your general cardio? You could try the gym, with a couple of their cardio-oriented pieces of equipment. Doing harder, interval type sessions on a couple of those should help, if your cardio's a bit "flat" right now. So can a good solid walk in a hilly area, done at a moderate pace. Trudging straight up hillsides while walking can be a challenge, if the cardio needs improvement. And it doesn't require a gym, of course. Funny, how much a half hour of a hard walk can hit your cardio, at the right pace and incline.

Last edited by Clyde1820; 03-01-22 at 10:14 AM. Reason: spelling
Clyde1820 is offline  
Likes For Clyde1820:
Old 03-01-22, 08:04 AM
  #3  
rumrunn6
Senior Member
 
rumrunn6's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: 25 miles northwest of Boston
Posts: 27,400

Bikes: Bottecchia Sprint, GT Timberline 29r, Trek FX Alpha 7.0

Mentioned: 107 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4562 Post(s)
Liked 2,229 Times in 1,517 Posts
good for you! one of the best things I did for my body transformation 2005-2010 was to take up swimming. what a marvelous feeling when getting out of the pool after 50 minutes of swimming. good luck also finding an open lane! I used to have to go 5-6am! but it was worth it!

Last edited by rumrunn6; 03-02-22 at 07:54 AM.
rumrunn6 is offline  
Likes For rumrunn6:
Old 03-01-22, 08:05 AM
  #4  
Steve B.
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: South shore, L.I., NY
Posts: 5,670

Bikes: Flyxii FR322, Cannondale Topstone, Miyata City Liner, Specialized Chisel, Specialized Epic Evo

Mentioned: 18 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2346 Post(s)
Liked 1,140 Times in 654 Posts
Swimming is entirely an upper body workout, unless you integrate a very strong kick, which isn't needed for general fitness swimming. You are not using any of the muscles you've developed for cycling, thus you are probably just out of shape and tired. Yes slow down, don't sprint. I do repeat workouts, maybe a slow 300 or 500 warm up, then 3x200, 6x50, or 4x100, etc... or a mix of stuff like that. You just start slow and keep at it, gradually increasing yardage. One idea of repeats is the shorter distance has you go a little faster, which elevates the heart rate, then you stop, do a few seconds of recovery and repeat. Maybe don't start this for a few weeks and just get in better general condition first. If your legs drop, get a set of pull buoys. Maybe do some kicking with a kick board in the middle of the sets to break up the tedium, I sometimes will mix in a 1x100 kick, 25 yards each of flutter kick (used with freestyle) breast kick, dolphin kick and flutter.

I found swimming to be a great workout to build upper body strength, which is useful for mt. biking. As well something to do on rainy days. I just now need to get my torn right bicep tendon repaired to get back to it !.

Last edited by Steve B.; 03-01-22 at 09:06 AM.
Steve B. is offline  
Likes For Steve B.:
Old 03-01-22, 08:43 AM
  #5  
force10
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Lehigh Valley
Posts: 173
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 94 Post(s)
Liked 20 Times in 16 Posts
If you swim regularly, I think you will get to 5 pool lengths pretty quickly. I also agree that alternating stroke between breast and crawl is helpful.

Ive found that it takes a while just to become accustomed to the additional lung effort of breathing while in the water. I think it must be due to the pressure of expanding your lungs against the weight of water rather than air.
force10 is offline  
Likes For force10:
Old 03-01-22, 10:20 AM
  #6  
Clyde1820
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: USA
Posts: 1,690

Bikes: 1996 Trek 970 ZX

Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 542 Post(s)
Liked 421 Times in 326 Posts
Originally Posted by pennpaul View Post
... it always feels like I'm racing and I'm burned out in no time. My strength and cardio on the bike feel good, but horrible in the water.
If your cardio's in need of a bit of boost, a basic rower at the gym can do wonders. It'll help transform your cardio.

But swimming's definitely a hit on cardio along with muscle stamina. It uses the upper body (including core) muscles in ways few other activities do.

Probably the best thing for boosting swimming performance is, silly as it might sound, doing more swimming. Swimming 4-6 days weekly for a half hour, even if it's only at the edge of what your cardio+strength allows (short of being "wiped"), the gains will come. Can take several months, but consistency can help re-train the muscles and cardio to handle the load change that swimming presents. (No idea if your schedule allows that much time commitment, on a regular basis.)

Used to swim on a team, back in the day. It's appalling how much time, at speed, in the pool a body's capable of. But it can take awhile to get over the initial hump.
Clyde1820 is offline  
Likes For Clyde1820:
Old 03-01-22, 10:28 AM
  #7  
Steve B.
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: South shore, L.I., NY
Posts: 5,670

Bikes: Flyxii FR322, Cannondale Topstone, Miyata City Liner, Specialized Chisel, Specialized Epic Evo

Mentioned: 18 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2346 Post(s)
Liked 1,140 Times in 654 Posts
Originally Posted by Clyde1820 View Post

Used to swim on a team, back in the day. It's appalling how much time, at speed, in the pool a body's capable of. But it can take awhile to get over the initial hump.
i always found it remarkable how much distance competitive swimmers do in practice. Its a LOT of time in a pool.
Steve B. is offline  
Old 03-01-22, 10:47 AM
  #8  
zandoval 
Senior Member
 
zandoval's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Bastrop Texas
Posts: 3,217

Bikes: Univega, Peu P6, Peu PR-10, Ted Williams, Peu UO-8, Peu UO-18 Mixte, Peu Dolomites

Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 487 Post(s)
Liked 722 Times in 473 Posts
Bravo! Any moving around gets ya results. And it's not just loosing weight but getting stronger that really matters. My trick with teaching young ones to swim was to use swim fins. I got some cheap swim fins and just had them wear them in the water. After a short while they were treading water and moving along. I would then shorten the fins by cutting them down till they did not need them.

Also... Remember...

Never Swim Alone

or with someone who cannot help you if you get in trouble...
__________________
No matter where your at... There you are... Δf:=f(1/2)-f(-1/2)
zandoval is offline  
Likes For zandoval:
Old 03-01-22, 03:44 PM
  #9  
Clyde1820
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: USA
Posts: 1,690

Bikes: 1996 Trek 970 ZX

Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 542 Post(s)
Liked 421 Times in 326 Posts
Originally Posted by zandoval View Post
My trick with teaching young ones to swim was to use swim fins. I got some cheap swim fins and just had them wear them in the water. After a short while ...
Good reminder.

There are fins, for the feet. And there are webbed gloves for the hands. It adds a great amount of additional power on the water. Can help keep the sagging tail end higher. Can help keep efficiency up even when technique's a bit flagging. Might be a good approach, if needing help to get over the first few months' "hump" ... until everything starts working again.
Clyde1820 is offline  
Likes For Clyde1820:
Old 03-01-22, 03:48 PM
  #10  
Clyde1820
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: USA
Posts: 1,690

Bikes: 1996 Trek 970 ZX

Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 542 Post(s)
Liked 421 Times in 326 Posts
Originally Posted by Steve B. View Post
i always found it remarkable how much distance competitive swimmers do in practice. Its a LOT of time in a pool.
I always found it appalling, myself. Heck, we get wrinkled in a bathtub after a few dozen minutes. But, in the pool, hours later we often found ourselves still cruising right along, in our distance sessions. IIRC, 500 lap sessions weren't uncommon, to get the cardio "base" for our basic swimming fitness. The sprinting power came through other training, technique improvements, etc. But, gads, those looooooong sessions were really something.
Clyde1820 is offline  
Old 03-01-22, 03:58 PM
  #11  
Steve B.
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: South shore, L.I., NY
Posts: 5,670

Bikes: Flyxii FR322, Cannondale Topstone, Miyata City Liner, Specialized Chisel, Specialized Epic Evo

Mentioned: 18 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2346 Post(s)
Liked 1,140 Times in 654 Posts
Originally Posted by Clyde1820 View Post
I always found it appalling, myself. Heck, we get wrinkled in a bathtub after a few dozen minutes. But, in the pool, hours later we often found ourselves still cruising right along, in our distance sessions. IIRC, 500 lap sessions weren't uncommon, to get the cardio "base" for our basic swimming fitness. The sprinting power came through other training, technique improvements, etc. But, gads, those looooooong sessions were really something.
My competitive swim days, 60's-70-s, were before goggles came into use. We'd leave practice unable to see.
Steve B. is offline  
Old 03-02-22, 04:28 AM
  #12  
Clyde1820
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: USA
Posts: 1,690

Bikes: 1996 Trek 970 ZX

Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 542 Post(s)
Liked 421 Times in 326 Posts
Originally Posted by Steve B. View Post
My competitive swim days, 60's-70-s, were before goggles came into use. We'd leave practice unable to see.
Same, here. 1960s-'70s. Though, I had a simple set of goggles. Never liked those things. Today's versions work much better, IMO.

I recall the overload of chlorine (or whatever other) chemicals the pool was laced with. Good for keeping the bad "bugs" down, but they did a number on my sinuses and lungs. Breathing in all that vapor for 2-3hrs wrought hell on the membranes. Painful breathing for an hour or so, following hard swimming.

"Suck it up, buttercup!"

^ Yeah, pretty much.
Clyde1820 is offline  
Old 03-06-22, 01:20 PM
  #13  
kstephens
Senior Member
 
kstephens's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Western Ky
Posts: 379

Bikes: Surly Long Haul Trucker

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 12 Post(s)
Liked 18 Times in 9 Posts
I coach competitive swimming, swam my entire younger life. I have helped several adults get started, and coached a few older triathletes or guided through a good training program. Starting swimming for fitness can be tough, but very rewarding. Studying a good technique and maybe seeking out a little guidance will make you much more comfortable in the water, regardless on distance and speed. Many people don't really seek this out for fitness as their intent is not to get faster - but most coaches I know love the sport, and are eager to help others get started, regardless of motivation for wanting to start. So you may want to look at a local swim club, tell them your goals and see if they can help get started. Swim fins (designed for swimming - not scuba diving) can be a useful too when first getting started. It will take much less effort from your kick to get and keep you in a good body position on top of the water, they you can focus on your upper body.

Yes - I pile the yardage on mid season for my competitive swimmers , with older groups regularly passing 15,000 yards on a double practice day. But as a coach, I am more concerned about quality yardage as opposed to just piling it on. My problem I encountered, when I stopped swimming in college I kept up the the 7,500 -10,000 calorie a day diet for quite a while also adding a healthy dose of beer in the mix too.
kstephens is offline  
Likes For kstephens:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.