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Greenleaf just keeps swimming...


Greenleaf

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Anyone who dropped in on my last challenge will know that at the start of the challenge I discovered swimming, which has quickly become my passion and finally a form of exercise I really enjoy. The thing is my fitness level was starting below zero, and although I made a lot of progress over the last 6 weeks I still have a long way to go.

 

My new discovery has been so life changing that I have been completely re-thinking my life goals.

 

My life quest is now simply thus: I want become a better swimmer (which will make me fitter, stronger and healthier in the process, so wins all around).

 

The next big step on this journey for me is to join a Masters swimming club, but I am still a LONG way off of doing this in my book. But fear not, I have a cunning plan, and step one is this current challenge. Unlike my last challenge thread I'm keeping it quite simple so I can concentrate on my goals, no theme, no story, just effort.

 

1) A Thousand streams - Swim 1000m per session

 

I ended the last challenge managing 650m total per session, and I have since upped this to 700m. I want to increase my total distance to 1000m over the next six weeks, but without adding time to my sessions. I will achieve this by decreasing my rest times between intervals, alongside (hopefully) constant improvements to my technique. The goal will be to add 50m per week each week, and I will grade out of six. I will be maintaining my three swims a week, and I will be swimming freestyle the whole time.

 

2) Just keep swimming – Swim a constant 200m

 

I need to work on my aerobic fitness rather than my anaerobic. I currently start each session with two laps (50m total) but from there on in I swim 25m then rest and repeat. While my overall fitness is improving I need to increase my long swim as this has remained the same since I started 7 weeks ago. I will grade this out of 8 (one point for each lap I can complete continuously by the end of the six weeks). As above freestyle is my style.

 

3) And stretch.... Flexibility and Mobility exercises

 

I am going to try my best not to get injured, as this has been my main nemesis in previous fitness regimes. I am limited on what I can do out of the pool as I am currently undergoing diagnosis for hip problems (and in the pool as well as I have been told by doctor and Physio to stay away from breast stroke for the time being).

 

I am currently learning all I can from the Swim smooth coaching book, and I will complete the flexibility and mobility exercises recommended for swimmers that I can. I will put together a workout from these and complete them three times a week (probably after swims). Grade out of 18.

 

Side Quest – Fish are friends...and also food....

 

No life quest this time around, but a side quest instead. I had a big win with sorting out my snacking last challenge. This time my sights are aimed on lunch. I need to properly fuel my body for my swim sessions. I want to explore different options for lunch other than my staple of a small sandwich, bag of crisps, apple and banana. I don't cook or do anything in the kitchen so I need to change this, I started with a mackerel salad last week and really enjoyed it. I will find a new recipe/lunch idea each week and make it for myself as a bit of an experiment. Grading out of six again.

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Level: 3 - Wood Elf - Wanderer

STR: 0 | DEX: 5 | STA: 11 | CON: 5 | WIS: 5 | CHA: 2

Challenges: 1st | 2nd | 3rd | 4th | Current

 

"Quit...don't quit...noodles...don't noodles. You are too concerned with what was, and what will be"

- Master Oogway

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Swimming goals, sounds like a fun time. I should try this swimming thing sometime.

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Scout 30/Ranger 1 (3 skipped)

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"I must not fear. / Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
Where the fear has gone there will be nothing......Only I will remain."
-Litany Against Fear

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Hey! Found you! :redface:

 

I love your goals! I love cooking, but my issue is that I HATE eating left overs...one thing that I have been working on is been making enough for my boyfriend and I to have a good meal and no more! Maybe I should do an edit to my thread and add a food thing....I guess it would work since Hobbits love eating... LOL sorry.

 

An important thing to keep in mind is to know your limitations and listen to your body. I'm saying this in terms of injury or I should say to prevent an injury.

 

I know that you are going to rock this challenge and I will be there every step of the way to support you!!!

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It is very cool that you discovered such a love for swimming. Your goals seem to be very well thought out. I know next to nothing about swimming for exercise as opposed to leisure--how long does it take you to swim 650m?

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2016 goals: Hit goal weight. Build muscle.

2015 goals: Get stronger, stop loathing squats and get better at them - DONE!!!

2014 goal: Lose 52.5 lbs. - DONE!!! 12/13/14

 

MFP

 

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Swimming goals, sounds like a fun time. I should try this swimming thing sometime.

 

Cool goals! I love the theme. Also, we could use more swimmers around here.

 

Thanks both, I'm glad to be representing the Scouts in the pool, hopefully I can do the guild proud...

 

Hey! Found you! :redface:

 

I love your goals! I love cooking, but my issue is that I HATE eating left overs...one thing that I have been working on is been making enough for my boyfriend and I to have a good meal and no more! Maybe I should do an edit to my thread and add a food thing....I guess it would work since Hobbits love eating... LOL sorry.

 

An important thing to keep in mind is to know your limitations and listen to your body. I'm saying this in terms of injury or I should say to prevent an injury.

 

I know that you are going to rock this challenge and I will be there every step of the way to support you!!!

 

Hey, thanks for checking in. I've started embracing the idea of purposely cooking more so that I can have left overs the next day, it's never been something I've done before. And thanks again for your support :)

 

It is very cool that you discovered such a love for swimming. Your goals seem to be very well thought out. I know next to nothing about swimming for exercise as opposed to leisure--how long does it take you to swim 650m?

 

Thanks :) I will get this out there first, my times are very slow, mainly due to the amount of breaks I take at the wall, it really shouldnt be taking me this long as Freestyle is the fastest stroke. It currently takes me 40 minutes to complete 650m, but seeing as seven weeks ago I couldnt swim further than 150m I'll take that for now. I will hopefully be doing 1000m in that same time by the end of the challenge.

 

I'm so glad you found what you love!! And I love that you have some Finding Nemo references here. Do you also speak Whale?

 

DoryspeakingWhale_zpsa38915fb.gif

 

Mmmmwwwwyyyeeeeeesssss IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII doooooooOOOOooOOOOOooo

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Level: 3 - Wood Elf - Wanderer

STR: 0 | DEX: 5 | STA: 11 | CON: 5 | WIS: 5 | CHA: 2

Challenges: 1st | 2nd | 3rd | 4th | Current

 

"Quit...don't quit...noodles...don't noodles. You are too concerned with what was, and what will be"

- Master Oogway

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So awesome that you ended up liking swimming this much! ^^ Your progress was unbelievably quick last time, so I think you'll be able to ace your swimming goals in no time. :)

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Level 4 Half-Elf Assassin

(that dabbles with the scouts)

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"There is no such thing as perfection. The world itself is imperfect; that's what makes it so beautiful."

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Obviously I was going to be following your progress, my friend! Woo, keep rocking!

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Level  2 Gnome -who wants to be a Mermaid- Ranger


STR 5 | DEX | STA 4 | CON 3 | WIS 1 | CHA 1


Challenges:  1 |  Current Challenge: Arya Sapphire and the Majora's Mask


''Be brave enough to live life creatively. The creative is the place where no one else has ever been. You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition.'' - Alan Alda

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So awesome that you ended up liking swimming this much! ^^ Your progress was unbelievably quick last time, so I think you'll be able to ace your swimming goals in no time. :)

 

Thanks, I hope so. I'm proud of how far I came last challenge and am trying to keep that momentum going as best as I can. The good thing is my appetite for swimming is only getting bigger :)

 

Swimming is awesome!  So happy for you to find something that excites you.  Good luck!

 

Thank you, its taken quite a few years to find, but I'm so glad I did.

 

Question: Are you a fan of the band, at all?

 

 

My name here is actually a Tolkien reference, and I can't say I had heard of the band before. Having said that, as a guitarist of many years myself I certainly appreciated their work, thanks :)

 

tumblr_n9ga5qwW7T1qhf8eco1_500.png

 

Obviously I was going to be following your progress, my friend! Woo, keep rocking!

 

Thanks Arya, you rock! And FYI if I could swim in that boot and tunic combo I would :P

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Level: 3 - Wood Elf - Wanderer

STR: 0 | DEX: 5 | STA: 11 | CON: 5 | WIS: 5 | CHA: 2

Challenges: 1st | 2nd | 3rd | 4th | Current

 

"Quit...don't quit...noodles...don't noodles. You are too concerned with what was, and what will be"

- Master Oogway

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Great challenge and goals! It's always great to see more swimmers!

 

Particularly swimmers who are prioritizing not getting injured: I was SO super-excited to get back in the pool a while back that (of course) I overdid it and ended up injuring my shoulder a bit. (Which, therefore, led to a period of unwanted NOT swimming!  :rolleyes:)

 

And nice side quest! One good habit I have managed to successfully maintain is weekly food planning and prep, but I'm always in danger of getting into a rut when I find a menu that works, and committing to trying at least one new thing per week is a great way to keep yourself from doing that. 

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Merganser: Level 4 Anatidae Scout

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A zora swimsuit would be so badass though! *-*

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Level  2 Gnome -who wants to be a Mermaid- Ranger


STR 5 | DEX | STA 4 | CON 3 | WIS 1 | CHA 1


Challenges:  1 |  Current Challenge: Arya Sapphire and the Majora's Mask


''Be brave enough to live life creatively. The creative is the place where no one else has ever been. You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition.'' - Alan Alda

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Great challenge and goals! It's always great to see more swimmers!

 

Particularly swimmers who are prioritizing not getting injured: I was SO super-excited to get back in the pool a while back that (of course) I overdid it and ended up injuring my shoulder a bit. (Which, therefore, led to a period of unwanted NOT swimming!  :rolleyes:)

 

And nice side quest! One good habit I have managed to successfully maintain is weekly food planning and prep, but I'm always in danger of getting into a rut when I find a menu that works, and committing to trying at least one new thing per week is a great way to keep yourself from doing that. 

 

Thanks :) I can completely see where you are coming from, getting excited and overdoing it. My fitness efforts have been derailed by injury a fair few times, I am determined to do all I can to prevent that now I am older and *ahem* wiser. I know swimming is less prone to cause injury due to the low impact but shoulder injuries seem very common and I have felt a few niggles myself so for me its about correcting my technique and keeping those joints and muscles stretched and mobile.

 

A zora swimsuit would be so badass though! *-*

 

I think you have stumbled on an idea for a whole range of nerd themed swimwear......

 

Oh, THERE you are, Greenleaf!!! *Subs for more Zora awesomeness*

 

Hi there, glad to have you along again :) *swims off to Nightwatchers thread*

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Level: 3 - Wood Elf - Wanderer

STR: 0 | DEX: 5 | STA: 11 | CON: 5 | WIS: 5 | CHA: 2

Challenges: 1st | 2nd | 3rd | 4th | Current

 

"Quit...don't quit...noodles...don't noodles. You are too concerned with what was, and what will be"

- Master Oogway

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So its about time I updated how things are going in week one. I have completed two out of my three swims for this week, and goal one is on track, having increased my total distance per session to 750m.

 

Now, there have been a couple of things I am finding difficult. One - I seem to have a lot to think about while swimming being a newbie in the pool - Breathing every third stroke, counting strokes so I can do that, not turning my head, good body rotation, hand entry, catch, pull, kicking from the thigh, keeping my toes pointed, am I catching up with the person in front, will I crash in to said person, and finally what lap am I on????

Now being a nerd, I have decided that technology should come to my rescue and give me just *one* less thing to think of. It was my birthday at the weekend, and the birthday fairy was kind enough to bring me a few pairs of swimming jammers along with some awesome books. The fairy also kindly provided me with enough money to purchase a swim computer to count my laps and strokes for me, and her good friend the internet shopping goblin is currently sending it my way. Oh how I love gadgets.

 

Anyway on to my more pressing issue, goal number two! I cannot seem to get much in the way of progress towards this. I'm not sure if its a mental thing, or an aerobic fitness thing but I cannot seem to swim more than 50m continuously, and even then I can only do that about twice per session. My body seems stuck at 25m. There is something I am doing wrong, but I cannot fathom what it is. I am researching and reflecting like crazy, and am trying to slow my stroke down (another thing my Garmin should help with) but it doesnt seem to make any difference, as soon as I hit the second half of my second lap my technique goes to hell as I am struggling to make the distance. *Sighs* 200m seems a long way off, but this is just making me mre determined to find a way.

 

On a happier note Im on top of goal number three, and my side quest is lined up for Friday.

Onwards!

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Level: 3 - Wood Elf - Wanderer

STR: 0 | DEX: 5 | STA: 11 | CON: 5 | WIS: 5 | CHA: 2

Challenges: 1st | 2nd | 3rd | 4th | Current

 

"Quit...don't quit...noodles...don't noodles. You are too concerned with what was, and what will be"

- Master Oogway

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A swim computer? I had no idea such a thing existed. They should call it a wetbit.

I've just read through this a d I'm loving the energy and focus - you're obviously starting out on a journey to greatness.

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You're swimming freestyle, correct? Then it will probably take longer for your body to adapt. Freestyle is a much more demanding swimming style than, let's say, breaststrokes, and since you're new to swimming your body isn't that used to the kind of workout it provides. You might be keeping your body more tense than it needs to be, which would make you spend energy that could be used for moving instead. Then there can also be a mental block that just goes "now I'm tired" after 25/50 meters, and that just has to be trained away, I guess. When I swim longer distances I always do breaststrokes, since I know I will last much longer using that style.

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Level 4 Half-Elf Assassin

(that dabbles with the scouts)

Tumblr | Blog | Epic quest

 

"There is no such thing as perfection. The world itself is imperfect; that's what makes it so beautiful."

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internet shopping goblin is currently sending it my way

 

Anyway on to my more pressing issue, goal number two! I cannot seem to get much in the way of progress towards this. I'm not sure if its a mental thing, or an aerobic fitness thing but I cannot seem to swim more than 50m continuously, and even then I can only do that about twice per session. My body seems stuck at 25m. There is something I am doing wrong, but I cannot fathom what it is. I am researching and reflecting like crazy, and am trying to slow my stroke down (another thing my Garmin should help with) but it doesnt seem to make any difference, as soon as I hit the second half of my second lap my technique goes to hell as I am struggling to make the distance. *Sighs* 200m seems a long way off, but this is just making me mre determined to find a way.

 

On a happier note Im on top of goal number three, and my side quest is lined up for Friday.

Onwards!

 

I love the internet shopping goblin, but yet I hate him as well when he decides to eat my wallet.

 

For your continuous swimming -- are you swimming all out for your 25m or 50m like you would if you are sprinting? Whether this is the case or not, working on pacing might help you out. With pacing comes determination: I will make it to 75m even if I have to float on my back for a minute to do it! Changing strokes helps a lot at first when you are finding it hard to do multiple circuits (not sure if your laps are 25 or 50 or 100). 

 

It can take a while to build up stamina for longer distances, and every little technique nuance helps! So keep up the drills. I have a bunch in my head, and I am sure someone has a couple them up on YouTube.

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Syren  -- Chaotic Good -- Human Druish Ranger -- Current Challenge -- Battle Log

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It will take time for you to find your groove and swim more! I think Leothil has found a very pertinent (is that an English word?) point, the freestyle is probably much more demanding. 

 

You're still doing amazing though! You always increase the mileage and that's awesome. 

 

That birthday fairy seems absolutely awesome! What's her contact information? :P Happy belated by the way!

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Level  2 Gnome -who wants to be a Mermaid- Ranger


STR 5 | DEX | STA 4 | CON 3 | WIS 1 | CHA 1


Challenges:  1 |  Current Challenge: Arya Sapphire and the Majora's Mask


''Be brave enough to live life creatively. The creative is the place where no one else has ever been. You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition.'' - Alan Alda

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It will take time for you to find your groove and swim more! I think Leothil has found a very pertinent (is that an English word?) point, the freestyle is probably much more demanding. 

Not only is it an English word, it is an awesome word :)

 

Garmin's a pretty spiffy brand, I have a low-budget coordinate one I use for my geocaching that I need to start carrying on my bike - will encourage more biking 'cause I'll have things to find, AND it can tell me exactly how far and fast I'm going without me guesstimating on a map on Endomondo. But even though it's cheap, it's lived through rainstorms and someone dropping it in a river. Hope the gadgets help ease up your mind.

 

Other than relaxing and slowing down (which has already been mentioned a bit) I'm afraid I don't know enough about swimming to give any pointers. But sticking to it can't hurt :D Good job so far on the goals!

 

Oh, and also - belated happy bday!!

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A swim computer? I had no idea such a thing existed. They should call it a wetbit.

I've just read through this a d I'm loving the energy and focus - you're obviously starting out on a journey to greatness.

 

Yup, if you can think about it, they will make a computer to do the thinking for you. I like the Wetbit idea, so long as its not to be confused with the much more bouyant Wizbit (one for the Brits only there I think :P ). They have gone with the more predicatble names like Aquacoach and Poolmate. The one I have winging its way to me is the very originally titled Garmin "Swim"

And thanks for the kind words :)

 

You're swimming freestyle, correct? Then it will probably take longer for your body to adapt. Freestyle is a much more demanding swimming style than, let's say, breaststrokes, and since you're new to swimming your body isn't that used to the kind of workout it provides. You might be keeping your body more tense than it needs to be, which would make you spend energy that could be used for moving instead. Then there can also be a mental block that just goes "now I'm tired" after 25/50 meters, and that just has to be trained away, I guess. When I swim longer distances I always do breaststrokes, since I know I will last much longer using that style.

 

Yup, freestyle the whole time. I feel pretty relaxed when I get into my groove, though my technique needs work, and I definitely think you are on to something with the mental block, I'm sure at least some of it is down to that. I see alot of people at the pool going the longer distances with breast stroke, but I'm committed to Freestyle as 1) My doctor has told me not to do breast stroke at the moment and 2) I used to dislike breast stroke when I was a child. I pretty much only have freestyle or backstroke in my arsenal at the moment, one day I aspire to learn Butterfly *sigh* Hopefully like you say, my body will adapt over time, its definitely something I am going to keep working on :D

 

I love the internet shopping goblin, but yet I hate him as well when he decides to eat my wallet.

 

For your continuous swimming -- are you swimming all out for your 25m or 50m like you would if you are sprinting? Whether this is the case or not, working on pacing might help you out. With pacing comes determination: I will make it to 75m even if I have to float on my back for a minute to do it! Changing strokes helps a lot at first when you are finding it hard to do multiple circuits (not sure if your laps are 25 or 50 or 100). 

 

It can take a while to build up stamina for longer distances, and every little technique nuance helps! So keep up the drills. I have a bunch in my head, and I am sure someone has a couple them up on YouTube.

 

For most of the time when I started I only had one speed, which was all out. I then managed to slow things down a bit but snuck back to my higher speed for some reason as the session went on. I am really trying to slow things down and have been going around 5 - 8 seconds slower per 25m (which I know is probably not enough at the moment) but for some reason I feel like my technique improves the faster I go (to a point). Even when I slowed down by this amount I was still finding myself stopping after 25m. I think my legs get sinkier when I go slower, which is clearly some sort of balance problem, and maybe my speed is masking some more bad technique.

 

I guess I need to have more patience, go slower and as you say work on drills as much as I can as after all I'm in this for life now. Thanks so much for the advice.

 

It will take time for you to find your groove and swim more! I think Leothil has found a very pertinent (is that an English word?) point, the freestyle is probably much more demanding. 

 

You're still doing amazing though! You always increase the mileage and that's awesome. 

 

That birthday fairy seems absolutely awesome! What's her contact information? :tongue: Happy belated by the way!

 

Thanks Arya, and yes, pertinent is a great word :P

 

Not only is it an English word, it is an awesome word :)

 

Garmin's a pretty spiffy brand, I have a low-budget coordinate one I use for my geocaching that I need to start carrying on my bike - will encourage more biking 'cause I'll have things to find, AND it can tell me exactly how far and fast I'm going without me guesstimating on a map on Endomondo. But even though it's cheap, it's lived through rainstorms and someone dropping it in a river. Hope the gadgets help ease up your mind.

 

Other than relaxing and slowing down (which has already been mentioned a bit) I'm afraid I don't know enough about swimming to give any pointers. But sticking to it can't hurt :D Good job so far on the goals!

 

Oh, and also - belated happy bday!!

 

Yup, looking forward to the Garmin - its a "swim" which doesnt have any GPS as its designed just for use in the pool, but does some pretty cool things like stroke recognition, lap counting, stroke rate etc

 

And you are definitely right, I think I need some sort of "slow down" mantra to repeat to myself. And thanks :)

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Level: 3 - Wood Elf - Wanderer

STR: 0 | DEX: 5 | STA: 11 | CON: 5 | WIS: 5 | CHA: 2

Challenges: 1st | 2nd | 3rd | 4th | Current

 

"Quit...don't quit...noodles...don't noodles. You are too concerned with what was, and what will be"

- Master Oogway

Link to post

Yup, freestyle the whole time. I feel pretty relaxed when I get into my groove, though my technique needs work, and I definitely think you are on to something with the mental block, I'm sure at least some of it is down to that. I see alot of people at the pool going the longer distances with breast stroke, but I'm committed to Freestyle as 1) My doctor has told me not to do breast stroke at the moment and 2) I used to dislike breast stroke when I was a child. I pretty much only have freestyle or backstroke in my arsenal at the moment, one day I aspire to learn Butterfly *sigh* Hopefully like you say, my body will adapt over time, its definitely something I am going to keep working on

 

Well that's a good reason not to do breaststrokes. :P Butterfly is so tough, I have never done more than a few strokes in a row before getting tired and stopping. :D

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Level 4 Half-Elf Assassin

(that dabbles with the scouts)

Tumblr | Blog | Epic quest

 

"There is no such thing as perfection. The world itself is imperfect; that's what makes it so beautiful."

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I detest breaststroke too. My ankle, knee, hip combo likes to snap crackle pop every time I kick.

 

As for the sinkier feeling when you are slow, there are several things that might be the problem. 

 

First, how do you breathe when you are swimming? Do you lift your head all the way out of the water? Do you leave half of your face in the water with your ear pressed against your shoulder and sip air from the corner of your mouth? Do you try to rotary breathe? 

 

If you lift your head all the way out while swimming in a pool, stop doing that. Lifting your head up makes your body sink. If you stay streamlined, your body should stay at the surface. As for rotary breathing, it can be helpful for timing your strokes, but is not necessary... I suppose. 

 

You might look at your kick very closely. You know that you want to kick from your back, hip, thigh area of your leg and you want to keep your knee rigid. Do not let your knees bend, but try to keep your ankles floppy. If you are bending your knees when you kick flutter kick, the freestyle kick, then you are actually doing a scissor kick, which is more effective for the side stroke.

 

You also might look into using a pool buoy that will help keep your hips float while you work on arm movements. Working on keeping your core tight while you swim will also be easier with the pool buoy, and can help you feel less like sinking. A tight core means a straighter path through the water. It is like the keel of a sailboat.

 

Further arm and core work -- check on your body roll. You can do this easily with a drill called a one arm freestyle drill. Keep one arm at your side, while the other arm pulls. Breathe on the side opposite of the pulling arm. Almost everyone hates this drill, but it is really good for learning the importance of body roll. The body roll stabilizes you so that your stay straight, and it lengths your stroke so that you can go farther. Since the roll is exacerbated in the drill, you may be all over the lane at first.

 

So less sinking is not simple, and involves a lot of thinking.

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STRENGTH (0) | DEXTERITY (-1) | CONSTITUTION (1) | WISDOM (3) | INTELLIGENCE (3) | CHARISMA (2)

Syren  -- Chaotic Good -- Human Druish Ranger -- Current Challenge -- Battle Log

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