October 19, 2008

Ask "theSwimMom"

You know what number this post is?  It is my 100th post.  I would say it is shocking that I have posted that many post since the end of April but we all know how much I love to chat.  There is also that whole hiding from reality in cyber world thing going on. Never the less, I am thrilled that my 100th post landed on an, "Ask the SwimMom" post. It seems fitting doesn't it? 

This week I am happy to bring you more questions from my favorite swim pal Willow. Who this week asked questions dealing with swim technique and improving your strokes.  So lets dive in shall we (umm humm "dive in," just giving you a little heads up on the pun.)

The fabulous Willow asked....

Okay Swimmom... the question is this; I like to swim. I can swim laps for days. However, I am not a fast swimmer; basically I am to swimming as marathon runners are to running. How can I become faster?


Lets start with me asking a question, what is not fast? How fast do you want to be? Are you training for an event? Or are you swimming strictly for fitness and fun? Below is a copy of the "Cooper 12-minute Swimming test." It is guide to help in determining your swim fitness.

Swimming like all other sports takes training and consistency.  In order to improve your speed start with establishing how fast you swim.  First time how many laps you can comfortably swim in 15 minutes.  Then set a goal to improve that distance.  If you find that you are still not improving on your speed start looking at your stroke. There are hundreds of instructional videos on utube that can help in identifying what may be a weak point in your stroke.

Next Question:

How many arm strokes should one take between breaths? My swimmer husband is amazed that I haven't passed out in the pool due to lack of oxygen with my 6 stroke then breathe pattern. Finally, is it really necessary to learn to breathe from both sides?


During our swim teacher training we were told to teach kids a 1-2-3 pattern.  Which is basically stroke, stroke, breathe and continue. This means that every third stroke you trade off what side you are breathing from.  Breaths taken every third stroke help to maintain stroke balance, and body balance in the water.  However, that being said I have noticed that Michael Phelps breathes every other stroke. Always taking his breath from one side.  I have noticed other swimmers take a breath every fourth stroke again only breathing from one side.  Personally I am an every other stroke breather from the right side.  This is mainly because I choke on water whenever I breathe to my left.

I think it is a personal choice as long as you make sure you are still achieving stroke and body balance.  As far as every sixth breath.  I would think that might be the source of your slowness.  That probably means that you are holding your breath during some of that swimming.  Instead of exhaling your breath and then taking a breath continually.  This ultimately is going to slow you down because your body will want more oxygen.

Final Willow Question

Ooooh, and perhaps the most important... how can I become a fantastic swimmer without developing the "wings." I am the girl who quit band because the excessive flute practicing was causing me to develop a muscle under my bottom lip that wasn't cute at all.

What wings? Ok, I guess there is a little wing action taking place but who doesn't have wings? Really most of us have much worse wings.  I say suck it up enjoy the sport and realize that it would be much worse if you were doing nothing at all.  Wings gseee!!!

Great Questions Willow!!

This weekend I am headed to a swim meet so on Monday I will be posting a post that explain swim meet lingo. Have a great week and I will see you next Monday.



Willow said...

Congratulations on the 100th post!

Now for the SwimMom to answer some hard-hitting, intense questions...

SwimMom, are indoor swim meets filled with the aroma of ick? Most indoor pools I have visited have a quite distinct and completely unpleasant smell about them.

Also, do you condone performance enhancing drags off the Sue Bee Honeybear? The swimmer with whom I plan to spend forever was known to gulp honey prior to races as added pep. Would you, or have you ever, supported nutritional doping?

If SueBee is not your energy supplier of choice, is there a dietary ritual practiced by your swimmers to give them an "edge"?

4kidsandcrazy said...

Congrats on the 100th post!!!