Weight Loss Challenge – Day 28

Since my foot injury, I’ve had a hard time working out. It seems every good cardio activity requires me to be on my feet. So I decided I’d try swimming. My gym has 2 very nice pools. I should be clear, I’m not a swimmer. I don’t especially like swimming. I have no idea what I’m doing and I’m sure it shows.

I started about a month ago, and was able to swim about 3 full laps which was about 150 yards. Not very good. I thought I was going to die, literally sometimes. I’m glad I can’t see what I look like when I swim, because I should probably be embarrassed.

Yesterday, I swam about 20 laps for 1,000 yards. I’m very happy about those results. It took me about 52 minutes to complete that swim so I still have a lot of things to work on. Since I have plenty of time between laps while I gasp for air, I watch the other swimmers. There are apparently a lot of really good swimmers where I work. Everyone seems to have a really good understanding of how to not look stupid while they swim. Even the bigger guys seems to swim really fast and efficiently compared to me.

I’ve picked up a few good ideas that I’ve tried that have been helping me breath more efficiently and consistently. I found slowing down my legs and arms saved me a lot of energy which has allowed me to increase my distance. I’ve even taken to the Internet to find videos of how to swim better. So far the most helpful one is this one. They showed pretty much all the things I’m doing wrong, and thus, what you should be doing. I’ll have to give these tips a try.

The tips seem simple enough, but again, I’m not a swimmer, and I don’t like drowning, so I don’t know how easy it’s going to be for me to keep my head down. Hopefully I can do this, so I can start seeing even more progress.

Do any of you have good tips beyond what is in this video? How have you improved your swimming? I appreciate any help I can get.


10 thoughts on “Weight Loss Challenge – Day 28

  1. I’ve been a competitive swimmer since I was 5, and this video jives with all the advice I’ve ever gotten from my myriad coaches.

    Something else I’d suggest that this video did not hit on is that when you’re going for aerobic/general exercise, the longer sets and better intervals you can maintain, the better. So, when you’re swimming, isolate the part of the stroke that you are more efficient with and lean on that when you want to keep up your pace.

    Example: my kick is weak, and my pull is very strong. In longer distances I will keep my kick going, but I’m not PUSHING my kick, since for the energy it would use, it doesn’t propel me nearly as much as my pull.

    Also, generally you should breathe every three strokes to get into a rhythm, but some people are bad on one side and have no desire to fix that. As a competitor, you needed to, but as a casual swimmer, if breathing every two strokes on one side and getting into a form of “water gallop” helps, then by all means do it.

    • Thanks for the advice. I sort of need to fix everything overall. The breathing is probably my weakest spot. I’m very inconsistent. I’m trying to get to a point where I don’t have to breath every stroke. I love air, so getting myself to breath differently is tough. I did it for running my marathons so I should be able to do it here too.

      Again, thanks for the advice. I’m glad to see my video I chose is pretty well on target.

      • Once you get flipturns down, that will add another layer of “breathing learning curve,” since everyone is tempted to shoot their head up and take a breath before the turn, but it’s hyper inefficient. I still do it, even, when I’m in really long sets and my lungs are on fire.

      • I have 2 goals right now. Swim 1 mile and quit stopping everytime I get to the end of the pool. All these techniques should help. Thanks for the help.

  2. Good job on 20 laps for 1000 yards! I am certain I would be gasping for air as well. When it comes to swimming, I can stay alive and that’s about it. Plus, I flat iron my hair so my hair and water are NOT friends lol!
    Who knows? Maybe you found your new thing and in a few months you will be giving us “tips from the swimming expert” 🙂
    I have no tips though. Sorry. Don’t use a flat iron if you plan to swim. That’s all I have. 🙂

    • So that’s what I’ve been doing wrong. I’ve been straightening my hair just before swimming every time. I would add that you shouldn’t use a flat iron “while” you swim as well. Bad combination. 🙂

      My recommendation is usually don’t do what I’m doing. That’s usually a safe bet. I don’t start things because I like them. I start them because I know they’re hard and anything hard to do must be worth it and will likely see the fastest results. That’s why I started running years ago. Well, that and because it’s probably the cheapest sport you can participate in and you can do it anywhere.

      • Lol! Yes that would not end well.

        That’s such a great mentality. I wish I had it. I want to want to run (does that make sense) but I don’t because I hate it. I love lifting so I would much rather eat super clean and lift than do a lot of running. That’s awesome that you get out of your comfort zone!

      • I hate running too, but it was the most convenient thing to do until I hurt my stupid foot. I’ve been off it for 6 or 7 months now. It’s finally starting to feel better, but I’m not ready to test it. I think I need to give it a full year just to be safe.

        My first 1/2 marathon I ran, the local newspaper tried to interview me, first question was “why do you love running” my answer: “I hate running, but I hated being fat more” I didn’t make it in the paper. 🙂

      • Lol! That’s the way I feel about cardio in general. I hate being fat more.
        That’s amazing that you ran a half! I do hope your foot gets back to 100% even if you don’t go back to running.

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