Haywood Fitness: Learning to Swim-Well Sort Of

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Learning to Swim-Well Sort Of

Ok so I already know how to swim.  I took lessons when I was younger and learned all the basics etc... Then I pretty much disregarded everything they taught me and made up my own style of swimming that I was more comfortable doing.  I call it "froggy style."  Basically Its a modified breast stroke.   If Michael Phelps were to see me do it he would look something like this picture below.

Recently I have more and more been wanting to learn how to swim freestyle stroke correctly.  My main reason for doing this is so that I can complete a triathlon.  I already bike and run a lot and figure that I could hold my own in those two events of a triathlon.  However if I mess up in those events the worst that could happen is that I would trip or wreck my bike. In this unfortunate event, I would simply get up and continue on to the finish.  Whereas with swimming if I "mess up"  I drown in a massive amount of white water while other participants are rapidly dealing me blow to the face with their feet as they try to swim over me in a desperate attempt to shave an extra second off of their triathlon PR (personal Record).  Not so fun!

I need to learn how to effectively and efficiently swim over a longer distance than the size of the tiny hotel swimming pool. So, I have been hitting the local High School pool at 6am twice a week for the last 3 weeks.  I feel like I have made some big strides, however I was so far gone that I am nowhere near feeling comfortable enough to take on a triathlon yet.  I am going to keep at it and hopefully continue to improve fast.

Swim Training Gear

I am a gadget guy and like to have all of the gear. Here is some of the Gear I am using to help make the process easier. Luckily some of this stuff is provided at my local pool and I didn't have to purchase all of it at one time.  I do plan on getting the stuff I don't personally own so that I can train on my own time in open water.  I do not use all of this equipment at the same time either because I would look like a mentally handicapped Aqua-Man. I use each piece for different training purposes and have found all of them very helpful.


Aqua Sphere-Seal

These are great goggles that do not hurt your face and provide excellent peripheral vision view.  I have also heard that the tinted smoke ones are the best lenses for open water swimming.  The tint reduces glare.

Ear Plugs

Barracuda Ear Plugs

I have had ear problems ever since I was really little, including multiple ear surgeries.  These ear plugs do a good job of keeping the water out of my ears.

Swim Cap

Aqua Sphere Aqua Glide Silicone Swim Cap

I like this thing because it has the ear holes.  And, I hear that the silicone caps are better...Not sure why.


Finis Swimmer's Snorkel

This helps me concentrate on from rather than breathing.  It has a front mount design which is nice because it creates less drag in the water.
Nose Plug

Cressi Nose Clip

I use the nose plug only when I use the snorkel above.  For whatever reason I find it difficult to breathe underwater with the snorkel without breathing through my nose also.


Tritan Swim Fins

These flippers are probably my favorite training tool.  It is just fun to wear them in the water because you can really propel yourself fast.  These particular ones are some of the only ones I could find that came in my size (15).  They are fairly cheap and do a great job of working the legs and ankles. And, they help keep my kick in line.


Speedo Kickboard

I use this a lot for training drills and warm ups.  It is a basic kick board.

Pull Buoy

Speedo Pull Buoy

This cool looking thing-a-ma-jig goes between your legs and helps to keep your hips afloat so that your legs don't drag you down and cause improper alignment.

Goggle Anti-Fog Spray

JAWS Quick Spit

Keeps my goggles from fogging up, which is a major issue.

DVD Training

Total Immersion Swimming: Perpetual Motion Freestyle in Ten Lessons

Really cool training program on DVD, everything you need to know about freestyle swimming.


Xterra Volt Sleeveless

Technically haven't used this one yet but I will when I get up the nerve to do a triathlon.  It is a good tri wetsuit and is one of the cheapest I could find.  By the way, you cannot wear a wetsuit in a pool, it will ruin it.  (I didn't do this but the info that came with my suit filled me in.)

Wish me luck on my Quest!

Please share in the comments if you have any tips for me, about Triathlons or Swimming in general.  Thanks in advance!

If you would like to make me your fitness coach and join me in my quest for Triathlon domination or just lose a few pounds...You can make me your fitness coach for free by clicking here.

1 comment:

Mike Cornelia said...

Another great tool for educating a person how to swim is actually an ebook. My daughter who is 5 has been using an app I found through the
best educational apps for kids. She had no problem jumping in the pool and trying it out. I was actually quite shocked at how effective it was.