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2013-07-21 9:45 PM


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Subject: Stroke Survivor, New Triathlete
Hi All,

At age 36 I suffered a stroke. I was overweight, drank too much, ate fast food, etc...eventually a blood vessel burst and I suffered a stroke. I was left with a blind spot in each eye but no other physical issues. I vowed to become healthy. Now at age 39, I began cycling, running and recently swimming. I have a couple half marathons under my belt this year and just did my first century ride last month. Now I want to "compete" in triathlons.

I am very comfortable in the water and going under the water. I'm comfortable in pools or lakes. My problem is that I can't seem to get the breathing/stroke (ironic) rhythm going. I can swim face in the water exhaling no problem, but as soon as I turn for air, my legs drop and I get derailed. I've seen training plans and they seem to start at 1 of 2 places. Either they start assuming you have never seen water and possibly don't know what it is, or they assume you have the stroke/breathing rhythm in place and you need to work on endurance. I can go under, sit on the bottom of the pool, swim with face in water, swim with head above water, etc. Will someone please help me get to the next step of being able to complete the 400 meters swim portion of a sprint distance triathlon? Any help is appreciated!


Ryan
St. Charles, Illinois


2013-07-21 10:52 PM
in reply to: Flanny 2

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Veteran
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Waukegan, IL
Subject: RE: Stroke Survivor, New Triathlete
Congrats on deciding to do a triathlon! They really are fun and you feel great doing it!

My first impression when you described your situation (with legs dropping when you go for air) is that you are lifting your head up. The textbook says that when you breathe, your head should just turn and you don't need to lift. It takes a lot of practice. swimsmooth.com has a neat animation on the front page that shows how they say it is supposed to look. It helps me to look at that. Let's see what some of the great swimmers have to say as well...

Good luck!
2013-07-22 4:38 AM
in reply to: Flanny 2


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Subject: RE: Stroke Survivor, New Triathlete
Hi, congratulations on the changes you have made to your life! With regard to swimming I also think it may be that you are lifting your head as you turn to breathe. I used to do this and it sent my legs straight down, it took a lot of practice to get it right. Ideally one eye of your goggles should be just under the water line when you turn your head to breathe. If you try that it may help you not to lift your head, it worked for me. Good luck, I hope you get it sorted.
2013-07-22 8:57 AM
in reply to: Flanny 2


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Subject: RE: Stroke Survivor, New Triathlete
Dude, you're a legend. Not just a survivor but a triathlete. we'll get you there one way or another.

A tip that may or may not help is to breath in from your shoulder. When you turn your head to inhale try to tuck your chin into your shoulder, almost to the point of looking backwards. During the pull section of your stroke (no pun intended) you create a dip in the water just ahead of your shoulder, this dip reduces how far you have to turn your head in order to get a breath in and should stop your legs dropping as you won't be lifting your head out of the water.

Hope it helps bud, keep it up.
2013-07-22 9:11 AM
in reply to: Flanny 2

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Subject: RE: Stroke Survivor, New Triathlete

First, congratulations on your lifestyle changes and your commitment to a healthy lifesyle going forward.

The good thing is that you're comfortable in the water.  Your issues seem to be more related to technique and more specifically balance issues.

My suggestion would be to take a look at the Total Immersion program from the standpoint of developing a feel for being balanced  in the water.  Some of their initial drills seem pretty basic, but they are effective if you work to do them correctly..

IMHO, it helps to have an objective set of eyes take a look at what you're doing and give you some feedback.  It doesn't necessarily have to be a swim coach, but could be a friend or experienced swimmer who understands what you are trying to accomplish. 

Good luck,

Mark 

2013-07-22 9:18 AM
in reply to: Flanny 2

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Master
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Subject: RE: Stroke Survivor, New Triathlete
My hat is off to you for the 180 degree lifestyle change. Well done.

Regarding the swim...it's entirely about technique. Get a swim coach or sign up for a masters class. Get some instruction. Its the one of the three sports that most benefits from proper form.



2013-07-22 1:38 PM
in reply to: #4810219


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Subject: RE: Stroke Survivor, New Triathlete
Thanks for the advice, looks like I need to work on technique. I think I'll get a coach.

Ryan
2013-07-22 2:23 PM
in reply to: Flanny 2

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Subject: RE: Stroke Survivor, New Triathlete
consider using the "Total immersion" method of swimming. Its ideal for budding triatheletes who are working on their swim balance and position.
There are books and DVDs available from amazon.
2013-07-22 2:38 PM
in reply to: Motivated

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Subject: RE: Stroke Survivor, New Triathlete
Originally posted by Motivated

Regarding the swim...it's entirely about technique. Get a swim coach or sign up for a masters class. Get some instruction. Its the one of the three sports that most benefits from proper form.



^^^ This.

I find it a bit difficult to picture what's going wrong, it could be a number of things: The other arm stops the pull when you breathe, your kick falls apart, or you relax your core. The last I could imagine happen if you breathe with the diaphragm rather than the chest.

BR
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