General Discussion Triathlon Talk » Buoyancy.... and the lack there of... Rss Feed  
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2013-10-23 1:06 PM

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Subject: Buoyancy.... and the lack there of...
How do I increase or extend the time in which I am most buoyant during my swims?

A little more explanation.... when I first begin my swim sessions, I feel most buoyant. I feel as if I'm floating at or near the top of the water and it takes very little effort to swim. However, the longer I swim, the less buoyant I become and i feel as if my legs are sinking, making it much more difficult to swim.

If I take a short rest and then begin swimming again, I feel as if I am floating on top again.



2013-10-23 1:22 PM
in reply to: mollys_dad

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Subject: RE: Buoyancy.... and the lack there of...

I think you may be confusing form with buoyancy.  Poor form/fatigue may result in raising the head which drops the feet which makes you feel like your sinking.  That also increases the frontal area in the direction of travel, slowing you down and also creating the sinking feeling.

You need to work on keeping proper form, even when fatigued, and that sinking feeling/lack of buoyancy feeling should go away.

When I'm tired, I REALLY focus on keeping my head/chin down to not raise the head, getting good rotation, and a long smooth stroke.

2013-10-23 3:13 PM
in reply to: Kido

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Subject: RE: Buoyancy.... and the lack there of...
Agree with Kido. Swimming is one of those activities where things tend to snowball. When you get tired, or your form gets sloppy, you slow down. When you slow down, your legs naturally sink a little, slowing you down even more. And this cycle can go on and on.

Keep swimming more. Swim hard and push yourself. So many people put way too much focus on form. It is very important, but if you don't put in the effort and volume in training to be able to sustain that form for a given time/distance, it's not going to help all that much.
2013-10-23 3:58 PM
in reply to: Jason N

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Subject: RE: Buoyancy.... and the lack there of...

Originally posted by Jason N Agree with Kido. Swimming is one of those activities where things tend to snowball. When you get tired, or your form gets sloppy, you slow down. When you slow down, your legs naturally sink a little, slowing you down even more. And this cycle can go on and on. Keep swimming more. Swim hard and push yourself. So many people put way too much focus on form. It is very important, but if you don't put in the effort and volume in training to be able to sustain that form for a given time/distance, it's not going to help all that much.

Kido and Jason nailed it.

Also, a little core work when you're not able to get to the pool can help you develop muscles needed to hold a good position longer. Planks, supermans, flutter kicks, leg lifts, etc. 

2013-10-23 4:59 PM
in reply to: mollys_dad

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Subject: RE: Buoyancy.... and the lack there of...

In order to improve your buoyancy, I suggest using one of these:





(orange_Life_Jacket.jpg)



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orange_Life_Jacket.jpg (395KB - 5 downloads)
2013-10-24 11:42 AM
in reply to: morey000


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Subject: RE: Buoyancy.... and the lack there of...
How is this attractive girl going to help my swimming buoyancy?

Oh, the life jacket...Right. Sorry.



2013-10-24 11:54 AM
in reply to: mollys_dad

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Subject: RE: Buoyancy.... and the lack there of...

Originally posted by mollys_dad How do I increase or extend the time in which I am most buoyant during my swims? A little more explanation.... when I first begin my swim sessions, I feel most buoyant. I feel as if I'm floating at or near the top of the water and it takes very little effort to swim. However, the longer I swim, the less buoyant I become and i feel as if my legs are sinking, making it much more difficult to swim. If I take a short rest and then begin swimming again, I feel as if I am floating on top again.

You've gotten some good answers. When you say "If I take a short rest" makes me think that you might be doing all your swim training straight through, when it's most effective to break it up into sets of repeats with some rest in between the repeats (and the sets, too).

Here's a good article describing how to structure your swim training:

http://www.swimsmooth.com/training.html

2013-10-24 12:52 PM
in reply to: TriAya

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Subject: RE: Buoyancy.... and the lack there of...

Originally posted by TriAya....

Here's a good article describing how to structure your swim training:

http://www.swimsmooth.com/training.html

 

That is a good article.  I tend to do longer sets (500's, 250's, some 100's), but go anerobic and take a lot more rest than that.  Like 1 min between sets.  Sounds like I need to do more 'threshold' level swimming, with shorter rests.  anyway- for me, it's more about getting to the pool 3 times a week or more.  consistency trumps everything!

2013-10-24 7:00 PM
in reply to: morey000

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Subject: RE: Buoyancy.... and the lack there of...
Originally posted by morey000

anyway- for me, it's more about getting to the pool 3 times a week or more.  consistency trumps everything!




This was the key for me. It's always one thing to say you're going to go to the pool 3-4x a week, and swim 3k per swim. It's a totally different thing to actually do it...and do it consistently for an extended period of time.
2013-10-25 10:02 AM
in reply to: Jason N

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Subject: RE: Buoyancy.... and the lack there of...
While I certainly agree that form is likely the major contributing factor, your breathing as you get tired is also at play here. If you have ever been just floating in the pool you will notice that if you take a breath and hold it your body rises. As you let the air out the body begins to sink a bit.

When you are swimming the same thing occurs. As you fatigue you tend to shorten up your breaths as you fight for more air. You don't take in as much air on each breath nor breath as deeply. The stronger and faster you swim, the less impactful it is in affecting your buoyancy. If you are not a strong or fast swimmer, there is the physics of air in your body at play. Hard to quantify but working against you nonetheless.
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