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 Post subject: Introduction
PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2013 1:55 am 
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Joined: Fri Feb 01, 2013 12:50 am
Posts: 33
Hello, I'm a UK ex-pat living in France, recently bitten by the swimming bug.

I learned to perform a poor breaststroke as a child and never learned to swim with decent form, nor to swim front crawl until recently. I started in October last year, taking lessons every few weeks and swimming 3-4 times per week. Like many who start taking a sport seriously for the first time, I'm on a steep improvement slope and I love the feeling of making constant improvements.

My focus has been on front crawl and I've made a bit of progress, though I'm not fast.

I'm heavy in the legs and haven't yet found a good energy-efficient kick which keeps me in a streamlined position. I can either do a weak flutter kick which creates drag or I can kick furiously which propels me, but is exhausting. I'm dabbling with the two beat kick, but I'm far from mastering it. I also do kickboard drills.

Much of my training employs pull buoy or short pool fins, just to compensate for my weak kick. I try to structure my pool sessions so that I work on form for most of the time, then throw in a length or two at speed just to see how my form holds up. My present personal bests (25m pool) are:

Pull buoy:
Focus on efficiency: 16 strokes / 29 seconds
Focus on speed: 20 strokes / 23 seconds

Fins:
Focus on efficiency: 15 strokes / 25 seconds
Focus on speed: 15 strokes / 18 seconds

No toys:
Focus on efficiency (two beat kick): 20 strokes / 30 seconds
Focus on speed: 20 strokes / 24 seconds

Despite being a 41 year old male with a paunch (which is reducing), I'm optimistic that I can get much better :)

I've got a long way to go and I'm looking forward to joining in the chat and to learning more about this fabulous sport. :D


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 Post subject: Re: Introduction
PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2013 4:57 pm 
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Joined: Thu Oct 20, 2011 11:11 am
Posts: 1780
Location: Great Britain
Hello Leander and welcome to the forum :P



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 Post subject: Re: Introduction
PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2013 8:12 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 21, 2011 9:35 pm
Posts: 2990
Location: Here, there and everywhere.
Where abouts in France are you, somewhere nice I hope.



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 Post subject: Re: Introduction
PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2013 8:34 pm 
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Joined: Fri Feb 01, 2013 12:50 am
Posts: 33
spidey wrote:
Where abouts in France are you, somewhere nice I hope.


Thanks for the kind welcome.

We're on the South coast, on the Cote d'Azur. The sea isn't quite warm enough for swimming yet, but hopefully in a few months, it will be. Being my first season of swimming front crawl, I'm looking forward to the extra buoyancy to help mask my poor kick :)



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 Post subject: Re: Introduction
PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2013 8:41 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 21, 2011 12:50 pm
Posts: 7391
Hi Leander and welcome. I think these are still early days for you. if it's any comfort, you should see quite a rapid improvement in times if you keep at it.


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 Post subject: Re: Introduction
PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2013 11:48 pm 
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Joined: Fri Feb 01, 2013 12:50 am
Posts: 33
Juicy Lucy wrote:
Hi Leander and welcome. I think these are still early days for you. if it's any comfort, you should see quite a rapid improvement in times if you keep at it.

Many thanks for the encouragement. Almost every session brings a new personal best and it's very motivating. I know that later, my improvements will start to come more slowly, but I plan to get good enough to squeeze into the lower brackets of a local swimming club so the social aspect should provide further motivation to see beyond the inevitably slowing rates of improvement. Joining this community will help greatly also. Thanks again for the warm welcome :)



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 Post subject: Re: Introduction
PostPosted: Sat Feb 02, 2013 8:25 am 
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Joined: Sun Oct 23, 2011 10:02 am
Posts: 849
Leander wrote:
Juicy Lucy wrote:
but I plan to get good enough to squeeze into the lower brackets of a local swimming club


Welcome Leander - this is definitely the way forward. If there is a local Masters group near to you then go along and see if you can join. You'll get help with your strokes as well as great camaraderie which is hugely motivating. Keep up the good work though and well done on getting in the pool and going for it!


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 Post subject: Re: Introduction
PostPosted: Sat Feb 02, 2013 5:36 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 21, 2011 9:35 pm
Posts: 2990
Location: Here, there and everywhere.
Leander, it is not all about the kick, but the kick helps. Main thing is that you are back and feeling good.



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 Post subject: Re: Introduction
PostPosted: Sun Feb 03, 2013 2:37 am 
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Joined: Fri Feb 01, 2013 12:50 am
Posts: 33
spidey wrote:
Leander, it is not all about the kick, but the kick helps. Main thing is that you are back and feeling good.


Thanks, yes, I know you're right. I'm a bit preoccupied by the kick because, despite the toll that my love of food and wine has taken on my waistline, I'm dense (not just in the head) and seem to be a 'sinker'. I use the term cautiously. I've been following Terry Laughlin's videos and book and he says that many people wrongly (lazily) assign their challenges to being 'sinkers' when they are no more dense than other swimmers. Despite this caution, I think I fall into this category (and without prompting from me, my swimming instructor confirmed this).

Having said that, maybe I overstate the challenge. In any case, I'm really enjoying training and meeting good people like yourself through this sport :)



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 Post subject: Re: Introduction
PostPosted: Sun Feb 03, 2013 10:09 am 
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Joined: Sun Oct 23, 2011 10:02 am
Posts: 849
It may not be that you are heavy in the legs but more that your core strength is lacking and so you are not able to hold your legs where they need to be!

Forget the 'label' you've assigned to yourself and carry on enjoying swimming - that's the important thing :D


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