I started swimming regularly about a month ago, and I can currently swim freestyle less than 75m before I have to stop and recover for a short time. I have a simple goal of being able to cover 500m without completely exhausting myself.
Assuming I have a fixed amount of time at the gym each week, should I be spending as much as possible in the water to work on my technique until I stop seeing improvement, or does it make sense to spend any of that time on weight training instead? If so, what should I focus on? Are there specific exercises that would help with my form and endurance?
To provide some more detail, here are the main problems I continue to run into with the freestyle stroke, even as my form improves:
- My arms, shoulders, and upper back tire quickly, and when they do, my need for air increases and my form suffers.
- Slowing my kicking and/or stroke rate affects my body position, which negatively affects my form and efficiency.
- There is no sustainable pace. I can swim separate 50 yard laps almost endlessly, but only with short rests between to catch my breath and let my arms recover.
I feel like the overall problem is a lack of strength and endurance in my upper body, which could possibly be addressed more directly by weight training than swimming alone.