25

Although swimming alone in the middle of Lake Michigan sounds wonderful and has its benefits to you, swimming alone has life altering/ending risks. The chances may be minimal that something dangerous could happen, but see my story below for an example that bad things can happen. If something did happen you don't seem to have left yourself any communication ...


11

In general, it is not really necessary to swim overlong long distance sets, as there is no real training benefit other than mentally knowing that you can swim the distance. Even for competitive swimmers doing the 1500, workouts will rarely have that distance in the plan. There is more benefit to swimming a set such as 6x500 on :10 rest than there is in ...


11

I've done a lot of offshore sailing and sometimes you'll get totally becalmed. Hot muggy conditions and the water is so flat you can literally shave in the reflection. It's hard not to jump in with conditions like that. Soap up, jump in, swim around the boat a few times, etc. A very famous and accomplished sailor named Bernard Moitessier would (solo) have ...


10

I faced the same challenge about 2 1/2 years ago. That is, no swimming background but wanted to try open water swimming. Based on my own trial and error path, I would recommend the following: Learn to swim without a wetsuit first. It is a non trivial task since swimming is a technically demanding sport (contrary to what I thought initially). The big ...


9

Swimming is good for people of any size. Your weight loss/gain will be determined by your diet. If you don't want to lose any more weight, eat more! Short answer: Keep swimming! It's a great way to build muscle and endurance. EDIT: I want to elaborate a bit. I usually try to spend the same amount of time writing an answer, as the asker spends writing the ...


9

Growing up surfing, I'd get water in my nose constantly. When stuffed up I'd splash some up in there and snot rocket all the junk out. Even a "saline nasal spray" is just a fancy way of blowing salt water into your nose. If there's a problem I'd venture to guess it has more to do with whatever badness is in the water (chemicals, pathogens, etc). You can ...


9

Without actually seeing your stroke, I am going to make the guess that it is related to breathing. Breastroke, it is easy to do a slow stroke (and a 40 minute mile qualifies) and breathe in and out regularly while your face is above the water. In freestyle, the tendency for people that are not competitive swimmers is to hold their breath while their face ...


8

It is difficult to say without seeing your swim stroke, but I suspect that when you are breathing, you are over rotating, with your head pulled back rather than being in a neutral position. That would allow water to enter in your nose. When swimming freestyle, you don't really move your head much. The top of the head should be in the water, which will ...


7

Your absolute best bet is going to be finding a decent instructor (not a coach, although they can be the same person, it isn't often you find both in one entity) and getting stroke instruction. Swimming is a very form intensive sport, to where correct form has a significant impact on both competitive times and on longevity. Bad form can easily wreck ...


7

"since breathing necessarily disrupts your flow" I think the amount of disruption relates to how far from perfect your form is. Since they need to breathe, they put a lot of work in perfecting their body and stroke movement so there is almost no additional body movement related to breathing. If the catch and pull are done correctly, the body is swiveling ...


6

I found huge improvements from taking on gyming while swimming - specifically muscular strength and endurance. That is, until I overtrained and heavily damaged my back. Be wise and know your limits! How often? I think two to three swim sessions to one gym session is a good ratio. If you're a sprinter, maybe more towards two to one swim sessions to one ...


6

Based on this article from the Catalyst at Brown University, yes and no. After 295 observations, the results were in. Do you sweat when you swim? Sort of. Swimmers averaged a sweat rate of 123 milliliters per kilometer swum, but this number is significantly lower than average sweat rates for other types of exercise (about a third of the sweat rate ...


6

The reason why your instructor stresses on you keeping your leg straight is because most beginners bend their leg too much while kicking, so if beginners concentrate on keeping their legs straight, then they can start kicking with minor bends. There are a few pointers to keep in mind while learning freestyle kicking: Alternate your legs while kicking Dont ...


6

Practice, practice and more practice. Generally your form will fall apart in almost any sport once you start getting fatigued. If it happens every time on your fast 100's, then you are going too fast for your fitness. If you have been swimming for a year and showing very little improvement in your overall times, then you may have some stroke flaws that ...


6

If you are young and you have no past injuries to your knee ligaments, I suggest you don't give up running but rather focus on a better running technique, lowering your mileage for some time, changing your program or even trying different shoes instead. Medical doctors who aren't specially devoted to sport medicine are usually prone to sending you to swim at ...


6

It depends what you mean by okay. If you mean "is it safe?" then the answer is simple: No, it is not safe. If you get into trouble you stand a high risk of death. No-one will be able to rescue you. But for the broader question of whether that means it's not okay, we can't answer that. It's up to you to assess the danger by assessing the chances of an ...


6

The switch from the pool to the lake/ocean can be challenging. Google on "overcome fear of open water swimming" or "panic attack triathlete water" and you will find that you are not alone. There are two aspects of your question: Overcoming fear in general when training/doing sports and Specifics with swimming. Overcoming fear in general when training is ...


5

Although there is only some need for full distance training and @JohnP's answer is useful for most of your training, it really can help with strategy, psychological conditioning, and for practicing pace to do an occasional full distance swim. Healing after your first full distance training session will produce an excellent training effect as well. I have ...


5

The synopsis at that link is very good. The gist is that what you want is to increase thrust-per-stroke. If you look at Olypmic swimmers or even just fast swimmers at your pool, their arms don't fly around faster than everyone else's, they just get more per stroke than anyone else does. A good way to developing a powerful stroke is to slow down. Perform ...


5

Swimming is not an ideal fat burning exercise. It burns fewer calories than running or cycling (http://www.nutristrategy.com/activitylist3.htm) and although the resistance of the water does break-down and build muscle the effect is not nearly intense enough to induce "afterburn". Plus, swimming makes me incredibly hungry! That said, swimming is a ...


5

They're not damaged. A really simplified way of thinking about your lungs burning is that you are using parts of your lungs that are not accustomed to being so exposed to an outside environment. You have an abundant amount of what are called aveoli and bronchioles that make up your lungs. When running, you expose those normally mucus-lined areas to air, ...


5

You should definitely do at least some of your training in the sea to get used to conditions, as well as being able to sight (Look for markers) to be able to swim in a straight line. There are also some tricks to it, such as being able to dive "under" oncoming large waves rather than swimming up and over the top of them. High turnover of your arms will help,...


5

Swimming fitness is a little different because your arms are the predominant power source and your breathing is controlled instead of natural. If you are having trouble with a length, however, the dominant issue is likely to be efficiency. Form drag, friction, rotational drag, etc. will nearly stop you outright if you are not balanced and smooth. According ...


5

You might be surprised at how well you can remain afloat swimming a stroke like the front crawl with just your arms once you've better developed the upper body swimming muscles :). I see the local YMCA team at the gym every morning, and these kids (aged anywhere from 10-18) all are able to perform the stroke without using their legs. The legs may sink down ...


5

Simply practising a swim style again and again does not necessarily makes you swim better. Moreover, you might be reinforcing the bad aspects in your technique. What you need to include in your workouts is swimming drills. They are special modified exercises aiming to make you focus on one single aspect of the technique at a time. Here is a random example ...


5

As it stands, you may be fit enough, but you are not trained enough, unless you plan on walking pretty much the entire run portion of the event. Most marathon plans (Which is a distance shorter than the 30 miles) will have you running 50-70 miles a week, with quite a few runs in the 10-15 mile range. However, I think the biggest limiter right now is your ...


5

The shoulder muscles that contribue to the broad shape are primarily the deltoid muscles. This is the muscle that forms the bulk of the shoulder muscle mass, with three heads (Anterior, medial and posterior) that inserts on the humerus. This muscle is primarily involved with shoulder abduction, or moving the upper arm out away from the body. So for swimming,...


5

Hyperventilation is a legitimate method for increasing the proportion of oxygen in the blood for the purpose of things like holding one's breath. However, there is a caveat to it, namely that the body tracks both carbon dioxide levels and oxygen levels, and with what's essentially two different mechanisms. Hyperventilation decreases CO2 faster than it ...


5

For someone cold challenged or actually in hypothermia your body is going to use a ton of energy to rewarm you and you'd likely feel the effect of blood shunting. It's the difference between "a dip" versus your study (linked in wikipedia) which talked about "swimming", the latter of which generates enough heat in a trained athlete to stave off hypothermia. ...


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