Getting into Swimming?

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 12, 2008 11:00 PM GMT
    I've just come from my doc's office, and he tells me that running is no longer a viable workout for me (ACL injury, arthitis in my right knee, impending surgery). He'd like me to consider swimming as an alternative cardio workout. Only problem is that I'm not a big swimfan. Took lessons as a kid and in high school, and hired a swim coach a few years back to help me get into it, but I just didn't enjoy it. Seems like now, I better learn to. icon_smile.gif

    Any tips on how to get into this sport would be much appreciated, thanks!
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    Feb 13, 2008 12:26 AM GMT
    Misery loves company. Maybe you should consider joining the Chicago Smelts. They are a great group of people. Very welcoming and it is great to be part of a gay swim team.

    If you are a runner you know how it feels to start running again after a long layoff. Keep that in mind when you start swimming. You really need to stick to a swimming program for a minimum of 3 weeks before you decide to continue swimming or not. Spend those weeks on your base conditioning by doing interval training.

    If you feel you need more personal coaching you can consider the Chicago Blue Dolphins. They offer one-on-one coaching or smaller group lessons.

    If you truly do not enjoy swimming consider finding another cardio exercise you do enjoy. Maybe wheelchair racing, kayaking ... ?

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    Feb 13, 2008 12:52 AM GMT
    Several years ago I met Igor Buddenko a former trainer for the Russian Olympic team. He defected during the LA games back into the '80s. He invented Aquatic Therapy. He has worked with many Olympic and Professional athletes. Check out his web site. I've been doing "deep water running" for over 20 years now. Several days a week I run in the deep end of the pool. RUN not swim. Stay vertical. Use a floatation device if you have to. Long stride, short stride always with a heel plant. No pointed toes. Stretch the ham; go for full range of motion. If you want to work harder skip the floatation; harder yet run against a bungie cord. You can get one from

    All the joys of running without the pain. I just did 1 hour in out pool here in Sun Valley. Bring music or a book on tape.

    Any questions, just ask. Good luck!

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    Feb 13, 2008 1:05 AM GMT
    Great advice above - I can't add anything new other than to share what keeps me in shape (aside from weights and other cardio). I swim 1000 yards every other day - that's 40 lengths. I also tread water for 1/2 hour sometimes. To aleviate boredom, I hum songs in my head sometimes. This is a great workout without the pounding of running. I bet there's a chance you'll really get into it!
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    Feb 13, 2008 2:00 AM GMT
    I have found that if I stop swimming and then start again it's like starting over, getting relaxed in the water, keeping good form, breathing all have to get coordinated again. When I stop then start it takes time to get back in the groove.

    I try to work on different strokes, use paddles, flippers, do kicks: variety.

    I have learned butterfly just recently and it tires me out really quickly, so I work on it to get stronger and improve breathing. If I do 25 yds of butter fly, then 100 yards of freestyle, then I do 25 yds of butterfly I find this very challenging.

    I also find backstroke a challenge. I never seem to go fast enough.

    Sprints are challenging, particularly after I have done my mile. Just started to do 50 yd sprint in butterfly.

    There is so much to work on with form and breathing, I never tire of swimming.
  • Bullone

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    Feb 13, 2008 4:53 AM GMT
    Sorry to hear about your knees thecureforeverything...

    I had a similar experience 3 years ago: I used to play volleyball big time, but I developed Osgood-Schlatter in both legs, so i had to quit and my doc recommended swimming as therapy and cardio.

    Well, i wasn't too much into swimming at the time, so i was really doubtful. Lucky for me, I came across the waterpolo team at the University and really liked training with them (as i like team-sports) and became a member.

    Maybe you can try it too. The guys are hotter icon_wink.gif, the cardio workout is more "demanding" (I think) and maybe you can enjoy it more (since it is a game).

  • Feb 13, 2008 5:05 AM GMT
    you could also try to do lower impact running in a pool. shallow end with the water at least waist high. it's a great way to rehab any lower leg injuries and will give you a surprising cardio workout! I rehab'd an ankle injury like that and got so lean and ripped from walking and running in a pool!!!
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    Feb 13, 2008 1:19 PM GMT
    Hey there guys, thanks for all of the great advice! JustSwim, I'm going to check out the Blue Dolphins and sign up for a few lessons, and maybe once I get more into the sport again I can join the Smelts as well--their practice pool is just 10 minutes from my office. HotCoach and ActorAthlete, I'll give running in the water a try as well. And Mosco, you're absolutely right, waterpolo men are HOT! I'll see what I can find in the Chicago area in terms of club sports.

    Thanks, again, guys, and be healthy and well!
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    Feb 13, 2008 3:10 PM GMT
    hi. sorry to hear about your condition icon_sad.gif.. i agree with actor athlete i .. low impat swim run is just as effetive. i did it with aqua aerobics which is another alternative you may want to check it out.. dont think it wimpy.. you'd be surprised how the water can be challenge with a good aero teaher. all the best