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The Hard Parts of Swimming

The Hard Parts of Swimming

Lisa Eirene

About Lisa Eirene Lisa lost 110 pounds through calorie counting and exercise. She swims, bikes, runs, hikes and is enjoying life in Portland, Oregon. Her weight loss story has been featured in First Magazine, Yahoo Health, Woman's Day and

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  1. Brie @ Brie Fit

    Thanks, this was really helpful for a newbie like me!

    For me, the hardest part of swimming is counting the distance. I always forget how far I’ve gone and wind up doing extra laps, I think. I also, for some reason, can’t get the hang of breathing on different sides each time–I always breathe to the right!

    Question: Is there a certain strokes-to-breaths ratio you should shoot for? I tend to breathe every other stroke (so, stroke-stroke-breathe, repeat) because it helps me keep my heart rate steady, but I feel like that might be slowing me down.
    Brie @ Brie Fit recently posted..Back on track

    1. Lisa Eirene

      That’s why I count the lengths I swim instead of the laps–it’s easy to just count 1,2,3 etc instead of forgetting what lap I’m on. I don’t do bilateral breathing. When I learned how to swim as a kid, they weren’t teaching that and I just naturally breathe on my right side. I’ve tried to retrain myself and drown. šŸ™‚ I’m okay with breathing on one side.

      The strokes-to breath ratio depends all on your skill level/stamina and what’s comfortable. I used to have to breathe a lot. Now I breathe 3-4 times during the length of the pool. The main thing is to not hold your breathe so long that you fatigue your muscles.

  2. kalin

    The hardest part for me? Not having anywhere to swim! I grew up with a pool in my backyard-I miss being able to swim all the time. Josh wants to do a tri next year, so eventually we’re going to have to get a gym membership so we have somewhere *to* swim1
    kalin recently posted..Pseudo-Half

    1. Lisa Eirene

      Your in Hillsdale, right? The community pool over by Multnomah Village is really nice! I’ve swam there a few times. The gym looks nice too.

      1. kalin

        we used to have memberships there, but for the 2 of us it’s like 60some bucks a month-that’s over $700 a year! And it’s 6 or 7 bucks for one time use. I’m just too cheap to spend that much if I can help it!
        it is nice, but for the price i’d like bigger (the gym and the studio for classes both could get pretty crowded) and with fewer small children running around!
        kalin recently posted..Pseudo-Half

        1. Lisa Eirene

          Yeah the community pools here are surprisingly expensive. If you were just going to use it for the pool I’d recommend the punch card so you can just use it when you swim. But yeah…I used to go to Mt. Scott. I loved it. But it was pricey and the kids were everywhere. I prefer a grown up gym with no kids. šŸ™‚

  3. shelby

    Answer: All of the above!

    Seriously…I’m sure on the rare occasions when I hit the pool without a margarita in hand, I do all of those things poorly.

    I wish I had access to a pool so I could try to swim for fitness a little this summer, while it’s too stinking hot to run much outside!

    1. Lisa Eirene

      I can’t imagine how uncomfortable it is to run when it’s hot in the South! I whine when I have to run in Oregon when it’s over 70 degrees. šŸ˜‰

  4. steena

    Great tips! Wish you would have posted this back when I was still new to swimming! It’s amazing that once I got the breathing part of swimming down I actually started to enjoy swimming!

    1. Lisa Eirene

      Putting everything together with the breathing is really the hardest part!

  5. Tina @ Faith Fitness Fun

    All that goes into swimming astounds me! Definitely seems like a challenge. One I’m not sure I’ll ever take on. LOL

  6. stacia

    nice post. šŸ™‚
    stacia recently posted..Draggin on the dragon boating

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