Swimming & Diving/Swimming endurance

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Question
Hi Kenneth-
I'm 37-years-old and took up swimming for fitness/weight-loss several months ago. I usually just swim the BS, being scared of anything else. However, I just recently started swimming the freestyle and would like to swim it non-stop for a mile. I would like to know why, when I first get in the pool, my body doesn't seem to want to swim FS non-stop. However, if I swim the BS and work with a kickboard for around 30 minutes, with some breaks, all of a sudden, I'm able to swim FS for a long period of time without taking a break. So after 30 minutes, it's like a light-switch goes off and I have a lot of endurance. It seems counterintuitive to me. I feel like my endurance would come at the beginning of my workout, not at the end. Is this what happens for most swimmers? Thank you for your thoughts!

Answer
Hi: Not seeing you in person & in action nor knowing what physical condition (and athletic disposition you possess) I'm going to intuitively provide an answer and advisement. Based on what I provide you to help meet your objectives, see if I make sense and use/dispose my response(s) at your discretion.
In general: everyone has different energy-use & cardio-vascular systems, muscle vitality/coordinations particular to that individual. That's why when 2 ATHLETES, same gender, (similar age range) using the same conditioning plan/workouts, planning to  compete in a 50 meter race have different results: ONE WILL BE THE FASTER=WINNER; THE OTHER WILL BE THE SLOWER=LOSER.
2nd Factor: Breast Stroke-main focus of propulsion and energy usage R the legs; breast stroke kicks (done properly) provide the major power and movement & grace of the stroke.
Free Style-main focus of propulsion and energy usage R arms & legs (arms more that legs).
Propulsion provided by upper-body/arms; flutter kick maintains proper  hip/body alignment
parallel to water surface.
3rd Factor: Mind set/Conditioning- If breaststroke is the main aquatic exercise you've been doing most of your life, that's the stroke you've conditioned your mind & body to do well and that's the stroke you excel in.
As stated, leg kicks/lower body conditioning is the main asset of this stroke. Also-breast stroke arm pulls are mainly under water. Free style  arms pulls are mainly out of water except for the "catch" & "pulls." I have the feeling your lower body strength, includes the legs, are the more dominant.
Overall Advice and Commitment: After a 15/20 min. warm up, interlace breaststroke & Freestyle
equally: example: 4-6 laps Breast/4-6 laps Free (swim as a set; don't break up the set);this workout is for 1 hour with your usual breaks. Conclude the workouts with kickboard: example: 4 laps breast stroke kicks/6-8 laps freestyle flutter kick/6-8 laps freestyle flutter kicks supine position w/without kickboard usage. Gradually decrease Breast stroke laps & increase Free Style laps, same with kickboard workouts. Finally-all workouts are dominantly Free Style. Let me know after a month results!  good luck.  

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Kenneth Pollock

Expertise

Based upon lifetime of teaching and practice in all aquatic areas: swimming, life-saving, acquacise, pool games/sports, water-based exercises for injuries to major parts of the body:legs, arms, trunk, hands, arms, shoulders, etc.A Advanced diving techniques 'I can't';'I won't.'I'll be able to answer and provide specific remedial techniques & activities in most of the above categories with 90%-95% proficieny. I should mention at least 10 yrs. experience in wellness-fitness classes for seniors and their juniors! (Includes me!)

Experience

Based upon the above overview and brief summary of my water skills and the teachings of them, I have taught or have been involved in these areas personally; that includes utilizing these techniques for self-injuries to my shoulders, knees i.e., torn maniscus. I have certs in teaching water-based movements for arthritics as well. My umbrella of teaching and "working" in these areas totals approximatley 40 years...

Organizations
Past history: Fitness/Wellness/Swim Instructor-20 yrs. Staten Island YMCA., 281 Broadway SINY. Presently: Part/Time Professor in Health/Phys ED at Kingsborough Community College, teaching both aquacise, water-based volley ball, Beginners, Intermediate, Advanced Swimming classes. Kingsborough C.C. address:2001 Oriental Blvd., B'klyn N 11235-25+ yrs.

Publications
N/A

Education/Credentials
I have Masters Degree in Special Education. Almost 30 credits + in Physiology/Education from Columbia Univ., NYC (involves working with "challenged" populations with both/either mental and physical handicaps.

Awards and Honors
MY (RE)WARD IS BEING ABLE TO RETIRE FROM THE NYCBOE AFTER TEACHING AND EVALUATING CHILDREN/ADULTS WITH SPECIAL NEEDS FOR 36 YEARS! THE HONOR I RECEIVED IN DOING SO WAS THE WONDERFUL RESPECT, THANKS FROM PEERS, STUDENTS, PARENTS & SUPERVISORS FOR SIGNIFICANT, POSITIVE CHANGES IN THEIR [CHARGES] AND LOVED ONES WHO HAD COME UNDER MY GUIDANCE AND TUTELEGE!

Past/Present Clients
SEE OR REVIEW: Awards & Honors. (above)

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