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200m swim test and 10 mins water treading

Discussion in 'New Divers and Those Considering Diving' started by johnslowinski, Jul 21, 2019.

  1. purbeast

    purbeast Barracuda

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    Not to dissuade the OP but for me personally, the swim + tread was by far the hardest part of the whole certification process for me. I am a fit 200lb male with an athletic build that includes being fairly muscular with minimal body fat. I am a sinker by nature and can't float on my back with my face above water.

    I also do not swim very much even though I exercise regularly.

    Well let me tell you the 200yd swim was MUCH more difficult for me than I expected it to be. Our pool was 25yd which looks small, and I thought 8 laps would be easy, but I was wrong.

    I had to take like a 10-15 minute break after that and drank a lot of water, as I was sweating a lot after the swim. I don't typically sweat when swimming and I hadn't really "swam" in years. It's just a different type of exercise and conditioning than I'm used to.

    Then doing the 10 minutes tread, I was struggling just as much if not more. I saw other people having conversations while treading, and here I am just hoping to make it. The huge digital clock that had seconds on it, right in front of me, did not help the situation either. Multiple times I just floated with my head under water to try and rest a little bit.

    I was breathing heavily and exhausted for like 45 minutes afterwards. This was at 9:30pm at night and let me tell you I slept very well that night.

    My point isn't to discourage you, but to let you know that you can push through it. It's doable for people who can't swim distances or tread for long times such as myself. Since this was the middle of winter I didn't really have access to a pool easily to practice any of this, but if it was summer time, I would have definitely swam laps at my pool and practiced different treading techniques prior. So if you have access to that, I'd recommend doing so.
     
    Khrissi likes this.
  2. jadairiii

    jadairiii Solo Diver

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    This is an aquatic sport and the better swimmer you are the more relaxed in the water you will be. Dont give up, not only stick with the lessons but join a Master swim team and work out with them.

    For those that struggled with the swim, understand that one day you may have to swim to save your life, or a buddy's. Keep swimming
     
  3. purbeast

    purbeast Barracuda

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    For me personally I am extremely comfortable in the water. I will snorkel for hours in water deeper than I can stand. I just very rarely swim in water deeper than I can stand without any gear on.
     
  4. dmaziuk

    dmaziuk Orca

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    Do you wear a vest and/or a sausage when you snorkel?
     
  5. BlueTrin

    BlueTrin DIR Practitioner

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    No, I didn’t keep my mouth/nose above water except when breathing.

    I was allowed to swim as well.

    (This was for PADI)
     
  6. johnslowinski

    johnslowinski Angel Fish

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    This sounds like me, thats why im feel quite anxious and intimidated by those requirements. no matter how full is my lung during backfloat, i will still have to do a little scull and kick or else my face would sink.

    I think its due to the muscle mass proportion that ive built in the gym for 6 years already. Well i managed to swim breastroke 100m yesterday and will keep building it up. for water treading i guess i will learn drownproofing
     
  7. Neilwood

    Neilwood Loggerhead Turtle

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    Good to hear of the increased distance - once you and your body get accustomed to it , you will find it easier to extend the distance. Remember it is not a race and it doesn't matter how long it takes. I personally found that pace was one of the biggest hurdles as I was getting out of breath too quickly. Once I realised that there was no time limit, I slowed right down and IIRC it took me about 10 minutes during the test. If doing lengths in the pool, maximise the distance you get from your kick off and glide when you turn (a good kick off could see you 1/4-1/3 of the way up the pool)

    The exact wording of the PADI standard is "Waterskills Assessment - Before Open Water Dive 2, have student divers demonstrate that they can comfortably maintain themselves in water too deep in which to stand by completing a 10-minute swim/float without using any swim aids.
    At some point before certification, have students complete a 200 metre/yard continuous surface swim or a 300 metre/yard swim with mask, fins and snorkel"


    WRT the tread water requirement I have heard a number of instructors from various agencies term it more as the "don't drown test" - so long as you haven't drowned at the end of the 10 minutes then you have passed.
    Therefore there is nothing to stop you swimming very very slowly (ie at a rate that just maintains buoyancy) or drownproofing.
     
    Seaweed Doc likes this.
  8. dmaziuk

    dmaziuk Orca

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    I can promise y'all that guys like Phelps have some very serious muscle mass proportion built over multiple decades, and yet no problem floating spreadeagle on their backs or swimming multiple 1000s of metres non-stop. 200 m no time limit and 10 minutes without drowning is 99.999% skill issue.

    The other .001% is people with all steel leg joints, muay thai fighters with ultra-dense shin bones, Wolverine and the Terminators.
     
  9. purbeast

    purbeast Barracuda

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    I'm not saying I can't swim or that you can't be conditioned to swim if you are a certain body type. Anyone can be conditioned for the most part.

    But floating is different. I'm pretty confident that my muscle weight to total body weight is higher than someone like Michael Phelps. My build is more like a line backer in the NFL.

    I simply can't float and am a "sinker". It's one of the reasons I can get away with minimal weight (considering) while doing SCUBA.
     
  10. dmaziuk

    dmaziuk Orca

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    If you look around, Phelps's body fat is quoted at ~10% with FFMI of 21. Are you sure you want to go into a muscle size contest with that?

    Floating is being relaxed and lung size. Yes, your lungs are most likely smaller than those of a swimmer -- or a singer or a wind instrument player. Think of it that way: if you're not wearing a flotation device while snorkeling, the only real difference then is you can breathe through the snorkel at your own relaxed pace and keep your lungs inflated enough to stay afloat at all times.
     

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