Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Swimming, yeah!

Well I had my third swim session today. Seamus said he was going to work me hard today and he did. First we did some kicking drills with the board. On my tummy, on my back, increasing and decreasing speed. My hip flexors really felt it and my quads started to feel like I was hitting LT by the end of the lap. That's good, I think. :)

Next, he had me put the float thingy between my knees and we worked on my stroke. He wanted me to focus on turning my head quicker so the strokes are more even - a steady count. This is something I will need to keep working on and probably my biggest problem. However, each time he asked me to do something, I'd work on it a lap or two and get it down. He keep saying he was so happy with the way I was actually doing what I was told and how much I've improved since I started 3 lessons ago. (Well that IS why I'm paying him ya know. :)

Then we worked on my stroke without the float thing and he wanted me to stretch out even further than I was. I am supposed to feel the stretch in my side. So I did, and it was good. He also said I wasn't finishing the stroke as well as I could and he wanted me to do a drill where I actually lifted my hand right out of the water at the end of the stroke, splashing water in the air. The idea was to overcompensate during the drill and then end up with a proper stroke. I did one lap like he said, then I forgot and didn't do it enough on the 2nd lap. He said that was ok because I had been doing the perfect stroke the whole lap anyway so didn't really need the drill anymore.

I am so relieved that I don't have bad habits that will be hard to break. Apparently, I have a perfect 'S' curve stroke and he didn't want to mess with it so I said, good, maybe don't even tell me about it because if I start thinking about where to place my arms, I might lose it. Right now, I do it without thinking. It's certainly a lot easier that way. The thing I think about the most is my breathing and that's probably why it's the hardest thing for me.

I must say though, the breathing anxiety is MUCH lessened now than the first day and I really don't think it will take long before that becomes natural. It's even less of a problem when I am focussed on other things. I think the hardest thing I'm noticing about swimming is the fatigue factor. As soon as I get a bit tired, my technique falls apart so quickly. It'll be important to build up endurance I think and that can only be accomplished by time in the water.

So, at the end of the lessen, he asked me what my plans were. I only have one lesson left and he thought I would be best served by joining the Masters Swim program - it's less expensive than private lessons and the coaching at the rec centre is excellent. He said he thought I'd fit in well with the group as about 75% are tri-athletes and he didn't think I'd be the worst swimmer in the bunch so that would be nice. :)

He said that from what he could see, I'd definitely be able to complete a triathlon this summer, and although I wouldn't do 'well' in the swim portion, I'd definitely be able to complete it, which of course is my main goal.

He also suggested come down to the pool sometime before my next lesson and do some kicking drills so I will try to fit that in on Saturday.

Things to think about

• Steady count, turn head quickly but smoothly.

• stretch arms out front as far as I can go to catch more water. Feel the stretch in my sides,

• Be sure to end stroke as far as possible as well. And lean/roll each way to stroke deeper.

Drill ideas for working on my own

• Kick on tummy, with board.

• Kick 1/2 lap slow, 1/2 lap medium, 1 lap fas. Then reverse.

• Do same on back.

• Back stroke.

• Front stroke with float thing.

• Regular freestyle

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