Thursday, September 10, 2009

Swim Breakthrough

for a while i have been going to the pool and working on technique. trying to keep both hands in front of me. today at the pool i did more of the same. still hard to do for sure. keeping from looking forward is hard too. its like on the bike, you want to look down road as you pedal and so are bent back at the neck. thats one of the more tender spots after a long run, the sore neck. same in the water, i like to swim so that i can see stuff as it comes at me. also i like to watch my hands come into the water. ( usually crowded with bubbles! ) so looking down at the pool is not easy. but i was working on that and the forward hands. i think i made medium progress on the hands and very small progress on looking down. actually working on one makes the other harder... lol.

after doing these drills for a bit i decided to see if i could match my personal best ever long swim. and i did. i went back and forth across the 25meter pool 6 times. 3 laps. woohoo! i kept thinking this is the same pool mark spits trained in for the 7 medals he won a lifetime ago.

after finishing the monster long swim of 150 meters i hung on to the edge and breathed for a bit. about 4 lanes over some guy was swimming ( actually the only other guy in this huge pool ) so while hanging on the wall i watched him go back and forth. head up, slow swimming, breathing on one side, arms all over. but he went back and forth for about 30 minutes. no stops. just plodding along. splashing and moving slowly. and i was thinking, hmm, the only thing keeping me from doing longer swims was my breathing. i run out of breath pretty quick. like i feel when i am running too fast.

then i thought back to the video i watched a few weeks ago. one of the drills was to return your arm to the front with your fingertips dragging the surface of the water. so i tried that. just dangled my fingers as i brought them back. this does two things, one, you dont lift your hand too high and second you are relaxed on the recovery. which turned out to be huge. image running where you are pushing back as hard as you can and also swinging forward as hard as you can. sprinting. jogging is more relaxed. relaxed upper body and not a forced run. and you can do this for hours without breathing so hard you run out of breath. same in swimming! what a huge breakthrough that was. i did 5 easy if slower laps. and at the end i just stopped to think about it. it was easy. i wasnt out of breath. it was the longest swim of my life and i felt pretty relaxed about it. i believe, and hope to test, that i can do 3 or 5 times as long a swim if i wanted.

also had a good experience with getting water in my mouth. normally this is a panicky thing for me. i want to stop and re-set my breathing. because i am kinda on the edge with air anyway, one missed breath and its like sprinting with your mouth closed. but with the more relaxed breathing i just got a bunch of water in my mouth and blew it out with the air on the next breath, i was a bit out of breath and went to one sided breathing for a few strokes. but it didnt stop me like it would have before.

also i kept track of the number of strokes to cross 25 meters: 11. so thats a number i am hoping to cut down over the next year. maybe 7-8 would be much easier.

great run last night and a great day in the pool today. :-)

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